The series achieved this to good effect by heading back to the gazebo where Gloria is holding the formerly Troubled baby from the finale and visiting with Intern Vicki who uses her own Trouble to help calm the baby (although why swirling flower petals would calm a baby is unknown).
Suddenly the earth shook, the lighthouse started to crumble and just before it disappeared entirely, a large wave of something supernatural washed over Haven.
When I reviewed the finale, I wasn't shy about how I felt regarding Haven Season 4. It was a mess. Great story potential was driven into the ground with unnecessary deaths, unexplored relationships and characters acting out of sorts. One of the shining lights was the addition of Jennifer and her resulting relationship with Duke.
It was fantastic to finally see Duke get a girl of his own, not confusing friendship and romance with Audrey. Unfortunately, Emma Lahana, the actress who gave life to Jennifer, has chosen not to return to the series according to Eric Balfour (Duke). Since Duke's focus on finding Jennifer was his main purpose on the premiere, it was all a bit strange.
I want to give the series the benefit of the doubt and assume they're going to clean up the mess leading us here. I don't know that a weak opening helps their case. Instead of an actual plot, the premiere was all about searching.
With Mara (formerly Audrey) on the loose, Nathan spent his time looking for her. Mara was looking for an active portal door (a "thinnie") so she could reunite with William and Duke sought Jennifer.
Mara wants to be all evil, but when she had the chance to kill Dwight, instead of shooting him under his bulletproof vest, she merely tasered him. I know he's not leaving the series, but Mara doesn't know it. If she was as evil as we're lead to believe, why not kill him? She likes inflicting pain more than killing? Perhaps.
Dwight: She took my taser and a fair amount of my pride.
Nathan: You're lucky she didn't kill you.
Dwight: I think she was having too much fun electrocuting me.
Mara didn't have a problem shooting Nathan, but she didn't kill him. She was also looking around in her head for why Nathan's "I'll always love you Parker" had an impact on her.
The future must rely on the wave that came over Haven. The monkey stitching Trouble was a reappearance of one that had been extinct since 1929. Something will drive Mara to work with everyone, won't it? That would, in turn, make her recall Audrey?
But is bringing Audrey back enough to jump start the series again? Is that the way to go? I'm skeptical. Somehow all of the personalities inside that body should merge resulting in one super-character. After all, we've already had tried to bring Audrey back (when she was masquerading as Lexie). Been there, done that. That's the trouble with Mara.
When we last saw Duke, he was dying, but he was doing pretty well after the lighthouse flash, right? He surmised that his bottled up Troubles that he's taken from others could be reemerging. Also possible.
With the continued use of flashbacks, it almost felt like we were witnessing a series reset. By the abrupt end, I realized they really had no idea what they wanted to do during the premiere episode. With the decimation of the extended cast last year, the lack of press at places like Comic Con and this watered down storyline, it seems they're more interested in saving money than telling a compelling story.
I do hope I'm wrong (I really do -- Haven was one of my top series in seasons 1-3), but this was one hour I wouldn't miss if it were dropped out of the full Haven DVD pack. Keep the opening scene, but all else felt like pointless wandering.
Do you think there's hope? If this was an exciting return to Haven, what about it did you like? If it wasn't, what would make it so? Would an entire season built around trying to nudge the evil Mara out of the picture be enough to satisfy you? Hit the comments.
Wishing for the Haven of yesteryear? You can watch Haven online and fondly recall the (now bittersweet) romance between Duke and Jennifer, for starters. Sigh.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.