Haven: Wild Card Review
After a fairly story-light outing in Enter Sandman and some fairly unimportant episodes in the overarching Season 5 narrative to start Season 5B, Haven made a hard turn back into the mythology of the show and the show-long story of curing the Troubles in Wild Card.
Spoiler Warning: Given the ending of this episode, I’ll throw this up here in case you haven’t watched it over two years after this episode aired. There’s really no need for a spoiler warning but better safe than sorry.
Back in my review for the Season 4 finale, The Lighthouse, I wrote, “it doesn’t pay to be a female actor on Haven not named Emily Rose.” That’s been proven repeatedly with Bree Williamson (Claire in Season 3), Kate Kelton (Jordan in Seasons 3 & 4) and Emma Lahana (Jennifer in Season 4) being the most prominent characters to meet their demise at the hands of the writers.
Now, we can add Laura Mennell to that list after she met her demise in this episode at the hands of The Croatoan. Given Haven’s propensity for killing off female supporting characters, I can’t say that I’m surprised.
The writers telegraphed it pretty hard when you look back on it. The pillow talk between Dwight and Charlotte, Dwight and Nathan’s talk about dating immortal girls and Dwight wanting to be around to protect Charlotte until he literally physically couldn’t telegraphed that something was going to happen to her. The Lovers tarot card told us that her husband would appear but it came true in the worst way possible for her.
Tarot cards sounds a little out of place until we talk about the Trouble of the Week. There’s a local tarot card reader whose readings are coming true in the worst way possible. After two people who got readings ended up dead, the same Roman numeral markings on them start turning up on Audrey, Nathan, Dwight and Charlotte and they start getting these tarot curses impacting them.
Since they didn’t get a reading, how are they being affected by the tarot Trouble? Well, Nathan puts the clues together and figures out that the Croatoan made the local tarot reader do it. Yes, this week marks the return of the Croatoan to the story in Haven. It even led off the episode with one of Dave’s visions of the Croatoan killing someone in Haven. This led to the discovery of that the Croatoan can erase people’s memories hence the tarot card reader not remembering doing the reading of our best friends.
So the Brothers Teagues recruited the returning Gloria to help them figure out if Croatoan-wiped memories can be recovered. They can’t but they also discovered that the three of them had their memories wiped by the Croatoan in the last day. This season’s big bad is in Haven and knows that our heroes are on to it. That should have been another clue that I could have added to the Charlotte foreshadowing.
Speaking of Charlotte, she and Audrey are working on curing the Troubles. That means using the aether that was a focus of the Power / Trial story to create a new Barn. Unlike the previous Barn, Charlotte seems convinced that she can build a Barn that won’t cure the Troubles by killing the Troubled. Well, she seemed convinced until she ended up dead for her effort.
Despite all of that, the Trouble of the Week wasn’t solved. It was just sort of dropped for the moment. The local tarot reader can still kill anyone who tries to hand her money. Just because it ended well for our four heroes doesn’t mean that the rest of the town isn’t in danger but they collected through an extras casting agency so who cares about them.
And now back across the border in America, Duke and Seth made their way to North Carolina where the black tar remover was a grifter. They did get a lead which brought them to a grave but it turns out that supposedly dead Walter can appear and make Seth disappear when he wants to talk to Duke. Since Walter knows about the Roanoke colony and maybe the Troubles as well, he’s going to be a lovely deus ex plot device for Duke’s story outside of Haven.
This likely outcome is a little unfair for the Brothers Teagues because the Croatoan plot has been Vince and Dave’s focus for the whole of Season 5. Duke going to North Carolina to learn about Roanoke and the origins of the Troubles which will almost certainly play a major role in resolving this season’s story. I understand that Duke is one of the three main characters of this show but it’s a shame that the Teagues keep being put in situations critical to the lore of the show and then are shuffled off to the side when its time for the payoff.
Overall, this is probably the best of the Season 5B episodes so far. Sure, the writing of Dwight and Charlotte was a little clichéd with all of the growing old together talk. I also thought Audrey being the one to see Charlotte’s dying words was a bit of a waste of Edge unless the producers had no faith in him pulling off that scene. I think that the writers could have gotten away without the growing old talk given the Lovers tarot card, discussion of Audrey’s father and the Croatoan and the final confrontation.
The final season is moving in a good direction, though. The crew still in Haven are moving towards one goal and this was the first episode where it felt like all four of the episode’s stories were moving in the same direction. I’d be shocked if that wasn’t going to be the game plan as we march on to the series finale.
Other random points of note:
- OSW Review recently did a review of The Watchmen in which Laura Mennell had a bit part as Dr. Manhattan’s ex-wife. They noted that she was terrible in her scenes and the footage they used did nothing to dispel that notion. I hate to say it but when I saw the opening scene with she and Edge, I couldn’t help but replay their comments about her in my head.
- Proving that Canadian series with Canadian tax credits need to pull from the same pool of Canadian actors, Gabrielle Miller made an appearance on this episode. Canadians know her as a star of Canadian sitcom Corner Gas. I’d imagine this was probably just a random appearance from a guest actor for most viewers on Syfy.
- The voice of the Croatoan went uncredited but I couldn’t be the only one who thought that sounded like John Dunsworth. As much as I like John, I don’t think sinister voice distortion works on someone with a pronounced Maritimes accent.
- Also, why did the No-Marks Killer suddenly get very stabby and slashy when it came to killing Charlotte?
Next time on Haven, Audrey is on her own as she tried to build the new Barn. Nathan is on the hunt for the No-Marks Killer / Croatoan while the Brothers Teagues are on the same quest. Also, I’m sure Dwight makes an appearance at some point.