Tag Archive | troubles

Haven, Season 5, Episode 13, Chosen (Season Finale)

Spoilers Ahoy!

In between my early mornings, late evenings and interesting/amusing experiences working with people upon people upon people during the holiday season, I did get a chance to watch the S5 finale for Syfy’s Haven.

Duke is now a Trouble giver rather than taker, but he has no choice in who he gives the Troubles to.  These spells come out of him as black tears that settle on the human/s nearest to him at the time.  And Mara is right: These Troubles are much worse, in one case causing near instantaneous death and destruction.

Vince and Dave are on a hunt to discover whatever or whoever Dave is remembering from his time in the lighthouse in S4.  Also, the infection on his leg is getting worse, and it appears that his attacker may still be in Haven.

Charlotte Cross appears to be a kind mother, loving enough to have tried to discipline her daughter (albeit perhaps a bit too harshly).  She and Mara come from another world like Earth, but more advanced and “developed independently” – whatever that means.  She is also a thousand some years old, while her daughter Mara is 600 years old.

Dwight is understandably upset that Charlotte was not completely honest with him.  He did not realize he was under the power of a major cougar. 😉

Audrey/Mara – Finally, finally, push came to shove and the writers decided to get rid of Mara.  The sad thing is, they gave her such a reason to hang around before they did it: Redemption.  Charlotte sees all of the maliciousness and anger  in Mara and realizes that through Charlotte’s punishment, Mara has become worse, not better, and in fact seems to have no goodness or love in her at all.  But that’s not necessarily the case.  When confronted by her mother, Mara recalls her father and when she would like to do to get him back (hopefully Papa Thinny’s story will be detailed in S6), and the emotion in her voice and eyes show a hurt that runs very deep.  Mara’s hurting doesn’t excuse her actions, but it’s a sign in my mind that she’s not merely an uncaring devil who wants to take the world to hell with her.  She had something good (possibly the unconditional love of her father, and maybe mother) and desperately wants it back.  That’s what I saw, anyway, and a motivation like that seems like a good way to start a cool redemption story.

Charlotte says that Audrey is essential all of the rightness and goodness that used to be in Mara.  She hopes by using her Thinny powers to combine the two beings that it will make Mara whole again.  Well, as I said before, Char decides against that and instead kills her daughter, choosing to leave Audrey behind in her place.  Audrey’s great and all, but she’s already sweet, smart, good, etc., no redemption needed (though likely if S6 resolves around Papa Thinny, she’ll have some daddy issues to deal with).  So I’m a little miffed that Mara’s just gone (if indeed she is) because it appeared as if the character had room to grow and Emily Rose is so good at playing her.

Nathan is Nathan.  He doesn’t really have anything interesting going on with him aside from being there for Audrey (and sometimes Duke) and helping with the Troubles.

The Troubles – S5 ended with a bang!  With Mara’s death, her Duke curse was ultimately released on Haven in the form of massive quantities of those Trouble tears erupting from the lanky antihero’s mouth like flies from the mouth of a possessed person.  The last couple of minutes evoke good horror genre imagery, and no doubt that angle is a nod to one of Stephen King’s tomes (if you know which one, let me know.).  So an apocalypse is upon Haven with its citizens Troubled ten times over and unable to leave the town.  Hopefully the solution will involve a cool trek to Charlotte’s world.  And the Colorado Kid.  Whatever happened to him?  Sounds like I’ll have to rematch the whole series before the next season airs.  🙂

Haven, Season 5, Episode 9, Morbidity

(As usual, spoilers)

Dwight! Ok, ok, I did miss you!  This was a great episode for Dwight, a little flirtation with the CDC lady, and also one of the best lines, ever: Got a new crossbow! The line was said to recurring character Chris Brody (Jason Priestly), who has the one of the most comedic Troubles: everyone who looks at him thinks he’s awesome.  Both his reactions to this charm and the reactions of people charmed by him are hilarious.  Brody’s world-weary abruptness has comedic timing and the shameless flirtation of both men and women smitten by him reveal cute, willing to please desires. Fortunately, Brody is not evil enough to take advantage of everyone around him, or he would be Haven’s and the world’s biggest threat.

Nathan and Audrey: Silly socks and adorableness abound.  I like them together, but like them most when they are solving Troubles together.  And they deal with two really weird Troubles: One involving a dancing bear costume with a dead man inside, a bear costume that multiplies, the second, a Trouble affecting the Troubled, giving them a sickness and bubbly lips, and activating their Trouble powers.

Gloria and her sharp wit and dry humor are also back in this episode.  Laura Mennell (Alphas – a great show that unfortunately got cancelled) does well as CDC doctor Charlotte Cross, and I look forward to her continued presence and interactions with Dwight on the show.

Duke and Mara: Steamy flirting in a scene reminiscent of Audrey’s first meeting with Duke. Mara’s manipulation of Duke’s loyalty to his friends seems to be working, but he’s a poker player, so he might just be pretending to get her to trust him.  Mara needs to get off the boat soon, because her prisoner status is starting to get a bit tedious.  Her idea of Audrey’s identity is interesting, that she is nothing more than a husk.  Mara seems to consider herself Audrey’s maker, as well.

Overall Arc: The Troubled have genetic markers? !!! X-Men ahoy! Joking aside, the markers will likely be the way they figure out how the Troubles were made and/or the origins of the Thinny world.  Maybe the markers all contain Mara’s DNA.

The cliffhanger ending shows the alignment of Duke and Mara, and the sad realization that Duke is still not quite one of the Scooby gang.  He is on the outside now, not because of his wrong-side-of-the-law past, but because he’s a Pandora’s Box of Troubles waiting to spill over into the streets of Haven.  Plus, Sasquatch taser’s him! Dwight claims he’s for doing what’s best for the town, while Duke and Nathan are focused on themselves.  Time will tell if that’s true or not.  Dwight’s attraction to Charlotte might cloudy his thinking, and what if she isn’t who she says she is? Maybe she has an ulterior motive to be in Haven?

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.

TV Shows I Wish Were Book Series — Haven

HavenIf Hollywood movies these days have lost their luster, things are quite the opposite on the small screen.  TV is in somewhat of a golden age of offering engaging, epic stories with smart dialogue, plots and characters that audiences want to watch for years on end.  TV is in it for the long term.  The same can be said for a good book series.  This week I will highlight four shows that I wish were a book series.

#1: Haven.  The Syfy Channel’s Haven is my current favorite show.  Loosely based on a Stephen King novel, The Colorado Kid, Haven is a procedural drama in which the main character, Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) strives to ride a New England town of its supernatural “troubles.”  The plucky FBI agent is aided by local cop Nathan Wuornos (love that name) played by Lucas Bryant and slacker Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour), a smuggler who lives on a boat.

In season one, it wasn’t abundantly clear where Haven was going with all of their “troubled” townspeople.  Now, with season four just wrapped up, the show has become somewhat of an epic mind game, a reminds me the most of LOST with a smaller cast.  Haven has almost nothing to do with its source material, The Colorado Kid, but the premise of that crime story plagues me:  Some mysteries have no answer, only theories that can’t be proven.  I am somewhat apprehensive that the show will ultimately end on such a note, but the interim is exciting to watch nonetheless.  The characters are engaging to watch and for the most part the show sticks to its strength of dealing with a unique “trouble” each episode.  And the troubles are unique, with shades of The X Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and other shows involving paranormal problems or monsters.  The townspeople’s otherworldly afflictions are often related to their inner psyche in some way, allowing for the show to delve into weightier subjects even if it’s only for forty minutes or so.  The longterm arc of the show has so far presented many intriguing questions, many that also deal with similar issues of guilt, fate, faith, and how people deal with the fact that they aren’t perfect.

Why would Haven make a great book series?  In addition to the plot, characters, and themes of the show, it’s set in a gorgeous seaside town (filmed in Nova Scotia, Canada) dying for literary description, and showcases fantasy elements that would be even more amazing in a reader’s imagination.  In a book series, the characters’ inner thoughts could also be more specifically dwelled upon, as well as their pasts.  Nathan and Duke, for example, had an interesting childhood growing up together as on and off friends.  It would also be intriguing to visit the other years in which Haven was plagued by “troubles.”

Haven is due back sometime this year for 26 more episodes:  http://www.blastr.com/2014-1-28/more-troubles-are-coming-syfy-orders-super-sized-new-season-haven