Hey look, it's the Groundhog Day ep! This may make the recaplysis slightly shorter, or it may not, who knows. Perhaps we've learned some concision in the last year? Stop laughing, you there in the back. (K: No. Shan't.) The previouslies this time include a massive focus on Audrey Parker, Savior of Haven, and her slowly coming to accept this role and her immunities. Also Chris Brody and his charisma Trouble, which continues to be creepy. Like way to point up some of the ways in which her and Nathan aren't a healthy relationship either, dude! Nobody believes that her immunity plays no role in why you asked her out. We pronounce that "wishful thinking." A more honest statement would be that he's not sure what role her immunity plays but it's nice to be around someone who calls him on his shit instead of fawning over him, maybe. Except I don't have that much faith in Brody that this isn't a case of Dickhead Wants What He Can't Get Easily. Never mind that Audrey finds being wanted for herself and not her abilities with the Troubles its own kind of intoxicating. This whole thing is so fucked up.
But we start with what appears to be a rather cute morning-after! This means it'll be ruined shortly, because fucking Haven. I can't even fault Chris Brody's wakeup, it's a brief kiss accompanied by some teasing, and he informs her he made plans for her day off. Surprise plans! That is, my misgivings about this relationship aside, rather cute and sweet, provided you're the kind of person who enjoys romantic surprises like that. We also get a Significant Shot of the alarm clock set to 7:34, which I don't think has any Stephen King type significance. (You could stretch to adding the numbers and come up with 14, but that's one more than Maerlyn's Rainbow, so I got nothin' offhand.) Audrey has a day off, but one official piece of police business beforehand. And before that there will be first thing in the morning sex, which she initiates, which is at least nice to see.
After they finally make themselves presentable, we get further indication of what day it is because Duke's out writing the Taco Tuesday sign with a careful hand. Audrey and Chris will now sneak out like errant schoolchildren, because Audrey doesn't want Duke poking his nose into her love life (which he will TOTALLY do) and neither of them wants the Brody Trouble interfering with their plans. Guys, if you just TOLD Duke to look away? No? No. They scamper into the car and drive away over Duke's grumbling about it's the 4th of the month where's his rent check, and then some truly adorable (and well-placed) grouching about trusting law enforcement. Bear in mind that this is somewhat before they start really trusting each other, though after a number of lifesaving events, so Duke has ample experience with law enforcement abusing their positions of authority. Especially after the stunts Audrey II pulled on him to get him to help her look for the barn, let's not forget!
Audrey's Official Business turns out to be giving a talk at the local grade school's Career Day, which she lost out on in a game of rock-paper-scissors with Nathan. Well, if anyone has a tell out of the pair of them, it's liable to be her! Chris displays a certain degree of knowing people despite his being Scrooge McDuck around them (seriously we're both introverts and we're not THAT snarly at other humans most of the time), since his first question is if she lost a bet. We then proceed to focus the camera on a number of small but significant events: the kid speeding to school late without a helmet, the jogger who hurdles the bush, and the couple arguing in a minivan. Moving on inside, Audrey will now demonstrate that she does not know kids oh my god Audrey what are you doing. I mean, when I was a kid I would have been fascinated by a nice FBI lady coming to tell me all about her drug cartel bust, complete with fourteen snipers and synchronized explosions! But not every kid is quite that weird, and you DEFINITELY shouldn't be doing that in front of their poor discombobulated teacher. Who is going to have so many awkward questions to answer after this. She winds that up awkwardly with a never-do-drugs sentence and takes questions, which will also Be Important Later. In fact, just assume everything will Be Important Later! No, you cannot shoot the gun, kid, it'd probably break your wrists. And maybe your nose. Recoil is a thing. No, she has never broken the law, shut up in the back, she would never, hey Chris, if you're going to laugh so much she's going to sic a roomful of kids on you. Yeah, you kinda did deserve that, dude. Although I semi-appreciate his attempts to teach the kids something important (to him, granted, but still) if he has to deal with them around his Trouble. I mean, in that setting at that time, it's not a bad use! It's where he starts later talking people out of money that I give him a lot of side-eye. Or intends to, as he tells her when talking her out of seeing to a downed tree. (On Route 27. I see what you guys did there.) I will allow that no seriously, it is a downed tree, unless something supernatural gets associated with it it's probably NOT something Audrey needs to go deal with, stop being a workaholic. But I also disapprove of his "I was going to go bilk a bunch of suits out of money for funding for my pet projects but you're more important than that!" Uh. What about all the other people doing important and meaningful projects, are they going to get money for theirs? Also that is crass emotional manipulation. She seems to know it, too, because despite the new relationship glowy kiss, she breaks off to go to work when the all available officers text comes in. He is so not happy about this, but yes, he can find a ride, he'll just walk along a road somewhere and someone will inevitably offer.
As it turns out, the all officers text is not about the downed tree, or not directly: it's about an accident with a fatality, that turns out to be a kid wearing a green shoe. Nathan doesn't even have time to tell her boy or girl before he has to hold her back from going to the site, and he even looks red around the eyes. Plus that stoic fuck-this-hurts way he's got. So we know it's bad, and that he doesn't see any reason for Audrey to be scarred by it too…
And then she wakes up. To the very same kiss and "did I wake you?" as before, and the time is the same, and Audrey has a Very Bad Feeling about this. Roll credits! When we come back she's making the confused face of please let this not be a Trouble please let this just be a dream, and Chris is trying to tease her out of it because he has way less experience with weird Haven shit happening to her than, say, Duke! Hi Duke! Apparently they didn't take that long with the early morning nookie, because he's not that much further back on his sign-making. Alliterate, Duke, the word you're looking for is alliteration. Audrey is still looking for reasons that this isn't the same day all over again, pays Duke her rent, and Duke will now proceed to give Audrey the shovel talk. Which would be much cuter were it not Trouble-influenced. The waffles speech, however, is still adorable regardless. Duke are you smuggling maple syrup out of Canada? You know they frown on that, and the Mounties enjoy busting people over it.
Ahem. They scamper out of there and over to the school, the only change is that Chris asks if she lost a bet to Wuornos rather than to Nathan this time, because he's somewhat more annoyed and on edge. The kid who was late on the first iteration of this day is still late, Audrey confirms that it's his first tardy and reminds him to wear a helmet because she is a Good Cop, we don't see the other two people but we can assume they're around. By now Audrey is thoroughly rattled and proceeds to rattle everyone else by answering questions before they're asked. Did you come up with that law-breaking explanation on the spur of the moment, or were you thinking about it the whole car ride over, Audrey? She will now turn the floor over to Chris Brody (and I forgot to mention last time but this is the season where they started sticking up Vince and Dave's Twitter handles on random sets; this time it's at the back of the room next to Brody) so she can run away. Down to the station where she can be unnerved at Nathan! Who cracks a joke about her being stuck in his second-favorite Bill Murray movie, thank you for the lampshade, Nathan, and then accuses her of finding excuses to work on her day off. No, she's serious, someone's going to die at noon and she refuses to let it happen the same way again. So he'll take the details she's got from last time, and points out that he doesn't feel any different. Audrey hasn't yet considered that it's a Trouble doing this and she knows what it is because she's immune, which is kind of jarring to leap back to from s5 where everyone's all "oh something fucked up is happening WHO'S GOT THE DAMN TROUBLE THIS TIME." Nathan, instead, brings it up, because he of all people is aware (constantly) that she's immune to them. They will attempt to find a kid with green tennis shoes in order to save them, and right on cue the downed tree alert shows up to provide her with more tangible credibility than "you're my partner and I trust you." I like that you think you can get ahead of this somehow, Audrey, but no, not so much.
Our first sign of this comes with Audrey talking to Nathan on the phone about how nothing out of the ordinary is apparent, and Duke shouting her name. Why? Because he wandered downtown to deal with payroll a day early, and discovered she forgot to sign the check. As you do when you're confused and distraught! Be furniture for Audrey to sign the check, Duke, and he'll keep grumbling in typical Duke fashion. Hates payroll, hates banks, loves money, yes, dear, we know it's such a letdown to be a respectable-ish businessman running a normal payroll and maybe sometimes paying taxes. Despite all the grumbling, he's still perceptive enough to ask Audrey why she's stressed, turning it into a joke about Chris Brody not being a good lay and getting punched for his pains. You two could be somehow more siblings on the playground but you'd have to work at it. I'm just saying. And he crosses the street as the noon bells start ringing, which of course means we need a momentary red herring to the tune of hey kid, are your sneakers green? No they are not. But we also learn why a kid was out in the first place: half-day of school, which means it could be anyone. Great! Just great. This is now Audrey's cue to call Nathan back and say maybe just being here was enough to stop it, no, honey, that's very optimistic of you and no. Nathan, I think, is about to say something about how that's not how it works, you can't make that assumption, and then is interrupted by squealing tires and a thump. No, Nathan is not dead. (Yet.) It's Duke's turn to get hit and die! Unfortunately all of his injuries look internal, and not to the tune of CPR being any help, which means there's just about nothing they can do: elevate the legs and keep him warm are about the only things outside of a hospital setting. Internal injuries are vicious. Audrey will now proceed to blame herself because she gave Duke his rent check and therefore it's her doing. No, but given s5 revelations I would not at all be surprised to find that Charlotte's bullshit punishment bends reality around Audrey and her compatriots to increase her trauma. That was a bad thought. I wish I hadn't had it. Even if it does turn out to be bullshit fanwank for narrative causality. Everyone stands around gawping, Nathan comes running to tell them the ambulance is on the way and starts to have an awkward stoic-Nathan attempt to explain feelings? Apologize? We never find out, because Duke's last words are "shut up," which despite the circumstances is kind of funny.
Audrey protests some more, asks about the green shoes, and on "it wasn't supposed to happen this way," oh look, another reset. In which Audrey will steadily grow more and more traumatized, and poor Chris Brody, who I actually end up feeling some sympathy for in this ep (poor guy had NO idea what he was getting into, but that whole keeping secrets thing bites Audrey's love life in the ass). Because her first, understandable response, is oh god put on clothes go downstairs find Duke, which is the opposite of what Chris Brody's ego needs. That and the long desperate hug. Audrey you are confusing at least two of the men in your life. Please to be spitting out explanations soon. Not just to Nathan. No? No. Duke, to his credit, has a sort of "what the fuck Trouble is happening that I don't know about are you trying to seduce me what no" expression on. And then any potential explanations get sidelined by the Brody Trouble. I'm so amused and entertained that even though Duke keeps getting whammied by it, he's still emphatically himself about everything. "Express yourselves. Physically," indeed. Audrey sees her opportunity and takes advantage of the Brody Trouble to shove Duke and Chris together for the morning and please both of you just stay at the Gull and don't get dead, okay? Okay! Eric Balfour had way, WAY too much fun with these bits, right up to and including and probably especially "how do you like your maple syrup." (Dark, you heathen. How dare you suggest otherwise.)
Much of the dialogue remains the same with Nathan, until Audrey preempts it, but the setting changes this time to the school for Career Day. At first he's a bit dubious, because the first thing to happen (and the one that will eventually turn out to Be Significant) is the couple that starts fighting, and that could just be a good behavioral eye. The other two, though, the jogger and the kid on the bike? Not so much. There's a quick cut to the comment about Bill Murray movies so that we can skip explanation, Audrey yells at him (and mildly abuses her immunity, though I would too for so many reasons. how many times have we encouraged this? SO MANY) for joking about Duke dying. They skip over to such immediate questions as, okay, who the fuck's Trouble IS it? Can't be the victim if the vic changes, could be the driver though Audrey has a point, if it's the driver it would probably stick to the exact same place and time, and the victim might matter even to a hit-and-run. Nathan brings up the point that, fine, they know the area and the time, they'll set up a checkpoint to catch the driver. Everyone feel free to facepalm now. Nathan is, at least, doing a good job of talking Audrey down from her freakout over but what if it happens again what if someone else dies, BEFORE she can get up to what if YOU die, and points out that she'll just tell him again. It'll be fine! Also, why are they at school? Because she needs help checking all the kids for green shoes. Oh AUDREY.
Our time to get Audrey's optimism of "maybe it won't happen!" is even shorter and seriously, woman, this is like saying "what could possibly go wrong" at this point. STOP DOING THAT. They have a perimeter, which means Audrey and Nathan are pretty nearly the only two around, which means of course Nathan will now die. After a jump-reveal from no-I'm-fine to oh-that's-timber-through-me. Yeah, Nathan? You are never the best judge of whether you're fine or about to be dead, okay? And that would be the blood loss kicking in for maximum woozy. Poor everyone. Especially poor Audrey, who gets to remember all of this! We get camera focus on her hand bashing into the broken-off sawhorse, which means as soon as Nathan's done dying and traumatizing Audrey some more, that will be important. Because Nathan is awesome he's trying to give her all the details he can about the driver before he expires, as it were, since he can't feel the pain and all he appears to have is basic shock. Again, this is not the kind of injury where you can do anything for it via first aid, you need a damn hospital and a surgical setup. Even a field hospital. Actually, that's a good question, Audrey, why haven't you gotten a field hospital into downtown Haven? You have about four and a half hours from when you wake up, there's a CHANCE that would be enough time. Probably because she's not yet used to commandeering everyone and everything in sight to deal with a Trouble, but seriously, that's what I'd do. Nathan proceeds to his Gothic Romance death of "the only thing I feel is you," which was kind of heartrending the first time and after five seasons of watching him get progressively dumber over Audrey, makes me go OH HONEY THIS IS WHY IT'S A PROBLEM. (Seriously third season would have gone SO MUCH DIFFERENTLY if Nathan, Audrey, and Jordan had just set up a cuddling club instead of sexytimes. Physical contact is a basic human need! WE KNOW THIS. But it doesn't have to be sex! Oh why do I bother.)
Our fourth restart breaks the pattern, both in that Audrey is really grateful for the reset and in that it's the first indication that her immunity has a terrible downside. Yes, she did keep her injury, which means if she dies in the repeating day, she dies for real. I have no idea what on any world the Barn would do with that, I assume it would do something, but that's small consolation to the fact that Audrey-qua-Audrey would be dead. So yes. She had best get around to stopping the loop. We come back from commercial break to Chris bandaging her up and getting her clothes and trying, in general, to be a decent human being. I will give him massive points for that! Just, dude your issues. Audrey honey, how long have you been around stupidly strong-willed men who take matters into their own hands? MAYBE you should offer explanations quick. But no. He's giving her the what the fuck is going on what the fuck did I do look, and sadly because he's the LEAST used to her being the epicenter of all Troubled activity out of all her friends, he's only sort of going to listen. After all, when it comes to people Audrey personally knows and cares about dying, we've only had two so far, so we gotta go for the rule of three. Yaaay. And for bonus points, Chris Brody's heard just enough of her traumatized babble to make some guesses, because he's not actually stupid. First, though, he has to go be corralled by Duke once more, this time not just with malice but with Audrey's request beforehand. Sigh, everyone. Sigh.
I would hate to be one of the people on the road as Audrey drives down to the station. I'm just saying. She can't freak out the same way she did with Duke and Chris, because people are around and they'll notice and probably assume romance rather than "oh hi I just saw you die in a different version of today." To be fair, Audrey, you're ignoring the blatantly obvious in favor of the first guy to actually ask you out, but hey. It's a very controlled freakout, complete with the utter adorable of Nathan using her to test the coffee, which is apparently a usual thing with them. Awwww! Also for all that she's trying to hide it, Nathan does a quite literal doubletake and then asks what's up. I should also note, finally, that in this lighting her costuming for this ep looks much darker, enough that I had to go back and make sure it was in fact the same chemise-buttonup-jacket combo. She's getting a bit sloppier about dressing herself, too, which is probably partially injury, partially fatigue, and partially trauma. I appreciate that after the first couple iterations we skip 90% of the explanations; we have a brief time-passes shot of the front of the station and then Nathan's reaction to dying. Uh-huh. I'd be a little wobbly too. It is only a little wobbly, Audrey skipping past it so she doesn't wobble and straight into the part where she keeps her injuries and thus she can die. It's very nice writing, too, because she's progressively not just more traumatized but more exhausted and less able to communicate clearly. Which is totally accurate! We can all count a number of times when we've been tired and gone "pass me the… the thingie." Nathan clearly gets it once Audrey's talking about keeping her injury, but she goes ahead and spells it out for maximum stoic!wobble. Oh Nathan. And with typical efficiency they move onto the thing they maybe can control, which is the hit-and-run driver. With a very nice bit of physical acting where Nathan rubs his side where the wood went through; I assume that's meant to indicate that Audrey told him all the details instead of him retaining some body-memory of the incident.
We come back after another panover of the town and they're doing everything they can, more or less by the cop book. Because Audrey has not yet adjusted to the fact that she has to almost always throw out the book and/or rewrite it in order to get anywhere with the Troubles, and it's her fallback coping mechanism. So there's a whiteboard of timing, each of the three accidents' locations, they've delegated green tennis shoes to the schools, they've given up on checkpoints, but wait there's one more thing: Nathan cannot go downtown. Complete with Audrey reaching to touch his hand to indicate how serious she is about this; she doesn't generally abuse her immunity to his Trouble. That she's doing it twice in one episode, not counting when he dies, is indicative of how unraveled she's getting. He finally agrees, and she gets to go off downtown herself because hello messiah complex, secure in what she thinks is the knowledge that Nathan, Duke, and Chris are all out of harm's way. And yeah, it does suck that she's making personal decisions like that and prioritizing her people, but by the same token if she's the one who can fix this, it would help if she were only the level of upset that comes from seeing someone die that she thought she was going to save. Not the added level of trauma from having that be someone she very much cares about. So! Audrey goes to downtown and works on getting people off the streets, she calls to update Nathan and he points out that everyone currently hates him for booting or impounding all the beige sedans. Yeah, that's probably a LOT of people. While they're busy thanking each other for their trust and fussing that Audrey needs to clear out in time, we get the bonus of her bandaged hand in the center of the shot. Just in case we needed reminding what the stakes here are.
Meanwhile back at the Gull, Duke is safe and cleaning bar glasses, and there's a nice big crowd in for lunch. Well, that's a lot of people who're safe! (If this were later in the show they might have just dealt with the potential panic caused by evacuating people away from the accident zone, and tried to save everyone that way, but it's clear they're trying very hard not to let on about it here. Which makes everything much more difficult.) There's a Red Sox game on which Duke gushes about when he picks up Audrey's call, and yes, Chris Brody is no longer at the Gull. Much to absolutely nobody's surprise. Guess who the next victim is! Duke was still, shall we say, heavily under the Brody Trouble's influence when he tried to talk Chris into staying, which is the only particularly humorous part of this ep. (And only because it leads to the hilarious Nuke shipping moment at the end.) In fact Chris is there when Audrey calls! Like right there. He is trying so hard to be a good boyfriend, too, which makes me wonder exactly how much of his grumpy asshole is trauma-related thanks to his father, or what. He brought medical supplies! And get-well stickers! And Audrey will now freak out at him. You know how I said explanations, Audrey? This would be a GREAT TIME FOR THAT. For fuck's sake. But no, the fact that this eventually turns out… okay-ish only cements in her head that she needs to shoulder it all alone. Now, where Chris Brody goes wrong is he severely, severely underestimates the weird. And is not so good at reading people, which doesn't surprise me given his terrible upbringing and current ability to just get… whatever he wants. But her pleas for him to get off the street end in snarly grumpy stalking off and throwing the presents in the trash. Which is not the way to continue convincing her that she wants to date you, dude, at least you could've left them with her and gone to cool off.
Audrey doesn't have time to dwell on this, though, because she finally spots the mailman who's our Troubled person, and the poor guy is trying desperately to cross the street. I would bet the bells are throwing his count off, too. At first all she assumes is that she needs to make sure he doesn't get hit by the car, and at 12:02 it looks like maybe they've successfully avoided the accident? Ahahaha no. And then she figures out that he has OCD issues and goes into Helpful LEO mode, bringing him across the street, and all I can think is wow dude please get medication. She gets him across the street and gets the hopeful phone call to Nathan in and oh look it's a BLUE car this time. Um. Oops? That would be why the delay, though, whoever the driver is had to find someone else. And it comes straight for her and she does a rabbit-freeze, probably due to exhaustion again, just in time for Chris Brody to show up out of nowhere and save her while dying himself. Yaaaaay. Cue Audrey having all of the guilt and then Anson Shumway showing up at the scene and taking the blame. And the guilt. And claiming it's because he made her cross the street and thus the bad thing happened. Oh honey. Audrey just barely has time to have the realization that he's the guy out of the couple arguing in the car, that he's always been there and must be the source of the Trouble, and then we reset for the fifth go-round. Poor everyone.
This reset comes with still more refusal to tell him what's up, though this time I think it's because she thinks she might have to die to end the day. Or that someone else might have to, maybe the poor kid from the first go-round, since that's what tripped the endless loop. In which case she doesn't want to deal with civilian opinions of whatever she has to do to make it stop. And Chris has firmly established himself as a civilian throughout this episode, where Duke and Nathan aren't so much. But because she opens with all of this and all of the weird and wanting to tell him but can't, he's more willing to do as she asks. Also, y'know, the crying plays a big part in that. So off she goes to try and fix the stupid fucking Trouble. While I'm at this, it occurs to me that Haven is a much more tragic and/or realistic world than the world in the original Groundhog Day: sure, Bill Murray goes through some tough times in there, but ultimately it's not a bad thing. Here? It's a bad thing every time and Audrey gets steadily more exhausted and traumatized by it.
Rather than go to Nathan, she books it for the school parking lot to see if she can talk to Shumway and get some info on him before his ex shows up and the argument starts. I'm not convinced this is the smartest idea ever, but it definitely works! The poor guy thinks that his ex-wife called the cops on him, and we learn that he's in a custody dispute over their daughter and recently diagnosed with OCD. He was supposed to pick her up for school today and missed it because of said OCD. Audrey is duly sympathetic to his woes, gets his name out of him, and yes, he's rather on edge. I wonder how much he carries with him from day to day. Also I would just point out that OCD that severe would probably be fucking MEDICATED oh my god. So either the psydoc is a shitty psydoc, or he or she (Claire, was this you?) hasn't found the right meds yet. Either is entirely possible! We also get the explanation of a sort for how his Trouble works; if he doesn't get things exactly right terrible things will happen and they'll be his fault! I honestly kind of hope nobody got triggered out of their heads watching this, because from what I can tell, while it's a fairly stereotypical portrayal of OCD, it is the basic nightmare scenario that a lot of OCD ruminations culminate in, as I understand it. Audrey is about to try and break this news to him when his ex pulls up to start yelling. I don't see the kid in the car, which I suppose is something, and while his ex is a little snarly I really can't blame her for taking the ultimate stance of, look, you have to be able to be a good father if you want custody. Neglecting your kid is not being a good father, and I can see all kinds of nightmare scenarios where, who knows, she's hurt or sick and he delays taking her to the doctor because he can't break the OCD spiral. Like at that point, dude, the terrible thing has already happened! Go deal with it! So I can see a definite argument for at minimum full custody until meds and therapy have some effect, and potentially for the rest of ever and supervised visits. Mental illness sucks on a lot of levels, moreso when you have a child's needs to place first. I'm not fond of the ex's worry over her daughter starting to see that her dad's not like other dads, but I will charitably chalk that up to concern over bullying at school. Which is valid! The kid without a helmet comes by again, cueing Audrey to shout at him about wearing a fucking helmet, and at a guess the exasperated tone in her voice is one of the things that causes Shumway to take off. Because the cop lady might have BEEN nice but now she's scary and might try doing things to him, who knows what the logic there is.
We skip explanations entirely this time and go straight to, we have an hour and Nathan has done all the things appropriate to the situation! APB on his car, flagged credit cards, sent manpower into the streets to look for him, etc etc etc. Audrey has a great point about the impound-and-boot attempt, that at least if they don't do that, they have a description on the car. And a timeframe that's more accurate. All of that useful stuff! She will now pinpoint guilt as the emotion at work here, yes, that's not much of a stretch at all, that even if Shumway's not directly responsible he feels like he is, and therefore he takes all the guilt and goes back to try and reset the day and get it right. But he takes that out of everyone else's memory every time he does it. (I have a question! Is something like this what happened with the memory-fogging for the Colorado Kid's murder? This plus the barn? How is this tied in? It's a memory Trouble, you would think there would be SOME kind of tie-in here.) This leaves Audrey as the only one with detailed memory of the events, and thus the best candidate to stop it, to whatever extent she still has details in her memory. As she points out, she's been up for five days straight, which, not quite? But assuming about 4.5 hours a day for four days plus the 3.5 she's been up now, yeah, she's over 20 hours straight, which is enough to hit almost anyone with fatigue poisons. To say nothing of emotional shock and trauma. So this freakout is completely expected and long overdue, in some respects, and Nathan reminds her that she's awesome and she's got this. In essence. And he means it every time! So there. Our adorable is forestalled by Stan sticking his head in to announce a hit on Shumway's credit card, and absolutely everyone knows it's green tennis shoes. Well, Audrey plus the audience knows.
Now we come to the big reveal, as theorized by Audrey! Anson wanted to see his daughter on her birthday, he gets her something he knows she wants, but then he gets stuck at the street curb and can't get across the street. Jeanie sees her dad, runs to him, gets hit by car, begin endless loop. I'm going to trust that "she was his first victim" is Audrey speaking from either Anson's point of view or from her trauma, not from what she really thinks of him. But he has the shoes, so now they have to figure out how to stop this before Jeanie dies again.
I would love to know what the fuck they're passing along as the voicemails to all these people who don't know about the Troubled still. Your daughter is in danger is very very ambiguous and liable to send parents into a complete panic. In danger how? From what? Or whom? And what on earth did they tell the school when they sent them off to search for kids with green tennis? I mean seriously, these are some bizarre requests, I know Nathan has ways of dealing with them but I wish we saw more of the straightforward civilian pushback and less of the Rev being a shithead. At any rate. Audrey drives downtown to look for Anson Shumway, nobody's been able to get hold of mother or daughter, while she's on the phone with Nathan and running the thank you for trusting me speech again she spots him! As you do for narrative convenience. I believe there's three iterations (drink!) of Nathan calling her "Parker" before she hangs up the phone. (I appreciate that there's NOT three iterations of the day, but there are three iterations of Audrey losing someone close to her, so feel free to kill the bottle regardless.) Poor Shumway is rather defensive, as people tend to be (well, people who believe cops are safe) when a cop is making abrupt demands of them. Particularly as self-conscious as he is over his OCD and not being able to beat it. Oh honey. Audrey helps him across the street again, fortunately well before noon, and once again we shall skip explanations.
And go straight into denial, doubt, shame, guilt, all of that. Isn't it FUN. With extra bonus points because this is a real disorder, it's one that's poorly understood by laypeople and even worse in its portrayal, generally speaking. I would say that this part, in the car, is actually the best depiction of how much this fucking sucks for Anson: he does KNOW things are irrational in his brain, he knows nothing actually terrible is going to happen, but that's all on the intellectual level. Just like a person with depression can (may not, but can) know intellectually that they're not a waste of space, that everyone has a right to get help, and may not believe it at all or be able to act as if they do. This desperate attempt to explain is really, really well-written and acted, and I kind of want to give him all the hugs. Audrey will now proceed with her massive lack of mental health knowledge to spout off about how if he can control his OCD he can save everyone's lives. Um. Audrey. A little clarity would go a long LONG way here. And no, I don't think what happens is directly her fault, but I also think that if she a) weren't completely fucking exhausted and b) hadn't rejected all help, she might have found a better way to talk him down. Or not! It is, as we will see, that doubt that gets you every fucking time. With eleven minutes to go Audrey also doesn't have a ton of time to figure out a better way. I swear to god if the people in this fucking town would just take half an hour every night to study mental disorders, trauma, and how the two combine, they would all be MUCH healthier and probably safer. But they are Stoic Maine People and Don't Do That, and Claire was frankly a terrible shrink even before she got skinnapped, so that makes everyone dig their heels in harder and refuse any but their own perceptions. (Plus, yes, it's hard to look at these things in the middle of your own trauma, but if you're going to claim this is your JOB…) The moment comes, the moment passes, Anson tells Audrey where Jeanie is and asks for proof in return, which is somewhat helpful as a balance of power in this car. She gives him the Red Sox' comeback, and then lists everything after that, which was so NOT the right decision but I see where she feels like she needs to offer the maximum amount of proof. It's just a terrible, terrible idea, and gives Anson worse ideas, and the proof showing up on the radio cements it. I'm going to ignore that really bad believe-me line in favor of, okay, here are the shoes, he's staying in the car, she's going to go off and deliver them and make sure Jeanie stays safe. We can see from the jaw tightening and fingers twitching that Anson's making decisions as Audrey leaves, but she doesn't see this. The music informs us these decisions are bad.
On into the ice cream parlor we go, with one of the most forced smiles we've seen out of Audrey in awhile. She gives Anson the out of "official police business" for why he's not here, and then his OCD kicks in when the phone rings. Being of a generation where texts aren't the be-all and end-all, I wonder how many important calls he's missed because of this ritual. He will now berate himself to control it, because that always helps, and finally picks up so we can have the tearjerking happy birthday/goodbye combo. Jeanie, in a demonstration of how kids understand a fuck of a lot more than we give them credit for, insists she knows why he does these things. I just hope that's not foreshadowing that this is a Trouble that doesn't care which side of the family it gets passed down. Anson will now give his daughter a speech about being anything she wants and keeping everyone safe, and I think his poor ex-wife has a pretty good idea of what's going on. Jeanie has a pretty good idea something is wrong, she must, and Audrey has the sinking expression of oh fuck what did I do. She will, of course, not be in time to stop Anson from committing suicide by speeding car, complete with jerky camera direction on her for maximum demonstration of her crying as she runs. And no, it won't reset, but she already knew that it wouldn't. I continue to wonder if Anson kept maybe some degree of body memory of the previous days, or something, because he comes to this decision awfully fucking fast.
The denouement takes us over to the Gull, where Audrey is firmly and completely blaming herself. They could foreshadow the parallels and Audrey's decision to go into the Barn in a season and a half a little more, but they'd have to bring out the anvils. Nathan tells us that the driver was an old man, confused about which was gas and brake, and the other car was his wife's. Everything gets nicely spelled out for us in case we didn't pick up on how this works, and Nathan proceeds to give Audrey a you-can't-save-everyone speech. Um. Nathan? Sometimes you can't save even the one person you desperately want to save, which would seem to be the point of this episode, and MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR OWN FUCKING ADVICE. Audrey, however, has taken her savior-of-Haven appointment completely to heart now that she doesn't have anything else to fall back on for identity. Cue more speechifying from Nathan, which only makes me want to shake future!him until his teeth rattle MORE. Got the world moving forward again? Did what he had to do to save his daughter and the town? NATHAN DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF. You hypocrite. I do wonder what would have happened had Anson not stepped out: would time have continued on? Would the driver have crashed and ended up killing himself? Would he have killed someone else in a much different location? We can never know, and Audrey takes that as her personal failure, which means Nathan tells her she can never fail him. Sure. So that's why you overrode her choice to go into the Barn. No I am not bitter at all why do you ask.
Not that Audrey looks convinced, but then Chris Brody wanders up with clear intent to check on his girlfriend, leading to an adorable head-duck and eye-shading so Nathan doesn't actually look at him when he walks back into the Gull. Duke, however, is still looking at him and being all, as Nathan puts it, man-crush. Nathan's going to just laugh at him for the next ever about this, which is unusual enough (and lacks enough malice) to startle Duke into demanding answers. Seriously I can't believe none of you told him this before. You assholes. It does give us an awesome Duke/Nathan moment of putting one finger on his jaw to turn his head back from looking at Chris, which is so fucking cute I can't even. Yeah, Duke, Nathan's going to tease you about this forever. And ever. At least when it's about this kind of thing it's not the sharper, more likely to result in damage to the tentative trust and friendship they're building here.
Chris Brody tries very hard to draw Audrey out, get her to talk about stuff, and she's even more withdrawn and uncommunicative than she was before. This time it's the withdrawn of still being in shock and having the past five days catch up to her all at once, and if Chris were a little better with people I think he'd just wrap her up, take her upstairs, and bug her about what the fuck tomorrow or the next day, but sometime after some sleep and some food. Triage care, in other words. But he's not, so he bumbles around awkwardly looking for something to make her feel better and sparks the declaration that Audrey doesn't get days off. This is true! Fuck you very much, Charlotte. And Mara and William. It sounds like a breakup speech! Chris takes it as the start to one, anyway, so it turns into one, go to London, get your grant money, do your work, don't give up things that are important to you for me. Which sounds an awful lot like, from this side, I won't give up my work for you. We do know this to be true! Because Audrey. Who is also being a fucking terrible liar, really, you could just hold up your crossed fingers in front of his face and it wouldn't be any more obvious. NOW he asks if she's okay, which should've been one of the FIRST things, but alas, he's no better with emotions than anyone else in this fucking town, so his response is cuddle and kiss and after that little speech that makes it a goodbye kiss. As the heartbreak music plays over, we get a tiny bit of lightening the atmosphere with Duke and Nathan turning away from Chris as he bellies up to the bar and some mutual shit-giving, but then we go straight back to Audrey the lonely outsider. On the clearest sung lines of "will you still love me tomorrow" we have first Duke, then Nathan, look up and over toward Audrey. Duke makes eye-contact, which I think is intended to highlight how in some ways they're both outsiders and how much more in tune with her he is than Nathan, in a lot of respects. Nathan gets only the empty space where she used to be. None of this is foreshadowing the Crocker Trouble or Nathan's worst fears at ALL. And Audrey, stop crying just outside the door and go up to your apartment and cry yourself to sleep, for fuck's sake. I'm just going to pretend that's what she does after the fade to black.