Is it possible for one moment to change everything you ever knew or cared about? What would you do fix that mistake? That's part of the premise behind the new season of Syfy's "Haven," which followed one town's quest to not destroy itself from the inside out.
"Haven" followed the citizens of Haven, Maine as they continued to be afflicted with supernatural abilities, known as the Troubles, that only hurt everyone, especially those with each particular ability. The town thought that once Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) stepped inside a supernatural barn that the Troubles would be over for another 27 years. Sadly, that wasn't the case when something went wrong in the process and the Troubles remained. Audrey's friend Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour) followed her in the barn, but he didn't last long before it ejected him into a seal tank six months later in Boston. Everyone thought that Duke was dead because he was gone for so long, but he was eager to get back to his life and find Audrey. On his way back to Have, Duke find Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant) the town's former police chief who burned too many bridges after Audrey's disappearance. He returned to Haven to right some of those wrongs, even if it meant sacrificing his life in the process. Nathan was forced to deal with his trigger happy ex-girlfriend Jordan (Kate Kelton) and the fact that former clean-up man Dwight Hendrickson (Adam Copeland) has taken over Nathan's old job. Dwight hired him back as a Detective so that he could use police resources to find Audrey, but he will have his work cut out for him since she was now working as a tough talking waitress/bartender named Lexie and had no idea about her past. Hopefully, the arrival of a mysterious stranger (Colin Ferguson) could shed some light on those answers that she's looking for as long as they stay one step ahead of the danger that followed them. Will Nathan find Audrey in time to stop the Troubles? How will Vince (Richard Donat) and Dave Teagues (John Dunsworth) figure into those plans? Will they help Nathan and Duke or betray them in the long run?
In terms of questions, the show has asked quite a few that have left viewers suspending disbelief on more than one occasion, such as how a special barn has the ability to change time and erase someone's memories. Another question that won't be answered for a while is how the town was truly impacted by Nathan's actions to save Audrey and his behavior after his fatal error. Over the years, the show has gone beyond being a mere adaptation of Stephen King's "The Colorado Kid," because that character wasn't really mentioned yet this season. Sure, the weekly problem stories could still use some improvement as to how each story played out and didn't manage to resolve itself too quickily, but the special effects have improved greatly from past episodes. "Haven" has evolved from being a sci-fi problem of the week show into a tragic love story between Audrey and Nathan that might never come to fruition. Rose and Bryant had a strong chemistry that evolved over time from being friendly into an unbreakable connection that will truly be put to the test this year. The fact that she can't remember being Audrey Parker will add a new twist to the story, because she herself will be the reason that they can't be together until she remembers towards the end of the season. How will Balfour's Duke come into play for this story? It's hard to say because Duke and Audrey were also getting closer last season in a way that would make Nathan jealous, but the story was mostly dropped as quickly as it began. Let's hope that this season will pick it up somehow once Audrey/Lexie comes back to Haven. Only time will tell how that story will play out, especially with Ferguson's mysterious stranger knowing more than he's likely saying. It's hard to tell whether his character will be a friend of a foe to Audrey. It's safe to say that answer won't be coming for a little while.
As for breakout performances, Rose and Bryant led the pack as star crossed lovers that never quite got off the ground. Rose always embodied her characters, whether it was Audrey or Lexie, with the same level of spunk and vulnerability that made everyone want to root for her even when they don't entirely understand the character. She convinced viewers that she was just as frightened and uncertain about her identity as they were, or if she was even truly human if she can remain seemingly ageless over many decades. Her most memorable scene in the premiere came when she was flirting with Ferguson's character just before he dropped the bomb that she wasn't who she thought she was. Rose's playful expression turned into confusion and complete frustration that this wonderful stranger who saved her life could be someone she should run away from very quickly. She did share a comfortable rapport with Ferguson that helped to bring some levity to compensate for the darkness in the Haven scenes. It's too early to say how the Lexie story will play out, but it should be interesting nonetheless. Bryant, on the other hand, had the challenging task of being a man divided in his grief and his principals. When viewers first saw Bryant's Nathan in the premiere, he was a broken man who lost the will to do anything, except get paid to get beat up repeatedly. Bryant presented Nathan as a flawed man who was selfless in every other aspect of his life, except when it came to Audrey. Her touch saved him from feeling nothing ever again. He just wants to feel that one last time before his fate is sealed. Bryant's most memorable scene came when he ran into Balfour's Duke for the first time in six months. His face went from sheer shock to joy when he saw his friend, but it soon turned to disappointment when he realized that Audrey wasn't with him. Hopefully, Bryant's character will be able to experience some level of joy sooner rather than later if this could potentially be the show's final season since the premiere gave that sense of everything was coming to a head. Let's hope that the show gets a proper send-off if that's the case.
"Haven" premiered on September 13th and airs Fridays at 10:00 PM on Syfy.
Verdict: Despite repeated cancellation rumors, the show has always managed to come back. Hopefully, this season will help to provide closure for fans in case the cancellation rumors do come true.
TV Score: 3 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)