Sunday, October 11, 2015

What's Done In The Dark Haven S5E15 Power

Previously, on Haven. I think "Everything went straight to hell" is still accurate, don't you? Mara is theoretically gone for good, but hey, it's not like magic is an exact science. Someone's Trouble has warped Haven into a pocket fog dimension, with a black mist eye pulling serial killer, the policing has been turned over to the Guard on the basis that they have more experience, and Duke has fucked off for parts unknown where no one has heard of Haven.

We start off with two very good signs that everything has gone straight to hell: resource lines, and using the local schools as emergency shelters. These are pretty much universal in extremis behaviors! We also get a good sign of how normalized the Troubles are because Audrey's outright saying "If you know your Trouble, please tell the men at the door." So, yeah. It's not so much a new order of things that way as acknowledging what was always hidden. Haven's finally admitted and is starting to come to terms with itself as to what it really is. The rest, though, as with all major all-encompassing crises, yeah, that's a new order of things. Resources are scarce, the future is uncertain, that means there are going to be tensions, people trying to exploit the power they've given, people having too much power and severely fucking up with it (Dwight I am looking at you) and general bad actors. Give it a second.

It turns out the new Trouble kills in complete darkness. Which I guess is the opposite of that guy from season one who killed in any light that cast a shadow? Though it sounds like there's a similar mentality. And one section of the town is completely blacked out, that's not terrible during the daylight but it looks like it's going to get dark soon, oh goodie. I'm going to stop here for a second to be pedantic and point out that especially out there with no light pollution in a blackout, and depending on the cloud cover and phase of the moon, it can get pretty damn bright at night. It's not like we lived in complete darkness at night before the invention of fire, there's the moon, there's other stars, there's varying forms of moss and insect life that give off light. (K: When I was a kid at camp we used to line the paths to our cabins with foxfire for this exact reason.) It is possible to have non-complete darkness without relying on electricity. That said, I doubt moss and starlight are going to be very reassuring, and how complete does "complete darkness" need to be for this Trouble to kill, anyway? So. Speaking of reassuring, it turns out there have been a couple of fights already and Audrey's feeling the exhaustion and stress. And so's everyone. Dwight's trying to be reassuring by telling her she doesn't look it but honestly, at least to me if not to her, that's just a sign that people are going to pile more shit on and not what I at least would want to hear. The line reference tells us it's been two weeks since the Troublesplosion, so yeah, that's a long time to go with everyone's Troubles going off like fireworks at random intervals and with random natures. (As with most sources of stress, it's the randomness that'll get you, when you have a cycle where you know you have to be on guard at this time and you can relax at this other time, it's easier on the system. Science says.) On the other hand, it's not like the shit's going anywhere or anyone gets breaks right now, so off she goes to a sympathetic look from Dwight; this is the best plan he's got at keeping everyone alive, and no one else has any ideas.

It's a Nathan! Nathan what the hell are you doing driving that jeep apart from missing your boyfriend. Actually that might be one of the more sensible things, it looks like it could run on diesel and there probably aren't as many cars or trucks that do in Haven, so those reserves may last longer. Remember the resources problems I was mentioning? Yeah, gasoline and the ability to transport people and goods distances quickly is definitely going to be in short supply soon. At least if this show chooses to focus on it and if the dimensional pocketing lasts long enough, it doesn't, always. Nathan's reporting in to Dwight, or maybe reporting in is kind of a misnomer because it's less reporting in and more updating. The group at the docks has no idea whose darkness trouble this is and the Crocker journal has nothing. I'll skip right past all the jokes about Papa Winchester's journal and the part where I want to play pat the bunny with everyone's faces (stubble means they're exhausted and frazzled! shorthand!) and go to the part where Dwight's stopping Nathan from grabbing Audrey and going and looking through other houses. Not that he doesn't have a good point about nightfall coming soon and the Darkness That Eats All Things, but it's interesting how Dwight doesn't seem to realize the authority he's pulling on here. My how he's grown! Considering when he started he worked for Nathan, and now his body language and actions definitely show at least a relationship with equals, never mind how he was Nathan's boss all last season and the first part of this one. Or last two seasons. Look, I'm going to think of this as season six even if it technically isn't. Anyway, Nathan concedes Dwight's very good points and they tacitly discuss whether or not they'll figure out the darkness Trouble and who's got it and how to stop it, and their continued failure with the fog. And now, remember those bad actors I was mentioning?

Yep! Someone's stealing batteries. This would be so much easier if the school and other homes had gone green with solar energy, but that's still a ways off. (Remember, we're somewhere around 2011? ish? at this point, with the Troubles starting 2010 and lasting several months, and then the six-month jump between s3 and s4.) Oop, it looks like two someone's! The crowd manages to catch one of them, who's stupid enough to aim a punch at Dwight. Correct that to desperate, maybe, because have you seen the size of Adam Copeland? Not to mention the percentage of that size that's muscle. I wouldn't want to start something. The other guy's running into the school to get away from Nathan, and there's only two ways this is going to end. The further they get away from people the more likely it is... yep, there he goes. Well, one flashlight is enough at least to keep Nathan alive in an otherwise light-sourceless room, so I guess foxfire and moonlight probably would be enough? Still. Didn't save this guy, and now he's dead with a couple of batteries formerly clenched in one now goopy skeletal hand. That's more than a little creepy. So it's not a monster you can defend yourself against so much as just darkness = goopy skeletal death. Yum! Roll credits.

Flyover takes us to an as yet unnamed city with Duke driving across a bridge. I'm not asking where he got the car, if there's anyone who could pull together the resources in two weeks to have a car, it'd be him. The radio gives us the city! Halifax, as it turns out. Good way to stay local for filming, good city to lose oneself in and eight-plus hours from Maine, plus the international border. There's a garage, and it turns out this is where he works! I guess that might also be where he got the car, if he traded work for a beater he could fix up. The guy who's paying him under the table, though, he's a bit concerned. Duke doesn't have a history of any kind and he doesn't fit the profile (not that this guy would phrase it like that but that's basically what he means, I doubt all criminals just straight up say that's what they are so he'd have to deduce) of a prison break or a guy fleeing some jurisdiction. That makes his garage boss somewhat squirrely. He claims terrorist, I doubt that's what he's worried about specifically considering he also doesn't seem like much of a vehement patriot but he's definitely worried about something. If I were him I'd be more concerned if Duke were law enforcement of some kind, but Duke also doesn't seem like law enforcement, so. Eh. Maybe it is terrorists? Who the hell knows, the point is he's going to push Duke for being an anomaly, for being something he can't explain and weirding him out. Duke's off fixing things and on mopping floors, not even for any security reason, just because this guy wants to see how far he can push him. And we can know this not just because that's everything this scene reeks of, but also because he says the reason he likes criminals on the lam as workers under the table is because they give him zero attitude. That, plus his actions, mark him as inclined to be a tough boss at best and an asshole boss at average. Duke isn't in a position to argue, though. And he might not have the energy or self-worth to argue either. So it's yes-sir, mopping floors. Well, his face and the snarky okie-dokie says he has some of his self-worth back, or at least the energy to be mildly irritated. Oh, hey! He's also calling someone and asking for a job, so yeah, he's somewhat more stabilized than he used to be. He's asking Monty, who if I remember right was the guy who got him the job that turned into a clusterfuck back in season one, for a new job, something more legit, he's trying to "simplify [his] life." Oh honey. Yeah, I bet you are. He's not getting Monty, though, he's getting a message system, so he leaves a message and he'll have to hope for the best.

Back in Haven's pocket dimension, Charlotte is getting treated to a conversation with a woman whose Trouble is her skin becomes reflective. Because vanity, don't you know. No, surely this won't come in useful later, will it? I'm calling her Chekhov's Mirrorball because I'm not all that invested in this conversation except that Charlotte's ditched her usual severe government agent wardrobe for something more utilitarian but also more Audreylike. I can't tell if that's Doylistic indicator or Watsonian camouflage. It could be both! It could be an indicator of camouflage. Which is the idea I'm going with because no one at Murderboarding trusts Charlotte further than we can throw our residences. Seriously. Neither does Audrey by the sound of it, she's guarded about Charlotte helping out and she's snippy about how Charlotte's stuck here and snarky about "what are you going to do, turn me into someone else." Which is a good sign that, no matter how okay she was with living (or how not necessarily in a position to argue what with being at death's door) she is not necessarily okay with how Charlotte just rewrote Mara into her. Or possibly, even, not okay with how Charlotte set her up to be constantly rewritten every 27 years. (Especially considering most of the memories she knows to be hers include the Teagues and Garland, just for starters, talking about how she's always somehow the same, and people treating her that way, moreover.) She also accuses Charlotte of stalling, of not wanting to fix the Troubles in a way that won't kill everyone even though Charlotte says it's nearly impossible. There's a key word there, can you guess what it is? Because Audrey did! Though the lack of resources and tools is also a very good point. I question the comment about her frustration levels, I don't think Charlotte's necessarily that frustrated about the Troubles cure so much as she is frustrated in general, and quite probably with Audrey's attitude towards her. I'd be willing to bet she wanted a much more grateful and obedient daughter than she's gotten, and that's playing into it quite a bit.

Either way, Audrey is done with this bullshit for now and stalks off to someone who feels safer. Nathan! Who is cracking jokes and being stoic as per usual. Apart from highlighting the difficulty couples in this situation would have in getting some alone time, this also highlighting the fact that these two do better as a couple under adversity, which isn't a good sign. Not that there have been times when there hasn't been much adversity considering their first real date was interrupted by the Bolt Gun Killer/their daughter in law, but it still would be nice if these two could spend some time together and get to know each other when there isn't an immediate crisis to solve. At any rate. Speaking of immediate crisis, Dwight wants to talk to Nathan and the power is flickering. Because nothing says low budget signs of imminent danger like power flickering. It turns out Dwight wants to talk to him about that flickering, namely getting the power plant back online. It also turns out that they call the area with the most active Troubles, Trouble Alley. Hang on, I have to pick myself back up into my chair for the laughing on that one. Trouble Alley. Awesome. Getting ahead of myself. Dwight tells him they need to get the power plant back on, Nathan expounds for a second about the dangers involved and when Dwight doesn't say anything about what poor sap is going to get that job Nathan gives him the Look. You know that look. It's the accusing resignation with a touch of wry admission look, yeah, Nathan's the best one for the job. He's also a main character, so suck it, Nathan. He will not suck it, he'll point out that the power plant isn't the whole solution, they also need to stop the Trouble. (I'm going to go ahead and theorize now that the person they need to talk to is in the darkness. It's not revealed in this episode, but I'm going to put that out there for now.) Yeah, well, Dwight's first priority is keeping people alive, and he's awfully snappy about it, showing the strain he's under, too. And that's not an argument Nathan's going to have, so, okay, power plant, and he'll need a team. We'll get to that in a second, too.

First there's going to be an assembly in the gym, and Dwight making a speech. It starts out with a pep talk about how they're stronger when they work together, devolving quickly into a public sentencing against the one bad actor he punched earlier. Repeated crimes? So the battery theft wasn't a first, that's interesting but not enough at least in our opinion to counterbalance the weight of what Dwight's doing here. Establishing authority and reinforcing it, and putting himself and his people (and the Guard? or are his people the Guard, we never quite see anyone's arms so it's hard to tell if Tony and the rest are Guard members or just volunteers) in a position of power. A position that some might want to ingratiate themselves in to be able to use power. Meanwhile Dwight's going ahead and getting into desperate times-desperate measures mentality, which isn't always the best thing. This can't possibly go wrong in any way shape or form, I'm sorry, did I get sarcasm on your shirt there? At least he is exiling him at dawn, which, I seriously question the exiling, the dawn, and the wisdom of all of this. It turns out this is news to Nathan and Audrey too, since they're worrying about what happens when night falls again and the guy's on his own out there. I wouldn't say it is effectively a death sentence, there've got to be other places and other enclaves out there, but if he can't get to one of them or set up some kind of shelter and light source on his own, yeah. He's kind of fucked. Good job, Dwight. Way to start your own dictatorship.

Next morning Audrey and Nathan have some alone time, which takes the exposition about how they're going to get to the plant and who's on the team and intersperses it with some emotional background and a few line references to what kind of Troubles are active right now. Turns out there's a magnet Trouble and one that disrupts cell phone signals. I don't know if anyone's thought of this in the writers or the audience, but if there are that many Troubles in Trouble Alley, and given that Trouble effects tend to be localized, can you imagine how many people are probably living in this danger zone for one reason or another who haven't yet been able to be coaxed out? How horrifying and sad is that? Or, worse, given Dwight's speech last night, one wonders if maybe some Guard members aren't herding people who can't control their Trouble into Trouble alley to at least keep it locked down in one place. Or maybe that's just me taking it to the pessimistic bad place, but yes, I thought of that. At any rate. We've got an engineer doesn't even get a name so he's totally going to either die or be important later, and my money's on die. A young woman named Kira Fulcher is going, everyone remember her? In case we don't Audrey's reminding us with some exposition about how she's a power source, she's the electricity thrower from last season's plague of Troubles ep. And Dave, because there's blueprints for the power plant at the Herald, because of course there are. He says it's because of a story but I'm not forgetting the fact that the Teagues own a huge portion of Haven and neither should you.

In the middle of that scene, we also get a bit of Vince tearing a strip off Dave for going out there. He claims it's because of the No Marks Killer (that's a stupid name you guys, come on) but Vince points out that they haven't had a lead in two weeks, which is coincidentally the time they've been off camera! So, fine, really, it's Charlotte, who has at least a good portion of the answers, and with that we go back to Nathan and Audrey since Charlotte's coming along. Nathan thinks it's because she wants to prove to Audrey that she wants to help, neither Audrey nor I believe this. In fact Audrey thinks she's figured out a way to fix the Troubles, though I'm not sure I believe that either. Certainly something's going on, though. And meanwhile Audrey will stay here and keep an eye out for the person with the darkness Trouble, though how you'll find them I have no idea. Someone in more distress than usual? With everything that's been going on, how do you even tell? This is as good a place as any, I guess, to stare at Audrey and wonder why her eye makeup is going somewhat more Lexi? Mara? and her hair is going somewhat more blonde than it used to be. Bottle blonde, not subtle blonde. I don't know if that's a conscious decision choice or just what they ended up going with today, considering they're probably going to be shooting a lot of scenes in limited lighting. Still. Weird. They have a poignant goodbye and that's it. Time for Nathan to go.

Cut over to Dwight twirling the stolen batteries around on his desk, with Vince telling him he did the right thing. I've seen this around a couple places on tumblr and I still agree, Dwight, when Vince is telling you you did a good thing, I would question the appropriateness and goodness of that thing very, very hard. Vince is not exactly a shining bastion of morality here. Dwight has issues with what he did regardless of the reassurances, the fact that he's phrasing it as a question is rhetorical. Off he goes, Vince gets a phone call. It's... McHugh? I'm blinking quite a bit at this but, okay, it's been two weeks and we know McHugh was an old friend of Dwight's so I guess it's not out of the realm of possibility or even realism. I'm still going to blink and stare. Anyway, it's a guy in a red hoodie who's quite clearly dead even without the exposition, and it turns out he was killed by the Black Mist. See, isn't that a better name? Okay fine, No Marks Killer. I liked Bolt Gun so much better. Just please don't be James Cogan. (I'd say technically it can't be because of the older iteration, but who the hell knows if it's the same person? being? entity? as last time. You can't tell me nobody in the past 500 years got Barn-touched like the Colorado Kid.) Vince tells him to tell Dwight and no one else, which is reasonable in the interests of not causing a complete stampede, and we get the guy's name because that's going to be significant later and also so Vince can write it down. Between the engineer not getting named earlier and this guy getting named, we're running real close on the law of conservation of characters.

Outside Audrey's getting approached by a guy using hey wanna stay safe tonight as a pickup line. On the one hand, as such things go that's likely to even work, and on the other hand how skeevy is that? Ew. Go away. I mean, there's no indication that the guy would press or not if the girl changed her mind, but ew. Oh, and his Trouble is that he glows. Not reflectivity like the older lady, straight up glowing. So that's not going to come in handy later! Nor is it in any way shape or form connected with Chekhov's Mirrorball. Promise.  Oh speaking of things coming in handy later, we're getting almost immediate payoff on the name drop for the dead guy in the school, which if nothing else goes to show how compactly these shows are being written now. I kind of approve of this, actually, it means we might get more answers than I thought. Anyway, it turns out the guy is the missing husband of a woman who says he told her he saw someone walk out of the darkness. And that's why he's dead now. She also says Dwight's looking into it which, if so, means he's not going to be looking long. So at this point, that's interesting, we have the No Marks Killer who is probably the same one who walked out of the darkness, or we have a person who can walk into and out of the darkness unharmed. Either or both of these may or may not be the person who has the darkness Trouble to begin with, so we're looking at between one and three people. For simplicity's sake I'm going to first go with Person Who Walks Out Of Darkness is the same person as No Marks Killer, which means that person killed the witness to keep him from talking, reasonable enough as far as that goes, and more importantly means the No Marks Killer is immune to the Troubles. Or at least the ones that came out of Duke. Which is. Interesting. Given that those are Mara specific Troubles, and I'm going to extrapolate further and posit that this could be William, who Mara would certainly want to make immune to anything she set loose on people, and who has manipulated floating black stuff before. And William and Mara were both around the last time the No Marks Killer struck, or at least they could have been. Alternatively we could go with the theory that all three persons are one and the same, that the darkness Trouble is related to the black eyed means of murder, and that the person who's doing it now is a descendant of the person who was doing it then, or possibly the same person depending on if the fog is a time shift, not a dimensional shift. Those are the two theories just off the top of my head, I'm more inclined to believe that No Marks and Person Who Walks Out Of Darkness are the same, that No Marks is one of Charlotte/Mara's kind with a particularly strong resistance? but nothing more significant than that (unless it's Mara's father. heh. I'm still wondering if Mara's father is William Shatner) and that the darkness Trouble is, for lack of a better phrasing, an ordinary Trouble of an ordinary person who's scared shitless of everything that's been going on.

Okay! That was a long digression. Back to Halifax, where Duke is still cleaning bays and now being approached by a young woman. Monty's daughter Hayley! Duke's a bit surprised to see her, but okay, even okay if Monty's been gone six months. Actually, that would even explain why Duke didn't know, given that when you line up all the time frames that puts that event somewhere in the time period that Duke was in the time-jumping barn of doom. He also might not know because Monty might have just decided to vanish, by the sound of his daughter's voice. Duke picks up on it too, asks if she's okay. It turns out Monty owed some guys some money. Why are we not surprised. They're trying to collect from her. That's fine, Duke says, he'll get her the money. I have no idea how he's going to get her the money, but, um. Okay? It's Duke, for all he we know he has caches of goods around the place. On the other hand, since he doesn't exist anymore, are those caches still there? This is the question.

You know what else is exciting? Getting answers to questions about the rings! Nathan's wearing Garland's ring on a chain around his neck, which draws Charlotte's attention and my immediate OH NO YOU DON'T. Though it would help him do things like get through the thinny, if one ever became available. Assuming it's not specific to whatever race Charlotte and her bio-family are. Everyone's assumed that Lucy gave it to Garland, note that Nathan calls her "one of Mara's personalities." I think that's more of a dig at Charlotte than a commentary about how he (potentially) feels about Lucy Ripley, given his attitude of All Your Personalities Are Belong To Me. Except That One. That One's Evil. (Which, okay, can't really blame him for the last part.) Well that's probably true! No, Nathan, your father hasn't been keeping even more secrets about either his bio-family or yours from you. Probably not, anyway, since Charlotte doesn't really have reason to lie about it being her husband's. Who I still don't know if he's dead, lost, neither… I mean, we know what Charlotte said and probably even believes, given that Mara would've called her on a straight-out lie, but do YOU believe a single fucking thing about this family without in-your-face proof? That's what I thought. Although given that she does believe that, telling Nathan that her husband/Mara's father died a long time ago and Mara kept it as a memento isn't giving away too much of the homeworld while potentially buying some trust. I particularly side-eye her refusing to take the ring from him: is she genuinely unattached to it? Possibly, since she hasn't had it in something like centuries. Is she buying still more trust? Also possible! Does it key to a specific user's aura, for lack of a better word? Or something like that. Given they're magical rings I would not bet against it. Nathan goes on to try and pry the cure-the-Troubles answer out of her, and she admits she thinks maybe she has an idea, but the solution is daunting. Well, and I can even buy that. Nobody ever said you couldn't lie with the truth. We've all met the Teagues. And William.

Nathan is definitely planning to pry more, except then they come to the edge of some warnings in Trouble Alley, as Kira puts it, Banksying up the place. Yeah, when you're short on supplies and the infrastructure is actually falling apart (as opposed to Oh It's Just A Gas Leak), spray painting the shit out of everything is generally the best way to provide warnings. And boy do they need them. The line here denotes that they have to go as silent as possible Or Else Trouble. A big, mean, nasty Trouble, by the way it comes out to play later I would guess it's possibly based around Jack the Giantkiller and the Beanstalk or something? We all know from the second Nathan explains and looks pointedly at the body that someone's going to fuck it up, the only question is who, and will it be someone who can deal with being responsible for another's death. Obligatory closeup of a dirty doll's head is obligatory and signifies loss of innocence… well, we don't have long to wait! It's Dave. And the thumping footstep beyond the gate tells me that even before he opened his damn fool mouth they were screwed, but in classic Oh Shit fashion it's that that he cues on as the biggest problem. It probably compounded things! Once you're screwed you might's well yell run and get everyone un-frozen from panic, in theory. Yes, dear engineer, the monster is invisible but the footprints damn well aren't! Unfortunately for him, the engineer's flight-fight-freeze-fuck instinct is jammed on the freeze button, so he ends up dead by… I don't even know what. Those look like cuts, except they're way too bloodless for their location, so either they had to cut down on the gore for the sake of ratings or the major trauma is blunt force and internal injuries. Regardless, he's dead fast, which is a minor blessing in the way of Troubles. But oh no, Charlotte's foot is stuck in a tangle of wire and other detritus lying around! WHATEVER IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Oh, okay, it's a convenient excuse for Charlotte to be concerned enough about dying to cough up that the solution to the Troubles is aether, get Audrey as much as you can if Charlotte dies. O-kay, and what's Audrey supposed to do with it, considering she's essentially an infant in knowing anything about how it works? I'm also not convinced that it's not somehow a corrupting influence all on its own, between the family binders of issues here (could be just the family/immortality, could be something else) and the fact that we're in a Stephen King world where that level of power nearly always corrupts. You didn't think we were going to let the title of this ep pass by without that kind of mention, did you? Oh good. Of course we all know that everyone's going to make it through this particular Trouble, now that the most useful engineer has been sacrificed to ensure the safety of the party. And lo, they do! I appreciate, by the way, that Nathan has apparently memorized the location of all the places he's personally seen to, which is most of their path to the power plant. Dwight isn't wrong about him being the best one for the job. Interesting that this Trouble appears to have a very specific and fairly limited area of effect, but also good, compared to what it might be.

Back over to Duke, who's discovering the problem of being a man with no name, no records, and no hometown. Money? What money? Not only can the poor banker not find a branch office in Haven, he can't find Haven, Maine on a map. Duke had how much money? $400K? That is one helluva nest egg, Duke, how much you storing other places? Oh, and while we're getting convenient numbers, Haven apparently still has about 25K people. I like numbers! I knew it couldn't be that fucking small, but the only time they made a big deal out of a population sign was in 2x13 with the Christmas very special episode. That kept changing, but the top number was 25,121. I would like to furthermore note that Duke could easily have spewed out that many Troubles. In conclusion, Haven does not exist, Duke's money does not exist, and on paper at least? Given what his asshole erstwhile boss said, Duke himself probably doesn't exist, either. Enjoy that realization, Duke. He's definitely coming to those conclusions as he hangs up! Now seems like as good a time as any to wonder what's happening to the Guard members who live outside of Haven, remember the trip to Colorado in season three? The couple in North Carolina just last season? Are these people just wandering around deTroubled? Do they have Troubles and have no idea what's happening to them, or at least that there's no central place for people like them and they're just mysteriously and inexplicably cursed? Because that would suck syphilitic monkey balls.

All right, back to the town that doesn't exist. We're at the Haven Herald which has been tossed by, as Nathan says, looters and vandals. Just in case we needed the reminder that humans don't need Troubles to be a problem all on their own. Nathan brings up the aether to Charlotte again, who compares it to uranium. But is it as toxic as uranium when you process it, that's what I want to know. Because I kind of buy megalomania, poor impulse control, and extreme emotional lability as the magical version of radiation poisoning. It might even be true, or it might just be a convenient metaphor. Going back to the actual rather than the theoretical, Nathan wants to know why the fuck she didn't use aether in the first place to fix everything. Well, because she'd need a lot of aether. That's fine, William had a lot of aether in his creepy creepy tree of life box. Only no one knows where he hid it, is the problem. This appears to be news to Charlotte, although not startling enough to cause a massive reaction so we'll put it down to assets not listed in the first place rather than there should be no way William had access to aether in that quantity.  So that's kind of interesting? I also question whether Nathan has an idea of how much aether is enough to fix the Troubles, but then again William did have the stash that was enough to create the Troubles anyway, so sure, why not. At least it makes for a reasonable conclusion. Hell, he also had enough to create two henchthings, that's got to be a fair bit, hasn't it? Tangenting briefly back to Charlotte, she seems almost more surprised that William left a stash here than that he had access to that much. That, too, is interesting. Anyway, now the problem is finding it. Well it just so happens that Dave has an aether finder! In a box of crap Gloria took from the Gull, so apparently it wasn't all alcohol that she lifted when Duke was going off to make his suicide play. That could come in handy!

Back at the school Dwight continues to make frankly awful decisions as he blows Audrey off about finding Rolf Starr. Yeah, Dwight, a) Audrey isn't buying that you don't know anything about him, b) you're already supposed to know about Rolf so saying you will have McHugh and the Guard keep an eye out as opposed to saying you have, you've already taken care of it, is deeply suspicious. Look at her face. Is that the face of someone who believes you? No, that is the face of someone who is fed up with your bullshit, Dwight. You're supposed to be better than this. Do better. Audrey is totally calling you on your lying (K: LYING) and reminding him that he told Rolf's wife he'd find him (ahahah oh god when everyone finds out how long Rolf's body's been on a slab) but Dwight isn't coughing up anything like answers, only excuses and platitudes about how hard his job is. Dwight, it might actually be easier if you told someone and shared your problems around. With people who have a better track record than Vince. McHugh's not bad but we haven't seen enough of him to judge whether or not he's going to be any help with this governing of a post-apocalyptic Haven.

Back at the power they've figured out that two out of four turbines are down and, yes, that does mean the plant's operating on half power, thanks Captain Obvious. Which means they need to jump-start it back up again! Which means Kira. Which means, apparently, Charlotte yanking out the cables and shoving them at her and telling her to do her thing. Um. Yeah. Her bedside manner is quite different from Audrey's and everyone else's, which is about as diplomatically and allowing for as much genuine good will as I can manage, and even that leaves a somewhat bad taste in my mouth. She does have some encouraging nods and doesn't threaten the poor woman with what will happen if she fails, so I guess there's that, too? I suppose the best interpretation I can put on Charlotte is that she was trying to piss Kira off to jumpstart her, pun intended. I still have considerable doubts. Kira volunteered for this though, she's game, just nervous, so she takes hold and tries to activate her powers with fat-free yogurt. (K: Hey, I like fat free Greek yogurt.) (A: Somehow I tolerate you, but some days I don't know how.) The Troubles and how they're all trapped in there works way better. The only problem is, once she's started, how does she or anyone else turn her off? Predictably we go too far the other way, tripping breakers all over the place and, really, if all it took was yanking the cables out of her hands why didn't someone do that sooner? You are all remarkably dumb at the simplest things sometimes. Now they're in a different kind of trouble with the same result only worse: the entire town is blacked out, and the power plant's overloaded and broken.

Outside in Halifax, Duke's trying to ascertain how gone Haven is. Very, very gone, Duke. Though I will admit that asking someone who did once live in Haven is different from talking to a lot of other people who might only have talked to someone in the town or passed through briefly. But no. We do namecheck two other Stephen King Maine towns, Derry and Cleaves Mill, from It and The Tommyknockers/The Dead Zone respectively and referenced in many, many other works. Including this one! Anyway. Without Haven, Duke can't get her the money, and he's very sorry. Hayley doesn't want him to be sorry, she wants him to help her out through extra-legal means and through something that, by what she describes, is a Trouble, not that she knows what that is or means anymore with Haven wiped from everyone's consciousness. Duke doesn't want to do that to her, doesn't want her to have anything to do with the Troubles, and is not having with this plan. He tells her to go home and sends her storming off, and unfortunately storms off himself before he notices that his asshole boss has been lurking and hearing everything. Oh goodie. Because that's just what everyone needed, an amateur extortionist.

Back at the power plant Charlotte has what might be good news, Kira's power surge triggered the circuit breakers but didn't do any physical damage, so it's not quite as simple as flipping a switch but it's something there's a procedure for and they should be able to restart the generators with no problems. She thinks she'll be able get it going again in about an hour which, because rule of drama and because reasonably they've already spent a fair amount of time out here, is just before sunset. So, fine, Dave will help her if he can (he probably can't, but) and Nathan will go look for the aether. Which Charlotte thinks is stupid but, Charlotte, given how much you've been lying to everyone the ways in which people care what you think are severely limited. Besides, what else are they going to do, stand around and be decorative? Since they're having this conversation right out in the open Kira wants to know what aether is. Nathan skips right past the whole other world people part and tells her it could help to end the Troubles, which is accurate if simplified to the point of giving false hope. Nathan. Then again, there isn't any way to unsimplify it that far without going into the other worlds part, and they don't have time for that extended conversation that would undoubtedly drag Charlotte in, who needs to work on getting the power back on. So. She'll go with Nathan since they don't need her at the power plant anymore, and that's a fair division of labor, isn't it?

Audrey's stalking through the halls of the school where Vince has, in a fit of unbelievable yet characteristic stupidity, left the door to the room with the dead body wide open. Okay, not wide open, but wide enough for anyone and in this case Audrey to see him standing there brooding over a supine body. Good job, Vince. You moron. He isn't even able to give a good explanation immediately and no one is shutting the door behind her. It's in fact even more open now. You guys are so fucking lucky the plot doesn't allow for more people to find you having this conversation over a corpse and freak out. If you're going to have secret talks about the killer in your midst, DO IT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. Jesus Jumping Jack Flash Christ. Not that Vince doesn't have a good point about not starting a panic and activating more Troubles, but you and Dwight both of you could have fucking told Audrey. Well, this is more directed at Dwight, because we've seen how Vince has issues coughing up any goddamn thing at all. Dwight's not here, though, I'll rip into Vince with my teeth. And how did he die? Nobody knows. No marks except for the black petechiae, there's three other bodies in addition to Joe and James which makes for a total of six deaths, at least five likely to be the same killer allowing for time-frame and setting aside for the moment the possibility, however great, that it's one of the time-jumpers or immortals/near-immortals. Oh, but, the fact that James was one of this No Marks Killer (look, if there's black petechiae technically there's marks oh never mind) victims is new to Audrey. Add that to the list of reasons for Audrey to both skin Vince alive and not trust either him or Dwight, the fact that they're keeping a serial killer in town from her. I mean, didn't we already have this party? (Bolt Gun). Vince for some reason uses this as an excuse to plead Dwight's case by saying he's not a murderer, which Audrey points out, banishment with the darkness Trouble active means execution. Ah-hah, Vince says, that's not actually true. Oh lordy. I'm almost afraid to find out what they're keeping secret now.

It's just across the hall, and it's a guy with some sort of skin condition? Burn scars? I don't even know what that is, sitting in a chair who says any time he touches someone they fall into a slumber. So it's possible the rest of the people in this room aren't exiles, they're just people he accidentally touched before he figured it out. And they're not dead, just asleep. And dreaming, by the significant close-ups on their eye movements. Dreaming well, though, or dreaming badly? I really want to know that, and we don't get any credible answers, just Vince assuring Audrey and us that it's totally humane and the Sandman guy assuring Audrey and us that it's dreamless sleep. Yeah. Something about this Sandman guy makes me severely question that, not to mention even if he is benign, the toll it's taking on him. Which Audrey is mindful of, offering him a way out, just come find her if he wants to stop. Uh-huh. She then storms out, telling Vince that people need to know about it. The only good point Vince has here is that without the fear of banishment they'll have anarchy, and as much as I hate to say it, he's probably right to an extent. There's nothing that's been pulling the town or at least this portion of it into a cohesive whole, and no sense of victory or hope to give them the emotional support needed to pull together. They're being largely motivated by fear, which means Vince and Dwight are using fear to continue to motivate them to behave well. Which is not a long term winning solution, you guys. And frankly it's not all that fucking plausible: Dwight started them off with the let's pull together speech, and evidently failed to follow that up by giving people responsibilities, promotions, praise, any of the things that would be better motivation in a situation like this. Goddammit all of you. Dwight may be too broken to come up with something better but they both should damn well have brought Audrey in on it sooner. Idiots.

Power plant. Dave getting nervous. Charlotte knows they're on a time crunch, yes, no, there's nothing he can do to help, be quiet. Asking her if he's like her kind is not like shutting up Dave, but it does give us that he's a halfling. So he's got some of the bonuses of an elf but the versatility of an I'm shutting up now. You can bet there will be all the D&D jokes later if this continues to be a thing. He does talk about being drawn to Thinnies, so I guess that's a feat exclusive to halflings? Or possibly he's a hobbit drawn to the edge of Mount Doom. Ahem. He does want to know if he's just trying to go home, about being drawn to Mount Doom the One Ring the void, I'd say trying is more of a sense of agency than he gets when he's near a thinny but, sure? Charlotte doesn't know, and while she says very little is known about his kind I'm more inclined to believe that either the knowledge is deprecated or she hasn't bothered to do any reading up. What about visions is what he asks next, but then the power plant starts kicking noise up and okay, they've got half power. Again. And the grid is powering up a bit at a time, five minutes between blocks? That's not what I'm seeing on the screen. But sure, why not, because it gives us the extrapolation that it'll be hours before power reaches the school and since sundown is in less than one, everyone's going to die! Sense of urgency is a go! When we come back from commercial Dave is using the glowsticks one at a time to provide them with the bare minimum of light for maximum time, and Charlotte is rigging the plant to try and get power to the town faster. Let's all pause for a moment and think of how many people are dying between when the sun went down and when the power came back in their area. I don't think we're going to get a number but I bet it's in at least the double digits. They could maybe use Kira, but they don't know when she and Nathan will get back.

It is, predictably, chaos at the school with everyone fighting over flashlights. Remember what I said about fear being the dominant motivator here? Yeah. This is what happens, you get fights, you get people kicking each other into the darkness, and then you get more squelchy sounds and goopy skeletons. Dwight gets the motivating pep talk here, it's not as good as one of Audrey's but it's at least competent, and his voice has more emotion in it than he used to. I don't know if that's a temporary burst of energy or if he's slowly pulling the pieces together again. Audrey's got an idea, though. I guess it's the third act because it's time for Chekhov's Glow-worm and Chekhov's Mirrorball to come out! That gives at least enough light to fill the room, and if they can move them into the gym, that should take care of most people and conserve batteries! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the hope spot they needed. It might even be the hope spot Dwight needed. Which, okay, I have to wonder, did both of these people not register their Troubles when they came in? The vanity and ego of both of them might admittedly have prevented it, given that they might have both decided to wait until a dramatic moment when they could be the center of attention, like now. But if they did, did Dwight just not put that the fuck together when he went over the list of Troubled people? Because you can damn well bet he was going over that list. And that's either sloppy writing (doubtful) or an indication of how tired he is and the kinds of things he's missing. Which is worrisome all on its own. I will say, though, it's entirely possible given their behavior when they revealed their Troubles that they simply didn't put themselves on the register, allowing Audrey to pull them both out at the last minute. Why Audrey didn't figure this out earlier is a whole other question entirely, answered both by the necessity of a dramatically appropriate time and by the fact that she's been distracted that Vince and Dwight are keeping a serial killer from her. This is why you guys fucking talk to each other you morons. Jesus.

Over in some abandoned I don't even know what, barn? Warehouse, shack? Nathan is running out of light if not out of aether-sign. That's okay, he's got his own walking talking battery who grabs herself a fluorescent light and runs some electricity through it! She can't keep it up for long, but at least it's light. And she points out they should get back to the plant. Yes please do? No, of course not. There's a moment of conversation and character building where she says that if she weren't here she'd be miserable in Venice right now. We don't find out what's in Venice, or what isn't (her fiance, maybe) before Kira nudges Nathan to get back right into both of them walking over a trap door. I suddenly have a horrible feeling that this is the old Rasmussen house, and if it isn't it should be. Trap door leads to a long shaft but when Nathan drops a glowstick down there (ARGH. I understand why, but ARGH.) it's visible from the edge, so at least it's not infinitely long? There's aether down there, so down they go. This is so damn ominous I can't even tell you. I bet it's a portal.

Over at the school Vince is flipping switches and lights are coming on! Yay! Now everyone turn off your goddamn lamps. Does nobody understand the concept of conserving resources? Tony comes up to relieve Vince of watch duty, they're all reassuring each other by saying the away team has to be okay, they got the power back on and it's daylight, so they should be able to get back safely. Vince will stick around because knowing Dave, he'll come back while he's off getting some rest and then Vince would never hear the end of it. You know, in case we forgot they're old brothers. For all that I scream and bite at them I do like this aspect of their characters, the camaraderie and the brotherly bond. Tony talks about Kira, how she'd flip out at him for doing nothing but worry, aww. Vince has just enough time to say that sometimes that's all they can do (truth or emblematic of the atmosphere of despair that's sunk around the school?) before Dave and Charlotte show up! Yay! And where are the other two? What, they're not back yet? Brief explanation about when they left if not why, we don't get to find out if there's a why explanation that doesn't involve magic death-truffles because we're going to cut out to Halifax.

Hayley's at the garage, getting greeted by asshole boss and then held at gunpoint while he asks her about these powers that let her steal stuff. Because yeah. He then tells her that he looked her up and she owes money to some "mutual friends," read: other criminals he has contacts with, and probably an organization. So he'll turn her over for the finder's fee. Or he'll try, she's got pretty good reflexes and gets a couple of hits in before the fact that she's untrained and he's bigger than she is catches up with her. It turns out he doesn't want to take her to them because he'll get a percentage of what she owes as a finder's fee, they're going to make an example out of her and they'll pay him whether she's dead or alive. Oh yay. At the last minute, of course, up comes Duke with a ... that's a truck. Sends asshole boss flying into a stack of gallon drums and and Hayley passes right through the truck as it goes over her. So, I guess now we know what her Trouble is! For that matter, Duke probably already knew what her Trouble was supposed to be, given that he knew her Mom, and I find it a little, okay, a lot disturbing that Duke was willing to run her over in the hopes of activating her Trouble. Duke. Are you okay? Or just really, really desperate? I mean, granted, she was likely to die if he didn't, but if he had a car and worked around this garage he probably knew where another gun was, too. Duke. Why were you willing to risk running Hayley over too? That's just a bit upsetting, dude. Hayley hasn't gotten that far yet, she's still relieved just to be alive and gets in the truck. She'll figure it out in a bit. Next episode.

Audrey's packing up to go the hell after Nathan when Charlotte interrupts her for what would be a cool-down hug if we weren't all deeply suspicious of her motives. The music is not at all suspicious of her motives, the music thinks this is a touching moment. Well, the reunion is a touching moment anyway, because the crowd commotion is signalling Nathan's return! I correct myself, it would be a touching moment except Tony's coming up to demand answers about why he left the power plant and where's Kira. It's somewhat telling of his (the town's?) attitude towards Nathan that the way he phrases it is "what did you do to Kira" rather than the more neutral "what happened to Kira". Well, it turns out Kira's dead. This is not helping, okay, no, we'll start with the simple things first, this is not helping Nathan any, who gets assaulted by the grief-stricken fiance, the shouting getting the crowd riled up and requiring Audrey to try to push people away from Nathan and plead for calm while Nathan stands there like a nightingale at a Roman feast. That's the simple part, the basics of what's going on, a rumbling in the crowd that leads to what previews tell us will be Nathan on trial for Kira's death and probably for shooting the barnvatar and starting the Troubles. Which he did, and god knows Murderboarding has not and will not let him forget it, mainly because it was his obsessive love with Audrey that caused it and he hasn't shown any signs of recognizing that his inability to let go is a problem. The town is more interested in using that to blame him for their troubles and their Troubles, which is a fine and small distinction to draw, but we're drawing it anyway because purely fixing blame is generally and in this particular case, useless. And, oh, while we're discussing Nathan shooting the barnvatar and causing the Troubles to stick around permanently, let's also not forget that he spent six months basically playing scapegoat of his own accord for the entire town, letting them take free shots at him, probably dripping guilt all over the place. So that's not helping, and it's certainly not letting the town forget that he caused the Troubles to stay, permanently. So. Okay, that's all going into the trial. Now, let's go back to that one line, "We got caught in the darkness. Kira's dead."

So, hang on. What. How. What the fuck. What's going on here. Remember the person walking out of the darkness? By the numbers, then. We're going back to 1) the theory that the Darkness That Eats All Things and the black mist and petechiae of death are caused by the same person. Which, if that person is connected to Charlotte and Mara's kind, could very well be why Nathan survived and Kira didn't, because the ring, remember? This works better with diagrams but follow me on this one. The No Marks person comes to Roanoke for reasons passing understanding, does the black mist thing and the death thing and the Croatoan thing and everything else, leaves for some reason intact bodies, and disappears everyone. The No Marks person comes to Haven for reasons also passing understanding (through the portal they shoved William through? If so, how?), puts up the fog bank, puts up the darkness and goes around killing people and carving Croatoan on things, etc. By the sound of it, or at least by the methodology, fear and panic and turmoil are the end goal. I'm also going to go out on a limb here and wonder if, given that the fog thing didn't happen the last time the Croatoan thing showed up, if the black mist isn't sucking people's Troubles out through their eyeballs, and if the No Marks didn't suck the darkness Trouble out of someone too. Which would also explain the walking out of the darkness unharmed, if the person isn't affected by other people's Troubles. Like Mara? Like Charlotte? Or like someone with way more skill at aether manipulation than either of them, which might be more like William but would certainly also account for the ability to suck people's Troubles out of their eyeballs. Winding this all the way back around to Nathan and Kira, this would potentially also explain how, if the No Marks person came through a portal from another world, how Nathan found a portal or a thinny that hadn't yet been closed, that wasn't subject to the fog, and how Kira died while Nathan remained alive - Nathan has the ring. For that matter, the fog of interdimensional pocketing being generated by someone of Charlotte and Mara's kind would also explain how it closed the thinnies as well as all conventional routes out. It's not like Joe knew about the thinnies. (Although Joe could have simply said everything contained no way in or out and the Trouble did what it does regardless of what he knows or doesn't.) So. To sum up, even if there is way too much. Theory One is No Marks = Darkness Caster, black petechiae death = pulling people's Troubles out through their eyeballs = darkness Trouble and fog Trouble caused by No Marks for panic and turmoil and death. Theory Two is much simpler, is that they found a portal that Nathan is mistaking for the darkness and he's in too much shock to wonder how he got out (again, the ring) when Kira didn't. Theory Three is that we don't have all the information, Nathan's still in shock because he's clearly behaving off, and Kira isn't dead. The trial is about to come up, I wonder how many callbacks we're going to get to the Trial of Audrey Parker, everyone remember that first season episode? Though it wasn't a trial in this sense so much as a prodding of her by the barnvatar to see if she would stick around and be her obedient helpful self. Thanks so much, Agent Fuck You, and this is why you have been so named. We're also getting an episode after that called Enter Sandman, so YAY all my suspicions will probably be confirmed. Ick.


  1. So, I know this episode is a couple weeks old, but since I'm catching up on recaps anyway, I had to comment on this "Nathan what the hell are you doing driving that jeep apart from missing your boyfriend" because that's exactly what I thought, almost word for word in fact.

    1. I think everyone who's ever shipped OT3 on this show had that thought. I MEAN REALLY. XD

  2. So, I got angry last season and watched it all out of order, so my information is a little wonky, but what I think I've understood from this episode is this - Sarah gave her ring to the Teagues for safekeeping, and Lucy gave Mara's father's ring to Garland. Which would mean that either Mara's father's ring just magically popped out of the barn with Lucy, or that, during Sarah's cycle, Sarah was holding onto that particular ring.

    There was a question in there somewhere, but my brain is still spinning from all the slightly dubious information Charlotte is giving us. I really need to sit down and rewatch the entire series now that these plants with the rings and with Lucy's cycle are paying off.

    1. Well, from my understanding, at the point that Charlotte put Mara in the Barn, Mara was in possession of two rings: her's and her father's, which would indicate that all the iterations of Mara until Sarah would have had those same two rings. Sarah gave her (Mara's) ring to the Teagues' - maybe with the intention that they'd pass it on to James one day? - and must have kept Mara's father's ring, which would then have been in Lucy's possession when she popped out of the Barn 27 years later, and then gave it to Garland.

    2. So having gotten a lot closer to the end of the series and having also looked over SyFy's extras on the Haven page (they hide it under Photos and then Fun Facts for each ep, if you're curious, it took me some poking to find): They claim the rings were Charlotte's, Mara's, and William's, and Mara and William's got taken when they were punished for the Troubles. I have RATHER a lot of questions about if William's was originally daddy dearest's instead, but I'm not sure we'll get answers next week.

      Also don't try too hard to make Lucy's cycle make sense if you're watching from the VERY beginning. I think it's only internally consistent from about... s3 or so on?

      Aside from that, PaintedWolf's assertions about the rings matches what we believed had happened. And frankly this is a case where I feel like fan theories are a lot closer than what the writers are claiming, because if they lost their rings as punishment how the fuck did they get them BACK. Howard doesn't seem like he would've been programmed to allow that. What the hell.