So, like, I've been doing these weekly reviews of each new episode of Under the Dome after it airs, right? And that seems to be going relatively well. I've been wondering whether or not I'll feel motivated enough to do similar reviews of new episodes of Haven; the jury is still out on that, as far as it being on an ongoing basis goes.
But I just got around to watching Friday's season-four premiere, and I figured hey, what the hell. Let's do this thing.
I typed out a few vague notes while the episode aired, mainly to remind myself of key points I might want to touch on.
I now present to you those notes, in all their unintelligible glory:
- Duke falls through wormhole or some shit inside The Barn, turns up in Boston inside an aquarium tank, getting laughed at by fieldtripping kiddies; he has been dead for six months, according to Haven PD, whom Boston PD has helpfully phoned as per Duke
- in Haven, some shop has its windows bust in for no apparent reason; there are some spinner racks with what looks like nothing but Hard Case Crime books
- Jennifer Mason: stereotypical eccentric -- Bryant likey; Bryant is ashame
- Nathan has a beard and is letting bikers punch him in the face; one scene later, he has stubble instead of a beard, meaning that he shaves almost the second Duke shows up -- WTF
- Dwight is the new sheriff
- Audrey is now named Lexi, works in a bar, wants to fuck the dude from Eureka
- The Guard wants to kill Nathan on account of some shit
- a tornado shows up in Haven; did the Dome send it?
- Eureka seems to know something; fake Paul Dano shows up, sketchy as fuck; Eureka whoops his ass
- Marion Dax returns; she's making Natecicles and whatnot
- Duke's brother -- (who?!?) -- is running the Grey Gull
- Eureka tells Lexi she isn't really Lexi, and if they can't figure out who she is A Lot Of People Will Die
Ladies and gentlemen: my brain at work.
I thought this was a fairly decent season premiere. I enjoyed the third season of Haven when it aired last year, which was a bit surprising, considering how much I'd mostly not enjoyed the first two seasons. Season three ended on a fairly massive cliffhanger, with Audrey seemingly -- spoilers, lol! -- disappearing into The Barn, and Duke seemingly disappearing after her, and The Barn seemingly getting destroyed. So -- seemingly -- Audrey and Duke both died, right?
Well, we get a bit of a glimpse inside The Barn at the top of this episode, and there seem to be isolated womrholes or something opening up. Duke falls through one, and finds himself in Boston six months later; in police custody, too, on account of how he was found inside a tank at an aquarium. This is vaguely reminiscent of Spock swimming inside the whale tank and mind-melding with Gracie the whale in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ("Gracie is pregnant"), except with fewer whales and Vulcans. As he's being led out of the aquarium by the po-po, he is besieged -- somewhat implausibly -- by news cameras, and starts hollering -- somewhat implausibly -- about Audrey Parker.
Later, in the hospital, a woman shows up who claims to have heard voices talking about The Barn; the voices of Audrey Parker and Agent Howard, she says, though she has no idea who they are. Her name is Jennifer Mason; she is played by Emma Lahana, who's wearing a furry coat and an army hat and is doing a fairly adorable -- though standard -- eccentric-chick routine. I am okay with this.
|Emma Lahana as Jennifer Mason|
A bit of research on Emma Lahana informs me that she was once a Yellow Ranger on Power Rangers: Dino Thunder. I stopped my research there, because really, why continue?
She seems poised to be a major new character for the series; whether that will extend beyond this season or not remains to be seen.
We do eventually find out what has become of Audrey. Like Duke, she has ended up somewhere else. In her case, she has become another person, as she does after every time she goes into The Barn. She is now Lexie -- not Lexi (thanks, Internet!) -- and is tending bar.
Colin Ferguson, formerly of the Syfy series Eureka, shows up, and sparks immediately begin to fly between the two of them. But then a creepy-looking guy shows up with a gun, demanding to speak with Lexie; Ferguson has to disarm him and send him running away. He tells Lexie that she isn't really Lexie at all, but is someone else, and that they have to figure out who, or else bad things will happen.
So, he too seems poised to be a major new character, at least in the short term. I'm okay with that; Colin Ferguson is cool.
Meanwhile, Duke tracks Nathan down. He's standing outside a roadhouse, letting burly bikers pay him to let them punch him in the face. No shit. What's even weirder is that he has a full beard. Then Duke shows up, and tells him his theory that since he is alive, Audrey probably is too, somewhere. And then in the next scene Nathan has shaved the beard off! He's all stubbly and stuff, but otherwise, it's like he drank a Beard-B-Gone soda or something. Weird. Oh, and they're still at the roadhouse, so he's, like, gone and shaved in a roadhouse bathroom or something. Does he do this because of the mere thought of Audrey still being alive, like he'd better get all smooth-faced again before she sees him looking all scruffy and says "to hell with this lumberjack-lookin' bastard"? Slashfic fans will prefer to think that Nathan goes and immediately shaves on account of seeing Duke again, and frankly, I'm okay with that read on the scene.
Nathan and Duke go back to Haven, and are immediately accosted by The Guard, who are pissed at Nathan for messing up their chance at having The Troubles come to an end. But when he tells them Duke's theory about Audrey still being alive somewhere, everyone chills the fuck out, sort of. I sense that the writers are going to want them to continue to be sort of mad at Nathan, so they will continue to be so out of deference to their bosses.
Later, Nathan and Dwight (who has replaced Nathan as sheriff) and Duke go investigate some weather-related craziness, which makes Nathan remember Marion, the very first Troubled woman who Audrey saved. This was way back in the pilot. Marion is played by Nicole "Ezri (Deep Space Nine) Dax" de Boer, who reprises her role, and -- now as then --classes the joint up considerably.
Nathan sort of falls into the Audrey role and talks Marion out of using her Trouble to hurt people. This seems to imply that he will be doing that more this season, which seems to imply that Audrey/Lexie may be off on her own for much of the season. This is a risky maneuver on the part of the producers, if that's what they end up doing. I think most of Haven's fans like the sow in no small part thanks to the chemistry between Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, and Eric Balfour; if this season is going to be mostly missing that, it could be a problem.
Speaking of Emily Rose, I believe she may have recently had a baby. That's all I'm sayin'. It suits her pretty good. Okay, that's all I'm sayin'!
(Sidebar: I noticed toward the beginning of the episode that when the windows in the shop exploded, it knocked over a spinner rack filled with books. All of them appeared to be Hard Case Crime books, which is funny on account of how Hard Case Crime published Joyland and The Colorado Kid. The latter is the book on which this series is allegedly based. This brings up an interesting possibility: what if Haven takes place in a universe in which Stephen King wrote The Colorado Kid, and the Colorado Kid on the series was nicknamed that by someone who had read the novel? Yeah, I know, the timeline doesn't work. Oh, well; I guess we're back to my gut-instinct reaction, which is to assume that it's a moderately amusing inside joke. Thought I had something for a minute there...)
Well, anyways, that's probably about enough yammering about this episode. I thought it was fairly good. As is typically the case, it's got nothing to do with Stephen King except for the credit; but I found myself intrigued by both of the new characters, and overall, the episode was roughly on par with much of what we saw during the third season.
Not sure whether any of this merits my attention on a weekly basis. Time will tell, I guess.