What can I say about Haven, Season Four? After being in love with the series for the past three years, I have to wonder if the writers were in a collective car accident and experienced group personality changes for the latest season. What happened? Horseshoe crabs with human eyeballs? Ancient prophesies that nobody mentioned before until now? Nathan with a spanking fetish? Seriously?
The writing was on the wall with Season Three, with the increasing importance of the Guard and Jordan McKee. None of their motivations felt real, but instead were convenient for the plot. Then Season Four began and the Guard was reduced to a handful of thugs, then they disappeared into the wallpaper.
Season Four became a season of experimentation as new plots were thrown onto the screen, then dismissed a few episodes later. We had moved away from the “Trouble of the Week”, but lost focus in the trade. It’s as if the original arc officially ended at Season Three, with everything after being made up by the writers on the fly on their way to work. This can happen to shows when they are retooled for better ratings, or when the writers get bored.
Audrey had a new personality. So didn’t Nate, now recast as the blood-thirsty ex-lawman hellbent on getting Audrey to kill him to put an end to the Troubles. Redemption is usually a powerful motivator, but in this case it felt pathetic. The chemistry between Audrey and Nate that we enjoyed so much in Season One and Season Two felt forced.
Duke was no longer part of the triangle because he had a new sweetie, Jennifer. The conflict of Audrey as Lexi didn’t last long. Then she was simply Audrey in a Lexi costume, which made you wonder if Audrey was kept in Lexi garb because the writers thought the nose ring was hot. Then there was Duke’s psycho brother, inheritor of the family ability to absorb Troubled powers, with his taste for murder as a high, until he was killed by Duke after a few episodes. Then there was the dream episode where Lexi/Audrey spanked a naked Nate while everybody was acting crazy, paranoid, and off character.
I was ready to bail. Where was the witty dialog? Where was the heart? What happened to my favorite show? However, a bit after midseason, the experimenting was over and the show found a rhythm. William, played by Colin Ferguson, turned out to be a Clyde looking for his trouble-making Bonnie. Then he set about to restore Lexi/Audrey back to her original self by tormenting the denizens of Haven until his sweetheart started getting off on all the mayhem again. Fortunately, the crew dropped William into another dimension, but now Lexi/Audrey was Mara and she wanted her Clyde back. Dun dun dun! To be continued…
Can they save Haven in Season Five? I don’t know. To me, the writing simply wasn’t there. The dialog wasn’t there. The character tension wasn’t there. It wasn’t bad, per se, but it wasn’t great. I believe that in trying to shake things up, they fiddled with the formula too much. If you like the characters and want to see what happens after Season Three, you may enjoy the show. Just don’t expect to be wowed.
Original Airdates: September 13 – December 13, 2013 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: Not Rated
Language: 1 (mild, deity)
Nudity: 1 (implied)
Sexuality: 1 (smoochin’ in bed)
Violence: 3 (people die in creepy ways, sometimes there’s blood, nothing graphic)