I was thrilled when I heard that we were getting a holiday special episode of Haven, because a) I love Christmas and b) there’s nothing like winter in Maine, where the show is set. Except – they set this in July. Why? WHY? All I want is real Christmas in Haven, but apparently Syfy is not granting my wishes this year.
The other sort-of-issue I had with this was that it took place outside of the timeline of the rest of the show. On the one hand, I completely understand why they did this. The season ended with cliffhanger, and it would make no sense to pick up there for a one-off Christmas special. But they could have inserted it somewhere else in the timeline. Personally, I would have been satisfied with a quick framing device in which one of the characters flashes back to this event that took place last summer. I just didn’t like it sort of floating around in the ether.
Anyway! All that said, this was a decent episode. The Trouble of the Week started when Christmas decorations start appearing all around Haven in July – and only Audrey thinks it’s weird. Nathan, in fact, claims that it’s Christmas Eve and claims that Christmas is always in July. Audrey has bigger things on her mind, though, when people start dying – including a guy strangled by Christmas lights – or just vanishing. It turns out that a girl named Hadley is accidentally turning the town into a replica of her snow globe. Her grandfather had had a toy store and accidentally made a toy train set come to life and his family disappear; his Trouble was passed down to Hadley and triggered by her grief and confusion over her parents’ separation.
Audrey and Nathan eventually realize that an invisible wall has appeared around Haven – like the outside of a snow globe – and cut them off from the outside world. As people disappear, those left in town forget they ever existed (except, of course, that Audrey remembers everything). By the time Audrey figures out what’s going on and finds Hadley, almost everyone in town is gone and a goopy paint-like substance is starting to cover everything in Haven. Audrey convinces Hadley to hand her the snow globe, but just giving it up isn’t enough – Hadley has to stop living in her fantasy world in order to make the real world come back. Audrey concedes that she and Hadley are the same: Hadley thinks she has to be alone, but “You don’t. We don’t.” Aww.
Elsewhere, Vince and Dave are discussing the future of the newspaper and the way that they adjust their articles to cover up the Troubles. Vince wants to consider selling, but Dave won’t hear of it. The paper ends up being extremely important in solving the case, though, as Audrey tracks disappearances through the population figure on the front page and uses its subscriber list to find addresses. After everything is resolved, Audrey uses this to convince them to keep the paper going.
Even though the developments in Audrey and Nathan’s relationship we saw at the end of the regular season haven’t occurred yet in this standalone, the pair do have a few cute moments. Early on, Nathan realizes that Audrey doesn’t like Christmas because she has no family, and thinks she’s pretending it’s not Christmas as a coping mechanism. When she keeps insisting, though, he eventually says “I want to believe you. I always believe you.” He decides to keep his faith in Audrey – and just when he’s saying “I should have trusted you from the beginning,” he’s one of the final people to vanish from Haven, leaving Audrey – like Hadley – all alone.
Once everything gets back to normal – or Haven normal, anyway – Audrey, the one person who knew all along that it wasn’t Christmas, throws a Christmas party. (Duke, hilariously: “Why are there so many cops in my place?”) Nathan and Duke have a touching (no, not that touching) moment under the mistletoe, and Audrey presents them with the Christmas gift they both wanted as kids. She could only find one, though, so they’ll have to share. Aww. In great Christmas movie tradition, Audrey ends the episode with a pronouncement to the group: “Today I was reminded how important friends really are. And how lucky we are to be here.” Indeed.
(Photo courtesy of Syfy.)