Thursday, October 31, 2013

Haven 4.07: "Lay Me Down"

I've been blogging up a storm this week, so I'm going to try to keep this review brief.  Which is pretty much standard operating procedure for these Haven reviews, anyways; even though the series is actually pretty good these days, it really does have NOTHING to do with Stephen King's work.  They've mostly even given up on the wink-'n'-nods (or, as I like to call it, "the pandering").  However, since it does nevertheless have Stephen King's name on each and every episode, I feel obliged to at least say something on the subject.

So, let's get to it.

You might suspect, based on that image, that this is a high-comedy episode of Haven.  You'd be wrong about that.  The scene depicted in, indeed, amusing; but it's the only comedy in the episode.

This week, the Trouble causing our gang (...uh...) trouble is one involving a woman whose dreams have the tendency to come true.  In a sense, at least; if something happens to her in her dreams, she wakes up with the physical evidence of it.  Unlike most of the dolts populating this show's guest cast, she already knows about her Trouble; it has been in her family for generations, and she has developed techniques for managing it.

Did I mention that she is played by the radiant Kandyse McClure?

Well, she is, marking the third time she's appeared in a King-related project (the first two being Carrie 2002 and Children of the Corn 2009).  Here, she plays Carrie, a woman whose Trouble has never before affected anyone other than herself; but now, suddenly, other people are experiencing trauma and death as a result of the dreams they are having.

Does this mean that the nature of the Troubles are beginning to change?  Operating theory seems to be yes, given that Carrie was recently attacked by two men -- who, we learn during her lucid-dreaming attempts to purge herself of her Trouble, are the same two thugs Audrey encountered while still inside the Bar(n) -- who left a handprint on her back.  A handprint that only Audrey can see.

Anyways, if you're wondering what that image of nekkid Nathan with a globe over his jumblies has to do with anything, know this: he is dreaming.  He is naked in school, about to have to take a test he didn't even know he had to take!  Here's his teacher:

I've got it bad, I've got it bad, I've got it bad.

My screencaps -- which are more plentiful this week than normal -- seem to indicate that this episode is primarily an excuse to invite salacious fanfiction.  That's not entirely the case, although this one scene damn sure fits the bill.  Nathan wakes up from the dream with a boner, and is temporarily unable to answer the door.  In the episode, it's Audrey knocking, but in the almost-sure-to-already-exist fanfic, it's bound to be Duke.  And Nathan will answer anyways.

Speaking of fanfiction, I'm tempted to write some myself, but it'll feature Jennifer.  She'll be dressed like this, too:

It's as though somebody accessed the section of my mind labeled THIS IS HOT and dressed her up as one of the examples contained therein.  Hommina-hommina...

Alright.  Anyways, enough of that.  Aside from dressing to impress, Jennifer learns something significant about herself this week during the course of applying for (and getting) a job at the Herald: she learns that her adoption was arranged by Agent Howard.  Yes, the same one who seemed so pivotally connected to Audrey.  Yes, the same one who Natahn shot and killed.  Eeeeeeenteresting...!

Much of the episode, however, is devoted to the freshly contentious relationship between Duke and his brother Wade.  See, Wade got a taste of what killing people and getting high -- and all Hulked-out -- on Troubled blood is like last week, and he's found that he rather enjoys the sensation.  So, naturally, he begins targeting Troubled people and slicing them up a treat.  Poor Christian Camargo; always getting cast as a serial killer.  Here, he even pulls a Dexter and gets to dump some bodies in the ocean.

Later, Duke confronts him and -- in a development I was sure was going to end up being a dream, but doesn't -- kills him.  I'm surprised the series blew through that storyline so quickly, but I can't say that I don't approve; the series has been moving relentlessly this season, and I think it's probably all the better for it.

Another sign of how the series has improved comes toward the end, when Audrey and Nathan are arguing again.  Audrey has gotten it into her head that since she needs to preserve the illusion that she is Lexie -- thereby keeping The Guard from wanting her to kill Nathan -- she and Nathan can have only a professional relationship.  "We can't be 'Audrey and Nathan'," she says; "not anymore."

I just rolled my eyes at this.  On the one hand, the show expects us to believe in the idea that this couple is the sort of star-crossed romantic duo of legend, so much so that one would willingly die for the other, and so forth.  But now, they expect me to believe that they can't screw around when nobody is looking?  Give me a break.

Which makes is that much more satisfying when Nathan walks away following Audrey's prnouncement, only to come back a few seconds later, determined to (for starters) kiss her anyways.  He seems to be of the "...hell with that...!" inclination, and since that is both the logical and the believable reaction, I applaud him for it.  More importantly, I applaud the writers, who are now seemingly operating from a standpoint of actually having their show make sense more often than not.  Compared to the sorts of shenanigans the series pulled during its first two seasons, this is a vast improvement, and it is decidedly welcome 'round these parts.

Now, if only somebody could upll off the same trick on Under the Dome...


  1. Whoah! Is Kandyse McClure joining the cast or is this just for an arc? Nice.

    Is that Emily Rose in Nathan's hot for the teacher sequence? (Thank you for that Van Halen link, as well - awesome.) I almost don't recognize her.

    1. As far as I can tell, McClure is only going to be in this one episode. Her character doesn't die, but there's no particular hint that she's coming back, either. Too bad!

      Yes, that is Emily Rose. I think of all the education that I've missed...