Powered by i.TV
September 18, 2014

'Haven' - 'Welcome to Haven' Recap (Series Premiere)

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 11th 2010 2:01PM
haven series premiere syfy(S01E01) 'Haven,' Syfy's new supernatural mystery show, has a few things in common with 'Eureka,' the network's other show about an outsider living in a town chock-full of wacky misfits, which had its fourth season premiere Friday night.

Like 'Eureka,' 'Haven' is a fish out of water story that dispatches a bright law enforcement officer, FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), to a strange little slice of the world full of secrets and colorful characters, some of whom are able to do crazy stuff like affect the weather with their mood.

But the similarities end there. While 'Eureka' offered a fun and engaging time-travel story with James Callis ('Battlestar Galactica') amusingly attempting a new accent on Friday, 'Haven,' based on Stephen King's 2005 novel 'The Colorado Kid,' offered a tepid murder mystery plot with a tacked on sci-fi bent.

The actors had to do most of heavy lifting to breathe some life into this premiere episode. Thankfully, most of them were up to the challenge, especially Rose. She's perfectly cast as sharp and sarcastic lone wolf Agent Parker. I have a feeling that the success of 'Haven's first season might rest squarely on her shoulders. Not only is she the best reason to watch this show, but her character's secret connection to the town of Haven, Maine is at the heart of the big central mystery introduced in the premiere.

TV vet Eric Balfour ('24,' 'Six Feet Under') is another cast standout as charming smuggler and town misfit Duke Crocker (gotta love that name!). We're told a lot about Crocker before we ever meet him, a sure sign that he's probably more important to the show's overall arc than he seems. But what we're told, by local cop Nathan Wuornos (a sleepy Lucas Bryant), doesn't exactly add up.

Wuornos calls Crocker a "very bad guy" and glumly refers to him as a constant pain in his ass. Crocker is definitely up to something sneaky in Haven, but it's Wuornos who seems like he's hiding something or possibly trying to misdirect Agent Parker, who notices and accepts the town's apparent supernatural weirdness almost instantly.

Didja notice how Wuornos never told Parker about Crocker reporting his stolen gun? The incriminating gun they found at the murder scene! And he outright dismisses the idea that Ezri Dax sweet little shopkeeper Marion (Nicole de Boer) can influence the weather with her mood, even though he witnessed her Stormy powers during her breakdown in the final act. Oh, and he can't feel pain. Yeah, that's not creepy at all. Of course, all of that could be misdirection.

The show's three central characters were likable enough, but two of my favorites were Dave and Vince Teagues (John Dunsworth and Richard Donat), the brothers who ride around in a tandem bike reporting for the local newspaper. These two kooky journos came off as simple comic relief at first, but they ended up being two of the most appealing and brightest characters in the premiere, helping Parker close her murder case and introducing the show's central mystery: What is Parker's connection to Haven and the decades-old Colorado Kid murder case?

It seems our hero is an orphan, but her mother (or aunt or clone) popped up in an archived newspaper photo in connection with the case. Someone wants Parker to learn the truth about her past and about the town's eccentric residents, but for what reason? And what does her boss, who appeared up in the final scene spying on her, have to gain from keeping her in Haven?

There's enough mystery here to keep most genre fans coming back to 'Haven,' for a few episodes at least, but the show needs a heavy dose of character or flavor or wit – something extra to make it stand out from all the other "unique" procedurals on cable TV. It's got a decent cast, but so do all those other shows.

Here's hoping that 'Haven' grows out of its by-the-numbers plotting and becomes a winning mix of mystery, drama and sci-fi, like 'Eureka' and Syfy's 'Warehouse 13,' but with a darker edge.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

9 Comments

Filter by:
AndrewKA

I would certainly consider myself a pretty big fan of King’s books and I was psyched when I first heard about Haven. I set my DVR to record it but only recently—now that the season is over—started catching up on it. That’s one thing I love about working for DISH Network, hearing about all the technology and gadgets DISH has to offer, I picked up a Sling adapter for my 722 receiver and downloaded the TV everywhere app and now I can watch all my programming (both live or DVR content) anywhere I go on my iPad. So I’ve been watching Haven on my lunch breaks at work and other free time. It’s been great. I definitely recommend TV everywhere to anyone who travels a lot or lives an on-the-go lifestyle.

March 09 2011 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
billyadams

I'll give this show the benefit of the doubt for a little while. SyFy hasn't really disappointed me yet, but it was a slow start to a series. Although my first thought was, "A car crash to introduce the character to the town? Eureka."

Does anyone know what the piano song was that opened the show and also played when Parker was waking up on Duke's boat?

July 12 2010 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shadowracer

So she's a tough blonde with an FBI badge.
Like on Fringe.
With an African-American FBI boss.
Like Fringe
She's helped by a bad boy with a heart of gold.
Like on Fringe?
There's a father-son team.
Like on Fringe?
It's set on the North-East coast.
Like on Fringe?
The people there have special freaky abilities.
Like on Fringe?
There's something about the main character's past she needs to uncover.
Like on Fringe?

I really wish Fringe was back. What do the two shows film in adjacent Canadian Forests? And the Haven dudes just take notes.

Oh and someone fell into freezing cold water...Like on Fringe. That one's a stretch...but still.

July 12 2010 at 2:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shadowracer's comment
Gordon Werner

Fringe is filmed outside of Vancouver ... Haven is filmed on Canada's East Coast (Maritime Provinces i believe)

July 12 2010 at 5:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

It's based on material by Stephen King, and it's difficult to create gold by starting with--using a polite term--manure. Nonetheless, I like the characters and actors, so I'll continue watching and see how fast the writers can create their own world.

July 11 2010 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

This show did not keep my attention like Warehouse and Eureka does. I lost interest in Haven after awhile. I truly wanted to like it but just could not.

July 11 2010 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

Eureka and Warehouse 13 grabbed me from the first episode, sadly Haven did not.

I agree that they have a lot of work cut out for them. I found myself changing the channel to Logo and watching the series finale episodes of Buffy.

July 11 2010 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dan Chichian's comment
GL

I did the exact same thing.

July 11 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy_MO

This series wasn't horrible but they have a lot of work ahead if they want to be something I'll tune into week after week. The first thing they could do is teach Lucas Bryant how to emote on camera.

July 11 2010 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners