Audrey Parker -
Duke Crocker -
Nathan Wournos -
Chief Wournos -
OTHER HAVEN SEASONS
OTHER ODD PLACES
Welcome To Haven
When a convict escapes and returns to the Maine town of Haven, FBI agent Audrey Parker is sent there to bring him back. She finds him pretty quickly, but he's dead. Investigating the killing, she soon realises that Haven is full of odd characters, but also roads that crack up and the wierdest weather you ever did see.
Another law enforcement agent investigating crimes of a less than normal kind? Now there's an approach we haven't seen in, well five minutes at least. Unoriginality aside, this first episode of HAVEN is a solid, if unspectacular introduction to show.
Emily Rose is a likeable central figure, very easy to get along with and quite capable with the bright and witty banter that we hope is going to be a feature of the show. Eric Balfour and Lucas Bryant are good support as the two other sides of what looks like becoming a will they/won't they triangle.
The plot is fairly ordinary, but it moves along with an easy pace and there is an underlying mystery to be solved with the appearance of a woman who looks just like Audrey in a picture of an unsolved murder years before.
HAVEN is off to a pleasant enough start and we wait to see where it will take us.Top
A giant ball from a statue outside Haven's church rolls all the way down the hill into a bar just after the owner has a fight with the reverend. Assuming it not to be divine intervention, Audrey and Nathan look into it.
Following the quite entertaining first episode, this is something of a let down, being rather lightweight and straightforward wit the identity of the person responsible fairly easy to guess and the circumstances having been used before in other shows too often to be anything other than overly familiar.
More disappointing is the fact that the snap and sizzle of the dialogue is almost completely absent, making this a rather dull and lightweight drama rather than a fizzy character comedy.
The strange events are well enough realised, though the bedspread unravelling in order to tie up Audrey ought to be the centrepiece but is just wasted by not going anywhere. We don't even get to see Nathan's face when he finds her.Top
Patients at the local psychiatric institute are suddenly normal whilst the normal people have gone crazy. Audrey, Nathan and Duke have to work out what is responsible and why before any more people get hurt.
At the core of this episode there is a relationship between a man and his wife that is quite touching, since she is afflicted with a debilitating mental disease and he is forced to see her go from that state to normal and back to that state again. The comment on mental health issues is light and unforced and treated with respect.
That aside, though, it's a rather flat episode with nothing really new and none of the fun banter that made the first episode much more fun. The show doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind what it wants to be and so is falling between light entertainment and drama, doing justice to neither.Top
Food is going rotten instantly, before the very eyes, and the source seems to be hydrochloric acid, but there is no way that it could have been delivered. The only link appears to be a troubled restaurant owned by two estranged brothers.
Another person who has powers that they don't know about? Another person whose powers only come into play when they are emotionally upset? It's a bit early in the show to be recycling the plots quite so obviously. Unless this is some linking factor of the oft talked about 'troubles' then the show is going to need to come up with some new routines. And fast.
The cast remain likeable, but they are not given enough to do and the quirky brightness of the pilot has dulled somewhat.Top
Ball And Chain
Two men sudddenly age to the point of death within hours. The only link appears to be a woman they both slept with, a woman who just spent the night with Duke.
The person who is responsible for the weirdness this week doesn't know they are doing it (at least not at first), but otherwise the format is the same and as a result is rather uninteresting. The revelation that the woman was involved comes early, so there is little mystery to be solved and the when the babies come into play the telling of the tale becomes confused in its need to wrap things up quickly.
Eric Balfour's ageing makeup is very good, but it's about the only thing in the episode that rises above the average.Top
Nathan and Audrey investigate a series of animal attacks that take place within the cars and homes of the victims. One theory is that a local witch is responsible, but the truth is even more incredible.
The concept of hunting is a difficult one in this modern world with those who don't indulge considering those that do to be trigger-happy morons and those that do considering those that don't to be leftie do-gooder types. There's no doubting which side this story comes down on, but the mystery is at least enough to sustain it for a while before the inherent silliness of the 'stuffed animals on the rampage' plotline sinks it.
Some of the animal effects are poor to say the least and this is another middling effort in what is rapidly becoming a middling show.Top
A rich businessman has his arms and legs bent over and broken along arrow straight lines in front of a boat's deckhand when there is nothing or nobody anywhere nearby. Another man is shredded and one of the deckhands has his face erased before he can talk to police.
The initial deaths in this episode are fairly squirm inducing and certainly not shied away from, but the rest of the plot is HAVEN by numbers. Someone is using a power and the police team have to sort through the small number of suspects.
The attempts to widen out the tale by introducing Audrey's fear at the unknown she is facing and Nathan's burgeoning relationship with Jess aren't really very effective.Top
Ain't No Sunshine
People are being killed by what is labelled 'the Dark Man'. The evidence leads to a local clinic and the potential selling off of patients' drugs. The question becomes 'how do you kill a shadow'?
The 'dark man' plot is HAVEN by numbers and no more interesting than the other 'gimmicks' that have surfaced in the show. People die weirdly and the heroes track down who is unknowingly responsible. Been there, done that.
The more personal effects on Nathan's situation and Audrey's lack of friends are merely dressing.Top
As You Were
It's Audrey's birthday, so a few of her friends in Haven organise a surprise party in an all-but abandoned hotel on an island. Things go awry, however, when a shapeshifter takes over one of the group, killing them in the process. They must now identify the shapeshifter and kill it before the weather breaks.
Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians' gets spliced with a touch of THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD in this uninvolving episode. Any one of the group could be a killer, but since nobody dies for quite a long time, there isn't a lot of tension being generated despite the hotel being dark, the lightning flashing and the spirit of the Overlook Hotel from THE SHINING being channelled unsuccessfully.
Haven PD prove to be pretty poor again as they tell everyone to stay together in threes and then let Nathan go off on his own, come up with a method of identifying the creature and then giving up on it as soon as it catches someone and completely fail to keep everyone under control.
It's hard to care who lives and dies and the identity of the creature isn't really hard to guess either. And as for Audrey's fate not being sealed because she's 'special', well that's just a cop out.Top
The Hand You're Dealt
Duke takes Audrey to see his former babysitter to see if she can remember anything about the photograph taken of the woman who could be Audrey's mother. She, however, is suffering from visions that lead to the deaths of people close by.
There is a firestarter to be brought down in this episode, but the actual killings seem almost secondary and even in the background to what is going on with Jennifer, Duke's babysitter. Is she the killer? Is she trying to help? Is it OK to date someone who was your babysitter?
Unfortunately, it's all pretty inconsequential and finally boils down to a climax that is so anticlimatic as to render the whole thing pointless.Top
The Trial Of Audrey Parker
Audrey's boss comes to talk to her about her recent work with the Haven PD, but they are interrupted when the poker players fleecing Duke for everything he is worth lock everyone up and steal the ship. They're after a box that he smuggling and don't seem all that concerned that the ship is sinking.
Poker, smuggling, kidnapping, torture, interrogation by FBI boss – this episode has it all, which makes it difficult to understand why it has so little effect. The threat from the two kidnappers never seems too real and threatening, possibly because one of them is 'troubled' and spends most of his time stuttering and being nice.
What's in the box? That's a mystery and remains so. It is the only intriguing thing about the story. Why is Audrey's boss there? That is explained at the end, but if the purpose was to get her to quit the FBI and join Haven PD full time how is that any great improvement on her being in the FBI and working full time with the Haven PD? We already know that her boss in manipulating her and now we know who his partner in crime is, but that comes as no great surprise.
This proves to be another mediocre entry into a show that is consistently failing to shine.Top
A storm washes up a wrecked fishing boat that was lost in mysterious circumstances. Rising tensions lead to outbreaks of telekinesis from one of the dead men's children, but is that really what is going on?
Another mystery leading to the identification of a troubled individual, but the main plot has a twist to it that raises it slightly above what we've already seen.
The main plot, however, isn't what's important here. The last minute revelation about Audrey's past is a big one.Top
An ex-con comes back to Haven and gets everyone nervous before he dies in one of the town's mysterious cracks. That puts Audrey on the trail of a 'troubled' person close to Nathan.
Following the revelation that Audrey is the woman she has been looking for, the one in the photo of the killing of the Colorado Kid so many years before, it is a shame that this story is not further pursued.
Instead, we get the return of a scary man, his death and the unmasking of a culprit that is a game changer for the relationship between Nathan and Audrey.
As a finale it's a bit low key, but it does just about enough to intrigue us into welcoming a second season.Top
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