Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Secret Job Haven S5E06 The Old Switcheroo (Part 2)

Previously on Haven: Vince and Dave switched bodies! Dwight and Gloria switched bodies! Nathan got another of his brilliant fucking ideas to try and bring Audrey back out, which led to Mara faking it like the lying liar she is to Duke when he talked to her about the hotel room in Colorado. The name of the Troubled family is given! Duke and Nathan switch bodies! The boys attempt to fool Mara, Dave!Vince finds the thinny in the Doohan backyard in Manteo, none of this can possibly go anywhere good. It's a pretty quick and dirty summary of last ep only, and I'm really looking forward to the possibility that they'll drop the two parter shtick going forward. Maybe? Hopefully? Please? Not that I think it was kind of them to fling a double-length season at a writers' room that's spent four years adjusting to the pace of a 13-ep season, but I remain unconvinced that this was the sensible way to go about it.

We pick up back in Haven, not at the Gull as we might half-expect but with Jeffrey the mental patient exhibiting remarkably few signs of psychosis. Apart from forgetting that he's in standard hospital whites, or not thinking to replace them at least, which I think is as much a function of personality and habit as it is of genuine lack of mental faculties. Cabbie notices! Cabbie wants cash, and if not cash he's going to make comments about well you're a mental patient. Which gets him bodyswapped, with the sort of apology that says Jeff knows exactly what his Trouble is and how it works and how disorienting to people it is. Poor cab driver is duly discomfited, including some physical acting that suggests he got bodyswapped with a woman. Probably his wife. Ooh, that's going to be fun.

Meanwhile Duke and Nathan are having a head-hurty conversation out back on the Gull's balcony while Maraudrey "sleeps." Nathan!Duke would like to file a motion to hear that maybe Mara was always playing them? No, no, Duke!Nathan is very sure that she was Audrey in the cabin and only after they tried mind-raping her (because really you guys that was the worst idea ever and you should have felt worse than you did) did Mara realize she needed to squash Audrey morebetter. Plausible! According to the evidence we have, I'll even buy it. Duke points out that they have the advantage! With augh Duke cadences in Nathan's voice this is not going to stop being weird and impressive anytime soon. Because now she doesn't know that they know that she's pretending and they're a very knowledgeable trio. Some moreso than others. Plus she doesn't know that they've switched; I question that and in fact I question the entire basis for this ploy, on the grounds that she noticed Dwight and Gloria in nothing flat. Either that's because Nathan was dumb enough to tell her off-screen last ep, or there's more body language parsing going on than she was indicating. Either way, that appears to rule out the theory of seeing it in a magical-second-sight due to causing the Troubles sense. And if it's body language then I maintain that Mara has more reason to notice the boys right away, not less. Grump. Then again she's never been all that observant in places she'd rather ignore. Some slapstick (slap Nathan's face) humor later, and Duke!Nathan comes up with the idea of using the switch to fuck around and try and make Audrey pop out. By… deception this time? Yes. Because using Mara's own tactics against each other sounds like a winning move, Nathan, Christ, even if you refuse to buy a shred of genre savvy do you suppose you could buy a shred of fucking common sense? No? No. And just in case we weren't aware that there's a clock on this, Duke's body really needs to let out a Trouble soon. I remain moderately convinced that Duke!Nathan is… not so much exaggerating as not as capable of handling it as Duke is when he's in his proper body, because he doesn't feel pain, hasn't in a long long time, and Duke's at least had a few days to get used to it plus having led the kind of lifestyle where walking around injured was a real possibility. Nathan's kind of lifestyle or should I say Trouble, on the other hand, would at least potentially increase sensitivity. The coughing and gasping wakes or "wakes" Mara, enough that she'd like to know what the fuck is going on now please and thank you, not that I blame her. Snark about feeding her carbs, while Nathan!Duke proceeds to try and fake sounding like actual Nathan. Aside from the body language and that stumbling second "Parker" he doesn't do too bad! Which results in yet more snark and banter and oh god they're turning into a terrifying Nuke amalgam. I don't know how to feel about this except that I think the writers want us to wave trollfaces again. HAPPY TO OBLIGE. We shall wave trollfaces over the credits and sing the song of our people. (The song is, nobody ships Nuke like Balfour ships Nuke.)

When we return, Dave!Vince is freaking out quite reasonably over what if Mara discovers there's an open thinny right here in Manteo? I have a different question: would that thinny take you to Haven if you knew how to ride it right? Vince!Dave is rather more freaked out about omg thinny portal of evil, which, okay, he's got that right. Bonus points for having cause to wonder if that's the thinny he came through as an infant, which, my magic 8-ball says signs point to yes and you're bullshitting around it because you're terrified of this whole thing. Vince points out that there's no records anywhere, which is all well and good except they're dealing with Agent Fuck You in this mess, and when you've got a barnvatar fucking with your records-keeping, I wouldn't count any possibilities out. And, okay, the body-switching, how the fuck does that relate? Maybe it doesn't! Maybe that's just Convenient Plot Device #501. Although as plot devices go, considering the Troubles tend to draw the Troubled and those who know about them together, it's far from the least plausible we've ever encountered. The brothers Teagues will now work the case the same way we did during last week's blog post, and note that all right, Jeffrey Doohan couldn't have been the source so it must've been on the Manteo end, which means the cafe, which means Skip or, I would note again just for completist's sake, could've been Alison. Wasn't! Because they wanted to fling the Teagues-and-Sarah parallels into stark relief. But could very easily have gone that direction. Yes, gentlemen, Troubles run in the family, I'm so pleased you've picked up on that, now go bug people until they give you their secrets, that's what you're good at. Not so good at sharing your own with anyone. I'll just make strangling motions at their necks on the trip back to Haven.

Where Nathan!Duke is twitching and/or cackling about Gloria!Dwight. It is pretty fucking hilarious, I'll give him that. Now be a good Duke and tell the Chief about your switch. Duuuuke. You're going to play this for comedy value, aren't you. Which is at least better than stick up the ass refusal to play well with others value! Nathan I am looking at you no matter what body you're in. Gloria!Dwight gives us the rundown for a bit on the cabbie and his wife, who was indeed cheating on him, in fact was caught in flagrante cheating on him (with a contractor, is this a theme or something, they did this last year with Wade Crocker), like I said: fun! What a very, very Mara-esque Trouble to create. I do appreciate, by the way, that they're not deprecating the body horror and trauma of what's going on, while also not gleefully focusing on it for gross-out horrifying purposes. No one's cracking jokes, but no one's lingering on it either, it's a tight balance to walk, but they do it well. Nathan!Duke, having the luxury of a much less horrifying swap situation, is totally playing his for the comedy value, all Duke gestures and cheerfully pointed snark about stopping Jeffrey from switching more people. Dwight will now grump about not having his proper body and Gloria has bad bunions and yes, Dwight, look what you've got to look forward to! Only in his case assuming he makes it to old age, it'll be loss of cartilage from the shit he did in the military and the shit he's been doing in Haven, plus assorted impact injuries and scar tissue and bullets possibly left in his body from the first round with his Trouble, and in short getting old is a nuisance. Can't we have all the snark and knowledge without the physical limitations? Damn. Since Dwight still hasn't picked up on this, Nathan!Duke will now come lean over the desk with that I'm trying so hard not to laugh at you because you'll smack me except this is side-splittingly funny expression. Which it REALLY IS, particularly with Duke explicitly asking for access to the gun locker and evidence room. Bad Duke. Be better, Duke. Gloria!Dwight has the best expression of no, no, please no, please don't have gone and done this that I've seen in awhile, and then we get the exact hand gesture of "go on and say it I know you want to" that Duke does all the time. Lucas Bryant, I tip my hat to you. I also tip my hat to Jayne Eastwood; this scene is a masterpiece of showing the relationship between Dwight and Duke with two completely different actors portraying it. Dwight, as always, asks the hard questions (after all due snark about being the same gender, which, yeah, ouch, that has to suck) once Duke comes clean about Mara playing them. Good Duke. I'm glad that Nathan's closemouthed stupid doesn't come with his body. He's not, however, willing to outright say that Audrey's gone, just that he doesn't know. They have to keep trying, which is less Nathan's stubborn (though one could be forgiven for looking at him and thinking that) and more Duke's resigned, fatalistic the only way to get through this is to either prove she doesn't exist or make her exist again.

Over outside the Freddy, Mara is doing what has come to be known as a Kubrickian stare (that stare Alex DeLarge and Jack Torrance do in A Clockwork Orange and The Shining respectively, looking up from a downward head-tilt and grinning like a serial killer) out the windshield at Duke and Nathan. Or Duke!Nathan and Nathan!Duke, as they still are. Duke!Nathan is fixated on getting Audrey out as ever, Nathan!Duke has now forgotten that body language is also a thing and is doing the hands-spread gestures Duke's body typically does. Duke. Body language is a thing. Please to be remembering that Nathan's body language, unless he's really worked up, is as constipated as his speech patterns. Nathan. Please to be remembering that Duke makes big gestures unless it's terrifyingly serious and then he makes small but very intense gestures, including that staring thing he does. Avoiding eye contact is not like staring. Both of you do better, in other words. YES THAT STARING THING, as Duke!Nathan ends up bleeding from the eye because he really needs to let out a Trouble. Soon. Mara sits in the truck watching after ad break and presumably thinking up ways she can use Duke's Trouble, which Duke is actually also doing! Now that he's in a body that's not in pain all the time it's probably a lot easier to think around corners, for that matter, even if the body he's in feels numb instead. (It also explains a lot about Nathan's desperation, and about his tendency to view everything else as brains inna jar, including himself.) Anyway, Duke thinks that he can guide Nathan to let out a specific Trouble that might help them! That's a fascinating theory you've got there, Nathan would like it known that this seems like a lot of bullshit even if this reincarnation Trouble works. By the way, what the fuck reincarnation, is that a real thing in Haven? Do we now have other people's past lives to deal with here, or is this just tied to the Spiritualism movement (which would be about right by timing) and people's ideas of what they think their past lives would've been like. Inquiring minds! Would like to know, would like a better explanation than Because Plot Demanded It. Not least because all of this has happened before is a very common King trope, particularly when we get into the Dark Tower shit. And not to mention the notion that trapping people into their own Troubles not just for their lifetime but for multiple lifetimes would be pretty fucking sadistic. But it's not a bad theory except, as Nathan points out, Mara is immune to the Troubles. As far as they know. EXCEPT. We have a lot of excepts here, and no exciting explanations yet, but Duke is right: if Mara's immune to everything including his Trouble then she should've been able to understand him when he was speaking gibberish in the cabin. And she couldn't. (Or at least she pretended she couldn't. I'll buy that Duke believes she couldn't on the grounds of one liar to another.) And Mara did say Duke was something entirely new! O-kay, so she lied? She lied with the truth, which is apparently something Nathan still hasn't grasped about Duke even after all these years. Look, it doesn't make me happy that they're still trying to decide who gets the body, but at least they're thinking creatively for a damn change.

Still muttering about reincarnation and its potential implications (oh so many potential implications do we have to explore here), we're back in North Carolina at the Croatoan, and the Teagues boys are interrogating Mrs. Doohan about why she lied about Haven. Well, she did lie, but she didn't call the Freddy, they called her about Jeffrey and the switching, and we have that moment of yes we're all knowledgeable about the Troubles here. Dave!Vince is still taking the lead on the interrogation, trying to figure out why Jeffrey was institutionalized. Well. It turns out Jeffrey is actually Jeffrey!Skip, so now we're all even more thoroughly confused, and she is actually married to proper!Skip, only they switched years ago and now Skip!Jeffrey is playing the part of her husband. I feel like I'm in a Danny Kaye sketch. By the looks of Vince and Dave's faces, no matter who's in the bodies, so do they. The fella from the Freddy is the double with the Trouble!

Back in Haven we're still in the Danny Kaye sketch, Nathan!Duke is trying to convince Gloria!Dwight of the likelihood that Duke!Nathan pulling a Trouble out that switches Audrey for Mara is the answer to all of their problems. I think small whiteboards and dry erase markers would help first, but it's nice that Duke has faith in Nathan's ability. Apparently Duke!Nathan is setting Mara up for whatever trap they've concocted, oh goodie. That's going to go well. Cut over to Duke!Nathan, Mara, and the nurse we saw last episode talking about Jeffrey (or Jeffrey!Skip)'s history at the Freddy. She and he have both been there for twelve years, she describes him as delusional with crazy fantasies of being someone else, to which we can all laugh hysterically now and guess that she's new to Haven, or was at the time. Mara is doing a bad impression of Audrey by attempting to praise her for caring when no one else would; it doesn't sound like praise, it sounds like badly suppressed amusement at such an inane, foolish concept. It's not fooling Duke!Nathan either, but since Duke was doing a better job at pretending to be fooled than Nathan could have, he's got to continue that pretense, and the layers of pretense here are starting to pile on like a particularly unstable sandwich. The sheer awkward of Nathan playing Duke playing like he can tell Audrey's out but can't say anything about it, let alone Mara playing Audrey. Or is this Mara playing along and pretending to be Audrey in a way she knows Duke (or Nathan pretending to be Duke) will approve of and not zap her for and you know what? Let's just say everyone's awkward and leave it at that. Ow. Back down to Manteo, so we're doing this in juxtaposition for even more people pretending to be people ow and round and round on the carousel we go, but at least Alison's part of the story is coherent. Because she's not switched, doesn't have to pretend to be anyone else, it's all fine here. She says that she met Jeffrey first, he was quiet and sweet, then she met Skip and the stereotype so often perpetrated played itself out, she married the outgoing one and he turned out to be a cheating loser. (Can we say parallels between Duke as he likes to portray himself and Skip, and Jeffrey and Nathan as he likes to portray himself? I think so!) Jeffrey, as it turns out, was also in love with her, so he confronted Skip over it and they swapped, and then Alison and Skip!Jeffrey conspired to lock away Jeffrey!Skip and jesus you guys. That's more than a little cruel. Again, Donat and Dunsworth are doing a remarkable and still incredibly subtle job of adopting each other's Vince and Dave tics, and that's definitely Dave's intonation from Vince's mouth and vocal chords on confirming that Jeffrey was also in love with her. Can we say Sarah parallels as well? I do believe we can! This is going to come back to haunt us later, too, although I have no idea how explicit it will be. Dave!Vince, referring to Jeffrey!Skip as simply Jeffrey is not helping my head not hurt. Ugh. Oh god now everyone's doing it. So, yes, short version without all the lying and the pretending it's not as bad as it is, they locked Jeffrey!Skip in the wrong body and stuck him in the Freddy. Ouch. Just. Ten kinds of ouch. (The music seems to agree with the ominousness of this, by the way, or maybe it's just heralding how pissed off Skip's going to be when he gets his body back.) Furthermore, isn't twelve years kind of far back into the between-cycles time? I thought the Troubles were supposed to go away with MarAudSarLu in the barn, what the everloving fuck, you guys. I mean, yes, they come back before she does, but that's practically mid-cycle.

And, wait, completely distracting us from the ouch and the timeline, hold the phone here. Let's have some more seemingly-randomly dropped text with no explanation or clarification or expansion: Alison says a) that it's been her family's burden to watch over the weird occurrences in this part of the world (Teagues? Audrey Lite? Is Alison the descendant of the people who made the barn and stuck Mara in it with the barnvatar, considering she has a fucking thinny in her backyard? What the hell does it all mean?) and b) that she's known about Haven and the Troubled her whole life. Um. Time-out. What the fuck is going on? More data please this clay is insufficient. No? No. As per usual. Instead we establish that Alison kept contact with the Freddy, that she knew Jeffrey and Skip regardless of whose bodies they were in could swap other people, and that it hadn't seemed to happen again. And then she explains that when Vince, actual Vince this time, had come down talking about the two brothers story, the implication is that she and Skip!Jeffrey both panicked, although Skip!Jeffrey was the only one who went around swapping people. Which, in turn, quite possibly triggered Jeffrey!Skip's Trouble up in Haven, and then the orderlydoc and patient swapping and then so on and so forth.  And, sorry, I'm going to go back to the subject of what the fuck watching over people, if Alison's like Mara and immune to the Troubles is that why she's stayed unswapped this whole time? I mean, the easy answer is that the Trouble wasn't active around her for most of the time, which is indeed the case, but still and nonetheless. Mara continues to do a bad job of pretending to be Audrey and Alison assures the Teagues that Skip!Jeffrey (argh stop referring to them by their body names) (though I will grant that she's been in the habit of doing so for years and years still and nonetheless!) has been hiding at home and not touching anyone for the last ever. As though that makes it any better that you bodyswapped your brother and locked him in a mental institution? Of such things vengeance spree movies are made, sometimes by John Woo with pigeons and flapping coats. Extra bonus hoo boy because he's been switching people all over Haven, as Vince!Dave points out. I don't care how possibly-abusive he actually was, that doesn't really make it BETTER.

And over at the Freddy, Duke!Nathan is slipping again by referring to her as Parker before they go investigate Jeffrey!Skip's room. Mara's doing a marginally better job at playing Audrey, but she's still hammering the Duke-Nathan jealousy for all it's worth, and Duke!Nathan is all but leading her to it. Even odds, really, whether that's because at least some of the hammering is working under his practicality or whether he wants to make sure it's Mara, because Audrey would never say things like that. Regardless, Maraudrey asks for the shock belt to be taken off because she thinks the pain makes it harder to fight. Which is even plausible, it's not as though we don't know that physical pain diminishes mental faculties! Except that as far as we know they've never used it on her, so it's the threat of pain, not the pain itself. Still plausible! Duke!Nathan looks ... blank, mostly, although that could be what passes for Duke's this-is-a-bad-idea-but-I'm-going-to-do-it-anyway face on a bad day. And he agrees, and they go into the room to do it, Duke!Nathan claiming he swiped the keys off Nathan!Duke when he wasn't looking, which is indeed a very Duke thing to do. These days, for light stuff, like a phone number or something. Not the keys to a violent psychopath. Oh, hey, what's that at the door? It's Nathan!Duke, locking them in! Duke!Nathan is very Nathan when he reveals they've known she's been Mara the whole time, all tight and close body language and voice. It's not until he pulls out the knife that she drops cover entirely, and I'm rather amused that they shot this like a typical slasher movie, locked room, man with knife, even focusing up on the hand and the knife like he's going to cut her instead of himself. No, because we are experienced Haven watchers, we know he's going to cut himself. Across the palm, too, Jesus, why is it always the palm, do you know how many important things are in there? Visible blood vessels? Tendons? Fucking ow. Mara knows exactly what's going on and would like the fuck out before she gets Duke with a Trouble she can't handle.

After the break we're back where we started oh hey, that's a very Duke I hate you and everything you stand for glare Nathan!Duke's got on. Seriously, mad props to everyone this episode, we are getting a bunch of wonderfully nuanced performances and it makes our detail-oriented blogger hearts soar. Mara's ire is soaring, too! And so is Nathan!Duke's sense of dread because Nathan in Duke's body hasn't the first idea of how to use it, not practically, not from the inside. Which Mara quickly realizes. So even if he opens a vein and bleeds all over the room, there's no guarantee that he'll get the Trouble he wants or even any Trouble at all. Apart from, you know, a need for many transfusions and stitches. Oh god, Crockers and transfusions, that's a fanfiction or possibly future episode waiting to be written. Anyway. Mara cackles and gloats as she does, and Nathan!Duke comes in to at least try to help his friend out, but it's pretty much shot for now. Opportunity wasted, and now Mara knows that they switched. Oops! No, it's worse than that, here come some orderlies to investigate the commotion and the screaming. What a really bad time for Mara to be the one with the most presence of mind here out of everyone, as she claims that Duke!Nathan was trying to cut her and Nathan!Duke was going to let him. And these are apparently Freddy employees who don't know Audrey and Nathan from a hole in the ground, let alone Mara and Duke, all they see is two taller men and a small woman and one of them does have a knife, even if he looks ready to pass out on the floor that could be a result of said woman managing to defend herself. Duke. Duke, accusing Maraudrey of impersonating an officer when she's got an actual badge is not going to help anything. No matter whose body you're in. She claims they threw her in the room, locked the door, took away her weapon, all of these are true! If not necessarily immediately true. Duke! Repeating that you are Nathan Wuornos when everyone can see you are Nathan oh never mind. Everyone's making a mess of this except Mara, who is completely cogent and easily convinces the orderlies that Duke and Nathan have lost their minds and she should be let go. More importantly, that the men should be locked up. This is going to go great.

We return, not to Manteo but to find out what the hell Jeffrey!Skip's been up to all of this time. Finally finding some non-mental patient clothes, for one, in the form of a fairly awful Hawaiian shirt, jacket, and jeans, none of which look like they fit all that well, good job costuming. My brain hurts again because, look, with the regular cast at least we know where the body language cues are supposed to go, we don't have that with the Doohan brothers because we never got to know them unswapped and it's very head-spinny. Ow. Gloria!Dwight takes out after him and herds him into Dwight!Gloria, who's doing a fantastic job of not knowing how to restrain someone other than by sheer use of bulk. I'll be over here laughing and laughing. No, that doesn't work to switch them back, Gloria would really like to know if Jeffrey!Skip can and he starts flailing around with the attitude of let me go! Also Dwight are you really carrying a taser on that body? Are you sure that you can aim it properly? Because I'm a little concerned about that, frankly. (I also still have all of the faces over the lack of muscle memory in these body-swaps that's happening, because I maintain that should be a thing and indeed it has been a thing before, vis a vis AudLex in the bar/n and Audrey's memory of playing the piano from Lucy's day, but I also accept that we're maybe a little more obsessive about memory and personality and the science thereof than the writers. I don't know why but I realize it's a thing.) And here comes Mara to fuck it all up! With a gun and Dwight's Trouble and a whole lot of gloating; was the slo-mo really necessary, you guys? I'm not at all convinced it was although given what happens later, maybe it's intended as foreshadowing? Hurm. Mara will now haul Jeffrey!Skip off to the car, possibly the trunk of someone's car for extra bonus hilarity points, and gloat some more about how she's not switching because she's not a loser. That… almost sounds like William, actually. Let's all facepalm for a bit, while Gloria!Dwight shouts for help. That bullet did hit the vest just fine, but that doesn't preclude cracked ribs and with that location would especially not preclude the glories of a collapsed lung. Those are always so much fun.

Oh, hey, it's time for the awkwardest body swap scene of the episode! While Duke!Nathan is still recovering on the floor Nathan!Duke is attempting to convince Officer Rafferty that it's actually him by virtue of disclosing information that only they would know, etc. In this case, of a sexual nature. I... I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with the idea that Duke and our lovely police officer have had roleplay sex, let alone that it was memorable and evidently enjoyable, let alone what I'm supposed to do with the fact that that's Lucas Bryant playing Duke and playing opposite his real life wife and I'm going to go take refuge in wondering how many times they had to shoot that because of laughing. As opposed to feeling faintly like a voyeur looking in on a couple's dirty love games. Because I do. Duke!Nathan is also by the look of it feeling like a voyeur, I have so much sympathy for the poor man right now. Also for Officer Rafferty who first is realizing that her ex-lover is in the body of a superior police officer and then realizing that that other officer is still in the room and heard that. And this is why it's the awkwardest scene of the episode. Let's cover the awkwardness with some bitching back and forth, that'll help. Buried in the back and forth bitching about Duke's sexual habits, though, is some interesting lampshading of the question of whether or not Nathan's passion and love for Audrey is based in the fact that he can feel her where he can't feel anything else. It's an interesting question! That we don't get an extensive answer to, but Duke!Nathan is still convinced he loves her for her, and not just because hers is the only touch he can feel. Nathan!Duke gives us at least a little bit of a hint of what it's like to be Nathan, in that if he were in Nathan's shoes more often than for just this pair of episodes he would be sorely tempted. On the one hand, Duke's demonstrated a healthy sense of romantic relationship and if he's saying it... on the other hand, Duke is also not Nathan, for all that he's inhabiting his body right now, so it's entirely possible that Nathan's right. Anyway, it's interesting that they gave us this conversational tidbit, particularly with Duke's perspective on Nathan's Trouble now that he's lived it for a while.

Well, Nathan, Jeffrey's actually in Manteo in his brother's body right now. As it turns out. Dave!Vince is insisting, as they approach the Doohan house (seriously what the fuck is Alison's maiden name this is important and you assholes must be hiding it from us on purpose), that he can totally handle this! And he doesn't want to let Dave go in alone, probably, because lord knows Dave is bad at managing people when he doesn't have his brother to bounce off of. Vince!Dave protests not just no but hell no, he isn't letting his body near that thinny. Vince, I think for once your brother has sense, particularly since he's been there done that got the disgusting and awful open wound on his leg to prove it. No matter, Skip!Jeffrey will evidently come out to meet them. Note that they're not going to talk about the fucking thinny in front of him, probably a smart decision in case he knows more than he's telling and what he knows is that he should shove Dave or Dave's body through it. Oh, and he's also wearing gloves all the time these days because it's skin contact, but he offers to try holding hands with both of them in the hopes of making them switch back. Usually people don't get that kind of control over their Trouble without a lot more work on their emotions, is the thing, and Jeffrey honey yours are fucked. The music does the rising to fake-out thing and then Vince!Dave lets go in annoyance and exasperation. No, it was worth a shot, but nobody really expected it to work. I'm not even wasting the energy to facepalm over the fact that they know that keeping secrets is what makes you switch with a person and haven't bothered to ferret out all of those secrets, because they're the Teagues. I mean, we know that Nathan and Duke coughed up their secret (were forced to) awfully quick, but we don't know that they've informed everyone else that that doesn't work. And given what Gloria and Dwight's secret is I can't blame her for landing firmly in the camp of tell him after it's over when he has time to deal with it post-crisis. Nor do we ever see addressed the concept that given the number of secrets people keep in Haven, depending on how the Trouble works, it could involve multiple body jumps and multiple secrets, although given what those secrets mostly turn out to be it seems like guilt is a more driving motivation; these are secrets that the person keeping them either knows they should tell or wants to tell but knows it'll hurt the other person/their relationship with the other person. (Not that there aren't a shitton of those TOO, but there's definitely something to be said about the fear and guilt and worry eating at these four sets of secrets in specific.) At any rate. Jeffrey freaks right the fuck out about the notion of going to see his brother, as is only right and proper when you locked him up in a mental institution and living with his wife. That's some Biblical-level fucked up right there. This leads to the Teagues chasing after him to try and argue their case, please please don't leave everyone in Haven bodyswapping all over the place that's downright cruel. Jeffrey doesn't want to hear it. Dave!Vince forgets that maybe there's a reason he shouldn't go chasing anyone toward that fucking house right now, and we get a long dramatic sequence of hauling Vince back from toppling into the thinny like a possessed thing. Which really, he is. He also manages to get out a sorry in between, which I like to think is a sorry for putting Dave through that before and underestimating how awful the thinny's pull is. Aside from the green swirling dark mist of DOOM we don't, sadly, get any kind of a look at what's through the thinny, unlike the one Mara almost opened with Vickie's Trouble. This, at least, is enough to tip the balance of moral conscience for Skip!Jeffrey, who will finally allow as how a fucking creepy portal that wants to eat one of the people he bodyswapped and would have killed both of them (would it? what happens if you wander to another world while bodyswapped but don't die there?) is a good reason to go fix this fucking Trouble. Hallelujah, Jaffar. So, yes, the solution here is for the originating Cain and Abel to switch back and then everyone else will too, since they've tried everything else. THANK YOU. God.

Back at the police station we have some configuration of Nathan and Duke and Gloria!Dwight giving everyone the sitrep. Along with some amusing pronoun confusion, and Duke!Nathan opts to go with the identity of the mind in the body, sure, why not. I would have gone with "Dwight's body" myself, but I like specificity of language. Dwight!Gloria got off with only a cracked rib and should be all right soon, so at least there's that. And at least Dwight!Gloria remembered to put a flak jacket on the bullet-magnet body, oy, or Gloria!Dwight reminded her. The boys update Gloria!Dwight on the situation with Mara and the Crocker Casket of Troubles, and that she's playing keep-away with one of the only people who can swap everyone back so that Duke doesn't regain control of his body and dig up a Trouble that can really hurt her. Or bring out Audrey, or what have you. No, I will never get over how everyone's copying everyone's mannerisms, in this case it's Nathan!Duke agreeing with Gloria!Dwight's summation of Mara's tactics. You guys, all of you guys. Come here and have many hugs. Oh, hey, it turns out that when Mara took Gloria's car, she also took the GPS that Nathan (Duke!Nathan right now, it took me a second to realize it wasn't Nathan talking, thank you Balfour) got for her for Christmas last year. Well all righty then.

Over in one of the many Fishing Shacks of Torture and Bondage (remember season three, with not!Tommy (Magic Hour II 3x08) or season four with Jordan and Vince? (Countdown 4x06) ) Mara has Jeffrey!Skip tied up and is once again gloating, this time about her immunity to the Troubles while also spilling how the Trouble works. Arguably it's not spilling since she doesn't actually intend to keep it a secret, but jesus, Mara, you would make a shitty spy. Also arguably this makes her ideal for our purposes because all we have to do is keep her monologuing and she spews out data and confirmation like popping quarters into a gumball machine. At any rate, Mara pulls out the thread that Jeffrey loved Skip's wife but, unusually, Jeffrey!Skip isn't angry anymore about what happened. I'm not sure I like this turn of events; on the one hand it does give Skip some humility and character growth from what little we've heard of him, and on the other hand it's a little too much like letting Alison and Skip!Jeffrey off with no consequences for what they did. And on the third hand, if we're going to treat the characters as competent adults, it is Jeffrey!Skip's choice to confront them with that or not. More to the immediate point, Jeffrey!Skip contrasts, with some disgust, his attitude against Mara's, saying that he doesn't want to hurt anyone unlike her. I definitely like this Skip a lot more than the one we heard about before, although Mara only sounds bored. She wonders what secrets Wuornos and Crocker have. Had, at this point, as Nathan!Duke claims, or rather claims they have none when he bursts in with a gun. Aww, it's the SS Nuke sailing in to harbor! Mara is sneeringly confident that he's not going to hurt her (I'd argue for not going to shoot her but that's not what she said) because he loves Audrey too much. Which is perfect timing for Nathan!Duke to zap her in the kidneys! I love this. Nathan!Duke loves this! Duke!Nathan is resigned to this. And I love my boys I do.

Over in the car Dave!Vince has gotten them lost again, or maybe that should be this time, and they're bickering as per usual. Skip!Jeffrey looks tired of their bickering. I would be too if I had to road trip with them from North Carolina to Maine! Their bickering will now be interrupted, not by anything useful, but by a vision straight to Dave's body's forebrain and thus Vince. Of a ... a running screaming person? Are we back to that again? Yes, and when we catch up to the person who at this point must be a settler, he's scratching "croatoan" on the tree before he dies. We don't even need to see that, although we do for confirmation, to know that's what he's writing. Narrative sez. The interesting part is both the blue-green tint of the thinny (although narrative also cleared its throat and not so politely suggested in that direction already) and the fact that when the point of view person puts a hand on the settler's face, black smoke comes out of mostly his eyes. I'm trying to remember the last time we saw black smoke coming out of anyone's anything and the closest I'm coming up with is the death truffles of doom. So, yeah. Oh, hey, there's the pan up and, yes, Croatoan. While Dave!Vince is seeing this, his terrified passengers are seeing a pole approaching them at high speed in front of them. That's not good. They must still be in North Carolina, because the next scene opens at Raleigh Memorial, with Vince!Dave telling Skip!Jeffrey that they're keeping him overnight for observation and making one last push to get him up to see Jeffrey!Skip so they can all be in their right bodies and we can stop qualifying everyone with bang symbols. Oh, hey, Gloria!Dwight! And Vince!Dave doesn't know or doesn't remember, so we get some more of Gloria!Dwight's utter disgust with the situation and Vince!Dave's hilarious reaction. Oh god, I can just about picture proper Dave, Dave's body's face, and it is hilarious. Oh, that's why he's down there, Gloria!Dwight is there to escort Skip!Jeffrey up to Haven to see his brother again. You know, at least when they're swapping with the same gender we know which pronoun to use. The whole latter part of this conversation is a study in brotherly dynamics, we're still unable to properly read Jeffrey as separates Jeffrey's expressions and tics from Jeffrey-playing-Skip's tics from Skip's embedded physical behaviors, but it seems pretty safe to say he's relieved that Jeffrey!Skip isn't completely shunning him for what he did. Meanwhile we have Vince!Dave saying that he wouldn't want to go on without his brother, which is a pretty damn solid declaration of feeling after everything they've both done to and kept from each other. Oh you guys. Oh Jayne Eastwood that is such a Dwight gesture.

Back up in Audrey's apartment Mara wants to know how long it'll be till someone comes to look for them after they both go boom. And what is it with her and Duke's body exploding, anyway. Is this some sort of weird obsession she/the writers have or is this leading somewhere, or is that a figure of speech, or what? Anyway. How long after both dead until someone comes to find them and thus finds her and unchains her from the bed. I do appreciate, by the way, that they're still giving us ankle manacles and not an unnecessarily sexualized version of chained to the bed, it's just that the bed is the most comfortable yet solid and unmovable place to shackle her to. Nathan!Duke tries to reassure Duke!Nathan, to get him to hold on, I don't know if the promising to get Audrey out is reassurance for Nathan or Duke continuing to hold onto hope and the plan even in the face of increasingly bad odds (see also: Jennifer's death, his entire must fight fate thing in season four) or both. Both is good. It's also entertaining and impressive the way this feels like a callback to s1 with Ball and Chain and Duke getting hit by the sudden onset aging Trouble, and Nathan comforting him then: same bodies, different people. It'll all be over soon, Nathan!Duke says, and cue music and the montage of the brothers reuniting and, one imagines, forgiving, because unless there's forgiveness or at least peace with what happens the Trouble will just keep on troubling everyone. Awww, everyone looks happy. Even more hilarious is the brothers embracing each other joyfully while Gloria has a moment close up as she drops back into her own body, then falls over as a funny background event. Oops! Down go the brothers, too, as they switch. Nathan doesn't quite so much fall over as lean against the bed rail and buckle slowly to the ground; Duke's already on the ground so he doesn't have far to go. Dwight seems to have faceplanted into his desk, that can't be good for the bullet wound, which is clearly still there as the new ow sets in. And Vince and Dave are also comfortably seated/lying down respectively, so they don't have a difficult transition. Everyone where they should be, all's right with the world. Except in Mara's world, because they're still going to die and she's still going to be chained to a bed. The look Nathan and Duke are giving each other (and how glad am I that I don't have to qualify those names? all of the glad) say that no, that was a game changer, and they're going to push forward with the plan now that they're in a much better position to do so.

Back in Raleigh Vince is talking about what happened with the visions, the woods, everything. He's also going to apologize! For being so hard on Dave, and rather than dwell on that we're going to apparently go straight into the further speculation of what it all means. For once, I think I'd rather have the emotional bonding or bond deepening between the two brothers. At least for a little while before we get to the data? No. Yes, Vince, the visions are clearly physically linked as are each person's Trouble, but we'll repeat it clearly for those in the cheap seats. Does that mean the vision is some sort of Trouble, or Trouble adjacent? Well.... we don't know. Neither do they. Grump. This session of going round and round and chewing on the insufficient data until it is roughly the texture of shoe leather will be interrupted by Alison, coming in to check on them. Dave's the one who thinks to tell her, or at least to tell her for the sake of the audience, that they're back to their old bodies. Oh, hey, it's time for an infodump again! I have to say, though, Haven has the smoothest infodumps of any show I've seen, almost, or at least since I started paying attention. First we have the revelation in the form of an apology that Alison knew there was a thinny in her backyard, and her mother told her stories about it but she didn't believe it was that powerful, maybe didn't believe the stories were true. Then we have Vince asking and having answered that her family has been watching over Manteo (Haven II? or did the earlier comment about watching over weird things in this part of the world just mean the southeast coast of the US?) for generations, going all the way back to the time of the settlers, and not just any wave of settlers, the Roanoke settlement from whence the Croatoan mystery came. Dave brings up the thinny, which is possible, she says, describing the greenish mist that seems to go along with such things. Along with losing time! Hey, that sounds familiar. And then Dave says except we haven't been wiped out yet and all I can think is, are these two simultaneous experiments being run at the college of William and Mara? (You have no idea how long I've been waiting to use that joke, you guys.) It certainly sounds like we're stacking up parallels, going from Alison talking about the weird things in this part of the world which implies the southeastern coast of the US, or at least that part of North Carolina has its own set of Troubles, to the thinnies and the time distorting mist. But we don't have enough parallels in any one direction to solidify a theory, so we'll have to chew it into shoe leather some more and move on to Dave's adoption. She checked her records, there's still no sign of any baby adopted from the house, I have to go facedesk this thing into kindling because if Dave was born on the other side and brought here as a baby that means a) he was born to parents on the other side, b) he's a foundling, which means c) there's a vastly decreased likelihood that anyone's going to write anything down about him. You guys. Come on. Vince hands her the adoption file so she can see for herself that it's that address, we don't get any new information out of it from this angle but we do get her gasp of recognition oh hi there Agent Fuck You. Who turned up to try to buy the house from her mother about ten years ago before she passed, one assumes, to control the land the thinny was on. And no, he hasn't aged in all that time, because he's a barnvatar and they don't do such plebian things as aging. But control for whom or for what? What faction's purposes does he serve, beyond "the barn"? Is there anyone who remembers the original function and creation of the cycle even via family lore, or is the barnvatar just acting on old, old mission parameters, essentially? Because frankly we never did see much indication that he was normal-human and  shitton of indicators that he wasn't. So how much of what little personality he evidenced was a construct much like AudSarLuLex? I'm betting on all of it, still. But if Alison's family is the Teagues of Manteo (show us your fucking arms, Alison, I want to see if there's a tattoo), essentially, then it seems as though the barnvatar isn't allied with that set of caretakers of the Troubled. So what the fuck. Who are we missing. The Crocker line? The Driscolls? I need a bigger murderboard with fewer gaps. Well, at least that's a few scraps of new data. We'll chew over that while we go back to Haven.

Oh this isn't going to be good, starting with the coroner's van outside of the morgue and moving inside as sort of an indication that we're moving into internal matters. Not internal affairs, that's something else. Dwight's trying to ease the transition back to their proper bodies with some levity about Gloria being lactose intolerant and having bunions, which she'll take briefly, very briefly, and then glare at him while she passes the final autopsy report for this round of Troubles over to him. Oh you two. I love how Dwight backs down, okay, yes, that's… maybe one part social awkward to two parts military coping mechanisms coming out, come to think of it. You mock the awful until it stops being awful and give your buddies in the trenches absolute shit while you're at it, but that's not a way of dealing Gloria's ready to go toward with this one, which is fair. Plus she has something for him that she's afraid might wreck that buddy-cop feel they've built up. It turns out that what's in Cincinnati is Dwight's sister. Dwight has a sister? Dwight has a sister! And we already know his Trouble's not gender-linked due to Lizzie, which… doesn't mean anything good. Interestingly, Gloria seems to have been friends with said sister. Mentor? Surrogate aunt? Haven's a pretty small town, could be almost anything, and Dwight hasn't talked to his sister in at least three years. That's… interesting. Why not? Did she forgive their father for not telling Dwight about the family Trouble but he didn't, because we know there was a falling out there, or is this something else? Possibly even something as simple as two siblings with very little in common who don't talk because they lead busy lives, there's really not enough to know. Three years, three weeks since Gloria's heard from her so she did some checking up, and the sister who doesn't even get a name had her Trouble activate and she died. Like you do, frequently, of bullets to center mass. I do kind of wonder at this point, because Cincinnati isn't that violent of a city at least not in terms of the gunfire, if she was in some law enforcement or law enforcement adjacent profession. Especially given her friendship with Gloria and her brother. Older brother? Younger brother? We don't get that either, we don't get any information on this nameless and now dead sister, which is even more aggravating. Apparently it's just enough to know that Dwight had a sister he wasn't in contact with, who died. They're still doing an amazing job of playing this which, on first watch-through, distracted me from the annoyance of a woman who didn't even fucking exist being killed for Dwight's survivor's guilt and general manpain in the space of a minute-long scene. But I notice it now, and lo, I am fucking annoyed. Come on, you guys. Do better in that writers' room, I know you fucking know better. I think the only reason that it doesn't make me completely tableflip is because Dwight's not the kind of guy to go out for revenge, generally speaking, he wants to find a better solution than that, so while he takes the hits he also doesn't have the RARR HURT PEOPLE BECAUSE I HURT arc that makes fridging even more detestable. Still and nonetheless. There's no real indication that Gloria's now a terrible person in Dwight's eyes, either, he just needs to go be alone with this now. That much is only reasonable.

And now that we've been reminded that the Doohan Trouble revolves around secrets, Vince goes about trying to ferret out what secret Dave is (still/again) keeping from him that triggered this Trouble to activate on them. We'll be over here swearing at him not so quietly because Vince it's not like you're any better, though at this point I'm willing to surmise that Vince is good enough at lying to himself that he can't come up with anything he's lying to Dave about. (See also the Vince-Nathan and Dave-Duke parallels that occasionally come out to play.) It's not the adoption because he knows about that, it's not these other things, and all of this is tied together somehow. So how, Dave? What's going on, Dave? Well, you see, folks, as we speculated last week it all ties in with the day the Colorado Kid died and was found, the last time everyone mentions losing time or memories (previously it was described as losing memories). Dave woke up on a beach, the same beach as where the Colorado Kid died and in fact he woke up exactly next to his body, and he didn't remember anything about what happened. That was the day he was pulled to the thinny out by the beach, not that that clears up anything. So we have thinny, Audrey's child, Dave the child from the other side, and a mysterious force pulling it all together and killing the Colorado Kid. Oh, and let's not forget that way way back in season one (The Hand You're Dealt 1x10) Vanessa the death-predicting psychic saw his death, and the circumstances around it involved a man with the maze Guard Teagues tattoo on his forearm. So, yeah, unless Dave has a tattoo he's not shown us yet, there was someone else on that beach. And, ooh, she describes it as a hand coming to his face. Didn't we just see that? I believe we did, followed by black smoke out the eyes. What kind of autopsy do you get with death by black smoke out the eyes? I have no idea.

And now that everyone's secrets are out in the open, it's time for the big last ditch effort to get Audrey back. I remain uncomfortable with the boys deciding who occupies that body, even if Audrey has asked them for help when she's resurfaced, it's still taking away a lot of agency and it continues to ignore that Mara's the original owner of said body, evil or not. On the gripping hand based on what little Duke said about what he knew of this Trouble it sounds like there's a reasonable chance we'll get two bodies, and we've been leaping up and down in chat since last week about maybe they'll Orphan Black her? Please? (That reminds me, if they don't mention who Emily Rose's double for this is pretty soon we should go bug them because if they end up doing a lot of doubled scenes that'll be a looot of thankless work.) Mara continues to bluster about Audrey being dead in a way that doesn't convince me that she really is, and if it doesn't convince me you can damn well assume it doesn't convince either of the boys. She will taunt them an umpteenth time about Duke being out of time and he's gonna die, and Nathan is fucking well fed up and we see the immediate deepening of their relationship for having no more secrets, or at least not that big one, and understanding each other's present situation a little better now. I don't know if he really could kill Mara, particularly when she's still got her hair in Audrey's ponytail (which she has had since she's been trying to fake it this episode and seems fairly significant as little touches go), but it sounds plausible! No Duke, no getting Audrey back, no ending the Troubles, no reason for Mara to exist. She tries the jealousy jab and twist routine again, to absolutely no avail, which is honestly kind of hilarious. She has all of Audrey's memories and presumably the emotional content of them as well, and still fails to understand Duke and Nathan that intrinsically. In this case I'm going with cutting his palm is because the scab's right there and easy to break open, except I'm pretty sure that should've had stitches also stop doing that augh. Long pans of hand and Mara looking more and more unnerved and scared of what's to come, blood dripping to the floor with the nice touch of echoing percussion every time a drop falls and is absorbed into the floorboards... and then everything goes boom! And people are flung to the floor. I will now proceed to raise my hand and ask the going question: does this Trouble affect only one person at a time? Does Nathan have past lives? Is belief in/proof of having past lives or alternate selves required for this Trouble to work, see also the Spiritualism movement? (How the fuck did that Trouble work before that if it didn't.) Mostly right now I'm hoping they'll tell us some more about the mechanism of it next week, because it's currently the world's most convenient plot device ever. It does, however, neatly solve the problem of getting Audrey back without killing Mara or fucking up her autonomy any further than they already have! I love that Nathan's first thought is for whether or not Duke's okay, Mara's laughing because she's freeeeee free in her own head and there's no Audrey! Only, um, yeah, that noise behind the bar there, you might want to go see about that. That, as it turns out, really is Audrey. Whether or not she has any of her other past selves' knowledge and memories, including Mara's, beyond what she's already gained onscreen, is an open question. Mara looks about as body-horrorstruck as you'd expect with this, Audrey looks thoroughly dazed, grateful, happy to be out, and may this be the end of her damselification please for the love of god. I… honestly can't tell if Nathan can feel her touch or not, because he's busy having happy-relieved-overjoyed expressions. The last look on his face as she curls up in his arms suggests not so much. Well, that should put some interesting screws to the relationship as far as proving it wasn't based on touch and was instead predicated on Audrey being herself. I bring this up since we're already thoroughly spoiled for Audrey no longer being immune to the Troubles.

Next week! They're keeping Mara chained up in a basement of dark and gloom, no surprise there, she wants to talk to Audrey, also not a surprise, and Duke says they have to keep her a secret. Which her? Who knows! Isn't it great. That said it does look like Audrey's going out on cases again and hanging out with the boys. I'm guessing Duke wants to keep Mara a secret because she and Audrey are physically linked in the same way William and Mara were; wounds to one are wounds to the other? So they can't get rid of Mara without getting rid of Audrey. En… joy that one, boys, that's going to be all kinds of fun to confront. Bonus points if Nathan fails his not being an asshole check and sleeps with Mara. Look, I don't want it to be a possibility, but the way this season is going I don't have a lot of faith left to give for everyone's moral stance, not that I ever did, but even less than I used to. Welcome to trauma and its lasting effects.

1 comment:

  1. I may have a possible explanation for the why Jeffrey and Skip body-swapped in the middle of a cycle. Isn't the way the Troubkes work between cycles is they exist everywhere but Haven? I feel like there was an episode that mentioned that in the first couple of seasons. Anyway, I don't know how that would work with one brother being sent to Haven, where Troubles are supposed to be nullifies between cycles, but maybe because the other brother was in Manteo, they swap held.