Haven Review: The Old Switcheroo Part 1

Film & Television

oldwitch2

Synopsis

Nathan and Duke continue their quest to defeat Mara and free Audrey. Dave and Vince investigate Dave’s adoption and what came over from the other side. Hijinks ensue with a body-swapping Trouble-of-the-week that sees our cast having to walk a mile in each other’s shoes.

Review

So we’re back to Haven for another week of Audrey/Mara drama, only this time it is not just the main character who is having self-identity issues but the entire town which is plagued by a body-switching Trouble-of-the-fortnight.

We relocate from Nathan’s dad’s secret cabin in the woods to Duke’s not-so-secret bar where frenemies Nathan and Duke continue with what Mara scathingly describes as their “treat me like Audrey so Audrey returns strategy.” After pledging to “kill that bitch right now” in last week’s closer, nobody is surprised to learn that Audrey is still alive, buried deep somewhere in Mara’s subconscious.

Nathan decides to take Mara on a Trouble-related (Troublesome?) case, treating her like Audrey (who’s all about Trouble-solving) without raising her suspicions. Hmm, taking the witch who is responsible for the Troubles out on a police case to solve a Trouble—which we already know from last week is something that she cannot do? It’s no wonder that Nathan has been removed as police chief! As if that isn’t enough, he decides to explain his plan to Duke while furtively standing in the shadows and peering at Mara suspiciously. Oh yeah, this is a Swiss watch of a master plan!

The episode picks up on another thread left dangling from last week (given that this is the final season of Haven, there are a lot of threats to tie off) namely Vince and Dave and the Croatoan mystery. Vince heads to Manteo, North Carolina, to investigate just what other realm adopted brother Dave comes from and what might have crossed over from there in last season’s finale. He encounters Alison Doohan who is head of the Manteo Historical Society and runs the questionably-named Croatoan café. Coincidence? Methinks not.

OK, so now to the body-switching Trouble-of-the-Week. This is an overused trope in television but almost always good value as actors get to impersonate other actors, often producing some stand-out performances. The Trouble is ignited at the Haven mental institute (which given all the Haven Troubles, I can’t believe we’ve never visited before) where an orderly kills a patient. Or does he?

So initially it is Vince and Dave who switch bodies, and suddenly it is Dave (dressed as Vince) investigating his own adoption, while Vince (dressed as Dave) rushes to Manteo to confront him (the other him). Confused? Just wait.

In the course of investigating the murder at the mental institution, new police chief and bullet-magnet Dwight (wrestler The Edge) swaps bodies with grumpy medical examiner Gloria. Now that’s more like it! While Vince and Dave are fun (and sometimes annoying characters) they are fundamentally two equally crotchety old men. But intense and brooding police chief Dwight and sharp-tongued and sarcastic medical examiner Gloria couldn’t be more different (“You’re all muscle, big guy. What do you eat?” Gloria-inside-Dwight asks him).

Eventually we learn that a) the people who switch are keeping secrets from each other and b) that when one swiched person dies so does the other. This is genuinely good plotting from the Haven writers in what has been a fundamentally light-hearted episode, upping the stakes for all involved.

Dave and Vince (“operating as each other”) team up in Manteo where it transpires that Alison Doohan owns her house where Dave was adopted. And that this house has been in her family for generations. Dave and Vince (or Vince and Dave) ask Alison and her husband if they’ve heard of Haven (“Haven? Never heard of it!” they unconvincingly say).

So, we finally get the switcheroo we’ve been waiting for when Nathan and Duke switch bodies about three-quarters of the way through the episode. Nathan, investigating the Haven mental institute, discovers that it is Jeffrey Doohan who is responsible for this particular Trouble. He jumps into Duke’s body while Duke is talking to a chained-up Mara (or is it Audrey) about a steamy kiss they shared in Colorado. Oh boy!

Duke (dressed as Nathan) calls Nathan (dressed as himself) to tell him not to trust Audrey—that it is Mara pretending to be Audrey to get free. Back in Manteo, Vince and Dave (Dave and Vince) return to the Doohan farmstead where Vince (Dave) has an attack of some kind. The cause? A thinny (Haven’s particular brand of ‘gateway to another realm’). And it wants Dave (who is still dressed as his adopted brother) back! Oh, I can’t wait for part 2!

Quotes

Vince : (in Dave’s body): Have you noticed anything or anyone acting strange?
Gloria : Besides you? No. But it’s Haven and the day is young.

Nathan : We’re done treating you like Audrey. No more food. No more chat.
Mara : Good. Because you made her fat and boring. Oh, that’s right. And now she’s dead.

This article was originally published here.