Previously on Haven, someone edited the fuck out of this sequence to make it look like Nathan was the only person with emotional issues surrounding Audrey versus Mara. Ahahahahahaha. Ha. Ha. No, nuh-uh, cute, nice try, nope. Though the Teagues are Sirs Not Appearing In This Episode, which doesn't give us any of the warm fuzzies, just means their assorted issues are taking place, shall we say, offstage. This does not, in fact, inspire confidence or trust in what happens when they return. As it is, our drama this episode is almost entirely, thank you previouslies, about Nathan and Maraudrey. Also we had Jennifer die so Duke could be sad (seriously this is Haven you guys couldn't have left it a mystery? what's one more? honestly) and Dwight took over the Guard. Nobody believes Nathan actually plans to deliver Maraudrey to the Guard because Nathan is an easy fucking mark. Okay, possibly not a mark, but still and nonetheless, I disapprove so much of all of his actions.
Right up to and including lying to a sleeping Dwight! Who's taken to sleeping on the couch in his office, poor bastard, because that's about all the time he has for sleeping, eating, getting fresh clothes, anything. I'm just impressed props found a couch that appears to fit Adam Copeland's entire length even close to comfortably, though that looks like the kind of position you wake up with a hideous crick in your neck. No! Of course they didn't find her! Hahahaha ha. Ha. I'm going to pretend very hard that they had shirtless Dwight for us to be reminded that he's head of the Guard now, and where that tattoo that he chose to put on his body is, because it's a big fucking back piece. That's my in-universe logic for that shot and I'm not licking the screen at all shut up. I would, however, expect more bullet scars on his chest, since we know he found out he was a bullet magnet in Afghanistan and was laid up with at least two? three? GSWs before being recruited into the Guard. Anyway. Dwight shares intel! Namely, that he's giving the Guard orders these days because everyone was unhappy with Vince over handling the Maraudrey situation as they should be. Note that all of Dwight's side of the call, once he starts changing into a clean shirt (how many of those blue buttondowns does he HAVE, what, one for every day of the week?) is shot through the blinds for maximum conspiracy implications, while Nathan's shot mid-range to close-up so we know that someone(s) is (are) missing from around the truck.
Plural is accurate, as it turns out! Duke what are you doing. I know you're grieving but I hoped you had better sense than this. Maraudrey is at least chained to the back of the truck, which is a good start, and Duke looks annoyed about providing them with supplies which is a better start. Oh, I see, he's taking this opportunity to point out to Nathan the facts of the case so far as he knows them, which is that Audrey is gone and not coming back, and even if Mara's never going to help them that doesn't mean living in denial is going to bring her back. Nathan protests that Audrey talked to him! She was there, Duke! Except he doesn't have anything to offer except the exact same stubborn denial that he always has, and after Lexie turned out to be Audrey pretending to be Lexie I can't say I'm surprised. It's just, dude, these are patently not actually the same situation, you're letting your love delude you about the chances of this working. Even if it might be the only thing that works. Duke would like to point out that the thing to do here is grieve and continue to live, except I don't think Nathan's ever been any good at grieving and moving on. I don't believe he's mentioned Garland since the old Chief's death and burial, and it took him at least a couple of days and nudges from other people to get him to declare Garland dead in the first place; he's never mentioned his mother unless Garland did first, and he flat refuses to ever accept that Audrey might be gone. Or going away. On any level. So yeah, I think I'm with Duke except for the fact that Nathan has been crazy for at least a full season and a bit, since he shot the barnvatar and destroyed the barn in an attempt to save Audrey and hell with Haven and its residents. Duke will, after Nathan begs on the grounds of no he doesn't know how but Duke owes him this after what they've been through, allow for 24 hours. I guess that's sort of like a concession. I also kind of wonder if Duke's not essentially saying yes, go have lots of alone time with Mara and let that prove to you that Audrey's not in there and if that involves hatesex I will most certainly not tell. Or ask. Or discuss it with you in any way. As Mara herself says later, sex when it's between consenting adults doesn't have to be about a relationship, though I question where the consent lies. It's not obvious that she could break out of those chains if she wanted to; we have reason to believe she's stronger than human normal. It's awfully up in the air, which makes consent awfully up in the air, because sex when one party is in chains and trying to use that to buy concessions from the other person is… yeah, let's just not even go there until we get into the scenes proper. There will be rants. Mara and Nathan glower-squint at each other some more. Significant Looks. Whee.
At this point we should note something semi-positive here, even if we're going to start out with Duke and Nathan being massively emotionally compromised. Because they are. Nathan somewhat more than Duke because although he's lost the woman he loved, that loss happened in a non-standard fashion where there is a chance of her coming back, whereas Duke's just buried Jennifer at sea. She ain't coming back, not even with the gravedigger Trouble. (I hope, anyway.) They're both deeply fucked up, and that's above and beyond the stress of Duke being a murderer (technically it was assisted suicide), Nathan slowly compromising all the ethics and laws that he previously stood for (even though he's clearly making those choices because he wants to it's still going to take a toll), and the ongoing and building stress of the Troubles being active and not going away. Thanks, Nathan. So, both of them are emotionally compromised. I'd go so far as to say most of Haven is going to be emotionally compromised sooner or later, and yet Nathan and Duke are still turning to each other and treating each other as though their friendship were reflex instead of a change from the last twenty years of being surly. Complaining about character focus and character development within this episode aside, this is a massive change from season one, but also gradual enough that we believe it wholeheartedly, and when we look at it in this context it's actually pretty heartwarming that Duke is telling Nathan that he's in pretty bad shape, that he's telling Nathan they're both in pretty bad shape and he doesn't approve of what Nathan's doing but he's going to help him do it anyway because friendship. A little less heartwarming as Nathan doesn't respond to the first, but the fact that Nathan isn't automatically rejecting Duke's advice and warnings because Duke you're a smuggler and a criminal is rather sweet. Instead he's rejecting it because he's monofocused. Well, we can't have everything.
After Nathan essentially ignores the fact that Duke said oh, hey, I'm hurting too, Duke goes off to the Cape Rouge for some more private grieving time. What's interesting to me about this, what still deeply fucking irritates me about the fact that they did kill Jennifer and provide us with proof of death, is that Duke was always the person who saw Jennifer as a person. Not as a gateway or a conduit or any other thing, but a person freaked the fuck out by being made into those things, which is a level Duke can (and did!) absolutely connect with her on. And Nathan just… brushes that off in his mono-focus, and nobody other than Gloria has bothered to offer him any kind of condolences. He's still doing that thing where he's almost-not-quite crying, because like us he assumes that he can't cry due to how the expression of the Troubles via Crocker line is now fucked up. Instead he'll engage in the time-honored method of demonstrating grief: cutting one's hair. Oh honey. This is also a really nice way to blend the fact that Balfour did cut his hair with a genuine in-canon reason for it, since he more than Dwight (who's the other person who went long-to-short due to actor decision) very clearly knows and uses his appearance as a tool, so it would have to be a conscious choice, not an "oh fuckit this thing is getting in my way FETCH ME A RAZOR." I also kind of wonder if Dwight grew it out as an expression of rebellion in his post-military career or possibly grief post-death of his daughter, and this was a way for him to reach an understated closure on that front.
(I would also like to ONCE AGAIN file a complaint with the missing mothers of Haven guild: seriously you guys, between Duke, Nathan, and Dwight's mothers all being missing/dead, the mother of Dwight's child being missing, AudSarLu the one person who ever apparently gets to be a mother figure… can we get a little in-universe acknowledgement of that? Ever?) (K: How about the continual killing off of non-Maraudrey women?) (A: If you get me started on that we're not going to actually finish the recapalypse.)
Over at the roadside stop of issues Nathan is finishing gassing up the truck with a container that is nowhere near big enough to get them any distance. Okay, maybe far enough out of Haven that they won't have to hit up a gas station potentially run by a Troubled person or someone who knows who they are, but still, not that far. Extra bonus points because it turns out he's not going anywhere near a gas station, but I'm getting ahead of myself. They'll stop for breakfast and then keep going. Breakfast, as it turns out, is black coffee and, what, a banana? Guess it'll be the banana, then, because Mara pronounces the coffee undrinkable with a dramatic spit. I don't even think that's a power play, she looks genuinely displeased but not enough to make a big issue out of it. Instead it's Nathan who's making the issue out of it! Because pouring the cream onto the ground is a power play, Nathan, really, that is not any way to get cooperation out of anyone. Not that he's looking for cooperation, but as long as he's stuck with Mara he might as well make it not any harder on himself than it has to be. No? No. He dumps the cream, she gets pissed and starts flinging threats complete with scare chord and the music going all dark and ominous (actually a more ominous version of Audrey's music, maybe down an octave? which is nifty), and he laconically asserts the superiority of his position by pointing out how many people are after them and more specifically her. Thanks, Nathan. That didn't exacerbate anything.
Neither will the Guard! Who are pulling up right now in some white cream colored truck. Not that Nathan recognizes the truck but we can guess on the basis of who would be least convenient to have around here right now. Sometimes narrative awareness is a useful thing. They pull past Nathan and Mara at an interesting camera angle that suggests they might keep on driving except, no, they don't. Mara at least has some sense of self preservation and respect for humanity's ability to hurt her, or maybe that's just the Troubled? Either way she tries to bargain with Nathan to help her, first with his life and then with leaving the rest of the (boxed) aether. Nathan isn't having either of those, which would be a lot better if we didn't have the sinking feeling that he was going to go for convincing her of that second one anyway. The first is just self preservation. And given that she's chained up it's not the best offer anyway. Especially with that next statement. As much as she dislikes being shackled, that implies it's effective at least in part to contain and deal with her. So, not so much with the random appearing and disappearing like William seemed to be doing, yes? If so, why? Is it some super power variance, was he more trained than she was, is it something done to her when she was locked into the barn cycle? Inquiring minds, as usual, get no satisfaction.
Neither will Nathan, trying to play it cool and pretend he'd called it in and was expecting them. No one believes you, Nathan. Whether it's because you shot Howard and screwed everyone in Haven over attempting to save Audrey, or because you're the worst liar ever, we don't know, but no one believes him. This naturally results in violence. Nathan goes for the one guy's gun about the same time as the other guy holds a knife near the base of Mara's throat. Mitchell, huh? Mitchell seems familiar, was he on the hillside when Nathan shot the barnvatar? I bet he was. We get a glimpse of him starting to cut Mara's throat (really? that's how you cut a throat? below her collarbone? no wonder she gets the drop on you) and Mara manages somehow, the choreography and camerawork aren't clear, to get the chain around his throat. I'm not sure who I don't feel sorry for here. So now Nathan's pointing a gun at.... someone, he doesn't seem to be sure who, and Mara is telling him to shoot the guy she's holding a chain to, and it's just not a good situation. Nathan, this is what happens when you are not clear. I'm just saying.
Duke's day is just not improving at-fucking-all; the camera angle on it isn't the best when we pan down from the overhead shot of the Gull to the interior of the doors, but the door is open. (I surmise one of the reasons the angle is bad is because it tells us this is not a malicious robbery/vandalism/murder/etc. attempt.) He would like whoever it is to know that today is not the day. Considering it's still been only, what, 48-72 since the cave, tops, I have to agree with him. Not the fucking day for any kind of malicious anything. Well, Jodie, whoever she is, isn't malicious! And it takes Duke long enough to recognize her that it's obviously been awhile since he's seen her, but he just as clearly feels some sense of camaraderie and/or responsibility toward her, since she's scared and needs out of town and cash to get her there. And she gets a hug and casual but not extensive interest in her life, and Duke knows about her maybe-distant past. The expo-dump about her family is awfully scattered; I know she's traumatized judging by the burn and maybe blood mark on her lower left torso but this could have been slightly better put together. Charlie and the baby and Gavin are all mentioned with no stated relationship except that Gavin is probably her SO/husband. Duke thought they went legit at some point and found religion! Judging by his expression that's not the Rev's style of finding religion, either. Small favors. Jodie would like not to talk about what's wrong or anything else, and we can guess that either talking about it has already triggered her Trouble or not talking about it is what triggers her Trouble. Duke will just open up his wallet and dump out the cash he's carrying right now, which further signals some kind of pretty close past relationship. I know Duke's the kind of guy to have a wide range of relationships, dating back to his days as a smuggler, but I wish we'd had a better sense of that last season (I know, I know, in what time) because this feels kind of slapped in there. Jodie's honestly behaving like an abuse victim, almost, over Duke wanting to know where she's going. Right up until she yells not to come any closer, with the standard refrain of the Troubled everywhere: you don't know what I've done. Oh honey. And then she starts sucking the light into her body and emitting it, this time in two beams of concentrated power of DOOM and lighting things on fire. Can anyone say Carrie, or maybe Firestarter? I knew you could. I am also not cracking any jokes about hi-beams, seriously, you try taking a dance class in a group of women and not making those jokes. The beams appear to be somewhat directed separate from where she's pointing them, somewhat directable by her motions, which means she's trying not to wave her arms around in front of her hi-beams while also trying to only do property damage. Duke is… remarkably unconcerned by this, both because overload of trauma and being Fucking Haven, and would just like to stop his bar from being on fire before he goes back to helping his friend? Yes? No. No, she's going to run off in horror as the sunlight turns back on. I have to say I probably would too.
After the credits Nathan is mouthing off about what Mara did and Mara is mouthing off about what a shitty partner Nathan is and none of this is really helping the other two guys trust Nathan at all, which is not going to help achieve Nathan's goal at all. Not that the Guard as a general mob are going to do anything that doesn't help them get vengeance/take out their frustration at the Troubles on Mara, who they now know started it. And, look, I understand their frustration and their hurt, I really do. Fucking Haven is become our watchword since maybe second season. And I understand why Dwight decided that telling the Guard was better than keeping it a secret if only because if they found out he'd been keeping it from them later? They wouldn't trust him anymore, or possibly anyone with any leadership ability, and then all you have is a mob of angry Troubled people. But I do think this Kill The Mara pitchforks and torches thing they have going on here is both unproductive and, in a way, a disservice to the people of the Guard on a Doylist level. We've spent the last four seasons with Audrey, and even if we aren't clinging to her in a Nathan-esque way we're aware enough of how these things go that we know no one's going to kill her, so is there really a purpose to making the Guard a monolithic bloodthirsty mob? Let's have some more of the docnurse Guard lady, she was pretty cool. No, not this episode anyway. Nathan ignores Guardsman Mitchell's threats as he says, out loud by the way, that they're going to keep heading south, find a place to lay low. I don't think we even bothered shouting at the screen for this one, but if you're so inclined, talking about your plans in people who at least want to kill your chained up hostage-partner is a good way to get your partner-hostage killed. I'm just saying. Mara doesn't appreciate being threatened either, going for some figurative chain-yanking before Nathan does some literal chain-yanking. I might end up giggling about that at appropriate intervals through the rest of the episode. Mara does not take kindly to chain-yanking of any kind. Mara will now call him a name, albeit with a bit of a more family friendly word swap there, and it's meant to impress upon Nathan and us how disrespected she feels at being physically injured. Nathan points out that the physically injured part is the relevant one; if they didn't know it before, they now know she can be hurt. Considering that Audrey was thought of, generally, as human or at least close to human, and Mara as the progenitor of the troubles likely is thought of as non-human as much as she is demonized in the more commonly used sense, this is pretty big. And with all of the Guard (and the police, Nathan points out, but the non-Guard police seem pretty content not to resort to deadly force, so I'd worry more about the Guard) looking for them, their best bet is to disappear. And this is how we know Nathan is still possessed of some general sense, it's just that when it comes to Maraudrey good sense goes out the window. Unless he has some secret plan up his sleeve. Do you, Nathan? Spoiler: No. No he does not at this time.
Over at a residence surrounded by police where presumably Jodie has been, Duke is pulling up with that 'Fucking Haven' sigh and... Duke. Duke, what is that on your head. Is that a ballcap that says Deus Ex Machina Canoes? Why the fuck do you have a ballcap that says Deus Ex Machina Canoes, Duke? No, wait. Never mind, that's an actual hat that we have found on the interwebs. I think we're going to blame Balfour for that hat. And I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse than if it were an easter egg someone made specially for this episode and put in on purpose. I'm going to go with it's fucking hilarious and move on. Hee. Deus Ex Machina. Anyway. Moving on from the hilarious hat. (K: Look, after two seasons of playing hunt the hashtag I got very used to picking meaning out of small text areas okay?) Dwight confirms that Jodie's been at the Gull and comments on Duke's new look, but only the one comment. They're all very knowledgeable about loss here. And it turns out within a couple sentences they're all very knowledgeable about Jodie, enough that Duke's somewhat alarmed at the covered gurney being wheeled out of the house. Jodie's sister, as it turns out, but the kids are fine. Well, the baby's fine. The daughter (Charlie, thereby clarifying the family structure somewhat) has minor burns but has been bandaged, it looks like she's giving a statement. That is far better than it could be.
Over at the cabin! Or at least a cabin, which we learn pretty quickly is Garland's cabin. That Nathan dragged Audrey off to last season between bouts of William, aww. I doubt, actually, and for as much as we've been complaining about Nathan's lack of sense where Audrey is concerned, that it was anything like asserting manhood. More likely it was Nathan's attempt to either protect her or give her a couple days' peace, neither would be out of line. Heee, flaccid dancing. Again a knock at Nathan's alleged or metaphorical manhood, or both, I have no idea why that particular avenue of attack. I'm not entirely sure I buy it's taking advantage of his love for Audrey, it might also be her sense of humor. We might find out more as we get to know Mara. Nathan pulls the blinds and turns on the lights, which, um. Okay? I guess if you want to make it easier for people to see someone's in there but harder to see who's walking up on you. I am mildly impressed, that is all appropriate decor and layout for a hideaway cabin, by and large; it actually reminds me quite a bit of the one in Michigan. He does at least turn on the police radio (of course the Chief would have a radio even in his hideaway, just in case and also the man did not know the meaning of the phrase off the clock) so there's that kind of advance warning, even if it won't tell them about the Guard. Probably won't tell them about the Guard. (... which once again brings up the interesting question, what did Garland know about the Guard?) Mara claims to know why he's hiding, whether or not she does is an open question considering she seems to think he's attempting to seduce her in some way, whether to friendship or otherwise, who the hell knows. Nathan doesn't care about Mara's opinion of him, he's "doing what he has to." That does not bode well for his interactions with anyone, not just Mara, considering the general attitude towards Mara at this point. Mara agrees! Not that she's necessarily right about Audrey being gone, we're still allowing for the possibility that she's playing him like a cheap fiddle, but increasingly Mara's behavior outside of the Audrey moments is looking like she's not the kind of person who has enough impulse control to play a long con. Which could also be an act. William definitely wasn't, though. Not the kind of con that could take weeks to maybe months, his plans tended to stretch on for a period of days at most. And granted, he was the lesser of the two minds, or appeared to be, so maybe? No, probably not. Mara continues to insist that Audrey's gone, Nathan continues to fatalistically shrug and say we'll see. Woo. This is starting to drag, guys, and the attempts to ramp the tension with the music aren't helpful.
Mara thinks so too! By the clanking of her chains, these chains she forged in life, etc? More mocking. Both verbally and in mirroring his posture, which is a bit hilarious looking for reasons I can't quite explain. Maybe just the exaggeration in the pose. She offers some suggestions as to what he's doing or what he could do, starting with deprogramming and going on into mocking human magic. Although, really Mara, do you think if Nathan has a plan to get Audrey out he's going to tell you? No, because apparently bodily autonomy/autonomy of personality is not a thing that happens in this show. Can I just say I am still very uncomfortable with people who are not Audrey or Mara (et al) deciding who gets to have the body, instead of leaving it up to Audrey and Mara (et al)? One thing we've been speculating on with morbid fascination is what if Vince finds out this is possible and attempts to bring Sarah back? And then you have three personalities, arguably with the same independence and right to freedom, fighting over one body, which doesn't even touch Lucy Ripley who appears to be the unwanted middle sibling of the three known savior-of-Haven personalities. Um. Ideally this will end in integration or agreement between the personalities, but still. Um. Mara picks up some string and continues monologuing which, far from pointing out avenues of approach or explicating her plan, is more like untangling the events of the last couple of seasons to point out how it's all led them here and mostly it's Nathan's fault. This is so, so true. Mostly coming down to Nathan shooting Agent Fuck You. Not your best move ever, Nathan. Moving on to explaining to him in derisive, superior terms how he's nothing without his love for Audrey, which arguably these days is true, at least in terms of character focus. That's actually true about the Russian, though. Nathan's one or two shots come in pointing out that lots of people need Audrey, but no one needs Mara. Well, maybe William, but it's not as though Mara actually loved him. Which, let us all note, she doesn't deny, and we've been kicking that one around for weeks and months now. Ever since the flashback of Bring Your Renne Garb To Work Day. It's an interesting thought exercise, though, to wonder if Nathan would have given Audrey up if Mara had said (convincingly, not I'll-say-anything-to-get-out-of-this) that she loved William. He certainly loved her in some sort of way, albeit a twisted way. Mara looks up as though he's finally said something interesting when Nathan suggests that she can't create Troubles without him, and we know that to be at least temporarily true. So now the question is, did William have that box of aether because he's the one who stole it and was carrying it? Which makes Mara either more trusting than she seems or less of a control freak than she seems, or was William the only one who could pull on the aether and create the death truffles, and Mara was the sadist who figured out how to use them. INFORMATION. We wants it, precious. For an emotionally flatter than usual scene this is actually full of hints and suggestions that bring up a lot of interesting implications. Nathan continues to throw her words back in her face about her and the Troubles, and Mara actually does react. For so many possible reasons! Does she regret making her life all about the Troubles? Which, she says later, was to prove a point, which, um. Uh-oh. Is she comparing that to Audrey's life and finding it wanting, because she would never say that out loud to Nathan at the rate she's going. The flashback seems to indicate so, as does the rather more Audrey look of reminiscence.
Meanwhile, back in the real world! Or at least the rest of Haven. Gloria is reporting to the Chief, and I will never ever get tired of Chief Dwight. Ever. Apparently the effective cause of death was lasered by sunlight. Ouch. Dwight recalls that Duke said the light dimmed, so evidently Jodie is pulling light from other sources and redirecting it in the most visually ridiculous way possible, essentially giving herself Cyclops' power. Only as hi-beams from her ribs. No, seriously, why from your ribs, that's one of the least oh never mind. It might look silly, but Jodie's sister can attest to how silly it actually isn't. Have I mentioned how much I love how matter of factly they're both taking this? At this point it isn't even a question of "how is this possible," it's a question of "well, shit, how does this work and how do we make it not kill people."
Duke is sitting on the bench with Jodie's other kid when he gets a call that he doesn't look happy about (although really, what phone call would he be looking happy about these days) and says he'll tell the daughter. It turns out there's been another Jodie accident, oh yay. No word on whether or not there were any fatalities, but he does go on to bring together some witness reports for the daughter and us the audience, in that there's been a progression of light beams, from one to two to four. No real indication of what that means except, as the daughter says, she's getting worse and now they really do need to find her. Duke asks about her dad, but daughter says they've been fighting since Jodie lost her job. Ouch. And then he left, so, double ouch. Yeah, that would be the stressor. Stressors. Whatever. Extra bonus ouch for poor Charlotte pulling the blame on herself, as children of divorce are sometimes wont to do. Even if it's not legally or technically a divorce yet. Duke offers up the it's not your fault speech which is heavy on the Troubles and light on the separation of her parents, and which may or may not be the direction the daughter was heading with that, but it's on his mind at the moment. And, honestly, Jodie's Trouble is what needs fixed right now, not her marriage. The separation isn't killing anyone except in that it's a stressor that triggered her Trouble, so. Deal with that first. We now pause for a moment so Duke can cough and look like crap the way he was in the cave. Woo! Wait, no, the other thing. Even though the daughter doesn't believe Duke's assurances that he's fine in the slightest, she is feeling guilty enough to tell him something.
A something which sends Duke bursting in on Dwight! Apparently Jodie texted the daughter, whose name is now Charlie? is that short for Charlotte? Duke, you're slurring in your excitement. Texted her to bring her brother to "the old furniture warehouse" at midnight. So, not the cannery then, for which we can all be grateful, some new old warehouse on the edge of town. Duke is then stopped by Dwight's utter non-reaction, and Dwight is not reacting because he is pissed. Turns out Mitchell has come back by now and reported in that Nathan is working with Mara, ruh-roh! Yeah, if I were Dwight and having been constantly lied to by people I thought I could trust, i.e. Nathan and Vince (and Duke, unbeknownst to him), I'd be kinda pissed too. Duke's not doing a very good job of hiding that he knows, either, although I don't know if Dwight's not reacting to that because he's too pissed to notice or because he's decided that Duke's hiding of Nathan's involvement is the lesser of the many evils they have to deal with. Possibly that second one, although as frazzled as Dwight's been lately I wouldn't entirely put it past him to miss that tell given that it's very close to Duke sighing in exasperation at Nathan rather than sighing because Nathan's been found out and he already knew. At any rate. Mitchell also said they were going south, somewhere remote, and Dwight's got guys (whether police or Guard it's left unclear, which is less for plot reasons because we can guess it's Guard and more interesting in the implications that for him, the lines are blurring some) heading out there now.
I'm sure you do have guys headed there, Dwight, but that look on Duke's face suggests this next bit is all going to be one long fake-out jump scare as Mara and Nathan get ready for bed and the Guard hauls ass out to a fishing shack in the middle of the night. Mara will mock away, because that's her usual course of action, the Guard has all kinds of guns (mostly shotguns and rifles 'cause this is hunting country but still, you guys, you do want her alive, right? to maybe end the Troubles?) and at least two trucks full of big burly men to wield them. I would like to raise my hand and inquire as to where the fuck the women are in this scenario? Haven in a lot of respects is looking increasingly patriarchal and full of dumbassery about how dangerous women are or should be these days. Mind you the extent to which women keep dropping like flies would tend to indicate that yes, maybe they should stop being on the front lines, but I fucking expect better out of Dwight, so hopefully he'll shift that around eventually. I don't expect better out of Vince and his asshole self who thinks AudSarLu is the only worthwhile woman in existence, so that's fine then. (For values of fine that include smacking Vince around, but, y'know.) At any rate, the hit about the Guard not being that dangerous doesn't land, so Mara moves right back on to punching Nathan in the emotions about Audrey with commentary about only one small bed to share. Or, y'know, not. I like not. Don't be stupid, Nathan. Or a rapist, which frankly I would consider him if he slept with the woman occupying this body who doesn't actually want to sleep with him at all and quite obviously only wants to do so to emotionally manipulate him. Yeaaaah. Let's not go there. Or think too hard about on which end this sex could possibly be consensual if they were going to have it. Because I'm pretty sure the answer is neither and also THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. Seriously, for all that Mara is acting like she can get out at any point, all her behavior prior to this suggests that she can't.
And when Mara accesses Audrey's memories she also keeps flipping between sounding like Mara and sounding like Audrey, both in intonation and in cadence, which is a really nifty voice acting trick and deeply, deeply disturbing. Nathan finds it fucking disturbing too! See, this is why you should have taken someone for backup, Nathan, fuckssake. Because you are horribly emotionally compromised to the point where I'm not actually sure if we can trust you not to be hallucinating this in the long run! Nathan will now unshackle Maraudrey to let her be chained to the bed for sleep for the night, which just makes it easier for her to try and seduce him into believing she can be Audrey. (Anyone getting shades of the end of Angel? Yes? Not just me? Okay then.) The Guard continues to march through the moonlight, make a little more noise as you stomp through the grass, fucking hell did nobody teach you fuckers stealth? How on earth do you kill deer like that if nothing else? I am disappoint. And yes, Nathan can feel Mara, no, that doesn't appear to be contingent on her being AudSarLu, it's a thing based on Mara being immune to the Troubles. I don't think we ever had a reason or way for Nathan to test that on William last season (actually the one time he might have Duke was the one putting pressure on William's gunshot wound), but I would bet that had William ever touched him he would have felt it. Probably why they both avoided the fuck out of it. (EDIT: Peridot81 reminds us that Nathan punched William last season, and Nathan could feel that, neeeever mind.) Which is the opposite of what Maraudrey's doing now! She's pulling on all his sense memories; considering how few of them he has for touch that's a vicious, vicious thing to do. (And still should not imply that this would be sex that either of them really wants, at best it would be hatesex, at worst it would be a prisoner trying to persuade her captor to greater leniency, and prisoners can't consent, you guys.) It is deeply complex and fucked up and all those other things we're used to getting out of Nathan's dynamic with Emily Rose-shaped people, and I do hurt for Nathan because this sucks for him. On a lot of levels. But if you're going to take on the responsibility of trying to bring Audrey back, you also get to have the moral responsibility that goes with that. Please don't disappoint us, Nathan. Not this far. Especially not after pointing out and having it land that Mara didn't love William, so this whole we can both pretend shit is exactly as much a load of horseshit as it sounds like. And he does lose it for a few seconds of hot and heavy kissing and making out, while the Guard kicks down a cabin door (oh, hey, there is one woman! she was not visible in the first few glimpses) to find the place empty. Gee. What a shock. Where's that jar. And after the ad break and some more kissing Maraudrey bites him, which is apparently enough of a change from Audrey that it makes his big brain turn back on. THANK GOD. Small favors. Yeah, let's have no more of that.
Nathan will have one more moment of temptation before he covers her mouth with a hand and shoves her away now that she's shackled to the bed. And then sits on the couch like he's been burned. Yes. That was a terrible, terrible idea and you should feel bad about your couple minutes of makeout with a woman who can't consent to it because you have her chained up, of COURSE she's going to start pulling on the most powerful levers she's got to make you let her go. Mara asks what the hell they're going to do while they're waiting, which, heh, that's a fair lampoon of some very annoying fanfiction tropes. She also obviously does think that Nathan brought her up here to use the power of his healing cock to bring Audrey back. I mean, seriously. That's what some of the more terrifying fangirls have been advocating for, right? Let's not and say we didn't, and say we're glad Nathan's sane enough to still realize what a horrible thing that would be to do. But in the most important case by Mara's opinion, she still has her little ball of death truffle aether. Nathan will reveal, after not very much further goading by Mara, that he told the Guard they were headed south and this place is north. Someday someone on a show is going to do that only have it be at a perpendicular direction instead, because seriously doesn't everyone automatically look in the opposite direction when they get played like that? Really? I know I would, provided circumstances were right. So no, they might be there for awhile, and for the first time Nathan looks really unsure and unhappy about the possibilities that entails. Good. I'm glad you bought a few more clues from that one.
Speaking of buying clues, Dwight isn't buying anything about Duke professing that Nathan knows what he's doing. Duke, you could be a little less unconvincing about that line but you'd need to be trying instead of halfway to dead on your feet. They're at the warehouse waiting for Jodie while discussing this, Dwight would like to remind him that people have died, people are in danger, Duke himself looks like shit. Well, he says hell, but this is a family show. We swear. And for TV, yeah, he does. Those dark circles under his eyes are getting darker, he looks pale and Duke's normally pretty tan, he's not bothering to try and get up and posture or even wave his hands around in general overblown look-this-way body language like he often does. Duke Is Not Okay. Someone fetch him a doctor. Or a Mara, who's like a doctor, potentially, for this. No? No. Duke is also fucking stubborn, and while he and Dwight have come a long ways in terms of mutual trust and respect, when it comes to picking between Nathan and Dwight he's always going to choose Nathan, and he's always going to end up respecting Nathan's opinion on what needs to happen more. Except Nathan is incapable of looking beyond his monofocus to see that someone should bully Duke into getting help, so, okay, that's right out.
Back at the cabin Nathan suggests Mara go to sleep. Presumably so he can attempt to access Audrey but also, whether or not he's thinking of it, it'd just be damn well easier to think and plan if he doesn't have to worry about her, and asleep is one way to manage that. Mara suggest he go to sleep which is less a suggestion and more a "no, you." Cute. Nathan lies that he's not tired, and it's a very very blatant lie, but what did anyone expect? They're both tired by the way that exchange plays out as rote covering of bases. Then things perk up a bit as he asks about where she comes from. YES DO PLEASE TELL US THAT. Is it Mid-World? Is it End-World? Is it somewhere else entirely? Lud? Gilead? WHERE. We're guessing entirely within the Dark Tower universe because Thinnies and doors on beaches, but you never know, it could be the Overlook. We get nothing on concrete places but something in that she does have friends or family or both, and she'll go back there as soon as she's done with her work here. She's quite looking forward to it, except the way she says that makes me think going back home is going to look more like stomping through the front door with an All Shall Love Me And Despair flourish and taking the place over. Shudder. The fact that she's here to prove a point to, presumably, said friends and family and her own people is not helping that impression. Brilliance being celebrated, no, that's still not helping. Though remember her violent reaction to Nathan stabbing her about making her life all about the Troubles? Now that we're at this conversation, one has to wonder if proving that point is still worth it. Or maybe that's just the flashbacks making it seem less worth it compared to all those lives' richness and other passions. There's an interesting theory: presented with all those alternatives for who to be and whose life and influence and ideas and inclinations to embrace, which would Mara choose? Audrey? Sarah? The rodeo queen? Lexie, if she even existed? Hard to say. And Mara's deflecting any further inquiry into her past by going and hammering on that sex button some more. At this point it's just boring, or at least it is until Mara points out that if sex with Audrey means so much in terms of their relationship, why was he going and sleeping with Sarah on the beach? And if her, why not Mara? Now there's another interesting ethical question, Nathan and Maraudrey's relationship is just so full of those! Ooh, apparently Lucy was a "tramp," although I have no idea what that means to Mara, and someone named Veronica swung both ways oh really. Can we meet her eventually? I want to meet her. More boring sex taunting, followed by another interesting pokey question from Mara about if Nathan ever wonders if Audrey loved him as much as he loved her. I'm going to go with yes, despite the fact that he's obviously not going to tell Mara that. Oh darn. Oh well. Sleeping.
Time passes, represented by the moon and the fire dying, and presumably now Mara's asleep because Nathan tugging on the chains to make sure they're secure doesn't wake her. I'm not entirely sure the stalker-like lighting and music is on purpose, but I'm not sure it isn't either, because let's face it. Nathan has a woman he claims to love chained to a bed and is talking to her in a soft, loving voice. That's a bit creepy. The jump scare is not creepy, the jump scare is expected and Audrey gasps out that she needs him to keep talking to her, not to Mara, and that helps her to fight. I still can't tell if this is Mara playing him or not, and I'm not sure that's what we're supposed to infer from this, although I know it's not just us because we've heard murmurings from others wondering if Mara is faking Audrey for some other purpose. I still am not entirely sure Mara's capable of pulling off a long con either, but there's nothing to say she can't and she's clearly capable of pulling off a plan that lasts for years. A con is somewhat different, though. Anyway. I think the writers expect us to be somewhat more invested in these Audrey peek-a-boos than we're feeling right now. Still, the fan response who is not us seems largely invested. So that's something. Nathan's having a meltdown. He's kind of cute when he's having a meltdown, in the pat him on the head and give him a cookie and send him to sit somewhere quiet for a bit way. Off to the computer to tell Duke! My god that's an old computer.
Once that computer's done giving us flashbacks to our childhood, Duke's phone will give us flashbacks to a few years ago. Seriously, dude, I know we're still back in… 2011? I think? In Haven time, but you could totally get a smartphone now. A good one, not that cheapass thing. (K: Hey, I only got a smartphone this past spring. :P) (A: Yeah, but you'd think greater connectivity would be useful in his line of work, particularly these days.) Anyway, Duke has an email from a dead man aka Garland's old email account. No guesses on whether it's a work or a personal account, given Garland didn't do very well (she says, entering the understatement contest of the year) at separating the two, and it doesn't really matter anyway. Nathan found the way but he needs more time! Duke will blow that off with the kind of lie he's very very good at and accustomed to telling, which is that somebody needs a favor. Technically true! Just not the kind of true that Dwight's buying, and by that expression he'd push it except then the door bangs open. Nobody in this episode has heard of stealth at all except sort of the boys here. Sort of, since they go straight to face-on confrontation. Jodie's kids are fine, Duke's playing the old friend trying to calm her down card some more, and while I appreciate that the actors are selling it as hard as they can this would go so much smoother if they'd ever bothered to drop in a couple lines of backstory. It reads almost like they wanted to bring back Evi and couldn't, so they brought back a platonic version of her? Which, no, you guys. Dwight will be taking the Audrey-esque position as leader of the Guard, which is only right and proper, no, she's out of control now but she's already taking positive steps! Here are your positive steps! Hahahaha no. Nuh-uh. This is a woman distraught and terrified by having killed her sister with her Trouble for reasons that suggest more than simply having been traumatized by a sudden emergence of that Trouble, who thinks her daughter would hate her if she knew. I'm betting Gavin's dead, anyone else? Even though we don't yet have a body? Dwight thinks at least originally that Jodie's managing this better by coming to the warehouse at night and making herself thereby not a threat, except as she gets more and more worked up the fluorescent lights flicker and go out and, well, no, shit. That seems like it's not just daylight, which means it's probably all light, which means everyone is fucked. And Jodie did definitely think that it was daylight, too! So in conclusion, what the fuck, is this a secondary manifestation of her Trouble? If there are family legends about it did everyone else manage to learn to control it before it started sucking down artificial light? I mean, realistically speaking we've had firelight, candlelight, gas lamps, etc. even before the advent of electricity, so you would think that if there were legends she'd know that it was all forms of light. Maybe there aren't family stories to go on, then!
Duke reaches the conclusion about forms of light as he smothers the fire on his coat and a third beam of light starts shooting out of Jodie's chest. I really rather think those must hurt. At least I'd expect them to. I love how the boys here go okay, duck and cover, keep ducking and covering while we attempt to figure out what the fuck to do, and when she gets a fourth beam and starts yelling at them to leave, aheh, no. That'll do it on both their fuck you we're going to save you complexes! Dwight has a plan, because he is the best Dwight and has the right training for this shit: Duke gets the fire blanket and the woman since she actually trusts Duke, he'll deal with the fires her hi-beams are setting. And so! In between banter-snark about how no, she owes him money, Duke launches himself at her with that blanket and trusts that it'll last long enough to smother the beams. Um. Well, that wasn't potentially suicidal at all, I'm just saying. The lights come back on! Jodie is crumpled and crying and traumatized, like you do when you can't control the weapon of mass destruction shooting out of your chest. I'd send her to talk to Tony Stark but I don't think she's recovered enough for that. Nightlight? Yeah, she doesn't look very okay, and Dwight is visibly concerned. Not yet all the way to freaked out, but concerned, and when a person like Dwight is letting his concern show I suggest everyone else be worried.
The next morning at the cabin, the soundtrack and Nathan are both being jaunty as Nathan makes pancakes, much to Mara's deep displeasure. I sympathize, I'm not much of a morning person either, and the sun is right in her face. Not sure if that's on purpose or not. I'm going to go ahead and pretend Nathan did it on purpose because it's funny.
Back at the furniture warehouse Dwight's given Jodie a sedative which should keep her out for at least a few hours and help in that sleep generally helps people calm down and see things more usefully. Duke has issues with the sedative and its usefulness, mostly in that right now he's on edge and physically feeling like crap, and emotionally feeling like crap, and he wants a solution to something, right now. Oh Duke honey. Dwight is of the opinion that they need to find Mara, and maybe then some of the Troubles can be undone, if not all of them. Oh Dwight honey. I mean, yes, that's possible, and it's more likely than some of the other solutions they've been tossing around, but that also depends on Mara wanting to and that doesn't seem likely. Add to that the fact that maybe her ability to do so depends on that aether and the likelihood starts dropping. To underscore both urgency and duplicity we go back to Duke's phone and the message, and Duke responds with 'how much longer?' Yes, Nathan, do tell. We need a solution soonest.
Evidently the solution is pancakes and irritating the shit outta Mara. Who jams a knife into the table at Nathan's placid calm and utter refusal to cook anything besides pancakes, and sits there giving him a stubborn look. I think that's the hold my breath till I get my way look. At least Nathan does take the knives away, and with a bonus bit of clever, asks her if she really doesn't remember. Without giving any clue as to what she's supposed to remember, so Mara can't play him that way if she isn't playing him already. That's something, at least! And then it's back to talking at her like she's Audrey, offering her a choice of syrup. Mara responds with the heart explodie Trouble line, and have I mentioned yet how much I love whoever's editing these previews so that it looks like something's coming up (sex with Nathan which turns out to be Mara chained to the bed and Nathan across the room, Mara in control and threatening people when she's actually threatening because she's not in control and hates it like a wet cat) and then when we see the proper context, not so much. Nathan is not perturbed in the least. Maple syrup it is. We'll sit here facehandsing over how alternately hilarious and heartbreaking it is that the solution is indeed for Nathan to keep ramming himself at the wall of Mara's personality like a battering ram, because oh no, no no, why would you people do that. I mean, narratively I know why, it even makes sense, but it goes straight back to the who the hell is Nathan to make the decision for all of them, even assuming Audrey really is in there and really does want his help.
Over at the furniture warehouse Duke is sitting with Jodie, trying to cheer her up or at least keep her calm, which includes some deadpanning quips about how her children are monsters and rapscallions and that does at least seem to make her smile. Somewhat. On the other hand it also reminds her that she's putting her children through hell with her sister and we still don't know what happened to Gavin, but I'm going to go ahead and mark him in the dead column. Duke advises her to try not to think about it. That's only going to work for so long, but in the short term, like Dwight's sedatives, it might at least help them get to a better, more permanent solution? Other than the obvious. Actually it's not even going to work in the short term because Jodie's going to go off into a quiet fit of self-castigation, including the phrase "anything as bad as killing your own family." Well if that doesn't hit Duke right in the brotherly Cain-and-Abel love, I don't know what will! True, Duke killed Wade in self defense, but that's not going to make a bit of difference to his brainweasels, now is it. No, I think not. The fact that Jodie turns out to be dying from lack of light, now, that might distract him for a while. So, she can't be around light because she sucks it into her and turns into a laser disco machine of death, but she has to be around light or she'll die. So the answer is, what, to put her on top of a hill very far away from anything? How far do those beams of light even travel? (Potential answer: very, very far.) This is gonna suck. Which is the other motto of Haven! The first being Fucking Haven.
This is gonna suck is also the expression Dwight has on; his best idea is to take her some place safer, Guard controlled, where presumably they have stuff in place to prevent... I don't know, explosions. Does anyone else have a Trouble like this? Though possibly they also have sedative drips for people who have destructive Troubles they can't control, that might work too. Hell if I know. Duke isn't up for that yet, he's still putting his money on Nathan, and he doesn't even have to say that for Dwight to figure out that Duke's other plan is Nathan. So, at a guess, yes, he did notice that sigh and hesitation earlier. Of note, his rebuke to Duke doesn't indicate an immediate loss of all trust, though surely there's been some hit, but is more on the risk he's taking for the rest of the town because, well, Mara. And more information only makes Dwight push harder on what the fuck does Nathan think he's doing. This is why we love Dwight, because he's practical, or at least the most practical out of this band of exhausted and emotional people. That people have been lying to him and hiding important shit from him is secondary to what the hell is going on, what are people planning, how is it going to affect the town. Unfortunately Duke doesn't have any of that information to give to him, and at this point Duke's losing faith in Nathan's ability to do much of anything useful to anyone but himself either, so, screw it, he'll bring Nathan and Mara to Dwight. And now is the point, given that all the immediate issues have been talked out to dissatisfying and uninformative conclusions, when Dwight brings up the trust issues. Since we're all being practical here, he will accept that Duke won't let Jodie die as an answer. I still want their fucking backstory beyond a couple lines about heists from the past.
Back at the cabin of dubious ethical implications they have finished their pancakes and now, apparently, Nathan will take her up on the flaccid dancing. I'm sorry, I love that phrase, even if I'm not wild about the context of its usage. He puts on some music, looks entirely serious about this even in the face of an impending door to door search from Laverne. Mara is a woman after our own hearts, at least in this respect, because her response is to threaten his crotch with an imminent stabbing. I'm fairly sure one or both of us has at one point uttered that very same threat. He even unshackles her! Though he's not really giving her freedom of movement or a knife. Because he's not completely suicidal, and the femoral artery is kind of close to the crotch. Mara has some more priceless snark about inflatable dolls, which is really no more than a blunt version of what we've been thinking. At this point Nathan's insistence not just on talking to Mara like she's Audrey, but treating her with special Audrey only things, is ludicrous. I'm with Mara on this one. This is getting absurd. From flaccid dancing to attempting a board game to, ultimately, tickling. Now there's an interesting choice of activity. It's not only a childlike one, it's one that very very often transcends the boundaries of consent in a way that gets glossed over as harmless by everyone. No one thinks, or at least most people don't think about the person screaming stop, stop, as having their consent violated because they're laughing, right? No. Not at all. So, yes, this is nicely symbolic and metaphorical and literal and all those other good things, and it also seems to work, which does not make me feel any better about Nathan trying to pull Audrey out against Mara's wishes. As with the laughing, it seems like it should be a good thing, and yet, no. Not really. I do wonder, though, if the writers picked that activity with that in mind or if they just picked tickling as a childlike, relatively harmless thing to do. Hey, speaking of things I wonder, what the what with Audrey gasping out "I can't die inside her"? Does that mean she's incapable of it or does that mean she doesn't want to? If the latter, does that mean the other personalities are gone and the only reason Audrey's left is because she was the most recent and/or was never fully wiped thanks to Nathan shooting the barnvatar? (And if that's the case, what the what with Lexie? Incompletely loaded?) And if it's neither of those, well, what the hell is going on? That does at least complicate it somewhat less if there are only two personalities fighting for control of the body. As many cycles as she's been through, what was it, nineteen? We'll say nineteen because Stephen King, that's a lot of people to decide who gets to live while the rest die. Audrey and Mara would simplify that nicely, as well as being easier because there are no moral decisions to make, it's simply basic magical theory. Anyway. Magical theory aside, Audrey tries to point out that Mara has a ball of aether which is the closest we've got to proof yet that that is Audrey and not Mara playing him, I don't see Mara giving up her secret aether stash that easily, even for Nathan's trust. And now we have: Duke Crocker! Moment Killer!
Nathan is understandably pissed that Duke just shattered the little Audrey bubble going on there. Duke is calmish if resigned and done with covering for Nathan, right up until he actually sees what's going on and then he flips his shit because, what, he's been lying for him so Nathan could have a fling? What the fuck, dude? Yeah, I'd be pissed too. Everyone's generally angry and for understandable (though not necessarily good) reasons, and Nathan will now chain Mara back up to something while he goes and has a quiet palaver with Duke to catch him up on what's been going on. It's unclear how much of that Duke actually believes, though it's very clear that Nathan doesn't register that there are people out there living Troubled lives and that is bigger than him and his Audrey fixation. This would come across a lot better if Nathan argued on the point of getting someone with Audrey's personality and sympathies and Mara's powers, which would be a lot more helpful to the Troubled and more likely to get the support of the Guard, but Nathan seems inclined to keep his plans close and his workings isolated. Because.... reasons. No, I don't know what they are. The consequences, though, those come in the form of Duke not being sure whether to trust him that there's anything of Audrey in there, or if it's all just Nathan's wishful thinking. Yeah. And Duke's got bigger problems to think about anyway, like this illness that Mara is so fascinated by. Even more fascinated by the fact that she expected him to die in the cave, and he didn't. We go through the question and answer session that no one's had time for yet, revealing that Duke started feeling better after he had used, and let go? of that denial monkey sewing Trouble. My love for Duke and by extension Balfour for the monkey line knows no bounds, YES, those monkeys are fucking unnerving. Nathan is deeply wary of Mara's willingness to help Duke, as well he fucking should be, except in this case by her tone it's less to do with altruism and more to do with scientific curiosity. I'm not sure if she wants him to explode or would prefer he didn't so she can keep poking him, but she's definitely curious enough to play along, and they can use that for now. According to her he has to release a Trouble, sort of like easing up the pressure coming up from the deep sea. Something easy, something manageable, um. Given the history of the Crocker family, like what? Maybe the gravedigger Trouble, that could get real interesting considering the people Duke's buried most lately are Jennifer (does burial at sea count? We could find out!) and Wade (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH). At any rate, that's largely non-lethal given how few people he's buried. Ghost!Wade might be annoying, but eh. Live!Wade was kind of annoying. No one's thinking of that though, and Mara needs a list of all of the Crocker family Troubles in their history. Oh god, that's going to be a long list. And given that it goes back to the 1700s at the very least (remember the Crocker box? We haven't forgotten it, though the writers may or may not have), probably any list would be incomplete. Nevertheless, Duke does have one, giving us the first sign of real interest from Mara in a while. But it's buried with his brother, and given that Duke is remaining collapsed on the couch right now he is in no position to get it. Or use that gun he just took out, Duke, why do you have a gun. No, better question, why did you take out the gun when you look like you're about to keel over. The world may never know. Mara drives home the dilemma for Nathan, stay here and keep trying to pull out Audrey, or rescue Duke. Tick tick. Time's a wasting.
No, Nathan is not actually capable of watching Duke die in front of him, even confronted with that kind of a choice. Mara is alive and Audrey's alive in her right now and Audrey-in-Mara, assuming that's really true, probably has more time than Duke does. Well, definitely by the way Duke's acting, given how much he hates showing loss of control. Even if I think a little bit of this is him letting go for the sake of, as he put it, playing along. Fine. Nathan will go dig up dead Crocker with a parting shot at Mara that's about as flaccid as his dancing. Seriously, dude, your eau de desperation is reeking. Duke meanwhile has an eau de dying, though given he's capable of coming up with a plan like this and we know that for him sitting in a chair holding a gun on a threat is one of the last things to go, I'm not entirely convinced on the extent of his mortality. Maraudrey will have the first flashback we've seen that doesn't involve just Nathan (or William, if we go back to last season), from the cabin in Colorado where they kissed and Audrey went oh, no, how about not. And Duke respected that! Because he is awesome. He is also passed out asleep, okay, maybe not dying quite yet but I will definitely buy that he's fucking exhausted after the few days he's had. Time passes, from our outside the cabin to interior shot; Duke wakes up with something of a jolt and a hopeful "Audrey," which suggests he's still not as non compos mentis as he'd like her to believe. No, Nathan's not back yet, giving Duke a chance to get some more details about this process out of her. Pick a Trouble, any Trouble! Have Maraudrey's touch connect him to that one Trouble, bleed, release it, deal with it, boom done. That sounds awfully simple and is going to go oh-so-wrong, isn't it. What happens, for example, if Duke picks one Trouble and Mara picks another? This is sounding like a trust exercise with no downside for Mara if Duke doesn't trust her, which he will lampshade by pointing out that it sounds an awful lot like come with me if you want to live. How convenient. And whether that's the last of his strength or the sign we've been waiting for that he's not quite as weakened as he wants Mara to think, he's standing up to try and establish dominance. That part I don't think he's even quite conscious of doing. Mara proceeds to try for some more boring sex manipulation, which works not at fucking all on Duke, because Duke is a) grieving Jennifer b) put his love for Audrey back into the platonic box after Colorado and c) has been manipulated that way by people with a helluva lot more practice and capacity for consent than Mara has, thanks ever so. (Hi, Evi.) So he tells her to get the fuck away from him, while he turns over his options about how the grid search is going versus how long before Nathan gets back with a list of options, and comes to the conclusion that she should go ahead and do it. Maybe if he's lucky he'll get to see a glimpse of Audrey in there while she saves his life! No… no, not so much, that's Dwight's cue to come busting in the door on the cliffhanger. I feel like they really could have had an extra couple lines of dialogue there, but then they're probably still working out the bumps in how they're doing a bunch of double-length eps. Which I continue to question somewhat as a valid decision with your 26-ep order; I miss the days of self-contained episodes with continuing metaplot threads throughout, but I see where new liberties means trying new things.
Next week: Mara thinks the Troubles are great fun! Someone has an accusation about her reasons for being here/mission/what-have-you! Dwight believes Mara deserves worse than death, well yes, apparently someone agreed with you Dwight THAT'S WHAT GOT YOU HERE. I wouldn't actually buy that out of context as a quote where he's ignoring that aspect, though. Looks like Duke does release a Trouble, whether or not it's the same as the one that turns people's eyes blind like the Sandman thing from Sleepy Hollow is unclear but implied by the editing. Mara makes threats! Lots of them! Somehow, you guys, I'm not going to be convinced on her follow-through for awhile. Not, at least, with stuff that's edited into the promos.