â€œThe Hand Youâ€™re Dealtâ€ treads into Firestarter territory with a maligned telekinetic teenager wreaking crispy havoc on the folks who are snarky to him. He starts with the high school principal, then a classmate, and then is prevented from flambÃ©ing folks at a barbecue gathering, thanks to a psychic guidance counselor from the school who can see his victimsâ€™ deaths beforehand. The counselor, Vanessa, is Dukeâ€™s former babysitter and weâ€™re introduced to her when Duke brings Audrey to the school for an interview. Turns out that Duke was Vanessaâ€™s charge the day of the Colorado Kid murder and neither of them has a clear memory of that dayâ€™s events (so itâ€™s a moot point that Duke and Lucy, and therefore, Audrey, are not related/cliffhanger resolved).
Duke entertains a â€œhot for teacherâ€ pining for Vanessa for most of the episode but turns serious when he realizes Vanessaâ€™s ability is causing her physical and emotional pain. Audrey and Nathan get drawn into things when people start combusting. Julia has assumed ME duties and offers Audrey the notes from the Colorado Kid autopsy in an odd little overture of friendship with someone whoâ€™s not from Haven.
Meanwhile, Nathan keep looking for ways to touch Audrey or have her touch him (not like that!) while jamming plastic forks into his hands to test the â€œI can feel this, but I donâ€™t feel thatâ€ nature of his predicament. She keeps asking him if heâ€™s OK but he still canâ€™t confess to her. The way the scene went down last week at the party, I was pretty sure he was overheard (at least by Duke) telling the chameleon how he knew she wasnâ€™t Audrey, but I guess not.
The denouement happens when Vanessa sees several deaths against the backdrop of a movie and they realize that the next victims will be at an outdoor screening. They head to the site and start rushing people off the grass when the firestarter, Matt, arrives. Audrey and Nathan clue him into his ability and he very quickly moves from victim to jackass, proclaiming it to be awesome and ramping up to a God complex that they canâ€™t hurt him. Vanessa gets burned trying to help, and before she dies, she tells Duke she has seen how he will die.
Audrey and Nathan continue trying to reason with Matt, who heats up their guns (and Audrey has to tell Nathan itâ€™s hot before he drops it). Audrey finally has her â€œscrew thisâ€ aha moment and tells the kid heâ€™s a loser and a waste and they start walking away from him. They get halfway across the green and suddenly his raging at them is interrupted by his self combustion. Audrey stops cold in a fit of guilt and Nathan tells her to think of all the people they saved instead.
Later, at the bar, they commiserate on Vanessaâ€™s loss and Duke tells them she saw his death at the hands of a man with a four-point compass tattoo. Sheâ€™d earlier told Audrey she saw that same tattooed arm as the cause of the Colorado Kidâ€™s death. Nathan and Audrey found a body with that tattoo in a previous episode, so unless there are multiple guys who have it, Vanessaâ€™s final prognostication is wrong.
I liked this episode, but it was a fairly tame resolution for the cliffhanger setup last week to have amnesia be the answer to why and how Duke was at the murder scene that day. Iâ€™m not sure weâ€™re going to resolve the big Lucy Ripley mystery and Iâ€™m OK with that. I would like the basic relationship between Audrey and Nathan to be revealed, especially if there is a blood relative/long-lost sibling aspect to it, so they can conclude the Audrey-can-touch-Nathan arc. Weâ€™ve already put Duke in peril, so I donâ€™t know that we needed the foreboding on him again.
Three episodes left; still no word on a renewal (same situation as the Caprica folks, but theyâ€™re at least getting another batch of episodes). See you next week!
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