Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Plague On Troubled Houses Haven S5E09 Morbidity

Previously on Haven! Mara calls Duke on splitting her from Audrey and keeping them around. Chris Brody turns up, which means we're having probably more than the usual quota of s2 callbacks. Dave's leg and the CDC are a little beyond a Trouble and straight into a problem.

Let's start with oh goodie, more of Dave's fucked up dreams. I think there's a little more green on the blue filter than there has been, which might not mean anything other than oh look a lot of trees. And then, right, chasing through the forest, no more filter which means, I guess, all the way out the other side of the thinny and into our world? Or that's the suggestion of it, at least. Then running into the deer and killing it, that we've seen before. The deer morphing into a still-alive naked young woman who screams and has black fog coming from her face is a new one on us. Sort of reverse Greek, isn't it? CROATOAN carved into the tree is also old, but masses and masses of dead? unconscious? paralyzed? people dressed in colonial-era (probably meant to be Pilgrim-era) clothes. It's blurry and foggy and hard to get more than a rough count, but that looks like… eh, fifteen or so people, all ages, men and women. I think I am going for paralyzed, because one of the figures is sitting. And then we see the thinny from this side, glowing blue and green and all kinds of ominous!

And then Dave wakes up! Ooh, this means data. If you heard shrieking in glee last night to distract us from the knowledge that Dave wears boxers and an A-line to bed, you're not wrong. Also who the fuck sleeps on what appears to be a camping cot? And surrounded by a metric fuckton of stuff. This looks more like a back room of the Herald than a permanent sleeping location. Or a hidey-hole that doubles as a storage closet. Those blinds are I think thicker than the ones at the Herald? (Yes we notice these things shut up.) But that looks like either a bike or the tandem bike, which we saw only back in the pilot and never again, as I recall. Camping cot with… no blanket, which I guess could just mean it's that hot out but more likely is commentary on the austerity. At least there's a pillow. Hoodie or jacket or something hung on a chair past Dave's head, that damn fedora and shirt or pants under it on the seat, bookshelves or filing cabinets beyond that up near the wall. It's not a very large room. Typewriter with a piece of paper most of the way filled in front, on a small desk or table with another chair, I think, in front of that. Probably one of the crappy rolling desk chairs like we've seen in the Herald before. More chairs or something stacked up down by his feet, in the awful lighting I can't actually tell if they're in front of the cot or behind it. Probably in front so as not to get tangled in the bike. And Dave keeps his phone and his glasses on the floor (on top of loose papers by the sound of it) next to the cot! Makes sense. Dave, you and your brother own half of Haven. I realize the town has infrastructure issues and that may not matter to your own personal wealth as a result but for fuck's sake you can surely afford a real bed. Allow me to profile a bit: beds mean home, mean safety and security, and whether this is a temporary state of being induced by the trauma of going through the thinny, or a long-term state that holds as long as the Troubles continue, or even a permanent state of hypervigilance and readiness, this entire set clearly says Dave doesn't think of himself as being safe. Not anywhere. Considering what's in his head and on his leg, I can't say I blame him for that. So he'll call in Chris Brody for an assist! Oh lord. Well, the charisma Trouble is useful for some things, I suppose. Although the fact that he has Chris Brody's phone number is.... interesting. I'm not entirely sure what that says, but when Chris left it was with a definite attitude of I-hate-people-and-how-they-react-to-my-Trouble, and he'd never indicated a close relationship with the Teagues before, so leaving his contact information with one of them seems odd. Doylist reasons, maybe.

Over at the Gull, it's beers and catching Dwight up o'clock! Aww, it's a nice quiet almost domestic scene of friendship and happiness, we get those approximately never. I wonder how long it'll last before it's ruined. It's been about a week since the photography/painting Trouble, thank you all very much for the timeline, and the fact that Nathan and Audrey look relaxed at having even a week of quiet is a rather, shall we say… bad sign? At least as far as how shit's been going for a long while now, not to mention their assumption that bad shit is always going to happen. Audrey's found a hoodie for off-duty appearances, they both look like they've gotten laid but thoroughly in recent days, oh, it's iced tea o'clock, my mistake. And then the spiking them when they're officially off-duty, as opposed to having semi-off-duty debriefing hour with Dwight. No, Dwight. Don't leave town more often, though I will grant that him taking his competence and going probably helped Audrey and Nathan reestablish that they can in fact solve Troubles without Mr. Hypercompetence staring over their shoulders. Nathan offers his condolences about the sister who will still remain unnamed and we will continue to grumble about using that as a reason to get him out of town. (That said, without someone somewhere dying I'm not sure there's anything that would get Dwight out of Haven right now, and it'd have to be either chosen or blood family.) She was an ER doctor or nurse, some idiot came in and shot up the place, her Trouble kicked in, oh everyone. They'll toast to his sister and more quiet days in Haven, and that is, of course, when Dr. Cross comes striding up. I think that was nearly a whole minute of quiet screen time! That's a lot! She's come to request both privacy (knowing small towns at least a little bit) and file an official request for police help in finding Dave. I kind of hope that means the cot indicates he's only temporarily on the run, but I'm not holding my breath for what it says about Dave's state of mind going back at least to the beginning of the season and probably further. At any rate, we can see Dwight's expression shifting from oh shit to coverup mode to goddammit I find people who are hypercompetent at their work attractive and I do not need this right now. I'd be laughing at him more if it weren't for the fact that this does complicate things rather a lot.

And because it's the hilarious way to cut it, immediately over to Dwight talking about how scientists poking around Haven is their worst nightmare. And on the one hand, it is! On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet there's only so many Troubles they can scientifically explain away before they throw up their hands and go "I have no fucking clue." On the one hand there's the aforementioned Brody Trouble (pheromones), the upcoming lightning trouble (extension of the body's electrical field), the assorted plague troubles (personal petri dish), and then there's shit like "I turn everything I touch into cake." How the hell do you science that away? Dwight's bullet magnet Trouble, but he doesn't magnetize everything else? Weather control? Once you get past a certain point of weather control I think you're less in the realm of science and more in the realm of comic books. So, yes, scientists who are willing to quarantine the entire town and bring in the vivisectionists, those I'd worry about. Scientists who are just here to protect people and to science, less so. It remains to be seen which Dr. Cross is, though. Dwight also brings the lampshades for everyone running around trying to deal with thinnies and aether (two more things science probably can't explain right now!) and not thinking so much about things like OSHA or the CDC. Remember how we keep joking about Haven having the worst infrastructure ever with all those gas leaks? Yeah, this is the kind of thing that should have been investigated a long time ago. On the other hand, we all know how good the federal and state governments are at keeping up with their infrastructure (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH) so maybe not. At any rate, it's time for a conference call with Duke! The conference is all on one end, it's actually a speakerphone call. I'm going to stop and take a moment to squee over how far Duke and Nathan have come from the beginning, where they distrusted and disliked each other, to now, when Nathan's body language is all yay my buddy we will solve this together. Hee. Duke will provide his own share of panic hyperbole, while Dwight goes down to the practicalities and asks if he needs any help dealing with Mara. No, he and Mara are fine, mostly because Mara's attempts to escape so far have been more seduction based and less oh god I just realized what she's doing. She's trying to make Duke into her next William. Ew. Anyway, Mara's attempts at escape so far haven't been in the physical range of things, so Duke's fine. What about the CDC chick? Dr. Cross is in Dwight's office, complete with a conspiratorial look through the blinds, she's at least not wandering around. And Gloria's with someone called Pete Palak who, as it turns out, is the person responsible for cover stories on a state and federal level. Apparently Dwight was just the local everything's-fine-it's-just-another-gas-leak guy. Pete, as it turns out, has been or is going to stonewall the CDC with his previously accepted stories, but apparently this may or may not go so well as he isn't really a people person. This will be important later, I feel. Now it's an actual conference call! They've got Gloria and Pete on the line and, yes, he's already been questioned by the CDC and he's very agitated as a result. This, too, will be important later! Barbecue accident I actually think might have been the firebug in season one, but gas leak could be any of half a dozen things, heh. Gloria tries to calm everyone down, not that it works very well, and we have the priceless tossed-in juxtaposition of you-know-how-smart-he-is with don't-drink-the-damn-formaldehyde, and then following it up with about-medical statistics. We've both known people like that. Actually, I think we've gone to school with the same people like that. Anyway, Gloria would like everyone to remember that Haven's been around for centuries without getting turned into test subjects, and will everyone just calm their tits. On the one hand, yes, on the other hand we are living in an era of unprecedented technology and communication, so I think there may be cause for concern? Especially when the cause of the injury she's come here to investigate is, you know, something from an interdimensional portal. That's never good. Further circling around the panic issue will be interrupted by a public disturbance call of no particular description, which Nathan gloomily and wearily points out, yeah, it could be nothing, or it could be a Trouble, just what they need. No, what they need is a Trouble that doesn't come under the heading of the CDC, like weather control or firestarting. Premonition? Cake touch? Since when have they ever gotten that lucky. Since the other two are heading out Dwight will just pick up the phone and, okay, that's the Trouble potentially intervened with, what about Dave? Well, Duke's bright plan is to ship Dave off to Caracas. That's... not that bad of a plan if they can get Dave to go along with it. Which might be a very big if or it might be fine, considering Caracas is also very far away from thinnies. Theoretically. So, okay, Dwight will go to find Dave, who is... in the middle of the fucking police station, telling jokes. Dave. What are you doing, Dave. Dave, what the fuck are you doing. Ohhh, too late, here comes the CDC lady. Dwight slaps on a happy to help smile before you can say what the fucking fuck and…

Roll credits! Funny, I'm not liking the coffin being carried up to the church even less than I already did, this time through the credits. Dave is remarkably unconcerned, when we come back to Dwight's office, about either the thing on his leg or the fact that a CDC scientist is looking at it. In fact, he's got a cover story all cooked up, because that's Dave's Harmless Old Man face. Dwight is so uncomfortable with this. Not just because it's hitting his control freak issues but because Dave is not, in fact, as good at cover stories as he likes to think he is, and they tend to involve manipulating the hell out of people. Still, this puts Dave firmly in charge of the room at least for the moment as he throws together a bunch of blather about getting stung by a jellyfish and he had an expert look at it and it's fiiiiine. Nothing to worry about. Boy gosh golly Dwight, didn't you Skype our expert last time we had a shark sighting? I'm going to sit here and facepalm into giggles, because it's so awful and it's not going to work. Cross isn't the kind of scientist to take the charisma Trouble and have it affect her on anything more than a short-term basis, and she is going to keep digging into shit. Dwight's shifting from foot to foot in the background, arms across his chest, is a good indication of his read on the situation, which is also known as "we are so fucking fucked but it's worth a try and Dave's not going to shut up until I call Brody." Which leads to Dwight acquiring hilarious puppy face as he drags Chris Brody up on his laptop. That does answer one question about his Trouble, which is that it works juuuust fine over long distance, as long as you can see his face. Brody at least looks like he's not really enjoying his Trouble but has resigned himself to figuring out how to use it, maybe, which would be a step up from where he was when we last saw him. Dwight takes a second to grin and bubble (augh Dwight bubbling) and Dave leans around I'm not even sure why. Do you just want a hit of feel-good Trouble, or are you nudging poor Dr. Cross to come around and look? Maybe both. We'll go with both is good. She's not expecting it, so we get an awkward embarrassment-squick moment about big blue eyes and then back to something resembling business; Brody cites Rue's dermatitis as a case of similar-to. Which might be reasonable, if it's the phytophotodermatitis thing I just dragged out of Wikipedia; hilariously it's a sensitivity to sunlight allergic reaction caused by contact with photosensitizing plants including but not limited to the Rutaceae family. Judging by the pictures, yeah, okay, if the blisters burst I could see it forming a wound sort of like that. See, you guys? She's so devoted to her job that blushing schoolgirl or not, she'll pull herself away from Brody to tend to Dave's leg, which hovers behind the laptop like an evil omen the entire call. Someone had fun with that camera angle. Brody will proceed to give Dwight a short lecture about how he aimed his lie at her scientific area of weakness and used his charm Trouble to cover it, but dude, she's not ignorant about much else. This is not doing anything for either of their competence kinks, I can tell that even through Brody's annoyance over using his Trouble and Dwight being all twitterpated. It's adorable. Dwight has a new crossbow! Of course he does. He's also, for lack of anything else to be done right now, totally getting hit by the charm Trouble, and isn't all that happy about being susceptible, though I think he at least appreciates Brody hanging up on him. Cross comes back in with talk about having given Dave a sample, can't call in the full Rx because the pharmacist is down with a staph infection hello there patient zero, and she'll stick around to see if it's even working. And also because, fighting evil plagues aside, she hasn't taken a break in a very long time and could use one? Dwight's moderating his expression to not scream "so you fucking came to fucking Haven?" but we all know he's thinking it. He will now proceed, while we twitch about her probably staying at the same B&B Audrey did when she first came to Haven, to offer to join her for lobster. Because he needs to keep an eye on her and he's attracted to hypercompetence. Oh honey. This is going to go so poorly.

There's circus type music playing as they come up on the scene of the disturbance, so, I'm guessing Trouble, then? Because that never bodes well. For anything. Seriously, outside of an actual circus that people go to in real life, when has circus music ever meant anything good in fiction? No, go ahead, you figure out three examples, I'll wait. And drink. Nathan and Audrey are discussing his new socks, because why not. And also because domesticity and cuteness. The circus music is accompanied by a crudely dancing bear, so, okay. And Nathan and Audrey come up and do their Haven PD thing, they're going to need the person inside the bear suit to move along. The bear keeps dancing, like an NPC in a simply coded video game. This is all well and good right up until it takes the head off and... there's no head underneath. Now, this could ... no, actually, given the proportion of clearly fully functional arms and legs this can't be explained at all, I got nothing. Neither, probably, would the CDC chick if you showed her, but no one's at all going to do that because people have a knee-jerk reaction to being lab rats. Audrey does in fact go and peer down the neck hole of the suit and, no, nothing there. Nor does the bear react. It puts its head back on. And then, because timing, right after Nathan says there's nothing to worry about the bear takes its head off and holy shit there's a dead guy with half his head missing in the suit. Okay, yeah, I'd scream too, that's fucking freaky. Although, yes, have I mentioned the timing on a lot of this here? Between Gloria in the morgue and Nathan here there is some good morbid comedy timing on the part of both the writers and the actors. And also a lot of "fucking Haven." So, okay, everyone runs from the freaky zombie in the bear suit, Audrey makes the 'this is a fucked up Trouble' face, and we come back from the break to Nathan asking Audrey if she's all right and, for all outward appearances, utterly fine himself. Because hey, he's died once, Audrey's been multiple people, his Dad exploded in a pile of rubble, what's a zombie in a bear suit. For that matter Audrey herself is making more of an 'eew gross' face than a 'I'm creeped the fuck out and only standing here because I'm paralyzed with fear' type of a face. You have to wonder, though, whose Trouble is that and why are they manifesting a zombie apparition in a bear suit to circus music? (Or is the circus music even there, is it in the soundtrack. Questions.) No time to figure that out now, there's another bear over across the way. And then a third one! (Continuity check! Hey, it's Big Benjy's ice cream, remember that's popped up a couple of times? I love Haven and its internal consistency.) And Audrey divides them up to go handle the bears, stepping forward to try and keep a bear from taking off its head and revealing its other half-taken-off-head underneath. Yeah, let's not see that again. Gross. Looks like someone got the wrong end of a shotgun.

Because Haven is a small town and also we need to have something to freak everyone out even more, Dwight and Dr. Cross will proceed to wander down the street while she science geeks out all over him. That's kind of adorable! Right up until she mentions that miniaturization is great because getting stuck in a hot zone before tanks is no fun and now she has more toys! Hoo boy. Says that expression. Both in the immediate oh fucking hell this is not what we need sense, and in the sense of Dwight has experience being on those tanks/convoys/etc rolling in, and he knows what it means, and he knows what the mentality will be if they do get to Haven. Which might be helpful, yes, but it's hammering him in all the unresolved military issues. Great. Awesome. Just what we needed, the guy with PTSD who's still the most competent person around getting his issues hammered on. I mean, I guess it was about time, but still. Cue me twitching with embarrassment squick at Nathan's inability to act normal, casual, and otherwise pretend we're really all fine here! Granted he's dealing with a teddy bear with a ghostly dead guy with half his head blown off, but seriously, Nathan, you've dealt with so much worse. They're out of lobster is the best you can do? Dwight plays it as best he can, but there's not much he can do to hide the fact that something is slightly fucked up. Fortunately, sort of, the good doctor isn't used to people being quite this many levels of weird, so it'll be a few moments before she freaks out. Not many. But a few. I think, personally, that the bears would have been better to introduce her to the weird than the staph infection, but sure, we'll go with it. Nobody wants to be a lab rat.

Especially not Mara! Who will continue to try and seduce Duke into being her new William by showering behind a not concealing much at all plastic curtain in his hold. Out of a bucket. This is totally intended as deliberate callback to when Duke first met Audrey, and that makes it even fucking creepier, not least because I'm sure Mara's doing that on purpose. We know she remembers, and had time to dig through Audrey's memories for it. Duke is Unimpressed. Grieving and stressed, but unimpressed. He's actually more hit by her dig about his mother than by her being naked, which isn't much of a surprise. Mara's right that Duke's not twitchy about skin or sexuality, but wrong about what it means for them. Deliberately wrong, probably, trying to get a rise out of him, pun intended, but wrong nonetheless. He then proceeds to bring up the fact that she killed Jennifer, and she sounds more like Audrey or at least less nasty than we've heard Mara in a long time when she denies it. And then she alternates between nasty-calculating-scary and gentler and almost regretful as she points out that she could have used Jennifer. Being that she could control at least one of the thinnies, and she's not what sealed the thinnies (which we still don't know, insert standard grump about insufficient data here), and Mara started out trying to open them… yeah. I can buy that. It fits with the data we have, anyway, which might or might not be the truth, and probably is at least partially lying with the truth, but it's close. And all of this makes Mara more dangerous and more frightening than she has been up until now. I'm impressed with how thoroughly Duke ignores her drying part of the way off and getting dressed that close to him, as she informs him that she wants him to hate her for the right reasons. Um. For one, ew, for two, what ARE those reasons, and for three, I need a drink. And some steel wool. He will, however, give her that his current top reason to hate her is that everyone he cares about is about to become a lab rat, which is more than enough information for Mara to ask what's up and get a rather terrifying smirk when he stalks out rather than answer. I don't like that look even a little.

Dwight and Dr. Cross are having a cute little romantic dinner at the Gull, because apparently this is the episode for people not on the Cape Rouge to be adorable. Seriously, this is ludicrously adorable, not helped by the fact that she's telling a story about a guy who covered himself in sugar and sat on an anthill to be able to marry the woman he loved. My toes, you guys. My entire feet. Fortunately Adam Copeland is being given these scenes now that he's up to the level of subtlety, because he is pulling this off amazingly well, both the attraction and the hit to the psyche of "not having to think about mortality." She said, to the bullet magnet who works in a damn police station. I can only assume that's why he's not wearing his vest, because that would look odd to an outsider. The subsequent admiration, too, which has extreme potential to come off cheesy and manages not to, and in fact manages to be a good segue to the conversation about who served where. He's an ex-Ranger! She's ex-Navy! They fight the Troubles! Oh, if only. Not to mention, heh, if only the hard stuff was in Afghanistan. I don't know how the Troubles compare to an active war zone but given the mortality rate around here, not to mention the unpredictability of manifestations, I can imagine a lot of Haven residents are showing similar signs of PTSDisorders. Unfortunately we don't get a further discussion of Dwight's time in the military, because that's when the guy one table over coughs, chokes, and falls over with lip blisters. Doc, take some time off, lip blisters are a sign of a lot of things... oh, well, point, she did hear the pharmacist had staph earlier, so that wouldn't be a big leap. Dwight's face does not agree with his words that Haven is lucky to have her here for this potential "outbreak." Dwight's face is once again saying more along the lines of "Well, fuck."

Over at the hospital Gloria is giving Audrey and us the rundown on what's going on. Three people have come down with symptoms and blisters, and CDC lady is all over that. With, it looks like, Pete hovering at her elbow. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is Pete's fault, for the Doylist reason that he was shown to be agitated about the CDC lady earlier and therefore likeliest to be manifesting the Trouble connected to her appearance. and the Watsonian reason of... he was agitated by the CDC lady earlier, and this Trouble started around the same time, not to mention the prevalence of mental-manifests-physically Troubles around the place and, well, wasn't he described as an epidemiologist? Yeah, I think so. Oh, but hey, what about the freakyass bear Trouble? Yeah, one of them apparently turned up at the ER, too, that would have been lovely. And now Dwight is vested, so I guess we're done with that pretense of normality then? Or he's going to have to come up with a quick excuse why he's wandering around in a bulletproof vest. As for the bear Trouble, Audrey's going to go talk to a woman who works where they first appeared, so that might get fixed. Gloria quips that it's just Haven's luck to have an outbreak, meaning Troubles, when the CDC's around, and then Dwight seizes upon that to say what a shame it is they can't tell Dr. Cross the truth so she could help. By the time he's done sounding equal parts dismayed at not being able to have some practical expertise and, okay, let's face it, like a bit of a lovesick schoolboy (it's the tone, I think, I love Adam Copeland for every minute of this episode) Gloria has an expression like she's both allowing the point and going to smack him upside the head, except she can't because here comes Dr. Cross. They've ruled out hepatitis (only hep?) and Dr. Palak thinks they might have food poisoning from the Gray Gull, which is also a good cover story, and she'll go get some samples. Dwight will go with her! For many reasons, but I do believe he wouldn't if it weren't also practical to keep an eye on her and know what she's discovering at all times.

Mara has zero fucks to give about Duke's cooking and will proceed to, having had time to think, dig at Duke some more about public officials discovering the Troubles. Pardon me, I need a couch to hide behind. At least she's dressed. Between this little speech about how yes, this has happened before and the mention of transportation/communication only moving at one horsepower, and Dave's dream, I'm going to go with not only has it happened before, that really was the outbreak of disease that Dave was dreaming of. Oh fucking yay. Or at least, that's what the narrative's nudging us toward. Maybe it's the bunker under the bunker time instead. Certainly not the bunker under the barn which Nathan broke, even if they had time to shove Maraudrey into it they couldn't now. Please, allow Mara to elucidate all the reasons we're going to hide and dragging Duke with us! Namely, that once the alarm is sounded, every agency ever, from the ones Duke can think of to ones he doesn't even know about (how very X-Files of her), will proceed to put every Troubled person in Haven under a spotlight. Why don't I break this down, because time limits put certain restrictions on it: they'll start with the assorted people in charge aka our main cast and move along to collect the Guard, because they were so clever as to tag themselves. Then the Guard's families, just in case someone doesn't have the tattoo and for information, then rounding up anyone else who looks like they might be squirrelly somehow or another. Probably get a few false positives, too. And I don't think I need to lay out how much fun putting that many Troubled people in assorted isolated locations is going to be for everyone, do I? Mara doesn't. Mara is going to hammer, in fact, on the isolation, on trying to make Duke feel like there's nobody he can trust and nobody he can turn to except for her, because that's a classic abuser's tactic. Given what Duke's been through over the course of his life as well as just recently, it might almost work. Maybe. It's uncertain enough that we can all be extremely unhappy at her about it for more than the usual reasons. The hell of it is, she's not wrong: once someone figures out that they've got the creator of the Troubles and the guy who takes them away, they're going to be incredibly curious, and if they end up with asshole scientists/the military, none too concerned with personal rights. By the way, Duke, when are you going to release another Trouble? It's been awhile, at least a week, and while the time between need to release a Trouble may be lengthening I have a very, very bad feeling about all of this. Not that Mara's brought it up. She's going to keep hammering on how they're alike and that's why his friends want him back here, not because, oh, say, they trust Duke to be the one doing the watching? I'd trust Duke to be the one doing the watching, he's easily the best guy they've got for that job and the most readily spared, for that matter.

I'm going to twitch at the panover because I'm pretty sure that's the spit of land near where the barn used to be. Urk. But slightly happier things: it's a time-honored tradition on film as well as being a good source of information! The rubbish heap. Seriously, from archaeology to criminal investigation, middens are a wonderful source of data. In this case, for Dr. Cross to find whatever contaminated food led to the blisters and miscellaneous other symptoms, agitation? Seems to be one of the common factors. Dwight has the typical reaction of someone who has never had to root around in a midden or dumpster, and her only comment is that it's better than getting up into a petty officer's colon. I... have never been near anyone else's colon but I cannot disagree. Oh, hey, it's Duke. Wondering why there's a strange CDC lady rooting around in the trashcan. Dwight will now call upon his cop authority and tell him that he's thinking it's food poisoning because, while not good for Duke, at least that's an explanation for the Trouble that does not involve needing the CDC. Just don't eat the fucking contaminated food. (Also a brief and hilarious exchange of "Are you the owner?" ".... No." between her and Duke that may come back to bite everyone later since it does not do well to establishing Duke's bona fides or veracity. On the other hand it's also the kind of idle exchange that he can pass off as being understandably nervous about having food poisoning in his establishment, and true to his natural character as a jokester.) Dwight takes Duke aside to tell him, or rather hammer it into him that food poisoning is a good excuse, it gets her out of town, yes, you take a hit to your business for a little while but more importantly the CDC and the military doesn't come up here to recreate that fucking scary scene from ET. Was anyone else of an age to be traumatized by that as a kid? We were, and I bet most of the Haven main roster were too. The point being, establishing Haven as normal and not interesting to men with guns and biohazard tents. Oh, because Dwight is perfectly normal? Well, okay, yes, compared to Duke and his Russian Roulette of Troubles, yes. Yes he is.

Oh god those bears are fucking disturbing. So, yes, the bears are the woman's Trouble, her name is Eve, and they last came around when the Troubles were last here during Lucy's cycle. Although Eve doesn't seem to have gotten the AudSarLu/Maraudrey message, because she refers to Lucy as Audrey's mother. Either that or, as is so common in Haven, she's simply reframing it into something she can deal with so as to get past that point and onto the immediate practicalities. And while Eve and Audrey talk, Nathan and this guy will commence to getting the fucking creepy bear person out of there. Over at the Haven medical center Dr. Cross is having a small fit over the fact that the patients were sent home after they recovered, yes, like you normally do in a hospital but given an unknown disease traveling around and potentially causing life-threatening symptoms, okay, she's got a point. In the rest of the world, she's got a point. In Haven, oh please god no. Gloria waves it off as food poisoning with the authority of been-in-the-medical-profession-since-before-you-were-born, and that doesn't fly with Dr. Cross either. Which, to be fair, when you're a CDC field agent you run into a whole lot of various types of resistance. Some of which do take polite but firm forms, and then you learn how to be polite but firm back. In this case pulling aside the police chief and digging into whether or not she's being played. And then yelling at him for the medical staff here letting patients be discharged before a confirmed diagnosis. The thing is, Gloria's not entirely wrong about the crustacean thing, either, harmful algal blooms formerly/more commonly known as red tides can cause a number of different reactions in people who swim during the bloom or eat the affected shellfish. It has, in fact, happened in Maine before. But, well, that would require water and mud and shellfish samples which Dr. Cross hasn't had time to run before the patients were discharged, and so she is cranky. Dwight is more calm, seeing as it seems like the whole thing's over and done with, calm enough to tease Gloria about being called incompetent. Gloria is not calm, Gloria is upset because it is not over and done with and there's a fourth patient still exhibiting symptoms. And Troubles. Oh joy. And not only is he Troubled he's also a germophobe and he's in the hospital and, yeah, no one's happy about that. I do have one question, though. This is a hospital. Have none of you ever heard of sedatives? Apparently James Banks's Trouble is that he makes bubbles. In.... a hospital. With an IV in his arm. Three guesses where this is going. You have until the loud beep to guess. Uh-huh. Oh, and because it's the last thing they need right now, this is also when Dr. Cross walks up and discovers the late Mr. Banks. Yay!

After the break Dr. Cross goes over their next move, which is to do the autopsy on Mr. Banks to find out if he died of something coincidental or something caused by the mysterious disease. Well, and if you mean caused by in the sense that it activated his Trouble and then he died, yeah. No, everyone gets what she's talking about. Dwight, at least, can be pretty sure that she's going to find he died of natural causes on the initial go through, but she's still going to do the autopsy under BSL-3 containment. That's BioSafety Level 3, which means threat of contamination or intoxication by inhalation, which usually means specialized facilities and there is, as it turns out, a BSL-3 lab in Maine. We look these up because we're utter dorks so you don't have to. Examples of BSL-3 level diseases are y. pestis (plague), yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, SARS coronavirus... you get the idea, yes? She is also putting Haven under quarantine if she finds out the cause of death was that mysterious lip-blister disease,  which is exactly what no one wanted in the first place. Oh joy.

Eve is telling Audrey about where the bears came from, and the last time she saw it, and all of that, and none of that answers the question: Troubles are hereditary, the bear suit belonged to her father, but… what form did it take prior to Eve? Seems like that would give us a lot of answers to how the fucking thing works, unless this is like the fucked up Trouble from Fur and that creepy bear suit's been passed on for generations. Which, for one thing suits in that particular style do date to around the early-mid 80s and for another, it doesn't nearly look old enough to be a generational thing. Eve claims that her Trouble kicked in when he died (boating accident, what, the propeller hit him? 'cause ew), and the bears appear everywhere he took her, which considering he seems to have been a father she loved deeply, and a good father, based on what little information we have, that's everywhere. Audrey will affirm that it's cruel to have a Trouble that seems to rub it in your face that your loved one is dead and gone and all these places you used to visit with him you have the immediate physical reminder instead of just the emotional one. It's… what, a loss-marker made manifest, or something? That's what they're going with right now, anyway, but the real question is what kicked it in now. Audrey brings up, I'm not quite sure why, that there's a scientist in town. Maybe just on the grounds of, better to hear from someone who's being comforting and authoritative? Because sooner or later Cross' existence is likely to get out and start a panic in and of itself, which is exactly what the Troubled need, is more stressors. Therefore one stressor now under more controlled circumstances to eliminate another later; guys, why can't you manage this in your personal lives? I'm just saying. Eve is exactly as guiltstricken by the idea of being the one who exposes Haven's Troubles to the world as you'd expect, and immediately concerned for her husband, who's also Troubled. That's probably not helping any of this. You know what else isn't helping? This mysterious lip-blistering illness that, by now, we have three Troubled people confirmed as having had it and three patients who recovered, status unknown. That's… not a flu. Okay, who the fuck read The Stand before their episode was due. Speed Weed, we are watching you. Closely.

And we're back to the Boat of Many Issues. Mara is now taunting Duke by guessing that he's been ordered back onto the boat, to hole up with her, which actually isn't strictly speaking true. Dwight told him to lay low, yes, to stay out of sight, but that could mean hide in Audrey's apartment, at Nathan's place, anywhere. He went back to the Cape Rouge of his own volition. To be useful? Because he felt safe there before Mara was locked in, out of masochism? Because keeping a person like Mara, especially when she's using these kinds of tactics, in the place he typically would consider most safe and most home, that can't be good for his psyche and probably requires a certain sense of self-inflicting pain. He does, however, agree with her estimation that the others told him to hole up with her, which is. Interesting. Is he admitting to it so she'll leave him alone, or is this some more deliberate misdirection to some kind of end? He also admits that he doesn't think Dwight's wrong about keeping him out of sight, though he also admits to being ticked at Dwight. And then wonders aloud why he's talking to her, implying that this isn't stuff he meant for her to know. I'm going to be wondering for the rest of this damn episode how much of this is Duke fraying at the edges, and how much is Duke deliberately stringing her along and making her think she's gotten under his skin. Because I find either to be plausible, and yes, I favor one over the other, but it's going to drive me batshit. In a good way, of course. Mara just points out once again that her goals are aligned with his, which is at least more believable coming from her than 'because I like you.' She also claims that both of them getting and/or maintaining their freedom is linked, but Duke is skeptical to the point of mocking at this. She does have kind of a point that she has a lot of experience at watching people behave under pressure, whether the five hundred years is before or during the events of the barn, but the prediction that Duke's friends are going to sell him out to save themselves, with the possible exception of Nathan's target-fixation on Audrey, is more indicative of her own cynicism than any accuracy of their temperament. That said, no, it doesn't matter for the moment if she's wrong or right, what matters is whether or not Duke believes her.

Nathan and Audrey put together two and two and did, in fact, come up with four, which he will now relay to Dwight. Yep. Everyone's Troubled. We have a Troubled sickness. What fun and joy. I have a question! Is this going to be the kind of sickness where, say, people like Nathan and Dwight who already have their Troubles activated get a modification to it that somehow makes it worse? I mean, it's not likely, but anything's possible these days. They will further confirm that it is contagious, which to be fair to them up until this point they had only Dr. Cross' justified paranoia to go on. Most Troubles involve some kind of emotional attachment, even in passing, to the people they affect, like the denial Trouble Duke let out in the first two eps this season. There's usually a reason. Pure contagion? Not something they have as much experience dealing with, and it means that yes, there are a bunch of sick Troubled people whose Troubles are about to go off, if the contagion itself is enough (as it seems) to trigger them. Nathan will take the position of worst case scenario, there's the pessimist we all know and feel strongly about. So yes, they're going to round up the Troubled people to hide them from Cross in the interests of keeping her from hearing about the medical investigation. This is, by the way, about the point at which we started jumping up and down going IT'S THE NUMBERS GUY, HE'S TROUBLED TOO. And stressed out, and doesn't give a fuck about people, just about his statistics and his ability to throw together a coverup. This is going exactly nowhere good. Gloria lets Dwight know the autopsy's complete, and Olivia? is headed Dwight's way. Gloria, do you watch Fringe? Is this a Fringe reference and we missed confirmation of that on Twitter last night, or is this some other kind of joke we're missing, because her name is Charlotte.

Interestingly, whatever Dr. Cross did give to Dave to fix his leg does seem to be working, or at least it's working well enough to cause a different and, by her expression, favorable reaction and to make Dave able to fake cheer long enough to get her out of the room. Or it might be real cheer! Dwight, to add to the good mood, comes bearing lobster salad! Dwight, I didn't know you were Greek. Whichever, Dwight is also skilled in making dignified and proper apologies even when he hasn't strictly speaking fucked up; according to what she understands as proper procedure he did, so he is therefore making the apology. And she has heard of no new cases, so she is therefore being encouraged to believe that it fizzled out, the autopsy didn't find anything out of the ordinary, and everyone can get back to their happy small town lives! No? No. She sent brain scans to HQ (Atlanta?) for a double check. And yes, an air bubble in the body where it shouldn't be can be detected if you know what you're looking at, it is not in fact a foolproof way of killing someone and leaving no trace. But on the other hand they're looking for signs of disease, not air bubbles, so it's possible they'll miss it, either way Dwight has to keep going with a straight face and invite her out onto a boat for a tour. With a captain named Murphy? This is definitely equal parts getting her out of the way and flirting by the way Dwight smiles when he talks about finishing that lobster dinner, aww. Before the flirting can continue, though, she's going to inexplicably show the police chief (yeah, the jurisdictional intersecting here is getting a bit weird) the bloodwork from the sick patients, and how they funnily enough have a genetic marker in common. Genetic marker in what? In their blood? In the virus in their blood? Explain yourself, woman! No, there will be no explaining, there will only be Dwight's stunned mullet expression as he contemplates aloud that Dr. Cross may have found the fucking genetic marker for Troubled people. That is... yeah, that should be something. Oh, no, she's giving it to him to give to Dr. Palak. We've also got the answer to where Vince is in all this: he's over in Bangor trying to work the bureaucracy to get Dr. Cross out of Haven that way. Which isn't a bad approach, I guess, when all your lying and hiding isn't working. Except, again, stunned mullet, genetic marker for the Troubles. Not genetic basis, Dwight, let's not forget that these were gifted by an alien with black goo death truffles. But genetic marker? That would pass down bloodlines, and so on? Yep. That would do it.

Audrey's got maybe a solution to Eve's Trouble? Maybe? If it's about loss and grief and so on, and Eve's worried about losing Hank either to some horrible illness or to his Trouble (why don't we know what his Trouble is yet? would it be life-threatening? I bet Eve knows the answer!), then affirmation that he's not going to leave her might help! Especially if she thinks he's abandoning her for maybe outing the whole town. I say again: ghostly dancing teddy bears aren't explicable by science and don't look like a plague, guys. So far Dr. Cross hasn't tried locking people up except insofar as not to spread an actual contagion, so let's all take a breath? No? No. This is at least a rather touching moment and affirmation of their relationship, even if we're not quite seeing the conclusions that led up to it. That's an interesting commentary on how stressed everyone is, too; I don't know if that was a deliberate thing in the pacing this season but overall we've gotten less time to know and empathize with the Troubled of the week because everything else is going to hell so fast. Which means Our Heroes aren't shown getting to the point of empathy as fast, which means everything's just a little bit flattened due to trauma. Unfortunately, no, a bear just appeared outside the… doctor's lounge? Why on earth was Eve's father taking her there? Maybe it's just that, being a small hospital, it's along a hallway they needed to walk in order to get to her pediatrician or something. It still seems out of the ordinary to me. Audrey has no fucking clue why it didn't work, but her face says everything to Eve and Hank, and they want answers, help, something, anything. That's definitely Audrey's thinking face, but it's not, as in seasons past, her getting an idea that'll solve it all in one fell swoop expression. No, this is the hour of calling Duke to ask to speak to Mara. All of the awkward ensues, including, somewhat amusingly in the morbid-funny sense, Mara and Audrey trading vocal intonations for a second. Not completely, but that's Audrey's I hate you and everything you stand for drop in pitch, to go against Mara's saccharine-sweet hello. Mara keeps shoving the fact that Audrey's a copy in her face and claiming she's her creator, hello more abuse tactics. Technically if anyone's Audrey's creator it's Howard, and before him whoever made him and gave him the parameters for choosing a Troubles savior personality every cycle. This does not turn out to be like helping, though it confirms that Mara has? had? all of Lucy's memories as well. All it is is Mara gloating that Audrey's lost her mojo, because Lucy could do it with Mara inside her but Audrey can't do it now that she's got no supernatural immunity. Fuck you very much, says Duke's expression. Audrey freaks out briefly that Mara's right, or rather, verbally freaks out. She's kind of been having one long, barely-controlled freakout about this since she knew she wasn't immune anymore. And now we have another moment of not being sure if Duke's freaking out and willing to maybe let Mara use him now, or if he's still stringing her along as he very clearly and specifically states that Nathan's rounding up Troubled people. Personally, Duke, if I were you I'd be demanding Mara cough up everything she knows about the contagion Trouble. As it is he's going to inform her that there's still no we, and he's going to go off to find some fucking information. I do wish we knew if he knew that this infection is targeting the Troubled specifically, because if he does that's idiotic of him and if he doesn't that's idiotic of them, but hey. Audrey does find an idea from somewhere as we put a pin in that scene, maybe if the bears are meant to show themselves to Eve in particular then they move where Eve is and thereby her Trouble's manifestation along with it? That's not a terrible stopgap measure, but it's a stopgap rather than a solution, and that's not going to help the much larger issue at hand.

Over at the morgue, well, it's the kind of barely controlled chaos that resembles an ER! Everyone's stressed, Dr. Palak is freaking out, Duke is not so much freaking out as generally pissed off, and everyone else is sick and likely to start manifesting their Trouble at any given moment! Oh goodie. There is one person stretched out on a gurney who looks uncomfortably still but, no, she just fainted and knocked her head on the floor. More importantly, that's Lori Fulcher's little sister, we all remember Lori Fulcher, yes? Also from the introductory episode of Chris Brody! And Dwight, for that matter. Her power was lightning incontinence. Which is a great Trouble to have in the middle of a fucking hospital. Another good problem to have is the whole running out of supplies thing. Yeah. Pete will go flail out to get more, hopefully with something resembling more composure in the halls because that's all they need is for Dr. Cross to see him freaking out like that, and Dwight will come storming in the other door! Oh, yes, there's the I told you to stay on the boat, so, no, he hadn't said it out loud but that's what he meant. And the way Duke looks now I am taking his anger and general crankiness as at least partly a sign that he's going to need to release a Trouble soon. It's also, admittedly, a reaction to all the stress he's under. A very natural and understandable one. No, Duke, Dwight didn't really let things get this bad, but he was in charge, so Duke takes aim at him for some of the blame. And Dwight is under a lot of stress too, so Dwight snaps back, and now I want to push them into separate corners and both baby and shake them. Well, okay, Danielle having an explosive burst of electricity will work to the same effect, sure. And there's a lot of metal in that room. Fortunately there are also rubber gloves! There's a nice bit of teamwork in extremis here, Dwight finding the rubber gloves and Duke deciding to try sticking her into the morgue drawer and hope that grounds her. Just in time, too, poor Vicki, there goes a stray lightning strike to the forehead. No, Vicki, you should actually get checked out after that. And it's at this point that they start talking through the sickness to realize that the last stage of the sickness might actually be the activation of the person's Trouble, which is not helping us not point fingers at Pete Palak. I'm just saying, it's a lot of stress keeping secrets when you're suddenly forced to do so at a more close and personal level than at a distance. And also, eventually, that's going to be a lot of Troubles all manifesting at once, Dwight's not wrong when he says people are going to die. Unfortunately, he's saying that right in front of Dr. Cross. Who is now standing in a clandestine ER, with evidence that someone injected an air bubble in Banks's brain. The odds of her believing he did it to himself? Slim to none. Especially when she pulls Danielle Fulcher out of a morgue drawer. Dammit, Danielle, couldn't you have picked now to go all electric? No? Damn. So of course now Haven is under quarantine, tanks are rolling in, Cross is not going to believe a single word of what Dwight says, and everyone is proper fucked.

Dwight's going after her anyway, because why the hell not. Duke is running out towards the cell tower with Danielle, because he is fucking brilliant is what he is. While Dwight attempts and fails to talk to Cross, who is now Charlotte apparently, Danielle will knock out the cell phone tower with a massive electrical surge. Awesome. Duke will then tearass across town to where Charlotte is suddenly realizing that she is not in friendly territory anymore. Here's where I'm not entirely sure what's happening. On the one hand, Duke and Dwight have definitely been under enough stress to cause fraying tempers and acting more like reactionary jackasses and less like the sensible people we know and have had established for them to be. On the other hand, I actually wouldn't entirely put it past them to stage this to get Dwight back in Charlotte's circle of trust or... something. At any rate and to whatever purpose, reactionary jackasses it is! Duke will start off this round of unnecessary dumbassery by stating he's going to lock CDC doc in a room with Mara, see who wins. Dwight (and Nathan) have objections to that; Duke has an objection to being locked up in a cage. And potentially vivisected would be my big nightmare, but I find Duke's choice of words interesting both because Duke has primarily been a transitory smuggler with a boat, and also because Duke you are a transitory smuggler with a boat. Out of everyone in this town, you are the most able to pull anchor and sail off and not get caught in a CDC dragnet. So, dude, calm your fucking tits. Nathan, hilariously, is the voice of reason, especially after eight episodes of yelling at him to stop being a target-focused moron and pulling stupid shit. Arguably eight episodes and a couple of seasons, but, no, here he actually is the voice of reason. Dwight is by far and away not the voice of reason, especially considering his sister the doctor/nurse/other medical person was just killed trying to protect people in much the same way Charlotte is doing now, despite the fact that everyone knows what her "protection" and help gets them. So, I guess that was a taser in the preview for this episode! Straight to the back of what looks like the lungs, that's gotta hurt. Nathan rips some shreds of skin off Dwight, as well he should, and Dwight is apparently in no mood to be sensible because that sounded awfully dictatorial, thanks. Yes, he is the leader of the Guard and the police, and normally that would put him in a position of greater responsibility he can appreciate. Not today! Dwight, honey, psycho and bitchy is not a good look for you. Even if his responsibility and guilt buttons have just gotten hammered to shit. The scary part is that so far this isn't a complete psychotic break, which under the circumstances I could actually see as plausible. Enjoy that thought. And, see, here's where I start wondering if this is partly contrived, because Dwight walks straight up to the Herald like he's going to try to talk to Charlotte, like he knows she's been watching. He's awfully confident when he tells Nathan he has a plan, but neither we nor Nathan get to hear what that plan is. Duke is staying on the ground because that's what you do when you've been tased, but...

... over at the Cape Rouge, Duke comes walking in to Mara's cell-hold-thing with the kind of attitude that makes Mara sit up and take notice. Yes, it's bad. And no, he doesn't think his friends have his back, which I can understand right now, but then he says we're on our own. Not him, we. Even if he doesn't believe Nathan and Dwight are going to help him right now, even if he's back to looking out after his own self-interest, there is no way in hell unless Duke's grabbed onto the Idiot Ball with both hands that he would trust Mara enough to throw in with her like that. So either he's playing her, or Dwight's given him a plan that he's going to go along with and they're both playing... a lot of other people. Either way, something is going on here. Someone is playing someone, and I'm not sure who or to what end.

Next week's promo is not actually that informative. A lot of people falling down (oh, hey, is this the coma Trouble again?) a lot of people are staggering around, oh! Great. Charlotte's pulling a gun on someone. We can only hope that someone is standing opposite Dwight so she can watch the bullet do things bullets aren't supposed to do as it veers around and hits him, since he's falling over again. Poor Dwight's getting shot a lot this season. Oh, and Duke might be letting Mara out. Because that's going to go well.

1 comment:

  1. I join you in the fascination/trepidation over Duke and Mara! I was surprised you didn't comment on what struck me most in terms of data - Mara saying in the past that if outsiders came "we" could stall until she got into the barn and the troubles went away. Which could just mean the old Audreys and delaying people until the meteor storm, but might also mean there was a period with Mara and the barn that preceded Howard and all that, when she (and not William?) could go in the barn and turn the troubles off. It would also imply she was working to help hide the troubles, which is...interesting. The first might be an easier explanation, but her use of "I" and "we" when she doesn't refer to Audrey or Lucy's actions as her own caught my attention.