The Season 2 premiere of SyFy’s Haven was something of a tease. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good—in fact, the series continued to improve on a muddled first year—but it was certainly frustrating. Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger, with our hero Audrey Parker discovering that she was also Lucy, the same woman she’d been looking for since the first episode. And in the episode’s final WTF moment, Audrey and her partner Nathan found themselves staring down the barrel of a gun belonging to FBI agent Audrey Parker—a second Audrey Parker, that is.
I was hoping that Friday's episode, with the tantalizing title “A Tale of Two Audreys,” would offer some sort of explanation, but naturally it left me with more questions than ever. And that’s fine: I suppose it was naïve of me to think the bizarre Season 1 conclusion would be wrapped up so quickly. We didn’t learn much about the second (and, I’m guessing, “real”) Audrey Parker, except that she and our Audrey share the same memories and are both pretty damn good at their jobs. If the first Audrey is Lucy, what is she doing with Agent Parker’s memories? Why hasn’t she aged? And who is the man she’s been calling Special Agent Howard?
The mind, it boggles. But that’s exactly what I want from Haven, a series that spent too much of Season 1 being, well, rather straightforward. At its lowest points, I felt like the show was a weak copy of series like The X-Files and Supernatural, especially since it seemed intent on exploring “Monster of the Week” stories instead of character arcs and season-long mysteries. When I hear that a show is inspired by Stephen King, I expect something a lot more convoluted and head-scratching. Say what you will about King’s writing—the man knows how to spin a good yarn.
“A Tale of Two Audreys” did have a “Monster of the Week” to contend with, and I’ll admit I wasn’t blown away by a man causing biblical plagues. (Seen it before, done well and done terribly.) But there was enough going on that I didn’t mind the self-contained mystery. In addition to the two Audreys trying to figure each other out, we also dealt with the aftermath of the police chief’s death, and the introduction of Evi, a mysterious woman from Duke’s past. (If she was telling the truth on Friday, she’s also his wife.) The bigger picture is why I will continue to watch Haven, though I wouldn’t mind some more creative monsters.
I’m also pleased that the story continues to evoke Stephen King. “A Tale of Two Audreys” included a scene in which a young boy in a yellow rain slicker chased a paper boat down a storm drain. Diehard King fans will have instantly recognized the image from It, and I hope we'll see Haven include more of these visual and thematic references. If the series can continue to build on its mythology while paying homage to its inspiration, I’ll gladly watch every week. Having my questions answered would be nice, too, but I guess I’m not in too much of a hurry.