Saturday, October 17, 2015

As Night Is Dark And Day Is Light Haven S5E16 The Trial of Nathan Wuornos

Previously! Dwight points out that the fog bank/shroud/whatever the fuck at least keeps the miserable shit contained to Haven and doesn't inflict it on the rest of the world. He's not wrong! There's a darkness Trouble that eats people. Literally, eats the flesh off them. Duke got sort of an episode of peace and quiet and then his boss was an asshole and he ended up semi-adopting a friend's teenage daughter. With a Trouble to the tune of Kitty Pryde. Oh yay. Dwight is keeping shit from Audrey, always a great idea, and that's a clip from s2 and Duke's first blood-sponge incident where he finds out what the Crocker Trouble is. That can't possibly be good, considering blood sponge plus both freaky eye-things plus Duke theoretically NOT being Troubled anymore means he has some unpleasant surprises coming. Oh, and we have another serial killer, this one they're calling the No Marks Killer, as opposed to the Eats Your Everything And Isn't A Wendigo killer. Nathan and Kira went off to track down the aether while Charlotte got the power plant working again, and then Nathan came back having found the aether and declared her dead, nearly starting a riot in the process.

So we'll pick up where we left off: at the point where Tony the fiance is trying to incite a riot. Jesus you're a dumb asshole. I get that he's upset and grieving but, as McHugh points out when he comes out to play Dwight's enforcer, this is a great way to set off everyone's Troubles. And get more people killed. And can we, y'know, not? Cue Dwight coming out to take stock, and getting a lot of runaround from everyone. I admit freely that Nathan's a decent liar when he thinks it's in a valid cause (namely, keeping knowledge of the aether secret), but telling Dwight in the middle of the crowd that he needs to talk to him privately is noooot exactly helpful. Especially since he compounds matters by continuing to lie about Kira being dead! It only looks like a lie because we know Nathan, and he lies by overdoing the sincerity and looking at people straight-on, which is one of the harder tells to spot. But it also fits with the data we have, namely unless Nathan got a second Trouble, how the fuck did he survive the darkness? Or unless there was a thinny/portal/something down there, which we had no indications of. McHugh is not being exactly helpful, but he is providing just-the-facts-sir for Dwight: Nathan and Kira left the power plant, he won't say where they went, now she's supposedly dead. Meanwhile Tony will continue inciting a riot by asking how many people lost someone because of the power outage. Seriously someone put a gag on that man before he gets people killed. Oh wait. That wouldn't help. I count approximately six hands raised, which is fewer than I expected, honestly. He goes on to claim that Kira was their ONLY hope against the darkness Trouble, which is patently fucking untrue: lots of people have been helping newly Troubled control their Troubles for the past two weeks, something everyone there should know, and on top of that the assorted glowball Troubles were what saved them the VERY NIGHT BEFORE. So it is entirely fucking unreasonable to assert that Kira is their only hope and so on and so forth. It's semi-plausible in terms of what a grieving probable-abuser does, but it's bullshit and at least some of the crowd should know that.

(There will be proof provided of abusive tactics, just you wait.) (And also grumping over how the first person to ever fucking call Nathan on his bullshit in a loud, public fashion was an abusive fuckhead, making it that much more difficult for someone to later call him on having made the Troubles continue per shooting the barnvatar.)

Anyway. Tony will now proceed to call for Nathan's banishment because he's a danger to the group. Everyone can now bang their heads into the hard surface of their choice. Audrey is immediately overprotective and freaked out, as we might expect, taking Nathan's role for once. But wait! Now Tony will tell Dwight he's awesome but he can't let Nathan off because he's his friend. Oh my god you are such a dick, dude, although in this one instance he's also right. This is what aggravates me so fucking much about Tony: some of what he's saying is absolutely accurate, but he's also throwing out a bunch of bullshit spins on the facts which he would know were bullshit if he thought about it for a whole five seconds together, and be able to come up with a more persuasive argument. There are totally good arguments for Nathan being a danger to the group! He's just not making them!

Ominous crowd rumblings aside, let's have Nathan's actual update: Kira's not dead but she might be soon, because her leg's pinned and he couldn't free her. And while her Trouble is currently (pun not intended) extremely useful and lifesaving, she has to stay able to use it, which means calm enough, awake enough, not in so much pain she gets distracted, among other things. I still want to know how the fuck Nathan then got out of the place without dying, since Kira is therefore a stationary light source and there's only so much she can do with that. Continuity! It's important! (Okay, they said they were running out of lights, not that that was their last glowstick, so I guess that's probably what happened? That's certainly not what they implied, though. Grr for bait and switch, grr I say.) Dwight's what-the-fuck here is fairly priceless, and also accurate, considering that much aether is basically plutonium, a tac-nuke, whatever you want to call it: it'll get people killed. So they can't just send everyone after Kira, and not only that but not everyone there is experienced in crossing Troubles Alley, so pelting out is a really fucking bad idea that might all on its own get people killed. But it is a two-person job to get Kira out from between the rocks and then back to the school, which is why Nathan's here. That and the cure that Charlotte claims could exist, yeah, Dwight's not really buying that one. Nathan can't leave lest the crowd riot, Audrey won't let him be banned without going with him, technically they're both correct in that the group needs them. Whatever Nathan's past sins, he is now looking at what needs to be done, and trying to fix his mistakes, which is about all he can do without basically letting them stone him for his crimes against the town. And now Charlotte barges into this little conference! I guess that means Dwight's semi-forgiven her, or at least accepted her as a necessary evil, since he doesn't object to it. She brings the bad news that Tony continues to rile the crowd. Oh my god dude you really do want to get everyone fucking killed. For fuck's sake. For all he knows, the person with the darkness Trouble is still around (ironically true!) and just doesn't know they're Troubled (also true!) and this'll make it much worse! (Sort of true!) Okay fine, Dwight and Charlotte can go rescue Kira, since Nathan obviously knows Audrey's going nowhere until she's sure he's safe. Which means the whole group's going to come apart at the seams? Pass! I don't even blame Dwight for an overactive protective complex here, he's not wrong. BUT WAIT. What they need is a) time and b) to at least demonstrate some form of justice to the people. Let's put Nathan on trial! Audrey are you sure that's a good idea. Audrey you have way too much confidence that everyone's going to see him the way you do. Oh fine, roll credits.

Charlotte objects! Nathan's not sure but he trusts Audrey, who brings up the time aspect right away. Given that two of them are cops, or at least have the memories of one, they are absolutely correct when they point out that there's nothing slower than the legal system. They would know! And in the meantime there's a rescue mission in progress and if Kira shows up then the trial is completely unnecessary. Right? Of… course right. Dwight likes this for another reason, which turns out to be that he's starting to get his head on straight as a leader. Sort of. Giving the power to decide what happens back to the people isn't a bad idea in and of itself, because Dwight is biased and would be a terrible person to make this decision, and he knows it. Either he errs on the side of leniency because Nathan's his friend and he knows he needs him, or he errs on the side of being too harsh by way of overcompensating. And more to the point, the people cannot rely on him as being their only source of strength. Interestingly, he's finally ditched the HPD logo on the bulletproof vest, and now it's a plain, black, unmarked one. I have serious, serious objections to him placing Tony in apparent charge of the proceedings, given that he's just as emotionally compromised as Dwight, if not more so. The Teagues are at least a known quantity for the town, even if they're not unbiased either, and what would've made more sense based on what little we know of him is McHugh, since he's Dwight's deputy-confidante-enforcer guy. Alas, no. Though as ways to get Tony to demonstrate what a vicious jackass he is, this works out pretty well. As a way to throw a strawman argument at Nathan and Doylistically indicate that anyone who has a problem with his behavior for the last three seasons is an idiot and an asshole? I take serious fucking exception, because that is frankly what it feels like the writers' room did here. Vince takes exception in a different way, asking if it's a stalling tactic or the rebirth of democracy, and I'm with Dwight: why not kill two birds with one stone? Except if he shows up with Kira then Nathan's proved to be a liar, which might also endanger the group, so I really don't see this being a done deal.

Meanwhile in Halifax, Hayley is demanding Duke stop the car so she can go play with her new superpower. She really is kind of Kitty Pryde. Duke yells some more about only did it to save her life and now he'd like her never to use it again, to which she makes the very valid point that now she has it and she'll die regardless of if she uses it or not, so she'd like it to be on her terms. She's not wrong. There's a chance she could flee the entire city, but that'd mean starting over somewhere else, which requires funds she obviously doesn't have. This is also an argument Duke is intimately familiar with, and as such he gives in and starts talking her through how to use her damn Trouble. Duke you know how this one works, don't you. Apparently it requires focus and sort of… becoming the object you're trying to pass through. We all know that Duke is freaking out about her using her power because this is how her mother died, yes? Yes. Good. So of course now Hayley can do it, and allow her to go be gleeful while Duke looks like he wants to bury his head in the nearest object. The car hood, Duke. Faceplant into the car. She's such a teenager.

More convenient things about a school setting: there's an inbuilt PA system! Dave I am for once totally on Vince's side, this is not a fucking radio show you're DJing, treat it seriously. I'm giggling over Vince actually using the word gravitas - it's accurate, but hilarious - but oh my god don't do that, Dave. Also you are both LIVE ON MIC while you bicker. Audrey and Nathan find this mildly hilarious too. They've gone for an Athenian type trial, which makes anyone who knows anything about ancient Greece facedesk some more. (Hi.) Not just because it's a gross oversimplification even of what you'd learn in an intro college philosophy or classics course (per the trial of Socrates) but "ancient Greece and Athens" is a time period spanning hundreds of years, and the exact form of the proceedings varied greatly within that time. As is only normal. For fuck's sake. Not only that, but if they're going for Socrates-style, they should have a magistrate or someone asking questions after each side presents their argument. Which they do not. And this is what happens when you watch TV for the history, folks. You come away very very disappointed and frustrated. They go for both sides will present their arguments, then you vote, then Nathan gets banished or not, as the case may be, and the charge is endangering group safety. Audrey has a really excellent point that Nathan can survive banishment, he's been surviving more or less on his own for years. True, but this is rather more alone and in danger. Tony interrupts the proceedings to blather about how he taught history for ten years and the prosecutor gets to set the terms of the punishment. Actually I don't remember that. Also I have known many stories of high school history teachers in towns about the same size as Haven, and no, I'm sorry, with a couple stellar exceptions I have exactly zero fucking respect for them as a group. (It would help if school districts didn't view it as an unnecessary course when compared to, say, the football coach, and make said coach teach history REGARDLESS of his qualifications. I'm just saying. Not that I have lingering snarl over this.) It is, however, a great way to imply that Vince has favoritism and display further abusive asshole tendencies! Vince has a good point in that banishment (well, the Sandman, but nobody else knows that) has been the only punishment anyone's bothered to throw out there as yet, but no, Tony's seeking execution because Nathan can survive out there and apparently in so doing would totally deliberately endanger the group some more. ...he… would? I accept that he's done some heinous shit, but as long as Audrey's safe with the group that is the dumbest fucking argument ever.

Vince declares for a recess so that he and Dave can demand WHAT THE FUCK as politely as possible. Oh it's not about vengeance! Really! He reviewed Nathan's entire record! OH REALLY NOW WHERE DID YOU GET THAT NOTEBOOK, SIR. Yeah, nobody is buying any of this bullshit. Audrey would like to know what the fuck, and she's not being polite about it. Tony's first citation is that Nathan stopped Duke from leaving Haven so his Trouble bomb wouldn't go off, and therefore it's Nathan's fault that everyone is Troubled now. You know, I buy this with the barn? I do not buy it with Duke the Trouble bomb. That's Mara's doing, Mara's fault, and then Charlotte's fault for ignoring the warning and getting rid of Mara by sticking Audrey back in her body. Although I'm fond of exonerating Duke for this one! Nathan keep your damn mouth shut. NATHAN. Yeah, Tony's not coughing up his sources. I dunno, Nathan, who else was around at the time? Who would have potentially gotten this information from one of those people, either by being told directly or by invading someone's mind and learning that way? (This is where I would normally do a dramatic "Could it beeeee Satan???" But I have no idea how many of you are old enough to get the reference.) Given the onslaught of Troubles reasonably anyone could have a mind invasion Trouble, but we haven't seen too much in the way of mind-invading powers lately, at least not since first season. Which was, by the way, The Trial of Audrey Parker. Bathe in the irony. So, who has access to this information? Who benefits from getting Nathan out of town? Or even, who benefits from pinning all the blame on Nathan, thereby focusing everyone's attention on that point? These are excellent questions, okay, is all I'm saying. Ones that you're not asking so much as flailing about. Later we'll find out another good reason why Tony is flailing about Nathan and Audrey so specifically, but that's later and I'm being good and not digressing there just yet. After the ad break they're still not asking said questions, Audrey has entered the realm of fuck everything no more trial. Audrey, that is not how people in large groups work. Vince knows this. Vince will explain this to her in small words if he has to. Instead, how about the Teagues go off to find loopholes? Sure. They can do that. I don't think they're going to find anything in a school library, specifically, but it's worth a shot, and so was that jab about Vince being fond of loopholes. Besides, it gets them away from a pissed-off Audrey and makes her Nathan's problem, which is I think Dave's other main motivation here. Nathan's idea of handling Audrey is assigning her to solve the darkness Trouble! Well, purely by conservation of characters and assuming it's not connected to the season metaplots at large, which it doesn't seem to be by now, it's… what, McHugh or Tony? And given the way the Trouble acts and how much more we know Tony, that's an easy call. (Though I still want to see one of the already-Troubled people with a second Trouble, just because I'm curious to know if that's possible and how the Troubles would interact, be handled, etc.) Anyway. Nathan finally gets her around to fuckit, the trial still buys them time, but Kira needs not to be eaten by the darkness so just in case, she should go solve the Trouble. Which should save him and Kira at once! Also I feel this is worth mentioning because it's screamingly obvious in this lighting, and I mean that screaming literally to a degree, they are really giving Audrey makeup around her eyes, mostly in the liner but some in the eyeshadow colors, such that she looks more like Mara. Lexie at best. Going on three eps of this being more or less the case? I declare for drinking and not-an-accident.

And now we're with Charlotte and Dwight, where they both seem to be trying to defend Nathan to each other for a bit. That's kind of sweet even if I'm a bit bemused by Charlotte taking up Nathan's defense. Yes, we're still and will continue to be suspicious of her probably for the rest of the series given that it ends after this season. She protests that he saved their lives and wanted to protect everyone, Dwight somehow elevates him to as good as a Ranger status, which, um. The ex-Ranger doth protest too much? Yeah, I don't know who to put that one on but that rings incredibly false to me, having looked quite a bit into what Ranger training and duties consist of, and the failure rate of their classes. We interrupt both of us making faces at the screen for a whole lot of door slamming. Charlotte you've never actually seen the movie Poltergeist, have you, or absorbed enough of Mid-World culture to get why a poltergeist Trouble doesn't necessarily qualify as a "just." He does have a point once that's cleared, though, about Nathan getting target fixed relatively easily. And usually that does involve one of two things, either Audrey or the Troubles. Charlotte mentioned aether and potentially solving the Troubles, therefore Nathan gets fixated and goes off to find aether, whether she wants him to or not. Whether anyone wants him to or not, really.  And she hadn't meant to tell him, but she thought she was going to die and she figured he and Audrey could, later, find a cure for the Troubles. I still don't know how much of this is genuine, how much of it is a front. Conservation of remaining storytime suggests it's not a front, that she's genuinely trying to help for reasons of her own, possibly involving her daughter. But given her previous attitude towards human life and her treatment of her daughter I still have a hard time trusting her, even though Dwight seems to. Startled that she's not lying about this like she lied about everything else, but more willing to forgive her and work with her. Oh Dwight. I really hope you aren't getting played now like you were before, because I don't know that he'd recover from that if it turns out she is still out for something else.

Back to Halifax we go, I'm not sure why we needed the panover except maybe to remind us that Duke's not in Kansas Haven anymore? And I guess it looks like freedom, with the lack of shroud around the city, except of course it isn't as our next shot is literally of Hayley through the bars of the fence. He chews her out again for lack of focus when she hops back through in tones that sound incredibly parental. Oh Duke. You've so adopted her. Apparently yes, her mother died because she lost focus mid-dematerialization and got chopped to pieces by whatever solid structure she was passing through. Ew. Poor Duke. Which, again, speaks to a very long time dealing with the Troubles even when he wasn't in Haven. Hayley is not entirely clueless and picks up on this, which sobers her at least a little. So, yes, they really are Troubles, yes, they might be powers but they have big downsides. Emphasis on might, in many cases. Cue the requisite are-you-Troubled question and Eric Balfour doing one of the best impressions of "I have to pause for breath so I don't laugh hysterically and never STOP" I've seen onscreen in awhile. And Duke's recitation of "just a normal guy" has more than a tinge of hysteria to it. Poor fucker. No, he got rid of all his Troubles… OR DID HE. Yeah, that one was super-obvious, you guys. At least they didn't make us wait for payoff. But oh look, she did lose focus, she lost part of her bootheel and a little bit of skin as well. Ow. The laughter on Hayley's part is probably as much adrenaline rush as anything genuine, and as we expect, Duke flinches, because Troubled blood has always been a reason to flinch. I wonder if he still has the addiction without having any way (that he knows of) to scratch the itch, which would be very like Mara (and in line with a bad job of re-Troubling him from Audrey) and also suck royally, which is par for the course of Duke's entire life. No, it's fine, look how fine it is and how much Hayley doesn't believe you. I can't tell, both by camera angle and by his reaction, if something happened when her blood soaked through the handkerchief? rag? whatever, or if he was expecting it and was startled when it didn't. Could be either! His eyes are neither silver nor all-black the way they go later in the ep, and we can't even tell for sure if her blood made contact with Duke's skin. We just know there's a reaction. And that the music is duly ominous as fuck.

And we're back at Haven with another panover, this one including the shroud which I suppose explains the Halifax panover, where Audrey has just informed the wife of Rolf Starr that he is, in fact, deceased. With somewhat less sympathy and attention than usual, just in case we didn't know she was distracted already. And how did he die? Well, she can't actually say that because of serial killers and secrets, but instead of saying something smart like we don't have the autopsy facilities to find that out right now and buying some time, she's going to blame it on the Darkness That Eats All Things. In one of the more tentative voices I've heard her use ever, with an upward lilt like it's a question at the end. This is not the winningest move ever because now she's blaming it on Nathan, saying she'll vote for him to die. At a guess she's attributing his time of death to the blackout the night before when Nathan had taken Kira out to go chasing aether. The fact that Audrey can't clarify her lie to change this, maybe say they found his bones on a sweep or something? Basically she's not doing as good a job as usual of talking her way into or out of things, both as a sign of stress and as a sign of how broken Haven is becoming. No, she doesn't care what Nathan intended or even what Nathan is doing considering it's all secret business that can't be told, he walked away from the power plant with Kira and now people are dead. I will say that for all that Audrey's lies could have been way better and shaded with more of the truth, she is at least sticking to it and to her line of interrogating Peggy about the man who walked out of the darkness even while she's screaming about how much she wants Nathan to die. Audrey, you could have better timing or approach, though. Seriously. What was I saying about signs of stress and brokenness? Audrey takes a breath and tries again, this time emphasizing that she's trying to save Peggy and her kids. It's probably the kids that do it. Audrey, you are really off your game, you could have led with that. Although I wonder if this has something to do with hair and makeup doing her up like Mara or if she's just tired, stressed, worried about Nathan, etc. Peggy does cough up a name after a bit of conversation and some slow pulling it out of her via semi-leading questions. I say semi-leading because it's more leading in the sense that she's nudging her to remember, rather than leading the witness. There's a guy named Faber Haskins who was with Rolf when he saw the guy attacking the walking out of the darkness. This does not fill Audrey with good cheer because she knows the guy, she's arrested him before. Oh that's going to be a great conversation. Everyone who's seen the sneak peeks already knows where this is going.

Dave and Vince are ranting about how nothing can be done, the tribunal can't be stopped, it's like an avalanche, blah blah blah. The avalanche has already started! It is too late for the pebbles to vote. Ahem. Oh c'mon you knew I was going to get Kosh and the Vorlons in here somewhere. But it's true, regardless of if one of the ancient Greeks did say it or anything else: you guys started mob justice via tribunal, you don't get to stop it just because you don't like the results. The Teagues are blatantly freaking out because OH MY GOD ALL THE SEKRITS. Nathan smacks them down pretty hard by reminding them that HE'S the one who's going to die if things don't go his way, so don't even fucking start with him. Thank you, Nathan. That's the kind of grumpy laconic bastard we've been missing for awhile. I think he was planning on digging up some kind of dirt on Tony, potentially, was the end to the "if he's going to make it personal," guys, if you're going to have these kinds of freakouts, fucking close the door. My god. Vince have you learned nothing from staring at mysterious dead bodies on slabs? Nathan insists he stands by what he did, I think that's a mistake but it's at least in keeping with him being a stubborn asshole who isn't going to let an outsider judge him based on less than all of the facts. Hell, he didn't let Garland tell him shit about how to live his life, so there's no reason to think Tony would change his mind. Tony departs with melodramatic statements about making Nathan burn, just in case we didn't get the message that this is a witch hunt and Nathan hasn't actually done anything wrong. Narrative, no. Narrative, bad. Go sit in the corner and think about shooting barnvatars. Also I have to say I feel SO SORRY for the poor kids who had this shithead as their teacher and apparently principal, later.

Over in the shed-barn-whatever that is not That Barn, Kira's getting both frustrated and tired. I'm not sure if she's pushing futilely at the boulder pinning her leg to get angry and thus keep her Trouble going, or if she's that tired and scared that it seems like a good idea. Regardless, she is quite tired and scared, because she nearly falls asleep, in case we needed that additional reminder of urgency. I really like her. It's a shame I expect her to die for knowing too much. That, or she turns out to have a crucial part in solving the Troubles and/or creating a cure. But mostly the former, given the show's track record with women who are close to Audrey in age but not Audrey. Or both. Embrace the power of and! Dwight and Charlotte are getting closer, though! So that's good. And Dwight isn't entirely buying all of Charlotte's lines, he keeps pushing for answers like, why the hell did you build the Barn to kill all the Troubled people if you think you have a cure now? Good question! Well because there's something bigger and meaner out there and it was protection. O-kay, that's real descriptive, Charlotte. It lives in the void and feeds off aether and Troubles? I guess that makes sense, since it takes aether to Trouble people. And if it's that big and mean and nasty, I guess I understand why they haven't tried going to poke the bear for research purposes. Dwight points out that he's seen some awful things, Charlotte pulls the less-human-than-you card, I don't actually know which one of them's right. Considering if she did lose her husband to it, she's got some emotional scars around there. Also who wants to bet he's not that lost after all. A long time is evidently not long enough, but given they're at least thus far immortal and could reasonably expect to have eternity to get sick of each other, I can't say I'm surprised. Dwight continues to ask the hard questions, like, oh, there's a fucklot of Troubles in Haven right now, does that mean the greater evil is going to see a food source and come chomping? Charlotte has a bad feeling but no knowledge to offer, is I think what that facial expression says. I don't see any mileage in her lying about it, given she's as stuck there as the rest of them, unless she's lying about the greater evil in the first place. Possible but narratively unlikely, I think. Is it the Crimson King? Is it Flagg? We're still waiting for one of those two assholes to show up! I guess we know what Croatoan is about now, though: something that sucks Troubles out through the eyes? Did we call it or what. There's a small chance we're wrong, but by process of elimination and how much room the narrative has for multiple Big Bads like this? I think we're right.

Tony continues to ramble on about all the horrible things Nathan has done, let's take the first couple of statements. We can start with Tony assuming facts not in evidence that happen to be true, yes, Duke didn't want to give everyone many Troubles, but Duke is also gone. Very gone. Duke is the only one who made it out of the mists, and does Tony know this right now? We actually have no way of knowing, but there's no reason to assume either Nathan or Duke's motivations when you weren't there, Tony. Nathan can defend himself, assuming he will, when it's his turn to speak. Duke, on the other hand, is abruptly being sainted when previously no one trusted the Crockers or even much liked them. Or treated Duke at all well, except our main characters, and even some actively manipulated him and wanted to use him. And now he's basically being used to contrast with Nathan. No, Duke didn't want to Trouble anyone, neither did Nathan, but Tony's not going to say that because it's much easier for him to live with himself if he portrays Nathan as the absolute evil, which means saying he wants the Troubles around. I also note no one's pointing out the fallacy here which is why in hell would anyone want the Troubles to stay around? The bulk of them can't be controlled. Their abilities and effects can't be predicted. They're effectively worse than fucking useless. Nathan has no reason to want them to stay. No, we move on to the time when Maraudrey was around, except he doesn't actually call her by any name, which is interesting. Does he not know that it was Mara, who is also Audrey? Or was, the complications are many and varied, but as far as anyone listening to the PA is concerned Nathan sheltered the woman responsible for the Troubles, and that's as far as it goes. Well, apart from the being lovers and her possibly recruiting him thing, that's even reasonably true, Audrey did kind of recruit Nathan to the cause of fighting to end the Troubles, but that doesn't clarify whether or not he knows about Mara. Not to mention Charlotte, although given that the entire Guard almost knew about Mara, and no one knew Charlotte as anyone other than a CDC doctor, there's less chance that he does know that one. Ooh, let's move on to an even bigger can of Schroedinger's worms, he's blaming Nathan for the reason the Troubles didn't go away for 27 years which, again, is also factually true. Nathan fired the bullets that destroyed the barnvatar and the barn that prevented the Troubles from resurging for 27 years, etc, but he gives absolutely no goddamn sign of knowing that this is how Nathan links to the Troubles not going away. We just go from "do you know this bad thing" to "And Nathan is responsible for everything bad that ever happened in Haven." Okay, we'll get there in a second, but still. He's doing this on purpose, too, letting people fill in their own hurts and imaginations, rather than giving them specifics at that point.

While all this is going on Dave and Vince look like they're regretting ever coming up with this or agreeing to it. Nathan looks like he's about one more hyperbolic statement from rolling his eyes out of his head and over the floor. Audrey is ready to set fire to things, Audrey, we are so here for that. I can't count the number of times I've threatened to set fire to things this month so far. You bring the ignition, I'll bring the accelerant. Sadly, Nathan has to be the voice of reason here. Okay, not sadly, it actually makes for an interesting turn-around where he's being cautious and generous while she's the hot-headed emotional one. This may only be because Nathan's the one whose life is in danger here, and he's never exactly been shy of that, but still. I'll take it. He admits that Tony's facts are right, and they are, if only in the most literal sense and only as far as he knows them. His interpretation is not only a bit off, it's deliberately skewed to the point of how much about Nathan's evil can I make this. It's not quite Washington level spin, but he could get there if he worked at it. Oop, there's the hyperbole, every bad thing that has ever happened, etc. Dude, that's five hundred years of history and Nathan is very mortal. No. Anyone who's still thinking rather than feeling should be pointing at that and going um aren't the Troubles five hundred years old now? The only way this works is if there's some sort of time travel Trouble involved and Nathan goes back to bring William and Mara to this place, and we already had the time travel Trouble. It didn't go back nearly that far. Oh, and apparently Kira was killed because she knew too much. Funnily enough, that's exactly why we suspect she will be killed given that she knows about aether, she knows at least that much more than everyone else, and that's probably too much. Of course, the biggest fallacy here (not that Tony knows it right now) is that she's not dead, but he can be forgiven that one on account of no one's told him.

More productive things. Audrey please don't turn into Old Woman Yells At Cloud, that would be silly. The case! Faber Haskins was the guy with Rolf, Nathan's heard him and a bunch of his crew might be in the basement. Oh so this isn't just a solitary loner asshole, it's an asshole with enough charisma and/or dominance to gather some lesser assholes to him! Great. Just what we needed. As Audrey checks her clip and heads out, we hear Tony ranting again about how he was supposed to be married in Venice by now but it's all Nathan's fault that he's not. Waaait a minute, didn't we just hear about Venice last ep? And how glad Kira was NOT to be there? This is not making me feel any better about Tony. We're not focusing on that right now, though, it Will Be Important Later. Important right now is a group of five men throwing a bearded dude through a totally dark doorway, with another bearded man standing and cringing off to the side. Lots of yelling. Lots of screaming. Lots of rending noises. Audrey is so not in time to save this guy, but she is in time to save the second one! Also I have finally identified why Haskins sounds familiar: it's similar to Haskell, who was a small-time petty crook in the s2 ep we just posted today. I'm a little creeped out now, how about you? Note to self: Avoid any man from Haven whose last name starts with Hask. Haskins isn't even a little sorry about what he's done, there's by my count approximately three bodies in there. Maybe four, but I only count three skulls and three ribcages in immediate line of sight. He claims to be doing a public service, needling Audrey about her uselessness but he also offers up a description of a bearded guy in a yellow bandana walking out of the darkness. Well, skulking out. Possibly panicked all to hell and back, really. This right here is the START of us jumping up and down at the screen going OH COME ON REALLY. Beards are the easiest thing in the WORLD to get rid of. So Haskins' plan is to just keep throwing bearded men into the darkness until someone survives! Which, apart from the aforementioned teeny tiny detail, isn't bad if you don't give a shit about anyone's life. Grayson is the other dude's name, so of course he will also Be Important Later, and Audrey asserts that he has a different Trouble. While this might be so, this doesn't incline Haskins to let him go, since oh look, he's Deaf/HOH. To my inexperienced eye, the ASL isn't too awful, particularly considering Audrey has to sign one-handed in order not to take her gun off the others. (A: According to Twitter, Emily Rose actually TOOK ASL in high school. I want her high school. That was never an option for me.) Haskins will now proceed to emphasize what an awful person he is by threatening rape! Aw gee. And the show was actually doing so well by leaving all the personal autonomy violations in other categories. I suppose this was inevitable, particularly as a shorthand for how lawless and uncontrolled Haven's become. However! The ASL conversation that the bad guys couldn't eavesdrop on was essentially "go ahead and use your Trouble to get out of this fucking mess." I approve! It turns out to be a… siren kind of Trouble? Banshee? Voice-based Trouble that temporarily deafens everyone else, and is painful to the point of incapacitating. Fortunately it's also semi-directional, so Audrey gets only the edges of it and can dart in to start handcuffing people before it wears off. And oh look! McHugh and some Guard members to the rescue with zipties, sent apparently by Nathan who thought she might need the backup. Good Nathan. What's going to happen to them? Well, the Sandman, because that uses the least amount of manpower and prevents a riot from breaking out. I'm not at all sure McHugh is on Audrey and Nathan's side; on Dwight's side, sure, but something about the phrasing and tone of voice on "your boyfriend up there" doesn't make me think he's too fond of their star-crossed lovers shit. Looks like letting loose that Trouble also hurts, given how Grayson's holding his chest-throat area. He credits her with saving his life, which is in keeping with his rather retiring appearance but not actually what happened. They saved each other, if anything, I'll give Audrey the credit for thinking of a solution but Grayson had to decide to act and that it was a good idea. Anyway. She has a plan to use him to, I'm guessing, get Nathan safely out so they can go on the run together and fuck this execution bullshit. Oh honey. That's not going to work out well, but I understand the impulse, especially the way Tony's been twisting fucking everything.

Hayley is awfully bouncy and skippy for someone who just got part of her heel lopped off. Duke would like to file a complaint with the department of Why Do I Always Get The Fucking Idiot Strays. Sorry, Duke. Yes, she thinks you're going to help her rob the bank, and she's going to bribe-blackmail you into it by way of your unwillingness to let a kid go off into danger alone. I love that he makes the very fine distinction of whatever! Steal away! Just don't use your Trouble to do it! The problem here is that using mundane means requires time that they don't have to plan out where to hit, how to hit it… $31k is not small change, so they have to hit a bank, a jewelry store, a casino, somewhere with a lot of money and thus a lot of security. Which means she's likely to get dead before she can repay it, which means fuckit, allow her to Trouble the bank walls. Well fuck, says Duke, more or less. Who believes that promise about her never using it again after this? Yeah, me either, I can't sit on my hands and type at the same time but I assure you the inclination is there. Fine he will stand lookout and also fuck his life. Just in case we were wondering.

The crowd is headshaking, the crowd is making murmuring noises, I think I may have heard someone shout 'oh come on'. Everybody is totally buying what Tony's selling, or at least the most vocal people are. Because riling up a crowd of Troubled people is a great thing to do. That's okay, Audrey's got a better idea, she's going to set off an air raid siren, i.e. Grayson, instead of a fire alarm. Because that'll calm everything right down. Oh, Nathan's going me one better and pointing out that Grayson's scream is so painful the last time he used it it activated five other Troubles. Ouch. Why can't anyone have gotten hit with the cake eating Trouble? That was nice and relatively benign and as a bonus, they'd be able to make delicious cake for people to stress-eat. No, instead we have to have Banshee but without the flying on sound waves and with terrifying people into activated Troubles. Audrey gives no fucks. Audrey will do whatever she has to to save him. Nathan explicitly points out that this is his line, and this is a conversation I actually gave up expecting them to have, where he points out that she was willing to face her fate while he was willing to try anything, including (it's implied at this point) endangering tens of thousands of people, to protect her. I question whether it's either of them's fate considering they were both put into these situations by overemotional domineering people, Tony for Nathan and Charlotte for Maraudrey depending on whether you consider her Mara at the setup or Audrey at the moment when Nathan had to watch her go. Audrey doesn't want him to be sentenced to death for something he didn't do? Fine, yes, good, but some of the things Tony's talking about he did do, however skewed it might sound. Which means Nathan feels like he's being put on trial for being who he is when he's with Audrey, and he wants to defend that. SO CLOSE. Nathan. You were so close, goddammit. And he might have already gotten there in his head but it's never made explicit, whether or not he realizes that he's gotten so target-fixed on being with Audrey that he's hit the point of fuck everyone else around him. It seems like he does. It's close. But given that her life isn't at stake right now, it's hard to say how deep that's sunk in. Grrr. At any rate, Grayson is out. Please. Oh, fine, and what's his plan in return? Well, he's not going to attack back, which might be a good idea, he's going to do something else that we don't hear about because he's busy explaining what Kira said about Venice. Audrey seizes on this sadly, not at first as an indicator of Tony's nature in denying that the breakup ever took place, but that Tony is perpetrating a fraud on the court. I guess yes, that is a relevant thing as well, but Nathan is not committing to use that one way or another. He's distracting her back to finding out about the darkness Trouble, and he'll worry about the trial. Nathan, you're sounding awfully self-assured here. Are you sure you're okay?

Oh hey, it's a small-b barn with Dwight and Charlotte! So now they just have to climb down there, and that's more or less fine except for it being broad daylight and this can't possibly go wrong. First things first: Dwight's still pumping her for information, because Charlotte started babbling about the evil thing in the void and didn't explain why she didn't have to kill people to fix the Troubles anymore. Also I love his pragmatism of yeah, sure I want a cure. Are you kidding? Of course he wants to stop being a fucking bullet magnet and wearing that vest around and taking thirty-second showers every other day just in case some idiot with a gun shoots it off at the wrong time. (I'm extrapolating on that last, but it seems reasonable given training and Trouble.) He just can't live staring up at the sky in hope the way Nathan can when he's given something to distract him. She would tell him, actually, except for the poltergeist not all that harmless suddenly Trouble kicking in! Yeah, it's fine when you're outside, not so much when you're being trapped in a dark, un-electrified room. Dwight's reflexes let him get a glowstick snapped before the darkness eats them, which is good, but he was standing right at the edge of the drop down to the aether and as such dropped all their supplies, including the rope and other light sources, so once that glowstick runs out they are fucked.

Audrey's found Grayson again, right where she asked him to wait outside the gym, and she confesses that she'd be breaking her promise to Nathan… why? Maybe just because she needs to confess to someone and he's there and safe in a couple different ways. I don't know, I'm not sure I approve, but however she helped him with his Trouble he feels incredibly indebted to her and apparently wants to help however he can. This includes her giving him the description from Haskins (remember, he couldn't hear it and even if he can lip-read he wasn't looking at Haskins at the time) and asking for his help searching. It's not like Nathan or the Teagues can help with this one, they're occupied with the tribunal, so yeah, that more or less makes sense. Grayson has as much or more motivation than any of the Guard (who are also occupied with crowd control, as McHugh told us), and can move around more freely than the Guard. Plus we know a lot of their remote communications are down. Here's as good a place as any to note that whoever they've got translating into ASL, although it's not everything the subtitles say, they did a damn good job with coaching the actors and getting a lot of nuance in. Not to mention paying attention to the camera work and keeping the hands in view a good sized portion of the time. Audrey touching his shoulder to get his attention and making eye contact before starting to sign, also very good. It should be noted that Emily Rose apparently took ASL as a foreign language in school? So that might be where some of that comes from. Oh, and here comes Tony right on time for the reveal, complete with subdued applause from his supporters. I would respect him a little more if he said that it's not a happy day because either there will be no justice for Kira or a man will die, and both of those are bad things, but no, he says the trial's not over yet, implying that it could still go the other way which is clearly not the right way. God he's such an asshole. AND LOOK he still has a yellow bandana in his back pocket. Right, to be exact, and while I am 100% sure they didn't mean to invoke the hanky code I'm giggling madly over how that technically means he's into being on the receiving end of watersports. Ahem. But no beard? Oh my god Audrey you've been acting on at least some of your implanted cop knowledge and reflexes all episode and this is where you fall down? Luckily there's a picture for Grayson to point to of Tony the principal with a full beard. Seriously? It took that much? Sigh. Grayson should stay there while Audrey runs off to deal with this Trouble and the asshole attached to it, a division of labor he seems more than happy with.

Nathan, in a fit of good politicking and good theatre, has asked to deliver his speech in person rather than be a faceless voice over the PA. Which Vince will lampshade for everyone and the audience. I don't actually know that that diminishes the impact of it at all either, the fact that Nathan's making the gesture alone might indicate to various of the gym crowd that he does care and wants to make the effort. Either way. While Nathan's making his speech, Audrey's going to go confront Tony about when did he shave (THANK YOU FINALLY) and someone saw him leave the darkness. Now, that does kind of kill the motivation of 'you saw me and I can't have witnesses' for the murder of Rolf Starr, so we're back at square one there, but at least we've found the guy with the Darkness That Eats All Things Trouble because Tony doesn't even deny it happened. That it means anything, yes, but not that it happened. Audrey's next step, somehow with people in the room which is not her best move ever although I bet that she's angry enough that she's not thinking about it, is to push him on the breakup. That Kira broke off the engagement, and that's when the darkness Trouble started, and come to think of it this is sort of like the reverse or inverse of the season two Lockdown Trouble isn't it. Only instead of the abuse victim killing people with leaked poison, it's the potential abuser/guy with serious anger and denial issues killing people with the darkness inside him. No sooner does he say it was a spat and it wasn't a breakup than the darkness starts seeping in from the corners. So, yeah. Those legs you were standing on, dude, they have now been swept from under you. Audrey uses her ultimatum calm voice to tell him that he needs to get himself some control or they will all die. Not that he necessarily cares about her fate, but there's a lot of innocents in the room. And it's only getting worse after the commercial break as everyone huddles together with their light sources. Not knowing the words used in the spat -- okay, fight, it was probably a fight -- it's hard to tell how much denial he's in when he says Kira didn't break up with him, but I'm going to go with a lot. It seems likely she said something to the effect of I'm not going to Venice with you when this is over, if not directly I don't want to get married to you, and handing back whatever ring or token there was. Since he's able to deny the darkness belongs to him even as it encroaches whenever he gets more upset, he'd probably be able to deny that she broke up with him. Which, given his close-contact behavior with her earlier, too, yeah, I'd say she got out just in time. It's one thing to verbally deny it when the person isn't around and curl up around yourself and refuse to believe the terrible thing happened, it's entirely another thing to drag someone else into that denial, treating them with physical contact and behavior that is by now against their expressed wishes. And if that's his response to a breakup, I can't imagine what he'd do if she waited longer and ended up suing for divorce. Ick.

How much do I love that Dwight's attempts to break down the poltergeist-stuck door actually conform to proper door-breaking training? So much. Shoulder might work if you're, well, built like Adam Copeland, but mostly you're liable to end up with a bruised shoulder and a door that hasn't budged. There's more strength in your legs than your upper body. So barring things like leg injuries, old or current, yes, kicking the door is more likely to work. And indeed I think it would, were it not for the little problem of it being Trouble-stuck. I assume that this isn't too much longer after they initially got shut in, both because unless you're specifically preparing for a dire circumstance glowsticks don't last that long (there are some designated emergency ones that last eight hours, but no one's given any indication that they're properly equipped and not scrounging) and because they're not dumb. First you try jimmying the door open, then you try brute force, then you turn to Charlotte and make irritated puppy-faces. Oh wait, was that my out-loud typing? I stand by it. Charlotte will now pick up the thread of conversation and explain that since her cover was being CDC, she got to do research and now she thinks she may in fact have a way to cure Troubles rather than merely ending them. And however many hundreds of people. Okay then! Note that she phrases this as "when you thought I was," which is about as close as you can get to not blaming either of them for the situation, I guess, while sort of shifting it toward Dwight. See but you lied, Charlotte, like a rug, so pls to be stopping with that. Sigh. Dwight ignores this and instead gives her massive shit about her timing sucks. Which it does! They think they're about to die! There is literally no way for him to pass all the information along that he just got out of her unless a miracle occurs! Poor Dwight. I would be frothing a little more, but then I don't have Ranger training, either. So in conclusion: there might be a cure, if they ever get out of here to start testing it. ...Yay?

Nathan begins his speech with what sounds an awful lot like hostage negotiation tactics, reminding the community of who he is, that he's a member of them, that he's Troubled too and he knows what it's like, and so did his father. Audrey is simultaneously trying to talk Tony down by pointing out that the darkness comes because he's afraid to look at the dark emotional place inside him. There's two-fold applications/references here, one being that his own dark impulses lead him to manifest the Darkness That Eats All Things, which I imagine having anger issues feels a lot like that as it affects every part of your life. Another being that it gives him a place to hide, as at least right now he seems to be pulling the darkness in on himself while she confronts him with things he doesn't want to hear or discuss or face. Gee, Tony. I'm so sorry for you but you did kind of put yourself front and center for this. No, I take it back, I'm not sorry at all, your Darkness is killing many many people. Nathan is pointing out that he's at a lot of ground zeroes for Troubles because that's his job, he's a cop, and less explicitly he's one of the primary saviors of Haven. Nathan is supposed to rush into the burning building or the firefight, to use a more real-world analogy, that doesn't mean he starts fires and I'm going to just walk by the hero firefighter complex whistling, because while starting a sentence like that begs for a reference in Nathan's case it really isn't true. Audrey meanwhile is declaring fuck this, everyone crowd around, use your light sources, you're going to leave this room together. That's actually not a bad idea, leave Tony stewing in his own darkness, because he can survive it and no one else can. As a metaphor, it's also a great idea. She's hauling the kids out first, with one light source, and at least the hallway's lit. Nathan talks about how he's not ducking away from the charges because that's what you have to do, you have to face the bad stuff. Within you, is the not at all subtle subtext of this. And this is where, to me, the speech falls down somewhat, because now we're getting to the endless repetition of light and love and hope in Nathan's words, I'm not sure I have feet to prop up on these anvils anymore. On the other hand, as a writing choice I also give it credit that the anviling is happening in-story, he knows Tony can hear him, and he's hammering him in the forebrain with his speech while Audrey takes a more knife to the squishy bits approach with a pleading look and a please.

I was going to make a once more, with feeling joke at Dwight and Charlotte here, except with the music playing overtop it really does sound like it's out of the fucking Buffy musical ep. So in the interests of not becoming a self-parody more than we already have, we'll just move along to the symbolism of Charlotte holding onto their one last candle glowstick as it goes out. And her talking about Nathan's optimism. I think we pronounce that stubborn, more than anything, but sure I'll buy it. Also I still don't know how much of her behavior around Dwight I buy - but I do know that I like her a fuck of a lot more when she's around him as compared to around Audrey. Trust? Ehhhh. They say their goodbyes and I can see something that's dancing the line between resignation and relief for Dwight, where it's mostly resignation and sadness for Charlotte. The glowstick fades! The darkness does not eat them at this time. Nor are there grues. They are duly confused and pleased not to be eaten. At least they knew it was quick compared to some of the other Troubles!

Back in the classroom, Tony's finally fucking gotten ahold of himself enough to make the encroaching darkness go away. Oh and he's crying now. You know, I feel for him on a toxic masculinity level, I really do, because it's obvious that's a lot of what's going on here? I do not feel for him on the you are a creepy asshole who refused to admit that your fiancee broke up with you and decided to blame everything bad happening in your life on someone else TO THE EXTENT that you were willing to KILL HIM. And not ask important questions like "why the fuck was I given this information." Lucky for him and everyone else that the flashlights and glowsticks were enough to save the people remaining in the room, and now Audrey will proceed to stand there and listen to him as he crashes into the realization that yes actually he killed all those people because Kira left him. According to him, because she told him he couldn't deal with any negative emotion! What an excellent and by excellent I mean awful trait to have in a school administrator. My god. Everything I learn about this guy I just want to punch him more. And whoever put him in a position of power. Many punchings. Audrey isn't saying anything, quite possibly because she wants to punch him for trying to get Nathan killed. As we've said many times before: yes, he has absolutely done heinous fucking things to Haven in the name of wanting to keep Audrey with him. He has also tried under extreme stress to make amends for that and continue helping the town. As hard as we are on him, it's not like he's all evil or all good. He's a person. With flaws and weaknesses, and sometimes I think the narrative doesn't realize what those flaws mean for everyone else, but Nathan is vast and contains multitudes.

Time for the actual rescue to arrive! Turns out there was a mining tunnel or something like that which they needed to go down in order to get to Kira, which explains why she wasn't shouting for help when they were standing up there. Also explains, if it really is an old mining shaft, how she got trapped. Although part of me is still curious if she heard any of Dwight and Charlotte talking up there, because acoustics can be funny like that, and by that point she was tired enough to potentially declare it hallucinations. Charlotte, to her credit, comes over to be soothing and comforting, it might be a little be pasted on yay, but it's not the worst job ever. Yes, Dwight, Nathan was right about it being a two-person job, I'm reasonably certain Nathan spent awhile heaving at the stupid rocks trying to get her out before they gave up and he went for help. Just because he can't feel the muscle strain doesn't mean there aren't limits to what he can do. And oh, hey, there's free-floating aether above them! Not enough, Charlotte tells us, but wait, there's more! Through that door over there, which leads to what I would estimate is a cavern about a quarter-mile on each side, give or take a bit? Including straight up. And it's fucking full of aether. I sincerely hope that Heckyll and Jekyll are no longer with us in that particular form. But that's, um, that's enough. Charlotte please don't look quite so Gollum-ish, it's unnerving as fuck and doesn't make me think well of you. The music doesn't think well of you and/or the aether either. It also fits right the fuck in with the unknown evil in the void that eats aether and Troubles being the Croatoan devourer of black smoke through the eyeballs. Because not only are there this many Troubles to eat? Now there's this much aether to eat, too. Gee. I wonder if that's going to be significant later.

Back to the bank robbery in progress at long last, where Duke's getting antsy and not keeping all that good a lookout. Duke you're also losing your edge. Cue banter-snark about how she should put back the overage, except honestly? I would've taken more too, in her situation. Given that the guys her dad owes money to are willing to kill her to make the point, I would be assuming that they're going to want more than 31k to NOT kill her, and after that I would definitely go set up in some other city. FAR AWAY FROM THEM. Which costs money, as previously noted. Except here comes the Sunday? I'm guessing Sunday, maybe Saturday afternoon, unless it's magically a bank holiday, anyway, here comes a bank guard who's armed. I… question this, being that it's Canada and they have a rather different gun culture than the US. In fact, having gone to my Ask A Canadian helpline, nobody but actual police officers should be armed with handguns, as a LEGAL THING, and that guy's jacket says security. Not police. So either he's actually part of the group that wants Hayley dead or someone did a seriously fucking awful job of Canadian-picking this. I would actually have bought guy who wants Hayley dead sooner than I would buy random Canadian security with a firearm! Particularly if he's not strictly on-duty, as he may or may not be, it's hard to tell between the uniform but the complete and utter lack of backup. Anyway. Complete lack of believability issues aside, the narrative point of this is for the jumpy as fuck security guard to wing Hayley in the arm and splatter Duke with her blood. Ohshit. Duke is about to go help Hayley when the ohshit really kicks in, and wait that's not silver eyes. Those are BLACK eyes. Like when he was spewing Troubles. Fuuuuuck. I preferred the silver eyes, can we have those back please? And he's faster and stronger than normal-human again, I think is more willing to use them and certainly more impulsive about it than we've seen him since he knocked Dwight off the Cape Rouge and into the water in second season. He will now BREAK the poor guy's gun, who does the sensible thing when confronted with someone who just grabbed and broke your gun before you could get off a second shot and has scary all-black eyes, and turns around and runs for it. Hayley, honey, I think you're right? Sort of. I know people claim the Crocker Trouble is a failsafe rather than a proper Trouble, or whatever, but it has all the basic components of a Trouble even if the upshot of it is that it ends other people's Troubles. So? Duke ended his own Trouble when he killed Wade, I'd say on all counts it qualifies. Whatever THIS is may or may not be, however. What he's doing, Hayley, is trying not to outright kill you for standing there in front of him bleeding. I recommend… yes. Run. Like the man with what looks like all the addiction, none of the control tells you to. From her perspective, I can see how this is completely fucking terrifying, too, and looks like Duke not only completely lost it but is ordering her to run for the fun of the chase and she's totally on her own. Knowing what we know, I would guess that even if there's an element of that, Duke's doing everything he can to bend the impulses around corners to give her a fighting chance. Also, Mara, what in the everloving HELL did you do to him. This has already lasted longer than most silver-eyed juicing up on Troubled blood that doesn't involve copious amounts or an actual death. We do have a theory that involves turning him into some kind of monster that can defeat Croatoan/the black mist eye-sucking Trouble-sucking? creature/the evil out there in the void, but right now it's even less of a theory than our previous ones about the creature and the darkness.

Hey, speaking of. Sort of speaking of, in the mysteries aspect more than anything. Audrey wants to know where he got all that information on Nathan. It turns out he was alone in his room, he fell asleep or was whammied, and the information just appeared as if by magic in a notebook. No, that isn't his handwriting. So on the one hand that is actually useful information, whoever wrote it down for him isn't a body jumper and he didn't lose time because he was possessed. On the other hand that leaves open a wide range of options, going from Senna's kid Alex with the freezing people power to the Sandman, who is actually our current favorite for the thing, to someone entirely new. At which point we're in black mist eye-sucker, William Shatner did it territory. Whoever it was, they have to be able either to read people's thoughts and get the information out that way, which is why we like the Sandman for it, or they have to have been there in a very narrow set of circumstances, when it was mostly the Guard. At which point we kind of like McHugh for it because Dwight was there for most to all of that, Dwight could have told McHugh, who is clearly not as friendly as Dwight is to Nathan and Audrey, and we have no idea if McHugh is Troubled or not, or what his Trouble is. Still all just theories, none more weighted than any other yet.

Vince and Dave are counting up the votes, and Audrey sounds considerably more resigned to Nathan's fate hanging on the large jury pool than she did before, considering Dwight and Charlotte aren't back with Kira yet. She does thank him for the speech and helping her get through to Tony, though, so at least they solved the darkness Trouble and oh, wait, there it is, I'm going to use Grayson anyway and have you seen him? No, no, don't use Grayson, and in the middle of that Vince interrupts with the verdict. And before the verdict can be read, nameless audience member interrupts with "Hey Look It's Kira!" Welp. Now they can't very well try Nathan for a crime he very clearly didn't commit, can they? Beers all around! There is a silent exchange of looks between Tony and Kira which amounts to, yes, I'm okay now, and a good I'm happy for you even if we are never ever ever getting back together. I kind of wonder if she suspected the darkness was his all along and didn't have any proof, given the timing and, really, at that point a new Trouble was probably popping up every hour or so. Dwight confirms the aether under the guise of hugging his friend.

Less happy things include Hayley running the hell away from scary black-eyed Duke. As one does. On the one hand she can run through fences into locked shipyards, on the other hand he can break fences open? That's a stalemate, at least until she runs into an open cargo container. We're not getting much out of this, only that he doesn't want to hurt her enough that he's at least able to say so before he lunges at her. Definitely, given that he's going after her and not the guy who ran after pointing a gun at him, thinking Mara turned him into a Trouble-eater or some such, maybe with the black mist out of the eyeballs? Maybe not. Smart girl, though, Hayley presses herself against the back of the shipping container and it's not until Duke lunges at her that she phases through it, runs around to the other side, and locks him in. Very, very smart. Now, is she going to go and look for Haven and somehow manage to phase through the dimensional pocket mist? Because I would be very curious to see if that happens.

There's something very cute about Dwight slurping milk out of a carton. I find him and Charlotte resuming their courtship at least to all indications, albeit much slower, much less cute, but then again I also have major trust issues considering the depth of her lying to Dwight. Of note is the fact that a) she told him that they need to build a structure to cure the Troubles, not a dose or a medicine or a device, a structure. And b) the fact that it is a structure. Like the barn? I'm still wary, how about you. The first step anyway is concentrating all that aether. She'll need a hand. Which causes more courtship and, uuugh, but no, it's Audrey she needs, a being from her world. You have no idea how many times we had to watch this and finally turn on closed captions to hear being and not Beam, say thankya. So they need Audrey. Now more than ever, Charlotte says, in time for Audrey to finally find Grayson and, inadvertently, the Sandman. Of course he hates that name, he's clearly an outsider, and outsiders don't get to pick their own nicknames. Also, just as a reminder, he's got a Duke acquired Trouble. So, down Audrey goes. Next week, Audrey gets to resist the Sandman's attempts to play house. I have no idea why this season is lousy with abusive men in desperate need of being punched in the face to adjust their ideas of healthy relationships, but it is really starting to seem that way. Not to mention marriage. There's a marriage motif in here. Which means I'm giving Charlotte even MORE side-eye and by extension her husband/Mara's father. And Shatner. But one should always give Shatner a little bit of side-eye.


  1. I also considered while watching this that maybe this iteration of Duke's Trouble (what are we on now like v4.0?) means he could do the eyeball sucking to remove a Trouble thing. That would still fit the theme of Mara's last Fuck You to Haven, particularly if it can only be done if it kills the Troubled person in the process. Which isn't that far from the Original Crocker, but this one seems much more murderous and much less controllable. Your kind-of theory that Duke might be able to kill/defeat the NMK/Black Mist/whatever it is sort of fits in with my own theory that Duke might die this season (although it's less theory and more instinct). Considering his behaviour in New World Order (which I remember you described as passively suicidal- that scene just before Duke walks into the Fog particularly made me feel like this), I kind of feel like it wouldn't be a stretch that Duke might say yes to a Celebrity Deathmatch with the Black Mist Eyeball- Sucking Monster from the Void. That, or I wonder if he might play a role in getting rid of the Troubles, since he is to date the only person who's ever manifested more than one Trouble? I'd also like to see what might happen to somebody already Troubled if they get another one, if it would work or if Duke's own Trouble is uniquely suited to be able to do it and no one else is.
    I was also thinking about how the primary way to get Troubles is via skin contact (mostly), either from Black Handprints of Doom or by having the little Trouble Blobs wriggle into you (I vaguely wonder if that it's always? in the torso region is significant or just a storytelling choice/convenience), and the primary way of expelling them is by having them sucked out through the eyes or released by proxy via Crocker eyeballs (or more specifically Duke's). Eh, I don't know.

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    1. Lessee, v1 was original as discovered in S2, v2 was regifted by Maraudrey or whoever she was at that point in S4, and then Mara messed with him for v3... so we're either on v3 or v4, depending on whether or not any of the smaller events between Mara and now have adjusted or tweaked his Trouble. I'd be inclined to say v3, for lack of confirmation. v3.1 maybe.

      Well, we do now know that the Crocker Trouble was originally intended to remove/collect Troubles! With no regard for the death of the subject, which, yes, killed them, etc. I can't argue with the Duke dying theory either, much, especially not after that fulcrum comment. It goes with the suicidal. I like these theories you're laying down, I wouldn't honestly be surprised if the Crockers are the only ones able to hold more than one Trouble, though.

      Body location might simply be narrative convenience/shorthand/important narrative places that are commonly chosen. I'm... not sure, though. There's a lot about the Crocker-Croatoan-Troubles connection that seems to fit together, that doesn't quite, like too many puzzle pieces of sky.

      (Like the Crocker box, which your comment just now reminded me of. Still don't entirely know where that fits, or have confirmation that it goes with maybe the kill the one you love clause, or... what. Too many Crocker pieces!)

    2. Ah, yes. Omnia vincit amor. I've often wondered about the Love Conquers All thing. I think for a lot of people the presiding theory is that it's Audrey and Nathan's love for each other that will end the Troubles and save everyone, which I guess has a certain...something, in it that instead of killing the one she loves to kill everyone, she saves everyone because of how much she loves Nathan? I'm not certain I'm explaining my current thoughts very well. Thing is, that still doesn't explain why the Crocker box would be engraved with a message like that, when most often the Crocker Trouble has been associated with almost the opposite. Then again, if Duke were to sacrifice himself for Haven and everyone in it, surely that counts as a type of love too? But in that case, how the hell did Fitzwilliam Crocker (it was him who had the box made originally right?) know? Well, here's hoping for some answers when I finally get to watch Perditus tonight!