Haven: Spotlight Review

haven-season-5-headerMara might have taken over Audrey’s body and be randomly murdering people about town but that doesn’t mean that Nathan is giving up on Audrey. While the rest of Haven has given up hope of getting Audrey back, brief glimpses of Audrey still being in there seems to be the only thing keeping him going.

This week, the battle lines are drawn. It’s Nathan against the rest of Haven as he tries to get Audrey back.

The majority of this episode takes place in Garland Wuornos’s old cabin in the woods. Having gotten his little glimpse of Audrey in the last episode, Nathan checks all common sense and sanity at the door and goes all out to get Audrey back from the clutches of the inner depths of Mara’s body.

The problem is that there’s nothing particularly compelling about it. Emily Rose looks like she’s having fun playing a villain who is alternating between violently evil and psychologically evil. Screwing with Nathan and trying to seduce him was fun but that could have been the red herring of The Guard closing in on a fishing shack that they weren’t in. The interaction between the two felt so flat, though. Lucas Bryant had to carry the emotion of the episode but you couldn’t feel anything from him.

The A-plot of this episode was the weak point this week. I think they’re risking pulling the trigger too soon and trying to setup Dwight and The Guard as this season’s big bad. If they just want to make the face of The Guard a bad guy, I can understand continuing to move Vince to the periphery of The Guard to do so. The problem is that Dwight is the only one on the regular cast to think with his head and not his heart. That was Jordan’s downfall. It’s setting up to be Nathan’s too. This week shows that if Nathan following his heart will be his downfall, it might also be the downfall of this show. At least they still have 23 episodes left to clean this up.

And while Nathan is off avoiding The Guard and trying to get Audrey back, Dwight and Duke are busy trying to save the town. Not surprisingly, neither man is too impressed with Nathan’s BS this week. Dwight is assuming Jordan’s old role of being anti-“Naudrey” but he’s absolutely right to do so. How am I supposed to hate someone who’s actually got his boots on the ground trying to help people with their Troubles and trying to save others from hurt by the Troubles while Nathan is playing a love-sick puppy.

I know that I’m on record repeatedly saying that I find the Trouble of the Week the worst part of the show but this week seemed exceptionally bad. This week’s Trouble seems to be a cross between Rogue and Cyclops as a woman who absorbs light to live can also concentrate that late into lasers. These last couple of seasons have seen the Trouble of the Week tie to something one of our main characters is also going through, This week, there wasn’t really that relevance. Maybe it’s there and was just far to subtle for me to notice.

Speaking of Duke, dying because of the backfire of Audrey trying to bring back the Crocker family Trouble is hiding a much more interesting story arc this season. While Nathan is off on his own while dealing with Mara, Duke’s loyalty is torn between his friends and his town. While Dwight is firmly supporting his town and Nathan is solely focusing on Audrey, Duke’s loyalty is in the middle. He’s helping Nathan but he doesn’t share Nathan’s faith that Audrey can come back. He’s more focused on stopping the Troubles. Maybe if Nathan can prove his progress to Duke, things will change. For now, I can’t fault Duke for hedging out of loyalty but that loyalty will be properly tested very soon, especially since Mara is the only one who can help him right now.

Once again, this was a setup episode. The little preview for next week indicates that this episode is building into an effective Part Two next time. I like season-long story arcs but it feels like we’re just going nowhere yet. Other than the brief glimpses that Nathan is getting of Audrey to provide the viewer and hero a hope spot, it doesn’t feel like there’s a plan to bring Audrey back apart from poof and Audrey returns.

The problem is that nothing was compelling in this setup episode. There’s so much that they could have done with Audrey becoming Mara but we’re back to let’s try to turn Lexi into Audrey from last season. I thought the writers said that they had all sorts of ideas for many more seasons at last year’s New York Comic Con. It’s like they’re finishing the first draft of the script minutes before they film a scene. They’re trying to lay the ground work for future storylines but not doing anything to get you excited about those future stories. The little teases with the Crocker boys were fun. Trying to stay one step ahead of the mystery of the Bolt Gun Killer gave us something to look forward to. Making us wait for the inevitable without anything fun or compelling to tide us over in the interim is making this show harder and harder to watch.

I’ll give you this example. I missed the final block of the show on the first airing on ShowCase here in Canada. When I watched the whole thing again on their website and got to the final block, I could have written this review and not missed a single beat of it. Okay, I would have missed Duke needs Mara to keep him from dying but that’s literally the only eight word out of over 1,000 that would have been added. If I come back next week with a big “NOTHING HAPPENED” at the start, there’s going to be one long rant to follow.

Other random points of note:

  • What was in Duke’s mop bucket that could catch fire? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a flammable cleaning solution.
  • Line of the night was from Gloria: “Get out your SPF five million.” Such a simple joke but I love it so.
  • If the show is filmed in Nova Scotia, how is it getting an Ontario film tax credit?

Next week, it’s the first episode of Haven in Syfy’s 31 Days of Halloween, If I had some more time on my hands, I’d have a little fun with something like that on the blog too. Anyway, Mara might be in The Guard’s hands but it looks like she still causing trouble and Troubles in Haven. And Nathan still plans to try to get Audrey back but he needs Mara back first. It’s Much Ado About Mara. That’s not a pun. That’s the name of next week’s episode.

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

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