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Haven Episode 3 “Harmony” – review
For this episode our podcast commentators are Sam Ernst, Jim Dunn and Jose Molina–who some people may recognize from Firefly (“Trash” and “Ariel”) or as an alum of Joss Whedondom in general. Who give us some insight into how this episode came about (and how Audrey’s hair is hotly contested).
The episode itself is a bit of a strange one; at the local mental clinic (the “Freddy”) the patients turn sane, the lead doctor has gone mental, and no one can figure out how things are going topsy-turvy. Unlike the first two episodes, this isn’t a murder mystery, but one of personal history and idiosyncrasies. There is a confrontation between Duke and Nathan, a man confronting his own guilt, and Audrey learning just a tiny bit more about the woman who may be her mom.
Though not a murder mystery, this is still a mysterious episode. It’s important to pay attention to the little clues in order to unravel who is behind the strange occurrences. Also, both Audrey and Nathan take a more scientific approach to the problem. While Nathan talks to witnesses, Audrey follows up with the Doctor to find out if maybe it was a chemical attack.
This is still Haven, however, so no, it wasn’t a chemical attack.
If you’ve watched the past two episodes, then you know to watch for characters who get more screen time than is usual for guest stars. In this case watch Ray and his wife Lily. They’re important, not just to the eventual realization of what’s going on, but also to illustrate how the “Troubles” affected ordinary people. In the first two episodes we saw how the “Troubles” were a burden to people afflicted; in this episode we see the bigger picture, how the “Troubles” could help people within a controlled atmosphere.
Nathan’s confrontation with Duke, which was hinted at in “Welcome to Haven,” is startling. It’s also telling; Nathan attacks Duke not just because he’s unreasonably compelled to, but also due to past history. Verbally he accuses Duke of “using” people and that he wants to use Audrey. Duke’s face is tense throughout the exchange, not defending myself, but also not rising to the bait.
Nathan and the Doctor are the only two people adversely affected as a side effect to the power. The Doctor becomes obsessive about hygiene, about finding the great medical marvel to help the schizophrenic. This is all logical given his profession. Nathan becomes obsessed with two things–feeling something, anything at all, even going so far as to burn his own skin to feel pain; and putting Duke in his place. The first is logical–who wouldn’t be obsessive about feeling something after years of being numb? The second is the intriguing notion: what exactly happened between these two? It was more than a cop beating on a criminal; it was personal.
The mystery is solved, a solution is found so that everyone is satisfied and at the very last moment Audrey gets a clue about her mother. A potential name. This was one of the more feel-good endings so far, maybe because no one got hurt (well, seriously hurt), but wrapped up in a way that wasn’t hokey. I thought this was a great episode.
Duke Report: My man Duke was happening in this episode–he got to have a fight scene with Nathan, we got more teasers about his character, he did a favor for Audrey and even helped out in the end. Plus, shirtless Duke is awesome. Eric Balfour may make me a believer about tattoos.