We open with some quick recapping of Croatoan and his obsession with Audrey, his daughter, Duke running amok collecting Troubles by killing people and Dwight dealing with his suddenly resurrected daughter
And Laverne still possessing and a house and making the vending machines healthy. That’s just evil. Also, for some reason I don’t think Duke is doing menacing very well – he’s just trying too hard with that slow steady attempt at a sinister voice. It’s too forced. Genuinely sinister people don’t have to try so hard to be sinister. You’ve got eyes that are black from edge to edge, you don’t need to work on the sinister voice
He does foil their plan to repair the broken Aether core (which they need to power the new barn and get rid of the Troubles). They try to use Vicki’s Trouble to fix it (she can draw things and make them real) and Duke destroys the drawing, destroying the core. Everyone then despairs but can’t she just re-draw the core?
Maybe expecting that, Duke plans to kill Vicki and everyone stands in his way – Nathan, Gloria (who is awesome) and, most effectively, Audrey
She pulls out one of her patented “I’m going to defeat the Trouble with emotional speech” to bring Duke back to himself. It should have been clichéd and trite and all Disney-esque – but it isn’t, it really works
I think partly because of the acting and the tragedy but mainly because it draws on one of the most compelling themes of the show (even if it has been dropped occasionally) – identity. Duke is a man who has been struggling against the Crocker family curse since the beginning. There’s even an excellent acknowledgement that Audrey and Nathan have repeatedly sabotaged him in that struggle by asking him to kill people to end some terrible Troubles. He was, from the very beginning, a man who was designed to and pushed to kill people to end the Troubles even while he struggled against that. Whether his own inclinations or resisting Audrey and Nathan’s pushing or refusing Croatoan’s pushing him to be EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DESIGNED TO BE
And that resonates with Audrey – how can it not? Again is this not her story since season 1? Audrey has always been battling who she is – with her personality changing every incarnation and with her meeting the REAL Audrey Parker – and then finally meeting Mara and Charlotte and discovering who she really is and what that means and, ultimately, deciding NOT to be the person she was.
Again, Audrey chose who she was, that has been her story this season – all this doubt over who she is, over being fake, a copy of finding out that she’s really Mara who is evil – this is her story. This is her story and Duke’s story and it’s an excellent tool for actually breaking through to Duke. So I applaud this scene, it’s excellently done.
Dramatic and emotional – and completely eclipsed by the next scene. Because now Croatoan has realised that his Trouble collector has gone AWOL – so summons all the Troubles Duke has collected. Duke realised that Croatoan is about to collect a dozen awful Troubles and can think of only one way to stop him. He needs to die
He pleads, he appeals, it’s massive and emotional and is still shocking when Nathan does just that. Nathan kill Duke and it’s brutal and so incredibly sad and moving and utterly astonishing. I applaud, yet again, Haven that was a powerful scene and a powerful end to this closing season.
Of course, Duke’s tragic death isn’t the only major event this episode. Dwight had his daughter brought back from the dead thanks to Croatoan’s shenanigans. Dwight knows it’s fake. Dwight knows he can’t trust this. Dwight knows it’s a blatant attempt to manipulate him
But Dwight also can’t watch his daughter die a second time… Dwight ends up promising to give Croatoan the new controller crystal for the Barn. And yes this kind of betrayal would normally be annoying – but again with the excellent emotions portrayed who could come close to blaming him for this decision? “Your daughter or X” is always going to lead to people falling on the side of “daughter.”
Croatoan makes another move as well – to give Nathan his dream by creating a new Audrey outside of Haven so he can live happily ever after far from the chaos of the town. Nathan, of course, utterly refuses this offer, not wanting a fake Audrey since he’s genuinely in love with the real one. Croatoan, being him, uses Duke’s death to excuse shipping Nathan out anyway – and then telling Audrey that he left without saying goodbye, taking the offer of the fake Audrey
Thankfully, Audrey realises how much bullshit this is.
He then begins his master plan – see all his naughty plotting to use Aether with Audrey in new and interesting ways is going to involve a scary Aether rain (which is definitely not a good thing…) and will involve lots of trial and error experimenting. Trial and error experimenting with magical powers on humans is most definitely not a good thing.
All in all with a whole lot of emotion and that’s damn impressive considering how much this show has been boring me for much of this season. It’s going to end on a… well, I won’t say high given the trauma – but definitely with emotional impact