After four seasons of Haven, Judge Alice Nelson is now officially leery of barns.
Our reviews of Haven (2004) (published February 28th, 2007), Haven: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) (published June 23rd, 2011), Haven: The Complete Second Season (published September 5th, 2012), Haven: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray) (published October 21st, 2013), and Haven: Season 5, Volume 1 (Blu-ray) (published January 2nd, 2016) are also available.
Now it's gettin' real up in here.
If you don't know—and you probably don't—Haven is one of my favorite shows on television. For four seasons I've watched the town of Haven and its inhabitants, grapple with these inherited misfortunes called "The Troubles." Season Three is spent trying to keep Audrey out of "The Barn," this enigmatic structure that is supposed to hold her and the troubles for 27 years. But when that goes screwy, the result is Season Four, where the troubles mutate into something they never were before. With Nathan licking his wounds elsewhere, Duke thought to be dead, and Audrey MIA, it looks as if things are DOA for the little quirky New England Town.
Facts of the Case
Things are reaching the boiling point. The troubles that were supposed to leave for 27 years, have not only remained, but morphed into something more terrifying. But wait, there's more bad news! Nathan (Lucas Bryant, The Vow) is drowning his sorrows in another town, after he was relieved of his duties as police chief. Duke (Eric Balfour, Skyline) has been missing for six months, and is believed to be dead. And where's Audrey Parker (Emily Rose, Jericho)? Well, she's still in the barn, under the impression that she is a bartender named Lexi, completely unaware of Haven, and the structure that is dying around her. If Audrey/Lexi doesn't leave the barn before it is completely destroyed, she will die with it. But a handsome stranger named William (Colin Ferguson, Eureka) shows up just in the nick of time and helps her escape. William however, isn't who he appears to be—he holds a dangerous secret that could change Haven and Audrey/Lexi forever.
Unchartered territory—that's the essence of Haven: Season Four. Now that the barn is history, the troubles are mutating, and someone or something is turning the already cursed into the contagious, and the normally non-afflicted into the troubled. While the first three seasons were spent trying to keep Audrey out of the barn, the focus of Season Four is on saving the town of Haven, after the status quo has been seriously upset.
Nathan returns to town, and once again joins the police force, at the request of the new chief Dwight Hendrickson, Played by former WWF Wrestler Adam Copeland. Nathan does this for two reasons, one: because he is guilt ridden since it was his doing that's kept the troubles around, and two: he wants to use police resources to try and find Audrey. Childhood friend and nemesis Duke Crocker has his own issues to deal with after vanishing into the collapsing barn in order to save Audrey; and what felt like only moments for him was in actuality six long months to everyone else. This explains why Audrey seems ageless when she returns after 27 years in limbo—time is different in the barn.
Once Audrey escapes her purgatory-like existence, she returns to a Haven where the love of her life Nathan, is a pariah because of the part he played in The Troubles continuing to hang around. Not only that, since The Troubles have become contagious, the townsfolk are dropping like flies. (It amazes me that anyone would want to live in this town.) To make matters worse, Audrey can no longer work her magic because there's a sinister force wreaking havoc on the citizenry of Haven, and she is helpless to stop it.
New Zealander (And you'd never know it from her performance) Emma Lahana joins the cast as Jennifer Mason, a young woman who believes she's lost her mind when out of the blue she begins hearing the voices of Nathan, Audrey, and Duke; this is quite a feat considering she lives in the city of Boston. But she isn't crazy, at least not by Haven standards, those voices in her head lead her to Duke, and to a town where she is a key factor in helping solve the mystery of the morphing "Troubles."
But the man that packs the biggest punch of any guest star to date is Colin Ferguson as William. Part love struck psycho, part evil villain, he's cooked up some surprises for little ol' Haven in order to attract the attention of Audrey—a woman he believes he knew from another time. As Jack on the Syfy series Eureka, Ferguson was funny and affable, a very likable guy. But here in Haven he is the exact opposite of his Eurekan counterpart. Ferguson's performance is wonderful, with one look, those baby blues go from dreamy to deadly in a matter of seconds. His cool persona is masking a very dangerous man who will do anything to get what he wants.
No rest for the weary in Haven: Season Four, and no rest for those of us who are big fans of the series. This time out things are chaotic, frenzied, and there's always a sense of urgency in each and every episode. Props go to the long list of wonderful writers whose efforts never cheat the fans; they provide complex characters and storylines that leave us on the edge of our seats. A shout out goes to writers Jim Dunn, Sam Ernst, Gabrielle G. Stanton, and Lila and Nora Zuckerman. Special mention goes to Nick Parker, who wrote my favorite episode of the season called "Shot in the Dark." It features Danny Masterson (That '70s Show), and Kris Lemche (Final Destination 3) as Anderson Harris and Seth Byrne, two paranormal investigators who host a low budget web series called "The Darkside Seekers." They creep into town after hearing about a series of Haven murders, where the victim's hearts are removed; they come to town ready to expose all of Haven's dark secrets. Forgive me to those writers I did not mention, but know this, each and every one of you have contributed to one of the most creative shows on television today.
Season Four is by far the darkest of all the seasons to this point. Things are much more serious since the future of the whole town, and not just the unfortunate Troubled, are at stake. The performances, as usual, are fantastic. The stellar cast of regulars, along with Colin Ferguson, and Emma Lahana, only adds to the brilliance of the show. Kudos to Syfy for renewing Haven for two more seasons, allowing the series the time it needs to come to its eventual conclusion.
The Haven: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray) contains four discs with a total of 13 episodes, and a cornucopia of extras that include: 13 Haven Featurettes, three cast interviews, six audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and a blooper reel. But what really makes these special features stand out are the "Darkside Seekers" webisodes; eight short features shot by Haven residents of the strange goings on in town. Also the hilarious panel discussions from San Diego Comic-Con, the Nerd HQ that followed, and snippets from New York Comic-Con. As the cast takes questions from their loyal fans, it's easy to see that they all have some mad love and respect for one another. Their humorous banter back and forth, the hug-fest that takes place in San Diego, and an original song performed by Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, and Eric Balfour, was more fun than I can remember having while watching Blu-ray extras. The 1.78:1/1080p widescreen presentation is crisp and clear, highlighting the beautiful Nova Scotia towns that are the stand-ins for the fictional Haven Maine. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio means you will clearly hear the dialogue and be able to enjoy the richness of the accompanying soundtrack, written by composer Shawn Pierce.
Can you tell I love this show? I hope that love convinces you to watch not only Haven: Season Four, but everything Haven that you can get your hands on. This is a program that has great writing and directing, and a fantastic cast of actors who take you on a fascinating journey with each and every episode.
A Havelicious Not Guilty!
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