The fifth and final season of Haven
was split into two parts. This review is the set for part two, which covers episodes 14-26. You can find the review of the first half of the season on Blu-ray here.
The back half of season five picks up after Mara is gone after Charlotte (Laura Mennell) put her and Audrey (both played by Emily Rose) back into one body. However, when Mara "died," it released Duke (Eric Balfour)'s curse, giving Troubles to even more people in the town. It gets even worse when a black shroud of smoke appears around the town, stopping anyone from getting in or out, except Duke, who takes off angry and full of guilt.
Meanwhile, with new Troubles popping up things continue to get worse. When someone with a Trouble reduces everyone who moves into the dark to bones, the town moves into the school to try to stay in the light.
If that's not enough, Croatoan is also on their tails and eventually reveals himself and things get even worse as loved ones are lost.
In the end, the town must come together and Audrey, Nathan (Lucas Bryant), Dwight (Adam Copeland), and the others, must decide how far they are willing to go to save everyone. Can they end they Troubles, or will the town forever be cursed?
The final season, especially the back half, focuses heavily on mythology episodes rather than "mysteries-of-the-week," and works to wrap up the series. It's definitely darker than some earlier seasons.
You can jump in to these episodes without having seen the previous four and a half seasons, but you really should at least watch the first sixteen episodes first, or parts of the story won't make complete sense, such as the mystery of Croatoan especially, though you could still understand enough to get through the episodes. Haven
has been one of my favorite Syfy shows since the beginning, but it has changed a lot from what it originally started out to be, especially with the tonal shift in the final season. Luckily Syfy knew that this would be the end and the writers were given a chance to wrap everything up. I was also especially happy that they brought back William (Colin Ferguson) to finish his story, as I was afraid they might not do.
While they do a pretty good job of tying up lose ends, from the barn and Agent Howard (Maurice Dean Wint), to Dave (John Dunsworth)'s Croatoan visions, I would have liked to get more of an explanation of what exactly Audrey is, but I guess leaving some mystery was to be expected.
The season has great scripts and fun moments (zombies, time travel, William and Nathan arguing, Kris Lemche returning), but also a lot of emotional and heartbreaking moments. The season all in all was satisfying, even if the ending may not be to some.
As always, the acting is fantastic, and the characters are easy to care about and invest in. The season was an emotional ride for all the main characters. Vince (Richard Donat) and Dave Teages (John Dunsworth) were also standouts this season.
There were also great supporting and guest starring roles this season in Mennell, who had great chemistry with Copeland, Ferguson, who is always so much fun to watch, and of course, William Shatner, who had a pivotal role. It was also cool to see the Colorado Kid/James Cogan (Steve Lund) again.
Season five, overall, was a great wrap up to the series. Haven
was an excellent Syfy series, and it's sad to see it come to an end. Special Features:
- 4:08 - This is a bunch of clips of the series over the years. I don't really feel it works as a refresher well, however, unless you have seen all of the episodes, as they are out of order, and they're just the clips. There's not a voice over or anything explaining the mythology for it to really be of much help. Haven Origins: Lovers Conquered All
- 8:36 - The origins stories were originally released as mini episodes. Here they are all in one piece. This one is about a woman who loves a man with a Trouble that keeps him needing water and their escape. Haven Origins: Trust Kills Fear
- 10:41 - Again, this feature has all the mini episodes in one piece. It's about a girl who can kill by touch and a soldier (from what would become The Guard as we know it) who ends up saving and protecting her. Haven Revisited: Livestream Segments with the Cast & Crew
- These are short clips (around 1-2 minutes each) that are all part of the livestream, you can play them one at a time or altogether. They are of the cast (including Colin Ferguson) and crew sitting on couches answering questions from fans on social media live. You can see the streams behind them. They are fun and worth a watch. They are broken down into questions:
* Favorite Episodes
- This clip is a discussion of their favorite episodes.
* Character Direction
- Someone asked if the actors felt their roles had gone in a
different direction over the seasons. * In the Buff
- They discuss their most difficult scenes to film and why. Bryant and
the others laugh about his nude scene and hair removal. * Mythology
- They discuss the amount of research that is done for the mythology,
and how much is accurate. * Versions of Audrey
- Someone asked which version of Audrey they think they
would get along with in real life. * Alternate Haven -
They talk about their favorite parts of the alternate version
of Haven. * Adam's Favorites
- Copeland talks about his favorite memories from the show. * Jason Priestly
- They talk about working with Priestly and as an actor and
director. * Strange Things on Set
- The cast and crew talk about some of the strange
happenings behind the scenes. Haven Archives: Entries from the Crocker Diaries
- This is a set of somewhat animated clips of Humphrey Crocker telling about some of his experiences with the Troubles. They can be played all at once or separate. * Buried
* Threads "Inside Haven" Featurettes
- There are one of these for each episode (14-26), and they show clips and the cast and crew talking about the episodes, both from a story point of view and also from an acting stand point. They give good insight into the episodes while also can be a help to remember what each episode is about. They are each 2-4 minutes in length and can be played all together or independently.
- These interviews are pretty good, but it's disappointing that there is no interview with the star Emily Rose. Also of note, almost all of the interviews during the "Inside Haven" featurettes are taken directly from these interviews, so they aren't really necessary, more just a way to watch the interviews in their entirety. Although, it was interesting to me to see how the interviews seem different when they are connected to specific scenes and episodes. These, once again, can be played all together or separate. Each interview is broken into segments.
* Lucas Bryant
- 11:44 - Nathan's Development; The Trial of Nathan Wuornos;
Extras; Colin Ferguson, Director; Director (on Bryant directing) * Eric Balfour
- 13:46 - Humor in Haven; Duke's Death; Saying Goodbye * William Shatner
- 3:41 - Why is Haven Appealing; Working with the Cast of Haven
; Intense Emotional Scenes; What Are Your Favorite Moments * Adam Copeland
- 6:52 - Is Haven in Trouble; Apocalyptic Times; Changing of the
Guard; Who is Dwight; Why is Haven Special? * Shawn Piller
- 8:30 - Villains; Duke's Changes; Who is Audrey Parker, really? There are also audio commentaries for all 13 episodes.
The Blu-ray set comes with four discs in the normal clamshell case. Included is a cardboard slipcover. The package is listed as "The Final Season," as apparently they decided to consider it season 5b rather than 6, which was debated previously.
The back of the insert lists what is on each disc, but you have to take it out to read it. The first three discs contain four episodes each, with the last episode on the last disc, along with the bonus features. The commentaries are on the appropriate discs with the episodes. Summary:
Season five is another great season to add to your collection, and if you are a fan of Haven
there are a lot of great special features to help you get deeper into the series. I recommend this set, though if you haven't seen the first four and one half seasons, you should watch them as well, as it's an enjoyable show that in my opinion, ended too soon.
You can purchase Haven: The Final Season on Blu-ray at Amazon