HAVEN “Ball and Chain” Review

Two Friday nights in a row, young men die of old age, and Duke is the next potential victim on the “Ball and Chain” episode of HAVEN. A 35 year old man who was seen with a beautiful woman, Helena, at Duke’s restaurant one Friday night is found very old and very dead Sunday. The next Friday, another man goes to the restaurant, meets up with Helena and dies of old age a few days later. On the third Friday, Helena finds Duke, who had been stood up by Audrey, and goes home with him. He begins to age the next morning. Meanwhile, Audrey and Nathan think the harbor master Beatrice knows Helena, so they investigate and realize that Beatrice is Helena. Helena takes over on Fridays and has sex with men. On Sundays, Beatrice gives birth and after she does so, the fathers die. Audrey stumbles to the idea that if Duke’s baby is sent away and kept separate from him (and Beatrice) forever, his rapid aging will reverse.

Another week, another person unwittingly causing horrific harm. Haven has definitely found its formula, but this episode’s mystery is a mess with too many plot holes and questions. It’s too much of a stretch that because being near the baby makes Duke sick, sending her away reverses his aging, and the contrivances don’t end there. Nathan finds a case from 1954 involving Alexander Leidner and then upon learning Beatrice’s middle name is Leidner and seeing dresses Helena wore at Beatrice`s, Audrey immediately know she is Helena. What is Helena, exactly? She has some sort of hypnotic power, apparently, but I don’t quite understand the transformation. All this started because Beatrice’s ex-husband’s bragging about his new family made he remember her miscarriage? The obvious Jesus parallel of the Friday-Sunday timeline seems out of place on Haven, and I still don`t understand how the aging was reversed. The last scene with Helena at the lighthouse, though–totally creepy. Is Beatrice going to change into Helena every Friday night for the rest of her life?

While I don’t like the case this week, there is some terrific make-up to age Duke and some good character moments. Nathan cooing over the baby to Audrey’s bemusement is cute, as is the early Duke-Audrey flirtation, and I like Audrey telling Duke about his baby. Audrey seems to have feelings for both Duke and Nathan, given her reluctance to let Duke mention her date with him in front of Nathan. That will not go well. I need to know Duke and Nathan’s history and why there is so much tension, especially on Nathan’s side. “If you die, it will be because I killed you myself.” With Nathan’s visit to the restaurant at the end, we see there is genuine feeling between them, so until I’m told otherwise, I’m going with a bad break-up, though Nathan seems to be developing quite the crush on Audrey. Good to see the editors tonight. I hope they can be integrated into more stories.

I seem to like Haven despite myself. The plots have huge holes, episodes seem to run out of time rather than end, and the central mystery of The Colorado Kid is barely addressed. Despite these complaints, I enjoy the show. I think Haven needs to be moved into my guilty pleasure column, but there is something about it I find fun.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Haven can last without changing up its formula? Let’s talk in the comments.

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  • I have no idea why I like this show – but I do. And I’m totally agreeing with the ‘bad breakup’ thing. Those boys have more chemistry with each other than either have with Audrey, IMO.

    • I totally agree on the chemistry thing. I like Audrey, but I saw more chemistry between her and the editors then with either Nathan and Duke. Anyway, when Nathan and Duke are in the same room, they really only have eyes for each other.

  • Re: Audrey and the editors – I’m not sure why she needed to be an agent. Maybe it’ll become clear, but they could have just kept her as a junior writer for the newspaper. I’m sure that the townsfolk of Haven wouldn’t mind a journalist tagging around with a cop – they seem fairly laid back.

    • That’s a good point. I’m hoping they’ll get back to the myth arc and we’ll learn what her former boss knew and whome he was talking to on the phone after Audrey said she’d be staying in Haven. But, yeah, so far she really hasn’t needed to be an agent at all.

  • Alyssa

    I’m also one of those that likes this show despite the obvious flaws. For me, the premise of the show is strong enough to cover a lot of mistakes. Only time will tell if the show will last beyond its premise.

    The way I interpret the Nathan/Duke relationship is not that they were lovers but just best friends, a bromance if you will. Something bad happened (maybe during the troubles?)that has caused Nathan to hold a grudge against Duke for all these years. Perhaps a perceived betrayal on Duke’s part?

    • I think you’re right, Alyssa, but there really is something about the chemistry between the actors that makes me want the characters to have been lovers. I’m guessing at least part of what happened between them stems from the first set of troubles, but (hopefully) we’ll see.

      I’m much more forgiving of some shows than others and it usually does have to do with the premise or a certain character on the show. Here’s it’s the definitely the premise.

    • Alyssa

      Michelle, it’d definitely be an interesting twist if they were lovers. I’m just not sure if the writers/producers/network would be brave enough to do that.

    • Oh, I doubt they would, either. That’s why I’m having fun with it now before we find out what really happened. 🙂