Saturday, October 31, 2015

When The Man Comes Around Haven S5E18 Wild Card

Previously on Haven: aether aether aether, wait there was COMMUNICATION? People told each other things? Amazing! So now everyone knows Charlotte's got enough aether to end the Troubles. At least in theory. Also, Duke found Seth in Halifax and they're roadtripping to North Carolina to find the weird preacher guy who can pull evil black tar out of people's souls. Uh-HUH. This won't go strange places at ALL. Or predictable ones. Also, Dave's still having those weird visions of Croatoan and people dying and the No Marks Killer. Which are the same thing. Which we have been saying for how long now?

We open with another vision! Oh YAY. Complete with shakycam, unknown school? office? building, and a guy getting black goo sucked out his eyeballs. Also a screaming woman or girl, it's too shaky to get a good sense of age on either of them. Actually yay, though! Because this time Dave manages to get not only a location, but a clock! And a potential survivor, at only half an hour out, yes Vince they are going now. Hey! That also resembles communication! Albeit not with Dwight and Nathan and Audrey, which would also be a good thing if you're going after what you currently believe to be some kind of serial killer. Dave. I'm just saying. There's a balance between so cautious and fearful you don't do anything about the shit you know, and rushing headlong in without fucking telling anyone. Find it. Please.

Meanwhile there's bare feet in a bed in the classic morning-after shot, oh look, it's Charlotte. And Dwight. With coffee and very shirtless. While I'm the last person to fail to appreciate a shirtless Adam Copeland, I'm still gonna facepalm over them getting back together that fast. It makes sense! It's just… Dwight. She lied. A lot. I hope you're more in this for the sex and less for the long term at the moment, but I'm rather afraid not, considering not only is he bringing coffee in bed, he's apologizing for having to run off and deal with some weird probably-Troubled guy shouting downtown and drawing a crowd. As yet, nobody's done anything horrible, but that's the kind of thing that's just a matter of time before someone gets wound up to the point of their Trouble going off, whether it's the guy or someone who's listening, so yeah, I'd say an extra set of hands for crowd control is important. At least the apology isn't for him avoiding her, which is honestly what I thought in the little pause and went OH PLEASE NO and then sighed in relief. Dwight's ill temper at, you know, being lied to and deceived about several very important things is understandable and should not be apologized for. But this is okay, Charlotte and Audrey are going to head out and try to deal with William's aether stash as the first step to ending the Troubles. Fair! Cue a couple moments of daydreaming that is very blatant daydreaming about Charlotte getting to have her happily ever after, with Dwight, aww. He points out that in a couple decades he's going to be aging and, not that he says it, eventually die (assuming he lives through the Troubles) and she's going to look young and immortal forever. Because immortal. Well that's fine! She has a thing for older men. I have a disturbed. I will, however, take this in the spirit of teasing and cute that it's intended, with the foreshadowing a bonus, and not assume terrible things about what's happening between them. For once. Mostly because I think even Charlotte only has so much room for plans to fuck people over, although if she's got one related to that aether stash I will not even pull out the jar.

Down to the confrontation we go, with a small crowd of maybe ten, fifteen people gathered around staring at the crazy guy shouting about the end! The end is here! Not just coming but already here, can't you hear the horses of the apocalypse! O-kay, dude. Yeah, I'd probably be staring and calling the Guard in, were I part of that crowd. I like the implications inherent in his wording, too, that everyone believes the end of the world is coming as a result of their current situation: it's a small line reference, but it's absolutely coherent with the rest of the season. Dwight sends the less-experienced Guardsmen off to crowd control while Nathan starts the business of talking him down before he sets himself or anyone else off. Oh hey, inner left wrist tattoo of a Roman numeral, Nathan goes with lucky number seven? And not Slevin as I nearly typed. Ahem. No, it is not the lucky number, although if we were going with actual tarot mythology and not fairly literal interpretations, the Chariot's one of the better cards to pull! Sadly, we're going with literal interpretations for reasons we'll get into later, and the poor fucker dies of trampling by thestrals. Invisible horses. Whatever. Whoever designed that has definitely not seen real trampling and either there's only one horse or not all of the horses got their hooves bloody, but hey, it gets the job done and now he's dead and Dwight and Nathan can both interpret bloody hoofprints all over his back, followed by running off into the distance. Roll credits!

Over at the old barn-shed-thing with William's stash of deathtruffles, Audrey and Charlotte are discussing how the hell they deathtruffle. No, you don't just wave your arms in the air like you just don't care, Audrey, sorry. Though the throwaway line of how Charlotte's never seen this much aether before much less controlled it kind of worries me a little. (As it turns out, controlling and working with it comes with much bigger problems than Charlotte's inexperience, but we'll get to that.) First you condense… that looks like the smaller roomful of aether, actually, not the giant cavern of doom. But Charlotte's theory is apparently first you condense the aether into a core of Stuff, is anyone else having nerd-moments about nuclear fission and fusion? Just us? Just checking. Then they… build a new barn? EXCUSE ME HOLD THE FUCK UP HERE. Say we along with Audrey's face. No, no, this will be a curing barn. Charlotte swears! We will continue to be all the mistrusting until we get some actual goddamn details about how this supposed cure-Barn works, because no. We all know how well that did not fucking work last time, without substantial evidence to the contrary I'm not prepared to trust that it's going to work as proposed let alone without significant drawbacks. Hopefully at some point Audrey will be able to get answers out of her mother. Also I'm having issues around calling it a cure-Barn because do you know what else curing refers to, particularly in an agrarian setting? Meat. Hanging up dead meat to be cured. I need a better name. Audrey and Charlotte need a scene break.

Over at the wherever it is (someone's house? converted house? at this point it's hard to tell what anything's being used as necessarily) Vince and Dave are exploring the scene of the crime and finding the body with signature black petechiae around the eyes. It's aether, you guys. It's aether in the veins, it's a Trouble-sucking vapor Croatoan demon oh why do I bother. (I am actually a little surprised we got as much directly right, as quickly revealed as it is, but not much at this point.) Guys, he's not a No Marks killer if the people have black petechiae on the eyeballs. Those are marks. Sigh, never mind. They've got bigger problems to deal with, like freeing the woman Dave saw in his vision. Vince is less sanguine about opening the door from which banging is coming forth on account of it could be the killer, Vincent, I say to you, dear boy, if that is the No Marks Killer behind the door what in the name of the Tower and all its Guardians do you think a metal fucking door is going to do to stop it? Nothing. That's what. Fortunately it's not the killer and, as Dave says, it is the woman from his vision. They proceed to barrage her with questions, none of which she can answer because she's lost time and has no idea how she got there. Because of course she has. Vince and Dwight, whom he is calling, will now proceed to go over all the times they've lost time which, gee, apart from the cave (remember your failure at the cave!) all of them have to do with a murder by the No Marks Killer! Gee. I'm surprised, are you surprised? No one is surprised here, not even Dwight and Vince. On the other hand, Dwight does have the benefit of not being on site knee deep in the scary shit and recovering from even worse visions, which means he's thinking clearly. Which means he's thinking of asking Gloria to see if she can recover some of the woman's memories, since this did just happen. I half wonder if Dwight is thinking of this also because of recent (and by recent I mean in the last ten fifteen years, but that's like recent) research into PTSD trauma, recovery, and the protective erasure of memories thereof. But that's entirely extra-canon speculation that doesn't have anything to do with anything. As far as I know. Anyway, Vince and Dave will go find Gloria and deal with that, and Dwight will deal with the latest Troubles.

Troubles, plural or Troubles, singular? We don't know yet! Well, they don't know. We've been jumping up and down since the fortune teller promo photos reveal along with our knowings of tarot, and grumbling about the literal nature of the deaths. Although given the Tower is purely awful just in general, I'm pretty okay with this guy having been struck by lightning, burned, and dropped from the nonexistent skyscraper because Haven doesn't have those. Any moment now there's going to be a beach and a door and lobstrosities, though, and we're going to flip the fuck out. (Okay, the lobstrosities were s4, but STILL.) Anyway. This guy's tattoo is XVI for the appropriate major arcana, apparently we're working from something at least similar-ish to Rider-Waite, and he has a post-it in his pocket with a list of names: Harriet Bennigan, Maxine Seagrave, Alden Dinsmore, Mandy Pruitt, and Mel Crager. (Dinsmore shows up in Under the Dome, actually, and he's dead. Seagrave is another Under the Dome, Bennigan is from Derry and in Insomnia, and Pruitt and Crager we don't know. Do you? Shout it out in the comments!) Maybe they're the Troubled person causing this, maybe they're the next victims, maybe who the fuck knows! Fortunately they still have some records, probably paper or local-network downloads, salvaged from the station that they can go hunt through to see if anything obvious jumps out at them. Hopefully not literally, but this is Haven, you never know. Nathan grumbles about how much easier this would be with a proper database and, y'know, contact with the outside world. We feel you, Nathan. ...okay, one outta two ain't bad?

With that very blatant And Now The Outside World Presents transition (hey, it's valid! just blatant), Duke would like to file a complaint. Specifically, this time, about going thirty miles out of their way before they could turn up at this gas station where someone can supposedly help him. I would rib him about being a smuggler and therefore he should fucking know, but I will also grant that in a van that doesn't go over 50 mph and around 1400 miles to travel, give or take depending on specific route and destination within NC, and not being able to let Seth out of his sight quite literally including bathroom breaks, that is, we'll call it, a good 36 hours in the van. Longer, potentially, if Seth had to have the whole thing explained again after falling asleep, since neither of them really looks like they're as underslept as they should be if they stayed awake the whole drive. So this has been a fuck of a couple days, is what I'm saying. I'd love to know what they talked about the whole time and how much of Haven's history (particularly the parts Seth wasn't around for) Duke's told him. Especially knowing full well that if he ditches him, sooner or later he'll forget about all of it! At least I kind of assume that's where Duke's brain would go. Aside from the kind of jittery and cranky you get after being cooped up on a road trip under less than ideal circumstances, though, Duke looks a little better. Maybe Seth provided some therapy, or just an ear! We can hope, right? Seth will now attempt to turn down the gas station attendant who would like him to fork over some cash for being an outsider and babbling endlessly and generally being kind of a dick. That's fair, dude. It really is. His name is also Sam, according to his work coveralls, and it turns out that's Daniel/Tulok from Helix! Hi Meegwun! There is also an old guy in an armchair sitting outside the station who looks like the poor man's John Hurt. Or like Reverend Driscoll's even crankier older brother. I'm creeped out by all of this casting, are you? Seth would like it known that he is at least as clueless as Duke is, for once he admits it! Also really, what kind of a fucking sign are you looking for here? A thinny hanging above his head? Lobstrosities? Interesting that Duke says Troubles, plural: does he know or think that he's absorbed all of Hayley's Trouble? Did he eventually manage to kill her somehow? I'm guessing no, since he was still locked in the shipping container. In which case, Duke, how do you know it's still Troubles-plural and not just version 3.0? 4.0? whatever we're on of the Crocker Trouble. At any rate, old maybe-magical maybe-just-irascible dude is not who they're looking for. (Seth keeping his eyes firmly on Duke while he walks up is a very nice bit of physical acting, by the by. Subtle, not upstaging, but definitely indicative of what they know is necessary by now.) Duke presents his problem in tones of I-know-this-sounds-crazy-BUT, and by the way here's some money? Will that help? No that will not help, he will now proceed to sound like the nicer version of Driscoll about how your sins are yours there is no cure no he doesn't want your money just fuck the hell off. So no, either he could be the guy performing a test of faith or he could, as the note in the visor from Sam-the-mechanic says, be an unbeliever. Or both could be true for that matter, Sam may not necessarily believe what the guy believes, and both could be true. But sure, okay, come back in an hour, that should give him time to chase the old guy off his front stoop.

So by the close of that phone call Nathan was checking in with Audrey and Charlotte about everything that's going on, what they found. Hopefully also what Vince and Dave found, the more people have all the information the more minds you have working the problem, the quicker it gets done. We don't get to know that just yet, though, because we're focusing on Dwight and Nathan and because we don't need the same exposition over and over again. Not when we could be staring at Nathan's flat tire! And sadly, while Nathan has a point about in this town things are routinely awful or weird enough that bad luck often gets sort of left by the wayside, we have the advantage of being a television viewing audience who can assume that since it's happening on screen, it's not just bad luck. It's Trouble-induced possibly terrible luck. Up to and including Dwight getting injured trying to change the tire? No, but that was a good guess. No, this is some sort of weird bruise that just appeared on him that, granted, could also be one of those normal things where you look down or in the mirror and where the hell did that come from. Or is that just me that happens to. Dwight's a big guy, his bruises might be correspondingly bigger and that could easily be a place where he hipchecks a protruding furniture or something. But, again, it's on camera, so no. Nathan offers us an alternative explanation, something involving bedrooms and the shenanigans within and the preferences or stamina of women from other worlds than these (it's unclear which he means) (yes I did have to go there) and it's not quite the lecherousness of the wink wink nudge nudge conversation but clearly there is bonding going on. In Nathan's own taciturn way and Dwight responding to the "maybe you're not cut out for it" with a look that clearly says if he isn't, it's not on those grounds. Oh Dwight. See, this is why I love you, you have a gentle, respectful sense of lecherous humor. But it does ping off of something that's now/has been on his mind, specifically the whole age difference thing, or the future aging difference thing. Nathan seems to be hopeful that he and Dwight can make it work, and while we take that with a grain of salt or an entire brick of the stuff given Nathan's tendency towards fixation, he does have a point that starting off with kicking those problems around is a good way to develop solutions early, or at least an attitude of looking for them rather than giving up. Bonding moment settled, he goes to try and change the tire and manages to snap off the first bolt with the first turn. So, that's a thing. And that's when he notices the number on his wrist. And soon after, Dwight notices the number on his. Tarot cards for our gentlemen! And subsequent horrible fates, too, out of the Wheel and Hanged Man.

Not just for the boys, either. Oh, there's the giant cavern of terrifying fucking amounts of aether! Charlotte is demonstrating how to do just one deathtruffle of doom into a test tube, which is nice but not gonna cut it for this amount. Still, when you're training someone who at best has the muscle memory of how to do this, you want to start small for demonstration purposes. And then whoops, she nearly falls over, at first Audrey thinks it's from the effort and then let's go with no, not so much. Because Audrey can't see now! She has a II on her wrist, Charlotte has VIII, apparently the tattoos do not come in upside-down format when the cards are reversed because VIII is Strength, and I will allow for Strength reversed to be literally weakness but we don't know that at this time. At this time, we're just blinking going "but… Strength is a good card!" Specifically it's about internal mastery, which is highly appropriate for the situation they're stuck in. Audrey blinded with a II could be some iteration of the High Priestess with her face covered that we're not aware of (and that is the corresponding major arcana, for shits and giggles), but if we go through the minor arcana instead? Two of swords. Excuse us while we fall over laughing. Yes, literally that's a woman blindfolded holding a pair of swords and I remain disappointed that Audrey never got ghost-swords to swing around, but the symbolic meaning of the twos in the minor arcana is choice, balance, and within swords it means compromise and diplomacy specifically. Which may lead to internal doubt, difficulty making decisions because you can see all sides of an issue, is any of this ringing very loud bells here? Yes? Good. The women would like to know what the everloving fuck. I don't like the wary look Charlotte gives the aether. What's it going to do, eat them if they get weak enough? Given how little we know I feel this is a valid question.

Haven has really, really amazing cell reception considering how far down that old mine shaft they are. Down and over, so under a lot of earth. Is the aether supporting the cell connection? Inquiring minds. The important part here is that people are actually trying to communicate and yes we are going to keep jumping up and down in delight over that this entire ep. Charlotte updates Dwight and comments that she feels drained, which is a fairly specific turn of phrase to an alien magic-wielding immortal from beyond the void, I'm just saying. They commiserate a bit about how their jobs are harder now, they don't know if it's all over town or what, and Charlotte certainly can't show Audrey how to gather aether if one of them's blind and the other's too weak to put on much demonstration, up to and including using touch to guide. This just seems like a terrible idea and counterproductive. Aha, says Dwight! Enemy action! In almost those exact words, too, and I have to say at a certain point you do have to assume that. Okay, fine. Get the fucking aether one way or another and he and Nathan will deal with this Trouble before they all die. Dwight sometimes you are such a Ranger it hurts. Nathan was also on the phone, I think he says something about Rev? In which case it must be a much friendlier member of the clergy. Anyway, the upshot here is that all the names are in THIS world occult authors with a focus on the history and/or symbolism of the tarot. Dwight will also, in true Hanged Man wisdom gained via suffering style, spout off about tarot decks being numbered with Roman numerals and they have an answer! The beginnings of one! Which these days is really all they need to hare off and chase it down until the immediate problem is solved. (Oh, and apparently someone's updated Dwight about Charlotte's we'll build the Barn better! Stronger! We have the technology! Since he doesn't even blink over that.) Nathan's expression is going to say what the fuck for him. The what the fuck intensifies until Dwight clarifies that his ex was from Seattle. I will be over here laughing my ass off. (You should've used Asheville, guys. Just because.) Fine! They'll go talk to various tarot professionals until they find one who knows the first two vics, since for damn sure none of them have been to have their futures read in the cards. They don't have time for that shit, if nothing else.

Sam. Not!Daniel-Tulok's name is Sam. I have to pause this here because I have so many tangential issues with the name Sam and a lot of them stemming from Stephen King character types that we'll deal with later. Okay, so, Sam has a back room that looks like it started off life as a workshop, maybe a woodshop or a machine shop or something like that, and quickly had stuff draped all over it to make it look more mystical. That doesn't bode well, given that the most benign explanation for this starts with he picked up magical workings reluctantly at the behest of a nagging relative with a sense of urgency they can't explain, and the less benign one is he's a con artist. Given the lack of Mystical Shit Is Going On music over the background I'm going to go with con artist, Haven's usually very good about telegraphing its mystic shit with its music, even if sometimes it's only a second or three before. Sam will then start off with some crap about how the first step in the healing process is truly wanting it, which is true and also the kind of bullshit people sprinkle their cons with because it is true. He then moves on into some generic babble about sin and evil with just enough key words underneath to imply Troubles (in a very Reverend Driscoll with the cursed way) without actually saying it. At this point that should set off alarm bells in Duke, and I can't say that it isn't and he's just keeping something of a poker face? Really, at this point in the season he sort of has a permanent suspicious wary might bite people at any moment face. Anyway, whatever alarms Sam's speech is setting off or not, the cutting himself is definitely bringing tension to Duke's face. And freakouts to Seth! Seth is convinced, Duke looks like he's re-evaluating a lot of things with several quick eyedarts of calculation. I think I've heard this background music in The Craft, or possibly in a shop in Cherokee. I do have to admit, though, that for all that they very much could have stuck this in Cherokee or a mockup thereof, hung a whole lot of cultural stereotyping on it, they really pretty much didn't. Sam's speech is generic rather than pulling on specific buzzwords or key words, the livestock skulls in the background are barely there and easily ignored, there's nothing to suggest anything other than Sam is being a bullshitter who fleeces guilty people with a belief in something other out of their money. He's also pulling off of someone else's words, but we'll get to that in a second.

Gloria's setup also looks somewhat more ramshackle these days, as you would expect given the lack of resources. Oh, they're in the Herald? Or something like that, maybe her office, it's not very clear from the shots we're getting but her dialogue says she has shit for resources too! Specifically, the poison gas with a face Trouble is still active in the hospital and morgue facilities, which, wow. That could possibly fuck them over worse, but you'd have to try. Let's just hope that nobody does get any dire conditions that they need long-term hospital care for. They have an EEG, they can use it to check atrophy in the hippocampus for physical indications of memory loss. Gloria would also point out that it's not at all certain the machine is still safe, so, who wants to go first! Note that the woman they rescued is Ma'am Not Appearing In This Scene, and by the end of the scene it looks like they've all forgotten her existence. There's a line reference to a witness, but nothing that suggests they know who she is as a person and for all we know they may only know that because they wrote it down somewhere. Um, is all I have to say to that. Sneaksy tricksy writerses.

Audrey continues to wave her hand around and fail to catch anything, so, clearly you need better bait, dear girl. Also I'm having more Jedi flashbacks again, and waiting for Charlotte to tell her that not believing is why she fails. No, instead Audrey is going to bitch about having to call? summon? control something she can't really see, Charlotte has a better pep talk than Yoda, she reminds Audrey that she can control it because she did once before, and doesn't in fact follow it up with anything about replicating the conditions. Which would be my first go-to, but since the original conditions involved peril to people we like I'm not too broken up about not replicating them. Besides, she's in no condition to threaten a six week old kitten with a dropper full of milk, she's about falling over and even if Audrey can't see that, she can hear it. She can feel Charlotte's weight increasing on her arm as she tips over, so they're taking a break and sitting down. And, it turns out, talking about how this was never Charlotte's thing, Mara learned this from her awkward silence. Father, I mean her father. IT'S BACKSTORY. Battle stations, we have information incoming! Data, we have data! Calloo callay! Data both in the form of exposition and in the form of Audrey keeping that level of separation between herself and Mara's family by saying her father before my father, Audrey hasn't yet figured out how to reflexively and emotionally tie herself to Mara, Charlotte, and everything that allegedly happened to her. Her face is very "Well okay, I guess he is my father." when she says it. For whatever definition of her that would be, her definition seems to start and end with when she arrived at Haven, what is verifiably her and not Audrey II. (Poor Audrey II.) So. The expositional data is that Mara's father was a great scientist, brilliant, and Charlotte does seem proud of him. She's also very clearly sanitizing something when she says he went too far, and these others that she referred to, are these also the same others she referred to when she was still supposedly talking about the CDC? the others who would want tangible and presumably replicable proof and results? HMMM. At any rate, Papa went too far and was banished for having become obsessed with his research and taken it too far, and so he was sent into the void and died there. Thus adding an extra layer of funny onto Daniel-from-Helix being here considering what happened to Hatake. His experiments, of course, involved aether, the Mid-World or End-World or Else-World version of plutonium, and that's about everything of substance we get before they rally their strength to try again. Audrey gropes around, Charlotte stumbles, cracks a joke about their weaknesses although there's something pointedly metaphorical about the blind leading the crippled, Audrey blinded by her ignorance and lack of memories, Charlotte crippled by her assumptions? To be continued.

However many fortune tellers, palm readers, etc, Dwight and Nathan have to go through before they reach their final destination, we conserve time by only seeing them walk into the relevant one. Who at least to start seems to be playing up some Roma stereotypes, thanks for that, show, but overall she seems to be pulling from New Age mystic bullshittery. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about that, though I do laugh at her making them for ex-cops right off the bat. Yes, boys, you are that obvious. Especially Nathan, though Dwight's military bearing tends to read as cop a fair chunk of the time. Both the dead guys are former regulars and I see everyone's taken to calling it a shroud? Interestink. Not necessarily in a good way, that signifies a rather funereal mindset, let's not bury the town before we've put a stake in its heart and a bullet in its brain, but it could also signify a time of, mmm, sleeping to awaken later? Food for thought. Also nobody's pretending not to know what the fuck is going on these days. That's a time-saver too! Our fortune teller is immediately worried about Mike Russo who drew The Tower and was promptly terrified, like you are if you get that card, and she gave him a list of authors to try and alleviate the self-fulfilling prophecy part of the reading. I kinda like her! She doesn't appear to be a genuine reader, but instead a counselor-type using it as a meditative focus and guide for others, which at least is honest. We go through the expo-dump of confirming what's on the cards and that the numbers on the wrists correspond to the major arcana (so far) and that is not Rider-Waite, the usual go-to for TV shows when they pull the Tarot tropes, though that's changing. Myself I prefer the Crow's Magick or any of the Ciro Marchetti for the gorgeous art, but this one is the Oswald Wirth, descended from the Marseilles Tarot. For no real reason that I can discern since neither Wirth nor the Marseilles Tarot have anything to do with themes or details of Haven, so I'm guessing someone just liked the art?  For your amusement, though, Oswald Wirth was a Swiss mystically inclined scholar who was also a contemporary of, wait for it: Aleister Crowley. These tarot cards were also originally printed in French, which might account for why one of those pictures doesn't match the caption, someone probably pulled the wrong picture for the card they meant to use. Just in case anyone else was going "wait a second that doesn't look like any Strength card I've seen." Okay! Moving on from me and my digressions, and back a bit since I did just reveal a card. Now that everyone's caught up in the show, Dwight will have another moment of ow-fuck-ow oh goodie now he looks like he's been stabbed in the side. Nathan proceeds through yes, you're Troubled, people are dying, can we move the fuck on with some harshness but given the circumstances and her lack of pretending not to know somewhat more than the average bear? I am okay with that. She has a great point, though: in order to affect people with her Trouble she has to draw cards for them, and she doesn't so much as know Nathan and Dwight (well, maybe by reputation, but certainly not as customers) and has certainly not been doing drawings for the good of the town and its leaders or anything. Which I could certainly see as an option, for someone who uses tarot as a sort of meditative focus! Oh look, business is slow, let's just do a reading about what I'm afraid might be going on with the clusterfuck surrounding the Troubles and the shroud. Or something like that. Instead, she has no clue at all, but there are four cards on a table that is not her usual reading table, judging by where her deck was, and they match people's tattoos! Yay! Sort of yay. Nathan's and Charlotte's are reversed, for bonus points. Lainey reads off the worst versions of these, okay, yes, we got that: blindness, weakness, bad luck, and torture. Hey, but there's wisdom at the end of the torture! No? Not doing it for you? Fair enough. She's also incredibly offended that they think she did this to them on purpose, because no. That's completely fucking unethical, and if my suggestion held, actually she probably would've used a different deck rather than the one she uses for public customers. So in conclusion, no, she doesn't remember this, she wouldn't have left cards around, fuck the hell off and stop accusing her of being a horrible person, thanks. And now we come to the critical phrasing: she doesn't remember this. We have other people not remembering things! But this brings up a great question: if Croatoan is doing this to her, WHY. Why is this the first non-deadly thing the monster from the void does? That makes no fucking sense. Beyond the likelihood of whatever's left of the non-monster in there not wanting to kill his wife, daughter, and their current lovers outright, and quite probably wanting to fuck with them as he's been fucked with and over. At least that's a current working theory, it may not be the correct theory, but it's a way to go with it given how little data we're working from even now.

We come back from ad break to Charlotte examining Dwight's wounds, of which there are now at least four, three of which are visible in the freeze-frame I just grabbed. (Drink!) Nathan is presumably hanging out with Lainey in an attempt to find out if Croatoan comes back and tries to make her draw more cards, or in case he has a brilliant idea about how to solve this Trouble. I find the second one more useful than the first by far, considering Nathan can do about as much as the Teagues against Croatoan if he decides to up and kill them both. Maybe a little more, depending on the specific powers at work, but still. Audrey starts trying to work the problem with Dwight, who the fuck is this guy why does he want us dead, and Dwight points out that he's connected to Roanoke and that Croatoan so either this is someTHING else with a very long lifespan, or this is a generational thing, or is this another time-jumping barn type thing or what? And here he pauses to explain about that to Charlotte. Who then freezes in the middle of buttoning up Dwight's shirt for him all the FUCK did you just say? Yes. Croatoan. Is not a warning, it's a name, I would argue given her description of him as the Void's Satan that it serves as both, honestly. (Also which Satan. Are we going with Milton's fanfiction or what? I'm just saying.) This proceeds to be more of an expo-dump in the form of, Croatoan is a being of part-aether or maybe all-aether and they assume that Mara's father got et by it. OR DID HE. Yeah, we all saw that coming. No, no, the door in the cave did not open to bring William through, he's not the worse thing. The worse thing is DADDY ISSUES. Goddammit. So now they're finally caught up to where we've been pointing at for a couple eps now and Audrey would like the revelations to give her a little time to process thanks. Or at minimum she would like to see again in order to do something about this shit.

Back at the gas station of dubious mysticism (although I give them points for a gas station, a liminal space, to start off this chapter of Duke's whole journey to enlightenment) (A: At least it's not a gas station bathroom, is all I and my college creative writing 101 assignment have to say about that.) (K: WE ARE NOT HAVING EMOTIONS IN GAS STATION BATHROOMS.) (A: You ruin ALL my fun.) Duke is basically luring in Sam physically close so he can grab the bladder he used to run a scam on them. Well, fail to run a scam. It doesn't work because Duke's Trouble or whatever his addiction to Troubled blood is by this point failed to ping, thus alerting him to the fact that this guy isn't Troubled. I'm assuming he'd also ping off aether or anything similar, too, or at least have some sort of a reaction, so he's not only not Troubled he's completely human and boring. And in possession of knowledge most boring humans don't have, and where did he get it? Apparently some nutjob who not only knows about Mara and William, but also about aether and what they did with it and so on. It is, in fact, too specific for him to make it up and get that many details right, so now Duke would like to talk to this nutjob old man who at least he knows is not as crazy as he sounds to everyone else. According to Sam he's up "at Blue Ridge" which is not actually a thing, you guys. My family's lived in these mountains for going on forty years, trust me, "at Blue Ridge" is not a thing. You need a preceding article or my brain melts out my ears and I make with the claw hands of grrr. But yes, the Blue Ridge, the Blue Ridge mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway, those are all things. Including places where old men tend to live isolated, well, people in general tend to live isolated and can go for a fair while without seeing many people from the outside world, it is in fact ideal for that kind of thing. It's also where I live. Haven, why did you park Walter O'Dim where I live. Do you really hate me that much?

Look, if a dude named Walter shows up knowing shit he oughtn't to know in a Stephen King based story involving thinnies, I'm just going to start with it's Walter O'Dim and proceed to be creeped out from there, say thankya.

Charlotte is very convinced that Croatoan shouldn't be able to get out of the void. That's nice, but he did and he is and he's running around killing people. Although I actually wonder, now that we know what we know, if that's intentional. Since as Audrey continues to catch us up to he's pulling Troubles out of people, okay, let's lay some things out here. Croatoan and Mara's father/Charlotte's husband are the same being, or a merged being with the memories of that person. He was banished for whatever he was doing with the aether, which was not as far as we know causing Troubles but definitely involved a lot of fuckery. It's entirely possible it involved causing something that became the Troubles, since the Troubles are rather close to super powers except for the fact that most of the time they're uncontrolled by the person wielding them. But consider also that Vicki and Marion Caldwell had been able to use theirs on purpose to a designated end. So, was Mysterious Father Figure trying to give his race their own super powers? It'd certainly involve a lot of experimentation on sentient beings, which is generally frowned upon by said sentient beings, and Mara did say that part of the whole purpose of the Troubles was to prove a point to someone(s). Given the direction Mara appears to have broken, I would not be surprised if that were one of the natural outgrowths of whatever his intended experiments were. He is now a being/part of a being known for feeding on aether. Aether is what makes Troubles happen. Charlotte says she didn't know, back when she imprisoned Mara, how to end the Troubles without killing everyone involved, which goes along with everything else people seem to've done. Even whatever Mara and William did, assuming they're responsible for the Crocker Trouble (which may or may not be true, I'm wondering if Charlotte didn't make that as another sort of safeguard and just hasn't 'fessed up to it yet?), didn't involve curing people by any other method. Which is a pretty awful "cure." It is therefore not at all a reach to decide that whoever this guy is, he's still fixated on trying to understand aether and the Troubles and is Trouble-eating and killing people not necessarily out of direct malice, but in an attempt to fix his experiments and eventually be able to do this without killing the subjects. It's not actually like helping, and it's definitely not like seeing people as people, I would bet you a great deal he sees them as objects, but it's an avenue worth considering! Certainly I expect him to be using this as an excuse if nothing else. It also goes with the losing time, which could be his attempt to minimize the trauma caused by the deaths. (A: Instead let's just have some nice gaslighting! That'll help!) At any rate, speculation aside, they'd like to get rid of the mass-murdering psycho. How? The new Barn! Charlotte doesn't have time for specific how-tos, which is unfortunate as that would be nice, but she says her plan for the new Barn is to turn it around and make it send everything from the Void back where it came from. I still have a question about how you're going to do this without a) killing people or b) sending the Troubled into the Void, but I'll accept the shorthanded theory for now. The upshot is, the Troubles and Croatoan both belong to the Void and the Barn will throw them back in. Like fish from a very creepy ocean. Maybe they belong to the Marianas Trench. Look, I'm just saying, have you paid attention to the deep-ocean shit that exists? Audrey will now derail the proceedings once again by pointing out that they're being targeted, which means Croatoan knows who they are and what they're trying to accomplish. In other words, they're massively fucked unless they work really fast! Dwight will stay and guard the tunnel if they'll go back to work. I still want to know what the fuck anyone thinks they're going to do if Croatoan shows up. I also want to know, and we'll rant about this at greater length later, just how much everyone's memories have been fucked with and what we haven't seen since Croatoan crossed over from the void because nobody remembers it happening in the first fucking place.

Anyway. Dwight checks in with Nathan, who hasn't made any headway on solving Lainey's Trouble: he looked for unresolved emotional traumas, found her dead estranged husband, but also found that her sister helped her get closure. I am totally going with her sister on this, unless said sister was Troubled and could in fact talk to ghosts, but hey, the principle stands, she's not emotionally upset. Which means she has an always-on Trouble, which sucks. Both in general and in the specific, since Troubles like this (see also Vicki and her live-sketching Trouble) almost always go after something that makes people unable to do a thing that they love. Or makes it extremely dangerous to do that thing. Except then the hanging part of the Hanged Man kicks in for Dwight, I was wondering how long that'd take, and they suddenly have much bigger problems. Hey, Odin survived! In a manner of speaking. After kind of dying. Then again, the Chariot isn't supposed to be a killing card either (the Tower kind of is or could be). Nathan is not taking these chances, though. Nathan is ordering Lainey to pick a fucking card because none of their readings are finished. Nathan. You know what would've been smarter? Pick yourself a new card to try and get rid of your awful fucking luck and then make her draw for Dwight and everyone else. See, this is why I question the being targeted for nasty death or a world of hurt by Tarot. There are 78 cards in the Tarot deck, twice as many meanings if you use them in the reverse, and I'm not crunching the numbers and the mythology to figure out what your odds are of drawing good vs bad card because honestly it's about 25/25/50 good/bad/situationally dependent, but how in the name of the rose do you target someone with a tarot deck without stacking it? And judging by at least the Troubled person's attitude, and given that it's her attitude that should rule the effects, you can't stack the deck without screwing the whole thing. I would understand if her Trouble worked somehow by her focusing energy through a particular card to affect someone, but this is literally you draw a card and take your chances. But if he's not specifically targeting them to delay them, then what? To get their attention? The Devil card got my attention anyway, and we close to commercial on Nathan screaming Dwight's name. As you do.

No, Dwight's okay once he regains his ability to speak, I'm going to go ahead and plug that in as the reason for the delay in response because the actual reason is dramatic tension. Dwight is not only okay, he sounds downright cheery, there's just one problem: he's kind of chained up. Apparently that's the physical world interpretation of this card: bondage and chains and the bondage increasing as a response to resistance. Okay then!  That's a nice balance between literal and mythological meaning, and even if it's not very convenient for Dwight it does at least keep him alive longer than the Hanged Man's death-and-then-enlightenment would have. I have to wonder, though, what the enlightenment would have been if he'd made it through to the other side. Best not to take chances. Plus this isn't that much better, if Croatoan comes he can't protect anyone including himself.

Walter Faraday turns out to have a grave in the Blue Ridge mountains. Duke is less than pleased. To be fair, I'm not sure how you'd tell, given that's his default state, but he's exasperated. We'll go with exasperated all to hell and back, which is where he keeps getting dragged. And okay, I will accept that "Blue Ridge" could be shorthand for a cemetery, but at the same time it's a bit like saying "over on Haywood" in at least this town, there are so many things named Haywood and potentially a lot of things named Blue Ridge as well, it's kind of vague. Yes, these are the small nitpicky things that bother me. Also the fact that there are no mountains in the background of the more panoramic scenes while Duke is walking around the grave and later when he's talking to the freaky freaky Walter. This is the Blue Ridge. I like my mountains. (No, I know, filmed in Nova Scotia. Pretend there are pretty mountains there. I will give you pictures.) Ahem. Digression aside, that's an interesting bit of fencing, it looks like it cuts through part of the cemetery? Separating Walter off from the rest, or possibly Troubled from non-Troubled, hard to say without more data. Though Seth finds the clue with the Guard symbol, so now we know that he's in the right place for some kind of data! What does the Guard symbol have to do with Walter? We don't know! Isn't it great! But no. Duke is done. Duke is so completely fucking done, where a couple seasons ago he would've gone for a spot of graverobbing, here he's not even bothering because thanks, universe, he's fucked. Again. Oh Duke honey. Well, we were expecting a creepy asshole named Walter, so now we're just hoping the fucker doesn't come crawling up out of the grave. Considering it's the ep closest to Halloween, I feel this was a legit concern.

Over in the aether pit Audrey is calling up Nathan again to beg for him to stop the Trouble because she can't see, Charlotte's barely moving, they are useless like this. No, really, she is all but begging Nathan to draw new cards for them on the basis that she could lose Charlotte. So whether or not we're ready to quite accept and forgive Charlotte, whether or not we trust her, Audrey at least is and does. Sure, why not? Nathan tells Lainey to draw two cards, and though she balks because she knows damn well and good how bad this can get, she eventually does do it. The Lovers would be a lot better if it meant Dwight and Charlotte but we all know that's too easy, too simple, and Mara's father's been mentioned too much for that to mean anything other than Charlotte's husband. Also in this particular deck the Lovers includes a child, and unless Dwight's really that good, no. The Moon is way more ambiguous. I mean, playing with reality has been happening a lot here so depending on the effect this could be a good thing? Probably not. This tarot Trouble is turning into a giant monkey's paw type thing. Audrey can see, though, so she's happy, and Charlotte's getting up so they're both in a position to do something quick before the monkey's paw swipes them upside the head. Seriously, Haven still has the best cell reception ever if Audrey's signing off with "I'll call you back" like she's not down a fucking mine shaft. So, all right, getting a move on and pulling down the aether. First they work on Audrey remembering how she controlled it last time, although why no one's thinking of the things William said to her about controlling aether I do not know. It all adds up to roughly the same things, though: controlling the aether requires strength of emotion and, not that Charlotte or Audrey say this but it's not a problem for them right now, clarity of purpose. The last time Audrey did anything with aether it was in a crisis situation, which tends to give clarity of purpose, that purpose generally being 'stop' or 'go away' to the threat. Now it's 'condense' at the aether, and they spend a few moments going over why they need this to happen and what they'll lose if it doesn't. So, having established that, there's a couple things I want to know: what was Charlotte's husband/Mara's father's clarity and strength? Was it as simple as "for science" or was there something else? And what was William's? Going by his behavior I'd go with Mara on both counts, but it's still going to be something I wonder about. Anyway. Thus renewed, they do manage to condense the aether down to a black sinister looking rubber band ball which Charlotte calls the first piece in the new barn. And Laura Mennell either continues to need marbles for her mouth or they're deliberately obscuring the word because I would have sworn she said new born at first. Then again given Agent Howard, barn, born, po-tay-to po-tah-to. And now that that's done, Charlotte can spare a thought for their tarot cards, and Audrey explains the Moon's ambiguity and the Lovers. Which does not get the joyous reception Audrey expects given that she's all set to tease her mother about Dwight (oh god, that would make Dwight possibly eventually her stepfather hi Audrey, enjoy that). No, Charlotte's thinking what we're thinking, which is that this is going to pull her husband back from wherever he died. Or didn't die, in this case. She might even be afraid of that, depending on what her proof was that Croatoan had killed him, or if there was any and they didn't just assume because void and monster and so on. Maybe she is now wondering if he didn't die, if he's coming back. (Maybe she senses him coming back?) Whichever combination of these ominous things it is, her face clearly screams oh shit. Not the happy reunion Audrey expected. Charlotte brushes it off with the least convincing "it's nothing" since the Teagues and says they should go. That, at least, is very much the truth.

Luckily for Charlotte's complete lack of subterfuge, Dwight's all chained up and serves as a great distraction. I hope you all appreciate our restraint (ahem) in not making any more bondage jokes than are strictly necessary. She's giving over the aether and ordering Audrey to fuck off for parts unknown. She could be more blatant about I need you to take this and get it away from me and put it somewhere I don't know about, but she'd need to say it like that, and she doesn't, because at the moment she's reacting on headfuckery and terror. I know we've been hard on her - not without reason - but this is one of the times I am most sympathetic. Oh look, they created an aether core which is now an extremely dangerous and transportable and hence stealable weapon… and she discovered her supposedly-dead husband is not so dead, fucking with everyone's memories, fucking with them on purpose and specific, and would probably enjoy killing her new lover if he's now the evillest of the evil. Whether or not she truly loves Dwight or views him as a pet is irrelevant, though at this point I'm starting to lean toward the former, she doesn't want that to happen. (I think she did probably view him as a pet to some degree until people [Audrey mostly] knocked her head around and she grew some empathy. Actually.) At any rate, she's going to stay with Dwight really and Audrey should take the aether core and hide it somewhere safe before the effects of the cards kick in. Yes, she said cards plural, yes this should be a clue, but everyone's getting hammered in the crisis centers and not thinking as clearly as they ought. Dwight cracks a joke about how she really will stay with him when he's old and can't do for himself, and this sort of thing, that kiss and lingering look? That's why I buy she's actually fallen for him, or in the process of falling, anyway. Yes, she wants to, but she's going to slip him a small token of her affection and then run off in a last-ditch attempt to lead the bad guy away from the people she loves. Oh Charlotte. While normally we yell a lot about this kind of idiot heroing stunt, I completely understand why she does it in this case, which is a very nice change of pace for this trope. Nobody has any reason to believe that her husband-Croatoan-thing can be defeated by any of these people, Audrey doesn't have Mara's instincts or viciousness in some respects, and everyone else involved may have Trouble-type superpowers but they come with substantial downsides. Or in Dwight's case, nothing but downsides that he's still figured out how to turn into a weapon, see also the cave under the lighthouse and getting Dave shot. Nathan might be able to stand up to a lot, but blood loss and other physical traumas still weaken him, more in many cases because he doesn't get the cues other people do of "hey dumbass you're overdoing it SIT THE FUCK DOWN NOW." So yes, I'm sympathetic toward this move even as I'm extremely wary of what it's going to do to Dwight's mental state to be thus abandoned. Again, if for a better reason. At least he seems to be sort of trying to tamp down on the struggling urges, since that's not helping. Yelling her name after her also isn't helping, Dwight, you need an actual argument. Meanwhile Audrey's on a street outside somewhere and her new card is kicking in with rather literal blurring of reality and illusion. First she nearly drops the aether core, then her left hand starts to look like the pavement below, from her perspective. Well fuck. I hope you all appreciate how many Star Wars jokes we're not making here, between daddy dearest's return and the vanishing beginning with her left hand. Seriously, you guys, you did that on purpose didn't you. If someone actually loses a hand for good along the line here I'm going to facepalm so much. Given the Dark Tower references we're expecting Duke to at least lose a few fingers. Did-a-chok. Dod-a-chum.

Gloria is calling Vince and Dave Bert and Ernie now. Well, they kind of are a couple of muppets. I do wonder if there wasn't more in here that wasn't cut for time, given that it's increasingly becoming separated from the main line, but it is still giving us some useful information. Like she's managed to link the lost time to damage in the brain's hippocampus, which is... semi-accurate? The extremely short version, after a brief conversational digression and some looking at articles, is that memory encoding for our brains isn't a simple one step process. There's a window of time after an event, most commonly addressed is a traumatic event, where the brain can be prevented from writing those memories to long term. That's not even getting into the unreliability of long-term memories, which aren't at issue here at the moment, not to mention the mechanism of learning and memorizing facts or actions, all of which are other parts or pathways in the brain and at this point I only bring it up to pre-empt well why didn't they forget this questions. This Croatoan's memory wipe feature then seems to work differently from whatever completely blanked out Audrey II's entire narrative memory, or maybe more accurately suppressed, since she did seem to be gaining some back at the end. It works instead as that pill does, in the immediate aftermath of a crisis, wiping out just the temporarily banked memories from the brain and leaving them pretty much irretrievable. On the other hand, finally bringing it back around to the current episode of Haven, that means Gloria can test for people who've lost time! We know Vince and Dave have lost time before, here's the part we didn't know: that all three of them have lost time within the last twenty four hours. And annoyingly, we still don't know how much, or if they know how much. So what the hell has Croatoan been up to? (And the fact that they're referring to it as a person rather than as the No Marks Killer suggests they have been looped in, GOOD EVERYONE.)  

Meanwhile, Audrey's still looking for a place to hide the stupid aether. And she's running out of time, given that she's cutting out in the middle of the phone conversation. By the time she's on the ground she's pretty much a torso and a head, that's not going to end well. Isn't ending well already. Nathan tries to get Lainey to draw another card, at which point she asks what would be the point, it could be even worse! She's right, there's all the inverse meanings, god knows what the Death card would do, change everything. There's the entirety of the swords except for the two left to go, a couple of the wands, at least half of the Major Arcana are ambiguous. It's a losing game. So, Nathan decides they'll change the game, having finally hit upon the part where Tarot is interactive, you ask a question and get an answer. Kind of. For the purposes of television, it can be that simple. So instead of drawing another card, he'll have her shuffle the deck and answer a different question. Which means we have a Ghostbusters type situation here, only instead of don't think of anything it's, ask a really really good question. I'm a little afraid to speculate what Croatoan/Daddy Dearest might have asked, although given how this plays out I'm fairly certain it was the kind of question that very thoroughly stacks the deck so every card increases chaos and screws everyone over. I do however, like Lainey's expression of you are out of your fucking mind as she tells him it better be a good question. I. Um. "What fate have we earned?" That is not like a good fucking question, Nathan. Jesus christ. That kind of question, I mean, okay, he does precede it with referring to with everything they've done for Haven, so that does give it some context and hopefully leaves out what Charlotte did to Mara, what Mara did to Haven, etc. But dear god, Nathan, you have done some shitty things, Audrey was willing to do some shitty things, that is not the question I would have asked if I wanted to be safe. On the other other hand, narrative says, and in this case it says you bet big, you win big. She turns over the Judgment card for him, defining it as "as long as your intentions are pure, nothing can stand in your way." Which isn't how I'd define it but sure, why not. It seems to work.

It worked well enough that Dwight's shaking off his assorted chains, too! And picking up his phone and giving Charlotte a whole two rings before he decides she's probably not going to answer at all and now is the time to send someone else after her. Well, he's not wrong, given how she left. Which he will now fill Audrey in about and oh shit, she left her magic ring to let him go through the void safely? Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fuckbeans. No, she wouldn't have gone anywhere without it and she wouldn't have left it with Dwight if she didn't think/fear he'd need it. Also she is attempting to pack up all her shit when Shat Happens instead. I honestly don't know where/what she's planning to do, since he interrupts her, but it does include the one lone ball of aether she stuck in the test tube earlier today! I am kind of terrified that that means some form of sympathetic magic means Croatoan-Shatner can use that to track down the location of the aether core, even easier than just random aether in general, particularly aether that's been hanging around other people's bodies. Yeah, I know, what a lovely thought, you're welcome. We did see earlier that William's aether balls twitched and bobbled in the presence of other aether, so. Maybe? We also have thoughts about how the aether must do a DNA rewrite in order for it to be transmissible down genetic lines, and does that mean the Troubled are in fact not quite human anymore? I'm sure something in Charlotte's research would tell us that! Alas, the lights go out and instead we get a very, very blatant iteration of Who She Is In The Dark. Until he speaks, I think she was hanging onto the last shred of hope that maybe this was something else, but then she looks up and no, she knows that voice. Even if it is pretty Vader-esque by now. I mean, I think Shatner can do that, but his natural speaking voice is not basso profundo, thanks, it's more of a flexible tenor or baritone. So yes, she thought he was dead, one of these days we're going to get his original name and I swear to god if it's Marten or Martin or Walter or anything with the initials RF or anything fucking else along those lines we're going to scream and type the entire recapalypse from behind the couch. Under the bunker. Anyway. Except when she heard about the people having their Troubles sucked out of their eyeballs and how that was a whole new exciting experience, she started putting some facts together. Rather than retype everything, I'm actually just going to link this most excellent tumblr post about timelines and how things fall out, because the upshot here is that the timeline this person postulates works out really well for the original Roanoke colony to be one of daddy-dearest's satellite experiment locations and thus it was not, in fact, William and Mara's fault that whole thing went down. Or at least not solely their fault, but they came through to visit her father, maybe? Since we have mention of a "demon couple" coming through late 1400s/early 1500s (five hundred years ago) to North Carolina, but Croatoan is the major focus, so I would be willing to bet all three of the fuckers were involved. Croatoan-Shat definitely does not think of these people as his equals, he has an us-and-them mentality and Charlotte just got put into Them. Well fine, she says, she'll damn well associate with them, because fuck you, husband, you're an evil menace now. Can't he come out of the darkness so she can see how evil? Apparently that counts as goading. Why does it count as goading? What would happen if he did? INQUIRING MINDS, GODDAMMIT. Is he currently a formless evil black mist and taking proper shape requires effort that he doesn't want to expend and would be a mistake? If so, how the hell does she know that? He's going to gloat some more, regardless, over how he's waited this long and she can't get him to make a mistake and also where is the aether core? He wants it, precious. Okay, seriously dude, what exactly did you think was going to happen here, Charlotte was going to say oh yes, of course, darling, and hand it over? Idiot. Though she does reveal that Audrey's got it, emphasizes that Audrey is her daughter now, not his. While I'm a little icked by the possessiveness there given Charlotte's history on this show, it's at least in line with reasonably healthy and understandable mama-bear reactions, unlike a lot of her other reactions, so I can accept that. Croatoan-Shat wants to meet Audrey! Yeaaah how about no. We all say no. Charlotte's no comes at the point of a knife, and that's a dark figure shaped actually more like William-Colin Ferguson than William Shatner, but we can safely assume that this is not going to go well for her. Not just because Haven has a really bad habit of killing off its women who aren't Audrey (STOP THAT SHIT), but also because last-ditch desperate stabbings usually get turned back on the person attempting them.

Over in the mountains of North Carolina, she said, typing from under the covers in the mountains of North Carolina, Duke is sitting by a campfire and a sleeping Seth. Why they're making a campfire instead of getting a hotel room I don't know in-universe, out of universe I know exactly what's going on the second the denim-clad Walter shows up. Why is he denim-clad. Why is he dressed like Flagg. Who decided this should be a thing. I mean, he's also dressed like Duke but I think there's more than a little hey we can put him in denim all like Flagg here. Complete with the faintly western type of grizzle that's going on. He could even be from around here, but he'd need a touch more flannel. Anyway. He's just going to appear without warning, because that's what these assholes do, and tell Duke to buck up. Duke will not buck up, Duke will flail around in startlement and wonder where Seth is and if he's hallucinating. Both very good questions! Sadly no? Why sadly? What the fuck is going on with you, creepy Walter-Flagg hybrid. I'll have you know I actually got down my book, sadly not the original edition where it was Walter and not Marten-Flagg but you know, and this original conversation in the Dark Tower series took place in a golgotha. A place of the skull, a place of death. So I guess a cemetery worked well enough, since we tend not to have golgothas here in the mountains? This is also, by the way, where Walter drew Roland's cards for the next book. So we've got the tarot in here too. In the TV show, he's just giving Duke answers. Hopefully these are answers we get to hear in the next episode because we cut the scene here. I don't know what I want more, answers or no nightmares for the next few weeks. I will admit, here, while I'm paused at the end of the scene, that he never actually admits to being Walter. We're meant to infer it because Duke searching, the grave, and then this guy pops up out of nowhere, but in this brief scene we never hear him introduce himself or confirm Duke's assumption, so we technically do not know who this is. I'm still going to go with Walter. Or Marten, as a close guess behind. The original cards in the Gunslinger reading in this scene, by the way and for anyone who wants to be morbidly amused, were the Hanged Man, the Sailor (not in our tarot), the Prisoner, the Lady of Shadows, Death (but not for you, gunslinger), the Tower, and Life (but not for you). We've already seen two of those, and if we really want to reach (or is it a reach?) we can look forward into The Drawing of the Three, where there were three doors on the beach (and Jake, who was different) and three things happened: one person was drawn through, the Prisoner, Eddie Dean in the book and possibly William here, the Lady of Shadows was drawn through, O-Detta Susannah and others in the book and possibly Charlotte here, and the Pusher was... not really drawn through. Instead Roland went through and merged with him to get the person he merged with killed, so, what, is that Daddy Dearest and Croatoan? The parallels aren't exact but they hit enough points to make me twitch. Anyway, next week we get to see Walter giving Duke's forehead a magic bad touch, so that'll be fun.

Audrey is off to Charlotte's… lab? I still want to know exactly what areas are off-limits due to poison gas with creepy face and what areas are available, because these sets are not giving us many clues. Mind you, given where they film the exteriors there's only so many clues they can give without building an entire replica of Chester to destroy as appropriate to the episode, but argh. Gun drawn, all due hesitation until she finds blood-covered Charlotte on the floor. Some of that doesn't look like it's hers. Some of that looks like she managed to injure Croatoan-Shat. I am so okay with that. She does, though, have some blood around her mouth, less like internal bleeding signs of imminent death and more like she's been hit across the face. I wouldn't call that a good sign, since she's not getting up. Just a less death-coded one. We have a very well-acted but fairly standard so glad I got to know you, sorry I'm dying just as you needed me to guide you, Audrey protests that Charlotte chose her for a reason and she's glad to be alive. Well, yes. So would most people be. Charlotte takes advantage of her last moments to tell Audrey that the new Barn is the only way to stop Croatoan-her husband and he wants to know what they did to her with Mara. Oh this can't possibly end well. Does that mean Mara's memories and personality are somewhere still available for a person with the right kind of power to access? Also what's this we, Charlotte, is that forced-teaming or is this something about putting Audrey back in Mara's body that we haven't had reference to previously? Regardless, she gets out the most important part, that her husband became the monster, and she orders it as her husband, Mara's father, Audrey's father, which is interesting but goes in line with how Audrey's not quite sure how she fits in with this family unit and bloodline either. And then she seemingly dies! I appreciate that they didn't have Audrey do the extra heartstrings yank of calling her Mom or Mother and seeming to mean it, because they're not there yet. They do, however, trust and love each other a fuck of a lot more than they used to, and that alone would make this heartwrenching.

Next week! It's called Perditus, so that's not good, Perditus being Latin for destruction, ruin, Fuck Everything. And Charlotte's getting resurrected, possibly by one of the sisters we saw a season and a half ago? Ish? So at least there's that, though I really wish we had a better track record within the world of fiction in general and Stephen King ish in particular for people not Coming Back Wrong. Oh, and in Duke's Walter-induced vision-world everyone is dead (except Vicki? Is that Vicki?) but that could just be Walter being Walter.


  1. Noticed the denim thing quite a while ago, don't know if it has a deeper meaning but James Cogan in his death scene was wearing a denim jacket, Max Hansen when he came to Haven also wore one and 8 year old Duke also wore a denim jacket

    1. Given the lack of other indicators I'd say it didn't until someone came along who, in all other respects, looks and slightly acts like Flagg-Marten-Walter-some-combination-of-that-character-thereof. I mean, denim is a fairly general style choice? (Duke wears it a lot, for that matter.) It's just that it's also the distinctive look, combined with the hair cut, physical features and age of the actor chosen, that gives it the look of Flagg from the TV miniseries version of The Stand at the very least.

      (It could also be a reflex. I have a reflex about Flagg.)