Now for the reason you probably clicked on this link. My thoughts on Haven. You may be wondering (or not) how I can offer a decent review on this series when the finale hasn’t aired yet. You’re right I can’t, but this isn’t about that. It’s about my feelings on what has happened so far. It’s about the characters, their stories, their relationships to each other and how they deal with it all. If you read part one of this blog you may be wondering wait, didn’t you say the opposite about Supernatural? Well yes I did, but one, that’s a different show, and two things are a bit different when a show is ending.
Seems like a bit of cop out to say that I know. If I may bring up a few recent examples. Psych and Eureka. Yes I know Psych is not a sci-fi show hell it’s not even in the same galaxy as any of the shows I’ve referenced so far. But throughout the eight seasons it was on all the characters stayed true to themselves. Even in the last episode Shawn still had his fear of letting everyone down, his fear of commitment and of his inability to actually let himself feel anything real. Gus was still trying to go after the woman he can never have. Let’s admit it (for anyone who has watched the show) if Jules and Shawn hadn’t ended up together again (with Gus in tow somehow) we would have been screaming at our televisions. If Shawn’s dad turned out to be some evil bad guy we would have had a fit. My point being that everyone ended up where they were supposed to, but it wasn’t too contrived or completely out of character for anyone.
My other example is Eureka. Sure it’s been over for awhile now, but it too ended as it should have. In this writers opinion it was a bit too soon but that’s another matter. Sheriff Carter and his daughter ended up driving out of the town much the same way they came in, even if Carter is just taking Zoey back to college this time. Allison and Carter are pregnant and Henry becomes the new head of Eureka. Fargo still gets to be the snarky scientific genius he is. Even the fact that someone bought the town is a good thing when we realize it was our time traveling friend from a few seasons ago. Everyone ends up happy and the town gets to go on being that weird little place that no one has heard of where strange things happen.
This brings me to Haven, when I first started watching it I thought of it as Eureka’s darker, more interesting cousin. As Eureka ended and Haven continued I was glad to find out it wasn’t just a darker version of Eureka. In fact it was better, it had it’s own mythos, growing pains and triumphs. Haven’s starting point is a short story by Stephen King called The Colorado Kid. It involves a young woman named Audrey who goes to Haven Maine to solve the mystery of who killed the Colorado Kid. The annoying thing is that the story is super short and it never really resolves the main problem it sets before us. That’s the great thing about a TV show if it’s done right. You have hours, weeks, days and years to resolve stuff.
We do find out who killed the Colorado Kid in Haven the TV show. Dave and Vince are more than just two quirky newspapermen and Audrey turns out not to be Audrey Parker at all. Well she is, but she’s also Lucy, Sarah, and Mara. I don’t mean she has multiple personality disorder, more like a previous lives type of thing.
The basic story of Haven is this, Audrey Parker comes to town on a routine case as an FBI agent. She stays because she finds clues to her own past and a mother she never knew. She finds a partner in the local police chief’s son named Nathan Wuornos who is troubled (we’ll get to that in a second) and a friendly face and a place to stay thanks to a man named Duke Crocker.
Turns out Audrey’s ‘routine’ case in season 1 isn’t so routine after all. It turns out that it may have been caused by a person and their strange often supernatural abilities. For those in the know these abilities are called the Troubles. They can be relatively harmless, or as is the case with most of them, rather deadly. Turns out a lot people in Haven are Troubled and may not even know it. Audrey finds she can help these people because she’s immune to the Troubles effects. Nathan is able to help because he’s Troubled too (he can’t feel pain.) Duke knows a lot of the folklore and history of Haven as well it’s residents both good and bad. Together they set out to help the residents of Haven. Along the way they uncover Audrey’s true identity and it’s definitely not what any of them expected.
A lot can happen in five seasons of a show. Characters die, the ones that don’t can change drastically. By the end of the show Audrey finds out that she isn’t Audrey Parker, this is just her current form. Apparently she doesn’t age, and in order to save the town she loves she has to leave it every so often. Vince and Dave remember when she was Sarah and then Lucy. Each time she appeared she was drawn to the Troubles and helping those who had them overcome them. Nathan finds someone to love in Audrey, someone he would do anything for. He finds that because of Audrey he can feel again. Duke finds and loses the love of his life. He also finds out the he is Troubled and not in a good way. His Trouble is that if he absorbs a Troubled person’s blood he can use it. He can also cure someone of their Trouble, but only by killing them. It’s complicated to say the least, let’s just say you don’t want to have the Crocker curse.
Throughout the show we see some of the same patterns emerge. Nathan and Audrey while destined to be together rarely have that Sunday morning crossword kind of day. Instead they spend most of their days trying to put out the latest fires in town, or snowstorms or well you get the idea. More than once they feel like they have to make the ultimate sacrifice for one another. One season it comes in the guise of Audrey having to leave Haven to end the Troubles for 27 years; but Nathan is convinced there’s another way and ends up shooting one of Audrey’s friends, Agent Howard in order to go after her. Another season it means Audrey has to kill the person she loves the most to save the day. It turns out it’s not Nathan she has to kill but her long lost son The Colorado Kid (he does get a normal name but I don’t remember it.) Most recently it was in the form of supposed memory loss on Audrey’s part, she came back from the Barn as someone named Lexi but it turns out later in the season it was all an act.
Another pattern that emerges is Duke Crocker’s fight against his destiny. His family has a long rich tradition of killing Troubled people in order to save the town. Duke not wanting to go around killing people (who would really?) tries to work with Nathan and Audrey to find alternative means to help Troubled people. Unfortunately that’s not always possible. In one of the most heart wrenching episodes he has to kill someone’s baby because anyone hearing the baby’s cries will die. Weird, I know but this isn’t your run of the mill show. Surely you’ve figured that out by now? At one point Duke finds out he has a brother Wade. At first he thinks he can keep him from learning about the Crocker family curse but that doesn’t happen. Instead Wade thinks it’s not such a bad thing and turns totally darkside so Duke has to kill him and cover it up.
Earlier I mentioned Duke finding a lover in a girl named Jennifer (I know I forgot to mention her name.) They seem kind of made for each other and a character who starts out as just some quirky plot device becomes a fully realized person. Due to some unfortunate circumstances involving a portal she ends up getting killed. You see what I mean about characters not getting happy endings? I haven’t even started to mention the character who seems to embody this the most, Dwight Hendrickson played by Adam “Edge” Copeland.
Dwight is another character who is Troubled (big surprise I know.) His Trouble is that he attracts bullets. Which is why his character is always wearing a bulletproof vest. He was a doting dad but lost his daughter because someone was shooting at him and his daughter got caught in the cross fire. At some point he finds his long lost sister only to have her die too, though not directly related to Dwight’s Trouble he still feels guilt over not being able to save her too. He finds love in a new character introduced in season 3 or 4 named Charlotte. She turns out to be lying about who she really is so they end their relationship. More recently in season 5 she dies, twice. Talk about not getting a happy ending.
Despite all he’s gone through Dwight maintains a grim determination to help Haven and keep order in whatever way he can. He ends up taking over the police chief job when Nathan goes missing and is the one who keeps everyone from panicking throughout most of season.
If there’s anyone who deserves a happy ending in this series it’s Dwight. Sure everyone wants Audrey and Nathan to finally be together and not have the town they love go to shit. We all want Duke to stop having to fight his family’s curse and just be able to live a normal life. But those are the obvious ones. Sure Dwight’s happy ending is hoped for too, but if he got what he really wanted we would have to have another zombie episode like last week, and I don’t think we want that. You want more zombies go watch The Walking Dead. I did watch an interview with Adam Copeland not too long ago that hinted he may get a happy ending but how we don’t know. We did get a huge clue at the end of last week’s episode but I don’t want to give anything away.
After everything these characters have gone through I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they get what they deserve. Audrey just wants to help the town she’s always loved. She wants to help the people of Haven lead normal, happy productive lives without tearing the town or each other apart. Nathan wants something similar, but he also wants to be able to have that Sunday crossword puzzle type of life with Audrey more than anything else. Duke wants to live a normal life where he doesn’t have to worry about killing innocent people or acting like he’s squeamish around blood. Dwight just wants his daughter back, or at the very least another person who he can make a new family with.
As viewers we want these things for the characters as well. The writers (if they’ve done their jobs right) make us care for these characters as if they were our own friends, family or neighbors. It’s not just the writers who make us feel like we’re being torn in two every week, the actors do a phenomenal job of breathing life into the words written on the page.
After all the sacrifices Audrey, Nathan, Duke and Dwight have made for Haven, don’t they deserve a little rest? Don’t they deserve happiness? Considering the last few episodes I don’t know if the writers feel quite the same way. Particularly with William Shatner’s character being thrown into the mix in the last 4 episodes. Just this week viewers were dealt a possibly horrible blow when we were made to believe Nathan is dead. Personally I don’t think they would kill him off this close to the end of the series, but I’ve been proven wrong before. It doesn’t help that the end of the episode seems to give Dwight what he wants the most, but we’re left to wait until next week to find out if his happiness is an illusion or if he has to face the harsh truth and go back to reality. As the show nears it’s 2 hour series finale next week I can only hope the characters can find some closure, peace, resolution and maybe even happiness.
Since this blog is a bit different than my usual posts I won’t give a letter grade or any sort of judgement here. Instead I’ll leave you with a few questions? If you watch Haven do you think everyone should get a happy ending? Why? If you don’t why not? Even if you don’t watch Haven most of you have probably watched a show where you hoped everything would turn out okay for the characters in the end. What show was it, did the ending fit? Was there ever a time when everyone got a happy ending but it didn’t fit?