Haven: Chosen Review
So how do we wrap-up an up and down season of a TV show? If you’re the producers of Haven, you push the reset button on the season’s main storyline, remember that there was a more compelling villain that they introduced at one point and borrowed a bit from that other Stephen King show on TV.
We left last week’s episode with a cliffhanger in which we learned that Charlotte was Mara/Audrey’s mother. This week we learned the why and when of Dr. Charlotte Cross.
Since she’s not actually from this corporeal realm, Dr. Charlotte isn’t the 34-years-young that she looks. Instead, she’s about 1,100-years-old. Maudrey is a quite young 600 (ish) in comparison. And Dr. Charlotte is in Haven to try to figure out the Troubles, fix them and stop Mara.
We learn bits about lore of Haven that are a little interesting like that The Barn was created by Charlotte to try to fix Mara and overwrite her personality when she went evil. Of course, that doesn’t explain why the Mara incarnation entering the Barn ends the Troubles for 27 years or what the actual link is between the Barn and the Troubles.
Then to top off all the confusing mentions of Haven lore, we find out that Mara is evil because she’s resentful of her mother letting her father die. So somehow infecting people in another realm with superpowered curses makes her feel better? I liked Mara more when she was criminally insane. Dad’s dead is depressing and everyone handles grief their own way but as far as justifications for villainy go, Mara’s is pretty thin.
And Mara’s storyline ends with a literal bang but a metaphorical fizzle as Charlotte decides that she can’t save Mara so she recombines Mara and Audrey and effectively eliminated Mara’s personality in the process. No final battle. Barely a final conversation. Just flash of light, cut to commercial and job’s done. That was a bit anticlimactic.
On the plus side, that makes the first finale in two years that didn’t involve drama over Audrey’s continued existence. Season Three ended with Audrey in the Barn which would have been lovely if they did a 27 years later arc but didn’t. Last season ended with Audrey becoming Mara which didn’t really have a payoff unless you’re Emily Rose and you got a bonus for playing two roles.
Unfortunately, the family drama hour pushed Duke’s story to the side. He’s trying to not explode and take half of Haven with him. Considering he’s the #3 character in a three main character show, you would think that his story would be a bit more important but it barely gets a mention until the ending.
It’s a shame that Eric Balfour keeps getting handed nothing to work with this season. Apart from his chance to trade impersonations with Lucas Bryant, it feels like Duke’s been jerked around all season. Now that he’s “exploded,” maybe there’ll be something new for Duke to do besides be the third wheel in a love triangle.
Oh, right. Duke exploded. That whole thing didn’t make sense either. So Mara can turn Duke into a walking aether bomb but there wasn’t really a reason outside of personal amusement and somehow his ability to contain the aether inside him was dictated by Mara somehow. She says that she turned him off and then he exploded when she died but how could she do that with just a word and nothing else? It felt like a lazy bit of writing to fit the plot rather than plot that could fit smart writing.
The interesting thing about how this played out is how it mimics how I would describe the show. I would quickly describe Haven as a show about a small town in Maine with people who are cursed with supernatural abilities. Duke’s explosion combines that description with Under The Dome but it’s now not too inaccurate.
I’m not a fan of the reset that they did with the main storyline but shaking things up in the town of Haven so that everyone has super Troubles should liven things up for a bit. It might make Trouble of the Week a little more of a mystery since everyone has new Troubles… And that’s the only positive I can think of at the moment but more about that in a minute.
And those poor Teagues boys. I keep saying that the meat and potatoes of this season has been built up to be the Croatoan and the two Teagues trying to figure out more about it was shuffled off to the C-story of the episode. Just when they found out that the Croatoan had been around Haven and recently as well, it was back to the main stories of the episode. And just when I thought that the Croatoan might be the interesting story this season.
You know, a lot of critics really loved this episode. I look at it and think that we’ve had some potentially good characters and storylines pushed to the side for Naudrey and Maudrey dramas. It might have been worth it if the journey was a little better or the destination was at all memorable. The memorable part of the destination was with Duke, not Audrey or Mara or Dr. Charlotte.
What we have is a season that feels as though there wasn’t really a plan outside of getting from Point A (Mara’s debut in the Season 4 finale) to Point B (Audrey’s return). Everything was either stretched too far or rushed through any possible interesting build so we could end up at the lovely fairy tale ending… Well, fairy tale if you ignore Duke’s little town isolating and destroying meltdown.
So what could have been a season ending with a bang is something that I could have completely missed. After all, the rest of the season, on the whole, has been a bit of a dud. I’m just worn out from 13 weeks of what I know is subpar Haven. This show has been so much better. When I first picked it up, I marathoned the first three seasons in about a week. Now, I’d rather not watch or write these reviews.
Maybe the time off between now and the second-half of the season will rekindle my love of the show.
Other random points of note:
- How do you make your own Kahlua and why would you want to? And who goes up to a bar owner to tell him that like it’s the single most important thing that anyone in the whole world should know? I was very disappointed that woman didn’t scream, put her hands on her face and explode herself.
- Poor Dwight. He’s an afterthought in this episode after finding out that he was seduced by a cougar. Of course, the possibility of Mister Dr. Charlotte Cross having an issue could be a funny little plot note in Season 6- I mean, the second half of Season Five.
- Gloria causing a scene to help Duke and getting her payment in boxes of booze from the Gull is the most Gloria thing ever. Is there a Gloria scene that I don’t love, though?
And how do you end the “first half” of the fifth season of Haven? By hyping William Shatner. While it’s a running gag that all Canadian shows have to have Canadian legend Gordon Pinsent in it, I suppose that if you’re doing a sci-fi show, you better get Canada’s Bill Shatner in there. While everyone thinks they know who Shat is playing, I like the suggestion that he plays the third Teagues brother because that would be more awesome than we could all possibly imagine. They also snuck a little Christian appearance into the second-half teaser as well. Considering that SmackDown is moving to Thursdays soon, I wonder if Haven will move with it.