Friday, October 16, 2015

A Life Half-Lived Haven S2E02 Fear & Loathing

This is one of those ridiculously loaded eps that's a) only as loaded as it is in hindsight and b) I'm pretty sure they've still got some weapons stockpiled in their Chekhov's Armory from this one. So brace yourselves for a lot of fucking swearing, y'all, this one's going to be an interesting ride. Previously on Haven! There were two Audreys. One of them understands and is immune to the Troubles. The other one hasn't quite learned yet not to say that things in Haven are impossible. Both are duly freaked the fuck out. Oh, and Nathan can't feel things, and someone with a goddamn fucking Guard tattoo wants to kill Duke, and Garland died so now Nathan has to hold the town together. That's a lot of themes running together at once, you guys, dear lord. It's kind of impressive how they managed to actually work them in without making my head explode from pacing.

We'll take it in, mm, more or less reverse order! Starting with da Chief's funeral oh Nathan honey. Repress a little more, why don't you. We've got a Significant Stranger, who we immediately pan over to show us old familiar faces instead. Beattie, I sure as hell hope you're not significant except in the sense of being a callback. Vince, I know you and your brother are significant, now give me all your secrets. Though at least they're being actively helpful, inasmuch as that's possible for the fucking Teagues. This episode, that is. Lot of people in uniform, lot of extras, nobody who stands out more than our usual suspects. (Does this make AudSarLu Keyser Soze?) Hey, Vince and Dave (mostly Dave, by the nonverbal head-jerk he gives to Vince) know when it's inappropriate to do more than offer simple words of comfort! They may have a cookie. One. To be shared. What? Audrey teases him, mainly, I think, because someone has to keep Nathan from taking himself too seriously and also because she's afraid of the potential for increased intimacy that her being immune to the Troubles gives them. Yeah, I would be too, it's kind of like the worst setup for a relationship ever. Making Nathan into a real boy, in Duke's words? Eww. Creepygross. I'd be distancing myself as much as possible. Anyway. Beattie is there only for the callback of continuity, though perhaps also for the reminder that Duke isn't totally a bad guy and by the way we do remember how he has a daughter out there he'll never see? Just checking. And here comes Ian to be the shadiest fucker in all the land! Given what we learn later, I'm pretty sure all those eyeflicks are meant to indicate both that he's trustworthy pretty much in the same way I trust the fae (I trust the fae to be fae, is what) and that he's not making direct eye contact with Nathan until after he's absorbed the blood from cutting him. I think, anyway. It's a quick enough turn of events that it's hard to be sure. Ian wants to know where Duke is! That's such a total and utter pretext, Duke and Nathan are close enough to have a private moment on a hillside. Not close enough to show up together in public. Insert your sekrit love affair trollfaces here, of course.

Duke is not on his boat, as it turns out. Duke is wandering into some kind of general store type place (actually, I think that's a very similar set to the one they used for the weredogs? dogmen? in Stay, if not the same one) to pick up some special-ordered beer. Which, of course, means that he's going to be present for the first iteration of this Trouble. The proprietor sees a horrifying half-burned woman drooling/vomiting blood! Oh goodie. Random Customer Dude sees an aggressive black dog that looks like there's wolf none too far back in its heritage. Okay, so people are seeing Things That Scare Them. Elderly Lady Customer sees her dead husband? brother? risen from the grave. Duke sees a man with no face (a ski mask will do for this) dressed all in black whose arm is COVERED in That Fucking Tattoo. Duke, your subconscious fears really aren't. Oh, and fifth person in the store sees nothing, because poor Jackie's realized her Trouble's back and is taking this opportunity to run the fuck out of the store to somewhere safer. Or so one assumes. Yeah, who was that, Duke? Roll credits.

We're not dealing with the repercussions of this right away; instead we cut back to the wake at the Gull, where I have to assume that's the most reputable-looking bartender Duke employs. Dick Van Dyke beard and all, that's kind of cute. Naturally, Audrey and Audrey II want the same drink! This is absolutely nobody's surprised face. That said, it's both cute that they've adapted to the whole sharing memories thing this fast and kind of a sad commentary on how few ties to other people they do have. It almost looks like relief that they don't have to hide their pasts from each other, which says a lot about how much running from hers the real Audrey Parker has done. Apparently they haven't talked to speak of since the night when not!Agent Howard showed up at the Gull, which along with the funeral/wake suggests a pretty short gap between episodes. I note this mainly because people have consistently bashed their heads against the timeline of this show, and I think it's largely that filming it at one season a year does the timeline a vast disservice. I know there's no other way to do it, but that's at least half of what had my head spinning in s3. So, alright, Audrey thanks Audrey II for not, y'know, turning her in, but the fact of the matter is that if she had, they wouldn't be able to go track down Agent Fuck You. Which is top priority for both of them but especially for Audrey II, and I kind of wonder if some of AudSarLu's reluctance isn't just fear of finding out the truth but some kind of deliberate block on hunting down her Agent Howard. She still walks through the list of people the barnvatar talked to while he was in town - that she knows of - and while Garland would probably have been the most useful, Duke might be second most useful! Since he has cameras and things on his boat, and notices more than anyone gives him credit for. Also, Garland-Nathan-Duke is in no way significant of anything up to and including the triangle that forms around AudSarLu. Of course not. They would never. In one of the more obvious French-doored moments this ep has (though it is very French-doored, which means they tend to have two people taking primary and often sole action in a scene at once; it cuts down on production costs), Nathan will now wander over! No, Duke's not here, the easy (and still accurate) answer is too many cops, he's probably at the boat, would people stop asking Nathan where Duke is? Well, boys, if you made sheeps'-eyes at each other a little less… okay, okay, I'm done, I can't compete with Eric Balfour shipping Nuke anyway. Oh, hey, the real Doylist reason Nathan came over! For Audrey to notice that he's bleeding and him to reveal that he can feel things again! Uh, I have a question, wouldn't the sensation of clothes over his skin be immediately obvious? Okay, possibly not, he's pretty distracted by grief and dealing with well-wishers, but still, that's where I'd have gone with it. Then again, we knew Nathan was a martyr who's bad at thinking of things other than pain to test his theories. Or at least bad at acting on them. Sigh, Nathan.

I have to say, even in these little tiny touches, Lucas Bryant does an amazing job with conveying astonishment at the ability to feel things again. He has new clothes! He can touch the door! THE DOOR. It's also making him worse at taking witness statements, though we get verbal confirmation of the visuals earlier. The guy Nathan's talking to had a rabid dog try to bite him as a kid, the proprietor was in Iraq, the kid came in the back and was there to see his girlfriend who works at the store and has apparently been forgotten in the flailing, and we all know what Duke is most afraid of! Cue banter. Much gentler banter than is typical for both of them, particularly on Nathan's side, because he's all giddy with what I will politely call endorphins. Duke is not polite. Duke takes some time for the cluehammer to hit him upside the head, but Nathan is smiling and Nathan does not smile. Nathan really doesn't smile around Duke. Smirk, yes. Do that strained thing with his face that says "I am tolerating you right now." Smile? Notsomuch. But all of that said, it's incredibly telling that the person Nathan chooses to go shouting his joy at (what passes for it with him) is Duke. Look, I'm trying hard not to be blatant in our OT3 (OT4 now, I suppose) shipping, but oh my god these two are not helping anything. Let's all take a minute to cackle over how adorable it is that Duke's first thought is to punch Nathan and his second thought is to hook him up with some ladies of questionable virtue. And how adorable it is that the threat-and-response seems like a rote call-and-response of teasing with them. Nobody believes that Nathan finding the tattooed guy is the reason you're doing this, Duke. It's just a convenient excuse, and it's true that if such a man were wandering around Haven it would put a crimp in any, ah, processing plans Nathan might have. If you know what I mean. Oh, hey, touching! Nathan initiating touching! It really is all the little things like that which make this ep so poignant.

Inside the store, Audrey's taking samples based on witness statements which is not going so well, and Nathan's proprioception is so off-kilter that he's walking into doorframes. Audrey II also has jack and shit as far as physical evidence, so let's go with hallucinations! Those are usually a safe bet, reality-altering Troubles are pretty common in Haven. Whether it's perception or actual altering, a la the butterfly effect boy, is a good question, but a lack of physical evidence leans them toward perception. Nathan will go dig in the Chief's old files! Now that he's paid his respects to the real FBI agent for the whole, y'know, not turning in the memory-cloned version of herself. Speaking of wanting to know what's going on in this town (fucking Haven), Audrey II has some suggestions! Test site, pharmaceuticals, soil samples, water samples, Audrey will now proceed to humor her. Because, she says, she already did all that! Not that we saw it back in s1, but I can believe that she set up shop in her hotel room and tried to get results from home chemistry sets. Or set it off to Howard for lab testing and I would just love to know how he faked those up. Actually, if she did send them off to Howard rather than ask the Haven labs to do it, I want them to redo these tests with a trustworthy source for the results. Then again, even now they're not quite aware of the full extent of how little they should be trusting Howard; I'd say in many respects it's not until end of s3 that Audrey realizes that he's there to fulfill a purpose and her well-being only matters insofar as it's necessary for the barnvatar to do his thing. Also I'm pretty sure all of these suggestions are based in Stephen King novels. So yes, these things happen often, as they get a callout to the bus station.

Which is in absolute chaos when we flip over to it. Everyone running in a panic! I have to wonder what the fuck Jackie's doing in all of this, but we don't know. We just know that Vince and Dave have taken cover behind a pile of luggage, Vince is getting blamed (at least half as usual), okay, I'll give him this one. Draft root beer with extra vanilla is awesome. Ahem. I'll be over here staring at Vince and wondering if he suspects what this Trouble is. That'd fit in with his job as protector of Haven and keeper of the ancient knowledge, which means he knows what his worst fear is and doesn't want to confront it, which means he's shoving Dave to take the hit for him. That's kind of mean, Vince. Be nice to your brother. We see what Dave sees, which is AudSarLu… Mar? in a really hideous red wig, and whoever it is, whichever version that is, it freaks him out bad enough that he barely manages to stammer out the pronoun. Even after all four seasons I'm no closer to being sure whether that's Sarah or Mara, though the clothes and vaguely beehive wig would indicate it's Sarah? The cold, cold expression suggests it's Mara. Sarah, please don't have gone and gotten possessed by your original self too. That would be very bad. Though it might explain how thin the thinny's gotten, if all three of the last known (full, we'll leave Lexie out for now) incarnations had leakage from the bad old days. Or something. Argh needs more data. And a better wig. Regardless, the whole "she can't be here" aspect makes far more sense, because of course not, they just saw Haven savior mark Audrey Parker at the funeral, it's improbable bordering on impossible that somehow she would've morphed into any of her other personalities in those few hours without Vince or Dave or both being aware of it. That doesn't make it any less terrifying to be reminded that she exist(s/ed), somewhere in there.

Duke's boat! Where Nathan's been telling people to go for the last ever and Duke's making some repairs. It's a nice touch, it gives him a reason not to be looking at Ian while he acts all squirrelly and nervous, and it reminds us that Duke is capable of fixing pretty damn near anything when he wants to. Gee. I wonder if Ian's important to the ep. Or Troubled. Or both. I'm gonna go with both. Apparently they used to work together on jobs, Ian wants to make a run over the border into Canada for some reason not yet divulged but doubtless shady in the extreme, and Duke isn't leaving until he knows what's the deal with tattooed guy. I will refrain from pointing him at Vince, largely because that's not nice to Duke and I don't want to make him twitch any more than the narrative does it for me. Working together consisted of Ian fucking up, Duke posting bail, yeah, no wonder Duke's being defensive and glaring a bunch. Go ask Buck! Well, Buck doesn't have the same contacts. Also, dude playing Ian has some sort of Boston accent by way of England it's hilarious. Okay, it's not that bad, you can hear it in the ending r's and in his broader vowels, I'm resisting the urge to ask him where the car is. It turns out that when you can't feel, o Trouble-thief, you also fail to notice your foot landing on important equipment and breaking it. Duke might blame himself for leaving it lying around but it's a fucking ship, dude, you're supposed to watch where you step by default. Sigh. Yeah, he'll be back, but he's also just barely a smart enough criminal to know when beating a hasty retreat is the correct answer. They're not being super-obvious about it just yet, but this does begin setting up Ian Haskell as the dumber, slimier version of Duke, which will be Very Important Later.

Turns out that what Jackie's been doing is running for the entrance, but there's only one, and it seems like once any eye contact is made, the hallucination remains in effect for as long as she's around people? Or something. Nobody ever said these Troubles worked sensibly. Oh HELLO there Pennywise how very not nice to see you. Audrey II would like to shoot the evil clown. I am all about that. I'm also kind of morbidly amused at the implication that Audrey's past involves potentially living through something like IT. Given the foster background, it's not implausible. Our Audrey, however, sees only a young woman looking perturbed and heading in the opposite direction from everyone else, so she'll take that gun now and put it away while she tends to the poor fucker who's having a heart attack. This is basically the equivalent of every single person who was affected having the kind of panic attack that leads directly to fleeing. Ouch. Fortunately, the guy will be okay, and after the ad break we get the explanation of what the fuck that clown was! Nathan, honey, if you're not looking for a threesome with these women I have to ask why not. (Because he's repressed and a martyr, is the answer. But.) Fifth grade carnival, bouncing the memories back and forth like they're at a tennis match, ending with the scariest thing she's ever seen in her life. Well, that explains the Trouble very neatly! And brings a touch of "oh that poor girl" to Audrey II's expression. Yeah, pretty much. Even if she's not sure she wants to believe in the Troubles. Nathan has a month-old report of some guy who barricaded himself in his house from Bigfoot, so what's with the weird time lapse there? That's a great question! The other great question is why our Audrey wasn't affected, and we'll all do the we-know-something-they-don't-know dance now, yeah? Yeah. This whole scene does an excellent job of explicating and foreshadowing the differences between the Audreys, I will say. Okay, well, since Audrey got a good look at Jackie, Vince can do a police sketch for them, right? Of course right! Any attempt to rib her for the clowns will involve pain, Nathan. Lots of it. Or possibly tickling. I'll just wait while y'all dig me up that fic.

While I'm waiting, Ian will come bug Duke some more! He clearly has never heard of patience or common sense. Also, if you're too shady for Duke, you are REALLY too shady. Also too incompetent, but that's less of a surprise; Duke's got decent standards on those. Yes, I will take some competence porn with my moral ambiguity, why do you ask. Ian is not like competence porn. Ian is waving a wad of $100s around in broad daylight and letting the Sekrit Esoteric Troubled Artifact dangle around his neck. C'mere, Ian, I'll choke you while Duke throws you off his boat. This is, in fact, so much money that Duke is duly suspicious of where the fuck it came from. I can't say as I blame him. Not that he expects an answer, just some kind of reassurance that whatever con this is it won't come back on him. Yeah, Ian's not too good at that. "It won't come back on you, I promise"? That's what he's got to offer? Hahahahahanopetopus. I would like to know what exactly Duke did with the vice-principal and when and HOW old she was at the time, though I kind of suspect that it didn't involve as much sex as Ian seems to think. Not by Duke's reactions so much (they're self-protective but everything about him when Ian's onscreen is screaming "fuck you get away from me") but by the fact that her name's Dolores, and we all know the plot of Dolores Claiborne, right? (For those of you who don't know, it's a woman who lived with an abusive fuckwit and eventually killed him. If the name's any kind of allusion to what was really going on, I would not in the least be surprised to see Duke covering for her.) Ahem. Anyway, we don't have an answer on what the specifics were, just that Duke doesn't want Ian spreading around whatever he thinks he knows, so he'll do this thing. Also that Ian's used this before for blackmail. That's awfully gross, and doesn't speak to any kind of decent working relationship let alone friendship between them. Ian, nobody believes that you wouldn't have used it but you had to. You came on that boat with some idea of what blackmail would work. Oh thank god, here comes Audrey II to save us from the sleaze. No, Ian didn't bring her here, he's not bigtime enough to matter. Or smart enough. Either Audrey, assuming ours was being a LEO at the time, would chew him up and spit him out in a heartbeat.

We will all now facepalm over how Ian totally could be one of the many tattooed men in this town, being that he's Troubled and who knows if he knows about the Guard or not. I can't imagine Vince letting him very far in, but he'd make a great stooge. At any rate, Audrey II has a story to tell that will not get her off Duke's boat but will set his mind at rest about dying today! Unlike her, Duke takes this with the equanimity of a lifelong Haven resident, and some degree of glee, at least part of which is a put-on to get her to go away. No, still not working. Cute that you tried, though. I love that Eric Balfour has this perturbed look that's shorthand for "why does everyone think I want to help." LOVE. No, he didn't actually deal with Howard, he wouldn't have, thank you SO MUCH for not saying Troubles, Duke. Even if that pause was so we could all think it really loudly. This meeting mirrors in spirit if not in exact dialogue his first meeting with our Audrey, too: she wants something, she's going to ignore all the forms of shit he dishes out until he yields, also she has more power than he does and she's not afraid to use it. And Duke is attracted to her, even if he's kind of creeped out by the appearance of a second Audrey and doesn't know what the fuck is going on yet. The bantering about safety and security is for form's sake but has that edge that used to be present with our Audrey and has since softened; he's looking out for his own well-being under pressure of governmental threats. He doesn't like it, but as long as Audrey II doesn't try to get more out of his for that threat than she reasonably can manage, they'll be wary acquaintances. For now. The competence of the threatening appeals to him, after all! It makes a great contrast against Ian, for that matter.

Back at the station, Nathan's being a little weird with his ability to feel things, but I can't say that it's unreasonable weird, and he's doing it in private. No, not that, get your minds outta the sewer, you pervs. Audrey has a sketch! That's a pretty decent one. Nobody has any idea who Jackie is, including Nathan, leading me to question once again what the population really is, but hey! They have a different lead: Brian Shaw was at both the scene a month ago and the scene today. Looking for his girlfriend, today, and with the resigned expression of finding a thing that quacks like a duck, Nathan really hopes he hasn't found her. Right there with you, Nathan.

Duke subscribes to the school of Thump Technology Until It Works. I knew there was a reason I liked him. Yes, he hacked into the entire marina. I'd say that's any kind of commentary on Duke's 1337 hacking skillz, but I think it's probably just commentary on how bad the marina security is. That, or Duke set it up. Or social-engineered the passwords out of someone. All of which are frankly more likely that Duke suddenly being an amazing hacker, and since we never see sign of truly high-tech skills again I'm gonna go with one of those three. No, nobody believes you only use your powers for good, not even mostly, not even when you're cute and put on a funny accent. Especially not the feeb. Audrey II isn't gonna complain too hard, though, on account of he's using his powers to help her right now and making a fuss is pretty good way to piss off your CI. Saaaay, that's footage of Agent Fuck You and Garland hanging out behind a shed talking about if Audrey's ready to stay in Haven! No sound, not good enough quality to lip-read even if either of them could (and I wouldn't be surprised by both of them, for that matter), but it's a connection. And a connection means a place to start digging through other records, like cell phones and landlines and if they're very lucky any credit card records of Howard renting somewhere in town? Things like that. Following a paper trail is fucking annoying at the best of times, but it's where all the real police work gets done. Yeah, Audrey II looks like she bit into something sour when she admits to owing Duke a favor, and I don't think that's all for the humor value. I know his lighthearted smile over making note of the favor owed is for show and he really means it, because that's how Duke operates.

Nathan, if you're going to do that touch-fixation thing, which is totally understandable under the circumstances, could you PLEASE let someone else do the driving? That's just incredibly nervous-making and distracting. Audrey thinks so too once she's off the phone taking Jackie's information, and yes, she was supposed to show up for a shift at the grocery store of the initial Trouble outbreak and didn't. (Well, actually… but we all know how this goes. Including Nathan and Audrey, by now.) But it's still weird, because why now? What made it start up again? I actually think the look Audrey's giving Nathan has as much to do with being halfway to the answer and not wanting to disillusion him as eying his newfound joy in sensation with amusement, lust, whatever you feel like reading into that mostly-blank expression. They will now proceed to not-discuss all kinds of things! Like how Audrey's not quite sure she's willing to deal with Nathan's vaguely sexual comments, and Nathan's probably not aware he's making them sound sexual. Nathan. YOU ARE. Don't perv on your partner when she hasn't clearly invited it. Other things they're not talking about: how it's weird that she's immune to the Troubles, how it's weird and kind of forced-intimacy that she's therefore the only person Nathan can feel, how this whole thing is fucking weird and kind of unwelcome. It's not weird! Really! Audrey, nobody believes you.

Alright, let's have our third iteration of this Trouble. (Drink!) Brian will now proceed to come bug his girlfriend at home and wants to know what the fuck is going on. This is one of those scenes that can be read a whole lot of different ways depending on how much knowledge you have of the situation; because we know what her Trouble is and that Brian's a fundamentally decent guy, we don't assume he's being totally unreasonable for most of this scene. (Though, dude, I don't care what you think is going on, SHE SAID NO DON'T COME IN. Sigh.) This ends, as it must, with her looking like an abuse victim but she's not scared of him, she's scared of what she could do to him, which is a very fine line to draw in acting. Particularly when the power is unwanted and uncontrollable. Oh honey. And now the screaming. At least his worst fear is seeing her hurt or dead? I guess that's something. Though it adds that extra layer of multiple possible interpretations if anyone's around, where screaming a name is usually a good indication of who's attacking you. Which it is! Sort of. In the twisted multi-sense way you get in Haven. Well, an open door and a blood trail are bad signs for Audrey and Nathan. Turns out not only was the burglar there to hurt them, it was a memory from when he was a kid. Oh honey. Unlike the other victims of this Trouble, Brian was in a place he knew well and presented with something he could defend against, so he attacked the "burglar!" That kid is gonna need so much therapy. Now the expo-dump that tells us her father's death is what triggered her Trouble, they broke up because she "needed space," then they got back together a few weeks ago but this morning everything went bad again. To Brian's credit, he must know about the Troubles and he's really quick to pick up what actually happened. I appreciate the immediate kneejerk of but I couldn't hurt her I love her, which, while it makes me facepalm a little, is a very human reaction to being told you stabbed your girlfriend who you thought was a burglar because supernatural wooj. Audrey is the good cop and Trouble-savior we've come to know and love and tries to keep him focused on helping them find Jackie, only, well, just follow the screams. Poor woman. Poor Jackie. I'm with Audrey about the dubious look at Nathan, and I think if this had happened any later in the series she would've informed him he was staying outside, not asked if he was sure. That does look like a nasty cut, and she's been trying to do the right thing by picking places where nobody should be home and oh hello Nathan's gasping for air face. What the fuck DID he see? We still don't know. The fact that for everyone else it seems to be a memory suggests that it might not have to do with Audrey, but then again he first met Audrey in a life-or-death situation with the car over the cliff. That doesn't seem like it would have the same emotional resonance, though. Possibly something from childhood? Max? His father? Lucy Ripley? The way he's shielding his face I feel like it must have something to do with Lucy or Audrey, but we still, STILL have no answer on what it was that I'm aware of. While I speculate madly, Audrey will be all maternal and adorable and finally get Jackie to look at her. Audrey, the words "I'm immune" would not have gone amiss there. Nevertheless, she succeeds, Jackie is duly and deeply relieved that there's anyone at all in this fucked-up town who can see her and not the thing they're most afraid of, and I'm going to keep chewing this data all the way to the station.

Where they are, as one might expect, getting Jackie patched up. (We will, I think, assume either Audrey and Jackie went back on their own, or copious use of sunglasses and hoodie was involved.) Yes, she's always heard about "weird things," but apparently either her father wasn't the one with the Trouble or he didn't tell her. No idea where her mother is, of course, because missing mothers are a huge theme on this show and I want answers to all of them, but especially to Duke and Nathan's mothers. We get her Trouble from her perspective, which does nothing to further plot but does a great deal to emphasize how much she hates this Trouble, how afraid she is of it, how stressed she's been due to isolation. Poor, poor girl. That's one of the shittier Troubles we've seen yet, and it seems to be pointing the way toward the increasing awfulness of the Troubles as we go through Haven's cycle. It also seems like the kind of thing Mara would find amusing, though really, there's not a single Trouble that doesn't have increased poignancy with Audrey saving people from them, given what we know about William and Mara now. Oh, but now we have plot! Hello plot. Jackie went off to Bangor to, I don't know, sleep on the streets? She says hide, but I get a definite "I will go be somewhere and someone such that people never want to meet my eyes and stop hurting them that way" off her, and it's pretty typical teenager logic that the streets would be a place for that. (Hell, for some adults it'd be typical adult logic.) Audrey has what's rapidly becoming a permanent look of "oh fuck I know what's going on here and I do not like it." In the immediate sense I will absolutely agree with her! In the overarching sense I mostly feel sorry for everyone. I would also like, since I mentioned Mara and William earlier, to know who the fuck came up with Ian's Trouble. 'cause let's not pretend we don't know what this story of Bangor means (also, damn, there's some nice delivery all around) for both Jackie and Nathan, even if Audrey doesn't know who's got the Trouble-stealing Trouble. Is Ian a failed attempt at the Crocker Trouble? They've been playing him up as the shadier, less-successful Duke this ep. I suppose he could be an offshoot of the Crocker line which evolved, assuming Troubles can evolve like more real-world forms of biology and genetics, but we've got no proof on that. (Just a lot of suspicions and the split family Trouble coming up to point at, which never shows up again.) I think the safest bet here is that William? possibly? created Ian's Trouble, failed to create an adequate failsafe but it was an amusing one to him and Mara so they let it stay, and then they created the Crocker Trouble. Or they each created one at the same time and let them duke it out for supremacy as a Trouble-taking failsafe. Which says some sad, sad things about human nature (but not surprising), that the one where you have to kill and become addicted to the touch of Troubled blood is the one that became most prominent, as opposed to the one where a Haskell would have to die in order to lift the Trouble from a family for good, as it's implied at the end. Have I mentioned lately that they're fuckers? Just checking. Anyway. Best boyfriend is best! And would still like to be with his girlfriend, and believes they can find a way around it, even though he's not saying that part of it right now. Oh honeys. Another person's illusions about the Troubles as a fairytale down the drain.

Meanwhile, Audrey II, in a display of typical Feeb arrogance, is in the Chief's office pulling phone records and looking for an address. Wow. Audrey's kind of side-eying her for that. And here, again, we have Audrey II in severe black or navy pantsuit, and Audrey in jeans and henley and shades of blue, for calming and soothing. Though she's not feeling very soothing right now, she's considering biting her counterpart's head off about the Troubled being real people too until she remembers that they're supposed to be working together. Eh, it'll start working a little bit eventually. Have some patience. Audrey II updates Audrey about Howard and Duke and security footage and hello Garland, and no, of course she didn't ask Nathan first, are you high? Even if she weren't being FBI high-handed about this (which she is), she'd probably deem it a forgiveness/permission issue on the grounds that Nathan's what we could politely call emotionally compromised, and less politely call fucked in the head. The upshot is that she found the number Garland called around the time of his meeting with Howard, that number was only used once, and she's got a trace out on the address for it! Yay! Sort of. Audrey is not entirely pleased by all of this, but she's got a pretty strong sense of picking her battles right now and will only deliver orders about waiting for her before going to the address. I even think Audrey II means it and realizes she's fucked up a little. Enter Nathan, who's there for Audrey to use as a sounding board while she works out what's going on with these two Troubled people affecting the town in various ways at the same time. (Actively affecting, anyway.) I will now proceed to facepalm because Nathan. You are not thinking like a criminal when you say that shit, go ask Duke. You're not even thinking like a cop right now, fucksake.

Also stop asking leading questions of doom, those never end well. In this case, it ends with Ian down a very narrow chimney, pardon me while I wince at the FX, and that necklace that's been half-hidden under his shirt until now is currently on display. Just in case we'd missed it before oh it's a puzzle board or something similar that should be all kinds of fun. See, Nathan? This is why you don't ask those questions. Shit like this happens. Okay, no, but I kind of wish we'd had a list of places with strong perimeter security they were going through when they got the callout. So now we have a conflation of three currently active Troubles (drink!) and one active-by-artifact Trouble. Woo! Not that we know, right now, what reason Ian had for going after Jackie's Trouble since it's a pretty, uh, loud one. Nathan why are you all conspiratorially leaning over? That one I don't get, the night watchman doesn't appear to be in the room still. They exposit some on the puzzle board that's supposedly worth nothing, there's a little bit too much of the anvil coming down on our heads for my liking but this is only second season, I can accept that they still feel the need to bash us with the obvious. Nathan hypothesizes that if their unsub touches another Troubled person's blood his affliction will come back too, because the unsub can only hold one Trouble at a time. GOLD STAR, there. A+ detective work. No, I know, they're still relatively speaking babies at this, and around here we're rather grounded in magical theory. It's Audrey's turn to ask the foreshadowing question of doom! Would you guys quit that shit. And Ian will set the puzzle piece from around his neck into the board, to the background music of creepy children singing creepy echoing nursery rhyme (one, two, buckle my shoe, etc.). This thing does really work, to the tune of reducing a building to cinders and ash in the space of a few seconds. I guess on the upside it appears to be a very, very localized phenomenon, so it's unlikely to set other buildings in the area on fire. It's a pretty small upside.

Next morning! In one of the rapidly-vanishing moments of leaning on her FBI training, Audrey points out - quite rightly - that it would take a fire days to reduce a building to cold ash. Yeah, pretty much. I mean, hot ash in an all-wood building might take a day or less, depending on how dry it is, but down to cold ash? Yeah, not so much. Nice touch with Nathan being the one to notice and say that, too, pun halfway intended. What you don't get, Audrey, is that Ian Haskell is a really dumb criminal with way too much power. You've been spoiled for semi-intelligent Troubled people lately. Oh, and to top it off, there were people inside who are now reduced to the metal bits that they had on their beings. Hello, Vince! Come be the guardian of Haven, that's your job and thank fuck he takes it seriously enough to open up about this one even as it gives us a massive, massive crack in his "just the newsman" facade. And it's here in the Herald offices that we learn about Tristram Carver the indentured servant who shipped out from England to the colonies and viewed the town as a prison. And he put all his hatred into the puzzle board. The Troubles have been there a damn sight longer than the beginning of European colonization, guys, but we'll go with that for now. Vince knows! Vince will acknowledge the beginning as a different point than Nathan's marking it, you sneaky fucker. That little wobble of hesitation on "caretakers" makes me think it was a Teagues or a Crocker that took the puzzle from Carver and hid the pieces apart from each other. Like you do with dangerous artifacts that can't be destroyed lest you destroy the thing you're trying to protect. The town elders, huh, Vince? Who were those? And why does Driscoll not know, when the Driscolls are apparently the ancient protectors of the town, or at least were once upon a very long time ago before it got all twisted out of true? Who kept that from him? I'm so looking at you, Vince. Audrey's looking at him too! Nobody's buying the "very good researcher" act, but for the sake of immediate threat we're letting it pass. I also make all kinds of faces over the timeline of no Carvers in Haven in almost 50 years, which makes me wonder rather a lot if Roy Crocker killed a Carver prior to Sarah's arrival in Haven and their power was gone before the family itself died out. I definitely think Vince knows more about the circumstances of the family's demise than he's telling, but that's bog-standard for Vince and Haven's secrets. Why yes, Nathan, I do believe Vince has that list of where the puzzle pieces might be for you. That's quite the arch look he's got on there. Stoppit, Vince, or I'll shake all your secrets out of you.

Duke, should you be waving a blowtorch around without goggles? I mean, it's not welding, but dude. Bad safety protocol. Also leather gloves, moron. Makes a great little gotcha moment for Ian, though! If Ian were a better criminal and more observant, he'd be using this either as a test of Duke's perception or he'd have noticed that Duke damn near burned himself on the railing and use that as a way of moderating his behavior to that of a person who can feel. Luckily for Our Heroes, Ian's a moron and Duke will continue to demonstrate how good he is at thinking on his feet by not saying a wooooord when Ian clearly can't feel pain. Oops. So! We follow that up with a very skillful end-run to keep Ian on the boat and away from anyone else, and to turn Duke's somewhat suspicious behavior around on Ian, which isn't difficult because he's acting squirrelier than a bag full of nuts. That dial, yes, that you broke, Ian, you clumsy unfeeling moron. Ahem. Cut to the person whose Trouble Ian's stolen, reporting in on what use Jackie's Trouble was! Apparently his idea of clever criminal activity is to make everyone run terrified while he steals the puzzle pieces. I guess that works. Was his clever plan to whammy people at the Haven museum too, until he realized he could take Nathan's Trouble? Because hoo boy. I am so unimpressed it hurts. I also really want to know what would've happened if he'd tried to take Duke's Trouble. In that way where I don't want to know at all. Audrey II interjects with our daily dose of outsider WTF, thank you, and they're still trying to identify their unsubs, who married into the Carvers so that they have different last names to go on and people who might know the old stories. This is a good plan, but Audrey's pretty exhausted and not quite despairing, but not sure she can get to this guy before he destroys the town. But! Haskell rings bells for Nathan, right as Duke walks in to babble about how Ian can't feel pain. Duke, just go with what Audrey's asking you, they have the other half of the equation. (You may all appreciate how I left the pun unwritten.) I would like to note that if you're going to barge into the office babbling about Troubles maybe you should shut the damn door. I don't entirely expect better from the other three, but Duke, you do this clandestine shit all the time, be better. Though to be semi-fair to him, all his experience with Ian is that he's a petty smalltime fuckup of a crook, not someone genuinely dangerous. Audrey II will stay and hold down the fort in case they need outside help, and what nobody's saying is that she's got less experience with the weird than everyone else and they'd like her not to point guns at the wrong person (again). Brian will now haul ass down to the marina with his girlfriend in tow because fucking teenagers. I swear.

Our intrepid trio can make all the plans they want as they don't so much badass walk as scurry up the pier to the Cape Rouge, but they've neglected a couple vital variables. Said variables are now hostages, because what this situation needed was exactly that. Jackie has the hilariousest goggles ever, but hey, if they allow her to look at people! Okay, um. First of all, Ian's Boston accent's disappeared, thank you whoever coached him on the dialect. Second of all, the physical acting here is great because we can tell immediately that he never expected a hostage situation and has probably never shot anyone himself. Killing others by proxy we know he's done, whether or not he was aware of it at the time is another question entirely. Wobbly gun, excessive description of what he'll do, voice cracking, talking too fast, yeah, he'll break easy if they can just get the drop on him. We can all take a moment to facepalm over the optimistic idiocy of the kids who thought he'd just take Jackie's Trouble away again, though admittedly that may have to do with not thinking through how it works. Hard to say. Obligatory commercial cut on the standoff, Duke will be the one to keep Ian talking both because he has any rapport whatsoever and because that's one of his specialties. Blah blah he's not a loser anymore they'll all see blah blah I'm a really, really dumb bad guy blah blah he was HELPING Duke by taking him with to Canada! Right? Yeah, not so much. Jackie is awesome and waits for his gun to waver between the cops, Duke, and Brian so she can make the hostage situation at least less of a meatshield one, and see, Audrey, I'm not sure if you missed or weren't going for the killshot? But the whole not feeling thing is not working in their favor, here. Which is why it's Nathan to take the killshot, and let's all note and wave our not-so-tiny trollfaces over the fact that he pulls the trigger the second Ian points the gun at Duke. Who has rather a hand-cannon of a shotgun, there, but might not take the shot on account of that's his onetime friend. Or sort of friend, anyway.

Some nice bits where they're not actually sure how the Trouble works, Nathan might be safe to touch Ian without his Trouble returning but they don't know that and Audrey wants to be extra sure. I have to say, Mara and William would also think a game of pin the Trouble on the human passed by contact with a Haskell's blood to be hilarious, so it's not out of the bounds of possibility even if I think it's far more likely that he's Duke's sacrificial lamb cousin in Troubles. So they'll call for an ambulance but nobody's going to touch him ungloved! I… guess that's like doing your job. Not that anyone really wants to save this dickhead, but that's another step into punishing people for using the Troubles to kill others, much like the Captain with Vicky's Trouble last season. At any rate, the puzzle's there, the pieces are there, the town will not burn to ash today. Duke has a valid, pragmatic question and is washing his hands of Ian at the same time! Does he take the Trouble with him if he dies? Why yes. Yes he does, which leads to one of our first really blatant instances of Nathan the Martyr. And you know, I can't actually blame him for this. It sucks and it makes sense to do it, with two people there known to be Troubled and one of them who would have to live her life, or at least this cycle of Troubles, out with goggles strapped to her head. Or Ray-Bans. Or any number of similar shitty possibilities. Nathan's learned to live with his, and so he makes the choice for them. Oh everyone. Let us note that Duke and Audrey are both trying to stop him, not physically but verbally. Registering their protests more than hauling him up and smacking him for being a moron. Well, sudden and immediate shock from the pain would definitely speed up the whole dying thing, I'm just saying. Aaand that's exactly how the Crocker Trouble vanishes blood, too. I continue to be really disturbed by this blood-Trouble-off that Duke's not even aware exists right now. And wonder if there are any other Troubled Haskells around Haven to be pulled out for the upcoming season. There's a very, very nice bit of physical acting where Nathan gets Jackie to look at him and confirm that her Trouble's gone at least for this generation, we can see that he knows it's okay because he can't feel her and remember that Nathan doesn't normally touch people when he can't feel? Yeah, he's breaking that rule for this occasion. But when she hugs him and nobody's looking at his face, the smile falls completely off it as he lets himself register what he's just forced himself to live with. Yes, Nathan, this is why being a martyr is a stupid idea, even if I probably would've made the same choice in this very specific instance.

To the house of the barnvatar! Which is not the barn. It has that empty look of nobody having lived there for a long damn time, but no dust buildup. Just empty of life. I kind of think they deliberately made it look as much like the set that it is as they could, in some respects, just lit it to give us the exterior feeling. Couch, coffee table, other couch? Side table along the wall under the stairs, end table with that DAMN FUCKING BOOK on it next to the couch we have a clear view of. Vase of flowers on the side table. Nothing personal, nothing helpful to the profile, okay, a thin sheen of dust on the end table. Audrey will now mutter dire imprecations about Agent Fuck You having been in town without her knowledge. Well, yeah. Aaand the book. Of power. Which Audrey woke up with on her bedside - courtesy of Howard? courtesy of being who she is? courtesy of someone else? - and gave to Howard so that he could bring it back to her at a time when she would recognize it as a symbol of This Is Fucked Up. Leave it for her to find, bring it back to her, same difference, practically speaking. It's not the same book as the one that Jennifer gets later, I don't think, because the only people I would think would be up for sneaking it into Jennifer's foster parents' effects would be the Teagues, and they're as surprised as anyone by what it does. Maaaybe Dave, lord knows he's got more secrets than he's coughed up even to Vince still, but as of right now I'm going with, this is the form that the talisman against ultimate evil takes, and Howard wanted to be sure Audrey would recognize it when she ran across the real one, even if she couldn't see the symbols and writing that Jennifer can.

Over to the station, where the Teagues are packing up the puzzle and its pieces and running away with them to keep them secret, keep them safe. This is not symbolic or ANYTHING why would you think that. No. The writers would never ever do that. Also this is a scene of everyone lying about something. Nathan is lying about how okay he is. Vince and Dave are lying about what they know about, oh, everything. Duke is lying about his motives for helping with Ian. I do appreciate now that the Teagues brothers were, in actual fact, protecting everyone on the grounds of three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. I would not be surprised if they split the pieces between them and didn't tell each other where they hid them. At this point in the series we're definitely meant to sympathize with Duke, but knowing what we know now I'm much, much more okay with the Teagues keeping this knowledge secret. Duke will now deliver a brief lecture on people running or fighting when they're scared, complete with telling us that Julia Carr ran off to Africa because being shot at and in high-contagion areas for MSF is less traumatizing than Haven, and walk out. Thanks for that, Duke.

Before they hide the pieces, though, we have to have a very interesting and telling scene with the Teagues in which we strangle them for secrets some more. Vince is wary but wants to know if Dave's worst fear was Lucy, and has this expression like he thinks Dave might bite his throat out. Dave, for his part, is sad and scared and tired and yes, wishes it had been Lucy. We know that it was someone in a really bad wig with Mara's eyes and Sarah's hair. What we can guess at in this episode when we first see it is that it's another of her incarnations, of course; the boys are old enough to have been around for at least two prior and that discounts any potential immortality, which let me tell you we hypothesized about all the way up to the end of s4. Now what my theory is, particularly with Dave's clenched jaw and dark look on the "no you're not [sorry]," is that Vince thinks Dave means Sarah. Dave really means Mara, who he ran into on the other side, and he's furious because Vince has no idea what he's been through, no idea how frightening she really is, and he can't/won't ever tell him. This may or may not tie into Simon Crocker's death as well, but I'm pretty damn sure whatever that's about, it ties straight into Dave's previous visit to the other side and fear of it. It certainly qualifies as a thing he fears one fuck of a lot and was willing to do a lot of unprecedented things to avoid. Insufficient data to say for certain how all the puzzle pieces fit together (I HAD TO), but there's definitely something lurking around there.

Time for Audrey and Nathan to have a not-date because neither of them is admitting anything about what they feel just yet. Sigh. Significant white roses on the table are significant. I think the only appropriate response to the questions "how much about Haven do you think Howard knows?" and "why did he bring me here?" is to laugh hysterically. Because the answer is way, way more than you think. And also that he'll cough up way, way less than would be useful. 'cause he's programmed/geased/whatever that way. Nathan will now proceed to dodge all over Audrey telling him the small but incredibly personal sacrifice he made today was amazing, as opposed to saving the whole town. Thank you, Audrey, it's about time someone called him on that shit. But he does have a point, he's got a somewhat easier Trouble to live with and - not that he says it this way - he's an adult. He knows about the cycles, he can wait. Other things he will wait for include Audrey to decide she wants him as a lover as well as a partner. Oh everyone. Until that time, she'll be there, though, says that hand over his. And we close out on Nathan trying to cling to the memory of what was touch for a brief time, and what might be touch again, if Audrey chooses him.

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