Syfy, 29 July, 5, 12, 19, 26 August, 2, 9 September
Contains some spoilers for UK audiences
Machines go wild, lightning strikes, vines attack, time repeats and repeats, fish people resurface, twins tussle and Evi exits—just another summer in haunted Haven.
This batch of episodes displays both the strengths and weaknesses of Haven. It’s an interesting enough series, but too often the threats posed seem like they’ve been lifted from other shows (Supernatural and The X-Files spring to mind), while there’s not enough signature Stephen King content to really justify the series’ roots. For example, ‘The Ties That Bind’ had interesting Cthulhu echoes with more than a hint of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth, while ‘Audrey Parker’s Day Off’ was a successful spin on the well-worn Groundhog Day scenario.
Across these shows there have been some positive developments. The doppleganger Audrey has gone, while Jason Priestley has joined the cast as the charismatic Chris Brody. Everyone loves this Chris (that’s his ‘trouble’) except for Audrey Parker, the one woman he wants to. Priestley is a welcome addition to the cast, shaking things up dramatically. He also directed ‘Lockdown’, a typical one-location ‘bottle show’ that nonetheless looks wonderful. That episode also saw the removal of the annoying Evi character (although Duke didn’t seem too cut up at his ex-wife’s demise).
There has been an attempt to develop some over-arching mystery mythology across this second season, but so far it is failing to cohere. It has the smell of being made-up-as-it-goes-along, especially when one episode Evi seems germane to some kind of conspiracy and is then disposed of by the next episode.
Verdict: Television with potential, Haven has still not quite become addictive viewing…
Episode 3 ‘Love Machine’: 5/10
Episode 4: ‘Sparks and Recreation’: 6/10
Episode 5: ‘Roots’: 6/10
Episode 6: ‘Audrey Parker’s Day Off’: 7/10
Episode 7: ‘The Tides That Bind’: 6/10
Episode 8: ‘Friend or Faux’: 7/10
Episode 9: ‘Lockdown’: 8/10
Brian J. Robb