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Haven

Haven Review: Kicked In The Balls and Left for Dead

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William was kicked in the balls and left for dead in Haven Season 4 Episode 13, and it felt a bit like the audience was, as well. As much as I wanted the season finale to pick up the ball and run for goal -- something it wasn't capable of doing all season long -- it never quite scored.

Even worse, answers were few and additional questions were many. After a season full of lingering and weighted stories, it was time to tie up a few loose ends. So let's see what we did find out before the door closed.

Finding William

The best scene came early, when we learned what happened as Audrey gave Duke back his Trouble and he then cured the family of their Trouble so their little baby boy was no longer an innocent life taking out many more with his cries. Just as William predicted, Audrey started to remember her original self, but even better was the effect having his Trouble back had on Duke.

The saving grace of Haven Season 4 has been Eric Balfour's performance as Duke, the single character who showed any true growth and development throughout the year. I'm not the only one aware of this, as his pain at having taken the life of the father was bolstered by moving music that made the scene even more effective as it played out.

Again, Duke saw the shift in Audrey as she recognized the woman William was wishing her to recall, but Audrey wasn't giving any real indication that she was falling under his spell.

As soon as Jennifer read that the four people needed for the Guard symbol in the lighthouse had to come from other worlds, it was obvious the fourth person was Dave. For what other reason would they have mentioned he was adopted if not for him to have been placed by Agent Howard? It was a bit disappointing the clue was so blatantly obvious.

The remainder of the hour became a "race" to get William and Dave into the lighthouse against their will so the four could open the portal and someone could send William back to the other side. The sense of urgency, however, wasn't really there. 

Instead, as Nathan was trying to shoot William with a dart, I was wishing for him to put down the gun so we could get some answers from William while he and Audrey talked about Mara, her original self, and the love they shared. We got a flashback to them dressed as Hansel and Gretel look alikes, talking about the bad things they did, but still very little was discovered about who the hell they are.

They're from another world. Where? What is it? Why did Dave feel the need to go into it if the portal opened? Audrey asked why Mara was being punished, but she never got the answer. There was tease after tease of information, without a hit. We still don't know who Agent Howard was or why he put kids from the other world up for adoption in Haven. Relatively, we learned absolutely nothing.

We did learn that when Duke was re-Troubled all of the Troubles his family line had ever cured were activated within him and only William knew how to fix his malady. We learned that William didn't want to go into the door to the other world and that Audrey doing it to him would make her worse than Mara had ever been.

Yet, at the end, Audrey says she could never let anyone push him into the door -- she could only do it herself. In goes William, and with him Duke's cure. Jennifer dies and Duke starts bleeding from the eyes. Mara asserts herself and asks who is going to help her get William back and I groan, wishing William had tossed her into the other world, because it would have been a hell of a lot more interesting and might have guaranteed a renewal.

There was so much promise at the beginning of the season. The original could have come back to Haven in any form. Jordan could have chosen to give up the fight against her and worked with Audrey to cure the Troubles. Duke could have had a healthy familial relationship with Wade. William could have been the bad guy, trying to bring his original back and all of those other things would still have worked to the benefit of the story.

Instead Haven got lost in circular storytelling that never really found its footing. Characters became dispensable when they could have enhanced the ongoing mythology. As the group got smaller, the plot became blurred instead of focused. A series that traditionally had me on the edge of my seat could barely capture my attention.

Am I indicative of every viewer of Haven? Certainly not. But there is probably at least a few others left unsatisfied with the season, wondering what happened to the team responsible for Seasons 1-3, and whether they'll be able to capture the magic again if granted a fifth season.

Eric Balfour and occasional support from Adam Copeland -- as entertaining and talented as they are -- cannot carry the entire series on their own. While the others are up to the task, they weren't given material suitable to their talents. Emily Rose's runs in previous years as Sarah and Lucy outweighed her work as the lesser Lexie and Mara. Lucas Bryant's Nathan played off of those other incarnations with more zeal.

With a lot of new series hitting SyFy in 2014, I won't be surprised if a renewal is held until their success or failure is determined. We know Haven is capable of greatness and it would be a shame to go out on after a bad run.

It's your turn. Agree or disagree? Have your say in the comments!!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

great review. Frankly I have not been watching this show ever since they pulled BAD CGI LOBSTERS WITH EYES BS and seemingly sidelined Duke for the sake of trite drama. You are right. the season did start with a lot of promise. ITs depressing that this show could not keep it and instead reverted back to its status quo. Oh well.

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@ Invested In Your Future

Did you even read what she wrote? Duke wasn't sidelined last season. They made everything about him. The guy was forced into every plot. And that is exactly one of the reasons why S4 was so bad because everyone else WAS sidelined.

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I agree to disagree with you!!..they were a lot of unanswered questions..but I enjoyed the part where we found out who audrey really was before all her other personalities..and that took us back to the main origin of audrey parker..because truth be told I've always wondered and I did get a few answers..as to dave being the fourth person was kind of expected,I really didn't see jennifer dying..not justified!,this season had more questions than answers..and I think the number of episodes should have been increased because this cliffhanger didn't do it for me..and as for duke..he's growing tremendously so has audrey too..but nathan has been kind of stagnant..and dave wasn't really given a story line until now which is quite disappointing..I'll give this season a 5/10..but I do sure hope it returns for a season 5..and all my questions are fully answered with less questions of course at least to keep the intrigue going.

Modwild
@ sabrina

Did we REALLY get an answer as to who Audrey was? We know her name was Mara and she loved William, was a horrible person who thrived on bringing others pain and did all of this in another world. Oh, and she did it dressed like Gretel. That's ambiguous, at best. The episodes didn't need to be increased. The show did plenty with the same number of episodes in previous seasons. They just dropped the ball this year.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

"The saving grace of Haven Season 4 has been Eric Balfour's performance as Duke, the single character who showed any true growth and development throughout the year. I'm not the only one aware of this, as his pain at having taken the life of the father was bolstered by moving music that made the scene even more effective as it played out." Wow, biased much? This is one of the worst reviews I have ever read. Duke's "growth" arc was something that was explored in S3. S4 was already same old, writers have been at pain since S2 to make us believe he is just as good as the heroes. He is no longer a riddle. Hasn't been for a very long time. No one buys the guy could do anything but the heroic thing at this point. Sorry but I don't see the complexity you see but I guess we have different standards. Season 4 was not the best, it has been the worst especially in terms of the neglect of the two leads, especially Nathan. The writers need to fix this mess. Unlike you, I watch for Nathan and Audrey, not for Duke.

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The season was different that's for sure and as mentioned by the reviewer and others, Eric Balfour / Duke was without a doubt the breakout performer throughout with his return from the farm, his strained relationship with his brother, friendship with Nathan and lastly, but not least, his romance with Jennifer. As for the episode itself, it had ups and downs (did enjoy last season's finale better) and am not sure how they are going to deal with the Audrey / Mara personalities. Wouldn't be surprised to see William back to fix Duke and hopefully Jennifer will be back (a great addition to the show). I do feel that the show will be renewed and if, and when, the network decides to end the show, allow them the time to wrap up everything appropriately. Maybe we will also learn the outcome of James which seems to have been totally forgotten this season.

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@ Barb

Ugh, meant barn not farm.

Modwild
@ Barb

LOL - I knew exactly what you meant. And wasn't he on a farm or something while he was gone? I think you're right. :-)

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I'm of the opinion that the biggest problem with S4 is William. The entire story about William, William & Audrey, William & Mara, Aliens ....was exceedingly tedious and frankly not in the least interesting. I would have preferred the Troubles remained unexplained then the rather than the explanation we were given. Are the characters at the end of S4 more interesting than at the start, imo - no. The story became more important than the characters this season, and it wasn't that great. I wish I could be more positive about S4, but for me it limped out of the gate and never recovered. I've seen before with shows that are picked early, and I was hoping it wouldn't happen with Haven. Season rating 3/10, and those 3 points are all for the Duke character.

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@ CM

CM, you are 100% right. Although I might have given the season a 1.5 all around and an 8 for Duke. This was the most drawn out, boring season of TV ever. I would not care if it did not come back and I have been a HUGE fan of this show. CC

Modwild
@ CM

Remember the Trouble in Season 3 where they guy was in a coma and he as the only one walking around with Audrey unaffected because of it? The season suffered for the loss of those interesting Troubles and guest stars. That was one of my favorite episodes because the writing was so clever.

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There were very few answers in this episode, in the whole season in fact. There were no real surprises either. It's like they are just meandering as a way to buy time, I don't think they have much story left to tell. The fact that they have prevented William from actually revealing who or what they are irks me. Just like last season went on and on about the Colorado Kid but we still don't know who killed him or why? Not to mention so many little questions from S1 and S2. If i does get renewed, I hope the 5th season is the last.
The twist of their 'salvation being their doom' being Audrey herself (Maura) is interesting. It seems she is more evil than William himself. I'm thinking the other world is another Haven, possibly different in some way.
In retrospect, shooting Howard really messed things up.

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@ debz

There is plenty of story; they just tried something they THOUGHT would be provocative and it fell flat. I completely agree about William not letting out the secret. He should have revealed who they were before she pushed him into the door so she would be left without her cover, alone. That would have been an actual cliffhanger.

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Nah, it was as bad as the reviewer said. The most heart wrenching part was after the gun shot and Duke walked out carry the baby blanket.
I feel let down. They are throwing this "alien" storyline out of the blue. Earlier in the series it was inferred that natives of the area had something to do with the troubles. I liked that idea better.
Duke carried the season and they reward him by killing off Jennifer? Not good.
Nathan's skills as a cop seem to have evaporated. He couldn't tell Audrey was changing.
Thank the powers that be, that at least William is gone.
Nobody mentioned what happened to Nathan and Sarah's son, James. Kind of disappointed his storyline vanished.

Modwild
@ MickeyG

Poor James disappeared as much as any significance to Audrey's past incarnations as Sarah and Lucy. For all the time they took to prove their importance they were swept under the rug. Audrey should never have been Audrey in this season. It was so anti-climatic they never recovered.

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Oh stop, it wasn't that bad. I thought this episode was great. The early part of the episode was the most powerful, but the Vince/Dave confrontation was good too. True, there wasn't much revealed, BUT there wasn't much revealed in the seasons 1 and 2 finales either. There too we got a hint of things to come. Only season 3's finale gave us any type of exposition about what was going on. In the end, the "darkness" everyone was afraid of was Mara herself. Very cool twist. Finally, I'm not too sure Jennifer is actually dead. That can go either way (as it was for Jordan last year). My guess is that it's all contingent on whether they can get the actress back next year.

Modwild
@ JJA

Unfortunately, it was that bad. If we knew what a Mara was it would make a fifth season more enticing. I'd be more interested in a Duke/Jennifer spinoff.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

Yes, it was.

Haven Season 4 Episode 13 Quotes

The woman that William wants me to remember, my original self, her name is Mara.

Audrey

Jennifer: You're living with an illegal alien, Duke.
Duke: Hey, I know a person who does green cards.

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