Saturday, December 5, 2015

For The Reckless Ones Haven S5E23 Blind Spot

Previously on Haven: I miss William. How the fuck did that happen. Is this some magical Colin Ferguson shit? 'cause it kinda seems like it. Croatoan is going to kill and eat everyone, William sez, but then he disappears off into the void and possibly for home because he's… tired of murder? Sleepy kitten done thinking of nothing but murder all day? At any rate, Nathan came back with the crystal, Dave went into his mind palace to try and defeat Croatoan and succeeded in (we think and hope) getting rid of the timey-wimey bullshit memory wiping (DONNA NOBLE FOREVER FUCK YOU ahem oops did that slip out? That was my outside voice, wasn't it.), and also died, wrecking Vince. Croatoan is now out of Dave's body but whether or not he's genuinely lost this ability AND why he's still hanging out being a creepyass mist rather than taking a form asap we do not (yet) know. Suspect lots of things! Don't know. Also Dave used his internal IMing system to inform Vince and Dwight that Croatoan's coming for Audrey. I am sure that's not the only thing he's dropped by for.

We reopen down at the station. I still want to know everything there is to know about how daily life is in Haven, given that the Guard's in town, they HAVE to still be rationing, we just heard about that a couple eps ago, there is NO WAY that it looks that clean and neat. I recognize this is the problem with filming in a real town, but I'm still going to grump about it. Not least because how long have they been cut off from the outside world? At least a couple months by now? They should be running low on at least SOME supplies. There should be more fishing boats out to get fresh meat into the town. Speaking of which, how does the shroud work in the ocean? We know the bay is still accessible, we see it in the panover every ep! Is the water stagnant or is it free-flowing through the barrier, like the air that has to be flowing around by now or people would have suffocated. Speaking of air, the barrier doesn't seem to go all the way around the town since there's still things like sunlight, so what about the airspace over it? Yes, I am way overthinking this. Inquiring damn minds want your apocalypse to be more grounded in the physical realities okay. Speaking of which, the Guard is all geared up doing a bunch of work on the station, turning it into some kind of a fortress, they're putting in security cameras to protect them from Croatoan if at all possible. I'd argue that it's a police station it should already have good surveillance, but a) cops apparently aren't big on being surveilled and b) this is both a small town PD and an old as shit building, I'm not exactly surprised they haven't rewired yet. (Okay, a little surprised they didn't after Lockdown. Hey, timing!) I'd also argue that really what are security cameras going to do against Croatoan, but that's a whole other barrel of monkeys.  Nathan's supervising inside, Audrey is not sleeping and being FINE in true Italian Job style. (Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. Not that anyone can blame her.) She is dammit going to figure this out! Admittedly hoping the crystal and core being put in the same place was going to yield sudden magical results and/or epiphanies was a little much, but it's also what they had to go on. So now it's down to trial and error and being her mother's daughter. Go science the shit out of it, Audrey. Laverne, meanwhile, is cranky as fuck and hates working with the Guard. I realize that a lot of this is because her Trouble's been activated, maybe been activated? That's another thing that's unclear, which seems to be a weakness this season in general is there's no clear delineation of some things that would improve our understanding of the episode. Other things I'm fine with having obfuscated! When and how Dave was possessed up until the very end, for example, that builds suspense. The part about when Laverne got her Trouble doesn't necessarily need to be addressed either, except for the fact that what, she can talk now, but as a building she doesn't have access to the walkies or the laptop speakers? While I'm picking at nits, the writers have amply demonstrated that the Guard is made up of very blue-collar people. And that means they should have blue-collar skills, including hanging drywall, fixing electric, A/V wiring, and so on. I would buy this more if someone were out there grumbling about being a plumber not an electrician, or about how the station's old as dirt and a pain in the ass to boot (K: As the owner of a building that was built before electricity, that definitely can contribute.), or even if there's someone's Trouble or avoiding the trigger for someone's Trouble making things difficult here or there, but they're not, they're just working. And just… look, if you're going to make them blue collar, make them believable, okay? This isn't their fault. Nathan tries to convince Laverne to ease up, then goes to poke around for the Trouble census and get people to use their Troubles to seal up the station, giving us Karl's name as an example. Audrey vents a little more and, well, coffee. Coffee will help a little! After a perimeter check.

Cue Duke showing up with a bagful of grenades and being adorable at Nathan. He's also making the headache face, which does not make us feel better about his being all Croatoan-possessed all the time this ep. He claims the grenades are Dwight's plan B, though I question if that would hit Dwight with his Trouble or not. Hard to tell, they're not exactly projectile weapons but they definitely create projectiles. Duke-a-toan is thoroughly dismal about their prospects for finding Croatoan since they don't know what he looks like, if he's a mist, if he's possessing someone, all of this is stuff that it's Duke's job to think of AND ALSO a good way to ramp up paranoia and tension on Croatoan's part. I dislike all of this so much. Especially because I really want the boys to be this fucking adorable when Duke's NOT possessed and/or gone to the dark side. We know they're capable of it! Sadly it is not to be, I think. It's hard to tell, given that we can't be sure if Croatoan knows everything Duke does, or if he's just hot-reading Nathan using Duke's body, but regardless, he cracks jokes about the Gull being ruined by sea-monsters. (Fucking Glendowers I swear.) And then Nathan brings up their childhood, how they thought their dads were using the Troubles like a bogeyman in the closet and it turned out they were the town's wardrobe full of skeletons that did not lead anywhere so nice as Narnia. Maybe the Wood Between The Worlds after Jadis got done with it. (K: The Wood Between The Worlds that goes to Halloweentown? This metaphor may have run away with itself.) Duke I dislike all your destiny and fate talk. A LOT. It makes me wonder about how much is possession and how much is Duke giving into despair and Crocker psychosis. I want aaaanswers. Nathan points out he's not just like Garland but he finally got his father's respect, Duke cracks a Simpsons joke because he is uncomfortable let us not talk about our emotions pls. No sorry, now they're going to talk about some petty crook named Nick McGuinness (really? REALLY, PARKER AND MCGUINNESS? we see you very well) and while Duke doesn't volunteer anything incriminating about his activities with McGuinness or about whether or not he handed him over to Nathan so Nathan would stay on the force and not lose faith in humanity, he does volunteer enough details that I'm reasonably certain he's not JUST possessed. (If he is, and we sincerely hope he's not that possessed or controlled, Croatoan has strong access to his memory.) This does not, however, change my NOW KISS YOU BASTARDS face. TRUE LOVE'S KISS COME ON NOW. Nathan, looking at him like you look at Audrey is not. helping. Not to mention talking at him like trying to cheer up Audrey. Oh wait a text. Duke please stop making phone calls to interdimensional mass murderers. See also: Arla Cogan. Mara? (I really, REALLY hope that this is a deliberate callback, and if he's in control of his actions he's also playing Croatoan. Please please please.) Nathan assigns Duke secure the grenades duty, which I'm sure is in no way going to go incredibly wrong.

Speaking of, oh looking a breaking noise. That can't be good. Oh, it's Vince's shreds of sanity. Poor Vince. Well, poor Vince with his survivor's guilt and belief that he should've done something and transferring that onto everyone else 'cause it's easier than confronting his guilt… right up until he starts waving a knife around. Well, a box cutter. Less range or depth than a knife but those fuckers are still sharp. Then I'm all for what they do about it, which is get a bunch of guys to restrain him (he's not struggling very hard) and let Gloria stick him with a sedative. Vince at the point where you're trying to commit suicide by your own Guard members, I'm calling that one a really GOOD idea on everyone else's part. Sympathy! But also no, you don't get to threaten everyone, because he could in fact kill or hurt someone pretty badly before someone put a bullet in him. Assuming that Dwight's out of range so that it would even be effective. I'm pleased that despite the guns all over the place, everyone seems WAY more restrained than that, at least, and given Dwight was walking the external perimeter I suspect he's going to go run the far, far external side of that and act as an early-warning scout for Croatoan, if possible. Or I'd bet on that being the plan, so they can shoot the fucker with extreme and indiscriminate prejudice. Audrey looks self-protective and horrified that someone she previously thought of as bedrock solid is completely falling apart like this (and even if she intellectually knows why that doesn't make it any less unnerving) and is so not in shape to deal with Vince's pleas for her mercy. Besides which she's really not where he should be looking, though given his emotional attachment to her and Sarah and Lucy I understand why he goes there. No, Gloria has more practical experience with this, she'll stay with him. Aww, you guys.

A louder crash! This one's a light falling out of the ceiling and narrowly missing Alex Senna, remember him? Apparently he will be playing the role of Chekhov's Troubled Guy for this evening. He has words for Duke, none of them polite, and Duke snarks him back because defense mechanism, or so we assume at the time. Stop snarking, there's blood, and a trail, and it leads straight to Karl with the acid Trouble who was supposed to be melting locks and turning the place into a fortress with very specific entrances and exits. Which of course only works when you don't have the guy with the phasing Trouble hanging out and working for Croatoan, not that, I'll grant, they know that at this time. Slit throat, for maximum blood sponging, so not the way Croatoan kills his victims. Actually arguably more disturbing to most people is the slit throat, both for the smell and for the visual. (This raises a whole host of questions, like, when Croatoan kills via Trouble-sucking, does it come with the usual messy human death of voiding the bladder and bowels? Or is it more like being magically petrified to death, including waste? It's entirely possible the body just shuts down, released of cardiac? or all electrical current, but I'm not sure what that would do to the relevant muscles. Or a more horrifying thought, if it shuts down the central and then peripheral nervous systems, although in both cases the muscles would probably still relax before death/rigor sets in... Look, these are the kinds of things I think about, you're welcome.) Audrey and Nathan flail about the cameras not being online, which is of course the cue for us to get a red dot on one of them and start flipping between normal camera view and security camera view! HMM GEE I WONDER. Nathan eventually orders everyone to go back to their posts, double up on door duty possibly so that if one person's possessed the other can at least raise an alarm before gurgling to death, and quit fucking freaking out more than is already called for. At least essentially. I'm just glad that given the throat cutting they didn't go after the guy who was related to the Croatoan possessee and waving a knife around. Meanwhile Audrey is… getting chased into what might be the dispatcher's office, might be just where people sit to watch interrogation? Hard to say for sure though I think the former, especially given the picture-drop later. Also it would be a "safe place." Audrey is getting chased by a chair. And the door isn't opening for either of them. Gee, does this sound familiar? How the fuck did the Holloway Trouble make it to Laverne? WE'LL FIND OUT. Roll, at LONG last, credits. Seriously I can't remember the last time it took nearly a quarter of the ep to get to credits.

We come back to confirm that those noir shots from the cameras earlier weren't any kind of accident and in fact this is going to be about as noir as this show's ever gotten. Okay then! I blame Shatner. On the other hand we have timestamps to tell us that they've been battering at this for thirty minutes. We get confirmation that it's the dispatch office, in which case I'm surprised it took them even this long to get to the point of yes hi that's Laverne trying to protect Audrey. Possibly from Duke? I'm not sure. It's hard to ascribe proper motivations to a woman-turned-building who's only figured out how to communicate in yes-no phone rings. (Still don't understand why she's not talking through the radios or the laptop speakers since she can clearly control most other aspects of the laptops.) It's locked, Audrey can't make it unlock, the boys are not happy and Nathan least of all. Nathan stop trying to be a battering ram at the door, it's not working. It is, once again, hard to say whether Duke's comment about stop breaking your bones you fucking moron is that much sharper because he's possessed or because he's been on edge for a long fucking time. That's okay, Audrey will shoot the lock! Not the glass, because it's bulletproof, as Nathan points out when the light drops on her and Duke goes to throw a chair at the door instead. Yeahno. Phasing Trouble? No Duke can only use a Trouble once. ERM, say we, that doesn't seem to be true AT ALL, I'm pretty sure we have evidence to the contrary, hem hem we have a suspicious. Audrey is too busy figuring out what the fuck to be suspicious. And what the fuck in this case is no, that's not a Croatoan, that's a security cam that's on, and now hers is out and the boys' is on. And hers is on again! Yes that's an excellent thinking look with the Dutch angle, thank you. (This must have been fascinating to block and edit.) The phone call is coming from inside the station! No, further inside the station than that. Audrey even tries picking it up only to get an earful of static, which is likely poor Laverne trying to talk with the station. Which doesn't necessarily preclude that she wasn't ranting about the Guard earlier and hadn't noticed she'd accidentally a police station, but It's a partial explanation? It's just also irritatingly unclear. And then Duke has a Realization. About his goddamn brother, and that looks like both a genuine emotional reaction and there's no real reason for him to lie here about Wade killing the Holloway niece and taking the family Trouble. And indeed we did have several unidentified bodies at the bottom of the bay. (Still suspect that's a Dexter reference, though also a logical jump.) Meaning hi! Laverne! Even if we question why she can't use the phone properly, I mean, she was DISPATCH (best guess is a Doylist reason, actually, either appropriate credentials for this much voice acting or timing or both), they do now have a setup of one ring for yes, two for no. I'm assuming that can apply to some other things, like overhead lights or maybe the red camera blinkendots if all else fails. So that's good! Also good is that she's maintaining enough of a sense of humor to thwack Duke with her door over talk to Karl about hurting them, and not a vicious enough turn to do him any real damage. But she didn't kill him, not even accidentally. Well, guys, generally speaking someone who JUST got turned into a building and is figuring out how to adjust to her new body is… not going to be able to slice a throat that neatly. Certainly not on purpose. I'm just saying. Duke suggests Croatoan! Duke, shut up. Nathan looks up and directly at the camera and this is the noirest parody of The Office I've ever seen. Not that either of us has watched The Office, but we've both seen a lot of parodies!

Hilariously, at about 15.16 on the timestamp it's about 15.16 on our timestamp, with hours and minutes shifted over one. So, Nathan is now telling Audrey to tell Laverne to let her out of there right now, as though he weren't fully capable of telling Laverne himself given that she clearly heard Duke well enough to thwack him with a door. Sadly, no, she didn't see who killed Karl. But she did alert them to the body, so that's good! Audrey is in full on talk to the person get them calmed down mode, reassuring her that as soon as they can they'll get her out of the building. Noooo Laverne doesn't want out of the building. Hell, given the impression we have of her and the general consequences of getting old, I'm not sure I'd want to stop being a building either. Buildings are much easier to repair than bodies. Ask me how I know. Nathan still wants Parker out of there and Audrey, much to our deep amusement, shushes him because she's talking here. We love Audrey when she's actually BEING her best self. And Laverne. Does this count as passing the Bechdel test if the person you're talking to is a female building? Audrey pulls up a chair to better and more comfortably converse with Laverne while Nathan surls and sends Duke to the armory because he doesn't like this at all. Given that his last experience with the Holloway trouble was, well, a narcissistic haunted house with serious control issues I can see why, but dude, this is Laverne. Maybe calm down some? Nathan will not calm down, Nathan wants his Audrey and he is going to blow the door off his hinges to get to her. Audrey's agreement with go on let him in (and specifically not the blowing the door part) is very much in the way of a sighhh. So is that door opening. Laverne, bap him with the door on his way in. Now, Nathan trying to get her out of the station because Croatoan's there, that's much more justified! But Audrey thinks that they can find him (it?) via Laverne flipping through the cameras like someone flipping through a rolodex or tabbing through computer windows. They do briefly address the how do cameras when no hookups issue, and the answer is because Trouble. Which, given that Roland Holloway was able to make doors and things disappear and appear out of nothing, is an entirely valid answer! They bring that up too. Laverne would LOVE to disappear and appear doors and windows, and they'll get to that. In the meantime, figuring out what the fuck is going on, apparently in Dwight's office where they keep their stuff. And by stuff we mean the crystal and the aether core.

The series of flickering camera feeds, as far as we can establish them: the station's kitchenette/break room area, another view from further back with a small meeting table and hanging clipboards, a hallway that I think is down from interrogation, the corner above the door of Laverne's office, an exterior shot overlooking the parking lot and a bench outside, not the main entrance. Then one angle of Dwight's office, then the far back of the courtroom, then the bullpen outside, and then the angle she wants for Dwight's office. Which says some interesting things about maybe a lack of fine control over which cameras she's flipping between? Definitely she seems to hit up the places she'd know best first, and then gets to the areas we're more familiar with. It also serves to give us a general idea of the shape of bits of the station we haven't seen before, on the grounds that It Might Be Important Later. Especially with the lockdown. So! They'll pull the security feeds through to a laptop with a larger group of people immediately available to yell at that there is a thing, go do the thing with the stuff. Whatever else Audrey was planning once they got there, probably talking Laverne through more of the fine control and Holloway tricks of the Trouble, gets derailed by Nathan handing her the Quest Objects of What The Fuck Do We Do Now. He's not wrong: if Croatoan is in the building, or is still coming for Audrey, they don't exactly have much time. Apparently what it took was a combination of being able to solve ONE problem and some time away from the other problem? Because it looks like Audrey focuses her will pretty much the way she did when she and Charlotte gathered up the aether core and then the damn crystal goes glowy and HI HOWARD. HI AGENT HOWARD. Laverne would like to know what the fuck, and I do love whoever made it clear that this is a person who has control of the cameras, because even without her speaking we get a LOT of very clear emotional reactions.

Presumably because they have the crystal, they're getting a lot more of anything that looks like fucking answers out of Howard than we EVER have before. He coughs up that he's the controller for the barn, which he specifically calls the correctional facility intended to rehabilitate Mara. I'm going to take a second and wonder if the choice of definite over indefinite article indicates the-as-one-of-many rather than a-as-a-thing-made-up-on-the-fly. Not that we're going to get an answer to this ever, but I'm going to wonder anyway. And a fine fucking mess you all made of THAT, now didn't you, which Howard points out. His tone on "when you shot me" is distinctly peeved. Peeved is a good word that should be used more often. Speaking of emotional responses, as Laverne also gives us a nice through-the-blinds conspiracy shot, Audrey is responding instinctively to him as though he were a friend, a boss, someone she at least knows and wants to have the respect of. Which is interesting, and she's holding out the aether core like a supplicant, even. Well, he can! Technically speaking this is a thing he can do, he can build a barn wherever (and after that first pedantic and somewhat pissy clarification he goes back to calling it a barn because dear god that's a mouthful and a half), but he's not GOING to. Why? Because he needs proper authorization, and an "overlay" personality can't give it to him, and Nathan shot him. He says. And disappears. Oh my god I love both Howard and Maurice Dean Wint that was EPIC fucking delivery. Okay, well, if they had a Mara or a Charlotte this would be easier. ...maybe not if they had a Mara. Regardless! It would be easier to establish authorization, but they kinda really need him. Laverne kind of seems to be expressing "what the fuck are you guys talking about" with her zooming in and out, which creates hilarious effects. Aaand now all the power will go out!

For just shy of two hours, it looks like, by that timestamp. Somewhat adorably, Laverne takes us through all the external cameras and I… think that's the courtroom again? Only cluttered with boxes this time, and no chairs, but it's the right big open space. I have concerns as well as confusion. So, she's checking the cameras that she has any reasonable sight on to be sure nothing's coming, oh, and an external stairwell. I love you Laverne. It's not at ALL clear what anyone's been doing for the last hour and forty-five, maybe the voiceovers are designed to demonstrate passage of time and what's up? Audrey's telling her to find a camera and a way to communicate because she's still the building and can do that shit. Well, she's not wrong. And they're assuming Croatoan's responsible for cutting the power grid. It's unclear if it extends past the station, is the thing, so if it doesn't… well, that's a very directed attack and probably needs someone on-site. (Which Nathan is already assuming, mind you, but still.) Nathan gets shoved off by Duke to go protect Audrey, hahahahaha you just want Alex alone so you can eat him. Dammit, Duke. He also sounds like he's trying to provoke Alex to the point where he can plausibly claim self-defense. Not that I buy it, I'm just saying, if we're very lucky there's enough of Duke's moral sense still in there that he's looking for ways to justify this shit. Okay, fine. Nathan will take charge of ordering the Guard to make the place more defensible and, as ever, use their Troubles if necessary. I feel like this whole anvilicious theme is going to come to a very thundering end in the finale, though what I'm not sure. Another fifteen minutes elapse before our next scene, for those of you keeping track at home!

Back over in another room Laverne seems mildly concerned about Vince. Well, so say we all. Gloria's taking his vitals inasmuch as she can with the power out, which is probably all the functions a portable kit can take. She is also taking him down a peg or two not from arrogance, the way the phrase usually implies, but from panic and by the sound of it repression. Tells him to stop playing silly buggers. I take somewhat issue with the idea that there's a proper way to grieve anyone, but certainly brandishing a knife is outside the bounds of propriety for just about anything. (I'm also a little amused that the FUNCTIONAL ALCOHOLIC has better coping mechanisms. Not surprised. But definitely amused.) Vince says she sounds like Dave, but at this point I think anything even in the same state as something he'd say would sound like Dave to him. Her old coots comment smacks of things I said earlier about the old guard, and then we get into discussions of grief, guilt, different coping mechanisms. Again, no one way to grieve, but certainly Vince's way isn't helpful for him or anyone right now, and if he is keeping it all squashed inside that's going to continue to unhelp. And her talk does seem to shake something loose for him, or maybe it just gives him permission to feel hurt even with everything going on right now. This is really not lessening our sad sense of the old guard vanishing, dying, being killed off, which they'll comment upon later. And now that they've had that little chat it's time for Guard Redshirt to come in and summon them to the bullpen for a Nathan meeting.

Back in Dwight's office Laverne has no idea how but she's back in contact with the power grid at least! Audrey has half an idea, being that the house of Holloway's responded to his instincts and emotional needs, and so Laverne's police station is responding to her need to protect the people she cares about. This is a much more benign, agency-respecting way of protecting people, I think. Shoving Audrey into a room with a chair aside. They call up Duke now that the power is on enough at least for that, ask him if he got things working but he describes things down there by the generator as 'gutted.' So, so much for that plan, back to trying to talk Laverne through her newfound abilities. I'm suddenly flashing back to Firefly and my sister the incorporeally possessing a spaceship. Regardless, it seems to be working, and she powers up the other laptops. Audrey keeps talking her through feeling the building like it's her own body, healing the various bits and pulling on others to get the video feed from Duke's phone. Given that Roland was able to disrupt cell signals I see no reason why this shouldn't be possible! Apart from the giggles we're getting out of Laverne and the twosome's attitude of practicality towards the Trouble, it also speaks to the ways Roland Holloway could have used his Trouble if, you know, he weren't a narcissistic uber-controlling jackass. The flip of the axis, from, oh, we'll call it Lawful Evil to Chaotic Good, is fascinating to watch develop and definitely one of the high points of the episode. Which is good because we're about to hit one of the low as Duke takes us around the basement and then... falls? There's a surprised shout and the camera goes wild and stays still facing nothing at all helpful. No, Laverne has no idea what happened.

No, Laverne can only see what she has cameras for, and even then with the power outage she's limited to what those cameras can make out. Probably nobody thought an infrared setting was necessary. Plus if she's mostly using the feed from Duke's cell camera then upending it is a great way to disable her vision. So hop into Audrey's phone and she'll carry you along! Oh my god this is not helping the River-Serenity jokes and it is so fucking adorable. Laverne flips us through a few of the places she's been most recently before we get a remarkably still but appropriately fuzzy phonecam view of the basement, followed by oh well shit, the main power thingie got flipped, which makes it deliberate sabotage. Also Duke's phone is on the floor with the little flashlight shining to show them the way, and when the power comes back on they get to see RATHER a lot of blood. Okay, not actually that much, that's a survivable amount of blood given it's just pooled and doesn't appear to be spattered everywhere, but regardless it's not a FUN amount to lose. Audrey will take the Leaping To Conclusions title from Nathan by assuming Croatoan has Duke! Yes but… why the blood? WHY DOES NOBODY EVER THINK ABOUT THE BLOOD PRAGMATICALLY. (K: Or rhetorically.)

Nathan sets Laverne to scanning the old footage for, well, he'd like it to be who flipped the breakers but there's no cameras in the basement, so he'll settle for everyone who was going into or coming out of there. And it turns out she can do that in the background while she monitors the cameras now! Best Laverne. Audrey also sets Laverne to finding Duke. And we can have a moment of Audrey and Nathan taking turns at assuming the worst and then telling each other not in so few words to shut up. Seeing as this is unproductive, let's bang our heads against a different wall. Or floor, in our case, as we all fall off our respective watching seats at the fact that "Howard get your ass out here" actually WORKS. Nathan mutters something about enjoying that, I can only assume that refers to him popping up behind people, and Audrey would like Howard to make a fucking barn right the fuck now. Unfortunately he can't. At this juncture and without appropriate authorization he can only dispense a new overlay. We have so many questions about Howard, since he seems to potentially be an actual person? Or have been an actual person. Among our random possibilities is, was he Agent Heimdall? Responsible for maintaining the passageways and barriers between worlds, failed in his duty, chose this as atonement? Or some other form of responsible for Mara and/or William and failed in that duty. What I'm saying is, it seems like where Mara was supposedly being rehabilitated, Howard seems like he's atoning for something. Audrey is not okay with the dispense a new overlay bullshit, she likes this her, she wants to keep on being it, and anyway the "proper authorization" turns out to be Charlotte which is a TOTAL nonstarter. On the other hand, mentioning Croatoan's name works! That seems like a passphrase to allow him to bypass the programming and arguably behave like he has free will. Laverne appears to be somewhere between OOH I GET TO KNOW ALL THE THINGS and HOLY SHIT about all of this. We hear you, Laverne. Howard then prods at Audrey by telling her that Charlotte wasn't her mother, which leads to explanation of Charlotte choosing Audrey the daughter she wanted over Mara the daughter she couldn't save. At least Audrey is palpably uncomfortable with that. It's also extremely telling that Howard outright SAYS the overlays were supposed to be temporary, which suggests that a) there really is a core personality and b) at some point each overlay's grip on her being a fully formed person WOULD have slipped. Nathan will help explain things when Audrey's words fail her, and now we have Howard's Well Shit face. It's also an I'm Not Telling You What I Think face, but it's very much well shit, Croatoan's here, if I believe these people (and presumably he has some extrasensory abilities that let him determine the truth of some of these statements), the person who programmed me is dead, what the fuck. Laverne will be nervous. Howard will go ahead and declare Audrey Charlotte's daughter, and apparently he also has instructions to protect her, once she's placed in that category, which is FASCINATING. Do tell us more, Agent Fuck You. This may or may not negate Audrey's willingness to die for Haven, too, since it further includes "all those under her protection."

Okay then! Have an aether core, Howard, let's see what you do with it. Audrey makes him wait a second, because Laverne is currently the building they're standing in and it IS in fact a valid question of, will this hurt her? Apparently it will not. Also there's sort of a light and then what seems like a … sizzling noise, almost? As he holds it, which I wonder if that's the bindings on the core failing. Or just static in the speakers. Well, no, the new barn will look like the station without being the station, don't think about the metaphysics involved TOO hard lest your head explode. Let's make a barn! Or… not? Is Agent Howard-Heimdall-Fuck-You supposed to go all flickery like that? Answers point to no. And also to the center of the bullpen, presumably as the heart of the station. Where everyone is staring at this strange man who's just appeared in her midst, except for Vince, who sounds more like "Oh god this again." Howard continues to flicker, managing to say that the core has been cracked, a corrosive element. Which doesn't necessarily mean acid, but definitely points that way doesn't it, knowing what we do. Audrey, afraid of the answer, asks if it damaged him. Which it has. Nooooo Howard we were really starting to like you and all your cryptic sass. Croatoan didn't do it, though, apparently. And the last thing he manages is to say that Croatoan isn't in the station, which, if not him, then who. Laverne knows! Even as she seems shocked and horrified as everyone else. She then shows us the footage from earlier when Duke had to make a call, and apparently what he meant by that was he had to go walk into a hallway where he wouldn't be seen, twitch and dissolve into light a bit like Howard did, and then poof into mist. And, um. What the hell? We are so with you on this Gloria, what the hell. Because this isn't like anything we've seen except out of the controller and in some ways out of Dave, except when Croatoan demisted out of him Dave's entire body didn't disappear. Plus the controller said that Croatoan wasn't in the station, and he seems like he'd know. So again I say, what the hell, dude. Of course then we see Duke phase right through the wall behind Karl, so we know that's a lie, good to have that confirmation. We go through some rapid conclusions, one with no real basis but fear, that Croatoan's controlling Duke, when we've already had some uncharacteristic behavior and talk out of him now we're very much scared that he's crossed the despair event horizon and is just fucking around on Croatoan's side. Please no, please be playing him. Or trying to. And one or two that make sense, the aether core was damaged by something corrosive. Karl's throat was slit so Duke could get the blood to absorb his powers, I guess we're not saying aloud that his throat was also slit so he wouldn't scream when he died. I have to giggle wearily because Nathan's using the aether core as a goddamn stress squeezy ball as he recites the litany of what Duke's powers are, just that we know of. Phasing, acid. And now Alex's freezing Trouble, given the quantity of blood and now that we know Duke's ill intention, yeah, Alex is probably dead. Poor Senna family.

Of course just as Nathan makes that dramatic pronouncement Duke comes walking through the doors. He really doesn't look happy, but on the other hand he doesn't look unhappy? Grim, and determined, and blank almost. And he cuts himself, so apparently that's what he needs to do in order to activate his powers. And the very next thing he does, of course is to freeze everyone. But not before Nathan and Laverne exchange a look, and that's the only thing I can call it because there's a split second before he shoves Audrey into the room where he's looking straight into the camera that's focusing on his face. You know, how weird must it be to go from normal human vision to at least fifty-odd cameras. Which isn't even fly vision with multiple eyes, even flies only have one limited field of vision at any one time, she has multiple areas. How weird must that be? All that input. Anyway. Nathan shoving Audrey into the Chief's office, Dwight's office. Laverne closing the door behind her, and I swear if she could disappear doors and create solid walls by now she totally would. Audrey is not getting out of that room, no matter how much Duke chants and is creepy and traditional stalking psychopath at everyone. We still don't have an answer as to whether the frozen people can see and hear while they're frozen, although the implication is not, which is probably good for Nathan's sanity. Duke will now cast aspersions on Audrey's character and decisions, to absolutely no one's surprise. It is startling, though, to remember that Duke actually slept with Mara. Eek? Ew? I'm torn between reactions here. Definitely eek when Duke drops/flings one of the frozen guys to the floor, with the same results as when the car hit. Did he really drop him that hard? And that's why I say fling as well as drop, in which case it's definitely deliberate and malicious murder rather than murder by indifference. If he's not possessed there really will be no coming back from this, I don't see how there can be. So in a way the audience not only has to mourn Duke we knew, but also the relationship of the threesome. So much whining and whimpering. So much.

Audrey does manage to convince Laverne to let her out by telling her neither of them would be able to live with themselves if he killed more people while she hid. She might be right. In any case, it does get Laverne to open the door and let her out, and the first thing Audrey confronts him with of course is that he can use his Trouble more than once. Why yes. Yes he can. Why would it be otherwise? He also does confess to breaking (he calls it fixing, I'm not entirely sure what he did, if it was deliberately breaking it as much as possible or if he was trying to do something and failed or what) the aether core, and then goes off on a standard villain rant of doing what he was made to do. This is the part that might be most convincing as to whether or not Duke's possessed or just gave up, which is where Audrey tries to remind him that he fought this so hard and for long months and a year or so, and, no, that's not working. He gives a stock answer rather than a real one so we're not sure what exactly made him give up or when this transformation (or possession) occurred, and responds scornfully and by dodging the point when Audrey tries to remind him that he came back to save Haven. And, well, maybe he did? But one of the points where he could have been turned is definitely when he touched Hayley's blood the first time and went black-eyed and homicidal for an indefinite length of time, and we have no idea what happened to him then. Audrey tries to invoke Jennifer then, which works not at all well, although here's some more evidence leaning towards either possession or a really really dark variant on playing Croatoan to save Haven. You know, the people in Haven he hasn't killed already, which is why I'm not sure I buy that one. But possession, we know the relationship Duke had with Jennifer wasn't like that. So. Duke murders again, this time one of the few black men we've seen in Haven, thanks for that show, and when Audrey draws her gun he freezes her too, because she's not immune to the Troubles anymore. Not his anyway. We'll have a Did you really think, and then a moment of hope? Maybe? When it sounds like Duke's talking to someone we can't see. Given the camera reactions and what he says about keeping the rest of them, though, I think that means he's talking to Laverne. Damn. And then he leaves, phasing through the wall, and everyone unfreezes and Nathan goes into his usual Audrey's in trouble panic. It's worth noting that there's about a 35-minute gap in the recording jump here, suggesting that the freezing Trouble's effect takes awhile to wear off, or possibly that Duke can control it with a much greater degree of precision than Alex Senna could.

After the ad break we pick up with external cams again, and it's only a few minutes later by the timestamps but the bullpen is empty except for Nathan, Vince, and Gloria staring around at the shattered bodies that don't even look like bodies anymore. Nathan's got his empty lost but I want my Audrey back look on, though I'm glad he's got enough of himself back these days to be able to make sad noises at Laverne and then make her promises about getting her out. Promises that she doesn't WANT, mind you, given what she told Audrey before, but if she changes her mind later it's not a bad promise to make. Plus Nathan's a little tunnel-visioned right now, not that anyone can blame him, even Laverne doesn't seem to be trying to talk him out of either getting Audrey back or getting her back into human form instead of building form. The best I can interpret these camera movements is about the same as Gloria's "oh KID" at Duke: caring, concerned, somewhat maternal. Anyway. Gloria and Vince will clean up the bodies, Nathan should go get his frantic energy out elsewhere and stop being jittery at them. She SAYS go get Audrey, and I'm sure that's what Nathan intends, but really: stop jittering at the grieving broken man, Nathan, you're NOT helping here. Let's not forget that he probably knew those Guardsmen by reputation if not personally. Vince also looks like he's about one or two more Bad Shit Happening events away from having a heart attack, max, the poor guy. I'm still going to mutter about Croatoan wouldn't have always been ten steps ahead if you'd thought about knowledge containment when it became obvious he was possessing Dave. He's not wrong about the others, though! I am even MORE suspicious of Walter and that whole vision sidetrip bullshit in North Carolina, too, given that Duke's babble about destiny and fate sounds drawn from that as much as some of the poison Mara poured into his head last season. That would ALSO be a good point for someone to fuck with our Duke Crocker to the point where he'd end up, well, like that. We have a really rather touching moment of how they've lost so many, very many of the younger generation, they don't know if they'll ever get Audrey or Duke back, Gloria would like to insist that is NOT HER DUKE. Nor ours, Gloria. Nor ours. It's certainly not the Duke who very reluctantly killed a grown man (in accordance with his wishes, no less) in order to save a baby and damn well didn't enjoy the necessity. Vince will now cling to her hand and break down, declaring that she better not go and die on him because dammit he has to have SOMEONE left. Oh DARLINGS. I didn't really ship it before, but I could now, goddamn. So adorable. Gloria had better make it to the end of the show unless EVERYONE is dying, is all I have to say about this. Vince I pretty much expect to find a way to go out in a blaze of sacrificial glory, pun not intended, unless he turns out to be the lesson about how you have to find something to live for rather than die for.

Hey, finally some color this ep again! Not much, though, since it's dark out and all the colors are washed out as a result. Except for this one lonely house with all its windows lit up in a warm yellow glow. Excuse me while I find that incredibly suspicious and not at all cheery. Audrey's in an armchair but not tied up, which says a lot about how they want to present themselves: both in control and maybe not as evil as she thinks. Do you see this face? This is the dubious face. I stole it from Arla. Audrey would like a fucking gun, which Duke has taken off her because he's not a total moron, and apparently we will now be going for creepy possessiveness with respect to both gun and Audrey herself. To the point of scenery-munching, honestly. Audrey offers to fix this! Yeaaaah he's still all black-eyed and evil or at least pretending very hard to be, though once again thinking of Hayley I don't think he's very in control of his actions. Blah blah perfect killer blah blah choosing his destiny blah blah taking orders from Croatoan and generally looking a LOT like Wade when he went off the deep end. Except more dangerous because Duke's retained more of his thinking and planning and being an outside the box kind of person. Which fits well with Croatoan's goals, insofar as we can tell that he has any, so he's taking orders there. Then again, I find it completely fucking laughable that Duke might take orders from anyone without putting his own spin on it, which is another point toward possession and maybe that's a glimmer of the real Duke trying to pound on the doors of his mind to be let out/tell Audrey this isn't him? I can't tell. It's annoying. And then in what might be the most noir shot of the whole very noir ep, CroaShatner swings open the door and is IN A FUCKING TRENCHCOAT AND FEDORA. Also he's looking very kindly and paternal and wants her to call him Dad. How about no. How about get the fuck out of here instead.

Next week on Haven! Our sneak peek has Croashat pouring Audrey tea or coffee and there's a full continental breakfast type thing. Some stereotypical mad scientist villain blather about how she's his daughter and he doesn't want to hurt her and poison, not his style, how the Troubles have so much potential and okay sure there are risks but she's just not looking at them right! It doesn't have to be this way! That's distressingly close to the theme of this chunk of the season with people like Laverne and Hayley using their Troubles as tools, and less significantly but no less importantly, the mirrorball lady and the glowing guy. More than I think we've seen in any previous season ever. And… then the hand that's been hiding a stake? really? since when is this Buffy? comes out of the covers and stabbinates Croashat in the neck, which of course he pulls out and heals in seconds. Immediately after, he then COMPOUND FRACTURES Audrey's arm oh my god augh, we're seeing this on camera, I'm just going to leave that here as a gore warning for all and sundry. I'm betting it's one part punishment/retaliation and one part trying to "teach" her to heal herself like he does, scare quotes used entirely deliberately. I am also betting that there will be a line about I'm sorry you made me hurt you like that, because EVERYTHING I'm getting off this fucker says he's exactly that kind of abusive bastard. Well. This'll be… fun. And by fun I mean wanting to rip the villain's throat out with my teeth! So another day that ends in y.


  1. I was under the impression that Duke became compromised when he killed Haley. Around the same time Croatoan was green misting about and I imagine that Duke using his trouble led the monster to him. Also I thought that Laverne was not part of the station while she was on the walkie talkies and that the stress of securing the station activated her trouble.

    1. The implication about Laverne is, yeah, that she wasn't part of the station while we could still hear her voice. We're just nitpicking at it because we always do.

      I'm not entirely sure ... okay, the problem with pinpointing when Duke became compromised is as far as I can tell we still don't have a solid answer on how compromised is he. Which means if he's possessed, it might have been when Croatoan was still misting about, unless Croatoan can split itself, but since he seems not to be possessed was it then? Was it earlier outside the bank? Is this a decision he did actually make and he's not compromised at all, just tired and Trouble-drunk? Aaargh.

  2. I think it was more or less stated that Laverne's Trouble activated because of the stress at the station, yes. I also think, Doylistic reasons aside, we were meant to bask in the irony that after all this time hearing only her voice, the one thing Laverne couldn't do was figure out how to project it through one of the numerous speakers she probably interacted with on a daily basis.
    I'm in so much of denial over whether that could possibly be our Duke in any way, shape, or form, that the only answer I can accept now is possession or some other form of mindfuckery that put him out of his own control. On the other hand, with the amount of times they've mentioned Barn=rehab recently and your comments on Howard giving off "I must atone" vibes and that he may have been a real person at some time and also now that he's gone, maybe Duke will end up becoming the new Barnvatar, and using a modified version of his Trouble to non-lethally pull the aether out of the Troubled as his atonement for unscrupulously murdering people this episode and whatever the hell else he's going to do before the end of the series. It also rings nicely with his quest to "remove the black tar from his soul" earlier this season and sounds much, much better than Duke becomes evil and must die a villain, and also because after all his battling his destiny, it would be pretty darn awesome seeing him make that choice to use it to Save Haven.

    1. It's irony and we're soaking in it. I suspect you're right. I mean, we do sometimes nitpick at things for the sake of picking, because we enjoy it. >.> But you're probably right.

      So far the list of theories runs: possessed by a splinter of Croatoan, making very poor decisions out of a buttload of trauma and giving up hope, possessed by Walter sometime back during the vision quest, making very poor decisions out of Walter's visions and attempting to take control over how that future comes out? But yeah, back to the Duke as the new Mara, which halfway goes with Vince as the new Barnvatar especially given the vision with the tattoo'd person killing him? Perhaps not a full death, but a Death of Personality given what happened to Maraudrey.

      ... the only problem I have there, or maybe I should say the only Trouble I have there, then, is does that mean the new barn ISN'T going to cure the Troubles and Duke's going to have to do it manually over centuries?

    2. Heh. It's funny you say that about Duke manually removing Troubles over centuries. I was actually playing around with that thought that Duke ends up in the Barn and pops back into Haven once every couple of years to cure a few Troubled people then leaves, just like Mara did all those years, but without the personality stripping thing. I don't know, I'm not sure if they'd take that route, but especially in light of everything that's happened in the latest episode, I'm assuming there has to be some sort of redemption arc for Duke- he's been shooting for one since at least the beginning of the season, probably earlier, and the only way I can think of him doing that now, is somehow becoming involved in the Barn and the Trouble curing, or taking out Croatoan. Or both, now that Barnvatar!Vince has said he knows how to send Croatoan screaming back to hell.