"A Tale of Two Audreys" only won its title during the excellent last five minutes, which is too short to deserve the word "Tale." The episode brought us a better than average Haven investigation with our Audrey taking center stage, and the newcomer remaining largely a bystander despite some efforts to the contrary. Granted, with the other newcomer, there was some effort to start the season with an intriguing additional layer, but for now, I would have to say that sub-plot fizzled.
The story picked up precisely where we left off in the previous season finale. Audrey, Nathan, and an FBI agent pretending to be the real Audrey Parker held each other at gunpoint, with the latter demanding some explanation. The scene was flawless and because of the "pull another gun" comment, it successfully established the connection between the two Audreys in the two cops' and in the viewers' minds. With more guns on their side, Audrey and Nathan handcuff New Audrey and are about to bring her to the police station when it starts raining frogs. That of course is the second of the ten plagues of Egypt, the first being water turning into blood a few frames earlier at the reverend's place.
Aside from the scene that led us to believe the kid had a problem with his arm, I liked how the plagues were brought about. The special effects were fine and the investigation that followed was better than your typical Haven investigation. Choosing something biblical also had the advantage of keeping the reverend around, which can be annoying, but I guess helps with the larger picture. As long as the writers stuck to similarities in their speech, I liked what they did with the two Audreys. Each time they attempted to develop New Audrey further, by making her helpful for example, it seemed as if they — and the actress — were trying too hard. That was unfortunately enhanced by Emily Rose's excellent performance as Audrey. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for two identical Audreys. It is obvious that the show wanted to present two very different personalities with the same memories, which they did with some level of success. I only think it could have been much smoother...
As long as Evidence "Evi" Ryan was a seductive shady acquaintance trying to lure Duke back to some questionable business, I was along for the ride and even enjoyed it. As soon as she was revealed as his wife and explicitly stated her reason for sticking around, I thought it fizzled. With his witty comments, Duke is a very compelling character, so they might recover; as it was though, it felt like watching a soap pulling out a wife from nowhere. Finally on the chapter of things I didn't like, there was another instance of the perennial issue Haven has with tying up loose ends. Leaving the troubled T.J. reading a bunny story was hardly satisfactory.
Those shortcomings did not spoil my fun of having Audrey and team back. I liked what the episode did with Nathan who barely had the time to grieve and was compelled to bury his father away from everyone. Getting Duke to help him was smooth; the show is mending their relationship at just the right pace. Duke's "Just so we're clear, I am a Lion" was a pitch-perfect ending to their conversation. I liked how the evidence led Audrey to the troubled T.J. and how the events were all put together. I liked how T.J. when starting to read the bunny story was clearly not thinking it would have any effect. I liked how Audrey's faith in herself was initially shaken and how Emily Rose portrayed it. The character gradually regained some confidence only to be torn apart in an impressive final scene. The show got everything right in that scene. The connection between the two Audreys was properly laid out and we were skillfully led to believe things were sorted out before the amazing turn of events. The show could go anywhere from here, with the most easy route being to cast Audrey's agent Howard as a fraud as well. I enjoyed the episode and was, as always, taken by the breathtaking shots of the city and by the now thickening mystery that is Audrey Parker.