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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