Even though ‘Haven’ hasn’t aired a new episode in nearly a year, had a full 13-episode run at that time, and is scheduled for another 13 episodes now, Syfy has chosen to call the new batch of episodes “Season 5 Part 2” rather than “Season 6.” I assume this is some sort of contract ploy to avoid giving the cast or crew a pay raise. It’s nonsense. This is clearly a new season – and has in fact been announced as the final season.
I haven’t felt the need to recap ‘Haven’ in quite a long time. Although I like the show enough to have watched it this long, it got stuck in a rut of trying to build up a confusing and mostly dull “mythology” around central character Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) and her mysterious origins in another dimension. In the first part of Season 5, we learned that Audrey Parker isn’t even a real person. She was created as an alternate personality (the most recent in a string of them) of an evil being named Mara, who reasserted control and caused havoc in the town of Haven. Eventually, Mara’s mother Charlotte (Laura Mennell from the short-lived ‘Alphas’) destroyed her daughter but allowed the Audrey personality to survive.
Confounded yet? You’re not alone. I’m not going to try to explain everything else that has happened over the last couple of seasons. At this point, either you’re with the show or you’re not.
Episode 5.14, ‘New World Order’
Mara may be dead, but she hasn’t finished creating problems – or Troubles, as the case may be. In a parting move, she forced Duke (Eric Balfour), whose Trouble is to absorb other people’s Troubles, to lose control and spew all those Troubles (visualized as really crappy CGI black dots) into the air over Haven. That was the cliffhanger where Season 5 Part 1 left off. The new premiere picks up with the town in chaos. Troubles have rained down and attached to innocent people who don’t understand and can’t control them. Worse, a thick fog has encircled the town, and anyone who tries to leave through it just gets turned right around and comes back in. Everyone is trapped in Haven. Even Audrey is no longer immune to the Troubles and can’t leave either.
Chief of Police Dwight Hendrickson (Adam “Edge” Copeland) and his team of cops struggle to maintain order, mostly unsuccessfully as the town falls to shit around them. One of his own officers is afflicted with a Trouble that causes anyone near him to freeze in place when he gets scared. This happens when he’s out on a call and Nathan (Lucas Bryant) gets frozen. Only Duke is unaffected, which clues him in that he’s immune to the Troubles now. Duke figures out that the only way to counteract the officer’s Trouble is to make him angry so he’s not scared anymore. Nathan unfreezes.
By the end of the episode, Dwight makes a public announcement in which he acknowledges that the Troubles exist and declares that The Guard (the secret society that had monitored the Troubles for decades) will be taking charge of the town. He throws his Chief’s badge on the ground and Nathan picks it up.
Because he’s immune to the Troubles, Duke is the only person who’s able to walk through the fog and leave town. He does so, believing that the current outbreak is his fault and the town is better without him. As he hitchhikes down the road, he catches a ride with a trucker who says that he’s never heard of a town called Haven.
Episode 5.15, ‘Power’
In the second part of the premiere, a new Trouble manifests that kills anyone trapped in darkness. The only way to stay alive is to stay in the light. The town’s high school is set up as a shelter, but when the power goes out, Nathan must make his way to a power plant and get it restored again before night falls. That task is complicated by the fact that the only route to the plant goes through “Trouble Alley,” a part of town where people with the most uncontrollable Troubles are running rampant.
In an attempt to keep things under control as much as possible, Dwight and the Guard have established a totalitarian rule over the town. It isn’t entirely working out.
Meanwhile, Duke is hanging out in Halifax, working in an auto repair shop under the table. His boss grows suspicious of him. Duke gets wrapped up in a scheme trying to help a girl in trouble who needs $31,000 in a hurry. Sadly, he’s broke. His bank tells him that he has no account and they’ve never heard of a branch in any town called Haven. He will undoubtedly have to do something shady to get that money.
This is really just a cursory overview of these two episodes. I haven’t talked about the magic element called “aether” or the town’s connection to the legendary Roanoke Colony and the word “Croatoan.” The show’s mythological element has gotten awfully convoluted over the years.
Unfortunately, this is the type of show that always worked best as a “mystery of the week” procedural. Much like the later seasons of ‘The X-Files’, the more this series gets tied up in its mythology, the less interesting it becomes. These two episodes in particular (although they do each have some mystery of the week element) fall pretty flat, and Duke’s road trip reminds me way too much of a similarly misguided storyline in the second season of ‘Twin Peaks’. As such, I have a hard time getting excited to watch the show anymore.
Nevertheless, I’ve come this far and will see it through, but doing so feels more like an obligation than something to enjoy.