After a couple of underwhelming episodes, ‘Haven’ bounced back on Friday with a pretty good one. After a couple of underwhelming episodes, ‘Haven’ bounced back on Friday with a pretty good one. After a couple of underwhelming episodes, ‘Haven’ bounced back on Friday with a pretty good one… Hey, what’s going on here?
In ‘Audrey Parker’s Day Off’, Audrey Parker is supposed to, well, have a day off. Boyfriend Chris (Jason Priestley) has planned a romantic picnic. Unfortunately, everything goes wonky when Audrey is called back to work for an emergency. A hit-and-run driver has killed a young girl. As Audrey arrives on the scene, all she can see to identify the victim are some green sneakers. Before she can get closer, the day resets back to morning and she finds herself trapped in a ‘Groundhog Day’ loop. The entire town repeats the day from morning until just after noon. And then it does it again. And again…
Only Audrey is aware that this is happening. Every time she tries to fix things and prevent the accident, she just winds up setting off a Butterfly Effect chain reaction that makes the situation worse. By saving the girl, Audrey causes the driver to hit and kill Duke instead. By saving Duke on the next reset, the car kills Nathan. And then Chris. When an injury she sustains one day carries over to the next, Audrey figures that if she gets killed, that’s the end of it for her, and the town will be trapped in the loop forever.
The source of all these time travel shenanigans stems back to the father of the first victim, a Troubled man with terrible OCD named Anson Shumway. (Is he related to ALF?) Anson believes that by missing a step in his routine, he’s causing the accident. His guilt is so powerful that he forces the town to restart the day over and over until he can get it right. Eventually, once Audrey explains to him what he’s doing, Anson sacrifices himself by jumping in front of the car. When he dies, the time loop ends.
The stress of this situation causes some friction in Audrey’s romance with Chris. By the end of the episode, she basically sends him off to England to take care of some business he’d been putting off. (Not good timing, Audrey.) I guess that this is the end of Jason Priestley for a while, though he does promise to return.
Although the concept is unapologetically derivative of ‘Groundhog Day’ (and acknowledges so right in the dialogue), this is a really good episode. I am, however, left with one nagging question: If ‘Groundhog Day’ is Nathan’s second-favorite Bill Murray movie, what’s his #1 favorite? I’m guessing ‘Caddyshack’. He strikes me as a Carl Spackler fan.