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October 13, 2015

'Haven' - 'Butterfly' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 17th 2010 4:35PM
haven butterfly recap syfy(S01E02) 'Haven's' tepid brew of supernatural weirdness and case-of-the-week procedural plotting isn't really doing it for me. So far, things only get interesting when it seems like some restrained dark element is about to rise to surface and shatter the show's vanilla vibe to pieces. But that hasn't happened yet and, judging by the show's bland tone, I'm not convinced that it will ever happen at all.

Last week's series premiere introduced us to Audrey Parker, a smart, sassy and determined FBI agent who found herself in the middle of a strange town full of kooky characters and secrets. Parker is a fun character to watch onscreen, and a lot of that has to do with Emily Rose's great performance. But she can't carry the show all by herself, and she shouldn't have to.

There's a lot of crazy stuff happening in the town of Haven -- stuff that should be interesting, compelling and maybe even a little scary. People can control the weather with their moods, a boy's nightmares manifest themselves in the real world, and the Earth sometimes opens up and knocks cars off the highway. But none of it really resonates. There's no real suspense here, and the stakes seem pretty low. The main things holding the show together so far are Rose's strong lead performance and the hope that the overarching mystery might pay off in a big way down the line.

But, that being typed, 'Haven' does fill a nice niche on the TV landscape: It's an easy to swallow cable crime procedural aimed at sci-fi fans. You can flip it on late Friday night, get caught up in the weird case-of-the-week and be reasonably entertained for an hour. I guess there's some value in that. And maybe, just maybe, the show will grow into something a little darker and more compelling.

Episode two's magical mystery centered on a series of unexplained events surrounding a family – the self-righteous town reverend, his adult daughter and her teen foster son. Guest star Steven McHattie did a nice job playing the hard ass Reverend Driscoll (a deep sandpaper voice can go a long way on a show like this).

Driscoll's drunken allusions to "the troubles" and the darker forces at work in the town made me feel like this ep might actually deliver something unexpected or a little scary. Nope. Instead, we tagged along as Parker and sleepy Wournos tried to figure out who was at the center of the wackiness, unearthing the family's not so dark secrets along the way.

The most interesting thing about this ep had nothing to do with the predictable main plot, which, sadly, is often the case with these half-procedural, half-overarching mystery shows. I was more intrigued by "the troubles." What are they and what do they mean for the town? And why did the Rev refer to Wournos and the foster son as "the ungodly?" Are we dealing with a town of mutants here? Another race entirely?

I like the idea that some of the townspeople might be tied to a dark supernatural force that takes over Haven every 50 years or so. Here's hoping that "the troubles" won't turn out to be a season's worth of tired and predictable mysteries involving characters we don't care about and clumsy supernatural set pieces. And here's hoping we get to see more of Eric Balfour, whose presence I sorely missed in this ep.

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I don't know why you think Emily Rose's performance is so good. Part of the reason this show is tired and tedious on the second episode is her performance. She has a very one dimensional character who fits the typical "I am woman hear me roar as a tough FBI agent" feel. Looks like King's books just aren't meant for TV. Cheese just works better in books and campy movies I guess.

July 19 2010 at 6:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Haven is little more than a low budget X-Files. Tired plots and supernatural story lines that've been done before, and better, on other series. But, that's the MO of Syfy these days: bland series that attempt appealing to the masses, and the masses never show up. God forbid they take a stab at something interesting like AMC's The Walking Dead on HBO's A Game of Thrones.

July 17 2010 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy_MO's comment

"And here's hoping we get to see more of Eric Balfour, whose presence I sorely missed in this ep."

I bet nobody has typed that sentence before. Ever.

July 17 2010 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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