Friday, September 27, 2013

We'll Get Out Haven S1E13 Spiral

Previously on Haven, we return to Nathan and Audrey's very first meeting! Because that's not about to come back and haunt us or anything. And her interrogation with Agent Fuck you, which serves both to remind us that Howard is more than he seems (far, far more) and to give us Audrey's voiceover narration of a couple of the Troubles she's dealt with. These previouslies are a lot more, mm. Layered over, voice-to-image, than we've had before, to show us the ways in which all of first season has led us to this point. We move onto the Rev shouting about the ungodly in Haven, to Duke telling the group about how he's supposedly going to die, to Nathan yelling at his father for being unhelpful when his Trouble returned and discovering that he can feel Audrey's touch, to the culmination of Garland and Nathan's fight two eps ago. Then on over to the not-so-mysterious cracks which they've been telegraphing for the longest time as belonging to Garland, and I have to say the only reason it wasn't obvious at the time was that they were hammering on Troubles as running in families, often from father to son or mother to daughter. Which meant either Garland didn't get the Trouble, Garland doesn't talk about his Trouble even though it's the same as Nathan's, the Trouble went mother to son, or… well, the other thing that we find out in this ep! Along with that bigger bombshell that goes off courtesy of the Garrick Trouble, that Lucy and Audrey are the same physical being rather than Lucy being Audrey's mother. Only in the most metaphorical sense of that.

We pick up right where we left off, with Audrey sitting down at the docks where the Colorado Kid's body was discovered. How incredibly apropos, in light of s3. She's in the casual clothes of a small-town cop, but a neutral gray top, the FBI Agent somber coming into direct conflict with what she's becoming as she learns more about her true identity. Oh Audrey honey. The music, for bonus points, is about as Hotel California-esque as you can get without actually having the Eagles playing in the background. Actually, it's even more appropriate than that, now that I've gone and hunted down the full lyrics. Bonus points for the Garland reference. We then pull back to see someone coming down the road to the dock, not coincidentally near the house of Shady Fuckers Who Know More Than They're Telling (aka Howard and Garland's little rendez-vous which may or may not be Garland's house), and oh hello, what's this? Why, it's a bag o' personal items from Shawshank prison up the way, and a man in a denim jacket. We're playing in Stephen King's universe, folks. This never means anything good. The first time I saw this ep I cringed under the blankets and waited for Max Hansen to turn out to be Randall Flagg - which he's not, but he does nearly as good a job at shaking things up as King's basement muse. No points for the significance of the lyrics turning to "in the end the glass will crumble" as we finally see Max's face, either.

Now it's time for them to meet, while Audrey talks to herself. And to God, the universe, whatever higher power in the sky happens to be listening. Not that anyone can blame her for a little "no seriously what the fuck, world" style of talking to nobody right now. I talk to myself for far less reason than that. Well, Max has confidence she'll handle it, whatever it is! Max, you are a creepy sonofabitch and just because you knew Lucy doesn't mean you know Audrey. Can I get an amen from the Teagues? Or at least a bullet between the eyes? Notice how he completely fails to answer the question of whether or not she knows him, juggling a stone between his hands. Fidget toy, to cover his nervousness at meeting AudSarLu this time around? I'd say so. In fact, I'd say Max Hansen knew a whole lot more than we ever got to uncover, which irks me. It's irksome. The more so as he continues to talk about how the right place to be is always where he's standing, and whether or not you leave a mark where you've been but you don't know if you've come back. Excuse me. I have to go facedesk the poor furniture into smithereens again, because if that's not as significant as any other little speech in this entire series I will eat my… my desk. I do that anyway. Audrey's not giving anything away, trying instead to probe for answers about who the stranger is, what this place means to him, so on and so forth, but he's not giving anything away either. Aside from the piercing look of recognition and knowledge of what her presence in Haven means. You fucker. That good luck as he walks away is even more loaded now that we've a better idea of what he knows about her. Which I will get to analyze in great and terrible detail once Vince gets his inscrutable self into the mix.

That won't take long! Because Max is stopping into the Herald to menace, taunt, and otherwise gloat at the Teagues. I think this is as scared as we've ever seen Dave, immediately followed by closing all his emotions off. Now is also as good a time as any to point out that Vince, as the more military of the two, is the one who sits so he has line of sight to the door, and he's gone right now, which means people can sneak up on Dave. Ugh. I don't know how he stands it. Max raps out his litany of grievances to Dave, which boils down to "I was in prison for 25 years, fucker, how do you THINK I've been." That much I'll give him. Especially at Shawshank. Dave spouts off the harmless little old man in his turn, which Max will even call him on. Dear god there's a lot of history here, and Max looming and getting in Dave's space which brings the fear right back. Especially because whoever and whatever kind of person Max was before he went to prison, he's decidedly all controlled violence now. Sharp, sudden movements, high levels of situational awareness, the willingness to turn his back on someone he perceives as a non-threat as a gesture of contempt but also because he doesn't need to see someone to know where they are. He looks, actually, a lot like Vince on high alert. And what does he want, that age-old question, since Dave at least thinks he knows who Max is. More likely was, and maybe not even that. Max would like a job! Not money, though it's telling (and a good tiny breadcrumb for s3) that that's what's immediately on offer. Because the Teagues, they do have money to spare if Max will get the fuck out. Max plans to tidy up some things and stick around awhile, and he's not listening to any of Dave's "but we're just newspapermen" protests. He's also very, very used to being top dog, with his height and bulk he was probably capable of intimidating if not outright winning most fights in prison, and with the pit bull intelligence he's got he could stay on top of that pile. Or near to it. Dave looks like he's considering the merits of having a heart attack and dropping over dead so he doesn't have to deal with the clusterfuck that just walked out of the Herald. This is definitely the first time we see him so intimidated/afraid, and I think it's the first time anyone's openly threatened the Teagues at all. Which tells us a lot about what Max Hansen is capable of, and where his limits are. And where they might have been pushed to, as a result of 25 years in prison.

Garland's having lunch over at the Gull. Again, it'd be nice if they showed us any of the other restaurants in Haven, but I'm guessing budgetary limits on sets for first season means that once they got the Gull set up, they didn't want to spend the time and money developing other eateries when they were in the precarious position of first season uncertainty. And then Max walks in! Because of course he has to menace every one of the old crowd that was around for Lucy's tenure in Haven. This is not going to go well, we know immediately by how Garland stills and Max's face darkens and we're just waiting for the crack. Which will come sooner rather than later if Max keeps antagonizing Garland by implying that anything Garland can have, he can have more of. How lovely. Let me get my ruler to thwack you with, only oh wait, Max won't feel it. Great. Audrey, can I borrow your hand for awhile? They are notably not shooting this in clear left-right shots, the men are just a little off-center of the camera as we pan back and forth, giving us as little visual evidence as possible about who's got the moral high ground, at least by the show's morality. Turns out one of the reasons these two are so antagonistic is because Garland gave testimony at Max's trial, much to absolutely nobody's surprise. And whatever Max did, it's bad enough that nobody's talking about it directly. Twenty-five years, though, that's usually murder or rape or a whole stack of other felonies, at least in TV. Judging by the reactions, though, not only is it safe even on first watch to bet on murder, but to bet that it's related to what happened 27 years ago. (Two years in the courts is pretty reasonable, actually. Like, for real life. Which is almost weird enough in TV to shock me out of suspension of disbelief, I gotta admit.) Anyway. Garland wants Max out of town and he's willing to break laws to see it done, to the tune of planting evidence (at a guess, that's the easiest way to go about it) that would violate Max's parole and get him out. By evening, no less. Garland, you severely underestimate the amount of damage a determined, angry man with nothing to lose can do in, what, call it six hours if it's lunchtime? Yeah. Max calls what he thinks is the bluff, kill him or get the fuck out, which is a cute trick and nearly leads to him getting shot, as Garland's hand goes back for his gun. No, I promise, Garland's not bluffing. Insolent attitude or no. Man can take down a lighthouse when he gets pissed enough, apparently! Goddammit, Haven, one of these days we'll learn what it is with you and lighthouses. Besides the obvious symbolism of a place to come home to, a beacon in the night. Sigh. Max has a very gotcha! grin for Garland's evident loss of control, which I'm guessing means he heard the lighthouse crumble, 'cause he sure didn't turn to watch it go. And roll credits. Oh goodie.

No, Audrey, we do not know why the lighthouse fell, but it's cute that you think so. Or rather, we know the proximate cause but not the ultimate one. Which is more important than usual in Haven. On the plus side, she and Nathan do seem to be treating this as a Trouble even if they don't know who's responsible. At least, that looks a whole lot like geographical profiling to me. The road, Duke's boat, Carpenter's Knot, the lighthouse, but Audrey's way too distracted by recent revelations to focus on the case at hand. Not that we can blame her, and Nathan has that sort of mouth slightly open, how do I approach this when she doesn't want to talk about it expression. Which we will become intimately familiar with over the next couple seasons. Also the look of puppy dog adoration that Lucas Bryant is way too damn good at. (Think that's why he's not on Twitter? Yeah, me too.) He tries to send Audrey home on her own merits, get some sleep and feel better and fine, don't talk about it, Nathan of all people is intimately acquainted with the desire to not talk about shit. But no, she wants the focus of work. Well, that's an easy rebuttal! Though not one Nathan's used often, and one that shows the depth of his concern. Go home and get sleep and stop being useless, Audrey. That combined with reaching out to touch her when Nathan never ever touches anyone is enough to get her to go, albeit sullenly. I don't blame him for the small frown as she heads out, since this new level of concern and respect might end up with Audrey withdrawing in on herself, particularly given whatever just happened. Oh both of you.

Now that Max has met all of the older generation immediately to hand - Eleanor being dead and Vince being Out Doing God Knows What, he'll make his rounds of the younger! Starting with his ass planted in Duke's chair on Duke's boat, and Duke with a pineapple and flowers in his arms. I have no idea what that's about, it looks like a courtship or morning-after present or something, though it's also perfectly reasonable for Duke to want such things for himself! I seem to recall at least one or two floral arrangements on the Cape Rouge before now, and we know from its interior that Duke does take some care and pride with his decorating. He also is protective of his baby and doesn't take well to random strangers popping up and acting like they belong. Particularly ones who look like they're accustomed to violence and who try to do the same thing to Duke that he does to others - namely, yank the reins of a situation before anyone else can act. Actually, Max is if anything more successful at it than Duke, partly due to age and experience and largely due to getting the drop on him, both in timing and in information gathering. Max thinks that Duke's going to help him, and that's a very, very nice little intonation cue on "Crocker," there. Max knows the Crocker Trouble. Max was in the Guard. Max probably knew Simon Crocker, or at least knew of him after he started going around town killing off Troubled people. And here Duke is, and what he knows and doesn't know is completely up in the air as far as Max is concerned - hell, we don't know most of this ourselves because we're stuck with revelations at the pace of the younger generation. So in retrospect this scene whole episode is completely loaded with people trying to hide how knowledgeable they are or trying to appear more knowledgeable. Or, in this specific instance, Duke putting together the clues from the guy up in Shawshank who he owes money to that Max has come to collect, behind that mask of annoyed indifference. Yeah, he's figured out who this is. (I will also note that I'm awfully amused by the fact that they're having Balfour swear as much as he can get past the censors. Motherlovin, indeed. Sends me right back to West Side Story, which is the first place I heard that particular bowdlerization. I wonder if that's an intentional allusion or not, considering.) We now know that for sure Max got sent up for killing a family 25 years ago, so yes, murder. Max doesn't know how much else Duke might know as a result of that, and now it's time to threaten violence! Yay! No, Duke never fights fair, especially not when he's feeling wrongfooted and cornered. Doubly especially when he's got an opponent who's bigger and more currently experienced than he is, as the scar on that shoulder bears witness.

And then the tattoo comes visible, Duke sees it and tries to hide it, Max knows he's trying to hide it. Actually, on multiple watch-throughs it looks an awful lot like Max is flashing his forearm deliberately; most people standing in any kind of a loose ready stance will have their thumbs turned inward and thus be mostly hiding their inner forearm. Who wants to bet that Max now assumes Duke knows about the Guard at least in the abstract, probably knows about his Trouble, and is trying to avoid at least some portion of his father's legacy? Or something like that. Argh I hate having more data that's still insufficient. Suffice it to say that there's a definite information mismatch here, and Max is presuming a more knowledgeable opponent than actually exists. Which is sometimes useful, but tricky to turn to one's benefit. On the other hand, Duke's absolutely right: Max won't be risking his parole just to get some money. This is at least half for show and to make sure Duke knows Max knows where to find him and who he is. Better than Duke does, which he may or may not have registered, it's hard to tell with his poker face on and he's using the anger to mask everything else. Including the part where he takes his seat and ever-so-casually reaches for one of the many guns he's got stashed around the boat. Heh. Max probably sees that, on account of the head-bob in the vague direction of where his hand's near the gun and the comment about being ballsy, not that he's very worried about it. Have we mentioned the nothing left to lose aspect to Max lately? Because he's doing an excellent job of portraying that. No, he doesn't want to share information with anyone for any reason, he'll find Duke at the Gull. Where Duke will be making an effort not to appear until after he's gathered a lot more information and rallied the troops. Heh. And a shooting note: again, we don't have any consistency or clarity from side-angles or even clothing cues as to who's on the side of right, here. Max has the Randall Flagg blue denim and a white undershirt, Duke has a white overshirt and gray under. They shoot Duke slightly to right-of-center on the screen, with Max mirroring him, right up until Duke makes lethal force a possibility by reaching for his gun, but nothing's shot at extreme right or left side (for that matter Duke's going for his gun with his off-hand) to give us solid markers. It's definitely indicative of Max's unspoken history with Haven and its Troubles (not to mention the increased pressures of prison) that he's so closedmouthed with his own information, treating it as exactly the kind of priceless currency that… well, that the Teagues do. Complete with a dig about great shrimp, meaning he's already been to the Gull for a meal once, meaning he may have seen other people in town, meaning, once again, Max Hansen is ahead in the information game. We will not speculate about the other possible (albeit unlikely) meaning of it, which is that Max went and rummaged around in Duke's kitchen, because that's just the creepiest fucking Goldilocks inversion ever.

Cut over to Garland staring out the window of his office and brooding! So much so that he doesn't hear Nathan come in for signatures on some paperwork, though the only indication we get of that is him snapping. Trained cop dealing with the Troubles has trained out his startle reflex. Also probably a good thing as far as Garland's own Trouble goes; can you imagine causing cracks every time you're caught off-guard? Yeah no. That's bad, GIR. This is a short scene, intended to establish that Nathan knows what Max Hansen did if not all of who he is/was, that there's some shared history between Nathan and Garland as far as Max being a Bad Guy, and that Garland is playing overprotective papa and/or chief as regards the details of the situation. Yes, Hansen made bail. No, they're not talking about it, go measure the cracks, Nathan. Which is about on par with getting him out of the line of fire as Garland can get. It almost looks like Nathan reaches for the door to close it on his way out and then changes his mind, since we don't hear the door slam? But we don't get a cut over to see if he left it half-closed, either, so that's purest speculation.

We come up on a strange looking house! Hi, house! I think this is the first time we've ever seen anything about where Audrey's been staying since she got to Haven, though I believe there was some mention of it in some early eps. Duke, not knowing what-all Audrey's been dealing with and allowing himself to be completely freaked the fuck out by the appearance of a man with the tattoo. Which says some things about how much he's come to trust her, that he's willing to show this level of anxiety and, yes, fear. Urgency. Audrey's not answering her door, as we might expect out of her state of mind right now and not knowing all the shit that's going on with Duke, either. I do appreciate the nod here to, it's not that they're not trying to communicate with each other, it's that it's a shit time to start unraveling the layers of emotional fuckery they're all going through and right now Audrey needs some peace and quiet. Which is a totally valid reaction to having your entire identity upended! I bet Duke post-s3 understands that a lot better. But here comes Julia, who sometime between onscreen and offscreen implied interactions has gotten close enough to Audrey that she'll go out, get groceries (by which we mean trashy comfort food, judging by the cupcakes and the chips) and come and sit with her and not ask about anything important until Audrey's ready. This is also, to be fair, a set of social skills that tends to be more valued and taught to women, and it's why we get so annoyed when Audrey loses her whole one female friend every couple weeks or so. Because that patience is something she needs in a non-romantic capacity, and it's not something Nathan can do, obviously. Or Duke, in some ways, though they've both learned better over the course of the show. Anyway. Julia brushes Duke off with more of the standard pissiness that's come between whatever they were to each other before and particularly since Trial of Audrey Parker, and he's not in any kind of shape to try and make amends with her right now. Just wants Audrey to have the information about the man with the tattoo that came to see him, which then gets him snarked at more. By her reaction I wonder if Julia's not assuming that some of Audrey's issues are men-related, and Duke-related in specific. I guess… sort of? In a very, very roundabout fashion and as a much smaller piece of this whole snafubar. Duke will now spell it out in very small words for her, up to and including the fact that it was Max Hansen who killed that family, interesting that they keep rounding to twenty years ago where Max is very specific about it being twenty-five. Then again, that's the sort of thing people do when the precision of dates doesn't matter to them - and you can be sure it matters to Max. It's one of the neater examples of this that I've seen, not to mention raising some eyebrows given how little anyone who was 7-8 during Lucy's tenure seems to remember about it. Julia has a moment where she does seem to remember what Duke's talking about before she remembers that she's pissed at him, doesn't want anything to do with who he is now, and he's just pressed his luck too far by bringing up Eleanor anyway. Like Duke tends to do when he's not thinking straight. So she shuts him down hard, harder than is probably necessary but I think she's also a little afraid of Duke, these days. I wonder if she does know anything about the Crocker Trouble, too, given her family history and almost-certain ties to Vince and the way Duke's been acting. Oh, not only does she get trusted with bringing groceries, she gets trusted with keys! That's whole other levels of trust, lemme tell you. There's not a lot of people I'd trust with a set of housekeys if they weren't staying with me, even in temporary quarters. The remainder of this scene is interesting in that even though Julia has the keys, Audrey would rather come out and talk than be inside. That could be that it's a small/sterile room where she's been living out of suitcase for the last month or two, or it could be territoriality. Hard to say on this single piece of data. Macalester oversized sleep shirt, sweats, she's definitely trying to take the day off as per Nathan's orders. (Yes, that's the Macalester in Saint Paul, MN. Yes, I think that's a creator Easter egg; Jim Dunn and Sam Ernst were roommates there. Aren't you glad we keep this stock of useless trivia so you don't have to.) Also she wants a cupcake, which, yes, is from Rosemary's, aka the good bakery that Eleanor told her about. Continuity! Aww. And now, much against her better judgment as far as what's good for Audrey but in keeping with her sense of what's good for the town? Duke? both?, Julia will cough up that Duke was here. We don't get to hear all of what she tells Audrey, though I think it's safe to say based on this next scene it's enough to send Audrey for the police files.

On over to the Gull, then, where Max has returned as the center of social life in Haven, though he seems to be heading out again soon. This gives us a good sense of the passage of time, too, meaning this is dinnertime, or when Garland told him to be out of Haven, more or less. Unless he's just eating more often because having anything that's not prison food is such a welcome luxury. I couldn't really blame him for that. And a nice bit of continuity for the scene as he requests a last refill of coffee. My entire reaction to this scene, more than the others, can be summed up as GIVE TO ZIM YOUR MURDERBOARDS GODDAMMIT, just for the record. Because where Max was reacting to Audrey as AudSarLu, or possibly as Lucy, out on the docks, here he's confronted with Audrey Parker, cop and former federal agent. Whoever else she is or was, here she's falling back onto what instincts she has because they are, in a lot of ways, the only thing she has to go on. Oh Audrey honey. Gun on her hip and cop stance engaged, oh hey, she does know this guy, though the way she says it and the way Max responds have so many fucking layers that again I'm sitting here demanding to know all of Lucy Ripley's history with the older generation. ALL OF IT. She's in full on interrogation mode, Max continues to dodge her questions and lay down a trail of bullshit so thick I'm shocked the Gull doesn't close for health and safety hazards. He heard Duke was "impressive"? Ha-fucking-ha. This time we've got better cues that Max is a bad guy at least in relation to Audrey, which makes me wonder if before he got locked up he was part of the group of the Guard who was chasing Lucy Ripley down to get her into the barn. And if somehow the death of this family that got him sent to Shawshank is tied in. Not that we ever fucking found out, but I get one of those This Is All Connected feelings off everything we've learned about Lucy's stay in Haven. I also wonder if "impressive" is intended to connote "knows about/has the Crocker Trouble active." There's definitely at least one other meaning besides the "gets a nice lady cop like yourself on his side" that the pseudo-leer is supposed to convey, and that's the first one I can think of. But let's get down to business: that tattoo, Max, no, not the prison ones, the Guard ones, stop playing stupid. Which he does so well. Not real stupid, it's the just-the-muscle kind of stupid that on someone we like would be mildly endearing and on him is aggravating as fuck. Audrey's not having any of his bullshit, either, she'll give up the information because she knows he knows what she means. There's an oh-shit-she-knows look when she describes the Guard tattoo to him, which probably means he once again believes that the younger generation is possessed of more knowledge about Haven's seamy underbelly than, sadly, they currently are. No, he won't tell her, he's gonna go see the Rev, are we all even more disturbed now? Because a Troubled person isn't the usual sort to be going to see the Rev. And by the way her eyes narrow she suspects something's up with his lack of reaction to the coffee spill, so she pulls out her trump card. Apparently, along with the family Max killed, he also supposedly killed the Colorado Kid! Let me just break that down for you: Garland believed that Max killed Sarah Vernon and Nathan's son. It was apparently never proved, at least according to Max, which would imply that whoever he did kill was someone else(s). By the way Max turns dark and loomy and angry (and let's not forget that this is his biological grandson we're talking about; whether or not he ever knew that is an open question but if he did I blame the Teagues first and the possibility of James inheriting the Hansen Trouble second) he feels he didn't do it, or wasn't responsible in some way. I don't know if this is Audrey leaping to conclusions based on the tattoo and what Vanessa told her, because remember she doesn't know that it's a secret society of Troubled people thing yet, or if this is her having read over the case files/gotten the rundown from Julia, but either way it strikes home. And we do know James was murdered by someone with the Guard tattoo, which to us sitting over here side-eying Vince for everything ever suggests that it might have been on orders that originated with Vince, whoever had the hand the did the deed. Max isn't actually trying to intimidate Audrey, either, I don't think, he's just making this private and he's very, very upset by the accusation. For reasons that we can only speculate on. There's an evaluating glance and that is a threat, the see you around, but the initial response wasn't.

Well. Wasn't that fun! For more fun, we'll stay at the Gull while Audrey and Duke check in. It seems like she thinks the CK murder and Duke's presence with Lucy and Max being the supposed murderer are all connected somehow. I can't say she's wrong, but right now they have all edge pieces and they're all sky blue with nary a cloud in sight. Besides, we don't have time for these bombshells and Duke doesn't remember anything anyway, because we're about to get another bombshell! The waitress who spilled the coffee is terrified for her livelihood and the answer is no, honey, you won't be fired because Max Hansen doesn't bring lawsuits, he commits violence or threatens to do so in order to get his way. But the coffee was scalding hot, and we saw that lack of reaction, and so did Audrey. Who will now proceed to spell it out in very small words for Duke, who's too freaked out to get it on first run-through. Yes, Duke, Troubles run in families. Max has Nathan's Trouble. Think there's a causal relation? Pun intended. So does everyone else! That is a massive oh-shit look and now everyone knows before Nathan. Poor Nathan. He gets so, so screwed over this episode.

The hits just won't stop coming; we move over to the men in question where Nathan's taking measurements on the cracks while Max waits in the truck. Max, you are a fucker. I still need to borrow Audrey to punch you. I don't think she'd object, aside from the whole bigger and meaner than she is aspect. Maybe we can borrow some chains from Duke's boat? No, we really don't like Max Hansen around here very much, no matter the things that may have shaped his life. There's immediate and significant paternal pride as Max looks over Nathan, getting out of the car, and then a nice little hesitation over the last name there. Just in case we didn't get it already. This whole thing, by the way, raises all kinds of questions about when did Nathan's mother move in with Garland, because if he doesn't remember Max as his father at all then a) either there's memory fuckery surrounding Lucy's tenure in Haven, something we've long been suspicious about or b) it was before Max ever got arrested for the murders in '83-84. Which begs the question, which of the many possibilities for reasons for a woman to leave her husband/father of her child are we going with. I'm betting on abuse of some kind, for the parallels with the Rev we get next season. Anyway. Nathan's not having any of Max's shit either! Seriously, dude, if you wanted people to be sympathetic to you, you shouldn't have shown up in their off-duty safe places/homes/places they own and acted like you were the owner. I understand wanting a place, but Max just wants to cause havoc and hurt people the way he feels he's been wronged. See also: agent of Flagg's. He likes Nathan! For being direct and smart and unflinching. That is, yes, our Nathan, particularly when he's on duty and doubly so when he knows there's an ex-felon running around fucking with people in town. At least one person, anyway; this is a great example of small town circling the wagons mentality: he and Garland might not get along or even like each other most of the time, but presented with an outside threat they have each other's backs. We will all facepalm over how Max doesn't want any Trouble and probably twitch, 'cause I wouldn't blame him for wanting to be rid of his Trouble. (This raises an interesting question. We have a lot of those this ep, but: when did Max's Trouble resurface, pun intended, this time around? We'll revisit that in more detail in a moment.) Speaking of shared Troubles, he's exerting an awful lot of pressure on Nathan's shoulder right at a pressure point there (and nice, nice physical acting to make it look like he's trying to hurt Nathan while not actually doing so). As a test, you see. I have to take a moment to snort over that's ONE way for a paternity test while Nathan flips open his holster and points his service piece at Max. See, dude, if you weren't so focused on being a creepy motherfucker you would notice these things. Beyond the fact that Nathan can't feel. Ass. Nathan thinks so too. Nathan is in full-on Cop Mode as well, to nobody's surprise, and Max has that completely disingenuous no I want to stay here! I have friends here! Because probably two out of three sentences from this man are threats, or can be interpreted as such. Sigh. I do want to know if the friends to whom Max refers are the Guard, or ex-Guard, or splinter group within the Guard. Something along those lines; it would be difficult for Vince's control over them to be absolute, so it definitely seems like Max is talking about the Guard, in retrospect. Which makes some nice foreshadowing to Nathan trying to join up in s3. That's also about the most Maine accent we've heard out of anyone ever in this show, "easy-uh." Heh.

Remember the interesting question from earlier? Audrey and Duke have tracked down some other ex-con who knew Max Hansen in prison, starting with questions about the tattoos - from Audrey, first off, which is interesting that she remembers to clear that rather than letting Duke take it and reveal that it matters to him personally. Although, Leo was in the same cell block for ten years - which ten years is a good question, though we'll assume for the sake of narrative convenience that it was more recent than not - and never saw him get prison tattoos. That's an interesting choice, and implies that in addition to the Guard tattoo, the rest are either older prison tattoos or maybe prior to prison and thus meant something beyond the usual loyalty/belief statements you get in prison. Okay, well, behaviorally! What was he like? I love that Duke is the closest they have to a profiler, and I love that they're so carefully dancing around any questions regarding Nathan and his Trouble. Turns out Max did the fights, the ones you bet on, and it was like he couldn't feel the hits. Yeah, that'd lead to a) some of the scars we saw plus probably a few more we didn't and b) one scary sonuvabitch for an opponent. So, that gives us some vague timeline, because best guess is that Max didn't start serving his time until after Lucy went into the barn, and that's supposed to turn off the Troubles like a lightswitch, by what we've been told. Which is where I take the more recent ten years from, that and the fact that Leo doesn't seem to have fully assimilated into civilian life yet, which implies that Max's Trouble kicked in, yes, in prison. And possibly very early, since the earliest Trouble we can date activating before Audrey's arrival other than that is I think Dwight's, around 2005 if I'm remembering the Youtubes from last year correctly. Oh, and Max was talking about looking up some long-lost family when he got out. (Another indication that this is relatively recent, most people wait until they're close to the end of their term to start talking like that.) Cue Significant Looks from Audrey and Duke. Well, shit.

Speaking of well, shit moments, let's have another one! As if this ep isn't full enough of them already. Max is wandering around Haven still, looking for who knows what (or whom) and just so happens to run into Vince! Between the music and the body language we immediately wonder if they're going to try and tear each other's throats out literally on the street, or just do it verbally and emotionally. This is about as furious as we've seen Vince, oh, ever. And you know the harmless old man thing they do? Yeah. That's gone. This is Vince Teagues, head of the Guard, some military or militia experience, and entirely capable of killing people himself as well as ordering others to do it for him. Not to mention trying to force Lucy Ripley to enter the barn. (I still wonder how well that worked for him, and what he lost.) Dave owes Max something or another, not that we're clear on what, but Vince and Max do seem to be in agreement that there's something to be collected if it was what Max really intended. It's not. There are teeth out throughout this scene, and the director and actors have gone for the quiet-when-angry demonstration which, yes, especially when you're doing closeups like this is damn well scarier than running around shouting and throwing things. Unlike Dave, Vince doesn't particularly look scared, and there is hoo boy so much history between these two. And now I get to speculate about what that might be! We know Vince heads up the Guard, and we know that Max was almost certainly part of the Guard. I would venture a strong probability that Max was one of Vince's trusted lieutenants at some point, mostly because there is so much history and because of that comment about remembering who he is near the end of this confrontation. I think that means that Max knows who Vince is in all his permutations, and at one point or another they were if not close friends, then close colleagues. What happened to change that is a question for the ages, and given how incredibly fucked up they both are I won't hazard a guess at who's to blame, either in terms of breaking up the relationship or in terms of actual morality. Though it remains a possibility that Max took a group of the Guard and went over to the Rev's side, based on his comment about going to church. He's the sort who'd make a good soldier for that. Argh insufficient data. Well, at any rate, Max's purpose in coming back is to reclaim the family that was stolen from him and to kill Garland in the process. Or have someone else kill Garland, that's a fairly passive phrasing though not a passive attitude by any stretch. Um, dude? You do know that your bio-son is now an adult with opinions and feelings of his own, and he's made his opinion of you clear, right? And that… oh never mind. Max isn't living in reality, anyway, he's living in a revenge fantasy, and those have a tendency to fall apart when they run up against other people with opinions and the ability and willingness to do something about them. Vince will even point out that Garland has friends in town, there's that loaded word again. Allies, he means, and I wouldn't presume to be sure if he means himself and his brother or himself and the Guard or someone in addition, but Garland does have a lot of allies. We know this, we've watched him handle himself over the whole season so far. Max has friends too! The more he says this the more he sounds like a petulant child, I swear, and Vince's response makes me even more sure it's the Rev and that crowd, because what group do we know that's a-okay with Troubled people dying even when they're supposedly your allies? Yeah. Max seems not to have thought of that, which means Vince will push his point a little further. We figured you enjoyed wielding power over other people, Vince! We really did. Cue the comment about someone in this town remembering who he is and I feel like Max wants to return to the bad old days. Which is why he's just not going to survive this. But he's not forgetting that Dave owes him, either, as he leaves with a parting threat delivered so coldly that we do have to believe he means it. Vince doesn't buy it! Vince notes that Max couldn't manage to kill him the last time. WHAT LAST TIME. WHY DID MAX TRY TO KILL HIM. HOW WAS LUCY INVOLVED. AND DAVE. The lack of answers to all of these questions and Vince steeling himself to potentially do Very Illegal Things, all in one frame! Fuckers.

Audrey's steeling herself to do things, too, having less to do with legalities and more to do with how to tell her partner that he has a relative who also happens to be a murderer. Because that's always fun. We remember from last season how Duke was the one to touch base with Audrey, care about her needs and wants and feelings and respect her wishes even when it's uncomfortable for him? Yeah, that starts here. I mean, they've been building to this all season, but this scene is in so many ways the culmination of all that semi-crush unspoken attraction not quite sure what to do with each other. We even get them in reversed colors, Duke white over light gray and Audrey dark gray to blue (depending on the light. I want that shirt) over white. Nobody's exactly what they seem around this place, in other words, though the clothing layers as metaphor for Haven's layers don't get really bad until s3, I'm pretty sure. Usually it's just the overshirt/tank top combination. We start with Duke checking in that Audrey wants to tell Nathan alone, as if he's offering to come along with her. Which right there speaks to the depths of his willingness to be there in a support role for… well, both of them, probably. Yes, she's sure, she's not happy about it, but she's sure. (Also overprotective. That's our Audrey!) No, she hasn't told anyone about the other thing that's got her living on frosting and other comfort food, and she's really disturbed that Duke's calling her out on it. Hesitant, not sure she's competent to do her job if she's being made this easily, definitely not sure she likes Duke knowing her this well. Duke pushes a little harder, points out what a mess she is, and maybe if he hadn't done that she would've spilled, because that's the point at which we can see her tense up again. As it is, no, she has to tell Nathan first, she owes him that explanation as her partner and friend. Look! It's a love triangle! Only not really, because Duke's the kind of person who likes consent - enthusiastic consent, even - in his relationships. And if Audrey won't give that to him, then he won't push her into anything. Including the fact that today he has to at least pretend to like that she's putting Nathan above him in the friendship hierarchy. Oh honey. Oh both of you. I still ship OT3 like burning, because fucking hell it's not like any of them can live without the others.

To her credit, she goes straight from the docks to the station so she can spill everything to Nathan. Well, starting with the part that directly affects him, because she's not ready to handle saying "I think I'm some kind of weird magical reincarnated messiah figure" out loud. I don't blame her. She can barely look at Nathan when she starts, though she finds her courage and the sticking place after a moment. That's a very tolerant/affectionate look from Nathan as he perches on the desk, which rapidly fades to oh-shit when she coughs it up without preamble. As he would prefer in the end, I think, it goes with the direct and unflinching which Max identified. He only asks twice how she knows this, which is why she doesn't have to answer him: rule of three has NOT been invoked, chug the bottle. I can only assume Audrey's avoiding explaining how she knows this to avoid dragging Duke and the tattoo and every other damn thing in, being that these are already sensitive topics and for chrissakes it's not like everything's not connected in this show ANYWAY. Grumble mutter. But as the implications sink in that matters less, leading to Nathan stalking into Garland's office. If there were closed doors there would be slamming of them. Garland already looks about as old and exhausted as he's ever done, and this scene is just going to make that worse. I feel kind of sorry for him. I do. I also think he's an emotional trunk, hell with stunted. Nathan right now is not emotionally stunted. He is very in touch with his anger and how Garland tried to warn him off of Max Hansen. I would just point out to Nathan in this middle of his shoutyness that, dude, Max killed people. I wouldn't call him a relative you necessarily want to know, although I bet Nathan's wondering if the charges were trumped up now to get Max away from Nathan. I would be, too, in the heat of the moment, even though nothing we've seen out of Garland indicates he's that kind of creepy possessive asshole. (That's all Max. And the Teagues. And probably Simon Crocker.) Ahem. Audrey, I'm guessing, is mostly there in the fond hopes that she'll keep this from exploding into actual violence, because Nathan is, um. Scary when he's in a rage. Both men have hit the point of despair, Garland that he's lost what little faith his son still held in him and Nathan that his purported father would keep a secret this huge from him. Okay, maybe this is less about Max and more about, are there other Hansens in Haven, and I will grant him that if there are and they weren't all as malevolent as Max, Garland should have said. Because that would be a group of people who could help Nathan deal with his Trouble, make him feel less alone, and that does suck, the lack of opportunity to find out if they exist. Garland doesn't seem to think so, though, and he coughs up the last piece of data that we'd already put together while Audrey looks like she wants to go beat her head on the nearest wall in the background. No, Garland, Nathan didn't already know that you've got a different Trouble from his or that you're not his bio-father, just that you keep secrets. One might say Garland is interested in all kinds of astronomy, in fact. (K: You're just saying that because meteors.) (A: Well someone had to.)

Well. With that, Nathan will storm back out, because there's really nothing to say and he really should take a few to cool off and try and process this whole clusterfuck. Possibly to go looking for Max, for all the good that's going to do him. And now Garland will proceed to treat Audrey as AudSarLu the messiah and confessor rather as a person unto herself, trotting out the tired old lines about waiting for things to get better and they never did and now he's lost Nathan anyway. GEE. You think? No, nobody thought when they were keeping secrets from everyone in the current generation, that would be far too fucking sensible. Audrey has a much more pertinent question, which is, wait, Max Hansen let Garland adopt his son? Because what the fuck, there is nothing in Max's behavior that suggests that was ever going to happen with his permission. And this is the part where the timeline gets fucked up. Was Max in prison while Nathan was a baby/toddler and then out and then BACK in? Or was Garland lying to get her out of the office? We have it on good authority that Max went into Shawshank for murdering the as-yet-unnamed family and (supposedly) the Colorado Kid in '85, which means Nathan was 7 or 8. Unless he's repressing a helluva lot of memories (or there's amnesia fuckery for THAT much of Nathan's early childhood, which, ouch), it's implausible that he would flat-out not remember a second father figure in the picture. Audrey looks like she's doing the math and not coming up with an answer she likes, either, and now Garland will distract her with vague but dire imprecations about Max's behavior toward both wife and son. Note that we still have no name for Nathan's mother. I don't think Garland's the kind of person to be in a killing rage over anything other than physical abuse, which may just be me stereotyping him but it's in line with Max's behavior. Certainly we can assume emotional abuse, if his treatment of everyone in town is similar (if exacerbated by prison) to how he dealt with everyone before. Max Hansen screams antisocial personality disorder, honestly. Poking people just to see which way they jump? Uh-huh. Audrey hypothesizes, and we nod in agreement, that Max thinks he deserves a place in Nathan's life and came back to take it; Garland doesn't want to think about it and would like to lick his wounds now that she's not going to do it for him. That would be unsanitary anyway.

And now we have Max's death scene! This is at least the third time (Audrey's car in the pilot, Duke's boat in Trial of Audrey Parker) that we've seen indications that Garland subconsciously knows where everything and everyone in Haven is, as his Trouble is being the bedrock of the town. Earth-mover, essentially, only he keeps such a tight lid on it that he can't actually control its manifestations, as with this. Which is probably the closest thing to deliberately targeting someone he's done. I don't know why Max engages in the Prometheus school of running instead of flinging himself off to the side, other than for narrative convenience the writers wanted to avoid civilian casualties? It's not like the crack wouldn't have followed Max, after all. And on that rag-doll tumble into the pit we fade to black and get to spend the back half of this episode dealing with the consequences of Max's immediate actions and Garland's past actions. Oh goodie.

Back from ad break, we open with the crime scene where Garland has the grim face of knowing what he's done and what it will/could cost him to be found out. What having his secrets thus far revealed has already cost him, as he looks over at Nathan and Audrey across the street by the truck. Nathan looks like an angry teenager pondering what to hit first - actually, he looks almost as out of control as he was on the boat when the McBreen Trouble hit him. Which, eek. Audrey looks almost as worried, as a result, and thank god for Julia coming up to break the tension. For all of about a second with the confirmation of death (in lieu of actually seeing the corpse, I will tentatively accept the ME's word, I'm just saying, this IS Haven) until she drops the comment about Duke. Which gives Nathan a whole new direction for all that anger! Since he can't demand answers from Max, and Garland's not talking and Nathan's not quite to the point of crossing the line of beating them out of him (and nobody wants to know what it would take for him to get there, either - oh wait, we do, a threat to Audrey), Duke makes a great tertiary target! Oh Nathan honey you are so not thinking this through. Or thinking at all. Audrey makes an abortive effort to reason with him, and even the things that he's saying now aren't really working. Duke's sometimes a self-destructive idiot, but he's not suicidal (most of the time. post-The Farmer I'd question that) and if he could cause cracks you bet your ass he'd be working to control it. For exactly reasons like the one that appeared on the boat. Meanwhile Julia looks back and forth with this "do I dare get involved? nah, Duke made his bed and Nathan's off the deep end" expression. Like you do.

Okay, fine, let's go ask Duke about this whole thing! Duke, you are an ass throughout this scene and the only reason I don't want to smack you worse than I do is because you're incapable of understanding Nathan's emotions right now. There's some interesting blocking going on, Duke to the left of the camera, Nathan just left-of-center and sometimes right of center depending on whether or not they're going for closeups, and Audrey over Nathan's shoulder to the right. Nobody's exactly "in the right," here, then, except for Audrey who's trying very hard to keep everything from coming to blows and words spoken that can't be taken back. If only she were sure of what all those words were, given the boys' history. Sigh. Duke is extravagantly and excessively pleased that Max is dead, Audrey is trying so very hard to signal him to shut the fuck up and stop digging while still retaining some level of cop composure, and we are all full of facepalm. It is notable that Duke's willing to admit in words that he's scared shitless, as well as the jittery shotgun to his shoulder on first footstep, but once he's put the gun away it's all the bravado and big talk that's how Duke indicates fear without actually, y'know, showing it in more normal-people ways. Duke's fear button is kinda permanently on "bluster," with "fight" a good backup option. Massive, massive kudos to both Emily Rose and Eric Balfour for the delivery and echo on "he was swallowed by a crack in the ground," that's the kind of deadpan complemented by the "fucking HAVEN" tone that we've come to know and love so well. Once we get into Nathan accusing Duke of having committed the murder, we get Nathan further to the left of the camera, yeah, see? Not Duke, Nathan. So not Duke. Duke's style is more direct, anyway. We will all now facesmash our desks into smithereens over Duke's line about how Nathan knows he's not a Troubled person. Ahaha. Hahahaha. Ha. Ha. It's so CUTE how you believe that, Duke! And for a long time it seemed like of course it was true, because Duke was the token vanilla human out of the trio, serving as a reminder of the civilians caught in the middle of Haven's Troubles - but of course, he's about as far from a civilian as you can get, both in line of work and in bloodline's affliction. I also think Duke's not lying, or doesn't consider himself to be lying, about not knowing why Max came to visit him. After all, the money was just an excuse, it was really to take the measure of the current Crocker and find out how much he knows, and nobody in this scene is aware of that. Nathan just disbelieves Duke about that on general principle, but he's got nothing to go on as far as the murder-cum-accident, and so he'll stalk off. Again. I wonder how many outtakes there are of Lucas Bryant stalking off-set from this episode and then breaking into, I dunno, the chicken dance. It seems like the kind of thing he'd do. Audrey is not going to celebrate with Duke. Audrey is going to point out, again, that multiple people can have tattoos (and, implicitly, that at least two people HAVE had this tattoo) and maybe Duke should be more worried about tracking down the origins of the tattoo than celebrating the fact that one of the people with it is dead. Something that will take us yet another season to get into! Duke is not happy about this dose of harsh reality even though he knows she's doing it because she gives a damn. Audrey doesn't rip people's illusions to shreds without caring about them. Which is part of what makes her her.

We'll leave this dysfunctional trio and go over to another one! Garland needs someone to collapse on, and the Teagues are safe, because the Teagues already know everything. For a very limited definition of safe, okay, it's not like they're tame brothers. We get the rational/emotional split again, I think in this case it's that Vince is too wrapped up in his own emotions to notice that Garland looks like a wreck. Dave, on the other hand, has better control of his emotions as a general rule and is thinking more clearly. Garland is, in fact, so much of a wreck, rumpled shirt and hair in disarray from running fingers through it and bloodshot eyes of the I Have Never Cried A Day In My Life variety, that he ignores both lawman's and newspaperman's first rule of explanations. Antecedents are your friends, Garland. Chainsmoking is not. Vince looks like he gets it, Dave requests confirmation before making assumptions and then proceeds to try his very best to use logic and rationality. (He's also, by the way, being shot on the right. Heh.) I will shout at the screen over "I know you two had your Troubles," because fuck you Dave stop using that word. It means exactly what we think it means, and not only that but it's indicative that Garland's Trouble did activate during Lucy's tenure in Haven. Which, ouch. That can't have been fun, with a small boy. Garland's not buying the whole rational you took him in and raised him shtick, and considering what a fuckup of it he's made recently I can't say he's wrong. Vince will weigh in, and his word carries a little more weight right now. I still wonder just what Garland knew about Vince's, ahem, extracurricular activities. I feel like he knew about the Guard and almost must have known Vince was heading it up, given how much else he knew and that the Herald is the first place he goes for comfort in a crisis. There's just too fucking much history between him and Vince to be anything other than Troubles-related. Speaking of Troubles, apparently Max having friends in town troubles Vince. Which I refuse to believe is an accidental phrasing, nothing with that word is accidental, and if you want some (more) evidence for there being a Teagues Trouble, I point you square at that one line of dialogue. Bigger revelations have been hung on less in this show. I'm just saying. I wonder, actually, if that's meant to tip us off that the confrontation with Max triggered Vince's Trouble. Hard to say for sure, since we don't know what it IS yet. Grumble mutter snark. I can't tell if Garland expects the Teagues to know that Max is dead by his Trouble already, or if mentioning the funeral is his way of sideways informing them; their poker faces are good enough and the camera stays on Garland long enough that there's nothing conclusive either way. They both try to reassure him again, Vince with gut feeling beliefs and Dave with platitudes that are nevertheless semi-logical. No points for guessing who's more effective, in this instance.

Remember that advice Audrey gave Duke? Yeah, he might not have liked it very much, but he recognized its value and he's acting on it! I can only assume he's not on the phone with Miskatonic. Oh wait. Wrong universe. I get confused, with all the fish-men. And the horror of the unknown. Because really. But look, Julia's here! Turns out all those evaluating looks at the crime scene weren't just because she was wondering what had Nathan tied in knots, but deciding that if Audrey saw some good in Duke without all the baggage and history the locals have with him, maybe it was real! I think that may also be a case of letting the outsider POV inform her that it's not wishful thinking, and that she has to deal with Duke-as-he-is, not Duke-as-he-was or as-she-wishes-he-were. Seeing what's right in front of her, in other words, which is one of those things Garland hammers on but is also, yes, definitely a theme of the show. Duke gets defensive, as he does when someone he likes and trust(s/ed) has decided they don't like who he is now. I'd bet a lot of that is because he feels abandoned by the people who were supposed to help him be something other than a very good smuggler. This time it's less directly about making her go away and more about how freaked out he is, and look, Duke, she brought you a present! The gift of information. I'd say the gift of answers, but we all know that in Haven answers is actually spelled "more questions." Say, Julia's grandfather has a Guard tattoo! And he's hanging out with three other guys, all of whom might also have the tattoo but it's impossible to say for sure because it's an old photo and their arms are turned wrong for it. Given s3 information, this is solid evidence that Julia comes from a line of Troubled people. That does not, however, look like the young!Teagues photos we've seen, so for small favors we will be thankful. I still firmly believe the Carrs and the Teagues are related, given the disappearing-reappearing tattoo, but it might be relatively recent. And of course we don't get anything half so useful as a family name from Julia in this scene. She would like not to answer the question about how long she's known about this, because I'm betting the answer is "awhile." I would also bet that she has some idea of what the tattoo means, or what it's supposed to mean, and one of the reasons she's been keeping it from Duke is because she's not convinced it's not all an elaborate bluff. That's fair. I wouldn't be either. I'd also guess that she was considering telling him about it after he'd had some time to adjust from Vanessa's revelations, but then they got kidnapped and she got pissed at him and withheld the info. The important part, as they both know, is that she's telling him now! Before he actually gets someone with the tattoo trying to kill him.

Off they go on their journey to the graveyard of creepy, and off we go to see Nathan and Audrey trying to get some proper police work in on the owner of the earth-mover Trouble. This would be easier if Dave weren't a fucking moron. I have to watch this scene from behind my fingers because of the embarrassment squick. This is also a very odd scene, because Dave is normally fairly composed and rational, and there's nothing in what we know to be happening to make him this rattled. Max is dead and thus no longer a threat, though also maybe no longer a form of protection, depending on what exactly Dave owed him. Now is as good a time as any to expound on a theory Kitty and I've been tossing around in chat as I freak out and swear and capslock at her in chat. Seriously, it's been a little terrifying. So: posit that actions are being taken that nobody sees. Posit that the presence of the Rev in the previouslies, Max's comment about going to church, and the Rev popping up at the end of this ep are all linked. Those are pretty much gimmes. Posit that Dave is the most Troubles-denying out of, frankly, any of the main characters who damn well ought to know better, has in latter seasons tried to make direct use of Duke and his Trouble, and that the Rev's group was probably influenced by if not a direct successor to the group that was controlling Roy Crocker in Sarah's day. Posit that Vince created the Guard to protect the Troubled, and that Dave (assuming he's Troubled or has the potential to be, as seems safe by Vince's disappearing-reappearing tattoo, that is NOT NORMAL HUMAN TECH dammit) wanted his own group to control. Also that he has some self-loathing issues to work out and it's a pity Haven doesn't have a therapist anymore. Conclude that something happened between Dave and the Rev back in Lucy's day. We haven't done a full s2 rewatch in awhile, and I can't think of supporting evidence for this off the top of my head as a result, but it's a theory to bear in mind. Feel free to tell us we're wrong, forgetting obvious supporting or counter-evidence in the comments, and in general wildly speculate, because fuck knows they've been hiding all the juicy bits about what happened leading up to James Cogan's murder and Arla's Trouble activating for the last three seasons.

All of that postulated, let's assume that something is going on that's rattled Dave enough that he's acting out of emotion, something that he's not used to. Which means he's trying to ensure reconciliation long before Nathan (and Garland) are ready to deal with that, and while Nathan's obviously in work mode. I wonder what makes familial reconciliation so important to Dave? We don't have anything other than his feuding bickering joined at the hip relationship with Vince to go on, but we can guess that they had a split over their mutual interest in Sarah and reconciled at some later point. There's some interesting blocking with the guilty looks and the head-ducking, putting Audrey in between the Teagues and splitting her off from Nathan. Because that's not significant in light of s3 or anything. She's also ducking her head in unison with their guilty looks, which isn't much of a surprise since everyone knows the Teagues know everything and Nathan wouldn't appreciate her showing anything that looked like pity. Nathan doesn't appreciate anyone telling him what to do, especially people who have known about his parentage for all of his life and never told him, either. Yes, Dave, actually he can walk away, and unless Dave's been more of a parental figure to him than it seems like he doesn't have a fucking leg to stand on with this one. So Dave is really, really rattled, he's an interfering busybody but he tends to be more subtle about it. Certainly he's better about picking his battles, along with the time and place for them, as Audrey and Vince would like to inform him that this is neither. Not before Nathan snaps at him, and we might expect Dave to be a little scared of that? But he's not. He looks scared for Nathan, if anything. I wonder how much he knows or has guessed about where Garland is and what he plans to do, come to that, since we don't know what Garland said when he left the Herald but he sure wasn't as in control as he usually is, either. Oh everyone. And if Dave's guessed or knows that Garland is suicidal, then that's as much reason as anything to be trying ill-advised public stunts like this.

...I still think there's Rev-issues going on here, too, but we'll leave those aside for right now. Right now is for learning that the first time Max was in the Gull was around 2 or 3 (that's a late lunch, Chief) and he sat near da Chief. Cue sick realization! Cue laying it all out for those of us who need the evidence that mounted up over the last season, including, thank you, the fact that the chasm Nathan was just checking out was by the Chief's usual hunting grounds. I would just point out the elephant in the room that they're avoiding, namely the crack that nearly killed Audrey before she ever got into Haven proper. Probably as a result of Agent Fuck You showing up and informing him that Audrey was on her way. I assume Nathan's not remember that because recent emotional trauma. I assume Audrey's avoiding thinking about it because it implies that he knew that she wasn't Lucy's daughter, she was Lucy-minus-memories, from the moment she walked into Haven. Also note the distancing techniques here, it's not Garland, it's not Chief Wuornos, it's not your/my father, it's "the Chief." Audrey is definitely doing Nathan the courtesy of maintaining that distance in public, because with the next scene comes some more of that ripping away of illusions.

Of course Garland's not back at the station, there's too many people around and his control's too questionable. No, checking the calendar isn't going to do a damn bit of good except to tell you where he isn't, Nathan, and Audrey will call him obliquely on the fact that he's not thinking straight. What are they going to do with Garland when they find him? This is, actually, a question you should settle before you let your emotions run off half-cocked. It's good law enforcement procedure, it's good people procedure, and Nathan doesn't want to have any of it, which means Audrey has to go for the throat. Just about literally, with the push-shove sit your ass down and listen. Yes, Garland is Nathan's father in all the ways that really count. He's kind of a shit father, but if the choice was between him or Max? Yeah, I know which one I'd pick, too. The one that probably wouldn't kill his family, not that both choices don't suck in different ways. Again I wonder how much of the lack of support system for Garland and Nathan was Garland's choice and how much was the town not being there for him. Particularly those who knew about the Troubles. Audrey's losing it, too, even though everything she says is accurate she should also know from her own kinds of trauma and experiences with dysfunctional families, however implanted that knowledge is, that it's not as simple as just leaving. (It's actually worse when you can't quite name it abuse, but you know it's not healthy either.) I don't think she means it to come across as blaming Nathan, either, and I don't think the narrative wants us to support either of them right now. There are no easy answers to this, in other words, but it probably is true that Nathan had hoped to work it out with Garland by staying and following in his footsteps, and they didn't have an Audrey to smack them upside the head until it was pretty much too late. And she has her own motives for finding Garland, see the aforementioned not-mentioning of the crack that nearly killed her when she came to Haven, she believes he knows something about her, about the Troubles, he's got secrets on top of secrets and yes, they are going to ask him. The speech she gives Nathan about this is only slightly less convoluted than that last sentence was. She also won't let him shy away from calling Garland his father, and I think this is one of the first times in recent memory that anyone has stood up to Nathan and his binders full of issues, by the way he sags and backs down. Okay, fine, he doesn't have to agree with or understand what she's saying, he can focus on the question of where Garland is anyway. Whatever he wants to call their relationship now, Nathan knows him best (which, ouch, not least because they could probably ask the Teagues but fuck if either of them wants anything to do with the creepy brothers right now), so use your goddamn cop instincts and make a decision, Nathan. Ahem.

We don't need to watch her walk him through the rest of this process, where would Garland go if he's not in control of his Trouble, where does he go to be alone, etc. Instead, we'll go to a graveyard! Which is actually a semi-plausible if incredibly gross location for an earth-mover to retreat to, but it's not where Garland is. It's where Duke and Julia are! It's the graveyard for Troubled people! And a very impatient Duke, thank you, we get the message. I still would like to chew on someone's ankle until they give me additional family names for Julia and Eleanor. Goddammit. Julia's treating Duke like a cranky five-year-old, since that's pretty much what he's acting like. It also works. No, the gravestone they're in front of isn't her grandfather and I can't make out the name on it, it's too faded. Grandpa was an R. Anderson, apparently, and this is poking us in the Stephen King nodule but the closest we can get is a Tommyknockers reference, maybe? The carefully curated index of Troubles and timeline (you didn't think we did that JUST for your benefit, did you?) isn't giving me anything. Noted here for future occurrences, however! I will also note that someone either fucked up the dates or the Carr-Anderson(-Teagues) family is extraordinarily long-lived. 'cause that looks like Died March 3, 1817, Aged 39 Years. One, that's awfully young and implies a violent death, if the date's meant to be 1917, maybe died in the war? Impossible to say without further data. Another of the gravestones suggests a Civil War date of death, and another might have the name Ralph on it, but overall even slowing it down I can't get much data off them. They're all old, both by date and by appearance, many of them look pretty worn. Which tells us this is an old, old symbol, far older than whenever Vince started using it for the Guard and dating back at least to the mid-late 1800s. Probably earlier, if the whole graveyard full is anything to go by. I would also note that in keeping with the way symbols change over time, there's slight stylization differences among them and definite differences from the symbol in the graveyard (and the one on Julia's shoulder which we'll get to in a moment) and the tattoo as worn by the Guard in s3. Which, by the way, gave us absolute fits for the longest time, but I'm pretty sure this is meant to be an indication of the way symbolism changes over decades and centuries, and also possibly Vince choosing to adopt a more rigid/easily tattooed version by which he can tell Guard members apart from those who carry the bloodline and/or know the real history of the maze. Because you can bet your ass that he coopted something that's been around and suddenly I wonder if there was an altercation with Dave over devaluing their family history, or something along those lines. I want ANSWERS, dammit. The real kind, not the Haven kind.

We'll go over to one of the people with those answers! Unfortunately Garland's too fucked up to provide them right now. At least he found his way to an isolated beach that doesn't appear to be near the harbor, so yes, he's looking to minimize casualties. He's also looking to get up the nerve to kill himself, and cop training kicks in when Audrey and Nathan see the gun. Which we don't, until we pan around for the shock value. That's not much of a shock, I have to say. Audrey talks him through the beginning of it, trying to be who she's supposed to be to the Troubled, and we get some nice eyeflickers and jawclenches from Lucas Bryant as Garland enumerates the ways he's tried to maintain control over his Trouble. Oh honey. Being that tightly wound and keeping that many secrets is what's got you all fucked up. Get thee to some therapy. Audrey is not like therapy. Nor is a lighthouse, though it's good to have confirmation that the Chief's been keeping tabs on what they do with the assorted Troubled they've been helping. Interesting that Garland doesn't list Nathan's mother as one of the things he ever had, just the town and Nathan. But he's not quite to the point where he can blow his brains out in front of his son, for which miniscule favors I guess we're thankful. Garland, of course, thinks he's trying to hold the entire town together, because what's a martyr complex useful for if not shit like this? I'm just saying. And I wonder what edge he's worried about, if this is such a cycle. The edge of not being able to shove the genie messiah figure back in the lamp barn? The edge of the Rev and his people destroying the tenuous Troubled-non-Troubled peace? The edge of revealing the existence of the Troubled to everyone else for other reasons and by other means? WE DON'T KNOW ISN'T IT GREAT. Could be a combination of all of them, really, though I'm betting it's mostly the Rev that concerns him at the moment. Nathan continues to distance himself, though in this case I think it's as much to detach from what's happening as to punish Garland, by calling him Chief constantly. It's not exactly helping Garland not feel like shit, though, and he goes on the All Of This I Give To You, Son, Do Better Than I Did speech. Which is well-delivered and directed and incredibly painful to watch, but that's what it amounts to. Audrey, from asking pointed questions, has turned into something of a statue at this point, not telling Garland to come in, it'll all be fine, not telling him to let her get to him, and thereby pissing Nathan off. A lot. Personally, I think she's flat out overloaded on information at this point. She doesn't know for sure what she can do, she doesn't want to get anyone shot because Garland's waving the gun around while barely in control of himself physically to say nothing of emotionally, and her first priority is Nathan's physical well-being. (Well, someone has to put that first, lord knows Nathan never does.) And she might have tried to play savior of the Troubled at him, except then he drops the bombshell of confirmation on her that yes, he was waiting for her to get to Haven before he let himself fall apart and by the way, not everyone will have her back. It's the I-love-you and the "Dad!" that cinch the fact that yes, this is really happening, no, Garland doesn't intend to go back on it, and even if Audrey had thought to try and rush in and use Magic Healing Savior Touch on him at that point, I'm not sure she had the time. Cue exploding Chief. Cue Audrey's look of "no, really, the fuck" and Nathan hating life, the universe, and everything. Poor Nathan.

So, who you gonna call when your boss has exploded into a shower of tiny pieces of granite or sandstone or whatever that is? (I like granite for the symbolism, personally, but hey.) Ain't Ghostbusters. It's the Teagues, who are still all of the creepy ever with their tandem bike and their lying ways. Nathan lurks in the background on the beach, grieving and out of commission, which is one of the more realistic depictions of grief I've seen. I mean, not that people don't have a very, very wide range of reactions, but sometimes it's very tiring to have the male reaction be Dealing With Business While Barely Holding It Together and the female reaction be Let Me Weep All Over Someone's Shoulder Please. No, there's a definite gender reversal here, although in Nathan's case if he's crying he's not being obvious about it. Because he wants to be left alone, which is another thing rarely permitted in TV. (Introverts in general are rarely portrayed as positively as Nathan is, come to that. It makes me ten kinds of happy to have this.) Audrey's taken charge, and while she might not trust or even like the Teagues all of the time, they're a safe bet for keeping things secret. Vince is also grieving for his friend and possibly for both the men who died today; he and Max may have been enemies in the end but they were pretty obviously the kind of enemies that result from a major falling out between two good friends (or at least colleagues) and there's got to be some residual shock from no longer having that to push against. Dave is still the one who thinks they should go bug Nathan in the guise of providing comfort or some shit, which just makes me stare at him again. Seriously, Dave. You shouldn't do that. I'm going to turn into HAL on you in a second here. Vince, as usual, has a marginally better grasp of the emotional realities: yes, Nathan needs Audrey, for reasons known and otherwise, and pointing out that it's her job to help Nathan (and all the Troubled) distracts Dave into asking the proper question. Good Vince. Way to redirect your emotionally tone-deaf brother. And in contrast, Vince is the one who doesn't get the euphemism of "evidence" for "body," because that requires a level of emotional detachment he's not capable of right now. But, alright, after the initial horror of realizing that this is a thing that needs doing they'll go ahead and get started while she sees to Nathan. They've known him for over sixty years, after all! Which means they've known Garland since before we saw him in Sarah, probably, and now I have mental images of the Teagues babysitting Garland make it stooooop. Oh, but she has a question! About the people who might not want her here, and Dave stomps all over Vince starting to say something useful. With about the worst lie imaginable, overstating and hesitant at the same time. (It still takes acting skill to make an obvious lie like that work in context, by the way, and Donat and Dunsworth still have fantastic chemistry. I should note that in between all the AUGH RUN AWAY CREEPY FUCKERS that I've been doing.) Audrey doesn't buy the lie for a minute, but she's got more important things to do, so she'll just let them know - subtly - that she sees what they did there as she heads down the beach to talk to Nathan. Cue bickering with no context between the brothers, and even now the context has so many options that it's difficult to say for sure which "this" needs to sort itself out. I'm guessing Dave wants to stay out of the way until the Rev is either so obviously a madman bent on killing people that his actions need no PR spin to be bad, or until the Rev is taken out of the picture by someone else. Moreover, he thinks that what he's/they've been doing has kept them alive, which isn't something Vince (or we) can argue with. It does tell us that there was a time when Vince at least was much more publicly active in handling the Troubles, not that we didn't guess that already but the confirmation is nice. He's not the kind of person who comfortably rests in the background and pulls the puppet strings, he's doing this because he can't see any other way. And possibly because he's ashamed of what he's done in the past. Dave, on the other hand, is way more comfortable hiding in the shadows. Who's the real power in the Teagues family, again? That is a very good question and I'm glad you asked it.

Other very good questions include who the hell taught Nathan his (lack of) coping mechanisms oh wait. Garland, goddammit. As infuriating as it is to watch Nathan blame Audrey for his father's suicide, it's partly that infuriating because he's not entirely wrong. There's a chance she could have helped. There's also a chance that it would've pissed Garland off at them for her lying to him, or what he'd perceive as her lying to him. And the last thing anyone wants is an earth-mover who they know can kill accidentally pissed enough in an outward direction to do it again. Particularly when he's that far out of control. Audrey's not making very good points in her defense, either, probably because she does blame herself but she also resents the burden being placed on her: help all the Troubled ever and do it perfectly every time especially when it's one of your boys' loved ones. Which she's already failed at. Oh, and do it with absolutely no information except what she can glean from the Troubled she's helping, who are often in distress and may or may not remember anything accurately, let alone have full information to go on. So she's pissed at Garland for dying and not sharing any of his secrets, she's pissed at the Teagues for shutting her out again, she's pissed at herself for failing to help Garland all the same, and this does not make for a very helpful partner. At all. Bringing up Garland's awareness of the secrets of Haven is probably the worst thing she can do right now, as Nathan shuts down and shuts her out. Trying again from the direction of, I'm trying to tell you this important thing and by the way your father knew, also not a good avenue of helping. That's cat-helping, Audrey. If she tried a third time something Big And Important might happen, because Rule of Three, but again we have that rule being broken. For the second time I've noticed this episode. CAN WE MAKE IT THREE TIMES. If so, kill the bottle. Audrey does just go, with a hunch to her posture that's the only sign of how much it hurts to do.

And over to the Cape Rouge where Duke and Julia are celebrating. Yes, really, Julia. Celebrating. Because you were helpful! With wine instead of anything harder or anything like champagne. Red wine. I'll try not to facedesk too hard over how the Crocker Trouble requires blood to work, but that's only because I don't want to have to get another new desk. This fucking ep. I swear. She doesn't really want to stay and help more, or be persuaded into hanging out and drinking with Duke, or much of anything, and Duke is pushing at the boundaries of what she's said she's willing to do. Because that's what Duke does, is push at people's boundaries. Sometimes in the good sense of nudging their comfort zones, sometimes in the bad sense of hitting the big red button. This one's somewhere in between, where he's trying both to resume old acquaintances and to get more information out of her. (I'd quote the full Paul Simon line, but really the blog is for speculating who's been damaged the most.) Aheh. The fact that Julia says there's a rest to figure out implies that she knows more, still, than she's been telling. That barely merits the jar at this point, and only because she's a member of the younger generation and thus slightly less prone to this kind of bullshit. Slightly. The important part of this scene is that magic appearing-disappearing tattoo! Which shows up when Duke comments that he's going to die at the hand of someone with that tattoo unless he kills them first, and sticks around while Julia comments that that's her mother's world, not hers. (Liar.) I rather think that's also a fishing expedition on Duke's part, finding out what Julia's response to threats of death would be. To her credit, aside from the tattoo showing up as probably a response to emotional stress, she's a pretty good liar! A little too unblinking, a little too much of a dodge, but on the whole she hasn't given away the homeworld, so to speak. And if we wanted some more reminders that Duke's not a tame smuggler, the music plus his murderboard is a good pair of clues! Duke has a murderboard. This is one of the reasons we love him. On that murderboard are: the article from the Herald when the CK murder was discovered, a mugshot of Max Hansen, a crime scene photo of the dead guy from Ball and Chain with the tattoo, and the napkin with the tattoo drawn on it. Also a list of names: Colorado Kid, Max Hansen, Audrey Parker, and now Julia Carr. It's not much to go on, but it does get it all out there in the open for Duke to stare at and try to parse.

We return to the beach, where Nathan's picked himself up, probably to avoid talking to the creepy Teagues being creepy and overbearing. And we have the chief's badge passed along to Nathan, I almost believe that the Teagues left that half-uncovered for him to find in highly symbolic fashion. Because that would be like them. Also creepy vibrating pieces of Garland which are only identifiable by the pattern of clothing color on them. Ew. Yeah, that does look like sandstone or something similarly soft and porous. Sins of the Fathers implies that Garland is really truly dead and not coming back, but we never did get any follow-through on this. Is it residual Trouble activity, because earth-mover? Is Garland not completely dead? If he's only mostly dead, I vote we get a holocaust cloak and a Miracle Max and Kitty and I can trade off being Carol Kane because god knows someone has to scream at the Teagues. We're not touching the question of who's Buttercup.

Ahem. That aside, Nathan does have to confront his father's empty office at some point. Except for the part where it's not empty. Hello, Rev. We've been waiting for you to show up so we could shout and twitch and threaten you with zotty sticks. For once, all of these threats and implications are relatively straightforward! You have no idea what a relief that is, or how weird it is for me to be relieved by a scene with the Rev. No, he'll echo the bit about the right kind of friends that Max said earlier, in case we missed the connection. No, I promise we didn't. And we still pretty thoroughly loathe the Rev, who somehow already knows about Garland's death. Given that we have only four known candidates, I find myself side-eying Dave again. A lot. It's possible that someone was spying on the beach and saw it all go down, but that's a bit on the questionable side since it's already at least two people too many. I'm going to blame Dave in light of any evidence to the contrary. Pun intended. The upshot is, Garland was a good man! Which says some interesting things about his ability to walk the line between being Troubled, being friends with Vince, and keeping the peace with the Rev's people. That's a damn difficult and delicate balance to maintain. But they need a better man to replace him, and maybe it wasn't much of a balance after all. Maybe the Rev's just not speaking ill of the dead to the one he wants to manipulate. Hard to say for sure, though the Rev isn't usually that skilled at hiding his real feelings, especially when they involve the Troubled. Oh, hey, the Rev knew that Max was Nathan's biodad too! Yay! No, wait, definitely the other thing. Nathan has another of those moments, this one incredibly well-concealed given what he's just been through, of does everyone fucking know but me? Yes. Sorry, honey, everyone does. Or did. And for the first time since he learned this, identifying Garland as his father and Max as… not, to someone else. Even though it's the Rev and Nathan has no intention of ever showing him weakness or indicating that they might be on the same side, that's still pretty significant, along with calling Max Hansen a thug. Seems like someone did an awful lot of thinking on the beach, along with the grieving. Yadda yadda Nathan's already damned as one of the Troubled and the Rev's going to make some changes now that there's a power gap, so Nathan should either get the fuck out or be prepared to suffer. ...Nathan's pretty accustomed to suffering, dude. He's not going to take the easy way out and live with the guilt and make the Rev's life easier. Psychopathic murdering bastard. Not that I have opinions about Driscoll or anything.

With that, Nathan pretty much has to go to Audrey, because who else is he going to get to back him up against the Rev? She's down by the docks where the Colorado Kid was found again, her usual waterside rambling location when she needs to go think and be alone. Which Nathan knows, aw, they know each other well! Even after so short a time. Audrey's got a jacket on, granted it can be chilly by the water but it provides another layer of who-is-she to peel back, and also another layer of self-protection. I'd look as nervous as she does when Nathan approaches, too, after that last conversation. There's a misfire where she thinks he's come to apologize, but Nathan Doesn't Apologize, at least not at this point and pretty rarely overall. He's come to ask for help, which is like apologizing in that not at all sort of way. He's also sort of stumbling around it because he knows he should be apologizing and can't quite manage it, oh both of you. So. No, I don't think Nathan knows what's happening, but I think he's got a better idea than he wants to admit to anyone. Especially himself. Audrey steps up to remind him that he's got something to work towards and live for, holding the town together and battling the Rev and helping the Troubled and all the other grinding, exhausting things Garland did. Hey, at least there's no earth-mover Trouble to contend with! Just a constant refusal to acknowledge physical weakness because after all, he can't feel it. HEY LOOK AN APOLOGY. From both of them, for shutting each other out. Man, it's like sometimes, despite fumbling around and not really wanting to apologize at all, they can both be adults and use their words! Some of them, anyway. Not the I-love-you ones, they ignore that for a very long time.

So if they trust each other, and if they've got the Rev to handle, then they need to spill as many of their secrets as they're currently holding. The ones that they're aware affect each other! We'll start with the one where Nathan can feel her touch, and I think the twitch is deliberate. At least the fact that he didn't suppress it; yes, it's unusual, but he's also been keeping himself carefully out of range to be touched since then. He'll even admit to having known for awhile and, essentially, needing time to figure out what he thought of it. Because it's so weird. He seems to have decided he kinda likes it, though! Why yes, that's a trollface we can see over the horizon. Whatever he was about to say about his opinion of it, though, maybe up to and including admitting that's how he knew the chameleon wasn't her? She forestalls that by dropping her bombshell on Nathan. I love how they're both fumbling around constantly in this scene, not sure how much to share, not happy about sharing, scared of all the implications, and doing it anyway. And not only that, but in any other show, Audrey II's arrival would totally have interrupted Audrey right as she was on the verge of coughing it up, and they DON'T do that. To my everlasting glee. Audrey spends a little while longer being freaked out and trying to cushion the blow, as much for herself as for Nathan. He looks like he really doesn't want to believe it at first, like you do when you've just been told your partner and the woman you're falling in love with is some kind of mythic reincarnating figure tied to Haven and its Troubles, or something like that. But that's a kneejerk response, and I bet suddenly all kinds of things Garland said both on and off screen are making sense to Nathan now.

What they don't get a chance to do is process these revelations and what they mean for each other as well as the town. Or to toss proof and evidence back and forth. It'd be nice if they did! But this is a season finale, so we have to have a cliffhanger to end it on. I know, by the way, that the fandom decided in s2 that this was Fauxdrey, but I'm going with Audrey II as the alternate name, because frankly, if anyone's not the real Audrey Parker, it's AudSarLu. Speaking of who are you, this as-yet-unnamed federal agent will proceed to ask horribly layered questions that she doesn't know are layered. Much like our Audrey did when she first got to Haven! We begin to see some of why they used this person's memories to form AudSarLu this time around even in the first couple seconds. Our Audrey takes a wild leap of a guess that it's about Max, which isn't too far of a leap considering, recently paroled felon, might already have been reported as dead or causing trouble (and Trouble) by someone in the town, lord knows he went around with the express purpose of antagonizing everyone he ran into. I'm sure she's reaching for identification or possibly her phone to provide crime scene photos, but Audrey II is trigger-happy and nervous right now. Like you are when it seems as though someone's stolen your identity and done a really good job of it, too. (This, o barnvatar, is why you don't implant personalities with access to federal databases in your messiah figure. Unless you wanted her to know what she was and didn't care when it happened. Which is a whole other pile of unanswered and currently unanswerable questions. YAY. Though given Sarah Vernon's line of work when she gets to Haven, that might be an intentional throughline; military bureaucracy is another likely candidate for a second person by the same name/rank/serial number getting noticed and a paperwork shuffle occurring. I wish we knew anything about the real Lucy Ripley now. Again.) And now we've come full circle, only in this scene as compared to the pilot, Audrey and Nathan split Nathan's lines. Because they're on the same side. By the looks they exchange and the music cues, everyone except poor Audrey II is knowledgeable here about remembering that moment of their first meeting. And the final reveal of her FBI creds and Audrey's shocked face!

To be continued, oh, next summer sometime with season 2. We love you all, but Haven's come back, Grimm's about to come back, and we still have Person of Interest backlog to catch up on - and that's just for the blog. Look for Kitty's braided anthology, Black Ice, and expect A to start blogging about music and the process of learning to be an Irish musician pretty soon on her other blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment