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“The Tides That Bind” brought us something new by introducing a whole family — or more accurately, a whole clan — of cursed people in an episode that quietly ignored what happened the previous week. There was something sadly beautiful in the main story that made it right at home in Haven. Plus, the episode also managed to bring together two storylines that were until now developing independently.
First let’s go over what we are more likely to disagree on. To me, when the lifting of the veil in a story, or the moment of truth and understanding, is delayed because some characters willfully refuse to do or say the obvious right thing, it is not good storytelling. That is a writer stalling and it is very irritating to the viewer. At least, it should be. Even more so when the character doesn’t seem cut out for such “tactics.” I didn’t like Cole Glendower’s first two scenes because they screamed of such ploys. Unlike the head of the Glendower family who turned out to be the kind of character who shouldn’t be doing these things, Reverend Driscoll on the other hand seems built with that in mind. The stalling is seen whenever Driscoll speaks to Nathan and throws about accusations that are obviously meaningless to anyone who wasn’t around — or hadn’t reached the age of reason — the last time the troubles appeared.
Something else I should mention is that I couldn’t help notice the lack of reference to anything that passed last week. What happened to Audrey should have had some impact on the character. It should have made her even more withdrawn than usual, or more worried, or anything else. My point is, we shouldn’t just have had the old aloof and even-tempered Audrey Parker. Plus, Chris Brody’s trip to London doesn’t mean he has fallen off the face of the Earth. There has been no breakup yet and Nathan is not even aware of what was said between the lovers, so a little passing reference here would have been welcome.
After his questionable beginnings, Cole Glendower and his whole family were properly used in a story that had most of the elements of the best Haven has produced so far. The trouble was interesting, allowing for good visuals like in the scene with Glendowers jumping out of the water, and there was a compelling personal drama. Audrey’s uncovering of Penny Driscoll’s story was well executed and by the end of the episode, Cole Glendower had so firmly established himself in the viewer’s mind that his promise to turn himself in, after the retreat in the water, felt just right.
On the chapter of what was done right, there is also the way Duke’s search for his (future) killer took a turn that brought it right into the main storyline. Revealing that the Reverend had been Evi’s puppeteer all along was interesting, but what really worked was connecting the Glendowers to Lucy and having the family (males) all wearing Duke’s dreaded tattoo. Without knowing more about Duke’s role, it seems obvious that his picking a side might be instrumental in that side’s fate, just as it seems pitting him against the Glendowers would have him going against Lucy’s side which is very likely to be Audrey’s. All this unraveling was done extremely well.
A personal favorite is what passed between Cole Glendowers, Penny Driscoll and our leads, Audrey and Nathan. It was obvious the two Haven P.D. detectives treated Cole with respect, even when aware of his crime. They would still arrest him, but not like a vulgar criminal. In that same logic, it was a nice touch to have the Glendower family head entrust the protection of his family to Nathan. It was — and has been for a while now — also smooth to show that for all his professed differences with his father, Nathan is in a way growing more like him with each passing episode, and that of course brings us to Chief Wuornos’s picture with Lucy.
When Audrey and Nathan appeared side by side on the rock by the sea in the final scene, it was difficult not to think of that picture taken on the “wedding celebration day.” And when Audrey said, “Looks like we’ve been following in their footsteps without even knowing it,” the photo and the nature of the connection between Chief Wuornos and Lucy as well as the identity of the little girl couldn’t help but pop up in the viewer’s mind. The episode did no wrong in its final moments with the “beautiful and sad” comment from the Audrey and Nathan scene appropriately describing what was unfolding down below. At first I thought the robes were a bit too much, but with Enya’s “Exile” playing, I realized the shot from above of all the men going into the water wouldn’t have worked as well with plain clothes.