Haven Review: Nowhere Man

Film & Television

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Synopsis

The final season of Haven enters a new plot art after Audrey Parker’s return. We’re treated to the first of another double bill which sees Nathan being turned into a ghost (or not) shortly after his reunion with Audrey. Audrey, Duke and the rest of the gang have to figure out how to bring him back…

Review

So, the first six episodes of Haven’s final season have wrapped up and we finally have Audrey Parker back. It seems that everything is ready and in place for the mad dash towards our series conclusion. But hold your horses! Season 5 is set to be made up of two sets of 13 episodes and so the writers take this opportunity to slow things down a little and treat us to another Trouble-of-the-week (or fortnight as the case may be) as we see whether Audrey has got her groove back.

This episode starts by tying off some of the plot-threats left dangling from The Old Switcheroo: Part 2. Yes, Audrey is back. While Mara is still in play, this time she’s locked up in the hold of Duke’s boat. So Duke’s mutated Trouble managed to bring Audrey back. But we don’t know how. Also, upping the stakes interestingly, it seems that Audrey is now no longer immune to the Troubles (which had been her particular brand of super-power until now). We also don’t know how, or even whether, Audrey or Mara are linked. If you kill one, what happens to the other “twin sis?”

This is precisely the question that Duke seeks to understand by threatening to cut-off Mara’s little toe. After all, what is one little toe? If they are linked, presumably Audrey will forgive him. Of course, Duke chickens out and we’re left with Mara spitting bile and cackling maniacally like the evil Disney super-villain that she is. The problem with Mara—delightful though she is—is that we simply don’t know what her motivations are. While this could be an interesting conceit, the writing is not as strong as it could be in this regard and Mara is left to flail around ineffectually for most of this episode.

So, let’s get to the Trouble-of-the-week which is what Nathan terribly describes as an “atomic shadows” trouble. People are disappearing in a flash of light, leaving behind “shadows” like those seen at Ground Zero of a nuclear attack. Nathan takes Audrey out on the case, while they agree to keep Mara secret, not knowing the connection between the two “twins.” Haven residents are, understandably, wary around her having only Nathan and Duke’s word that she is Audrey and not Mara. Given their respective slew of terrible decision making over the past weeks, it is no wonder that there are question marks over Audrey.

This coincides with an unfettered Guard who are creepily following Audrey around and waiting for her to slip up after Dwight mysteriously leaves town (we understand that it is to deal with his sister’s death which he only discovered in last week’s finale). Nathan ultimately takes the decision to bench Audrey and heads off to the Haven Farmer’s Market on his own to investigate the Atomic Shadow Trouble. Again, it really is a terrible name. At Haven’s surprisingly upbeat farmer’s market (because when the world is coming to an end, what better than a good ole’ fashioned small town hootenanny?) Nathan spies the world’s creepiest Guardsman standing Guard. Creepy beard and inexplicable Louisianan ‘bayou accent, he tells Nathan that he’s a traitor to the Guard and that they are “watching.”

Pouring over evidence in his office, the Trouble strikes Nathan and so we have the introduction of Ghost Nathan, inhabiting a pale shadow Haven where nobody can see or hear him. The police call in Audrey to investigate who promptly pledges “I’m going to get him back.” A nice ironic reversal of Nathan’s determination to get her back over the past six episodes.

So Ghost Nathan wanders forlornly around Haven, talking to people who can’t hear him when he fortuitously bumps into another oddly blasé ghost, who is rushing around somewhere. “We’re ghosts. We’re dead,” he tells Nathan over-his-shoulder as he seeks to rush off somewhere. “Enjoy your afterlife!” If he’s dead, where is he going in such a hurry?

Goatee Ghost, as I will call him from now on because I’ve forgotten his name, tells Nathan to head to the cemetery where apparently they have some kind of induction for new ghosts. Organized! At the same time, Audrey has tracked down the bearded weirdo Guardsman and is looking to question him about Nathan and the Atomic Shadows Trouble. Seriously, the more I write down this trouble’s name, the worse it is. Audrey corners bearded weirdo ‘bayou Guardsman who threatens her in his bearded weirdo ‘bayou accent before going all Atomic Shadows and disappearing. Audrey is captured by the other Guardsman who think that she is Mara. They take her phone and smash it up. Now, that’s just unnecessary.

Nathan is given the ghost tour by Morgan Gardener, the oldest of the “ghosts” and the guy who used to play Francis in Malcolm in the Middle—so this is what happened to him! He tells Nathan, “We don’t eat. We don’t sleep. We don’t get old. You can’t talk to the living.” Tour over. Nathan, correctly and logically, surmises that “ghosts” is the wrong flavour supernatural occurrence for Haven and that this is most likely a Trouble. Hey? Didn’t Duke have a Trouble that let the dead talk to the living that one time? Maybe if Duke can unleash that Trouble, he can let everyone know that he’s alive. “Should I be following any of this?” Francis from Malcolm in the Middle asks him. “No, this is an info dump for the audience,” Nathan might as well reply. He sets the other “ghosts” to figure out how they came to be on this weird colorless plane. We’ll meet up later and compare notes.

So, he goes to see Duke. Duke can’t see him and is more interesting in crawling into a bottle than figuring things out. But wait, the magic witch in the hold who is the ultimate cause of the Troubles? Oh yes, she can see and hear him. Will she tell Duke that he’s alive? Of course not!

Mitchell, leader of the angry and desperate Guardsman, wants “Mara” to “fix” their Troubles. And I thought it was just the lead characters of this show that had terrible decision-making? Firstly, I’m Audrey, not Mara, Audrey says. Second, Mara can’t remove Troubles. And thirdly, even if she was going to “change” them, you can’t trust her to change them to something better. They threaten Audrey with the scary glove-wearing gardener—everything he touches disintegrates. Could he be related to Danny Glover from the skittle advert?

So, with Audrey abducted and under the threat of death we come to the illogical logical quandary at the heart of this episode. Duke threatens to hand Mara over to the Guard to secure Audrey’s release. “You won’t do that. If they kill me, Audrey will die.” “But if they kill Audrey, you will die!” Well, she says, that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

For reasons of plot development, Mara reveals that Nathan, in fact, is not dead. Nathan tells Duke, via the now cooperative Mara, where Audrey is and he goes to the rescue. Mara gets baked beans as a reward. What, no toast? Mara must have really liked the beans because she demonstrates to Duke that she and Audrey are not connected. Overconfidence? More plot-demanded developments?

What’s to stop Duke killing her now? “You need me for my immunity. And I’m the only one who can speak to Nathan,” she says. I wonder how this is going to work out.

Nathan returns to the cemetery to compare notes with the other ghosts, only to discover that somebody has killed Goatee Ghost and scrawled in his blood (ghosts have blood) that “even ghosts can die!” My money is that it’s Francis from Malcolm in the Middle.

Quotes

Mara : Get used to that feeling, Duke. This isn’t going to be easy. I may be the one stuck down here but you’re the ones in over your head.

Nathan : I wish you could hear me you bitch.
Mara : Now is that any way to speak with the only person who can see you?

This article was originally published here.