Haven: Exposure Review
So Nathan is a Troubled ghost, Mara and Audrey have been split up, half of the main cast took last week off and I’m just trying to think of reasons for people to continue on after last week’s episode other than “you’ve seen the first four-and-a-half seasons through so you may as well see it through.”
This week’s episode didn’t see any real improvement from Naudrey storyline but at least characters outside the show’s big three were given something interesting and memorable for us to watch.
With Audrey trying to find ghost Nathan, Duke calls in the Darkside Seekers, the ghost hunters from last year’s 11th episode, to help them with their ghost Trouble. Unlike last year’s episode, only one Darkside Seeker, Seth, makes the trip to Haven but he makes up for it by being a lot more interesting this year than last. Of course, that could be solely due to how badly the current Naudrey plot has gone for the last seven episodes so a new person’s interjection into the plot livens it up.
Much like the second part of the Spotlight / Much Ado two-parter, the second part of the Nowhere Man / Exposure two-parter is improved by incorporating some mystery elements into the main plot. The show started as a supernatural mystery show but transitioned into melodramatic romance with supernatural elements in the last season-and-a-half. We’ve dipped back to mystery a couple of times this season but the show is better for it when it does.
So why am I so high on Darkside Seeker Seth being in this episode? Well, Audrey was pretty mopey last week and Seth’s ability to interact with the other side gives her the motivation to start doing her job. She was even able to resolve my issue with the cellar door last week with her detective work that leads this from being an atomic incineration Trouble to being a photo Trouble. It wasn’t quarter-past-ten Mike Knox who was causing people to disappear but the woman taking photos at the farmers’ market in last week’s episode.
Mike Knox also served as a lovely red herring. Not only did we think he was causing the Trouble but we were also led to believe that he was killing ghosts. Turns out that was a red herring for Morgan, the ghost helping Nathan, who was trying to keep from becoming corporeal again where cancer would eventually kill him. Of course, it’s Seth who is the only one in the corporeal realm who realizes that Morgan isn’t on the up and up and saves the day.
So once again Nathan and Audrey are back together. I like the sappy, melodramatic romance story less than generic Troubles of the week, I much prefer Audrey and Nathan being together than them acting like lovesick puppies when they’re apart.
Meanwhile, Duke and Mara spend this week in a bottle storyline entirely inside the hold of Duke’s boat, drinking bourbon (which just happens to be my poison of choice so they have great taste). I don’t know if there was a purpose to Mara getting Duke to talk about his mother but I actually like subtly evil Mara more than I like cartoonishly evil Mara. It does fill in a bit of Duke’s back story showing how a broken home drove him to a life of crime to make ends meet. Maybe Duke was always a face but having to do heel things to get by growing up.
The one interesting development is how Mara splitting into two people might not have been an accident but Duke’s deliberate doing. It certainly fills in the gap of how a reincarnation Trouble could have 1) brought Audrey and just Audrey back and 2) kept Mara around as a corporeal split personality. And Mara’s logical deduction of how it happen bring us a new twist on the old Duke and Audrey romance.
So yay! The Duke-Audrey love triangle is back but now the third side is Mara instead of Nathan. Jesus! How hard is it to give Duke something to do that isn’t pining over Audrey? We made progress last season with Jennifer but the writers love coming back to this every chance they get. At least it was teased, a bit heavy-handedly but still hinted at, in the Switcheroo two-parter. The problem I have with this there are three main characters and it’s like the writers don’t know how to develop them. Duke still hasn’t moved on despite rejection and finding a new girl last season. Thankfully, they have four regular supporting characters that they’re actually writing for.
Only two of those four supporting characters turned up this week but they had what will be a massive impact on the series going forward based on the last scene of the episode. The Brothers Teagues are still in that hospital in Raleigh after their car accident but their removal from Haven, Maine, made this episode of Haven, TV show, better.
The two had some great scenes at the hospital which included Vince trying to steal a tissue sample from a med lab and lying to a nurse about what he was doing using a spectacular over-the-top southern accent that no one else had. It was a great comedy scene that was destined to backfire. Fortunately, that brought us the Dave save of the day. A fantastically over-the-top acting performance by Dave pretending to be Garland Wuornos gets the brothers out of trouble for the moment. In an episode with more highlights than usual, this was my favourite scene.
Overall, this week’s episode was a massive improvement over last week but it would have been hard for them to not improve over Nowhere Man. This week saw some character and plot development. And it looks like I was right about the plot of the season being driven by what’s happening with the Brothers Teagues. The thinnies and the Croatoan are where the action and story is at if the developments that bring us into next week say anything. Hopefully integrating that into the A-story doesn’t change what’s working.
Other random points of note:
- I suppose that they didn’t need Gloria this week and without the guard causing trouble, they didn’t need Dwight this week. That being said, did no one in the writers room watch The Old Switcheroo while it was being filmed? If Jayne Eastwood and Adam Copeland carry those episodes like Edge used to carry matches in the WWE, shouldn’t they get a tiny moment in the next episode?
- I thought that Raleigh was a big centre but that hospital interior was very small town or regional. It doesn’t really affect how the plot plays out but my local hospital (for about 70,000 plus probably no more than another 20,000 from the surrounding regions) is certainly a lot fancier than that. It doesn’t seem odd in the moment but it does when you’re reviewing the episode afterward.
- I thought that Darkside Seekers was supposed to be a spin-off with last season’s episode being a backdoor pilot. This episode would have made a far better backdoor pilot since Seth’s integration into the A-story made it a lot more interesting.
Next week, the CDC comes to Haven. I guess that the Brothers Teagues weren’t as successful in recovering that biopsy sample as we thought they were. Instead, it looks like trouble is coming to the Troubled next week as someone from outside their circle comes to Haven and might blow the lid off the town’s secrets. So will Part 1 or Part 2 be the terrible one?