This week’s Danger Gal Friday profile is of the Audrey Parker from the Syfy Network show Haven. Portrayed by actress Emily Rose, the series is based on Stephen King’s mystery short story The Colorado Kid.
Audrey Parker came to Haven, Maine, as an FBI agent investigating the disappearance of federal prisoner Jonas Lester. After the investigation into his death ended, Parker stayed on in Haven, a town whose people are suffering “a plague of supernatural afflictions that occurred in the town at least once before” called The Troubles. (Wikipedia, Haven)
I missed Haven’s first season and have been catching up on it as I watch season two. Like Fringe, Haven showcases a female main character with a supporting ensemble cast. Last season the focus of Fringe shifted away from Olivia and became the all-about-Peter show. The storylines not only featured Peter more than any of the other characters, but his “otherness” started to trump Olivia’s. Now, don’t get me wrong, I kind of like Peter Bishop. He’s an interesting character, but the appeal of Fringe for me was the centrality of its female lead. Take that away and it’s just another paranormal TV show.
I hope Haven doesn’t follow suit. Parker’s backstory hints that she’s irrevocably tied to the last appearance of The Troubles, which binds her tight to the show’s main focus. Parker remembers growing up in an orphanage, but we learn in season two’s “A Tale of Two Audreys” that her memories are, in fact, not her own. When the “real” Audrey Parker — sometimes referred to as “Fraudrey” in an Fringe homage — comes to Haven, the two women soon realize they share not only the same name, but the same memories. Also, Audrey’s FBI superior Agent Howard, who sent her to Haven in the first place, is also an imposter. Since I’m watching seasons one and two at the same time, it’s interesting how blatant this intentional placement of Audrey is Haven is in the series pilot, which ends with Howard in Haven, watching Audrey, and telling someone on his cell phone that “She’s staying.”
Photos of Lucy Ripley, a woman deeply involved in the last appearance of The Troubles in the 1980s, bears a strong resemblance to Audrey Parker. The discovery of Fraudrey, however, I think weakens the case that Lucy is Audrey’s mother. When Fraudrey’s memories are wiped after seeing something in the “Tardis Barn” (see Detective Jane’s super recap of “Love Machine”) it became clear to me that someone/something in the Haven universe can erase, write and rewrite memories. In her interactions with Fraudrey, we learn that Audrey knows how to play the piano, something Fraudrey never learned. It stands to reason that Audrey’s ability to turn off or be immune to many of the affects of The Troubles is likely tied to her earlier visit to Haven as Lucy Ripley. Her memory loss and/or switch is also probably tied to the Tardis Barn.
So far, I’m very much enjoying season two of Haven and wish I’d been watching the series from the beginning. I loved the dialogue between Audrey and Nathan Wuornos when they first meet in the pilot:
Audrey Parker: [both pulling guns on each other] FBI. Who are you?
Nathan Wuornos: MPD. Who are you?
Audrey Parker: FBI. Are you deaf?
It’s interesting to note that both times when Audrey Parkers came to Haven, Nathan pulled a gun on them. While we’re talking about Nathan, we have to note that the writers haven’t shied away from giving Audrey a love life. This aspect of her character is just that, a facet of her, not the character in toto. Audrey’s love life has been important to the ongoing plot of the show, but is balanced with other aspects of her life. Moreso, Audrey hasn’t settled on one man yet, either, and there have been no negative consequences of that indecision.
In Haven, Audrey has not only one, but three significant other possibilities: Detective (and now Police Chief) Nathan Wournos, town bad boy Duke Crocker and marine biologist Chris Brody, a man whose personal charisma — his Trouble — holds ultimate sway over everyone except for Audrey. Kate Linnea Welsh has a great recap of season two’s “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” at Televixen, where she aptly points out that:
At the very end of the episode – over a mellow cover of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” – Audrey looks in through the open doorway of the Gull at her three guys drinking together. She certainly looks contemplative, and it occurred to me that she got an opportunity that virtually no character in a love triangle polygon ever has. She got to experience the death of each of her three suitors and gauge her own emotional reaction to each situation. We see her turn away, looking slightly shocked – did she have some sort of revelation about her own (repressed?) feelings? We (and Nathan) can only hope.
True to my Shipper leanings, I’m rooting for Nathan Wuornos. He’s a man who can’t physically feel anything, but his emotions run deep. The only respite he gets from his Trouble-induced idiopathic neuropathy, is when Audrey touches him. He does evidently have a sense of smell, however, and Audrey brings him orchids and lillys. She also tastes his coffee for him to test the temperature. In “Audrey’s Day Off” during the time loop when Nathan lays dying in Audrey’s arms he says:
“It doesn’t hurt. The only thing I feel is you.”
That kind of clinched it for me.
Other fun resources about Haven: