Haven: Harmony

“The patients have taken over the asylum.”

This week’s brand of crazy (pun intended) was a little more interesting than last week, although just as out there. I’m beginning to realize that I like my supernatural stuff on the traditional side. I think the over-the-top weirdness of some recent shows has left me a bit overdone. However, this week’s mini mystery was fun and I’m getting hooked by the larger story. I’m also starting to really like the characters, which is always a good sign.

This week the patients at Haven’s psychiatric facility, “the Freddy” have an unusual reaction to what we first believe is a drug spill. They get better. Unfortunately, the previously “sane” doctor becomes violent and compulsive, a comment, which I appreciate, on how we are all very close to “crazy.”

The patients that are chosen for this story are a bit odd, if stereotypical. The focus is on Lily, a talented composer before she was submerged in cold water for more than 8 minutes because of a car accident (cars in the water are a theme for this show). Now Lily is compulsive and sometimes violent. The other two patients in focus are severe catatonics, Mr. Sperry and William. The patients are interesting because true catatonics are rare: to have two in this particular little hospital is, well, weird (I know I use this word too much, but it is so appropriate). It is also rare for psychiatric patients to be violent, especially as violent as Lily. I’m not sure if the choice of mental health issues was purposeful or just lazy.

What isn’t unusual is for psychiatrists to develop mental health issues themselves, but this is Haven so it isn’t just the psychiatrist, but lots of other people--including everyone in a bar that Lily happens to go to while she is coming out of one of her sane periods. I enjoyed this bit of the episode. The patrons of the bar shoving cars and ripping off doors, a woman throwing darts at a man who doesn't seem perturbed to be a dart board (would we all be violent if we suddenly developed mental health issues?)--but my favourite thing is that Audrey walks in and out of the bar, as do others, and totally ignores the man full of darts. Just another day in Haven. My other favourite bit in this section of the episode is that we get to see the dark side of Nathan as he burns his arm with a lighter and lunges after Duke, who is charged with babysitting him until the “crazy” wears off. Duke gives us a clue that a darker side of Nathan might have already been evident when he says “Does she (Audrey) know you’re not a real boy? I mean, does she know about the things you’ve done?”

Eventually we find out that the source of these happenings is Lily’s husband, Ray, whose “trouble” seems to be the music he makes and the effect it has on people. When he plays an instrument people who have mental health issues get better and “sane” people lose their minds. So he can save his Lily, but at the cost of damaging others. The solution is for Ray, Lily, and some other patients (William and Mr. Sperry) to go off on a boat where they are away from other people. Again, I may be a person who likes the science in science fiction but I would like some explanation for why this works. The weekly “troubles” don’t seem to have much depth to them and they mostly become vehicles for the larger story arc and getting to know the characters. I feel a bit cheated by this as each “trouble” could be better expressed and given more depth.

I am enjoying the larger story arc and the characters. We are getting a better idea of the troubles, how they play themselves out, and what havoc they can create. We are also learning about Haven and the capacity of the townsfolk to tolerate weirdness. Audrey fits right in. She actually enjoys the mystery of the town. Her relationship with Nathan is deepening as a partner, and now they have a third Muskateer in Duke, who is just as interested in finding out what is going on. This week we also got a name for the woman who might be Audrey’s mom - Lucy. Mr. Sperry used to sell her flowers.

Bits and Pieces

Crazy Nathan is much hotter than sane Nathan - just saying. Duke walking around with his shirt off doesn’t hurt the show either (of course this is just my perspective). Only Haven would have two bars called the Rust Bucket and the Shiny Scupper, oh and a psychiatric hospital called “the Freddy”. And this week we had another man with a New England accent. They seem to just throw them in randomly.

Quotes

Nathan: “Nice work on the cat lady call this morning.”
Audrey: “Who knew I had such talent with drunken women in housecoats.”

Nathan: “I think they laughed their fourth grade asses off.”

Nathan: “We can’t shoot the doctor?”
Audrey: “No.”
Nathan: “And we can’t go in that room, so why are we sneaking up on him?”
Audrey: “Because Haven doesn’t have a SWAT team. It has a dispatch lady that calls you 'hun' so we’re following FBI protocol.”

Duke to “Crazy” Nathan: “You may want to consider switching to decaf.”

Nathan: “Maybe you’ll fix me some day.”
Audrey: “I don’t think so, nobody can fix you.”

I am particularly enjoying the fact that Audrey is not interested in being a romantic partner for either Nathan or Duke. She is totally straightforward and her own woman. Shirts off and vulnerability don’t seem to have much effect on her.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So far - this show feels much like Eureka with a female lead instead. I enjoyed Eureka but I'm not there with this show yet. I hope it gets better. wendel