Tag Archive | Emily Rose

Haven, S5, Eps 4 & 5

(Spoilers ahoy!)

Ep. 4: Much Ado About Mara

Not a lot happened in this episode but a few parts were very good, especially Duke’s nonsense curse.  Delicious taco!!  Eric Balfour was so great at delivering the ridiculous lines, that half of the time, I belatedly realized he hadn’t said anything understandable.  I’m sure his costars were ready to burst with laughter by the time “cut” was called.  Also, Mara is really a great character.  She’s a mean girl, yet somehow likable…perhaps some inner Audrey peeking through?

We also get a hint of what kind of creature Mara actually is, someone so far above humans they are like insects to her.  I give Dwight/Sasquatch props for trying to get some information out of her.  Nathan is no use in this area, as he is only focused on getting Audrey back. Duke is just trying to deal with everything.

The last scene where Nathan, Duke, and Dwight try to bring Audrey out of Mara by treating her like Audrey is outstanding.  Emily Rose really shines and the humor is spot on.

Ep. 5: The Old Switcheroo

Body switching! This is a good “trouble,” especially for actors who like to have fun imitating their costars.  I thought that John Dunsworth (Dave) did an awesome job being his brother Vince.  The standout, however, was Lucas Bryant (Nathan) mimicking Duke’s mannerisms to a T.

As far as the long arc plot, we get more hints about Dave Teagues’ dubious origins that are connected both to the world Mara is from and/or the New England Roanoke legend.  North Carolina looks uncannily like Nova Scotia 😉 and we get another “Thinny” or door between worlds as a cliffhanger.

Nathan is still on his quest to draw Audrey out of Mara, or change Mara into Audrey or whatever.  He recruits Duke’s help and Duke discovers (dun, dun, dun!) Mara is pretending to be Audrey!  This presents the possibility that every time Audrey has appeared in S5, it has simply been Mara pretending to string the Havenites along, so we come back to the question: Does Audrey still exist?  I say, and I think Duke would agree, that Mara is Mara, and Audrey is Mara, and there has never been two separate entities.  There is only one woman.  She may have multiple personalities, but she’s still one woman. a woman who may have both the desire to give people “troubles” and to help cure them.  No real answers, yet, however, and I still miss Jennifer.  Duke needs another Jennifer.  And as much as I love the Nathan/Audrey love story, this “saving Audrey” thing is dragging the storyline a bit.  Nathan could use another love interest or just another focus for a couple of episodes.  Maybe a woman with long black hair?  That seems to be his type.  Or maybe he could just deal with this obsession off-screen for a bit?  Let Duke, Dwight, and Gloria handle a really whizbangwow Trouble until the writers are ready for the big Mara/Audrey reveal and we can get on with the big arc already!  Ok, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s just annoying when plot points are prolonged or withheld because the story needs to be x number of episodes long, or x number of pages (I know, I do it myself in my own writing from time to time, roll my eyes, sigh heavily, and keep going with the story).  Filler episode, filler scenes, filler characters, these are the Troubles that plague storywriters.

Season 5 is good, yet I’m wanting more rewatchable moments and episodes.  Too much fill means too much going through the motions and who wants to rewatch that?  Seasons 1-4 all have a very rewatchable quality to them.  Again, S5 isn’t bad, it’s just having difficulty finding its footing, probably because of Mara/Audrey.  Audrey and her desire to help people is the glue that holds the series together.  So, as much as I love watching Mara, Haven needs Audrey back, and soon.

Haven, Season 5, Ep. 2, Speak No Evil

(Spoilers).  So I’m loving Season Five of Syfy’s Haven so far.  Not too many answers forthcoming yet, but that’s the nature of these shows.  Everyone wants a piece of Mara, whether it’s to banish her, beat the truth out of her, keep Audrey alive, or to goad her into saving Haven in some way.  Everything revolves around Audrey/Mara at the moment, giving whoever is the other Big Bad in town, a chance to flourish.

Mara: In this episode, Emily Rose did an outstanding job of portraying her, or maybe it’s just that I’m more adjusted to the actress not playing Audrey.  Mara is evil, as shown by her actions, and thus worthy of the name villain.  She also still has a bit of Audrey’s dry humor, which makes her all the more unsettling.  We got a two-second glimpse of Audrey this episode, showcasing just how talented Rose is.  Sometimes actors embody their characters so well, we forget that they’re acting.  This is why Rose as Mara is so jarring.

Vince and Dave: Love their banter and their relationship.  These two old gents have so many secrets, you’d think they’d be pouring out of their ears by now.  Vince has an intriguing attachment to Audrey, hinting at a back history with her, and perhaps some kind of love/emotional bond.

Nathan: Singleminded in his continued love for Audrey, and the belief that she still exists in some way, yet not so much as he can’t be a friend to Duke and assist Dwight in trying to save the town.  I have a theory about Nathan, and that he may have a Trouble, or power of some kind dealing with true love.  Perhaps Audrey still exists, because Nathan’s true love for her still exists?  Maybe that’s his power.

Duke: He’ll be down in the dumps for awhile about Jennifer, but I think saving the town and having to fight against whatever forces of evil are in it, will pull him out of it.  This idea of him having hundred of Troubles inside him is interesting, though, I don’t know that they’ve definitely proved that that’s the case.  Could be all coincidence, even Nathan getting sewn shut.  We still don’t know who else is in town.  Perhaps they too have an emotional bond with Jennifer and did not want to see her go.  Duke has the potential to be a super awesome hero, and it would be fun to see that pay off.  Will they resurrect his feelings for Audrey?  Their relationship is intriguing in the fact that he gets her in a way that Nathan doesn’t (he knew she was pretending to not be herself, S4).  Is it a deep love or a deep friendship, or something else?  Also, I miss his big boat home and the bar.  Hope they will show both again later in the season.

Dwight:  Adam Copeland as Sheriff Dwight is impressing me more and more.  He has a good stage presence (maybe from WWE?).  I was surprised after his first few appearances that he was a returning character, but he fits in Haven, and I love how Duke calls him Sasquatch.  His intentions seem to be entirely focused on saving Haven, and using Mara/Audrey to do so, yet something about his actions makes me uneasy.  Is he being controlled by some unknown force?

Gloria: What an awesome old lady.  I loved the actress Jayne Eastwood way back when in a small role on the Anne of Green Gables miniseries, and she’s just gotten better with age.  She’s so funny, yet a sweet old grandma to everyone.  I think she and Vince should have a romance. 🙂

Vickie: I’m glad they kept her around.  The scene with her and Mara trying to open the Thinny was great, almost fairy tale-ish.  The actress, Molly Dunsworth, has a sort of storybook princess allure about her.  Right now, due to her Trouble, Vickie is just a tool for the major characters, but that could easily change, and I like her working for Gloria and them acting as a team.

Jennifer:  Sad to see her go.  She was quirky, and cute, and ended up being perfect for Duke.  At the same time, though, she was sort of a kid sister to him, especially when contrasted with his wife Evidence (wouldn’t mind her returning).  Duke maybe needs someone he can protect, because that’s what he likes to do, but also maybe someone with more self-confidence, an equal to him in some way.

The Guard:  The people with the super special circle/compass tattoos.  As a group, I’m finding them annoying, mostly because it’s apparent that they are just drones following orders and don’t really have any answers themselves.  Makes most of them irrelevant.

The plot: Yep, it’s unbelievable and complicated, but right now I’m just enjoying the characters finding their way in this yet again altered Haven.  Any one of the characters can take a turn to the dark side, no matter their intentions, and the ultimate question may turn out to be: Is Haven worth saving?  If so, why?  If not, why?  Is the town some kind of purgatory similar to the island on Lost, or is it something different?

The scenery: Can. Not. Get. Enough. of. Nova. Scotia.  Vacation destination calling at some point in the future.

Seven Reasons to Love SyFy’s Haven

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SyFy’s Haven is my current favorite show, and here are seven reasons why:

7. Based on a Stephen King novel.

I have an on again off again readership with author King.  Sometime’s his stories are great, sometimes they’re just too out there or hokey for me to relate to.  Haven is based on a short novel by King called The Colorado Kid.  I put this reason of watching Haven at number seven mainly because the story it’s based on is awesome.  It’s a story with no ending about a reporter being tested.  Does she have what it takes to be a journalist?  Does she have a curious enough mind to ask the right questions?  The mystery itself of The Colorado Kid is baffling, but not in a bang, bang, boom, sort of way, making it unique among King’s more grandiose reality bending stories.  The writing is some of his best yet, in my opinion.  At heart, The Colorado Kid and Haven are both about people, what motivates them, makes them tick, etc.  And the show caters to King fan’s, including numerous odes to his stories, some blink-and-you-miss-them.  Haven also pays tribute to similar teen shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

6. The Troubles.

Like most science fiction and/or fantasy shows, Haven revolves around people with special abilities and how they deal with them, using them for evil and/or good.  And Haven has some truly unique troubles (spoilers), like a girl who can turn an entire town into a snow globe, or a man obsessed with aliens who makes alien invasions turn real (or are they real?), or a man who becomes a house.  Fun and disturbing stuff.

5. It’s like LOST.

And I mean that in the best possible way.  Haven starts out simply, FBI agent going to a town to investigate strange circumstances, but it just gets weirder and weirder, much like the island on Lost.  If you loved that about Lost, you’ll like it about Haven too.  Both shows are similar in that the characters are dealing with events they cannot control, and they are part of a grand scheme where good and evil go head to head.  In addition to that, both shows share a love of humanity, it’s various struggles, concerns, and fear of the truth.  Like Lost, many Haven episodes are stand alone reflections on human life.  Taken away from the larger arc of the Troubles’ origins, these episodes are sweet, little stories in and of themselves.  Also, like Lost, Haven doesn’t really make sense, and the ending is likely to be a letdown, but I don’t care.  It’s fun to see writers and show producers push their imaginations.  It’s great to see channels like SyFy at least give the stranger stories a chance.

4.  The theme song.

I don’t know if the song has a title or who it’s by, but the theme song and opening credits are ultimately what got me hooked on Haven.  The shots of Nova Scotia and/or New England are breathtaking, and the Celtic-themed melody just lets you know you’re in for a yarn of a story.  It’s no mistake that Haven is located on the sea.  The Troubles are just another version of all those sailor’s stories, like mermaids, or Davy Jones’ locker, whimsical stories involving both passion and danger.

3. The love story.

Haven is ultimately a love story.  There’s some sort of love triangle involved, which becomes a quadrangle, but how that will play out to the end, I don’t know.  Many people dismiss love stories as boring, but I think Haven does a decent job with it.  They don’t bang us over the head too hard, and generally keep the focus on defeating whatever the Big Bad currently is.  But love is the reason the main characters have such a problem weeding out the Troubles.  Because people love their family members, they are reluctant to “out” them, so to speak, and/or are in absolute denial that either they or their family members have a Trouble.

2. The actors/characters.

Emily Rose is a great Audrey.  She’s spunky and portrays Audrey as the girl you’d want for your best friend.  She plays Audrey so well, that seeing her play (spoilers) Audrey’s alternate egos is jarring, and seemingly unnatural.  Lucas Bryant as detective Nathan Wuornos is a unique face, and he plays Nathan’s alternating low self-esteem against his absolute belief in true love really well.  He’s a bullied kid who still believes in people and in love, and even might be the one to get the girl in the end.  The third member of this triangle is Duke Crocker, played by Eric Balfour.  Balfour has gone mostly under the radar up to this point, and I think this is because Duke is his first big chance to shine.  If Haven were Lost, Crocker would be its Sawyer.  He’s funny, charming, and teetering the line between criminal and good guy.  He has a good heart and cares about people, but is not necessarily pure of heart.  Like Sawyer, Haven would not be Haven without Duke Crocker.

The numerous minor characters on Haven, are great as well, especially the Teague brothers with their old married couple spats, and the unexpected longterm addition to the “Scooby gang,” Dwight Hendrickson played by Adam Copeland.  Even those who only stick around for one episode, are memorable, and in their own ways, are each a thread of the fabric that is Haven, including Maurice Dean Wint as Agent Howard, Vinessa Antoine, as Evi, and Emma Lahana who won me over as Jennifer.   In addition, I have to give props to the Haven production for picking such great actors to play the town’s coroners.  The coroners are all portrayed as quirky, salt-of-the-earth people who tell it like it is.  They embody the town of Haven most of all, and are played by Mary-Colin Chisholm, Christopher Shore,  and Jayne Eastwood, who steals nearly every scene she’s in.

1. The writing.

The fun of writing a fantastical story is that as a writer, you can tie yourself into absolute knots, the likes of which it is impossible to untangle to anyone’s satisfaction.  Some people, like me, like these kind of stories, whereas others can’t stand them.  I am constantly intrigued by what the writers come up with for the overall arc of Haven, and also how they bring back minor characters that previously seemed throwaway.  In Season 5, we have the continued presence of Vicki Dutton, a girl who’s drawings work something like voodoo dolls.  It’s a troubling Trouble, writing wise, because any effect on the paper can cause chaos in the real world.  It is one of the more illogical Troubles to use, and yet one of the most interesting.

Season 5 of Haven, hangs in a balance of sorts.  Rumors are that both Emma Lahana, who played Duke’s love interest, Jennifer, and Colin Ferguson, who played the Big Bad, William, may not be returning to the show.  Both characters are integral to the overall arc, so if they are not recast, or even do not return at all, it will be intriguing to watch how the writers write themselves out of that trouble, and it’s exciting that the renewal for another Season will give Haven an ending, hopefully a good one.  I think the most interesting reveal to come will be just how Vince and Dave Teague play into the origins behind the Troubles.  They’ve been keeping secrets for a long time, perhaps to hide an awful truth from the world.

The love triangle with Nathan, Audrey, and Duke, I have a feeling may end with a self-sacrifice of some kind.  One will take it upon his or herself to fight and die in order that the other two may be happy.  Well, I think that would be a great ending, even if cliche.  The likeliest to sacrifice himself would be Duke, as his antihero persona is becoming more and more all out hero all the time, even though he still denies it.  His potential sacrifice would be satisfying in a way that Nathan and Audrey’s would not, as such a sacrifice would be a given with them, and consequently, somewhat disappointing.  Also, Nathan and Audrey are the embodiment of true romantic love on the show, and as such, they should live, and live happily with that love.  Is that cheesy?  But why do we think this about true love ?  Are we too cynical for our own good?  The problem most have with happy endings is that there’s often no pay off.  The happy ending is tacked on without an emotional catharsis, which is why sometimes a sad ending gets more points.  I have hope, though, that if Haven does end happily, the writers, will make the characters earn it.