Haven: Just Passing Through Review
One complaint that kept coming up from fans of Haven during the show’s run was that the show had ignored the source material for a large portion of its run. Lip service was paid to the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid early in the show’s run before The Kid was the focus of Season Three. Then it was ignored for Season Four and Five-A.
However, Just Passing Through, the seventh-to-last episode of Haven, started to pull The Colorado Kid back into the Haven mythology after a lengthy time off.
Having acquired some aether and crafted an aether core for the new Barn but they need the control crystal… Or something. Look, we don’t need to know all the jargon or technical details of Barn construction. They need the aether to build the Barn. Okay, that’s straight forward. Getting the control crystal or whatever isn’t important. It’s the having to go into the void to retrieve a critical component to the new Barn is the important part.
So how does one enter the void? Through a thinnie. Where does one find a thinnie? Well, Dave used to be a thinnie magnet but that seems to be a non-starter now that he’s a murderer. Instead, they’re going to make their own thinnie. How? Well, someone must have a convenient Trouble to do that and to find that person, Nathan and Vince have to go back to 1983 and do so on the day The Colorado Kid was killed since someone creating a thinnie is in the locally famous picture of the deceased James Cogan on the beach. Nathan has to go because he knows how to trigger someone’s Trouble to get back in time and Vince because he’s a walking encyclopedia of Haven.
So the pair split up and set about their own tasks to save the day. Nathan talks to Detective Wuornos (Garland, that is) while Vince goes to find Dave. The goal remains the same for Nathan but having been told that Dave woke up next to the freshly deceased Colorado Kid, a fact that everyone forgot bar Dave. Since that means that the Croatoan must have been behind it and because Dave is linked to Croatoan, Vince tries to divert his brother from the beach and the Kid. Of course, his attempt to disguise himself as a literary agent who finds Dave’s writing as “muscular” doesn’t work because Vince still looks like Vince.
Nathan’s disguise also doesn’t work but that’s through some of Garland’s cursory detective work (i.e. checking with the FBI to see if Nathan actually worked for them). However, unlike Vince, Nathan is trying to preserve the timeline. I like a good time paradox thing and maybe wouldn’t have minded a change in the timeline here but it seems to have worked out for the best when considering the whole story of Haven.
The episode builds to the inevitable murder of The Colorado Kid on the beach in Haven. Dave and Vince head to the beach to stop it. Lucy (a past incarnation of Audrey) was there because she was supposed to meet the Kid there but had overheard Nathan and Garland talking about Audrey/Lucy having to kill the person she loved the most to stop the Troubles. That meant Nathan had to go to the beach to stop Lucy because Lucy killing the person she loves the most stops the Troubles by killing all the Troubled.
Of course, all of the episode’s past timeline storylines come together. When Lucy and the Kid are on the beach, everyone else arrives. Nathan stops Lucy from killing the Kid so she doesn’t kill all the Troubled. Dave and Vince are there to keep Dave from encountering Croatoan at the beach and waking up next to the Kid. Of course, Barbara Colton and her thinnie Trouble creates a thinnie right in front of Dave so he gets drawn into and spit out of the Void which lets Croatoan possess him and kill the Kid by sucking his soul (or something) out of his eyes.
That ending answers some questions and opens up more. For example, we now know the mysterious way in which The Colorado Kid was killed and how the Troubles tie into all of this. However, if Croatoan was possessing Dave then, how is it that it is only doing that again to Dave now? Did the Croatoan target Dave because he’s somehow susceptible to possession or was he targeted because he’s from the Void? Did Lucy using the Barn banish Croatoan but opening the door to the Void in the Lighthouse allowed him back into this realm? Maybe I’m just getting far too into the lore but these seem kind of important points going forward.
Meanwhile, Duke has stopped overnight en route to Haven but hit hotel room is broken into by a group of guys cosplaying as Secret Service agents. After stringing us along all episode, expecting a big reveal, all we got was a letter that Nathan sent Duke from the past telling him to look for a member of the Colton family to bring to Haven so they can go into the void. That means Duke has to track down Hailie… *sigh* Of course that story has a payoff.
Overall, this was an episode. The Nathan and Vince parts carried this episode and was dragged down by the Duke parts. It’s been a couple of weeks since I said that about Duke’s B-story. However, the A-story was a throwback to the origins of Haven in terms of the overarching story and the TV series. Take out the Croatoan reveal and I think this episode could have seamlessly fit into the first three seasons.
As important as this episode was to the lore of Haven, I couldn’t but help myself find it less than enthralling. I struggled to remember anything but the ending scene on the beach and Dave telling Vince that he woke up on the beach next to the Kid. By the end of the episode, I couldn’t remember how they happened to focus on Barbara Colton. I couldn’t remember what Dave and Vince hoped to accomplish at the beach. It was 42 minutes of Haven but it honestly needed about two minutes.
Other random points of note:
- Steve Lund returned as James Cogan / The Colorado Kid in this episode. Fans of the show would instantly recognize him as the same actor from Season Three. I was actually surprised the producers pulled that off but they got Nicole de Boer back to play Marion Caldwell in the Season Four premiere after her appearance in the series premiere so getting a major recurring actor back shouldn’t surprise me.
- Stand out performances of the week have to go to our two younger version of characters. It’s been a while since we’ve had Garland Wuornos on our screens so my memory is a little fuzzy but Landy Cannon’s turn as a young Chief Wuornos seemed spot on. Speaking of spot on, Jonathan Crombie as young Dave Teagues was an inspired piece of casting. He had the mannerisms of John Dunsworth as Dave absolutely down.
- Also, I came back to Haven looking for John Dunsworth and there has been a disappointing lack of John Dunsworth. Should I have started watching Trailer Park Boys instead?
- According to Syfy, Nathan’s fake FBI agent name of Agent Nathan Butterworth is a reference to Nathan’s well-documented love of pancakes. Coincidentally, I had some Mrs. Buttersworth syrup on my pancakes last weekend.
- I omitted from the beach scene that after Dave/Croatoan kills James, a dozen or so people conveniently show up to have their memories wiped. There was no such immediate crowd in the original novella. Granted, there are a lot of differences between the novella and the TV show. Should I do a book review or a differences post or both? (BuzzFeed-style “Ten major differences between The Colorado Kid and Haven that will leave you Troubled” incoming!)
Next week… Well, the Haven wiki’s synopsis gives away too much in just three lines but it makes me question everyone’s intelligence, especially Duke’s. What’s the point of a weird dead guy giving Duke a warning if he’s just going to ignore it and hand Nathan a way to go into the Void. I guess I’ll find out how that goes shortly. And hopefully we finally get some Shatner.