Episode 3.04 Writer: Gabrielle Stanton Director: Rob Lieberman
THE ONE WHERE A woman who drives over a cliff kills off likely rescuers with her own fears of death. Vince and David try to blackmail Tommy into giving them information about his investigation, but realise they have met their match. Audrey has flashbacks to being Lucy. Nathan makes contact with “The Guards”.
VERDICT “Over My Head” is a typical Haven episode. You know the drill by now: lots of great arc plot material offset by a naff freak-of-the week story. If this show could put as much effort into creating some decent weekly procedural plots as it does into the overall mystery of Haven it would be in danger of becoming a must-see show. At the moment, though, you’re worried about recommending it to someone new, because it takes a few weeks for the characters to grow on you and for the arc plot to get its hooks in, while you never know quite how embarrassingly naff this week’s Troubles might turn out.
The Troubles are also getting increasingly convoluted and amorphous. Whereas they used to be simply silly, three out of four so far this season have been woefully ill-defined and over-complicated. So this week we get a woman who’s near death after driving over a cliff, who’s remotely killing the people most likely to rescue her by psychically generating the things she’s scared are going to kill her. Um… er… sorry? What kind of a power is that? Once again, it’s yet another variation on “Trouble person conjures things up from nowhere” power that’s becoming annoyingly prevalent.
Not that the writers seem to care much about the nature of the Troubles any more. They’re just a means to an end; that end invariably being to create a circumstance where one of the lead characters has a moment of epiphany or does something that makes the other two leads regard them in a new light. This time it’s to prove that Duke can control his death lust. Similarly, when Nathan goes off on his solo mission – to make contact with “The Guards” – it’s handy that the Troubled woman he meets has exactly the kind of power that’s useful to forge a bond between them: she causes intense pain just by touching people; he cannot feel pain. It’s a match made in heaven. Or more likely, in a scriptwriting brainstorm session.
That’s a rubbish blue screen effect…
One fallout of all this is that the show is adopting Smallville’s old episode structure; the weekly plots now invariably come to a conclusion with 10 minutes of the episode still to go. Thankfully, while Smallville used to fill the remaining time with Clark and Lana/Lois having interminable heart-to-hearts interspersed with the occasional shot of Lex sitting at his desk looking glum, Haven often delivers is best moments in the spare time. “Over My Head” is no exception. We get the serial killer doing unexpectedly pervy things with a scalp (see below). We get Audrey dream of being Lucy discovering the Colorado Kid being interrupted by an irritated Agent Howard (still in dream). We have Nathan trying to infiltrate “The Guard” – a shady group of people devoted to protecting the Troubled. We get Tommy reacting to Vince and Dave’s blackmail attempts with some blackmail of his own, and revealing that the two newspaper proprietors actually own half the businesses in Haven (Tommy’s fast becoming one of the show’s best support characters after a mere two episodes).
It’s all great stuff, and leaves you wanting more. Which is a good thing, because the main plot alone wouldn’t have you rushing to program the Sky Plus box (*other recording devices are available) for next week’s episode.
WOW How gorgeous did Emily Rose look like as Lucy? She wears ’60s chic so well.
HASHTAG SPOTTING This week #EscapeToHaven can be seen in the swimming pool.
ICKY Right, so the mysterious killer scalps a woman, then sticks the scalp on a dummy head and lovingly brushes the bloody hair. You’re not likely to see anything else quite so unsettling on TV this week. It’s like you’ve suddenly channel flicked onto American Horror Story. You don’t suppose he’s going to stick that nose he (if he is a he?) hacked off someone last week onto the dummy head as well? Maybe he’s recreating someone, Frankenstein-style?
LOOK WHO’S BACK Agent Howard – seen here briefly in Audrey’s dream – last appeared way back in the season two premiere “A Tale Of Two Audreys”. Interestingly, this is also the first episode in which The Colorado Kid has received an actor credit for Steve Lund. Does this mean we’ll be seeing more of him?
BEST LINES Nathan: “Tell me about the tattooed people.” David Teagues: “You think they had something to do with the killings?” Nathan: “The days of one-way information flow are over. You wanna get, you’re gonna have to give.”
Haven season three currently airs in the UK on Syfy, Tuesdays at 9pm