Something very odd happened last week. From seemingly out of nowhere, my DVR suddenly reported that it recorded a new episode of ‘Haven’, Syfy’s summer series that had its second season finale back in September. Was this an early start for the third season? It turns out, no. Of all the shows on television that might put on a one-off Christmas special, this seems like one of the most unlikely. Nevertheless, here we have it.
In ‘Silent Night’, it’s Christmas Eve in the town of Haven. It also happens to be the middle of July, and no one except Audrey finds that strange in the slightest. The body of a surfer has washed up on shore. At least, half of it has, bisected at the waist. (What is this, ‘American Horror Story’ now?) A series of power outages have affected the town, and people are mysteriously vanishing. With each person that disappears, no one except Audrey remembers that they ever existed in the first place.
Audrey, Nathan and Duke investigate. The boys kind of think that Audrey is imagining the whole thing when she talks about people they’ve never heard of. Soon, Duke disappears. Audrey and Nathan discover that the entire town is trapped within a gigantic invisible dome. (The sudden appearance of the dome split that surfer in half.) They can’t leave or contact the outside world. The town population numbers dwindle ever more rapidly until even Nathan vanishes, and Audrey is left alone in town. Or almost alone.
Audrey traces these events to a young Troubled girl who’s been feeling abandonment issues since her parents divorced and her father moved out. She’s become obsessed with a snow globe that her daddy gave her one Christmas, and has been turning the town into that snow globe, with just herself in the center of it. Like many of the Troubled, she doesn’t realize what she’s done. She just thinks that everyone has abandoned her like her father did. Audrey has to talk some sense into the girl to break the spell.
‘Silent Night’ isn’t a bad episode of the show, but it isn’t a great one either. The solution to the mystery is pretty anticlimactic, and the episode ends with a lame epilogue in which Audrey (who previously hated Christmas) throws a holiday party. Because no one else remembers the events of the day, the whole episode plot ultimately seems inconsequential. I guess I just don’t understand why this of all shows needed to throw together a holiday-themed episode three months after the rest of the season ended. If the series normally aired through this time of year, I suppose then it would make sense. But why a one-off like this? Did the network demand a Christmas special?
I did really enjoy one running gag in the episode, however. While all of this is going on, the town movie theater has been playing a family movie about a dog, called ‘The Bark Tower’.