I think this is the first episode of the season that really got me interested. Of course by the end everything was spoiled and turned into something so much normal that it wasn't even explained properly. It still left me confused why this show is being continued but maybe it has to be looked from different perspective which I am not seeing right now. Seven episodes to go with hope that they'll bring something really huge...
The fifth episode of Haven, dubbed "Ball and Chain" shows tremendous growth for the series, not only in the form of storytelling, but also in its ability to actually maintain a singular plot for an extended period of time. I wrote this series off after the pilot, but this episode proved that not only is there potential here, but there is a chance that it could become really good.
Tonight's story with the people rapidly aging was quite exhilarating up until Eric Balfour returned to his usual, annoying self. The final few minutes, once everything was wrapped up, were a little uneventful, so that is something Haven needs to work on. You have some banter or something interesting once the case of the week is over; you can't just have five minutes of staring and melodramatic music.
The episode has an interesting parallel, the way a female spider devours her male counterpart. The character development in this episode has some delightful insights and hints about the two male leads that leaves me wanting to more about them both.
The title of this episode seemed to have a double meaning to me by the end of the showing. The storyline was terrific, very black widow! But the character development this episode was very insightful about the two male leads in the show. Duke and Nathan are also connected like a ball and chain, forced together--one (the chain) seems to pull the other in an implied sense of control, yet the other (the ball) carries the larger weight but resists the urge to pull back. There is a history there, a strong emotional tie that implies they may have been friends at one time. The competitive, aggressive stance between the two was there before Audrey arrived, but that silent tug-of-war hovers between them whenever they are in the same vicinity. Duke feels quite intensely (another opposite with Nathan)? Duke loses everyone he cares about: He may be protecting others and himself. There is a lot in this episode.
At this point, I have to wonder if this series is schizophrenic. The last couple episodes seemed to be fairly disconnected from the overall arc, which seemed to stray from the strengths of the second episode. This episode, on the other hand, was chock full of interesting little details that seem to tighten the overall focus of the narrative.
For one thing, we now have a sense of why the lighthouse is so prominent. Whenever we see the lighthouse now, we will remember that there is a siren of sorts there, waiting to lure in the unwary. Taking that sort of legendary figure and tying it to a specific woman's desire to overcome her inability to bear a child is a wonderful tool, and one that finally connects the dots.
Every instance of a "curse" that we've seen in the town of Haven has been, on some level or another, a dark and twisted reflection of a desire or unfulfilled need on the part of the cursed individual. As with all such situations in mythic lore, the apparent benefit has its subsequent and often unwanted cost.
This takes all the apparently self-contained experiences and cases encountered thus far and links them in a common theme. And that implies a common cause. That brings up two questions: did the individuals themselves do something to make this happen to them, and how does this relate to Nathan and his "curse"?
It all wraps back into "The Troubles", and might even tie directly into the religious undertones that Reverend Driscoll helped to introduce. I'm not familiar with the "Colorado Kid" story, but if this is classic Stephen King, then the classic archetypes probably hold. There must be a darkness in the town of Haven that makes all this happen, and if so, that means that someone probably knows all about it.
My guess would be that the tattoo on the first victim, also seen in the opening credit sequence, will tie into some kind of secret society that either fosters the emergence of this dark power or exists to fight it. I'm suddenly reminded of the Bookhouse Boys from "Twin Peaks", which is a very good thing, should it be at all accurate. I'm still on the fence regarding "Haven", just based on execution, but I'm warming up to it more and more.
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