The Widening Gyre
Audrey's having a nightmare that Duke is now a full fledged Crocker Killer and that he's kidnapped her and taken her to her father, Croatoan, who's also Duke's boss. Sounds awful, right? It's all made worse when Audrey wakes up and realizes that her nightmare has come true. As she's trying to escape the attic of the quaint little cottage that's also her prison, Croatoan walks in, offers her breakfast, tells her to call him dad and then shuts the door telepathically just so she knows he means business.
Meanwhile, Nathan has been trying to catch Duke by having The Guard wrangle together Troubled people, which they can use as bait, since Duke's now got an insatiable hunger for Troubled blood. Once captured, they plan to make him spill Croatoan's evil plans. Amid their scheming, Duke shows up and the guys are able to chain him with shackles that were made for Hailie's (of the phasing Trouble) great grandfather so he can't break away.
Over at the Haven Herald, Vince, who's still (understandably) grieving Dave's death, is having a chat with Agent Howard about how he can stop the Troubles once and for all. We've heard this before, but it's like for real this time because there are only three episodes left, including this one, guys! So, anyway, Agent Howard tells Vince that once the aether core is repaired, it can act as a power source that pulls all aether and Croatoan into The Barn and away into the abyss forever. The caveat is that Agent Howard was "compromised" back at the police station.
Vince berates Agent Howard and calls him faulty artificial intelligence, which is kind of mean. But get this; Agent Howard quips that he's more than just AI, he was once a man. He lived in the same world as Charlotte, Mara and Croatoan centuries ago and when Mara created the Troubles, Agent Howard was the one who captured her and created The Barn to keep her locked up. By design, The Barn required a dedicated warden. After seeing the damage Mara could do, Agent Howard sacrificed his life so that he could protect his own family and other innocent people from Mara's ways. But when he was compromised, it wiped out his sense of purpose and without his personal connection to The Barn Agent Howard can't be the controller. So then, Vince decides that he wants to sacrifice his own life to serve as the controller of the new Barn.
Nathan tries to give Duke a second chance by trying to draw out the "real Duke" who Nathan still thinks is lurking beneath the black eyes and killer talk. It's all very early Season 5 when Nathan spent episodes trying to unearth Audrey's personality that was buried beneath Mara's meanness. Duke is pretty set on being awful even when Nathan tries to make him remember he and Audrey's Colorado trip. You know, the one where they kissed.
Croatoan gives Audrey some weak spiel and non-apology about why he killed Charlotte and her son, James. After all this, Audrey asks him for some coffee, which we think is random until we realize that she wanted him to leave the room so she could find a weapon – in this case a wooden post from her bed's headboard – to stab him with. And stab him she does – in the neck! But, like any super villain who can control the Troubles he takes from people at will, Croatoan heals himself and then breaks Audrey's arm with his bare hands. Ouch!! But then he resets the bone, because you know he's not a complete monster. #sarcasm
Then, Croatoan tells Audrey that when she was a little girl she was super sick with something that no one could find a cure for so he had the bright idea to cure her with aether and it worked. Croatoan's like, "I made you" and we're like, "ew". But Audrey's more mature than us so she realizes that Croatoan's come back for her and is telling her all these "Once upon a time" stories for a higher purpose– he needs her. Croatoan wants her to make Troubles – he can absorb 'em but he can't create Troubles - and then go back to their dimension together to wreck havoc on everyone, particularly those who were responsible for banishing him to The Void. Oh and he also wants to destroy Haven before they leave. Audrey pleads for him to spare Nathan's life by dropping the "d" bomb on him—dad. So Croatoan makes her an offer she can't refuse. She can either leave with him willingly, or he'll turn Haven back into a happy place but then pull the rug from everyone by making it an extra unhappy place again. He's got a flair for the dramatic, that Croatoan. He even reunites Dwight with his daughter, Lizzie, who was killed as a result of his bullet attracting Trouble.
Meanwhile Nathan's still trying to play Captain save a Duke but it's not working and when McHugh brings the Trouble Census to the police station, Duke breaks free of his chains, knock McHugh out cold, decks Nathan and takes the Census. He's been playing Nathan all along. Later, Nathan goes looking for Vince at the Haven Herald and finds him, but in a very different form. Vince is now the controller of The Barn and he's got a plan for getting rid of Croatoan –for reals!