Audrey is being held in a grimy cellar, while Nathan and Duke are distracted from their search by a UFO nut whose obsession threatens Haven…
Having built up a fairly hefty mythology across just two hit-and-miss seasons (as is evident from the ‘previously on…’ montage that opens this third season), Haven throws caution to the wind with its third season debut. Embracing The X-Files, Haven offers the ‘full Spielberg’ with flying saucers, alien abductions and crop circles.
It’s a weird episode, which is to be welcomed in this age when so much television sticks to tried-and-true formulas at the expense of invention (see Revolution). Haven likes to mix things up a bit (not always successfully, admittedly, but at least the show tries). While it resolves the immediate cliffhanger from the end of last season and introduces some new on-going mysteries, this episode also finds the time to throw something completely offbeat into the mix.
Wesley Toomey (a reference to The X-Files’ Tooms, perhaps?) is an intriguing character, as his obsession with UFOs proves to be a real threat to the town. While the search for the missing Audrey is prime in Nathan’s mind, he and Duke get caught up in Wesley’s ‘troubled’ fantasy and paranoia.
Audrey’s mysterious jailer and the gruesome fate of Wesley’s mother all hint at mysteries to be developed further, while the new focus on the Colorado Kid is to be welcomed. Promising.
Verdict: A promising start to what can often be that tricky third season…
Episode 1 ‘301’: 7/10
Brian J. Robb