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Review #2900: Haven 2.1: “A Tale of Two Audreys”

Posted on the 18 July 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

The first season of “Haven” was an uphill climb, starting out rough and fighting its way to a much better standing by the finale. It was largely a matter of execution; the ideas were there, but it just didn’t seem to come together. It just didn’t seem to live up to the promise of the premise, or the expectations caused by its Syfy siblings “Eureka” and “Warehouse 13”.

Review #2900: Haven 2.1: “A Tale of Two Audreys”

But by the end of the first season, it had found its footing, and that process continues in the second season premiere. The episode is something of a minor reboot, given the changes to the status quo. Audrey learns a lot more about herself, Nathan comes to terms with his father’s apparent death, and Duke is reunited with someone who hadn’t even been referenced before. All, of course, while dealing with someone bringing about the infamous ten plagues of Egypt from the book of Exodus.

I’ve come to like Audrey, so the notion that she is not at all who she appears to be is definitely intriguing. I also like how the writers played with audience expectation. They introduced the “other” Audrey Parker in a way that made it clear our Audrey was not the real one. Then they spent the premiere convincing us that our Audrey was the original, just to switch it back again at the very end.

I like this because it underscores the connection that Audrey has to Haven, providing more evidence that she is, in fact, Lucy, the woman she thought was her mother. And that makes the whole question of what happened with the Colorado Kid, and all of those mysteries, a lot more interesting. After all, there’s still the fact that Audrey/Lucy was working with certain elements of the FBI at the very beginning. Lots of mysteries there to explore!

All of that connects into Nathan’s story as well, given the revelations about his real father, but the writers wisely focused on the fallout of his father’s death. With the rest of the community unaware of what happened, it leaves matters in disarray during this latest crisis. And of course, given how the first season ended, it makes since for the reverend to take advantage. The religious strife in Haven has been one of the most intriguing elements since it was introduced, so I’m happy to see it continue.

Duke’s subplot, however, is a bit annoying. Duke has been slowly but surely getting more connected to Nathan and Audrey/Lucy, without losing his scoundrel appeal in the process. Having him married all this time, with a contentious and nosy wife, seems like a problematic addition. Not that I wanted Duke and Audrey/Lucy together right away, but there was a nice triangle forming, and this is an unwanted addition to the mix.

As much as I think the real Audrey Parker adds to the cast in a better way, both characters are problematic in the same respect. I wanted more characters on the show, but I was looking for characters within the Haven community itself. I still think that the town lacks a certain degree of representation. Both the real Audrey and Duke’s wife are looking at Haven from the outside, so if anything, the problem is compounded.

Even so, I think the premiere proved one very important point: the first season showed enough improvement to make the return of the series a favorable prospect, and the writers largely stepped up to the challenge. If anything, my main worry is that the series barely escaped cancellation; I only hope the ratings manage to improve or at least level off sufficiently.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 2/4

Final Rating: 8/10

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