With most soap operas, you can expect to see a super couple emerge quite early in a storyline. But as this couple reaches the height of popularity – boom - we are hit with a romantic triangle. This is exactly what happens during the 1795 storyline of the cult serial Dark Shadows.
At the beginning of the 1795 storyline, Dark Shadows introduces the audience to Barnabas Collins and Josette DuPres. We learn that Barnabas met Josette while on a business trip to the West Indies island of Martinique. True love seems to ensue and we find Barnabas in Collinsport awaiting the arrival of his beloved Josette and their impending marriage. These lovers seem happy until we learn that Barnabas had a one-night stand with the love spurned Angelique. Barnabas, being an 18th century playboy, gave in to his impulse with Angelique, who then developed fatal attraction affections for him. When gentlemen of that era had a conflict over a lady, they would have a duel; when a woman was spurned she planned her revenge. Angelique is no exception.
When Barnabas succumbed to his male hormones and had his indiscretion with the beguiling Angelique, he did not know she was a witch. Even after his affair, Barnabas still plans to marry his Josette, and tells Angelique that Josette is and always will be the woman for him. This is the very beginning of centuries of woes and tribulations for both Josette and Barnabas. Viewers are left hanging on every plot wondering if and when they would ever find their way back to each other in any way. Barnabas states to Josette “I’ll never let you go.” And he means just that.
For most members of the Dark Shadows fandom, you know that the end of the 1795 storyline leaves Josette dead at the bottom of Widow’s Hill, Angelique dead at the hands of Barnabas and Barnabas left with the vampire cure thanks to Angelique. But if you think death and a curse are the ends of this triangle, you would be mistaken. Supernatural hijinks have only just started in the world of Dark Shadows.
From beyond the grave or through parallel time, Barnabas proves that “love never dies.” If Angelique cannot have Barnabas, then no one can have him. When she places the curse on him, she vows he would never rest and that whoever loved him would die. I wonder if she realized that would also include her?
Fast forward nearly 200 years and Barnabas (now a vampire) has a new mission - to be as he once was so that he could find love again. He started with Maggie, who happens to be a dead ringer for his beloved Josette. We keep hoping, along with him, that he will be with his Josette again. But, can we accept it when it seems now he has his own fatal attraction toward a substitute for her?
When introduced to Julia Hoffman as Cassandra Collins, second husband to Roger, Angelique quickly became jealous of the closeness of the relationship between Julia and Barnabas. She attempts to harm Julia, but when Barnabas finds out he became furious at Angelique. He threatens to see to her own demise if she ever to tried to harm Julia again. In Angelique’s mind, she saw Julia as a romantic rival for Barnabas's affections.
It seems like Angelique was around to interfere with all of Barnabas’ relationships after 1796. Although they never again “hooked up” like they did in Martinique, there were a couple of times when Barnabas did soften his feelings toward the witch. Angelique’s addition to the series not only reinforced the supernatural element of the show, but also added a third party to a love triangle that would capture the imaginations of the growing audience.