Haven: Survivors Review

haven-bannerLast week on Haven, things almost got reset to the way they were in the series premiere. Audrey was thrown into a new situation without knowing what was actually happening but it all seemed so perfectly natural. Nathan isn’t the police chief. And Marion Caldwell was killing people with her weather trouble.

This week on Haven, it’s back to the status quo. No, Audrey’s not back in Haven yet but we’re back to the Trouble of the Week format of episode. At least we had some other happenings in Haven to liven things up.

Spoiler Alert: You know the drill.

I mentioned in last week’s review that I liked the Trouble-light format of last week’s episode. This week, it’s right back to the old standard of Trouble of the Week. The episode starts with two boys coming across something they think is a statue but is actually a body that had burnt to a standing pile of ash. It’s not just that body but residents quickly discover a taxi driver and patrons of a local coffee shop who have been instant torched with nothing else around them affected.

Nathan, in his new old role as a detective with the Haven PD, found himself on the frontlines of the investigation. With the help of Jennifer who narrowly avoided being instantly combusted at the coffee shop, he tracked down the Troubled person who was traumatized over the death of his partner in the Haven fire department. As was the case last week, Nathan drew on his experience with Audrey to calm him down and get his Trouble under control.

While Trouble of the Week is fairly worn out at this point, the writers are trying to tie the Troubled people into what Nathan’s going through. Last week, Marion was going through the pain of loss that Nathan was going through. This week, it was about guilt and Nathan coping with his guilt. It works if you think big picture. If you binge the show, it would work best. Week to week, I’m not sure it stands up that well.

Nathan’s work for the Haven PD brought up two interesting subplots. The first is The Guard is keeping a close eye on Nathan and Duke. Jordan doesn’t want Nathan dealing so closely with the Troubled in case he gets himself killed before Audrey can kill him to end the Troubles. It looks like there’s a bit of dissension in the ranks as Jordan and Vince can’t agree on what Nathan should be up to. Perhaps, we’ll see more of this play out as the season progresses.

The other subplot, which I hope gets explored more, is the townsfolk of Haven dealing with Nathan’s return. A lot of them feel abandoned by Nathan after he left town with the Troubles still causing, well, trouble. It’s come up in each episode as locals are hesitant to trust him or even give him the time of day. Hopefully, as the season goes on, we get to see more of how the town was impacted by Nathan abandoning ship.

Elsewhere, Jennifer was coping with life in Haven, including the aforementioned close call at the coffee shop. Duke and Jen have taken to each other with Duke being very protective of her. As most people new to Haven, Jen is a bit weirded out by the strange abilities that everyone has but seems to not mind sticking around to help Duke and Nathan find Audrey and stop the Troubles. Maybe that and it’s nice that she’s not considered insane in Haven just because she hears voices.

Duke also has a subplot going with his brother Wade who was raised by their mother rather than getting to be a part of the family’s Trouble killing business as Duke is. Of course, with Troubles being hereditary, The Guard is worried that Wade could take to ending Troubles if he stays in Haven. Naturally, with The Guard wanting Wade out of town, he’s going to stay because his wife is having an affair so he’s getting a divorce. Haven’s a crazy enough place with one Crocker boy causing trouble. Not only does Duke have to watch out for Jennifer and Nathan but Wade now too. For someone who was portrayed as a scoundrel at the start of the series, he’s certainly grown to be a much-loved and integral part of just about every plotline on the show.

And I can’t forget about Audrey/Lexi. This week, Lexi got a last name. Her full name is Lexi DeWitt. We went through the same song and dance as last week with William over the fact that she isn’t really Lexi. The same crazy haired dude that caused trouble at the bar last week turned up with Kurrgan (Canadian pro wrestler/actor Robert Maillet)! William wasn’t able to save anyone this time. Instead, Lexi was able to hastily reassemble William’s conveniently disassembled handgun to save the day. So there was still some part of Audrey still in there though Lexi doesn’t yet realize it. Nor does the director who would have been well served to drop the soft focus when Lexi went into Audrey mode to show a contrast in identities.

Overall, as I tend to find with Haven, the show excels when it focuses on the characters. Duke and Jen had some great moments this week. Nathan trying to get back into life into Haven has potential to be intriguing if that subplot is given time to be explored. However, for something that’s supposed to be a show about Audrey Parker, that’s certainly the weakest part of the episode. Carbon copying last week’s William/Lexi scenes makes the episode a bit of a waste, even though there were some strong points back in Haven proper.

Other random points of note:

  • I thought it was illegal for bartenders to serve while intoxicated themselves. But given how the town of Haven operates, you can just blame Wade’s behaviour on a gas leak.
  • You could also see Duke’s wallet cry out in agony when Wade gave out a round of drinks on the bar. That whole closing sequence at the Grey Gull was easily the highlight of the whole episode. Some laughs, some heartfelt moments and a foreboding tease for future episodes.

Next week’s episode is called Bad Blood. That used to the name of a WWF/E pay-per-view but I wouldn’t see that as a hint that we’re going to see Edge/Dwight spear someone right out of their shoes. It would be kind of fun to see, though. At some point, I’d like to see Dwight just manhandle someone into oblivion. If you’re going to bill Adam as WWE Superstar Edge, you may as well have him act the part.

Anyway, next week, someone’s trouble drains people of all of their blood. That’s a rather odd and slightly morbid trouble to have, even by Haven’s standards. I’d like to see how that one manifests itself in that troubled person and how that ties back into what Nathan is going through.

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About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on September 23, 2013, in TV/Movie Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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