Episode 3.02 Writer: Matt McGuiness Director: Shawn Piller
THE ONE WHERE A psychiatrist trails Audrey while she and Nathan investigate a man who makes animals turn into humans when he sends them to slaughter.
VERDICT Want to know why this episode gets such a low star rating? Much of the reason can be found in one line: “Maybe when people in your family try to slaughter animals they become human.” Okay, we all know the Trouble-of-the-week in Haven is invariably ridiculous to point where you don’t so much have to suspend disbelief as blast it with some of that amber from Fringe, but this Trouble is bonkers and nonsensical beyond any belief system.
Humans that can become animals, fine. Silly but fine. And it certainly leads to some creepy imagery of a grown man trapped in dog-sized cage, his flesh bulging through the bars. But the reason it happens? Because some bloke has a super ability to turn animals into human when he kills them? And that’s not all. All the other dogs in the same veterinary surgery became human as well. Exactly what is the magic logic behind all this? What’d happen if he poured some boiling water on an anthill? What happened to the humanimals his parents created? Is Haven full of former pigs and goats who’ve now got jobs and checked shirts?
There’s silly, and there’s taking the piss.
Admittedly, all this twaddle is revealed late in this episode, but it hasn’t been much fun beforehand. Frankly, naked men, running around grunting and eating raw fish isn’t great TV. Cheap, but not great.
As usual, the ac plot elements are much more interesting, and Duke gets all the best moments in the episode as he teams up with a Dwight (an unlikely pairing which actually works well) to research the Hunter. The scene where the man-dog’s blood doesn’t turn Duke into a silver-eyed angel of vengeance is fun too.
Nathan and Audrey don’t fare quite so well, though. Nathan now seems to be in a constant fugue while Audrey’s reaction to psychiatrist Dr Callaghan feels overly hostile and out-of-character. She also seem to accept her fate (that she’ll vanish in a few weeks) with remarkably resignation. What’s happened to her fighting spark? Okay, we get it – they’re both going through tough, uncertain times, but this sudden descent into wall-to-wall griping and moping is irritating rather than dramatically engaging.
Jury’s out on Dr Callaghan for the moment. It’s certainly a pleasant surprise to discover that she’s already clued-up about the Troubles, and she could be a interesting and valuable addition to the team dynamic. But Bree Williamson isn’t totally convincing a shrink for the Trouble (so far, anyway). There’s no reason why a psychiatrist shouldn’t look like Dale Arden, but Williamson’s delivery feels a little too sexy secretary at times. It’s early days, though, so let’s see how she develops.
So, not a great week for Haven (and it hurts to have to give such a kicking to a show I generally enjoy) but the Duke and Dwight double act, plus the revelations about the Colorado Kid, The Hunter and Roslyn Toomey’s death make sure that it’s still good enough to make you want to tune in next week.
SPOT THE HASHTAG This time you can spot #escapetohaven on the side of a metal container outside the veterinary surgery. Strangely, is a similar establishing shots a few minutes later, the hashtag has vanished. Maybe a man-dog urinated against it?
HAVING A LAUGH? Why did the corner doodle a funny face on Roslyn Toomey’s report?
NEWSFLASH Those 27 year-old newspapers looked surprisingly crisp and new.
BEST LINES Duke: (to Dr Callaghan) “Wait? Who are you again? No, don’t tell me. Another Audrey Parker.”
Haven season three currently airs in the UK on Syfy, Tuesdays at 9pm