Sunday, December 15, 2013

Haven, Season 4, Episode 13: The Lighthouse

Continuing right on from last week’s cliffhanger, Audrey puts her hand on Duke’s chest. There’s a flash of power – and she has a flashback of her and William together. She smiles, and it’s not a very nice smile. She snaps back to herself – but William has sensed her change

Nathan cuts his finger so Duke can test that his Trouble is back – his eyes turn, Duke is fully Troubled again. While this is a source of angst, Duke is more worried about Audrey and how giving Troubles is changing her.

Ben says goodbye to his baby and goes to get a blanket. Gloria, struggling with grief, tells Audrey why she is so very very sure there’s an afterlife – and they hear a gunshot. Duke comes out carrying the blanket Ben went for and gives it to Gloria. He tells her the baby can cry now. He doesn’t expect Gloria to forgive him – and she hugs him while crying. Gloria takes the baby and Duke walks off – but Jennifer hurries after him to hug him and reassure him about the lives he saved.

It’s a very touching, moving beautiful scene – and then Duke focuses on how he saw Audrey changed and is worried about what she’d become (I don’t like this. Yes this is a worry, return to that worry – but let that grief stricken, painful scene settle in before orbiting back to Audrey).

So back to kicking William out of Haven, which means focusing on the four people who need to go to the Lighthouse and open the portal. And it can’t be any four people it has to be the right four. And, of course, it’s vague about who they are only referring to where they’re from: basically, they have to have been born in another world.

Jennifer assumes she’s one – she can hear the barn, see the book and was left by Agent Howard. William came through the portal so he’s obvious – which makes Audrey obvious as well. They need the fourth (hey, Dave revealed he was adopted last episode…)

Everyone heads off to research (Dave still thinks it’s a bad idea to open the portal, Dwight and Duke consider William’s goons as good candidates while Vince and Dave look into adoptions) and Audrey talks to Nathan – she remembers her original self - Mara. And the memory is much deeper and stronger than any of the previous personalities she remembers. Also Mara is not a nice person – and Audrey can sense William now. So master plan, she pretend to be super eager and curious to know about Mara and when she distracts William, Nathan tranqs him.

Audrey goes to William and plays nice, he seems to fall for it and is really happy – but he leads her in the wrong direction for Nathan to get a good shot. Nathan has to try and follow them and set up elsewhere. William talks about how the barn hid her from him and Audrey tells him that Agent Howard called the barn Audrey’s punishment; William remembers her being dragged in. William is vague about who the person doing the punishing was

Duke and Dwight follow up on the goons, Dwight giving Duke more reassurance about killing Ben – and Dwight hiding the fact he’s coughing up blood which is then absorbed by his skin. That’s not good. They draw tasers and shoot the goons – and it doesn’t work. Not one iota… problem. But the goons sense something and leave – turning into the black goo and floating away. Just like the Rougarou – which means William made them, they’re not born on another world.

They float through the woods just in time to ambush and knock out Nathan. Yup, William kinda saw through her ruse. He sets the goons to beat up Nathan and tells Audrey if she wants them to stop she should stop them – she knows how to command them. She tells them to stop and they do – looking at her in almost shock, frozen in place. He gives Audrey the box – making it appear from thin air – and tells her to put the goons inside. She holds out the box to them and they dissolve back into black goo and enter the box. William is elated and Audrey has another flashback

She and William in Olde Timey clothes. Past!William concerned that they’ve broken every rule – but Mara is definitely having fun doing so and confident they’ll always be together.

Back to the present, Nathan and William spar with words and William suggests Audrey give Nathan a Trouble. Audrey struggles, despite what Nathan says, she did do what William said, she did like it – and she still does. She kneels before him, in tears, opens the box then whispers to Nathan “now”. After a second’s hesitation, Nathan gets it and head-butts her. He knocks her out and, through their link, William goes down as well.

When Vince goes to check out the adoption files he finds they’ve all been “lost” – at his brother’s orders. Jennifer tells Dwight and Duke that Dave told her the Cabot Journal (Haven’s founder) is also gone. Stolen research on the back burner because Duke feels woozy, coughs more blood and staggers to his knees – catching his balance with one blood speckled hand. The grass under his hand turns to black, barren earth in a rapidly expanding circle around him that only stops when he lifts his hands from the floor.

At the newspaper office Vince confronts Dave – the journal isn’t missing, the adoption files aren’t lost. After much back and forth and trying to keep the secret while Vince is shocked that his brother would lie to him, and a side order of Dave’s resentment of Vince, Dave tells the truth – the fourth person is him (told you so). And he knows he’s from there because he’s been – and he refuses to go to the lighthouse. Which is when Duke, Jennifer and Dwight arrive – and, at Vince’s orders, Dwight stops Dave leaving. Dave is afraid of being pulled through the portal

At the lighthouse, in the cavern, William continues to spar with Nathan over who is Audrey’s real true love – and Nathan finds a way to hurt William without hurting Audrey, go for the groin! The others head their way, Dave in cuffs, though Duke is worried by Dave’s words that Jennifer could be pulled through. And William knows what’s wrong with Duke – his family has been absorbing Troubles for generations and when Audrey turned one back on, she turned them ALLLLL back on. Of course, Duke keeps that secret from the others

Everyone is put on their places and William asks if anyone has considered what they’re going to let in. Duke collapses, Dave panics and pulls a gun and shoots at Vince. But Dwight, the bullet magnet, is in the room, stood right behind Dave. The bullet turns in its path and goes through Dave into Dwight’s bullet-proof vest. Jennifer holds out the book and the portal opens in the middle of the symbol.

They start to push William in and he starts begging and negotiating – PUSH HIM ALREADY! While he does that, Dave walks zombie like towards the edge and falls in – caught by Vince. Dwight and Nathan rush to help, but something is pulling him. They pull Dave to safety

During this, William has been appealing to Audrey not to do this and she says she can’t let Nathan do it. She wants to do it herself – and pushes William in. He grabs her hands and they have another connection moment, he smiles and says “I know you’re in there” but Nathan pushes him the rest of the way in. Jennifer closes the door and collapses.

She gasps that Dave was right, they shouldn’t have opened the door – William wasn’t the one they should have been afraid of. She stops breathing. Duke gets overwrought and starts bleeding from the eyes and ears

Audrey says he’s as good as dead. Or, rather, Mara says it. And she wants William back.

So that was the end of season 4 of Haven. And I think, in some ways, it has been better than most seasons. Most episodes we have had some meta plot, which means the overarching story of the whole series has actually moved forwards more than previous seasons (my endless complaint about Haven was that all the plot was pushed in at the end of the season and the middle was just one long line of “trouble of the week” episodes). In addition, William and his tweaking of the Troubles made the trouble of the week episodes slightly more pointful. Definite steps up. And we ended with a vast number of plot hooks for a season 5 and a whole lot of questions unanswered, generally good things.


But, as far as I’m aware, Season 5 has not been officially announced yet (which is a bad sign) which means all these questions are unanswered. I should be upset by that… I’m not. I’m just kind of burned out on Haven. We’ve had four seasons of mainly plot of the week episodes. The revelation – even this season – has been painfully, agonisingly slow and not really very revelatory. Each new piece of information doesn’t answer questions – it asks more and more and more. The questions expanding and getting broader: what are the Troubles? What is Audrey? What is the barn? Who is Agent Howard? None of these have been answered; just with further questions “what is the other side?” “what is the Black goo?” “what are these children of the other place?” Questions questions and never any answers to a point where I’m not even sure I care any more. Ok, I do care – I would like to know the answers. But I’m not sure I want to sit through 13 more Haven episodes to again, NOT be told

Because the episodes are also painfully formulaic. People die. Heroes rush on scene, look at evidence that is REALLY BLATANTLY LAMP SHADED. Then explain evidence (in case audience is very very stupid). Person/Trouble/Solution appears, obvious red herring, we bat around with them for a while (throw in Audrey/Nathan angst) before solution and save. Usually this will involve and incredibly HUGE leap of logic somewhere along the way.

I want the answers – but if someone watched season 5 for me and told me what they are? I think I’d prefer that to 13 more episodes…

As for characters – I’ve never liked Nathan and he’s still hollow, Audrey is fascinating and layered, Duke has lost some of his depth in hitching on to extra angst, Jennifer is just a convenient woo-woo receptacle – not a bad character but not really great either.

There are no recurring POC characters this season. I’m not sure I can even remember any one-offs either. After 4 seasons there are still no GBLT people, not a single one. 4 seasons. And I can’t even begin to count how many characters we’ve had: there have been over 20 characters who have appeared for 5 episodes or more (even if they’re background like Gloria) and since every episode nearly always introduces 2 or 3 new characters then that is a whole lot of straight folks and a whole lot of erasure. Erasure is never justified and always annoying – but for a show with this huge a cast, it’s a slap in the face.