Early on in Syfy’s airing of “troubled” town series Haven, we started to get whiffs of a few other genre series that came before it in their cases of the week. Mostly notably we drew parallels to Fringe from FOX and Supernatural from The CW. As time has gone on, Haven has certainly stood up on its own, treading the water between the two network series that have each gone in much darker directions. Yet we still can’t help but point out that this week’s brand new episode, “Audrey Parker’s Day Off,” will be to Haven what “Mystery Spot” was to Supernatural in terms of defining the overall mythology of the series.
“Audrey Parker’s Day Off” puts Audrey (Emily Rose) at the center of the story once again. Her alt-Audrey counterpart is still nowhere to be found after losing her memory just a few episodes back, and she is still living life as blissfully as possible in the small town of Haven, New England, working in their local police department to help stop the “troubles.” But this day is supposed to be her day off– time to volunteer at Career Day at the local elementary school and enjoy some quality time with her new beau (guest star Jason Priestley). Only the day takes a turn for the way of the Groundhog— at least the way of that movie, anyway– and soon Audrey finds she is reliving the same day over and over and is the only one cognizant of doing so.
It all starts when she gets a call from Nathan (Lucas Bryant) that a child has been killed, struck by a speeding car in the middle of the afternoon when he (or she– Audrey never does get a look) should be in school. She collapses in Nathan’s arms, and when her eyes open, she is back in bed, and it’s morning all over again. What at first seems like a terrible feeling of deja vu soon becomes clear to Audrey as just another “trouble”– but whose?
Unlike “Mystery Spot,” where Sam (Jared Padalecki) had to come to terms with accepting fate– his and his brother’s– “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” can feature a different victim each time. After all, this repetition is not simply a way to get a message ingrained in a character’s psyche but instead just part of the very odd world in which these characters live. And that means that like our own world, the butterfly effect is in place here. When Audrey goes back and alters one thing, trying to warn someone of impending danger or simply adding an action in that she did not do on the original, “first,” day, the balance is off-set, and she can no longer anticipate who will be harmed. She only knows that someone is going to die.
But the message of the episode still has much larger, longer-term results for the series. For the first time in Haven‘s history, “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” explicitly shows something the series has more subtly implied all along: Audrey is the only one who can effectively take on these troubles. And now that she finally understands that, we should expect the real games to begin.
Haven airs on Syfy on Friday nights at 10pm.
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