Haven Review : Spotlight

Television

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Synopsis

The Guard continues to search for Mara as Nathan tries to deprogramme her and bring back Audrey. Duke and Dwight scramble to deal with the Trouble-of-the-week as the situation heats up. Some questions are answered, only to raise even more questions about the Troubles and Mara and William’s master plan.

Review

So, we’re back to Haven for the third episode of the final season and the unique brand of quirky off-the-wall storytelling that has come to characterize this show. It’s like marmite-you either love it or hate it. However with the final season in full swing and the introduction of original troublemaker Mara (re-taking over the body of Audrey Parker), it seems that we’re finally going to get some answers (What are the Troubles? Just who is Audrey/Sarah/Mara? Where do the thinnies lead? Just what is Aether?)

We begin with Mara tied up in the back of Nathan’s truck. Is he going to take her to the Guard, who want to kill her to end the Troubles? Of course not. Nathan’s cunning plan is to take Mara/Audrey to a cabin in the woods where he’s going to chain her up and stare mournfully at her until the power of his love brings Audrey back. Now that he’s sure that Audrey is in there somewhere, Nathan has tunnel vision; he will do anything to get her back.

Duke is also on an emotional journey this week. He starts the episode by backing up Nathan’s plan to bring Audrey back, even though he doesn’t believe it will work (“I believe you need to move on, anyway you can”). Because, of course, Duke is completely over Jennifer’s death less than 24 hours after burying her, and is now the voice of reason. Still, I’m glad to see that the Nathan/Duke bromance is back on after Nathan helped Duke deal with his Trouble trouble last week. Proving that all is not well with him, Duke cuts off his trademark ponytail, because Haven is the kind of place where the lead characters demonstrate their emotional state through makeovers (Anyone remember Nathan’s epic beard in the beginning of Season 4?)

This brings us to the Trouble-of-the-week, a formula that has served the show well throughout its previous seasons and one that I’m glad they are keeping faith with. Enter Duke’s old friend Jody, whose trouble is that she shoots beams of light out of her body (If she can get it under control, then maybe she can join the X-Men?) Duke, of course, changes his mind about supporting Nathan’s madcap plan and decides he’s going to save his friend.

Back to Nathan and Mara-it is clear that Emily Rose is having a blast playing the villainess Mara, cut-glass accent and evil Disney Queen laugh included. The scenes between our two leads (who have great chemistry) are among the strongest this week and also answer a few long-held questions for Havenites (yes, that’s a thing). Yes, Mara and William are responsible for the Troubles, and yes it’s part of a grander plan. Mara is also, interestingly, not from Haven or its world, but from somewhere else. What is she doing in Haven? “Proving a point.” Ominous. We also get the name of another Audrey multiple personality. Veronica. “She swung both ways,” Mara says. Why couldn’t we have met her?

“I’m going to hurt you the first chance I get,” the chained-up Mara promises Nathan after he refuses to give her cream for her coffee early in the episode. She hates black coffee! Things only get better, and stranger, from here. After a run-in with the Guard—under new management since last week—Nathan takes Mara/Audrey to his father’s secret cabin.

Here the two engage in a verbal, and physical (read sexual), battle of wits. It’s a battle that tips first one way, then the other. Mara almost manages to seduce the mournful Nathan (she aptly calls him Eeyore at one point), before the former police chief manages to pull himself together. Is it cheating to make out with one of your girlfriend’s multiple personalities?

Thankfully Audrey manages to surface while Mara is asleep (we also learn that she has a piece of Aether with her) and tells Nathan that he must treat Mara like her. “Don’t talk to Mara. Talk to me. Like Audrey. It’s the only way I can fight her,” Audrey says. Emily Rose is a great actress to be able to pull off two distinct characters like this. It’s not exactly Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black territory, but it is almost as good.

The next morning we have boyfriend Nathan making breakfast. “You have officially cracked up,” Mara tells him. Boyfriend Nathan ignores her cracks, offering her pancakes, and then slow dancing, and then a tickle fight (yes, seriously). I just love it that Nathan’s master plan to bring Audrey back involves tickling, and that it works. Audrey comes back, if only for a second. Predictably, it is not long enough to warn Nathan of Mara’s Aether (for a cop, he sure does suck at searching people).

Of course, this is right when Duke walks in. Finding Mara/Audrey in Nathan’s arms, he asks the question that we are all thinking: “What is this? You two look like you’re on your honeymoon.”

“Welcome to the party,” Mara purrs and I can’t help but hope she sticks around. Of course, I want Audrey back but Mara is just so much fun. We’ve seen Emily Rose be Lucy. We’ve seen her be Sarah. We’ve seen her be Lexi. But Mara is by far my favourite.

Duke, now the repository for all the Troubles previously cured by the Crocker family, is “overloaded.” “You’re going to explode,” Mara taunts him. The cure for being chock-full of Troubles? To release one. And chained-up Mara with a secret stash of Aether has decided to help save Duke because reasons. Duke asks Nathan to go dig up his brother and get his grandfather’s book. “Can’t you just think of a non-lethal Trouble to release?,” Nathan asks him. But that would be too easy. “Are you going to go grab a shove or are you going to indulge yourself in your little tickle fixation and watch your friend die?” Oh Nathan, choices choices!

Nathan, of course, grabs the shovel. Mara, of course, tries it on with baseball-cap Duke. Just when it seems that Duke has decided to take up Mara on her offer to relieve him of a trouble (“Do it. Do it now”) the door of the cabin slams open. It’s new Captain of the Guard Dwight Hendrickson (Adam Copeland or The Edge). “Mara. I’ve been looking for you.”

Quotes

Nathan: I know what this looks like. And I know I’ve made mistakes before but Mara she will not help us so getting Audrey back is still our best hope.

Mara: Could you guys speak up? You’re making it difficult to eavesdrop.

Nathan: Dance with me Parker.

Mara: I’d rather stab you in the crotch.

Nathan: So Parker, I have maple syrup or blueberry syrup. Which one do you want?
Mara: I’m going to give you a trouble that makes your heart explode inside your chest.
Nathan: Maple it is.

This article was originally published here.