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Thoughts on HAVEN Episode 206: “Audrey Parker’s Day Off”
This is by-far my favorite episode of the season. Season 2 of HAVEN has brought us many ups and downs. Season 2 started off kind of bumpy. It took a few episodes to bring the comedy back after Nathan’s father died and many secrets were revealed in the Season 1 finale. With the arrival and then removal of Audrey #2, it was a relief to finally have Haven back the way it was meant to be.
I was not expecting the tense dreariness, reminiscent of Season 2 beginnings, to return for some time nor was I wanting that but Ep. 206: “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” really reined in the tears. Sitcom fanatics are more than familiar with the concept of an intentional stand-alone episode known as the time-loop. These episodes are an easy way to use all the great characters in a show and bring out something new in a tired plot or environment. For those unfamiliar, the film “Groundhog’s Day” is the prime example of the time-loop concept.
- One of my favorite examples of a successful stand-alone time-loop episode is a SUPERNATURAL episode entitled “Mystery Spot.” There is so much comedy in such a horrible situation that it really brings out hidden emotions and highlights why Sam and Dean have such a perfect relationship despite their obvious differences. “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” had a lot less comedy than Supernatural’s “Mystery Spot” but there was definitely a lesson learned in the end.
- Other notable time-loop episodes include Xena’s: “Been There, Done That” and Buffy’s: “Life Serial.” In “Been There, Done That,” Xena the Warrior Princess is forced to relive the same day over and over in order to fix a relationship that could unite two houses with an age-old feud. It is very “Romeo and Juliet” but you know, in the feudal times. In “Been There, Done That,” Xena goes through the same trials as Audrey Parker in this episode of Haven. Audrey and Xena are both forced to watch their friends die, one-by-one and then forced to live to see another day. So we get to see that Audrey Parker chooses to be a hero despite the consequences that will be caused to her personal life.
- In “Life Serial,” a time-loop episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy is thrust out into the working world when her funds finally become an issue in her life. Unfortunately for Buffy Summers, she picked the wrong time to attempt anything work related, since the trio is bored and in need of a fun little project. This episode sees Buffy trapped in a retail sale. She must relive a day in the Magic Shop until she has achieved the perfect sale. What a horrible curse. Her friends do not die in this one, but Buffy finally realizes that Slaying IS her real job.
Haven is everything but tired, and still this time-loop episode proved to be more than just entertaining. Emily Rose really showed us that she’s more than just the comedic lead in Syfy’s original series HAVEN. This episode showcased her dramatic talents as she went through an odd mix of emotions including: happiness, loss, vulnerability, fear, acceptance, and finally desolation.
We saw our normal take-charge Audrey Parker, our afterhours Audrey Parker, and our lonely fighting Audrey Parker. This episode really dug into Audrey’s psychological background. With each death Audrey became more and more panicked about losing the ones she loves. In the end Audrey tells her boyfriend to leave to London and we get the feeling that Audrey knows that the only person she can be married to is herself. Her job is her only relationship and she seems scared to change that after a day of constant loss.
A special thanks to Emily Rose and the HAVEN writers for this amazing episode. I did not think that I could love Audrey Parker anymore but you have proved me wrong yet again!