Haven: Spotlight Review

This week's Haven makes for an interesting turn on its typical "Trouble of the Week" narrative.

Tonight’s episode of Haven was fascinating. Note, I didn’t say that it was seamless or perfect — I said fascinating. There were components that worked like gangbusters, and others that fell short of the mark. That said, you didn’t walk away with a bad taste in your mouth — unless, you know, William and/or Mara cursed you and your family with that particular low-stakes brand of a Trouble.

Last week, the dividing lines were drawn. It was going to be team Dwight and the Guard against team Nathan and his deluded insistence that Audrey is still alive somewhere inside of Mara. This week I expected that tension to be ratcheted up ever so slightly. While that wasn’t the case (disappointingly), Duke’s role in these newly defined relationships was explored in a way that almost made up for the lack of forward momentum in the conflict between Nathan and Dwight.

It’s been a while since Duke and Audrey’s Colorado passion was mentioned — it was groovy to see Mara exploit Audrey’s memories of this encounter as a mode of manipulation. In fact, while we didn’t really learn anything other than a tease as to why Mara’s mission in Haven is so important to her, we did get to see her more fully utilize the bag of tricks that comes with fully possessing the memories of another person. Was it disheartening to see that she only used Audrey’s memories to try and seduce both Nathan and Duke? Yes, but it also shows that there’s more room for manipulation to be explored using Audrey’s past experiences in Haven.

This episode of Haven was also another strong use of the Trouble of the Week to connect with a primary ensemble member’s emotional arc. Unfortunately, the Trouble in question of was so ridiculous that it was hard for it to leverage the emotional oomph that it was intended to smack us with. In short, Duke is dying because of his current cursed state AND he’s coming to grips with having lost the great love of his life. Jodie’s ray of light bursting from her chest killing folks was, theoretically, supposed to appeal to Duke who also feels like he is combusting and hurting everyone around him. Too bad that a woman standing around screaming while light shoots out of her abs is not remotely gripping. But otherwise, good try, show!

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3 out of 5