Haven Review by John Keegan

Haven 5.03: Spotlight

Haven 5.03: Spotlight

Written By:
Speed Weed and Shernold Edwards
Directed By:
T.W. Peacocke

The eternal problem with a series getting a hefty episode order is that the writing staff tends to look at the additional time and space as an opportunity to breathe.  Which isn’t inherently a bad thing, unless the writers slack off on the pacing and start spreading the story more thinly as a result.  It’s happened time after time, and unfortunately, I’m beginning to wonder if Haven is falling into the same trap.



 

Everything about this episode seemed padded to the extreme, even after taking my enjoyment of deep character exploration into account.  I have no problem with episode of shows that dig in relationship complexities without a lot of action; however, such episodes should probably feel satisfying in terms of progression.  I left this episode with the distinct feeling that the same narrative and emotional ground could have been handled in half the time, if not less.

 

It doesn’t help that the Trouble that served to keep Dwight and Duke distracted long enough for endless reiterations of Nathan/Mara conversations to take place was a bit ridiculous.  How exactly were weak laser beams shooting out of that woman’s torso?  There was a vague attempt at making sense of it all, but it never really came together, and the net result felt like a way to waste time in an otherwise sparse episode outline.



 

At least the end of the episode set up a reasonable dilemma.  Nathan wants to stop Mara by giving Audrey control of her own body again.  Duke needs Mara to activate Troubles so he can survive having all that Aether energy transferring through him, thanks to the reversal of his family Trouble.  Everyone else just wants Mara gone so the Troubles go away, even if they should know it’s never that simple.  Short of some kind of balanced body-sharing approach, I’m not seeing an easy way out.

 

It all comes back to that all-important question, though: if Mara can access all of the collective memories of all her subsequent incarnations, would a restored Audrey have the same ability?  If so, then she would know how to use Mara’s abilities with the Aether to help Duke, and the problem would be getting her hands on more Aether without letting William (or something worse) back through.  Regardless, such speculation simply underscores the need to get past this Mara situation sooner rather than later.


Our Grade:
C
The Good:
  • Things are set up for future exploration…
The Bad:
  • …but a lot of that could have happened in this episode instead
  • The Trouble wasn’t at all interesting or relevant

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Haven by - 9/26/2014 9:12 AM146 views

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