A mother's love for her son and her unwillingness to let him rest in peace after he died sets in motion a string of unforeseeable tragic events. Being a taxidermist, a mother decided to stuff her dead son and miraculously he came back to life -- and as a consequence, every dead thing that either of them stuffed also came back to life. But unlike the son who could live in peace, the animals came back angry and were killing off those that had killed them.
In an episode where Nathan Wournos (Lucas Bryant) and Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) wondered if they were dealing with a werewolf or a witch, it should not have been surprising that they were dealing with totems instead. The walking dead are not limited to vampires, mummies and zombies -- in Haven, it includes reanimated totems. Just like all supernatural beings are not evil, not every totem is evil.
The mysteries of Haven keep building -- or perhaps are being revealed one by one. As Audrey correctly surmised, each person's gift only manifests under great stress. But the greater the stress, the greater the likelihood that gift will have adverse effects. What Haven really needs is some good anti-anxiety medications mixed into its water supply to keep the residents calm and stress-free. But then again, where would be the fun in that? Haven is only interesting when it has some dramatic story to tell -- and reanimating dead animals and humans is definitely interesting. Just like in the classic horror films, it was like watching the scarecrow suddenly coming to life in the cornfields.
I just loved the werewolf speculations between Audrey and Nathan. As soon as the first body was discovered and it looked like an animal attack, Nathan mischievously noted, "Full moon last night." Audrey then simply smiled and said: "Oh, look at you! Werewolf joke." Then, once the second body was found, Audrey teasingly asked Nathan, "How are you stocked for silver bullets?" To which Nathan wryly said: "Full moon was last night. How many nights do werewolves get?" Audrey then airily replied: "There are rules? Who says?" Nathan quipped back, "The same guy who says silver bullets actually work!" But by far, the best supernatural sparring was when Nathan asked her, "You really think this Jess Minion is a witch?" and Audrey quizzically retorted: "What? We were just talking about werewolves a second ago and now witches are out of bounds?!" As Nathan continued to stare with disbelief, Audrey mockingly observed, "No werewolf, no witch."
This friendly banter belies a bond developing between them. Nathan is beginning to let down his guard and Audrey is feeling comfortable enough to share inside jokes with him. But, like the wrinkle of Duke's (Eric Balfour) affections for Audrey, Nathan too may have a romantic interest on the horizon. Jess Minion (Anne Caillon) was clearly interested in Nathan and made no secret about it.
With her pointed interest in Nathan and only having eyes for him, Jess shared her unique perspective on the value of all life, human and animal, "If the spirits of these animals come knocking at the door of their killers looking for revenge, that is not a crime, that is justice." Her bleeding-heart ideals were only half persuasive. It was not until she appealed to Nathan and his special affliction that she caught his full attention; such as when Jess beguilingly said: "What do you think the troubles are? Magic is everywhere here. It's in the soil, the water, in us." She then told Nathan: "You suffer so much because you cannot understand what's happened to you. You know it's not a medical condition, but you don't want to face the real truth. You've been transformed by magic. You're not less, Nathan. You're more." So when Audrey said, "I don't believe she's a witch," Nathan distractedly responded, "Whatever she is, she is interesting."
While Nathan has begun to wonder if Audrey is drawn to him because he is different -- another puzzle for her to solve or like a shiny new toy -- with Jess, he senses that she is drawn to him because he is special and she values that. Because Nathan wants to be desired for himself, not because of what he is, he wants to believe that Jess will love the whole of him and not just because he is special. So in the end, he returns to see Jess and tells her, "What you said was true -- I don't know about magic, but I'm definitely something different or I could be." Jess then smiled and said, "I kind of like you the way you are. While Nathan may feel less like a lab specimen with Jess, one has to wonder if she too has other reasons for being interested in Nathan. Does love beckon or is there something more that she is not sharing?
Another interesting relationship that is developing is between Sheriff Wounos (Nicholas Campbell) and Audrey -- albeit, platonic, but he too is beginning to open up to her and trust her. So when Audrey made a point to tell him, "You know [Nathan] saved your life, right?" Sheriff Wournos angrily said: "Who do you think has been dealing with all this before you graced us with your presence? Who do you think is going to be dealing with it after I'm gone? I wanted you in this job because you had a knack for dealing with all this crap. I'm just praying to God that some of it rubs off on him." As Audrey stared with amazement at his sudden candor, Sheriff Wournos darkly hinted: "I'll tell you what, Agent Parker. It's a lot worse than you think." Whether to enlighten or frighten, it is fascinating to see that Sheriff Wournos is sharing a bit of the underbelly of Havens secrets.
One of those secrets was Piper Taylors (Fiona Reid) special ability to reanimate the dead. Unfortunately, we saw first-hand why her efforts to bring back her own son from the brink of death resulted in unintended consequences. The moral of "do no harm" is applicable here. A mother sought only to save her son, but in the process she unleashed a monstrous horror. Plus, as Audrey later discovered, if Piper was stuffed too, which begged the question: who stuffed her? Alas, Pipers death only lead to more mysterious questions, for once she was dead, why didnt her son, Landon Taylor (Hal Talidil) die too? Like Pinocchio, Landon was distraught to find out he is not a real boy. So when Landon mournfully asked: "Is that what I'm doing? Living? I'm not even real, Nathan reassuringly touched his arm and said: "You're more than this. You're made of a little magic." Desperately wanting to believe that, Landon will have to cling to that belief. He is not supposed to exist, but he does. Surely that must be magic.
But like Landon, Nathan too wonders if he is a real man. Thus Audrey, sensing his doubts, reassuringly told him: You just saved that guy's life. You may not be magic, but it is close." Nathan may not feel touch like a real man, but he does have the ability to touch other peoples lives and it is that human connection that makes us all human.
What Didn't Work
Why on earth was Audrey the only one wearing bright orange during the search party for the allegedly rabid wolf? While I applaud her common sense to wear a color that would prevent her from getting shot by friendly fire, it was appalling to see all the hunters gallivanting about in camo-garb without any color identifying them as something other than whatever was creeping around in the forest. It is a good way to get shot. A search party or hunting party should have the foresight to dress accordingly and prevent any further close calls. All those hunters with loaded guns and it never occurred to them to take a safety precaution like that?!
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Haven" stars Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour. "Fur" was written by Jim Dunn, and was directed by Keith Samples.
"Haven" airs Fridays on Syfy at 10 p.m. ET.
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