Haven: The Old Switcheroo Part 1 Review

haven-promo-headerWhat happens when you write an episode that, at first glance, is a way for all of the actors to blow off a little steam while spending their spring and summer in rural Nova Scotia? It turns out that not only is it a good bit of fun for everyone, actors and viewers alike, it gives the writers a chance to explore the various relationships between the characters from a different perspective.

Since we don’t get previews up here in Canada (and now we don’t get episodes on the same day since Haven is a lead-in for SmackDown and we can’t have the first run in Canada for some reason), I didn’t know what to expect for this week’s episode. I think that was for the best given what the Trouble of the Week is.

While last week I was just talking about how much I liked the detective aspect of the older aspects of the show, this week pushed that to the side. It wasn’t so much what was happening or who was causing it but why the Trouble was being triggered. I know that was a story for a bit of the episode but I don’t recall it lasting very far beyond the halfway point of the episode.

Still, that didn’t stop the most obvious switcheroo from occurring in the last ten minutes. Duke and Nathan swapping bodies was always a certainty once we found out that people were switching bodies with people they knew. I don’t often have things to say about Lucas Bryant’s acting but he does a pretty good Eric Balfour. It was to the point where I forgot that I was watching Lucas Bryant as Eric Balfour as Duke Crocker. I thought I was watching Eric Balfour as Nathan Wuornos as Duke Crocker if that makes any sense. A bit over the top to take the piss out of Eric but it was pretty damn good just the same.

Speaking of having too much fun, Adam Copeland was in his element doing the comedy shtick. After all, he was a bit of a comedy midcarder during his Edge & Christian run and on and off until he jumped to Raw. Still he got over as part of a comedy duo so his comedic chops weren’t in question. And while Gloria and Dwight weren’t the obvious pairing that Nathan and Duke or the Brothers Teagues were, it worked because Adam and Gloria Eastwood are two fantastic actors who dominated every scene they were in as each other. They worked absolute magic playing each other with some pretty great dialogue to go with it too.

Sadly, I didn’t have as much fun watching the two Teagues. The two are a pair act so there aren’t really distinctive character traits apart from Dave being a bit sarcastic and Vince talking in loud whispers. The dynamic was there but it just wasn’t as solid as it was from the other two swapped pairs.

In addition to being a bit of fun, the personality swap served a purpose. Character development isn’t something that we’ve seen a lot of this season apart from Dwight. Since he and Gloria were the odd ones out and had to be paired up, they also had the least character development but the most straight comedy this week.

The other pairs had their own stories which tied their body swaps together. With secrets being the ties binding the pairs together, the love triangle THAT WE DROPPED TWO SEASONS AGO was the secret that bound Nathan and Duke. Specifically, the time that Duke and Audrey almost hooked up but didn’t which should have been dropped but at least we got a bit of fun out of it for this episode.

The Brothers Teagues were looking into Dave’s real past and his adoption. Vince had tracked back to Dave’s place of adoption and found a reference to the Croatoan before their swap. For two old men who are often on the same wavelength, it was a change of pace to see how the two interact when they’re holding out on each other.

And Emily Rose had something else to do this week. Rather than being cartoonishly evil Mara, she was manipulative Mara pretending to be Audrey. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the usual over-the-top Mara performance but a little more nuanced evil performance was a good change of pace.

Overall, I had a lot of fun this episode and I liked it more than last week. When the actors and writers are having fun with an episode, it translates to the episode on-screen. A lot of love went into this week’s episode and it was enjoyable as a result. Hopefully next week is more of the same.

Other random points of note:

  • In case I didn’t mention it enough before, it really looked like everyone had fun with this episode. If Lucas and Eric were on-screen together at any point during filming, this episode would never have air because they’d be too busy laughing to actually get the scene finished. They’d still be battling through the Nova Scotian fall to get their scenes filmed.
  • Mrs. Lucas Bryant was back this week in a brief appearance. It was slightly shorter than John Dunsworth’s daughter’s appearance. Does anyone else have family that they’d like to get on the show? I’m holding out hope that Emily Rose can pull some strings to get a Richard McGonagle appearance on an episode.
  • So the move back to Friday may not have necessarily been a bad thing for Haven. The viewership actually went up by about 100,000 viewers from the previous week which I thought was the best episode of the season at that point in time. Sure, it’s still a third down from last season’s low but moving it away from the most viewed original show on Friday night cable is the biggest problem facing Haven’s ratings.

Next week, it looks like it could be the most important episode of the season. Nathan and Duke are in a race against time to save Audrey from the clutches of Mara while simultaneously trying to solve the switcheroo Trouble. The preview also looks like Dwight and Gloria in trouble thanks the Dwight’s Trouble. If the writers kill off those two, there might not be a review 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 October 15, 2014, in TV/Movie Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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