There’s a two-week time skip between this episode and the last. It leads to a rather odd viewing experience as characters casually refer to events that the viewer is completely unaware of.
All of a sudden the darkness is deadly. This is a problem that is exasperated by inconsistent power leading to blackouts. Dwight does what he can by rationing supplies, but there’s still quite a bit of tension all around.
It’s very ‘Under the Dome’-esque in the fact that the town starts to turn on itself. It gets so bad that the guard essentially institutes a martial law of sorts as those guilty of working against the town are “banished”. Obviously, the fog from the last episode prevents actual exile, but they are cut off from access to shelter and gadgets. With darkness being fatal, it essentially amounts to a death sentence.
There’s also something called “trouble alley”. It’s not clear what, exactly, it is. For some reason, a bunch of troubled people all decided to locate in one area. It’s possible that this was done as a containment measure, but again, it isn’t clear. It is also rather poor thinking as the area where Nathan needs to go to get the power back on is right inside said alley.
We’re only given a taste of the dangers that lurk there. Some sort of hypermagnetic trouble activates and the group comes across an invisible creature that proves to be very deadly.
It made for one of the show’s stronger and tenser action beats. It’s impressive as the invisibility makes it easy on the budget, but between the roar and the size of the footprints that do appear, you get a sense of what they’re dealing with.
Fortunately, he has a team going with him, including a girl who can generate electricity. Admittedly, she is only to serve as a backup generator (ha!) but her presence is vital as it is her trouble that gets the town’s generator up and running again.
Two other troubles come in handy back with Audrey as one person has a glowing torso and another woman becomes reflective when she starts to focus too much on her appearance. It was rather neat seeing the troubles being used in a more pragmatic fashion. It’s a shame the show didn’t have characters do stuff like this more often. It would be a good counter to all the dangerous troubles and give the town a unique vibe.
It’s later revealed that Dwight isn’t really killing anyone, merely sticking them in a room where another troubled person places them in an long lasting and dreamless sleep.
Whether this is a better solution depends on your point of view. Dwight’s not killing them, which is great, but he’s still torn up about it. Given that we see them with their eyes open and moving around, it does imply that they are at least somewhat conscious and in an “I have no mouth but I want to scream” scenario.
Audrey is certainly not pleased with the discovery. Vince, on the other hand, chides Dwight for not being willing to go all out in order to keep the town safe.
The reveal from the last episode gets followed up through Duke’s discovery that his bank account no longer exists. One wonders how that is just coming up now, but it’s a logical development. More than that, it’s hard for him to hold a job as he seems to have no records.
While Haven doesn’t exist to the outside world, Duke learns that the troubles still do as he runs into a childhood friend who discovers that she can phase through solid objects. She also name drops both Derry and Cleaves Mills. Of course, at this point in the show, it’s unlikely anything will come of it, but they were still nice nods.
Overall, this was a stronger episode than its predecessor. The characters were more active as they had goals that they wanted to achieve. We also got some decent character moments like Dwight’s seeming grab for power and his guilt over what he’s doing. The episode also moved the overall arc forward as Charlotte reveals that aether may be able to end the troubles if they can find enough of it. They do, though it does come with a casualty, leading to the town turning on Nathan.
Really, the biggest thing working against this episode was the time skip. It was an odd thing to do this early in the “season” and it is especially odd as this came as the second half of a ‘Haven’ double-header. Still, once things got rolling, you were able to move past it. Judging by the preview, the remaining episodes are going to get nuts. It should make for an interesting ride.