Haven: New Girl Review

haven-text-headerLast week on Haven, everyone was happy because Audrey was back in town. Then everyone was angry because it wasn’t Audrey but Lexi who was back in town. Now, everyone’s got a gun and is threatening to do a lot of shooting. And that doesn’t mention that someone is using mind control on some of the townsfolk. Lexi is right. Why do people still live in Haven?

This week’s episode starts at the conclusion of last week’s episode. Jordan is understandably miffed that the best laid plans to end the Troubles and get everyone back to normal have failed miserably. So she grabs her trusty shotgun and threatens to blow Nathan’s head off. If Lexi can’t kill Nathan to stop the Troubles, she’ll settle the score for everyone whose lives were ruined by Nathan’s interfering at the Barn.

But Lexi still has that gun and won’t let anyone start doing any shooting without getting plugged themselves, especially if they’re going to shoot “Cheekbones.” That gives Duke the opportunity to hatch a plan with Vince in order to end the Troubles while buying everyone a little more time. He proposes getting Lexi to fall for Nathan so they could try the whole killing Nathan thing again. That doesn’t exactly sit well with the rest of The Guard who would rather just turn Nathan into Swiss cheese for the problems he caused but that’s the plan they’re ordered to go with.

To get Lexi and Nathan back together, Vince decides that the two should work this week’s Trouble case and give Dwight the week off. That leaves Duke to chaperone the two as they work together to handle this week’s Trouble. It looks like people are being possessed by someone else. First, it was a teen who crashed his car when he lost control of his body and was subsequently left paralyzed. Next, it was a teen who went nuts at lunch before killing himself. Finally, a third girl, who was the first teen’s girlfriend and having an affair with the second, jumped in front of a speeding car for no apparent reason.

While Nathan might be the detective, it was Lexi who put together the pieces about the affair and figured out that it’s the first teen, Tyler, with the mind control Trouble. Nathan warns Duke about Tyler being the one doing the possessing but it’s too late. Duke gets possessed and traps Nathan and Lexi in a supply closet.

This gives the pair a lovely chance to get to know each other. However, it doesn’t exactly go to plan. There isn’t much that one does that the other doesn’t find a little off-putting. Any attempt to get the two to hookup seems to end when Lexi says, “You know I’m not her,” and Nathan answers back “You’re a completely different person and I don’t want you. I want you to be Audrey again.” First, so much for Duke’s plan. Second: #Feels.

Meanwhile, Tyler is taking Duke’s body out for a spin. He meets Wade back at the Gull and asks about what Tyler would try to stay in a possessed body forever. After giving an answer, Wade gets suspicious and gets a punch to the face for his trouble. Jen arrives on the scene but can’t see Wade from the door and announces that she’s heading back to Boston. Duke/Tyler says he’s leaving town and she should come with her before kissing her. First, he needed to say goodbye to someone so they return to the hospital. When there, he called Jen “babe.” When she was already suspicious after the kiss and after a call back to the season premiere was brushed aside but this confirmed to her that Duke was possessed so Not Duke got a pen to the knee. Insert Skyrim joke here.

Thanks to Lexi’s lockpicking skills from her past life, which she knows isn’t actually her past life, she and Cheekbones were able to escape the closet. When they get out, they find Jen who told them Not Duke went into the hospital. Lexi convinces everyone that she should go in because she’s the only one immune to the Troubles. However, her plan to unpossess Duke by removing a piece of paper Duke touched from Tyler’s hand goes awry when she’s jumped from behind by an axe-wielding Not Duke.

Not Duke threatens his way past Lexi and buries his axe into Tyler’s chest. Tyler dies but he’s not in Duke’s body. Duke’s Trouble kicked in which ended Tyler’s Trouble when he killed his body which meant that he couldn’t possess Duke anymore. And everyone lived happily ever after in their own bodies. Well, except for Tyler, I guess, because he’s dead.

The highlight of the A-plot this week was a stellar performance turned in by Eric Balfour. In what was a Duke-heavy episode, he had to carry the dramatic load (well, Emily Rose and Lucas Bryant also put in a stellar performance during their closet scene but I wasn’t really feeling the rest as much) and did so having to subtley change his performance to be not Duke but close enough to actual Duke without immediately having everyone realize that something’s up.

Meanwhile, in the B-plot, Jordan is still unhappy with the ongoing proceedings in Haven and is trying to find her own solution to the Troubles. Dwight said that he and the Brothers Teagues had spent the last six months looking for an alternative way to end the Troubles. That’s not going to stop Jordan. Her hypothesis is that because the Troubles only arrive when Sarah/Lucy/Audrey/Lexi arrives and leaves when she leaves, what if her Trouble is causing the Troubles.. If Duke was to kill her, that could end the Troubles since he has the power to end Troubles in a family. Of course, Duke would never hurt Lexi/Audrey. So we end the episode with her meeting Wade in front of the Grey Gull…

And cut to the other ending scene. Duke and Jen talk about her heading back to Boston now that she’s no longer really Troubled and Lexi is taking over her new/old apartment. He convinces her to stay in Haven. See, so easy to ship these two. Jen and Duke play so well off of each other and have so many great scenes that breaking them up would likely make the show worse. #Feelings

Meanwhile, downstairs on the patio, Duke is talking to Lexi about giving her apartment back. But he has one question for her. She was willing to go straight into the restaurant at the start of the episode and chase Duke into the hospital at the end but got out of his way when he had that axe. Lexi plays it off as being terrified by a man with an axe. Duke has another theory. He thinks that she knew what his Trouble was and that Duke’s Trouble would end Tyler’s Trouble.

Lexi pauses and says “Dammit, Duke!” Turns out that Duke was right on the money and it was Audrey playing dumb the whole time, presumably to keep Nathan safe. They hug to end the show. #Feels #AllTheFeels

Like last week, the episode peaked with the closing sequence. I suppose that’s a good thing. You’d probably rather not have an episode start strong and die a death after the opening titles though. I thought last week’s episode had a little stronger subplot away from Trouble of the Week but I can see what they’re trying to build to with the Jordan subplot.

I hope they try a subtle refresher next week with Jordan so people remember why she’s willing to try anything to end the Troubles. If she has a logical and personal stake in it (okay, everyone does), it makes her motives and means a lot more justifiable to the audience. Basically, they need to push Jordan’s motivation as more than I hate Nathan and I’m this season’s de facto antagonist. We know why she’s doing what she’s doing but I get the feeling from Reddit and Tumblr that a lot of people are too caught up in shipping to remember what the purpose of The Guard is and why Jordan needs the Troubles to end.

I’m also a little disappointed that they went with the whole “Surprise! I was really Audrey the whole time!” plot. Sure, it gives Audrey an obvious storyline of saving Nathan but they could have done so much with Lexi. Well, I have to trust that there was a plan if they want in this direction. We’ll just have to see how it plays out. Still, that was a fantastic reveal at the ending. Like I said, they’re really good at closing the show. And I’d call that three fairly good episodes in a row and solid progress in moving things forward.

Other random points of note:

  • At the end of the episode when Duke and Lexi are talking about her new/old apartment, if you look at the balcony at the upper-left of the screen, you see #DiscoverHaven in the wood. I don’t know if that’s fans (the Gull is a real place on Tilleys Cove in Nova Scotia) or the crew that did that but I’m on to you guys with your subliminal marketing. Your touchy-feely Audrey and Duke moment isn’t going to distract me from that.
  • On that note, I’d love to go tour some of the real-world places that double as locations in Haven. Maybe do a blog post or YouTube series about it.
  • Since I can’t cram this anywhere else, Dave is still freaked the hell out over opening the door. Why aren’t we talking about that?
  • According to episode writer Brian Millikin, dubbing Nathan “Cheekbones” was a result of a quick poll of Haven fans about Lucas Bryant’s most distinctive feature. The more you know.
  • And line of the night goes to Jennifer. In the middle of The Guard taking on Nathan and Duke at the start of the episode, Lexi is left with Jen and she says, “Don’t worry. After a while, you kinda get used to it.”

Next week, well, I’m not really sure what to expect. There were some people who looked a bit like the undead in Haven. We just did the whole drain a body of blood trouble a couple of weeks ago so that can’t be the reason why they’re so pale. Looks like something new is Troubling Haven. See what I did there? Meanwhile, it looks like Jordan is about to go rogue. Speaking of storylines from a couple of weeks ago, she’s really not happy about having her Trouble and isn’t going to let anyone or anything stand between her and ending that Trouble. Maybe we can get some tangible progress there next week because Jordan’s been in sort of a holding pattern for all but episode three of this season while everyone else has had some movement.

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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 October 14, 2013, in TV/Movie Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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