For a show that I only barely decided to pick up from the beginning of its second season – knowing little about it going in – I’ve got to say that I’m kind of digging ‘Haven’ on the Syfy network. True, this little mystery/thriller/horror/procedural concoction may be yet another in a long line of ‘X-Files’ knockoffs, but it’s an ‘X-Files’ knockoff set in Stephen King’s universe, and that gives it a fun vibe.
Plus, the lead actress is really cute. That doesn’t hurt.
The season’s second episode, ‘Fear & Loathing’, has a very Stephen King-ian premise. A “Troubled” teenage girl is afflicted by an unbearable curse. Whenever people look into her eyes, instead of seeing her, they see visions of their worst fears come to life: rabid dogs, home invaders, assassins, zombie loved ones risen from the grave, etc.
Audrey’s worst fear is an evil clown (another ‘IT’ reference). Yet Audrey herself doesn’t see this vision. Like many of the Troubleds’ afflictions, she seems to be immune. Audrey II, however, is not. She gets really freaked out by that clown.
So, yes, Audrey II is still sticking around. She wants to get to the bottom of what’s happening in this town, just the same as Audrey 1 did when she arrived. She also wants to know where Audrey 1 came from, and thinks that the best way to do this is to trace the last known actions of the fake Agent Howard who sent her to the town. The two Audreys have some fun interactions when they both reminisce about memories that only actually happened to one of them (Audrey II, we believe at this point).
Fear Girl isn’t the only weird mystery happening this week. Nathan has also suddenly and inexplicably regained his sense of feeling. Even subtle sensations like the brush of a rose against his lips are like a jolt to his system. This ties to another Troubled person, a guy named Ian who has the power to absorb other people’s afflictions. Ian can only take on one at a time. Whenever he takes a new power, the last one goes back to the original person. He deliberately steals Nathan’s lack of feeling because it will help him break into a local museum, where he can steal an old cursed puzzle with the power to destroy the whole town. He hates the place and wants to see it and everyone in it reduced to ash.
Audrey and Nathan find Ian, and eventually have to shoot him to prevent him from killing more people. As Ian is dying, Audrey assumes that he will take Nathan’s curse with him forever. At the last second, Nathan arranges for Ian to absorb Fear Girl’s affliction instead, giving back his. Nathan can bear his curse, but the girl would never live a normal life with hers.
At the end of the episode, the two Audreys find a house that Fake Agent Howard had stayed in. He left behind a book that he originally took from Audrey 1 in the show’s pilot episode. She believes that he left it deliberately as a clue. But how did he know that they’d find the house, and what is he trying to tell them?