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S01.E11: The Trial Of Audrey Parker

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Audrey joins in a friendly game of poker aboard Duke's ship, but the two new players soon lock everyone up and try to find a box that Duke is smuggling. Meanwhile, Audrey's boss arrives in town and demands answers.

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Kinda weird to be watching an episode in which Duke's boat is sinking now, isn't it?

 

This episode is one of the better ones for the interplay between the A and B plots. The way the situation on the boat informs the situation in the station is well done, and even though the boat plot obviously gets more screen time both stories feel well-served.

 

This is the first episode where the question, "Agent Howard, exactly what is your deal?" really starts to become a thing. What the hell is his deal, and what was with the line asking Garland if he thinks Audrey deserves all this? (season 3 spoilers)

The end of Season 3 cemented my suspicion that Howard sympathizes with Audrey, and may even want to help stop the Troubles for her sake. I didn't realize the seeds of that had been planted this early. Dammit, how much did Garland know?

 And in addition to their comment about Audrey needing a "push" and needing staying in Haven to be her idea, I think this visit of Howard's was meant to close a "plot hole" for her. Audrey's smart and inquisitive; if the FBI just let her attempt to slip through the cracks she'd ask questions about why nobody was coming after her.

 

Julia is still my least favorite character who has ever appeared on more than one episode of the show

(maaaybe getting edged out by William in his more obnoxiously hammy moments now)

, but I'll admit that she was necessary for this episode, at least as a reciever for exposition. Duke's attitude towards his business is important character information that he wouldn't have shared so readily with any of the existing characters, and it was also important to see how quickly he was willing to capitulate when someone he considered helpless got pulled into the danger.

 

It was also important to see when Duke didn't back down; the shot of him attempting to shoot one of the kidnappers in the face was something Eric Balfour came up with and argued for convincingly enough that the writers agreed to allow it. He's also partof why Duke ends up looking as banged-up as he does; he wanted it to be abundantly clear that this is something that's happened to Duke before and he can take a good deal of physical abuse without rolling over.

 

I'm going to leave the B-plot alone for the most part, because other people talk about the relationship between Nathan and Garland a lot better than I do. (And because the whole "trying to explain to a parent that I don't talk to you because you've spent my whole life training me to assume you won't listen" thing is hitting close to home and I'm kinda bitter right now.) But I do want to note how much Lucas Bryant shines in this episode. It's not always noticeable since Nathan seems to get fewer major emotional moments than Audrey or Duke, but when he has them he knocks them out of the park every time.

Edited by Tabbyclaw

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One problem I've always had with this episode is that it bothered me that Audrey's Trouble immunity didn't seem to be working, since Ezra seemed to be able to read her well enough to win at cards and since she didn't yet know about the immunity, she wouldn't have known to fake it. I've tried rationalizing it in multiple ways -- like maybe he's just normal psychic and not really Troubled. But rewatching this last night, it hit me: They didn't care about Audrey because they were after Duke, and Ezra does ask Audrey those weird questions to try to figure her out, like what kind of nut is her favorite (other than Nathan). That suggests that he can't read her and is a little uncomfortable about it, even as his real focus is on Duke. She seemed to be throwing the card games, since she was dumping her drinks and acting drunker than she was, probably to keep them off-guard about her. Maybe she would have won against Ezra if she'd actually tried, since he couldn't read her, and it does seem like her puppet mastering of Duke worked in part because there was no intention to read. He couldn't even pick up on what Audrey was planning. So now I feel much better about this.

 

I never had a huge problem with Julia, though she was whiny in "As You Were," but I like the use of her here, particularly with that sense of realizing that her idol has feet of clay, that the guy she always had a crush on has turned out to be someone she doesn't like. In a way, we get a tiny coming-of-age arc with Julia, in which she loses her mother and is left to forge on alone and then starts having her eyes opened about a lot of things before she breaks from Haven entirely until, perhaps,

that tattoo birthmark thing comes up in the future

.

 

I agree about Lucas Bryant in the big, emotional scenes. Since Nathan is usually so quiet and his anger comes out as sullenness, it's always a bit of a shock when he just can't take anymore and explodes, and it always comes across like this is something new and uncomfortable for him, too, where he's struggling to find the words to keep his rant going. I still wonder what the Chief's deal was. If Nathan grew up in Haven and was Troubled himself and yet as an adult didn't really know about or understand his Trouble well enough to know that going to the doctor wouldn't help, it seems like the fault would be in his father for not having taught him about it in an age-appropriate way when it happened the last time. Was he just supposed to automatically come to the full realization in spite of his father even refusing to acknowledge Troubles to him until recently? Just a few episodes ago, the Chief was scoffing at Troubles-related explanations and Nathan didn't find that odd, so if the Chief acted like he didn't believe in the Troubles, Nathan was only following in his father's footsteps by being in denial.

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She seemed to be throwing the card games, since she was dumping her drinks and acting drunker than she was, probably to keep them off-guard about her.

 

Which I didn't notice until this time through. I find myself wondering if Duke knew she was investigating them. I suspect he didn't, and I wonder if he'd be more annoyed at her for dragging him into it or for not taking a damn night off.

 

 In a way, we get a tiny coming-of-age arc with Julia, in which she loses her mother and is left to forge on alone and then starts having her eyes opened about a lot of things before she breaks from Haven entirely until, perhaps,

that tattoo birthmark thing comes up in the future

.

 

If they bring her back to good effect maybe I'll recant some of this, but

I just couldn't find a reason to care about the character enough to feel like her getting a mini-arc was justified. Nothing about her writing or acting appealed to me, and I spent her scenes just wondering where this all was going

and then watching her leave and discovering that the answer was "nowhere, so far."

 

I have a vague thought about the Chief's reaction, but it's tied into a lot of timeline stuff that comes after this episode:

We know that Duke activated Nathan's Trouble, and that Duke only came back to Haven because the Troubles returned. When you factor in the amount of time it would take for the Troubles to get big enough for someone who knew Duke to notice, the difficulty they'd probably have in getting in contact with him, and then how long it would take for him to get back to town from wherever he was before, we can surmise that the weirdness was going on for a good while before it affected Nathan directly. How much had he already seen by that time, and how much had he already deliberately ignored? Depending on the answers to that,

I can imagine a scenario in which Nathan panicking about his own Trouble and "refusing" to acknowledge that this happened before, the last time the weird stuff happened (whether because he's in denial or because he is just genuinely not as cognizant of what happened when he was a kid as Garland thinks he is), was the last straw that made Garland say, "Fine, if you're not going to accept what's happening here I'm done trying to reason with you about it." It's not a good reaction, but I can imagine it being a plausible one.

Edited by Tabbyclaw

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