This is my first attempt at recapping a television show here on The Bunker. Lindsay, Tom, and Elwood already rock recaps like Bon Jovi, but I’m jealous in nature and want to get in on the action.
My choice was sudden in the making. I’ve been playing around with some ideas but knew one thing for sure: I wanted to try recapping a new show, and I wanted something that is a genre piece and a drama. SyFy’s movies are hit or miss, but their original series are usually aces. I read about Haven while cruising around on some industry sites just a day before this pilot aired and was immediately drawn to it. It’s based on a Stephen King novel and has been called part X-Files and part Twin Peaks. Whoa, well, now – you don’t say? That’s right up my alley. The novel it is based on is called, “The Colorado Kid.” I’ve never read it, but that’s ok. I know King well.
This is done as a live recap. I write this as I go and then go back and correct errors, include links, and such on edit.
On to the show…
opens with Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) of the FBI in bed asleep. How awesome would have been for this agent to be Audrey Horn? You know, daughter of Ben. As an FBI agent. Well, some of you get it. Get out of bed Agent Parker!
Agent Parker is awoken by Howard, her supervisor, who also notices a teen vampire novel on Agent Parker’s coffee table. A somewhat clumsy exchange takes place that pins Audrey down as, basically, Agent Mulder – an Agent that keeps her mind a little too open for Agency taste. Lazy lazy lazy writing.
The Sup’ sends Audrey on an assignment to a town called Haven, Maine to pursue an escaped criminal (at least it’s not a dead girl found on a river bank). We quickly cut to the said criminal running through some dark and gothic woods where he is being chased by an unidentified person. Some sort of Holy Cow supernatural event takes place and the convict is sucked up into the sky. Hmm, the mystery builds into the opening credits.
On her way to Haven a huge crack opens in the Earth and almost swallows Agent Parker’s car. Luckily Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant) from the Haven Police Department happens to be driving around nearby and helps Parker to safety. Wuornos is The Chief’s son.
It ends up the supernatural event killed the escaped con near some high cliffs overlooking the ocean. The cause of death can strangely not be determined, so now Agent Parker is on the job for reals.
Agent Parker and Nathan team up to comb the area and some clues are found. An overlay of witty banter accompanies wide shots of the pair traveling in Nathan’s truck to town in order to follow up on the evidence.
These interludes of banter are so far a distracting element in the show. Parker does a nice job of showing her skill and almost a devil-may-care smartass attitude, but that personality is disrupted by forced smartassness that also seems a little young and idle for an FBI Special Agent. This isn’t quirky characterization so far – it’s more like what may be considered quirky in one of those teen vampire novels found at the beginning of the show.
The clues lead the duo to town and the man who had all of his money stolen by the now dead convict. Name: Conrad Brower.
FOG, holy shit, what?! Thick fog rolls into town in a hot minute obscuring everyone’s view. Pandemonium breaks out and Brower kicks heels while everyone is distracted. Definite X-Files feel now.
Oh, cool! During a check over by the doctor after being thrown to the ground, it’s discovered that (Officer? Detective?) Nathan feels no pain. Literally. He has that disorder where his pain receptors do not transmit and is a regular patient of the doc because of this.
We get our first dose of real quirk as two Matthau-&-Lemmon-like brothers are introduced (Richard Donat as Vince Teagues and John Dunsworth as Dave Teagues). They are everything that is anything at the Haven Harold Newspaper (also reminiscent of the Mayor and his brother in Twin Peaks). They think Agent Parker looks familiar. I like them. Probable reoccurring characters.
Oooh, “Marianne,” Conrad’s employer, is the first really bad actor to have screen time. She owns an antique shop. Questions are asked.
More clues lead to a fellow called Duke (Eric Balfour). Nathan doesn’t like him much and expresses his dislike as the team are on their way to his houseboat. They arrive, but Duke is nowhere to be found.
Cut scene to Marianne and Conrad having a stressful chat. Something is going on there.
Another cut to Agent Parker outside on a pier in a hail storm. She’s blown off the pier by a lightning blast and rescued by… Duke. Audrey wakes up and wrangles into her freshly laundered clothes while questioning Duke. Not that bad of a guy. I think Nathan may just be jealous that Duke can feel pain. Another reoccurring character?
Clues are found and Audrey finds out that Conrad is lying scum. She confronts him and Marianne by herself and gets telekinetically slung across the street by Conrad. Well, that was easy. Conrad admits that he accidentally killed the escaped convict and accompanies Agent Parker to the police station.
At the station, Nathan puts on his Scully cap to Audrey’s Mulder shoes. He doesn’t believe her about being psy-blasted across a street; she doesn’t really care.
A second scene with Marianne and a dude called Ted who wants her to move to Santa Barbara and open an antique shop. Yawn. But maybe it has something to do with something, yah? He seems a little creepy.
The newspaper brothers come to visit Agent Parker at the police station and — HOLY ZEUS — they have a picture from their archives of a young woman from a murder investigation in the town twenty-seven years previous. The woman looks just like Agent Parker. Say what? Now I’m getting one dark ominous note sounding in my head. Things seem to be taking a turn…
We find out that Audrey is an orphan and has no family, biological or otherwise, that she is aware of. So her last name could be Horn.
“The Google machine!” Ha! Awesome. I like these brothers. They’re helping with the investigation which leads Agent Parker to Marianne’s family, its fortune, catastrophic weather events that plagued the family, and that creepy dude Ted who Agent Parker now believes was working with the escaped convict to turn Marianne out for her money. The actress playing Marianne is turning it up a notch now in these tense scenes.
Wait, after all this the mystery is solved by a couple of old codgers using The Google Machine and newspaper archives? More lazy writing.
Agent Parker realizes that Conrad was covering for Marianne and she is the one with telekinetic powers (honestly I thought that at the moment of the flinging). Unfortunately Parker called Marianne and let the cat out of the bag, so now a pissed telepath with The X-Men’s “Storm” like abilities is on the warpath to find Ted.
Yup. “Storm.” Ted is in a world of shit as the weather goes gaga. But he does — did have a gun. Agent Parker shows up and tries to tell Marianne that she is a Mutant and needs to join with Xavier fast. Nathan also arrives and gets shot by Ted with the recovered gun. He doesn’t feel pain though so Ted is one cuffed bad guy. Suddenly Nathan is not so Scully.
Later. Conrad is revealed to be a Good Guy. I kinda got that feeling all along. Agent Parker is playing Chuck Barris trying to get Conrad and Marianne together in her own Dating Game. Aww. This pilot episode is winding down.
Nathan is in the hospital where — DETECTIVE! Now we know. Detective Wuornos is in the hospital because, though he does not feel pain, he does bleed. He should be a former Minnesota Governor; then he wouldn’t have time to bleed.
There is the Scully cap, back on and fitting nicely for the once again doubtful Detective Wuornos. He even holds on to his doubt through some Sherlock Holmes paraphrasing.
The conversation between the two continues and gets around to the murder investigation picture that the newspaper brothers dug up. It is captioned “The Colorado Kid.” Chief Wuornos was a beat cop back then and worked the case.
Touching moments… Audrey is creeped out by the picture. What could it mean?
Cut to the beach and Agent Parker makes a call to Howard and requests some time off to investigate her connection to the town. A long shot shows that Howard is secretly in Haven watching Audrey from afar. After he grants her leave, Howard makes a phone call.
“She’s staying. Maybe she can help you with your troubles.”
After some rough early dialog, the show found its pace and fit a lot of the coming mythology into a relatively short amount of time. There are far too many soliloquies by Parker to shoe-horn her personality down the viewers gullet. She’s supposed to be strong and cocky but comes off as needy because she morosely brings up her past at inappropriate times. I get the X-Files vibe, but not so much Twin Peaks other than strangely regarded Agent goes to small rural town to help with an investigation and ends up staying while making friends with the townspeople and police department. How I miss Harry S. Truman.
The show gets off to an ok-plus start. I look forward to brining you these recaps every week for as long as the show remains interesting. Below is a clip from this pilot episode.
As requested by CC in the comments below, here is a YouTube trailer that our international visitors can view: