Review: Haven 2.06: Audrey Parker’s Day Off

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Haven 2.06: Audrey Parker's Day Off

Haven 2.06: Audrey Parker's Day Off

Series: Haven

4.5 Stars

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Warning: Spoilers under the cut!

Haven 2.06 “Audrey Parker’s Day Off”

Summary

Audrey Parker awakens to Chris the morning after their date and agrees to spend the day with him after she does one thing: a talk at the school’s career day. Things are going well until she gets a call from Nathan about an accident. Upon arriving she discovers a child has been killed and Nathan, himself visibly shaken, won’t let her see the scene. Suddenly Parker finds herself back at the beginning of the day. Unsure of whether it is simply déjà vu or something else she goes through the motions again (like the career fair) before deciding to call in Nathan explaining what she thinks is going on and hoping to change the outcome. It works, but instead of a child dying it’s Duke. Again she finds herself back at the beginning of the day, and this time is determined to get ahead of the situation with Nathan. It seems to be working until Nathan is killed by a hit and run driver. And again she finds herself back at the beginning, this time injured and worried that she won’t be able to stop the apparent inevitability of someone dying. She and Nathan again try to intervene but Chris ends up getting killed while saving Audrey from getting hit by a car as she approaches a strange man across the street from her. Rewound once more, Audrey realizes who may be causing the loop, Anson Shumway, and enlists his aid in trying to stop it. Unfortunately, Anson decides the only way to stop his OCD fueled Trouble and protect his daughter is to be killed by the hit and run driver himself.

I hate summarizing loops.

Information/Comments

The following will be tagged 1st-4th depending on what loop Audey was in at the time of the comment.

  • • Recurring: 7:34 a.m.
  • Recurring: Taco Tuesday. Cute cartoon and sign that gets earlier in process each time. Side note: As a south westerner I can’t help but mock the phrase and tease with other silly, cheesy marketing ploys for Mexican food like Menudo Monday, Tilapia Thursday, Fajita Friday, Salsa Saturday, Sopapilla Sunday. You get the idea.
  • • Rent due on the 4th of the month.
  • • Recurring: Waffles and man crushing by Duke.
  • • Recurring: Kid and bike.
  • • 1st: Heh. She lost a game of rock-paper-scissors with Nathan to get stuck with career day.
  • • 1st: Brother: “Why is she dressed like a female version of Nathan?” Me: *ROFLcopter* *catch breath* “Guess she’s become a local now.”
  • • 1st: Laughed at her dealing with the kids (cartels, guns, breaking the law). And then Chris.
  • • 1st: “If they're going to blindly love me, at least they're going to learn something.”
  • • 1st: Nathan pretty shook up about kid that was killed. Doesn’t want Audrey to see it.
  • • 2nd: Déjà vu.
  • • 1st&2nd: Wait, did the license plate number change? (Too lazy to go check.)
  • • 2nd: Nathan’s second favorite Bill Murray movie, “Groundhog Day”. Why am I not surprised?
  • • 2nd: Amused that she stabbed Duke with pen for implying Chris didn’t help her with her…stress the previous night.
  • • 2nd: “Duke”…“Shut up.” The Bromance. Seriously, though, a lovely poignant scene.
  • • 3rd: Hugging Duke. Actually sweet.
  • • 3rd: Flicking Nathan’s ear for joking about Duke dying.
  • • 3rd: Is that the first time we’ve actually heard Nathan addressed as Chief? And his immediately reacting to it without any weirdness.
  • • 3rd: Nathan trying to get her information before he dies, obviously confident about her saying time will reset.
  • • 3rd: That would be weird to die and not feel anything as it happens, especially with a chunk of wood stuck in you.
  • • So are the guys competing over who can do the best death scene?
  • • 4th: Audrey wakes up with the injury to her hand still there.
  • • 4th: Staring at Nathan as he cools his coffee
  • • 4th: Isn’t that one of the parents arguing at the school?
  • • 4th: Chris killed. Interesting he was killed instantly while Duke and Nathan suffered a bit before their deaths.
  • • 5th: Totally new tactic this time: getting to Anson Shumway.
  • • “I'm asking you to believe me today.”
  • • 5th: Somehow I knew Anson Shumway was going to end it all by killing himself.
  • • An interesting Trouble: OCD triggered time loop.
  • • “You never fail me.”
  • • “Hey, no judgments. He's a handsome guy.” “Yeah. Yeah, shut up.”
  • • Laughed at Duke’s embarrassment at his “man-crush” after Nathan informs/teases him that Chris is Troubled.
  • • Surprised Audrey seems to be backing off from relationship with Chris. Might just be she’s still upset over Anson’s death but not looking your would be S.O. in the eye when asked about seeing each other after they return from a trip is a bad sign.
  • • “Really, boys? Really?” Amused at the Duke and Nathan turning away from Chris.
  • • Not sure whether I should read anything in that last scene where she’s watching the guys. Duke looks and nods before turning away, Chris is already facing away, and by the time Nathan looks she’s gone, but he’s still looking like he senses her there anyway.
  • • Didn’t pick up any overt Stephen King references this episode. At least any that came readily to mind since I don’t think Mr. King’s real life car accident would really count as referencing his work.

I admit I was a little wary of a “Groundhog Day” like episode for Haven, not because I didn’t think it could be done, and done well, but more as a matter of how it would be done. Different shows take different approaches to the time loop scenario: some take it in an overly dramatic fashion and others in an overly comedic turn. Happily, Haven made it, well, Haven-ey with its own unique mix of humor, drama, and quirkiness that gives the show its own singular charm. To me it was more like “Butterfly Effect” than “Groundhog Day”. “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” has easily become one of my favorite episodes as a result.

I thought Emily Rose did brilliantly in this episode, especially in giving each repeat and death scene its own nuance and impact. A difficult thing to do when repeated scenes that call for strong emotional reactions that differ based on the location and character death without it losing its impact or feeling less the genuine to the events. To keep that emotional energy and intensity fresh each time, and even building and feeding off each subsequent occurrence is impressive for any actor or actress. Kudos to Ms Rose.

I really liked Sweet Talk Radio’s version of “Will You Still Love Me”. I’ve heard the song can be downloaded from the band’s website (http://www.sweettalkradio.com). I’ve decided after this week’s episode that I have not been sucked into shipperdom as I had thought in last week’s review. I base this on the fact that seeing Chris and Audrey after their night together didn’t bother me in the least. I think it was last week’s absence of the usual banter, partnership, and friendship between Nathan and Audrey in favor of developing the Audrey/Chris relationship that threw me off.

That said, it’s obvious all three men in Audrey’s life (Duke, Nathan, and Chris) are interested her in varying degrees and she in them, again in varying and oftentimes murkier terms. Based on reactions online it seems everyone has their interpretations of what Audrey’s reactions meant with regards to her reactions to each of their deaths. While she clearly loves each of them to varying degrees so I classified them into the following:

  • • Duke – Close friend. The fun guy she hangs out to relax, joke, and help out when needed. The guy she could have a fling without it being weird the next day. Duke may be interested in return but his reputation leaves little room to think any relationship would last long.
  • • Nathan – Best friend. The safe guy she confides in, trusts, and supports her. In other words he “gets” her and accepts her like no others. Nathan may be interested in her, but given her obliviousness towards him if he does love her he’d have to pretty much have “I love you, Audrey” tattooed on his forehead to make her realize this.
  • • Chris – The boyfriend. The guy she rushes in to having a “regular life” with, someone to explore the whole normal life that she feels is missing. Obviously Chris loves her but she’s now pulling back after the emotional traumas of seeing the three most important men in her life die.

Ugh. Enough on the soap opera front, on to other thoughts: I think it’s becoming obvious that the conflict in Haven over the Troubles will hinge on love versus hate, understanding versus ignorance, and hostility versus compassion. I wouldn’t put it in terms of good versus evil simply because I think Haven is too nuanced to turn it into a show of pure black and white terms. That and what some people think is good, others do not and vice versa, especially in areas where there can’t be any absolutes without someone being unwittingly and/or unnecessarily harmed.

Looking back over this I’d say this was definitely an excellent episode given this is my longest review and commentary on the show to date. Interesting.

Rating: 9.0/10.0

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