Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #172 (Haven part 6)

This is Part 6 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 -5 I reviewed the events of Season 1Season 2Season 3 and Season 4, respectively. 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 6

A Haven Who’s Who

Haven promo


Audrey Prudence Parker:

When we first meet Audrey Parker at the beginning of the first episode, she is in her rather sparse NY apartment receiving orders from her boss at the FBI, Agent Byron Howard. She’s to proceed to Haven, Maine to find an escaped convict who killed a prison guard. Audrey has a reputation for being “open to possibilities” beyond the norm and has a good reputation for closing cases. Audrey believes she’s an orphan, born in Ohio and raised by the state. She became a cop because one of her foster sisters at her third foster home, in Dayton, reported abuse from her father and Audrey stuck a pair of scissors into his neck.

However, the reality is that there is an FBI Special Agent named Audrey Parker with that background, but it isn’t her. The opening scene probably takes place in that place between worlds that we will come to know as “the barn” and this is where the person known to Havenites as Audrey is created. In some ways, her background is a blank slate. For example, she doesn’t have a favorite film (although she does admit that Justin Timberlake was her favorite musician). She also has talents that don’t come from the other Audrey Parker—she can play the piano, for example, and Agent Parker never took lessons. She doesn’t always trust her memories. In one scene, she deliberately tries vegemite to see if she likes it because her memories tell her she doesn’t. She does remember that Audrey Parker was popular in high school.

Audrey has been to Haven before; by my calculation, perhaps as many as twenty times. Audrey Parker is her identity in 2010. In 1983, she was Lucy Ripley, who was in Haven for a few months and disappeared shortly after the Colorado Kid murder. She tried to run away when it came time to go into the barn but was forced to do so by the Guard. In 1955, she was a VA nurse named Sarah Vernon—Vince and Dave Teagues tried to blow up the barn so she wouldn’t have to go away but that plan failed. A future incarnation is a saucy bartender called Lexie Dewitt. Her original persona seems to be a woman named Mara who came from another world with a man called William. During her repeat appearances in Haven, she always helps Troubled people, but Mara was a Trouble-maker who took great delight in inflicting the Troubles on people for sport.

When she gets to Maine, older people comment on how familiar she looks, and she is soon shown a photograph from a newspaper article about a mysterious crime from the 1980s. The body of the Colorado Kid can be seen in the picture, along with a woman who strongly resembles Audrey. For most of the first season, Audrey seeks information about this woman, whose name she learns is Lucy Ripley and who she suspects might be her mother. Eventually she figures out that Lucy is really her (based on an identical scar on their feet) and—surprise of surprises—the Colorado Kid is actually her son, the offspring of Sarah Vernon and Nathan Wuornos (who had been sent back to 1955 by a Troubled man).

Audrey is immune to the Troubles (although she can be affected by physical manifestations created by a Troubled person), which facilitates her role as someone who assists the afflicted. She has great intuition and an innate sense of what’s behind the Troubled person’s problems. As Lucy, she worked with Garland Wuornos to help the Troubled and, without knowing any of this history, she falls into the same pattern with Nathan in 2010.

Jordan McKee suggested that all of Haven’s Troubles are actually her Trouble—after all, it may not be a coincidence that the Troubles return every time she does. When Audrey starts to remember Mara, it’s different from her previous personalities. She can remember being Mara, and it’s no one she wants to be. She has a strong connection to William—not only do sparks leap between them when they touch, when something physical happens to one of them, it happens to the other. Presumably we will learn in Season 5 the truth behind this assertion because at the end of the Season 4 finale, Audrey has turned into Mara after pushing William through the portal to the other world and she wants to bring William back.

What is Audrey’s true nature? Agent Howard, who is her otherworldly chauffeur, tells her that the barn is a kind of amplifier for her powers. When she’s in the barn, her energy keeps the Troubles at bay. But every 27 years she needs to recharge, so she emerges from the barn in a different guise to find the love she needs to last her another 27 years. Is she human? According to Agent Howard, she’s all too human, which is her problem. Is she being punished? As always, Agent Howard is coy in his answers: “It does seem that way,” he says. She can either end the Troubles for 27 years or she can end them forever, by killing the man she loves the most. But who is that? It’s easy to assume that it’s Nathan, with whom she has fallen in love with as Audrey, but perhaps Howard means it’s the man the original she—Mara—loves: William.

Nathan Thaddeus Wuornos

For most of his life, Nathan Wuornos believed he was the son of Haven’s police chief, Garland Wuornos. In fact, he is the son of a murderer named Max Hansen, who has been in Shawshank Prison since Nathan was very young. Hansen supposedly abused both his mother and Nathan. Garland Wuornos married his mother and adopted him, though Nathan has no memory of his early life. His mother died when he was young. He was a geek in high school, president of the A/V club, and was often bullied by Duke Crocker.

He followed his adoptive father into the police department, though the two have a generally strained relationship. Over the course of the first four seasons, he will be Detective, Acting Chief, Detective, Chief, Citizen and, once again, Detective Wuornos. In a perfect world, one without Troubles, Nathan would have remained with his Hansen family and grown up to be a doctor with a wife and daughter. His favorite food is pancakes, for any meal, and he has been known to do decoupage to relax.

Nathan’s Trouble is the ability to feel anything. He experienced this curse when he was a boy: he broke his arm while sledding, a compound fracture that caused him no pain whatsoever, but he didn’t know what it was at the time. His Trouble flared up again recently after an altercation with Duke. His old tormentor invited him out on a boat trip under the pretext of patching up their relationship. Duke actually wanted Nathan to cover for him as he smuggled something past the Coast Guard. When Nathan found out, they got into a fight and Nathan’s Trouble activated. Even then, he refused to believe it was a trouble and went to a doctor, who diagnosed him with idiopathic neuropathy. Eventually he is forced to confront his affliction. However, when he is briefly cured of his Trouble, he performs a heroic and generous act by accepting his inability to feel again so that another Troubled woman could live a normal life.

Though he and Audrey get off to a rocky start, pointing guns at each other shortly after she arrives in Haven, they become friendly and gradually more. Because Audrey is immune to the Troubles, he is able to feel her touch, something he realizes after she gives him a peck on the cheek. Their relationship doesn’t run smoothly, though. She pushes him away when she realizes her time in Haven is running short. He starts a relationship with Jordan McKee, a woman whose Trouble causes her to inflict terrible pain on anyone she touches. Their Troubles are complementary—she can touch him, because he can’t feel. Eventually, though, Audrey and Nathan are able to get past their issues and get together…until Mara comes along.

Duke Crocker

Duke is another Haven native. He and Nathan are the same age and have known each other since they were five. Theirs is a rocky relationship, though. As kids, Duke frequently tormented Nathan (on one memorable occasion, he stuck tacks in Nathan’s back, knowing Nathan wouldn’t feel or notice) and as adults, Duke works on the opposite side of the law. Though he was very young at the time, he knew Lucy Ripley; however, he has lost all memories of the day he was with her at the scene of the Colorado Kid murder.

He is a rogue, a bon vivant and a ne’er do well driven mostly by self-interest. One of his operating principles (which he often breaks) is that he doesn’t help cops, even those he likes. He is a procurer of big ticket rare and illegal goods. He buys and sells things, and sometimes acts as a delivery person for products (he doesn’t always know what they are) on behalf of third parties. He takes pride in his work—he’s not a petty crook; he’s an exceptional crook, with a heart of gold. He can read Chinese and speaks Japanese and Russian. He often quotes Buddha and is a yoga practitioner. He was married to a woman named Evi (Evidence) Ryan, with whom he used to run illegal and dangerous capers until she was shot and killed shortly after she came to Haven.

He has been away from Haven for a period of time, traveling the world and pulling con jobs, but his father had always told him that if he heard the Troubles were back, he was to return. He lives aboard a rusting junker moored in the harbor and becomes the proprietor of the Grey Gull bar after it is gifted to him by an old friend. Though he operates on the shady side, he is a loyal friend and a straight arrow. However, he is also afflicted by a Trouble, the Crocker family curse. When the blood of a Troubled person touches him, his eyes turn silver and he experiences a brief surge of superhuman strength. This is used on occasion as a litmus test to tell whether a person is Troubled or not.

If he kills a Troubled person, that Trouble is forever erased from the family’s bloodline. For that reason, his family has often been sought in the past to rid Haven of Troubled people. His father Simon and grandfather Roy—and members of each generation before that all the way back to Fitzwilliam Crocker in 1786—gave in to the temptation to exert their special talent, which gives the killer a drug-like rush and can become addictive. Duke resists the family obligation, though he begrudgingly agrees on one occasion to kill Harry Nix, a dying man whose family Trouble endangers many people. Previous incarnations of Audrey have been responsible for the deaths of Duke’s ancestors. Duke’s other curse is that he was told by a Troubled person how he would die—but not when. He will be killed by someone who has the Guard tattoo. Because of the Crocker family curse, he has long been at odds with the Guard.

His brother Wade, who did not grow up in Haven, was unaware of the Crocker family curse until Duke vanished inside the barn with Audrey. When he is informed of his talent, he falls pretty to it and is consumed by it. Duke is forced to kill him, which also rids Duke of his Trouble—until he asks Audrey to give it back to him to resolve another Trouble that could have killed hundreds of people.

Though Duke is Troubled, he has also been impacted directly by the Troubles of others. He grew prematurely old (after fathering a daughter) and nearly died, he was turned back into a teenage version of himself, and he was sent back in time to meet his grandfather. One Troubled person possessed his body, intending to keep it, a little girl convinced him to leap from a balcony at the Grey Gull and he is almost drowned by another Trouble. In the un-Troubled version of Haven, William shoots him. At the end of Season 4, it was revealed that every Trouble the Crockers have ever absorbed into themselves has been activated, turning him into a ticking time bomb. Ironically, in a trouble-free world, the Crockers would all have been Haven police officers instead of rogues.

During a trip with Audrey to Colorado to dig up information about the Colorado Kid, Duke kisses Audrey. He later confesses to Nate that he loves her, too, although he is able to put his feelings aside and form a relationship with Jennifer Mason, the woman he meets after he passes through the barn.

The Teagues brothers

Vince and Dave Teagues know everything about Haven’s past, but they are tight-lipped and often at odds with each other over what information should be shared with anyone else. They’ve lived through the Troubles twice before and have archives that go all the way back to the earliest days of Haven. They secretly own half the commercial real estate in Haven and have millions of dollars in off-shore accounts. They are yin and yang to each other—one is big, the other small. Dave likes to photograph (it reveals truth, he says), while Vince sketches (it reveals his soul, he claims). They bicker all the time. In an alternate reality, Dave murders Vince. In another, William murders them.

As the owners and operators of the Haven Herald, their main duty is to write cover stories that sweep supernatural incidents under the rug so that Haven doesn’t come to the attention of outsiders. They can be quite creative at times, but there have been a lot of “gas leaks” in Haven. A lot. They have also worked together (or at cross purposes) to end the Troubles. When Sarah Vernon was supposed to enter the barn, they attempted—unsuccessfully—to blow the building up. This time, Dave wants to keep Audrey out of the barn and Vince wants her to go inside to end the Troubles.

As the series develops, we learn a lot more about these brothers and what they know about this troubled community. Vince, the older brother, has a flickering birthmark on his forearm, the sigul of the Guard, a group of Troubled people who help others—a kind of underground railway, bringing Troubled people to Haven from across the country and providing them with a safe haven. Unbeknownst to even those closest to Vince, he has been their leader, which is the legacy of the firstborn Teagues since the beginning of Haven. The Teagues have Mi’kmaw  blood. However, his younger brother, Dave, is adopted—another in a group of important people placed in Haven by the man known as Agent Howard (or Captain Howard to Sarah Vernon). He comes from the mysterious universe on the other side of the thin spot that exists in Haven.

The Teagues are Trouble-free. However, Vince’s wife’s family had a terrible Trouble, so he activated Simon Crocker (Duke’s father) and convinced him to kill Vince’s father-in-law to end the family curse. Ultimately his wife discovered what he did and hated him for it. Later, with Lucy’s help, he had to kill Simon Crocker.

Dwight Hendrickson

Dwight Hendrickson emerges as an important character to the point where he can now be considered a series regular. He was introduced as a “cleaner,” a man who is brought in by Vince on occasion to clean up the fallout from a Trouble incident. He worked with Chief Wuornos, who didn’t ask too many questions about what he did, which suited Dwight fine. He is an imposing presence, so when he tells people they imagined something, they tend to believe him. He is a Gulf War vet whose Trouble made him unfit for combat: he is a bullet magnet. Any bullet fired in his vicinity will divert from its course and hit him instead.

He became a member of the Guard (he has a large version of the maze tattoo on his back instead of his forearm) after they brought him to Haven to help him when his Trouble manifested, ferrying Troubled people from around the country to Haven, but had a falling out with them when he was ordered to kill a man who refused to go with him in a forced relocation. He also had a young daughter, Elizabeth, who died under circumstances related to his curse and his work with the Guard. His wife, never seen in the series, left him. After Nathan abdicates from his post as Chief of HPD following Audrey’s return to the barn, Dwight is given the job, which he continues to hold at the end of Season 4. Because of his Trouble, Dwight’s primary clothing accessory is a bullet-proof vest. His weapon of choice is a crossbow (no bullets).

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