Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cradle Will Fall Haven S4E12 When The Bough Breaks

Previously, on Haven: There was a creepy book with a creepy symbol and a creepy saying that creepyass William somehow knew and thus wanted to kill Jennifer. Also William and Audrey were so connected, and together they had made the Troubles, as Audrey told Vince. Many fucks were given, not all of them in English.

This week on Haven! There's a creepyass canned baby scream on the air, and a guy mowing his lawn drops dead! For comedic effect the lawnmower keeps going without him, I guess because it's one of those models? The Rule of Darkly Funny model. A guy playing tennis concludes his game, hears the sound, and also drops dead, although this time we get confirmation that the other person around him doesn't hear it, so only people who hear the sound drop dead. Perhaps it's time to invest in earplugs? A girl is washing a bright red sporty looking car with a guy, and, yep, drops dead. This is pretty right out of the gate! Also quick and lethal. That doesn't bode well.

We seem to be over at that hideous green warehouse thing that apparently has strategic advantage because you can see anyone coming from any direction, and which Duke totally does not use for illicit business. It's a place of reflection! Solitude! At this point he's only saying that because it's funny and because he's trying not to give Nathan a reason to actually arrest him, not that Nathan cares about the crimes that aren't actually hurting anyone at this point. Jennifer is sitting all cross-legged next to him, and that's adorable, and Nathan reminds Stan not to shoot William for what is apparently the sixteenth time. No one believes you, Nathan. You're worrying. Out loud and at your men. They're fine, they can handle it. Calm down. Nathan will not calm down, he will in fact calm up. (Though we'll accept that he's reminding himself due to his massive guilt complex which in this case is… at least somewhat deserved.) Really, no one is calm here, at least not internally, externally there are just varying degrees of faking it. Audrey's talking out the problem is what she does when she's nervous, Duke's cracking jokes, etc. Audrey talking out the problem of William sounds a lot like stating the obvious, though saying out loud that William can't hurt Jennifer as long as she's got the book serves the dual purpose of helping her and maybe the others think of solutions and getting viewers who might have missed the salient part of the last episode up to speed. Duke will continue the update by snarking about the book being a book like the bar/n was a bar/n, and it's really an otherworldly instruction manual. In case of emergency, the answer really does seem to be to draw a door. At least it doesn't read like stereo instructions. It's way more than less than unhelpful! So, what they're not asking here and what they maybe should be is that if the book exists to deal with William, to banish him or what have you, who created it? Agent Fuck You Howard? Audrey herself, in her previous life? The Mi'kmaq? Who? We haven't hit three minutes into this episode, actually by my clock we haven't even hit two minutes and already the swearing and the questions begin. Shernold, I do this out of love. I promise.

Anyway, if the plan is to find the door between the worlds and shove his happy ass through it I am all for that. Lock the door behind him. Torch the building. Pull it down into dimensional rubble, etc. What? I have issues with William. I also have issues with untested assumptions, in this case that Jennifer is the only one who can banish William from this world. Granted, it'd be useful to behave as though that were the case, because that protects their more known asset, but it would also be worth it, if they can spare the manpower, to explore other options. (Mind you, that caveat is pretty hard to come by with the shit William's pulling, but still.) Because options have a way of becoming drastically reduced in Haven, and it's good to have as many as possible at least to go tearassing down other roads before you get forced down the one you don't want to take. In this case, quite possibly by William, who now knows Jennifer has the mysterious magical book of secrets and as Audrey points out, is likely to step up his plan to do whatever it takes to get the original person who became Audrey Parker back. Because he's a jackass like that. Step 1: Find the Heart of Haven. Only no one has a clue what that is. If it were me I'd start with the geographic center point of current Haven, and go back through town records and maps and older geographic centers, because at least it's a place to start? From there on to oldest buildings and emotional centers, like churches, and look we've had some practice at thinking around corners like this, okay? Remember, before we started this blog we did this between ourselves, for fun. At any rate, the fearsome foursome breaking out their own murderboards will have to wait; Nathan and Audrey are getting texts about suspicious deaths. Three of them. Seriously, with the death toll in this town it's a wonder anyone a) still lives here or b) well, still lives here. Audrey and Nathan leave to deal with the problem, with a last ominous no-pressure comment about if they find the door to shove William through and lock him out, they won't have to deal with people dying randomly and often anymore. Well, more randomly, more often than average. No pressure. And that's another big question they're ignoring for the sake of their limited sanity, what happens if they get William through that door? The normal cycle's blown all to shit now, but it never ended because of anything related to him, it was always about Audrey. Though getting rid of William would give them the fucking space to consider next options with the Troubles, whereas right now they're staggering from crisis to crisis. Duke nudges Jennifer, but all she's getting from the book is to find the Heart of Haven and on the next page, the Guard symbol. Um, guys? It's not only fading in and out, it's kind of moving. Either the symbol itself or the light, something's making it look like it's moving. Might that be a clue? No? No. Well, half no, the fading in and out is Duke's clue that he knows someone with a tattoo that does that. Actually, Duke, you know two people, it's just that you haven't seen hers do that before. This really makes me wonder what would have happened if the writers had been able to/inclined to bring Julia back this season.

They're over on the tennis court with that body, which on the face of it could be simple coronary event due to age and exertion, but, well, this is Haven. It's never lupus natural causes. Once Gloria leaves to go chop the guy up and see what killed him (her words not mine, I love you Gloria) they speculate on how the guy said he heard something right before he died. (Note the importance of Gloria being out of earshot before they have this discussion, too, otherwise this might've been solved much more rapidly. At least to a degree.) Death whisper Trouble is one way of putting it, I guess? That wasn't much of a whisper, though it's not like they have enough data to be aware of that yet. Audrey's comment about three bodies being a lot is a qualifiedly accurate statement; it's a lot for a Trouble that kills individually and not as an area effect spell, for lack of a better phrase. Let us all remember the death bubble of extreme deep sea pressure Trouble, yes? Yes. That one had a terrifyingly high body count, but this one seems to kill individually and at a very specific random pattern over a large area, so yes, three is a pretty high count. And yes, it probably is William. Because William seems to enjoy this sort of thing. Oh, you mean William's right behind Audrey. Oh, well then. Can we tie him up, tape his mouth shut, and dump him in a trunk? That shouldn't do anything to Audrey. William, because he is an arrogant and inhuman fuck, talks mainly to Audrey, first asking how she's doing and assuring her that he healed them as soon as he could. Yeah, this is both creepy and unhelpful. He's so proud of himself, too, for setting these deaths in motion, which is about the more accurate phrase than saying William killed those people but, yes. He is the root cause at this point. Nathan is more than willing to arrest him for being smirky and confessing to three murders, or at least, in Nathan's view confessing to three murders. That sort of confession is a bit like Duke's denial, it only works if you look at it sideways and don't think about it too hard, and exists largely for the justification of Nathan doing what he wants to do. We permit him to do it with Duke because it's convenient to the narrative, to the continued investigations that they do together, and because we enjoy their dynamic and friendship. With William, it's a bit closer to bending the rules in order to railroad someone, and even if that someone is an evil psychopathic eldritch horror in disturbingly charismatic human form, it's more discomfiting. Well, to everyone except William, who continues to be blase as usual and, you know, threaten to kill people. Once again I have to say, this makes his comment about if you don't get out of here a lot of people will die, back when he and Lexie were in the bar/n? A lot more ominous. After being reminded that William is just as much trouble in jail as out of it Nathan lets William go, though not without considerable glowering, and the eldritch horror invites Audrey to go with him, just her, and he'll tell her how to stop this. This fills no one with confidence, particularly Nathan, but it is a good point that William isn't exactly in a position to hurt her, and that they need to figure out what he did and how to stop him. Plus, not that she says so explicitly, she's in the best position to keep an eye on William and make sure he doesn't do anything worse. Nathan doesn't like this. No one likes this, Nathan. But he's not going to stop her, Largely because he's going to glare and emote into the distance. Roll credits!

The credits tell me nothing. Neither is Vince being the most communicative, we're back to rehashing previous episodes to catch people up, though at least they're quick and efficient about it. Vince seems to have been looking in a book called Secrets of World Civilizations, too. In case anyone wanted to know. Everyone is impatiently asking questions of each other that they can't answer until Duke brings up that Jennifer's book has a Guard symbol that fades in and out like Vince's tattoo. Which makes Vince go "oh" in the vaguely guilty suddenly comprehending sense. Yes, Vince. Feel guilty that you have been a closed-mouthed son of a bitch until now because you have been a fucking closed-mouthed son of a bitch until now. Which is about all the head of steam I can build up for biting the Teagues these days, though, I'm saving the wear and tear on my teeth for William. Apparently Vince's symbol is normally, nominally under his control, but lately it's begun fading in and out on its own. Dave is concerned and wants to know why the hell Vince never told him. Vince seems to consider this on the same level as Dave not telling him he ate the last of the marmalade, um, no. Unless this is Hades-transporting pomegranate marmelade, no, that is not on the same level, Vince, and you're getting a smack for that one. Yes, as Vince shows, the tattoo is playing merry buggers, and Jennifer opens her book to see that they're appearing and disappearing in sync. It's signaling... Vince? Is it signaling Vince or Jennifer? Again, with the assumptions, Duke, though if that is true then the fuck with the tattoo and the bloodline and Jennifer and the book and the fuck and we will now dissolve into an incomprehensible pile of swearing. Once again, theories at the end of the recapalypse! For now, that fucking tattoo, whose fading in and out is accompanied by moderately hilarious whooshing noises. (K: The tattoo is a TARDIS?) (A: Really, that would explain SO MUCH.)

Moving between the guardians of Haven, because you really can't tell me that Vince, Duke, and Jennifer aren't intended as three guardian figures, with Audrey probably as the fourth, yes, we'll get to that in its proper place, and Haven's current manifestation of eldritch horror and evil! William will talk to Audrey as though she's not Audrey, which to him she isn't. Using the third person rather than the second, he wants to free her from her prison and bring back the woman he knew and loved. Loves, supposedly, though we may all severely question William's definition of love both present and past. Audrey has no patience for this bullshit and wants to know how to fix the latest William-induced Trouble, which he claims oh no, not his doing, hers! At least in the ultimate sense, hers, she created this Trouble in the bad old days and loved it for how deadly it was. I really want to know, again, if there was ever any point to the creation of the Troubles beyond superpowered beings fucking around with humans because they can, on account of there often is. William lays out his plan with all the clever smugness we've come to expect from him when he's not even trying not to appear evil by this world's morality, he's going to introduce her to the Trouble, she's going to realize that she can't fix it by reasoning with the Troubled person, and then she's going to give someone a new Trouble to solve this one! I'm sure that's not his plan in its entirety, not even with the added commentary about how he thinks she'll remember who she originally was when she does that, because William is a master of giving people just enough data to lead them around by their emotions and not enough to make informed decisions. But for right now we'll go with it, and since William's plans have worked out exceedingly well in the past we can all be pretty certain they're not going to find any kind of solution to this one. He does allow as how they used to create complementary Troubles to see what would happen, yes, like Jordan and Nathan, so no, that wasn't an accident. I wonder how much of that Vince is aware of at least by inference, since he doesn't seem to have any knowledge of the Troubles' origin. Colin Ferguson proceeds to do a magnificent impression of condescending asshole and no, see, I'd consider punching him for that worth the black eye too, as Audrey says later. She's holding her composure remarkably well, not looking up at him with any kind of deference so much as an expression of "yes you fucker I have figured out your clever leading sentence." Actually I do believe that she'll exhaust every other angle before giving a Trouble to solve a Trouble, but not the never. Whenever people say they'll "never" do a thing, it comes back to bite them. Usually by the end of the episode. And now we see what it is, the baby in the gazebo (which is, by the way, a nice callback to every other damn time we've had Troubled people in that gazebo, which is a LOT) has a handprint on its back, and when it cries someone dies. William says this with such glee that I can only assume the rhyme existed in whatever language they were speaking back at the creation of the Troubles, and apparently he will now take every opportunity given to him to use the word "troublemaker." Because he's a fucker like that.

Audrey, not being desperate enough to want to confront the parents with William in tow, shows up with Nathan at the Harker house after the ad break. Ben knows exactly what's going on! Ben is also doing a remarkable job of holding it together oh. They have a family rhyme? That's never good. They have a family rhyme about any Harker that cries, people will die, and unless this is gender-linked (which it may be) I can only imagine the painstaking records-keeping for the women who married out of the family. Normally the curse doesn't hit until puberty, Ben hasn't cried since he was 11 no matter how much he looks like he wants to now (fucking hell, Christian Campbell, way to bring it) but somehow a four month old has it. No, you really can't use the usual Audrey Parker reasoning it out under these circumstances. And worse, the baby's going to pick up on the emotional tenor of everyone around it, which means more crying because this is of course upsetting his parents. And the cops. And his grandparents. Right now Audrey will try and talk Ben through the process of figuring out other options, there has to be something better than this, right? Well, um, no, actually. Because he relates the story of a great-uncle with Down's Syndrome who couldn't be taught not to cry, not in time, anyway, so they cut his vocal cords. That's pretty definitive, Audrey. I hate to say it, but it really is. She's feeling way too guilty to be her usual compassionate and helpful self with this, though, so she pushes and Ben runs off to see his son (and those three data points do imply gender-linked rather strongly) so that he doesn't cry. If he's already to the point of strategic withdrawal I hate to think how much worse this is going to get for him. Yes, Nathan, do please haul your partner off before she says something really stupid in her eagerness to fix the problem she feels responsible for. At least this is one complex Nathan has all kinds of sympathy for. Empathy, actually.

And now it's time for them to have this one out. Audrey's scared of being abandoned and left because she's actually evil, Nathan's afraid of being shut out, they're both afraid this really is too big for them to handle together but Nathan at least isn't going to admit that until he hears what it is. For which I love him a little bit more again, the dogged determination that the known horror is better than her keeping secrets from him, even when those secrets involve William. Maybe especially. The things our minds come up with to torment us are often worse than reality. Note that for a change it's Audrey ducking away from physical touch, not Nathan, as she tries to explain. Well, tries to drive Nathan away, at least a little, not that it's working in the immediate sense. Because what she leads with is that she wanted to know who she is, beyond the personalities given to her by the bar/n, and William's given her answers and guys can we just mention that William is a lying liar who lies? Not directly, never directly, but they do know he's manipulating them by now, they just haven't had time to sit down and figure out to what end. (Which is part of the manipulation, as we've noted.) So can you maybe stop to think, Audrey, that he's giving you information that's severely out of context and doesn't cover anything useful like, oh, how he ended up locked in the bar/n and you ended up the savior figure? Because that's a story I'm just as interested in as the origin of the Troubles and who Audrey began as, at this point. Sigh. No, she's too wracked with guilt right now, her turn to pull out the I don't deserve you I'm a horrible person card and wave it around. She loved William and they created the Troubles together, that's what he's told her, and see, Nathan? Right down to the and now she has to create another Trouble to fix this one (or, you know, kill a baby, and infanticide is something that generally happens either very early on with a baby unlikely to survive or under plague/famine circumstances, not with a baby causing a plague. Have I mentioned how this is a really terrifying inversion of the forced to kill a child trope? 'cause it is) and right now she's not seeing another way. Therefore she is a horrible person. No, Audrey, right now you're just under more stress than any one person, human or otherwise, can reasonably be expected to bear. Nathan doesn't have a solution, sadly, just the strength of his conviction that she has him, that she is Audrey Parker and that that woman, in his experience, is a woman who doesn't give people Troubles, she saves them. That would be a lot more effective if you backed it up with solid examples from the text right now, Nathan, and I hope he's doing that while we cut back over to the Teagues.

Who are giving away something like data! From the second Vince said the firstborn in the family got the tattoo my ears were perked, because there's a throwaway line in As You Were (1x09) about Dave being older, in which case what the fuck? Well, if I blink awhile longer at the influx of data Vince will tell us! That the tattoo goes back before the founding of Haven, Dave puts in that the Teagues have Mi'kmaq blood in a manner that actually does seem a little like separating himself from the Teagues as a bloodline, which is another interesting point to note. This birthmark, as Vince corrects himself into calling it, denotes the sacred duty of the firstborn to be the protector of the Troubled in Haven. OKAY THEN. I don't know if I buy the Guard as going back prior to the founding of Haven, certainly not in its present militia form, but that does explain a lot of why people listen to Vince above everyone else, despite the lack of leadership abilities this season and despite Jordan's best efforts to foment a revolution. It also implies that this is a semi-known fact, or something that at least Vince has in recent times made use of, hard to say because of the offhanded way Jennifer gives Vince the out to explain away the Guard. No, we're not stupid enough to believe that's all it is. At some point in all this oral tradition, however, the knowledge of what the Heart of Haven is has gotten lost, how and why we don't know, assuming they did know it to start with. The congruency of the symbols would tend to indicate yes, Vince is supposed to know how to find the Heart of Haven or at least be necessary to its existence, and given that he has a theory! It's definitely a demon, but it's not an unreasonable demon even if Dave poo-poos it. Mainly, I think, because he suspects the Heart of Haven will end up being destroyed by the opening of this door if it's a person, which is a totally reasonable fear. No, as Jennifer says, if Vince were the Heart of Haven she should have new instructions from this pain in the ass book (I hate incomplete data) and she doesn't. Just a random scene about a werecoyote or something? Yay. She also would like to ask if the secondborn gets a tattoo or birthmark or, you know, useful Haven-saving powers that Dave's keeping his mouth shut on this far? Since he's the notoriously closemouthed one and anyone spending even fifteen minutes in their presence would know that. Why no! He was adopted! Like Jennifer! How much like, Dave? Was Agent Fuck You involved in the adoption process? I'm with Duke, though, that explains approximately everything ever, including Dave's constant need to prove himself and assertions that he's not Troubled. Because he very well might not be! Also his weird semi-outsider status with the Guard. It also tells us that Julia is the firstborn in the Teagues line and pretty damn near confirms that she's Vince's daughter, or at least that's as much confirmation as we're going to get without anyone outright saying her name. So what happens if the firstborn dies without an heir? Does it pass along the indirect descendants line? Do they just make procreation a priority? WHAT, VINCE. (K: Please let this not involve discussion of Vince and making procreation a priority. That's creepy.) (A: Look, unless Eleanor was his bio-sister and he never consummated his marriage. I'm just saying.) Though actually that's a valid possibility, that Eleanor was the second-born of the Teagues, since we don't know how two Troubles intermarrying and having kids would interact and what the fuck kind of theme of the week is this, I ask you. Anyway. That Eleanor was second-born but first in that generation to have children, and at some point became estranged from her brothers which wouldn't be difficult considering what assholes they're capable of being. At some point might even date back to 1981 or '83 and her finding out what Vince did "for" his wife. Doesn't take being the wife to be repulsed by that.

Moving along! Audrey and Nathan are looking for a geographical pattern to the people who die, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to go by but considering the distance range from 50 yards to 6 miles - and that's just the ones within Haven's jurisdiction, let's not forget there might be others we're not even seeing and never know about - that's not going to help. Gloria confirms it as she comes all but running up to Ben, who turns out to be her… son? Step-son. In case we didn't have enough themes of blood family versus family of choice, and the ways in which we create our lives. So Ben's bio-mom either died or divorced his father very early on, either's possible, and Gloria raised him, and Ben's bio-dad is now dead too. Of old age, most likely. Of stress, possibly, given - as Gloria points out - the degree to which he was emotionally repressed. Makes Nathan look positively buoyant by comparison. Because once you eliminate tears as an outlet for extreme emotion (and tears can, let us recall, be an expression of joy as well as sorrow) then you're eliminating basically all the emotional extremes. Which isn't good for anyone. Gloria gives them a lecture on how this Trouble works, which is to say, it's a really fucking awful one. There is no logic. There is no pattern. There's just, random victims die if a Harker cries. And yes, I believe it, because they had the luxury of not being the saviors of Haven at the time they were doing the research. All they wanted was a chance to save one boy the pain of never being allowed to cry again, and despite Audrey and Nathan's overall pattern recognition capabilities there's nothing to be done here. She goes on to cite 1901, when hundreds of people died in Haven and the surrounding counties, well, that gives us some more of a range. I guess you could take the baby out to Bumblefuck, Montana, if you could determine the limits of the range. Knowing that swaths of people will die on the journey there. ENJOY. And the Herald ran a story about Spanish Influenza to cover it up, and yes, they killed a Troubled person to do it. Not with a Crocker's help, obviously. 1901 is, yes, two generations prior to Sarah, if you take 1955 as the date of her arrival in Haven. (This still doesn't explain all the 1983 dates - where the fuck was Lucy for most of a year? - but it's consistent with that set of dates, at least.) Yeah no, nobody's murdering a child, Gloria, and the only reason she's this emotional now - and we've seen her be incredibly cold and flippant before - is because this is personal. And because the women in the Harker family are the only ones who can express a wide range of emotion, and no doubt in some respects they do so on behalf of the Troubled members as well. Oh honey. Nathan has a suggestion! It's actually a really good suggestion, too: if Audrey's immune to the Troubles and capable of negating them in at least some instances, might that work here?

It's worth a try! And by worth a try I mean this is so going to end poorly, because they're going to go with at least a full three iterations of baby Aaron crying and people dying before Audrey admits defeat and goes to William. Chug the bottle if you haven't already. If you have, get the spare. Because this doesn't work, and doesn't work in an immediate and obvious fashion to everyone in the room. Since Ben's probably immune, Audrey's immune, and they can't kill Gloria or Nathan, well, it's Ashley the mother who dies. Fuck. We come back after the ad break to poor, poor Ben unable to cry at his wife's death and begging Nathan for something to do. Because when you can't cry, don't have time or shouldn't go killing people with your tears, then you look for something to occupy you instead. Okay, yes, staying strong for Aaron is one of the things he can do, and aside from that the only thing I'm sure Nathan can think of is "help us research your family curse" which is in no way going to help Ben maintain his composure in the short to medium term. At least, not likely. That's also a carefully impersonal touch, the more so because it's from Nathan of all people, ensuring that he doesn't express so much sympathy that he breaks down all Ben's carefully constructed walls. Oh honeys. Gloria plans to do the autopsy report anyway and to handle the guy from across town who died of the same causes and no, she's got the same conditioning as everyone else, both in this family and in this town. When something's Troubling you, you do the work instead of breaking down in grief, because it's not going to let up until you solve it. So it's a nice gesture on Audrey's part, but one that doesn't really take into account who Gloria is in this town. And here comes her current husband to take care of her! Who turns out to a) be Saul Tigh AUGH IT'S A TOASTER and b) deaf in one ear. This Will Be Important Later! It was a later life marriage for both of them, somehow or another Lincoln managed to keep from knowing about the Troubles until he met and married Gloria but it sounds like she damn sure didn't try to keep it secret from him and he is, by all appearances, utterly mundane and unTroubled. This really is an excellent example in miniature of how a family's brought together and united by their secrets, and how bringing in outsiders has worked despite what would be perfectly reasonable misgivings. Lincoln doesn't even hesitate to go to his grandson despite the fact that he, too, could be killed by this Trouble. I very much doubt it obeys the laws of nature like being half-deaf. They have an hour and a half by Ben's rough guess before Aaron wakes up, probably hungry and wanting mama and not going to get it, and in that time they're going to take a hopeful look through the archives! Yes. Because listening to other people's expertise oh why do I bother. Though I do understand why they're reacting this way, not just in the immediate sense of refusing to give into William's demands but in the long-term sense of this is what happens when secrets are kept long term and this is at least 75% the fucking Teagues' fucking fault. And Garland's. And Agent Fuck You's. And every other goddamn person in Haven who's kept their mouth shut instead of volunteering helpful and complete information, because it means now when Audrey's confronted by someone trying to do just that she can't see it for what it is. What she will do, at least, is call Duke and ask him for assistance, which is something even as they're shooting her to emphasize her loneliness and solitude right now.

All right, over to the warehouse where the other person dropped. Nathan is not happy about any of this, but he's double plus unhappy about William walking up to his crime scene like he owns all of Haven. Which he probably thinks he does. Then Colin Ferguson does something that had both of us shrieking in our seats: he pulls a cop face and, in a voice like Sheriff Jack fucking Carter, asks "What' we got?" William breaks character the second the words are out of course, but for a split second there it was all earnest, good-hearted cop, and it does indeed fuck with our heads in exactly the way William intended. That fucker. Nathan is pissed, too. William just is not letting up on the obnoxious, terrible jokes, though he does put a pause on it long enough to give a message to Audrey from Nathan. Which is about what you'd expect, the dying will stop when she gives someone a Trouble, which he describes as making the right decision. I'm sure in his twisted mind where the lives of humans don't matter and getting his beloved whatever they are back, that's true, but Nathan is looking at this from a human perspective, and this is shabby crap up with which he will not put. He attempts to tell William so, but William only rants for a little less than a minute about how out of his league Nathan is and then, oh, then, in a darkly fucking hilarious turn of events says it's like trying to explain physics to a goldfish. With a tone as if he sort of wants to explain but again, not to Nathan. To Audrey. Well, his version of her. Those of you who haven't seen Colin Ferguson on Eureka before this are missing a hysterical joke, but the backstory here is that Colin Ferguson's previous best known role was as a cop with a fairly average layman's grasp of physics in a town full of genius level physicists of various specialties and other scientists, dealing with the problems that science run amok will create in fiction. This often involved the scientists attempting to explain to Colin Ferguson's character, and him staring at them like, well. A stunned goldfish. It's funny! A lot funnier than William, though I do wish he'd attempted to explain the larger picture to Nathan a bit more so we could get some more admittedly skewed data. Still. William does not give two tugs of a dead dog's cock what Nathan feels for or does with Audrey Parker, he wants the original back, and how he thinks they can both get what they want at the same time I have no idea. My best guess is that he doesn't actually care what Nathan wants. Nathan doesn't care what William wants, so we're even! But he's back on the whole Audrey is Audrey kick due to her earlier freakout, because even if he's saying that to convince William to give up and fuck off and leave everyone alone, some of the vehemence behind it is real conviction. Nathan, honey, we've had this discussion. You and Audrey have had this discussion. She is not only and entirely Audrey Parker. William will remind him of this by pointing out that when Nathan shot him (Nathan! Stop shooting the shit that comes out of strange portals! It never ends well!) Audrey bled too. Let's also all note here that William uses the word intimacy, as he's used the word connection, as he's avoided the word love with anyone around except Audrey. He's told Audrey that she loved him, he loves her, but he never to hardly ever has used that word around Nathan or Duke even though it might in his mind be more accurate. Let us all remember the repeated use of "we are so connected" right before Nathan shot him in the chest? I'd put it down to coincidence except that while Audrey tends to fling words around when she gets upset or excited (see also earlier), while Nathan might be sparing with his words but not necessarily considering of them, Colin Ferguson imbues William with a strong sense of choosing his words carefully for maximum impact, usually emotional impact, but potentially also impact for later when the double meaning hits and everyone goes to faceplant into the nearest solid surface. Connected. Intimacy. I will, at this point, agree with William though. Nathan has no visceral comprehension of what it means to be so tied to another person that your physicality is also connected. So far that seems limited to health and well being, but it might also involve other things. Though let's not go experimenting. Nathan is pissed off enough to start issuing threats, though at least he's keeping the connection still in mind, but what does seem to get William's attention is when Nathan says he doesn't know the first thing about love. There's a moment there where he rears back, seems about to say something, perhaps to launch into a tirade of exactly what he knows about love given that he's just spoken of his and Audrey-original's intimacy issues. But he waits until Nathan gives out the threats, then lays into Nathan at least a couple of times, anyway. Because yes, Nathan can feel William, too. It's a one-two punch of physically hitting Nathan in the face and reminding him that he's just like Audrey, since nothing else was getting through as a threat to Nathan's sense of Audrey as his Parker and not to be taken away by mystical wooj. And possibly, even likely, also because William is not the best or most self-aware when it comes to his emotions, and Audrey is his dammit. Nathan tries to assert that William can throw punches and kill people, but he can't get the original Audrey back but no. William is right. If Audrey weren't running scared, she wouldn't be, well. Running scared. And doesn't that just eat away at Nathan inside. William, having inflicted the damage he came here to do, walks off whistling. Which is apparently Colin Ferguson's idea, because he enjoys tormenting us and making us squirm in our seats.

Back over at Jennifer's safehouse (which set was apparently built at great expense and at the last minute. Well, at the last minute due to Tropical Storm Gabrielle.) Duke's bringing her up to speed on the Troubled baby, and she is giving him the you go on with your bad self and do what you have to do speech. I'm honestly not sure what it is about this scene but Emma Lahana looks like a freaking vampire in this lighting, with her extremely pale skin and dark hair, whereas Balfour looks moderately more normal. I don't actually think that's significant and most likely due to the aforementioned last minute nature of the set and not being able to adequately compensate for lighting, it's just odd-looking. Jennifer tells him to go on, she'll be fine, she's got Haven PD looking out for her and a getaway boat and the, ahem, "badasses of checkers." That's kind of cute. I mean, it'd be more cute if it weren't Vince and Dave, one of whom has a Flagg smile all ready to deploy, but still at least kind of cute. I would even venture a guess that one or both of them would lay down his life to give Jennifer time to get away from William. More importantly Jennifer has the Book of William Smiting +2, which actually seems to work. And there's not any real benefit to keeping Duke there in order to try and figure out where the door to Haven is, whereas there may be benefit to putting more boots on the ground elsewhere. We will now pause for an adorable moment in which Jennifer (very optimistically) says tomorrow when they've fixed everything they can have a nice quiet brunch, and Duke teases her about how he's not some coffee commercial. You guys. Stoppit. Imma get cavities. Also the brothers Teagues are kind of voyeuring you right now, and that's gross.

Okay, back over to the research at the Herald, where Audrey has found an article on the alleged Spanish Influenza outbreak in Haven. I kind of question the writing on the article, considering it seems to reference cytokine storm phenomena which as far as I know were not discovered then, and the headline indicates that this is a contemporaneous article to the event itself. The science isn't wrong, though. And let's all take a moment to note and twitch over the fact that the picture of the funeral Audrey is looking at is, if not quite identical, then certainly intended to be the same as the one in the opening credits. Given that we now know at least one of those pictures, the burning church, to be an actual photo of an actual event I wonder a little if the funeral picture in the article wasn't reproduced to have AudSarLuLex in it as well, and meant to be the same photo. We all wonder who 1901 Audrey was just as Duke comes in the door to bring us back to the present; apparently Audrey called him over to discuss something she didn't feel comfortable talking about over the phone. That could be any of half a dozen things, this is not narrowing it down. As Audrey starts to explain it looks like that dreadful thing is that she can't stop the Harker curse, the deaths are completely random and short of mutilation or death there's no way to prevent that baby from crying. The fact that she found herself in the photo indicates to her that she failed to deal with it before. So, all right, Duke goes over the ground again out loud because it seems to help a lot of people think, and so that we can hear him reaching the conclusion that Audrey and William in their original forms created the Troubles. There's a whole lot of tense, awkward body language in here, Audrey turns to give the camera her profile but doesn't directly face Duke to talk to him, Duke starts out taking to Audrey even if she won't face him but then has to look down and away while he processes that. Hitting the nail on the head is likely at least partly his way of lashing out, given his near-incredulous tone and choice of words, let's all remember that people are sometimes choosing their words very carefully here, yes? Yes. He's not wrong, either, she's looking for someone whose judgment she trusts to give her permission to give someone a Trouble, and while Nathan has had a rocky at best track record with addressing her and her decisions, Duke has always respected her feeling and choices for being her feelings and choices, and not treating them as anything but. In all previous instances, though, he didn't have any strong moral feelings about her options as they either all sucked or were all equally decent. Here, he has moral Opinions about giving people Troubles. Both about giving people Troubles and about the person she has to become in order to do that, and I can't say he's wrong, given the example we have in William and the power dynamic that would be necessary for someone to do something like that. His analogy of drug addiction harkens back to his analogy of his own Trouble and, once again, raises the question of what experience Duke has with drug addiction. Or if that's simply the closest metaphor that comes to mind. Audrey objects and feels like this means he doesn't trust her to hold onto herself and, honestly? I wouldn't. Her self has changed so many times that it's not likely any of at least her mortal identities has as strong a hold on her as her original one. For Duke, though, it's less a matter of this and more a matter that his experience with Troubles has been that they, in his words, take the people you love away. His father. His brother. HIs wife, in season two. His friends, going back to season one. Oh honey. Nathan comes in while they're discussing this, on the last chunk of the conversation and displays some astoundingly rash judgement, as Nathan does when he's emotionally compromised, which it seems like he has been for one reason or another all season this season. Nathan trusts that she won't lose herself, and in this case by herself he means Audrey, and he's willing to have her do whatever it takes to stop this Trouble. And this reflects a growing trend we've seen in Nathan this season, which is a curious one and we're not sure if we like it or not. Previously Nathan was, as Duke comments later, very numb, very reserved and withdrawn. After losing and then finding Audrey again Nathan has become very ruled by his emotions, losing some degree of impulse control (shooting Howard, shooting William, and now moving to fix the immediate Trouble without thinking about the consequences) and ability to detach from the problem. As with physical numbness, some degree of overcompensation or rapidly fluctuating sensation that distracts and detracts from control is to be expected. It's just that in a lot of ways they can't afford that right now. The blocking of everyone is interesting; on the one side you have Nathan, the emotional human, on the other side you have Audrey the amnesiac whatever-she-and-William-are who is trying to be detached and treat this all as a lab experiment, in a way, which it seems to be to William, and in the middle you have Duke. Whose Trouble has some degree of power over all other Troubles, who as a result spent a while not entirely human himself. Dare I say that part of the rush he feels when his power activates is related to the sensation of being like Audrey and William, whatever they are? I believe I do. This scene will now end on the note of Duke pointing out that if Audrey does Trouble someone and turns into a female version of William, they are proper fucked. He's still not wrong.

Over to the hillside which is, as William says, their special place. That only makes me want to set fire to the hillside. He thinks she's there to be taught (again) how to give someone a Trouble. Audrey has decided she's there to tell him she's going to kill the baby. This gives a rare moment of vulnerability from William, which looks a lot like stillness and dismay, as he tries to figure out what the fuck she's up to. We've watched this over a few times and we can't decide whether killing babies, even human babies, is something that gets even to him (seemingly unlikely, but you never know, he is capable of some form of love however twisted) or whether he's hurt and thrown by her not responding in the way that he expected. Which would be what we'd assume except that previously her refusal to do as he expects has gotten mainly anger, and this is something closer to sadness or fear or both. So, the hell, William? Maybe he's just disappointed with himself that he's misjudged her so badly. Of course Audrey isn't able to sell this for long. She can only half look at him, and it's that hesitation and sideways looking that tells him she's bluffing, which seems to please him at least on some level. Amuse him, definitely. He confirms it by accusing her in words of bluffing, and when she doesn't deny it in any convincing manner, threatens to increase the Trouble of the entire Harker family. Apparently there are several cousins involved. I pause to remember fondly of how shooting a cousin in the face was kind of a solution on Grimm and because we're both now bouncing about how re-Troubling Duke and letting HIM deal with it is definitely a kind of a solution. And, given the preview photos, the one they're eventually going with. Right now, though, they're not thinking of that. William is thinking of making sure she doesn't kill that baby, and Audrey is trying to avoid any kind of intimacy with him, which includes stepping back as he advances and avoiding his gaze. He tells her that if she kills the baby he will Trouble all the cousins, and since they're under the age of 10 they're a lot less likely to be able to control themselves. (Also, I know there's strength in numbers but what kind of idiot decides or even wants to have a family THAT large with a Trouble that dangerous? I'm just saying.) And then he tells her that because she's important (what? why is she important? important to him we got, but important in general?) and because he loves her (see again how he'll say that to her but not to anyone else) he has to do this to her. Congratulations, William, here's your "Abusive Fuckhead" sign. Audrey agrees, at least to his face, and William is all smiles.

When we come back from commercial William is all over gleeful that she's agreed to try to remember who she is. As he thinks of it; what I'm seeing is that she's admitting she has no better options to get people to stop dying than to do as he says, which is a whole different thing. He wants to gloat and glee a little more, she wants to get the fuck down to business so she doesn't have to deal with him anymore. If she thinks she's not going to have to deal with him anymore if she does this one thing, she is on the self-deluding side of optimism, but it's a step. It buys time. A very little bit. So. Troublemaking 101! As we pretty well guessed already from having picked this show apart and having a decent background in magical theory and thinking, it comes from three things. The first, clear intent and usually creative intent, the second, a good match for the intent, and the third is that black tar crap William constantly rolls into balls like Play-Doh. That's basically what William says, except there's one part of it that catches our attention, the part where he's describing the kind of match the person needs to be for the intention. He describes the curse as being shaped by the heart, or at least puts his hand over his heart, describes it as a release and a gift. Again, this wouldn't be nearly so significant if we hadn't heard him being so damn specific with his words earlier. We don't get anything more useful than that, but going by the personality matches to the Trouble and especially the emotional component involved, it sounds a bit like he and Audrey went around playing be-careful-what-you-wish-for. Which wouldn't surprise me in the fucking least. That's certainly an ongoing theme in horror stories in general and Stephen King in particular, what you want most ends up corrupting you or itself or both until nothing is recognizable and you're full of bitterness and regret. In the line of significant phrasing William refers to his Death Truffles as the breath of life, but it's difficult to say whether that's deliberate or a turn of phrase without a pattern. There's what looks like a tree of life on the box? Insufficient goddamn data. Certainly the next few phrase choices are intended to be deliberately provoking without being symbolic of anything. Except that none of us see how that's a party. That box has only one of those evil black balls in, implying that it'll only take one try for her to get this right. Anyone with any magical theory shouldn't be buying that, but a) Audrey's desperate and b) magical theory at this level isn't exactly something she's had reason or time to pick up recently. It is, however, just another of the many, many ways in which William lies by omission and misdirection with every word and gesture. More unholy, unnatural glee from William until she shuts him down by telling him he's not going to be there, then what I can only describe as a lecherous swagger as he asks her for a kiss for luck, and at this point that's such a hideous parody of Jack Carter's healthy, affectionate relationships that augh I cannot even. Audrey cannot even, either. Audrey threatens to punch him in the face if he comes near her, it'll be worth her own black eye. I love you, Audrey. I hope you don't become Wilhelmina. William doesn't even seem to be that upset by this defiance, though his initial expression is closer to that very still, evaluating one he has right before he does something horrible. Then he seems to relax into what I can only describe as a smug, egotistical complacency, giving a little bow as he steps back and allows her to depart unmolested because he's pretty sure it's Wilhelmina (what? closest I could feminize William) who'll come back to him. William, you fucker. I hope she does punch you in the face. Though having said all that, and having spent the better part of this entire season swearing at him? We do have to agree with this article that William brings a delightful sense of urgency and escalation to Haven's conflicts. Stories do need villains, or at least a central conflict, and William provides it in juicy, juicy chunks. Or little black death truffles. Whichever.

Okay. With the knowledge imparted to her by a basic understanding of magical theory William and the evil black truffle o' Trouble, Audrey takes it to her boys, this time with Nathan the human in the middle and flanked by the known non-human and dubiously human. This also has the effect of putting her away from Duke, who she's probably feeling most vulnerable to right now, since he sees through all her self-deception. (And if that theme doesn't become incredibly important next episode I will buy a hat to eat it.) Okay, so, magical theory bouncing things around time! They have confirmation that the DOA at the warehouse said he heard a baby crying, which means somehow a Harker crying is transmitted supernaturally to whoever the victims of the moment are. Across an indeterminate but wide radius, remembering that Gloria mentioned the surrounding counties earlier. Fine, so it's still sound-related, therefore the solution is silence, right? Cone of silence, something like that which will negate baby Aaron's Trouble and serve as a metaphysical way of cutting the baby's vocal cords without, you know, actually doing it. Audrey looks like she's getting the glimmer of an idea, but she needs to keep bouncing ideas around with the boys because this is such a new way of thinking for her. A lot like having run along the same ruts for a long time and then abruptly being steered just a couple inches off course, which is enough to throw you every single time. Who does she Trouble, then? They have to be suited to the person, they run through Driscoll the deep sea divers and Nathan's emotional stuntedness and Duke's sponge tendencies… okay, I can kind of even see what Nathan means by that, in that Duke's got a tendency to absorb whatever traits and skills he needs to in order to survive. Now is not the time for bickering, boys. Nathan brings up the option of someone who's mute, yes, that would probably be the best match, but someone who's mostly deaf isn't a bad idea and Audrey's thinking emotionally here, too, wanting to keep it within the extended family so that the baby doesn't have to have someone he doesn't know around all the time. Gloria is about as enthusiastic about this as we would expect, when we cut to the interior after Audrey's presented this option. And expresses it at the top of her lungs. Lincoln's much calmer, more willing to hear her out, and explains the logic in case we missed the leap of it earlier. All of it makes sense to him, and he's taking this remarkably well for someone who came to learning about the Troubles at all so late in life, but the part about her giving him a new Trouble out of the box (did you have to pick that phrasing, Shernold? really? I pout in your general direction) isn't making so much sense. Yeah, nobody's heard of that one until a couple days ago, and those of them who knew (and who have Haven's best interests at heart) were doing their best to keep it quiet on account of general panic is good for exactly nobody except maybe William. And honestly I wouldn't bet on him, all the panic he's been creating has been very specifically targeted at Audrey and her support structures.

All right. Over in the shelter of hiding from William, Vince and Dave are bickering over checkers because brothers, and Jennifer attempts to either short circuit the argument or possibly relieve some of the boredom or give her mind a break by interrupting them to claim next game. Sure, why not. She sets the book down, Vince picks it up to stare at it (note that at least to someone's vision the Guard tattoo is now a non-glowing, normal looking orange on the cover, I'm not sure if that's Jennifer or Vince) while Dave messes with the checkers, and lo the tattoo starts moving! Again. This time it's blatantly turning, back and forth and with one of the human figures emerging from the maze in a particular direction. Jinkies! You think that's a clue? Just a little bit. With a bit of trial and error they discover that it's functioning as a compass, with the figure extending outside the maze always pointing at the same direction. Jennifer goes to the window to see what it's pointing at? The FUCKING LIGHTHOUSE. Because that's not un-fucking-nerving or anything. Yes, the entirety of our chatlogs from about this point consist of "FUCK! FUCKING FUCK!" and variations thereof. The lighthouse certainly seems like the heart of Haven, or at least as far as the book and the tattoo indicate. (Yes, we're going to keep calling it a tattoo, force of habit dammit. It's a magic tattoo.) Let's also keep in mind that the lighthouse has been destroyed a couple of times, at least once by end of the Troubles meteor storm, and it keeps fucking coming back faster than a now obsolete building that no one seems to maintain anymore has a right to. Also that's where Beattie was chained up at the end of Ball and Chain. I'm just saying.

Meanwhile back at the house, everyone's objections having been settled with the true statement that this is the only option they have left to them, Audrey prepares to Trouble Lincoln. Make your Cylon jokes here, folks. She checks that he's ready, he professes to be a tough old goat, and without further ado but some hesitation, she goes ahead and does it. Note that here her hand is black like William's was the times he Troubled people? This Will Be Important Later. There's that golden glow about her as she does it that's somewhat reminiscent of the weird electric shock/glow thing that happens when she touches William and we can all be very disturbed now, yes? Yes. It's very clear that something has happened, the mark's there, we can see it glowing on Lincoln's arm (which is a very impersonal place to touch someone, not like, say, the middle of their back the way William has) and the ticking of the clock pervades everything as the hour ticks over and Lincoln's Trouble kicks in. He says it tingles. Heh. And then the noise of the clocks chiming is jangly and wrong, much like, at a guess, the way things sound to Lincoln part or all of the time. Well, it was definitely suited to the person, they just didn't think it through entirely, and now baby Aaron's crying even worse because he can hear the weird noise too. Audrey stands there immune and freaked out until she realizes after the ad break that she needs to get the baby out of there so it stops crying anytime soon. Yeah, this isn't going to be good.

Outside they've finally managed to get the baby to stop crying now that the noise has somewhat abated, and Audrey hastens to reassure Ben that it's not his fault, it's hers, and he's doing the best he can and so on. Audrey's phone now blows up with texts. Five people are dead. Which she reads off in tones of self-castigation, as we'd expect but which Ben probably hears as blaming himself. And from bad news to worse, here comes William! To, as he thinks, reap his rewards or something. She comes to intercept him before Ben can get in the middle of this and William has the biggest grin, it's almost happy but not quite. While we're at it, no expression he's put on at the moment quite matches the warm happiness of William in the bar/n, which is something to note even if we can't quite pull out the meaning of it yet. He's got another box in one hand, how the fuck many duplicates do you HAVE William, holding it tucked against his hip. And he asks her, quietly and calmly rather than with his previous shows of unholy glee, to tell him her name. And when she replies with a significantly vehement "Audrey Parker", he doesn't seem to know how to respond. There's a nervous/at-loose-ends hand gesture, some stuttering, and he doesn't say what it is that he really although we can take from his tone that the verb there was supposed to be something like thought or hoped. Heh. Never mind, he says, we'll get through this, which we deeply suspect is a deliberate echo of what Nathan said on the part of the writers. The tone and speed indicate it's not a deliberate echo on William's part, and he would have had to have been using some form of distance hearing magic to get that conversation anyway. And while we're at it, Audrey's used that phrase quite a bit, too, so maybe it originates with the two of them? He asks her what she did, she tells him, and it's not that it didn't work to fix the baby's Trouble that gets William's attention, it's the fact that she used her power and gave someone a Trouble. A sound-related Trouble! Close enough for government work and William, he's ecstatic, giddy, and wants to know if she felt anything when she did it. She says she felt terrible, which by now with her vehemence and her focus on the baby and the Harkers we can tell she's either lying or covering something up. Dodging, more like. William urges her to try again. He's back to the soft-voiced manipulative little shit again, and hands her the box to try again, saying she'll get it right. So, I have a question, is there just an unlimited supply of these boxes and tar bubble death truffles or what? Did he sneak back into the house and so it's the same box? Are there two boxes, one for each of them, bonus points if you heard that in Val Kilmer from Tombstone's voice? Inquiring fucking minds! This time when Audrey opens the box there are six death pebbles, and William says that's because the Troubles are more of an art than a science, and that's why they liked them, and that's when he trails off, catching sight of the baby. He even lowers his voice so as not to catch their attention, making us wonder what the hell it is with William and babies. Is that in deference to the Audrey Parker in her, or the process she's having to go through to find her original self? We'd go with that except his attention to the baby seems, with the exception of giving the baby the Trouble, much less directly tied to his manipulation of her. William meanders off, then, still smirking and telling her that when she's back she's going to kick herself for not having more fun with this.

Well. After all that, Duke comes up to confront her about what really happened up at the house, because he doesn't buy her attitude for a New York minute. Audrey pretty much instantly gives away the homeworld by going defensive and clutching the box against her, and that's a very knowing look in Duke's eyes. She tries to distract him by asking after Lincoln and he's still not having any of it. No, I think you should give him the box, Audrey. Maybe the Crocker box can negate them? I doubt it very much, but I would be all about finding out how these things interact. Preferably with a blast shield to hand. Audrey's doing a better job of lying to Duke than she ever has before, which should be a point of concern, her voice goes too high and she's blinking too rapidly but she's getting control rapidly. Eek. Yeah, every motion like this is confirming his and our suspicions that Audrey felt her original self and liked the power trip and is now fucking terrified about what that says. And may be losing some degree of her sense of identity again as a result. Probably is, considering her sense of self has been tenuous at best for several seasons now and getting shakier all the time. And yes, that's a look of fear up at Duke as we close out of that scene, fear and not a little self-hatred. Oh Audrey honey.

We pan over from there to the Heart of Haven, aka that goddamn fucking lighthouse which we've been swearing at for nearly four full seasons now, and which we cannot be surprised to find is its heart. Though frankly we wouldn't have been surprised if it was a person, either, but this makes eminently good sense. Vince's tattoo continues to point the way most conclusively, so they'll take a long walk down the pier (alas, not a short one, fucking Teagues) and Vince does say that there's been some kind of lighthouse there as long as anyone can remember. Meaning that spit of land's been in place for a damn long time and indeed, it looks like the sort of solid rock that takes forever and ever to erode. The Teagues are only looking up. Jennifer's looking down at a trapdoor. Gee. Let me think about this a second. I'm going with the trapdoor. Jennifer is too, once they confirm for her and the camera for us that in no way do they see a trapdoor. Touching and opening it makes it visible to people who aren't Jennifer! Yeah, I sympathize with Dave's kneejerk of "this is a bad idea and it should feel bad." This is the kind of place that looks like it leads to being eaten by a grue. Dave, I hope you're not latching that door behind you. Everyone knows it's a terrible idea to go in a wardrobe supernatural lighthouse thingie and shut the door all the way. Really, what do they teach them in schools these days.

Sadly, we're ramping up the rapidity of the cuts right now to emphasize the climactic end of the episode, which means we don't see what's down there just yet. Instead Audrey's confessing to Duke, who's always been her confessor, the one who knows because he's been there and had those thoughts whereas Nathan's always had the whole my strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure thing going on. Yes, I just compared him to Galahad even though he's gone and done sex. Though arguably she's Arthur and Nathan's her Guinevere and Duke's her Lancelot. ANYway. She describes it as a jolt of pure evil which may be subjective based on William's incessant nagging and her current understanding of William and her history, and admits that some deep part of her liked it even as the rest of her was scared, Duke likes exactly none of this. I like exactly none of this either. It does get him about as close to saying the L-word to Audrey as he ever has, admitting that he cares about her, that he cares about her sense of current identity and he will not allow her to do this to herself in some misguided attempt to martyr herself. Honestly, so much of this season has been "Duke tries to keep his two best friends from martyring their dumb asses" I'm surprised nobody's beatified him for a saint of patience. Or the sisterhood of the frying pan. I think we can initiate him into that one by now. (K: I will have one engraved especially for him.) And by now she's just looking for reasons to justify using this power again even if she won't admit it to herself, framing it as how does she justify what she did to Lincoln if she doesn't try again? Um. Well, you've always come up with other fucking solutions before now, which Duke to his credit doesn't say outright. Though he might have, had Audrey not insisted that she wasn't hurting the baby only to have Ben come up and say, no, you're a Crocker, fix this. Guys, you know that whole thing where you've been keeping Duke de-Troubling via killing his psychopathic brother a secret? It's going to keep coming back to bite you in the ass. Speaking of that, though, I have a dumb question: if Audrey and William can create and give Troubles, how the fuck can they not take them away? Without killing a person? Why has nobody thought to try this? Okay, no, I know the last one is because William's a clever manipulative fucker, but still, that's the kind of lateral thinking I expect out of Duke, and even he hasn't managed it. Meantime Duke and Audrey get their hoshit faces on, and poor, poor Ben, he really doesn't have very much to live for and his death would serve a greater good that he can see very clearly. I can't even argue against this solution except to point out the thing about maybe de-Troubling is a thing they could try? First? Argh you guys.

It's dark down under that lighthouse. Because it's underground, of course it's dark, you guys, you didn't think to look around for a flashlight? Dave thinks he has some matches! Vince would like to gripe about Dave saying he quit smoking years ago instead of, I don't know, coming up with something else to help. Shut up, Vince. So not the time. Though given what we know now about their relationship it does put a nice parallelism between their bickering and Nathan and Duke's bickering, even if the latter is approximately the least brotherly you can get without onscreen making out. I will put my tiny trollface away now. They light the lanterns with Dave's matches and look around at the caves, which are drippy and damp and probably fucking freezing as caves are, and they walk down the maze of twisty passages all alike tunnel! Yes, if this set keeps up there will be infinite grue jokes. Also some Labyrinth jokes. Big Guard symbol maze on the floor, yep, that about looks like the heart of Haven! This is still the two-men-two-women maze, and in order to summon the door they need four people, one for each spot. So we know what maze it is the camera pulls back and up to show us the whole thing. So, who's placing bets on Audrey-Jennifer-Vince-Duke? And who's got Audrey-Nathan-Duke-Jennifer? We're giving good odds for both! Slightly better odds for the first one. If you really want the long shot, Audrey-Vince-Jennifer-William, though how they're supposed to do that and shove him through the door I don't know. And finally that cannot be the literal words on the page, Jennifer, the literal words would be really handy to decipher just what it is they need in each of those four people. Dammit.

We're back at the council of sacrifice and self-sacrifice, and Duke is visibly coming to terms with his role as a Crocker in Haven. It's another step in the process, at least. First we had him refusing to use his Trouble at all only to have a guy run himself onto the knife he was holding (Sins of the Fathers 2x12), then we had him being manipulated by Audrey into deliberately killing someone in what now seems to be an astounding display of foreshadowing and/or parallel characterization with William the Manipulative Fucker (The Farmer 3x03), then we got as far as him being willing to kill Wade even though he deeply didn't want to, that was decided by Wade in the end (Lay Me Down 4x07) and now we're finally at the point Simon predicted two seasons ago, where Duke is asking Ben if this is truly what he wants. To completely orphan his son? No, no this is not at all what he wants, but to enable his son to grow up without hundreds more bodies on his conscience and a self-mutilated emotional system? Yes. He very much wants that. (He only refers to the self-mutilation of emotions but even if they're not considering that Aaron would grow up always aware that if he cried, and young children can't exactly control their emotions well, people died? Yeah, that will fuck that kid up but good.) Ben, on the other hand, seems to have grown up with an awareness of the Crocker curse and the belief that it's a blessing, because Gloria said. What was Gloria's family Trouble? Who the hell knows! Bad, most likely. And this one is equally bad if not worse, and Ben wants to, as he says, take this Trouble to the grave. Duke agrees and tells him to take the baby up to the house. Audrey barely waits till Ben's out of earshot before laying into Duke, does he really want her to re-Trouble him, does he really want to kill Ben and leave the child parentless? Two things, we will all note, that Duke has vehemently opposed! Audrey is equally opposed! Or at least, the thought of both her and Duke willingly diving headfirst into the morasses of their own addictions seems to scare the crap out of her. Duke, well. I think Duke's reasoning is that, for him, this is a willing participant and taking one willing sacrificial life to save potentially hundreds if not thousands is a fair trade. Or as fair as you get in Haven. And also, before he inadvertently de-Troubled himself he was at least somewhat able to control it. For Audrey's case, I'm less sure except that Duke clearly feels hemmed in almost as much as she does, and possibly he's also banking on his ability to control the Troubles if she does turn into Wilhelmina and start going around fucking with people's lives. That's why the Crocker Trouble is there, right? And what's their alternative, to have her go around putting more Troubles on people till she gets it right? Which he deliberately phrases that way to make it seem both more absurd and more deadly. She does know him. She's familiar with him, intimately so, to use William's word, and she knows his Trouble, and their only other options are to start flinging Troubles about like Mardi Gras beads or kill the baby. (Or start trying to de-Trouble people?  Hello? No, he's not going to offer that solution when he's manipulating Audrey into this. And for all they know, that won't even work, and they are running out of time.) No one is happy about this. Audrey is scared witless, and Duke is deeply upset, but he's also convinced that this is the best of a lot of bad options. And in the absence of her own clarity of thought, she's come to trust Duke's over the last few months.

Gloria is also completely unhappy about this, she's lost a daughter-in-law and had to perform autopsies and paperwork for an infinity of bodies caused by her grandson and now her son wants to die? Yeah, no, that is not a thing any normal person is going to be capable of. Not easily and not willingly and not without angry yelling at Audrey to find another way and angry yelling at Ben that this is a stupid idea and a child needs at least one of his parents and, well. That may be true, but Gloria of all people knows from families of choice and love rather than blood and obligation, which is very much what they're setting up as a comparison in this episode. She chose them clear-eyed and knowing, and she once called the Crocker curse a blessing, and she never even knew what her family Trouble was which, yes, likely puts it prior to Vince's wife and that whole saga with Simon. Fortunately, because that one's been weighing on our minds ever since he admitted it earlier this season. It's appeal to emotion as well as to rationality, and I can't say Ben's wrong, that he has no point here, and these actors are doing a ridiculous amazing job of delivering a scene that's nuanced and heartbreaking despite the fact that one of them is not allowed to cry. At all. Oh everyone. Audrey and Nathan are really not happy about this situation, though Nathan still looks adorable with a baby in his arms. And I wonder again, though maybe for the first time aloud in this recapalypse, if that's Emily Rose's kid? He'd have been close to the right age by the time they got to filming this ep, I think. And it wouldn't be the first time a production baby was cast as a character baby (Labyrinth I'm looking at you). Audrey just looks resigned and tired.

Out on the dock, or one of the docks, Jennifer is taking her turn to desperately try to talk them out of it. She tells him, or maybe tells him again, that if they can find the right four people they can kick William's ass back through that door and that'll be the end of it! And it's not like this plan invalidates that plan, Duke just has to do this one thing first. Jennifer doesn't like that answer. And yes she knows there's a baby and dying people and all manner of badness, it's not that she wants this to keep going, she just wants Duke not to have to be the one to do this, why does Duke have to always be the one to help out? Let's all cast our minds back a couple episodes to where Duke was ready to kick her off the boat, turn tail, and run, and gave her almost this exact same speech, and now he's answering his own questions back to her. It's touching in a very sad, depressing sort of a way. Duke starts off with the immediate situation, re-Troubling him is easier than Troubling a stranger, he's a known quantity. And he knows the Crocker curse, and how to live with it. And, after all their conversations about it, well, so does Jennifer. Have some idea of how much he didn't want to live with it. Back and forth a bit, him reassuring her that he's going to be okay, her fussing and nearly crying about how this isn't how things were supposed to go. They were supposed to fix everything and live happily ever after, isn't what she's directly saying but what it amounts to. In the end, he isn't able to reassure her sufficiently to keep her from walking off deeply upset, which leaves Duke on an unhappy, destabilized note. And we all know how much things go to shit in Haven when people who care about each other have their relationships with each other destabilized! No, seriously. That's been a theme almost from episode one in this show, if Omnia Vincit Amor, love conquers all no matter what type of love it is, and Haven's been pretty good about portraying different types of love as equally strong and helpful and valued, then the absence or corruption of that love destroys all.

And it's time for the great re-Troubling, or whatever it is they actually end up doing next episode! Fucking cliffhangers. Duke comes to meet his fate almost like it's a wedding, definitely like it's an initiation rite of some kind. Audrey standing front and center as the administrant of this unholy rite, Nathan to her right and Jennifer to her left bearing immediate witness as the two closest to Duke besides Audrey and unwilling to let him go through this alone. Gloria and Ben bearing witness in back as the two about to be the most immediately affected if this works the way it's supposed to. I'm kind of bitterly amused how they just skipped over the explanation for how Duke has to be reTroubled for this to work at all, though if Gloria's as smart as she seems she probably put at least 75% of the pieces together awhile back. Duke looks at Jennifer for a long moment like he can assuage her worries with his big brown puppy eyes and dude, if she was that mad at you she wouldn't have showed up. She's scared for Duke, that's a different thing entirely, and she scared for all kinds of other reasons not limited to the fact that her life's turned completely upside down in the space of, what, weeks at most? Yeah. She's handling it remarkably well. Audrey levels of well. Just in case we hadn't made that point in this recapalypse. Audrey and Duke have a call-and-response that on anyone with more of a sense of formality would be ritual and in this case is just requesting verbal confirmation that Duke's really ready. And then that black goo looks… almost navy blue? Is that just our monitors/televisions being weird? 'cause that's a possibility, and the lighting's a bit blue out there, but if it's not oh all the two-by-two-hands-of-blue jokes we plan to make next week. ALL OF THEM. Her hand glows before it ever touches Duke's chest this time, which I would venture is a good thing and indicative that she does know his curse that well, and let's also take a moment to note the significance and intimacy of placing the Crocker curse over his heart instead of on his arm or back. Not that we're surprised, it's a testament to Audrey and Duke's closeness, but it bears mentioning.

And fade to black. How will they fake us out next week? Will they fake us out? Implications of that sneak peek point to no, they won't. Or at least, Audrey's going to try to reTrouble Duke; whether or not it's the real Crocker curse is another question entirely, and whatever it is that she's doing, William can feel it and is down at the pier with his little (and not so little) friends and acts like he's certain that this time, his whoever-she-is is back. We'll just see about that. I don't trust their promo edits as far as I can throw them, particularly not now that it seems indicative in the sneak peek that the naked in the water shot is from a memory, not from something that's going to happen again. (Small. Favors.) The connection's getting stronger, though, I dislike that line. And anything that involves Nathan being held prisoner by Heckle and Jekyll. Or Duke apparently weeping blood. Yeah, nobody's fond of anything about this, but I'm reserving judgment about whether or not we get original evil Audrey or just a lot of flashbacks until we see the ep itself.

Okay, theories! We have so many theories. Still. Again. Both. Child of Ruin theories first. This whole end part of the recapalypse routine is becoming an incomprehensible mass of text, but at least we try to organize it. Our primary theory, albeit with nothing but a significant name to go on, is that the Child of Ruin is somehow Audrey and William's child, or the child of whoever they were beforehand. Secondary/related to that, she might be a descendant of Audrey and one of the other significant Haven bloodlines, either a Crocker (not likely but we have to point out that the Crocker Trouble is markedly different from other Troubles) or a Teagues. We know she can conceive and bring to term a child of herself and a human, James Cogan is proof of that. We also know that such a child would likely have to be brought up in obscurity, because William is a jealous fucker and even if he is trapped in the barn, there's still always the possibility that he might find a way to work his way out and so on. Child of Ruin implies something catastrophic or otherwise detrimental about either her parents or the circumstances of her birth; lacking any knowledge about the circumstances of Jennifer's birth or lineage, we have to guess that she is a child of some bloodline that wreaked great havoc on the people. In this case, Audrey or William. (And there's a scary thought, but she could be William's descendant, too.) Or Audrey and William, to give you all nightmares. And the connection with the Teagues should be self-evident, though that goes along with the fact that we don't know the origin of the maze/compass symbol. If it's artificially imposed to link several people and places and items together which have separate origins, or if everything with that mark shares a common origin, whether that's other people tattooing the mark on themselves as a way of making them functional/societal extensions of the original, Vince, or something else entirely. Even with all this NEW data we still have insufficient data, don't you love it?

We're also assuming, and since this season is challenging a lot of our base assumptions we might as well keep doing it, that there were only two people who originated the Troubles. We don't know that for a fact. We have William's word that he and Audrey did it together, but he has never explicitly stated that they were the only ones who did it. The only ones who matter at this time and in his opinion, yes, but if we don't get the message that William's opinion is skewed and fucked up by now I don't know how big the neon letters need to be. Couple possibilities, here: it could've been four, one for each point on the Guard tattoo. Could've been three, in which case I'm obeying the Rule of Three and drinking my entire liquor cabinet. Could've been a group which slowly left for home/assimilated into the general human populace, in which case we may never know how many. But it's worth considering.

William theories. Right now our primary fixation is on how he won't say the word love about Audrey to anyone but her. In front of anyone but her. It speaks to a level of possessive vulnerability that's worrying, that's very in line with the archetype we expect him to be fulfilling, and that's going to lead to a lot more people in pain and/or dying. This also ties in somehow, we're pretty sure, with a couple other things. First and most obviously, the law of the bar/n that if AudSarLuLex wishes to end the Troubles for good, she has to kill the one she loves? Yeah, there's no way that was ever about Nathan. That was always about William, it was always about their shared connection and it probably was intended as a suicide clause. If both the beings who created the Troubles die, and if one dies the other dies, then the Troubles will end. Which is not dissimilar to the Crocker Trouble. Which has a special Glendower-made box associated with it and the words Omnia Vincit Amor on it and somehow this all fucking ties together. I swear. I just don't know how yet; it's like having all the edge pieces of blue sky in place and maybe some of the forest but none of the names on the tree trunks. So to speak. Still, the power of love and the power of bloodlines are probably the two strongest themes running throughout Haven, and perhaps the power of love will be enough to conquer the power of hereditary bullshit. Maybe. If the Crockers have the ability to de-Trouble people, does that make them half-blooded? If they're half-blooded, does the narrative require Sarah's bearing a child, James, to have a mirror in William siring a child, the first Crocker? Let's also remember that Duke described the active Crocker Trouble as being a heady feeling of power, among other things, not dissimilar to how Audrey described feeling her original self. So there's some more arguments for the Crocker bloodline being connected with Audrey and William's non-human selves, but how? Why? How does Love Conquers All tie in with William's deliberate choice to obscure the concept of love as it applies to him and Audrey, around everyone but Audrey? Is it self-preservation, to keep other people from associating him with this mysterious man-she-loves that Audrey's supposed to kill to end the Troubles? And for that matter, why was that clause reversed when the door was opened and William came through, does it only work if he's in the bar/n? Or is it just safer if he's in the bar/n? No, scratch that, given what he's been doing lately he is definitely safer in the fucking bar/n. But since he's aware of the Child of Ruin phrase, he's probably aware of the kill the person she loves clause. Let's all remember that Nathan was the one who used the word love right after William used specifically the word intimacy, not love. We're going to keep harping on this until William actually makes as much of a point that he loves her, using those words, in front of Nathan or Duke or both. Preferably both. And others. So. Really. What the fuck is going on. How the fuck is it going on. How the fuck did this all start! These answers and more, sure to produce more questions next week. Or so they say.


  1. Just wanted to drop a random thank you for these write-ups, and an extra appreciation for returning to the traditional format (not that the Shot in the Dark/Monsters Ball writeup wasn't welcome, its just that a little went a long way and it was great to see the long-form expletive laden fun return.)

  2. Fun series of write-ups.

    Also, for what it's worth, the accepted feminine form of William is 'Wilma'.