Sunday, December 20, 2015

Haven, Season 5, Episode 26: Forever

Hey, you know last episode I said that it had some excellent emotional drama, major tragedy and it all was so very well done and seemed to be gearing up for an actual epic ending to the season?

Yeah I take it back – this season finale is so damn saccharine that even the Hallmark Channel would be forced to vomit in the face of all the goopiness

I mean – ghostly Duke appearing (for… reasons) to tell Dwight how to keep his fake daughter. A double whammy of Duke hanging around so the epic tragedy of the last episode can be diffused and

Or Croatoan banished Nathan with Fake!Audrey which lasted, what, 10 minutes? 10 minutes – why even bother with this plot line? Why banish him from Haven all all?

Or Croatoan spending so long being the evil murdering fiend trying to get Audrey to obey by hook or by crook and is then changed by one dramatic love speech? I mean, maybe if they’d spent more time building up to this – but having the big bad be so big and scary and bad suddenly declaring “No, totally team good guy now because of LOOOOOVE!” Never mind the corpses or his hope for revenge or the many many many many times Audrey has said she’s not his daughter – speech about love has worked!

But even all of this pales next to the kicker, the true diabetes-causing chaser of the Barn. The Barn which is powered by Aether and Croatoan is really powered by… love


Ye gods, really? Did the Care Bears build this damn thing? Love super charges Aether? Which stoned-hippy-wannabe pulled that one out of their arse?

(Also you have no damn clue how many “Power of Love” songs there are out there and how many I had to scroll through before finding the right one?)

Which means Audrey has to sacrifice herself. To which we get a musical montage and the writers and directors desperately ramming every last ounce of pathos into Audrey and Nathan’s grand goodbye scene. Yes, Audrey who has repeatedly gone into the Barn and given up everything one last time for Haven. Because that is who she is. Heart Strings Will Be PLUCKED! Sorry, but it really did feel like it was trying really really hard to devastate me and it felt like they were trying so hard which didn’t have much impact

Especially when we close with Paige – oh look tragic Audrey has returned! Somehow she has returned to Haven and has used woo-woo to wipe her memory. So now we have a woman wandering around Haven (with a baby called James, wow that’s really trying hard!) who has no idea why Nathan the sheriff is following her around making sad puppy dog eyes and trying to get her to love him despite the fact she’s a completely different person?! This is beyond creepy – he’s now looking at her as his true love forever, based on a whole lot of history and experience she has no idea about.

Do we get a Haven sequel? Innocent woman arrives in small town in Maine and is stalked by police chief?

If you’re going to end you season with dramatic, hard hitting tragedy, Haven, have the guts to do so. Have Nathan be alone. Have Dwight be forced to surrender his daughter for the sake of the town. Have Duke be dead. Have Dave die. Have Audrey and Vince give up everything they are for Haven. Let this be the message of the show – the Troubles were stopped, but only at incredible cost to everyone in town, to all our heroes.

It would have been as bleak as hell, but it would have worked and been powerful. As it is it’s like you had this epic, tragic ending planned and then someone looked at the script and was afraid about how dark and depressing it would be so a hasty happily ever after is pasted on the end.

I think I’d have enjoyed it more if the show had run with it’s initial idea – Dwight, Vince and Audrey tricking Croatoan into powering the barn (and the dubiously super bullet proof vest which makes Dwight unshootable) was a much niftier idea. I liked that one, applause for that. I also liked Nathan and Fake!Audrey discussing intimate secrets including Nathan having premature ejaculation due to him finally being able to feel something at last. I also liked that we finally saw Laverne! Finally!

In fact, can we have a Gloria and Laverne spin-off? That would be super awesome!

And with the close of Haven’s last episode let’s have one final condemnation of this shows utterly appalling inclusion. There have been minimal POC in the entire 5 season show – and this season has had a briefly appearing Agent Howard who wasn’t even human. The entire 5 season show has had exactly one briefly appearing and insultingly appropriated from. While there are some decent women around Audrey (like Gloria who is awesome), and this season was (depressingly) better than many since Charlotte finally turned up. But, for the most part (and, especially after Charlotte’s death) Audrey moves in a very very male world. The main characters around her – Nathan, Duke, Vince, Dave, Dwight are all male.