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Tabbyclaw

S02.E09: Lockdown

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When a Haven police officer dies from a terrifying infection inside the police station, the building gets sealed with Audrey, Nathan, Duke, and Evi trapped inside.

 

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Directed by Jason Priestley.  IIRC, this had one of the biggest "Oops we're not supposed to be in Nova Scotia" moments of the show: the opening elevated shot of downtown has a big Nova Scotia flag hanging from a building in the foreground.  Granted, the Nova Scotia flag is beautiful (and I was there for a half-hour or so last month, but not in Chester/Lunenburg), but still, this is supposed to be Maine. 

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Chris Brody, so annoying they had to kick him out of town twice.

 

For me, this episode has always had more than a whiff of "Whoops, this plotline isn't going to work the way we thought it would; better kill some characters." Evi's death doesn't even read like a fridging, it's just running out of ideas and making a character do something stupid. The shakeup and new leadership at the police department is even more absurd, a much-talked-up threat that lasts exactly long enough to kill one person, put everyone else in peril for a couple hours, and reveal Dwight's Trouble before the new chief dies and his people just...wander off, I guess? Like "The TidesThat Bind," this episode is a couple interesting ideas tangled in a plot that just doesn't really work.

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Everything you mentioned, and thinking of how S3 played out, now has me thinking of S2 as the second installment of a trilogy, and the second installment is frequently regarded as the weakest because it's all about connecting everything that was set up in the first part to the climactic events of the third.  (I'm leaving out my comparison to "The Two Towers" and "The Empire Strikes Back".)

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I remember being a little surprised (and maybe a bit disappointed) that after all the drama of Nathan being demoted and there being a new police chief, the new chief was dead halfway through the next episode. I guess I'd been expecting/hoping for something more like the early days of the X-Files, where our heroes were up against a boss who was somewhat opposed to their work, and they had to hide what they were really doing and had limits. They hadn't really had a boss problem, since it turned out that the Chief was in on it all along and was just pushing Nathan and Audrey to think for themselves. But what would they have done on an ongoing basis if they'd been working for a chief who was either hostile to the Troubled or who refused to believe in the Troubles? He could have remained a villain/antagonist, or he could have been like Skinner on the X-Files, where he finally opened his mind and became supportive.

 

Though I suppose you could look at this as trope-busting because that's what you expected to happen, and it's what tends to happen on this kind of show, and then they went "Nope!" and killed him immediately. They've almost entirely avoided the trope of the hostile boss who gets in the way of his people's work.

 

Chris was truly awful. I'm not even entirely sure why they bothered with him because I didn't understand what Audrey saw in him other than a guy she could fool around with and not care if she screwed up the relationship. They kind of wasted the idea of the jerk who hates people having a Trouble that makes everyone but immune Audrey love him when they made Audrey love him. I still think it would have been more fun having her be the one person who hates the most popular guy in town.

 

But I still like the episode because I have a thing for claustrophobic stories set in a very constrained space. I'm a fan of the "lock your characters in a room and force them to interact" kind of TV writing.

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I just like that it apparently takes five seasons

for the CDC to get involved.

 

Apparently a deadly virus contained in a police station was of lesser interest that week.

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Apparently a deadly virus contained in a police station was of lesser interest that week.

Dwight did find out that the various authorities, including the CDC, had been told that calls coming out of Haven at that time were a hoax, so that's probably why no federal entities showed up. And after the fact, they covered it all up because that's what Dwight does.

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