After what could be the longest mid-season break in broadcasting history, the fifth season of ‘Haven’ continues as we launch the final batch of episodes before the show reaches its ultimate conclusion.
The preceding finale ended with a bang, but alas, this episode is unable to keep the momentum going. It’s true, Duke has unleashed a wave of new troubles on the town. As people don’t know what’s going on, they are likely to freak out and activate their troubles. More than that, a fog surrounds the town and traps everyone inside, spitting those who try to leave back out heading in the opposite direction, adding more fuel to the fear fire. The characters rightly point out that things are only going to snowball and get continuously worse as people become more afraid.
Even the police themselves become something of a detriment as their attempts to arrest people end up triggering troubles and causing more damage.
Sadly, we only get vague glimpses of the repercussions of what has happened. We see the fog and Duke is able to help a newly troubled cop who freezes everyone around him when he becomes afraid. For a large chunk of the episode, that’s about it. It isn’t until the earthquake guy is brought into the station that you really see any sort of chaos outside of the occasional unexplained explosion over the horizon.
It leads to an episode that tells a lot more than it shows. Contrast this with the premiere of ‘Arrow’ where we saw the city’s descent into chaos and the scope of the new threat that had arisen. It resulted in an episode with a lot more tension and emotional investment.
Even the characters themselves don’t seem like they have a whole lot to do. Duke angsts about his role in things before ultimately abandoning the town due to his belief that he’ll only make things worse. Charlotte also plans to just pack up and go. Her attempts to convince Audrey to do the same fall on deaf ears and the latter rightly chews out her mother for not making a more serious effort to save the town.
Oddly enough, the strongest moment of the episode came when Dwight decided to call in the Guard and have them take control of the town. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen and it is played rather ambiguously, probably by design. On the one hand, Dwight’s not wrong in saying that the Guard is better equipped to help people than they are. At the same time, the fact that it essentially amounts to a coup hints that something is about this is going to seriously backfire.
The Teagues have a subplot where they try to learn more about the mysterious and sinister newcomer from another world that was hinted at last season. It turns out that strong Tequila can trigger a vision, something they learn courtesy of Gloria, who keeps a bottle in the morgue drawer. It doesn’t give them much, but it does work. She also has an instant cure for drunkenness. One wonders what was in the IV bag, but it was still a fairly amusing scene.
The episode ends on a rather effective wham note as we see Duke after he’s left the town. He hitches a ride with a truck driver who notes that he’s lived in Maine his whole life and has never heard of Haven. It was a good note to end on as it not only raises all sorts of questions, but increases the scope of their problem.
As this is the first of a two-part premiere, it could just be setting things up, but it lacked the sort of energy that you would expect from an opening episode. The plot elements are there, it could have really been a powerhouse episode, it just didn’t tap into its own potential, resulting in something of a disappointment.