Haven: Speak No Evil Review
A season premiere has a tough task nowadays. Ever since Star Trek: The Next Generation’s classic The Best of Both Worlds popularize season finale cliffhangers, the practice is now common place in television. The problem is that ST:TNG never had to worry about serialized story telling. You could watch the episodes in a fairly haphazard order and you wouldn’t be missing too much.
The difference between Star Trek and Haven is the nature of the story telling. You have to watch the episodes in sequence for them to make any sense so the story has to go forward and you have to have a reason to carry on. The challenge for writers is to answer enough questions from the previous season finale to satisfy viewers while leaving enough questions to bring you back. In some regards, Part Two of Haven’s fifth season premiere succeeded. In others, I’m not particularly compelled by it.
This week’s story continues with three separate stories from See No Evil. Nathan is still trying to figure out how to deal with Mara, Duke is trying to figure out where Jennifer is, and Dwight is trying to hold the town together. Okay, Mara is trying to find a tear back to The Void but you know that’s not going to pay off until she figures out who’s sealed the tears to The Void.
The payoff to Duke’s storyline was probably the best but left no questions going forward. Jennifer being dead wasn’t a surprise since that’s how she ended last season. Duke’s suture Trouble from last week wasn’t going to resolve itself until the question of where Jennifer was got answered. When Nathan gave him the news, Duke’s trouble gave him the sutures but moving through the five stages of grief during a 45-second Jennifer flashback montage saved the day. I wasn’t particularly sold on the solution being that quick and clean but we got some Duke and Nathan bromance out of it so maybe it wasn’t so horrible.
What was a surprise was the brief Emma Lahana cameo in the bodybag. Lahana left the show after last season to spend more time with her family. I wish she stayed with the show because she and Eric Balfour carried last season but at least this wasn’t yet another case of the show’s writers killing off women who aren’t Audrey Parker after a season.
Dwight’s story is the one that will be the important one for the rest of the season. Unhappy being left out of the loop on what the deal with Mara/Audrey is and with Vince too distracted watching over his brother Dave, Dwight decided to take control of The Guard. He also thinks the best course of action is to let The Guard to get their hands on Mara so they can get her to end the Troubles.
This intersects with Nathan’s storyline as he’s trying to keep up with Mara so he can capture her to get Audrey back. When he doesn’t get Mara, Audrey reappears briefly to say that she’s still in there. After this, rather than hand Mara over to The Guard, he runs off on his own with her to solve the problem himself.
I’m a little worried this might make Dwight the “big bad” of the season. His plans for Mara differs from Nathan’s. I’d imagine Duke and Vince will come down backing Nathan. It doesn’t make Dwight evil from any objective perspective as he’s trying to save Haven from the terror of the Troubles. It won’t be the first time we’ve seen the main group against The Guard but this will be the first time with Nathan siding with The Guard over his friends. Nathan’s devotion to Audrey and Dwight’s devotion to Haven will put them at odds. The Guard was willing to go along with Duke’s harebrained scheme to save Nathan last season. It would take a convincing one this season to fool The Guard twice.
Overall, I wasn’t a fan of this episode. I think that puts me in the minority. Where Dwight and Vince slot into this season are the only things that interest me after this episode. Duke has no dangling plot threads going forward but if the words “love triangle” come up again, I’m flipping my keyboard and letting whatever results run as a review. Nathan and MAudrey (until I come up with a better name) looks like it’ll be some wheel spinning until Vince and Dave come up with a solution. Maybe Gloria can keep things interesting this season too. Bringing her in part way through last season was the biggest boost the show got last year.
Other random points of note:
- Wanna see a magic trick? Seriously, though, that saleswoman was about to big city sass Mara for living in a little town. A pencil to the eye might have been a bit over the top for the average person but for an evil person from the void, probably justifiable.
- “No, it’s not contraband. It’s a person.” Love the subtle little callback to Duke’s shady past.
- Following up on a random point from last week: No, we aren’t getting a “Hear No Evil” episode but we did get to see one pair of ears sewn up.
Next week, Dwight is back trying to save the town from a Trouble that threatens to burn it to the ground and he’s got Duke along as a sidekick. While one half of the band is back together, the other half is presumably off hiding from The Guard while Nathan tries to figure if Audrey is trapped in Mara like Sleeping Beauty or if there’s some other way to bring her back out.