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.

Over at the Good Shepherd church (let's all take a moment to try and picture the Rev as a good shepherd, don't all bust a gut laughing at once) (and no, the church was not founded in a year of Troubles, it was 20 years after one cycle, 7 years before the next) a boy in a yellow raincoat is making a paper boat out of a piece of the Haven Herald and floating it down a little stream of storm drain water. I'm sure 90% of you know where this is from, IT, right? Of course right. No, scary clowns is in a couple episodes. Duke walks by, glancing at the boy, and heading straight for the Rev as he comes out of the church. Oh, this is going to end well. The Rev is pleased to see him! My sense of foreboding increases. Duke's sense of foreboding is tingling, too, because really? What does a priest want with a smuggler? Illicit sacramental wine? The Rev is all chummy and Duke isn't buying it, preferring to talk out in the open rather than inside the church. Less, I think, for any fear of his safety than because he just plain doesn't want to put himself in any position where the other man controls the environment. Psychological reasons. The Rev is amenable to this and starts talking about Duke's father, who was apparently "brave and just and stood with the righteous" and oh boy howdy does that take on whole new interpretations, knowing what we now know from Vince. By that knowledge, too, it's clear that the Rev is talking about latter day Simon as opposed to the Simon who was a lot kinder, gentler... yeah, I can't finish that sentence. Okay, let's take a second here to look over the views of Simon Crocker. Our first and most consistent image of him is from Duke, as a delinquent father who smoked, drank, gambled, was more likely addicted to the beers than the gambling, who was gone for days at a time and came back bloody, and who put Duke in a position where he was forced to parent the parent, or at least to parent himself. A lot of his idea of Simon's worth and character is colored by that bitterness, but we can probably take the beer, smokes, and gambling as a given. Definitely the coming home bloody. By contrast, we have Vince's idea of Simon which involves Simon's activation taking place in 1981, when Duke was still very young (around sixish, we'll say). This therefore doesn't entirely contradict Duke's idea of Simon, only adding another layer to it and indicating that there's both a steep drop of devolvement to Simon Crocker and that neither of their concepts of Simon Crocker are so simple as they make it seem. Which tends to be a thing both in real life and in Haven, but Simon is one of those characters who for so long we've relied upon a limited point of view to see. Including the Rev, whose opinions cannot be trusted to be anything other than self-serving and who claims Simon was a force for good and righteousness. Of course, we already know that the Rev's concept of good and righteousness is immensely suspect and limited.

Anyway. The Rev says he knew Simon well with the kind of rushed attitude that doesn't want anyone to make him prove it, moves on to the part where Simon was good and righteous (HAH!) and understood the struggle that they're going through. Well. Yes. Yes he did. The Crocker struggle to master his (or her?) Trouble is the same struggle all Troubled people go through. We then get an interesting tidbit of information about Simon, which is to say that according to Duke, Simon drowned at sea, and he was there. And that's all we get because Duke would like the Rev to stop dicking around and just drop it, while the boy sticks his hand down a sewer grate. All those of us who have seen any number of horror movies are now curling up on our seats and covering our eyes. Though they're not going there so directly; instead, the cuts pretty clear are telling us that the Rev is Pennywise, feeding off the fears of the town. The Rev insists upon his good intentions some more and Duke offers him a chance to put his information where his mouth is and asks about the compass-and-people symbol. And that's when the Rev clams up. Why? Who the hell knows why. The most likely reason is that the Rev is familiar with the Guard and considers them in direct opposition to his work, since they're there to protect the Troubled and get them to safety. Not that we know this yet, since the Guard don't appear until third season. I told you there'd be spoilers. Duke points out that anyone who knows him as well as the Rev's pretending to (HAH again!) knows that he stands for himself, and that's when the kid starts screaming. Like you do when you're in a Stephen King based TV show and you stick your hand down a storm drain. People stop sticking your hands in things that might have monsters lurking in them. No, in this case the kid's not hurt, he's just freaked out because his arm is now covered in blood. Given that that was water a second ago, yeah, I'd start screaming too. Duke is now going to call the police, as you do when blood starts coming up out of someone's sprinkler system. The Rev doesn't like this, but there isn't exactly a lot he can do about it. Not without making a bigger mess. Interesting whether he means Garland (mayherestinpeace) as a historically bad answer (it's common for people to take awhile to adjust, after all), Nathan as the presently bad answer, or Audrey. Or Nathan-and-Audrey. One has to assume he knows who Audrey is, he's been around long enough, but maybe not in such detail as the Teagues and Simon Crocker did?

The police, meanwhile, are at least taking Audrey II down to the station for questioning if not arresting her for identity theft; since we didn't see the handcuffing process it's not clear. Nathan is calm, or faking calm anyway, back to his usual taciturn self and suggesting lunch, while Audrey is distracted and clearly upset about this turn of events. She reminds him that she was once someone named Lucy even as he insists that Audrey II's badge and gun have to be fake. And gets her license (and registration? Maybe just her car registration) from the car. And as much as we all know Nathan is clearly wrong, and as much as we want to shake him and go "Nathan for the love of small furry animals please stop jumping to conclusions that favor your Audrey" he does have a point that it's also possible that she's Troubled. Given the extent of physical evidence that back her up, though, and the fact that Audrey used to be Lucy at least that we know of by now, it's likely that Audrey II is indeed the real Audrey, and the possibility that she's Troubled comes a distant second. (Then again, this is why AudSarLu is the Troubles expert and Nathan and Duke are her backups.) And whether or not Audrey has figured that out by now, she's definitely putting that aside to bring up another problem: the Chief's abrupt deathplosion in a shower of pebbles. They have to tell the people something to explain his absence, and "turned into rock and exploded," while not the strangest thing Haven has heard of, is also not likely something they're entirely going to believe straight off. The Troubles haven't settled into Haven enough yet to where people shrug and shake their heads and go "Fucking Haven." It's on Nathan's mind, but he doesn't want to think about that either. Audrey tries, bless her heart, to get him to talk about it or at least the logistics of dealing with the authority void left by the Chief's absence, but he dodges behind the ominous stormy weather of ominous stormy emotions. Which she does, hilariously, call him on. No, wait, that's not ominous stormy emotions weather, that's an actual fucking rain of frogs. Because fucking Haven. Given this and the blood water earlier, are we sensing a pattern yet? I thought so. For those of you who haven't, your second clue is that this will be a Trouble of Biblical proportions. Roll credits!

When we get back the dead frogs are littering the road like leaves, Nathan is clinging to the idea of tornados (which isn't a bad one and has precedence) and I'm wondering if they can scoop them all up and dispose of them somewhere before they start to putrefy and stink. Because ew. For damn sure I wouldn't want to drive over them and get bits of frog stuck in the wheel wells. (You're welcome. We're full-service here.) The tornado idea lasts until Audrey reminds him that they're in Haven, so, all of a couple sentences, and Nathan is more than willing to blame Audrey II for the rain of frogs for no other reason than because she's there and annoying him by her existence. No, okay, it's not that simple, but one of Nathan's major flaws that we see more and more of as the stressors mount is that when he gets a thought into his head about the nature of something that bothers him he tends to hold onto it, particularly when the more likely alternative is more upsetting to his life as it is. It's a form of running away, I suppose. At any rate, Occam's Doylist razor does suggest that it's Audrey II's Trouble since we rarely have more than one guest Trouble at a time, Occam's Watsonian razor however suggests that one potential identity theft Trouble does not go with a fucking rain of frogs Trouble. I'm just saying. Nathan. You might want to remember how these things tend to work. Though I suppose it's always possible that someone else's Trouble whammied Audrey II into thinking she's Audrey, if we're assuming that, and that the rain of frogs Trouble is her response to stress and at this point I'm even driving myself mad with the contortions required to fit this into Nathan's decided view of things. How's the water over there in de Nile, Nathan, hmm? I hear it's full of crocodiles.

Back to Audrey II. Who wants to know what the hell that was, so, she hasn't been in Haven very long, has she? There's a couple of options behind that response but again, simplest one is that she just hasn't been in Haven very long. Nathan and Audrey play it all "What frogs? Where?" and Audrey II is tired and just wants to go to the police station. Which is when Audrey sees the phone by her hands and deduces that she made a call, presumably also from knowing she could totally dial with her hands cuffed behind her back if she had to. To Agent Howard, as it turns out. By itself, not that unnerving, combined with the mirrored mannerisms and exact words we saw from the end of last season? Starting to get freaky. That and the buzzing sound. Oh look, it's a swarm of locusts. Or should I say a plague. Followed by the traditional screech-crash of a car abruptly having to compensate for zero visibility and locusts everywhere. So, all right, off to deal with that first, since they're police officers and likely the nearest ones to the crash scene if they can hear it. One car is on its side when they pull up, one at an angle on the street, and both are covered in dead bugs. One driver, the one in the car on its side, has fled the scene, the other appears to be unconscious in his vehicle. Nathan calls for ambulances and as they're taking in the scene some idiot who doesn't even have the excuse of locusts on his ass comes around the corner like he's in a Luc Besson film. Yeah, they're going to have more wrecks on their hand if this keeps up, so Nathan turns right back around and goes to secure the scene as Audrey checks on the remaining, still unconscious driver. By this point Audrey II has come out of the truck and is offering to help, referring to the number one reason why you do not remove accident victims from their cars until medical personnel are there: back injuries. They still remove him from the car, because this is television, but at least there's been a nod in the direction of good advice. Not to mention it's a good reason for Audrey II to help because there's no way Audrey could keep the poor guy immobilized and get him out of the car without a lot of finagling and tool usage, and maybe not even then. And the car's leaking some kind of fluid, which is also television code for "this car will explode soon." Which might even happen in Haven! So, all right, Audrey goes over and uncuffs one handcuff, much to Audrey II's exasperation, and off they go to get the poor bastard out of the truck. They are not anywhere near keeping him flat. And I have no idea why they start compressions, presumably because whatever pulse Audrey II could find wasn't? Compressions in this case take the form of chanting along (which is a good technique, really, and helps keep rhythm) in a way that Audrey recognizes as being from Campfire Girls. (They may also have bonus points for Audrey II being out of breath while she chant-sings, because CPR is work if you're doing it right.) We don't really need to be explicitly told that she recognizes it because that's where she learned it, Emily Rose's freaked out expression does this for us. We also don't get the time to discuss this because the paramedics are here! And as Audrey makes sure Audrey II stays there for the paramedics, and Audrey II makes sure Audrey remembers the FBI are coming to sort this whole mess out, Audrey steps to one side to make a phone call to her Agent Howard. Heh. We don't get a good view of him yet, he's in an office looking at paperwork, a surprisingly quiet field office but other than that, nothing unusual. Or maybe unusual in its normalcy, being that it's probably the barn's idea (barnvatar's idea? depending on if he's using an office in that house we see later) of a Normal FBI Office. There, we will assume, to lend verisimilitude to his playacting abilities, make your environment something like the thing you're pretending to be and all. She wants to know if anyone's called in today pretending to be her. Howard does a good job of being concerned that someone might be impersonating a Federal Agent, and even back when all we had was season one to go on this was fishy. Agent Fuck You Howard tells Audrey to detain her till he arrives, and while we don't see him show up anytime soon, we might well assume that if he did come to deal with Audrey II that he would deal with her in the same way the barn did: by wiping her memory. So, that's fun! Audrey's not happy about this either, though not nearly as unhappy as she might be later. Audrey, learning to lie better would also help.

Nathan comes up to skeptical at Audrey about the wisdom of taking off the cuffs. Under normal circumstances I'd agree with him, and she didn't necessarily need to get the guy out of the car when it wasn't on fire or in imminent danger of exploding anytime soon, but normal circumstances stop at the town limits, so, yeah. Turns out the bugs that swarmed the car were gnats, not locusts, sad to say, and there's a handprint on the car that we'll take as blood since it's a little bright-red-paint to be blood, but then again it does have to show up against the darkish interior of the car. And by the look of the accident the guy who fled was the guy who hit the other vehicle? Hard to say. One of the cops at the scene seems to have come to some preliminary conclusion but what he means by "guess we know why he ran" is ambiguous as to whether he means the beer cans in the car or ran from the giant fucking swarm of gnats. Definitely know what caused the accident, though. Okay, sort of. Biblical swarm of gnats plus beer does tend to equal bad driving. Audrey II, in proper law enforcement fashion, is all about the whaddowegot. No one is giving her an inch of room here. Audrey in fact would like Audrey II to know that she talked to Agent Howard too and he said to play nice, that she might need some help. Judicious editing there, Audrey. She's also figured out that Audrey II has her memories, to which Audrey II responds the way any clear-thinking outsider would! And then Audrey calls Stan over to take Audrey II back to the station and I only have to worry about one Audrey for the rest of the scene! Thank god. Duke will now enter the scene and comment on the earlier ambiguity of which caused the accident, the bugs or the booze? Nathan is not interested in talking to Duke or returning his calls, which is too bad since Duke has an actual legitimate reason to be calling! Let's all now chinhands at Nathan for being kind of a dick, because if his dislike of Duke weren't getting in the way he might remember that Duke doesn't like him either, and definitely doesn't like cops, and wouldn't be contacting him if it wasn't serious. Duke describes what happened at the church and, really, it doesn't take long for Audrey and Nathan to come up with plagues. Duke would be with them except what the hell who is that in the crowd of onlookers? We don't know yet, but whoever it is clearly has distracted and discombobulated the hell out of Duke. Not a threatening person, though, that's not a threat response. Just incredulity and puzzlement. And then clearly dismissing it as either seeing things or something he doesn't want to talk to Audrey and Nathan about. Bye Duke! Hello pedeconference. Ten plagues, etc, no one thinks this has anything to do with God considering Troubles take all kinds of forms, but if it started at the church, it's a good bet the Rev was either present or saw the person around. Meanwhile Audrey will go down to the station and talk to Audrey II, I think less because she thinks Audrey II is responsible for it and more because Nathan will fuss less if she indicates that's the reason. And after they've sorted that out, flies! Lots of flies! From the fire hydrant, the mailbox, the cannon... all of them swarming in a very clear direction. Guys, I'm just spitballing here? But given that Troubles often tend towards area affect if not direct contact type things I think your Troubled guy went that way. The not at all significant weathervane says so.

Over at the church and, in fact, in the Rev's office, the Rev leans back upon seeing Nathan approach like some sort of cartoon character drawing back in exaggerated horror. I'm not even joking, that's really what that looks like to me. There's certainly an element of surprise and recoil, but the recoil quickly changes to curiosity as Nathan describes the events of the day. For those of us who didn't figure it out at blood and frogs the Rev calls it as the ten plagues of Egypt or Exodus, depending on where your focus is, and gives us a summary of what we can expect next. He also seems to be taking a ghoulish delight in all of this, probably because it's right in his wheelhouse and people will be panicking and running back to the church under the belief that God is punishing them for... something. He's particularly happy about the death of firstborn sons. Yes, Nathan is an only child, or so we can presume, certainly an only adopted child. Going by what Max Hansen said, also Max Hansen's only child, or at least only son. Yeah, that last one's going to hurt. Nathan calls the Rev out on looking happy, on, well, exactly what I just called a second ago. I'm not sure I believe that he's not happy, but I will buy his sincerity that he doesn't want Haven to be punished, that he wants the "cursed" aka the Troubled to seek God's forgiveness and make amends or something. And all I can see playing before my eyes are all those witch and heretic trials where there were no right answers, just more pain and more torture in the name of penance. Uh-huh. Though, again, knowing what we know now, it's a bit morbidly hilarious when Nathan says this has nothing to do with God and the Troubled are born the way they are. Well. Yes and no. (For which we are duly relieved of the burden of having to present any LGBT analogies here, by and large, though the Rev is really the one who drives those analogies.) But if the Rev is only going to spout his hate-filled dogma and not anything useful or relevant to blood pouring from his sprinklers, Nathan will be on his way now, especially since this is clearly no longer a case of a body in the cistern. The Rev will attempt to convince Nathan to seek forgiveness one last time, which means I get to hide from Stephen McHattie's crazy eyes one last time. That's an unnerving portrayal of religious mania and obsession. Let's go back to the police station.

Vince and Dave! Oh, great, from one form of creepy to another. They've got a good reason for being here, though, and they're on better behavior than usual; they want to talk to Audrey and preferably Nathan as well about burying the Chief. As unpleasant as it is a thing to say, too, Dave's right, if they wait for Nathan to pull his head out of hiding they will be waiting a very long time. Vince offers a piece of land that they own that would be a fitting and private resting place. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH says I, according to season three don't you guys own half of Haven? Which piece of land were you thinking of, exactly? Audrey agrees to talk to Nathan about the burial, which is not an invitation for a confab about the politics of the situation, Vince. Thanks.

Audrey II is incredibly skeptical about this whole a person caused the frogs and the bugs thing. Now that she says it like that, I actually would not be surprised to find a swarm of gnats buzzing around the inevitable pools of water and dead frogs that would result from an actual rain of frogs. That does seem supernaturally quick though. Audrey II has made a scornful remark! It's not very effective. Though Audrey's declaration of superior geek knowledge is funny. The chorusing of a particular turn of phrase is not funny, and visibly creeps Audrey II out, at which point she refuses to talk until Agent Howard gets there. Okay, fine, Audrey will work the plagues case instead. She starts out with mapping it, doesn't get very far before Audrey II bursts out with an interjection, shall we all remember how nudgy Audrey was about helping Nathan with his case in the pilot? Let us not forget that it was her leaps of logic, mainly, that powered the investigation into the Caldwell Trouble. Audrey II seems to share the same trait of latching onto a curiosity with teeth and nails and not letting go till she's shaken every bit of extractable information out of it. Women after our own hearts! Mapping the incidents in chronological order gives a clear line with a direction, and after a bit more discussion Audrey concludes that the driver of the one car who was drinking is the one the plagues are following. So! Identify the driver, identify the Troubled person. Which clears Audrey II, at least that far. But no, honey, it doesn't get you uncuffed, sorry.

Over on the Cape Rouge her name is Evidence? No, I'm sorry, I have to stop here and stare and assume that this is based on someone known by someone in the writer's room because Evidence as a name? Really? Ahem. Okay, so, Evidence Ryan, someone Duke is not so much displeased to see as incredibly wary and a little amused. She, on the other hand, is ten kinds of happy to see him. Apparently it's been "all this time?" And by Duke's first question to her, she too is a woman after his own heart. They verbally and physically circle each other for a bit, nice bit of blocking there for them to switch sides of the scene and also nicely symbolic, and she still doesn't tell him what she wants. She is surprised to see him still in Haven, though. Interestingly, Duke doesn't discount the possibility that she has genuine feelings for him and missed him, just that it was an adequate motivation for her to come to Haven. Further conversation as well as a little seduction tells us that it's been specifically three years (drink!), that while he's not discounting her feelings he's also not inclined to live up to them, and that he's still mad at her for something. Let's all note all of this information being played out here and how it's given to the audience, and how smoothly it works into the conversation rather than being exposited in a very I did this then you did that way. Oh, and apparently Evi is in town for a job. Somehow, given her familiarity with Duke and Duke's with her, I don't think this is business trip with expense vouchers and saving receipts kind of a job. Duke is not interested in whatever her job is, and now the smiling has more of an edge to it, as does his voice. Evi knows him well enough to see this even though it's not immediately obvious (thank you Balfour) and makes a graceful retreat, threatening to come back when he's in a better mood. And showered. For all Duke's belligerence he's still affected by her enough to take that as either slight against him or sting from her opinion, I'm not sure which. But the whole sniffing routine makes a great exit.

All right, back to the case of the week. The home belonging to the owners of the truck looks pretty homey, very lived in. Nathan asks about the truck by way of saying it was "involved in an accident," which is a nicely oblique way of telling her what happened to the truck without implying that she or her husband had anything to do with it. But it wasn't her husband in the car, because when she goes to get her husband they're both uninjured, which contradicts the evidence at the scene. While she's getting her husband Audrey does a bad job of being casual as she asks Nathan if he's the first born son. As far as he knows he is, and it's clearly making him edgy. She promises they won't let it get to that, but neither of them is too sanguine about their chances. Then the Schuberts come back and we find out that they gave their son-in-law use of the car because, among other things, he got a DUI last week. That's not helping your son-in-law any, folks. And beyond that, their daughter died last week in childbirth. So, there's your stressor! Both for the drinking even while driving and for the activation of his Trouble, heh. They don't know where he is, though, and it seems as though he hasn't been home in a few days, they've been caring for the grandson on their own. (The grandson Aaron. Because we didn't have enough Exodus references this ep.) Oh honeys. Poor everyone here, really, it's just a bad situation all around. No doubt made worse by a new manifestation of the Trouble, because that's Nathan's phone and off they go. What's the next plague? Dead cows. Oh that's going to smell so much worse than the dead frogs, and be even more of a bitch to clean up. To say nothing of the economic cost.

Over to the Gray Gull, where the sights, sounds, and smells are much more pleasant! For everyone except Duke, who is being stalked by his ex apparently. No, stalked might be a stronger word than she warrants right now, but definitely annoyed. She's got a drink in her hand and is half-marveling half-teasing him over his choice of bar menu as he's fixing one of the lights; really, Evi, your timing could be a little better. He threatens her with bouncers, to which she responds with incredulity, which I have to agree with. We really haven't seen any sign that he has any such security, and it's not really the kind of place one would expect ID checks at the doors. More negotiation! I gloss over the dialogue by referring to it as more negotiation because all it really tells us is that Evi is as deep in shady businesses as Duke is, and we never hear from any of these people again. In a spectacularly stereotypically masculine move of invalidating his feelings, Evi calls him sensitive. I note this with a gender marker only because it really is a more common trait in men both on and off the television, to interrupt an argument by asking "Why are you so sensitive?" or "stop being so sensitive." and it's almost refreshing to see it coming from a woman. Duke is not having with that. Duke is telling her in small words that he does not want to have any kind of intercourse with her, awful, literal, or otherwise. She is, however, welcome to finish her drink, because he is nothing if not an equal opportunity business owner.

Back to the police station! Audrey II is exasperated and likely bored. Audrey I is subsuming her confusion in the case, and they've put out an APB on TJ Smith. With both Audreys being stressed it's probably no wonder that they're snapping at each other, but, ladies, that's really not helping. Though let's all remember that from each of their standpoints they're faced with an impostor, and one of them is in cuffs. (Which is the impostor in AudSarLu's mind probably depends on the hour.) Up comes an officer with a report of skin burns localized to one region! Sure, truck or train car overturned and spilling chemicals, we'll go with that. Don't ask where the Chief's been, son, you don't want to know. All over the beach, for starters. Okay, that was a terrible joke and I do feel a bit terrible for making it, but Nathan's a terrible liar when he's emotionally involved and the only way he pulls it off here is because he confines himself to one of his usual taciturn responses. So, good for habit, I guess? And once again Audrey II breaks in, this time with a more sarcastic delivery than strictly warranted of some actually helpful information, which is that the incidents and therefore the suspect have stopped moving along a trail. The kind of thing Audrey and Nathan would likely notice if they both weren't emotionally compromised at the moment, and at least hinting at the potentiality for a good working relationship there if the two Audreys weren't busy trying to establish not so much territory as identity. Territory over identity? Something like that. Oh, hey, at the center of the most recent incidents is a carjacking, so, yeah, now he's not on foot anymore. Audrey II would like to know why she's not being invited along. Because you're not recognized as a federal officer, Audrey II, I know it sucks but that's what happens when you run into a case of, well. Magical identity theft, not that Audrey I knows it at the time but she definitely knows that if either of them isn't right, it's probably her. Which is also the only reason I can give for both her and Nathan acquiescing after that short of a time and letting her come along to track down TJ, albeit without returning her gun to her. Even in Haven, that's stretching it somewhat. Except that they both do know she probably is a Fed.

On to the scene of the, well. Curse. It's pretty icky looking. Steve is the name of the store owner with whom they begin the interviews; it turns out TJ went in to try to buy a gun, then stole a woman's car on his way out when he was turned down. Nathan at least suspects something more went on here than the guy's saying, though given TJ being drunk and bloody I actually would buy that story, so it's possible Nathan knows Steve from elsewhere? Either way, here comes Audrey II with federal muscle to help pry open Steve and tear out all his secrets! Turns out Steve sent TJ over to Little Mike at the Plot Devi-- er, Gull, because Little Mike will sell anything to anyone if you have the cash. Over to the Gull! So that we can have a very abortive attempt at a chase scene during the hail, which doesn't go so well when there's a shitton of hail and your Troubled guy gets to the car first. It's a minor miracle that apparently nobody had worse injuries that minor bruising, since well-placed hail can blind you and scattered glass shards are dangerous no matter what. Audrey has a moment of playing the native to Audrey II, lecturing her about how they're not freaks, they're not cursed, they're Troubled and they need our help. Well, her help, anyway. Speaking of Troubled people who need help, hello, inquisitive Duke. That "yes" and "no" tells him that something else worthy of the "fucking Haven" epithet is going on, but it's not as immediately threatening to life and limb as the Ten Plagues and TJ's guilt. Guilt, inquires Audrey II? Yes, of the survivor's kind and the not-being-there kind. Oh honey. Little Mike turns out to be ironically named rather than aptly named; the guy is approximately the size of a door. A big one. All Little Mike knows is that TJ "left the Gull" with a gun, heh, and said he needed it to protect his son. From the plagues? From something else that might have been a stressor to TJ to have caused the plague Trouble? We don't know! Yet. Neither do Audrey or Audrey or Nathan, what they do know is that the plagues are getting worse, as demonstrated by the plague of hail that breaks all the Gull's new patio furniture. Poor Duke. And the plagues aren't done with him, oh no. In a surprising display of season to season continuity Nathan seems to trust Duke enough by now (remember the first season episode Resurfacing, where Duke and Nathan worked together [okay, Duke dragged Nathan into a somewhat madcap scheme] to bring down a criminal gang?) that he asks him to watch over Audrey if the death of the firstborn son plague gets him. This is also ... I'm not sure if this is deliberate foreshadowing or laying out some character development that the writers all have reason to think will come in handy later, because it's not as though extra Crockers might not come in useful? But this, right here, is where we get our first hint of Wade. That Duke isn't an only child, that he has a couple of brothers because his dad liked to travel. Or "liked to travel." Since we have no mothers of main characters in this show, we have no idea if Simon Crocker was stepping out or just living reckless with his wife gone for whatever reason. We also get the Duke Crocker Refrain of why does everyone think he's the good guy. Oh Duke. It's because deep down you have a squishy caramel center, and everyone likes the caramels.

Well. This certainly makes for a motley, awkward crew heading down to TJ's last known location! It also makes for a hilariously foreshadowed quartet of Nathan, Audrey, Duke, and unbeknownst-to-her-barn-touched brunette. At least we're going to go ahead and presume she's been barn-touched at some point because the barnvatar had to get her memories somehow. It is sideways enough that it's hard to tell if it's deliberate and specific foreshadowing or if it's just bringing up the two-male two-female quartet again, for the sake of imagery and repetition of theme. Though it's also worth noting that Audrey II and Jennifer share some mirroring AudSarLu qualities, the former because they share memories and the latter because they're very similar in outlook on the world. (And we pause here to drool over the physical acting the women do in this ep, good GOD.) At any rate. Nathan calls for an evacuation of TJ's immediate vicinity, which is a problem because only the chief can call for an evacuation. I'm going to go ahead and fill in "not immediately apparently necessary" into that sentence because I really doubt that if Nathan said "there's a giant gas leak the size of Little Mike get everyone out of here before it explodes" that Laverne would quibble over authority to call an evac, however at the moment all they have to go on is impending Troubles, and they haven't gotten bad enough that everyone accepts that yet. Which means the Chief's disappearance is an increasingly present problem. Which means this truck is about to get very awkward.

Oh, let's start off the awkward with Nathan bluntly answering Duke's question about the Chief. That might be Nathan exploding from having to keep all his anger, frustration, pain, and grief in all day to keep anyone from finding out that the Chief turned into a giant statue and exploded. It's a very quiet explosion! Moving on from that to Nathan and Audrey having an argument about Audrey burying Papa Wuornos, both of them talking in front of Audrey II and Duke like they're not even there, and all of this culminating in the revelation that Papa Wuornos is, indeed, in the cooler in the back of the truck. Granted, at least half of that was Audrey cracking jokes to make Nathan smile a little, to reassure him that she's still there and still her awkward self and still there for him, but did they have to do that with the other two in the cab? Okay, possibly, because that also serves as a dig at Audrey II, soaking her in some more of the typical Haven weirdness. Oh, hey, speaking of weirdness! Another plague! Not locusts, sorry Audrey, that was a nice attempt at optimism. Darkness! Yaaay.

Oh Lord, save us from your followers. Or at least the Rev. He claims to be there to help, but his idea of helping is to gather a bunch of people to pray together for God's forgiveness and oh by the way this is all those nasty sinful Troubled people's fault. That's the not very subsumed subtext of it, anyway. Sadly, trying to get the Rev to see the practical side is about as useless as the Rev's attempt at emotional blackmail. If you love Haven, indeed. And as Audrey says, they don't have time to argue with the Rev or his followers, let them stay in harm's way if they want to, though Nathan does try since he's a good cop. Audrey, since at this point she's both a woman and therefore not subject to any firstborn son curse and since she has started to figure out that she interacts with Troubles differently, will go on up and figure out what's going on with TJ and try to stop it before it gets to the men dropping dead point. Audrey II will follow her since even if she doesn't buy this completely she should be able to make the same leap about being a woman than Audrey does, and she's more cop than Trouble-fixer at this point anyway. TJ's in-laws are outside the house, frightened, tell Audrey that TJ's got the baby. Inside the house they're doing a neat little green wash on everything, I think, both to simulate darkness and as a nice touch to give an almost faded-out sense of nightvision goggles over the whole thing. Just to make sure we know that darkness is covered the land, etc. There's enough light to let us see the homey, comfortingly decorated interior, though. And the Audreys are doing a very, very nice job of moving back-to-back, covering all angles, without a moment of discussion. Which just makes the whole thing even more creepy, since it's not just same training but same memories at work.

Audrey enters the nursery with gun drawn, which leads TJ to point the gun at her. Normally this would be the part where everyone shouts at each other for a bit while the child starts screaming in terror, but for once we don't waste any large amount of time establishing that no one wants anyone to get hurt. A miracle! Audrey tells him to put down the gun, he tells her to put down the gun first and the hell does she think he is? He's not going to hurt his son! And Audrey takes him at his word, lowering her gun, much to Audrey II's displeasure. Which is actually true, and procedure, not to give up your gun even in a hostage situation. It also serves to show that Audrey II isn't as in tune with the people of Haven as Audrey is, that Audrey doesn't believe this is a hostage situation, and that Audrey isn't actually a federal agent, though she should have all the training of one. Of course the second Audrey puts down the gun her dark-haired counterpart grabs for it, causing TJ to raise his gun again. Guys. Let's not do this with the baby, okay? And it doesn't take long down that approach before Audrey gets out of TJ that he intends to kill himself. I guess he wanted to take one last look at his son before he did? Dude, if you're going to shoot yourself, don't do it with your son in your arms. Just don't. That way lies Dexter, and we already have Biney showing up later in the series. Audrey tries to argue that baby Aaron (really? really?) still needs a father, to which TJ points out that the next plague is the death of the firstborn son and if this keeps up, it won't really matter. Which is a pretty good point. Audrey's argument that he doesn't know it'll stop if he's dead is slightly less reasonable on account of if TJ's lived in Haven any length of time, he knows at least the rough outline of how the Troubles work, and generally they stop if the person, well. Stops. (I'm going to add in something here before this goes to press, so to speak, which is to say that first apparently that's no longer true and second we have the best accidental timing.) He even has the gun to his head before/while Audrey explains to him, or maybe reminds him, that he's doing this and not God. This has nothing to do with God cursing anyone (unless you count the Rev's idea of the Troubles being a curse from God, but even that seems ruled out given what we've recently learned; let's not add to William and Mara's egotism by calling them gods, shall we?) but rather the manifestation of TJ's Trouble. Linking that to a lot of the people in Haven is a good trick, implies that TJ isn't alone, that there are other people coping with the same affliction and gives him some sense of support. I don't know if reminding him that they need to stop the plagues before people die is the best plan, though. He does kind of have a gun to his head, and that would be a pretty final solution. What Audrey isn't pointing out and what TJ might not know, though, is that that leaves his son open to being Troubled later. Heh. There's actually an easy solution for that, too, though I'm not sure anyone wants to take it. No, it doesn't involve the Crockers. The light starts to come back right about now, and the baby starts crying, so bring on the deaths of Haven's first born sons! Crap. Outside Nathan collapses and I will give the Rev this, he does seem genuinely distressed. We also get confirmation that Duke's not the firstborn. That's… something. Sort of. Marginally.

We come back from commercial, because all commercial breaks happen at the dramatically appropriate moment, and Audrey II is bitching about TJ pointing a gun at them. Audrey II, honey, the gun is the least of your problems right now. Audrey tries to figure out what happened in the vaguest possible terms, which brings up the most recent if not the most relevant strong event in TJ's mind, the death of his wife. Yes, that's the stressor, but that's not the cause of this particular event. Audrey may learn to phrase her questions more specifically later, but for now it takes us a couple rounds of where-did-you-go-and-what-did-you-do to get to the part where TJ read the Bible, specifically the section about the Plagues of Egypt. Leaving aside the question of why anyone would turn to the Plagues of Egypt and Exodus as a comforting parable in times of the death of a loved one, that's the connection that Audrey now makes for us out loud. Whatever TJ reads becomes real, in this case, death and destruction of literally Biblical proportions. Well, that's an easy solution. Get him to read something else! Audrey grabs for the nearest book which happens to be the Velveteen Rabbit. Heh. Haven is certainly a place that can operate on magical thinking of dreams and toys becoming real, but reading a book where a child gets a near-fatal case of scarlet fever might not be the best thing, yes? No? No. It does calm everything down, though. The dying people start to recover, and a rabbit shadow bounces across the wall. Awww. It also probably helps that despite the opening sentence, TJ starts from the end after the rabbit has become real (no symbolism there, mm? particularly when the fairy leaves as the ladies leave) and everyone gets to pull themselves up off the ground.


Of course now that there's no immediate crisis the Rev gets to claim that his followers would have accepted their deaths, excuse me, sacrifices as God's will and that it's only because of their faith and piety that everything is all right again and excuse me while I go vomit on the cat. Nathan isn't in the mood for this bullshit either. He puts the recovery of the firstborn sons and the thanks for stopping the Trouble onto Audrey, and accuses the Rev of using this particular Trouble as a way to consolidate his position. The Rev plays humble but Nathan's probably not wrong, either. Not that the Rev's piety is faked, but he's also not above using it or any other tool at his disposal to force Haven onto what he feels is the righteous path. Including, naturally, Duke. Nathan accuses the Rev of starting a war, which the Rev agrees is exactly what's going on. A war between the righteous and the cursed. Oh goodie. Because that always ends well and isn't there something explicitly in the Bible about lambs and lions lying down together? No? No.

Duke is interrupted in his attempt to push Nathan into explaining that whole thing by Evi! Hi Evi! We miss you. She is deeply amused and intrigued by Haven, plus taking a chance to poke Duke in public where he apparently can't run away, and Nathan and Audrey are curious who this newcomer is. Duke starts with her first name and not volunteering any more information because he really doesn't want her here. Evi adds a last name of Crocker, as if to clarify or mark her territory or something, not so much because there are pretty women present as because it will annoy Duke. Hilariously, Audrey's first thought is sister. Oh Audrey honey. No. Though it is worth noting that Audrey thought sister before wife, apparently unable to imagine Duke being married. Duke still leaves clarifying their status to Evi, he really doesn't want her here, doesn't like their connection, probably doesn't much like her except he's less being directly mean to her and more being incredibly passive aggressive. I think because he knows that excluding her from his life will hurt her less than some of his other options, and he doesn't want to hurt her badly, he just wants her to go away. Nathan and Audrey are disbelieving. As you do. And Duke hauls Evi away with visible anger to talk to her. More specifically, to confess that he's upset because Haven is not safe and he doesn't want her to get hurt. Using more words than that but that's what it amounts to, oh Duke. Evi is not going anywhere, because Duke has never been quiet about how much he hates small towns in general and Haven in particular, and she wants to know why he's back. She is under the impression that he's running some kind of big-payday scam. Oh honey no. Duke explicitly tells her no, it's not a scam. She's not prepared to believe him, though, because nothing in her experience has told her that Duke would go back to somewhere he hates so much without some kind of major payday. Given what she knows, or rather doesn't know, I can't really fault her for that logic? But oh honey no. This is not going to end well. And the cut from the Rev to Evi was in no way deliberate, and also I have some swampland in Florida for you.

Back at the police station the Teagues approach Nathan about letting everyone else know the Chief is, heh. Gone is a nice, safe word when death doesn't come in ways that can be listed on a medical certificate. Lost at sea is what Nathan comes up with, quickly enough that he's probably been thinking about this off and on all day. Yeah, lost at sea would do it. Though Vince's look suggests that he's remembering the last major player in Haven whose death was covered as "lost at sea," namely, one Simon Crocker. Parallels. We can has. We do not want. Or at least, we'll accept them with much twitching. Dave, or at least Dave's the one who comes out and says it, wants to appoint Nathan as interim chief of police, and is willing to apply some influence to make it happen. Once again, this becomes so much shadier when we learn just how much of Haven they own, and I have to wonder how many of those selectmen pay them rent on their homes or businesses. Nathan isn't the happiest about this prospect, it looks like he's more unhappy with the fact that the Teagues have just up and decided this than of the actual prospect of being interim chief, which he'd rather not think about right now. And the Teagues will come up with the cover story, as they always do. As long as it's not another gas leak. Interesting bit of comfort/guidance Vince offers Dave as they turn away, that arm briefly around him, probably indicative of how close to Garland the Teagues were and how much they, too, are grieving right now.

A flyover of Haven takes us to what seems to be a lookout hill where Nathan is, heh. Burying the cooler. He does stop either because he sees something or because he thinks of it, and pulls out a ring on a chain from the cooler. A ring with three diamond-shaped settings for three gems on it. We'll see what looks like the same ring show up again later this season, but what the significance of it is, no clue. Maybe a wedding ring? Did Garland marry Max Hansen's wife/Nathan's mother? We never really get clear on that. Something else is happening of more visible significance, which is to say Duke coming up with a shovel in hand. What do you think he's doing there, Nathan? No, Duke gives him a reason he can accept more readily than the real reason, helping out a friend, because they're not really good friends. Not yet. But they're all right. And they know a few of each other's secrets and they trust each other with some things, which does not include either the death of Nathan's father or the existence of Duke's wife. Not that either of them is bothered by this, it seems to be more of a source of wry bonding than anything else. On the other hand, Duke wants to know what Nathan thinks about what the Rev said, presumably about a war coming. Nathan has been avoiding thinking about it, because he's Nathan and that's his preferred method of coping. Understandable, given Haven, but not the best policy. Still. Today isn't the day for Duke to force the issue, although he would like to make it clear that he's a lion. Oh Duke. You have no idea. That's equal part joke and warning that he doesn't intend to be dominated over by either faction, which is fine since Nathan's not all that interested in dominating anyone. He just wants to do his job, and keep the town safe. Oh boys. And on they go, digging in companionable silence.

Back over at the Gray Gull the Audreys are talking about the town and the memories and Audrey II doesn't believe Audrey has her memories, it's physically impossible. Or it would be except fucking Haven, but she's not there yet. The easy way to verify this, which Audrey takes, is to repeat some sort of memory that no one else would know, that Audrey II would have never told anyone. Not that Audrey can tell whether or not Audrey II has told anyone any particular memory, but she can pick one she never wanted to tell anyone and it'd be a good bet. Which she does, a memory of defending a young girl against an abusive father with a pair of scissors to the neck. And now they're both shaken, and Audrey II is still stuck in the mindset where this can't be happening except all her logical arguments have been blown away. They're still recovering from this when the door opens and a handful of very federal feds come in. Audrey tells, more than asks Audrey II not to tell them anything, gets no affirmative from Audrey II because by the look of her, she doesn't decide not to give up our Audrey until the last minute. Which is good, because Audrey now has to cope with the fact that not only does she have Audrey II's memories, they have different Agent Howards, too. In light of what we now know, this brings up a whole mess of questions. Is this just a happy coincidence or has Agent Howard always taken the name of the supervisor/boss of the originator of Audrey's memories? And if that latter is true, why does "Agent Howard" appear on the paperwork for Jennifer's adoption, and why is he still named Howard in Sarah's memories? The hell is even going on here? This may, actually, be attributable to writer and script evolvement, and it doesn't detract from the punch of the revelation on first watching, it's only the sort of thing that comes up when we watch it for purposes of analysis. It is, indeed, a hell of a note on which to leave us at the start of the second season; everything that Audrey took for granted is called into question, and now she has to figure things out from a whole new perspective and set of rules.

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