Entertainment Magazine

Review #3921: Haven 3.12: “Reunion”

Posted on the 22 January 2013 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: J.M.

Written by Gabrielle Stanton
Directed by Lee Rose

While not originally planned as a two part episode, because of the Sandy Hook shooting, Syfy pushed back “Reunion” to air with the season finale. While I don’t really want to speak to the politics of the decision, the decision to push it back didn’t really hurt the story at all. In a lot of ways it actually made more sense to air these two episodes together as it really moved the skinwalker storyline to its conclusion.

Review #3921: Haven 3.12: “Reunion”

In a lot of ways the Skinwalker storyline covered some of the execution problems that have been around this season. Characters can act strangely, lack chemistry, and make fundamental mistakes and it all boils down to the fact that they are being impersonated by Skinwalker. While if you think about it a little too hard, it still becomes hard to believe that someone who has had to deal with this Trouble for at least one additional cycle made a lot of mistakes, but it is not a deal breaker by any stretch. Ultimately, the reveal of the actual identity of the Skinwalker propels the story towards its final conclusion.

The Skinwalker is revealed to be Arla Cogan, James Cogan’s wife, and in an odd twist, Audrey’s daughter-in-law; her goal is to get James back, as during the last cycle he ended up getting stuck in the barn, and her reason for killing all those women was to look like the woman that James fell in love with. All in all, a pretty twisted and demented version. Unfortunately, like most of this season, the execution really falls flat. Laura Vandervoort simply doesn’t connect with the crazy persona created for Arla. Arla’s character also didn’t really get enough development, and the identity of the Colorado Kid and any sort of development of their relationship never really occurred, another reason that the ultimate revelation of Arla’s motivation and identity seem to fall flat.

All of this takes place amidst the background story of Nathan and Duke’s high school reunion, where one of his classmates is murdering the others to get revenge for their bullying him. This plot line serves as the comic relief, and despite the paint-by-numbers plot it actually works quite well. Seeing young Duke float around with a voice that hasn’t quite cracked yet was pretty funny and Nate’s face when Jeanie described her Trouble to him and his “so strange it has to be true” reaction was quite funny.

Ultimately, “Reunion” was a pretty serviceable set up episode, and the writers made a good choice to put all of the cards on the table before the season finale, letting everything play out in one crazy episode to set up for the fourth season. Even though it was weakened by the execution of the Skinwalker plot line, the momentum of the episode and narrative strength really has pushed this season towards an exciting conclusion.

Score: 7/10


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