Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Show Must Go On Haven S3E13 Thanks For The Memories

Previously on Haven: There was a meteor storm coming! (This is not like a firefight, I am not allowed to turn into Agent Smecker.)  (Too late.) Nathan made ill-advised statements about Audrey and the barn. Vince was cryptic and useless and quite probably very biased about how similar all the incarnations are. Arla was building herself a FrankenArla! Vince and Dave were freaky! Agent Fuck You Howard showed up along with James, Arla was threatening - in other words, a normal week in Haven ramped up to 11. And then someone broke the knob off.

This week on Haven: Welcome to the 100th post at Murderboarding. I know, we can't believe it either. This handbasket is getting comfier all the time. My wrists, however, are going to freak the hell out over this thing. I'm going to make a prediction that this breaks 25K before we get started (note: around 20K, because we decided timeliness trumped even greater attention to detail); when we finish I'm sure you'll hear the flailing from wherever in the world you're reading it. We apologize in advance for any Shadow ships, dolphins, or other high-pitched squeaky toys we may summon.

We start with a panover of the next morning at the Gull/Audrey's apartment. The boys are muttering about something or another, Nathan's being avoidant and Duke's saying something is a possibility. I'm sure it's something about Audrey, the barn, the Guard, and all the shit sundae their lives are becoming right now, but which in particular is left as an exercise for the viewer to imagine, since they've come up to check on Audrey. Great. Now they're BOTH going to get complexes about coming to her apartment, like they weren't already halfway there. They shut up simultaneously and move in tandem, Nathan drawing his gun and Duke's still not carrying, much to nobody's surprise. Whoever Manny is, Duke seems to care about him a reasonable amount! Poor Manny. We didn't see his body when Audrey walked in the night before, so that must have happened as they left. Maybe? Although there's no sign of him at all during the last scene of Reunion, so maybe Arla killed him earlier, in which case why did she drag the body out to the front. Or did Audrey. By the way, we know it was shortly after 1 when Audrey went upstairs to her apartment, and sunrise in October in Maine is... for the sake of argument we'll call it right around 6. This is full sunrise, so we'll say, what, around 7 for this scene? I mean, assuming the sun rises at about the right time of day in Haven, considering how it's not our universe in some very annoying and subtle ways. Also all the signs of a struggle, which Audrey would have had no reason to put up, so either that's again from Manny at whatever point that actually happened or Audrey knocked some things over as a warning to the boys and Arla didn't think it would make enough of a difference to get pissy about it.

Nathan starts having something that looks... actually like a very quiet panic attack, freaking out about the meteor storm and the barn and Arla has Audrey and DUKE. DUKE YOU ARE THE BEST. Duke knows how to deal with Nathan's freakout, namely that they have a very easy test for if Audrey's gone into the barn or not, and if Nathan was paying the slightest bit of attention instead of having a panic attack he'd know it. I love you Duke. Nathan turns on Duke with a predictable amount of fury, because he doesn't care about the Troubles being gone he just wants to keep Audrey safe. Oh honey. Watch that desire, you don't want to go Jordan or Arla's route. Duke will now smack Nathan! Poor Nathan, but it's a good call even with him not being able to feel it; the suddenness is what gets people out of shock like this rather than the pain itself. And it's a better test with Nathan in this state than Duke getting Nathan to bleed on him, which would just be an extra layer of proof anyway. By Nathan's sharp but also hesitant and uncertain 'no' he gets that Duke's trying to do something, but the panic in his brain is clouding the way from 1 + 1 to 2. So, alright, Duke will lay it out for him, see, Nathan? The Troubles are still here, which means Audrey's still here, which means they have time to stop and think about how to find the barn. This is a brilliant piece of getting Nathan to focus on what he can do instead of what he can't, which is figure out where the hell the barn is. Hello mention of Audrey II! You are very intriguing to us for so many reasons. I'm not sure what "were just talking about that" means in context, when they were talking about it, but we didn't get every single thing that they discussed last ep and it's possible it was a deleted scene that was cut for time. God knows these last two eps are stuffed with content. (Or SyFy Sync content. Insert standard bitter rant about how if you're going to do web-based content you could at least not be classist fucks about it, network execs.) At any rate, so they were somehow talking about the barn taking Audrey II's memories, and Duke remembers because he was there, it's out at Kick'em Jenny Neck. Insert standard rant about you people with your King references. Hey, they'll take Duke's nonexistent boat! Yeah, Arla's target-fixed but she's not stupid and she's not going to leave the easiest boat right there for the boys to go charging off on. Nathan is quietly pissy and I really would not want to be Arla when he catches up with her. Bonus father-in-law angry points, too, even if Nathan's not really clear on what it means to be a father. He doesn't have the most shining examples, after all. Duke is more aggressive in his anger but let's not be fooled by that making him less dangerous. 'cause he's just as dangerous, right now.

Hey, speaking of dangerous, and we don't mean Arla. For all that Audrey's been a mother for around twenty days, she's definitely getting the hang of the protective Mama Bear schtick. There is considerable snark in the comment about what kind of relationship Arla had with her son, to which Arla responds first that they're married (thus establishing her claim over James) and then that they're in love. Which is an interesting order in which to put them, first the claim and then the emotion. This goes along with Arla's tone being one of trying to convince someone, strong emphasis rather than letting her history with James speak for itself or having faith that however James behaves when he meets her will also testify to their love. This would be a lot more telling if it hadn't been 27 years for Arla, after which, yeah, some doubt would probably be reasonable even if she hadn't turned into a psychopathic serial killer. Thank you, Audrey, for that. She's also got some touchingly underfounded faith in her son, although with the flashbacks it's not entirely unfounded. And while we're discussing flashbacks, would now be a good time to mention that probably was not Audrey's subconscious manifesting Howard to tell her to stop remembering? No, probably not, let's take this in sequence. Right now we're at the part of the sequence that involves Audrey and Arla looking for the barn and finding...

Agent Fuck You Howard. Dressed in very un-agenty clothing, birdwatching, because we needed more themes of watching people in this episode. Agent Fuck You is not the least bit concerned with Arla holding a gun to Audrey, he wants them to shush so he can watch his bird. A white-breasted nuthatch. I take a moment here to put my face through the wall at the latin name, but there doesn't seem to be anything symbolic about this bird, nor is it out of its place. It likes to climb rather than fly, which could be a comment on the steady climb toward identity that AudSarLu seems to have experienced in each incarnation. He then calls it an odd bird, which describes most of the women in Haven. And then he lowers his binoculars and greets Audrey, just in case anyone was unclear about the order of authority in this scenario. It is, spelled out, first Agent Fuck You, then Audrey, then Arla and her gun. Poor Arla. She might be a broken psychopath but she really has no idea what the fuck she's stumbled into, apart from shit up to her ears. Audrey is right there with us on the Agent Fuck You part, because "whoever the hell you are" is probably as close as the censors will let her get to addressing his manipulative fuckhead tendencies and how he's been playing her from the beginning. A more accurate question might be "whatever the hell you are," but we're not quite there yet. Agent Fuck You Howard addresses Audrey with jovial familiarity, completely ignoring Arla, which gives us a bit of a snicker. She's looking for the barn? Well, he'll be happy to take her there! That's about the most direct and supposedly helpful anyone's been all season; unfortunately the length of time it took him to show up and get there drops his helpfulness quotient back into the negative values again. Arla would like everyone to remember that she has the gun, please, and Howard will take them there, thank you very much. Howard is displeased by Arla's insistence that people take her as a serious threat, and it's more the sort of displeasure given to small yappy dogs that won't shut up. But, and I strongly suspect it's more for Audrey's sake than Arla's, he'll deign to cough up the fact that he left James at Haven Joe's Bakery standing around like a stunned mullet and wondering what happened to the 80s. "Go to him," I suppose, is a kinder way of saying "get the fuck out," and I don't think anyone would put it past Agent Howard to have set this up to distract Arla so he can have alone time with Audrey. There's very little other reason, after all, for him to have let James out of the barn in the first place, and keeping James in the barn so Audrey would follow him in there wouldn't be a bad plan either. Then again everyone's manipulating the fuck out of everyone else here, so it's a little hard to tell which manipulation is directly responsible for what consequence without a 3D rendered map and JARVIS to help. Regardless of Agent Fuck You's intentions, once he pulls out the cell phone (and he doesn't seem fully adjusted to the new millennium either, with that little hesitation - hard to say if that's intended to remind us/them of James' status or if there's something about Howard in there) and once Arla gets a listen to James' voice she goes running right off, ignoring Audrey's "I want to talk to him!" Oh Audrey honey. You didn't actually think she'd let you, did you? Possibly not, but it was worth a try. At least she's got the confirmation that he's alive now from someone she trusts slightly more than Arla. The cinematography and blocking here is very Mexican standoff, with the added bonus to the one person holding the gun is the person least in charge. We'll be over here snickering. Arla threatens Audrey if she tries to follow her, because Arla is not the brightest pelt on the rack, and chases off after the promise of James. And now Agent Fuck You would like you to chat with him, because that's exactly what every girl dreams of, a heart to heart with the possibly not human thing that's been manipulating her from day one of her current incarnation. Yay. I pause here to throw all kinds of sideways glances at my copy of the Gunslinger, because this is rather reminiscent of a certain palaver at the end of that book in which the manipulated protagonist sits down with the manipulative fuckhead and many answers (and many more questions) are given. And considering everyone's Stephen King fetish (yes, including us), I would not put it past anyone for a sideways reference. But there's nothing concrete, so we're forced to stick to side-eyes. At least Howard didn't say 'palaver.'

We get a break from having our teeth set on edge as we go for a second over to the waters around Kick 'Em Jenny Neck; Duke and Nathan are on their way! Here they come to save the day! I would love to know why the chronology on this is so fucked up; did Arla and Audrey take a nap or something between conversation at the end of Reunion and going to the island? Wait for the boys to settle in for the night? Wait for first light so they didn't try to navigate the boat in the dark, since Arla's the more experienced with boats but she has to hang onto the gun, so Audrey would presumably have piloted. Somewhere in here we lost a few hours that we can't fully account for in the timeline. That couple-second shot is about as much break as we get, though, because Howard's being creepy with the tea again. Still. Something about his posture and his phrasing and intonation is both archaic and unnerving. "May I offer you" is less usual than "would you like" or even "want some" as an interrogative, and his body language is very controlled and reserved. (Similar, minus the I Am Royalty posture, to Sasha Roiz in Grimm. Casual assumption of authority.) Audrey would still like to know who the hell he is. We would like to know what the hell he is. Anything that starts out with "think of me as" is not an answer, Agent Fuck You. We already had guessed that he drops her off and picks her up, and this brings back all kinds of sinister memories of that book he left for Audrey with the coordinates to Kick 'Em Jenny Neck and "happy birthday" written on it. Everyone remember that? You creepy bastard. I don't think we've ever mentioned it before but along with the everyone acting the shit out of this episode, Maurice Dean Wint does a phenomenal job of making this inhuman whatever it is just human enough to be halfway comprehensible and even a little sympathetic. Which doesn't mean we don't want to rip his throat out with our teeth, but hey. That's his job, and he does it well! So, Agent Fuck You drops her off with the barn and picks her back up with the barn when the time is right, whatever that means. And they gave us a long shot as Audrey and Agent Fuck You approached the campsite just so that we could see that what wasn't there before is there now when he gestures up at... the barn. "You know, it's quite a bit more than a barn." No shit, Agent Obvious. Audrey's "how the hell did that get there" is less of an actual question (although the mechanism would be fascinating to know) and more of a verbal yelp and jump back. Though Howard's answer is not one. Thank you for that. Thank you also for that latent threat in the comment about how he could just pick her up and throw her in if it was as simple as Audrey's physical presence in the barn. Which, okay, given everything else we've seen about the Troubles leans heavily towards emotion based, that makes sense? That's still a subtle threat. Audrey doesn't care for threats, and neither do we. No, it's not so simple as Audrey's physical presence in the barn, she has to want to go away, but the implication here and with the build-up of the past three seasons worth, not just that she wants to go away and get the fuck out of Haven because fucking Haven (as many other Havenites would no doubt agree, and have, with the relocations), but that she has to want to go away to make the Troubles stop. We've seen before as everyone asks her whether or not she'll go away, that she's verging on the point where maybe it would be better if she did. But she's not ready to give up yet, and tells Howard so. She knows that if she goes away, no matter what he says about coming back to Haven, Audrey Parker won't be coming back. And poor Audrey, poor everyone, really, because as far as we can tell none of the connections she makes carry over the same from incarnation to incarnation. This is possibly the only moment where I feel a fleeting sensation of sympathy for Vince and Dave, having been through this not once but twice before, now. Audrey doesn't want to die. AudSarLu doesn't want Audrey to die. And Howard is surprisingly sanguine about this, presumably because he's had this conversation at least a couple of times before. (Though the knowledge that this has happened before leads to all sorts of tension-destroying questions about, not to put too fine a point on it, how the hell did someone of his race manage when Haven was in the 1600s? Or did he have a new face at the time? Has this been going on since the 1600s, or is it more recent? When did Haven become a haven as opposed to a gathering place for the Troubled? The two don't necessarily have to align. The Troubles could be far older than Haven itself and Haven could be Someone's Trouble amplified and made useful and we'll stop chewing and go back to the scene now.) Sure, Audrey can go on, she's got a choice, or at least the appearance of a choice. Agent Fuck You outright calls it attempting the impossible and delivers a very calm, almost jovial threat of how Haven will be destroyed if she doesn't hustle her butt into that barn. Gee, that's exactly like a choice, thank you, Howard! Fuck you very much. And that's all the answers we have for today, kids, not like those were anything like answers, because her friends are here! Duke calling her name is an excellent excuse for Audrey to look the other way, giving Howard time to go poof as we all knew he would.

Audrey isn't paying attention anyway, she's too busy clinging to Nathan and, well, sort of clinging with her eyes to Duke by the way she's glancing at him over Nathan's shoulder instead of keeping her eyes shut tight and her face in his shoulder. Because that's how our threesome rolls, ladies and gentlemen. It's also a bit telling how freaked out everyone is that Nathan doesn't even holster his gun to hug Audrey, or afterwards. And how Nathan just says, matter of factly, Duke stole a boat. Oh Nathan honey. You've come a long ways from Duke the pain in your ass in the pilot episode. Duke corrects it to borrowed, but I don't think anyone believes that that's for any reason other than form's sake and customary banter. Well, now that the relieved greetings are over, Arla's gone, Howard's gone (though his teakettle and cup are still there), and on the long shot the barn is gone too. But I repeat myself. Two shots of where the barn used to be, just in case we didn't notice, and why does that damn barn kill all the grass it rests on every time? Just so that we know it was there? Which is my guess, more the Doylist reason than the Watsonian. Fine, fuck Howard and the barn, no one wanted either of them anyway, Audrey needs to find Arla and James so she can make sure her son is okay, because no one trusts Arla with anything. Nathan and Duke are probably on board with that, we don't know because then everyone turns around to watch the meteor fall! And what does it hit? That fucking lighthouse. Seriously, what did that lighthouse ever do to anyone that it suffers such abuse? That's at least the second time off the top of my head and probably the third or fourth that it's been destroyed like that. Aside from the symbolic value of the Haven logo with the lighthouse, of course, we'd like our Watsonian explanation now though. Yes, Duke, in a normal world meteors pass over the earth or occasionally drop small rocks called meteorites, but in Haven, which is not like a normal world in any way shape or form, meteors come down and smash buildings into kindling and apparently trap people under walls. I don't know why you bother asking anymore, unless it's to establish what the causative event was, in which case, okay, that's a reasonable question. Audrey's "because I won't go in the barn," is the biggest 'LE SIGH' ever and I love you Emily Rose. She then explains that the meteors will continue to go Michael Bay on Haven's Troubled ass until she gets her happy self into the barn, yay! Which she's not going to do because her son knows another way to end them and that has to be better, right? Well... Roll credits! Which still don't appear to have changed.

We come back from credits to find Vince locking his trunk not at all suspiciously (really, Vince? I know everyone's a bit busy but broad daylight near as major a street as Haven has?) and Dwight pulling up in that familiar big black truck of Hi I'm The Cleaner I'm Here To Help. Only in this case he's here to ask for help! I don't know why Dwight doesn't have the jack he needs aside from it puts him at a convenient place and time, but maybe he loaned it to Vince on account of Vince running Dwight almost the way Garland is implied to have and Dwight being the cleaner. Whatever solemn pronouncement about the Hunter storm's beginning (probably and it won't stop until she goes in the barn) Vince was going to make, it's interrupted by noises from inside the trunk. Once I stop muttering about how Guerrero is NOT A ROLE MODEL and giving the Zuckermans some side-eye, I then proceed to facedesk the poor furniture to smithereens (we go through more desks here, you have no idea) at Vince's shitty attempt to distract Dwight. Yes, he really does want to know. No, you're not very good at subtlety and that whack to the head must still be affecting Vince's ability to lie. Plus he does trust Dwight to a greater degree than he trusts most people, which given Vince I wouldn't think would lead to an inability to lie, but he's had a rough couple days, we'll go with it. I still want to know just what the fuck the brothers Teagues have been up to off-camera for the last call it 12 hours, give or take a few. On account of we know they scheme and plot and plan with the best of them and I wonder if Dave got tied to a chair and gagged in the back of the Herald offices after Vince woke up and until he was ready to go. That would about fit, and that way we have an explanation for what Vince was doing: mustering the Guard. Vince, with a show of old man querulousness, opens it up to reveal Dave with duct tape over his mouth and hands tied behind his back. Boys. You are the most dysfunctional family members ever dear lord. And we say this having seen Thor and Avengers half a dozen times apiece. Vince goes on to make a pack of excuses about how Dave's completely lost it, which Dwight clearly knows is a pack of lies but he has civilians to go rescue, he doesn't have time to get into the fucked up family dynamics here. I can sort of believe that Vince didn't give Dave a chance to explain the other way to end the Troubles. I can't believe that Vince doesn't know damn good and well what caused Dave to hit him upside the head and make a bargain with Arla, but Vince Teagues is a lying liar who lies, film at 11. Dwight gives several good reasons for not locking Dave in the trunk, he could be useful, Vince probably doesn't want his brother getting dead if a meteor hits too near, most of this is implicit but clearly subtext, and Vince makes a show of acquiescing. Everyone knows it's a show! Including Dwight. We're all very knowledgeable here. We also very much wanted Vince to finish the obvious quote with "Sorry, Dave, I can't do that," but we will accept the first half and take the rest as understood. Vince is awfully HAL-like at the best of times anyway. I'm pretty sure the only reason Dwight drives off is because there's no reasoning with Vince when he's like this and the only way to handle it is to go behind his back, so he's going to go off and do something productive and come back and fix Vince's fuckups later. And now I want to know all of the everything ever about their working relationship, which desire is only heightened as we go through this episode. Dammit you guys.

Last scene and this one are punctuated by sirens all over the place, leading me to question just how many squad cars, ambulances, and fire trucks Haven actually owns. I would assume a greater than usual number for a town of its size on account of the Troubles, but it's an idle question anyway. Duke, Nathan, and Audrey are tracking down Arla, starting from Haven Joe's where James was last seen and moving along to the Southdown docks where the skiff is. Yay! Duke knows where his boat is now. If he was feeling really generous and remembered maybe he told someone where the boat he stole got left. Some discussion about James being sick and getting sicker, and how that might be tied to the barn and his revival. Which would make sense; he's only got half-AudSarLu's immunity/specialness/whatever it is, so he's probably more tied to the barn than she is. Plus there's the part where he was actually dead. Everyone splits off according to their specialty, Nathan to handling police resources, Audrey going with him because it'll be a royal clusterfuck down there with the meteor storm, and Duke to the docks for the security feeds in case they swiped another boat. It's a good plan! And takes into account what they know of Arla, that she's prone to using boats as getaway vehicles. Duke might actually be doing that, but that's far from all he's doing, as he gives his cell phone a wary look and prepares to set a nice little trap for Arla. This whole thing was very well played for the ambiguity even though we were pretty certain he would never betray Audrey and Nathan this way; his worried look at their backs here could be read as worried they'd catch him instead of worried about whether or not his plan will work. So they go off, and we get a shot of the hotel with myriad flags hanging off the porch; I wonder what that's about. I also wonder if this is the same hotel if not the same hotel room where Arla's skin first melted off 27 years ago. That would be nicely King-esque. Arla is busy 'helping' James! Inasmuch as she's capable of it, ice water compresses and running a bath for her husband and here we do get some idea of what they must have been like as a couple before she became a sociopathic serial killer and he became an undead denizen of that fucking barn. Her voice and posture are that of a loving wife, but her excuses to him for why he's sick and how it'll all be okay soon are much more in line with the Arla swimming up and down De Nile we know and love to loathe. I love that James, as out of it and confused as he is, still notices that his wife hasn't aged, thereby cueing the worst excuse in a long line of excuses. Stayed young for him inDEED. Well, it's the truth in a very twisted Arla logic way. She speaks of Audrey as though she's an interfering mother-in-law, which is technically true but HELLO. SERIAL KILLER. Also POLICE OFFICER, by implanted memories and current training if nothing else. Sigh. At the mention of his mother James started coughing horribly, possibly because of a strong bout of emotion associated with her. Like the part where he thinks she tried to kill him when she was Lucy! Arla, you lying sack of shit. (Well. Probably. I don't discount the possibility entirely, only that it goes against everything we've been shown of who AudSarLu is at core, and we have another theory we'll get to later.) Enter a bunch of dialogue of he can't believe she's still after them but it makes sense (dude, no it doesn't, she didn't know who James was last time until he told her, if the pattern held, why would she have known any more this time? How can she love someone for the barn's purposes when Audrey doesn't even know him?) to him, at least. In his fevered and near-delusional state. Arla comforts him, I question her notion of love yet again, and a phone rings! In a nicely creepy touch, Arla has all the phones from her victims - at least the important ones she might have to sound like - in her purse, with masking tape labels. Easy to peel off when going in to work as 'Tommy,' easy to put fresh back on. Hi Duke! Duke, you're overselling just a little bit, but Arla is clueless and doesn't know that, and his freaking out over the meteor storm is pretty understandable. Considering he has no guarantee on anyone he cares about not getting hit by a randomass giant chunk of rock before they can stop the Troubles, and so on? Yeah. Duke continues to be the best, and though he is overselling this, this is also to some degree real emotion which he normally suppresses into wild gesticulating that boils down to "fucking Haven." Yes, he's tired of living in a disaster movie. Yes, the Troubles need to end somehow. No, he doesn't want to see Haven destroyed. And no, he doesn't want Audrey to go in the barn to end the Troubles, but he's not telling Arla that. He will arrange everything else, which is to say telling Audrey and Nathan that he's manipulated Arla into getting James to the barn to save him, now let's find out what's in the barn, save James, and make a fully informed choice. God I wish we'd gotten to see that scene. I mean, I understand why it was cut, but I wish we'd gotten to see it.

Dwight, having finished prying a wall off of some poor bastard or whatever else he was off doing, has come back around to rescue Dave! You can tell that's what he's intending to do 'cause of how he brought a pry-bar. His 'dammit, Vince' is more resigned than in any way surprised. Alright, one tire iron and knife later, Dave is rescued and spitting mad. He also would like us all to know that Vince lied! I'm shocked, shocked, no, wait, that's just gas. Dwight will now pick out the freeing Arla part as the part he's most concerned Vince might have lied about; apparently the rest of it he totally figured Vince was lying on. Dave would like us to believe that isn't the point. It's cute that you think anyone would disregard you setting free a serial killer, Dave. Was the trunk that comfy? No, but the clearer part is that now we're getting a good look at where they stand, Dave wants to find another way for the Troubles to end that doesn't involve Audrey going back into the barn, Vince is resigning himself to Audrey going back into the barn. It's an interesting delineation here, again, calling back to last episode when Dave was concerned about the barn and Vince was concerned about Audrey. It also makes me wonder just whose idea it was to blow up the barn the time before last (and now I'm betting on Dave's). Anyway, Dave's trying to be all buddy-buddy with Dwight, with the shoulder-slapping and the outthrust jaw and everything, and Dwight continues to give Dave the "you are a sad, strange little man" look. Best Cleaner is best. Dave is also the first one to outright say Vince loved Audrey (past tense, huh?), even though we've known that for at least two seasons now. Not that it makes either of them perving over her in season one any less twitchy. And according to Dave this makes Vince a coward and him more... virtuous or something, I don't know. He's talking himself up to Dwight, which is a bit morbidly cute, and doesn't convince anyone that Dave is more reliable or trustworthy than his brother, thanks. Yeah, we believe he's telling the truth right now, mostly the truth as he perceives it, mostly because he's too angry to do anything else. But the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help him god? Aheh heh no. Dwight's look grows more concerned here, as much as Dwight shows open concern toward either of the Teagues ever, probably because the way Dave's acting he's wondering if it was such a good idea letting him out of the trunk in the first place. That decision making we will leave as an exercise for the reader, though I will note that there's something to be said for either set of parallels, since Dave corresponds most closely (as far as we can tell) to Duke in this cycle, and Duke dove into the imploding barn after Audrey. Apparently, though, this goes back to Sarah and trying to keep her out of the barn, as we're about to see, in much the same way Duke and Nathan are trying to keep Audrey out of the barn. At which point Vince gives up, possibly out of heartbreak, and decides that the only way is for her to keep going back in. This offers so many disturbing implications about the Guard rounding up Lucy Ripley, which, small favors, at least will only remain implications for now. Dwight's got a look on his face that says he's putting a few more of the pieces of Vince and the Guard together now. Oh Vince, why you so creepy. Not that Dave is much better with his fanatical frothing about breaking the cycle, Dave, I agree with you, but could you tone down the ranting a little? It's unnerving, plus the 'head on' approach doesn't seem to be working out well for anyone. No less unnerving is Dave's statement that "I always know how to find my brother." Uh-huh. That wouldn't perhaps be a precursor to us finding out about the Teagues family Trouble, would it, because I bet they have one. No? No. Okay. One of these days we'll bite it out of you. Hopefully you've had all your shots.

Back over to the field of imminent doom! See, Duke knew that Audrey would go find the barn. Arla is too concerned with getting James better to pick out all the various holes in Duke's story and tells in Duke's body language, which is good for everyone concerned, and Duke is too concerned with getting Arla and James to the barn to poke holes in Arla's theory that the barn will make him any better than it did the last time. Because it seems pretty clear to me, and not just because we've seen the episode, that the further James gets away from the barn the sicker he gets. So why a second trip in the barn would heal him, well, Arla is entirely willing to sacrifice realities to her twisted ideas of what needs to be in her life, as we've all seen. Plus there's an element of talking optimistically to sooth the terminally ill guy. We'll have a few lampshades here, now, as Duke wonders aloud that she did it all (the murders and the skin-stealing and the lying and the hostage-taking) for James, and Arla says she did it all for them, meaning her and James as a married couple. She then asks Duke whether he's been in love, and that's a very subdued and false 'no' that we know is false because Julia, Evi, and Audrey. But then, his idea of love and Arla's don't exactly coincide, so possibly he's measuring by her yardstick and rejecting it as anything resembling love as he would practice it. Because this season has been all about how Duke's love for Audrey means he supports her, listens to her, and respects her choices, which does not in any way resemble repeated heinous felonies. Contrasting, again, with how Jordan says everything she does (lying, kidnapping) is for her and Nathan as a couple, and Arla says everything she does (murder, kidnapping) is for her and James as a couple, and we have a sharp contrast between sacrifice everyone else for your beloved and sacrifice parts of yourself for your beloved even though she's decided to be with someone else. Yeah, even if Duke claimed he knew what love was Arla wouldn't believe him.

Hey, speaking of love and its objects thereof, here comes Nathan and Audrey! Arla would like everyone to listen and obey now plskthnx, which means Audrey takes James back into the barn, fixes him up (as though it were that simple), and brings him back. And if she doesn't bring James back, Arla will blow Nathan's brains out. I guess since the heart didn't work so well last time. Capice? Well, they hear her, but none of them has any intention of doing what she says, and here's where a little gun expertise would have come in handy for poor Arla. Because remember how way back when this tactic was last used, the weight of a loaded vs an unloaded gun came up? Duke, being the sort of smuggler who has half a dozen guns all around his boat at any given time, knows the difference when he holds one in his hand. Arla, not so much. Or she would know before Duke gloats all over her bullet that he's given her a paperweight/short-range club instead of a firearm. Among the many underlying themes of these two final episodes of the third season seems to be "payback's a bitch, Arla." Probably the only reason Duke doesn't say it here is because Vince said it then. Besides, he gets to knock the gun out of her hand instead and if anyone, anyone ever thought Duke was tamed because he ran the Gull and is mostly working on the side of the angels these days, well, think again. Arla is shocked and betrayed that Duke used her to bring James to Audrey, which is one of the dumber things she's ever done. And Duke's smug "Yahtzee" is one of the more hilarious things he's ever said. I love you, Duke. Never change. Yes, Duke wants the Troubles to end, and everything he told Arla about living in a disaster movie was true. But he also wants Audrey to be in his life, and now that he knows James knows how to make both those things happen concurrently, that's what he's going to fight for. Which does not include letting Arla bully everyone around clumsily and at gunpoint.

Audrey is near-on ignoring everyone for this, since Nathan's got Arla at gunpoint and Duke's doing the exposition. And James is fading fast, which Audrey presents to the other two since she knows they will help her. Still, her body language at least is ignoring Arla, facing and walking towards them rather than looking at all three from her vantage point of between the two groups. This bothers Arla less than the news that James is fading, which at least shows some degree of awareness of things happening outside herself, in a way? Except in that her relationship with James has been subsumed into herself, so, not so much. But Arla's solution of bringing James into the barn probably is the only way to save him, considering its healing properties. Nathan's big concern with that is that it involves someone, probably Audrey, going into that barn. Except Audrey postulates that the barn only leaves when she's ready to leave, and she clearly isn't ready to do that yet. So relax, Nathan, it's going to be okay. (No it isn't.) Meanwhile James is clearly listening to them as none of them are paying attention to him, though Audrey was trying to get him to talk to her earlier. He's fading, but he's not dead yet. Why he wouldn't open his eyes and talk to Audrey a moment ago is not quite beyond me, at a guess it's because he's been told she-as-Lucy killed him to try to stop the Troubles and he hasn't gotten to know Audrey yet, but the dropping levels of communication around here are still a bit annoying. Anyway. The summation of it all is, everyone is worried about James and working their way around to sticking him back in the barn like it was the Stargate sarcophagus, when James takes the decision out of their hands and goes in anyway.

Audrey wants to go after James. Nathan wants to go after Audrey! Duke wants to go after Audrey! Arla wants to go after James! Everyone dogpile on the barn! Except no one wants Arla to go anywhere near anyone and this is when my pragmatism would like to raise its hand and suggest that someone just shoot Arla in the face and save everyone a hell of a lot of trouble. No? No, because these are the good guys, they don't shoot people in the face without a direct threat, and Arla's not quite there yet. Instead Duke volunteers to stay outside and watch the skinquilt, which word choice again gives me all the giggles, and Duke and Nathan have a Moment brought together by shared love for Audrey and respect for each other. Again, I just have to say how far they've come from the pilot, when Duke didn't think much of Nathan and Nathan openly loathed Duke. And here, they exchange volumes of emotion, respect, and quiet assurance for each other with a look. It's heartwarming to see. And full of trollface.

And yet, Nathan, honey, "It's just a barn" is probably not the steady reassurance Audrey was looking for, at least going by her even grimmer look in response. It's a sign of how rattled Nathan is that he's going for bravado over his usual stoic support. Leaning on something Duke would say rather than something he would say, which is a sign of how close they've all gotten that he thinks that would work, but see, Nathan, Audrey values you both for your individual strengths.

After the ad break we get a panover of the barn, and I think those stone walls nearby it appear with the barn and at no other time, which makes me deeply suspicious to say nothing of curious. Is anyone surprised that the barn is bigger on the inside? No? Good, glad to see we're all paying attention here. The only surprise is the glowy white barracks/hospital aesthetic, which is only a surprise by virtue of the fact that there were several ways they could have gone with this, and this choice is no more or less surprising than any of them. We're more surprised they actually let us see the inside of the fucking thing, though given how little actual information that gave us I suppose it's not all that unusual. Its appearance surprises Nathan and Audrey, though! Only a little bit, because they are within the narrative and so blind to it the way a fish is blind to the ocean. There are not 19 doorways in our first clear hallway shot, so I don't have to wreck another desk. Nathan loves what Howard's done with the place. Again with the bravado and snark, but this time Audrey is too distracted by looking around the interior of the barn to be disappointed. She goes ahead to explore and thus misses Nathan's initial revelation of holy shit, I'm touching my face. Fortunately he catches her up with using his words. (Yay Nathan! Look at you using your words like an adult.) It takes her a second to comprehend that, during which we're treated to another one of Nathan's goofy almost-smiles of 'hey, I can feel things again,' remember those from back in season two? Sadly, we don't get much of that. Both Nathan and Audrey are too aware of the grim urgency bearing down on them, thus the brief descent into expo-speak about how the barn must be negating the Troubles and therefore must be at the center of whatever fucked up shit is going on with Haven. No shit, guys, we've known that most of the season. Oddly, Nathan then leaps to take out the barn rather than try and take apart the barn, which would be my first instinct. If the structure of the barn negates Troubles, wouldn't finding out how it worked so you could expand it to stretch at least over all of Haven be a little more productive? No, Nathan leaps to the barn being the cause of all the Troubles, which, admittedly, there's no evidence against that either. No evidence for and no evidence against. What we have here, children, is an egregious lack of data, that thing we hate most here in the land of desk-chewing and face-walling, but, sure, if you accept the hypothesis that the barn is causing the Troubles, blowing it the fuck up is in line with the timeless philosophy that no problem large or small cannot be solved by the suitable application of explosives. Bruce Willis said so. Also Nathan's primary concern right now, sad to say, is less ending the Troubles and more keeping Audrey from going away in the barn, which blowing it the fuck up will definitely solve. The only problem is, Nathan, you said it, and the barn heard you.

So it's over to the flashback of exposition! We're back out in the field again, and at first watch for a second I thought they'd been kicked out of the barn, which would not have been an unreasonable thing to do. Nathan: Quick, let's blow up the barn! Barn: Excuse you? GTFO. No, in this case and after a quick look around, the field is different, Arla and Duke are nowhere to be seen, and, hey, we've seen that car before. Jesus, Vince, you kept that thing in damn good shape. I guess it helps when you bike everywhere. On your creepyass tandem bike. I note the license plate of 118*682 more in case it turns out to be significant (I don't think it is, but you never know) than because there's any immediate association with anything, and out of the familiar car comes a familiar hat and a familiar head of ridiculously untidy dark hair. With much less gray in it. Hello creepy brothers! You are not any less creepy for being younger, in fact, you're more so. And, oh look, they have Sarah with them. Interesting that Audrey first identifies Sarah as 'me' and Nathan actually corrects her to, that's Sarah. Nathan delineates but Audrey either isn't sure that's not her at first, or doesn't see there is a difference between her and Sarah and Lucy, and given how she's been talking about Lucy and Sarah and their relations before I'd bet on the latter. We'll test this viewpoint in a second, but right now we have to get through the creepy brothers being creepy. Fortunately the barn hasn't transported them back in time as Audrey first postulates, because that conversation would be immensely awkward. It's just a memory, which means they can't affect what's about to happen, it's just replayed for their benefit. The easy test here would be, can Nathan still feel things, in which case they're still in the barn, but the startlement seems to be temporarily overriding common sense. The brothers are still bickering, Vince sounding somewhat like the younger brother he isn't with the "don't tell me what to do," and Dave still being bossy and telling him not to drop the live dynamite. Dave, you're not helping. I have to congratulate whoever these two are because that is a bang-up job on being the creepiest pair of characters this side of Randy Flagg, there is not one moment in this scene where I look at them and can't see Vince and Dave. Which isn't the most comforting thing in the world, but, stellar acting job, guys! Sarah is tentative but urgent as she asks them to hurry up, Vince sets the dynamite despite or because of Dave's nagging, and they all run and hide behind the car. As Audrey and Nathan try to do, not that it matters for them, this is just a memory to them. And not that it matters in the long run because no one's getting pelted with debris and shrapnel today, the barn shows as much care for the bomb as a boot for an ant underfoot. Vince and Dave are startled and surprised, Sarah, not so much. Possibly she's reached the same point of resignation that Audrey's about to run into, that no matter how hard she tries to escape the barn is still going to swallow her up and she's just going to try these few last things, but, comma. She still addresses Vince somewhat more than Dave, which is another column in the Vince was closer romantically to Sarah than Dave was, but then we get the bit of dialogue about Sarah's boy's father and how he isn't even born yet, which. Hey Audrey. Remember that time you sent your boys into the past to fix things? You don't now, but you will shortly! Sarah clearly remembers, and very fondly, feelings for either of the Teagues brothers aside. And whatever Audrey might or might not remember or be able to put together about Duke and Nathan going into the past is cut short by Commanding Officer Fuck You Howard showing up. Sarah gives him a very apprehensive look, indicating that her relationship with him by this point is no more friendly than Audrey's relationship with Agent Fuck You Howard at the corresponding point. As one might expect.

And when the memory clears Commanding Officer Fuck You has become Agent Fuck You again, and confirms that yes, the barn/Agent Fuck You heard you, Nathan, and yes, that was a memory. No, we're not sure what if any difference there is between the barn and Agent Fuck You. Nathan would now like to be all brave and step between him and Audrey and declare that he/it won't take Audrey away. That's sweet of you, Nathan. But no. That's not the way it will be stopped, which is not to say that it can't be stopped, which is what Agent Fuck You would like us to take from that memory, that Audrey going into the barn is inevitable. Nathan, of course, would like to open his big fat mouth and challenge this, Nathan. The barn is not happy with you. Shut the fuck up. That's not an overtly hostile look Agent Fuck You gives Nathan, but it's definitely a severe and authoritative one, as Nathan challenges the reality of the memory and gets suitably smacked with the reality of the memories. It was a good thought, the barn could entirely be manipulating them into accepting Audrey's fate, but no, and don't challenge the barn from within the fucking barn. Come on, Nathan. Please have some survival instincts? Please? Especially since the next words out of his mouth are "I don't like that." No one likes this, Nathan, but you did ask for it. This is one of those times when walking softly and carrying a big stick behind your back is called for, and mouthing off to the barnvatar is not walking softly. Besides, Nathan's point can still be valid and the next memory can still exist; there's nothing to say the barnvatar isn't editing memories judiciously like a political spin doctor and everything, in fact, to point to that being the case.

Ahem. Anyway, Audrey correctly deduces that this is from the day in 1955 when Nathan went back to find Duke. Nathan correctly deduces (from the 'oh shit' expression on his face as they find the blanket) which memory this is. If the chorus of fangirls wasn't loud enough from Sarah's confirmation of the identity of James's father, it is approaching supersonic levels at this point. Because they follow the trail of discarded clothes along the beach to, hey, it's the car of awkward open-air sexxing! Hi Audrey, have fun walking in, with Nathan, on Nathan and your past incarnation getting hot and heavy in the back of a car. I shouldn't laugh, and this is pushing all kinds of embarrassment squick buttons, but it's also kind of fucking hilarious. The look of faint disgust on Audrey's face for, well, any of several possible reasons. Best guess is she wasn't intending to walk in on watching herself have sex, and unless you're into voyeurism (autovoyeurism? pun not intended) that might well be kind of squicky. Nathan's looking as though he wants to both explain quickly before Audrey gets the wrong idea and disappear into the sand. Also as though he doesn't regret a damn moment of that, but is aware of how utterly awkward that is. That's definitely a please don't hit me Audrey look. His excuse of not knowing if he was ever coming back is totally an excuse, though presumably if things weren't so urgent they would actually sit down and talk about it. Because they're smart and reasonable adults. But, no, they don't get the time to sit and talk about it, because that darn barn is back, with James popping out of it just long enough to see him, well, conceived. Poor guy. Or at least it is implied with sledgehammers that Nathan and Sarah consummated with sex, that Sarah became pregnant as a result, that she carried the child to term and then that she gave the baby up to the Cogan's for adoption. I would stop doubting here because barring footage of the sex and the birth and everything there's more than enough evidence, except this still puts the timeline between August 1955, conception, and August 1956, birth, as the most upsettingly long pregnancy ever. It's possible that the adoption papers were doctored in some way to reflect a different birthdate, and to further hide James from anyone who might be looking for him (or anything, Commanding Officer Fuck You), but again, we don't know. Isn't it fun? So, yes, James! Shows up, squeaks, runs back into the barn, like you do when your parents are having sex. I would dearly love an explanation for why the barn showed up in the first goddamn place and if that's part of the memory or if that's Howard's current 2010 fuckery. I'm guessing the latter based on James wearing the same clothes we last saw him in, which, ew. Bad barnvatar, no cookie. Audrey goes after James, completely forgetting for the moment that her past self is having sex with her present not-boyfriend. Nathan goes after Audrey, completely forgetting that moment of squirming embarrassment. Yay for everyone being able to just walk right past the couple making out in the car!

Hey look, the memory disappears and now we're in a maze of twisty passages, all alike. If Agent Fuck You does not get eaten by a grue... well, I'll learn to live with disappointment. I suspect he rather is the grue, anyway, though his weakness is of course straight answers and forthrightness rather than the light. Ahem. There is, at least, some delineation between the big hallway on the outside of the barn and the inner hallways in style, so I suppose they might get narrower as you head in? Maybe? At any rate, Nathan goes around calling, first for Parker and then for Audrey, letting his defenses down that bit more, and hey look someone's right behind you, Nathan! I'm quite certain the barn and/or the barnvatar are manipulating people to meet up in specified pairs, although if anyone can work the mysteries of the barn I would hope it would be James. Assuming he was conscious for any of the last 27 years, and I'm not placing bets either way. James would like to know who Nathan is, and Nathan, still shocked by the memory he just saw and possibly the part where he can feel again, coughs the whole thing up in six words, one of which is a repetition. (Nathan, I love you, but Bond you are not, and for small favors we are duly grateful.) He's got this little almost-smile going on there, where I think he knows how crazy it sounds and how weird this first meeting is, and I would bet good odds on him coughing this up in memory of what he wishes Garland had done for him as regards his own parentage. So we get James' blink blink jawdrop look and after the ad break we get the start of what could be some nice father-son bonding time, but then Nathan goes and brings up Audrey. Despite all his comments about how weird this is he's got this fond, hopeful sort of puppyish expression, wanting to do right by his son and get to know him in whatever time remains and oh Nathan. James, meanwhile, looks tense and wary, which would be understandable even without the information we get next. Meeting your absentee bio-dad for the first time isn't exactly unstressful, no matter that he was apparently looking for Sarah earlier. James gives us some expo-dump that confirms what we'd been suspecting all episode, that he came to Haven looking for his mother, he got there right when she was about to leave, and she was frantic over losing her son after just recovering him. Or at least that's what's implied, which makes the next part of this even less believable, come on, James, how credulous ARE you. Somehow he was led to believe that Lucy killed him to save herself. Gee, I wonder who that someone who led him to that conclusion was! I would also point out that this in no way lines up with the stated chronology of the show; James' death is given in the initial newspaper article as May (Thursday/22nd) of '83 and Lucy didn't disappear from Haven until October (Thursday/22nd, I think) of that year according to the newspaper Duke dug up. Maybe she got the barn to take James and then got another six months, maybe the barn is playing merry mincemeat with James' memories since that's one of its secondary purposes in life, but something isn't lining up properly. I would consider the option of Writers Can't Do Math except I'm pretty sure they're holding something in reserve on this one. I hope, anyway! If James had more of a clue, and he really is kind of a clueless moron, I'm sorry, Audrey, your son is an idiot who can be led around by his nose, he would realize that Nathan's reactions in no way line up with that of someone who wants to kill him or who would aid even the woman he loves in that endeavor, but hey! At least he goes so far as to say maybe Nathan doesn't know his Audrey as well as he thinks. Nice, subtle callback to Arla's use of "your precious Audrey" with the Teagues in Reunion, too. I would also question, if the alternate method given is accurate, how a son she just met measures up to any of the emotional connections Lucy would have made in Haven for killing the person she loves. This whole thing smacks of James making assumptions about him being the man of the hour when they have no grounding in any understanding of how Haven or the Troubles work, and I'd feel sorrier for him if I didn't think he'd gotten a fair chance at wrapping his head around the mysteries at some point. Nathan's about to protest further, probably to the tune of and you don't know your Arla at all when Audrey manages to get within earshot. (The longer explanation which unfortunately I doubt James would believe/remember either, would be the one about the tattooed man killing him and Lucy certainly never wore a tattoo.) Thank god, because that would have gone to a really messy verbal fight if my assumption is correct. Nathan turns to look for her, we see James take his chance to disappear while he's still got it, and Nathan, you really should be used to this shit by now. I will grant that as far as anyone knows James isn't a supernatural avatar anything, so he shouldn't be as accomplished at it as Howard; on the other hand he's been hanging around the barn long enough to be connected to it even if he wasn't conscious for most or all of it. We leave Nathan and Audrey before they discuss what that conversation was all about and why it left Nathan all choked up and scared for his son. Oh honey. Go get Audrey hugs.

Arla gets no Audrey hugs. Duke should, though, once he puts the gun away. Arla is bitching about how she needs to know what's going on, Duke is leaning against the door, gun not even pointing at her, like he doesn't have a care in the world. The tension in his body most emphatically belies that, though, as do his words about having someone in there, too. SomeoneS, Duke. Not that Arla would understand that, since she definitely doesn't get Duke's definition of love I wouldn't expect her to get that not all love is romantic and not all family is blood. (I wonder how she dealt with James being adopted, in light of that. And how much she pushed for him to go track down AudSarLu in Haven, and how guilty she felt about it when he got dead as a result.) Arla tries to pry open the discussion about who Duke loves again, which he responds with more of an implied threat of violence than we're used to seeing from him, which tells us how upset and scared he is on Audrey and Nathan's behalf right now. Because he has admitted it to himself, a long time ago, and damned if he's going to let Arla fucking Cogan, skinwalker serial killer extraordinaire, be the one who hears the confirmation first. Though the hammering on Duke being in love with Audrey these last two eps is getting a little anvilicious. Whatever other discussions they were going to have about that, and I'm sure Arla had a dig about Duke's extreme reaction, it will now be forestalled by the Guard showing up with a bunch of guns! Led by Kirk, who we last saw in Burned. Hi Kirk, so very not nice to see you again. Jordan takes point in the negotiations, though, and she has her gloves off as you would expect since she's also carrying a gun. Arla will now proceed to wreck all of Duke's careful parceling out of information, good going, Arla. Seriously, Duke, if you're not going to shoot her in the head you COULD have tied her up, knocked her out, or any other intelligent thing under the circumstances, but no, again, we're the good guys and we don't do that. SIGH. Kirk and Jordan are relieved but not going anywhere until the barn disappears, much to absolutely nobody's surprise. Duke points out that they've got a Mexican standoff of the variety where he can manage to shoot someone before they kill him. Probably several someone's. He's right, and his choice of language here is, I think, deliberately chosen to remind the Guard why they're afraid of him. If it's not consciously chosen, it still has that effect, since they both tense a little at that reminder before Jordan tries to argue with him about how they can all go back to normal after this. She does, at least, remember that much about Duke: he doesn't like his Trouble. Duke gets a dig in about how hell hath no fury and Jordan's retort that this isn't about Nathan isn't very convincing at all, though at this point I do believe she's convinced herself to move on and at most take another shot at a relationship with Nathan somewhere after Audrey's gone. Funny how these two things coincide so neatly for her. Arla snickers about him rather having Audrey and she really is an idiot if she thinks pissing off Duke is going to lead anywhere good for her in the long term. Jordan immediately latches onto that and may I note this is the second person in the episode who asks or states that Duke is in love with Audrey and receives no confirmation? Oh good. Because they're going to Rule of Three us with it later on. Jordan snarks at Duke some more, I sigh about how that's not going to help her either, and I do think there's some genuine sadness back there on Jordan's behalf about why is it never me, why is it always Audrey. While I can sympathize with this feeling, Jordan, your actions are fucking atrocious. She heads off to the back of the Guard, presumably to relay Kirk's orders, and we...

Go back inside the barn! Where Nathan is confirming to Audrey that James is not his but their son, and it's interesting that now he's the one not delineating between Sarah and Audrey. Which he never really was to begin with, but now it's out in the open. Audrey asks the very obvious question of why didn't you tell me and, well, because he's Nathan. He's crap with words and much better with actions, and there's no good way to bring Audrey physical proof of this kind of thing. Yes, Nathan, it was a way to be with her in a very, ahem, Biblical sense. I'd love for them to have the time to sit down and have a serious talk about this wherein Audrey gets to talk about how it feels like he was cheating on her but she can't hold him to a promise that was never made and anyway it was her. Sort of. In a bizarre only-in-Haven way. Still, that would be a perfectly valid reaction and one I expect Audrey's compartmentalizing like the pro she is, replacing it with gratitude that some proof that she existed will be left even if she disappears. Uh, Audrey honey? Assuming you mean James, did you miss the part where your son can't leave the barn? That's not much in the way of proof, but it's a lot in the land of denial! Speaking of, Nathan will be in denial about Audrey's imminent disappearance too! Yay! Denial for everyone! He explains what James said, which is not at all what James meant, but James seems to have inherited his father's inability to use his goddamn words in a logical and meaningful fashion. (Other things James has inherited from his father do not appear to include Nathan's Trouble, at least; I wonder if AudSarLu's immunity and Nathan's Trouble canceled each other and made James more or less vanilla human. They did get an actor who is believably related to both Emily Rose and Lucas Bryant, though!) Audrey's reaction to being told that James is hiding from her is, fine, BARNVATAR TO ME. Clever Audrey, using the barn to her benefit! Somewhere in her looking for Nathan and her processing the memories from Sarah's time her brain seems to have started chewing away at the variety of problems facing her, and now it's her turn to badass a solution. Howard, because he is nothing if not Agent Fuck You, shows up when she calls. Behind them. Like he does. James has also picked up a double dose of his parents' stubbornness! Well DONE you two. He shies away from Audrey, still convinced that she wants to kill him, and granted by the tone in her voice when she's dealing with Howard, that's the tone of a woman used to getting her own way and if he's been living with the belief that his mother killed him for however long he's been conscious? (Speaking of, if he and AudSarLu were conscious in the barn I demand to know why the fuck they didn't get to TALK. So I'm going with at least one of them if not both were completely out of it. Or it's the Barnvatar's fault.) There's reason to back away, and he promptly starts demanding that he be allowed to see Arla. Nobody is happy about this, Nathan tries to intercede, and James seems to decide this means Nathan also wants to kill him. Punch to the face and Nathan, if I didn't know you were so happy about being able to feel anything I would call you a masochist. Audrey has come to a quick realization in this altercation, possibly spurred by Nathan's comment about that hurting, and says fine. James shouldn't leave the barn anyway on account of sick, let's have the party in here! And Nathan closes us out at the ad break with something between a smirk of I-warned-you and a sympathetic look of man, your wife is fucked up. Audrey, this is vicious and not nice but I recognize that you're running out of time and also that your son is nearly as much of a target-fixed moron as his wife.

Speaking of fucked up, it's back to the most dysfunctional brothers ever to brother again! Dave is plodding through the woods and oops there's a tranquilizer dart. DAMMIT VINCE. Also, your brother knows you and is wearing a vest, or alternately Dwight knows you and got two vests out. Wait. Dwight. You're not wearing a vest. WHY ARE YOU NOT WEARING A FUCKING VEST. He hasn't worn one all season, and unless he's been cured somehow there is no fucking reason for that, especially since he has every reason to be worried about people being armed. If Dwight's Trouble has somehow been cured I really really want to know how, fuckssake. He does still have his crossbow, and the brothers will now proceed to flail and rant at each other, like they do when they're arguing and Dwight is looming at them so nobody gets locked in a trunk/shot and dumped in the bushes/hit over the head with something heavy. Dwight by now is siding with Dave, and I'd guess there's a fair amount of experience from having been a soldier speaking, here: if you have a chance to end a horrible cycle, you take it. Also the pragmatic aspect of it would appeal to him. There's all kinds of questions I have related to this, the primary one that comes up in this particular chunk of dialogue is how many times does "we tried before" cover? And secondary to that, what else do Dave and Dwight say to get Vince to call off the Guard and go with the plan of seeing what else Audrey has up her sleeve, because Vince was awfully set on Audrey + Barn = 27 year reprieve. Whatever they said, Vince tromps up to the land of Mexican Standoffs and is promptly told by Duke to get the hell out of the impending gunfire, aww, Duke, that's cute. And at this point all I have to say is fucking Donat. Dammit. Because his body language and intonation patterns clearly change, this is clearly The Man In Charge, and I didn't think either of the brothers Teagues could get creepier but apparently, yes, yes they can. I mean, we've suspected Vince was in charge of the Guard for a while now, but having confirmation of it does not make us feel any better. Nor does the fact that apparently not all of the Guard knows Vince is in charge of the Guard; Jordan seems shocked and outraged that Kirk is taking orders from that old guy that runs the Herald. As a brief tangent, this makes me wonder about all those hoops Nathan was jumping through to get in with the Guard, was that Kirk's idea or Vince's way of keeping him occupied and possibly chasing down other leads? The world may never know, and I think I'm happier that way. Everyone but Jordan packs up and leaves on Vince and Kirk's say so, either way, and Duke is left standing with his incredulity hanging out of his face. Me too, Duke. Me too.

Not only is Vince in the Guard, he's also a member the ringleader! The founding ringleader, by the 'always have' portion of the comment. And now I'm 99% sure the brief shot of him in t-shirt sleeves in Double Jeopardy was just so we'd check for a fucking tattoo that wasn't there, because now he pushes up his sleeve and a Wild Tattoo Appears! Hey, anyone else remember the last time a wild tattoo appeared? No? It was on Julia fucking Carr's fucking shoulder. (I told you this recapalypse would have 200% more instances of the word 'fuck', and since you can't see us running around our offices waving our arms or hear us yelping...) Yeah, I would say this is a coincidence or something inherent to the Guard tattoo except no. The only thing, seriously, the only thing we can think of right now, if we can force thoughts through our heads at all at this point, is that Vince and Julia are somehow related. Maybe, since the Teagues go back to the founding of Haven (according to Vince, who admittedly is a lying liar), maybe more distantly, or maybe Vince is actually Julia's father and it never came up, or maybe Dave is, or Eleanor was their sister, or something. Anything. That is not a fucking coincidence, is the point. Jordan's expression of the fuck about coincides with the way our heads are exploding right now and, actually, Vince running the Guard and having the magic tattoo of wtfery makes a lot more sense in context. The tattoo that runs in the Carr-Teagues family as some sort of bizarre fucked up stigmata was adopted by the Guard, sure, probably back in the Sarah incarnation and early enough for it to show up in James' last sight and Duke's, but if it's also in the Teagues' line that goes back to the founding of Haven and has a more sinister connotation, that also explains why it's on all those graves. The only thing it doesn't explain is the fucking Glendowers. Who also, at least according to the historian in Roots, go back to at least the early days if not the founding of Haven. Do the Glendowers have appearing-disappearing tattoos, too? They didn't seem to back in The Tides That Bind, but you never know. Inquiring froth-mouthed analysts do want to know.

After I've taken a couple deep breaths and stopped chewing on my office furniture, Dwight will take a moment to be grimly unsurprised. Dwight, like us, seems to have just been waiting for confirmation. Yes, that explains a few things, and it opens up all kinds of fun new questions. Mostly having to do with the Guard's actions, Vince's implied Spec-Ops grade badassery back in season one, and exactly how morally bankrupt are you, you fucker? Chapter 13? Full on liquidation Chapter 7? Is he just letting these people wander around kidnapping young girls and forcing people to or out of Haven willy nilly or did it grow beyond his control or what the fuck is going on here? Everyone's faces and my madly capslocking fingers would like to know. Jordan would only like to know that Audrey is going in that fucking barn, please tell her she's going in that barn, Vince. Sadly for Jordan, Vince did not in fact create the Guard to play pater familias, and he's still in love with AudSarLu. Or so I would bet. At least he cares enough for her to let it be her choice, which is not what Jordan wants to hear. Jordan doesn't like other people making choices when it concerns something that might not work out in her favor, which is admittedly probably because of certain recently traumatic events where all her choices were taken away from her, but still. That is not the healthiest response, to say the least. Interestingly, she does leave when Vince tells her to leave, which is either her Guard training is ingrained enough or that she's decided to stop arguing and start making plans of her own to get what she wants. No points for guessing which it is. Duke, at least, has the patience to wait until that's dealt with before asking what that means for him and Vince, in tones of I thought we were friends. Apparently they are, because Vince isn't going to kill Duke, doesn't want to kill Duke, and in fact kept the Guard from doing so, which they deeply wanted to do, probably because Simon and Roy Crocker and their puppeteering band of anti-Trouble psychopaths. Psychopaths for everyone! That answers only some of our questions about Vince and the Guard. Yay. This also calls into question every fucking time that tattoo shows up going back to Ball and Chain when Vince and Dave found a body with the tattoo on it, which makes us all very glad we're going back and murderboarding all the episodes from seasons one and two. Sort of very glad. In light of recent events it's going to be interesting. And by interesting I mean ow my head.

Hey, speaking of things that give us headaches, the barn spits Audrey back out again because it is a good barn, a nice barn, and it does her bidding. Well, no, it doesn't, but it responds better to her than to anyone else at least. On account of we're not counting Howard as a person. He's a barnvatar, end of story. Audrey is here for Arla because James wants to see her, and if Arla had been paying attention at all the whole time she'd been stalking Audrey she would know that that is the tone of an Audrey who is all out of patience, fucks, and bubblegum. But she's a stupid, self-centered serial killer, and she obligingly makes a noose out of the rope Audrey's given her and sticks her head in it. Admittedly, no one's mentioned so far that the barn is a Trouble-free zone. Also advisedly, because if the barn heralds the end of the Troubles, it being a Trouble-free zone is not much of a stretch. But Arla is target-fixed and her brain is pretty much going James James James on continuous loop now, so she runs right in on her incredibly impractical boots, followed by a very grim Audrey. And there's a hug and it's a sweet reunion (with a rotten core punctuated by the word 'hush') up until James gets a look at her horror movie Ed Gein inspired face and dear god what is that thing! (This is the point at which A got "my makeup may be flaking" stuck on permanent loop, leading to Queen lyrics for both these recapalypses. You're welcome. This is a fantastic makeup job, too. Goddamn, you guys.) Nathan is the voice of expo-speak for the benefit of the new girl again, or should that be new girls with how many people Arla's wearing? Given the nightmare visage in front of him it's not nearly so much of a stretch for him to believe it when Audrey says how Arla murdered people to get that skin she's wearing. Especially since, as we're about to hear, he does remember that she looks abnormally young for having waited outside the darn barn for him for 27 years. Well, murdering people and wearing their skin, that makes perfect sense! Fucking Haven. And Arla is distraught enough at James' freaking out and rejection of her to flat out admit that she killed for him, for them, etc. Her dialogue here, with the exception of words that describe differing deeds, is really similar to that of Jordan's when she's trying to justify herself to Nathan, I will have you all know. Nathan knows! Nathan is looking at Arla like he's glad not to be on James's end of this and also like hahah, bitch, get away from my son. I may have added that last part, but he is definitely glad the serial killer is not getting away with it, and that is both as a father (for all that he's just found out about that for sure recently) and as a cop and a friend of some of the victims. Audrey looks sad and resigned right up until Arla looks at her, at which point she pulls on her cop face again. Meanwhile James's head explodes all over the pretty white walls inside the barn. Not literally. Even though it would not surprise anyone because fucking Haven.

James' head is exploding, Arla's head is exploding with the rejection and the refusal of everything she fixated on and worked for for 27 years, everything she committed and justified horrible acts for. So, as people do when they've made themselves so psychologically hard they shatter when struck at the right angle, Arla blames the interfering mother-in-law who's been trying to get between her and James for at least most of the episode and goes after her with a knife! Leading to James getting in the middle because, hey, that's his Mom you're going after. And when he's made up his mind that Arla is a psychopathic liar and killer and thus the one bad thing he believed about his mother is no longer true, everything else he knows about AudSarLu says that she is a loving mother and therefore to be protected. Aw James. That's kind of cute, if marginally suicidal when there's a crazy woman with a knife involved. Though, really, it goes right along with Nathan's protect Audrey at all costs to himself instincts, so, like father like son? Speaking of Nathan, he'll go take care of their darling baby boy now so Arla can take another swing at Audrey and Audrey can shiv her with her own knife. Not that Audrey seems to have intended for that to happen, by the startled wide eyes, but it'll do. And then, oh, then, brilliant Audrey has the presence of mind to tell Nathan to get Arla the fuck out of the barn in case it brings her back to life, because it probably would. Maybe. The speculation they don't have time or information for is that if the barn is powered by love, well, no one in here loves Arla very much. She might just stay dead! But she might not, Audrey isn't willing to take the chance and doesn't know about the magical power of love anyway, and thus getting Nathan to get Arla out of the resurrection chamber, which he does post haste. Good job everyone! And now good job Emily Rose and Steve Lund because this is somewhere on the top ten list of awkward mother-son scenes, and they both pull it off amazingly. The attempted projection of calm to reassure the wounded person is much more caring and maternal than her stay-calm-it's-going-to-be-okay-now attitude usually is towards Troubled people. James still can't quite believe that Arla lied, but, yeah, Arla does that. Audrey is unsurprised and not willing to waste much more time talking about the woman. Yes, Arla lied, no, Audrey didn't try to kill James (as far as she knows, anyway, I have to point out that no one in this hallway of familial angst was actually there and in a position to see who tried to kill James), and Audrey has no idea why she as Lucy would want to kill James. That's all right, James knows! And in true Shakespearean fashion he will now cough up all that exposition while he expires. Expirisition! Apparently Lucy told him that killing someone she loved would end the Troubles forever. I would say that obviously this didn't happen except, equally obviously, James isn't dead, so maybe the barn took back the permanent ending of the Troubles once it was forced to give back James' life? Alternatively, James is right, and Lucy couldn't love a son she'd only just gotten to know enough for it to count. Though I would dearly like to know what the fuck counts for the barn. Not to mention the part where this seems like a method of ending the Troubles guaranteed to make the cycle never end because of everything we've seen out of AudSarLu, they all tend toward self-sacrificing love, and killing someone you love goes against that in so many respects that my brain breaks just trying to explain it. Hey, barnvatar, come here so I can bite answers out of you. Also, Haven being a true Haven again is a phrase that's come up before, most notably out of Jordan's mouth so a) it probably passed down to her from the Guard which means b) it probably came that way from Vince which means c) Sarah or Lucy probably told him. This is still speculation but ARGH ANSWERS. WANT SOME. THIS IS NOT LIKE ANSWERS, THIS IS IN FACT PRONOUNCED "MORE QUESTIONS." It's okay, Audrey, we're reeling too. I do love that James seems to be okay with having just met his mom, again, and her not loving him as a mother should. She's trying! It's a lot to take in, and he allows for that, even while dying. Again. Audrey, meanwhile, is having her heart broken, stomped on, tossed onto the compost heap, and raked over with a tiller. Poor Audrey.

Hello barnvatar. No, Audrey is not ready to go, but she is ready to shake you until you cough up answers. James is off somewhere getting healed up again, but that's not enough for Audrey, she wants him to go off and live his life because, well, that's who she is. Aww Audrey. Unfortunately the barnvatar vetoes that the way he vetoed exploding the barn, and while we severely question its use of the word 'impossible' we will at least accept 'so difficult as to make you throw your hands up and give up before you get very far in trying.' We get the pseudo magitek speak about the barn being an amplifier for the love, self-sacrificing love, that Audrey has, that causes her to be immune to the Troubles. (Which says interesting things about the origins of the Troubles, if love is the key to negating them.) And when the barn amplifies this self-sacrificing love it keeps the Troubles at bay for 27 years, and then she runs down and has to go recharge by, well, going out and making connections and falling in love again. Twenty seven years, three threes, do we need to say it yet again? Probably not but we'll remind everyone anyway. We will also mention here that Sarah and Lucy seemed to spend longer in Haven than Audrey has, roughly a year apiece to Audrey's apparent 6ish months, which begs the question how long does it take for her to recharge? Is there some set length to this, a deadline of sorts? Granted, the chronology in general on both those incarnations is fucked in ways we'll get into at the end of this recapalypse. This all is so fantastical it causes Audrey to question if she's even human, which is a damn good question and something we've all been wondering! She's got some damn good questions in here in general: why her, what makes her so important. We would love to know the answer to that! Also I don't buy Agent Fuck You's assertion that she's "very human," although as a narrative device it's a popular one that the human power of love, etc etc. Go watch Legend if you don't believe me. He's also careful to use the word 'problem' instead of Trouble, it's her problem that she's very human. And her Trouble is love? Something. The barnvatar insists she's not Troubled, either, not that we entirely buy that. Her next question is, is she being punished for something, and this is why we call him Agent Fuck You because FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY. "It does seem that way" is neither a confirmation nor a denial, but I will add to the seeming that way that Audrey always does seem to be in the middle of a love triangle, first with the increasingly violently batshit Teagues brothers and now with Nathan and Duke, who admittedly seem most likely to get along with whatever Audrey decides peaceably. At any rate, Audrey doesn't like either of the options the barnvatar is presenting her with. Neither do we. Neither does anyone except the barnvatar, which severely brings into question its motivations. Yes, a barn can have motivations, when it's this fucking barn. And especially when it seems to be pushing her to make a decision now. Fuck you, barnvatar. Also, Rule of Three dictates that there's always a third option even when we're not being presented with it. Especially when it's on the subject of ultimatums of this nature. For all the barnvatar's high-handed behavior, he doesn't actually force Audrey to come with him, because he can't. He can manipulate and argue and order, but Audrey can always, always say no.

As she does now, in order to say goodbye. Which is a sufficiently reasonable last request that Agent Fuck You can't find a reasonable argument against it. (Because there isn't one. Fuck. You.) And so Audrey comes out, but followed by Howard to ensure she comes back in again. Not subtle. The sky continues to fall, the ground continues to shake, we've all been adequately reminded of why Audrey's doing this, and Nathan wants to know what James had to say, coming right up into her space. Audrey has decided to lie with the truth, having learned from the best Haven has to offer. Killing James won't work. Killing Nathan, on the other hand... and Nathan, being the self-sacrificial moron he often is, would encourage this. Note also that though we're told the Troubles will end if AudSarLu kills someone she loves, we're told nothing of what happens to her. I would not lay good odds on it being even an angstily ever after I just killed someone I love type of ending. She might well just vanish from existence. So she comes over and says goodbye to the three least connected to her to begin with, and are the various triangulation camera angles really necessary? And all the visual Rules of Three? No, I know, it's probably unconscious by now. Dwight is stoic but offers Audrey a genuine smile, that he didn't get shot, didn't end up having to push anyone other than Vince into seeing sense. On the whole this works out pretty well for Dwight, even with the mess to clean up, and it's sad that that's all the connection Audrey's got with him that it's her goodbye. Dave tries to argue against her going in again even though he must know that she's already made up her mind; he's at least accepting that it is her decision and she hasn't been forced to it by the Guard or his brother or both. And whatever moral bankruptcy Dave suffers from, he at least knows he should care about the civilians in Haven dying from the meteor storm. (Which, by the way, is never established as anyone's Trouble so much as a natural occurrence that brings the apocalypse to Haven if AudSarLu doesn't go in the barn. That makes it a major anomaly to the data we have on the Troubles. I hate unexplained anomalies.) Vince thought it would be easier this time, which sort of answers why the Guard, because if he ensure her leaving by force then he wouldn't have to feel so bad about her choosing to leave. Or something. Vince, you're a fucking moron and I wonder that Sarah ever loved you; by the way he reaches for her hand it's pretty clear that he definitely loved Sarah and still loves Audrey. That little voice break from Donat just about breaks my heart and I don't even have that much sympathy for Vince. Well played, sir. Dwight collects the terrible twosome and heads off for cleanup duties while Audrey says her goodbyes to Duke and Nathan gives them a moment. Oh boys. We get Audrey acknowledging how good he's been to her, which he has, my god. Duke liked the challenge! Oh Duke. And Audrey's sorry she won't remember him, especially Colorado, which is as close as she's able to get to admitting out loud that she does have feelings for him even if she still believes acting on them is a monumentally bad idea. At which point it's over to Nathan so our heartstrings can be toyed with like a cat with yarn some more. Ow. Nathan starts by trying to distance himself with "Parker" and saying something about if, coulda shoulda woulda, yeah, we know, Nathan, now let Audrey shut you up in a most effective manner. Fucking FINALLY. We've only been waiting for a kissing ep since last season! Nathan, of course, is even more determined not to let her go, or to go with her if he has to let her go, while Duke stands where Audrey left him and pretends very hard he's not hearing this. Besides, she won't be alone, she'll be with James! Aheh. Aheh heh heh that assumes that Fuck You Barnvatar over there isn't going to interfere. Again we have the dichotomy of Duke, who listens and really hears what Audrey wants and backs her up even when it's not what he wants or thinks is a good idea, and Nathan who will fight impossible odds on his own and argue against Audrey's martyrdom complex. (That's a bit of pot and kettle, there, but we never said these weren't complicated characters.) We also get the role reversal of Duke struggling to suppress his emotions for a variety of reasons (he doesn't want to hurt Nathan, he doesn't want to unduly influence Audrey, probably he doesn't want to let on to the Barnvatar how much this hurts) while Nathan has his hanging out all over the place, because when it gets down to the wire Nathan is at least as driven by emotion as Duke, he's just better at hiding it. Duke gets her gun and promises to, I guess, shoot Nathan in the kneecaps or something to keep him from following her? Though that's not what he does because Duke would really prefer not having to do that to his best friend. Instead, once Audrey says her final goodbye, Nathan focuses in on Duke, how they're not going to let her do this, and Duke starts by pointing out all the people Audrey's trying to help and winds up with it being her choice. Not either of theirs. Eric Balfour and Lucas Bryant proceed to crush the remains of my heart into dust as Duke reveals the extent to which he hates this with the completely gone, head over heels look on his face and Nathan finally buys a clue. Remember how I said they were going to Rule of Three us on this? Well, now they have! Nathan asks it, not as a question but as a statement, and on the third instance and to the most important person about to be left to him, Duke will finally admit it. In words. Which gets Nathan even more pissed off, because he doesn't understand how Duke could let her go, given that. Honey, not everyone loves the way you do. On looking at Audrey I'm not sure if Duke was ready to agree with Nathan or make another argument in her favor, but the little headshake Nathan takes for at least enough doubt and a good chance to punch Duke and grab the gun, though what on earth he thinks he's going to do with it against Audrey I don't know aside from most people stop when a gun is pointed at them.

Audrey's not exactly most people, and her hand's on the door, and then she's inside and it's curtains there for the season. Nathan engages in a fit of angry grief the like of which we haven't seen since Garland died. I'm not sure why the dumbass barnvatar is staying outside; if he's as magic as we think there's no reason  he can't go in after Audrey without opening the door. But he's a dumbass barnvatar who's going to rub it in Nathan's face some more! Possibly, if he's capable of anything resembling normal human emotion, he's annoyed that he is going to have to do all this in another 27 years and since Nathan's the one whose death could have permanently ended the Troubles, Nathan's the one who bears the brunt of his disapproval. Plus maybe the barn holds a grudge for that blowing it up thing. It's a stupid idea, though, because it allows Nathan to refocus his anger on Howard and question what happens if he shoots Howard. That is a most excellent question! And one that waits for Jordan, who's been lurking around to ensure the barn really does disappear (in a gruesome reversal of Arla begging to get in 27 years ago) to shoot Nathan in the back. Jordan, that would work better if you had better aim and if Nathan's Trouble weren't still active. The barn's still here, and that's the trigger for the Troubles ending, not AudSarLu walking in, even if they could be simultaneous. Nathan shoots Howard, who's gone so poker-faced blank it's its own tell, almost out of reflex, it looks like, and then again when he realizes that Howard the Barnvatar can be shot. Several times again! Just to be really sure, because Howard is clearly not vanilla human. Jordan gets off another shot, Nathan falls/gets tackled down by Duke, who shoots Jordan twice, once in the shoulder and one gutshot near her side. That should be interesting to see the results of next season, if she lives and given the likelihood of a very confused status for the Troubles as a whole. We can see what looks like just the one hole in Nathan's back, upper left shoulder which could be a lungshot or could be hero spot, hard to say until we get a less messy camera angle. He's definitely not in good condition, regardless. The barn and Howard's body (which did bleed! some! red blood, even!) now start to shatter apart with white light, thereby leading to our conclusion that he really is the barn's avatar and ending with a terrible, terrible portmanteau for which we do not apologize. Howard's body disappears, Arla's body gets sucked into the imploding barn, nobody has ANY IDEA what all this means exactly isn't it GREAT, and Nathan, since he's currently bleeding out, will send his best friend after his beloved to save her from the imploding barn. YAY. Nathan looks like he's going to try and crawl and make it in his own self, but no, the barn crumples up like a piece of waste paper and finishes imploding in a pinprick of light. Nathan looks like hell, the barn's gone, the meteors are STILL falling, there are two guns on the ground which are, let me remind you, Nathan and Audrey's, and there's no sign of Jordan's body anywhere either, so presumably she also got sucked into the barn. The final shot shows us that the stone walls are still there, so I guess they're not contingent on the barn, which is the last fucking answer to anything in this season that we get.

And now it's time for the speculation portion of this recapalypse! Settle back and pull up a beer, this is going to be a long one.

We'll start with Howard, the barn, the amplifier, and every other damn thing involving how the Troubles supposedly work now. Taking into account that Agent Fuck You Barnvatar is a lying liar who lies, and that this means the barn has motivations. It's pretty clear based on the last scene that Howard is tied closely enough to the barn to be an integral part of it; hurting him hurts the barn but not vice versa. Probably because the barn has a metric fuckton of protection on it, but Howard needs to have at least the appearance of being human. It's possible he even started out as human and has since bonded so thoroughly with the barn that very few traces of that humanity are left, possibly to balance the "very human" nature of AudSarLu? Insufficient fucking data. It's also possible he's just a construct (and in some ways it's more likely because of the aforementioned racial issues; consider what happened when Audrey searched for 'dark man in Haven' back in season one), in which case the barn took the things it thinks of as defining humanity close enough for government work, pun intended, and stuck them on him. We've heard rumors of speculation about aliens, which I can understand from what little we know about the plot of Tommyknockers, but I don't think that's what's at play in this. Save the Toomey Trouble, we haven't had any significant indication of alien involvement anywhere else in Haven, not in a way that doesn't suggest half a dozen other explanations. Supernatural? Oh hell yes. Outside human creation... ehhh, that depends. Do you count the Troubled as human? Given the explanation of how the barn works, we can then start to discuss how the fuck that got started in the first place. I would lay good odds, by the way, on the barn looking slightly different inside for every generation, in order to appeal most to what the current visual code for "creepy sterile environment" is. Alternatively, given the presence of white light with no visible source all over the place, an even creepier version of Heaven without any sort of humanizing perspective; humanization is, after all, what Audrey seems to be for. So! The barn as amplifier seems like an expression of one if not more than one Trouble.

Which leads us into another theory-slash-set-of-questions. Which came first, the Troubles or the Haven? We've heard numerous references to Haven as being short for 'Haven for God's Orphans,' which could easily be a simplistic, folkloric way of saying 'this is a safe place for people who are different/cursed.' The thing about that is, that indicates that the Troubles were there long enough before Haven was created. If even half of the aforementioned theories about that darn barn and its barnvatar are true, the barn and the cessation of/amelioration of the Troubles might well be a Trouble on their own, or at least, the barn part of it might. Agent Fuck You Barnvatar is careful not to say that Audrey's Trouble-negating power is her Trouble, but since he seems to be part of her amplifying unit that might also be a result of the barn's decision to keep her both separate from the Troubles in a way and keep her going. If Audrey thinks of herself as Troubled, it might lead her to draw conclusions she might not otherwise reach and therefore disrupt the status quo. This is, of course, assuming that her ability is a Trouble at all. Coming right back around to it, however the Troubles came into existence (and have I mentioned how much we would kill for there being an origin story reveal?), it is pretty clear that they existed at least chronologically before the system for keeping them under control was in place: barn, AudSarLu, fucking barnvatar. Whether that chronology involves a separation of a couple of months or years or generations and centuries, it's impossible to say. But at this rate, all indications are that the Troubles existed before Haven, or at least before Haven became, as they say, a true Haven. And then something broke that, which caused the barn and AudSarLu to repeat the 27 year cycle so that it could keep being a Haven, etc, etc. The only other theory that works with this little support is that the Troubles and the Haven occurred simultaneously, with it being something of a suspended sentence curse for 27 years as long as the conditions, etc. Thus barn, thus AudSarLu, thus your friendly neighborhood murderboarders get a headache. Right now we're favoring the Troubles prior to Haven theory, but admittedly that's with only a slim margin more evidence than the Troubles concurrent to Haven theory.

On another note, we discussed how the chronology was fucked a couple different times. Let's haul it out and wave it around again in a more coherent fashion now that we're not thinking about the ep per se. Sarah's date of arrival in Haven was August 15/16, 1955 (the chronology remains unclear on that) and thus so was the date of James' conception. That would put his birthdate sometime in May of '56, provided no complications arose leading to a premature birth, which given the amount of stress we've seen Audrey go through due to dealing with the Troubles wouldn't be far-fetched for Sarah, either. This doesn't line up with the paperwork as given, where James' birthdate is August 31 1956 on the printout Audrey pulls in Real Estate. Making for either fudged paperwork due to adoption, the longest pregnancy ever, or time not running right in Haven. And that's just Sarah. Lucy Ripley has an even more fucked up chronology! James is last seen in Colorado, again according to Real Estate, on May 3 1983. He dies in Haven on May 28 of that year. Now, a lot of the timeline fuckery here can be excused by Arla lying and James being either amnesiac due to the barn or, y'know, dead at the time, but the paper Duke dug out in Stay strongly implies that Lucy Ripley vanished with the meteor storm in October. That's a long fucking time in between James' death and Lucy's disappearance, which is related by Arla to be simultaneous. Mind you, she probably has plenty of reasons not to have told the truth, plus she might have been affected by the same amnesia surrounding the Colorado Kid's murder. (Speaking of, the only theory we have on that issue is that James going in the barn somehow partially erased his existence from all of Haven's memory vaults.) On top of that we have the disjunction between May 21 1983 for Simon Crocker's purported death and the May 1984 date he gives (minus 26 from 2010 is 1984, guys) in Sins of the Fathers for when he realized he had to kill Troubled people due to the little girl's Trouble kicking in at some third grade camping trip. Also somewhere that's implied to be after the Colorado Kid murder is when Simon comes looking for Lucy Ripley, according to Real Lucy, which contradicts at least ONE of those dates of death. I think the safest thing here is to assume that Arla is a lying liar who lies, though mostly by omission, which still leaves us with a massive fuckoff pile of dates that don't add up but at least partially negates the very confusing issue of the six month gap. Sort of. In that James could have been dead and buried, as Vince was there for that, and then dug up and taken to the barn when the time came. (Which, ew. EW. Six months is a thoroughly decaying corpse.) It does not negate James saying that Lucy was frantic about having to leave when he got there in May, though it's plausible that she managed to somehow negotiate for an extra six months after his death without causing the town to be destroyed. Or, heh, the amnesia surrounding this cycle of the Troubles is because the town got destroyed and had to be sneakily rebuilt? I don't even. It also doesn't negate Gwen Glendower/Penny Driscoll saying in The Tides That Bind that Lucy disappeared a "few days" after the CK murder, though we know the Glendowers also lie, so... in conclusion, the Lucy Ripley chronology is completely and utterly fucked and without knowing who's either lying, misled, or lacking data we cannot straighten it out. I hope to hell the writers have a good show bible, because this gives me a massive headache to even attempt. I would like my Jarvis and my 3D holographic displays now. The one thing I will mention here that seems pretty clear even though I can't wrap my head around all of the chronology is that Audrey's stay in Haven seems shorter than the previous two, and I would bet good money that's because the barn fixing James means it ran down its battery faster. Arguably that's part of Lucy's original bargain with the barnvatar, too. Insufficient data, but it is a difference in the trend as far as we can tell.

We've got some questions (some very good questions, god you guys, we're writing as fast as we can!) on Arla and her Trouble and her timeline as related by her. She strongly implies that she was in Haven with James at the time of his murder; however, none of her recounted memories involve her and James interacting within Haven, it's all her and Lucy. She says she couldn't let James see her like that, implying, perhaps, that he was already dead and she was waiting on the barn to see him again. It's unclear at best, but I'm going to take a guess which is based around the novella that Arla wasn't actually in Haven until after James' death. In King's TCK, a middle-aged Arla Cogan comes to identify and collect her husband's body. Ironically, if it weren't for the skinwalker Trouble, Arla would be middle aged by now. Also from the novella, they had kids, which I sincerely hope isn't the case in Haven-verse, but I wonder about the origins of "hush" as Arla's codeword. Specifically, that's a word most often used from someone in a position of authority to someone in a position of weakness or subordination; it's commonly found in mother-child relationships but has been worked in as a creepy serial killer word for Arla here. Knowing how she got started on hushing people would be really useful. We do know how she got started on killing people, though! And while a lot of her Trouble requires a cable-supported suspension bridge of disbelief, it's no worse than Harry Nix and his facehugger organ or the chameleon who can take on new bodies and their personalities and memories. That said, I suspect it was learning of James' death once she arrived in Haven or some other traumatic event that triggered her Trouble. See below for suspicions on who actually killed the Colorado Kid, and note also that unless Arla managed to kill a member of the Guard and take her skin (that first kill by the Teagues' fishing shack) it is extremely unlikely that she was the murderer. Note unlikely, not impossible, given that we know the fucking tattoo has made it out to Nederland and we know Arla was Troubled; it's not such a stretch to imagine her original skin wore the tattoo. As for how long Arla can wear a skin, that's never specified, though I would venture a guess that as long as the Troubles are active, any skin that is not the skin she wore when the cycle began and her Trouble was triggered would do. I also suspect that, assuming she kept the first kill, she had no choice but to keep that skin until this round of Troubles. Now, what woke her Trouble up this time is anyone's guess, but I'm assuming it's related to Audrey. The most useful piece of missing data here would be who Arla was pretending to be for the last 27 years, and alas, that information may have died with her. Assuming the barn doesn't revive her.

We've had some questions about the founding families of Haven, largely based on the clip in the opening credits of the family tree and the theory that that represents the sole founding group of Haven. The biggest problem with taking the clip in the opening credits as the only gospel is that the initial number of people is too small of a population for proper genetic diversity to found a town; while it probably is part of the founding family trees of Haven, it's only a part. There may be five or six other similar family trees with descendants still living in Haven. So. We know from what Vince tells us/not!Tommy in Over My Head that the Teagues go back to the founding of Haven, although Vince is indeed a lying liar who lies and he was grasping for an excuse for having enough money to buy up all of Haven. Despite this, there is no reason not to believe him. The aspects of the Teagues that make them an asset to Audrey could have been built up in the 54 years between Sarah and Audrey, or could be existent because of their founding family status. We know they had a grandmother who it was implied was a resident of Haven, but that's about it. The Keegans and the Novellis exist only in Roots, but we know that they go back for generations, that they include a historian with reason to research colonial era families which likely includes a personal genealogical reason. Again, it's likely that one or both of these are founding families in Haven. The Carvers, mentioned in Fear and Loathing, do not have founding family status so much as they were present for the earliest days of Haven in the 1700s in indentured servitude. So, they may not be a founding family, but are close to it. The Glendowers and the Crockers go back to, again, 'colonial' Haven with no date earlier than 1786 for the creation of the Crocker box specified, but given the Trouble-affecting nature of the Crocker Trouble it seems a strong possibility that the Crockers and thus the Glendowers are, if not founding families, at least damn well close to it. (As a side note; the late 1700s are not colonial New England, and I'm not sure whether to put this down to writer error or funky time again, adding another layer of uncertainty to which the founding families are.) The Rasmussens are described only in Sparks and Recreation but are described as founding families of Haven, again, by someone proven to be a lying liar who lies. On the other hand, it was at least plausible enough for the Teagues to have to bend in the direction of pretending to believe her, so that's an indication that it's true. Based on their narrative placement we can also speculate that Wuornos, Hansen, Holloway, and Brody are founding families, but that's more based on their narrative placement and the fact that it would make for a somewhat tighter story than anything.

Having dealt with the founding families, we can now move on to one potential family in particular. Yeah, you all knew this was coming. Hi Vince! Hi Dave! But mostly Vince, because, alright. We now know that Vince has a mysteriously disappearing-reappearing Guard tattoo, which suggests a strong connection to Julia and possibly/probably Eleanor Carr. Magical tattoos plus Dave's comment about always knowing how to find his brother leads me to wonder if it's some kind of supernatural GPS, which wouldn't be the worst Trouble ever. One of the silliest! If that is somehow related to the Teagues Trouble, though, it's no wonder that the Guard took it for their symbol when Vince created them. It definitely has to run in the family, in order to explain the gravestones Julia took Duke to back in season one. It occurs to us to wonder if this means Vince knows where the Guard is at all times too, thereby increasing the creepy quotient by a couple orders of magnitude. What we don't know is how much Julia knew about all this, other than "more than she was telling." Probably less than her mother, though, and we also have no idea how Eleanor connects to the Teagues isn't it GREAT. Though I will say she had some of their same tightlipped earn-my-trust attitude, it was tempered with a great deal more compassion and self-awareness than the brothers Teagues. Combine that with the fact that Eleanor is a widow and some years younger than Vince and Dave and we have a potential cousin or younger sister, at a guess. We've also established that our tentative nigh-immortal theory on the brothers Teagues is full of holes, given their youthful appearance and rate of aging from 1956 to 2010, though I will say that they're an exceedingly well-preserved 80-something-ish. (Donat and Dunsworth are also exceedingly well-preserved for a 70 and 66 year old pair, though.) Now we get into some serious speculation! What if Vince was the one to kill James? (As we've seen some of you speculate in comments as we're writing, we love you guys.) It fits with his Spec-Ops-style badassery, it fits with his brokenness, too. And the appearing-disappearing tattoo would presumably come out involuntarily under stress. It would have broken Lucy and made her more willing to go into the barn. And the last part, even if Vince wasn't the one who killed James directly it's increasingly likely that it was done by a member of the Guard on his orders. There is, of course, the flip side to this, being that the last thing someone sees before they die could also be a failed savior, and if Vince is anything to AudSarLu and her emotional ties to Haven, a failed savior is definitely one option for him post-Sarah.

Speaking of that fucking tattoo, let's just note that it has four people in a circle, not three. We have a repeated pattern of two men and one AudSarLu, but we're lacking one person then. The barnvatar? The child? (Hi James.) Despite what we initially thought there don't appear to be any gender markers on the people in the tattoo, so it's nothing so easy as two heterosexual couples. The maze is clearly a metaphor for the entire clusterfuck that is the Troubles; given that I actually think we should discard AudSarLu as one of the figures depicted within it since she should really be the center of the maze. Which leaves, what, two men and two helper figures? Bet you anything that Vince thinks he's a helper figure now that he's no longer a romantic attachment. In conclusion RARRGH MURDERBOARDS give us. Are there only four founding families? Is it indicative of lots of people from all four cardinal directions, i.e., the Troubles are worldwide? WHAT DOES IT MEAN. We don't know! Isn't it great!

And last but by no means least, the love triangle. Did it start out as a love triangle initially? The whole thing smacks of Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot style issues, and as all fandom knows the correct solution to that is a threesome. (What. We never said our biases weren't written in twenty foot neon letters alongside our Stephen King geekery.) We don't actually have much in the way of canon proof that there is a love triangle, but there is a significant repeated motif of two men one AudSarLu going on here, and as large as that's been written over the Sarah and Audrey incarnations and as prominent as love has been fixed in our minds as the end of the Troubles, something is rotting away in Denmark. Plus, yet again, if love (and going by the repeated personality traits of each incarnation it's a self-sacrificing love rather than a self-interested love)  is the source of the Trouble-immunity power, why would killing the person you love cause it to go away for good? Unless it was the sort of sadistic punishment inflicted by a scorned or cheated on lover, which would seem to substantiate the love triangle theory. Nonetheless, narrative convention dictates that there always be a third way out, and if we remember back to Business As Usual, Lucy supposedly knew the origin of the Troubles. While she may have only known the second way out of them as a result, that's still more information than anyone in our current cycle is known to possess, so hopefully next season we'll see some reveal on the origin story followed by a way to actually work on fixing the Troubles. Our bet is that it will be work, a steady, grinding sort of work but one that can be accomplished rather than something that's a 27-year snooze button. That's not accomplishing anything!


  1. On Audrey having a shorter time period in Haven - I would say that my theory is that she charged up faster on love because of so many people with whom she developed strong bonds in this incarnation. Both Nathan and Duke strongly love her. Vince and Dave seem to be far more attached to her than they apparently were to Lucy. The old Chief cared about her. She made a lot of female friends this time. Audrey was less socially isolated, by far, than Lucy or Sarah appear to have been, plus there's some cumulative effect of the people who remember her previous incarnations (Teagues and old Chief) re-forming those bonds with her.
    But, and this is a big one - if the meteor shower really is a fixed event in time that marks her end date, than it's not so much that her time is cut short, it must have started later...? Which makes no sense to me. The sense I also have gotten is that this cycle of Troubles is worse than in prior years. Even the Teagues seem to have been surprised by how bad some of it has gotten (though of course we can't trust them). So either the Troubles are becoming more concentrated toward the end of her time period in Haven, or . . . I don't know. Seems like the more benign Troubles (like cake lady) started manifesting 2 1/2 years before Audrey appeared, so the amplifier had been wearing off for some time before Audrey appeared. I honestly think the 6 months timeframe is more continuity error than actual plot point.

  2. I have also said this, about the "kill your beloved to end the Troubles," when Aud/Lu/Sar went to see Real Lucy, she said she'd learned how to stop the Troubles. Based on Sarah being portrayed as having similar personality elements (confident, assertive, compassionate, etc.) as Audrey, I think we can speculate that Lucy shared a similar personality with Audrey. And Audrey absolutely ruled out the prospect of killing someone she loved to end the Troubles. She didn't even mention it to Nathan. Not an option at all. If Lucy had found a solution that she wanted to share with someone else, it wasn't murder, no way would that have been on her radar as a solution. Must be something else.

    Also, it sounded to me (will need to re-watch the Real Lucy ep) that Aud/Lu/Sar had discovered this answer with James Cogan, not that it was something presented by the creepy Barn/Agent Fuck You.

  3. And just because I've been obsessively chewing over this finale all weekend, I also think this. Aud/Lu/Sar told Real Lucy that she'd discovered the origin/cause/source of the Troubles, and the way to end them. The clear implication was that knowing the cause provided the answer to the solution (as you would expect). Howard's refusal to provide information about the origin and true nature of the Troubles is a glaring neon sign to me that we can't trust the supposed "solution" of murdering a loved one, and the murder theory is so contrary to the proposition that some sort of "love amplifier" protects Havenites from the Troubles that it just isn't at all credible.

    We've been told from the beginning that "love will keep us together" (songs in the pilot), "love conquers all" (Crocker box), and Aud/Lu/Sar is nothing so much as a motherly figure of compassion and self-sacrifice, she's like the embodiment of love to choose to sacrifice her happiness and her own identity to keep safe the people who love her. There's just no way that murder is the answer.

    1. As Agent Howard is a lying liar who lies, I agree. Why would he suddenly be offering the secret of how to end the troubles (even if it's something Aud/Lu/Sar wouldn't do) after refusing to actually answer any other questions? Although, I wouldn't put it past him to have 'misremembered' the solution or misquoted it or left out an important part of it - instead of killing the one you love, it's something like love the one you killed (sort of the path Beksy was heading down below?).

    2. Yeah, I absolutely am not buying that Lucy's solution as told to us in Business As Usual has a DAMN thing to do with killing the one you love, which may mean... okay, backing up. Assume the something horrible is James' murder, assume they'd found the solution of killing the one you love together and then someone had killed James, possibly whoever else was there at the time of said discovery. (It is, after all, ENTIRELY possible that it was vaguely worded enough to lead someone *coughVincecough* to believe that anyone killing someone AduSarLu loves would do.) The discovery of the cause might have come after that; and it's possible that Lucy knew what the solution was, had rejected it out of hand, and ALSO knew what the cause was but didn't have time to come up with a better solution than going in the barn.

      Something something. I definitely think the barnvatar's job is to mislead, inveigle, confuse, and obfuscate anything that would be at all USEFUL to AudSarLu ending the Troubles. And I'm not convinced that the cited solution of killing the one you love would result in a positive end to the Troubles, as destructive a solution as that is... SHIT. What if ending the Troubles is ending the TroublED? Duke's Trouble, taken to a mass genocide. Which links the barn/vatar to the CROCKERS very emphatically, which implies that somehow this all got started because of the Crockers and whoever the original AudSarLu was.

      As far as your suggestion above, that Audrey charged up faster this time... also possible! My main problem with the barn-as-amplifier and all of that is that Howard is, in fact, a lying liar who lies so it's really difficult to figure out how the mechanism ACTUALLY works - not least because Howard is the sort of creature who lies with the truth, so I don't doubt that what we have is accurate but not at all a full picture. We can empirically state that AudSarLu entering the barn and the barn disappearing with her inside it stops the Troubles. We can't state that the barnvatar's data on WHY that is is completely accurate, see also lying liar. Grumble.

  4. Last one, I think. "Haven" is the translation of a Native American name for the town, Tuwiuwok, which meant "haven for all God's orphans." Seems like the Troubles existed when Native Americans occupied the land where the town is now located. Seems like the Troubles far predate the colonial period AND the Europeans who are presumably the founding families.

    I would have far preferred that this season, rather than setting up this abbreviated rush to the Barn, had explored the origins of the Troubles. Where are the descendants of the Native Americans who named this place "haven for all God's orphans"? (And by the way, why would a native name reference a monotheistic god?)

    I think it would have been far more interesting for our intrepid threesome to have been mapping out family trees of the Troubles, trying to track them back to a common point of origin. We could have had flashbacks to past events of Troubles. More information about how the Troubles are passed in families. A Native American who has some sort of oral history about the Troubles that would be an alternate source to the Teagues. More clues to prior incarnations of Aud/Lu/Sar. I think the pacing of the series would have worked better if we'd had a slower build up to the events of this finale, because Audrey needs more information about the cause of the Troubles to be able to evaluate possible solutions.

  5. I have to agree with you Nyx about the pacing of the last few episodes. I felt like I had read the first few chapters of a book and then jumped to the last few chapters. Perhaps they were uncertain of renewal and thought they should jump to all that. Though I think Audrey and her boys should have been asking why this all started from the beginning, they never seemed to really ask that much at all.
    I think the magic probably always existed in Haven but with the settlers coming in and their interactions with the American Indian people they caused these problems (troubles). The Mi'kmaq from whose language Haven's name is originated have a great spirit (creator) Kisu'lk from whom other gods and then animals and humans came from.
    Vince is actually younger than Dave (mentioned in S1 'As you were") although with those two you wonder if they are even real brothers and what they are still hiding. I think their power(since they told us they are not Troubled in "Business as Usual") (yeah right) works in tandem like their bicycle. They clearly showed they have killed before (when they were tied up by Arla as Tommy and were talking about "it's my turn"). Still don't know why Dave's greatest fear is Sarah. In the brief glimpses Howard showed us there seemed to be no major tension between them,I really wonder what Dave did and what the nature of their relationship with Sarah really was.

    Audrey called Howard, Morpheus which i thought was just a reference to the Matrix, but Morpheus in greek mythology is the god of dreams. He appears in the dreams of mortals and can mimick and take any human form and create ultra realistic dreams. So what if Howard was messing with us with all those 'memories' I like Howard though and I hope he doesn't die or whatever happens to someone like him.
    It was a bit disappointing that after all the mystery of the barn, they were walking in and out of it so casually.

    I think the tattoo represents a fractured family/community that needs to navigate its way back to the centre of the maze. Or could it be a metaphor for Audrey's need to integrate her personalities to find the core one? I read somewhere that Julia Carr's tattoo was the two female-two male version though i didn't see this myself and the writers seemed to confirm this. The necklace that Lucy gave Duke also has this symbol of 4 people at the compass points and it triggered her Lucy memories. Made me wonder if it belonged to the original identity not Lucy Ripley.
    Still have questions about Lucy and Garland and Lucy and James and Lucy and Max Hansen(if they knew each other at all). James said he came to Haven in search of his mother and met Lucy, but the poster said he was last seen leaving Colorado with a dark haired woman I had assumed was Lucy. What was Lucy's profession?
    The Love amplifier and killing the one you love thing doesn't seem to make any sense to me either. Perhaps killing the loved one will show how much she loves Haven/The Troubled over her own chance of small periods of happiness every 27 years and would result in the curse (if it is that) lifting and the loved one would come back or become whatever Audrey is. Or alternatively, perhaps a toxic love relationship caused all the problems in the first place and destroying it makes Haven a haven again. Or most likely there is a third option which is more palatable than killing anyone. Funny how this kill someone to stop the Troubles mirrors the Crocker kill the troubled person to remove the curse from the family.
    Finally, I have always wondered about the denim outfits worn by so many of the characters. Young Duke was in a jean jacket and jeans in the Colorado Kid picture so were Vanessa and who I now assume to be Arla. James Cogan in the Holloway house and Max Hansen when he came out of prison. it was probably just 80s fashion but still i've always been curious about it.

    1. I think part of the pacing problems were due to the new writers on board, not necessarily new to writing writers but the fact that they'd brought in writers who hadn't worked on Haven before. The other problem is that they didn't know until they were done filming, if I remember right, so they'd have to figure out how to at least bring it to some kind of conclusion and if they wanted to get out some information before they got pulled... It is, though, definitely backloaded. Definitely agree with you and Nyx on that one.

      I'm hesitant to pin down an exact cause to the Troubles on account of we know so little about colonial (actual colonial, not freaking late 1700s, late Confederation, as Beksy correctly states) Haven that it's hard to say. I do think the Troubles predate Haven, and definitely SOMETHING supernatural because of the way they keep hammering on the Haven being a true haven part. That implies that they're following the old trope of something being shattered and now the broken pieces exist as corrupted magic.

      Vince and Dave are annoying. Just in general and also in so many specific ways. Vince in particular, he seems like both the more deadly and the more stable of the two, which does not reassure me at all. But I kind of wonder if Sarah is Dave's greatest fear because Sarah had such a hold over Vince. (And we went back and checked; you're right, Dave does say he's older. Innnnteresting. We'll have to adjust to remember that.) Anyway, I wonder if Dave feared Sarah's influence over Vince, especially considering they hammered on that connection a lot in the last episode.

      I figured the Morpheus comment was a reference to both the creepy mentor thing but also the fact that she was now guessing that Howard appearing in her dreams was actually Howard, or Agent Fuck You as we love to call him. Because if I realized that, I'd be pissed, too.

      If it's Julia's tattoo it must be just that one, because looking at both designs from what people have drawn and uploaded all the figures are the same. We'll have to confirm! But I would not be surprised if the necklace, or something like it, was an artifact belonging to the original person who became AudSarLu. We know it goes back many generations, and it seems intrinsic to whatever person or group started the whole mess. Which causes one to wonder why the everloving hell it showed up on Vince's arm.

      We've got some theories downthread about the aspects of love and ending the Troubles, but definitely a love relationship going horribly wrong is one of our favorite theories for the cause of it.

    2. This is the site where I read an early interview with the creators about the tattoo. The one that Julia shows Duke on the gravestones does look a bit different at least in terms of it may represent a female but it's unclear. From the interview it seemed it wasn't clear too, at that point what it should look like exactly.

  6. A note about 1786: it was late Confederation. The Articles of Confederation were drafted in 1776 and 77, ratified by 1781, and lasted until the Constitution. Maine was part of Massachusetts at the time.

    Regarding love triangles and "killing the one you love": what if the form of the solution Lucy and James heard is a Gordian knot woven by Nathan and Duke with the help of Stuart Mosley? What if the original form of the solution is that AudSarLu must love a Crocker descendent enough to allow him (or her) to sacrifice her for the good of Haven? What if that all got twisted around when Mosley sent our boys back and Duke saved Roy from accidental death by chair and Nathan helped Sarah conceive James?
    Sarah's killing Roy is what caused Simon's hatred of Lucy. He couldn't possibly have loved her, so that's a lost opportunity. However, Duke's isolation from his father's notebook and his general distrust of Simon made it possible for him to considered Audrey and the AudSarLu situation from a less biased position, making love possible.
    The Crocker box says "love conquers all", which could mean "love conquers the trouble", and probably also means that the Crockers are involved with ending the Troubles on a global and not just individual scale. They're involved up to their eyeballs.

    1. I've had my head bitten off by testy Naudrey shippers, but yes, there's a symmetry in Aud/Lu/Sar's role and the Crocker role with respect to the Troubles (she tries to help/protect, Crockers try to eradicate) and obvious points of intersection, like where even she thinks a Trouble is too dangerous to continue. It seems like they should be working together, her moderating the impulse to kill the Troubled, him identifying when some Troubles are too far gone. I don't see how the relationship with Nathan has the same kind of narrative impact as one between Audrey and Duke for purposes of finding a resolution.

    2. Oh, Naudrey shippers. I'm OT3 and Narah, but downplaying Duke's Lancelot position because Audrey (Guinevere) had the desire to say "I don't want to mess up what we have" and the power to have it both heard and respected, or because Audrey is AudSarLu and Nathan is James's father, so they're obviously endgame?
      Eh... that's like saying (both the series and the location) Haven isn't problematic. It is problematic. It is problematic, but people can still like it. I think in Haven's case, that's because it's designed for us to have Thinks (like your awesome reviews) as well as Feels.

    3. Scrambling down here from the thread up above where I just realized that it's possible, given the barnvatar's utter lack of humanity, that his solution to the Troubles, i.e. kill the one you love, might just kill all the Troubled.

      Which says to me that the barn and AudSarLu are indeed THOROUGHLY linked to the Troubles, and engaging in some rampant speculation, here: the original AudSarLu either was a Crocker or loved a Crocker, thereby giving them a Trouble related to her immunity. (I'm honestly hoping for the latter, so we don't have to deal with the incest issues even if Duke is a long ways from closely related to Audrey at this point.) And at some point that relationship, whatever it was, went very, very bad, leading to the need for the barn; it's almost implied without outright stating that there WAS a point at which the Troubles were not world-ending but instead just kind of sucky for their various bearers. Or the relationship going bad started the Troubles; hard to say which. At any rate, it seems likely that the way to end the cycle in a healing manner rather than a destructive one does involve love - if a Crocker sacrificed AudSarLu for the sake of power/fear/jealousy/something a long time ago, perhaps Duke's sacrificial love for Audrey will help right that wrong.

      (I also wonder how Lucy and Simon's death ties into this - did it perhaps come about as she tried to get to know him well enough to enact Omnia Vincit Amor, and that backfired in tragedy? We have next to no solid data on how he actually died.)

    4. We're very firmly OT3 here, but we're also very firmly ship and let ship. There is room enough on this ocean for several freaking flotillas of ships! And more importantly, as we say in our 'about us' blurb, we don't hold with people biting heads off for not liking the same things. So feel free to squee and revel in and point out your favorite whoever/whoever bits! Or whoever/whoever/whoever. Or whoever/whoever/whoever/whoever, if that's your taste and times being what they are.

      As far as AudSarLu and the Crocker line goes, we've definitely been wondering how the two connect. Part of me likes the AudSarLu self-sacrifice at the hands of a Crocker theory, if only because of an element of narrative neatness to it. Plus, between Duke and Nathan, Duke's far more likely to go through with that kind of solution if Audrey asks him to. On the other hand, that also puts either all the Troubles square on AudSarLu's doorstep, so to speak, meaning that killing her would end all of them meaning she's the cause of everyone's Troubles... which actually also goes with the self-sacrifice, as maybe part of her feels bad about what's happening because of her. And on the other hand, it might just work in the straightforward way of ending the one immunity bloodline Haven has. On the other hand, I also like Nyx's theory that they're intertwined and connected. Perhaps (as A says it simultaneously downpost) way back in the day a Crocker was the beloved of AudSarLu and somehow she conveyed on that bloodline a part of the Troublestopping power?

  7. So. . . I'm not entirely convinced Vince killed the Colorado Kid, partly because I think he'd make it look like an accident rather than murder and partly because of motive. Why would he be concerned about Lucy going into the Barn? Sarah didn't resist, right? Just Lucy, months later in October? Unless they thought Lucy was supposed to go into the Barn in May. . . .?

    But there is something strange about the Colorado Kid's name not being known that suggests the Teagues' involvement. . . he had to have been in town a few days to help Lucy with the Holloway House. Wouldn't someone have known his name? Wouldn't someone have asked Lucy? Or is that in the next issue of the paper that they never showed us?

    And can we pretend that Lucy was able to summon the barn right after James was killed, rather than digging him up 5 - 6 months later? Please?

    1. I guess my thinking on that is that we STILL know jackshit about the process of James' murder investigation, let alone death. Yes, if Vince did it he absolutely would have made it look like an accident, but it's possible that Vince did exactly that but eventually they uncovered it as a murder; the headline in the Herald sort of suggests that. Certainly in the novella there's a lot of doubt about cause of death, initially. And Sarah tried to resist at least briefly, plus we have no idea how Lucy's circumstances differed. If Vince realized who James was and then realized that Lucy might resist going in the barn because she wanted to stay with her son, I could easily see him taking that option away from her. We know he has absolutely no qualms about withholding information, feeding her information for his own ends, or creating a fucking paramilitary organization to force her into a choice, and also that he seems to have killed before and enjoyed it. Granted, the last could be bravado, but in conjunction with the way he talked to Max Hansen I would be not even a little surprised to learn that he's similar to Arla but with much, much better control. Scary control. And as a last possibility, he could have instructed a Guard member to do it - we know he doesn't exactly have the brightest help in this cycle, he might select for only a modicum of intelligence and prioritize willingness to follow orders. Though we also don't know how tight his control on the Guard is, so that's somewhat speculative at best.

      The timeline is completely fucked for Lucy Ripley's era, and I can't figure out if that's continuity error or if that's something the writers have yet to explain to us. (Possibly both. They're pretty good at doing patch jobs on continuity issues with this show.) But yeah, someone should have known who James Cogan was, particularly if he kicked up dust about looking for Sarah Vernon; anyone involved with the last round of Troubles would have picked up their heads and gone "arooo?"

      Oh god I am so not thinking about the Pet Semetery parallels with that option. I really, really hope there's just a massive fucking continuity error and that she didn't dig up his body. Because EW.

    2. I really do think Vince killed James. This makes sense to me because of the conversation between the Teagues' and Not_Tommy. The "I'm going to enjoy killing you again" "no it's my turn" leads my twisted mind to speculate that the Teagues' thought Tommy might have been Lucy's offspring (his age fits and she could have went off to have a baby in the unaccounted for 6 months. In my head they brothers and/or their ancestors/incarnations have been killing Au/Lu/Sa's offspring for generations because her having a baby with Nathan is bad for stopping the troubles. Yeah,, I know this is very far-fetched but I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this.

    3. Adding to that, we know Sarah gave baby James to the Cogans "to protect him". From who or what? It fits my theory that her incarnations have had offspring in the past and they have been murdered by the Teagues brothers and/or their ancestors/incarnations or someone else for nknown reasons.

  8. My brain is spinning with too many questions and observations to wait on leaving this comment until tommorow, when I've read the speculation portion. Feel free to ignore anything I say if you happened to address it later.
    1. "Meanwhile James is clearly listening to them as none of them are paying attention to him... everyone is worried about James and working their way around to sticking him back in the barn like it was the Stargate sarcophagus, when James takes the decision out of their hands and goes in anyway."
    One, I LOVE the StarGate reference. If they're not careful, James will be the Daniel Jackson of Haven; he just never dies. Permanently, anyway. Back to my original observing. Something I noticed rewatching this episode was how James cracks his eyes open and looks at the barn only after Audrey says she's not ready to leave yet, which I think he interpretted as 'oh-no-Mom-still-wants-to-kill-me-better-try-to-lose-her-in-the-only-place-I-can-hide.' I don't know, thoughts?
    2. "So, yes, James! Shows up, squeaks, runs back into the barn, like you do when your parents are having sex. I would dearly love an explanation for why the barn showed up in the first goddamn place and if that's part of the memory or if that's Howard's current 2010 fuckery. I'm guessing the latter based on James wearing the same clothes we last saw him in, which, ew."
    Being a shipper, the conclusion I immediately leapt to was since the barn only appears when AudSarLu is ready, at the precise moment, she wanted to leave. Maybe she was just feeling DONE with all the crazy. Like you say, frucking Haven. Or just done with all the hurt she's had heaped upon her, the lastest being the man she's in love with slept with her 50's nurse self and kept it a secret even while slowly patching things up in the present. This might be my Nuadrey mind being biased, though.
    Also, I love your psuedo-barn voice. "Quick, let's blow the barn up!" "Excuse you? GTFO." It took me a few minutes to recover from the fits of giggles.
    3. I love Jordan, she's such a fascinating character, so I was horrified to see her shot and hoped she'd gotten taken with the Barn. I was waiting with bated breath to see if you guys thought she'd been Barn-sucked like Arla. I'm gla dyou do. Lord knows we're long overdue for an Audrey/Jordan catfight scene, because it get the feeling Jordan's got a lot of fury stored up at AudSarLu and being trapped in a barn for 27 years seems primetime for working that out.
    4. "We will also mention here that Sarah and Lucy seemed to spend longer in Haven than Audrey has, roughly a year apiece to Audrey's apparent 6ish months, which begs the question how long does it take for her to recharge? Is there some set length to this, a deadline of sorts?"
    I think it's not so much how long it takes to recharge as how long it takes AudSarLu and the Barn to run out of energy. Assuming that the Hunter storm falls around the same time of year every 27 years - that's a mouthful - I think the storm is the deadline. She just had to leave the Barn earlier and therefore arrive in Haven earlier as Sarah and Lucy. If this is anywhere in the general vicinity of right, then I want to know who Lucy loved so much it kept her charged up for an extra six months. Of course, the protection from the Troubles obviously started weakening at least 3 years ago, but she was still in the Barn for noticably longer in between Lucy and Audrey.
    That's a lot of talking from me. In the meantime, I'm tired, it's painfully early in the morning on my side of the planet, so I'll leave it at that for now. Hoping you reply with thoughts of your own.

    1. We know the feeling. And this thing is huge anyway, so, as you've seen up above, we're fine with people commenting with their thoughts as they have them. :)

      I definitely think James was biding his time. He didn't have much strength left, why would he use it before he had to? And at that point not only did he not know her, he still believed Arla's story about her trying to kill him, so it's not unreasonable to think he had a somewhat visceral ho-shit-people-trying-to-kill-me reaction.

      The biggest problem with James showing up, seeing the memory, and running back into the barn is... that's a barn within a barn. So any theory we (that is, the two of us, you're free to theorize whatever you want!) make has to be predicated on one of two things: either 1) the barn was part of the memory and it visited 1955 somewhere between 1983 when it picked up James and 2010, or 2) the barnvatar is fucking with people's heads. If it's 1, then the barn would have to respond to Sarah because Audrey's already IN the barn, and Sarah hasn't had time to get all "fucking HAVEN" yet. Although she could be ready for a take-me-away-from-all-this based on war trauma, she doesn't seem actively traumatized at the time. If it's 2, which I'm more inclined to believe... who the hell knows. And the barn thanks you for your appreciation. >.>

      Well, something happened with Jordan's body! I feel a bit sorry for Audrey, locked in the barn with Arla and Jordan, both of whom are a few degrees shy of stable and both of whom have reason to want Audrey deader than dead. It's possible that Jordan really is sincerely dead and they just forgot to have Kelton be a corpse, but they've got a history of paying attention to surroundings. I doubt it. Also Kelton's been really cagey on Twitter about whether or not she'll be back next season.

      That's always possible, assuming the meteor storm does fall around the same time. Which they do in real life! Always in October. So it's a good theory. But the timeline has been thoroughly skewered already, it's hard to say what's going on because our initial dataset is unreliable. Candidates for Lucy's love might be James, or even Garland or possibly Vince or Simon? Simon seemed REALLY bitter about something and definitely wanted Lucy dead and Duke to kill people and end their Troubles, but at the same time went to great lengths to keep Duke from knowing anything about his heritage until he learned it for himself, which is weird and contradictory. Possibly Simon and Lucy were in love until Simon found out it was Sarah who killed his father? So many possibilities, and so much conflicting data! It's great!

    2. I think Garland was in love with Lucy, the cracks when she came back to Haven, and in the pilot there was a point when he was looking at her from a distance, very unlike the Chief we got to know. Lucy probably had feelings for him too until they found out about Nathan and Sarah (I presume Lucy must have known all this). Would explain the tension between father and son. If Max Hansen was as abusive as the Chief said, Lucy could have asked Garland to look after him or Garland could have decided to so probably with the Teagues help so raising the man who would fall in love with the woman you loved would have been complex. Not that i think Garland didn't love Nathan of course. His "take care of our girl" at the end of season 2 was also telling.
      I wonder if Lucy and James knew that they were related right when he got to Haven or a bit later. Wasn't Simon married at the time, it was implied he was a horrible husband and father so unless Duke's mother was dead by '83', I don't think Lucy would have an affair with a married man, but it's a possibility. Max Hansen could have been an acquaintance too.

      Jordan and Arla in the barn should create some fireworks, Duke shot Jordan, she's always hated his guts, Arla has beef with him too, both women hate Audrey. It's a set up for lots of drama, that's if they can locate each other in that thing.

    3. So, I agree that Garland had feelings for Lucy. Even if Aud/Lu/Sar doesn't have clear memories of past incarnations, we've seen that there's some bleed-through (Audrey remember bits of being Lucy, echoes of things like "I always go for the shy ones"), and I can buy that there's an affinity and kind of emotional echo with the people she's previously been attached to.

      I'd love to go back through past episodes and scour for clues, but one thing that makes me nervous is that I'm not entirely convinced that the writers actually know the answer to the mystery, and that they've known it from the beginning. I have a sinking feeling that they may be making it up as they go along, at least as to the cause of and cure for the Troubles. So it may not be productive to study Audrey's interactions with Garland in S1, kwim?

  9. The creators have said they have a concrete outline of the mythology and know the last scene of the series.(but we can't really determine if that is true)The first season was mostly 'trouble of the week' with bits of mythology thrown in but most episodes were written by the creators so i think they threw in those hints. The series started out slow and really picked up towards the end of s1, so we really knew nothing. The scene with Garland looking at Audrey while she was holding the flowers we later found out Lucy liked was quite significant but without knowing what we know now i had never noticed. Even Vince staring at her whilst she was trying out dresses. So yes rewatching may be useful for subtle clues.

    1. Yes! Subtle clues (and not so subtle clues - at least in hindsight). Rewatching the first episode, I realized both Nathan and Duke save Audrey's life before they actually *meet* her. . . .

  10. I don't know if this is necessarily the spot for this comment, but something that bugs me is that there have to be lots of people in this small town who have seen multiple incarnations of Audrey/Lucy/Sarah in their lifetimes. Dave and Vince have met 3 versions of her, and Garland probably has. Garland was old enough to have met & remembered Sarah in 1955, and after she had her encounter with Nathan wouldn't she have connected with the family with the same name in town at that time, met little Garland? Eleanor Carr looked old enough to have seen 3 versions of Audrey.

    I mean, potentially anybody who lives to 60 or beyond could have seen and remembered 3 incarnations of Audrey in their lifetimes, just depending on where in the cycle they were born (and figuring that 6 is old enough to form reliable memories). To me, that 3 visitations in a lifetime seems thematically significant (rule of 3s), as well as the point where you'd have to say to yourself that this isn't just coincidence. And the implication is that the Aud/Lu/Sar visitations have been going on for centuries.

    So, are lots of people in the town aware of who and what she is? Is part of the mystery that the townspeople are taught/warned not to alert her to who she is when she comes?

    I think that the reason Dave saw Sarah as the scariest thing he could imagine is a toss-up between being afraid of retribution for something bad he and/or Vince did to her (like killing her baby when he was CK), or because she's built up as this mythical bogeyman-type figure to all the residents of this small town. Better be good, or Aud/Lu/Sar will come get you. You know?

    I mean, this weird figure who never ages and comes back with a different identity every 27 years, with the Troubles? That's got to prompt some kind of oral history at least.

    And of course we don't get good information about the memory issues. Duke doesn't remember the day the CK died, but didn't remember Lucy at all, and it seems she spent months in Haven. Maybe he didn't cross paths with her other than the day of the murder? But there are some people who clearly remember her from past incarnations.

    Are Vince and Dave really unique for having all this knowledge about her that they won't share? Or are we to believe that all of the "old guard" of older folks who've seen her 3 times now know what's going on but are sworn to silence for some reason? The fact that Dave and/or Vince have given her some information/help, is that contrary to some kind of warning associated with the curse?

    I mean, is this poor woman being gaslighted by all of this weird town, who recognize her but pretend they don't know anything about her? Why, when the cumulative knowledge she acquires might be able to actually permanently stop the Troubles?

  11. With the way Havenites accept explanations of gas leaks and bird flu, i think most have buried their heads firmly in the sand and are grateful for the 27 years without Troubles. I think for some they just think she's a relative of the incarnation they met before and others probably get their memories of 'barn day' erased. The others like the Teagues, chief realise her importance and i guess let her recharge her love batteries and go back in because other options haven't worked and the consequences of her not going are too great. I guess its sacrifice one person for thousands although it is rather cruel. I have always wondered how Duke even knew Lucy gave him the necklace if he has no memories of the day. Did the necklace giving happen before or after that day? With the way simon crocker hated lucy, why would he let her near him?

  12. So...this note comes years late and after the series has ended. But in the recap above there was a mention of the hotel with the flags in front where Arla took James while he was sick. In real life that is the Mecklenburgh Inn (be sure to include the "h" in Meclenburgh if you Google it). The Inn is located just a couple of blocks from the building that was used as both the Haven Herald and the Gun & Rose Diner. A while back I did a blog post with a bunch if Google Street View links that let you explore the area and it's one of the locations on this page:

  13. And forgot to mention in my post, this was the same hotel where Audrey lived before moving into the loft above the Grey Gull.