Now that Mara's gone and the series has been canceled, it's getting really good again. Well doesn't that just figure?
One of the things this series was once able to do really well, and has discovered a way to do again, is to focus on the mythology by using the Troubles of the week to color in the details.
Haven Season 5 Episode 16 did a great job of this, as we learned to whom the Darkness Trouble belonged and how it tied in directly with Nathan defending his life.
Both Nathan and Dwight were in top form for the hour. First Dwight had to calm the masses, and he proved once again why he's a very effective leader. He has a very soothing effect on the people, making them feel safe, yet not babied.
Thank goodness he did such a stellar job, because he was leaving the trial of Nathan in the hands of Vince, Dave and Kira's fiance, Tony. If things had gone poorly, Dwight would have been out trying to save the very girl for whose life Nathan was on trial and of no hope if it all went to hell.
Not only was Nathan defending his life against a death that hadn't even occurred, but he felt as though he was defending everything he had done over the years that Havenites may have misunderstood without proper context. And let's be honest, there is a lot of material that falls under that category.
Audrey: It is not your fate to be executed for something you didn't do.
Nathan: But that's just it. Some of what Tony said I did do. So I feel like I'm on trial for being me, or at least the me that I've become since I fell in love with you. I want to defend that.
Bringing all of this to light now, and the extraordinarily beautiful speech he gave to the people about hope, love and light in the darkness, not only tied the Trouble into the bigger picture of the Troubles within Haven over the course of decades but for viewers of the series the past five seasons. That's what Haven has always been about.
When the theme music starts, there is a magical feeling that washes over you, and it's not about darkness and Troubles, but love and hope. Maybe I'm being corny. Or maybe you have felt it, too. And that's why, when the series wasn't at it's best, it took a beating from people like me. Because we know it's capable of hours like this one.
We have to light up the dark with hope. That's the only way to make life worth living.
Charlotte and Dwight reconnecting in the dark just before the Darkness took over and then realizing they were still alive as the music played was a beautiful scene, too. They got lost in the shuffle and the madness of Mara, but when Charlotte first arrived in Haven, there were definite sparks between her and Dwight. Let's hope they continue as the series closes out its run.
It's also great to have Audrey back doing what she does best. Helping people solve their Troubles. Even if she can't do it in the same way she did before, she's learned enough about them that it doesn't matter. She's just that good.
With plenty of aether found for Charlotte to do whatever it is she needs to do to make a cure, she needs the help of her daughter. Unfortunately, the Sandman (who hates that name) just took her out. But that's hardly the bigger of the problems facing Haven and Audrey as Charlotte gets ready to create the cure.
Who gave Tony the notebook full of information on Nathan? Is it someone they know and love? Who is the turncoat? What's up with the killer? He might not have been taking lives during "The Trail of Nathan Wuornos," but that doesn't mean he just up and disappeared. Will he be attached to William Shatner and might he be Charlotte's presumed dead husband?
And we have to touch upon the Duke storyline because what was the purpose of all that Hayley business? Just to splatter him with blood and take him back to square one? Well why didn't he just stay in Haven then? I would have expected more from a leaving-Haven storyline. Maybe I'm wrong, but all I see now is him becoming another threat when he returns. Pfft.
Everything else happening in Haven is far more interesting than what's going on with Duke now that he's been separated, and that's coming from a Duke fan. It feels akin to the flashbacks on Arrow. Pointless and irrelevant. Tie it in already.
This second half of Haven Season 5 is a surprisingly good and well thought out return. It's too bad it took so long to get here and viewers were lost in the meantime. But for those of us who hung in there? Hooray for us! Make sure you hit the comments and chat about everything that's going down right now.
The best news is that all the episodes are available to watch Haven online the very next day on all digital platforms. Amazon is my favorite and you can get a season pass so you never miss an upcoming installment!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.