Previously on Haven! Audrey's alleged mother! The Troubles! Nathan's Trouble doesn't work with Audrey! Which isn't, mind you, necessarily a bad thing. Eleanor dies! Julia takes her place! In several senses of the word. Duke was the boy in the photo! And what does all of this have to do with Lucy Ripley? QUESTIONS ABOUND. Ah, the early days of Haven, when we were young and naive and thought all these questions had simple answers. Ahahahahahno.
Our opening flyover and accompanying music are rather cheery and bright, another nice day in small-town Haven. Duke's rattling lockers and slapping low-hanging ceilings with the attitude of "oh god everything was so much bigger back then," because, hey, high school. And talking about how this place gives him the heebie-jeebies. Audrey had him pegged as one of the cool kids, and I can see how she would think that way? Duke does kind of radiate the mood of self-confidence that the cool kids at least fake better than everyone else. In high school being cool is often about being more confident or self-assured than the other kid. But Duke opines that nobody was cool in high school. And we think ahead to that season three episode where we actually do get a look at Duke in high school. He was, at least, most likely one of the heartthrobs. Genetics were good to our boy. Anyway, he continues on to say that high school, like many other things (what other things, we wonder), should be left in the past, which Audrey promptly interprets as being about her and his reluctance to help her with this. I'd question her making this all about her except that she's already had several people give her the run-around before and he did put in that less than clear phrase "like so many other things." Like what? Mistakes he's made and now regrets, or things connected to Audrey that he still hasn't yet coughed up, considering it did take him a while to show up with the locket? And tell her that was him in the photo? Which Audrey does call him out on. So, okay, he admits that maybe that was... unfair is the word he uses, I can't argue that. So he'll go talk to this teacher or counselor person, who was his babysitter at the time, but he doesn't know what she'll say, and he doesn't remember anything from that morning. Uh-huh. That's not actually that unusual, traumatic experiences can be blocked out, but it's also not very helpful to Audrey and could explain why he didn't come forward with it sooner; both by leaving him unsure of what happened at all and by making him feel that he doesn't have much to contribute.
That being said, now for Vanessa. Guidance counselor! Duke immediately starts off with flirting, much to Audrey's eyerolling resignation. Because he's Duke. Audrey eventually interrupts the flirting session, which at least brings Vanessa somewhat shamefacedly back to the original intention of the visit. And I have to wonder, a bit, if Duke's flirting wasn't a defense mechanism against revisiting that part of his past. Audrey shows Vanessa the photocopy of the newspaper article, and both she and Duke have a braced and tense reaction. Audrey explains what she's looking for, but Vanessa doesn't remember anything either. Duke doesn't seem surprised by this, in fact he's the one who suggests it (which is in and of itself questionable tactics, but I don't expect Duke to know that), but where Vanessa has a mild and curious reaction, Duke's is more hostile and defensive. Possibly due to his relationship with the Troubles? Difficult to say, but there's definitely something going on there. Back out they go, Audrey resigned and admitting that maybe she had her expectations too high, Duke back to his chipper zen self and quoting the Buddha. Which both amuses and needles Audrey. Poor Audrey. As a consolation prize they can go see the photographer who took the picture, right? That ought to be worth something? Audrey changes the subject to Duke's evident interest in the counselor/ex-babysitter. Which he is not denying. Again, to her resigned amusement. Very much a sense of "Sigh, Duke" here.
And while this is going on, Vanessa the Guidance Counselor is guiding two students with some rote bits of advice that I dearly hope were the conclusion of a productive session, because that was really rote. It doesn't sound all that productive, with the commentary we hear from the kids as they pass out of the camera's view and underneath the sound of Something Hinky Happening. Vanessa reacts to something we can't perceive, something that looks either startling or painful. So, this would be her Trouble, then! She staggers back into her office, the taller boy Matt pushes the other against the locker just as another woman in authority comes out in time to catch him. So it's a detention in this woman's office (principal?) for Matt and a warning for the other kid, and the authoritative woman goes back to the counselor to criticize her intervention. Yeah, I would, too, that was remarkably ineffective. Only Vanessa doesn't seem to be hearing it right now, or anything. She's acting scared and shaken more than ill, though she claims it as illness, and yes, that's the principal. Who orders her home and implies a further-talking to, though it's difficult to say if this comes as the culmination of a lot of poorly handled student conflict or if the principal's just still annoyed at the boys fighting in the halls. I still have no idea when this is taking place, by the way, after school? In which case I'd expect there to be more after school programs going on. On the weekend? In which case why is there staff in? Though it's entirely possible there were administrative duties to deal with, that happens far more often and long after or outside of school hours than people tend to want to admit or deal with. Whatever happened to Vanessa, she's really shaken. The next thing we see is the principal on the phone to... Vanessa? Telling her to stop "this," whatever that means, and leave her alone, and she sounds scared. Honestly, the way this is written comes off as a little clumsy, there's a lot to fill in here that we don't find out till much later, and yet not much of it is memorable enough to transfer over, but the gist is at least clear. Vanessa comes out trying to stop something, the principal doesn't understand this and tries to leave, Vanessa calls 911 just as the principal's car blows up. Okay then! This gives us two immediate possibilities to go with the opening credits: precognition or uncontrolled pyrokinesis. Either way, ouch. Poor Vanessa.
Over at the police station, Audrey and Nathan are arguing about the jurisdiction of this case; for once, Audrey isn't arguing in favor of taking it. Rather, she's arguing that it doesn't sound like homicide, and therefore not their division. Also, she's playing with a snow globe. What is it with this town and snow globes? Arguably there's piles of wet snowflakey symbolism here, not to mention a few anvils in a later holiday episode, but is it symbolism or something more? How many times can I say symbolism without stealing my co-blogger's Smecker hat? (A: You can try, woman. I'll just shave your head and tattoo a spider on it.) They go back and forth on this without resolution for long enough to establish that this argument has been going on for at least half an hour or so when the death report comes in. Carried by Julia! Hi, Julia! What are you doing here again? Is that a plotstick up your butt or are you just happy to see us? Oh, no, that's a plotstick. Arguably someone who worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders might well have done a rotation in the ME's office, but it's still a fairly blatant device to shove her into the light somewhat. More arguing, this time Nathan's arguments getting highlighted in the dialogue, and they are that cars don't explode for no reason and it's rather suspicious that nothing was found apart from a burned out car and injuries consistent with sudden spontaneous human and vehicular combustion. You know, I'd tend to agree with that. Nathan's still irritated by Audrey not coming along with him on this one, though, less for her physical presence and more for her support. Which is interesting both in what it says about his mentality as far as expectations of cop behavior are concerned, and in what it says about his mentality and emotions as far as Audrey is concerned. Keeping in mind also that this is shortly after he discovers he can feel her touch, he might be feeling a need to be more connected with her than usual. Anyway, Nathan all but dismisses Julia, who leaves with a parting awkwardness of an invite out to drinks for Audrey. Though I will give someone this, it's hard to tell if that's awkwardly written or if Julia's just awkward at first social interactions with people she doesn't know well. And the circumstances in which she met Audrey, oh, turned out not to be the best. We don't have immediate evidence that she knows who Audrey is, but if anyone of her generation knew about Audrey and/or knew her by sight it'd be the daughter of the woman who kept copious records and wasn't that shy about secrets. At any rate, Nathan moves on to trying to convince Audrey some more, who deflects him with coffee. And doesn't even try to conceal his reaction when she high-fives him. And, no, you know what I want to know? Why is this only kicking in now? Did Jess leaving Nathan trigger Audrey's trouble in some weird, inverted way, rather than the trauma we're used to seeing as a trigger was it the loss of love for someone she's coming to care about and subsequent fit of empathy? Inquiring minds are giving that kiss on the cheek so many sideways glances right now.
Even caffeinated, Audrey isn't prepared to admit arson. I really love her use of the word unnatural, though. Honey, you're in Haven. Be prepared to revise your definition of natural. Duke, for example, is perfectly naturally annoying. Though not au naturel. Much as we would enjoy that. Ahem. So, Nathan isn't as irritated by Duke interrupting at the moment as he usually is, probably at least partially because it sounds as though he's being unironically helpful at the moment. Because Duke is often unironically helpful to Audrey! Including now, even though he's not shy about wanting to call it off, too. Oddly, Audrey sounds as though she'd rather work the case she said was a non-starter just thirty seconds ago, too, rather than search for her alleged mother. And this time Nathan has to talk her out of it. This whole conversation is scripted so well, and there's such chemistry between the actors, that it took me several rewatchings to figure out that both Duke and Audrey are switching philosophical positions here. In Duke's case, it might be whichever one annoys Nathan more. In Audrey's case, I have no in-universe explanation for why she was chasing after the clues from the newspaper at the beginning of the episode but now, and without any apparent provocation, she's dodging it like hell. Writer lapse? Or something else? I got nothing. Except amusement and appreciation for the comedic timing of Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour.
Continuing on the search for Audrey's "mother" (oh honey, I have to say, from the vantage point of heading into season four) Audrey has that tone we'll come to hear a lot of, that tone of Dammit Duke, How Did You Do That When I've Been Struggling For... Not quite exasperated, not quite fond, a touch of chagrin, mix well. There's also some nagging about the Buddha that works halfway decently as character development, both for the rapport between them and as a bit of flavoring for Duke. And since Duke has no idea what they're about to walk into I can only guess that he hasn't found this guy through his smuggling contacts, not in the aspect of one smuggler to another anyway. He might know a guy who knows a guy who knows the photographer. However he came by this address, he doesn't know much about the man who lives there. Or is cared for there might be a more accurate term. They seem to lead off with the amnesia, which prompts a contradiction from the photographer; what Duke can't remember he can't forget. Ah-hah! A Clue! Well, no, not so much. What the photographer remembers are lobstrosities coming up the beach with their claws and their did-a-chik? dod-a-chok? Look, it's Haven, do you really expect me not to pull that in given the abundance of material I just got? The truly annoying thing is that if the photographer had pulled in mermen, I would have immediately started glaring at the Glendowers. But lobster hands? I got nothing. Well, a headache, but that comes standard. Audrey and Duke have an impromptu and most unwelcome strip show. Enjoy, you guys. Audrey won't. Nathan will, vicariously, on their phone call later. They have a moment of sharing their weariness at both striking out on their respective searches, and then Audrey asks him if he's doing okay, he's been acting kind of odd. Me? Oh, I'm fine, nothing weird going on here, Nathan says, as he stabs a plastic fork into his hand. As much as you can with a plastic fork. Audrey's noticed something's odd, but she doesn't have the information yet to lead her to the right conclusion. Oh Audrey. Oh Nathan. Oh everybody.
Duke's at the docks being cute enough for an Oh Duke of his own, trying humor at first to get Vanessa's attention, then genuine compassion. Vanessa's at the police station, possibly called there to give her statement, definitely there to give her statement about what she saw in her vision if she can come up with a way it doesn't sound crazy. But neither she nor most of the police officers are there yet. Except Garland, most likely. And Garland is Chief Not Appearing In This Episode. Holy shit it's Laverne! Her back, anyway. We can see that she's wearing a loose shirt and has hair with considerable volume and that's about all we get of her, alas. Vanessa's still trying to find that sticking place to screw her courage to, but Nathan's on his way out the door. Too late. She seems resigned to it as she leaves, and maybe a little bit more determined.
Okay, speaking of the Gull, Audrey and Julia are having that drink she mentioned earlier. After the photographer, I'd want a drink, too. There's a small bonding conversation that works much more smoothly than the conversation earlier and fills out Julia's character some, as well as providing an introduction to discussing and getting to know Eleanor some more. Along with the Troubles, since the Carr family seems all bound up in them. Both in ways that come out in this conversation and in ways that only come out later, between the lines and on the slant. And now for something much more clear: Julia offers Audrey the notes Eleanor took on the Colorado Kid's autopsy! In a tone that suggests she thinks Audrey already knew about it but was being too polite or too much of a stickler for protocol to ask. Which, really? And she sounds surprised to learn that Audrey didn't know Eleanor was at the autopsy, was handling the case. Cue more characterization, which involves Eleanor being the sort of hardass who makes people work for their answers and the sort of hardass who's a stickler for detail and takes notes on everything. The first part we definitely knew. The second part was implied, but never outright stated clear enough for a solid conclusion. Well, now we have one! And now Audrey has at least a small piece of the puzzle she didn't have before.
One flyover shot takes us to Vanessa banging frantically and futilely on the door of the swim club just as they're closing, so no, she can't come in. Then she stops and has to have a vision which, oh god, now it looks like it's accompanied by menstrual cramps. Anyone remember the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie? PMS is still not a secret weapon. There's a fight going on in the pool between three boys, none of whom seem to have a clear advantage over the other. And if the pool guy we saw earlier (though, sadly, not a Jericho style pool guy, a brownie to whoever gets the vastly obscure reference) is going to lock up, they're all about to get kicked out. That calms them down some. Hey, isn't that one of the kids from the fight earlier in the school hallway? Narrative says hi! Narrative says he dunnit. Because Haven is in its first season and also because it's couching its exposition in procedurals, we can make quick deductions like this when it comes to the Trouble of the week. We may not always appreciate the predictability, but it does at least let us get that out of the way so we can get down to business. So, blond curly-haired angry boy is the pyrokinetic, at a guess, who's causing all these explosions. Especially since he's glaring sullenly almost into the camera. And at the boy who either started the fight or was the most vocal about it. The water starts to boil as his shouts turn from bullying and anger to, well, pain and fear. Vanessa, too, is shouting, because watching someone get boiled alive is not anyone's idea of a fun time. That's an awfully big cooking pot that pool just turned into. Ouch.
When we come back we learn that the kid didn't survive his boiling, and Julia is deeply disturbed. More so than Nathan and Audrey, which is interesting because while they're cops, she's been in Darfur. If you don't remember the news reports that were coming out of Darfur a few years ago when this would have been taking place, go ahead and look them up. I'll wait. Her comment about this being why she left this place (and went to Darfur) gives us a partial answer and an idea of where she places various kinds of atrocity on a sliding scale. I'm not sure what I'd use to argue that logic. Would you rather die slowly and painfully in a predictable way or in a strange and unnatural way? Anyway, Audrey's still heading for the pool heater but, contrary to Nathan's first instinct, this time it's in the interest of complete reports and not so much making excuses for Troubles. They divvy up the tasks of the investigation, and at least they have a place to start: the high school. When Audrey turns around Nathan is right behind her and so close she almost collides with him in the act of turning. And offering to shake hands. A little contact starved, are we, Nathan? At least we have an explanation for his odd behavior, Audrey's still wondering what the hell and should she be concerned about him. He can feel her handshake but he can't feel the metal posts beneath his palms, and Lucas Bryant does a damn good job of showing us Nathan trying to compare the two sensations while making it seem natural and not exaggerated for camera.
Back to the police station. The police artist's hand obscures the face of the long-haired woman he's drawing, nice touch there, and Nathan's sitting with one of the kids who was in the pool shortly before Xander, as it turns out, got boiled alive. Still ew. The kid says he didn't get a good look at her, but they have a sketch artist in? Or maybe the sketch artist is working off an earlier witness? Hard to say because this is where Duke interrupts, and Nathan attempts to pre-emptively get him to leave. Duke's not here for Nathan, though, he's here for Audrey. Who is also busy with the case, sorry, Duke. There's a line reference of a nod in the direction of communication and courtesy which isn't so important on its own but is a good sign that both of these things are taken note of and valued both by the characters and by the writing team. And then Duke tangents completely, breaking both of those ideals, into asking Nathan for dating advice and whether it's weird to date your old babysitter. Really, Duke? Seriously? Please tell me you're doing this just to mess with Nathan, or at least taking advantage of a genuine question to mess with Nathan, because you're doing a fantastic job. I take a second to twitch at the sketch artist down from Portland (Maine, self, not Oregon, no crossing the streams shows) while Duke takes a second to poll the room and, not so coincidentally, catch sight of the sketch. Because while Duke might have mentioned dating his old babysitter just to fuck with Nathan, the writers brought it up so we could have proper introduction to the sketch! Hi, Vanessa. Duke being Duke, he's had experience keeping his poker face and the only reason he reacts as much as he does is so we the audience can see it. Nathan of season three might have learned to pay attention to Duke enough, and know his moods, to see that something happened. Nathan of season one, not so much. Duke is off like a dirty shirt and I love that saying, and Nathan has not a clue that something happened. Remember that communication thing I was mentioning? Yeah, that doesn't happen so much this season. Yet. They make good starts!
Along those lines Audrey and Julia are in the office looking through Eleanor's notes looking for past heat and fire incidents, including upstate New York and New Hampshire-Vermont. No points for guessing what Stephen King work(s) that references. It does pave the way for bringing up pyrokinesis, which Audrey takes at face value because Troubles. Hell, her introduction to the Troubles was a woman who very blatantly controlled the weather, so why not pyrokinesis? This one's a short scene, I suspect only to further the bonding time between Julia and Audrey and give us the word pyrokinesis right there out in the open for those who haven't seen that kind of spec-fic before. Since we have, we'll move on to the Gull again. This time it's Vanessa meeting Duke in the Gull, and he isn't as happy to see her as he would have been a day ago. We can tell by the tension in his face and the way the smile doesn't, as the saying goes, reach his eyes. Too much tension, too little smiling. He shows her around all two seating areas of the Gull and gets her a seat, looks like he'd get her a drink if he could figure out how to do it without seeming a tad sketchy. Vanessa doesn't seem to have such compunctions about appearances since she comes right out and calls him a smuggler in a public, legitimate bar. Nice. I'd say this is meant to showcase her innocence except, not with that expression it ain't. Maybe her comfort level with Duke? Maybe it's meant to make her seem a bit sinister and/or clandestine, considering I think that's the same table Duke sat at with Arla much later on. I'm pretty sure the placement wasn't intentional on the part of the director. I think. Duke gives that laugh-not-laugh he does and corrects her to importer, which we all know and Vanessa says to be, importer of illegal goods. That's a pack of high school students interrupting them there and making Vanessa very uncomfortable. I don't wonder why that could be. Duke notices the nervousness, or seems to, but not the cause, not when he's got such a good reason as the police having a sketch artist drawing her. Interestingly, though, he says Nathan rather than the more general and legal-sounding, the police. Because Nathan is his not-friend at this point and he's hoping he can talk Nathan out of investigating her? Because he doesn't want to think she's wanted by the police just yet? Between that news and the students, though, she's not ready to ask for his help, and heads for the door. With more of a lurching pace as she brushes past some student arms. Maybe physical contact enhances reception of her visions? She didn't have physical contact with either of the first two victims when she first got those visions, though she did with the perpetrator. Really, there's no telling what's going on here, and no answers yet since we're headed back to the police station.
Where Audrey is about to identify the former babysitter now counselor as the mysterious woman seen at the boiling. Hah! Not only does she identify Vanessa, she also tells Nathan that she was seeing the woman about a mysterious death twenty-seven years ago, and now she's at the scene of a mysterious death. How... mysterious! No, seriously, you guys, this is a thin thread to hang a woman on, especially as Nathan points out since there's a four hour time lapse between Audrey visiting her and the principal and her car blowing up. (Apparently the reason for the empty halls is a) lunch hour and b) after school. Maybe. Or maybe it's still summer, since Audrey showed up in June/July and only six months pass between s1-s3. In which case, we should be seeing summer camps, so why are there only two kids in the entire school, and also why was the science fair in Butterfly happening that late? Does Haven have year-round school? This is all adding up to more and more of the good ol King trope where time isn't doing what it should.) So, it's over to this woman's house to bang down her door and ask her some questions, or they would if she were home. Instead, Duke's home. Nathan is a smart detective and detects that Duke might have been trying to ask about dating babysitters in more than the academic sense. Nice. I'm not sure, legally speaking, Duke can invite them in, but he does so anyway, and we'll allow it in the absence of anyone else in charge in the house and since they're not exactly trying to make a case against her anyway. They're on thin ground, though. Still. Again. As if Troubles can be brought up on a legal case. That Will Be Important Later.
I digress. Duke came over to talk to her and found no Vanessa and her wall of wacky that she left behind. While Duke tries to tell them what's going on as far as he knows it, though, Nathan will keep interrupting him about all the minor laws he's broken. Nathan, honey, that's not helping, come here and be slapped with Audrey's hand. Although this does highlight something I will now proceed to appreciate; the conflict between Duke and Nathan hasn't really lessened any between first season and third? What it has done is it's changed in nature from two guys who don't understand each other very well, don't listen to each other, don't know each other and don't want to. One on the side of law and the other on the side of, well, pretty much breaking laws as he sees fit (though with a strong moral center nonetheless) and so they will be in conflict forever and ever world without end. But by third season the conflict has become, two guys who understand each other well enough to predict each other's actions with a fair amount of accuracy, who both care deeply for the same woman and admit that about themselves and each other, and who disagree on some aspects of approach to solving some pretty big problems while still agreeing that these are massive, town-sized problems. Their conflict hasn't stagnated for the sake of keeping conflict in the show, it's simply changed in nature to accommodate their character development. And I really love that about them, the actors, the writers, and this show. Anyway, Duke tells them Vanessa freaked out and took off from the Gull a couple of hours ago, and then he went to her house to check on her. And that's all he knows he swears. Nathan calls it manic, which might not be inaccurate, mania or up and down swings might not be that far off as a side effect of her actual Trouble. Audrey finds a list of names, two of which have been crossed off. Because they're dead. Really, Duke, what else are you supposed to conclude from that? And Audrey doesn't sound convinced, only that it's the first theory that comes to mind. Nathan points out that people do change only for Duke to snipe back, and again let me take a moment to point out the couple decades or so of petulance, not quite healed wounds, and history these two actors are conveying in a couple of stares. I want to take Bryant and Balfour home with me and cuddle them forever for this. Audrey drags them back to the task at hand which is the next name on the list, Matt. Nathan remembers a Matt West who was at the pool and is next on Nathan's witness list. That's a lead to track down, at least.
Over at a house with balloons outside of it that same curly-haired psychopath is biking out front. Vanessa drives up only to be interrupted by our Trio, who would like explanations please and now and thank you. About all Vanessa can coherently state is that there's going to be an explosion and there's only a few minutes to save Matt. O-kay? Duke goes to help her but she pulls back and tells him not to touch her, adding more evidence to the theory that her Trouble is touch activated or at least touch enhanced. Hey, now we get details to go with the pronouncements of doom, details are good! Something to do with a propane tank. That party looks like it's using a propane tank to heat its grill. But before we can conclude that, curly-haired psycho has to get aggravated by some girls and a quasi-bully. I say quasi because it's possible that from his point of view, curly-hair was bothering the girls and he was justified in interfering. Oh, hey, curly-hair is Matt West! Implying, at least if we're going with our narrative-says interpretation of the show thus far, that Vanessa's visions are far from complete. No time to think about that now, though, Nathan and Duke have to rush in and save the day from exploding propane tanks. A good thirty seconds or so before it explodes, just so they look really silly for a bit there. But as Nathan starts to slap cuffs on the boy West was fighting with, who was also there at the pool, I start to jump up and down and wave my hands about this episode because they fucking changed Vanessa's vision. This is something you don't see often at all on Haven, especially hammered on in the third season but also addressed in certain episodes of season two: people have a destiny and it is nigh on impossible to change that. Duke spends most of season three fighting against his destiny, we get a hint of his destiny being forced upon in him in Sins of the Fathers (2x12), and as we'll find out shortly Vanessa is going to give him a big part of that. But this, right here, proves that what she sees can be changed, and maybe so can the cycle of Haven.
While I flail over that Audrey will have a sit-down with Vanessa to try to figure out what the hell is going on here. It turns out her Trouble has nothing to do with the explosion, but that she sees the last things people see before they die. She's been running around trying to prevent the deaths, but she has very little to go on, so she's been getting there too late. She also keeps referring to a 'him' she's trying to stop, which goes along with the idea that the now-three explosions or other heat related events are connected by one pyrokinetic. The list means that a disaster is coming, but she hasn't figured out what or how it's going to happen. Oh, hey, another vision! This time we see her pick up a silver tray and look into it, so, apparently the reflection sharpens the image she gets somehow? This is a really poorly thought out Trouble, or at least a very jerky and inconsistent way of showing us how it works. Anyway. It turns out that this vision is of her own death, and nothing so far has changed by Nathan arresting Brian, the boy West was fighting with. Because it's not Brian at all, but they have no way of knowing that right now.
Over to the Gull, because seeing your own death calls for a stiff drink. Vanessa exposits that the pain gets more acute before the death event, which makes sense as far as these things make any sense at all. Nathan's there, which hopefully means Brian's been cut loose, and Vanessa explains the series of events from her point of view. Including that she didn't feel she could go to the police because they wouldn't believe her, or they'd believe she had something to do with it. Duke finds this perfectly reasonable! Nathan and Audrey attempt to reassure her that they would have believed her but, no, I'm with Duke on this one. The Troubles haven't been back for long enough that Nathan, Audrey, and especially any of the other police have developed a set of protocols for Troubles. And while they're arguing that Vanessa is stewing in her own futility, causing Audrey to bring up the fact that, yes, they did just change what she saw earlier that day. She uses it as something of a hope spot, but neither Duke nor Vanessa are quite willing to believe her. Which, it's a nice bit of foreshadowing/symbolism there. Audrey being the one who's supposed to help, stop, or fix the Troubles, depending, and at the same time Duke being the one whose hope that he can escape his destiny keeps eroding.
In the interests of finding out what's going on and stopping it, the fearless foursome will now go back to Vanessa's house and try to make sense of her visions. Fireballs and soldiers and guns seems to be about the gist of it. Man on fire burning from inside, yep, that's a pyrokinetic, but before we can keep unraveling the mystery of the now, Vanessa has something to tell Audrey about the mystery of then? It's a good point in the episode for it, at least, teasing out the facts of what's about to happen in time to stop it is one stage of procedurals and mysteries in general that can get boring if not gently interrupted. Well, boring for most people. Anyway, Vanessa doesn't remember anything from finding the Colorado Kid's body on the beach, or the photograph, but she remembers being there because she'd seen the Colorado Kid's death. And what did she see? A pale arm with a tattoo on the inside. Two and a half seasons later and I'm still betting on Vince killed the Colorado Kid, but yes, that puts it at any of the Guard at the very least. (A: Which doesn't rule out Vince ordering James Cogan's death via other Guard member, either. Just saying.) And we still don't know how he died, just that he did, and then Arla and so on and so forth. Meanwhile, inside, Duke and Nathan are half-arguing half-debating whether or not destiny rules their lives, with Duke preferring to believe in free will and Nathan finding himself compelled to believe in fate, because how else do you account for him being able to feel Audrey? Or, as he puts it, when he can't feel anything how else is he supposed to account for meeting the one person in the whole world, a one in five to seven billion chance, who he can feel? It's the good and bad aspects of fate and destiny in a microcosm! In a few sentences of conversation. Nothing resolved or even indicative here one way or another, just the laid out comparison that reflects which way each of them will jump over the course of the series. For the most part. There's always room for exceptions. One final note and voice on the subject of destiny vs free will, and also bringing God into it again! Remember how Haven was supposed to be a Haven for God's orphans? Vanessa, as it turns out, is a woman of faith, and believes that God gave her these visions for a purpose, and that the pain and risk of death if they can't stop it in time is her price to pay for being able to save lives. It's likely not a coincidence that this is blocked with Nathan and Duke in gentle conflict away from Audrey, who is hearing a very relevant to her interests speech from Vanessa. And yet, nicely subtle. Nicely done.
Back to the case! Which Duke and Nathan have just broken with a film metaphor, thank you, Duke. The things she's been seeing are a movie projected on a brick, i.e. red textured wall. Nathan and Duke both know where something like that is being played, too! And while they're having that mini revelation Vanessa will have one of her own, about how Matt West works with the group putting on the movies (and grudgingly, by her choice of words) and has been at every explosion now crime scene before that. And now they have their perp!
Over to the Dockside Green it is, in Nathan's truck so he can run the blinkenlights. It's raining, so that ought to do something to thin the crowd of an outdoor movie theatre, but ideally the movie equipment would also have to be shut down against the rain, because there's always some few tough souls willing to sit through the weather for a movie or performance. Not that I've ever done that myself. Nor got up on stage when the performance was canceled okay never mind. And is Matt West running the equipment since he's the only one who knows how, according to Vanessa? No, no he is not. That would be too easy. Literally, in this case, since we want to spin out the tension for another, say, seven minutes. Nathan takes Duke with him, on account of he's tall and loud and that's exactly what they need right now, which is why Duke doesn't complain about the labeling. Much. He doesn't explicate why he needs that so I will! If Nathan draws attention with the obvious police presence, Audrey can sneak around and find Matt and hopefully either talk him down or otherwise deal with him. While Nathan and Duke are being distracting, Audrey gets the quick rundown on Matt, which is that he's essentially a good but easily angered kid with impulse control issues and I think she's protesting a little too much on Matt's trying. He sounds very trying. Also, really, did you have to use the phrase "self-destructs"? Yes, that's foreshadowing. No, it's not the most subtle.
West seems to be trying to talk to the same girl he was talking to at the pool party, with similar results. She's still rude bordering on nasty, but by his repeated efforts and her tone when she tells him he's not invited into her life it's possible this is due to the two times we've seen being the latest in a long string of attempts? Hard to say. But if that's the case, I wouldn't want him around me either with his impulse and temper control issues. And this exchange gets the same end result as the pool, which is West getting pissed and walking away preparatory to ... yes, things blowing up. Well, that'll get things cleared out in a hurry! And with the rain coming down at least it probably won't start a very large fire? Vanessa's getting the menstrual cramps of impending doom (what? that's what it looks like) and Audrey's trying to get ahold of Matt by identifying herself as a police officer and requesting to talk to him. Also yanking him down off the AV tower. Which actually looks like a lighthouse. Is that on purpose? If so, who can I slap with dead fish? What is it with Haven and lighthouses? Audrey tries to convince him a) that he's a pyrokinetic and b) that he needs to stop and calm down and control his temper and stop setting things on fire. A is much easier than B, since he's heard of the Troubles, but he thinks lighting things on fire is awesome. Great. Apparently since no one can effectively prove the Troubles in court he thinks this is just fine because he can get away with it, which is exactly the sort of antisocial personality you don't want in control of firebug powers. He runs off, Vanessa chases after him because apparently she can do something to stop him? Oh honey. This is why you die. And, predictably, Matt's next explosion takes her with it. Not completely, but enough for her to be fatally injured and lie on the ground burbling exposition for a few minutes while Duke angsts. I'm not even entirely sure this is unwarranted death, considering that one of the factors Hollywood in general tends to leave out of their explosions is the concussive force, which results in a lot of heroes surviving when there's really no way. (Second on that list is the shrapnel.) And yet, considering this is artificially generated explosion rather than a bomb set, does there really need to be concussive force? Is a firebug capable of generating explosions or just sudden gouts of flame from the ground? The after-effect looks like sudden gouts of flame, but the initial effect looks like explosions. Either way, the result is the same: Vanessa dying, both cops drawing their guns as though that will do any good. Unless they shoot him in the head! Unfortunately they're required to warn him before they do, giving him time to superheat their guns. I appreciate the continuity that Audrey has to tell Nathan to put the gun down because he can't feel it! Matt takes the time to stop and gloat now that he's disarmed the cops, including the priceless exchange of "That didn't hurt, did it?" sarcastically from Matt, and Nathan answering "No." with perfect honesty. Because Nathan. He is getting annoyed, though, but Audrey has a plan. Sort of a plan. It's more of a gesture. She also, by the way she looks down and away from the person she's about to confront, doesn't like this plan very much.
Matt's in full-on gloating and manic mode, if he went any further he'd be giggling. The next time the camera swings around to Audrey she's straightened up and she's sassing the pyrokinetic. O-kay. Reinforcing the message he gets from all the other kids at school, telling him he's not really all that, not scary, and lame. This has the semi-predictable effect of, well. Getting him so hot he spontaneously combusts. As a tactic, it's not bad on paper? But it also carries the not inconsiderable risk of getting them torched alive, or at least getting Nathan torched alive and possibly Audrey if she caught on fire wading in to help. Seriously, Audrey, and maybe everyone else, what were you thinking? The only thing I can think that saved their asses from being charcoal is that the kid had only just then realized he was the pyrokinetic responsible for everything blowing up, and so likely hadn't figured out how to direct his powers yet. I don't know what else could have been done, but the whole scene strikes me as clumsy both on the part of Audrey and on the part of the writers, needing to pull a solution out of this that doesn't leave a pyrokinetic wandering around Haven. It does, however, make for some priceless shots of Audrey first walking away and flashing an L-for-loser over her shoulder and secondly as she and Nathan come up from ducking from the blast of Matt self-destructing. See also: Vanessa's foreshadowing earlier. Audrey is not happy about this solution. Her first words are "I killed him?" and she looks like she's about to cry. Nathan tries to offer up the lives she's saved as comfort, but it's only halfway effective because Vanessa is still dying, Matt's still dead, and she still feels like she should have been able to save everyone that night. Because Audrey.
Back to Vanessa still dying, and the ambulances and sirens are coming up, and Duke's trying to convince her that they'll get there in time. She knows better. And she doesn't want this, anyway. She's ready to go, and as a parting gift she'll give him her vision of his own death. What a nice, thoughtful gift. We all know where this is going, of course, but for now they wisely defer that vision so that Duke can have his moment of grieving and we can see this, as well as Nathan and Audrey standing together off to one side. There's likely some symbolism in this shot, if only to highlight where they are now: Duke dealing with his own thing while Nathan and Audrey grow closer and learn to trust and care for each other. Also, possibly, an early hint as to their destiny, since Duke's fate that keeps getting hammered down on him seems to be a lonely one. By now, just before the start of season four, it's difficult to say where everyone will end up, though.
And at the end everyone's sitting and drinking together, and now everyone includes Julia as well! Audrey still castigating herself over Vanessa's death more than Matt's, now, and Julia taking her turn to remind Audrey of all the lives she's saved. Now Nathan has jumped onto the why bother trying to explain why things happen bandwagon. As he stabs himself in the palm with a plastic sword trying to feel something. Oh Nathan. His hand's bandaged too, because he did hold onto that heated gun a little too long. Everybody gets in on the Screw Fate toast, including Duke, and here we are with the budding camaraderie again! They're really, awfully cute when they get along, which we do see with grudging but increasing frequency as they discover more and more common points of reference and emotional grounding. Like Audrey, perhaps? Soon, anyway. For now, Nathan will offer quiet and sincere sympathy for Vanessa, and we're back on the subject of what she told Duke. He gives it some preamble and makes it dramatic to hide, badly, how much it affects him. Also with the drinking, and refilling his cup as soon as he's drained it. Note that everyone else has beer bottles, Duke's drinking some hard liquor at a not-rapid but steady pace. He describes what we've come to all know, the hand reaching out with the maze tattoo on the inside of the forearm. Possibly the same hand that killed the Colorado Kid? Audrey certainly recognizes it as such, but as we have no context for either of these deaths, we have no idea. And this is why we fucking hate precognition as a power, ladies and gentlemen. Haaaate. At the moment Duke interprets it as the tattooed man grabbing his face, but there's no way to tell if that's what's going on, and even less way to hear what she actually told him. Nathan recognizes the description of the tattoo and shows Duke a hastily sketched out version on a napkin. Yep, it's that tattoo. He and Audrey found it on a body about a month ago, remember the rapidly aging corpses Beattie was leaving? Which sort of gives us a timeline, but doesn't give us any clues about the tattoo. Two seasons later, we still know very little! Except that yes, there are more guys out there with the same tattoo. Duke grimly joins team Suck It Fate with a thinly veiled statement about intending to stop and most likely kill everyone out there with that tattoo, while drinking what looks like some kind of dark rum. Oh Duke. You're going to have your work cut out for you. As a parting gift I leave you with this note: you know how the tattoo is four people in a circle around a maze? The writers went out of their way to close this episode with four people around a circular table dealing with quite a puzzle in their midst. They didn't have to include Julia, as little substance as she brought to the conversation, but they did, and now it's four. Complete with a pull-back shot just so that we see it for sure. I'm just saying. I'll just leave that there.
Next week, Haven comes back! And we'll continue to close out season one, just in time to deal with season four! We are deeply sorry about the scattershot nature of the season lineup, but please do feel free to make use of our episode index, which should go up soon. The rest of our schedule will stand as it has, even though our mental stability may not. Get ready to #DiscoverHaven, folks. It's sure to be one hell of a ride.