Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Grave Man Haven S5E10 Mortality

Previously on Haven: there was a plague! That affected Troubled people! We sat and grumped at the TV about how IT'S PETE, OKAY, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT while everyone was busy trying to make the assorted Troubles emerging not, you know, kill everyone in town. So from an outside the situation POV we were prepared to cut slack. The CDC showed up in town, Dwight got put on cleaner duty because that's exactly what the guy who's gone from Ranger to Guard/cleaner to chief of police and leader of the Guard wants to go back to. Haven gets put under quarantine because that many Troubles are not, in fact, possible to hide. Oh, and creepy fucking dancing bears. Also Dwight broke, tased Duke, and may have broken Duke. I'm still holding out for Duke is playing everyone, personally, but this ep put some laaaarge dents into that theory.

We open with Audrey driving back into Haven, in a way that I'm pretty sure is intended to echo the pilot. HMM. Except this time we have talking GPS informing her that there's… traffic ahead? That's slightly better than a crumbling cliff-face, but not a lot better, and in this case it's the barricade of quarantine intended to keep people out, not draw Audrey in to investigate and then not let her leave. Personified by Rafferty's stubborn no, you can't come in, chief's orders, which is about to end in either violence or at least increasingly loud argument, though Audrey also looks sad and resigned. Why no, nobody quite trusts her anymore, having lost her immunity and having had someone with her face wandering around killing people. It's easy for us to see the differences, and to say what they are, but without a close relationship with Audrey it's not surprising that the people who work with her are still edgy. Not least because they don't know Mara still exists, so for all anyone knows this is the only Emily Rose-shaped person they can assign blame to. Nathan will come riding to her rescue and proceed to update us, with Obvious Camerawork indicating who the Troubled person is again. They really aren't trying, I think, with the Troubles of the week, to hide what's going on anymore. Because the weekly stuff is in the service of the overall arc. (Which is probably why you can drive a truck through some of the plotholes in this one.) There's a nice bit of banter over fucking Haven, and let's get to work, and then Audrey is… coughing in her car? Okay that's fascinating. We knew she was no longer immune to the Troubles as a result of Duke splitting them, but being able to catch whatever the fuck this Troubled-only plague is? What the hell Trouble did she get? Did Duke give it to her? Is it something tied to the Crocker bloodline? The bloodline of whoever's curse he used? Something else entirely, possibly coming from the online Origins thing they were poking at? I demand answers goddammit. The most hilarious of which would be it's nothing more than ordinary pneumonia/bronchitis, but who here believes that's going to happen.

Instead we get Dwight taking Charlotte out to a field ooh, ooh, this is the part from the previews. Where because he's Dwight he's going to start by putting nobody but himself in danger, because fucking Rangers. (There is no ex-Ranger, much like there's no ex-Marine.) I will accept this in lieu of answers. I also appreciate that Dwight's put himself, quite deliberately, a position of less authority by way of riding shotgun rather than driving. Technically speaking, this gives Charlotte a two-ton weapon to use against him, either by driving his side of the car into a post if she gets suspicious, or by driving over him when he gets out. Which I have to say I'd be tempted to do when I saw the big scary dude with a gun. Cross is, or claims to be, Navy-trained, so she just grabs her firearm and heads out. In those heels. In a field. Seriously, the car is a better bet here. Also I don't know if this is meant to tie into what we find out later or if this is the actor, but either way Mennell's not selling me on the ex-military aspects of the character; I keep forgetting that she's meant to be. If nothing else, she should be fucking backing up to ranged distance after she claims Dwight's gun. Someone, by the way, give Adam Copeland a fucking award? All the awards? For that wistful I-hope-I-can-trust-you expression he's got on, the longing for someone who shares the need to protect everyone and not just the few people someone's designated as Theirs? Because goddamn. I mean, Audrey definitely had that drive at one point, but she's been steadily losing it since she came back from the barn, because part of her vulnerability is needing to be loved. Dwight doesn't need love; he needs respect and trust, and those he has infinite training in how to establish via his action. And if the show's about to stand on its head and point out that in some respects and at the far end of extremity, trust is what's going to get you through the tough shit? Or even that love without trust is meaningless love? There will be cheers from this section, let me tell you. And then, and this continues to impress me about Adam Copeland and I wonder if it's something he picked up on his own or as part of acting, Dwight will proceed to continue to demonstrate look-ma-I'm-no-threat by giving Charlotte his back, the distance to shoot him, and generally looking unconcerned. I do appreciate that they both have good trigger discipline! I also appreciate that, wherever Dwight's gun has vanished to (small of her back?), it looks like she's using her personal sidearm out of preference, it's a nice character touch. I do not appreciate the truly awful stance. No no no you don't stand with one hip cocked like that, are you trying to fall the fuck over and/or pull the shot. This is what I mean about the part where I forget she's military; any self-respecting ex-Navy would do better than that. Not that it matters, because Dwight's bracing for impact, Charlotte's giving him all of the side-eye, and oh hey look, that still fucking stings with a vest on and bracing. At least she didn't have armor piercing rounds? Cue standard oh god the gun malfunctioned no, no that's definitely a bullet, more accurately that's a small-arms bullet, embedded in his vest. (This will be important later.) With the reveal, and the slowly dawning horror, and Dwight being earnest and hopeful and wary all at the same time. Yes. Do tell her about the Troubles. There is no way this can possibly go very, very wrong.

Over at the Cape Rouge Duke is telling people to get home and be safe (or more accurately telling people to tell other people, but you know), so I guess everyone's battening their hatches. Mara continues to make inappropriate and annoying commentary, but at this point that's Mara so you just sort of tune her out. And if you're smart, keep a filter on to snag anything useful she might say. Duke does not have the energy for filters right now and is going with the simple expedient of telling her to shut up. It turns out that whoever Duke's been talking to likely told him about Dwight's plan to come clean to the CDC about the Troubles. Mara will now narrate his choices for him, I think less because we the audience can't see them and more to emphasize, with the tick-tock lilt on the score there, that the walls are closing in on him and he'd better pick something, rather than giving him time to think about it and maybe choose something that's less favorable to her. See also how she's giving him an either-or choice not a well-listing-your-options-down choice. Duke doesn't like being trapped, he likes having the option to go if he needs to, and a quarantine over the town and everyone about to discover Haven and the Troubles, well. That takes away a lot of options. So whatever half-formed plan he's come up with now, he's going with it, and it seems to involve following Mara's plan and unlocking her cuffs. He needs her for something! He won't tell her what, because he's not dumb, just compromised somewhat. It's still enough for Mara's satisfaction, going by that little smirk as we go to credits.

Oh, hey, Conrad Coates, that name looks familiar. After the credits they're in the Haven Herald offices, because I guess that was Guard Central before and it still is now that Dwight's heading up the Guard. He seems to have called in Troubled people to convince Cross further, the latest of whom is a person who can age bananas at a touch. That actually could be useful if you worked in cheese production. Or wine? Unless it's spoiling rather than aging. I'm going to stop attempting to apply real world science to the Troubles now and Cross is going to continue, by pulling out some explanations for the banana and the bullet that are anywhere from plausible to ludicrous. The sniper is... semi-plausible except that the bullet is the wrong kind, the banana one is straight out of X-Files. The human body does not produce that much ethanol, and I'm pretty sure even if it did at a touch it wouldn't act on the banana that way, not so uniformly. She does have a point that they would want to stage an excuse as to why Banks died of natural causes if they did murder him, but this? This is a lot of staging for the kind of excuse no one would believe in the first place, it basically assumes that the entire town of Haven, or at least Dwight and his contingent, are flat-out wacky for leaping to this instead of oh look there was a kink in the IV line. As an excuse for murder. Or even a wrongful death. It's ridiculous, and Cross should feel ridiculous for trying to claim it, and she probably does and is only trying to claim it because otherwise she has to admit that Weird Shit Is Going On. And this is why the "it's a gas leak" excuse works, because people are scared of Weird Shit Going On. Banks had a carbonation trouble. He made bubbles. One got into his bloodstream and into his brain and killed him. It's Occam's razor, but in Haven. Eventually Cross will be forced to accept it because there's no other option to explain all the wacky. I still think they should show her one of the freaky dancing bears. If we have to put up with them...

Over in Bangor, Vince is attempting to track down someone in charge, we're not given a title? Someone able to have a sit-down with the governor anyway. Vince would like this someone holy shit it's Warden Morgan. Hey, look, we found Conrad Coates. Anyway, Vince would like this someone to make the CDC go away. And if asking politely for a special favor won't do it, then he'll wave around the Guard tattoo. Or in his case, Guard magical insignia. I still want to know what the fuck is up with that and, no, okay, you know what I want to know? If Mara and William are responsible for the Troubles, who the fuck came up with that one. Considering it's directly tied into opening the portal to shove them both back to a place where they don't want to go, I can't imagine either William or Mara wanted that one to happen, which leaves, what, another of their race? The Mi'kmaq? What the fuck. So, yeah, that's been lurking in the background for a while, it came out at an only vaguely relevant time, sorry about that. And Vince outright says "we helped you, Mr. Simon, now you help us." So, who is Mr. Simon, what is his Trouble if he has one, and what does he have to do with Haven? Tune in next time!

Audrey's got an idea that maybe their Troubled contagion guy's the same guy who delivered a bunch of food to many of the victims before they got sick, and then requested to be put into solitary confinement. Which isn't a bad theory, but she's ignoring the very likely possibility that instead of the Troubled person what she has is patient zero. He'd make a great patient zero! And a rather terrifying one, for that matter. Plausible, too: delivery guys, emergency workers, anyone who comes into a huge variety of people on a daily basis is the kind of person to make a really scary patient zero. But they're not as familiar with tracking this down as they are with tracking down Troubles, so I'll let it slide. Nathan will apparently go all macho on Audrey without a word about why, because he's becoming more of an overprotective asshole and less interested in giving her an equal share in this partnership lately. Kirby, his name turns out to be, insists that he's not sick anymore (his version of this illness apparently including vomiting! yay! it can take multiple forms!) but he keeps seeing how people are going to die. Oh fun. This should be interesting, or something. We all remember Vanessa Stanley from The Hand You're Dealt, the thing that led up to Nathan getting the Guard tattoo and Duke giving him shit about wanting to be able to be the one who kills him, yeah? Yeah, that Trouble. Turns out to be Aunt Vanessa, turns out the poor uni's getting his gun boosted because the kid's nearly suicidal himself by now. Oh kid. Cue talking the kid down, which doesn't take very long because he's young and inexperienced enough to be more dramatic about his suicide threats than anything. The uni goes off to get cops with tasers, I suppose that's one benefit to having Dwight for the chief, there's always more tasers. (Actually I'm not sure why anyone's allowed to wander around the station fully armed, but maybe just for psychological comfort of This Is How Being A Cop Works.) At any rate, the correct way of going about this is to take on Kirby's list of deliveries prior to getting sick and figure out who's causing it. I'll do the IT'S PETE DAMMIT dance a little longer, while Audrey has another coughing fit, conveniently timed for when Nathan's not there to see it. No bets that he'll be around for the third one, right? Kirby, being at heart a decent guy, will conveniently reach out to keep her from falling over from coughing, which let me tell you with a cough like that is a real concern. And his vision of the end for her, not that we see it, is that she and Mara go at the same time. I really have to wonder how fixed this all is, or if it's accurate only out to a certain time period, or what. We don't see it from Kirby's POV, so we can only guess. And of our terrible trio, the only person we haven't heard about their death from? Is Nathan of the martyr complex. Hilariously enough.

Over on the roads, Duke has stuffed Mara into the back of his jeep, handcuffed, so at least there's that, and is driving her somewhere as yet unknown while she complains. And speculates aloud that they're going to kill the person responsible for the contagion (always possible! I kind of like Pete, though, I'd rather not see him die. I'm going to be so disappointed.) to which he quite reasonably points out that he can do that on his own, and why does he need her. Duke's plan is in fact to haul her off to the person responsible for the contagion so she can modulate it down from Trouble-activating plague to something more like mildly irritating chicken pox. Unfortunately, she needs aether to do that. Fortunately, he knows where it is. Oh this doesn't have the potential to end badly at all. This is another one of those moments when I really wish Duke was playing everyone, possibly in conjunction with Dwight. Also one of those moments when I become increasingly convinced that he's not. Hoo boy. And here they come up on the quarantine barrier! So by the look of things it's around Haven proper, not the surrounding environs, where the Gull and the Cape Rouge are. Or maybe the Gull is in Haven Proper? hard to tell. Duke and Mara will now have a brief argument over whether or not she will hide under a blanket that smells like... feet? I actually thought she was going to say smells like pee. Why does it always smell like feet, though? I don't find feet to be a particularly objectionable smell. Cow farts, now. Yes, I have smelled cow farts, they smell fucking awful. Anyway, Mara objects to hiding under a blanket that smells like feet right up until she sees the police blockade, then she's all too happy to smell feet for a bit. There you go. Fortunately by this time in the series Duke has a relatively cordial relationship with the police, so he's able to both conjure up a lie to first deflect the quarantine and then bribe Stan to not search his jeep both without getting Stan suspicious (he is a known smuggler, but apparently contraband rum is not high on the list of Haven PD's priorities?) and without contravening whatever of Stan's morals say he should check the jeep. Also without Stan getting shivved by Mara and the screwdriver, both of which will be important later. So, yes. Duke is running an errand for Dwight with contraband rum in his jeep, that's the lie. That's not even that bad or improbable of a lie! Hell, for all we know he does have an entire case of the illicit rum in his jeep. He also just happens to have a murderous alien witch person named Mara. As Duke's established before, the best lies are rooted in the truth.

Over at the Herald Dwight and Charlotte are continuing to go over the existence of the Troubles, in this case by now reviewing the cover stories. Hey, these cover stories look familiar! You can click around on the link for our reviews of the Haven Herald cover ups and the original Twitter links, they seem to still be active, but to sum up: Haven Trashed By Burnt Gas Pipes is 3x01, aptly titled 301, also known as the alien believing dude causes all kinds of weird shit around town by inflicting his beliefs on everyone else. In a far more literal sense than usual. Up in the corner we can see the start of Erratic Behavior Tied to Contaminated Meat, which is 3x02 Stay, the one where the dogs turned into humans. The suicide and the rock slide do not seem to be tied in with previous cover-ups on the Twitter campaign, though I wouldn't put "rock slide" past people trying to deal with Garland's Trouble, and suicide could be any of half a dozen things. It doesn't help all that much, but it does help a little. Charlotte allows as how things are being discovered all the time that don't fit into pre-existing world views, and Dwight sounds much more tolerant of being tacitly described as non-human or, more charitably, a new species or species variant, than he might otherwise be if he weren't kind of maybe sort of attracted to her. Which he totally is. She still is having a hard time believing in the supernatural, but she apparently has no problems applying the laws of science to the supernatural, which... I guess works out, if you move on from the base premise is insupportable to, assuming the base premise, all else works as scientifically established? Skipping right over the existence of the Troubles, which most people tend to do, see also ignoring the Weird Shit Going On, the reason Dwight hasn't gotten sick yet is because the end stage of the illness is to activate the Trouble, and Dwight's is already activated. The disease has, or would have, in his case, run its course, and there's nowhere in him for it to latch onto. That's actually scientifically plausible! Ignoring the weird base premise. Also ignoring the comment about all his muscles. I can't tell if that's clumsy writing or a clumsy flirting attempt by the character. I'm going with the latter because it's more funny. Less funny is the fact that she's pulling on this to take it to its natural conclusion, that if one is made immune by having one's Trouble active, you could in theory create an artificial immunity with... something. That something, as it turns out, is "something that creates a Trouble." Like, oh, aether? Or Mara? In retrospect the ooh shiny science Jane Foster transfixed by that other aether expression should have been a giant fucking red flag. I think we were, admittedly, too distracted by creepy ass bears, being sad at Duke, and yelling about Pete for that to register fully.Look, it happens, okay! There are a lot of moving parts in this show and it is very much to the writers/directors/runners/actors credits that they keep track of all of them.

The bears, sadly, are still in town. And as fucking creepy as ever. Apparently missing one after getting Eve out of town means… I don't know what, that's a really sloppy bit of dialogue. Does that mean the pet store is the new locus for dancing bears with dead father issues in them? Or that that's where they stored the rest and Audrey put this one in lockup because they ran out of room? In which case it should be that the pet store is already overflowing with all his friends, rather than and now, but that's not the important part, the important part is Nathan's got info on who must be the source of the contagion, except Audrey keeps staring at the bear like it holds the answers. No, it just holds the fucking creepy, Audrey, don't do that. Her flail at the moment is not about the case, but about the shit Mara said to her last episode, about only being a husk, not being a person at all. Yeah, we were kind of expecting that to come into play, maybe not quite this soon, but still. The things she's saying aren't entirely coherent but boil down to: what if she never existed before Duke separated her from Mara, and what if she's not real now, and what is reality and how do you determine your humanity. Oh Audrey. Nathan will reassure her first with the fact that they love each other, in the certainty that he doesn't even have to hear it back to know it, and proceed to list down all the shit they've seen together that's a pretty convincing argument for why this is real, why she's real and not the manifestation of some other Trouble, like any number of Troubles which cause external beings as manifestations of someone's subconscious. Besides, if she were the manifestation of Duke's subconscious, or even Mara's, she probably wouldn't be quite this attached to Nathan. Probably. Further discussions of this will have to wait while that third on-screen coughing fit happens, because drink. All the drinking. It's good for what ails.

Nathan has gotten Audrey tucked into a hospital bed and is going and consulting with Gloria, who is still treating the living because when you have a plague you get all hands on deck. No sign of a pathogen, so I guess it isn't ordinary bronchitis/pneumonia/thing there, and given the current state of things is a plague on Troubled houses, yeah, it's entirely possible that she's gotten that. In which case, though, is she Troubled? What's her Trouble? Is she not Troubled but has the same genetic markers as the Troubled? If she's not Troubled but the end-stage of the disease is to activate a Trouble, will the disease just keep circulating around and around in her body? Signs point to yes, maybe, on that last one, except. There are a lot of excepts, and while it's a good thing that we're finally taking some scientific approaches to the Troubles, no one has time right now to do a full bloodwork, a look at her DNA, take full samples of everyone else, track down Mara for her DNA, and look at all of this. Nathan is coming with us along as far as if she's got the contagion that means she's Troubled, but then takes a left turn onto the What's Her Trouble cul-de-sac until Gloria yanks him off of it with a reminder to catch the idiot whose Trouble is causing the illness. Yes. Let's do. IT'S PETE GODDAMMIT. And Gloria goes off to continue to be a doctor, let's all remember now that medical examiners have to have a medical license to qualify for that title, so she's just making use of old skills. (Coroners can be the guy down the street. I'm not even kidding.) Gloria will also keep an eye on Audrey to make sure she stays where she can be treated if she gets worse, and offer up her approval of our dear pancake couple. Awww. And as she's leaving, up comes Dwight, first to offer his sympathies and then to deliver the bad news that Duke and Mara are both gone. Mara's gone from the hold, more specifically, and Duke's not answering his phone as to why. Nathan does point out that Dwight did kind of taser him a little, and by a little we mean what did you expect Dwight, that he'd just roll over and admit you were right to tase him and he'll go along with whatever you say? No. Not happening. My guess is this is equal parts Nathan knowing Duke and Nathan pointing out that Dwight kind of lost it and was being an asshole back there. Oh boys. Stop fighting, would you? And stop being dicks, it makes me sad. I mean, as a writer I'm glad that they're finally taking turns at being unreasonable and intractable as opposed to Nathan getting that role most of the time, but as a person who wants them all to be safe and competent and happy it makes me very sad. Anyway. Duke and Mara are gone, but right now they're the lesser of multiple evils, the first priority is the contagion and by the way Dwight needs the aether. Wat. I mean, okay, it is not the unreasonablest of theories, that Charlotte working with the aether might be able to formulate something useful, but wat. Nathan suppresses most of the snarkier things he wants to say, we can see him suppressing it, good boy, and goes straight to the practical look this is going to be a pain in the ass. And I'm not exactly sure whether the "you told her" is for, you told her about the Troubles, which is one thing, or you told her about the aether, which is another much more highly toxic secret. I'd be more pissed about the latter, myself. Dwight is all indignant that Nathan isn't behind this madcap scheme, Dwight, when the hell did you become the one to string together careful theories and thin hopes into something you hold onto with both hands and refuse to consider other points of view. This isn't a good look on you and I don't like it. Not that Nathan's reply is all that reasonable either, but for once, his protectiveness of Audrey is very very much grounded in real threats. Not to mention, apart from her history with the CDC they still don't know Charlotte that well. Trusting her with the Troubles, okay, maybe, trusting her with the aether? That gives me an uncomfortableness. We interrupt everyone's uncomfortableness for a mass casualty call, a chemical spill in the morgue. Or, more accurately, a "chemical spill." DWIGHT. For the love of sweet golden retriever puppies, do not give Charlotte the entire rest of the aether. Oh, apparently we left Nathan in charge of it? ... actually, given current situations that's not a bad thing. We will now take a moment to argue about whether or not Nathan should have given the combination to the safe to Dwight, and why, and then Dwight will go stomping off in a huff. Goddammit everyone. Goddammit Dwight what happened to your voice of reason. Come baaaack. We interrupt my making sad faces and throttling gestures at Dwight for Laverne to call Nathan and narrow down the potential Troubled persons to one delivery the driver made. IT'S PETE, NATHAN. IT'S FUCKING PETE. JESUS. I really hope some of that "oh for the love of god" on his face is "I should have seen this coming" because he should have. I mean, yes, we can see it in terms of narrative convenience and limiting the suspect pool to known characters, but there's also the fact that, who was triggered for upset just before the contagion started and who works in the relevant field? Yeah? Uh-huh.

Duke and Mara being who and what they are, we've bypassed the "how did they get into the office" in favor of skipping to nervous music and Duke being an excellent safecracker. Cue snark and banter; Duke's starting to get to a point where he's willing to banter with her, which if he's not playing her is never a good sign as far as identifying with the very dangerous person you shouldn't be underestimating. Also, relevant question remains relevant: when the fuck is Duke going to vent a Trouble? Apparently Nathan would stash his Bronco in this safe if he could, but safe to say (ha) that Duke knows Nathan's hiding places pretty well by now. Mara is bad at this sneaking thing. So bad. Get away from the windows and make it look casual, do you know nothing of covert ops. Except here comes Dwight, and in what is some of the worst character continuity I've seen on this show, apparently all that Ranger training doesn't extend to oh look, two people are hiding under a desk and one of them keeps moving and jittering around the place in fear of discovery and wanting her aether. Seriously, Mara, quit that shit. This is where we looked at each other and wondered again if Dwight and Duke were mutually playing people, because what the fuck, situational awareness. Best case I can fanwank that to is either Dwight is more target-fixated than we thought, in which case I want to throttle him even more, or he gives no fucks and is opting for pretending he doesn't see them because if he does he has to deal with that rather than with the contagion, which is still top priority. And it has the benefit of getting the aether out of Mara's reach! We'll, um, pretend we're going with that. Meanwhile Mara will be pissed and both Duke and Mara are having an awkward moment from enforced physical proximity. Please let this not lead to making bad decisions about your sex life, Duke, we already know she's trying to turn you into her next William. Ugh.

Up at the big courthouse, Vince is having words with his government contact about no, seriously, call the fucking governor. Yeah, but on whose authority, Vince? Dwight's in charge of the Guard now, as Simon's established, and that's enough reason for him to question if this is a good idea in the first place. Vince will now proceed to be the same kind of snarky motherfucker that he got owned by down in Manteo, hilariously enough, over being called small-town. Back when he did lead the Guard he has, apparently, hold of some kind of information about a scandal that Simon was involved with that forced out the governor's rival? Or something? Vince, when you growl it's hard to make out what you're saying. The upshot here is, yes, he could ruin Simon's career without doing any harm to himself at all, so here, be blackmailed into it. I'm quite sure Vince went in armed with the knowledge of what he was prepared to do and who he was prepared to do it to, too. Just because that is well within his wheelhouse, and even if it's a bit sloppy it's also desperate times.

Over at the morgue apparently this Trouble involved some sort of pool of acid, so, yes, chemical spill. Just, not the kind that comes from improperly stored chemicals. Pete is feeling particularly guilty about this one because he froze up while everyone stampeded out of there. The Troubled person in particular won't be a problem anymore, the Trouble burned a hole through his chest, so, he dead. Took two people with him, several others injured, just a taste of what could happen if everyone else's Troubles activate. Actually, heh, I wonder if this is who Dwight was referring to when he mentioned liquifying the town. Oh, well, it's not like there's a shortage of potentially deadly Troubles. Which everyone well knows, and about which Pete is fussing and worrying and getting increasingly more nervous, they have to (and by they we mean Nathan) find out whose Trouble is causing this and stop it. FUNNY YOU SHOULD MENTION THAT, PETE. And yes, at this point we did do a bit of a victory dance about being two for two in the Troubled Person Pick. A very little bit of a victory dance, because with Pete's anxiety issues this is not going to go well. Starting with Pete, do not calculate how many people are going to be infected in a week. Pete, stop that. Pete, if you have to calculate go calculate pi or something. PETE. Jesus. Pete will now freak the fuck out because he's the cause of a terrible plague that could wipe out a lot of people, and Nathan will freak us the fuck out by pointing out that Charlotte sniffing around his records started the Trouble. Which, in light of what we find out at the end of the episode, did Charlotte trigger the Trouble or did she actually start the Trouble? Or did she exacerbate the Trouble? Let's all remember that there isn't anyone around who can see the glowing handprint of ominousness anymore, not and who's likely to tell us. That's going down all kinds of bad possibilities, so let's go back to Pete, who is also going down all kinds of bad possibilities. Only unlike us, and this is a non-trivial point, he is not actually psychologically able to stop himself. I can't entirely read his math, but I'm reasonably certain it's inaccurate? Though if not by the end of the week, certainly by the end of two weeks. The music would like us to be alarmed by this.

Nathan, poor dear, is going to try to get Pete to calm down. Unfortunately Pete is not the kind of person who calms easily. Honestly, it seems like Pete is neuroatypical in some way, whereas the people Audrey's been talking down have been largely neurotypical and therefore the same general formula works for each. Not so much here. Telling him to focus on his breathing and his emotions were not helping, and yes, in this case I probably actually would tell him to calculate pi, that wasn't entirely facetious. Or calculate factorials, or draw a fractal, or some other mathematical and precise but thought-requiring type activity. Unfortunately Nathan is not me and did not grow up with a recreational and professional mathematician and teacher in the family, so the idea of numbers and mathematics, processing, as comforting isn't something he can latch onto tangibly. Poor dear, he does try going down in that direction, but lacking anything concrete to give to Pete, the number problem he keeps going back to is, how many people are going to die. Yeah, that's not good.

Over to a small lab which looks more like a storeroom temporarily set up with a 'scope and slides and maybe if they're lucky a centrifuge. Dwight is, to his credit, not letting her out of his sight with the aether, which is maybe the most sensible thing he's done about it this episode. We get to learn a little bit more about Charlotte when he asks if she needs a break and she turns him down on the grounds that stopping means confronting the implications of reality being turned upside down. And in the interests of not becoming a ball of flail on the floor, let's not do that! Look at how well thinking about things is working out for Pete, which I'm pretty sure contributes to the arrangement of these two scenes. Cue a story about being in the heart of the Congo Ebola outbreak and how her containment suit got ripped but she kept going out of faith in her competence to go find a solution. To Ebola, lady? Now you're demonstrating a… well, okay, that's a reasonable scientist level of arrogance, but fucking still. I will also note that Zaire, the Republic of the Congo, and the DRC are all locations that have had multiple outbreaks since the discovery of Ebola in the first fucking place, so it's impossible to track that down to a single time and place. The Congo is a wide descriptor, 75% mortality rate is approximately average for Ebola, in conclusion that's awfully obfuscatory of her. (1976, 1995, 2001-03, 2007-09, and assuming we're still in 2010/11 the other outbreaks haven't happened.) So that's a wide range of options, and I'm sure Dwight's meant to pick one of the more recent ones to fit with her stated history. But the point she's trying to make here is not that she's overly dedicated to her job but that she has no idea how in hell she'd science her way out of golems, mermen, and the cake-eating Trouble. Well… fair. Dwight will now open back up at her, which on him looks like cutting himself open in the hopes of having someone who'll actually help. Oh Dwight. If you were a little less focused on that (and damn you Adam Copeland for selling it this well) you'd pick up on the manipulative warning signs. As it is, no, he's going to talk about Afghanistan and how that forced him to believe in the supernatural, and Charlotte has a choice. Which to her, and I think some part of this all has to be truth, whoever and whatever she is she is driven by a desire to protect and understand things. The best lies are built on the truth, and she's selling it too well for it to be all act. But to her that would be turning her back on science, a form of recanting the evidence of her eyes tantamount to Galileo being forced to recant by the Church. Well. All right then. Dwight is going to be intense at her awhile longer, not saying the "you are so hot right now" that we can all see, and instead ask if it'll work. She hopes so! I hope their definition of making things work is actually on the same page.

And here comes Kirk, remember him? To fuck things up. Great. Not that it's unlikely for the Guard to be running around issuing challenges to the authority of the new guy, but under these circumstances really? Does he have to? Apparently he does. He doesn't even provide a logical framing for the complaint, just pissiness that the Guardsmen are confined to their homes and how dare Dwight. Never mind that there's a plague on. Now, if Dwight hasn't told them that if their Trouble's already active they can go about their days, but if it isn't they're in danger, that's on him. Sadly, the dialogue fails completely and utterly to inform us which of these is the case and it's portrayed as Dwight's slipping in not-dissimilar ways to how Vince was, honestly. Except Dwight's slipping because he wants to protect everyone, not just the Troubled, and Vince slipped because all he could see doing was protecting his brother. It is now time for Kirk to go interfere with the questionably-good doctor… no? No, it's time for Duke to put him in a sleeper hold, drag him into the storeroom and be the muscle in case he wakes up, and let Mara be the one waiting for the all-clear or to tackle Charlotte, one or the other. Meanwhile I sigh at Dwight for leaving Charlotte alone with the aether which it had seemed he was being good and NOT doing, and sigh more at Charlotte leaving it alone. Seriously, people, your paranoia sucks. Get more.

Back at the hospital/morgue Dwight is checking in on Nathan, who is marching Pete down the hall like he should be in handcuffs. Because that's going to help things. The posture is at least as much Pete's doing as anything, though, going by the guilt which propels him to confess that his Trouble is the contagion. Dwight thinks this is good news! Well... it's news, anyway! Pete does not think this is good news, no one is talking him down, there's no way to stop the Trouble, well, there's one way, but no one's bringing that up yet. Dwight suggests they bring him to Charlotte for potential treatment. Let's all remember that this is only very potential treatment, yes? And not actual treatment, and she didn't believe in the Troubles until earlier that day, and Charlotte is the one who triggered it in the first place? Yes, being around her is going to calm things right down. Wait. No, no it will fucking not. Fortunately? a hospital worker crashes to the ground behind them, distracting them all from the impending Charlotte argument. And shortly thereafter, everyone's losing oxygen. Or at least everyone's making with the statements and blatant indicators of losing oxygen. Yay, a new Trouble! Wait.... wait, no, that other thing. A quick sequence of conversation determines that this is Kirk's Trouble and that he must still be in the building, which makes Dwight's first priority to get him out of the building. Or at least somewhere where he's not depriving a bunch of people, including already sick or injured people, of oxygen. Nathan's first priority is Audrey, because that's how he do. Oh Nathan. He does at least stop to grab an oxygen tank and mask for Pete, because they don't know what will happen if Pete dies. And apparently Kirk's Trouble doesn't suck all the oxygen out of a space regardless of where it is? That's useful, that means people on oxygen are still alive. Even if they might end up being the only ones.

There's some nice editing as Nathan staggers down the hallway, steadily losing oxygen, with the blurred vision and stumbling? Yeah, that's what happens. Plus the panic and the not quite thinking right and the everything else, hence why he defaults to "other people? naaaah. AUDREY" despite the number of people he passes in the hallway. Seriously, Nathan, aside from saving her what's she going to do? She's still sick. She's not immune anymore. Also you could use an oxygen mask yourself to get to her quicker. No? No. He's also not going to make it to carrying her out of the building, oh my god you're in a room with a window break the window. Still no! Which, again, this is a function of oxygen deprivation, I'm just mildly annoyed that after all this time this is the thing that makes people get stupid in a crisis. I do, on the gripping hand, appreciate that they pulled a Trouble that's environmental, meaning it affects Mara, too! Well, if she had any hopes of hiding the fact that she was ransacking the room-cum-lab for the aether that's gone now. We will cut back again to Nathan, who just barely gets the oxygen mask on Audrey before it's his turn to pass out. Yaay. I have no idea where Duke was while this was all going on, maybe he wandered off to prepare the getaway vehicle? But he's coming around a corner rather than having been the first one hit by Kirk's Trouble, and the nurse on duty tries to fling out pathogen of all things. Dude. Halon suppression system malfunction, come ON, you're new to this hiding shit thing, aren't you. Duke has much the same expression, as well as the look of like fuck do you think I'm not going down there, running into danger is what I do. That's even good free-diving breathing technique! I love the random bits of continuity we get. We can probably blame Balfour for that, I'd not be surprised if he does a bit of free-diving, himself.

Mara has found the damn aether! Which is unfortunately less useful than an oxygen tank at this point in time. It's a bit hard to tell with O2 dep cam going on, but yes, there are still three aether bubbles in the jar. A Wild Dwight Appears! Dwight uses my SERE training makes me more able to function in this than you. It's super-effective! At least it helps him grab the aether before Mara can do anything unpleasant with it, even if he does waste precious oxygen sniping at her. Seriously, Dwight? Bad. Bad Dwight. He does waste more precious oxygen telling Duke to get out, but at least that's a more reasonable use. Duke is the least affected here, partly because he had the sense to get a few gulps of air from the window before coming in and partly because he, too, has trained lungs, and also because Dwight's been in the area of effect longer. Duke will now proceed to establish his loyalties and drive that wedge Dwight started even deeper into their relationship by grabbing Mara and hauling her out of there, rather than, oh, anything else. Well, this is going to be fun. They regain oxygen outside of the hospital, where Duke learns that, no, she was not able to get the aether. Well, screwed or not, he could go back in and get it from Dwight. No? I'm not actually sure why he didn't think of that, given that Dwight is pretty well incapacitated and dying at this point. Any of half a dozen reasons, most of them relating to him not being firmly stuck in the realm of thinking of Dwight as an enemy and someone who needs to be defended against and stolen from. Oh shit, here comes Pete.

Pete is still stuck on it's all his fault and he must die. God, Pete, don't say that around Mara, really. He does at least blather enough to inform Duke that Audrey's gotten the Trouble plague, which Duke reacts to with dulled disbelief. Mara is overjoyed that her ... whatever. Twin sister? Clone? Identical daughter? is going to die, she's skipping and dancing. Meanwhile Pete has decided that the Crocker Trouble is the only way this is going to end. People keep doing that to poor Duke. More significantly, Pete says that he spent his whole life hiding the Troubles, and now his Trouble is going to be the one that exposes them, and I'm back to the thing where he didn't know he was Troubled until Charlotte came around and triggered it. Possibly in more senses than one. Grr. That's going to nag at me till this Charlotte thing comes to a conclusion, and possibly after. Meantime Pete is still going on and on about how Duke has to kill him so the contagion ends, and Duke keeps shaking his head and saying how he can't do that. That's okay! Mara can! Quite cheerfully and decisively, too. Screwdriver to the neck. Remember how that was going to come back later? Uh-huh. Speaking of things that are coming back to us. After the break Mara keeps nagging at Duke to go finish Pete off, he doesn't have a lot of time left, etc. Duke is, understandably, pissed at this. Incredibly pissed. If she wanted him to like her, this is not the way to go about it. She continues, however, to berate him with such unpleasant truths as if he doesn't finish Pete off a man will have died in vain, and if he doesn't finish Pete off everyone else is going to die because he didn't use the Crocker Trouble Sponge to eliminate the plague curse, and so on and so forth. Just because she's right doesn't make it any better.

Rather than witness the killing, we'll have some parallels that are going to suck not very much later, where we focus on the people who're about to die, kudos for the focus on Nathan's Guard tattoo that means pretty much fucking nothing to him these days, and then Dwight sitting up. With the wild-eyed I went down in the middle of combat give me something to punch adrenaline surge, but no, the aether's all still there. One of the balls looks like it might be smaller, which might be Cross having taken samples for examination. I don't think there was time for Mara to have split one in all the O2 deprivation. Charlotte has a new goal in the wake of all this: cure the Troubles! Oh god, I suppose she could have said something more like catnip to Dwight than that, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what. Particularly with the forced-teaming of 'we,' which is even wholly believable given their respective (purported) backgrounds in the military! I have such a bad feeling about this. Even if Cross is purely human I have a bad feeling about her and Dwight meshing into the do whatever's necessary for the good of many team. Nathan and Audrey will give me my other bad feeling as they reunite on, all yay! Pete figured out his Trouble! Life is going to get better! Uh-huh. Nathan, after this long in fucking Haven, why in hell would you say such a thing? And whatever Audrey has it's still affecting her. That is a truly impressive cough, it sounds like bronchitis if anything, and it doesn't resemble anything we know about Pete's contagion Trouble. I will be amused if it turns out to be normal bronchitis, but somehow, after Gloria's report, I don't think so.

Over in the Jeep of Self-Loathing Duke has on, well, the I need a fucking drink expression is I think what we call that. Considering the last time he had that expression in a situation like this, he needed a fucking drink. Mara, of all things, will now open the conversation with I know what you're going through. Duke's response is modulated appropriate to the medium, but I think if he were on HBO or something he would have said "the fuck you say?" or something else with more swearing. Because really. No, Mara claims, she wasn't always a carefree murderess, she had to work at it. And that's why she didn't trick him into killing him, but instead... well, she did do her part to force the choice, no matter what she's claiming. And this is where it gets really insidious because she's now bringing up Audrey and her manipulating Duke into killing the organ-consuming guy (The Farmer 3x03) and comparing that to Mara's much more straightforward, oh just kill the fucker so everyone can live. First of all, yes, Audrey emotionally manipulated Duke into killing the one guy. Mara also forced the issue by jamming a screwdriver into Pete's neck, thereby eliminating every other possibility, whereas Audrey was still willing to try to isolate all the organ-Trouble-related people or... well, other improbable solutions. Mara does admit that there's blood on her hands too, mostly Pete's, but she's also holding herself up as the moral high ground over what Audrey did, and I'm not convinced that's valid, and Duke isn't sure either. Mara then brings up that she wants to help Duke, stop him from needing to kill anyone or needing to release a Trouble (and when exactly is that going to happen again?) and by way of a good faith gesture, she'll... handcuff herself again. Yeah, that's not inspiring confidence that she won't mutate his Trouble into something worse given access to the aether, and I'm not sure it is in Duke either. She will, however, repeat his statement that they're on their own. Because she hasn't done enough isolating him from his friends already. This is going nowhere that is good. Yay! No, definitely the other thing.

Last but by no means least, we'll visit Bangor a third time. If you have any booze left, feel free to chug it down now. Simon has an oh-shit look for Vince, because yes, he did suggest to the governor that the CDC get the fuck out of Haven. The governor was indeed willing to do this! Except for the little problem of, what personnel from the CDC? See, I knew that car with the logo on the side was too flashy and inclined to incite panic to be any good, but they did a really good job selling it for two episodes so I thought maybe it was just a for-TV thing. No. No it was not. And now we get to play the game of, is Charlotte human? Is she hunting for Mara, is she sent from that side of the thinny, is she looking to help or looking to harm? There's a not-implausible scenario in which she is to Dwight what Mara is to William, which is awfully vomitworthy if so. If she is human, with what group and to what purpose is she here? Probably not the CDC, since that was a very prominent Look Who I'm With gesture. Could she be with the barnvatar's group? Is there a barnvatar's group? We don't have nearly enough information to make an informed guess about where this is going yet, except that Charlotte wormed her way into power and information first thing and I'm guessing that was on purpose. The fact that doing so might allow her to become trustworthy enough to offer genuine help is the variable we can't account for yet.

Next week on Haven! The Duke and Mara duo looks like it's going about as badly as we all feared, at least for everyone else. Dwight learns from Vince that Charlotte Cross is nothing like what she appears to be. And someone, Mara or Audrey I can't tell, is arguing that helping someone helps her. Sounds like Mara to me. Could be either. I think we should all be concerned by the part where we can't tell for sure by this point. Audrey's playing lab rat, someone's losing a hand, none of this gives us much to go on but none of it looks good, either. Especially given that, whoever Charlotte is and whatever her purpose is, if she knows anything about MarAudSarLu's role in Haven, she doesn't know that Audrey and Mara are now separate entities. Yaaaay. This is going to be fun.

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