Haven Season Two – television series review

Cover of the home video release of "Haven" season two.
Cover of the home video release of “Haven” season two.
Haven, a Syfy original series, is based on The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. Season Two picks right up where Season One left off with the appearance of a second woman who claims that she is Audrey Parker. We soon learn that our Audrey Parker reports to a fake Agent Howard. This little fact proves that our Audrey Parker isn’t the real one after all. She may share the memories of the original Audrey, but she is a copy. How is this possible? Does it have any relation to the woman in the photo who looks just like her?

This is the story arc that runs throughout the season: Who is Audrey Parker? When the real Audrey has her memories wiped by a trip to a mysterious, itinerant barn, our Audrey is left with even more questions for which she is compelled to find the answers. What on earth was that barn, and what does it have to do with her Agent Howard?

Each episode in the second season brings us closer and closer to seeing what is going on in Haven and how it relates to Audrey. The origin of the troubles is buried deeply in Haven’s past, but even the secrets have secrets, which makes Audrey only more determined. The episodes also feature the trouble of the week. I often found these troubles not as engaging as the overall story arc.

In “Fear & Loathing,” Nathan and Audrey are on the hunt for a haunted puzzle board, something straight out of the cheesy “Friday the 13th” TV series from the 80s. In “Love Machine” a mechanic’s trouble brings his machines to life. When the machines learn that he’s planning on moving to Florida to be with his sweetheart, the machines rise up to kill and maim in their obsessive need to keep their creator in Haven. What saves these episodes is the chemistry of the characters and the zippy dialogue.

For example, in “Fear & Loathing”, a girl who can cause people to see their worst fears leads to a guy whose trouble is the ability to steal other people’s troubles. He even steals Nathan’s trouble of not being able to feel so he can steal the haunted puzzle board of doom. This might have been silly except for Lucas Bryant’s performance as a man who can’t feel any touch suddenly being able to. When the trouble thief lies dying on Duke’s ship, Nathan transfers the fear trouble into him so that the girl can live a normal life, giving up his only chance to live a normal life.

Fortunately, most of the episodes are better crafted like “Sparks and Recreation” featuring Jason Priestley, a cranky biologist (Chris Brody) who suddenly inherits his dad’s trouble of making anybody who looks at his eyes adore him. His father used the talent to be mayor. His son just wants people to leave him alone. The fact that only Audrey is impervious to his “charms” makes him become a love interest over the course of the season, much to Nathan’s irritation. “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” also stands out as a good episode as Audrey wakes up and relives the same day over and over again. The fact that this is just like “Groundhog Day” is commented on by the characters who need to be reconvinced by Audrey every day that the day is repeating itself until she can solve the trouble. Before that happens, we get to see Duke, Chris, and Nathan all die—something that takes its toll on Audrey.

The characters drive the show first, followed by the story arc mystery. The troubles are just incidental. Haven Season Two is an enjoyable ride, and we learn so much more about the mysteries of Haven and its troubles. Audrey learns Lucy’s last name (Ripley), gets to meet the woman whose memories Lucy shared, and learns the name of another woman whose face she shares—Sarah—from the troubles in the 50s. Is Audrey the same person, and where does she go every twenty-seven years? I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own.

Original Air Dates: July 15 – December 6, 2011 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: Not Rated
Network: Syfy

MySF Rating: Four point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 75%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 2 (social drinking, scenes in a bar)
Language: 1 (mild)
Nudity: 0
Sexuality: 2 (Bed scene, much smooching)
Violence: 3 (blood, gore, icky & oozy deaths)


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