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Review #2995: Haven 2.8: “Friend Or Faux”

Posted on the 06 September 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

While the writers haven’t exactly ignored the revelation that our Audrey’s memories are a carbon copy of the original/actual Audrey Parker, they did set it aside for a little while in favor of other areas of plot and character exploration. But sooner or later, they were going to have to address how Audrey was dealing with the notion that she is not really who she thinks she is.

Review #2995: Haven 2.8: “Friend or Faux”

The writers use the oft-mined concept of a person splitting off their most negative personality traits into a “clone” of themselves and gives it a particularly “Haven” twist. In essence, the “curse” is simple: even if we have the ability to separate off the parts of ourselves we hate, if we try to destroy them, they’ll just come back. Since Troubles on “Haven” often relate to psychological shortcomings of the individuals thus afflicted, it’s not a surprising plot device to see.

Inevitably, this plot device involves an exploration of identity: if there are multiple versions of a person, which is the “real” one? Which version, if any, has a superior claim to existence? Or do both/all versions have a right to exist, regardless of the circumstances of their origin? In this case, it’s more of an issue because of the nature of the “clone”, but even then, does it matter that the “clone” is an incarnation of negative personality traits? Does that automatically amount to “evil”, and therefore justify elimination?

Things get more complicated when it turns out that the banker’s incarnated dark side is the result of his own attempt to compartmentalize the emotions associated with a murder he committed. It’s not as though the “clone” is an amalgamation of bad thoughts and dark impulses; it is borne out of something a bit more direct and tangible. As noted, this is in keeping with the typical treatment of the Troubles as a whole.

Of course, this is the perfect setup to allow Audrey to question her own existence. We still don’t really know much about Audrey, other than the various hints that she may be the same individual that was once Lucy Ripley. But in this time and place, she is a “copy” of Audrey Parker, and this particular Trouble brings out her insecurities. It makes sense for her to question her right to exist when there is a “real” Audrey Parker out there. At the same time, this is the Audrey we know, and she has a life and existence apart from her origins.

This question of self-identity also applies to the other subplots. Nathan finds himself out of the interim Sheriff job, which seems like a consequence of the previous episode’s showdown with the Reverend. It also effectively changes the status quo in a way that all but drops the ground out from under Nathan and Audrey’s feet. Nathan is no longer in a position to clean up after the Troubled, and thus keep the relative peace. (My question would be: if Chris Brody is so persuasive and an ally of Nathan and the rest, why wouldn’t he have simply ensured Nathan got the job?)

Duke also learns about Evi’s alliance with the Reverend, which ought to serve as a trigger for some uncomfortable confrontations in the near future. Actually, with Nathan being out of control of the police force, Duke’s relationship with Evi could be used to gain intelligence on the Reverend’s plans.

All in all, this was another solid episode of “Haven”, which continues to be a bit of a hidden gem this summer. The ratings have been remarkably steady all season long, and considering that it’s buried on Friday nights after wrestling, that’s a testimony to the loyalty of the fanbase. I can’t see Syfy being disappointed with a show holding slightly better ratings than what gained them a renewal last season, so I’m hopeful that some of these long-developing storylines will get even more room to grow.

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

Final Rating: 8/10

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