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The Trouble with Haven’s Fifth Season (So Far) 

Photo by: Mike Tompkins/Syfy
Photo by: Mike Tompkins/Syfy

As I watched “Chosen” Friday night, I realized afterward that something has shifted in me about Haven, and I hadn’t really sat down to look at what or why, but as I watched Nathan and Audrey and honestly, felt nothing, I was sort of sad that once upon a time this was a season finale that probably would’ve broken me for a couple of days. That’s how much I used to adore them and their relationship. But it was all too familiar–Nathan about to lose Audrey again, and helpless to stop it, and I think I was just over it.

I’m going to be honest with my fellow Haven fans. There was several things about this season that just made me nauseous and uncomfortable. When we got Audrey back last season, there was a definitive Audrey personality with flashes of Mara bubbling up. This season, Audrey was suppressed under the Mara personality while Mara did terrible, horrible things. I’ve always hated torture porn, and Mara was pretty close to the mark on some of her tactics. To get flashes of Audrey, who was witnessing those things being done by her own hand while she was held hostage inside of her body and threatened with death, just compounded it.

Then we had Audrey split off into a wholly new physical being and it seemed gross to me that we immediately picked up with Nathan and Audrey in bed. I think I’d have been OK with them waking up together, back together, reunited, but to be pretty blunt that they’d already been test driving the new equipment, which was essentially only a few hours old, just hit me the wrong way. Would sex be the first thing you’d do with a brand new human body when you’re not even sure what you are or whether you can hurt someone?

All of those thoughts were replaced with rage when Nathan told Audrey he couldn’t feel her anymore. I was shouty at that point, y’all. One of the key bonds between them, which has made for some beautiful moments over the course of the series, was just gone. I felt something click off inside of me as soon as he said it. And for the rest of the season when he tried to compensate for it and she knew that he couldn’t feel her, it was just pushing the sads.

Next, we had Mara sidling up to Duke and eventually bedding him, and there were so many things wrong with that, because we already knew Audrey was deteriorating. So not only did Duke have sex with the same body that Nathan had sex with when Audrey was the dominant personality, but Nathan would very possibly be having sex with that body again, if they had to merge Audrey into Mara, which is EXACTLY the scenario we got. Next season should be full of awkward. And do not even propose a pregnancy to me with lingering questions about paternity (and maternity) or I will riot.

So, those were the things that turned me away. And by the time we got to Nathan and Audrey saying goodbye (again) and Audrey offering to sacrifice herself (again) and the Troubles resetting (again), I just wasn’t right there with them anymore.

I love this cast, and they did exceptional work, but I wasn’t on board with where the arcs were going.

My friend Kate mentioned she’s missed the humor, which we were fleetingly reminded of in “The Old Switcheroo” episodes. I agree. There wasn’t a lot of light this season so there was no balance. I often grouse when shows lose their monster of the week format, and I think Haven suffered a bit because the larger arc was so oppressive on top of whatever the week’s Trouble was.

I’ll be back to finish Haven, but I’m past the emotional investment that I’ve built over four years and the 20,000+ words (yes, really) that I’ve written about this show and these characters here at TV Goodness.

We don’t know yet when Haven will be back, and whether that will be it for the show, but as of right now, whenever we get the next (or last) 13 episodes, I’m not in knots about the wait.

I’d love to know what you think and feel about this season. Please add your comments!

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  1. MByerly

    Heroes have to act heroic, and Audrey and Nathan aren’t anymore. They act like self-absorbed teenagers, particularly Nathan, who would let the whole world blow apart for Audrey.

    Duke has always done the right thing in spite of his self-professed claims at being totally selfish. Now, after losing the so-called love of his life a few weeks earlier, he’s now screwing her murderer, the super psycho-bitch? Really?

    Even Dwight, who has taken over the job as hero, falls for a mystery woman and risks Haven and its secrets. Luckily for him, she’s a good guy, but still….

    I think most of us would have accepted the wash, rinse, repeat of the plot lines of the last few seasons if the characters had remained consistent, but no longer having characters to connect with killed the show.

    1. Heather M

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  2. Kate

    When I’m not keeping Haven on my dvr to watch again, nor am I getting a season pass to download the episodes on iTunes, that says something. To me anyway.

    After two seasons of Nathan trying to save Audrey, I was kinda over it when we came into Season 5. Mara was definitely a turn off. The mustache twisting performance made it sort of comical, though it wasn’t. I’m sure Emily Rose had fun playing both characters, but having Mara for every episode this season made it less Haven and more of something else. The most fun I had watching any episodes this season was The Old Switcheroo Parts 1&2. This was the Haven I missed. The humor was back. But it took people switching bodies for it to be that. These two episodes were the best of the season. and what the rest of Season 5 could have been. I’m not expecting humor and light all the time, but sometimes levity is a good thing amongst all the dark stuff.

    The throwing in of Charlotte Cross as Mara’s mother seemed to be a last minute thing. My mom and I wondered where did that come from? Because then it all came down to Daddy issues for Mara to behave the way she had? That was the reason she created the Troubles?

    The the Croatoan mystery was so infrequently visited I’d lost interest in where that storyline was going. If that is Dave’s story, stop messing around and tell it already.

    Like you I’ll be back for the back half of Season 5, but will I be as invested in the characters as I was for the first four seasons? I guess I’ll find out when Haven returns sometime next year.

    1. Heather M

      Thank you, Kate!

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