There is a good case to be made that this is the best “Haven” season ever. And that doesn’t just mean the utopian town seen in “The Trouble with Troubles.” This recap may help to explain why.
Boom goes the Trouble!
Thanks to William and his magical touch, a vacation-nostalgia Trouble has suddenly morphed into one that creates massive volcanoes in Maine. It’s almost unfortunate that there are other, more pressing things to deal with in “The Trouble with Troubles,” because it would just plain be awesome to experience the rest of Doreen the Librarian’s travel life. She obviously goes to neat places.
But that is not the point here. The point is that William is still wreaking havoc in hard-to-ignore ways.
Audrey and Nathan don’t have a solution though, so they “sleep” on it.
Never sleep naked
The story only really begins the next morning, when Audrey wakes up alone and on the floor of an empty attic. Now, normal people on normal shows would be thrown by this turn of events. This, however, is “Haven” and Audrey — she just gets up and starts walking to the Haven police department to talk over the situation with Nathan.
One problem with that: Nathan isn’t a cop, and Haven isn’t exactly Haven anymore.
Instead, Audrey meets friendly Officer Duke Crocker on the way to town and then is terrorized by the sight of Vince and Dave in the guise of judgmental dandies. This is because the world has morphed into a perfect, Trouble-free Haven in which a little vandalism is the crime of the century.
It’s also a Haven in which Audrey Parker has neither a place nor a purpose, but that gets ignored for awhile. When Audrey has to get an exam from Dr. Hansen — aka, Nathan — she has many other things to think about. This includes Nathan’s happy wife and daughter.
Utopia is never all it’s cracked up to be
Even with no identity and even without Nathan, Audrey seems willing to let this Trouble-free Haven go about its sun-drenched way. William, on the other hand, has other plans.
Yes, William is still around. And yes, William is immune to the Troubles. Did you ever doubt it?
William is also not a fan of a Trouble-free Haven. Partially this is because he thinks Audrey needs the Troubles to remember who she “really” is. But mostly it’s because William is a bad man who likes to cause both trouble and Troubles.
He demonstrates that clearly by killing three people — Vince, Dave and Doreen the Librarian — in order to get Audrey’s attention and to bring the Troubled world back. It doesn’t work, but you know William has fun with the attempt.
“Haven” channels “Buffy”
One of the scariest episodes of the oft-frightening “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was Season 6’s “Normal Again.” In it, Buffy (thanks to a delusion-producing demon infection) hallucinates that she is actually a totally normal girl, except that she had a psychotic break and has been living in a mental institution for years.
The really crazy part is how everyone in the delusion seems more real than Buffy’s “normal” world of vampires, monsters and magically appearing sisters. The nightmare is then passed on to the audience: Is all of this beloved show nothing more than a dream?
In this, “The Trouble with Troubles” owes more than a little debt to “Normal Again.” The alternate Haven is almost painfully normal. It’s the crazy world of Troubles that no one can really believe.
Audrey faces this head-on when William frames the woman for the murders. Duke can’t really believe the woman’s tales of another life and leaves her in prison. It’s to Audrey’s odd credit that she never once wavers from her conviction of the true reality.
Not that everything in this world is unfamiliar. After all, Nathan still broke his arm in the third grade, and he and Duke work well together, even when each is totally annoyed at the other.
Say bye to Utopia, Nathan!
Murders aren’t the end of William’s reign of terror. Knowing Audrey’s weakness as he does, William kidnaps the Hansen women and demands that Audrey find the source of the Trouble if she wants Nathan to get his wife and daughter back.
So she does.
Remembering that vandalism is super unusual in this Haven, Audrey realizes that the defaced sign was for a real-estate agency run by a couple. She recognizes the woman as Suzy, an unfortunate victim of Doreen’s volcanoes.
And the man responsible for this perfect hell? That would be Cliff, Suzy’s real-world husband and the possessor of a wish Trouble. It seems that the real Suzy died in the night, so Cliff wished for the Troubles to go away forever.
He got his wish, but he still lost Suzy. She doesn’t know the man at all. It’s like Cliff doesn’t even exist in this world.
When Audrey and Nathan figure this out, Nathan seizes the opportunity to trade Cliff for his ladies. This works out well for Nathan. It’s not so good for Cliff.
The truth shall set you … well … not free anyway
Thanks to a Duke who finally believes at least some of what Audrey is saying, the lawman and the out-of-place woman track Nathan and Cliff to William’s lair. It doesn’t go so well. William is waiting to ambush them and quickly succeeds in shooting Duke, probably killing him.
Because William is the type who thinks that killing beloved friends is motivational, he hopes that Audrey can talk Cliff down off the Trouble cliff (pun intended) and return everyone to reality. She doesn’t think it’s that easy.
So William tries to convince Audrey another way: with the truth.
It’s not the whole truth, maybe, but it’s far more than we have ever known before. You see, Audrey created the Troubles somehow. With William as a partner, proto-Audrey somehow cursed the town and was therefore punished to return and save it throughout time.
Further truth bombs could, alas, not be dropped. Nathan, guilty over condemning Cliff in exchange for his family, returns and holds William at gunpoint. This doesn’t faze William though, and the bad guy just shoots cliff dead.
Suddenly, Audrey wakes up in bed with Nathan. Other than a souvenir t-shirt, it’s like the other Haven never existed. Duke’s not even dead now!
William, however, is about to be dead if Audrey has anything to say about it.
She tracks him to a dry dock/weed-drying facility with Duke and Nathan. To his credit/detriment, William isn’t exactly intimidated. He thinks the connection between them means Audrey would never harm him.
Maybe she wouldn’t, but Nathan doesn’t have that problem. He shoots William …
… And Audrey goes down too, felled by the same gunshot wound. Apparently, when William was talking about the connection between himself and Audrey, he was being literal.
A few quotes for the road
- “I just got that car!” – Audrey
- “What kind of Trouble takes my shoes?” – Audrey
- “Haven has its first homeless person!” – Vince
- “My dear, this is Haven. There’s never been any trouble here.” – Vince
- “Technically yes. But actually, no. Not really. So, no.” – Audrey, on whether or not she knows Nathan
- “Somebody’s Trouble stranded us in this boring tourist trap.
” – William
- “Deep down, you like the Troubles. Hell, you **want the Troubles.” – William
- “If Haven is being overrun by homeless bag ladies, the people have a right to know!” – Vince
- “What would it take to get a full-time M.E. in this town?” – Nathan
“A lot more murders.” – Duke
- “He doesn’t matter. None of them matter!” – William
- “The real you — You made the Troubles. Why do you think you’re the one who has to deal with the Troubles? Why do you think you’re the one who has to come back over and over. You made them.” – William
- “You made the Troubles. You’re being punished.” – William
- “We did it together. And we liked it.” – William
- “I’m going to tell you everything about who she is and what’s she done.” – William