Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #169 (Haven part 3)

This is Part 3 of my Haven series leading up to the premiere of Season 5 on September 11. In the first part, I looked at the series in general and in Part 2 I reviewed the events of the first season. After tackling Season 3 and 4 in subsequent posts, I’ll wrap up with an overview of what we know about the major characters by the end of Season 4. For each season, I’ll also include a list of episodes, along with a summary of the Trouble(s) featured in that episode and a list of the Stephen King references (some of them admittedly a stretch).

Haven: Part 3

Season 2 — Having a Haven Moment

The second season begins immediately after the final shot of Season 1, with the arrival of a new Audrey Parker in Haven. This Parker also has a boss named Agent Howard, but he doesn’t look anything like the Howard Audrey knows and who Nathan and Duke have both met. While trying to get to the bottom of this latest mystery, Audrey locates an apartment where her Agent Howard stayed in Haven. There she finds a copy of Unstake My Heart, the book she was reading in her NY apartment when Howard sent her to Haven. This book contains a set of latitude and longitude figures, and will also figure greatly into events in the fourth season.

It’s a season of identity questions for Audrey, who must now grapple with the notion that she was a different person in the past and that all of her memories are borrowed from someone else. Though Nathan and Audrey originally think this new Parker is a Troubled person, they gradually come to accept that she is exactly who she says she is. She even helps out solving cases for a few episodes until she follows the coordinates on her own and accidentally summons the barn, which wipes her memories.

Thanks to some research by Nathan, Audrey gets the chance to meet the original Lucy Ripley, the one on whom the Haven version based her memories. The woman tells Audrey that Lucy came to visit her 27 years ago. People (including Simon Crocker) were after her and she had discovered the secret behind the origin of the Troubles and how she could end them.

We learn that the Troubles are not restricted to people. Inanimate objects such as machines can be Troubled, as can plant life. Audrey comes to realize that she is immune to the Troubles, but she can be affected by physical manifestations of a Troubled person’s actions. Again, not every incident that Haven PD investigates is the direct result of a Troubled person. Mayor Brody, for example, is murdered by his jealous wife who uses another person’s Trouble as a cover story, and Cole Glendower uses the mermen Trouble as cover to murder Leith, who was planning to blackmail his mother for information.

Audrey has a brief romance with Chris Brody, the mayor’s son, who inherits his father’s charisma curse after the mayor is murdered. He’s a marine biologist and not a terribly likable guy until his Trouble kicks in and everyone loves him. He’s intrigued by Audrey because she is not affected by his charisma. Eventually their relationship sours when it seems that Chris needs her because of her immunity instead of simply wanting her. He leaves Haven to spend the rest of the Troubles in some remote, isolated location.

Another major plotline in this season is the struggle for control over Haven. Nathan tells the town that his father was “lost at sea.” Vince and Dave encourage the town’s selectmen to appoint Nathan as the interim chief. However, Reverend Driscoll has a lot of influence with the town council and he doesn’t approve of the way Nathan and Audrey handle Troubled people. After one of the selectmen discovers Nathan’s unedited files about the Troubles, the town hires a new police chief from outside Haven for a while, but that doesn’t work out very well—for the new chief.

Driscoll attempts to gain Duke’s allegiance because he worked with Duke’s father in the past. He’s willing to use the Crocker family curse, which can bring about the end of a Trouble in a family, even though he believes most Troubled people are damned. He’s an angry man because his wife was having an affair with a Troubled person and faked her death so she could be with him.

Duke learns about the Crocker family curse when he locates a trunk containing the weapons his father used to kill Troubled people. He also discovers that Lucy Ripley killed his father—he didn’t die at sea as he always thought—and finds a message in his father’s journal telling him that he must kill “her”—meaning Audrey. The ghost of his father tells him stories of tragedies that could have been averted and lives that could have been saved if only he had killed certain Troubled people. It is Duke’s destiny, Simon Crocker says. Duke resists, but gets his first taste of what it’s like when a Troubled person kills himself with the knife Duke is holding so his Trouble won’t be passed along to his soon-to-be-born son.

Duke’s wife Evidence Ryan (Evi) comes to Haven, too. It’s been three years since they’ve seen each other. She wants to get Duke to join her in one of the cons they used to pull, but Duke doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. She becomes something of a double agent, pretending to help Duke while she’s actually supplying information to Reverend Driscoll, some of which lead to Nathan’s removal as police chief. The Rev had convinced her that getting Nathan out would be beneficial to Duke, who the Rev believed was important to their cause. She is killed by a sniper working for the Rev after she breaches a lockdown at Haven PD. For a while Duke pretends to side with the Rev to gain as much inside information as possible about the mystery tattoo and his father’s secrets. Audrey is forced to shoot and kill the Rev when he was about to kill a Troubled person, which magnifies the conflict between the factions in Haven and annoys Duke, who lost his one source of potential info.

The character of Dwight Hendrickson is introduced in Season 2. He “cleans up” after Troubled incidents, helping Vince and Dave to cover up the Troubles by hiding evidence and coming up with alternate explanations for events, which range from global warming to the always handy “gas leak” scenario. Dwight, whose Trouble is that any bullets fired in his vicinity will strike him, worked with Nathan’s father and he becomes an increasingly important player in the show.

Nathan and Audrey begin to admit their feelings for each other—they’re more than partners. However, things keep getting in the way, and the ghost of Chief Wuornos warns Nathan that the situation is too dangerous for them to be in love. If Audrey is in love with Nathan, she’s going to want to take risks for him, and she’s too important to Haven.

The season also begins a concerted social media campaign by the program. Twitter accounts for Dave and Vince are integrated (awkwardly, perhaps) into scenes and the brothers are engaged in a contest to see who can garner the most followers. Most of the main cast members were active, especially on Twitter, and social media engagements would increase each year.

The season proper ends on a cliff-hanger. Someone zaps Audrey with a Tazer in her apartment over the Grey Gull, and Nathan—who is now sporting the maze tattoo—gets into a fight with Duke aboard the Cape Rouge because he thinks Duke had something to do with Audrey’s disappearance. The camera draws back as a gunshot is heard.

The season’s thirteenth episode is an out-of-sequence Christmas episode.


1) A Tale of Two Audreys

Trouble: Whatever T.J. Smith reads about comes to life, including the Biblical plagues.

King references: The opening scene from It featuring Georgie and his paper boat is played out. There’s also a Wickham Street in Derry. The Regulators takes place on Poplar Street. McCausland St is a reference to Ruth McCausland, who was Haven’s sheriff in The Tommyknockers.

2) Fear & Loathing

Trouble: When people look at Jackie Clark, they see whatever or whoever scares them the most. Ian Haskell can steal another person’s Trouble by touching their blood, which cures the Troubled person until Haskell takes on another Trouble. Tristram Carver’s puzzle of Haven is cursed so that whenever one of the pieces is placed on the board, the corresponding building crumbles.

King references: Pennywise the clown also appeared to people as their worst fear. Audrey Parker’s worst fear is a clown with jagged teeth. The grocery store scene is a callback to “The Mist.” Ian Haskell shares a surname with a surgeon in Chester’s Mill (Under the Dome).

3) Love Machine

Trouble: Machines become Troubled and come to life to keep the man who fixes them from leaving Haven.

King references: The concept of machines coming to life and attacking people is reminiscent of “Trucks” and the film version, Maximum Overdrive. The scene where someone reaches into an in-sink garbage disposal is reminiscent of a similar scene in Firestarter. The Zamboni crushes a woman against the boards in the hockey rink in much the same way that Christine crushed one of its victims against a wall.

4) Sparks and Recreation

Trouble: Members of the Brody family have a charisma Trouble. Everyone loves them. Nurse Lori Fulcher emits blasts of electricity when under stress.

King references: There was a story about supernatural lights appearing over a Little League baseball game in The Colorado Kid. One of the Haven baseball teams is called the Sea Dogs—a man wearing a Sea Dogs baseball cap appears in Under the Dome. Dwight Hendrickson may be named after Lance Hendrickson, the actor who played Larry Underwood in The Stand.

5) Roots

Trouble: A Troubled tree where a long-ago act of violence took place sends out roots that feed off the anger generated by a family feud.

King references: Weeds overtook Jordy Verrill in the short story “Weeds,” and a plant with a taste for human blood was featured in The Plant. Scenes where the roots attempt to break into a building are reminiscent of the tentacle scenes from The Mist. Beverly Keegan shares a surname with a character from Joyland.

6) Audrey Parker’s Day Off

Trouble: After Anson Shumway’s daughter is struck by a car due to his OCD issues, his Trouble causes him to repeat the day over and over again.

King references: The name Anson Shumway is inspired by Julia Shumway from Under the Dome. The Boston Red Sox are King’s favorite team and the topic of his book Faithful, co-authored with Stewart O’Nan.

7) The Tides that Bind

Trouble: During the Troubles, the men in the Glendower family can only breathe air for short periods of time. They must breathe water instead, effectively turning into mermen.

King references: They weren’t exactly mermen, but human-like creatures emerged from the water to attack a man in “Something to Tide You Over” from Creepshow.

8) Friend or Faux

Trouble: Cornell Stamoran, an embezzler and a murderer, spins off clones of himself that contain his worst aspects. Each time a clone is killed, another appears.

King references: The notion that the worst parts of a person could turn into their doppleganger is also used in The Dark Half.

9) Lockdown

Trouble: Nicky Coleman has been bottling up years of abuse until it becomes a poison that spreads to other people. Dwight Hendrickson is a bullet magnet—any bullets fired near him will target him.

King references: Chief Merrill shares a surname with Ace (“The Body”) and Pops (“The Sun Dog”). Officer Stark is named for George Stark (The Dark Half) and Dr. Underwood for Larry Underwood (The Stand).

10) Who, What, Where, Wendigo

Trouble: Sisters Amelia, Frankie and Sophie Benton become Wendigos, strong and fast creatures that need blood to survive.

King references: Creatures like lobstrocities (The Drawing of the Three) are mentioned on the radio news. A truck stop named the Dixie Boy also appears in Maximum Overdrive. The transport is carrying pesticide-free corn from Gatlin, Nebraska, the setting for Children of the Corn. A Wendigo also appears in Pet Sematary.

11) Business as Usual

Trouble: Stu Pierce’s sweat becomes toxic to anyone who comes into contact with it. Duke Crocker gains superhuman strength when he comes into contact with the blood of a Troubled person.

King references: Dwight uses a coroner from Cleaves Mills, a town from The Dead Zone. Duke won his boat in a poker game with Ray Fiegler, which is an alias used by Randall Flagg in Hearts in Atlantis. Fiegler was from Castle Rock, a town featured in many King stories and novels.

12) Sins of the Father

Trouble: The ghosts of people Kyle Hopkins buried in the Eastside Cemetery come back and entice the living to settle old scores on their behalf. Duke learns that if he kills a Troubled person, he eliminates the Trouble from the family.

King references: The story of the poisonings at the church camp is reminiscent of the Tashmore church poisonings, as told in The Colorado Kid.

13) Silent Night

Trouble:  Young Hadley Chambers creates Christmas in July by entrapping Haven inside her favorite snow globe. She makes everyone in town vanish because people are always leaving her—her father had just moved out of the family home.

King references: When the snow globe forms, it cuts a person in half, reminiscent of what happens at the beginning of Under the Dome. A truck accident occurs at the Mohaine Bridge, a reference to the Mohaine Desert from the Dark Tower series. Gordon Chambers supposedly moved to Derry, the setting for It and other King novels. His last name is shared by Jake from the Dark Tower series and Chris from “The Body.”

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