Haven: See No Evil Review

haven-title-card-bannerWhen we last left Haven’s version of the Scooby Gang, everybody was in rough shape. Dave shot himself thanks to Dwight’s trouble. Duke was bleeding from the eyes after all the Crocker family absorbed troubles came back on him and started tearing him apart from the inside. Jennifer keeled over dead because of evil supernatural door reasons. Oh, and Audrey’s body is now hosting her original incarnation, Mara. Just another day in the life of Haven.

So with all those plot threads left dangling at the end, there’s a lot that needs to be taken care of in the fifth season premiere.

The episode starts with The Lighthouse from the Season Four finale exploding after the door closes. It also sends a shockwave across the town of Haven. What that means wasn’t really covered in this episode but you know that will end up being a bad thing.

Our heroes end up getting thrown out of The Lighthouse by the explosion. Duke and Dwight wash up on the shoreline and Duke is no longer bleeding from the eyes. The Brothers Teagues were launched into the forest about a mile from town. Unlike Duke, Dave still had some bullet holes after trying to shoot Vince which Vince rightly complains about as the pair continue to bicker like an old married couple. And Nathan and Audrey get launched forest adjacent. Except that it wasn’t Audrey but it’s still Mara in there and she’s still looking for a way to get William back.

With Mara on the loose looking for a door back to the void to retrieve William, the rest of the gang have other issues to deal with. Someone is terrorizing the town with a trouble that sutures people’s eyes shut. Jennifer is missing after the explosion at The Lighthouse. And Mara is off killing people and looking for ways back to the void.

The trio decide to guard access points to the void. Dwight happens across Mara first and gets shot for his trouble (pun intended) and tazed a couple of times. The poor guy had a rough episode. In addition to getting shot at (I hope he has stock in a bulletproof vest manufacturer) and tazed, he’s the only one investigating the Trouble of the Week because Duke’s off looking for Jennifer and Nathan’s busy looking for Mara. He also has no idea what Mara’s deal because Nathan and Duke are holding out on him. How’s he going to react to being left out of the look by the rest of the gang?

The thing about Dwight is that he’s the only one left on the show who regularly shows interest for saving the townsfolk. While Nathan, Audrey and Duke spent last season caught up in their various personal dramas. Dwight was quietly doing the detective work to save Haven from the Troubles that those three spent the first three seasons doing. That includes this week where he tracks down the genetic source of the Trouble and figuring out why it went away.

That brings us back to Duke. While he’s not bleeding out his eyes anymore, he’s not actually been cured. Dwight figures out that the family with the suture Trouble had it ended by Duke’s grandfather using the Crocker family Trouble. So it’s Duke’s family absorbed Troubles that are manifesting themselves now that he’s all emotionally out of sorts thanks to Jennifer going missing. With Nathan too busy dealing with his love life and Audrey subsumed by Mara (or some supernatural multiple personality disorder facsimile thereof), it’s up to Dwight to solve this one and he’s not the touchy-feely type that usually ends Troubles.

Meanwhile, Nathan had the most clichéd storyline and it annoyed me to death. Nathan kept trying to appeal to the part of Mara that was still Audrey. He figured that Audrey was still in there because Mara only kept injuring him rather than outright killing him. What I hated (yes, HATED) about this storyline is that it’s far too quickly pulling the trigger on the obvious Audrey’s still in there story. You can tell us that she still has Audrey’s memories, have her not kill her friends and let us put it together for a couple of weeks before Nathan points it out.

And this already gives me a problem with how Mara and Nathan arc is being handled. It’s the old storywriting trick of show, don’t tell. If we see Mara hesitate or pass up an easy opportunity for a kill or seem a little uncertain or surprised by her actions, the audience will notice and start putting hints together. You don’t need Nathan to do it for us. That just removes the drama and we’re willing to go along with you for the sake of an interesting story. There are 13 episodes this season. Let the story breathe. It worked last season because there were compelling plot points to get through. I’m not particularly interested in love-sick Nathan.

Still, Emily Rose was clearly having fun being the anti-Audrey as Mara. Shooting everyone. Mocking them. Generally being evil. She quite clearly enjoyed the little change of pace that being Mara gave her and it paid off because Mara being Mara was the best part of the episode. I wish it would have been less obvious that Audrey was still in there but I’m sure that I’m in the minority there.

Overall, this week’s episode was okay. With a lack of the Teagues, Dwight relegated to Trouble of the Week as a B-plot and Nathan and Duke playing the role of lovesick puppies, I didn’t have a lot of fun this week. Emily Rose and Adam “Edge is just a character” Copeland carried this episode for me. If the Jennifer and Trouble of the Week stories are resolved smartly next week, it’ll redeem this episode because this is a Part One of Two. I guess that’s the danger of leaving a cliffhanger in the season finale and leaving more cliffhangers in the season premiere that don’t feel like they’re building to a season-long arc. The stuff with Mara feels like it’s building to a quick resolution. I didn’t like multiple big bads last season and I’ll hate it more if they try it again this year. Just Mara please.

Other random points of note:

  • Haven moved timeslots this season. They went from Fridays at 10:00 PM with WWE SmackDown, almost always the top show on cable every Friday night, to 8:00 PM Thursdays. While Friday night is usually considered a death slot in TV, having a top show as a lead in usually makes up for it. Now, Haven, with a likely lack of promotion, is now being thrown in a timeslot where it’s being left to burn off the remaining 26 episodes. I don’t like that line of thinking but it’s probably right.
  • I quite enjoyed Mara’s history lesson about Dwight’s trouble for the references to muskets and cannon balls. It’s as if someone on the production team read my joke about there being an arrow Trouble in Dwight’s family history. You guys realize that you didn’t answer that. The Troubles have been around longer than firearms, you know.

Next week, it’s part two called “Speak No Evil.” Sadly, there’s no episode this season called “Hear No Evil.” While a season trailer played after the episode, there was no specific trailer for the next episode. We know that Duke is causing the suture trouble and it seems like only he and Dwight are the only two that are concerned about the latest trouble terrorizing Haven. Nathan was shot at the end of the episode but he’s not getting killed off so he’ll probably be back dealing with Mara next week.

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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 16, 2014, in TV/Movie Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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