Previously! Duke talked to Walter and we hid behind the couch. Also we get a flashback to the girl with the explodes everything she touches Trouble. Oh honey. Walter gave Duke visions of a seriously post-apocalyptic Haven in which Croatoan won, let us not go there, 'tis a silly place. Nathan ran back in time, figured out the Coulton family has a Trouble that'll let them open thinnies if they have a magic ring, and left Duke a note with the creepyass kid from 1983. Who turned into a creepyass adult. Who points him to Hayley, not that creepyass adult knows it. Hi Hayley!
NATHAN'S HOUSE NATHAN'S HOUSE HI NATHAN'S HOUSE. AWWW it's a tiny yellow house how cute! The house number is 247. I'm going to throw something at someone now. He and Audrey are having a relatively quiet start to their morning, she appears to have mostly moved in with him though by what point I'm not sure. Also I suspect this means that his house is well away from Trouble Alley, or anywhere else that might be a serious problem. He's bringing her coffee! They're doing one of the things we do, actually, which is grumble at the insufficient data and chew on it some more until they realize that they really don't have enough. Interrupted by Audrey being adorable at Nathan and warning him about the hot coffee and him being cute back and oh god stoppit both of you. This might be the most stereotypically couple-y we've ever seen them, she gets to check him out half-naked in the morning, there's coffee, they're talking about their plans for the day, and it's promptly turned into a semi-argument about yes this is awesome! You should stay with me and not go into the void so it can keep being awesome, Nathan. Yeah that's not going to happen, Audrey. There's some really sweet bantering about how tired they are of saving the world, and the thing is, it's believable! They should be! But it's also how they work, and what they know, and there's a definite undercurrent of that running through the banter too. What the fuck would they do without crises on a near-constant basis? WHO KNOWS. Not them, that's for sure. Speaking of which, he has to go get the controller crystal in the void when Duke comes back and yes that's a when and not an if, Audrey, I know you're hurt and feeling betrayed, but one of the things he needs is a fucking vacation from the crazy.
We cut over to a kid playing catch with the shroud. BEST USE OF IRRITATING MAGIC FOG THINGY EVER. Naturally, the third throw (drink, lord knows we are already) is the one that gets to Duke crossing the shroud with Hayley, and the poor boy runs the fuck away. I would too! Whether that's because augh a Crocker or because augh a guy coming through the shroud that nobody else has been able to cross or both, who knows. Kinda depends on if people have Duke's description down thoroughly. And yes, much to our utter lack of surprise, Duke can only bring people through if he's touching them. I don't know if that means he can do a big long chain of people all holding hands, or if he has to be touching each one individually, but since it doesn't actually hurt anyone if they don't go running at it or, y'know, driving at it, it's a good experiment to try. I vote for Duke-Audrey-Nathan testing this theory. Ahem. Now that Hayley's through the shroud she remembers Haven! That's good to know, in the sense of confirming previous assumptions and suspicions about how the shroud works. She's also in a white overshirt, which normally gives me all the fits about if she's going to end up covered in blood, but the blouse under it is reddish? Burgundy? So probably not.
Back at Nathan's house, we have all of the EEEE over what are presumably long-taped partial stickies on his stove marking where the no hot you should feel pain don't touch points are on all the burners. They're even slightly different on all the dials, which is appropriate to a stove, particularly an aging one as this appears to be, and all have variations on do not fucking burn yourself on the hot thing, Nathan. Which, really, is fair! Burns are vicious bastards as far as infection and healing rates go, especially hands where he's most likely to burn himself, and even several years with his Trouble on, one hungover/exhausted morning's mistake could lead to an annoying level of first aid. It is 8:27 am! I'm sure the 27 was in no way chosen for the 27 years Mara spent in the barn between cycles. Ahem. Nathan is the kind of person who sits on his kitchen counter drinking coffee while Audrey picks up wine bottle and glasses from last night, awww. This really is the most relaxed we've ever seen him, down to joking with Audrey about trading it for something really good, like wine or orange juice. Nathan stop that and help your girlfriend pick up the place. Or, okay, also pick at the festering wound of yes Duke's coming back yes Nathan's going please stop flailing all over the place, Audrey. She will not. She will propose that they go in together. Actually that's not a terrible idea! Considering Charlotte's notes do say the void isn't kind to humans, though I wish she was more specific. Is this a Rip Van Winkle effect? Is it a toxic between-the-thinnies land? What exactly is its problem? Insufficient data, Charlotte, you were a scientist, science better dammit. Science should equal infinite and usually redundantly repetitive notes.
All right, speaking of redundantly repetitive notes, let's have a look around Nathan's house. For one thing, despite the fact that he came from time traveling to the early 80s his house looks a bit like he never left it. Mostly in the color scheme with those particular shades of yellow and the rough finish of the wood, but also some in the materials. He is not in the least bit a homemaker, which is to say that while his house is clean it's not exactly neat. There's books stacked up under a coffee mug in the bedroom, books leaning on the shelves next to pictures that haven't yet been hung up? Or he just decided screw it propping this up here rather than dealing with hammering something into a wall. That headboard looks hand-carved, or at least painstakingly program-carved but I'm betting not, and either was an incredibly lucky thrift find or given by a friend who would no longer need it, or it cost a month's paycheck at somewhere like Ten Thousand Villages. He's got a lot of artwork, not really hung with care but I'd bet selected with care or at least acute emotional intuition. Both the bedroom and the living room have a certain uniformity of spirit and mood.
Out in the living room the stove isn't the only thing that looks antique (I say looks because although the cookware on it looks like 80s style, upon closer examination the stove is actually from the 2000s.) (K: ... I think I have a more recent version of that stove. Glasstop, though, not coil.) There's a full on turntable in front of the window over as we see Audrey picking up by the couch. And going by the fact that there are a couple record cases propped up in front of the stand it's on, it sees at least semi-regular use. The coffee pot is either a tea-pot on a hot plate design that might be coming into fashion now? Maybe? Or an older version because I believe the Mr. Coffee/Coffee Mate drip version is more in fashion these days. It clearly sees use, whichever it is, because there are mugs all over the place. No wonder Audrey's picking up, and not just to establish some degree of control over her surroundings. I wonder how many people, come to think of that, are coping with what's happening in Haven by cleaning their house, organizing something they've long meant to organize, or in other ways exerting control over their surroundings because they can't control anything else. Apart from the fact that, mugs everywhere, that's how you get ants, Nathan, I bet at least part of Audrey's tidying frenzy is that. What else. Nathan has a lot of condiments in his kitchen, a lot of sauces, so either he enjoys cooking or at least throwing sauce at things and mixing and matching, or the food resources in Haven really have gotten that bad. I choose to believe the former. He does at least keep the kitchen or part of the kitchen clean enough to cook on because that counter is polished to a literal mirror shine. The one he's not sitting on, obviously. There's enough counter space for a cooking person! There's even a bowl of fruit and veg and now that I'm looking at it those bananas are I got them from the grocery store a couple days ago ripe. Not, this town has been cut off from all incoming shipments of bananas for three weeks unripe. Yes, these are the kinds of things that bother me. Plants in the window, towels on the oven handle, Nathan Wuornos is a guy who lives in and loves his kitchen, especially given that it's open right upon the living room. He's got flowers. He's got a lot of plants, actually. I almost suspect the riot of color and cooking, tastes and possibly smells and definitely sounds that come with the flowers, high-use kitchen, and record player is his way of compensating for his inability to feel things. Everything in the room is clearly personally chosen (by props, but the sentiment is there) because it makes him feel something, feel good? Feel happy. Something. Which, let's wrap this all up by pointing out that there's a picture of him and Garland looking close and friendly to the right of the stove, visible to the left of Nathan as he's attempting to reassure Audrey. Awww.
Nathan your argument over who would watch over Haven is bullshit. You know why it's bullshit? Because Dwight's taken on that responsibility openly and loudly. I appreciate the joke about being a faster runner, though! That one's cute. And true, between not having to stop because he can't feel pain and being taller and ridiculously long-legged. We interrupt this attempt to derail the argument into cute with a knock on the door Which has a thermometer on it, presumably so ... no, actually, I've got questions on that, if you want the interior temperature shouldn't you have a thermostat for that, and if you want the exterior temperature shouldn't it be outside within view of a window? and if you're trying to take the temperature of the door, which as far as I know you only do in case of fire... no, I've got nothing. But it's cute and quirky, and maybe his thermostat doesn't work. At the very least it serves as a reminder that Nathan should check the weather and grab a damn jacket if need be. Anyway: hello, Duke! I'm intrigued by the implication that Audrey doesn't stay over that often by her question about morning visitors. Maybe this is a new routine they're settling into? Regardless, it's Duke, and Nathan's gonna come hug him now. NOW KISS YOU BASTARDS. Particularly that hug and leaving hands on waists is way more loverly than friendly, but okay fine no kissing. Hmph. Audrey, meanwhile, looks like about as much of a petulant teenager as Hayley can be, arms crossed and going all defensive. Duke, your banter is not going to help here. Well this is going to be fucked. Roll credits!
Vince and Dave are in some kind of holding facility by that "door locks automatically" bigass warning sign and, you know, the bars on the windows, playing some kind of card game, looks like a shedding game rather than a collect 'em all game, which is kind of hilarious considering Croatoan. Possibly out of the Crazy Eights family and if it's Mao I'm gonna shit an addition to Kitty's house because THE RULES ARE NOT SPOKEN OF IN-GROUP. And Dave's hands are zip-tied. Guys what exactly the fuck good do you think that's gonna do if Croatoan decides he doesn't want to be tied up? Also that does not strike me as being just Dave, he's way too calm for the situation even with Vince deliberately contributing to his stability by being present and playing silly card games. Besides which, "all the 3s have been played" and "do you have a heart" do not strike me as just the writers being silly and referencing the 3 times 3 years between Troubles. Or whether or not Vince is willing to try saving his brother. Dave-a-toan, stop sounding so condescending it's creepy. That is NOT ALL DAVE, VINCE, STOP GIVING AWAY INFO. Even the one where you don't want the Guard to kill Dave. Seriously why has nobody started just assuming Dave is at best compromised and at worst constantly sharing his body? We know that Croatoan is more powerful than Mara was, and though he's (presumably god I hope) not the original owner of that body, I would not be at all surprised if that plus being used to a more incorporeal state in this dimension (so many caveats. SO MANY MUST WE MAKE.) meant that he was more able to lurk and listen using Dave's eyes and ears. As it were. So, no, Vince doesn't know if the Guard's going to kill him, he's going to keep hammering away at the whole you were possessed it wasn't really you. We'll keep hammering at the you don't know it doesn't have him now, Vince. I understand his concern and there's a lot of arguments against killing Dave out of hand above and beyond filial feelings, but honest to fucking god stop acting only on those feelings. And when Dave-a-toan asks about staging a prison break well that just sets off Ideas in Vince's brain and he's going to go investigate them. Don't mind us, we'll be over here smashing our faces into our keyboards.
Aww, the younger boys are sharing information! At least some information. The only way this could be better would be if they were sharing all the information and also making out. Shut up I'm pretty sure the writers ship it too at this point, at least some of them. And it hasn't been this blatant in aaaages. One of Nathan's sources of random stress is semi-alleviated! There are not tanks around the shroud trying to get in and having very large explosive devices bounce back at them. There were in Cleve's Mill in Under the Dome, but not here. So that's good! Less good is the way the shroud fucks with everyone's memory. I do not like this, Sam-I-Am. Hayley evidently wanted to go to her parents' old house, fair enough, it is still quite yellow. Somewhat messy on the inside, but not with what I'd call trashed with malice. Covered in plastic and maybe slightly ransacked for things people could use, which follows from what the Guard might've done with otherwise abandoned homes. I still want to know exactly what that situation looks like, logistically: it seems as though after the darkness Trouble got solved they relocated anyone who lived in Trouble Alley and everyone else got to go back home? But it's not totally clear and I have a feeling that might come back to bite us at some point in the near future. Anyway. Nathan's glad he's back, aww, Audrey is walking outside with Hayley and talking, hopefully about her Trouble and what's up with what she can do and… isn't so much glad. Yeah, time is one thing they feel like they're in chronically short supply of. Duke wants to know what's up because persuading Hayley to come back with him wasn't easy. Alas, this is a scene that will have to go into the fanfiction annals, unless the writers' room has anything to say about it. And the problem with running on perpetual crisis mode, as Nathan will demonstrate, is that you give people the most information possible in the least amount of time, which is not at all like giving them all of the information before you cause another crisis. You don't have the time to stop and breathe and make sure you didn't leave anything out, and under stress the brain does not perform at its best so whatever you leave out, however much you try otherwise, will probably be important. Unfortunately, breaking out of that habit or its bad side effects is probably something Nathan literally has no idea how to do or that such a concept even exists, the poor fucker. Also Duke is making assumptions in his explanation of his fucked up vision bullshit that are incorrect: vision!Vince said since Nathan went into the void and didn't return, not because. It's a fine, fine distinction, but the causal relationship here is not necessarily accurate. I'm skimming over the content of what they're saying because frankly what they're not saying is more important: Duke isn't explaining the humiliation of not being in control of his new, improved form of Trouble-sponging via blood and hence why Hayley might not trust him so much, or shouldn't. Nor is he explaining the sequence of events that led up to the vision side-trip to North Carolina. Nor, for that matter, as far as we know, is he covering the entire process behind How The Crockers Got Their Trouble, the worst Just So Story ever, which at least gives context to the evolution of his abilities and at best gives them some idea of how to predict or at least deal with it. Nobody knows how Hayley's Trouble got activated, which is crucial to understand how to help her use it. And Nathan isn't explaining shit about the sequence of events, that Dave is now possessed, oh, a whole lot of shit in there. His trial. Dwight and Charlotte getting back together. There's a lot of important stuff! I do like that Duke calls it a Haven vision with such derision, and there, Croatoan's the keyword that tells Nathan Duke isn't making it up to keep him here, nor has he finally snapped. YES YOU HAVE OPTIONS. Duke could go into the void! Audrey could go! Hell, Dwight could go! Dammit Nathan with the tunnel vision. And the ominous reappearance of the girl with the exploding-hands Trouble glaring at Duke from her car outside the house. Yeah, that's not going to go poorly or anything.
Meanwhile at what's left of the Herald, it's dark inside despite being daytime and outside there's a spilled trash can and trash bags in the street. Have some symbols of chaos and declination of Normal Societal Standards. Extra points, we start by looking at Vince through a collection of glassware that looks ridiculously like the contents of an apothecary. Dwight wanders on in to stare at Vince's piles and piles of notes and announce that he wants to talk to him about Dave. Funny you should say that, Dwight! He also recognizes Vince bulling his way through something come hell and high water, so instead he circles around to whatcha doin, Vince? Updating the Troubles census! Which we're behind on too, come to think of it, over on our Troubles Index page. And we'll have to come up with a good way to delineate the original round from the ones Duke expelled. At any rate, Charlotte had a census started, it was a really complete one, and then she died and Vince took it over and he's fallen behind because, y'know, brother possessed by Croatoan. But it gave him a thought that one of the many many Troubles available to them must be somehow useful! Could cut the cord, etc etc, make Dave stop being possessed? Yes? Maybe? Plus he should update the census, really this looks like what happens when we go to update the blog's assorted non-recaplysis pages and we think of five other things at the same time and get distracted. Dwight, have a stack of file folders and sit your ass down and get to work digging. That is the resigned sigh of a man who's done more paperwork than he ever fucking wants to confront again, but fiiiiine he accepts the necessary evil here. Foreshadowing totally intended.
And once we're done giggling and facepalming fondly at the familiar activity of Updating/Searching Through The Files, Audrey is updating Hayley on what she knows about her powers. Which is to say, traveling through space by taking a shortcut through the void, by ripping a thinny open and jumping into it. But if and only if she has the magic ring. Audrey seems to be starting to explain something with "I know it sounds crazy" but Hayley interrupts to point out that Fucking Haven, which is to say that it's not any crazier than her completely forgetting the town in which she grew up or, you know, walking through walls. Nathan's the one to actively tell her about the thinny-ripping, for which we get a lampshade hanging on the peculiarity of the word thinny. (It actually sounds less out of place in the dialect of the Dark Tower, but this is allegedly the real world, or at least our world.) They need something on the other side, and help us Hayley Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope. Hayley's still in the first throes of no this is cool my power is awesome, so she's a lot more willing to try it than Audrey and Nathan seem to be, or seem to expect her to be, and Audrey cautions her to only try it a couple feet at first. Good advice, and I'm still waiting for her to lose molecular cohesion from all this phasing, but she tries it and goes a couple feet and pops out and all but does a victory dance at having done it. Nathan's quick to point out that yes that's good, but Barbara was able to keep it open for several minutes, which might be more like what they need. Hayley doesn't fixate on the failure, but on the mention of her mother. She doesn't talk about anything other than the phasing and ripping open a thinny, but the faces she makes and some of the light quaver in her voice indicates it's as much of an emotional hit as a revelation about her powers. She's going to try something, and does, and succeeds, something her mother told her but that didn't make sense until now. She explains that her mother, when she was going out on a job, told her she would always come home to her as long as she stayed connected. (Which, there we go, that's what causes the molecular discohesion, at a guess.) And as long as Hayley herself stays connected, she can hold the door open. Thinks she can do it. She's not sure how long she can keep it open, though, and it does start flickering after 30-45 seconds. So, no, there's no way she can keep it open for the length of time it'll take Nathan to go through and look for the damn controller crystal. But on the other hand Audrey has a good idea, open it at regular intervals and leave it open long enough for Nathan to see and go back through. And, you know, it's not a great idea? There are so many problems I can foresee here, starting with the fact that they're assuming physics, including time and distance, operate the same as in the real world and consistently, and moving on to the fact that Charlotte already warned that the Void wasn't kind to humans, to people, that you could get lost in it. Not to mention what if Croatoan's not the only monster? And going into the less dire problems like, how well does Nathan have an idea of what he's looking for? But it's the best idea she's coming up with under time pressure, which they're all feeling right now. He's got kind of a plan which is better than no plan, starting where the barn first imploded. And then there's not much more to be said. He kisses Audrey good-bye, saying he knows how she hates long good-byes which might well be a reference to the last time one of them went into a maybe I won't come back situation and certainly is a general reference to the fact that they keep doing that. And even so he dithers a bit at the thinny's entrance. Dude, if Hayley drops trying to hold it open while you poke at it you're going to lose fingers. No, she doesn't, though, and he doesn't, and goes on through while Audrey looks like she's going to collapse from nerves. Oh sweetie. Oh everyone.
On the other side of the thinny it looks, at first blush, really a lot like the fucking cave under the fucking lighthouse that is no more. It's certainly a cave, stalactites and all, and with a blue filter on that I'm glad we weren't supposed to be convinced was just because of the cave itself at first. Because we weren't. The thinny glimmers awhile behind Nathan, and oh hey roots hanging down, none of this is ominous in the least. Ooh, stalagmites too. No, self, Nathan is not going to go take samples and bring them back, besides which Charlotte's dead and she was probably the only qualified person to do any measurements or tests on them. As a piece of foreshadowing and also an indication of how careful you need to be here, we have a moment where Nathan loses his footing, oh no. We do not see the thinny close behind him. Instead he's wandering, wandering, that is a very blasted landscape, or it's supposed to be. I'm not sure if that's Nova Scotia in winter or fall pre-snow, with the snow 'shopped out, or an actual dead forest. Ex-forest. That they found to film in. Could be any of our options! Whatever it is, it's doing a pretty good job of looking like the woods around Haven while also being a completely desolate wasteland of doom where nothing's alive. Have some big boulders for an indication of No Plants Live Here Nosirree. When Nathan stops to look around there's a Something moving through the trees, which might be wind, might be animal, at a very far guess might be William but I doubt it. Anyway. He'll head downhill in the fond hopes of finding anything. We'll sit here muttering about reminding him of magical theory before sending him into the Wood Between The Worlds goddammit you guys. That ended in a literal train wreck, remember? Don't do that.
Duke is playing the Piano of Despondency and Ennui, and I'm only being partly facetious here because the imagery of fingers plinking on a piano is often a shorthand for contemplation in any mood from dreamy to sad and angsty. Extra bonus points because Audrey herself did it in season two (2x03 Love Machine) when she was dealing with her world turning upside down as she coped with adjusting her idea of who she was, just towards the end of Audrey II. Meanwhile Duke is now adjusting his idea of who he is now that he knows the origins of the Crockers and the context of his powers which, heh, is probably even worse than he thought. Poor Duke. He asks after Hayley, and Audrey does tell him she's fine, she's resting from the effort of opening the thinny, though there's something faintly distracted in her voice. Duke's even more distracted worrying out loud about Hayley, she shouldn't be doing this, she's impulsive and doesn't know how to control her powers, Audrey are you listening? No, of course not, she's distracted worrying over Nathan. She does answer when Duke asks her if Hayley told her why she's come to Haven, which Audrey answers yes, bad trouble with bad guys and ooh by the way Duke tried to kill her. You know, I don't even blame Audrey for focusing on that, that's not like Duke and with everything that's been going on, I'd be a bit concerned, too. I'm even more concerned, not that Audrey is, that Duke's completely avoiding why he tried to kill her and the fun new drawbacks to his powers and telling Audrey about that, which is information she really should know. It's not even like it's completely new information! But no, instead of dwelling on his damage he's going to use it as a means to point out Hayley's damage and that she came back here, to an unknown place under unknown circumstances she couldn't possibly remember as safe (not that Haven is safe), and is that the act of a stable person to you? And picking up Duke's Avoidance Ball and running with it, Audrey's skipping right past both Hayley's damage and the fact that Duke just admitted to trying to kill a young woman (this is a good sign that she's severely compromised right now because normally Audrey would have picked that up and poked at it more) and the question of what happened to make him even more broken and now angry out there, and swung the conversation right back around to her and her feelings of abandonment and how angry she is at him. Duke will fire back about how it's always about when she and Nathan need him, implying that they don't want him around for any reason other than that. And we have ample evidence this isn't true, we could fill up an entire other paragraph with citations from the text, but this isn't about what's full of precedent, this is about both of them hurting and ripping into each other instead of sharing information and comforting each other. Guys. You guys. This is not helpful. Audrey accuses him of only being concerned about how she's using Hayley because if anything happens to her it's on him. (This is going to come back to bite sooner rather than later.) Like everything bad that's happened in Haven is on him. Duke does not like this and asks what the hell she wants, he came back, didn't he? Oh Audrey, this is so not the conversation to be derisive about someone wanting a medal for doing the right thing, that's the kind of thing you say to a guy who gets an altered woman a cab home and then whines about being a nice guy. That's not what you say to a guy who risks sanity, life, everything to come back to a town where everything is fucked up, life is ten kinds of uncertain, and he at least feels responsible (even if he isn't) for the deaths of lots and lots and lots of people. Audrey. AUDREY. Duke points out that using Hayley isn't right, either, while we're at it. Yeah, Audrey hasn't been very concerned with Hayley as a person, has she. And he's got a point, which she will not acknowledge by asking him why he did come back, if it wasn't to Do The Right Thing. Well, because he can't escape this fucking town. Now would be a good time to relate everything Walter showed him, too, but after that truly spectacular fight I can understand why he doesn't, and opts to draw parallels between him and Audrey both being bound up in all the shit that goes on in Haven. She claims they're nothing alike, she cares about people. And with that last jab, walks away. Just in case we didn't have enough parallels going on here. I don't really have much to say about the summation of this scene, except this is not at all unexpected clawing at each other albeit entirely unhelpful. And painful to watch, given that we've all (a very general all but still) come to love these two and their connection, and now over the events of the last season or so their connection has been strained and turned into a world of hurt. Oh babies. Both of you. Come here so I can shake you and then hug you.
Speaking of oh sweetie and worlds of hurt, here comes Exploding Girl bursting in, asking if Duke remembers her, and then providing a really good recall device by dropping a ball of some kind? I don't even know what that is. And then it explodes. Duke remembers her and gives her name as Lisa, so we have something to call her other than Exploding Girl. Oh hello, she says her little brother told her he saw Duke, that might be the kid with the ball, which would add more layers to him running away. Aheh. Yep, the trauma is definitely still there from her blowing up her boyfriend, even though she's got enough grip on it now to get the words out. That was really messy. Equally worrying is the fact that she's barely hesitating before she lunges for Duke trying to explode him, but of course she can't. That's not the way this works. She will, however, hit him a few times while I briefly ponder that it's a pity that the guy whose touch disintegrated things who worked for the Guard, do we remember that? All the way back in Nowhere Man (5x07)? It's a pity that guy isn't with us anymore and that he was also kind of homicidal, they could have a good chat and commiseration about coping mechanisms. I'm going to go ahead and bet this is Mara with the touch starvation fetish too, we brought this up back in that episode, Kitty's going with William, we'll see if we have any further clues by the end of the series. Anyway, she's going to cope by smacking Duke around. I can't say it's a bad coping mechanism, he'll allow it for a couple hits until he grabs her by the wrist and walks her back, reminding her with words and the fact that he's touching her that he's immune. Yes. She'll take her frustration out on the poor defenseless clock noooo that looked like a nice clock. Then she'll get the idea, since the exploding clock knocked Duke back a few feet, of blowing the whole place down and will it take him with it. Probably! Let's not do that. I can't tell if she stops because he tells her not to (unlikely) or if she's just fucking with his head when she stops and kind of smiles at him in a not at all friendly smiling and very much broken way. Her eyes are red-rimmed and purple-ish, not so much from crying but like she's been, I don't know, medicating? Not sleeping? Both? Both is good. Well, bad.
Vince, I mostly just want to shake. Vince what are you doing. Vince. Oh, hey, a woman with an exorcism Trouble who's… now dead, that's two out of two Troubles they thought might be able to remove Croatoan from Dave. Gee. Not that Dwight's saying this outright but this really rather feels like Not A Coincidink. Guys, maybe this is actually a terrible idea? GUYS. Instead Dwight hints around the edges of okay, I know this isn't actually Dave's fault per se but what if they can't get Croatoan out of him. Which leads to Vince delivering him a speech about how they've been responsible for protecting Haven, him and Dave, since before Dwight was born young whippersnapper and if the only way to fuck Croatoan's shit up is killing Dave, Vince will DO THAT. (We'll just be over here cringing because there was a timeline in Sarah 3x09 where Dave killed Vince. Ouch.) Himself. Could you be a little more sanctimonious, Vincent. Dwight has puppy eyes for that whole assessment, worried puppy eyes, at that. The kind of look that says he's worried about Vince's sanity if not now then definitely in the nebulous possible future time after he's killed his brother. Can we say Cain and Abel problems? I knew we could. Except oh look, what about the guy with the reincarnation Trouble that they tried to use on Mara to get Audrey back? And they split her in two? Well that's all well and good but Croatoan, to the best of anyone's knowledge, doesn't have a physical form in this dimension! And they have way too many variables! And YOU DO NOT FUCKING KNOW YOU COULD KILL HIM SEPARATE FROM DAVE'S BODY, VINCENT TEAGUES. You don't even know what it would take TO kill him. Or how he'd defend himself if you went to kill him while still possessing Dave. Or anything at all, in fact, because Charlotte has outright said that her people avoided knowledge of Croatoan. This is the worst fucking plan ever and I am ashamed of Dwight for going along with any of it at all. Not to mention the part where you're talking about putting a person known to be possessed near yet another of the people who could potentially end the possession and just because Croatoan doesn't want to give up this meatpuppet (yet) (judging by the deaths of the other two Troubled people and also the overall lack of body-hopping) (and the whole lot of memory erasure for that matter) does NOT mean that he'd be defenseless outside of Dave like you seem to think. Oh my god why.
Nathan's still in the Wood Between The Worlds. Nathan, go look for the tree with the magic rings buried in it. Oh wait, okay, controller, that's like magic rings, we'll go with it. But seriously, having more than three of the fucking things would be really handy. There's a noise! Aww, the void let him keep his gun, that's sweet, I believe my immediate comment was that it was about as much use as a security blanket. AND I WAS RIGHT. This is what I mean about magical theory. Nathan's excellent at handling the Troubles in real-world terms, not so good at handling shit when all the rules have just been upended. And oh hey! A trap. Pitfall trap, to be specific, which is probably easiest to swing in landscape like this. Second easiest; deadfall would be easier but more obvious to anything sapient. Nathan's just fucking lucky he didn't break anything, or rather, didn't compound fracture anything on that fall. Since he presumably wouldn't know otherwise. And it's a William! Hi William. So very not nice to see you again. Although I will allow for how he brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the show, and on a meta-level I totally appreciate how good a job Colin Ferguson does of making me want to rip his throat out with his teeth! I just mostly want to rip his throat out. As it turns out. After the ad break he gloats some more and wow does he look kinda wrecked, actually. What the fuck have you been doing in the void, William. Nathan would very much like to shoot the fucker right here and now, except then he'd have to get himself out of the pit which would be long, tedious, and possibly doomed to failure on account of it is dug as a trap. Plus there's that little problem where machines and moving parts don't work either because they never did or because the world has most definitely moved on and sigh I told you so. This was actually a reason why Roland in the Dark Tower used his revolvers rather than stealing more modern guns through the doorway, the world has moved on, things break down. Trains go insane. There aren't any trains around here, are there? No? Good. I admire Nathan's restraint in NOT informing William that beating him to death and/or strangling him could be arranged! First he will test the theory of guns not working, because we know William is a lying liar who lies and does so with the truth, and then he will come up with a series of lies to feed him in turn. I have to give him credit for this, it's thinking on his feet and he had no reason to expect that William, even if lost in the void, would be near where Nathan landed. We extrapolated it even before promo photos were released because those are the narrative conventions at play, and it was either going to be William or maybe Arla or James, given they were around for the barn's implosion. Most likely William though, for the conflict he presents. So! Nathan's lie is that Mara sent him here and then he builds on that with Croatoan's in Haven and everyone's lives are at stake and that's why they're temporarily working together. Not that he's happy about this in the least. And Mara wants William to come join her and help them! It's honestly a really good lie to start with: Nathan's keeping back the part about Charlotte existing and where he got this knowledge from, and claiming Mara's still around and taken over Audrey's body. But Audrey might still be around so he's going to help save her! Which is exactly the Nathan thing to do, and plays into events that really did happen with Maraudrey, so while it's a lie it's pulling straight out of William's playbook. I have to admire it even as I worry about the implications of Nathan being able to lie like that. (Not that he hasn't always to some extent, but this is trying to pull that trick on a professional with a lot more experience.) And for what it's worth, William's face goes from the smiling smug I am enjoying myself far too much and totally in control to actually worried and hiding a lot of other emotions and thoughts underneath. Who's worried about that, given he must know a good deal about Croatoan? I am raising my feet off the couch because I have to use my hands for typing. Confirmed by his next words, that he spent five hundred years "getting Mara out," which definitely implies a good chunk of that was wandering around the void and/or hammering on the barn. I have so many concerns right now and a lot of them involve whether or not he's one of Croatoan's meatpuppets and/or greater servants. SO MANY CONCERNS. Except that all said, William does agree to help Nathan out of the pit so he can take him to where the barn crashed and then Nathan will totally really he swears lead William to the thinny. Sure he will. That's a nice bit of steeling himself to feel William's touch at the end there, because he's not Audrey and Nathan does not WANT to be reminded that he can only feel the touch of weird extradimensional aliens when this one is evil and wants to take Audrey from him. There is, of course, no possible way this can end badly.
I am surprisingly not here for Duke talking Lisa down. Normally I would be, that's fine, and it demonstrates that Duke's still good at people and can do this kind of shit? I don't know if this is because the actors aren't gelling well, she's overselling it a bit, or just because I am so fucking sick of all the victim-blaming this show keeps throwing at Duke that even when it comes from someone who doesn't know any better I want to scream. Maybe a combination of all of the above! Duke tries the line about people learning to live with their Troubles, which is true but before now he's been getting to say this to people with a family history of it. Much like a family history of any other kind of genetic shitstorm, that's the sort of thing that tends to get passed down at least in rumors and whispers and yes it may suck and be traumatic when it turns up, but it's not a complete shock to the system like the new Troubles are. We are, basically, seeing how people must have reacted (to some degree or another) back when William and Mara first turned Haven into their playground. So, no, she's not interested, she goes on a rant that updates Duke about how the Guard's been running the town and while all of those things are actually necessary in this kind of situation (rationing food, water, electricity, warning people off Troubled areas of town) it is the kind of thing that wears and wears and wears on anyone's ability to stay calm and in control of their Trouble. Duke's coping mechanism of joking about controlling the sewage treatment plant with a Trouble and do not want to know is not helpful here, though necessary to maintaining HIS calm, I'm betting. Here, have some more helpings of guilt about the thousands of lives that've been fucked up and/or ended as a result of being a Trouble bomb, Duke! I have to say that he does a really excellent job here of validating Lisa's emotions, but the problem is she's way too broken to bother listening to that, she's going to keep shoveling on the guilt by telling him what he's done and who all the people he hurt were. Okay. I get that this is totally justified FOR HER. I do. I do not fucking approve of the writers dumping still MORE guilt onto Duke and turning him into the whipping boy for all of Haven. And I further don't fucking approve of nobody calling Audrey on her bullshit. And I fourthly feel like this entire plotline is hugely contrived JUST so that Duke can feel guiltier, Audrey can realize she's being unfair, and the culmination of discovering that Hayley is not inclined to give up her powers fuck you and fuck your thinny can happen. Plus it's predicated on everyone being fucking morons about dealing with the Troubles.
Nathan and William walking along, questing for the controller crystals. William would like to have witty banter! Nathan would like William to shut the hell up and stay shut, which as much as I believe that's true because William is the annoyingest of the annoyings, I also wonder if that's not because Nathan, with his new-honed powers of deception and manipulation, is telling him that so William will talk more to annoy him and in doing so give away some information. At least it's the kind of thing I would do! Or so that William won't pick at the lies and Nathan won't have to come up with more ways to lie with the truth. Or with outright lies, considering how much he's eliding. Whatever Nathan's motivation, William will now start yakking just because Nathan wants him to shut up. He'll start with asking about Mara, to which Nathan has one syllable answers with is both smart in the way of not getting caught lying and typical of him! This does not amuse William, who offers a game of guess the Trouble with three clues, he calls it fun and educational. I call it a will resist roll with massive penalties to not punch him in his smarmy face. Nathan calls it NO and suggests William talk about Croatoan instead. YES PLEASE DO GIVE US MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CROATOAN. Apparently they're okay, for a very bad value of okay that I wonder how much of that has to do with William's species prejudices, as long as Croatoan's riding someone like a cheap meatsuit. (Sorry Dave.) Well, no, apparently it doesn't all have to do with William's species prejudices (some of it undoubtedly does), it turns out if someone doesn't stop Croatoan the whole world will be laid waste and turned into another void. Whether that's literally, restructured and the dimensions around it reworked so that it's a between-worlds place, or figuratively as in complete and total waste land, hard to say. Functionally, it doesn't matter. And to underscore the fact that it doesn't matter what the waste land of Earth is connected to, Nathan will now cough somewhat raggedly. With William giving his smug look of uh-huh saw that coming. Also a very evaluating look, I don't like that look, it doesn't bode well for anyone or anything. By his next comments some of the evaluating is calculating how long Nathan has left out here since humans "don't do well in the void," determining how much "Mara" told him, and I doubt that suggestion that Nathan tell him where the thinny is before he dies is an idle one. It's flippant, and I don't think Nathan has any intention of telling him where the thinny is and I'm sure William doesn't think he will either, but it's not that flippant. And by the way Nathan looks after him he's sure William's not being that flippant either and is probably calculating the time he has left. See, shit like this is why Audrey didn't want you to go. Nathan. Though I don't think really anyone else would have done any better, certainly Nathan and William have, however much they might hate it, at shared reference point in Maraudrey. Now Audrey. Not that William knows it yet.
After a panover for an ad break and some passage of time, we're just about at the barn's crash site! I'm particularly intrigued by the weird holes in the spooky mist. There doesn't appear to be a particular pattern but it feels like there's a potential reason. Like they're the void's equivalent of holes in the ozone layer. Nathan pulls the are-we-there-yet card. Nathan please just whine at him like a kid it'd be funnier. That's not his style, though it would be Duke's, and William calls him "it" for his pains. Goddammit I didn't need another reason to want to rip him apart. Even if it is in character. And now I get to pick apart all the nuances of what William's saying, because this gives us some really fascinating insights into what the barn was and how it worked, which might in turn allow them to build another one. The wreckage is of its final form (boss fight? boss fight!) with the bar where Lexdrey was hanging out and William was trying to prime her to pick life, preferably a life with him, which then got ruined by Nathan shouting Audrey's name across the void whoops. William calls it a construct, with the underlying technology not being wood, emphasizing once again that their tech is different. Well. Yes. We knew that, Captain Obvious, moving on? It kinda sounds like he views it as a computer, from the perspective of someone who's never opened their computer and doesn't want to, so he barely has an idea that that might be a motherboard and what it's made out of, let alone the details of how it works. So! Also he's been here before and never found anything of value, which suggests any number of things from William has only been here to mourn the loss of Mara and his inability to get the fuck out of the void to the controller crystal was deliberately hiding itself from him. I kinda like the second option at a minimum, considering Nathan spots it immediately with its whole crystal-shaped self and glowing blue on and off. Yes do let's pick up the magical thingie made of fuck-knows-what with our bare hands, Nathan, that can't possibly go wrong. Or in this case, apparently it calls up a Galaudreyel! No, seriously, that's a white-haired white-dressed Emily Rose looking very serene and very creepy. William would like to know, if Mara (ahem) is back in Haven, what the fuck is that? Great question! Nathan doesn't know either.
Back in Haven Dwight and Vince are taking a bound at the hands at least Dave to see Boyd, is his name, with the reincarnation Trouble. Did I mention this is a bad idea? because this is such a bad idea on so many levels. Starting with the fact that Dave is starting to freak out about why he's here, what are they doing to him, did I mention we still don't trust that Dave is Dave all the time or even ever again at this point? BECAUSE WE DON'T. Dwight has the semi-sensible approach of it's okay, no one's going to hurt you, which is safe to say to a panicking Dave and a wary Croatoan. Vince, on the other hand, is flat out telling Dave-a-toan that if this works he'll be free of the smoke monster riding him like a pony. Vince why you do. Your brother has been compromised and you don't know how to tell when or even if it's Dave anymore. STOP GIVING HIM FREE INFORMATION. My god Vince, for someone who ran the Guard for many years and at least has been implied to have covert tactical training you can be amazingly dumb. And speaking of tactics, it turns out Boyd was hiding behind the door the whole time, out of which he will now come out with guns pointed at the boys. Well, a gun. Good enough for everyone's purposes, and Dwight would like him to please be putting away the gun now, it's fine, they're fine, they spoke on the phone earlier. Boyd does lower the gun, talking some about how it's not the Haven he grew up in and he's a little jumpy. Yeah, you and the entire rest of the town. Boyd will now go on to address one of the central issues of the episode, one that I take somewhat less issue with, the whole using Troubles as tools thing. There's definitely some discussion to be had over that, at least for the people with more voluntary control over their Troubles (Boyd, Hayley, earlier Marion Caldwell or Vicki.) as opposed to the people with no control over their Troubles (Dwight, Nathan, Jordan McKee, cake-eating girl, the entire male Glendower line). Unfortunately none of what we've heard so far about the solution to the Troubles makes me think there's any way to let the people who can control their Trouble would be able to keep theirs, it sounds very much like it's all or nothing. Which, as we're about to see, can cause big problems when the people enjoying their Troubles (Hayley) find out it's all about to go away. But. That's a later problem. Right now Boyd is just apprehensive about using his curse for good, even as Vince assures him this has happened before and will all happen again and it helped someone then, and it'll be okay. No, it really won't be okay, because while Dwight tries to find out what strong emotion activates Boyd's Trouble Croa-Dave will take action to keep his lovely meatsuit! Namely by grabbing Boyd by the throat and sucking his Trouble out through his eyeballs. And this is where I want to grab Vince and shake him till his teeth clack together like a skull rattle VINCE YOU HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE. YOU KNOW THIS IS A THING DAVE-A-TOAN DOES. WHY THE FUCK DID YOU BRING HIM AT ALL NOT TO MENTION WARN DAVE THAT THIS oh never mind. Because yes, given all of the information we have, I find it a pretty safe bet that Croatoan's been wandering around killing anyone who could harm him or pull him out of his meatsuit. This does raise the interesting question though, that if Croatoan is actually more dangerous outside of his meatsuit, as William said, why does he want to stay in it. The annoying part about that question is that both facts as we know them, Croatoan being more dangerous decorporealized and Croatoan wanting to stay in his meatsuit, could be true. Croatoan might have been influenced by Shatner, he/it might have goals that do not involve turning Earth into a barren waste land, Dave being what Dave is might actually enhance Croatoan's abilities where a normal human would just be consumed or an interdimensional alien of Mara and Charlotte's ilk would just fight Croatoan endlessly. Or at least for a very long time. We don't know! Come, sing with us the song of our people. At any rate. Dave-a-toan has been killing a lot of people and now he's killed the guy who could de-couple the two entities. Dwight is just staring all WHAT THE SHIT IS THIS. As you do, really, the first time. Vince saw it he was pretty dumbstruck. This is not the first time. Vince ... actually, it turns out Vince is the next target, and while he's trying to talk to Dave under the a-toan I'm not sure whether he reaches him and Dave fights the other creature off or whether the creature decides leaving Vince alive and just threatening to eat him makes his point well enough and leaves Vince alive to be useful. I'm leaning towards that latter, mostly because when Dave comes out of it he seems more freaked and less self-aware as one might be to fight off a supernatural creature in one's head. Boyd is just dead. So, so very dead. And both of you are fucking morons, Vince somewhat more than Dwight because Vince SHOULD at least have a better idea of what Croa-Dave is capable of. No? No. WHY.
Lisa is wrapping up her recitation of horrible with the darkness Trouble, which is fair: it was fucking terrifying and frankly they could've really used Duke and his immunity to maybe start talking people down. The part nobody's addressing under this, and I understand why but I kind of wish they would, is that Duke also left because in order to be of any help to others, he would have to spread the word far and wide that this was done to him, and we all know how thrilled victims are by trying to explain that, right? All the more so when you mix in toxic masculinity issues, Duke's specific brand of trying to assert control over his life and his fucked up family history, and the problems inherent in trying to explain about Mara and Audrey. Speaking of which, as Duke is explaining that he left because he believed he would only ever be able to fuck things up worse and Lisa tells him oh don't worry she'll make it so he never does THAT again (hahaha. ha. ha. oh honey you have no IDEA the ways that someone dying, especially with supernatural shit at play, can fuck things up worse), here comes Audrey! Looking slightly chastened for having overheard all that. (Oh and let's add to the laundry list of Reasons Duke Won't Speak Up About Mara Trouble-Bombing Him is the usual rounds of victim-blaming. See also WHAT AUDREY DID EARLIER AND WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.) So. Okay, she backs down from the victim-blaming here, that he didn't mean to hurt Lisa, and this could possibly be more blatantly staged as a case of Audrey speaking through Lisa as her proxy because she can't handle talking directly to Duke about her fuckups and feelings but oh my god. There would need to be neon signs. Now she's going to prove to Lisa that Duke returned to save them all! Audrey stop sucking at your JOB.
Speaking of neon signs, we shall now return to the more Dark Tower-esque land and people, which is saying something considering how bad Haven-proper has been for it this season. With Galaudreyel! I want to know what the fuck with the necklace, it looks like silver or maybe mother of pearl? Inquiring minds, though presumably it's mostly there to add to the Otherworldly Not Really Human At All attitude. William suggests she's a template, presumably for how wiping or burying Mara's personality works: first there's Mara, then a template onto which the personality for each cycle can be laid? Sure we'll go with that. Her voice is definitely echoing like she's some kind of AI. I have to wonder a bit, here, if they wished they could get Agent Howard back as the barnvatar but Maurice Dean Wint had scheduling conflicts? Or just lack of interest. Or if they meant it to be Galaudreyel the whole time. (He did have a TV movie come out mid-2014, so it's possible he was filming that while Haven was finishing up their eps here.) (Note: Confirmation from Millikin says that they always had it in mind to be Galaudreyel. Which then gives us all the questions about the nature of the original barnvatar that we saw, but Twitter is a poor medium to grab the writers by the lapels and shake them until answers fall out.) No, Nathan, do not touch the weird Galaudreyel template whatever, she might explode you. William the only thing more asinine and less believable you could say in that tone of voice is "we come in peace." Also since this being is essentially the failsafe that, at best guess, Charlotte installed to make sure the crystal didn't fall into the wrong hands? And it's of her daughter? I'm a little creeped out about Charlotte all over again, are you? Anyway. Nathan tells her what they want, I'm going to continue being disturbed that she looks like a Vorlon and talks like a Vorlon and asks questions like a Shadow, don't mind us and our B5 fixation over here. And why they want it, with some significant hesitation before coughing up the great evil Croatoan by name. I don't blame him, considering there's so much they don't know about it and it's entirely possible the failsafe got corrupted at some point and all KINDS of things like that. So! The question to determine who the right person is is, why was the barn created? William has the easy answer, the one about punishing Mara for making the Troubles, which is predictable, the one Agent Fuck You hinted around at the end of s3, and also totally wrong. On the other hand, William also seems to have enough self-awareness to know that he's not what would be considered the right person, so it's hard to say whether or not that's his real answer? I'd buy it though, given his viewpoint. Apparently this is not a forgiving failsafe, you get one wrong answer a person and the countdown doesn't stop until Nathan coughs up his answer. Well. Ouch. Nathan's answer is that the barn was created to save Mara from herself, that she wasn't born evil and was capable of being so much more than she was, that Audrey Parker is essentially what-could-have-been. Which strongly suggests that whatever template was in the barn, it involved bits of Mara's personality at all times. This only makes me feel very slightly less squicky over Charlotte choosing Audrey over Mara, because they're both still people even if you consider them alternate versions of each other. Unfortunately, Nathan in his eagerness to elaborate and get the right answer out there forgets to be a good liar, and he talks about Mara in nothing but the past tense. We can even see the place where it registers with William that Mara is dead, gone, or otherwise locked up, and he's so going to fuck your shit up for that, Nathan. Look at that jawline and those cheekbones of ANGRY. Nathan stop gloating silently it's only pissing him off more. The ONLY piece of luck in all of this is that he's kept knowledge of Charlotte from William, which means that as he has the confrontation leading to the chase through the forest, he thinks they're still in the same body and he can get Mara out. I dunno about all that, William! She might be really truly gone this time. Also it's quite telling of William's instability and impulsivity that he doesn't wait for Nathan to lead him toward the thinny before he starts in about past tense and Audrey still existing and so on and so forth. It might've been smarter to wait! It might also, granted, have allowed Nathan to try and lead him into a trap and then go off to the thinny without him, but waiting would've given him more time to plan and pump Nathan for information and so on. Instead we get a demonstration that yes, in fact, Nathan can run quite fast and also William has leet tracking skills now? I'm going to go with, he's spent an unconscionable amount of time in the void, assuming he needs to eat and drink and perform some kind of normal bodily functions (and we've seen nothing from Audrey over the past five seasons to indicate otherwise, so it would be void-effects, not alien-being), he's figured out quite a lot of survival skills.
Outside, Audrey introduces Lisa to Hayley and asks if she's ready to open the thinny, because it's time. Hayley's already looking kind of dubious about the whole thing but sure, she can open the door and hopefully Nathan will come most likely crashing back through. Lisa's not sure what's going on, but Audrey assures her that when Nathan comes back through he'll be able to help them end the Troubles forever! And everyone will be normal again and she can have a normal life, and while that's probably tempting for someone like Lisa someone like Hayley is thinking wait a second I like my super powers, and it's the Rogue-Storm debate all over again. "There's nothing wrong with us!" Says the girl who can control the weather or make doors. "There's everything wrong with us!" says the girl who can't touch anyone ever. Nobody actually told Hayley why they wanted to open a thinny, because nobody is actually telling anyone everything or even most of the thing in this episode. Except Vince, who is telling everyone everything including the people he should not be telling the thing to! We were so not here for this, and we are smashing our desks into kindling with our faces. Audrey continues the practice of telling people things even when she should possibly either keep her mouth shut OR be more judicious and aware of what she's saying, or both. Although finally we get someone (Audrey. Who could have remembered this 20 minutes ago) pointing out that Duke didn't choose to Trouble everyone in Haven, but he's choosing to do what he can to help fix this. Yes. Thank you. Now can we stop punching Duke for Mara's fuckery? And maybe pick him up, dust him off, give him all of the hugs? Duke's gotten nothing but shit from Haven for at least the last two seasons, I think? Three? It was season three where it was the most pronounced with Duke being all "I am not succumbing to my FUCK my destiny will not let me escape it at all." And he's only been getting more and more beaten down since then, albeit with moments of relief (Jennifer) that then get taken away (Jennifer's death.) And Audrey acknowledging that she forgot or discarded how much Duke cares about this town and its people is not in the least proportionate to the amount of shit being heaped on his head, which she contributed to earlier. Hayley is still making faces of I don't like the sound of any of this but at least she is still holding the thinny open. For another couple seconds.
Nathan does make it to the thinny! And shouts Audrey's name, which she hears on the other side, but then William tackles him and the controller crystal goes flying into a dramatically appropriate corner. Audrey is still running off her emotions rather than her usual good sense, we can hear it in her voice and see it in her lack of focus as she tells Lisa it's going to be okay, they're going to end the Troubles. Duke is somewhat more focused, giving Lisa a hand she can touch and hold which she hasn't been able to do in weeks and telling her she's going to be okay, she's going to pull out of this, and making her laugh with a joke about what she's going to tell her little brother. Mostly I think it's the human contact and the arm around her shoulder that's helping her. Hayley, on the other hand, is not cool with this and is dunzo, and lets the thinny close again. Audrey hasn't figured it out yet, asks her what's wrong, she needs to keep it open. Audrey her emotions are splashed all over her face and have been for the entire conversation with Lisa, how do you not see this? Because she's running on adrenaline, emotion, and to some extent hysteria, that's how, not that I approve because I most definitely do not. After the ad break Hayley yells at Audrey about why would she want to give up these awesome powers she has, see again the Rogue-Storm X-Men version of this debate. Hayley is Storm, she sees nothing wrong with being different, being a mutant or Troubled, because she won the superpower lottery and her Trouble doesn't inconvenience her in the slightest and enables her to do awesome things! And apparently her point of view is so self-centered that she can't extend a bit of empathy to people like Rogue-Lisa, who literally cannot touch another human being for the rest of her life if this goes on. For those of you who want to know how damaging this can be, google cloth monkey experiment. It's bad. Very bad. We've mentioned this before, and pointed at Nathan and Jordan as exhibits a and b. Hayley is not interested in this, however, Hayley is not apparently interested in anybody but herself and while I recognize that this is a trait of adolescents to be self-centered and/or short-sighted, this is jacking it up to a very annoying eleven. To Hayley this is all about taking her powers away, and the hell is she going to be a part of that. Dammit, Hayley. Dammit Audrey, who isn't listening to Hayley and attempting to appeal to her you don't want this town to be a hellpit forever do you? Audrey you do remember the part where the Coultons were known and infamous as petty criminals, right? Hayley isn't like you, she hasn't invested in this town, she's invested in stuff, why am I even bothering. Hayley will proceed to prove how invested in stuff she is by taking off the ring and dropping it to the ground as she says she's going to rob banks and buy an island and be happy with her drinks with little hats. Audrey, yelling "Hayley, stop" after her is the least effective thing you have done in an episode full of ineffectuality. Meanwhile on the other side Nathan is getting half strangled by a very angry William. And the thinny's closing while they're fighting. Good job, both of you. Oh, and the impact of the thinny closing is causing a rock fall which blocks the entrance to the cave! NICE JOB BREAKING IT EVERYONE.
Speaking of nice job breaking it, Dave is now chained to a chair and Dwight and Vince are marveling at how Croatoan can see everything and hear everything through Dave. No shit, you guys. I'm honestly surprised Dwight didn't figure this out sooner, considering Croatoan aka the No Marks Killer has been operating clearly with an astounding amount of information and an ability to move freely for months. Not to mention Dave's visions of chasing people through the woods and then death, and then they find oh look a dead body? The signs have all been very much there, Vince just didn't want to believe it. Dwight, on the other hand, really should have known better, he knew Dave-a-toan killed Charlotte, it should have been obvious that Croatoan basically sits lurking in Dave and comes out when it feels it's convenient. Like, oh, to kill a threat to his dwelling. Heh. Vince is still freaking out about not being able to talk to his brother, which is understandable if unhelpful and I would have a lot more patience for this if he hadn't been the dumbass that caused this in the first place. Both the death of Boyd and the possessing of his brother under truly ridiculous circumstances! Dwight, on the other hand, is doing what every good operative does with a known mole: advocating feeding him false information! Wait, no, he's advocating Dave confront Croatoan inside his own mind on allegedly equal footing. Okay, Dwight? Croatoan is a being of unknown age but at least five hundred years old, experienced, with an unknown array of powers that include sucking people's Troubles out through their eyeballs. There is no such thing as an equal footing with Dave. There might be such a thing as a footing that advantages Dave and gives him a chance of survival and even victory, but it would in no way be equal. Also stop talking about this in the same room as Dave-a-Toan. Jesus fuck, you guys. Vince's plan is to hypnotize Dave to get him into the battleground inside the mind. Vince has apparently forgotten that they tried that already, with very little result that we could tell because of Croatoan mind-wiping. I'm almost afraid to find out what happens when he tried that a second time, and I'm not entirely sure whether or not I should be this exasperated with him still because although he was shown to remember that they called in the regression woman, he was very fuzzy and it's unclear whether or not it wrote to long-term memory. Certainly they didn't get anything useful out of it that they were allowed to keep. I wouldn't put it past Croatoan to have gloated about it before he wiped them, though. Croa-Shatner? At any rate. This is a job for the Iron Maiden, the regressionist we saw earlier.
Back in the cave of rocks and hate Nathan at least has the controller crystal, for what good it'll do him, and William has his arm pinned by a boulder. How pinned? Well, he's not moving, but he's not showing any signs of pain like it's being crushed by the boulder, so... I'm not sure what's going on there. He's definitely fairly disgusted by this turn of events though. Nathan comes to stand over him and William sort of taunts, almost seems resigned as he asks Nathan if he's going to kill him, saying that's not him. And it's not. Nathan's going to leave him there to die instead, because while Nathan doesn't often directly hurt anyone, he's in all probability not above leaving people to stew in their own juices and possibly die from them. We believe this so strongly that we actually spent several minutes looking for examples to cite from the text; we didn't find any, so we're going to have to say it's part of our interpretation of his character. And unfortunately Nathan can't really do that anyway. As William attempts to move the boulder on his arm (and hisses either in pain or anticipation of pain when he gets a better look at how it's situated on him) Nathan tries to move the boulder in front of the doorway. Really? Seriously, Nathan? I hope it's less that he thinks he can move it and more that he wants to do something, and he does look like he's being careful not to strain himself in a futile attempt. William, on the other hand, isn't even bothering. Just sitting back and bitterly gloating about how they're stuck here for the duration. This is hell. Nathan is pretty much in hell. Goodie.