Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #171 (Haven part 5)

This is Part 5 of my Haven series leading up to the premiere of Season 5 on Thursday, September 11. Note: at least the first episode will be airing at 8/7 Central instead of the previously announced 10/9C. However, my DVR has not updated to reflect that announced change.

In the first part, I looked at the series in general and in Parts 2 -4 I reviewed the events of Season 1Season 2 and Season 3, respectively. In a couple of days, I’ll wrap up with an overview of what we currently know about the major characters. For each season, I include a list of episodes along with a summary of the Trouble(s) featured in each episode and a list of the Stephen King references (some of them admittedly a stretch).

Haven: Part 5

Season 4 — After a While, You Sort Of Get Used To It

For Duke Crocker, only minutes have passed since he jumped into the barn and fell through the floor as the building collapsed on itself. He fell into the seal tank at the Boston Aquarium and was arrested and taken to a psychiatric hospital on a temporary hold after he pretends to have amnesia. The fact that his wallet is full of fake IDs calls his true identity into question.

Jennifer Mason sees Duke on the television news and recognizes him. A former reporter for the Boston Globe, she’s been having her own psychiatric issues of late. She’s been hearing voices, but comes to realize that she had a channel into the barn. She heard Audrey, Nathan, Agent Howard and Duke. However, she was diagnosed as schizophrenic and the drugs she was prescribed have silenced the voices. She seeks Duke out in the hospital, pretending to be his sister “Audrey.” Duke believes she’s Troubled and talks her into helping him escape and going back to Haven with him. If he escaped from the barn, then maybe Audrey did, too and Jennifer might be able to help track her down. After she sees what’s going on in Haven, she voluntarily goes off her meds so she might hear the barn voices again.

For the rest of the world, six months have passed and Duke’s friends in Haven think he’s dead. His older brother Wade has been making regular trips from New York to tend to the Grey Gull and Duke’s other affairs. Nathan is no long working for the police department and Dwight is the new chief. The Troubles are pulling the town apart. People who have no Troubles in their family history begin to shun the Troubled, going so far as to create segregated schools for un-Troubled kids.

When Duke tracks Nathan down, he’s making money by letting bikers beat him up outside a bar. It’s cheaper than seeing a shrink, he says. The meteor storm stopped shortly after Duke went into the barn. Dave believes that by shooting Agent Howard, Nathan somehow disrupted the natural cycle. Even though Audrey is gone, the Troubles persist and a lot of people in town, especially those who belong to the Guard, are angry enough to kill him. At the top of this list is Jordan, who survived being shot after Nathan explained her condition to the doctors who treated her.

Nathan keeps at bay those who want to see him dead by explaining that there’s a way to end the Troubles forever: by letting Audrey kill him. He plans to find her so she can do just that. If anyone kills him now, they ruin what may be the only chance of ending the Troubles. Vince convinces Nathan that it would be a show of good faith on his part to help Haven with its current spate of Troubles, so he agrees to rejoin HPD, but only as a detective. Abdicating his post as chief means he’ll never get that job back again, but being on the force gives him access to police databases that will help him track down Audrey. He soon puts into practice the things he learned about handling Troubled people from Audrey. Jordan isn’t happy that Nathan is risking his life by being at the front lines of dangerous situations.

Meanwhile, inside the barn, the woman formerly known as Audrey Parker is now Lexie Dewitt, 31, born in Tucson, a sassy bartender working in a seedy joint called the Oatley Tap. A handsome man named William comes in one day, telling her that she isn’t who she thinks she is and that she needs to remember or a lot of people are going to die. There is someone she loves, but it’s not anyone she has met in this imaginary life of hers. She needs to recall Haven and what happened there. At first it seems like he’s talking about Nathan, but ultimately it will be revealed that he’s talking about himself.

A creepy guy points a gun at her and William comes to the rescue. When the guy returns with a giant of a sidekick, William forces Audrey to reassemble the gun to scare them off, which tells her she has skills she doesn’t remember. She thinks William is weird, though, and is reluctant to engage him in serious conversation.

He starts breaking down her defenses, and she realizes something strange is going on when she leaves the bar through one door and immediately re-enters through another. For her, no time has elapsed, but her co-worker acts as if it’s the following day. William gradually gets her to accept that nothing around her except for him and the barn is real. Once she does, the other people vanish. She needs to find a door that will get her out of this place, which is imploding—dying—and if she doesn’t find a way out, it will take her with it.

Duke tries to get his brother to return to New York because the Guard won’t be happy to discover that there’s another Crocker in town. Wade knows nothing about the family curse, though, and his Trouble is inactive. When he discovers that his wife is having an affair, he ends up staying in Haven.

Jennifer starts hearing voices again and tells the others that Audrey is still inside the barn. Everyone has been assuming she got out like Duke did, so this changes matters. They have to figure out where to find the second door that needs to be opened for Audrey to come through from the barn. Lexie knows that someone on the outside is looking for her, which helps her focus on finding her door. She always has friends, William tells her. It’s part of who she is. She gets to pick who she wants to be when she returns to Haven.

The door materializes in a clearing, although only Jennifer can see it and she can’t open it. Dave isn’t at all happy with the plan, saying that opening it could unleash powers beyond their control. The others can only see the door after Lexie opens hers, at which point Jennifer can open the one in the clearing. There’s a stormy void between the two and William tells Lexie she needs to take a leap of faith and go through to the door she can see in the distance.

The Guard shows up, heavily armed and prepared to force Audrey to kill Nathan as soon as she comes through the door. Duke tells Nathan he’ll create a distraction so he and Audrey can escape but Nathan wants the Troubles to end right now. When Audrey appears, Nathan gives her a gun and a kiss and tells her to kill him. Audrey foils their plan by pretending to be Lexie. Unlike with her other identities, Audrey can remember being Lexie and can tap into that personality to keep the ruse going. However, if everyone thinks she’s Lexie, they’ll believe that it will be pointless for her to kill “cheekbones,” aka Nathan, since she doesn’t love him.

Duke concocts a delaying tactic that he presents to the Guard via Vince, who tells Nathan that he has to get Lexie to fall in love with him, so they are to spend as much time together as possible. The biggest flaw in this plan is that Nathan doesn’t particularly like Lexie. Duke is the first to see through her trickery when she reveals knowledge of the Troubles that only Audrey would have. For a while he tries to keep her and Nathan apart, but Nathan figures it out before too long as well, but they keep up the pretense, knowing that the Guard will be after them again if they realize Audrey has returned. Jordan wants to find the barn again and shove Lexie back inside but Jennifer knows that the barn is gone for good.

Everyone else in town believes she’s Audrey, so they go along when she shows up at crime scenes. Jordan isn’t on board with this plan. She thinks that Haven’s Troubles are all Lexie’s Troubles (she isn’t far wrong on this point). She befriends Wade, believing that if she can activate his Trouble and he kills Lexie, the Troubles will come to an end. She doesn’t understand the seductive nature of the Crocker family curse. Once Wade gets a taste of the rush from killing a Troubled person, he goes on a rampage, killing several Troubled people, most of them members of the Guard, including Jordan, just as she was about to leave Haven.

Duke finally figures out what Wade is doing and locks him up on his boat; however, Jennifer doesn’t know the full story, so she releases him. When Duke finds Wade about to kill Jennifer, he kills his brother in a struggle, thereby putting an end to his own Trouble. He buries Wade without telling anyone what happened, which means he can’t admit that his Trouble is gone without revealing that he killed his brother. In the aftermath, Duke temporarily decides it’s time to leave Haven—he’s a businessman but somehow he’s become the “schmuck” who helps everyone else.

After the barn is destroyed, Jen decides to return to Boston, but Duke convinces her to stay with him and they begin a relationship. She gets a job at the Haven Herald, which gives her inside access to Vince and Dave’s intelligence, but also gives the brothers a chance to dig into her background to find out why she was connected to the barn. Her first assignment is to do a deep background check on herself. Vince and Dave come up with a list of possible people who might be her real parents once they discover that the man they know as Agent Howard was responsible for her adoption.

Nathan and Audrey struggle with their relationship with each other. Audrey feels that too much has happened for them to be able to go back to that magical time and Nathan isn’t a big fan of the Lexie aspect of her personality. However, passion wins out and they finally consummate their smoldering affair.

Among the new characters this season is Gloria Verrano, the feisty medical examiner who takes over from Dr. Lucassi after he snaps, steals the neighbor’s cats and leaves Haven. She used to work with Garland Wuronos, but then left to become a medical examiner in Ixtapa. She knows Duke because she used to buy marijuana from him. She’s only planning to stay in Haven long enough to get her intern, Vicky, up to speed. However, events conspire against this move when her husband is Troubled by Audrey in an attempt to rectify another family Trouble.

Haven only thought it had things bad with the Troubles, when another twist happens. Troubles become contagious or appear in families that were previously un-Troubled. People can even acquire multiple Troubles. The common thread is the two guys from the barn, the tall one and the creepy one. People with permuted Troubles have glowing black handprints on their bodies, but only Audrey can see them.

Vince and Dave refer back to Sebastian Cabot’s journal. He wintered with the Mi’kmaw in 1497 and describes much of what is currently known about the Troubles. The blackest times the Mi’kmaw knew dated back to a time when someone opened an other-worldly door that shouldn’t have been opened. There are indicators that these times have returned—horseshoe crabs with human eyes—that Jen has seen. The book contains a riddle: What was once your salvation is now your doom; i.e., Audrey killing Nathan will now make things much worse instead, a message that arrives just in time.

Creepy Guy and Big Guy kidnap Dwight while looking for a box. When Audrey and Nathan rescue Dwight, they find William in a closet, tied up and beaten. As he was in the barn, William seems at first to be a good guy. He’s charming and charismatic, and seems genuinely interested in helping Audrey. However, he feigns amnesia while biding his time to figure out how to get what he’s really after. His two henchmen will turn out to be his creations—even though they were present in the barn, they didn’t come from another universe.

The first indication that there’s some kind of mysterious connection between Audrey and William is a spark that occurs whenever she touches him. When she left the barn and went back to being Audrey, he thought he’d lost her forever. Everything he’s been doing with his two henchmen has been in hopes of jarring her memories. He plans to keep doling out new and more twisted Troubles to get her to remember who she once was. He loves her and the original Audrey loves him. He tells her that she’s not some kind of savior to Troubled people—she caused the Troubles. That’s why she keeps coming back again and again—she’s being punished. She and William made the Troubles together and they liked it. The connection between Audrey and William is underscored when Nathan shoots William and Audrey suffers the same wound.

Jennifer becomes increasingly important to solving the William problem. She was born on the same day the Troubles began in the 1980s. Audrey sees her with a copy of Unstake My Heart that she found among the remaining possessions of her birth parents—the same book Audrey gave Agent Howard before she came to Haven. Its importance is revealed when Jennifer uses it to defeat William’s transdimensional rougarou. The Guard insignia glows orange on the cover, but only she can see it. Inside the book, she finds a message: In times of great evil, the child of ruin must find the heart of Haven and summon the Door. She is the child of ruin, the only one able to banish William.

Once William realizes Jennifer has the book, he steps up his game. He creates a Trouble that Audrey can’t fix with her normal methods. In 1901, the same curse killed hundreds of people and the version of Audrey present at the time wasn’t able to end it—the Troubled person had to be killed. She’s going to have to give someone else a complementary Trouble to rectify the situation; otherwise, many more people are going to die. William believes that she will remember who she really is when she gives a new Trouble.

Duke understands the seductive power of the Troubles and is afraid that once Audrey starts down the path of doling out Troubles, they’ll really be screwed. After her first failed attempt, Audrey admits to Duke that she felt something—a jolt of evil that some part of her liked. Duke convinces her to give him back the Crocker family curse so he can take care of the deadly Trouble William concocted. She does, but it has unforeseen effects on Duke. William later says that Audrey reactivated every curse the Crockers ever absorbed and they are now mutating and combining, becoming something deadly: Duke is now a ticking time bomb. Duke senses that something happened with Audrey when she Troubled him and advises Nathan to keep an eye on her. She had a flashback to herself as Mara, frolicking naked in a Haven pond with William.

When Jennifer mentions that the Guard insignia flickers in and out, Duke realizes that it’s doing the same thing as Vince’s tattoo, which turns out to be a birthmark inherited by the eldest son in his family. When the book and Vince’s birthmark are in close proximity, they act like a compass, pointing at the lighthouse. There’s always been one on that spot as long as anyone can remember. Jennifer is the only one who can see the trapdoor in the floor inside of it, so that points them in the direction they need to go. In the basement, they find an oversized carving of the Guard logo. They need to find four people to stand at the compass points—four people who come from another world. Ultimately these people are revealed to be Audrey, William, Jennifer and Dave, although Dave goes to great lengths to hide the fact that he came from the other side of the void, too.

The connection between Audrey and William makes it more difficult to get rid of William. They can’t just shoot him, although Nathan tries to tranquilize him. Ultimately he is forced to knock William out by bashing Audrey in the head. Later, he realizes that William has body parts Audrey doesn’t, and uses that to his advantage (and glee).

The climax of the season takes place in the cavern beneath the lighthouse. The gang is all assembled, William and Dave reluctantly. Duke is exhibiting signs that his illness is worsening. William still believes that Audrey won’t be able to throw him through the door once it’s open. He tries to frighten them by implying that something dangerous will come through to this side when the door is open. Dave is so terrified by the possibility that he’ll be dragged through the door that he shoots Vince; however, Dwight anticipated the danger and stood behind Dave so the bullet turns around, hits Dave in the shoulder and then Dwight’s bulletproof vest.

When Jennifer holds out the magic book, the Guard symbol on the cover glows and a square portal in the floor opens. Once there’s a very real possibility that he’s going through the doorway, William displays fear for the first time. He promises to fix Duke’s Trouble. Dave falls through the doorway and dangles while Vince, Dwight and Nathan rescue him. Duke collapses. Audrey keeps watch on William and, when the time comes for him to leave, she pushes him into the gaping hole. However, there’s another spark between them, stronger than ever before. After Jennifer closes the door, she collapses, saying that they should never have opened the door. William wasn’t what they should have been afraid of. She stops breathing and Duke starts bleeding from the eyes. Audrey is now fully Mara. She steps forward and asks, “Who’s going to help me get William back?”


1) Fallout

Trouble: Marian Caldwell again causes catastrophic weather events after her husband dies.

King references: Haven police officer Rebecca Rafferty (played by Lucas Bryant’s wife), shares a surname with another cop, Ennis Rafferty in From a Buick 8. Lexie is a bartender at the Oatley Taproom, a reference to a bar from The Talisman. The Haven Bookshop’s shelves are filled with Hard Case Crime novels—is The Colorado Kid among them?

2) Survivors

Trouble: Donald Keaton, a guilt-ridden firefighter, burns people who think he’s a hero.

King references: Don Keaton shares a surname with a selectman from Castle Rock in Needful Things. Black House Coffee is a reference to the King/Straub book of the same name. Its logo is a black crow, alluding to Gorg from that book.

3) Bad Blood:

Trouble: When someone in the Gallagher family’s blood spills, it comes to life and goes after whoever that person hates the most.

King references: Lexie Dewitt’s last name is a reference to a character from “LT’s Theory of Pets.” A Trouble that travels via the sewers is reminiscent of It.

4) Lost and Found

Trouble: Braer Brock, a childless man, conjures douen to lead astray other children so he can build a family with his wife.

King references: Free-standing doors into another universe that can only be opened by certain people are common in the Dark Tower series. Jake Chambers returned to Mid-World through a door that had to be opened simultaneously on both sides.

5) The New Girl

Trouble: Tyler can temporarily turn other people into his puppets so long as he is holding something that belongs to that person.

King references: Katie is named for a character in “Sorry, Right Number.” The way Tyler possesses people is similar to what Roland does with Jack Mort in The Drawing of the Three. Duke is still inside his body but Tyler is in control and Duke is in the back seat.

6) Countdown

Trouble: Paul Krebbs causes other people to see a countdown timer that marks the seconds until they die from rigor mortis.

King references: Paul Krebbs was named after a forensic assistant in The Colorado Kid. Cleaves Mills is a town in The Dead Zone. Paul asks Ellie on a date at Black House Coffee, named after the sequel to The Talisman. The school for the un-Troubled, Stillwater, is named after a river next to which King lived after he graduated from the University of Maine.

7) Lay Me Down

Trouble: Carrie Benson’s worst nightmares come to life and happen physically. This Trouble used to be confined to the women in her family, but William made it contagious, passed from her to the people on her newspaper delivery route.

King references: Sonia Winston is named after Patrick Danville’s mother (Insomnia) and Carrie Benson is a reference to King’s first novel. Stansfield National Park is named after the patient whose story is central to “The Breathing Method.” Jennifer becomes the Girl Friday at the Haven Herald, just like Stephanie McCann was in The Colorado Kid. Duke’s license plate number is 98 KA 16—Ka is a central concept in the Dark Tower series.

8) Crush

Trouble: Jack Driscoll and his brother Aiden create enormous pressure bubbles when under duress. They are related to Reverend Driscoll and are hence from a family that has never been Troubled before.

King references: Lumley Street is named for a character in “One for the Road.” Jack Daniels’ name is a combination of the main character from The Talisman and a villain from Rose Madder. The concept of a soft spot between universes is common in the Dark Tower series.

9) William

Trouble: Nathan, Dwight and Jen suffer paranoid delusions in a temporary Trouble caused by William’s henchmen.

King references: The concept of paranoid delusions comes from the poem “Paranoia” in Skeleton Crew.

10) The Trouble with Troubles

Trouble: Cliff wishes the Troubles never happened, turning Haven into a blissful but boring seaside resort. When Doreen Hanscomb remembered her Hawaii vacation, she would get sand in her shoes until William amplified her Trouble. She then caused a volcano to erupt in Haven.

King references: Two businesses in the Trouble-free Haven are Balazar’s Clothing Bazaar (a reference to a mob boss from the Dark Tower series) and Joyland Bicycles. Doreen Hanscomb shares a surname with a main character in It. Cliff’s ability to rewrite reality is akin to “The Word Processor of the Gods.” One of the boat repair shops is at 123 King Boulevard. Many of the labels on the card catalog in the Haven Herald reference King stories or important dates from his works.

11) Shot in the Dark

Trouble: William creates a rougarou, a werewolf-like creature that eats the hearts of people born on the same date as Jennifer Mason. It is a Trouble that has no Troubled person attached. It is a transdimensional Trouble.

King references: The ghosthunters are called Darkside Seekers. King contributed a short story to the movie Tales from the Darkside. Tarker’s Mills Grocery is a reference to the small town where “Cycle of the Werewolf” is set. Canaan Street references a Barony in the Dark Tower series whose capital is Gilead.

12) When the Bough Breaks

Trouble: “Never let a Harker cry lest people near or far die.” This Trouble normally didn’t kick in until puberty but William activated a baby. Duke Crocker gets his family curse back to put an end to this particularly lethal Trouble. When Gloria’s husband Lincoln hears sounds, they are magnified to ear-splitting volume, a Trouble given to him by Audrey to try to counter the Harker curse.

King references: Ben Harker is named for Ben Richards, the main character in The Running Man who sacrificed himself for his child.

13) The Lighthouse

Trouble: Audrey activates within Duke every Trouble the Crocker family has ever absorbed.

King references: Doors between worlds and the concept that Haven is located at a “thin spot” in reality is a common concept in the Dark Tower series.

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