Author Topic: #0115/0116: Robservations 08/09/01: Prisoner of a Madman  (Read 1466 times)

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Offline ROBINV

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#0115/0116: Robservations 08/09/01: Prisoner of a Madman
« on: August 08, 2001, 07:31:08 PM »
Episode #115 - I came to this house with the hope of finding out about my past life; instead, my life was nearly taken away from me, and the man who tried to kill me is hiding in the one place no one would think to look--and he's being protected by one who does not suspect his treachery.

David enters the Old House, carrying another bag of food. He calls plaintively to Matthew, who suddenly rears up behind him and gleefully says, "Scared ya, Davy, boy, didn't I?" No you didn't, says David. I know fright when I see it, says Matthew, one thing I know, I've lived a lotta years and I've seen fright on the faces of men and women--faces I wish I could forget. It's just the way you came out so suddenly, says David. Yeah, it's the suddenness that frightens, agrees Matthew, a sick smile on his face, the unexpected--the feelin' that you don't know what's gonna happen next. David looks uncertain, perhaps beginning to wonder about Matthew. (And for the first time, he seems to be insane.)

Vicki comes downstairs with her ugly plaid suitcase and sets it down at the foot of the steps. You're all packed? asks Liz when Vicki enters the drawing room. Ready to leave, says Vicki. You've got enough money for your bus fare and other expenses? asks Liz. More than I need, Vicki assures her. You think you'll be gone longer than the weekend? Liz asks. I'm sure I won't, says Vicki. There really isn't much to see in Bangor, says Liz--of course, I haven't been there in a number of years, but I'm sure it hasn't changed much--what are you planning to do there? There are quite a few things I want to do, says Vicki--see Frank and spend some time with him, and I thought on Sunday I'd go to a concert at the conservatory. I didn't know you liked Frank that much, says Liz. I'm not going for that reason alone, says Vicki--after all that's happened to me--Matthew, the police and other things (Burke's kiss, which is probably a primary reason she's going), I just want to be alone to do some thinking and try and understand what's been happening to me and why--I don't know what it means, but right now I'm very confused and mixed up. Go to Bangor, encourages Liz, and have a good time--try to put the bad things out of your mind--forget the bad things that have happened in this house, Bill Malloy's death--Matthew the cause of it, who we trusted and was with us so long--what's happening to him?--where can he be? (Notice how much Liz still cares. She loves David despite his murderous tendencies and Matthew despite his. What a strange, forgiving woman.)

Matthew gazes down at David, his hand on his shoulder. You look nervous, Davy, observes Matthew. I'm not, says David. Ya trust me, don't ya! asks Matthew. Yes! exclaims David. Good, says Matthew, maybe you'll let an old man have his dinner. Sure, says David presenting him with the bag. Thank you, says Matthew, I didn't think they made young men like you anymore. He looks out the window and notes he doesn't see anybody. No one followed me, David assures him. You sure about that? asks Matthew. No one could have, says David--I even hid for a long time, to see if anybody was coming. I got to hand it to ya, says Matthew, setting up a table--you're a sly one. I'm too smart to let that happen, says David. I can see that, says Matthew, bringing over a chair. No one really knows how smart I am, says David,. And it's a good thing not to let people know, smiles Matthew--play dumb--it's a great game--you can pull a lot of wool that way, play tricks on everybody--that way, you get a chance to have the last laugh--and the last is the best--I guess that's what you want, eh? I guess so, says David with a small smile. Good lad, praises Matthew, you're smilin' already, waitin' for the big laugh--let me see what you brought me--a lot of food in here, he observes--I guess you want me to get my share of vitamins. (This touched me, I can't explain why.) I didn't want you to be hungry, says David. Matthew takes out a box, then a can, and shakes David's hand, telling him he'll never forget it--you've taken on a big responsibility, he tells the boy--keepin' my secret. I'm good at secrets, says David--there are lots of secrets around here--and I know them all!

And when you get to Bangor, says Liz to Vicki, leading her into the foyer, take time to think about the future. It's very hard to think about the future, says Vicki, when everything depended on the past. Vicki, darling, that's your big mistake, and perhaps mine, too, says Liz--when I think of all the years I've lived in the past... Why don't you do something about it? asks Vicki. I'm trying, says Liz, in my own way. But you aren't succeeding, are you? asks Vicki. No, I'm afraid not, says Liz, pacing away from her. I'm sorry I said that, I shouldn't have, says Vicki. No, it's quite obvious I'm not a good example of the advice I give, says Liz, slipping on a bracelet--maybe I'm a very good example of what you can become if you insist on living in the past. You shouldn't talk that was about yourself, chastises Vicki, I wish I could be more like you, to have your strength! You think I have strength? asks Liz, surprised. Yes, you do, says Vicki. Liz thinks it over--if I had strength I'd (tell you you're my daughter?)...think carefully, Vicki--the decision could be the beginning or the end. I will--about a lot of people and a lot of things, promises Vicki. Call me, says Liz, if you want to talk. Thank you for being so kind and understanding, says Vicki. You deserve those things, says Liz--goodbye--is David upstairs? I didn't see him, says Vicki. I wonder where he could be? says Liz. He could be anywhere, says Vicki, and knowing David, he usually is. I haven't seen him since lunch time, says Liz. He's probably on one of his picnics, says Vicki--I imagine to the Old House, that's his favorite haunt. I wish he were back here, says Liz. Do you want me to go and get him? asks Vicki. What about your bus? asks Liz. There's plenty of time, Vicki says. Would you mind? asks Liz, I'd feel better--it gets dark so early. Much as I hate that place, I'm sure that's where he is, says Vicki.
Thank you, says Liz, heading upstairs, and have a good time. I will, says Vicki--and I'll bring David back--by the ear! Liz smiles and goes up. Vicki takes her suitcase and leaves it by the door. The camera focuses on it, lingering for a long moment.

Gobbling food from a can, Matthew praises David's good taste--you know what a man likes, he says. David smiles proudly. A hungry man will eat most anything, says Matthew--you brought a lot of food--you think they'll miss any of it? No, says David, there's plenty of food in the house, and if they do, they'll just think I'm eating it. He brings over a stool and sits at the little table with Matthew, who says, "You got it pretty well figured out, haven't ya?" I've got everything figured out, brags David. Tell me about it, says Matthew. I figured out how long you can stay here, says David. Oh? asks Matthew, scarfing up food, how long? Years, says David. (With no bathroom facilities?) You've got some imagination! gloats Matthew, slamming his hand on the table. I mean it, says David, no one would know you're here, because no one comes near the Old House--they're all too scared! You came, says Matthew, what's to stop others? I'm not afraid of anything--that's the difference, says David. There's more truth in what you're sayin' than I'm lettin' on, that's why I'm here, says Matthew--that's why I came all the way back--I know I stand a better chance here--I got one true friend here, Davy--you. I can keep bringing you food forever! says David--the perfect hide-out. It is, says Matthew, because there's something in this place that makes it absolutely impossible for somebody to find me--it's so near you can touch it--even you don't know what it is. I know everything about the Old House, says David. Show me what I'm talkin' about, challenges Matthew. About the ghosts, says David. Then you really don't know about it, chortles Matthew, good, good. Come on, what is it? asks David. Nothin' says Matthew, spooning more food from the can. Oh, come on, I want to know, pleads David. The ghosts are good enough for now, says Matthew. I have to know, says David. I'll make a deal with ya, says Matthew--take good care of me and when I'm about to leave here, I'll tell you the biggest secret about this Old House. Why can't you tell me now? begs David. Like I said, the right time, says Matthew--I know you like secrets, and this one is bigger than any you know--only you're going to have to be patient. I don't like things being kept from me, says David resentfully. This one has to be, says Matthew--well, now, this is a real feast--too bad we don't have some after dinner brandy to go with it. (A drunk homicidal maniac, good idea!) I could get some, says David, my father has lots of it, and he'd never even notice it missing. Davy, you make this place sound like the ideal retirement spot, says Matthew--you'll spoil me with these creature comforts. They hear Vicki's voice, calling David, and hastily hide the food. Matthew hides behind the wall so Vicki only sees David, who meets her at the door and stares at her with concern. Will she discover Matthew?
Do you know that you're aunt is looking for you? asks Vicki, closing the door behind her. She always is, says David. Matthew listens. What were you doing here? asks Vicki. Looking for ghosts, says David. Did you find any? Vicki asks him. I think so, says David. If anyone can find them, you can, says Vicki. They're here, all right, says David. Do you always have to come here? asks Vicki--there are better places. I like it here, says David. What's that? she asks, pointing to the floor. A crust of bread, says David. Vicki stoops to pick it up. I suppose you were just going to leave it here, she says. Her wallet drops out next to her foot, but she doesn't notice. I suppose you were just going to leave it here, says Vicki. Why not? asks David. There comes a time when a young man has to learn to pick up after himself, lectures Vicki. It'll be gone in a little while, anyway, points out David. Very clever, says Vicki, I suppose you're going to let an army of ants march off with it. Not ants--rats!--says David--they live all around here--and they eat everything--if we wait around long enough, we'll see them come out of their holes. (Smart way to get rid of her, David.) I don't think I'm going to wait around for that event, says Vicki--I have to catch a bus to Bangor, and you're wanted back at the house. I wanted to stay longer, pouts David. It's getting dark soon, says Vicki, this is no place to be. That's the time to be here, says David in a scary voice. All right, she says, annoyed. OK, I'm coming, he says, but before he leaves with Vicki, he calls, seemingly to the air, "But I'll be back tomorrow!" That's fine, says Vicki, you can stay here as long as you want tomorrow because I'll be miles away and won't have to fetch you. She looks around a moment, but misses her wallet, and after the door closes, Matthew picks it up and opens it.

Collinwood - Liz comes downstairs and dials the phone, asking for the sheriff. George, there aren't any problems here--everything's quiet--any word of Matthew?--I see, yes, I understand--you'll call me if you hear anything--I'd appreciate it--thank you. She hangs up. Vicki and David come in. You found him, Liz says. Right where I thought he'd be, says Vicki--was that the sheriff? Yes, says Liz. Have they found Matthew? asks Vicki. Not yet, not a trace, says Liz as David hoists himself up onto the foyer table--but the police have blocked all the state highway and notified police in other states (David looks smug)--they think he might be trying to leave the country, so the Canadian police are watching the border. I hope they catch him soon, says Vicki, it frightens me having him loose like this. I don't think they'll catch him, opines David.
David! says Liz. He's a lot smarter than anyone thinks, says David. What makes you say that? asks Liz. I just think so, says David--maybe he's got friends hiding him someplace. (Why doesn't anyone pick up on these obvious clues from this child?) I don't know about that, but I do feel sorry for him, says Liz. Do you--why? asks David. I'd rather not talk about it now, says Liz, probably considering Vicki's feelings. Then when will you talk about it? asks David. I've got to talk to you about not letting me know where you are, and a few other things, says Liz sternly, I hope you thanked Miss Winters for taking the trouble to look for you. I didn't, he says. Well, suppose you do, says Liz. That's not necessary, says Vicki. Yes it is, insists Liz--David? I'm sorry for the time you had to take looking for me, recites David--next time, I'll try to know when to come home by myself. A very pretty speech, says Vicki, smiling, let's see if you can live up to it--I guess I'd better be going. Is there time for your bus? asks Liz. Plenty of time, says Vicki. Then for the second time, says Liz, have a pleasant weekend. I will, says Vicki, reaching into her pockets--she realizes her wallet is gone. Are you sure? asks Liz. Yes, it was in this pocket, says Vicki. When did you last see it? asks Liz. I remember when I was walking to the Old House, says Vicki, it was in my pocket then, because I was holding it. Do you know when you could have dropped it? asks Liz. Maybe when we climbed the old fence, suggests David. Of course, that's it, says Vicki--we took the shortcut back and I nearly lost my balance coming over that fence--I'll run after it and see if I can find it. Do you want me to help you? asks David. No, she says, it won't take a minute, then I'll be on my way. You sure you don't want us to help you? asks Liz. Positive, says Vicki. (Oh, Vicki, you're going to be so sorry!) If you can't find it, says Liz, let me know and I'll give you enough money for the weekend. I'll find it, says Vicki, but that's very nice of you--see you Monday. She bids both of them goodbye.

Vicki heads down the stairs at Collinwood, intent on finding her wallet.

Liz leads David into the drawing room, telling him she hopes this is a good example of the kind of trouble he causes people. It's not my fault she lost her wallet, says David. What if she hadn't gone to look for you? asks Liz, sitting at the desk. Maybe she would have lost it, says David. Really, says Liz, don't try to avoid your responsibilities. She glances over some paperwork. I'm not trying to do that, he says. Seems that way to me, says Liz. Some people think I can take on a big responsibility, says David. Really, who? asks Liz. Some people, says David evasively. (Liz is probably thinking Burke, David is thinking Matthew.) There are times when I wonder where your loyalty is, says Liz. I don't understand about loyalty, says David, sitting at the desk with her--who should I be loyal to? Basically, those who love you, she says. I don't think anybody loves me, he says. (Oh, give it up, David!) Oh, you mustn't feel that way, she says, lots of people love you--you know I love you, don't you? Yes, he says. And you know I'd love you no matter what, says Liz. I guess so, he says. That's the meaning of loyalty, she says. What about my father? he asks--do I have to be loyal to him, too? Before anyone else, says Liz. Before anyone else? asks David unhappily. He's the closest to you, points out Liz, your family comes first, then your friends. I don't know, says David, there are friend I think I like better. Who? asks Liz. Friends, he says simply. I don't think you've given your father a fair opportunity to prove how much he loves you, says Liz. He's had plenty of chances, says David. You've got to give him time! says Liz.
Maybe I'd rather be loyal to somebody else, suggests David, and Liz just looks at him.

Vicki searches for her wallet by the fence, but doesn't find it. She looks in the bushes on both sides, but no luck.

I suppose it's better to be loyal to somebody, Liz tells David, rather than nobody--who have you decided to be loyal to? I didn't say anybody for sure, says David, I just said maybe--maybe there's somebody that needs me and can be loyal to me--and I to him. Sounds like a good relationship, says Liz. It does? asks David. Two people should be important to each other, says Liz. Like I could do something for him, says David, and he could do something for me? That's the idea, says Liz, there's more to it, but I think you've got the general grasp of it. How do you know when the other person is loyal? asks David. That isn't always easy to find out, says Liz, you have to judge for yourself. How do I even judge it? asks David. You have to listen to what they say, see if they mean it, but what they do, she explains. I see, says David, and they shouldn't hide things from each other? Oh, no, says Liz, they should be completely honest with each other. Even tell the most important secrets? asks David. There shouldn't be any secrets between people who trust each other, Liz tells him. No secrets, says David, almost to himself. I hope I've been helping you, says Liz. You have been, he says--now I know how to test loyalty.

Vicki approaches the Old House and goes in. She searches the floor for her wallet, instead finding muddy footprints that lead to the bookcase.
Matthew appears. "Lose somethin'?" he asks, holding out her wallet. Vicki whirls around, staring at him as he comes toward her, finally stopping, holding the wallet inches from her face.

NOTES: Oh, no, what's going to happen to Vicki now that Matthew has found her? He's got a score to settle with her, at least in his mind he does! And he seems suddenly even more strange and messed up than before, jumping out at David just to frighten him. The kid is helping him, after all, misguided though he may be.

Liz talks to David about loyalty. David wants to know Matthew's secret, which we assume is the hidden room behind that bookcase. Will Matthew tell him? Or will he have a good reason not to?

They think Vicki's gone to Bangor for the weekend and won't miss her until Monday--what will Matthew do to her now that he's captured her once again?

Is the suspense killing you?


Episode #116 - Since I came to live at Collinwood, my life has been in danger several times--until a moment ago, I thought the danger had passed--only to find myself trapped in the deserted Old House by a desperate man who has already tried to murder me.

Vicki gasps and tries to flee, but Matthew grabs hold of her and warns her not to scream--it won't do ya any good if you did--nobody can hear ya. I won't, promises Vicki--what are you doing here?--I thought... You thought I was miles away from here, he finishes. She nods. That's what I wanted people to think, he says proudly, it's the last place they'd think of lookin' for me--too bad you couldn't stop your snoopin' around! Vicki shakes her head--I wasn't snooping, she says, I was just looking for the wallet I lost! Never mind why you're here! he says--you're here and you know I'm here--too bad you found out, Miss Winters. Backed against the column, prisoner of a man who has already tried to kill her, Vicki's face is filled with fear.

Vicki has turned away from Matthew, but she gazes over her shoulder at him, terrified, and asks what he's going to do. I know what I'm not going to do, he says, rubbing his hands together, I'm not going to let you leave here, let you turn me over to the sheriff. Vicki assures him she wouldn't do that. Don't say you won't! he says, I know you hate me, I know you want me to spend the rest of my life in jail. That's not true, she says. No? he asks. I don't hate you, she says, I'm afraid of you, that's all. Too bad you weren't scared earlier, he says, scared enough to stop your snoopin' round--everything that's happened to me is your fault!--nobody knew I had anything to do with Malloy's death until you started pokin' around, you got the sheriff after me--now you've found me here--I was safe enough here until a few minutes ago, now I don't know what I'm going to do! She makes a move toward the door. NO! says Matthew---I know what you're thinkin'--forget it--you ain't gonna make a run for it. She shakes her head. Do as I say or I won't be responsible for what happens, he warns her. I'll do anything you say, she says. Not safe standin' around out here, he says, come with me. Where are you taking me? she asks, and he drags her over to the bookcase and tells her she'll see.
He opens the shelf and shoves her in, then goes in there with her, ignoring her cries of, "Matthew, please!"

Collinwood - Mrs. Johnson answers a knock at the door, first turning on lights in the darkened foyer. Somebody called for a cab? asks the man. That would be Miss Winters, says Sarah--I thought she left already--come in and I'll check. The man takes off his hat. Sarah calls upstairs to Vicki, several times.
No, she says, I'm sorry, the young lady has left for the weekend. You sure? he says, she didn't cancel the call. She isn't in the house, says Sarah--I said goodbye to her a little while ago--she must have gotten a lift to town or else decided to take the bus, she's just not here--sorry. So am I, says the cabbie, leaving the house. Sarah closes the double doors and goes into the drawing room to close the window. We see the broken windows of the Old House, and through them, the bookcase, now Vicki's prison.

Vicki gazes around the damp brick room into which Matthew has brought her. What is this? she asks. A secret room, he says, nobody knows about it but me--not even Mz. Stoddard--they'll never find me here, nor you either. How long have you been here? asks Vicki. Since the night I ran away, he says, the night you came to my cottage. Vicki gulps--the night you tried to kill me, she says. That night, says Matthew. Then you never left Collinwood, she says. I left, he says, I took my car and drove, I musta drove over a hundred miles. Why did you come back? she asks. I couldn't think of anyplace else to go, he says, besides, this is the last place in the world they'll come lookin' for me. What if they find your car? asks Vicki, then they'll know you're someplace nearby. I've got it hidden in the woods here, where no one can find it, he says--when the search quiets down, I'll drive to a town up the coast and sign up aboard a fishing ship--they won't care who I am, I'll stay at sea the rest of my life. But it could be months before they stop searching for you, says Vicki. I can wait, he says. How will you live, how will you eat? she asks. I can get food, says Matthew, don't worry about it. How?--you can't go into the main house, she says, and if you go into town, they'll recognize you. Somebody's lookin' after me, he brags, smiling. Somebody's helping you? she asks. Ye-uh, he says. Who, someone at Collinwood? she asks. A friend!--that's all you need to know, he tells her--thought you'd turned everybody against me, but you didn't! You talk as though I made some sort of plot against you, she wails--that's just not true--I never tried to hurt you! You did hurt me! he says--you did the worst thing one person can do to another--you set friend against friend--YOU TURNED MZ STODDARD AGAINST ME! That's ridiculous, says Vicki, violently shaking her head. You made her lie for you! accuses Matthew--she tried to trick me, tried to turn me over to the sheriff--she never would have done that in the old days, before you came to Collinwood, it was all your doin'--you lied to her and she believed ya! Vicki shakes her head. Why did you do it? asks Matthew, near tears--why do you hate me? I don't hate you! Vicki assures him, and I didn't turn Mrs. Stoddard against you--I never said one word about you to her! You think I b'lieve your lies? He demands angrily--I got eyes and ears, I know what happened! you must be insane, says Vicki. DON'T SAY THAT TO ME! shouts Matthew, going for her throat, but stopping. I didn't mean it, says Vicki, tears glittering in her eyes. You're the crazy one, he says--you think I don't know what's going on?--I know what you done to me, Miss Winters, I wish I'd kilt you when I had the chance!
He again encircles her throat with his hands, but she struggles, and he shoves her down on a mattress lying on the floor. She's crying hard.

Mrs. Johnson wanders the living room. Liz enters carrying a huge bouquet of flowers and a vase, asking Sarah if she's seen Carolyn--she's not in her room. I think she went out, says Sarah--I think she had a date. Why? asks Liz. She asked me to press a dress, says Sarah, and a pressed dress usually means a date. Oh, Joe, probably called and asked her to have dinner with him, says Liz, setting the vase on the piano. Could be, says Sarah. Odd, though, says Liz, putting flowers in the vase, she usually tells me where she's going. Well, says Sarah, perhaps she thought you were taking a nap and didn't want to disturb you. No, says Liz, she knew I wasn't resting, and she knew I had to work on the ledgers, I told her so. I don't know, says Sarah. I suppose it's nothing to worry about--did Vicki get off all right? asks Liz. Apparently, says Sarah--do you know, did Vicki order a taxi cab? I suppose so, says Liz, why? Because a taxi cab man came here a few minutes ago, and she'd already left. I wonder how she got to Collinsport? Asks Liz. Maybe Carolyn gave her a lift, suggests Sarah. Possibly, says Liz, but why didn't she cancel the cab? She probably forgot, says Sarah. I suppose, says Liz--I remember, she left her suitcase in the hall, I remember her putting it down--she checks and sees that it's gone--you're right, she probably did forget about the cab, probably on her way to Bangor now. The camera shows us Vicki's suitcase, with her initials VW, unnoticed by Liz, tucked into the alcove where the coats are hung up.

Here's the evening paper, Sarah tells Liz, handing it to her. ESCAPED KILLER STILL AT LARGE, proclaims the headline, and there's a large photo of Matthew on the front page. I don't even want to look at it, says Liz, it's full of nothing but Matthew.
That was a terrible thing he did, remarks Sarah, gazing at the paper, I hope they find him and put him in prison for the rest of his life! I know how you feel, says Liz, I was a friend of Mr. Malloy's, too, I still can't help pitying Matthew. You pity him? asks Sarah, incredulous--the man who killed Mr. Malloy--she makes and shakes a fist. It was an accident, says Liz, he didn't mean to kill him, he thought he was protecting me. I know what he thought, says Sarah. I'm not excusing what he did, says Liz, but I can't forget his loyalty, either--I feel as if I've lost two friends--Mr. Malloy and Matthew. You consider Matthew a friend? asks Sarah. He was our caretaker for over 18 years, says Liz, and during that time, he was one of the few friends I had. The phone rings, Liz answers. It's Frank--that's odd, Liz tells him, she left here over two hours ago--no, I didn't see her go, but she said goodbye to me--and her suitcase is gone, so I know she must be on her way--perhaps she'll be on the next bus--all right, do that--I'll be here. Vicki missed her bus? Asks Sarah. Apparently so, reports Liz, that was the friend she was visiting, and he said she wasn't on the bus when it got to Bangor. She won't have too long to wait for the next one, says Sarah--I think they come about every hour. I know, says Liz, I told Mr. Garner she'd probably take the next one, but she still seems worried about her. Why, people miss buses every day of the world, says Sarah. I know, says Liz, but so much has happened to Vicki in this past week, it seems natural to worry about her. We see the front page of the newspaper.

Get up, Matthew orders Vicki. Tears run down her face. She does, moving away from him. He rubs his hands together and moves close to her. You're lucky I didn't kill ya, he says--for a moment I had a mind to. I'm sorry, she says, I didn't mean what I said, really I didn't. Better not say anything like that again if you know what's good for ya, he warns--I lose my temper easy. There's no reason for you to lose your temper, Vicki assures him--I'll do anything you say--anything! You better, he says. I will, she says, sinking into a chair, I only want to live. That's all I want, too, he says--why couldn't you have left me alone, you and everybody else?--I'm just a harmless old man, I never meant to kill anybody. I know that, says Vicki, voice thick with tears, I know you didn't set out to intentionally kill Bill Malloy--everybody knows that. What about the sheriff? Sneers Matthew--what does he think? He thinks it was an accident, says Vicki, because I told him it was, and Mrs. Stoddard did, too! Why are the police still all over the grounds? Demands Matthew--why are there blocks on the roads?--they don't go to that trouble to catch a man unless they think he's a murderer! There aren't any police on the grounds, says Vicki desperately--they left! Since when? asks Matthew, not believing her. Since you disappeared, she says, there haven't been any police here for days! Soon you'll be tellin' me is there are no more roadblocks, either! he says. There aren't any, she says, because as far as the sheriff is concerned, you're hundreds of miles away! Somebody told me a different story, he says, told me the police were all over the place--the minute I stepped out that front door, I'd be arrested. Whoever he is, he's lying, says Vicki, because you're perfectly free to go outside. Why would my friend have lied to me? asks Matthew. I don't know, says Vicki, all I know is that you can leave here and get in your car, wherever it is, and drive away, and nobody will stop you. He looks at her suspiciously, pacing, then gazes down into her hopeful face. Why are you looking at me like that? she asks. I'm trying to decide whether to believe ya or not, he says.

All right, Frank, says Liz to Frank on the phone, I'll call you back as soon as I learn anything. Vicki wasn't on the nest bus, either? asks Sarah.
No, says Liz, and Mr. Garner checked with the bus company and no girl fitting Vicki's description has been on any of the buses to Bangor--he thinks she hasn't left Collinsport. What would she be doing in Collinsport? asks Sarah. She certainly wouldn't be visiting Maggie Evans or anybody, not with Mr. Garner waiting for her in Bangor, says Liz. You know, maybe Carolyn drover he to Bangor and they stopped along the way, suggests Sarah. It's possible, says Liz, but I'd better phone Joe Haskell. She does so, but he isn't there, and she asks the person at the other end of the line if he or she knows where Joe can be reached--I see--if he comes in, tell him to call Mrs. Stoddard--it's urgent, I'm trying to get in touch with him. She hangs up. No luck, says Sarah. No, says Liz, twisting he hands together, Joe isn't in and Mrs. Landry doesn't know where he can be reached. Well, says Sarah, I'll tell ya how I think we can find out of Carolyn went out on a date--Joe would have picked her up, and her car would be in the garage--if her car is gone, that means she drove Vicki to Bangor--I'll go and check. Would you? asks Liz, grateful--I'm getting terribly worried. Sarah leaves. Liz goes to the fireplace and stands there, worrying.

You're lucky, Matthew tells Vicki. Why do you say that? she asks him. I've decided to give you a chance, he says. You're going to let me go? she asks eagerly. I'm going to leave you here, he says, go outside and take a look around--if you're tellin' the truth and there are no police around, I'll head for my car and that's the last you'll ever see of me. What about me? asks Vicki--you can't leave me in this horrible room! You'll find a way to get out, he says, or someone will come here and find ya, you'll be all right. you're doing a wise thing, says Vicki--it's not safe for you to be here, believe me, it isn't. He looks at her and warns her that she'd better cooperate, and do just what he says. Anything, she swears, nodding her head. Stay here for a couple of hours at least, he says, don't move, don't make a sound, if anybody comes in, don't call out--gimme plenty of chance to get away. All right, she says. I'm trustin' ya, he says, you do just like I said or you'll be sorry. I understand, says Vicki. He gives her one last look and leaves the secret room, closing the door behind him. He first looks out the window. Vicki listens at the back of the shelf. Matthew leaves the Old House. Vicki hears the door close and begins to sob. She rubs her cold hands together, then sits back down in the chair and cries. She stands, listens at the door again, opens it, and creeps out into the drawing room. She stands there, looking around, standing amidst the filth-strewn room. She slowly walks to the door, trembling. She moves toward the door, reaching for the knob, and slowly opens it. We hear the sound of the wind. Vicki exits the Old House, looking around, but is grabbed from behind by Matthew, who presses his hand over her mouth and forcefully tosses her back inside the house.
I knew I couldn't trust ya! he says, a cruel grin on his face--I knew you were lying to me--and he comes lunging toward her. Vicki screams.

NOTES: I still remember this episode, which was written by Ron Sproat, all these years after seeing it the first time. I was terror-stricken for Vicki, and wondered if he was going to kill her then and there--or perhaps do something else to her, like rape. I'm certain it was a Friday episode, and couldn't wait for Monday afternoon to come so I could see what fate befell poor Vicki. I really enjoyed the performances of Thayer David and Alexandra Moltke in this ep. They are wonderful together.

Matthew's sanity is clearly in question now. He has twisted the facts into what he wants them to be--Vicki is solely responsible for his plight, for turning Liz against him and setting the sheriff loose on him--all of which is nuts, because he is the author of his own misery, not Vicki. I guess he can't handle the fact that he put his foot through his happy life at Colllinwood, so he must find someone else to blame. Will he kill her this time?

At least the Collins household knows Vicki never made it to Bangor--and more quickly than I thought, too. I love the way Liz and Sarah work together. Mrs. Johnson seems like she's always been there, and it was good for Liz to have someone to talk to and help her at a time like this.

Matthew scared me then and does now. He seemed like basically a gentle soul, turn tiger when those he cares for are threatened. He felt Liz was threatened and warned Malloy, but killed him accidentally in the process (or was it truly an accident)? Matthew is a fascinating character, and very smart, too--he knew Vicki was using her story as a desperate ploy to escape, but he outsmarted her--and now what will happen to her?

How wondrous an actor Thayer David was, to make Matthew both sympathetic and terrifying!

Love, Robin

Offline Nelson Collins

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Re: #0115/0116: Robservations 08/09/01: Prisoner of a Madman
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 02:29:35 AM »
I just got to this episode.... the opening voiceover doesn't sound AM. At all.  Is it possible for some reason (even though Vicki is in the episode) AM wasn't available at the time the voice over was due to be recorded? were the voice overs prerecorded or spoken live as the episode was being taped?
There's not a man on my ottoman, there hasn't been one in weeks.
There's not a man on my ottoman, he's gone off to fight the Greeks.

Offline dom

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Re: #0115/0116: Robservations 08/09/01: Prisoner of a Madman
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 03:10:43 AM »
Good question that somone close to Parker or Scott shoud ask for us. My guess is they were recorded the day of taping because Joan Bennett did one recently and flubbed it ever so slightly and they still didn't edit it to sound correct or rerecord it. I don't know anything about this particular opening voice-over re: AM.

Offline Nelson Collins

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Re: #0115/0116: Robservations 08/09/01: Prisoner of a Madman
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 03:20:03 AM »
I just got to this episode.... the opening voiceover doesn't sound AM. At all.  Is it possible for some reason (even though Vicki is in the episode) AM wasn't available at the time the voice over was due to be recorded? were the voice overs prerecorded or spoken live as the episode was being taped?
Oh, and, D'oh! I didn't specify.  It was Ep 115
There's not a man on my ottoman, there hasn't been one in weeks.
There's not a man on my ottoman, he's gone off to fight the Greeks.