Haven: Mortality Review
After a season of otherwise forgettable and unenjoyable two-parters, Haven has finally been able to put together a solid two-part episode. It wasn’t the fantastic from start to finish two-parter that fans have been hoping for all season but Mortality shows that there’s still life in a show that could have been pronounced DOA at any other point of the year.
Last week’s episode ended with Dr. Charlotte saying she was going to institute a CDC quarantine on Haven but that didn’t happen. Dwight instituted a rather ineffective Haven PD helmed quarantine instead. I call it ineffective because Audrey and Duke were both able to get into town through the blockade. Audrey when coming back from dropping off last week’s zombie bear Troubled person and Duke when smuggling Mara in to find some aether.
For the most part, everyone is involved in a different storyline this episode. Dwight and Dr. Charlotte are going over the Troubles and how to solve the infection spreading about town. Nathan and Audrey are trying to track down the source of the infection Trouble. Duke and Mara are trying to stop the CDC and the infection in their own way. And Vince is off to Augusta, Maine, to pull some strings with the state government to get rid of Dr. Charlotte and the CDC.
The problem was that half of the plotlines didn’t really go anywhere and the other two were kind of pushed to the side.
After being introduced to the Troubles by Dwight, Dr. Charlotte thinks that she can reverse engineer to create a vaccine for the infection but would need something that creates Troubles. Now how would Charlotte know that there’s something to create the Troubles? She knows that there’s a genetic indicator that shows that someone’s Troubled but how does she know that there’s something to implant a Trouble in someone rather than it being genetic evolution?
Well, the answer to that comes from Vince’s storyline. He’s in the state capital to get the CDC thrown out of Haven. The only problem is that the CDC isn’t in Haven. If that’s the case, who is Dr. Charlotte? That would explain why she knew about the aether (without actually knowing about the aether). This looks like something that will be explored more next week.
And Charlotte wasn’t the only one looking for aether this week. Duke got the idea to solve the Infection Trouble by having Mara modify it using the aether. Mara’s all for that because since when did Mara not want to get her hands onto some aether.
Meanwhile, Nathan and Audrey were busy tracking the source of the infection. And they discover that Pete, the town’s resident doctor that we never met before last week, was the source of the infection after the appearance of Dr. Charlotte aggravated him into his Trouble triggering, not that he knew he was Troubled or what his family’s Trouble could have been.
What I liked about Pete’s Trouble is that it’s very early Haven in its nature. These last two seasons have been a lot of the writers dropping the mysteries and just throwing out special effects to make a cool looking show. This week was more about who was the Troubled person, why their Troubled trigger and how to stop it. It was a very classic approach to Trouble of the Week. I actually didn’t even mind stretching it out over two weeks because the stakes are high enough to justify it.
So there were two approaches to ending the Trouble of the Week. Duke’s was fixing Pete with aether and Nathan’s was vintage Naudrey which means talking him down. Of course, then you have Pete’s option which is also the one that Mara favours: Duke uses the Crocker family Trouble to wipe out the infection Trouble to save the town. Mara liked it so much that she stabbed him in the neck and forced Duke to kill Pete to put him out of his mystery.
By now, you’re probably wondering why I’ve dipped into more of a reviewcap. That’s because the end of the episode is Mara explaining to Duke that she didn’t manipulate her any more than Audrey did when she had Duke kill the man whose Trouble compelled him to eat his children’s organs to live. This time out, you could make the argument that Mara didn’t manipulate him to kill Pete so much as forced Duke’s hand.
The manipulation was Mara convincing Duke that she needed some aether to end the infection Trouble. Everyone but Duke realized that giving Mara some aether would almost certainly end badly for Haven. Duke may not intentionally the villain of this season but he could be if he is a little too close to what’s happening around him.
Overall, though, while I liked all the pieces individually, I didn’t think that the episode really came together. The different stories all crossed each other at some point but they never really came together as a cohesive whole. I guess that you could call it the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Other random points of note:
- So Duke heads from his boat to town but isn’t the harbour in downtown Haven? I realize that going through the roadblock was for both dramatic effect and to give Mara the screwdriver but it didn’t make sense if you thought about it for a few seconds.
- Also, how is it that Mara has better luck with improvised weapons than real weapons? Give her a pencil or a screwdriver and she had a better success rate than with a gun or knife.
Next week, the old Guard and the new Guard battle comes to a head. Vince and Dwight are shown having an argument about Dr. Charlotte in next week’s episode. And Audrey hasn’t gotten over her Trouble sickness despite the fact that Pete was killed by Duke. That and presumably another Trouble of the Week is coming in the next episode.