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Haven “Reunion” and “Thanks for the Memories” 

Photo credit: Syfy
Photo credit: Syfy

Okay, then. So, my gut reaction to the finale is that Syfy made a bad call pulling the last two episodes. There wasn’t anything so wholly inflammatory about “Reunion” that postponing it and giving us the double-header one week later would have seemed insensitive. But Syfy made that call, and here we are a month later. And I think it diluted the impact of the finale. If we’d had it last month, when the momentum was there, I’m sure I’d be illiterate right now. But I’m not. And that kind of bums me out.

But that’s not anything that’s reversible, so let’s go with what we got, when we got it and try not to let that affect my take on the episodes. Here’s what I would have written if we’d seen these two episodes a month ago.

Good God, y’all! Cliffhanger much? I had some basic criteria for what I wanted out of the finale, and I got several of them but not all of them. We can talk a little bit about “Reunion,” but “Thanks for the Memories” was the really big show.

“Reunion” takes place the week of Nathan and Duke’s 10-year high school reunion, which is being accompanied by the murders of their former classmates, whose corpses are found looking 10 years younger. They slowly piece together that it’s the creepy troubled motivational speaker guy who used to be a much-maligned geek. In the middle of that, Duke is rendered 18 years old but since there’s so much to get through, that’s not mined for much.

The icing on the cake in the episode is that we get a sweet slow dance (to Boyz II Men–hee!) between Nathan and Audrey (after she repeats Sarah’s line about going for the shy ones) before everything goes to hell. Once the case is resolved, at the end of the night/morning of what they expect to be her last day, Audrey leaves Duke and Nathan in the bar to go on up to bed (alone) and I lose my mind a little bit.

The earlier retcon reveal of the episode, after confirming that Claire is in fact dead is that the skinwalker is the Colorado Kid’s wife, Arla, and she’s been rebuilding her face from 27 years prior because it just so happens that he went into the barn with Lucy and she wants to be reunited with him. She’s a bit misdirected in that effort because it also means she’s waiting for Audrey at gunpoint when Audrey gets upstairs, and her plan is to demand that Audrey go inside the barn and fetch her husband.

That segues us to the finale, when Arla takes Audrey to the barn just after the Colorado Kid (James) and Agent Howard (yes, him) emerge. Howard waits for them to arrive and explains that he’s sort of the barn’s keeper—he takes Audrey away and brings her back. He tells her that she can summon the barn (which doesn’t jive with the meteor storm bringing it, but I digress). She can also choose whether or not to go inside. He can’t compel her, and it can’t force her, so it’s all on her.

He then sends Arla off to find James and we learn pretty quickly that James is dying in the world because the barn had rejuvenated him after an attempted murder 27 years earlier, when he left with Lucy. Meanwhile, Duke and Nathan are madly looking for Audrey, Vince has tied up Dave for freeing Arla when they had captured her in “Reunion,” and Dwight’s trying to fix things. Oh, and this time, because Audrey’s dragging her heels, the meteors aren’t going over Haven, they’re going into Haven.

Everybody convenes at the barn and Nathan and Audrey fall together in a hug. Duke cons Arla out of her gun and then Nathan and Audrey go inside, where it’s a long, bright, white corridor with endless doors. The barn also takes Nathan’s trouble, so he can feel, and Lucas Bryant is perfect as that registers on his face. They talk about destroying the barn and then start to time trip across Sarah’s timeline (but not Lucy’s), where they see that the Teagues also tried to blow up the barn for Sarah but it didn’t work.

Next, Audrey has it laid out in front of her that Nathan and Sarah are James’s parents. It really is hilariously blocked out. In the barn, Howard threatens to show them a memory of Lucy’s that Nathan would know to be true and then he slams them back onto the beach scene from “Sarah.” As they’re walking up on Nathan and Sarah together, Nathan stumbling over how to tell Audrey to stop before she sees them, and then, there they are (and that’s the ONLY love scene we’re gonna get this hour, y’all).

Once back in the barn, Nathan tells Audrey (what I’d surmised in my “Sarah” review) that it made sense at the time because he didn’t know if he’d ever get home to her, and that way he still got to be with her. She’s surprisingly chill about it all.

Then Nathan’s alone and face to face with James, and he tells him he’s his father. James asks if Audrey’s there to kill him and explains that Lucy tried, to end the troubles. Nathan tells him no, Audrey would never do that. Outside, Arla is outing Duke for being in love with Audrey. The Guard show up at the barn and Jordan and her armed cohorts stand watch to ensure that Audrey stays in the barn. Dwight, Vince and Dave come up on them and Vince tells them to disperse and they do. So, he’s the big boss. That’s reveal #2. Duke is rattled when Vince shows him his tattoo but Vince tells him he’s not going to kill him—that he’s been the one to keep him safe all along.

Inside, Nathan and Audrey talk around the fact that she’s got to go and she can’t go and he won’t let her go and then she yells for Howard and tells him she wants to see James. James appears and tells her he wants Arla. She brings in Arla and her true face is revealed. James is horrified and Arla wigs right the hell out and lunges at Audrey but James takes a knife to the gut and then Audrey gets her own wound in. She tells Nathan to take Arla outside and then she sits with James and he realizes Arla lied to him, that Lucy didn’t try to kill him (but we don’t find out who did), and he tells her she can stop everything if she kills someone she loves. Then he seems to die and disappears. Howard appears and tells her James is still in the barn, that he will heal, and that it’s time.

Audrey asks Howard what she is and who she is and he explains that she recharges when she’s out in the world by finding love and that keeps the Troubles at bay for the 27-year cycles when she goes back in the barn. She asks whether she’s human, and he tells her, yes, she very much is. She asks if she’s being punished and he doesn’t know but supposes that yes, she is that, too. She tells him she needs to say goodbye and she goes outside where all of her men stand waiting. She says her goodbyes (a la Dorothy Gayle) to Dwight, then Dave, then Vince, and then Duke, who she thanks for being so kind and he jokes with her one last time. She tells him they’ll meet again but she’s sorry she won’t remember, especially Colorado, and then she kisses his cheek.

Then she charges at Nathan and kisses him with everything she is. He’s emotional and defiant and unready but she won’t hear it. He says he’ll die before he lets her go. She says she knows and she takes his gun off of him and gives it to Duke and tells Duke to keep him out of the barn. He says he will and he grabs Nathan and tells him he has to respect Audrey’s choice, that this isn’t up to him to change everything, as much as he also hates it.

In that moment, Nathan realizes Duke loves her, too. Duke admits it and Nathan asks him to look at Audrey and tell him how he can let her go. Audrey stops at the door and looks back at Nathan and Duke one last time. As Nathan breaks free of Duke and races toward her, she ducks inside.

Nathan rails at the barn door that doesn’t give and Howard stands there smugly saying it won’t work. Then Nathan turns on him and asks what’ll happen if he hurts him. He levels his gun at him, and then he’s shot from behind by Jordan. Nathan fires at Howard anyway as Jordan shoots him again and again. As he falls, Duke takes Nathan’s gun and fires on her and she drops.

Suddenly the bullets holes in Howard become shafts of light and he dematerializes at the same time as the barn. Duke holds a bleeding Nathan and Nathan tells him to go save Audrey. Duke leaps into the light of the collapsing barn as it disappears and when it’s gone, Nathan stands there in the empty space screaming Audrey’s name as the meteors fall into Haven behind him.

So my major minor major gripe is that everybody talks about and realizes and knows that Nathan and Audrey are in love with each other but they never once say it to each other. Not even in what they think are their last moments together. It’s maddening. BUT Bryant and Emily Rose sell the hell out everything that isn’t spoken (even while I flailed on my couch). One of my most favorite scenes ever in the show came last season when Nathan told Audrey she could never fail him and his voice got husky and his eyes teared up, and there were a couple of moments like that tonight that reinforced why I do love this show so much.

Balfour had a lighter load in “Reunion” because Duke was reverted younger for half the episode, but in “Thanks for the Memories,” he plays Duke as potentially double-crossing Audrey (which never in a million would he ever do) and then has to tell her goodbye and admit something he hasn’t told anyone, so there was a lot to do.

Laura Vandervoort had way too much fun as a badass Arla—from playing her as someone trying to defend what her Trouble had made her become to being so far off the deep end that she was going to reclaim her husband come hell or high water. Adam Copeland did some really nice work tonight as we found out Dwight’s on the outs with the Guard because they got his daughter killed (or just as well killed, in his words) and it was a great scene for Copeland to be given, which in turn gave us a little more insight into who Dwight is.

Where we didn’t get any insight, though, is in what or who Audrey really is. We close the season without a definitive answer. Is she an angel, an alien, a looper, a future self, a past self, and alternate self? We also don’t have an answer about whether the barn is a mechanical craft or a dimensional portal. Like I said, maddening. But the month break gives me the clarity to ask the questions vs. just rocking back and forth holding my knees staring at Nathan while he wails.

Do I think Audrey and Duke won’t be back? Hell, no. Do I think Nathan might be stark raving bonkers when they return? Hell, yes. But I really hope not. I don’t want this to flip Audrey and Duke into being something more than they are now. I don’t want Nathan to be odd man out. I don’t know if I’d feel any better if Nathan and Audrey (this Audrey, our Audrey) had finally said everything and slept together, but I really don’t want to pine and weep with Nathan if everything is on its ear come fall. And I really don’t want us to get back a shattered and mindwiped or soul-sucked version of Duke and Audrey. Just saying that now.

And so we wait, my friends. Haven will return this fall. Thank you so much for following along with us for season three. I do well and truly adore this show and I love writing about it. I’m thrilled so many new viewers found it this season, and that we’re getting the band back together for another go.

I trust we’ll get where we’re going eventually, but I wanted a few more answers tonight before we headed into the long hiatus. We didn’t get them. I hope we do. I’m coming back either way.

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