Sunday, September 22, 2013

Haven 4.02: "Survivors"

This week on Haven: Lexie continues to not know she's Audrey Parker (or whoever Audrey actually is), and -- this will surprise you -- someone in Haven is Troubled.  With Audrey not around, it falls to Nathan to be the guy to try and solve the Trouble of the Week.


One of my problems with Haven is that the Trouble of the Week episodes are almost always boring.  There have been occasional exceptions, but they have been few and far between, and what we mostly get instead is something that feels like a fifth-rate mash-up of The X-Files with X-Men.  So this week, what we get is a fireman who is inadvertently burning people to a crisp...but, for an extra wrinkle, only after people congratulate him on being a hero, thereby setting off a guilt complex.  It's simultaneously simplistic and overly complicated, and it comes with the typical Haven problem of having weak actors cast in the guest-star roles.

Meanwhile, Duke is continuing to try to help Jennifer feel at home in Haven, and is also trying to get his brother to pack up and go back home.  Some of that stuff is okay, because I like Eric Balfour, and because Emma Lahana is extremely attractive.  She's eased back on the throttle as regards Jennifer's quirkiness this week, too, which is good.  I think.  It didn't bother me in her first episode, but it probably would have begun to grate if stretched over the long haul.

Elsewhere, Audrey is still in the same bar, still talking to Colin Ferguson.  Let's discuss that.

First of all, this conversation between Lexie and Colin "Eureka" Ferguson has lasted, now, for the entirety of two episodes.  Is this just weird editing, or should we begin to wonder if their plotline is somehow taking place outside of the normal timestream in some way?  Neither answer would surprise me, and neither would bother me -- a little time-shift cheating in editing doesn't bother me -- but either way, I suspect we'll get an answer next week.

This week, Eureka spends most of his time trying to convince Lexie that she knows something is off with her.  He tells her to think about how she didn't feel anything for her previous -- presumably nonexistent -- boyfriend; think about how she's never really felt love.  Not real love.  This annoys Lexie, but later, when Eureka is in danger, she's able to reassemble a handgun in a few seconds (he's taken it apart to make her feel more secure around him) and fire off a few warning shots to avert disaster, which makes her think maybe there's something to what he's saying.

These scenes are problematic.  We already know who Audrey is.  Well, not really.  But we know Lexie used to be Audrey, because we saw the first three seasons of the series, and so there's no suspense in any of this.  It's just a matter of waiting around until the writers decide to let Lexie believe Eureka, and then maybe something interesting will happen.  The Lexie scenes have been tolerable, thanks to the fact that Emily Rose and Colin Ferguson are good actors who have decent chemistry in tandem; but there's no actual drama to them.  "Still think you're a bartender?" Ferguson asks, after Lexie has shown a remarkable degree of firearm skill.  It's a good moment because he sells it; but since everyone in the scene other than the main character of the series suddenly knows an answer she doesn't, I don't really see how this benefits the show at all.

Other notes from the episode:
  • Duke's brother, Wade, is played by Christian Camargo, whom some of you might remember as Rudy/Brian on the first season of Dexter.  He's doing about as well as anyone can do in the ole "main character's brother, whom we have never heard of before the fourth season" role.
  • Jennifer is being used somewhat as a means of the show poking fun at itself.  She asks at one point why the whole world doesn't know about the Troubles, and is told by Dave (who seems to believe this incredibly unbelievable plot point) that it's because he and Vince -- the media -- keep it a secret.  Uh huh.  Later, when Nathan is consulting Duke prior to confronting the Troubled fireman, she asks, "Are you, like, an auxiliary police officer up here?"  I like this character.
  • Syfy kept running ads for a series called Fangasm, which is a reality show about competing superfans.  Embarrassing.
  • Emily Rose looks really, really good with new-mommy weight.  I'm just sayin'.

Not a terrible episode, by any means, but it was more or less devoid of any dramatic tension.  A few good character moments, and that's all we really got.

Did you expect more?

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