The quite little town of Haven, in Maine looks peaceful, but it has troubles or, more accurately, Troubles. The Troubles happened a long time ago, people with special abilities, abilities they couldn’t always control that could cause considerable havoc. Audrey Parker, an FBI agent, arrives in town to track down a fugitive working with the Haven PD and quickly gets embroiled in investigating the Troubles – which have returned. Her job as an FBI agent falls away as she becomes more and more intrigued by the town and helping the Troubled people deal with their Afflictions. And she finds a picture of a woman who looks just like her – Lucy Ripley, quite possibly the orphan Audrey’s mother.
When setting up a new show, like Haven, you need to establish the premise and the world. This means many of the earlier episodes will be used to introduce exactly what is going on and who is who. We introduce the primary cast: Audrey. Nathan, the son of the police chief, he’s Troubled and cannot feel anything, though he still suffers the injuries. He broods around and is Audrey’s main police partner. Duke, the casual, rogue – a smuggler and nefarious ne’er do well who takes a shine to Audrey and is always there to lend a (grudging) hand. The police chief, who holds the town together through the Troubles and tries to shape Nathan to replace him, leading to their very rocky relation. And Vince and Dave Teague, 2 old men who run the paper – and keep the town’s secrets, perhaps all too well. On the less friendly side we have the Reverend Driskall, a religious fanatic who considers all the Troubled to be cursed.
And the rest is used to show is used to display the powers people have and Audrey and Nathan, (occasionally helped by Duke) solve the many problems – from a woman who can control the weather, to a kid who can manifest his dreams, animate taxidermy animals, a woman who drains life force and has babies, dangerous art, murderous shadows and many more. There are a lot of very unique ideas and concepts. And many of the episodes serve to develop the characters and integrate Audrey further into Haven… but most of them don’t really advance anything. They’re Trouble of the Week, each is introduced, investigated and solved in the same episode, with very little else covered. You can probably skip from episode 5 to episode 9 or even 10 and not appreciably miss much.