I am in a fight with Haven. How can one be in a fight with a television show, you might ask? Easily, when a show with such a wealth of characters and a history of solid engaging storytelling levels itself by dropping two major plot-bombs of such strange, potent, and misguided strength as to make their entire fifth season seem a giant mistake. Hold on. I’m coming from a place of anger. Better if I just take a breath, eat some chocolate and come back in five minutes once I’ve stopped quietly and furiously muttering at my computer screen.
Okay. I’m back. You have no way of knowing if I actually walked away, but trust me, your noble reviewer, when I tell you that’s what I did in order to return and provide you with a more subjective take on this week’s episode … which was a borderline atrocity. In the span of just one hour, we learn that Mara was playing Duke (no surprise there), and that Charlotte is … (drumroll if you please) – AUDREY’S MOM. The only good to come out of any of this is the awkward family dinners I can imagine taking place between Dwight and Charlotte and Audrey and Nathan. Dwight would be all, “I guess I am your stepdad now?” And somehow Gloria would be there, in her lab coat saying something about her bunions because that is straight-up how Gloria rolls.
It is absolutely no surprise that Mara dicked over Duke. We all knew from go that he was foolish to fall for what she was selling. That said, having it culminate in Duke now weeping aether and going all murdery twice in one episode was an adrenaline-rush of a payoff. That said, we didn’t need a twelve episode build to this reveal! It felt condescending, both to the audience and to Duke as a character. If I were Duke, I’d be sobbing big, aether-riddled tears too.
If the problem with Duke’s story is that it was dragged out way, way, way (way, way) too long, then the problem with Charlotte’s storyline is that is actively came out of nowhere. It felt like the writer’s literally decided to do this the day the scene was shot. It feels forced and strange and there’s been no time to even indicate that this is coming. Audrey’s now got to rely on her random-mom to save her weakened physical state. I’m curious to see what develops between them, sure, but there officially feels like there’s too much happening on the show, and none of it is connected in a way that feels easy or logical. There are two separate T.V. shows happening in one hour of programming, and that is enough to give anyone a headache.