Saturday, September 20, 2014

Haven, Season 5, Episode 2: Speak No Evil

Duke is having a bad day and decides to unload to Nathan – who tells Duke Mara shot him. Y’know stealing someone’s thunder like that is just rude. Nathan’s not getting medical help though because Mara’s after evil Aether (the black goo) and Duke is willing to let it go because he’s obsessed with finding Jennifer

Mara, meanwhile, happily murders someone possibly over a pencil before recruiting intern Vicki with her drawing Trouble to do some sketching for her, hoping her power will open the Thinnie (oh gods are we calling them that?) Thankfully, no, Vicki isn’t powerful enough because she’s an “early model.” Vicki gets tased – it’s useful being semi-regular cast, less chance of being murdered. But Mara did get Vicki’s keycard which lets her in the morgue where she works.

As we check in on Gloria (who is awesome) we see the test-tube of Aether she has stored acting up – just as Mara arrives with a gun.

Having spoken to Vicki, Nathan arrives looking quite chipper considering the bullet wound and finds the morgue in disarray and Gloria, thankfully, (or we’d have ISSUES), alive and snarky (and still awesome – she had the presence of mind to hide when Mara showed up with Intern’s pass. Yes, Intern, Gloria has no patience for silly things like names). Gloria also hid the Aether, because she’s Gloria and awesome. It also means Nathan fills her in on the whole Audrey/Mara thing while she deals with the many many bodies.

Dwight drops in on Vince who is still guarding Dave’s bedside – he’s not happy about Vince keeping the whole Mara-is-responsible-for-the-Troubles to himself and also Driscol’s fanatics are giving the Barrow family grief because the whole face sewing Trouble going round is their family Trouble (even if it’s now on Duke). And, basically, Vince is totally slacking off in his task of heading the Guard.

Dave does finally wake up and Vince uses the arcane powers of soda and porn to question his brother about his little secret of having being through the portal. Though all he remembers is fog – and returning to the real world in terrible pain and with bruises which now has all over again. Vince takes scans of the injuries to Gloria who declares them terribad.

Dwight’s still trying to fix the Trouble issue which means grabbing Duke and stopping him obsessing about Jennifer for 5 seconds – especially since he just got an entire coastguard crews’ eyes sewn shut. Dragging Duke to the Barrows finds Henry Barrow badly beaten – looks like Vince was distracted and didn’t arrange the protection he should have. Bringing them to the hospital also unleashes Duke’s little sewing problem on the poor medical staff. While Duke is panicking, Dwight questions an elderly member of the Barrow family about the Trouble and learns that the sewing happens whenever someone tries to tell them bad news (everyone telling Duke that they haven’t seen Jennifer). There’s even more rumbling of the Guard being restless.

Just to make the whole bad news thing loom worse – the nurse shows Dwight a body that washed up – Jennifer’s body. Yes, that’s probably going to cause some stitches.

Nathan, not the brightest of sparks, steals the Aethur from the morgue and tries to use it to deal with Mara. He agrees to give her one glob of Aethur if she will use it to leave Haven and never return – after wrangling she agrees

Dwight finally pins Vince down at the police station where Vince is grabbing footage of the lighthouse collapse (to see if he can see what attacked Dave). Dwight gives a very reasonable rant about Vince keeping too many secrets, about him letting his affection for Dave distract him – and how Vince, Nathan and Duke are all protecting “Audrey” when Mara is a major threat they should be hunting (excuse me while I form my Dwight fanclub). Nathan overhears all this and I think we’re supposed to think “oh how terrible to say that in front of Nathan” but I just think it’s good because Nathan needs to hear it too. Nathan finally listens and decides that rather than making his deal with Mara he’s going to deliver her to Dwight – and the Guard

But first he wants to tell Duke about Jennifer’s death. Which is kind of like promising to do something after you jump off a building. Nathan goes to Duke, they have some emotional moments before Nathan tries to make Duke accept that Jennifer was dead before they left the cave – the stitching starts as Duke’s denial kicks in; it happens in stages (protagonist delay!)  but Nathan ends up all sewn closed. While Nathan suffocates, Duke has an emotional flashback montage of Jennifer. After which he drops her scarf in the water – symbolically letting her go. The realisation cuts the denial – and unsews Nathan.

That leaves Duke alone so he and Gloria can have a touching moment of shared grief.

Nathan meets with Mara who takes the one blob of Aether (and quietly splits it in two, keeping half), because she’s a villain she gloats at how she’ll double cross him and totally isn’t leaving (why boast? Ah the villain code) because she and William have a Trouble Master Plan. At least Nathan isn’t entirely foolish –he has a hidden Vicki with a sketch – and using that sketch he manages to knock Mara out with a branch. He cuffs Mara and looks angsty (Mara just smacked Vicki, you might want to check on her Nathan).

Vince checks the footage he got and he and Dave realise they spent an hour in the lighthouse before it collapsed – even though it only seemed like 5 minutes. They lost time somewhere. They can’t follow the clue though because Collette Barrow storms in demanding to know why Vince didn’t arrange protection for Henry. Dwight’s also told the Guard about Mara causing the Troubles – and the Guard is not feeling friendly towards her. Worse for Vince, the Guard aren’t listening to his orders – they’re listening to Dwight; when Dwight is willing to take over, Vince steps down. I think there’s going to be a catch on that one. Methinks Vince will have an Ace.

Dwight tells Nathan to stay put while they come collect Mara – and he kisses the unconscious Mara (no no not ok) who wakes up – and is apparently Audrey, begging Nathan, saying she’s still there – before Mara takes the helm again. Of course he drives away to protect her form the Guard.

I think the emotional scenes with Duke and Nathan are well acted – but they still don’t carry me. Part of it is that Jennifer was never a character who really pinged my radar – she seemed to be more a convenient tool for random woo-woo than a character in her own right, too many questions and not enough solidity to her (which is only exacerbated by her dying this episode). There’s also a problem with flashbacks – I’m not a fan, and these sad montages feels like they’re eating space (and distracting from the acting). And there’s also Dwight’s storyline – I love it, I love how he’s calling them out on their rather self-indulgent distractions, It’s a great scene and a great conflict – as people die while they worry and angst. But that call out is so effective that when we actually turn to the montage it kind of feels like the time the distraction is being emphasised.

Still I am really liking these first two episodes of Haven – ok, the first episode’s logic was fragile enough it was like they’d borrowed some writers from Falling Skies, but this one held together better and the meta is really being maintained. It makes me hope – actual plot, actual answers, actual progress on Haven!

And more Gloria. Always more Gloria.