The accompanying blurb with the screener of the second season finale of Haven [Syfy, 10/9C] says that it ‘comes to a shattering conclusion when ghosts rise from the dead – revisiting the living, bringing shocking revelations and seeking revenge.’ This is not hyperbole.
Since its series premiere, Haven has had a lot of potential and, with a few hiccoughs along the way, it has begun to realize that potential through a slow, steady layering of persons, events and the ‘Troubles’ that plague the Maine town.
In the second season finale, Sins of the Fathers, the abovementioned ghosts appear to tell loved ones truths that result in chaos and death – the fun beginning when a ghost appears to his best friend, urging him to grab his gun and save his widow’s life. Unfortunately, it’s a ruse – he had been having an affair with the dead man’s wife and winds up killing her when his bullets pass through her ‘assailant.’ The only thing that prevents Haven’s best cops, Audrey Parker [Emily Rose] and Nathan Wournos [Lucas Bryant], from dismissing his story is that a neighbor saw the dead man leaving the house right after the shooting.
This is only the beginning. Before long there are dozens of ghosts – with no apparent connection – one of which is Duke’s [Eric Balfour] father [Tahmoh Penikett], who tells Duke that he can end ‘The Troubles’ for good. All he has to do is kill the afflicted and the curse dies with them – the rest of their family line will be trouble free.
Nathan’s father [Nicholas Campbell] also returns, not for vengeance but a more personal reason – one that puts Nathan in an uncomfortable situation. And, finally, The Rev [Stephen McHattie] is back to finish in death what he could not achieve in life. When all three paternal ghosts meet, things take an even darker turn than usual.
The revelations and surprises don’t end there, either. The owners of the Haven Herald, brothers Vince [Robert Donat] and Dave [John Dunsworth] – who are no longer mere comic relief – finally reveal the truth behind Audrey, her connection to Lucy and why she’s in Haven. Sins of the Father ends with a shock that says the war between the regular folk and ‘The Troubled’ is definitely on – and it’s probably the one predictable moment in the ep.
Thanks to the careful way Haven’s mythology has been built up over its first two seasons, the events of Sins of the Father – while startling and, occasionally creepy/scary – both fit within the structure of the show and propel it to another level.
Although there were no credits on Syfy’s screener, Sins of the Father feels like it was written by series creators Jim Dunn and Sam Ernst. It’s filled with information, takes time to establish key character beats, and moves like a bat out of hell. I wish the press release included the name of the director because he does a terrific job of balancing all the plot and character arcs. The finale never feels unduly rushed, or overstuffed – and there’s a lot going on.
If not for the predictable closing scene, this would be a superb hour of TV. As it is, it’s likely the best ep of the series, to date.
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Photo by Michael Tompkins/courtesy of Syfy