Saturday, September 27, 2014

Haven, Season 5, Episode 3: Spotlight

Dwight and the Guard are looking for Mara – and Nathan is pretending he didn’t find her because AUDREY LOVE WAAAH; instead he’s holding her prisoner. Duke is also helping but isn’t a big fan of the whole help-the-evil-bad-guy-and-enrage-the-town plan. It’s also kind of uncomfortable to hear Nathan talk about how he can’t move on and he needs a chance to save Audrey after last episode when he make Duke face losing Jennifer – nicely done there Haven.

Gloria (who is awesome) and Dwight discuss the dead and we learn that Jodie is kind of like X-Men’s Cyclops – with stomach lasers (dear gods) instead of eyes – she absorbs light all around her (hence it getting dark) and then vomits it out of her stomach like the world’s worst digestive complaint. Worst she has another incident and Duke, talking to Charlotte, learns that Jodie started with one beam of light, Duke saw two and the latest incident had four which isn’t a good sign.

Mara and Nathan continue to snipe – and they’re found by two members of the Guard which leads to a fight and the two guard being tied up. Nathan reminds her that they’re just two of many who will now want to kill them both – time to go into hiding. To Nathan’s dad’s old cabin which we should probably remember from previous episodes but I don’t. There’s a cabin and no-one knows about it just it seems. They engage in mutual taunting (though Mara does interestingly reveal that it’s Nathan’s killing of Agent Howard and destruction of the Barn that allowed Mara to come back in the first place). She seems oddly pleased thinking of sexy flashbacks of Nathan and Audrey.

Back to Duke who is cutting his hair – which is one of those television grief clichés. He goes to the bar where Jodie is waiting for him – a friend who, it seems, was once involved in nefarious business just like Duke. She wants money to get some people out of town. She’s panicky and fearful and it all smells of a very bad Trouble; confirmed when everything goes dark and she shoots lasers from her stomach.

Wait… what? Even for a Trouble that’s kind of… weird. Dual stomach lasers? Really? Afterwards while Duke calmly puts out fires (conveniently confined fires) Jodie runs away. Duke goes to her house to find a crime scene with Dwight in charge – Jodie’s sister is dead and her daughter Charlotte is burned. Charlotte does have an idea where he mother might be but Dwight had just learned that Nathan is helping Mara – he sends a gang to the shack; but the wrong shack. How many shacks does Nathan own? Does he collect them or something? Duke continues to defend Nathan but Dwight (rightly) points out that Nathan doesn’t make good decisions when it comes to Audrey (personally I think the “when it comes to Audrey” is an unnecessary addition to that sentence). Duke also looks increasingly unwell so I’m guessing more Trouble trouble is coming for him.

In the actual shack Mara uses Audrey’s memories to seduce Nathan (this guy is really not the brightest spark) until Nathan finally comes to his limited senses and realises Mara is unchaining herself, stops the kissing and locks her up again. She does still have her little ball of aether. Nathan tries to question her on where she’s from what she’s doing et al – and she gives answers that are so vague and cryptic that I’m not even going to let them whet my curiosity.

She continues to flirt with Nathan and drags up the sexual history of past incarnations with more taunting before going to bed. While she sleeps, Audrey breaks through and begs Nathan not to give up and to talk to her as if she were Audrey, it lets her break through.

He sends a message to Duke about needing more time as he implements his master plan – ignore everything Mara says and pretend she’s Audrey – Duke and Dwight are both lurking where Charlotte things Jodie will turn up. They try to talk to her about her husband leaving and why everything isn’t her fault – but she’s worried about some secret and the stress of it sets off the Trouble again – it doesn’t need to be sunlight, artificial light will do. Duke shuts her down by wrapping her in a fireblanket – the light comes back on as soon as the lasers are covered. The whole thing reminds Duke of what people have to live with while Nathan plays house with Mara; especially when Jodie starts to get sick and weaken when she’s covered and not in the light – she needs light to live.

Meanwhile Nathan continues to push Mara through Audrey’s footsteps and eventually gets through to her by tickling her. Audrey tries to reveal a big secret about Mara – which is when Duke arrives, bringing Mara back to the fore: Nathan and Duke argue, Nathan angry about Duke’s interruption getting Mara back while Duke is furious at Nathan’s ignoring the rest of the town’s problems.

Mara does recognise Duke’s illness – being overloaded by Troubles is killing him. The only reason he’s alive is he released a Trouble last week – to gain a reprieve he needs to release another Trouble and Mara offers to help – ostensibly to stop Duke exploding. She asks for a list of all the curses the Crocker family has absorbed – which Duke has, in a book that he buried with his brother. Duke also starts coughing up blood and then absorbing it which is, somehow, even more nasty than just coughing up blood.

Nathan goes to get the book leaving Duke with Mara – time for more flashbacks. She explains how she can connect him to a Trouble and choose the Trouble he wants to express (so one that doesn’t kill). Mara tries flirting again and Dwight and the Guard arrive.

Mara deciding to elaborate on her past incarnation’s sex lives in an attempt to… I have no idea? Say how much they were all into casual sex they were? Is this to say they’re promiscuous or Nathan’s a prude? Or just generally to make the whole thing awkward? I think the latter, I don’t think it even counts as slut shaming because she doesn’t seem to be remotely ashamed of it. I did catch the “swing both ways” comment which is irritating because a) it’s meant to shock Nathan and b) Haven is now on its fifth season with a gazillion bazillion characters not one of which has been LGBT. Not one teeny tiny token. I call shenanigans on throwaway lines like that when you can’t be bothered to include actual LGBT people even for a second.

I am really really not comfortable with Nathan taking Mara prisoner and treating her like Audrey no matter what. Especially because of the sexual relationship (and resorting to tickling), it’s all so very creepy – he will turn her into his love interest whether she likes it or not. Especially when we consider that, as far as we can see, Audrey is fake – she’s a copy, she is not the real personality in that body; Mara is. This is severely dubious

I think the pacing of this episode was pretty poor – nothing really developed, even the Trouble of the week. We had Nathan and Mara in a cabin, moping.