DVD Review: Haven: Season 5, Volume 1 - Out Now on Blu-ray & DVD

Haven: Season 5, Volume 1The fifth season of Haven picks up where it last left off: the portal has been closed, taking William (Colin Ferguson) with it. Audrey (Emily Rose) has been taken over by Mara, the original version of her, who is hell-bent on giving out new troubles and wreaking all kinds of havoc on the town.

Meanwhile, Duke (Eric Balfour) is dying after Mara re-activated the Cocker curse. He can still remove the troubles from a family line if he kills the troubled once again, but now, he also carries around all the troubles he and his family took from others. It only intensifies when they are unleashed on the town, creating bigger troubles than ever.

Nathan (Lucas Bryant) and the group struggle to accept their loss of Audrey, including all that entails dealing with helping the troubled, while still hoping to find a way to bring her back.

Haven: Season 5, Volume 1Meanwhile, a doctor, Charlotte Cross (Laura Mennell) enters the picture. Can they keep the truth of the town hidden, and does she hold the answers they’ve been seeking, or is she out to destroy Haven?

I really liked the first half of season five of the series. While I missed Audrey, I enjoyed watching Rose turn into Mara. Although a bit over the top at times, the character is deliciously evil, and you can see how much fun the actress has with the personality shift.

It was also nice to see the others get more emotional scenes this season, from Bryant’s pain over losing Audrey and his refusal to give up, to Balfour’s turmoil over Jennifer (Emma Lehana). Adam Copeland also got some meatier scenes this season, and it was great to see him get a love interest with Charlotte.

I also enjoyed the return of Seth Byrne (Kris Lemche) and Chris Brody (Jason Priestly).

However, the highlight of the season, for me, has to be with the body switching in episodes five and six. I have always loved Jayne Eastwood as Gloria, Haven’s coroner, but this season especially. She and Copeland were hilarious in their reverse portrayals. It was of course also fantastic to see Bryant and Balfour reverse roles, who both kept me laughing as well, as did the rest of the swaps.

Haven has always been one of my favorite Syfy series, and season five is no different. This set is definitely worth it.

Special Features:

Audio Commentaries
– Each episode, except for the finale, contains commentary with the cast and/or crew, talking about filming and/or production.

   * Episode 1 – See No Evil – Director/Executive Producer Shawn Piller, Executive
      Producer Lloyd Segan

   * Episode 2 – Speak No Evil – Director/Executive Producer Shawn Piller, Executive
      Producer Lloyd Segan

   * Episode 3 – Spotlight
– Actors Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant

   * Episode 4 – Much Ado About Mara – Actors Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant

   * Episode 5 – The Old Switcheroo – Part 1 – Actors Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant

   * Episode 6 – The Old Switcheroo – Part 2 – Actor Adam Copeland, Writer Adam

   * Episode 7 – Nowhere Man – Writers Brian Millikan, Nick Parker

   * Episode 8 – Exposure
– Writers Brian Millikan, Nick Parker

   * Episode 9 – Morbidity – Writers Speed Weed, Adam Higgs

   * Episode 10 – Mortality – Writers Speed Weed, Adam Higgs

   * Episode 11 – Reflections – Writers Shernold Edwards, Y. Shireen Razack

   * Episode 12 – Chemistry – Writers Shernold Edwards, Y. Shireen Razack

Inside Haven Featurettes
– There are thirteen featurettes, one for each episode, each between two and five minutes long. They mostly show the actors Lucas Bryan, Emily Rose, and Eric Balfour talking about filming the episodes, interspersed with clips. Some of the featurettes include other actors as well. There is also a lot of joking around, which is fun to watch.

   * Episode 1 - Some highlights in this featurette are Rose talking about the
      excitement of playing Mara. Bryan also talks about Mara shooting Nathan.

   * Episode 2 – Balfour talks about the challenges of shooting emotional scenes and
      Bryant jokes around.

   * Episode 3 – This featurette focuses on discussing the scene filmed in the cabin
      with Mara and Nathan. Rose also talks about playing Audrey trying to rise up out
      of Mara.

   * Episode 4 – The actors talk about Balfour speaking gibberish in the episode. Rose
      also discusses Mara’s evilness, and she and Copeland talk about Mara hurting him
      talking about his daughter’s death.

   * Episode 5 – This featurette also features Eastwood. Most of the piece is She and
      Copeland talking about switching bodies and what it took to play each other.

   * Episode 6 – Some highlights of this one are Bryant and Balfour talking about body
      switching. Bryant jokes around about drawing inspiration from Balfour’s bottom,
      which is hilarious. They also discuss Mara splitting in two.

   * Episode 7 – The actors talk about Audrey returning, as well as the reunion
      between her and Nathan. Bryant talks about not Nathan not being able to feel
      Audrey anymore.

   * Episode 8 – Balfour talks about working with Rose as Mara. The actress discusses
      Mara’s motivation and how she is fascinated by Duke.

   * Episode 9 – Copeland and Mennell talk about Dwight and Charlotte and their
      relationship. John Dunsworth, who plays Dave, also chimes in.

   * Episode 10 – This featurette focusses on the scenes where Mara kills a troubled
      man because Duke hesitates, and their subsequent discussion driving away.
      Balfour discusses how Mara is actually straight forward rather than manipulative
      in this case. Mennell talks about shooting a gun and enjoying her scene with

   * Episode 11 – Balfour talks about Duke feeling abandoned by his friends. Bryant
      tells a funny anecdote about a member of the sound department.

   * Episode 12 – Copeland and his real-life childhood friend and fellow professional
      wrestler Jay Reso, who plays McHugh, talk about working together on scenes.
      They and the other actors also joke around.

   * Episode 13 – Mennell talks about the truths that were blended between
      Charlotte’s lies at the beginning, such as her feelings for Dwight. Copeland talks
      about Dwight losing trust. Balfour talks about his character’s growth.

Haven Origins: Witches are Born – This web series takes place in 1698 and follows a pregnant woman as she is chased by men who have accused her as being a witch. As she runs away from them they are attacked by the landscape around them. Eventually she is saved by a man who takes her to a haven where they can accept what she is.

Haven Origins: Native Breaks Free
– This web series follows a native during the war of 1812 who has been captured by the British. They are testing out the idea of using him as a weapon against the Americans: when they beat him to force him to scream, it kills everyone around who do not have their ears protected. He is later rescued by a man who takes him to a haven for God’s orphans.

Packaging – The discs come in the normal blue clamshell case with wrap around insert, the back of which lists the episode numbers, titles, and short description by disc. This is one thing I love about Entertainment One’s sets. It also of course lists the bonus features, including commentaries. Each disc contains four episodes, except the last, which holds the thirteenth episode and bonus features.

Final Thoughts - In conclusion, Haven: Season 5, Volume 1 is a great set for fans. There isn’t a lot in the way of bonus features, but if you love commentaries, you’re in for a treat, and the “Inside Haven” featurettes, even though short, are really enjoyable. It’s always fun to watch the cast of Haven joke around together. If you haven’t seen the series before, it’s a excellent series that’s worth a watch. You can jump right into season five, though I recommend watching the other seasons first if you can. I highly recommend this title and can’t wait to see the back half of the season, premiering October 6th on Syfy.

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