In the town of Haven, there has been an awakening of supernatural occurrences. Just what is the cause of that resurgence of supernatural activity is not yet known. But with Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) sticking around to find out the identity of her birth mother, she is undoubtedly going to try to get to the bottom of what is behind it all.
Though with each new supernaturally-linked case, one begins to wonder if Audrey wants to solve that particular mystery or if Audrey is merely addicted to the excitement of all of it. From the first, she was always drawn to the freakish cases and, being right in the middle of a tidal wave of supernatural cases, she seems content to stay forever.
Caught up in her growing addiction is Deputy Nathan Wournos (Lucas Bryant), who always wanted to ignore the oddities of Haven and yet who is now seeing everything through Audreys eyes and appreciates it afresh.
Also ensnared under Audreys spell is local unscrupulous business owner Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour), who is more interesting with winning Audrey than by the local mysteries. Whatever history lies between he and Nathan, they are competitive unto death. Thus, Audrey has become the inadvertent prize in a high stakes game between them. Nathan may be playing for love, but Duke is playing for the love of the game -- and to needle Nathan.
This weeks episode posed the mystery of young men dying of old age after sleeping with a beautiful woman. It was only after Duke gets caught in her spell that the story takes on a personal note as Nathan is suddenly rushing against the clock to save Duke -- not because he cares about Duke, but because he will feel cheated if someone/something kills Duke before he can. Death is not a prize that Duke is entitled to before Nathan deems it time for him to die.
But the discovery that the local harbor master is cursed with a split personality that, once awakened seduces men in order to give birth to a child which unfortunately sucks the life literally out of their fathers, is even more than they imagined. Its death by rapid-aging all in the name of love. But what child wants to live knowing that they lived only at the price of their own fathers life? Which is the greater curse: to seduce and kill men, or to live only because your father was sacrificed so that you may live? To watch the endless cycle of life and death accelerated to such a degree is heart-breaking and horrifying.
Audreys solution to separate the child and father to cure Dukes rapid-aging worked, but also at what price? The pain that Duke felt upon hearing he had a daughter that he could never see felt palpable. Is this to be Dukes curse -- to live knowing that the man who tried to save his life wants him dead, and he has a daughter that he will never see? What kind of life is he living anyway? Is the price of living in Haven and experiencing all its wondrous mysteries too high?
The flirtatious relationship between Audrey and Nathan continues to grow and provides wonderful nuances to their relationship, such as when Audrey teased Nathan about golfing to relax, and he then curiously asked her what she found relaxing and she responded, crime-scenes. Nathan was not sure if he believed her until he saw the awe in which she examined their latest crime-scene containing a body that died under mysterious circumstances. Her reaction to seeing the dead body and she says, "Oh no, see -- this is so much better than golf," verges on ecstasy. But it is not crime-scenes that Audrey is drawn to, it is the mysteries: the mystery of life and all the wondrous things it offers -- especially in Haven. It is like a drug for Audrey, and she cannot get enough of it. It is also why she cannot seem to bring herself to leave.
As for Nathan, it is not the mysteries that he is addicted to -- it is watching Audrey's fascination, and he gets swept up on her supernatural high. It is like being sucked up into a cyclone and he cannot resist. Things may have been just plain weird before, but seeing it all through Audrey's eyes, Nathan sees the amazing possibilities and mystery of it all as if for the first time. He is struck anew by her contagious fascination.
Simultaneously, as Nathan is drawn to Audrey, Audrey is similarly drawn to Duke. Not because she is falling for him, but because he is a mystery that she wants to solve. Dukes history with Nathan intrigues her and she knows that Nathan will not talk about it. Such as when she teases Nathan by saying, "Okay, when are you going to get past this 'I hate Duke' thing?" When Nathan does not even dignify her query with a response, she playfully says, "You know what, you're right -- why even talk about it? It's going so well between you two." Thus, her only source of information about what exactly Nathan has against Duke is Duke. Plus, Audrey is also amused by Dukes playful attempts to flirt with her. She enjoys the tug-of-war between two men vying for her affections, one who is cautious about opening his heart, but trying, another who is not serious, but does not mind the game.
However, while sensing that Audreys heart is not in the game, Duke wonders what she is up to, and is willing to play along. Thus, when he invites her to dinner, he knows that she will always cancel if a better mystery comes along. When he teases her that she will stand him up because "the future of mankind will be at stake, it is not entirely wrong. It is not because of the future of mankind, but really because Audrey has found a more fascinating mystery that has captured her attention.
Just as the relationship between Audrey and Duke is not what it seems on the surface, neither is the relationship between Nathan and Duke. It is not just about hate and rivalry. Some of the more interesting scenes of this episode were when Duke told Nathan, "When you're nice to me, it reminds me I'm dying, and Nathan smiled and said, "Well hurry the hell up then." To which, Duke gratefully said, "Thank you." He knows he cannot be too close to death if Nathan is willing to be mean. It is only when Nathan is nice, that he knows death is at his door. Yet despite this reassurance, Duke still seemed stunned when Nathan moved to help him walk. It was further interesting to note that Nathan has the care-giving instincts where Audrey does not. Nathan will be there in the end for an old frenemy, where Audrey is only fascinated by the mysteries. So when Duke said, "You really hate me?" Nathan merely replied, "Hate's a strong word."
The entangled relationship between Duke and Nathan was only amplified when Duke finally admitted, "Generally, I liked being alone, but I don't want to die that way, and Nathan grimly retorted, "You're not going to die today ... when you die, it's going to be when I kill you myself." It begs the question: what exactly did Duke ever do to Nathan to inspire that kind of hatred? So much so that Nathan will snatch Duke back from the jaws of death in order to make sure that Duke continues to pay for whatever crime or sin he has committed.
Then in the end, when Nathan came to check on Duke at the restaurant, as soon as he saw that Duke was still alive, he turned and left. Dukes reaction to open the door as if to greet Nathan and thank him for saving his life, was only to ruefully shake his head at Nathans unwillingness to forgive and forget. Whatever lies between them is still present and festering away. It will eventually lead to a nasty explosion and everyone had better get out of the way once it does.
Seemingly oblivious to the melodrama unfolding nearby, Audrey sat looking out over the ocean wondering about the mother she never knew. Likewise, Beatrice (Jennie Raymond) returns to the lighthouse to live her life in seclusion, locked up with her two children. She too looks out over the sea wondering what her life is to be with such a curse and perhaps two children afflicted by the same curse. And what about Jean, Duke's daughter -- will she too be cursed to kill her mates and give birth in a never ending cycle of life and death?
What Didn't Work
As cute and funny as it was, I am not sure what the point was with Nathan cooing over all the babies. Perhaps it was to remind us how detached Audrey is from investing in real relationships in Haven. Nathan has roots there and intends to live his life there. Yet Audrey only intends to stay until she can solve all the mysteries. She is not looking to put down roots and start a family. For as Audrey remarked, "Can you give the baby back and turn into a cop again?" But more telling was later in the episode and when the mystery had been solved, Audrey teasingly told Nathan that they could stop by a local maternity ward that probably had more cute babies if he needed a baby-fix. Was that her way of saying that she may consider putting down roots, or only that she is willing to let Nathan have roots?
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Haven" stars Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, and Eric Balfour. "Ball and Chain" was written by Nikki Toscano, and was directed by Tim Southam.
"Haven" airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Syfy.
About the Author