Sunday, November 9, 2014

Haven, Season 5, Episode 9: Morbidity

Dave has another dream about colonial massacres, Croatoan and deer turning to women and portals. Take more water with it, Dave. His infected leg is still nasty – so he calls someone called Chris.

Audrey and Nathan tell Dwight the good news about Audrey and Mara splitting. Dwight vaguely references his dead sister (who is definitely dead) and Dr. Charlotte Cross from the CDC arrives to speak to Dwight to help them find Dave and his weird weird leg.

To the police station where Dwight, Audrey and Nathan all talk about the horror of a scientists investigating Haven. Duke calls in to add their common belief that they will all be locked up like lab rats. They also refer to a guy called Pete who is an epidemiologist and is part of the big cover up of Haven. Charlotte has already gone to see Pete and he’s freaking out because she’s questioning his 8 bajillion cover stories. Gloria is there to be awesome and keep everyone sensible – their cover stories are solid, they’ve been doing this a long time.

Of course keeping Dave away from Charlotte doesn’t work when the man shows up at the police station. But it’s all part of his plan. Charlotte interviews him and he claims it was a jellyfish sting and that he spoke to Chris Brody about it (he is the guy with the Trouble which makes everyone love him: they hope his mojo may work on Charlotte). Chris has already done some research in Charlotte’s specialties and, combined with his Trouble, he uses a weakness in her knowledge to hopefully get rid of her. He warns Dwight that Charlotte is very very good at her job and this is her only weakness – they need to get rid of her.

Which is a problem because though she does drop the investigation she decides she’s due a holiday and to hang around Haven and mild flirting with Dwight.

Meanwhile Audrey and Nathan are called into a Trouble which seems to be a guy dancing in a bear costume (and some very weird children who find this fascinating. In the world of the internet it’s going to take more than a bear waving his arms around to fascinate). When Audrey and Nathan ask him to leave (why?) he takes off his costume head – and there’s nothing inside. It’s an ambulatory suit. Then he puts his head on again, takes it off and now the suit is full of very very dead guy with a huge chunk missing out of his skull. Ick.

Then lengths people will go to for cheap labour.

More bears presumably with their own zombies inside appear all with their little mini crowd of fascinated Havenites – and I really don’t believe inhabitants of Haven of all towns could ever be that bored.

Nathan and Audrey try to get rid of them because Dwight and Charlotte are wandering down the promenade while Charlotte talks about how cool it is she can call in military forces.

Time for something I want even less than zombie teddy bears – Mara is washing herself behind a curtain and Duke goes down to ask whether she’s done when she clearly clearly isn’t. She steps out from behind the curtain fully naked and she flirts with him while he looks all conflicted before pointing out to her that she killed Jennifer. But she denies it – blaming it on the door and the thinnies and she’s convinced she and Duke are on a certain “path” together. Duke makes a snarky remark about the CDC but doesn’t clarify it.

Still she figures it out since it has happened before – but before modern technology it was pretty easy to delay a response until after Mara (in whatever guise) was back in the barn and the Troubles over. She points out that Duke and Mara are the ones any government agency will be most interested in and tries to drive a wedge between Duke and the others.

At the Gull, Dwight and Charlotte have a lobster dinner, they discuss their military pasts, get close and then someone inconveniently coughs and collapses at the next table. She sees him and sees he has the same symptoms as Haven’s missing chemist (referred to earlier) and lo, they have an outbreak. Aren’t they all super lucky Charlotte is there?

Summation where Gloria snarks “just Haven’s luck to have an outbreak while the CDC’s around” (you see that? It’s not convoluted writing, it’s luck!) and as a bonus more and more zombie bears keep showing up. Dwight also notes that stonewalling Charlotte is actually annoying because with an actual outbreak they could actually use her help.

Duke, with all his conflict from Mara, goes to find Dwight and Charlotte digging through his dumpster – they’re working on a story of food poisoning at the Gull to explain things; Duke sees this as pretty much throwing him under the bus. Dwight doesn’t help by telling Duke to get out of sight in case he drops a random Trouble – adding to Mara’s insight that his friends consider him more weird than them and that the reason he’s on the boat is not just to guard Mara, but to keep him out of the way as well.

He returns to the ship and Mara keeps needling him and she makes 2 predictions based on her 500 years of experience: 1) they will round up Troubled people and 2) Duke’s friends will sell him out.

Charlotte also thinks Gloria is incompetent because of all the blocking she’s doing – Gloria doesn’t care, the sooner they’re rid of her the better because the latest infected person is a Troubled germophobe who isn’t happy about being in the hospital. He makes bubbles and he accidentally kills himself by boiling/bubbling his IV – just as Charlotte arrives to see the body.

She’s not happy – she wants an autopsy and Haven quarantined.

Audrey goes investigating the Trouble and they find Eve who has the Trouble of spawning zombie bears (it’s the same corpse in each of them). She knew Audrey when she was Lucy and helped her the last time the Troubles were round and Eve was a girl. It’s her dead father in his old silly costume. Audrey also learns that Eve was sick with the same illness everyone else has – and that Hank, her husband, is Troubled.

More investigation and Dwight and Nathan realise everyone who is sick is also Troubled (which also suggests that the Trouble is an infection). The stress of which is likely to set their Troubles off. And they need rid of Charlotte – to do that they need to get all the infected away from her.

So Dwight goers back to flirting, she feels a lot happier about things. She does note in passing that all the sick had the same genetic marker (she did DNA tests? Already?) but doesn’t think it’s super important. Dwight is stunned by the results – while Dave misses it, Dwight points out she may have found the genetic basis for the Troubles.

For added problems, Audrey can’t find the key to ending Eve’s Zombie Bear Trouble – so calls Duke for input from Mara. Lots of snark follows (Mara refers to Audrey as a “husk”) she pretty much says the trouble is pretty easy – it’s prompted by loss – and if Audrey is failing she’s “lost her mojo.” The implication being that Audrey isn’t good with Troubles – Mara is and when she’s separated from Mara Audrey has no talent. Duke tries to reassure her, but also takes news that they’re gathering the sick Troubled as proof they’re “rounding up the Troubled” (uh-huh… it’s called medical care. It’s normal to take ill people to a location to treat them. This isn’t called rounding them up, it’s called hospital.)

Mara convinces Duke they need to act and he agrees – but acting without her. He goes to the place the sick Troubled have and it’s a disaster – Troubles are beginning to fire off and they struggle to contain the problems. They realise that, with Troubled people firing off Troubles even while unconscious, maybe the contagion Trouble is actually trying to force exposure by sending the Troubles out of control.

Which gets worse because Charlotte arrives – she thinks the man she saw die was murdered because he had an air bubble in the brain which means it was injected (well, yes, through an IV he had filled with bubbles). She angrily tells Duke and Dwight she’s quarantining the town.

Dwight chases after her while Duke gets a woman with an electricity Trouble to zap the cell phone tower. Charlotte continues walking only lots of the Guard arrive and stare at her ominously. She ducks into the Herald while Duke and Dwight argue and Dwight tases Duke…

What?! Where did that come from? Dwight says he’d rather hand Duke over to the CDC than let them kidnap Charlotte (this is just clumsy writing to make Mara’s predictions true). Dwight insists he is the one who leads the town, not Nathan who is obsessed with Audrey or Duke who is obsessed with Audrey.

Duke goes back to Mara…

Normally the whole “we’ll be locked up like lab rats” thing does seem a little overdone in speculative fiction – but in this case I think it has more merit simply because most of the Troubled are dangerous and pretty much out of control.

I do kind of think it’s odd that they haven’t even got Haven medical attention to look at Dave’s leg. It could actually be as dangerous and virulent as Charlotte fears.

I really really don’t want to see Duke and Mara. I do not believe for a second that Duke is that horny that he will fall for this seduction; I do not believe for a second he can be that horny and not find a better alternative – like ANYONE EVER. There is no reason at all Duke would listen to Mara. There is no reason the trust that Audrey and even Nathan has earned would be thrown out for Mara

I’m also a little frustrated by the outbreak. Not because it keeps Charlotte around because I quite like her around – but because she was around and investigating an actual META emergency – Dave and his manky leg, the Thinnies etc. Instead that gets quickly handwaved and the outbreak is dragged in instead so we can have the “ZOMG THE CDC IS HERE!” plot line without actually having to advance the meta.

Also, when Mara/Audrey were one person, Duke had to be convinced to leave Mara in Nathan’s hands so they could get Audrey back – he and his fellows were very reluctant. Now he learns Mara is separate but is content to let her remain on Duke’s boat?

And in some ways I cheered when Dwight called out Duke and Nathan because it’s TRUE. They do care only for themselves or for Audrey – that has been a major problem of this season and if Dwight had said that last episode I’d cheer. But this time? This time it doesn’t feel like he’s doing his best of Haven either (and I doubt the Guard would agree with him). This time it looks like he’s balking because Charlotte is developing into HIS love interest