Things are different in “Haven” Season 4. Audrey isn’t Audrey anymore — she’s Lexie. Dwight has taken over Nathan’s role as Chief, while Nathan seems to be stepping into Audrey’s Trouble-helping shoes. Duke, meanwhile, gets to play the hero.

It’s weird. As weird as a hug between Nathan and Duke, which also happens in “Fallout.”

The question is, does the new, post-meteor shower “Haven” have the same magic and mystery as always?

Yes. For the most part, yes.

Six months

Unlike previous seasons of “Haven,” which began mere seconds after the previous ones ended, Season 4 has a six-month jump from Season 3. Kind of … It’s not six months for Duke, the only major character we see before the opening credits roll. For Duke, a brief denizen of the barn, the gap between seasons was — as always — but a moment of time.

Then some encroaching black holes (or something of that nature) suck Duke out of the eerie barn whiteness and straight into the Boston Aquarium.

Seen as crazy, criminal and unidentified by the authorities, Duke needs the help of a new and rather amusing character by the name of Jennifer Mason. She shows up in true “Haven” fashion, exhibiting a Trouble-ish ability to hear everything that happened in the barn. One paperclip later, Duke and Jennifer are off to find Nathan …

… Who has grown a beard and is making money as a one-man Fight Club. This cannot be good for Nathan’s health, even if he can’t feel it. Life is so bad for Nathan, in fact, that the appearance of Duke seems to be the best thing that has ever happened to the unfortunate Mr. Wuornos.

The boys hug. But really, it’s Audrey that Nathan wants to embrace. Duke is merely a substitute.

Need more on “Haven”? Check out what the executive producers had to say about Season 4

Meanwhile, back in Haven

The town of Haven is simultaneously different and completely the same. After the meteor shower, the Troubles didn’t actually go away, probably because Nathan went and shot holes in Agent Howard. This Troublesome continuation didn’t just chase the former Chief out of town.

Continued Troubles also mean that Dwight is the new chief of police, that the Guard is suddenly roaming around in the open (and rather thirsty for blood) and that random “gas leaks” keep causing all sorts of death and destruction.

Of course, some things are the same. Vince and Dave still know more than everyone else but won’t talk about it. And the current Trouble — crazy weather — might seem awfully familiar to anyone who remembers the “Haven” series premiere.

Most of the big differences in the town are directly or indirectly the result of the Guard. They want Nathan dead for the aforementioned shooting of holes and the related persistence of the Troubles. Jordan is especially angry, what with being a woman scorned (and shot) and all.

But Vince, Dave and Dwight won’t let anyone shoot Nathan. This is because a) Nathan has offered to let Audrey kill him (Nathan presumably being the one loved the most whose death will end the Troubles forever) and b) they kind of like Nathan. Surprisingly — and possibly because Vince is in on it — the plan works.

There’s still the crazy weather. Nathan quickly remembers the case of Maryanne Caldwell, whose weather-havoc Trouble was only calmed by the love of a good man. Too bad that good man also had heart trouble. He has since died, and Maryanne is expressing her grief through icicles and lightning strikes (as you do).

Fortunately, Nathan channels Audrey and talks Marianne down before she can go all “Sharknado” on the town. The day is saved! Can it continue to be saved without Audrey though?

Oh, and Duke’s brother has taken over the Grey Gull. Taco Tuesdays must continue!

Lexie the Waitress

Audrey Parker? She’s not around much anymore.

As is sadly always the case, the mysterious woman once known as Audrey — and Lucy and Sarah — has emerged from the barn with a new identity. This time, she’s a fun-loving bartender named Lexie Dewitt. Lexie seems to be a bit of a free spirit and a drifter, looking for love (in all the wrong places) and kind of horrified by gunplay.

That’s until a stranger named William walks into her bar. Despite William’s almost creepy fixation on his server, Lexie responds with warmth and reveals a possible rival for Nathan in the Barn Lady’s affections. She cools only slightly when an even creepier man with funky hair comes in — with a gun — and threatens her.

Fortunately, William is available to save the day (after pumping quarters into the jukebox, naturally). He tells her that “some people” don’t want Lexie to know the truth about herself. But the bartender needs to know. A whole lot of death is coming if she remains in frat-boy drink bliss.

Poor Lexie is probably thinking the funky gun guy was the better option as the episode ends.

So … Huh?

Changes mean that “Haven” has to give a lot of explanations and still leave fans asking a bunch of questions. The explanation stuff mostly comes out in various characters talking to Jennifer and telling her everything about the Troubles and the town. This works, even if it is a wee bit too expository.

As for the questions, here are some big ones:

  • Is Lexie still Audrey in any way? For that matter, who is the real person underneath all of the fake identities? It seems like William might know the answer.

  • If William does know the real truth about Audrey, does that mean he’s another Agent Howard type of person (or whatever)? And if that’s the case, does the arrival of Funky Gun Guy mean that there are a lot of those people?

  • Why did Jennifer hear the barn conversations on constant replay? Is this a Trouble or something else?

  • Since Vince and Dave usually know so much, why were they shocked that Duke was still alive?

  • Duke is out of the barn. Audrey is out of the barn. Where is James?

  • Is Nathan really Audrey’s true love? Could anyone else take the title? Also, what kind of nasty deal is it to make this woman kill someone she loves or else face an eternity of false identities broken up by barn time?

  • What exactly is the secret meaning of Oprah Winfrey when spoken by Duke to Dave?

At least “Haven” Season 3 is back to bring us (hopefully) some answers!

Posted by:Laurel Brown