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October 8, 2015

'Haven' - 'Ball and Chain' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Aug 8th 2010 2:30PM
eric balfour haven syfy(S01E05) Score one for 'Haven.'

This episode managed to keep me pretty engaged and entertained despite the usual drowsy pacing and clichéd procedural plotting.

Yep, it was a "rapid aging" episode -- an old sci-fi staple that woulda seemed stale even if 'Warehouse 13' didn't do one a few weeks ago – but I still enjoyed this ep. It gave me hope that 'Haven' will become a better show in the weeks to come.

I enjoyed the chemistry between Emily Rose and Eric Balfour, and this week's mystery actually revolved around one of the show's central characters instead of a no name guest star.

The stakes were higher than usual, and we got some needed character development for Balfour's character, the trashy townie Duke Crocker.

A woman who seemingly steals the youth of men she sleeps with targeted Duke after Audrey stood him up for dinner. Duke went from age 30 to 90 in a day as Audrey and Wournos rushed to find the supposed succubus and save his life. But the strangeness didn't end there.

The succubus actually shared a body with the local harbor master, and she wasn't really a succubus at all. Turns out she immediately gets pregnant after having sex, and the babies drain the life from the fathers.


So that was weird. But random weirdness is what 'Haven' is all about. We still have no idea why all this bizarre stuff happens in Haven and why no one in the town seems to notice when, say, the local harbor master becomes a shape-shifting harlot and gets chained up and locked inside the town lighthouse for all to see.

OK, so I know it's cool rag on Eric Balfour for being a "show killer" and for starring in 'Dinoshark,' but I actually like the guy. Other than Audrey, Duke is the most interesting character on the show, and Balfour does a great job of making him seem likable and interesting. And I'm starting to become invested in his relationship with Wournos.

Why exactly does Wournos hate Duke so much? I thought these two had a nice breakthrough outside the lighthouse when Duke was "dying," but Wournos seemed to return to his Duke hating ways the following day. So what's the beef between these guys? It's a question I want answered, and I'm willing to stick it out through the first season to learn the truth.

Let's talk about Audrey. Everyone seems really concerned about her "all work no play" attitude these days, and it's really getting annoying. Almost every scene featured someone telling her to relax or to take a break or to stop being such an obsessive cop. It got old really fast. There's gotta be a more interesting way to explore Audrey's obsession with work and her strange giddiness over crime scenes and Haven's creepy cases.

So far, the writing on 'Haven' has been spotty at best. Sadly, the show seems pretty locked in to that trite "case of the week" format, which means we'll probably see more 'Fringe'-lite procedural plots before we get some more character development or any answers to the show's big questions.

Here's hoping we get to see Duke and Audrey play off each other a little more in upcoming episodes. And ... er ... here's hoping Wournos decides to get married, retire from the force and have himself a house full of babies soon. Real soon. (The dude's boring is what I'm sayin'.)

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