Haven: Bad Blood Review

haven-title-card-bannerWe’ve finally got some progress in Haven this week. Sure, life with Nathan might be same old, same old but the other main players saw their story progress. All it took was a cheesy horror movie monster that was neither cheesy or horrific to move things on the Duke front while Jennifer and Audrey got some properly interesting moments this week.

Spoiler Alert: Well, only if you haven’t watched this episode.

The Trouble of the Week and the town’s problems with Nathan took a back seat this week but they were used to frame Duke and Jennifer’s story this week. The Trouble of the Week this week was a giant blood monster that’s draining the blood of anyone who it happens across. It turns out that the blood is from a guy who blames Nathan for the Troubles not ending and his wife dying. In other words, it’s the status quo for this season’s Troubled people.

At some point the whole “blame Nathan for all that’s wrong with my life and the world” thing has to end. Even with Vince’s speech about working together to rebuild Haven, I’m a little worried that it won’t come to a permanent end until Audrey/Lexi comes back to town and I wouldn’t be shocked if that doesn’t happen until the second half of the season. It’s only been three episodes but I’m getting a little worn out by it. Granted, it’s well established that I find the repetitive nature of Trouble of the Week to be my least favourite aspect of the show.

To solve this week’s Trouble, we have to call in Duke. This week, our favourite Crocker boy is hanging out with Jennifer and dealing with her Trouble. However, we learned more about how Duke handles his Trouble this week. His previous experiences absorbing Troubled blood has him running scared of any Troubled blood. When Jen cut herself slicing oranges at the Grey Gull, Duke very nearly backed himself out of the bar and into the water.

It was his Trouble that allowed him to save the day and everyone else from being eaten by an evil blood monster. He absorbed the blood, went Super Saiyan for a couple of minutes but calmed down. This allows another of a couple touchy-feely moments between Duke and Jen. The first was the two talking about Duke and Audrey where he admitted that she was “special” which I thought was about as emotionally honest that we’d ever get from Duke. Then he tells Jen that he’s kind of afraid of his Trouble because of how it destroyed his family. Yeah, Duke and Jen is kinda really easy to ‘ship.

Meanwhile, Jennifer is off her crazy pills and feeling better for it. Well, except for the part where Wade has turned the Grey Gull into a late-night party spot for the town of Haven. She can’t even have a nap for all the noise… Except that there isn’t any noise from the Gull. Turns out that Jennifer is hearing voices and is starting to think that she isn’t Troubled but actually crazy. It’s nice to see that there’s someone around here that thinks all this Trouble stuff is a bit out there. Everyone else in Haven just rolls with the Troubled punches. Jen acts as a grounding point for normalcy right now. It makes her a nice counterpoint to everyone else who just isn’t troubled by Troubles. Even if she is crazy, she might be the only sane one on this show.

And that brings us to Audrey/Lexi’s story this week. While nothing happened last week, everything was happening at the bar this week. Lexi throws William out of the bar at gunpoint only to find that he snuck back in while her back was turned. William’s cryptic and no so cryptic hints about her real identities causes her to take the day off from work. When she walks out of the bar, she walks right back in and her coworker insists that it’s the next morning.

Now, Lexi is willing to hear William out. She finally gets him to start spilling the beans and he tells her that the bar isn’t real. She asks him, “Am I dead?”

And cut to this week’s adventures of the Brothers Teagues. Dwight intercepts a fax meant for Nathan that says that there’s a body in a morgue up the road that matches Audrey’s description and sends Vince and Dave off to see it it’s her. We get a couple of scenes where the boys talk about their history with Sarah/Lucy/Audrey. I’m sure that there will be more to this but the brothers were on completely opposite sides of the debate over what to do with Nathan. I’ve read a few fan theories that the Teagues’ Trouble is that they’re one person whose Trouble splits him into two people with different personalities. Sort of the old sci-fi cliché of splitting a person so one version of them is all good and the other is all evil. The Teagues obviously aren’t black and white good and evil but it’s an interesting theory. I kind of like them more as bickering old men, though.

Anyway, the brothers get to the morgue and find that it’s not Audrey who’s been sitting on ice for the last six months.

And this brings us back to the bar. She’s not dead but none of what she’s seeing is real. When she accepts this, everyone in the bar disappears except Lexi and William. However, Lexi’s not out of Trouble yet. She’s still in The Barn and it hasn’t stopped imploding since Duke got tossed into an aquarium tank in Boston. The problem now is that William can see The Barn falling apart but Lexi can’t.

And then back to Jen. It turns out that this time she wasn’t hearing voices. Well, she was but it’s not because she’s crazy. She was still hearing The Barn, including the Patrons and later Audrey/Lexi and William. While everyone in Haven assumed that Audrey had been spit out of The Barn at the same time as Duke, Jen sets Duke and Nathan straight.

The nice thing about this episode was that all the stories interwove in a way that made sense and advanced the story. The Trouble of the Week was solved by Duke’s Trouble which brought him closer to Jen who is still in contact with The Barn where Audrey still is. Sure, the Trouble of the Week part of the story wasn’t particularly interesting but everything else in the episode was very well done. I guess that it’s okay that Nathan had a week off from plot development. It’s much more acceptable than Audrey taking a week off last week.

Other random points paragraphs of note:

Since I have nowhere else to write this, I’d like to point out that Jordan (Kate Kelton) was fantastic this week. After being a bit bland the last couple of weeks, she finally got more to do than hate Nathan. Being someone who wants one of the main characters dead doesn’t make you a character that’s easy to like.

However, this week, we finally got a good reminder why Jordan, even if the writers are making her a quasi-antagonist just because she hates Nathan, is completely justified in what she’s doing. She legitimately felt bad about hurting the Troubled guy (Mike?). She also got a fantastic speech at the end in which she tells Nathan that she hates not being able to touch or be touched by anyone without damn near killing them because of her Trouble.

You can’t really fault her for hating Nathan because his actions meant that the Troubles never left. She’s been isolated from anyone she could ever care about because of her Trouble. It’s impossible not to sympathize with someone in that situation, even if Nathan didn’t manipulate her feelings to find out about The Guard. The audience is supposed to not like her because she wants Nathan dead but you also can’t hold it against her because of her circumstances. That whole final speech is a master class in good character writing and good acting.

Next week’s episode is called “Lost and Found” and is about a bunch of Haven’s children being kidnapped by another child. I’m guessing that there’s some sort of Trouble involved but whether the child’s Troubled or this is a manifestation of a Trouble remains to be seen. I hope this Trouble doesn’t end with Nathan getting touchy-feely over people he loved dying because of the Troubles which allows him to relate with the Troubled person and save the day. I’d like to see something different. Mind you, I guess this week’s solution was a bit different.

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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 30, 2013, in TV/Movie Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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