Saturday, November 1, 2014

Photo Finish Haven S5E08 Exposure

Previously on Haven! We get a thorough recap of what this Trouble is and how it works, to the point where we're jumping up and down going YES THIS IS HOW IT WORKS NOW FIGURE IT OUT and wondering what, exactly, the mystery of this ep is. Or if it's just intended to be a spooky ep. And then we realized maybe we've been doing this awhile. Oh, and Dave's leg is still an issue, and here we were wondering where the metaplot was. The Teagues stole it. Who's surprised?

We begin on Duke's boat with another meal being brought to everyone's favorite prisoner and a fucklot of lampshades for how she's holding all the cards. Well. Yes. She does have a point, she's got a lot of knowledge tucked away in there and they're not exactly treating her well. That looks like beans or some kind of vegetable-laden stew? soup? again, which might be okay if it were seasoned decently and not the fifth time this week. She lays it out there: Duke needs to release a Trouble, Nathan's a ghost, Audrey's not immune, she's the only link to Nathan they've got and gee, she hammers on that, I wonder if he showed up to tell her about the dead ghost-body? Hmmm. Duke, honey, trying to insist that Mara being your link to Nathan is the only reason you haven't thrown her overboard is… not actually the way to convince anyone this is true. But that's for later. Now is for Mara admitting that she started negotiations with the big thing she didn't think she'd get (the Crocker journal) and she's falling back to… asking Duke for a story about his mother. Oh goodie. I mean, we've been sitting here going "where the fuck are the mothers" for awhile now, but this is a lot bit creepy. And that said, without Duke's mother actually showing up I don't know how else we'd ever have gotten him talking about her. I'd love to know which of the many motives I'm sure Mara has are topping her list: fucking with Duke, getting to know something about him Audrey (and Nathan?) don't, digging for information that may or may not be helpful… it's a veritable treasure chest of motives in there, up to and including Mara knows something we don't know. Duke flat shuts that one down right away, leading to taunts and teasing about Nathan getting dead. She does, in fact, give him enough to make the situation more desperate, but given that he doesn't have any reason to believe she's not lying to get what she wants, and/or exaggerating the direness of the situation… well. Plus it's too early in the episode! This one's going to take a whole long string of events before Duke's willing to break into that pile of issues.

Meanwhile in the graveyard, Nathan and Morgan investigate the scene of the undeadly crime! Oh goodie. Morgan brings up the point that whoever killed Glen maybe doesn't want people helping Nathan try to cross back over, interact with the other side, yadda yadda? We, of course, know our plots well enough to register this as a warning, not an idle confused, concerned comment. Dude. The guy had cancer and he's been here the longest, you really think he hasn't figured out roughly how this works and gone insane from deciding he needs to stay here rather than go back and let the cancer finish killing him? Because really. No, Nathan's not thinking like that. Nathan's not thinking much beyond standard cop work and trying to figure out how the fuck someone brought a knife into the great beyond with them. Morgan points out that he's got a gun, which, okay, yes. He's also continuing to talk about residual self-image because the Matrix, which gives me further twitches about dude, you're pushing this an awful lot, aren't you. Miiiisdirection. Specifics in stories have a fifty fifty chance of being lies over details that stuck for who knows what reason. Misssssdirection! Who's looking for the misdirection. It's not Nathan. Goddammit Nathan you've been around people who lie with the truth or just flat-out lie for HOW long now? I give up. I mean, if we didn't know for damn sure by now that it was a photography-based Trouble I'd buy the whole residual self-image thing too, but at the point people start getting dead I'd start revisiting all the assumptions. Because duh. Look, we're deeply suspicious people, we question everything, it's how we do.

Duke's come to visit Audrey and express his deep and abiding desire to wring Mara's fucking neck. Not that we can blame him. He also proceeds to dodge the hell out of the direct question of what does she want, which Audrey knows by now is a bad sign for what's going on and how it affected him. He's still not going to cough up that Mara wants to know about his mother because, well, no. Not relevant! If he says that enough times to himself it'll be true! Duke, I know you know better about where lying to yourself gets you. Christ. Well, at least he's passing along the immediately relevant information about Nathan, complete with a "she says," because let's not forget that Mara's a lying liar who lies. Audrey takes this with the bag of salt it's intended to convey, and let's start brainstorming how the hell they can cut out the middlewoman. No, not the cute one with a talking watch. There has to be something of him left, if he's not technically dead and he's also somehow interacting with Mara, right? Electromagnetic impulses, heat signature, something, and they get far enough into the pseudoscience babble that Duke gets that oh fuck me look on his face and digs out his phone. Of course he kept their number. Of course it's the Darkside Seekers. Excuse us while we go fall over cackling, even if apparently we're down to one and he's down to sleeping in the back of his van. Oh honey.

Back in the hospital the brothers Teagues are passing the time by playing cards, well, as you do. And bickering, as you do. Those are awfully old-looking cards, and a non-standard design back, I'm not entirely sure what that's supposed to imply or if it just goes along with the sarcophagus and other weird shit decor that is their office? Still, interesting. Along comes the doctor, with whom Dave and by extension Vince flirt with momentarily, reinforcing their dirty old men image and making me cringe a little, before Doc Reynolds tells them Dave'll be in the hospital a little while longer. His injuries from the car crash were minor, but the leg infection needs to be tended to and more importantly, it needs to be determined whether he's going to go out and infect the rest of the population. Which is, granted, a good idea. Not that she's saying that in so many words (at first, she does almost spell it out later) but that's about what 'biopsy' and 'never seen anything like it' adds up to. She also tries to reassure him that it won't hurt, it's not going to be anything terrible, which isn't of course what they're worried about. They're worried that this is a Haven thing that they've brought out of Haven and into the rest of the world. What Happens In Haven is apparently no longer Staying In Haven. And that could mean trouble of the non-capital T kind, in the form of bureaucracy, interference, the whole town version of being strapped to a lab table and examined to within an inch of your sanity. Ruh-roh, boys.

Hi Seth! And all your dorky ridiculousness, complete with both comics and music nerd references. He is, of course, delighted to be called in on a case that he's sure is one that's a real case, given that he's living out of the back of his van I imagine he hasn't had many? any? since Anderson went off. Apparently they managed to write him out by a get rich stop hunting the haunts storyline, fair enough. I'm laughing at them, but fair enough. And now it's time for a semi-monologue about how the Troubles may be supernatural/paranatural in origin but they're still bound by some kind of physical laws, as well Audrey knows by now. Maybe not laws that make much sense, but they're internally consistent. Short version: Seth thinks he can tell if a noncorporeal/ghostly being is hanging around! Whether or not it's Nathan is anyone's guess, and the ability to talk back is… not so much, but it's one-way communication! So that's something like a start. The other half of the problem is relying on Mara for Nathan talking to them, which Audrey would very much like to make go away, so hey, Seth, let's get on the pseudoscience side of things? Meanwhile Nathan stands in the world half a step away and is carefully not-laughing at them. As you do when your friend and your beloved are reaching out to the Darkside Seekers for help; it's not really funny except that everything about Seth is a little bit amusing. Audrey will now talk Duke around to going another bout with Mara, which he is exactly as unhappy about as we all expect and only increases our curiosity about his mother. This is so not gonna be good. Rather the opposite, in fact. But Audrey's desperate enough to ask things of her friends that she wouldn't normally, and she tells Nathan that she'll leave him a note if she has to go out on the case with whatever information she's got. Best Audrey. I do love that she's clinging to what scraps of working around the corners of the Troubles she's got, and not doing a half-bad job of it, for all that she's desperate.

Back on the Cape Rouge Duke has officially gotten desperate enough to try giving a little to get a little. Which will probably turn out to be a very little, but that's why we're calling this desperation instead of a calculated maneuver. He brought booze! A glass full of liquor helps the bitterness go down. Mara questions whether he's trying to get her drunk enough to start talking but he, in this case, will admit that it's not for her, it's for him. Yeah, that's the kind of look I'm giving him, too, Mara. Especially with that comment about needing to be drunk before he talks about his mother. Now, keep in mind, we know jack shit about his mother except that there was a mother who raised Wade. Whether or not it was the same woman who raised Wade as mothered (for whatever value of mothering that is) Duke, we don't know. Simon was a complex guy, he could have had two kids by two different women. Probably did, given that Duke mentioned brothers, plural, back in A Tale of Two Audreys 2x01. Either way, it's not as though Wade ended up as a paragon of stability and good judgement, but more on Wade and Duke and their mother(s) later. Shall we find out what it is about Ma Crocker, Mark I, that sends Duke running for the liquor bottle? Let's shall! At least he brought glasses.

Audrey has entered frustrated and ranting at whoever's in the room with her phase, oh honey. Although this is one of the things that's just who Audrey is: she needs someone around to play sounding board, and in lieu of Nathan or Duke being available she will, yes, even take Seth Byrne. Her whole pile of photos is useless! Seth takes issue with his interplanar communication device being criticized this early in the game, really now, and proceeds to get ranted at. No, she has no minutes, she has too many fucks and not enough data, and no partner. Which leads to a quiet moment of shared loss, never mind that Anderson seems to have deliberately abandoned Seth and we know Nathan's trying to get back to the really real world, it's still a mutual loss and a point of emotional support that they can share. And use to work together! No, Audrey, you haven't forgotten how to do this without Nathan, you're just extremely stressed and fucked up right now, and that's okay. Seth has a pep talk! To the tune of, he was an asshole and to some extent still is an asshole who sees specimens and samples in the Troubled, not people who need help. Which Audrey does, has, and will, because it's her stated purpose in life. (I'm still waiting to see if that changes, or how, beyond skill level dropping due to trauma; the kind of trauma she's been through lately is the kind that starts fundamentally shifting your worldview given long enough to hang out with it. And you can't run away from yourself. But okay. Noted, moving on, they're still working on pacing this season.) Meanwhile she's staring at the photo of Reggie the Troubled Guardsman dude like there's a light starting to dawn. I'm going to have a moment of snarking over how Audrey does her best work when people are expressing faith in her and side-eying the sort of deification parallels that could, in fact, imply.

And we're over to the graveyard, where Morgan has apparently stayed and Nathan returns to tell him that his people on the other side are working on a way to communicate. Yay! Morgan is skeptical but his first, okay, first and a half question is about talking to his fiancee again, which is to be expected. It's also a strong emotional motivator, so let's not rule him out as a suspect for a crime of passion just yet. Which stabbing three to six times is, we only saw three stab wounds but let's not rule out the possibility that some of those are double strikes and look, we've been doing this procedural analysis a while, yes? Yes. Anyway, more than talking to the other side, Nathan is looking towards the part where they find out who the Troubled person is and fix the Trouble and all go home. Nathan, please do remember that you're talking to someone who was dying of terminal cancer, yes? For whom going home might not be the best thing ever? No? No. And yes, first priority is figuring out who's murdering semi-ghosts and stopping them, because if they're really most sincerely dead they're not going anywhere. Morgan will now hand him a suspect on a silver platter in the form of Reggie. The silver platter comes in the form of him adding "maybe the kind of guy who carries a knife" and, Nathan, you've been a cop for how long, can't you tell when he's trying to steer your investigoh why do I bother. I mean, I was with Morgan right up until he added the 'maybe the kind of guy who carries a knife' part, which is the tipping point from helpful and misdirecting to overselling and suspicious. Okay, yes, we're always suspicious, but it's a little less of the facepalm at Nathan if he hadn't added that. But he did. And here we are. It helps Morgan's case that Reggie openly blamed Nathan, as we see in the flashback, for Haven being permanently stuck with the Troubles, and that Nathan admits Reggie wants him dead. Sigh. With that ominous pronouncement out of the way, Nathan will walk off to find Reggie, one assumes. You still might want to keep an eye on Terminal Cancer Patient Ghost, dude, I'm just saying.

Well, the Manteo hospital would certainly like to keep an eye on the Teagues, especially Dave, and Dave is having exactly none of it. Dave, you're operating on fear again with this whole run away and don't look back attitude. Dave. Vince is actually right, there's a sample of your fucked up necrotizing tissue hanging out in this hospital, which is necrotizing because of whatever the thing from the thinny did to you, maybe you should get that before you leave. Although poor Dave would much rather get out and not play patient zero on a lab table somewhere. I can sympathize with both of these problems, really! This is why you should a) have plans already in place for this shit, come on, you didn't think you could get away without contingency plans, did you? yes? Vince, this is why Dwight is a better leader of the Guard than you ever were and b) you should be talking about it rather than both reacting emotionally. Fuckssake. Dave out of entirely justifiable fear that he's going to go be a lab rat for the rest of his life and Vince out of entirely justifiable fear that if they don't get the sample all of Haven will end up like that. Or the rest of the world will end up with an increase in exposure to the Troubles. Or both. (Hey look, it's like the ep name works on a couple levels. Yes you guys you're very clever you can have a cookie now.) So! Given all of that, Dave is booking it the fuck outta there with, apparently, Garland's old badge? That's a really clumsy Chekhov's gun, you guys, what the fuck is he even doing with that. Did Vince!Dave grab it when he was driving down when they were bodyswapped, in case they needed another cover? Is it an emotional token of something or another? What the hell. Apparently Vince, whether or not he can let Dave do that, will now proceed to do it himself. This can't possibly end badly!

And nor can this interrogation/reverse interrogation scene on Duke's boat! Or at least it should be a reverse interrogation scene, lord knows that Mara's been on both ends of this situation by the way she's acting, but she's also got exactly zero confidence in anyone else's ability to spot the part where asking the questions and demanding information is as revealing as anything else. Partly because she's arrogant as fuck, partly because nobody has given her any reason to think otherwise, and partly because she's sitting here hammering away on as many of Duke's big red buttons as she knows about, now that Colorado's turned out to be a non-starter. Divide and conquer? Definitely at least one of the things at work. Mara is maybe very slightly drunk, or just doing a good impression of buzzed; Duke is well on his way to sloshed. Or doing a good impression of it. Let's not forget that he's a decently tall guy and has practice holding his liquor. She'll take a more direct jab at him, having established that Americans do excellent bourbon, over whether his mother is worse than she is. That is, as it turns out, a matter of argument. Mara hasn't been around that long, and Ma Crocker was formative. By this probably very limited telling, it sounds like she didn't show up in Duke's life until Simon died, meaning Simon was a single dad to at least one son, which squares with what we know from the rest of the series. Simon dies, is killed, by whoever ended up not able to deal with his addiction to killing the Troubled anymore. And then he'd've been declared an orphan, and that alone, bouncing around the system, would make sense with what we've seen of Duke! Except no. His mother shows up, lays claim to "reunite the family," which may in fact indicate at least one other brother living with him at the time. (We do know he's not the oldest, after all.) And then she does exactly zero parenting and proceeds to use the welfare check for… drugs, by the sounds of that. So in other words, Duke got addictive personality traits from both sides of the family? Oh honey. No wonder he's been fighting the Crocker curse so hard. Mara will lay it out there for us: Duke learned to steal whatever his mother needed because it gave him even brief moments of approval from an older parental figure in his life, and he'd already had some degree of training from Simon and his being fucked up. I still don't quite know why Simon fixated on Duke rather than on Wade or, if there's another older brother, him too, but maybe this means Duke is the youngest of three sons? Which would be thematically apropos, at least.

Over at the sight of Reggie's disappearance Nathan and Morgan, who has apparently tagged along for the ride, have.... nothing. Except a shadow. Morgan and Nathan poke at the shadow for a bit, and it's hard to tell what Morgan feels about not likely having a shadow considering he was in the water at the time. Or maybe he does have one, on the ocean floor. Who knows. Not him. Left without a trace is what he says, and that's the cue to go into a reminisce about how devastated both he and Amy were when he disappeared. Died, disappeared, by this point he's even semi-consciously bought into the idea that they're not dead, which is an improvement over the start of the episode, saying things like "after I thought I'd died" instead of "after I died." She grieved, he watched over her. He then brings up the thought of haunted houses, ghosts lurking around where they used to live, which on the one hand is a clue to the mystery and on the other hand, does anyone remember the Holloway house? Yeah, I thought so. That, whether or not it was intended as such, can be taken as a clue to Morgan. For now Nathan's thinking about ghosts haunting the places where they lived (reinforced by Morgan's encouragement) and remembering that Reggie was a devout member of the Guard. So, okay, Guard Headquarters it is! There's a nice bit of lampshading on the entire Guard concept itself and how it's developed from Morgan about how that sounds like a supervillain lair and, well, right now it kind of is. At least any Guard headquarters that doesn't involve Dwight and the police station is more likely to be the menacing and unhelpful version of the Guard, rather than the kind that shelters and helps people deal with their Troubles. Morgan would like to know why exactly Nathan is intent on heading into a place full of at least one person who wants to kill him. Answers, of course! Along with the assumption that Reggie actually is the one after him and that he's not going to stop until one of them is dead. Nathan, honey, I agree that Reggie's a decent suspect but can we please stop with the half-cocking? Nathan? Babe? No? No.

Audrey, at least, is not going off half-cocked, Audrey is fully cocking that mother before she fires it. By which I mean she is getting the lecture from Seth on how this particular gadget works. Apparently it works by reading the electrical signals that the body generates when you speak and the magic box translates those signals, and I'm pretty sure it is a magic box because I'm pretty sure there is no significant electrical output during speech that can translate to an audio form. Several other kinds of output, sure, but not electrical. I am not a biologist, though, so take that for what it's worth, and anyway, the relevant problem is that they can't actually put them on Nathan since he's a ghost. Seth fusses that she didn't even compliment his machine before she went straight to picking it apart, Audrey impatients at him some more since, realistically, he didn't actually present a solution even though he presented a part of the solution as the solution. Even better, he moves to put them on her, which since he seemed to be aiming for lower than the base of her vocal cords i.e. her chest, gets the negative reaction you would expect when a relative strange man reaches for your chest. In her case that also means reminding him that she does have a gun, yes, and Seth retreats in the usual please don't shoot pose. Which, thankfully, triggers a memory! Jinkies! In this case the clue is the hands up, that she held a gun on Reggie in the alley but the shadow wasn't posed that way, the way he was standing (or, well, kneeling) when he disappeared.) But it does match the pose in his photograph from Amy's pile of Farmer's Market shots. Therefore yes, Amy is the Troubled person, and hey, Amy, Amy the fiancee? I think so! Excuse me while I do a victory lap in a circle in the middle of my office because it's fucking cold and snowing outside. Audrey is not in the middle of winter so she gets to rush out of the police station as she is, the lucky wench, with Seth and his equipment in tow. Progress!

I'm not even sure this is Guard Headquarters, this seems to be more like Murder Warehouse. Do they perhaps have multiple headquarters, one of which is a Murder Warehouse? Oh well. Nathan's being stalked by a halfway through the wall Reggie and if we shouted loud enough maybe he would hear the red herring through the fourth wall? No? Dammit Nathan. We'll put a pin in that while Vince sneaks into an office in the hospital looking for Dave's sample. Vince, if you're going to sneak, could you move with a little more purpose and certainty? Because then people are marginally less likely to call you on the sneaking right away. Vince, I realize that journalist is your go-to cover, but did you think about anything before you jumped into the office? Do any research? No. No, Vince, I can't let you do that, and neither can the poor random nurse who's busy catching him out. It is in fact the least proper protocol for Dr. Reynolds to be asking a journalist to pick up a biopsy sample for a features article, what are you, high? No, just really scared. Oi Vince. He tries dodging around with appeals to her vanity, which are also not going to work because he's managed to pick out a journal that the good doctor is a consultant for. No, you can't do a features piece on her, that's a conflict of interest. Vince. It's about ethics in journalism, Vince. This is why proper prep is crucial to running a con. You suck and you should feel bad. Seriously, how the fuck did you survive in Haven this long, just relied on the part where nobody really wants to know what's going on? Because out in the less Troubled world people get really touchy when you break hospital protocol and then try to run what the fuck is wrong with you, Vince. (Answer: how long you got.) The nurse will now be locking them in the room together, thereby demonstrating sheer brass cojones because I would be a little wary of shutting myself up in a room with Vince that desperate. At least if I didn't have a scalpel to hand. No matter, he's supposed to be one of the good guys enough that he's not going to assault a random woman even if he could probably overpower her, for which I will somewhat side-eye the writers but ultimately end up grateful for. Even if it's hitting all our embarrassment squick buttons. Augh.

Less embarrassing for us, more embarrassing for the Troubled person of the week: Audrey and Seth showing up at Amy's door. Turns out she only prints her favorite photos, gee, I wonder if that'll be relevant later. Yes, here's Nathan in the pose where he was flashed out of existence. And the inevitable question, Amy, have you ever heard of the Troubles? I mean, at least Audrey's got a script to fall back on for these problems, and in this case it's pretty clear that the Troubled person a) doesn't intend to hurt anyone and b) as long as she doesn't have a camera in her hands she's not going to, but I wonder how long that's going to last and how completely fucked Audrey's going to be when the next Trouble hits. And if it'll be another weekly guest or if it'll be Duke's, for maximum emotional pain.

Mara makes the very reasonable point (given her own background I actually wonder why she's thinking of this so easily, but it is a semi-normal thing to ask) that he could have gone to get help after his mother ran off with her dealer or whatever. Duke will make the also reasonable point that, really, he didn't have the kind of support network that leads a kid to believe there's someone out there he can trust to help. And yes, juvenile services does not have the best reputation pretty much nationwide, in real life as well as in fiction. So what did he do for money and survival, then? Well, he says, leaning in with a conspiratorial air to at least get a moment of camaraderie, I really can't tell if that's calculated or not. He sold bootleg liquor to the kids under the bleachers in school. Having run a bootleg candy shop out of the biolab (look, we weren't supposed to have food on that floor, okay, I realize how silly it sounds) I can attest to how popular that would make him: really fucking popular. Mara seems to find it amusing, though that might as much be on a 'silly humans' level as anything else. And after that, well, it's not hard to draw the lines between that point and the lovable rogue smuggler point, though it might or might not be the whole truth. I'm going with not, because even drunk Duke's got better sense than that. And when he aged out of getting welfare checks, well, that was the end of Ma Crocker's interest in young Duke. Oh, but before we end this sad tale we have one last little twist of the knife. It turns out he did run into her again, later, in Boston, when she mistook him for a drug dealer and offered to pay him sex for drugs. Because that's exactly what you want to hear from the only mother figure in your life (or so it seems), that she not only doesn't recognize you, she's propositioning you. I do not have words for how much ew this is, I need to go take another shower. Where's my steel wool. Mara doesn't seem to share my need for a dramatic outward reaction of ew, but she is considering that. What she's considering it for, I don't know. I'd be worried if I were Duke. When I sobered up. I do think a lot of this is calculated on both their parts, it's just impossible to say to what end. Too open-ended.

Back to the murder warehouse! Does anyone on television actually calm down and pay attention when a police officer says I just want to talk? Is that a thing that happens? No, it is, actually, but Reggie is far from in a mood to talk to Nathan right now, and for good reason considering he's responsible for ending the 27 years of Trouble respite. And Reggie and a lot of the Guard haven't demonstrated any great degree of impulse control. There's a reason we call it Murder Warehouse despite there not being a significant number of murders here. (That would be the cannery.) Anyway. Nathan is making his We Can All Go Home appeal when the sounds of silence turn into sounds of a struggle. Do we know who this is? We do! Reggie and Morgan are struggling for a knife, with Morgan getting knocked through a bunch of... stuff. Between that and Nathan walking through walls I shudder to think what the budget for this episode was. Morgan's flailing has knocked the gun out of Nathan's hands, though, and now Reggie's got a knife and a killing look in his eye, going after Nathan and slashing open his arm. That's not going to be significant later, either!

Amy engages in the standard protests: this isn't her profession, her camera's not high-end, she doesn't take that many photos, yadda yadda but I don't want to have hurt people. Oh honey. I wonder, since we don't get into the familial line with her, if this was a Trouble that used to involve portraiture (which would be a nice callback to Mara's line about painting waaay back with Vicki) and it does, in fact, seem to be one of those sort of Troubles where they tried a couple different things with a couple different bloodlines. Even odds whether or not those Troubles have mutated significantly since William and Mara dropped them on Vicki and Amy's heads. We'll get the payoff for the arm-slash almost immediately upon Amy stammering that she didn't mean to, of course she wants to fix it, etc. Because with a photographer's eye (professional or otherwise) she spots that the photo of Nathan has changed to show the knife wound, which, yes, means that what happens to you in the ghost-world affects the image captured of you before. Yay! It's a clue! Back at the murder and now un-murder warehouse the fight goes on. Let's play spot-the-clues, and by clues I mean guy with stab wounds in his photo. For something resembling humor to lighten the mood, we'll have that photo be one of him catching a frisbee. Oh you guys. Seth lays it out there for everyone in the cheap seats: injuries show up, and you get to take with you whatever you're carrying at the time your photo is taken, none of this residual self-image bullshit that Morgan wants Nathan to buy. Aheh. This leads, inevitably, to okay Nathan's in trouble (and in Trouble) and how do we help him when we can't go and touch him? Well. Um. Audrey has a plan! Nobody likes this plan. I am really amused that Seth thinks this is a stupid plan, grabs the camera, and wants to walk through the what the fuck of how is this even going to work. Well, she's not immune anymore and she's going to go save Nathan and shut up, Seth. He doesn't… really have much he can say to that in the moment of Nathan's being attacked by someone else in the spirit world, frankly. So it's pictures time.

And back at the Murder Warehouse again (third time! take a drink!) Reggie continues to accuse Nathan of, well, not really causing the Troubles but keeping them here afflicting everyone, and tries to impose a sentence of death. Said sentence will be stayed on account of Morgan behind him with a gun! Well, that's one way of doing it, I guess? Whether he's immediately dead or not he's certainly in no position to go stabbing anyone now, he's off of Nathan, and Morgan looks awfully determined. Still not for any blatantly sinister reason, it's entirely possible he's determined to get back to his fiancee and the real world even despite the cancer, but this resolute stare from behind a gun is not giving us the warm fuzzies, people.

After the break... a big fat nothing. This is somewhat less anticlimactic than immediately following the big flash and dramatic close-up on Audrey but on the other hand, then we wouldn't have the commercial break to go augh Audrey's going to go into the spirit world with a spirit murderer! No, it didn't work. Neither of the times it worked. They can't just yet figure out why, but Seth has a good point, why just those people, why not everyone she's ever taken a picture of? She took lots of pictures at the Farmer's Market, there should be a lot more disappearances, but there aren't. This couldn't have anything to do with that offhand comment she dropped about only printing her favorites when they were at the door, could it? Naaaaah. Yes, by this point, there was much yelling at our respective television screens. Instead of remembering that, Audrey is going to call Duke and see if they've gotten any information out of their friendly neighborhood demon in the hold. Because sure, why not, if you've got a resource use her, right?

The nurse is still having a Very Bad Day, though it's somewhat improved by having confirmed with Dr. Reynolds that she's never heard of Vince or his alias, and she's getting to talk to the sheriff now. Uh-huh. Vince tries the harmless old man routine of terrible misunderstandings, no, Vince, that's really not going to cut it. Maybe if you'd led with that rather than lying to her she might've cut a little bit of slack, but I doubt it. She will instead take the line of how dare you view us as a backwards hillbilly town (actually the hillbillies are on the other side of North Carolina, but, sure) full of easy marks fuck you you're going to prison. Not so much fun being on the other side of small town defensiveness, now is it, Vince? I maintain that he should have some idea how to tackle this problem, but frankly the time for dealing with it properly is looooong past and he took the wrong angle to start with. Idiot. I'm going to go bury my face in my hands over improper attempts to con people.

It's time for the penny to drop for Nathan, while he goes to see if Audrey's made any progress on her end of the case. Hi, yes, Amy is in fact Morgan's fiancee, or was, I don't know, does an engagement still count when one party is incorporeal? Though since she just knows he's disappeared she's either holding out hope or still in mourning or both, in that awful in-between stage where you know you should give up hope but you don't want to. That is the realization of a man deciding he can have everything he ever wanted and… is it a mistake that they cast a Neil Patrick Harris lookalike? I didn't use that phrasing on purpose but now it's striking me that he's taking a pretty definite Dr. Horrible/Nice Guy turn in these eps. Eek. (I think that makes Nathan Captain Hammer, if we're traveling these parallels. Nathan the oblivious to how he's harming people? Seems about right.) Off they go to Amy's house for the showdown. This is going to go oh so well.

Back in the hold of infinite power gaming, Duke is ready for Mara to cough up some information. And slurring somewhat dramatically, I might add. Sadly, Mara doesn't know anything about an atomic shadow Trouble which is, really, where their trouble lies: it's not atomic. I see where they're getting the nuclear from, but no. Duke, being the darling of our heart at this moment, goes back to the beginning and goes over the information they now have, which is relatively new information to Mara, who hasn't been with the rest of the Scooby Gang on this investigation. She has some exaggerated ah-hah jinkies gestures for the revelation/confirmation of our earlier ponderings: it turns out that Troubles can evolve with the technology that they influence, and originally she had made a painting Trouble that caused people to vanish, leaving only a smear of paint, when it was completed. I know it's not the precise way this works but for a second all I can think of is Dorian Gray. No, not really, but this is more along the steal someone's soul line, even back in the days of paintings. Also along the lines of the Golem trouble, interestingly, considering her words about the body being trapped in the painting. That also explains why the injuries show up on the pictures, though now I kind of wonder what would happen if you destroyed one of the photographs. Or paintings, I suppose. Let's not find out? The more current problem is, how do you finish a photograph and thus get Audrey over to the other side. Well, you print it. Said Mara and both of us. And Duke gets up to go call Audrey with more alacrity and coordination than one would expect from someone who's been moving slowly and deliberately and slurring his speech, as Duke was earlier. So, yes, most likely pretending. More curious is the fact that he pauses at the threshold of the door to look back at Mara and thank her (and be met with a gleeful little grin, that's creepy Emily Rose, thanks). What on earth is going on in your funny little head, Duke.

Audrey, having received word from Duke, assures him this was worth it. Who are you trying to convince here, Audrey? And how long is Duke going to believe that? I'm just asking. Okay, so they have to print the photo, and in the meantime hey look, there's a ghost! Or two. Probably two, you guys. Not that anyone's thinking about this in terms of what person could have so affected Amy that it activated her Trouble without her being aware of what was going on. And now we're going to flip back and forth between worlds for a bit while Nathan suddenly buys a clue and stops being dumb. Yes, Nathan, that knife is awfully familiar. Why the fuck are you saying it out loud when you know he's got more experience in this haunting thing and can sneak up on you? Cue standard villain monologue. So standard, in fact, we'll return to Audrey and Seth with him offering helpful reminders on how to use the communication device and fussing at Audrey about whether or not she's ready. Uh-huh. She's so not. She's doing it anyway. Personally I would be attaching those wires to my chest and throat now in case it transfers over, but sure, let's just give Morgan the directions out loud in case he needed a little more help. Though for this I can't entirely blame Seth, not being a cop. I can kind of facepalm at Audrey, though. I would like to know, by the way, as Seth celebrates getting to see a Trouble happen and Audrey forgets all her fucking cop training in favor of rushing to Nathan's side seriously woman I'm going to shake you. Ahem. But I'd like to know if Nathan was fucking stupid enough never to demand Morgan give him back his gun, or if we just had that fistfight/sneak attack elided. Either way Nathan's been fucking stupid throughout, it's just a question of how much sense he needs pounded into his head. Dwight, when you come back… no I can't make myself make Nathan any more your problem than he already is, that's just mean. Ahem. Oh look, it's just become a hostage situation and I need a new desk from all the facedesking.

After the break we're back in the doctor's office, or the lab anyway, with Vince looking suitably chagrined, dismayed, and all manner of in deep shit. Damn right you are, Vince. Especially with someone at the what the shit, Dave, what are you doing here. Well, what he's doing here is a better job of faking his cover, which is in this case a police officer with a history with this particular felon. Oh god he's pretending to be Garland. That's still a clumsy drop of the badge into the story, awkward to begin with, but it does help to sell the bit. Anything to help, since Dave's decided to play this dramatically. Vince's 'what the shit, Dave' expression once again mirrors mine. What the shit, Dave.

And now it's time for the villain to reveal the depths of his villainy. This is going to be so much fun. And by fun I mean come here, Morgan, let me strangle you some. He's decided that the correct way to handle this, now that he knows how Amy's Trouble works, is to drag her into the ghost world with him! (Suddenly I'm wondering how many people in her family have done self-portraits either painted or photographed and then disappeared.) PS you are an abusive fuckhead and that will not end Amy's Trouble, though it will prevent her from affecting anyone else. Seth, hilariously, will continue to play the voice of common sense this episode. It's an awkward look on him. I'm amused by it. He's also right, Troubles that can be solved don't generally involve subjecting yourself to them. Amy is not listening, is shocked into doing whatever her fiance wants, and doesn't see anything wrong with this because really why would she? I mean, okay, I might, but I'm a naturally suspicious person, and even then I might be hard-pressed to think twice when someone I thought was dead shows back up. Even their voice. (Which could be a trick, Amy. Let's not forget that.) Seth would like to protest that only Morgan talked YES THAT IS A BAD SIGN. SMART MAN. For all that he's kind of an asshole he does actually have three whole brain cells and he's not emotionally attached to what's going on. Also I think that's meant to be her engagement ring now worn on her right hand, possibly to symbolize holding onto the memory of Morgan while not holding out hope that he's alive anywhere? Anyway. Yes, the hugging you with a gun in his hand should also have been a clue, but I will accept the cops handcuffed together on the floor as a bigger one. Audrey has very few fucks left to give, and the gun's not pointed at them, so she'll start the whole yes we're hostages yes your fiance's a killer enjoy the disillusionment speech. Hey, Audrey. Look to your left, wouldja?

Back in Raleigh, Dave is waxing eloquent on Vince's made-up flaws, apparently he's a liar and a drug thief and probably an addict. And threatening him with oh dear god I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. Dave! Cut the act and get your brother out of there. You really don't need to sell it that hard, although the nurse seems to be buying it, or at least she's nodding while she looks concerned. Whether that's concerned by what almost took place or concerned by the alleged police officer, I'm not sure. Oh, and now Dave will push it even further by talking about how Vince's crime lord persona almost killed his own brother, fed him to the dogs, projecting a little, are we, Dave? Maybe getting in some cheap shots while you can? No, Dave, that's bad. Even Vince will speak up at this one, and get headslapped for his pains. And then he does, at least, march Vince out of there by the arm, snagging the biopsy sample on the way. As "evidence," which is marginally more convincing given the badge and Vince's inadvertent assistance, although it might have assuaged the woman's worries and given them a little more lead time if he'd said he'd have it back to her by the end of the day. Maybe not, that would also give her a deadline to start fussing. At any rate. They've recovered the sample, albeit with horrible clumsiness, and they're out of the hospital. Seriously, you boys need a minder sometimes.

Back in the shadow world of all the issues ever, Morgan is attempting to convince his lady love that everything he's doing is for them, is the right thing to do, yes he knows it looks bad but Nathan and Audrey were going to stop them, and now that they're both here they'll be together... is any of this sounding familiar? Audrey? No, Nathan's not a cold-blooded killer per se, but he did kind of screw Haven over by shooting the barnvatar without thinking of the potential consequences, all so he could be with Audrey. Arguably that caused quite a bit more damage than two deaths. It's not so much a perfect parallel as it is Morgan showcasing a simplified example of the attitude Nathan's been showing the whole past season and a half. Maybe two seasons? Both men are hyperfocused on their romantic partner and that relationship, and Morgan's just taken it to the level of narcissism that leads to murder. Take warning, Nathan. You don't want to be that guy, do you? Don't be that guy. It's probably indicative that he does realize this on some level, or at least it may be indicative that the writers are making this point, that Nathan's the one to point out that the picture Amy took of Morgan on his birthday, all smiling and happy and, you know, not single-minded and violent, is not of the same Morgan who killed at least two people in order to not die of cancer and still be with the woman he loves. Note that we never again see any of the random other people who were ghosts, at least one of whom was on-screen briefly. And yes, it is a terrible thing to be dying of cancer, and not to have a long life with your partner, but that's still no fucking excuse for going around killing people. Amy, much to Morgan's displeasure, agrees. Audrey demonstrates for Amy and all those who are just now tuning into Haven that Amy's grief and need to keep Morgan with her, even in the photograph, is what activated her Trouble, getting a gun pointed at her for that, but instead of shutting her up it makes her skip to the end, which is the That Man Is Gone part. Oh, that's a button, Morgan looks downright freaked the fuck out by this, residual reaction from most likely having to see his own funeral? And the imminent threat of death if the Trouble breaks. It's still too late, Morgan. In his desperation to maintain his life and his love he's managed to make himself into a monster, and that's not someone Amy can love, either. And funnily enough, that realization and that decision, maybe because it brings it around full circle to the picture and the person that started the whole thing, is what pulls them back out into the real world. With, you know, Morgan still waving a gun around, so there's that. And now not only is Morgan waving a gun around, he's dying of cancer! And therefore even more desperate. Ooops. Nathan is the one to confirm they're back, with a hand over Audrey's and the close-up on that makes me think he did have some modicum of feeling (and therefore the Troubles didn't exist) in the spirit world, and it's the lack of sensation that convinces him they're in the real world. That would go along with the whole Troubles linked to bodies thing! But that was never addressed in this two-parter. And Morgan is still ranting about why are they the ones who get to be together, why is Nathan the only one who gets to be happy. There's a giant honking house-sized lampshade there, on the fact that Nathan's been dragging this train along towards his own happiness for quite a while now. Granted, his happiness doesn't by necessity prevent other people's, which Morgan's in a lot of ways does, but he has been at times the least considerate of other people's perspectives and needs. So, yeah. Why is Nathan the only one who gets to be happy? Huh, Nathan?

After the break Morgan is still ranting, right up until Seth rugby-tackles him to the ground. Aw, Seth. I could really get to like him sometimes. He concludes with an attempt at a one-liner that is clearly supposed to be a reference to something, I think Breaking Bad? Having never seen the show, all I hear is Darkwing Duck. Either way, no, that falls flat, Seth, sorry. Cleanup time, with the EMTs hauling Morgan away to what sounds like by Amy's description will be hospice care. Ouch. A brief digression here for a second: it sounds like what Morgan had was one of those fast-moving cancers where you get diagnosed and six months later you're dead, yes, those do still exist, and they're fucking scary. They also tend to play havoc on your systems, not to mention the psychological damage of having all these plans for the rest of your life only to discover you don't actually have a rest of your life, so there are mitigating factors here. It's entirely possible Morgan was a sweet guy up until the cancer and/or until he got sucked into the shadow world, and not an abusive psycho. Still doesn't excuse all the murdering and manipulation and general dickery. For Amy's part, she went through her grieving process a while ago, and she'd rather remember Morgan as the man she loved and lost a couple years ago, and put the man who murdered and threatened people in a different category. Fair enough.

Seth! Seth would like to do some more victory dance over how he took down Morgan and how they solved it and my god that was stressful. Only, as Audrey says, in the way that really shores up the aspect of look what I did look how hard it was, I did good didn't I. Yes, Seth, you did. And yes, it's probably best if you left while you were still ahead. Audrey will unironically thank him, considering what happened last time and considering that he has helped her and been generally less of a dick, and there's been some more exchange of understanding and sympathy this case. And on Seth's side, he's opened up enough to express his gratitude and happiness that he's ... still a badass ghost chaser on his own, I guess. Trying for a bonding moment over being able to do things without partners again, except Audrey's got her partner back so maybe that's more like without her immunity? Anyway. Exeunt Seth, pursued by no bears, composed of death truffles or otherwise. I'm gonna miss that dorky little shit.

It's time for the even bigger lampshades. At this point they're just aiming to cover all of Haven. First we have the hand-holding, which is a significant gesture both as an indication of intimacy and even more so now that Nathan can't actually feel her touch. And now Nathan will draw the direct parallels bless you everyone who decided this was a thing that should be written, between what Amy said about Morgan hurting people so they could be together, and what he's been doing this whole time. First of all let me say that, yes, there is a difference between deliberately, immediately, and personally committing murder and what Nathan's been doing, which is basically acting without thinking and running roughshod over people's wishes, in some cases their express wishes, in some cases even Audrey's. However, in terms of consequences? Nathan is way more in the red than Morgan on this. Just the two major things I can think of off the top of my head, Nathan tried to prevent Audrey from going into the barn while Haven was being destroyed by meteors. Remember all those meteors, the ones that crashed down, caused massive property damage, probably killed a couple people directly offscreen? Indirectly killed at least one person. And then, when he couldn't do that, he shot the goddamn barnvatar. With absolutely no thought whatsoever for the consequences, not having any idea what would happen, and thus the Troubles stuck around in Haven and we can place some of the blame for all of the deaths that have happened since then on Nathan's shoulders. True love isn't going to bring any of those people back, Nathan. Not Wade, not Jordan who could have had a full life if you hadn't shot Agent Fuck You, not any of the people killed by the evil blood, not Glen, not Jodie's family and the poor Guardsfolk she killed, not Dwight's sister. Because of his desperate need to be with Audrey, damn the rest of the world, Nathan has wreaked a lot of destruction. Not deliberately with harm or malice aforethought like Morgan, but still. Audrey is letting him off the hook for this. We will not, so much. And all that said, I'm not going to say what Audrey and Nathan deserve, or argue that they haven't sacrificed a fair chunk of their lives. Especially Audrey's, for that matter, given that her life started not that long ago, if we're counting that span of time as separate from Mara's life. Ultimately... no, actually, I don't know where the balance is between holding Nathan accountable for his goddamn stupid, selfish, and irresponsible actions that have resulted in a lot of harm, and acknowledging that it was stupid and not malicious, and that he has deliberately done a lot of good for the town, including trying to make up for what he broke. Not to mention he's by far and away not the only one breaking shit in this town. (Vince. Dave. I am looking at you.) But I would argue very strongly (and have) that both sides of this need to be acknowledged, and though we haven't had much of the pointing out the selfishness and irresponsibility of Nathan, this episode went a ways towards pointing that out and dealing with it. So, good for that.

Duke is still in need of bourbon. Or just again. Or he's playing up the look at how drunk I am let's see what else you let slip some more. Who knows! Not us. She is almost certainly playing up the slightly tipsy, but she'll agree as how she hates hearing that she saved Nathan's life, which is of course why Duke's saying it at all. Twist those knives a little more why don't both of you. And she has an excellent question for him: why's he keeping her around? Casual deflection about the quality of bourbon's not going to help, here. Mara will proceed to accuse Duke of splitting them in two on purpose rather than it being accidental, which Duke assures her is not the case. Considering it's about as deus ex machina as this show's ever gotten (and it's gotten plenty deus ex on us before), I'm going with all will be explained in time. Maybe in a very long time and probably not without twenty other questions but eventually. I'm also not sure, considering the level of people playing each other going on, if that "believe me" is meant to indicate that he did it on purpose and is (sloppily) trying to hide that or that he really did do it on accident, has no idea how it happened, and is (less sloppily) trying to lead Mara down the garden path of believing he did it on purpose. Take your pick! Mara asserts that she knows how venting a Trouble works, which I will grant out of everyone but Duke she probably does, except this is something new to her. That said, it's common enough magical theory that intent matters, including subconscious intent, so yes, probably Duke did want to keep Mara around. Well, frankly so would I. She's a source of trouble and Troubles, sure, but she's also the font of all knowledge, and Audrey asserted that she didn't have any of Mara's memories unless Mara was thinking about them at the time. Plus, sticking Mara in control of the body didn't work out so well for her, there's no reason to think that sticking Audrey in control wouldn't result in something similar. Getting rid of Mara… might be possible but Duke doesn't tend to cold-blooded murder, no matter what he thinks of himself. In fact with one exception I think all his killing has been heat of the moment and/or suicide by Crocker. (That one exception being the end of last season, and we saw how much he desperately didn't want to do it.) We will not get an on-screen answer as to why he decided on whatever level that keeping Mara around was necessary and/or desirable, just the ominous music cue. But I think any or all of those reasons are entirely plausible.

Let's take our ominous over to the Gull, where we'll have some brotherly bonding over little drinks with umbrellas in them. Dave is still scared and still admitting to being scared, which at this point I think we can say is a solid sign of him being even more fucking scared than he's letting on. The sample's a tangible reminder of everything that scares him and he would like all of it to go the fuck away and leave him alone please and thank you. Not that he's ever been that lucky. Vince apologizes for treating him like the lab specimen he was afraid of becoming, and they'll face everything together and go back to protecting Haven! Yes? Um. No. No, that's a CDC car driving up, does the CDC actually advertise like that? I would think they'd have the fucking sense not to because public panic is a thing and let's not cause one. Eh, whatever, it's a Doylist thing, it gives Dave a reason to book it the hell out of there right after they established they were going to face the scary shit together. Leaving Vince sitting there like an errant schoolboy wondering if he can sell both drinks as belonging to him. No, probably not. And this doctor, Charlotte Cross, happens to somehow know both Teagues on sight already and be in search of Dave. Oh that's not good. That is a whole lot of not good. She's got the city slicker business suit on, light grays and a small pendant that speaks to elegance and the desire to be taken seriously. Probably also a desire to do good? Hopefully, anyway. Vince passes her off with oh Dave is upstate and I sincerely hope he's texting that the second he gets a minute's privacy. No. Everything is not okay. Everything is completely fucked.

Next week! Cross goes around introducing herself some more. Including to Dwight. There's some kind of a lightning Trouble. ANOTHER one? Dwight's going to enjoy that SO much. At least it's not a bullets Trouble. Haven gets quarantined, everyone is freaking out about a scientist digging around in the town, this is pretty much exactly what we've been waiting for for ages. Also that was a weird angle but was that Dwight with a gun, or just his usual taser? Because it sounded like a gun being cocked. What the fuck, everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Audrey has given Nathan a pass on all his destructive and impulsive behavior. She doesn't seem to even share a bit of the guilt that Nathan has which I find strange for someone who is supposed to be so empathetic. There are quite a number of characters who have had to sacrifice a lot (their children, lovers, lives) because of the Troubles and I don't really see why Audrey and Nathan deserve to be happy. In fact I'm beginning to see why the resolution to the Troubles is what it is (kill the one you love), part of me feels like Audrey can't let go of Nathan but Nathan is already dead. (the way she reacts to his 'deaths' in the series, it's like a stunned reaction, almost like she is reliving some traumatic experience that has happened before. That's just me theorizing.