Saturday, July 27, 2013

Crush of a Prayer Haven S1E05 Ball and Chain

Previously on Haven! We established that Audrey was looking for the woman in the picture (you guys are still the adorablest) and that Nathan thinks she should become a local cop to, essentially, get other people to believe she's trustworthy. We also established Duke and Nathan's serious issues with each other though not what they are in any great detail. And then oh fuck you guys, we cut over to Vince and Dave straight from Nathan's spitting fury chained up on the Cape Rouge, which has the effect in hindsight of reminding us that they had a similar rivalry that they managed to get past. Sort of. If stuffing your brother in a trunk or cold-cocking your brother with a vase counts as getting past it. Also that Vince had a thing for Sarah. We did not establish that threesomes solve everything, though I think Duke would be on board with it at this point (or say he was) just to push Nathan's buttons. Not like that. Duke got the deed to the Second Chance, we still only know that the woman in 1983 was named Lucy, and in short whoever the fuck edited these previouslies knew all KINDS of things, I think.

Today we begin on a similar if not the same dock that the florist and the rest of the crew of the Caprice left Audrey at without any real answers! With the guys who have ALL the answers. Hello, Vince and Dave. How very not nice to see you, cough up all your secrets. No, they'll cough up banter instead about their grandmama being able to cast farther than Dave. Which neatly establishes them as very, very long term residents of Haven, both in that they're some of the oldest currently living residents who know most-to-all of Haven's secrets and in that they go back at least two generations prior. The way they interact with the town, I would venture a guess that it's much further than that, not that we have any proof. Oh, and Vince is a fairly decent artist. Lots and lots of information crammed into a minute or so of conversation. Apparently now that Dave's done taking the snark as a compliment he'd like to see his brother do any better! I think it's probably very subtly telling that the leader of the Guard and the one most blatantly capable of/willing to commit violence is the one who hooks the boat with the dead body. More snark, and don't cut the line, Vince, that's Dave's favorite lure. What, cryptic comments with insufficient fucking data to explain them to the rest of the world? I believe you're right. But the boat's not tied and the brothers Teagues will now proceed to demonstrate both familiarity with the water and familiarity with pretty much everyone's business in Haven. Vince's tone suggests that they should know whose dinghy that is without having to wonder, which means it's new and unusual, which means they're gonna snoop. That is not the reek of dead lobsters, Dave, and you probably know it already, you're just a bit more squeamish than your brother. Though they are both shocked and appalled to find a decomposing body in the boat. Neither of them has had reason to prepare for violence, I suppose, and though they probably know the Troubles are back they haven't yet adjusted mentally to the body count rising. As it does, with Troubles.

They don't have any reason not to call the cops, though I would pay good money to have seen that discussion, so our next shot is of Audrey and Nathan engaging in their own version of banter as they head up to the crime scene. Nathan golfs. I'm trying to picture all that lanky frame golfing. It looks kinda like a crane or a stork or some other wading bird hunched around a golf club, and it's fucking hilarious. No, Audrey doesn't have any hobbies. I'd hazard a guess that all the implanted memories they get for AudSarLu involve women who are extremely driven by their careers or at least by a hobby that's skewed from the usual. Helps with the isolation factor that they're not trying to call anyone up for a girls' night out or contact a golfing partner or what-have-you from the false memories. Crime scenes are relaxing! Which is true, for Audrey. She's one of those people who's not satisfied without a puzzle or three to chew over. I can relate. The body! Is very, very old. I bet the other reason they had Vince and Dave discover this body is to demonstrate Really Old Age against just Old And Crotchety But Still Kicking. Well, it worked. He looks dehydrated all to hell, too, we get some commentary about how yes, they moved the body from the boat that was about to sink and he looks too old to get IN a boat, let alone be out in it for any length of time. Which, along with the tarp placement, suggests that the guy was dead when he was PUT in the boat, so that's their crime scene not yet found. Not that they're saying this yet, but I agree with Audrey, this is way better than golf.

A few pans of emergency personnel and the very, very, even more dead body later and we get the creepy twins wandering up the dock to answer a few questions! They're playing more shaken than they really are, as evidenced by their ability to notice the rapid aging factor along with Vince's drawing of the body as they originally found it. And straight back to banter they go! You know what that's good for? Distracting people. Along with a coping mechanism for the shock of "fucking Haven," which they may well be dealing with, but they're trying their very damnedest to distract everyone from their real emotional state as well as whatever they know and aren't sharing. Goddammit you guys. We also get a nice shot of that Guard tattoo on his arm, and that's another reason for them to be playing distraction, especially Vince. I might stop facedesking sometime, but it's not gonna be this ep. Dave tries for a statement and gets rebuked, quite rightly considering Audrey hasn't had any time to properly examine the scene. But if they want a statement later, her next question implies, they could cooperate with her search for the woman in the Colorado Kid picture! Fat chance of that. First they assume she's asking if they knew the dead guy, which isn't an unreasonable assumption. Then Vince deliberately gets the year wrong and Dave corrects him. Aheh. Aheh heh heh. Because Dave has decided that there's got to be another way, so while he won't give out data without at least his brother's grudging approval he won't let her be misled, either. And it's still early days for spewing all the data, Audrey's going to have to buy the Troubles as a pattern and a cycle before she buys herself as the savior of the town. She ignores the undercurrents and pointed glares in favor of asking if the woman's name is Lucy, well, Dave thinks it could be and Vince doesn't remember a name attached to the photo. I hate you both. At least they're consistent. I bet Dave excusing himself is so he can go chew on his brother for being a contrary fucker in private. Plus it lets them appear to flip roles, with Vince apologizing and half-promising to pick this up later. Nobody believes you. Either of you. It's just that Audrey doesn't know what she's not believing you about, so she's letting it pass as not relevant to the investigation. Oh honey, if only you knew. I still want to know who the fuck that guy was in the Guard and what his Trouble was and argh.

Anyway. Nathan comes up to see if the Teagues had much of anything, no, and no ID on the body, but the lobsters have been dead about three days and all the equipment for lobster trapping was in the boat, so hopefully that's a rough time of death and a reason he was out there in the first place? Behind Nathan as all of this is going on, we see a woman in uniform carrying an infant up the dock, which is a bit unusual particularly given that most women in professions that require uniforms aren't likely to be dealing with infants. And hey, that'd be the harbormaster that Nathan needs to check with, and that's an adopted baby. Really? Nobody sees this as a little odd for a single woman in a demanding job oh never mind. Nathan goes goo-goo over the baby and ovaries everywhere melt, because want kids or not on my end, Lucas Bryant is fucking adorable with them. Audrey smiles and makes tolerant noises, which is kind of hilarious given that she turns out to be the one with a biological child and incredibly strong mama bear instincts. Then again, she also takes some time to warm up to people as being "hers," and that probably has something to do with it. Beatie goes on to say that the boat was reported stolen a week ago in Camden harbor, it's not theirs, that narrows down the timeline a little more. Yay! Maybe the lobster traps were stolen too, gives them something else to track, and Audrey will now drag Nathan's attention away from the baby and back to the case. Seriously, Nathan, you went really gaga for awhile there. Be a cop. Hey, let's remark on the tattoo that Nathan can't say he's seen before! I wonder how much that's literal truth and how much that's actual truth. He can track down whoever put the tattoo on the dead guy and Audrey will go ask around at Duke's new place (which is not yet named) because there's a lot of locals there. Well, that makes sense, but Nathan doesn't have to like it and he's damn sure not going to venture near Duke when he doesn't have to. Audrey, thank you for bringing the snark, the lampshades, and the cluebats. Not that Nathan's listening, he's got a jaunty wave that in any other show might be a rude finger or two, but at least she's trying to bash their thick skulls together! Roll credits.

When we come back, it's night and it looks like it's the grand reopening of the Gull! Or at least a Friday night there. Audrey is doing a truly atrocious job of questioning the people who are just out for a good time, no, honey, you ask the bartender. Come on, you've got fed training, you should know this. What. WHAT. No, Audrey, standing up on a chair and shouting is not going to help. I realize this ep is partly about highlighting Audrey's social awkwardness, but this is a bit toward the side of incompetent at her job, and that's not what we come to Haven for. I'm just saying. It does have the effect of getting Duke's attention! And then Audrey has the brilliant idea of offering free drinks, yeah, that's more likely to get her anywhere. Not much more likely! Duke's offer of a month, on the other hand, garners cheers. Good Duke. Have a cookie. He then proceeds to be a bit overbearing and bossy, taking the morgue shot out of her hands and giving it to his bartender. Not, as he's swift to point out, that it's going to do her any good. Even at a grand reopening party, the chance for some glory from the cops would get a few people's attention. Not so much! Besides, Duke knows nobody knows anything because people like to talk and he likes to listen, giving us a glimpse under the gregarious exterior to a few of the motivations underneath. Listening and talking without actually saying much are useful traits for a smuggler. Duke will now take the overbearing in a slightly different direction, bullying Audrey into relaxing even a smidgen. Oh Duke. You've got it bad already, don't you. But he's also got a point, it's Friday night, it's a big party, it's a small town. Nobody's going to side-eye Audrey for having a single drink even if she considers herself on duty; in fact they're more likely to side-eye her for not. There's a lot of looming, but it's big brother/overprotective male looming, not really trying to intimidate Audrey with his presence. The sour look on her face suggests that she knows he's got a point and doesn't want to admit it, borne out by her going on the offensive in the next breath. And he is a bit wounded by that, I think Duke expects Audrey to be perceptive enough already to see through the playboy facade and realize how much he's working under it. You don't get to be a successful (alleged) smuggler by slacking as much as Duke would like us to believe he does, though he does take great and unsullied joy in various sensual pleasures. I don't just mean that in the nudge-nudge-wink-wink sense, either. The general gist of this is that he'd like them to be friends, and he'd like to be able to express concern that she works all the time and refuses to stop and smell the roses. It's a much blunter version of her conversation about golf with Nathan at the crime scene earlier that morning, and in particular the line about not wanting her to look up and find she hasn't lived makes us groan and facedesk and swear and all those other things associated with AudSarLu references, subtle or otherwise. At any rate, Duke swears he'll cook for her if she quits working for a night, mainly because Audrey gave him half an opening with her comment about unhealthy eating habits. It's hard to tell if this is meant to be a dinner date or a dinner between friends, and some of Audrey's looking down and away suggests she's not sure either. She doesn't believe he's capable of committing to planning anything in advance, and he's hurt again by the way he says he expects her to cancel first. Narrative causality says he's right, too. Duke saunters away with a flippant comment that in hindsight isn't so about the future of mankind depending on her, so she can't wound him any further.

On that cheery note, Audrey makes her way through the crowd to where the photo of their body's been left on the nearest flat surface, and then over to the bar. Which is really what she should've done in the first place, but then we wouldn't have had all the relationship-building and foreshadowing between her and Duke, so I guess I can understand why the sudden lack of competence. Maybe one of the other subcurrents between Duke and Audrey was, hey, you know how to do your job better than this, you're too tired and stressed to do it justice, take a break? That'd make more sense. But, yes, the bartender does traditionally know the most, and her name is Nora (which is not a namedrop, the Zuckermans didn't join the writing staff until s2), Audrey, normal people introduce themselves before swinging into the questions. Anyway, she leaves Nora with the photo and a plea to call her if she hears or thinks of anything, but the main point of Audrey being at the bar is a chance to see a local sucking face with someone the bartender deems a tourist. Complete with standard female disgust from two women who are in positions where they'll have seen men behaving in all kinds of unsavory to downright threatening manners toward women. It's a nice bit of quiet shared camaraderie, broken by Duke wandering over to remind her about dinner next Friday. Yeah yeah, this time Audrey's the one to blow him off, we'll eyeroll some more about the fate of mankind comments, and... morning! Shot of the lighthouse and a boat in the harbor, which wouldn't normally be significant but in this case totally is. On over to a tattoo parlor, where both Nathan and Audrey are pulling up. Last one in town, and I have to wonder just how many tattoo artists can make a living in a town the size of Haven. Unless they're in one of the nearby towns. (I'm trying not to think Derry too loudly, but really.) It does look a fair ways on the outskirts, wherever it is. Nathan's got a bee in his bonnet (no, wait, now I'm picturing him in Mal's floral bonnet and totally derailed. ahem) about Audrey having spent the night out at Duke's party, no matter that she was working, and you know you're not helping her workaholism with this, right? Just checking. The dead guy might've been a lobster poacher, Nathan sent descriptions of the gear out to supply shops in case there's a hit on that which there hasn't been, but it was a good idea! And it sounds like there's some kind of ongoing argument over expanding their search to Canton since the boat came from there, but we don't get to hear the details of it. Just a long-suffering smirk from Nathan as he holds open the door, conversation over, cue tattoo parlor! As we lean forward eagerly to see if we can learn a damn thing about the Guard or any other Haven history from it, but then again if Vince coopted the tattoo from the graveyard that Julia Carr showed Duke in Spiral it may be that anything we learn can and will be suspiciously muddy. I hate muddy data. The proprietor claims to have designed it! I guess that's actually possible even with the later data, since the guy could've brought in rubbings from the graveyard or a general idea for the design or photos, something, and then had the artist work up a design based on those. He also strikes me as the kind of punk tattoo artist who would claim wholesale credit for something he only could take partial credit for, and neither Nathan nor Audrey seems to know enough about tattoo art and artists to be sure of what questions even to ask. Guys, there's this thing, it's called the internet, you could do a little research? No? Oh fine. We get a nice lampshade for later reveals with the whole schtick about how the guy's tattoo would look different if it had been done as an old man, therefore it must have been inked decades before the tattoo artist claims to have designed it. Not a bad assumption, given the data they're working from! I also, despite looking for it, can't find the Guard tattoo anywhere on the guy, which isn't exactly probative considering we're never given a clean angle on his left forearm. Sadly, that is all the data we get on that tattoo for now. I have no idea how much they planned the significance of the tattoo, or what kind of retconning/explanation they have for this, but it does seem an awful lot like they knew this tattoo would be important later on, if not exactly how.

On over across the bay to... the tennis court? Ah. Eleanor Carr is the sort of woman who plays tennis to keep in shape, which would pigeonhole her as a particular kind of woman were it not for her overall lack of skill and general sass toward the tennis ball machine. Which lends a comic note to a scene that would otherwise be entirely rote police business, and gives us some insight into Eleanor's character: capable of multitasking, careful to maintain her health either because of or in spite of her job, and not willing to sacrifice the former for a meeting that she could do anywhere. The upshot of the autopsy report is that John Doe's bone density was that of a man in his 30s, but he died of old age. Audrey goes through the motions of asking the obvious questions, could it be decomp under certain environmental conditions and, well, no. No it couldn't. That kind of apparent aging takes 6-12 months, but in this case the decomp was a week or less, judging by the age of the insects that colonize a dead body. I love you guys for not making this a Big Huge Deal the way it is on, say, Bones or something. No, this is just standard ME practice, particularly in Haven: look at all the variables and observe the facts of the case. Once the facts are observed, figure out what the fuck is going on. Yes, you two, stop crowding the nice ME. No poisons or drugs to explain the aging, no, John Doe was aging like that while he was still alive. And now we come down to it: this is Haven, the inexplicable is the everyday. And Eleanor Carr sure as fuck knows about the Troubles. She's also old enough to have lived through at least one cycle previous. Oh hey look! Here comes another victim to give us a graphic and immediate example of the rapid aging! Her "no" in response to Audrey's question about knowing him is rather too quick and speaks to a doctor both concerned about a still-living patient and to a woman trying to conceal the extent of her familiarity with the Troubles. And it's Joe Campbell who was making out with that tourist at the Gull on Friday! Say, I wonder if that was really a tourist...

On over to the Gull we go, then, to see what Duke or his employees might be able to tell him about all of this. Audrey fills Nathan in briefly as they get out of the car that yes, she saw him and he was about to go get laid. And Bangor confirms that the deaths were identical, so now they're looking at a probable pattern they'd really prefer not to get confirmation on. Duke doesn't have anything for them and he's remarkably polite, probably because Nathan's being sensible and shutting his mouth. Can we put Lucas Bryant in more tight-fitting black t-shirts, by the way? Because DAMN. Anyway, Joe Campbell had a thing for tourists which is why he's not married to one anymore, an interesting tidbit that might indicate why these men are getting chosen if the John Doe turns out to have been a similar horndog. Nora's working, she might know or remember more, Audrey would prefer not to talk about their dinner date (for so she is definitely treating it) in front of Nathan, and Nathan would like to eye them both with this I know you're not telling me things look. See how it feels, Nathan. Duke can't let that look pass without a gibe about his lack of personality, though he doesn't rise to the bait. Aw, Nathan! You're growing up. Or more likely still feeling guilty about the shit you said back in Harmony, but hey. Nora saw them leave together, yep, and the woman might have been named Helena or Elena, hard to say. Also a bit of somewhere between jealousy and disgust, the beautiful people playing on their beauty to get away with rude behavior. Like never paying for a drink because someone will always make the offer. Okay, well, if Nora's got such a decent memory of this (H)elena, they should get a sketch artist in! Not the guy from Portland who'll take a couple days, Audrey's not saying it but she clearly expects the pattern to keep going. No, alright, they'll go with this local guy Nathan knows.

And now we know why the closeup on Vince's drawing at the beginning of the episode. Apparently we will not be using Nora's memory for the sketch, we'll be using Audrey's. Insert all jokes about memory here. Though given her training as a fed, that's probably a safer bet in some respects. Hilariously, Vince seems to have perfected his mental bank of facial reconstruction from movie stars. That's kind of adorable though in retrospect with s3 it's also creepy as fuck. Like most things about the Teagues are once you know enough about them. Dave is, for once, not bantering much with his brother and seems genuinely proud of his abilities. Aww. Sort of aww. As aww as they get. They finish up the drawing together, I can only imagine how much this must hurt for Vince, getting to work with Audrey on a case and having her be like and not-like Sarah all at the same time. Which is probably half the reason for Dave's support. And Nathan has a couple hits on Joe Campbell's record, petty larceny, one for poaching, so maybe that's an angle to take! Hey, it's the best they've got at the moment.

On over to the harbormaster's they go, then! Maybe Beatie knows who the woman is, since she's been hanging around the harbor? No, she doesn't, and that much of it is a really well-rehearsed, well performed lie. Even on multiple watches of this ep she's only a fraction too quick to pass the sketch back to Audrey. Her tells come in when Joe Campbell comes up; clearly she knew that someone else was going to die but not who it was, and poor Beatie hadn't heard yet, was unprepared for that, and takes it more personally than perhaps she should for her cover story. Oops. It's an attempt at a cover with, maybe Beatie had an ill-advised crush on the late Joe, but Audrey merely files that away and here's a convenient interruption! Hello, Abby! Mother Abagail, specifically, and all the people who have read The Stand will now proceed to facedesk. Say, was that place you came from in Nebraska Hemingford Home, by any chance? Nathan goes straight into gaga mode again seriously Nathan what is with you and children. Anyway, the upshot of Mother Abagail in The Stand is that she's the good counterpart to Randall Flagg, and who else thinks it's incredibly telling that such a reference shows up this early in Haven? Yeah. She's also known Beatie's family for a long time, read: knows what their Trouble is and is an old hand at dealing with the rather more severe than usual ramifications thereof. This baby's in a pink blanket! But Beatie's still calling him Benny, cue Nathan makes gender essentialist comments and me rolling my eyes. Babies don't give a shit, Nathan. Promise. Beatie's interjection of hand-me-downs is quicker than it should be, Abby looks worried, the tells are small but distinctly present. And Nathan googooing at the baby means he's not catching them, which might be half the reason Audrey's so sharp with him over it. The other half I suspect is that the real Audrey Parker doesn't take any pleasure in small children and the implanted memories are still strong with our Audrey. Before he can snap back at her the phone conveniently interrupts and say, you're going somewhere, Beatrice? Oh, just on maternity leave, you say? Aheh. We'll have yet another moment of hammering home the work-life balance thing Audrey's so bad at, and she makes her escape on that note while Abby eyes her suspiciously. Cue a confab between Beatie and Abby, they know Helena exists and that she's been in Haven but not when she's coming back. Okay, that's probably marginally better for them in their worldview, and Beatie definitely is treating Helena as a separate entity. As you do when you shapeshift into a succubus with no memory of what you did last night and wake up nine months pregnant. But I get ahead of myself. Abby has a very well-fuck look on, but out we go to the walkway where Nathan's finishing up his phone call. They found a shop in Camden that sold the same supplies they found on John Doe! Yay! And we have an ID, and he had a partner who will be coming for a $7500 special order because indeed, that kind of money will make people do stupid things. So they're going to Camden on Friday to await the pickup, and we all know where this is going. Audrey's not making her dinner date.

Several pans over Haven and its environs later and we're in Camden and it's late on Friday. Yeah, I hate that part of sitting in a car for long stretches too, guys. Plus they've gone through a fair chunk of coffee. Duke, of course, is calling to confirm dinner for the night, goddammit Duke now I want shrimp. Awkward silences, even more awkward cancellation, and Duke isn't really happy about winning this bet. At all. Oh honey. Meanwhile is that a green pickup that's pulled up? I do believe it is! Nathan will forestall the chase scene with some well-chosen words and an excellent bitch-please face. Lucky for him that guy is a longtime criminal and knows when running is a stupid idea, despite his first instincts. They take him back to the station for questioning and give the rundown on crimes he's wanted for, grand theft auto is a bit of a step beyond poaching but alright, the guy's a thief, we get it. All of that's just softening him up and displaying their teamwork for the actual line of questioning, which is: Helena. Yeah, he knows her, she picked Phil-aka-John-Doe up on Friday and she was "intense." I bet. Phil started getting sick Saturday, his buddy dropped him into the boat because Phil had outstanding warrants and neither of them wanted to take him to a hospital. Plus, really, what's a hospital going to do for this kind of shit. He looks duly worried about talking about how his buddy aged in front of him, but, well, it happened. And Helena was trolling the Gull that Friday, too! Now they have a more or less complete pattern, nobody's saying the T-word as yet but the friendly local cops are both thinking it, and guess who's lonely at the Gull tonight?

Why, it's Duke! With a whole table full of appetizers, fruits and bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, looks like he was going to roast up some veggies to go with the shrimp but instead he's drinking beer and sulking. Like you do when you've been stood up. But wait, here comes Helena to rescue him from his moping, and I don't think she's wearing a damn thing under that dress. There's a moment where it looks like Duke might turn down Helena's dinner request, but instead he slaps his happy-go-lucky-rogue face on and no, Duke, sadly your luck is not that good. Or maybe it is, depending on how you define "good." Skilled at getting embroiled in whatever Trouble's active at the moment, we'll go with that. The next morning at the Cape Rouge, that is definitely a self-satisfied post-coital Duke. Also shirtless. We'll take it! Also tattooed, but none of the tattoos match the Guard tattoo thank fuck or we'd have some really hilarious retconning to talk about. (No, I didn't expect that to be the case, but checking tats on Haven is habit now.) I take it back, apparently naked, they just did a nice job on the modesty shots. And mildly hungover, though I'm sure he's dealt with worse. Except then there's the part where Beatie and Abby are walking along the harborfront looking incredibly worried and Duke, being Duke, automatically offers to help. No, Duke, you can only help by getting yourself very far away from Haven, and since you don't know to do that, you're fucked. He looks a bit creaky already, matter of fact.

Down at the docks, Nathan and Audrey are back to canvassing since nobody saw Helena at the Gull last night. There'd be an obvious reason for that if they stopped to think - hi Duke calling and getting pushed to voicemail - but Audrey is not thinking about having stood him up last night nor is she thinking about his less licit activities. He's trying to class himself as her friend, and as a cop, that means she compartmentalizes like mad. They list off the similarities between the first two vics again to see if anything strikes them, it doesn't, alright, maybe there's other deaths like this in the state records! Sure there are! Back at the precinct, Nathan's the one who found something and I kind of wonder if he went straight for previous cycles, but it doesn't much matter. 1954, not '56, which predates Sarah's arrival in Haven assuming this isn't a case of Writers Can't Do Math. Actually, from what I recall, a number of Troubled incidents took place prior to Sarah's arrival. I wonder what sparked the major, news-making ones early, or if we'd find similar if we looked at records for 2008 but we haven't had cause to do so yet. At any rate, there was a 40 year old farmer who died the same way in '54, no suspects, just an oddity. But a woman named Alexandra Leidner is in the report! Gee, I wonder if she's any relation to Beatie. Duke's calling again okay Audrey I know he's a pain in the ass but I promise if he wanted to be a specific pain in the ass to the cops he'd bug Nathan first. Sigh. Leidner died during childbirth in '54, a week after the death of the man in Derry. (Derry. SIGH. DRINK.) Yes, that is a big coincidence. And now on the third call we see onscreen from Duke, drink again, Audrey will finally pick up. We don't get to hear what he says, but the upshot is that Audrey finds out that Duke's not feeling so good and seems to be getting old a little too fast for his liking and puts two and two together.

An odd bit of discontinuity here, it's nighttime (did they really spend all day digging through state records?) where the last time they were outside it was daylight. Though it seemed to be evening behind the blinds in the office, so, in conclusion, what the fuck passage of time. Anyway, we're at the Cape Rouge, it's been 24 hours, and Duke is in full defensive snark mode. He's started to go gray and get a few more lines on his face and is holding himself like he hurts. I bet aging like that hurts like a fucker, in fact. Audrey asks him about Helena and gets the brushoff about putting work first, no, Duke, this is work. Audrey comes out with it as gently as she can, which isn't very considering she's right, there's no good way to say this sort of thing. Even Nathan's not being a shit to him at the outset, but then he buys a clue and realizes that their usual vitriol is exactly what Duke needs to normalize this. Because he does, and it stabilizes him in all kinds of fucked up ways. So does being a sarcastic snippy little shit to both Audrey and Nathan. Oh boys. He relates what happened for their benefit, Nathan snarks, and yes, Nathan, some people do enjoy no-strings sex every once in awhile. Though it amuses me to see a man get slut-shamed for a change. Anyway, though he probably wouldn't have turned Helena down regardless, there's definitely some Troubled crap at work. Speaking of, now his hair's falling out, just to emphasize the gravity of the situation. Poor Duke. Yes, Nathan, getting him to a hospital might slow it down but that's a kneejerk reflex that's not going to do any good. I note that nobody's used the word succubus yet. No, Duke's going to stick with them because they're his best shot of getting free of this without dying (which is like freedom only really, really not) and no, he remembers absolutely nothing about Helena herself that would be any use. Fortunately, in this case leading the witness gets results to the tune of Beatrice and Abby looking for someone on the docks that morning! Oh goodie. More snark, and it's worth noting that Nathan's stuck to giving Duke shit about catting around rather than anything else. Banter, but banter that's designed to bolster and not wound, and whatever the boys have been to each other they do know the difference. Yes, Audrey, I know he'll slow you down but he's right, you're asking him to stay there and die and he has no fucking intention of doing that. Because Duke is a stubborn fucker like that and we love him for it.

Again with the weird passage of time, it's morning again when they pull up to Beatie's house. Duke's aged further and Nathan's kind of freaked out and you know that whole thing I was talking about in the last scene? Duke brought lampshades for everyone! When you're nice to me it reminds me that I'm dying inDEED. I love these two. So much. And that exchange is the stoic male grunting equivalent of exchanging maybe not I-love-yous but definitely I-care-about-you, and what each other wants matters to them. The door opens, yes, Abby would like to go somewhere! Beatrice and Helena are both Madam Not Appearing In This Scene, but those look a lot like linens for childbirth to me. It might be too late, but Audrey can for damn sure figure out what's going on here first. Abby's not happy about that but doesn't protest the way she probably could if she were feeling particularly protective, which suggests she might know something about AudSarLu and have some fleeting hope that Audrey can fix this. Somehow. Say, that's a couple cribs! And dresses that Helena was wearing, all light and summery and moderately revealing. Plus Beatrice's work uniforms. Plus a diploma for Beatrice Leidner Mitchell. Let it never be said that our terrible threesome was slow on putting the pieces together once they found the edge pieces that weren't all sky. Sometimes even when they are. Abby finally answers, yes, Beatrice is Alexandra Leidner's granddaughter for all the good that's going to do. And at last, the reveal in words! Thank you, Audrey, you can have the Captain Obvious hat for the moment. After the ad break we're told that Beatrice goes to the lighthouse when it's "Helena's time," whatever the fuck that means, and everyone's off to the lighthouse! Yay! Only really not. Duke's to the point where he really needs the help standing and walking and can't muster more than a half-hearted glare at Nathan for providing it. I will now begin the series of shipping Duke and Nathan trollfaces by pointing out that that was shot a whole lot like one lover helping another in distress, with the arm around the shoulders. I'm just saying.

Once at the lighthouse, Beatrice is in no shape to answer the door even if she wanted to. Duke gets left behind this time, because it's time for Nathan to be a cop again. A manly cop, kicking the door in! The age makeup on Duke is interesting, moderately hilarious, and must have taken for-fucking-ever to stage properly. Luckily for them, Beatie's the one who gets pregnant, not Helena, so they only have a distraught woman in pain to deal with, not a succubus with mind-control powers. Look, in Haven you have to claim whatever bright side you can. Delivering three babies in three weeks is not a bright side, it's a recipe for me crossing my legs and hoping that this Trouble comes with some kind of supernatural healing power because OW. Yeah, no, it's not Helena, it's the babies that are draining the lifeforce from the fathers. Because something's gotta give to power a pregnancy that fast, and by the fucked up rules of Troubles that actually makes a certain kind of sense. And yes, Beatrice knows her family history but she thought she could control it. Honey, you need to brush up on your genre savvy. Audrey is facepalming at you right now. On the inside. Duke is duly resigned and going outside to wait for his impending demise without a bunch of people, one of them about to give birth, staring at him. Nathan's all prepared to try and do something to stop the birth right up until Beatie's water breaks and then it's escape outside as fast as possible on any pretext he can think of. Plus he gets to comfort Duke a little this way. I still don't know why Duke's facial hair got all long and wispy to go along with the aging, but sure, we'll go with it. I'm guessing the sad laughter over "I need to rest" is something along the lines of thinking of eternal rest, or the general morbid hilarity of it all. No, of course he didn't think it was going to be the day, and Nathan is so not used to comforting people. Especially other men. Especially Duke. But he's trying, in that taciturn stubborn way he has!

The cry from inside distracts Nathan and thus us as well, leading us in with the women where Audrey's trying to figure out exactly how this Trouble works. Have we mentioned lately how awesome it is that they approach it as something that has rules and structures with their own internally consistent logic even if it bears no resemblance to normal Earth logic? Because it is. And the Troubles do conform to a logic that's usually emotional and protective of the Troubled individual, or of their loved ones. So now it all comes spilling out despite Beatrice's quiet whimper of now really you have got to be fucking kidding me. Yeah, I don't blame her, I wouldn't want to try and explain this shit while in labor either. My reaction would be more along the lines of GET ME A FUCKING EPIDURAL. Ahem. At any rate, Beatie ran into her ex-husband a few weeks ago and didn't come out of her room for four days (NOT three! it's a miracle! CHUG), we and Audrey both instantly are wary and suspect abuse, but no. They'd lost a baby and their marriage fell apart but now her ex has a new family and a baby and yeah, that sucks a lot. Oh honey. So we have the absolute bare bones of how this works, something triggers a Leidner-Mitchell woman into becoming their succubus alter ego who seduces men, they end up nine months pregnant the next morning regardless of any fertility issues that would normally be present, as far as anyone knows there's no stopping it unless the woman dies in childbirth. I still have questions, like, is this completely sex-linked? Do the men get any similar Trouble? 'cause there's a baby boy in there. How long has Abby really been with the family as their cleaner, for lack of a better word, and how old is she? Because I would not be surprised to find she was nigh-on immortal. I'm just saying.

These and other questions will have to wait and in most cases not be answered at all, because we're back over to Duke and Nathan! Duke is fading and withering before our eyes as Beatie's labor progresses, oh Duke. Nathan's not going to tell a dying man he really hates him even if he does, and if his face is anything to go by I'd say that's pity more than anything. Not even the self-righteous judgment he was casting out of habit earlier. And they're still shooting this almost like lovers, with Nathan's hands grabbing onto the step and those little shoulder twitches of wanting to fix it somehow and not having a fucking thing he can do. Duke keeps maundering on, he liked being alone but he didn't want to die that way. Can I pet him yet? And yeah, all that extrovert front is totally a front, our Duke's closed himself off from most of the world in a way different from Nathan and Audrey and thus a way that's harder for them to understand, but all his dealings with people involve putting on a show. Generally speaking, at least. But wait, there's one thing Nathan can do! Remembering that when he's nice to Duke it reminds him that he's dying, we get the line about when you die it's gonna be because I killed you myself. And then the vision of the tattooed man reaching for Duke, and then Nathan getting the tattoo, and I still want to know if that vision was of someone trying to save him or kill him. Or both, since there are certainly Troubles whereby saving someone might involve killing them. As we've seen. It gets a smile out of both boys, but now it's time for full labor.

So back to the inside of the lighthouse we go, where that baby is coming no matter what anyone might prefer. Audrey manages to be gentler with Beatrice now, and finally a discrepancy in the pattern emerges! Joe Campbell died on a Monday, so what made that birth different? Well, the baby had to go under a warmer and Joe died when Beatrice held the baby. Can I just say, this is a fucking awful Trouble? Especially if it's tied to women in the line wanting children, not being able to have them, and then getting triggered into their Trouble? Either you kill the child's father with its birth and bonding time with the mother, or you never get to hold your baby, ever. The only upside is being the alternate succubus self means you don't feel pain and get babies, assuming that's a desirable upside. Man, fuck whoever cursed this poor family. Because this really has the feeling of a targeted curse. I'd say possibly related to AudSarLu except they've never brought it up as relates to her again, just the mention from Duke with little Ginger in s3. Beatie doesn't want to lose another baby, I can't blame her even as I wince at the notion of raising what will essentially be triplets and two of them (at least, assuming no similar male version) with the Leidner-Mitchell affliction. Audrey points out the cold hard truth, does she really want to kill another man now that she knows what she can do to save him? No, she doesn't, she just agrees with me that this is a shitty choice to make and she's in the middle of labor. Outside it's time for Nathan to yell at Duke and then go to CPR, Lucas Bryant is even doing a decent job with his form! Elbows locked, good man, though not nearly enough pressure. It's okay, if he were doing it really right he'd be breaking ribs on set and that's bad, GIR. It's closer than we usually get on TV, including in medical dramas! Is what I'm saying.

Baby delivered, say, that's even a semi-bloody baby that looks sort of like a newborn! I am duly impressed with the attention to detail here. Audrey has an idea, as they all stand around grateful that Beatie survived another fucking birth, maybe the father holding her will reverse the aging. I take a moment to wonder what Audrey holding the baby is doing to the Trouble and also, dude, if the fathers died as a result of the babies draining their life force I somehow don't think that's going to work. Neither does Abby, but she'll let Audrey find out the hard way because, as she points out, she's winging it. And possibly because Abby has a clue as to who Audrey is; she's certainly been around long enough. Though all three incarnations that we're aware of, though it's questionable if she was around when Sarah showed up or if she went back to Nebraska in '54 after Alexandra died. At any rate, the answer is no, the baby makes Duke sicker the closer she gets to him, that's an impatient little wave-off there, Nathan. Your caring is showing again. What they're going to do amounts to sticking Duke in an ambulance, or maybe that's Beatie? I'm going to assume Duke, because he was in the greatest physical trouble, pun intended, we don't get to see all the arrangements that get made so we don't know who pulled what strings, which irks me in light of last season's revelations, but alright. Duke's getting better as he gets further away from the baby, Beatie's focusing on the babies she has, they're sticking baby Jean with an adoptive family somewhere far away from here, Nathan's cooing at the baby again. Oh Nathan. (Note that he's now held all three of the babies? Just for shits and giggles, drink.) Audrey's still ribbing him about it, probably because it's tradition at this point and it helps lighten the mood a little, but she also grabs a photo with her phone. Of the baby, not Nathan holding her. And, what are they going to tell Duke? Who the fuck knows, and Nathan's not going to be the one to do it, by Audrey's vague reply and sidelong glance over how Duke's not exactly father material. Guys, you don't know that, you just know the front he presents. See also: surprise, he's married. Cue more ribbing about how Nathan's father material which in retrospect makes us all groan and headdesk, and an offer that I think is as much genuine as it is teasing about stopping by the maternity ward. Because Nathan clearly does want kids someday and doesn't get a lot of opportunity to indulge his parental tendencies. Plus it highlights how Audrey's softened toward the reality of children over the course of the ep, from "oh god I might drop it don't give it to me I am srs federal agent" to "they're cute but maybe not for me." Oh Audrey. If only you knew.

I have a moment of cognitive dissonance over realizing that Audrey must have the assorted physical changes that go along with having been pregnant once (at least once? who knows!) before, but she has no baseline to compare to and no girlfriends to compare notes with. And now I want to bite everyone again. But instead of biting people we'll go over to the Gull, where Audrey seems to be making up the dinner date with Duke by coming and checking on him. There's wine and a table for two and the Gull is quiet, so probably midmorning to lunchtime, I agree that Duke looks distinguished with a touch of gray but I'm just as glad to see it going away as he is. He is conspicuously not admitting to remembering a damn thing about what happened to him and while it's sweet of Nathan to have tried for that line earlier we can see the lie of it in the way he looks rather haunted. Plus he'll admit to remembering the birth, so presumably he remembers everything that went along with the birth and the aging and Nathan taking care of him. Which he will be Not Talking About Thank You, and Audrey gives him an excuse not to do it by dropping the bombshell of "hey, you have a kid now" on his head. She seems to be pulling on her implanted FBI training to deliver bad news: wait for the subject to realize this is serious before dropping the other half of the bombshell. And by the way, you never get to see her because she'll kill you with her very existence if you do. (You know
what I wonder? What the actual range of that is and if he was affected during their trip to Nederland. I mean, I doubt it, but still.) Ouch. No real good way to sugarcoat it, though, and Duke's not the kind of person who appreciates that, so blunt and compassionate it is. By that look on his face, Duke totally would be father material if he were given half a chance to parent, too. Probably determined to do better by his kid than his father did by him, and while it's probable that the showrunners gave Eric Balfour this bit of information to go on before this ep, they might not have. Regardless, he does an excellent job of selling the way Duke drops his jokey facade and goes straight for the I coulda been a parent well fuck look. The family for Jean is in Nebraska, of course it is, and with that in mind Duke pushes back tears and grief and tries his best to be happy that his baby girl who he never knew will have a good family. Plus the fact that Audrey's the one telling him it's a good family carries a certain weight, since with her memories of having been in the system, if anyone would know, well. Yeah. Duke slaps up the don't give a fuck front again, but it's awfully patchy and nobody believes him. Audrey will pretend she believes him and tell him that she really took the photo for baby Jean, as she doesn't have any pictures of the first day she was in the world. WHICH TIME. Er, I mean, we will all now facedesk and drink a lot. Goddammit you guys. And Duke doesn't want to be doing this whole sharing thing, nuh-uh, he'll go check on the food thank you very much and pull his armor back on. Slowly. Who should pull up at this point but Nathan! Cue a look of "oh fuck me not now" from Duke, as the music swells to our ending montage. Duke offers Nathan something approximating a welcoming grin from the doorway, but Nathan's not ready to deal with Duke, particularly a Duke who doesn't have all his armor back on and I would bet he can even tell that Duke remembers what happened in that glance? Because they are like that. So turn around and leave it is, while Duke musters a sad smile and nod. Yeah, he didn't think anything else would happen, but he had to try. Oh both of you, stop fighting and make out up. Sweartogod, for an ep that involves Duke being stood up on a date by Audrey this is the shippiest damn thing between the boys.

Audrey stares out the window and after last season it takes me a moment to realize she's not staring out at the island with the barn. No, she's staring out at the lighthouse. I still want to know the significance of the fucking lighthouse in town lore. These, by the way, are the lyrics to the song playing over this last bit. You may all facedesk now. Yes, Beatrice is up in the lighthouse wearing one of Helena's sundresses. She has a key, which she hands to Abby as the babies are carted away for the night, and for the first time we see the transformation. Though we don't see below her calves, which is notable mostly in retrospect. Helena goes and stands on the walkway of the lighthouse like a siren out of mythology, which she pretty much is, and oh, yeah, she's chained. Literally. Because that's the only way they trust Helena not to get out and hurt anyone else. Pan out over the point, see the lighthouse light blinking, fade to black.

1 comment:

  1. So, initially as I started watching this series, I thought that Haven was a bit like the X-Men universe - that these people were all manifesting some sort of strange mutations that caused inexplicable "powers," and they were, for some reason, all gathered in a single spot (maybe this wasn't so much a "haven" as a prison, for example). I just can't get beyond wondering what on earth the point of some of this stuff is, though.

    There are a few Troubles that I can't determine the purpose of. Why rapidly-aging murderous babies? Why the organ-stealing guy? The guy whose sweat kills?

    There seem to be a number of Troubles that fall into a category of "manifesting your thoughts/intent." This would include the butterfly kid whose dreams became real, the UFO guy from S3, the blind guy with the deadly shadow, the angry chef who previously owned the Grey Gull, even the lady whose food always turned to cake. Lots of this category.

    Then there are a whole host of Troubles, the effect of which seems to be something like "turning your love against you" or "keeping you from your loved ones." This, with the woman who wants a baby but that longing causes death to the babies' fathers. The guy with the deadly sweat, Jordan with the taser-skin, the organ-eating guy who has to kill his family members to replace his organs.

    I could kind of see a theme to this, maybe a key to what caused all of this, if we could maybe figure out a couple or few broad categories of types of Troubles. Like, the Troubles seem more like a curse if it's about separating someone from their loved ones, and/or the old "may your wishes come true" curse.

    But there are some that I can't categorize. Like resurrection girl. In her particular circumstance, with two loved ones killed when she was a kid, she had to pick one to save, but that's not necessarily inherent in her trouble. She really has what seems to be a pretty positive "curse," right?

    I guess I'm wondering if all of the Troubles that we've seen thus far can be fit into some sort of taxonomy, such that it would give a clue to the cause/solution to all this.

    As a very rough start:

    Manifesting your thoughts/emotions/intentions:

    - weather control
    - Chief Wuornos earth cracks
    - butterfly dreamer boy
    - spoils food based on emotions
    - turns food into cake
    - shadow kills people
    - drawings kill people
    - rage kills (angry teen boy)
    - stories read aloud come true
    - Christmas ep with the snowglobe - daydreaming/focusing changes reality
    - wood carving/puzzle Trouble
    - taxidermy Trouble where the animals come back, maybe? not sure
    - OCD groundhog day guy
    - evil twin guy?
    - abused lady causes death/emotional poisoning
    - turn people into animals
    - car crash lady
    - lady justice revenge girl
    - time travel
    - people have to do what you want girl
    - coma guy
    - Robbie/class reunion guy

    Isolated from people/separated from loved ones:

    - Nathan's inability to feel
    - succubus/babies kill their daddies
    - rapidly vibrating guy who disappeared from the world
    - Glendowers migrate into the ocean
    - deadly sweat
    - Jordan taser skin
    - Wendigos? can't be part of society?
    - "see your greatest fear" girl
    - guy with the stalkerish appliances, maybe?
    - chameleon and skinwalkers? Maybe? Can't be themselves?


    - visions/psychic lady
    - ability to absorb other people's Troubles
    - Crocker family Trouble
    - resurrection Trouble - this seems to be a GOOD thing
    - taxidermy Trouble, seems to be similar to the resurrection girl
    - Brody Trouble - again, charm and charisma seems positive, not really a "Trouble"
    - Dwight's bullet-magnet Trouble
    - grave-digger, but maybe related to manifesting your thoughts/intent?

    Is there some way to put these into categories where this being a purposeful "curse" would make sense?