Formerly a summer series, the Syfy network decided to move its Stephen King-based supernatural mystery/procedural ‘Haven’ to the fall this year. The show returned for its third season on Friday. I have to admit that, after very nearly a year off since the previous season’s finale, I’d largely forgotten where we left things. I imagine that this is a common problem.
The third season premiere episode is called, amusingly enough, ‘301’. I found the lengthy “Previously on…” recap at the beginning very useful, especially since it reminded me that the bizarre one-off Christmas special directly contradicted the previous season finale’s cliffhanger. As the finale ended, Audrey had been kidnapped and Nathan was on the verge of killing Duke. The later Christmas special disregarded that entirely, and just told a standalone tale without referencing the ongoing storylines at all. The premiere, therefore, ignores the Christmas special and backtracks to the finale again.
Audrey is tied up in a basement, being interrogated by a mystery figure who remains in the shadows. He keeps asking her questions about the Colorado Kid, and doesn’t believe her when she says that the Kid died years ago. The kidnapper seems to know more about Audrey’s past than she does herself.
Nathan doesn’t kill Duke (too bad). They fight for a bit, until interrupted by a strange electromagnetic event that pulls anything metallic to the ceiling for a minute. Duke insists that he has nothing to do with that, and eventually convinces Nathan that he isn’t responsible for Audrey’s kidnapping either. The two of them then meet up with Dwight (Adam “Edge” Copeland, now sporting a significantly improved haircut) while he’s in the middle of cleaning up and covering up the mess that resulted when countless metallic objects (such as manhole covers) were lifted into the air and dropped back down again.
Nathan and Duke trace the electromagnetic event to a seemingly-crazy man named Wesley, who claims that his mother Roslyn was kidnapped by aliens. Naturally, Wesley is Troubled. His imagination caused the magnetic pulse, crop circles, and soon the manifestation of a giant UFO above the inn that his mother runs.
It turns out that Audrey is in the basement of that inn. From behind a wall, a woman’s voice claiming to be Roslyn talks to her. Oddly, Audrey never sees the woman. By the time she manages to free herself, Roslyn is gone. A few minutes later, Audrey escapes and makes her way outside to Nathan and Duke. They find the incinerated remains of who they believe to be Roslyn, but the state of the corpse suggests that she’d been burned up a long time ago. Wesley freaks out. The more panicked and upset he gets, the more threatening the UFO behaves. It might destroy the entire town unless they can talk Wesley down. Eventually, they convince him that it’s his destiny to join his mother on the alien spaceship. He allows himself to be tractor-beamed up, and the UFO flies off. The town is saved… for now.
The mysteries of the woman behind the wall or the burned-up corpse are never fully explained. Nor do we ever find out who kidnapped and interrogated Audrey. Could it be the fake FBI Agent Howard, who’d sent Audrey to Haven in the first place? That’s my guess.
Seeking answers, Audrey and Nathan go to the cemetery and exhume plot #301, where the Colorado Kid is supposedly buried. Unsurprisingly, they find no body in the casket, just a bunch of bricks.
I picked up ‘Haven’ during the second season, and have still only seen bits and pieces of the first. Of what I’ve watched, it’s an uneven but generally entertaining show. I’d say that description also applies to this season premiere. It’s not the best episode of the series I’ve seen, but it does what it needs to do, in terms of wiggling out from the last cliffhanger and setting up a storyline for the season. I intend to continue watching the show, but I don’t know that it will be priority viewing. It will probably have a hard time competing for my attention among all the brand new series of interest and other returning shows that I consider more urgent. I think it was a mistake for Syfy to move the show to the fall season. It’s much better suited as summer programming.