Haven: New World Order Review
Haven is back for the home stretch. Over the summer, and not to many’s surprise, Syfy announced that they would be cancelling Haven at the end of the remaining 13 episodes of the double-length fifth season. New World Order is the first of what has been branded “The Final Season” of Haven. While I might be sad to see Haven go, the final episodes got off to a great start.
At the end of last season, Duke sort of exploded and became an express aether dispensing machine. Sure, it was aether out of his eyes but it was good, old-fashioned, Grade-A, Trouble-inducing aether. So all the aether balls flew out of Duke and gave everyone Troubles. Just another day in the life of Haven, Maine.
This episode was really a showcase for Dwight and Duke. I’m so used to Naudrey episodes that it was interesting to see that the season wasn’t starting with them getting having the annual romantic reunion now that Mara and Audrey are whole again (and I just got a weird Dead Space vibe from writing that).
Duke quickly recovered after blowing all the troubles in the world out of his eyes. He quickly took the opportunity to join Nathan in standard Trouble of the Week tackling duty. In a nice play on how Audrey is immune from the Troubles Mara created, Duke is immune from the Troubles that spilled out of him.
That doesn’t mean that Duke is the new Audrey. Instead, he’s wracked with guilt over giving people Troubles all over Haven. We’ve seen Duke being prone to flaking out on several occasions when the going gets tough. For being the most reliable when he comes in to help, Duke is mentally the most unreliable. He epitomizes “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” in the most literal sense of the phrase.
The episode ends with Duke walking through the impenetrable Trouble fog barrier around Haven in order to escape the scorn of the townsfolk he afflicted with Troubles. For someone that’s supposed to be a hero, it’s not really out of character, as I mentioned. He’s had a terrible time in Haven and has been looking for a fresh start for five seasons. Now that no one can stop him, it seems like he’s getting his chance.
Elsewhere in Haven, Dwight is in full crisis management mode as the chief of police. You would think that there would a local mayor or equivalent elected authority figure that would have implemented a crisis protocol. Instead, Dwight is trying to manage the Haven PD as it tries not to exacerbate an already out of control situation as the Troubles get out of hand.
I found it interesting that for all that has happened in Haven over the years, there are still people in Haven unaware of the Troubles. That would seem to include most of the Haven PD despite the fact that it seems like the majority of what they deal with is the Troubles.
Twice during this episode, Edge is called upon to make big speeches. The first is to the Haven PD to tell them about the Troubles. The second is through the Haven emergency broadcast system to tell them that The Guard are taking charge of securing the town and helping people out.
The first speech feels a bit more from the heart. Like Dwight is baring his soul to his police family and I think that works as a monologue. I actually think that Nathan’s periodic interjections detract from the impact. On the other hand, I felt The Guard takeover speech didn’t work until we saw The Guard starting to do their job. It’s amazing how the little things impact the quality of a scene but it’s the little details that make shows great in the big picture.
I did like the little play on words with one of the Troubles of the week. Alex the police officer had a Trouble where he froze people around him. As Duke astutely pointed out, people free when he’s paralyzed by fear. So the writers tried a funny by having someone paralyzed with fear paralyze the people around him.
They actually did a pretty good job with the humour this week. After Dwight gave a lovely speech to the Haven PD, the stunned reactions were priceless. Putting ME Gloria with the Brothers Teagues was a great choice thanks to the introduction of tequila to the mix. Of course, adding Gloria to any situation makes it better but getting Dave hammered was a much-needed bit of levity.
Overall, I quite liked this episode. After an up and down Season 5a (or Season Five, Volume One), Haven needed to get off to a flying start this fall and I think they did just that. By making this episode build into the arc they were planning for the final season rather than the first half of a two-parter, the story was kept a lot tighter as a standalone episode which was the biggest problem with the last season. Hopefully this style of writing continues for the rest of the year.
Other random points of note:
- Tripped in Haven with a killer is a very Season Three storyline.
- It’s amazing how much good yoga does for Duke. I also like that little call back to the scene with Jennifer on Duke’s boat. A subtle tie-in but I see what you guys did.
- This is probably not important but the aether/Troubles came out of Duke’s eyes. The guy from Dave’s visions takes something out of people’s eyes. That can’t be a coincidence.
- Stan’s “what?!” was so absolutely perfect that I burst out laughing. I so seldom laugh out loud while watching TV but this was perfect.
- It’s… It’s Christian.
- Speaking of which, we get Edge and Christian on an episode called New World Order. They were really trying to keep the SmackDown crowd with all the wrestling references.
Next up is/was the second part of Haven’s two-hour season premiere. No one week wait between episodes to kick off the last season of Haven. If Syfy hadn’t already announced that the show was ending, I’d be worried that they were burning off the remaining episodes. Anyway, there’s a monster that lurks in the dark of Haven and the local power plant is on the fritz in Power.