Haven: The Complete Second Season

Haven: The Complete Second Season
Having established its broad plotlines, clumsy Canadian dynamic and "monster (or mystery) of the week" template in the first season, Haven (the televised adaptation of Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid) had few expectations to live up to. The core story, wherein FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) travels to the titular Haven, Maine to investigate a murder, only to find that she has mysterious ties to the locale, was mostly just an excuse to reiterate The X-Files, with less creativity. Fortunately, the second season delves deeper into mythology and characterizations, beginning with the arrival of another FBI agent claiming to be Audrey Parker (Kathleen Munroe). While Duke (Eric Balfour), the town smuggler, continues to get wrapped up in police investigations, and local police officer Nathan (Lucas Bryant) does his best to mask his intense feelings for the comely FBI agent, Audrey flirts with both parties, to a minor degree, using their validation and reassurance to stabilize her ever-changing identity. It's her eventual realization that her memories may not be her own that drives the thematic trajectory of this season, as is the nature of birthright, with Duke learning that his father wanted him to kill Audrey, and Nathan dealing with the aftermath of his father's annihilation. Episodically, the mysteries are uninspired and standard, save the Groundhog Day episode, which actually utilizes the repeating format to dive into character drama more so than the familiar narrative conceit. This season still uses the existing setup of exploring individual "troubles," such as Maximum Overdrive machine manipulation by one of the many supernaturally afflicted denizens of the small town, but the focus is often on Audrey as an external Cassandra figure. For example, in the Christmas special episode, Audrey is the only one aware that people around her are disappearing, while Christmas inexplicably occurs in July. Often alienated and weighed-down with obligation, her awareness of personal differences is typically exaggerated by this self-aware structure. It's a good direction for this series to take going into its third season, giving a bit of depth to what could easily just be a spooky procedural. The DVD features an absurd number of commentary tracks, along with "behind the scenes" supplements that, while dry, are exceedingly comprehensive. Knowing how many revisions and opinions go into each teleplay makes the overall coherence of the show even more impressive. There are also interviews and featurettes on the directors, costumes and vision of the show. Anyone curious to learn more about Haven will get more than their fill with this set. (eOne)