Saturday, October 24, 2015

Damn Your Eyes Haven S5E17 Enter Sandman

Previously on Haven! Haven vanished from the world as everyone outside of it knows it, with Duke now stuck on the outside. Troubles, Troubles, and Sandman. Who hates that name, because of course.

And of course the second the show proper starts up I hear the cheerful boingy strains of Mister Sandman, send me a dream. At this point not only is that song overplayed, it's a big fat indicator that bad shit is going down or is about to, sort of like Walking on Sunshine was the serial killer anthem for a while and any time you hear the low dulcet tones of It's A Wonderful World you know we're panning across some horrible battle or blasted wasteland. I'm guessing because the rights are cheap and of course because there are only so many songs on the theme of Sandman to go around, but some songs are just sort of hardwired in by now. And on the other hand it makes for cheap useful shorthand.

So, okay, we have hideously overplayed song that right away tells us this is Audrey in the Sandman's head, not much time has passed since the last episode and she's dreaming. There's a white picket trellis in place of a fence but, eh, same impression, and we get multiple shots of bridal things and Audrey giggling over the phone over bridal ... stuff. With apparently no care given for expense or anything. At this point one of three things is happening, I figure: she's in her own version of paradise which would probably mean she's marrying Nathan, she's in a nightmare version and it's all about to go to shit, or as previews suggest she's marrying the Sandman. Yes, we're going to continue to call him that, because we don't like him. This is what's called a microaggression, which we're deliberately performing upon him because he's the bad guy of the piece: we're calling him a name he doesn't like to be called by. I'm going to go with the previews and how that's meant to be a reveal but isn't really because previews and such spoiled everything. Oh god she's the fucking perkiest I can't stand it. Oh thank god, as she's trying on the dress and trying out her words like we start doing, I guess, when we're teenagers, that's when we cut back to the real world and Nathan finding Audrey collapsed on the floor. And then confronting the Sandman because he's the only person in the vicinity and, well, Troubles. Even without the Troubles there's physical violence and chemicals, any of a number of options for Things He's Done To Her! Take your pick. Interestingly, the Sandman appears to be asleep at first, though with repeated yelling and a gun shoved in his face he'll wake up and say he's so sorry, she's gone. I just bet you're sorry you little shit. We knew something was off about you when you first appeared. So, no, we don't get the big reveal yet, just the 'she's gone' and the terror that's supposed to strike as the credits roll. Of course, since we have a handful of episodes yet to go in the season, the odds of her being actually gone are about as long as the list of grievances we have against Mara. So there you are.

That's the kind of jaunty music I expect to hear from Duke, except Duke's kind of black-eyed and psycho right now. No, it's Seth from the Darkside Seekers. Oh Seth. I feel so sorry for you right now, you've forgotten your biggest encounters with the supernatural now that Haven's been wiped from pretty much everyone. Oh, apparently he's interviewing a guard lady (not a Guard lady, that'd be totally different) who saw Hayley pass right through the shipping container. Guard lady is entirely uncooperative and wants him off the property in ten minutes. Seth is more interested in pondering, dramatically and on camera, who could have the power to phase through solid matter and is she human. I'm going to go ahead and guess that they can't mention Kitty Pryde on Haven, although if he drops an X-reference I will die laughing. We all remember there's a black-eyed homicidal Duke in the container right? Okay, apparently not black-eyed anymore, when he opens the door (and describes Duke as a well-dressed homeless guy, hee), but possibly homicidal in other, more normal ways. Also that looks like a fucking lot of blood spatter in the shipping container. I have… so many concerns for what that means, particularly since Duke now appears unharmed. What, did he expel Troubled blood through an orifice again? Or did props and sets just end up with one of the shipping containers from Dexter? We did end up with the Ice Truck Killer... Duke is so glad to see Seth, and probably glad to be out of the damn container. Seth, on the other hand, of course has no idea who Duke is and is very unnerved to be treated like an old friend by a complete stranger. Including being congratulated on "pretending" not to know who he is and telling him not to tell anyone especially Audrey or Nathan that he saw him. There's a threat somewhere here, nebulous, of a knife to the bollocks, though it's not until Seth repeats it back to him with even more confusion as to what the fuck's going on that it becomes Duke threatening Seth, when Duke said it it was unless this is going on. Oh Seth. You dork. Meanwhile Duke has finally figured out that no one remembers Haven, thank you, Duke. It's not like you to  be this slow on the uptake, but when your bank doesn't know where Haven is, Hayley doesn't remember Haven, the truck driver who took you away from Haven has no idea where the sprawling seaside town of weirdos is, I think you can safely assume that Haven doesn't exist in the outside world anymore. Yes? Yes. Well, we could. Duke, apparently, not so much. Come on, Duke. Come on out of your head and start paying attention to the world around you. Although this does bring up the interesting question of, did Haven exist in the world around them to begin with. Is this a total memory wipe or is it more like a reset? And what happened to the Guard outpost in Colorado?

Charlotte has been assigned to Talk Nathan Down duty, probably because out of everyone she's their best bet who's available. It's especially poignant because this is a job that normally falls to Duke: talk Nathan out of first Very Bad reaction, then come up with a lunatic but more workable plan to fix things. Dwight could do it by now, but he has a group full of refugees (essentially) to lead. Neither of the Teagues have bothered to involve themselves in a way that would allow them that kind of personal relationship; instead they're still everyone's grumpy secretive old uncles of Haven who are going to get strangled for answers one of these days. Not just by us. So it falls to Charlotte, who asserts that everyone in the sleeping-exile room is fine so Audrey will be too! While I accept that medically they may be fine (and I have SO MANY QUESTIONS about this including where are the banana bags? how are they staying fed, hydrated, eliminating waste? are we using handwavium of Because Magic Trouble? because I would think that would be a PRETTY big downside to your Trouble, frankly), you have no access to what's going on inside their heads, guys. You have only the Sandman's word that he's not torturing them in there, since I don't see that anyone's gone off to live in his little fantasy world to confirm that. (Or, indeed, that that would do anything: with sufficient control he could make everything look fine and then swap it back out after a member of the Guard left.) Also, that is a fucklot of people in there. I count approximately ten? And that's just a quick guesstimate based on the two rooms we can see. What the fuck did they all do? Do some have Troubles that they can't control and they're too dangerous to allow out? Did they all steal, assault the group? We know at least five of them should be Haskins and his crew from last ep, plus Grayson, plus the batteries thief, that's seven, there's a couple-three older people. Are they mistakes, people he touched before he realized what his powers were? Considering this is a Duke-originating power, he likely hasn't had it very long and therefore hasn't gotten terribly sophisticated with it, but a supposition is not a fact with evidence from the text and in conclusion cousins I want answers, dammit. Nathan also wants answers, but he wants them direct from the source. Mmmno. You're what we call unstable, Nathan, fuck off and let Dwight question the guy. At the very least HIS unstable is likely to get answers. Charlotte's holding out hope for "an innocent mistake," which, ahahahahaha no. I think that's mostly because she wants Nathan not to go haring off and murdering the one person who can let Audrey out of her cursed sleep (could be worse! there could be roses!), but she's doing a damn good sincere act. And to be fair, it could be a mistake, since he's relatively new at this - but Nathan's objections are solid, given that the Sandman's been using his powers for the Guard for a good week or two now, depending on how long since he showed up at the school. So he has to damn well know. Still, it gets some of Nathan's anger shoved off on Charlotte, which keeps him from ruining Dwight's interrogation, so I'm pretty okay with this bit of manipulation.

Dwight is actually doing a bang-up job of ruining his interrogation all on his own. Dwight. I know you fucking know better than to lead the witness. I'm going to pretend very hard that he's already spent a good half hour or so trying all the normal good-guy interrogation tactics and has hit the fed the fuck up point, though frankly some of Adam Copeland's delivery here would bear that out. (Also my god, 22-minute takes. Just in case you didn't see Lucas Bryant's discussion of how he shot this part during livetweet. That shit is nuts by film standards.) So, no, he didn't touch Grayson to get his attention because he's Deaf, though that's a nice bit of continuity. No, there wasn't a fight or argument. Dwight will now proceed to continue assuming the best of everyone, leading to a very garbled-mumbled "why are you so sure this was an accident." Seriously, Dwight. How the fuck didn't you see this coming. Or one of your other people. McHugh? Were you asleep on the job? Considering he's the only one we have much personality for after all the deaths the last season and a half, let alone a glimmer of intelligence (Kirk I am looking at you, or at least your corpse), although unless there's something brewing in actions not on-screen, we don't have any indications that the Guard is being super abusive to the masses. (It probably helps that anyone could be Troubled, therefore they're Us and not Them. Monkeys are like that.) Okay, Dwight? The creepy smirk? Seriously. File under buy a clue, please and thank you. Just in case that wasn't enough, Sandman declares he's keeping her and closes his eyes to fall asleep? Or something? Uh-huh. Well, I guess it's sort of an upside that he can't keep his awareness in both his fantasy world and reality, he has to pick one. And by the same token, wow, dude, even for a new Trouble your control sucks.

Dream Audrey is disturbing me already and all she's doing is stopping to smell the flowers. She is Peppy and Cheerful and really, really sappy. The thing is, I actually buy her being sappy! private. With Nathan. In very, very private. She's not nearly as reserved as she was when she first came to Haven, but she's nowhere near this sappy even with Nathan in private moments with all their clothes on, as we've seen. Whee she's getting married to the Sandman, whose name in this world is Henry. I'm going to go ahead and assume that's his real name, since he shows plenty of narcissistic signs in this ep and no massive attachment to wanting to be someone else. He just thinks this is how he should be. Oh, and of course he doesn't have any scars in this world, because those mar the perfection. For one thing, dude, that's not the way it works. For another, can we PLEASE stop using visible disability to shorthand evil? Because we called this on that shorthand the second he showed up on screen. (Being Deaf is being disabled and othered, yes, but it's represented in Grayson as Just A Very Nice Man No Really. No comment.) Dream!Audrey starts by indicating something's wrong, giving us a second of hope that she's seen through it, but no, it's just bad luck to see your bride on her wedding day before the ceremony. How very disgustingly traditional. We get a shot of Sandman back in reality which is very blue-lit in comparison (granted, fluorescents do that) with his head tipped all the way back in a manner that frankly suggests to me that he's got a hard-on in reality. Can we all say ew? Because EW. Steel wool o'clock. The music would like us to know that this whole mine-forever bullshit after the wedding, and talk of the honeymoon, is Ominous and Bad. No shit, Sherlock. In relevant questions, was Sandman always this kind of abusive shithead? Answers point to yes, but he didn't have as much ability to act on it until post-more-Troubles everything going completely to hell in a handbasket.

And back to Halifax, where Duke has somehow or another managed to stalk Seth out to the gas station and be leaning on the pump when he gets out with his Twizzler, Red Vine, whatever the fuck it is. Red Vine would make for a hilarious Fringe reference? I'm not going to worry too much about the hows, given Duke can hotwire a car if he lost the truck from having saved Hayley (and then, you know, tried to kill her) and Seth goes around in a van painted with the Darkside Seeker logo. It is, however, totally set up as a jump-scare. In case we were in any doubt about how fucking creepy and off Duke is. (Very. So very.) This whole thing is a very thin layer over something deeply, deeply fucked up. Not even Seth believes this line of bullshit about the occult being very alluring although I bet he'd like to. Although I'm cackling about Duke tempting Seth with the town that doesn't exist. He's awfully desperate to get Seth to believe him, and while I understand him not wanting anything to do with the town, it just up and disappearing means he doesn't even have the option to go back. Potentially, anyway! And if there's one thing Duke fucking hates, it's having his options removed. See also how hard he fought against his Crocker destiny (and still fights! you can't tell me that following Hayley into a space where he'd be trapped was an accident). Plus, on top of that, he's had a good couple weeks of realizing that to an extent he can't get away from it, he has to figure out how to make some kind of a peace with it. Which I think is something Duke would understand pretty quickly, even after all the trauma he's been through, as long as he's not being retraumatized all the fucking time. And in at least the most blatant aspects, these weeks have been a respite.

Back at the school (are they still using it as a shelter, given that the darkness Trouble's been discovered and dealt with?) (or just a base of operations?) Sandman is rubbing Dwight's mistakes in his face. And, granted, there's something we want to rub just about every main character's nose in by this point, but this is not our preferred method what with the hostage taking and threats and general arrogant control-issues behavior. The handcuffs, first of all. Hostage-takers don't work for the Guard, okay, Dwight, I'm going to need you to take a long few steps backwards and look at the history of your Guard here, mmkay? The best and the brightest you are not. You might be trying to change that now, but there's been a lot of years of Vince running things, and do we all remember him threatening Max Hansen to leave before he does something, well, he said "that I'll really enjoy" and his Flagg face says "something violent and scary." People who go that quickly to violent and scary do not usually have good judgment as to hiring not-hostage-takers. I'm just saying. We'll move on to Sandman's comment that he can't fire him unless he knows his name. Which, for Dwight, who is used to being a leader of men and a good leader who knows the names of his soldiers, that's probably only underscoring how strained everything has become and how he's falling down on the job in a time of trial and stress. Ouch. Dwight says? seems to think? I'm going to go with says because he seems more certain than trying to pacify or convince Sandman, that he told them to call him that. So at least Dwight doesn't know any difference, and he acts like he's trying to correct Sandman in a lie, which might even be accurate. We then move on to him saying he showed up and they all decided they wanted to use him, and we know that that is at least part of a lie. When Audrey showed up in the exile room, do we all remember this? At Murderboarding we certainly do, that he told Audrey he wanted to help. So, Mister Sandman, were you lying then, or are you lying now? I mean on the one hand, if his statements about Dwight and the Guard weren't so totally full of holes and misdirections and heavy implication that he's being a lying guilt-tripping ass, I can see where that would be painful and incite bitterness. Onnnn the other hand, this guy has clearly proven not to be trustworthy and, well, see also constantly making contradicting statements depending on what serves him best at the time. On a third hand (look, this is Haven, we can have three hands if we want) if there is some degree of truth to how the Guard treated him, it doesn't excuse his behavior but it would explain why the first hint of unlooked for kind attention is something he seizes on and obsesses over. All Dwight can conclude is that he's sick, and how long can he keep her anyway? Oh, forever. Complete with ominous 'it shouldn't be long now' and music and close up on Audrey's dreaming face.

Who has Nathan watching over her, of course, as Charlotte explains that Dwight's assessment is an obsession with Audrey. Which Nathan shares! My god, he admits it. Granted, in their case it is to a large degree mutual, though Audrey has dual focuses (Nathan, and helping the Troubled/saving Haven) and when Nathan's focus moves off helping her achieve her goals and onto her existing, period, is when he turns into a creepy obsessed asshole who fucks over everyone else. Charlotte is really in the Duke slot here this ep, watching over the pair of them while Nathan swears rash things that he can't necessarily back up with actions, but whether that's just conservation of characters or whether that's by design, to say something about the Crocker heritage, I'm not sure yet. More data! Insufficient data! Let us sing the song of our people. Nathan goes on to insist he's staying and talking to her, basically like she's a coma patient, in the hopes that she'll hear his voice and be able to fight her way out, I guess. It's not a bad theory! It's certainly the only thing he can do that might be productive, as opposed to getting trapped in the dream world with Audrey (in which case I assume the Sandman would just outright kill Nathan as a rival) or killing the Sandman, which would probably kill or trap everyone he's got in his mind. The latter might as well be killing them. Oh, and now he's claiming they're the heroes of a disaster movie. Well he's not WRONG, though that way leads more potential for megalomania, narcissistic bullshit than I'm really comfortable with. Be careful, Nathan. Please.

Hey, it's the Darkside Seekers footage from back in the first episode where they appeared! (4x11 Shot in the Dark) and Seth is introducing the episode. Of Darkside Seekers and also Haven, in point of fact. Except Seth not on the screen has no idea what he's supposed to be looking at because it's all static. Duke, on the other hand, is seeing it clear as the foggy gray day. Now, Duke thinks he can't see it because he doesn't have any memories of Haven, but I think he's wrong, and I'll tell you why. (You all groan. Stop groaning. It won't be that long a digression.) Some of you may remember reading, oh, we'll go with David Eddings as a kid. Sorcerer tries to decipher an old text that seems to go from one prophecy to another in mid sentence with no explanation, all copies likewise corrupted, endless frustration and swearing, and then it turns out there's been a spell put on the original prophecies. A spell to make anyone who tried to decipher it grumpy and frustrated so they'd give up. Interdiction is what he called it, from interdict, interdire, forbidding, but basically it's the same kind of mind magic going on. Everybody is encouraged to just sort of be away from Haven. To forget it, to not remember it exists, to the point where they're getting cranky and averse around Duke which, granted, might be circumstance and Duke not being the easiest person to get along with right now, or it might be magic. Or Troubles. Interchangeable at this point. Seth is being encouraged to see snow on the screen in order to preserve the illusion that Haven doesn't exist. And assuming this really does all stem from Senna's Trouble, even the video evidence being 'wiped,' of course Duke's immune to it, since the Trouble came from him. But Wait There's More! Seth starts bitching about how Duke's mystery is something he can't see, even the freaking mermen, and the penny drops first on Duke's head. He didn't say anything about mermen, now did he? Seth gets as far in his tirade about how do I know that I don't know (and never let him know what he thinks you don't know you know... you know?) about mermen blah blah blah Troubles. Mermen is a fairly general phenomenon that Seth could have easily come across before, but the Troubles is specific to one town. So Seth's interdiction is unraveling presumably thanks to proximity to Duke, who finds this all veddy interestink indeed.

Meanwhile the Sandman is going on this creepy and kind of gross in a sexual side-effect way about how once she says I do she'll have accepted him and be his forever and ew, dude. You are rapidly using up the few iotas, the couple-three quarks of sympathy I had for you. And when we get down to sub-atomic particles of sympathy you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Why do you think he's telling you all of this Dwight, who clearly has never had hostage negotiation training in any meaningful or lengthy sense? Well, because he's a control freak, and it pleases and amuses his deranged abuser ass to gloat about getting to have everything his way while you stand there and fume. I could have told you that. No, Dwight, violence is still not the answer, mainly because all signs point to if the host dies the inhabitants die too, this is not only basic abuser psychology, this is basic magical theory. I'm not sure which one is more egregious that Dwight hasn't picked up yet. Maybe the magical theory, since Haven's Troubles only operate sporadically according to traditional magical rules. No, I take back the first part because Sandman is all too willing to babble out all the ways his power works in response to Dwight's frustration, just to grind it in harder. Maybe he does know what he's doing! At least in that. Unfortunately it also has the side effect of Sandman demonstrating just how much control he does have over the inhabitants. Which, not that I'd say it to his face, is jack shit because killing people is not controlling them. The threat of killing them might act as a very crude control, but just the killing? No. You suck, dude, and you have no fine control over your powers, and you suck. The unnamed woman twitches some, bleeds from the ears, the music screams and there's a kind of a Pulp Fiction briefcase glow on him for a second, and then Sandman tells Dwight he needs to take attendance in the sleeping room. Well, fuck.

When we come back from ad break, it's obvious that Dwight at minimum sent someone else out to check and possibly left the room himself. No, Dwight, he did not entirely kill someone just because he felt like it, he did it to make the point that he's the one with power here and you're completely helpless. See also: abuser mentality. But of course he refuses even that much responsibility, telling Dwight it's all his fault. I think shoving the desk back is actually a spur of the moment calculated attempt to buy some leeway by way of making Sandman underestimate him. To be fair, that's more or less what's been going on this whole time, and if it lets him think he's the one in power it's not a bad ploy. You just have to have something to back up how much power he doesn't have, which I'm… not seeing here. Instead he's going to use an appeal to reason that's doomed to fail. Sort of an appeal to reason, sort of a threat, because no, these are not just superpowers, they come with downsides, hence the name Troubles. Etc. It feels like they're hammering this one a lot this season, whether because there's a bunch of people totally new to having Troubles who need reminding or because they're going to turn it around and do some kind of self-acceptance thing at the end I'm also not sure. But regardless! There's some kind of weakness, is Dwight's theory, and he's going to fucking well exploit it and then Sandman will be sorry. Well. He's not wrong there! Except that Sandman's holding the trump card of that's nice, but if you do anything I don't like then I'll just start killing people. Starting with Audrey! On the one hand, yes, that prevents them from doing anything direct and upfront… on the other, if he really does that? He loses the majority of his emotional hold: yes, Dwight and Nathan would want to save everyone, ideally, but it wouldn't be the sanity-tearing loss that Audrey would be. And I include Dwight in that assessment because I think he very much sees her as a symbol of hope still. Said symbol of hope is still lying cold and still like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, pick your fairy tale.

And we're back in the creepy perky dreamscape where Audrey is looking at Sandman with the most vapid look of adoration ever. Emily Rose does vapid terrifyingly well. She can't believe the wedding is happening so fast, etc, he asks her if it's too fast and of course she says no, they should already be married. This is not getting any less creepy, nor do I think it ever will. Someone's pulling up in what looks like a chauffeured limo. It's Grayson! Who today will be playing the part of the best man, and also the first sign that Sandman doesn't actually have friends. Either doesn't have friends or doesn't have the control to manifest them in the dream world without their minds, which for someone who has a vivid enough imagination to create huge families in her head is a little ... it's not that it's a stretch per se, but it's hard to figure. Or he does have friends and he was unwilling to bring them into this, but given all the behavior we've seen out of him up to this point that's a stretch. Audrey, of course, is happy to see Grayson, whether because a part of her remembers that they were friends or because Sandman's dream world has overwhelmed her and convinced her they know each other, it doesn't really matter, does it. Grayson, on the other hand, is deaf or hearing impaired. He's not used to hearing or speaking, and it takes him a second to even say anything. A second which is punctuated by a nervous Sandman verbally nudging him, and then he seems to do all right? I'm going to go ahead and take it as a both a deliberate dig at Grayson's disability that he's in charge of the band, and also as a peculiar sense of paternalism and authority that he's decided that Grayson's paradise is being able to hear and do things with that hearing. Thanks, Sandman. We love benevolent dictators around here. (No we don't.) There's a bit of dialogue further on this subject, to further cement Sandman's place as the Controlling Freak Of Domineering and Assholery, and while he could be more obvious about brushing off the other guy with a 'no one wants to hear your demo tape' I'm not entirely sure he could be much more of an ass without alienating people. Including his bride, and he doesn't want that, so awkward and dickish it is! And worse, now this guy (who we all recognize as being the battery thief yes? good) has pissed him off and gotten in the way of his wedding day bliss. To the Pulp Fiction briefcase with him, too! Grayson evidently has more leeway because of old friends being able to give each other shit, one assumes? Also because the chicken dance bullshit is traditional wedding bullshit. They trot off in search of espresso martinis, Audrey teasing them in a way that almost sounds actually like herself for a moment. Even if she doesn't look like it. I guess now that Sandman's killed his second person in about five minutes it's as good a time as any to point out that both victims appear to be of color and both in positions of subservience. Arguably, everyone else in his dreamscape is in a position of subservience until Audrey and Grayson, who also were either nice to him or at best benevolent neutral, so it's possible that's just Sandman being a superior control freak asshole. Still, it's not a nice trend for the show to take.

You know, I'm really beginning to think there's something to the framing of shots in Halifax that's similar to the framing of the dream-world shots. Mainly the ones that center on Duke, which makes sense, considering he's the out of place one. The lighting is of course massively different, closer to real-world Haven, but the centering feels similar. That or I'm just side-eying Lucas Bryant because it seems like the kind of sneaky shit he'd do. Duke keeps prodding, throwing out memories of Nathan in the ghost world, aether, the equipment that detects aether, oh hey that gets an emotional response. No go back to that, Duke! You want emotional responses! Oh okay, the one true memory of Haven he has, that'll work too, considering that's what drove Seth to form the Darkside Seekers and go looking for the supernatural all his adult life. Plus it's the one memory formed as a child, which is (if this shroud is anything like the memory-fog surrounding the Colorado Kid's murder) prior to when the shroud would've been working full-force to remove memories. Since it appears to emphasize? be tied to? the current cycle of Troubles. So that's what snaps Seth's interdiction and unfortunately this doesn't fill me with enthusiasm for the possibility of more people knowing about Haven. Oh! Hey! The video is playing again and this time Seth very definitely sees the rougarou. Oops! Well NOW Seth sure remembers, and rattles off many of the same things Duke said in tones of shocked recognition. Alas, this does not mean we get to go back to the Glendowers, we just get the brief reference and continuity to Seth's previous appearances. He's also more right than he knows about Duke getting in his face being the (partial) cure for his memory loss. I would bet that someone with no emotional ties to Haven would not, in fact, be able to remember it ever existing at all. Seth declares himself awesome and now he insists they have to go back and fix everything, because that's just the kind of guy he is. Duke is, predictably, not so sure. He just wanted to know he wasn't completely crazy… Duke. You are so, so fucked up, honey. I would also like to remind everyone at this point that Duke was on the fucking beach with Lucy the day the memory-fog last happened and the Colorado Kid was murdered. By the No-Marks Killer, let's not forget that. Now, we don't know enough to say for sure that this memory-fog and the other are identical in either cause or effect, but it sure seems suspicious, all these little coincidences. Which are totally not. Seth manages to talk Duke down from a full-on outburst of flailing rage over not going back, you can't make me, etc, and into I have an idea I think it might help and I don't think you're done even if you claim it's the worst place evar. Well, no. At some point Duke does need closure. He also needs about the remainder of his lifetime's worth of therapy and a vacation and NO NEW TRAUMA OH MY GOD, but I seriously doubt he's getting that, so I'll accept the possibility of closure instead. If nothing else it'll move the plot along in new and terrifying ways!

Outside the elementary school Charlotte and Dwight are arguing over her plan to push her way into his head and destroy the illusions and his imaginary world from the inside out. I'm not sure I buy this as being the best plan? I do buy that if anyone's going to be able to do it, it's Charlotte Mistress of Mindfuckery and also secretly a thousand years old. Her plan is to make him want to bring her in (I have half an idea how and Dwight wouldn't like it if he could see where my mind is going) and then retain her sense of self when in there (let us all stop for a moment now to swim out of the irony here) and knock down the whole thing for Audrey. .... No, there is too much irony, give me a second. Okay, I'm better. Dwight isn't. Dwight is busy grumping inside his head about how he was just starting to like and trust her again and now she has to go off on near suicide missions and get herself eaten by a madman's mind. Oh Dwight honey.

So, we get a look at Charlotte's preparation routine for this manipulation. Getting her props, assessing the target, arranging herself as best she can for the approach she's going to choose. See, it's moments like this that make me wonder how much of this is happening offscreen and whether or not she's playing anyone around her, or everyone around her, because she is good. I like to think Dwight's wondering, too, even if he wants to trust her both on a personal level and because she is the best asset they have to end the Troubles. She'll open with kindness, giving him a sip of that water she's carrying in with her. Good choice. He refers to her as the CDC doc who didn't know what she was getting into, which once again, putting himself in a position above her even when he's the one handcuffed to a chair. There might also be a hint of misogynistic condescension when he refers to her as doc. Or he could just be being an asshole. Charlotte takes the tack we honestly expected her to take, which has the advantage of being easily plausible and possibly true: she wants the fuck out of here and if someone's idyllic headscape is the closest she's going to get, she'll take that route. Extra bonus selling points for closing the door, which Dwight clearly doesn't like, good reaction shot there. Even more bonus points to Slytherin for I want out I will do anything to get out being one of the first traits we saw out of Charlotte in this second half of season five. Dwight, fortunately, leaves before she gets to the really good (and really obvious) selling points, basically, selling sex. Not direct sex but the promise of attention and flattery and so on. Interestingly, he does resist because of Audrey, showing some degree of fidelity to at least the concept of, what, marriage? Or just the fidelity of an owner to an object? Or some warped sense of empathy, of knowing what it's like to be rejected and he doesn't want to do that to Audrey? Whichever the reason, we don't get enough of it to have any more quarks or neutrinos of sympathy for him, and he tells Charlotte he knows the real reason: she wants to take Audrey away from him. Accurate! If more likely spurred on by his paranoia and arrogance than by any cue from her.

It's really damn impressive how much Charlotte at least starts to hold onto the knowledge of why she's really there. Yes, Audrey, everything is going to shit, please stop being weird and vapid and controlled by this shithead. Oh wait. Also we all appreciate the irony of Charlotte of all people telling Audrey (of all people. ha. ha. ha.) that there's something she has to remember, right? Just checking. And then Charlotte's visibly fighting the mind control and I can't honestly tell if she allows it to take hold or loses, but that very loud scream of squee is TERRIFYING. DO NOT WANT PERKY CHARLOTTE. NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT. Pretty sure it was a scream that could be interpreted multiple ways if you were only hearing it on purpose, too. That's also creepy. But they go off to be completely focused on how much they want the wedding to happen and how exciting it's all going to be and blah blah blah they'll be gorgeous together. It's such a fucking parody of how weddings actually go, particularly with strong-willed, intelligent women involved, that I'm going to need a new desk. (Ask me how I know!) At least in this instance I'm reasonably certain it's because Sandman is a complete fucking moron about people. Which is of course his ultimate downfall.

We go back to dream-McMansion after the ad break again, now with Charlotte fixing Sandman's cufflinks in the groom's dressing room while Audrey is oh god, getting a scrunchie from the glove compartment to fix all four Traditional Wedding Requirements. You know, in some ways that's actually very in-character for both of them: okay does this thing accomplish multiple goals at once? Yes? GREAT BEST SOLUTION EVER. And then Charlotte starts picking at the fine details, how fast everything's happening, how they just met, all the things that'll make it fall apart, and we get to watch Sandman try to tighten his control. That's not going to work, dude. You know why? Because you did not count on a thousand year old immortal showing up, and you definitely can't overwhelm her will with yours even if it is your world. About all you can do is kill her. Which he will now prove by taking out the wedding rings to show her, and in Charlotte's vision they change to… her and her husband's wedding rings. At a guess. Certainly those two rings of power! Oh well then. Cue Sandman yelling, clapping, and yelling some more to snap her out of it, oh, and then he berates her for awhile about how awful she is for breaking his focus, doublespeak about how much he's juggling, and orders to be present. Uh-HUH. This really is verging on caricature for what an asshole he is, this is literally textbook abuser speech. I'm not kidding, you can find a textbook and look it up for yourself. Charlotte apologizes a lot and I rather think the look after him is her on the verge of breaking his control again. Seriously that was the dumbest fucking show of ego ever on his part. Not that he could know that at the time! But it is Haven. He should have SOME idea that not everyone is what they appear to be.

Back in the really real world, Dwight looks a bit smug as Sandman comes out shaking his head like he just went a few rounds in the boxing ring. Probably not an inaccurate metaphor, in fact. Nathan will also now talk to his lady-love, and he's not wrong about how much they've been through. The problem is that his worldview of how this shit works is off. Necessarily off! Understandably off! He has to live through an awful, awful situation day in and day out, and it just keeps getting worse and the crises keep hitting. (Remember how we hammer on goddammit stop traumatizing Duke? It's true for other people too! Especially but not limited to all the main cast.) But the thing about these kinds of crises is, it's basically like living in a war zone with shit supplies: you might survive the massive mortar shelling and end up dead from an infected wound when you trip over some barbed wire that you put into place your own damn self. The problem is that thinking like that, thinking that this shit never ever makes sense, is the quickest route to utter helplessness and insanity that there is, so you just keep moving and insisting you can make it out this time, too. As Nathan does. That, and clinging to what's real. I'm going to continue groaning over the irony of telling a woman who's nominally a compilation of various personalities and may never regain access to all the memories that might? theoretically? still be in this body that this and they are real. Let's just stop pretending that reality's not fluid. Especially in Haven.

And we're back in the dreamworld where Charlotte continues to pick at the brain scab about how weird it was that Henry freaked out so much and Audrey making excuses for him. The only one of which that has any weight is that yes, if this were a real wedding he probably shouldn't be in her dressing room, he should be getting into place himself. Still. Charlotte would like to draw her attention to the fact that guests aren't there in nearly the numbers that require that much seating, and the staff is disappearing. Why yes, yes they are. Though how she knows that when she wasn't there for either of the first two deaths I don't know. Grayson comes in and while I'm giving this whole setup some side-eye is now a good time to point out that everything in this room is so generic. Even assuming that this is a rented house, and it looks vaguely like the house where the alien abductions allegedly took place, that rented itself out to guests? Even assuming that there should be overnight bags with Audrey's day clothes, there should be snacks or drinks at the very least, music, books, something to keep people occupied. And yes, there should be more people. Since it's Audrey, there should be around one to three girlfriends or maybe even guy friends above and beyond Charlotte and Grayson. There should be guests roaming around, there should definitely be more staff for the kind of fancy shindig Sandman looks like he wants to put on. But apparently can't, between this and the lack of friends we haven't seen before it looks like he can't populate the world in his head. And not just because of conservation of characters, there could be more extras milling around here, and there aren't. And since we've started picking at the illusion, let Grayson continue to pick at it some more with wondering what the hell is an espresso martini and why did he just have one? And should she be doing this? Charlotte chimes in, but Audrey is still totally sold on the wedding, Charlotte as her maid of honor, Grayson as his best friend and best man. She chases them out so she can look in a mirror and see... Nathan. Nathan and her, Nathan and Audrey as she chose to be in many ways.

Cut to Henry standing in front of the French doors like nothing so much as a fucking Fifty Shades of Gray poster, is that on purpose Lucas Bryant? Please tell me that's on purpose, it would amuse me to no end. Sandman is eager to get this show on the road and get everything over with so he can have everything he thinks he wants. Grayson would like to hang on a minute here because what the hell is going on and why doesn't he remember his alleged best friend with whom he supposedly grew up? No, we're not going for the obvious quote here even if it is dancing enticingly in front of us in big blue letters. Sandman's saving throw is music and the alleged band playing, and it even works for the few seconds it takes to distract Grayson with the novelty. Sadly, between that and Sandman commenting on going somewhere quiet to talk, Grayson now remembers who he is. It's a nice touch that when this happens, the camera pulls back enough that we can see him signing as he tells Sandman he doesn't want his favors. Swing around to see Audrey and Charlotte coming up in the midst of this argument, quietly, smiling at first and then not so much when they see the depth of it. Grayson is still signing, still talking aloud, yes, but also still signing, which is a nice touch that I really do like. And then of course it's off to the Pulp Fiction briefcase with him, since Sandman can't have him poking holes in his fantasy like that. Dude, we get holes poked in our fantasies all the time without murdering people, cope. Will he? No, he will not. Audrey and Charlotte will have a not so quiet freakout in her dressing room, ladies (mostly Audrey) you might want to tone that down some if you want to survive. And now, of course, faced with the very visceral reminder, NOW Charlotte remembers that she wanted to impress upon Audrey the danger they both are in. I think this would be a good time for an emphatic, Tom-Cruise-chewing-scenery style NO SHIT. And while I'm going completely over the top, what the hell is up with killing off the two POCs and the disabled guy? Is there some reason these three were the ones to die in this episode? Are we underscoring that Sandman's a dick by putting the POCs in positions of servitude and killing them off and the disabled guy? Because on a show that has a track record of killing off women who aren't the protag and are of comparable age, I'm not quite willing to extend that much good will just yet. I realize not everyone can take every factor into account, but maybe take a hard look at who you're casting for what role and pick someone for the death slots other than people of color and disabled characters. Please and thank you. Okay, I'm done. For now.

We pick up with the discovery of Grayson's body, which we don't need to see in full detail to understand that we're seeing from the POV of someone else, given the slight angle. It's a nice, detailed bit of directing, which I realize we haven't talked about a ton this ep, but frankly that's because in many, many respects the directing is invisible. Which, unless you're trying for something like Edgar Wright levels of distinctive, and frankly I don't think you should in a TV show where every ep has a different director, is actually a compliment. There aren't too many screaming dutch angles, nobody's head is getting cut off except maybe Dwight's in certain places, the ways to make Adam Copeland fit into frame are natural by now, and there's no fucking shakycam. My main issue at this point is with the overly desaturated blue they're using for the school, and that's been relatively consistent since they started using it as a set, so it's not like that's all Lucas Bryant's fault. For a first outing and having to act (less than in many other eps, but still) as well? Pretty damn excellent. Anyway. Dwight stalks in and yells about having killed Grayson, well, he fought! No, he rejected you. There's a good lever! That is admittedly a giant red button, but they're getting kind of desperate here, not least since Sandman last threatened them with killing Audrey, who most of his control is focused on and who Charlotte is there to break out. I assume Dwight pulled up old records or, who knows, the Teagues are off-camera this whole ep, maybe he bugged them for information. Lord knows this is one occasion where they'd give it! Apparently Sandman's parents died in a car accident, and then an older relative took him in and was anywhere from neglectful to full-on abusive. Well, that explains why he never got any further plastic surgery for his facial scars, because frankly being scarred like that as a kid? Most caretakers would at the very least make the offer, whether or not it was accepted. So little Henry (and I use his real name here to note that Dwight must have some kind of contacts to get this information, because there's no way he could know Sandman's real name otherwise, lacking the ability to Ouija it out of Charlotte or Audrey) made himself an imaginary world. Like kids do when they're in a bad place and need somewhere to go that's all theirs and safe. For that matter, adults do it too, it's just more commonly talked about as meditation or power animals or whatever the fad of the day is, and if they were discouraged from being imaginative as children they may lose the ability to fill in lots of details as an adult. Which is some of what I suspect happened here. Dwight will now, finally, express direct concern for what his Trouble is doing to him, far too little too late for Sandman to buy it as anything other than a cheap ploy to get him to transfer some attachment onto Dwight. In fact of course Dwight only cares about Charlotte, which is a total lie, but I will accept that his strongest attachment is possibly to her. Certainly the most confused one! I'm not sure how he knows they were dating, given how little he seems to go out in public? Maybe he can pick up things from people's minds. Although in that case we don't have any direct proof and we're still up in the air over who told Tony many of Nathan's secrets last ep. I am trying very hard not to read this as hatesex slash pairing but seriously that camera angle did you have to? Bryant you troll.

Audrey is taking the 'you're crazy that's crazy' tack, which is often in television and especially in these kinds of shows one of the last refuges of the desperate to keep everything as it is. She doesn't want to be the person who helps people with their Troubles, she wants her life to be simple. Heh, let's note the order of these defenses. Topmost is that she likes her life simple, which undoubtedly whether Sandman knows it or not is a defense and a wish, that she didn't have to be constantly moving from one chaotic potentially deadly mess to the next, that things were simpler and she could have an easier life. Second, that Henry loves her, which we all know it's false to say that she values that love for her own sake (and it's not exactly healthy love anyway) and yet it is, in fact, a condition of her staying here in this place where things are simple and she can rest. And by the time she works her way around to and he's perfect it's vapid and empty and there's no real weight behind it, just that that's what you say after 'he loves me' about the guy you're allegedly going to marry.

I take so many issues with Charlotte's statement about Nathan being Audrey's true love. One, the idea of true love, well, no, of one true love that conquers all, that exists above all things, to begin with. That's how Haven became permanently Troubled, that's how Audrey almost set off a cascade of Troubles and killed everyone, and god only knows what Mara and William's one true love did to everyone. Never mind the episodic incidents of one true love, starting with Marion Caldwell, wasn't it? And the fact that she almost destroyed the town when her one true love died? Not even touching on the Keegans and the Novellis and, well. One of the strangest things about Haven as a show is how it holds up the concept of idyllic true love as desirable and appropriate when it's Audrey and Nathan, although to be fair they are having Nathan address some of the darker sides of his love for her finally, and then you have incidents of love like, oh, ranging from Wade and his nannycamming his wife to Holloway and his turning into a house in which he trapped his wife and children. To Senna and how his overprotective love nearly killed a hell of a lot of people including several children, to Tony and his inability to control the darker, more toxic sides of his love and/or to cope with the loss of it, to... you see my point? And then you get an episode like this. Which, on balance, isn't the worst thing in the world for encouraging unhealthy ideas of love but still. And maybe it's just that the phrase true love has been built into something I dislike, because she's not wrong. Nathan is Audrey's actual, real love in the real world. This is just a fantasy. Which Charlotte will now poke holes in by asking her when she met Henry, when he proposed, how did she get here, none of which she has the answers to.

Sandman's calling. Charlotte tells her that they don't have much time, that he can't know they're talking like this, and it's true, he probably will kill Audrey rather than let her go in this state. Now comes the interesting part, the part where Charlotte claims her as her daughter and says she loves her, that she hasn't always been the best mother to her (NO SHIT LADY) and she just found her again and doesn't want to lose her. And I don't even know where to begin with this. I can't honestly tell if she means that in the sense that she accepts both Mara and Audrey as two sides of her daughter and regrets what she did to Mara, I hope so but I'm not seeing it? Or if she is seeing Audrey as finally having the daughter she always wanted and even if she's not the perfect daughter she wanted, she's much more acceptable to Charlotte, who can start treating her like a person now. I don't know. I don't know if it's somewhere in the middle, I do know that good mothers don't kill off the daughters they don't like to promote the ones that do. Which is, essentially, what Charlotte did, unless there was a consent given offscreen that we missed and in that case why would you put something that important off screen. Plus Charlotte's now admitting to being afraid, which I accept people do really fucking dumbass things out of fear but to then continue doing the same thing for 500-odd years? Really? So, yeah, this is so heavily loaded, extra bonus loaded because now Charlotte is the one saying you need to remember who you were and Henry took away your identity. Charlotte, how the fuck is this any different from what you did to Mara? Explain that one to me. Do. To be about as fair as I can, no one is saying that what Charlotte did is different from what Henry did, it's just that no one is calling Charlotte out on it either. Audrey has, once or twice, but nothing now. Unless we're meant to take this as the bitter irony that Henry doesn't get the Audrey he wants, but Charlotte does. In this case, oddly, its Nathan who comes out the best, because while he's not willing to lose her to an outside force, he's been respectful of her choices and her free will from the beginning. He didn't stop her from entering the barn. He did kill the barnvatar who insisted it was necessary, but he didn't take action against her. Anyway. Audrey is remembering, and remembering Charlotte first which is probably proximity, maybe shared biology? Since there's that whole not human aspect going on.

Speaking of remembering, hey, so is Seth! And not only that, he thinks he's found a way to get rid of, as he says (as Duke said) the 'Haven' inside of Duke. Apparently there's a man in North Carolina who claims he can remove the black tar of evil from within you or something like that. It's North Carolina, it's the Bible Belt, there are a lot of dudes like that. Okay, I will admit though that 'black tar of evil' is kind of specific wording, he might mean death truffles of aetheric doom! Plus, y'know, that thinny. So, North Carolina it is, Seth's very excited, he's just going to go get some snacks, then they can go. And, yeah, sure. Seth gets as far as almost the doorway of the gas station before he stops, blinks. Looks around. We come back to Duke for a second before Seth appears, sort of a limpid version of a jump scare there, very nice, and now he's telling Duke to get away from the van again. Doesn't recognize him. Theorizes that he's checking his hair in the mirror. Has no idea what Haven is, again. Poor, poor Duke. Poor Seth too. And Duke in his exasperation gives us some measurements to go by, he barely walked a hundred feet away, he wasn't gone ten seconds. He did break line of sight, maybe it was that?  Maybe the duration of the breaking of the interdiction wasn't long enough to make it permanent. No way to be sure, but Seth is getting in his van since Duke isn't stopping him, giving him the car engine version of 'you're breaking up I can't hear you', and driving off. Duke really can't just catch a break. He just can't. This not only sucks, this may be one of his worst nightmares. Somewhere under turning into Wade and his father.

Back in the dream world Audrey can hear Nathan now as he sits by her side and tells her what they've learned (Dwight is fidgeting by Charlotte's side, aw?), or at least we're getting the impression that she can hear him, it's not specifically clear whether the voiceover is meant to give us some clarity as to what's going on or whether she can hear it. The information he's telling her comes through also in the newspaper blowing against her dress, Boy Survives Deadly Car Crash, so it's possible the voiceover is a metaphor. Maybe more like probable; she scans down the rest of the page and there's a picture of Nathan with a headline of Local Detective Apprehends Fugitive or something like that (there's also something in there about the FBI national academy), triggering a whole cascade of memories of Nathan ranging from their first meeting all the way through the last five seasons, so that's good, that gives her a huge chunk of her identity back. We get the happy gasp of "Nathan" and of course when she lowers the paper, it's the Sandman. Ugh. In any other context the "Let's do this, we need to get married" would be cute and adorable, and right now it's just a sign that he knows something's wrong and she's in danger. Even more ominous is when she tells him she remembers everything, she's in love with someone else, and let's all note that her tone isn't angry and isn't attacking him, it's more of a revelation to her. And to be fair, his body language when he sits down isn't aggressive so much as abrupt. But his words, now, he might not be aggressive or violent in his body language but when he tells her she's not, he'll make sure of it, yeah. That's not controlling or anything. That's terrifying is what that is.

We're back to Seth pulling out of some parking lot, maybe just as far as out of the gas station they were in a second ago, and having to come to a rolling but still sudden stop as Duke runs out in front of his van. Poor Seth, that's a very plaintive final 'what.' Poor Duke, poor everyone. This is going to turn into freaking Memento if he keeps forgetting every time he moves away from Duke, notes tacked to his clothes and written on his skin and everything. At least it will if they're smart. Duke hits all the key words as fast as he can, Haven, rougarou, mermen, North Carolina, we go now yes? Yes. Seth has never heard of Haven but it sounds familiar, and yeah, Duke will explain on the way to this black tar erasing person. He even brought snacks! And the hell is he leaving Seth's side any time soon. I really am kind of glad they brought Seth back for this end part. It's a nice way of keeping things contained. Goes with the nice way this bottle episode has been very self-contained.

Audrey is actually trying to sympathize with the psycho, to try and offer him an opportunity for reconciliation and recovery in a way that doesn't impinge on other people's freedoms! Which only works if he wants to take it, sadly. Rather than expressing remorse or interest in recovery and reconciliation he says he has what he wants, this is who he really is, now he has the power to take what he wants, etc. And hey, at least it's honest from the narrative if not from him: sometimes (often) an abusive fuckwad is just an abusive fuckwad, no redemption necessary. Putting his hands on her throat, even. She tells him he's not strong enough to keep her from the people she loves, and pulls his hands down. He could get more violent here, and he doesn't, which might be one of the few redeeming moments for him in his entire arc. Audrey, because she is Audrey, tells him she's getting out of here and she's taking everyone with her, but she will take him if he wants to come along. And he does point out that he kidnapped the woman who is pretty much the fighting force of the town against the Troubles, they won't forgive that. I know a lot of people who won't forgive that, so he's got a point! What he does with that point isn't the best of ideas, but it's a valid point. He fears they'll execute him, which under any other circumstance I would say is overblown and given what Haven is become, might not be. On the other hand it might also be a play to get her on his side. Particularly given that when she offers to protect him he says he doesn't want her protection, he wants her love. I'm leaning more towards dramatics to elicit sympathy now. On the other hand oh god, Audrey, don't tell him you feel sorry for him, far more stable people than this guy have bristled at that. And yes, he does sort of lurch to his feet and threaten to destroy everything. To which Audrey will point out, in a mixture of her normal talking down and also of holding out all of these truths so he'll have to face them, that he's doing too much. His control is slipping, he doesn't have the power or the energy to deal with everything that he's trying to do, and he has to make a choice now. Destroy everyone, including himself and this dream world, or save himself and let everyone go. And honestly? She's damn lucky he was narcissistic enough to pick save himself, because the way he'd been going it could just have easily have been damn you all boom. But no, he's opting to try at least to hold onto everything, failing, and in the last ditch opting to save himself, leaving her free.

And lo, the real world! While the true love narrative thing is getting kind of saccharine in places, it's also more believable when it's coming from Nathan and Audrey, I think. Because they are so damaged, and take their strength from the other existing and wanting them. Whether or not it helped to have Nathan at her side while she was in dream-world, it's undoubtedly heartwarming and good for her to wake up to him right there for her to hug and cling to. And it is clinging, and you know, I'm pretty okay with that, all things considered. We will now have a montage of everyone waking up, looks like maybe five? or so? I don't see Haskins and his lot in there, maybe they couldn't get the actors back in. Dwight will now reattach to Charlotte, which is tentatively maybe cute, and I certainly understand the concept of putting someone in danger and making that realization that despite all the shit they've done you still care about them. I just don't know if I buy that that's healthy. And again with the not wholly trusting or liking Charlotte; to some extent by now I'm not sure how much choice they have in the matter if they do want to end the Troubles. But at the same time, she lied to a lot of people who have been lied to repeatedly (see also Dwight's father and withholding about the family Trouble when his son joined the fucking military, if we forgot that) and she essentially killed the daughter she had to get one less evil and more forgiving. Especially that second part. I really wish we had any idea what did happen between Mara, Charlotte, and her father/her husband, along with William, because we're missing a huge, huge chunk of the story still.

Sandman/Henry looks locked in his fantasy world, alone, minus scarring in fantasyland with the engagement ring, white bench, I think those are Audrey's gloves? And nothing else but green grass and blue sea and sky as far as the eye can see. I'm pretty okay with that. The women stop hugging and kissing their respective partners long enough to turn, stare, and share a nonverbal moment of oh thank fuck you're okay. I really, really hope that all of this Charlotte working toward redeeming herself is genuine, because she's getting to the point where we very tentatively are willing to believe her. She meant every word, she doesn't want anyone else to wind up like Henry, I would like to make the point that Henry probably was at least somewhat like this before the Troubles got hold of him. Though the degree of narcissism would fit in with the downside of the Troubles, potentially. We never really got confirmation on that, just some suspicions. Still, Troubles tend to work with what they've got. The guys will stand around looking concerned-hopeful. I absolutely buy Audrey's gratitude for Charlotte going in there after her, being her mother, choosing her, all these things that she's wanted (and buried) since s1. They're huge, huge fault lines, and frankly whatever she may think of Charlotte's willingness to kill Mara in order to have Audrey, it's a heady fucking thing to feel chosen like that. Plus now Charlotte's indicated her willingness to risk herself, something she did some last ep but Audrey was a little otherwise occupied with Nathan's trial to notice it. So we're kind of tentatively at wait-and-see if this can become a good mother-daughter relationship. It would be great if it did! It's just going to take a whole fucking lot of work on both sides. Maybe ending the Troubles will get them there?

Next week's ep is titled Wild Card, and all we have for promo photos is a lot of Duke and Seth, what might be two Dukes? Duke please don't have made Seth into another you. That or the guy in North Carolina made an evil twin Duke out of his aether or something. Shatner, if that's you, I have all of the side-eye ever. Nathan with what looks like a fortuneteller, if you guys make us dig up the Bad Roma Stereotypes Stoppit bingo cards we're going to be upset. And Dwight tied up in chains under chickenwire fencing. Huh. I'd make comments about the kink is not my kink but your kink is okay, except Audrey's there too and I'm not so okay with the weird mother-daughter-incest-with-Dwight thing. No. Is that a ball of aether wrapped up in wire? rubber bands? that Charlotte's handing her? I guess we have to wait and find out!


  1. Thank you guys so much for your synopses - I cannot watch new eps and your commentary keeps me up to date and entertained. Keep it up!

    1. Aw, thank you! We do it, at this point, out of a bizarre combination of enjoyment and completism, but comments are also and always love. :)

  2. Well, shit. I've been reading your site for a few months now, mostly catching up the older stuff during hiatus, and I figured now is as good a time as any to comment for the first time, since somehow I managed to miss the posts on the new episodes. Giant facepalm in my direction. But I'll definitely be adding your recapalypses to my weekly Haven-watch. I always find them insightful, thought-provoking and highly entertaining.
    I gotta say, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who finds the obsessive aspects of Audrey and Nathan's relationship a little unsettling. They've kind of been hammering it out lately with Audrey's reaction to Tony's "Nathan must die" doom and gloom and now Nathan on the verge of going postal over the Sandman. Every time I see it, all I can think is no guys, this is the kind of behaviour that fucks the town over stop it.
    I still do not quite trust Charlotte and all these parallels of mindfuckery going on here. Erasing people's identities is not appropriate or sane behaviour. Stop it.
    And, yeah, I'm so very uncomfortable with Duke being quite so "I'm totally fine" after what happened with Hayley last week. No, you're fucking not. I shall join in any chanting or screaming about "No more trauma for Duke" because seriously. When is he going to get the therapy and hugs and cookies and whatever the hell else that he needs to stop being quite so very screwed up?
    North Carolina didn't immediately click with me, mostly because I was too busy grumbling about that's not fucking Haven you're going to, Duke, but when it did, my main reaction was…well, fuck. Because of course Duke is going to a completely different part of North Carolina that has absolutely nothing to do with Croatoan or Thinnys. Of course he is.

    1. Several eps later... (Kitty and I have been alternating who's sick over blogging days, because our timing is AWESOME.) Thank you! We do aim to entertain, although admittedly our sense of humor is somewhat particular and at least half the reason the blog started up in the first place is because we couldn't keep the snark under control. ;)

      It's SO unsettling. It's actually MORE unsettling to me that when they're both obsessive at each other is when they are most capable of helping other people/putting others first. Now, there's a degree to which I consider that love: knowing that you're loved allows you to make the sacrifice play. It's the fact that when one of them goes to do that, the other immediately goes NOPE NOT ALLOWED, which is a level of not considering the other person's desires and moral values in a relationship that I find extremely uncomfortable.

      It was a really nice redemption arc, imo, that was a liiiiittle too sped up for my tastes. I STILL don't entirely trust her, especially after all those private little revelations last ep that we didn't get to see in detail, but I think she was headed in the right direction.

      Never. This is TV. Nobody goes to therapy on TV unless it's at least half the point of the show. :| Or unless she's there to have her files rifled through and get killed. Or to showcase the incompetence of some therapists. No I am not still bitter why do you ask.

      You know, with the resolution of the arc I would say you're probably right? But I am still NOT SANGUINE about the whole thing. Where there's one thinny, there might very well be more! We don't know. Come, sing with me the song of our people over the insufficient data.

  3. The fact that we are five (six) seasons in, and there are STILL issues with killing off all of the minority representation is really unsettling. Especially since I just watched an episode of another show last night where the characters themselves directly called out this tendency. I love Haven, but this has always been one of those things that hurts an otherwise pretty good show (also Charlotte killing off one of her daughters, and everyone being okay with it).

    Speaking of Charlotte, I really want a spin-off miniseries all about Charlotte, her husband, Mara, and William, to completely address all their history together and learn more about their people. After all the hints that have been dropped, that sounds like a very interesting back-story.

  4. The fact that we are five (six) seasons in, and there are STILL issues with killing off all of the minority representation is really unsettling. Especially since I just watched an episode of another show last night where the characters themselves directly called out this tendency. I love Haven, but this has always been one of those things that hurts an otherwise pretty good show (also Charlotte killing off one of her daughters, and everyone being okay with it).

    Speaking of Charlotte, I really want a spin-off miniseries all about Charlotte, her husband, Mara, and William, to completely address all their history together and learn more about their people. After all the hints that have been dropped, that sounds like a very interesting back-story.

    1. Right? And it just hasn't gotten any better since our, um, long delay in replying to comments. *sheepish* Sorry 'bout that. But yeah, there's been a lot of severely questionable representation issues, and if Gloria dies in the finale we are going to be SO FUCKING PISSED.

      I would watch that spinoff! ...who'm I kidding, I would write that spinoff. >.>