Saturday, October 31, 2015

When The Man Comes Around Haven S5E18 Wild Card

Previously on Haven: aether aether aether, wait there was COMMUNICATION? People told each other things? Amazing! So now everyone knows Charlotte's got enough aether to end the Troubles. At least in theory. Also, Duke found Seth in Halifax and they're roadtripping to North Carolina to find the weird preacher guy who can pull evil black tar out of people's souls. Uh-HUH. This won't go strange places at ALL. Or predictable ones. Also, Dave's still having those weird visions of Croatoan and people dying and the No Marks Killer. Which are the same thing. Which we have been saying for how long now?

We open with another vision! Oh YAY. Complete with shakycam, unknown school? office? building, and a guy getting black goo sucked out his eyeballs. Also a screaming woman or girl, it's too shaky to get a good sense of age on either of them. Actually yay, though! Because this time Dave manages to get not only a location, but a clock! And a potential survivor, at only half an hour out, yes Vince they are going now. Hey! That also resembles communication! Albeit not with Dwight and Nathan and Audrey, which would also be a good thing if you're going after what you currently believe to be some kind of serial killer. Dave. I'm just saying. There's a balance between so cautious and fearful you don't do anything about the shit you know, and rushing headlong in without fucking telling anyone. Find it. Please.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Haven S2E04 Sparks and Recreation

Previously on Haven! Duke. Duke and tattoos. Duke and Evi. Duke and his wife Evi. Also, the Rev, so our factions are heating up this ep. This is going to be fun and by fun I mean oh everyone. Except the Rev. The Rev gets basically no sympathy from me. 

We open with a dose of Ordinary Sinister, happy guitar chords and a Little League game and everyone's there! Oh, and so is that bird that just got electrocuted by one of the lights and fell dead on the ground. I want you to note this is less than a minute in, including the previouslies, and we're getting a distinct Bad Shit vibe even beyond the Rev and Duke and Evi. No, of course they're not ramping up to something really awful, why would they do that, I'll be over here with the s4 finale rocking in a corner some more. Fortunately for us, Nathan and Audrey are still themselves, and she's still able to use him as one of her fixed points for self-identification. Right now that takes the form of giving him shit about stereotypical small-town macho-ish traditions, this one's in the form of everyone having to pick a side for the kids' baseball game. Audrey has about the same expression I get for anything to do with baseball, which is "really? seriously? you expect me to treat this as a sport? can't I just nap instead? or do anything more productive, like watching paint dry?" Okay, I might be projecting a little there, but seriously. And then they run into the Rev, which is the last thing Audrey wants to add to a day of what she expects to be utter boredom. Oh Audrey. You get no boring days in Haven, didn't you know? But in a typical demonstration of small-town weirdness over rivalries, Nathan and Driscoll are putting aside most of their issues with each other for the day, although we can see them tensing up and waiting to see if the other will start something. The Rev concedes first, and it's like a very bizarre sign and countersign of the SeaDogs' cheer. I'm with Audrey. I think my head just exploded, and I can explain the anthropological reasons why a small town would need one day for everyone to put aside their differences, pick a team, and cheer their hearts out without regard for who else is in their cheering section until I'm blue in the face. I think it's because the guys are doing such an excellent job with the physical tension-bordering-on-comedy.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Damn Your Eyes Haven S5E17 Enter Sandman

Previously on Haven! Haven vanished from the world as everyone outside of it knows it, with Duke now stuck on the outside. Troubles, Troubles, and Sandman. Who hates that name, because of course.

And of course the second the show proper starts up I hear the cheerful boingy strains of Mister Sandman, send me a dream. At this point not only is that song overplayed, it's a big fat indicator that bad shit is going down or is about to, sort of like Walking on Sunshine was the serial killer anthem for a while and any time you hear the low dulcet tones of It's A Wonderful World you know we're panning across some horrible battle or blasted wasteland. I'm guessing because the rights are cheap and of course because there are only so many songs on the theme of Sandman to go around, but some songs are just sort of hardwired in by now. And on the other hand it makes for cheap useful shorthand.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

As Night Is Dark And Day Is Light Haven S5E16 The Trial of Nathan Wuornos

Previously! Dwight points out that the fog bank/shroud/whatever the fuck at least keeps the miserable shit contained to Haven and doesn't inflict it on the rest of the world. He's not wrong! There's a darkness Trouble that eats people. Literally, eats the flesh off them. Duke got sort of an episode of peace and quiet and then his boss was an asshole and he ended up semi-adopting a friend's teenage daughter. With a Trouble to the tune of Kitty Pryde. Oh yay. Dwight is keeping shit from Audrey, always a great idea, and that's a clip from s2 and Duke's first blood-sponge incident where he finds out what the Crocker Trouble is. That can't possibly be good, considering blood sponge plus both freaky eye-things plus Duke theoretically NOT being Troubled anymore means he has some unpleasant surprises coming. Oh, and we have another serial killer, this one they're calling the No Marks Killer, as opposed to the Eats Your Everything And Isn't A Wendigo killer. Nathan and Kira went off to track down the aether while Charlotte got the power plant working again, and then Nathan came back having found the aether and declared her dead, nearly starting a riot in the process.

So we'll pick up where we left off: at the point where Tony the fiance is trying to incite a riot. Jesus you're a dumb asshole. I get that he's upset and grieving but, as McHugh points out when he comes out to play Dwight's enforcer, this is a great way to set off everyone's Troubles. And get more people killed. And can we, y'know, not? Cue Dwight coming out to take stock, and getting a lot of runaround from everyone. I admit freely that Nathan's a decent liar when he thinks it's in a valid cause (namely, keeping knowledge of the aether secret), but telling Dwight in the middle of the crowd that he needs to talk to him privately is noooot exactly helpful. Especially since he compounds matters by continuing to lie about Kira being dead! It only looks like a lie because we know Nathan, and he lies by overdoing the sincerity and looking at people straight-on, which is one of the harder tells to spot. But it also fits with the data we have, namely unless Nathan got a second Trouble, how the fuck did he survive the darkness? Or unless there was a thinny/portal/something down there, which we had no indications of. McHugh is not being exactly helpful, but he is providing just-the-facts-sir for Dwight: Nathan and Kira left the power plant, he won't say where they went, now she's supposedly dead. Meanwhile Tony will continue inciting a riot by asking how many people lost someone because of the power outage. Seriously someone put a gag on that man before he gets people killed. Oh wait. That wouldn't help. I count approximately six hands raised, which is fewer than I expected, honestly. He goes on to claim that Kira was their ONLY hope against the darkness Trouble, which is patently fucking untrue: lots of people have been helping newly Troubled control their Troubles for the past two weeks, something everyone there should know, and on top of that the assorted glowball Troubles were what saved them the VERY NIGHT BEFORE. So it is entirely fucking unreasonable to assert that Kira is their only hope and so on and so forth. It's semi-plausible in terms of what a grieving probable-abuser does, but it's bullshit and at least some of the crowd should know that.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Life Half-Lived Haven S2E02 Fear & Loathing

This is one of those ridiculously loaded eps that's a) only as loaded as it is in hindsight and b) I'm pretty sure they've still got some weapons stockpiled in their Chekhov's Armory from this one. So brace yourselves for a lot of fucking swearing, y'all, this one's going to be an interesting ride. Previously on Haven! There were two Audreys. One of them understands and is immune to the Troubles. The other one hasn't quite learned yet not to say that things in Haven are impossible. Both are duly freaked the fuck out. Oh, and Nathan can't feel things, and someone with a goddamn fucking Guard tattoo wants to kill Duke, and Garland died so now Nathan has to hold the town together. That's a lot of themes running together at once, you guys, dear lord. It's kind of impressive how they managed to actually work them in without making my head explode from pacing.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

What's Done In The Dark Haven S5E15 Power

Previously, on Haven. I think "Everything went straight to hell" is still accurate, don't you? Mara is theoretically gone for good, but hey, it's not like magic is an exact science. Someone's Trouble has warped Haven into a pocket fog dimension, with a black mist eye pulling serial killer, the policing has been turned over to the Guard on the basis that they have more experience, and Duke has fucked off for parts unknown where no one has heard of Haven.

We start off with two very good signs that everything has gone straight to hell: resource lines, and using the local schools as emergency shelters. These are pretty much universal in extremis behaviors! We also get a good sign of how normalized the Troubles are because Audrey's outright saying "If you know your Trouble, please tell the men at the door." So, yeah. It's not so much a new order of things that way as acknowledging what was always hidden. Haven's finally admitted and is starting to come to terms with itself as to what it really is. The rest, though, as with all major all-encompassing crises, yeah, that's a new order of things. Resources are scarce, the future is uncertain, that means there are going to be tensions, people trying to exploit the power they've given, people having too much power and severely fucking up with it (Dwight I am looking at you) and general bad actors. Give it a second.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Run On For A Long Time Haven S5E14 New World Order

So. It's the last season. Everything's gone straight to hell. And we're punchier than we've ever been, so here's the deal. For those of you who are amused by such things, we're starting a "Fucks Given" jellybean jar. Guess how many times we dropped the f-bomb while we were watching or discussing and working on the recaplysis. Whoever gets closest wins a No-Prize. (Which is basically a shout-out on the blog, if you never read the Marvel comics at the right time.)

Everyone buckled in? Got your safety gear on? Everyone got a firm grasp on their buttocks, their wits, and their boozahol? Because we're all going to need it. Previously, on Haven! Charlotte is Mara's mother. (No, not Audrey's, even if she really really wants us all to believe that. Creator, sure.) Mara made Duke into a Trouble bomb she plans to set off unless her mother lets her out of Haven. Honestly while I firmly disapprove of her methods, she clearly hasn't been taught better. Dave is having mysterious visions of a lot of people dying and the word Croatoan carved into a rock. This just gets better and better! Audrey talks Joe Senna down from his Trouble, which is surely only here because it will be Important Later, and oh, Charlotte is a terrifyingly manipulative evil bitch who's willing to kill her own daughter and make Audrey be the whatever-non-human-being she is in order to get someone who won't point a gun at her. Charlotte has not met Audrey when she's super pissed off. Oh, and Duke exploded with Troubles, as per Mara's threat. Seriously what the fuck did you expect, Charlotte.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Audrey II Audrey Haven S2E01 A Tale Of Two Audreys

Previously, on Haven! The Troubles. Agent Fuck You Howard. Audrey helps Haven, quitting her alleged job at the FBI to do so. Nathan! The Chief's son, and the consummate small-town cop. Duke! Resident bad boy. Nathan can feel Audrey's touch! The Chief turns to rock and explodes! Vince and Dave pick up the pieces, in an astounding display of symbolism. The Rev is ominous and threatening! And Agent Audrey Parker comes to Haven. The other Agent Audrey Parker.

So we start off with this resolution of the first of several cliffhangers, only not so much of a resolution, I think. Audrey being Audrey, she's more interested in answers and getting things to a point where people aren't in imminent danger of death than following the letter of the law and procedure of the FBI, especially when she's starting to get the idea that she's not Audrey Parker, former FBI anymore. Before she found out that she had been Lucy Ripley she might have been closer to Nathan's stance, but now she's at the very least reeling from that and aware that Audrey II is right, she is the real Audrey Parker. Not that Nathan has had time to absorb the implications of that yet, as much as she had. A little too much has been going on to have a good sit-down about what she's learned, which is definitely a recurring problem in Haven. Nathan is fully in favor of challenging Audrey II and shooting her if need be; as he says, he knows his Audrey, and she's a stranger. Let's all note that Audrey II is also in standard government agent black, whereas Audrey Parker even when she thought she was an FBI agent leaned towards lighter neutrals. It's a little bit as though costuming is reminding us what a real FBI agent looks like, and that our Audrey isn't. So. Audrey II finally surrenders to the logic of two guns pointed at her and puts down her weapon, and Nathan holsters his and, presumably, moves to handcuff her. Audrey looks like she's lowering hers, though not holstering it, and we'll skip the formalities for now.