Haven: New World Order/Power

Haven returned for its final half-season on Syfy and Showcase with a two-hour premiere last week, and . . . I’ll admit that I’m not too sad that it’s ending. I love the show, but it feels like time. And I know I’ve talked a fair amount about my frustrations with some of the narrative choices made in the past few seasons. For the record, my wishes for these last episodes of Haven are as follows: I want Audrey to stay Audrey, and I want our central trio to wind up in a reasonably good place vis-a-vis each other. Do I care about the mythology at this point, or whether any big secrets are revealed? I’m not sure that I do, honestly. I’m interested to see how things wrap up, but I’m much more invested in the characters than the plot.

“New World Order” picks up right where the first half of the season ended, with Duke unleashing a host of new Troubles and Haven plunged into crisis. On the plus side: Audrey is Audrey, and she and Nathan and Duke are all getting along! (Duke and Nathan hug. “You’re looking pretty good for someone who was just on death’s door.” “Eh. Yoga.” It’s amazing.) A weird fog created by someone’s Trouble has trapped everyone in Haven – except Duke; he is immune to the Troubles he gives but Audrey is not – and of course the atmosphere of fear is triggering more and more Troubles in a terrible cycle. Traditional policing methods are only scaring people into activating even more Troubles, so Dwight and Nathan decide to tell the cops what’s going on. Dwight: “I hate to ask, but does anyone have any questions?” Heh.

Of course, the cops don’t really listen and keep scaring people, so Dwight unilaterally decides to tell everyone in Haven about the Troubles, disband the police force, and put the Guard in charge. (Nathan: “Nice speech.” Dwight: “Oh yeah? I had to cut out the part about immigration reform.” Funny line, but there’s definitely something a thread about fear of the Other going on in town here . . .) Having the Guard as sole authority in an isolated Haven does . . . not seem like a good plan, in the long run. Nathan agrees with my skepticism, and picks up the police chief badge after Dwight tosses it to the ground. (Interesting method of power transfer there.) Audrey, at least, accepts him immediately as the new chief: “So you need a new recruit, chief?” “I need to see your resume first.” Aww. I’m glad these two are at least stuck together this time.

Duke, of course, feels guilty for causing the situation (not that he was trying to, come on, Duke) and leaves Haven. “I’m not the solution. I’m the problem.” I’m not buying it, and I’m curious how long he’ll be gone. (I just want all three main characters to be present. Is that so much to ask?) But here’s the interesting thing: After he leaves Haven, Duke is picked up by a truck driver who has never heard of the town, even though he must have just driven by it. Has the fog made Haven stop existing to the outside world?

Elsewhere, the Teagues are still dealing with Dave’s Croatoan visions – and one leads them to Joe Senna, dead in the woods. And as with the Colorado Kid, there’s no apparent cause of death. And Charlotte (remember Charlotte? I kind of didn’t! Audrey/Mara’s mother) wants to go back to her own world and take Audrey with her; she even offers to let Audrey bring Nathan along. But Audrey’s not biting: “I am home. I could never abandon Haven.” It’s a moot point anyway, because Charlotte can’t get out either. She also reveals that Mara’s plan to end the Troubles was actually just to KILL ALL TROUBLED PEOPLE. Let’s not do that. Nathan’s still convinced that Charlotte can find a cure with SCIENCE, though.

The second hour of the premiere, “Power,” continues two weeks later. Duke’s still gone, Dwight is still in charge, and Haven is still in only barely controlled chaos. (Dwight thinks that the fog may be a blessing in that it contains the chaos; I’m not wild about where Dwight seems to be headed this season.) A Trouble is killing people in darkness, and it’s bad timing, because power is out to a whole section of town. People are sheltering in a school, but the situation is deteriorating quickly, with fights, battery theft, etc. Dwight is banishing people who steal, and this sounds like a death sentence because of the darkness Trouble, but Audrey eventually discovers that Dwight and his lackeys are secretly just putting “banished” people in indefinite sleeping states via another Trouble. That’s . . . better, anyway, and maybe Dwight isn’t as far gone as I’d feared.

Dwight sends Nathan to fix the power plant, with a team including an engineer, Dave, Charlotte, and Kira, a young woman whose Trouble lets her generate a lot of electricity. On the way to the power plant, Charlotte gives Nathan two potentially important pieces of information: His father’s ring (that he now has) was her husband’s, and it’s possible that large amounts of aether could be used to stop the Troubles. Also during this walk: Dave wakes up a Trouble that kills the engineer. Oops. But with the help of electricity girl Kira (who at one point thinks “Fat free yogurt!” to generate anger), they get the power plant restarted. Nathan and Kira leave in search of aether while Dave and Charlotte work on getting all the power back online.

Back at the school, more dead bodies with no obvious cause of death are piling up, and Audrey finally finds out. “A serial killer? That’s what you’re hiding from me?” Vince claims they’re hiding it so they don’t scare more people into activating Troubles. By nightfall, though, they have to go back to dealing with the Troubles they already have, since the power at the school isn’t back on yet. Audrey cleverly thinks to use light-generating Troubles to keep everyone safe from the darkness Trouble, and eventually the power comes back – and Dave and Charlotte reappear at the school without Nathan and Kira. Charlotte tries to comfort Audrey as everyone assumes that Nathan and Kira won’t survive the dark. They’re half right: Nathan eventually makes it back, but he’s alone and says that Kira’s dead. Everyone’s suspicious – and the next episode is called “The Trial of Nathan Wuornos,” so that does not bode well.

Let’s check in with Duke! He’s in Halifax working under a fake name and trying to go straight, or so he claims, at least. (I’m inclined to believe him. You?) His boss clearly doesn’t trust him, and things get worse when his buddy Monty’s daughter Haley turns up. Duke tries to lend her money but the bank can find no record of his account or of Haven in general, so it looks like, at least for now, Haven simply doesn’t exist to the outside world. Haley half-remembers her now-dead mother using a special ability – clearly a Trouble – to help her steal things, and wants to use it, but Duke resists giving her any information. But his creepy boss overhears and, when Haley tells him she can’t steal things on his behalf, he tries to kill her – and Duke ends up activating her Trouble to save her, killing the boss in the process. I am interested in Duke’s personal journey here, and his attempts to separate himself from the Troubles, but I also miss him in Haven.

(Image courtesy of Syfy.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) She keeps us up to date on TV news in her weekly column "Caffeine." She writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog and her site Read the Screen. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea