After William shook Haven to it’s core in last week’s eponymous episode that we decided might be the most uncomfortable episode of Haven ever, this week’s alternate reality was a welcome tonal shift from the intense, and very unHaven like uncanny vibe and overall intense weight that loomed over last week’s mythology heavy outing.
Not to say that “The Trouble with Troubles” was any kind of fluff, it too was rich with mythology and… pancakes 😉 It was a return to a comfort zone tone of the show that we’re used to, even as we continue to explore the crumbling of the rules we’re been operating within up until this season.
Before diving into the big mythology stuff. I love that “The Trouble With Troubles” highlights the excellent chemistry and connection Audrey and Duke share. She immediately gets right to the core of Duke, even when he’s a 3rd generation cop. Eric Balfour and Emily Rose play wonderfully against each other and it’s a real treat to see an episode that features this so heavily. It’s been no secret that I’ve been hesitant about the coupling this season, I felt like the show was laying on the Nathan/Audrey as the otp pretty heavy and Duke/Jennifer were the back up couple. If anything, showing how great these characters are together without the romance factor makes the current situation so much stronger.
Now, I apparently have a lot to say with this one, so first the mythology then I’ll descend into a hail of bullets because there were a whole lot of things we were flat out fan-girling over in this episode!
I went back and forth through a chunk of this episode about the source of this new Haven. My theorizing oscillated between wondering whether this troubleless Haven experience was a weird domineering experiment engineered by William specifically to bully Audrey into remembering his version of herself/ into going back to him or if it was caused by someone else’s trouble. Although, in retrospect I likely would have been less puzzled if I had been paying better attention to the background details at the beginning instead of enjoying the time jump and Duke calling Jennifer.
While at this point we know it was actually a case of the latter, I like that William has been so well developed, rather quickly, in his characterization as a desperate, abusive ex with ambiguous origins that it was not a hard sell to have us believe that this was his doing. It’s one thing to have characters verbally exposit a theory, it’s another to have it feel 100% organic and believable based on things we’ve been shown. I enjoy the uncertainty that this William-factor brings to the table. It’s not just the troubles they’re fighting anymore.
This episode brings us further into the origins of the troubles, William appears to be manipulating Audrey into believing that she started them, that she liked them, and still does. I paused on this, and the more I thought about it the deeper I felt this could go. Bear with me as I go out on a few limbs, if only for some imaginative exercise.
I believe there is a certain truth to William’s statement. We know very little about the original, or the form of Audrey that William was once acquainted with. What we do know is that the subsequent incarnations of Audrey have been designed to stop the troubles, her empathy, bravery and general personality have all served the specific purpose of protecting Haven from the troubles. What is Audrey without this purpose? There is sliver of validity there.
Next, there is likely case based on the information we’ve been privy to thus far, William is attempting to gaslight Audrey into believing she caused the troubles, and she is being punished for them by living these reincarnations all in service of the first sin. This fits the bill of William as the abusive ex (whether it be lover or hopeful). I have no problem with a show going the obvious route when the shoe fits.
Now for the far out on a limb theory. At this point we know Audrey, and we’ve come to know fairly well, a few other incarnations of the savior of Haven. She is the center of the show and is positioned to receive all of our sympathies and inherent trust. Perspective is subjective and therefore a really valuable storytelling tool when leveraged carefully. What the “original” Audrey, the one William is familiar with is nothing like the Parker, or the Sarah, or the Lexi that we know. What if she’s bigger, badder and complicit in the creation of the troubles. I’m not about to lean into any sympathies for William, but that would be quite a twist to explore.
We’ve now learned that Audrey and William are physically connected, which brings bigger mythology questions. What are they? Human? I’m holding onto my theory that they are demi-gods or some kind of ancient beings. Forgive my dive into Buffy, but think Glory/Adam. For those non-Buffy folks, think two sides of the same coin, connected but forever at odds, maybe something bigger that holds the balance of the world. Heather, as others, have keenly pointed out the trend of threes in Haven. So if the balance between William and Audrey is out of whack, we should be looking for the third side of this triangle to become prominent soon. Right?
Now for a hail of other notables & fan girling:
- The throwaway line of Duke calling Jennifer after the episode opening disaster. It felt genuine. I’m down with this coupling when things aren’t feeling forced, and when it doesn’t discount the other existing feelings involved
- Oh Nathan, if you want Audrey of course your kisses are going to be interrupted for investigative purposes
- There’s a trouble in your bed!
- Moments like Audrey muttering to herself while walking barefoot on a country road is why this show’s wackier moments work. It is so, so real.
- We love her PJs, also glad she took the time during the night to throw those on
- Because Audrey is Audrey, she immediately talks herself into the front of a cop car
- Vandalism is the worst you guys!
- Speaking of the worst, Vince’s suit. Dave looks good though.
- Dr. Hansen, more like Dr. Handsome! Lucas Bryant does an amazing job playing a slightly different iteration of Nathan from the way he speaks, and moves and even to his eyes sparkling. Does he flirt like this with all the patients that come in for a psych eval, or just the pretty ones?
- Now, I’m no fan of murder, but if it has to go down in Haven, this Haven, I’m not really opposed to Vince being the victim. But poor little Dave. Meanwhile, loving that Audrey scored herself ride along status already
- Mr. “I like to Joke” Nathan is amazing. What a wonderful dork. I love the stupid dorky voice he makes when he talks about filing a report, and during all his other “jokes”. It’s all gold.
- While Dwight was sorely missing from this episode (Jennifer’s absence was less lamented by me), Jordan continues to make an appearance, at least on paper (#JordanLives)
What did you think of “The Trouble with Troubles”? Did you love seeing our characters play different versions of themselves? Any further theories about the origins of the troubles? Let’s chat!