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.
Other week, another start to a Haven two-parter. While the words “Haven” and “two parts” have been a sign of impending disaster this season, with the introduction of a new female supporting character and something resembling a future direction for the plot in last week’s episode, I was looking forward to Morbidity.
Normally, I would say that we should know better than to set my hopes high for an episode of Haven this season but there’s a real chance that the season may have turned the corner this week.
So Nathan is a Troubled ghost, Mara and Audrey have been split up, half of the main cast took last week off and I’m just trying to think of reasons for people to continue on after last week’s episode other than “you’ve seen the first four-and-a-half seasons through so you may as well see it through.”
This week’s episode didn’t see any real improvement from Naudrey storyline but at least characters outside the show’s big three were given something interesting and memorable for us to watch.
As we cross the halfway point of the first half of the fifth season, I think it’s safe to come to the conclusion that the writers took the 26-episode season order a bit too literally. The season increasingly feels like everyone is taking scripts that weren’t trimmed down to 42 minutes and padded them out to fit two hours of TV time.
This week was our first episode with Audrey back but it might have been to the episode’s detriment with the focus on Naudrey. Is it just me or is that the anchor that might drag this show down before hot shotting the timeslots?
I’m starting to wonder how hard it is to write episodes in pairs. The first six episodes of this season of Haven have been presented in two-episode pairs and each pairing has had one episode that was quite clearly better than the other. The Old Switcheroo Part One was funny but it also explored the relationships between the characters from a different perspective.
This week, whether the novelty was gone after one week or the writers were done with the novelty, ended up being much more straight forward. It was all about Troubles and Mara.
What happens when you write an episode that, at first glance, is a way for all of the actors to blow off a little steam while spending their spring and summer in rural Nova Scotia? It turns out that not only is it a good bit of fun for everyone, actors and viewers alike, it gives the writers a chance to explore the various relationships between the characters from a different perspective.
Not to start all of my reviews this week with a question but how do you follow-up on an episode where nothing happens and all your protagonists are spinning their wheels? You make everything happen this week and start pushing this season forward. Sure, it hits reset on a couple of characters but it’s for the best.
This week, The Guard have Mara and it looks like Dwight is about to assume the throne of this season’s Big Bad much like Jordan did last season. Fortunately, that was a red herring and the season is progressing along its logical path.
Mara might have taken over Audrey’s body and be randomly murdering people about town but that doesn’t mean that Nathan is giving up on Audrey. While the rest of Haven has given up hope of getting Audrey back, brief glimpses of Audrey still being in there seems to be the only thing keeping him going.
This week, the battle lines are drawn. It’s Nathan against the rest of Haven as he tries to get Audrey back.
A season premiere has a tough task nowadays. Ever since Star Trek: The Next Generation’s classic The Best of Both Worlds popularize season finale cliffhangers, the practice is now common place in television. The problem is that ST:TNG never had to worry about serialized story telling. You could watch the episodes in a fairly haphazard order and you wouldn’t be missing too much.
The difference between Star Trek and Haven is the nature of the story telling. You have to watch the episodes in sequence for them to make any sense so the story has to go forward and you have to have a reason to carry on. The challenge for writers is to answer enough questions from the previous season finale to satisfy viewers while leaving enough questions to bring you back. In some regards, Part Two of Haven’s fifth season premiere succeeded. In others, I’m not particularly compelled by it.
When we last left Haven’s version of the Scooby Gang, everybody was in rough shape. Dave shot himself thanks to Dwight’s trouble. Duke was bleeding from the eyes after all the Crocker family absorbed troubles came back on him and started tearing him apart from the inside. Jennifer keeled over dead because of evil supernatural door reasons. Oh, and Audrey’s body is now hosting her original incarnation, Mara. Just another day in the life of Haven.
So with all those plot threads left dangling at the end, there’s a lot that needs to be taken care of in the fifth season premiere.