I’ve got to give Haven’s season finale credit: It answered a few questions I didn’t even know I had. But Friday’s episode might have been too little, too late, because it capped off an uneven second season. While I’ll gladly tune in to a third if SyFy renews the series, I’m not sure the audience is there. And can anyone really blame viewers for bailing?
My frustration comes from being a fan of Haven since the beginning. I have a fondness for the fictional town and its inhabitants, particularly Audrey Parker (or whatever her real name is) and Duke Crocker. I’m invested in their stories, and I tune in every week to see what happens next.
More often than not, I’m disappointed, because Haven still hasn’t figured out how to pace its season-long mysteries. Season 2 gave us a bunch of frivolous monsters-of-the-week—few of which were all that interesting—followed by an exposition- heavy finale. While the show has improved, it’s still not strong enough for me to grab friends’ arms and insist, “You have to watch this show.” That’s the kind of word-of-mouth that an under-the-radar cable series like Haven needs, and I don’t know that it’s ever merited that much enthusiasm.
The season finale did, at least, offer some much-needed answers. “You were Lucy,” Vince told Audrey. “Before that, Sarah. Before that, we’re not sure.” Okay, we still don’t know who (or what) Audrey really is, but we now have some sense of her purpose here. She returns to help the people of Haven whenever the troubles start up—or maybe she somehow brings them with her? (My money’s on the latter. Sorry, Audrey.) Each time she arrives, she forms new memories, which explains the two Audrey Parkers. But who is the agent who brought the fake Audrey to Haven? And what are Vince and Dave still holding back?
The finale also explained Duke’s role: The Crocker family’s “trouble” is the ability to end other families’ curses. If Duke kills a troubled person, he ends the cycle for good. This brought an important conflict to the episode, and it’s something the series would do well to explore in the future. One of Duke’s most interesting traits is his faulty moral compass, so I like the idea of Haven forcing him to weigh one person’s life against the greater good. If I’m right and Audrey is somehow responsible for the troubles, wouldn’t killing her end Haven’s problems permanently?
Unfortunately, these big reveals weren’t enough to make up for Season 2′s many hit-or-miss episodes. Because Haven is so committed to creating weekly self-contained stories, there wasn’t enough development leading up to the big finale. Duke’s resentment should have been building all season; as it stands, he doesn’t really feel like a believable threat to Audrey. On the other side of that coin are Nathan’s feelings for Audrey. We know he’s in love with his partner because he told his dead father as much, but Haven has done a shoddy job of showing the evolution of their relationship, or any chemistry between them. Audrey kissed Nathan last week, because—I don’t know, it was time? That’s about as much explanation as we got.
Add to that a silly cliffhanger finale involving Nathan, Duke, and a gunshot. It’s one of the most glaring season-finale clichés, and it comes across here as a Hail Mary plea for another season. Can SyFy really leave Haven fans hanging like that? Frankly, it sure can, and the responsibility rests on the series’ shoulders. I’d be disappointed if the network didn’t see this story through, but no more disappointed than I have been by Haven’s inconsistency.
What did you think of Haven‘s second season? Will you tune in for Season 3 if SyFy renews the show?