Saturday, January 19, 2013

Haven: Season 3 Episode 13: Thanks for the Memories

 Nathan and Duke arrive at Audrey’s apartment to find duke’s guard down and out and Audrey missing – naturally, they suspect Arla. Nathan has a little freak out because, he’s Nathan. I’d put it down to concern over Audrey if he hadn’t taken every last opportunity to freak out at Duke for the last 3 seasons. They conclude that Arla would take Audrey to the field where Real!Audrey lost her memories – accessible by boat.

Audrey and Arla arrive at the field and meet Fake!Agent!Howard who tells them that James is at the bakery and even lets Arla speak to him on the phone. Arla rushes off to see him leaving Audrey with Fake!Agent!Howard over tea. She asks who he is and he just says “you’re ride”, he picks her up and drops her off. In the barn, which is now visible, which comes whenever Audrey looks for it, when she’s ready. And there’s a catch, the Troubles don’t go away when she enters the barn, she has to want to. She doesn’t want to, she rightly points out that she won’t come back, someone else will in her body – Audrey Parker, her memories will die. So she can stay and try and figure out how to stay – but the longer she stays out, the “sky will continue to fall” and the town and everyone in it will be destroyed. I’m assuming this is a metaphor and not a sign that the meteor shower is going to get far worse.

She reunites with Duke and Nathan (Duke “borrowed” a boat), Howard vanishes and a meteor destroys the lighthouse. Ok, not a metaphor then. Audrey decides it’s time to find James and his answer to stopping this.

In town there’s a fair amount of chaos and Dwight goes to see Vince who Dave, trapped in the boot of his car. Audrey, Nathan and Duke learn that James and Arla have left the bakery – and that James was sick. If the barn restored him to life, it might be the only thing keeping him alive and he can’t leave. The meteor storm continues and gets worse.

In a room, Arla is trying to treat a very sick James and making excuses for why he’s ill (“not used to modern bugs”) she dismisses questions about her age and promises to stop Audrey from hurting him again, that they have their own lives to lead. Cryptic statement or outright lie?

Duke calls Arla and reveals he knows about James’s sickness and that only the barn can cure him – and only Audrey can summon the barn, which she will to save James’s life. He also says that he knows Audrey has to go in the barn, the Troubles have to stop and he’s tired of living in a disaster movie (yeah, right – totally not buying Duke the betrayer, don’t even try Haven)

Dwight rescues Dave and gets his side of the story – while Vince loves Audrey, he wants her to go in the barn. Last time, they tried to keep Sarah out of the barn, it didn’t work and while Dave wants to try again, Vince won’t risk it. Dave wants to break the cycle and stop using Audrey as a band aid. And he can find Vince – he can always find his brother.

Duke takes Arla and James to the barn – and Duke realises Arla has done everything for James (oh well that’s alright then. Sure she’s a serial killer but she did it for love!) and Audrey and Nathan arrive – to be held at gun point by Arla. She orders Duke to take their guns and delivers her ultimatum, Audrey will take James into the barn, make him better then bring him out (why, so he can die slowly again?) and if she doesn’t, Arla will shoot Nathan.

Of course Duke isn’t really a traitor and he stole the bullets out of Arla’s gun. She’s totally shocked by this. Totally.

James is fading fast and Audrey suggests taking him into the barn  if she’s not ready to leave maybe it won’t. The choice is taken when James jumps through the barn doors alone. Audrey realises she has to go after him and Nathan insists on going with her.

Inside the barn is a long white corridor stretching as far as the eye can see in both directions with multiple doors along its length. Going through one door reveals another, parallel corridor and another beyond that. And inside, Nathan can feel. Realising this is involved with the Troubles, Nathan decides that the best solution is to blow it up.

At which point they get teleported outside. Great, Nathan, you offended the Barn. Except it’s not really outside, it’s the past and they watch a younger Vince and Dave drive Sarah to the Barn. The 1950s people can’t see Audrey and Nathan. Audrey informs us it’s like we’re watching a scene from the past. Thanks for that Audrey, it’s not like that wasn’t already blatantly obvious. Vince and Dave plant a big bomb by the side of the barn. It explodes and does nothing. Oh and we learn that James’s father isn’t even born yet.

Back to the big white room of corridors to see Fake!Agent!Howard who has just made the point about puny mortals trying to blow up his ride. Nathan doubts the veracity of the memory so Fake!Agent!Howard! sends them back to 1955, a time Nathan visited before with Duke, to the time when Nathan and Sarah had sex. Hey there James Cogan’s daddy! They also see James appear in the barn in this memory – and when they flash back to the white corridors, they’re separated.

This means Nathan gets to meet James and have a “I am your father” moment and James gets to give us some exposition. When James went to Haven to find his mother, he didn’t find Sarah, he found Lucy, frantic, about to disappear. And the “other way” was to kill James. When James was planning to leave someone snuck up behind him and bashed him on the back of the head – and Arla claims it was Lucy. Uh-huh someone want to tell the man Arla is a serial killer?  James runs off as Audrey arrives.

Outside Jordan and the Guard arrives to add to Duke’s headache.

Inside, Audrey decides to state the obvious (it’s a habit) about James being Nathan’s son (can we not have Exposition of the Bleeding Obvious please). After yelling for Fake!Agent!Howard, he brings James to them – though he’s wary about Audrey and wants to see Arla. Audrey agrees to go bring Arla to him

Meanwhile, Vince shoots Dave with a tranquiliser dart  into Dave’s bullet proof vest and the debate continues – ending the Troubles with Audrey going or finding another way. Vince goes to the Barn where the tense stand off continues. And he orders the Guard to stand down and go home. They say “yes sir” and obey. Well damn, the Guard answers to Vince Teague, much to Jordan’s shock. Duke is similarly stunned, and Vince says that they work for him – always have, and shows Duke his tattoo which magically appears on his arm. He stares down Jordan and she leaves. He also tells Duke he has no intention of killing him and that, despite the Guard wanting to kill duke, he stopped them.

Which is when Audrey comes out to collect Arla. Of course, the minute she gets inside all Troubles stop working and she’s wearing a nasty, sewn-together, skin mask. At which point James learns she’s a serial killer, she protests she did it for him which, unsurprisingly, doesn’t make him feel better. Not particularly happy with how that worked out, Arla tries to stab Audrey and James gets in the way. Nathan helps the now stabbed James and Audrey stabs Arla. Nathan drags Arla out of the Barn in the hope it will bring her back to life while Audrey talks to James who now believes Audrey didn’t kill him as Lucy (hey she might have, Audrey doesn’t know!)

Apparently Lucy said that killing someone she loved was the only way to end the Troubles forever – which is why killing James would work. But Audrey isn’t Lucy, she doesn’t love James, she’s just met him. Errr, before we go testing this is anyone going to question WHY this ends the Troubles or How or even if Lucy didn’t just get this information on a really weird acid trip?

James disappears and Audrey asks Fake!Agent!Howard why. Why everything. Who says that James belongs in the Barn now, like his mother. And we get some answers! Precious answers! The Barn is an amplifier for Audrey’s power – her ability to suppress the Troubles so while she’s in there, they end. But every 27 years she runs out of juice and has to recharge, the Troubles start again and she has to come out and re-energise on love. Yes love. But Audrey is human – very very human, nor is she Troubled. And yes, to stop the Troubles forever she does have to kill the man she loves.

Audrey goes outside to say goodbye to everyone (it’d help if she filled them in on what she just learned as well so they can inform the next Audrey) in a dramatic, moving way: Dwight, Vince, Dave, Duke and Nathan. He declares he’ll die before he lets her go – she gives her gun to Duke and tells him not to let Nathan in. Duke does – because it’s Audrey’s choice to make. Audrey goes in and Nathan breaks free when a lovestruck Duke watches her go in.

Nathan can’t get in the Barn – so he turns and points a gun at Fake!Agent!Howard. Then thinsg get complicated. Jordan, behind Nathan, comes out of hiding and shoots Nathan. Nathan shoots Fake!Agent!Howard! multiple times, Duke catches Nathan and shoots Jordan

That leaves Fake!Agent!Howard, Jordan and Nathan all shot. The barn starts to crumble into white light (dragging Arla’s body inside), as does Fake!Agent!Howard. His body disappears. Nathan tells Duke to save Audrey and he throws himself into the white light which then disappears

Nathan staggers to his feet – and the meteors keep falling, if anything, even faster than before.

Ok… that’s the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers! Duke, Nathan and Audrey are obviously OK (mainly because I saw them in the previews otherwise I’d be open to the possibility of ONE of the men maybe dying. Bad previews, that’s annoying) – but the Barn? The Troubles? Arla? James? Fake!Agent!Howard?

And does Vince have a Trouble? To be part of the Guard and that little disappearing tattoo suggests he must have? What about Dave? What other secrets do they hide?

We also have some big questions to be answered. We know what the Barn does but not why, or what Audrey is or why her memories reset or who or what Fake!Agent!Howard is! Last season I was frustrated by the lack of answers – and I admit to being a little now. But we did get some and you need to keep some mystery in the bag when the show is all about mystery (if I didn’t get some answers I was ready to declare that Fake!Agent!Howard is a Time Lord and the Barn is his Tardis and Audrey is his amnesiac Companion. You don’t give me answers I will make Head Cannon, so there)

I think part of the reason I am more mollified about season 3 than 1 & 2 is that it kept at least half an eye on it’s meta-plots: the mystery of Audrey/Lucy/Sarah, finding the Colorado Kid and the series own meta-mystery, the Bolt Gun Killer/Skin Walker. Not every episode and not for long in many of the episodes – we still had far too damn many “Trouble of the Week” episodes that were dull and irritating, but it was much better than the previous 2 episodes.

Inclusionwise – well, it’s not great. And the additional scenes of Fake!Agent!Howard in this episode didn’t improve on the general points we’ve made about Haven and Race. Haven has now reached the end of season 3 and still hasn’t seen fit to include one single GBLT person, not even the briefest token, despite a large cast of characters. I’m also disappointed that Claire ended up dead and Jordan ended up being the evil competition for Audrey. This show doesn’t have a lot of female characters beyond Audrey, she moves in an almost all male world: Nathan, Duke, the Teagues, Dwight, even Tommy for much of the season. Claire was the one blip of a woman who Audrey (eventually) became friendly with and treated as a peer – and then she died and an evil clone took over. We just see a lot of Strong Female Characters running around in 90% male surroundings, I’d like to see Audrey break that.

Am I looking forward to season 4? Yes. Definitely yes. So long as they hold the “Trouble of the Week” episodes.