Haven: Same Old, Same Old

In Friday’s episode of Haven, Audrey Parker relived the same day over and over again... and we audience members relived a plot we’ve seen countless times before. But the Groundhog Day-inspired time loop story was actually one of Haven’s best-executed episodic mysteries to date, putting a creative twist on the convention and giving Emily Rose a chance to show her range. It’s the bigger arcs that the series keeps fumbling—in this case, giving the Audrey-Nathan-Duke-Chris love rectangle its most heavy-handed treatment to date.

But let’s start with the good. The time-loop plot has been done, with varying degrees of success, on Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The X-Files. (For what it’s worth, Supernatural’s “Mystery Spot” is still my favorite, despite the trauma of seeing Dean die repeatedly.) Haven’s explanation of the occurrence, however, was the most poignant I’ve seen—a father with OCD blaming himself for his daughter’s death keeps reversing the day’s events. And Audrey Parker, the only person in Haven immune to the troubles, is naturally the only one who remembers.

I was glad that the repeating day wasn’t just a wacky thing that sometimes happens in Haven, but rather a freak event grounded in the show’s continuity. We know the people of Haven are troubled, and that their special powers or curses generally affect everyone around them. Audrey’s immunity remains her greatest strength, and I love the pressure it puts on her. She already feels as though it’s her responsibility to help everyone—seriously, everyone—and her unique ability to see past the troubles often means she is literally the only one who can save the day. On Friday, she not only had to solve the mystery, but to watch all the people she cares for die—an obvious but effective reminder of the burden she bears.

The romantic undertones were less effective, however: Haven continues to struggle with the relationships between its characters. Which is a bummer, because Audrey deserves a break today. For me, the problem is largely due to the lack of chemistry between Audrey and her potential mates. Nathan and Chris seem interested in her primarily because she’s immune to their troubles: Nathan, who can’t feel anyone’s touch, can feel Audrey, while Chris, whom everyone is compelled to adore, has no effect on her. (Besides standard sexual attraction. He is Jason Priestley, after all.) But neither of these men seem to fully appreciate Audrey for who she is; at the center of their attraction to her is relative to their "conditions."

Haven rushed the courtship of Audrey and Chris, though it was admittedly nice to finally see Audrey get some. As for Audrey and Nathan, there have been hints of unresolved sexual tension throughout the series, but it seems to come and go whenever the plot finds it convenient. I will concede that there is real chemistry between Audrey and Duke, a relationship the show hasn’t sufficiently explored. While there’s no need to rush a coupling, they’re the only two characters I can see making it work in the long run, and I’m interested to see the show take steps in that direction.

What I don’t want to see is a ridiculously unsubtle conclusion with Audrey staring at her three (would-be) suitors as a maudlin song plays in the background. Haven still needs to learn to balance its monster-of-the-week stories and its longer character arcs. If the series wants a love rectangle, it needs to develop it, not just force it on us. Was Friday's episode suggesting that Audrey needed to see each man die to understand how much they mean to her? That still doesn’t make much sense. They’ve all been in enough peril before that Audrey should know she needs these guys around. What’s frustrating is that there IS a story to be told here—Haven’s just not telling it right.


What did you think of Friday's episode? Are you satisfied with how the show's been handling its character arcs?

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I believe it was Dr. Who which originated the time-loop trope.
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How come you cant see the chemistry between Nathan and Audrey?. I still "dream" of the look on Nathans face when he realised he can "feel" Audrey..and all she did was kiss him on his cheek!



Next time you "see" Audrey and Nathan together, check out all the legitimate reasons Nathan come up with just to touch Audrey.



The Brody guy just didnt feel right to me...

For some reason i always feel like its Duke and Audrey who act like siblings..but no Nathan, he "feels" her too much and not in a brotherly fashion
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I like Nathan, can't stand Duke and his sleaze. Didn't like Chris at all and that did feel rushed. I think Nathan is the one who has the most to offer, once he decides he's worthy. And besides, he's the best-looking of the three...gad!
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Totally agree. Audrey has more chemistry with Duke or with Chris than with Nathan. They look like friends, not even best friends, just friends. And God, he is boring.
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Team Naudrey all the way! And the episode was amazing. And I don't thing the show needs another romantic relationship. I like the tension between Nathan and Audrey and I hope that she has come to realize now how much Nathan means to her.
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i love audrey and nathan but audrey being so clueless makes it impossible to watch

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I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So many of the shows (most all) that I like are cancelled or move to another television station. DON'T, PLEASE DON'T stop this one. I love the supernatural. It is a great escape from the realities of the world, from all the fighting, war, devastation, economic collapses, people freaking out over their money and how this country is falling to pieces, as well as the murders, abductions, child abuse that is televised and much much more. Live it not always about bad stuff and knowing that the supernatural is, in my opinion, something that is far far far fetched, it is easy to get into and see good win over evil. There is enough programs that are serious and all about the news. Some one might say, "The show you like are on the sci-fi channel", but that is not true. The sci-fi channel air show with stupid over sized crocodiles fighting stupid over sized snakes, or some serial killer chasing a group of teenagers (which is not so far fetched when one thinks about it), or some gross large toothed fish coming on shore and eating people, and I won't get into the so called special effects. I am sure there are many people who like to watch that stuff, the b and c and d and e and especially f rated programs but there are many more people who don't from what I have gathered just from talking to surrounding neighbors. Haven is a show that delivers unexpected twist and turns, sometimes the previews for the next week leak TOO MUCH information though. The last episode I watched that I recorded on my DVR was about the Repeated Day. I was expecting the driver of the car to be the main reason for the 'trouble' but to my surprise it was a dad. I really like this show!!!!!!
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I think that they do have a problem with the love triangle part, but I never saw Chris as a long term boyfriend, and I thought that they could have used him to try to make Nathan more motivated to go after Audrey.. And that is the couple that I like the best, I just don't see Duke and Audrey together very well.
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I really want to like this show. The cast is good...but the storylines are just ridiculous. I know it's SyFy, but it's like it's written for 5 year olds. Every week some new clown shows up with mysterious powers and fries the town, or spins off a tornado down main street. Nobody has any fun, or cuts up like on Eureka or S.G. Atlantis. It's wayyyy too serious, and nobody cares about Audrey's love life. Sorry. I did enjoy this last episode, however. I thought it was pretty well done for a change. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the writers can keep 'em coming like that. Right now, the best thing about the show is the intro and the music.
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I definitely liked this episode. However, the love triangle or rectangle does need to be handled a little better. While I would like for Audrey to hook up, it feels forced a times, like to hook her up just to make the show more interesting. I'm already hooked, a forced love triangle for Audrey isn't needed, but I'll admit it is fun to watch. Personally, I hope its her and Nathan that get together.
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I really enjoyed the "groundhog-type" episode on Friday, and I usually do not like that type of thing. They really shook it up a bit and made it work very well. What I didn't care for was the Audrey and Chris hook up; that really didn't play out well for me because you can tell that Nathan cares deeply for her and she for him. Nathan just won't act on his feelings for her and

that's a shame. Hopefully, they'll get together in the not too distant future, and Chris will go back to doing whatever he does...some where else.
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For some reason this show has been the only show that Eric Balfour can't kill and he is very good on this show. His brother love for Jason Pristly has been hilarious. I think he and Emily Rose have the best chemistry. She is an incredibly underrated actress. This show still needs MORE guest stars from "Call Me Fitz" - I'm thinking they need either Ernie Grunwald or Brooke Nevin to make an appearance.
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don't forget stargate sg1 and star trek's version of groundhog day! window of opportunity is the best of the SG-1
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This season had only two good episodes till now and the groundhog episode was one of them (the other being the second one which was heartbreaking), but the forced love rectangle seems kind of pointless. Nathan loves her, Audrey cares for him very much but has identity issues and that is just about as much as this show needs in that department. The writers should follow the mystery of the town and Audrey's past and not lose themselves in love rectangles.
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Also, Audrey will end up with Nathan. Jason Priestley will probably die this season, or go to London to save whales from golf balls (marine bio- I think?) and Nathan is to Audrey as Sawyer was to Kate. NEVER gonna happen....
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Wow LP, you really hit the nail on the head! Haven did do this type of episode very well.....yet that last scene left me going, "uch....no, uch...." Love triangles are bad enough. Love rectangles are just gratuitous; and this one seems forced. Honestly, anyone who has 3 potential suitors fawning all over them is not that unlucky, so buck up Audrey Parker, or whoever you actually are!!
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i really just want to see Audrey and Nathan kiss and my life will be complete.
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I agree with the article. I like Nathan as a character, but he and Audrey have no chemistry at all, yet he is probably the one they'll be aiming for in the end. I usually like the problem of the week in episodes, but not the overall story arc. They keep jumping from one to the next without a real continuity (the attraction between her and Nathan appearing/disappearing, but also the other Audrey Parker. They hint that she is the real one, yet she goes home? I don't get it. So, wholeheartedly agreeing with you!
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I'm not a big fan of the Chris character either, I'll be glad to see him go. I would be glad to see the 'other' Audrey Parker come back however. I actually thought there was more chemistry between her and Juke than I've seen between any of the other characters, especially when his wife was there in the episode where the 'other' Audrey lost her memories.



SG1 also did a Groundhog Day eposode which was quite good. Has Fringe done one yet? I agree the Supernatural one was great. Havens attempt was OK but it did feel very forced, as do the relationships between the main characters. If was to root for any of them i'd have to go for Audrey and Duke, I agree with others that he isn't only interested because of her immunity.
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i started watching this episode and thought "aw man this show's doing it TOO?!" because it seems like when a scifi/fantasy show needs a some sort of filler and they can't think of something else, they do this type of episode (Eureka did it too btw), but this was one of the better ones. it was emotionally investing and wasn't just a "hey this is what's going to stop it. hooray!" thing, the ending was legitimately heartbreaking as well as Emily Rose's reactions to each of her friends dying.



personally i'd rather Nathan and "Audrey" get together, then he can actually have sex and feel it :-p I never saw Duke as an option, they don't seem romantic to me
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i hate ground hog day episodes, they are just so....lame and un every single series. annoying, expected more from the show
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I really liked the episode. Was a nice change (even though it was something familiar - I also liked the Supernatural episode more :P ) but I do think there's a spark between Audrey and Nathan. He just needs to stop bringing the pity party everytime he sees her!



Re: Duke and Audrey - definitely. But again, he has his own mystery going on (the wife being in on the whole box/father/guy with the tattoo thing) and I doubt Audrey is going to find anyone in Haven who is going to appreciate her without her immunity playing a part. In a way, I suppose she is just as troubled as the rest of them and that should count for something.



I am NOT a fan of Jason Priestley in ANY form. Urg. Thankgod he's leaving. Phew.
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The execution of this episode was indeed awesome. But I do agree that Haven struggles with this 'love' rectangle way too much. While I enjoyed the triangle of Audrey-Nathan-Duke very much, and I would be happy with any development in Audrey-Nathan or Audrey-Duke direction, the fourth corner to Audrey's love figure - Chris - is a bit too much to stomach. His character does feel too much forced, and I really hope he'll be gone for good soon.
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if you saw the ep then you know chris is likely gone now so its just nathan and duke to pine for her since she made chris leave because she wants him to be safe and "follow his dreams n junk". i don't know why they did this crap and then had him leave as its annoying. though at least they didn't have him stay for 3 or so seasons then die/leave. and yes it'd be nice if they could give us a little more info on dukes tat guy, dukes dad, the news guys, audreys fbi boss and what happend to the other audrey and of course church man. he's suposed to be a major villain yet we he hasn't been around much though the next ep looks promising.
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This episode brought back memories of Tru Calling, which Jason Priestly also was in.
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This season has been great. I enjoyed the first season but wasn't totally hooked. They have me this season, some great eps - this one included. And while I agree the chemistry is great between Audrey and Duke, actually together I don't think they'd be good. Think they just to continue with the odd bit of flirting here and there!
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