True love is hard. Like, really really hard. If television and movies have taught us nothing else, it’s that if you’re destined to be with someone, destiny is not going to make it easy for you. We’ve previously tracked the will-they/won’t-they struggles of iconic Scully and Mulder in The X-FIles, the dimension-bending identity crisis that was Fringe's Polivia, and the star-crossed love of John and Aeryn in Farscape. Today, though, we’re taking a trip to Haven, Maine.
Haven is a town with capital-T Troubles. It’s a dangerous place to live, but every 27 years a mysterious woman arrives to make things just a little bit safer, a little bit brighter. She’s there for a while and then she disappears only to repeat it all over again. This time, though, things are different, because this time the mysterious woman is Audrey Parker, and there’s this cop named Nathan, and if you thought John and Aeryn went through a lot to be together then you’ve never seen Haven.
Don’t believe me? Then just pop over to Netflix and allow me to guide you along the beautiful, torturous road that is the Audrey/Nathan relationship. I’m sorry, and you’re welcome.
"Welcome to Haven" (S1, E1)
The episode that started it all. FBI agent Audrey Parker is sent to the town of Haven, Maine where she immediately meets Officer Nathan Wuornos, a very handsome local cop with a strange affliction: he cannot feel. The two of them have an immediate spark and a great repartee as Nathan introduces Audrey to his odd hometown full of people suffering from The Troubles and the rest, as they say, is history. Or it’s the rest of this list.
"As You Were" (S1, E9)
Audrey’s birthday rolls around and her friends in Haven put together quite the little shindig at a nearby lighthouse. Of course, things aren’t all they seem, and the group finds themselves mistrusting each other when they learn there’s a skinwalker among them. Nathan is the only one who figures out it’s Audrey since Audrey is the only one he can feel. A kiss can tell you a lot. Too bad Audrey doesn’t remember any of it.
"Spiral" (S1, E13)
The cracks that nearly killed Audrey at the start of the season are beginning to rip Haven apart and Audrey and Nathan have to race against time to find out where they’re coming from. Add to that some pretty serious family drama for Nathan when his biological father returns from Shawshank Prison to wreak a little havoc and no one is in a very good place. But shared experiences and fears and trauma can certainly bring two people closer together, and for Audrey and Nathan, watching your father literally explode in front of you AND discovering you’re actually a woman who disappears and reappears every 27 years, each time as an entirely different person, are some serious shared traumas.
"Fear and Loathing" (S2, E2)
Only a few small moments in this one, but the evolution of a relationship is built on small moments. Like Nathan, his Trouble taken away by a troubled man who needed it for his own gain, giving up the ability to feel in order to help a teenage girl. His selflessness is core to his personality, and Audrey’s instinct to comfort him with her own touch — the only touch he can feel with his Trouble — is core to both her personality and their relationship.
"Audrey Parker’s Day Off" (S2, E6)
Audrey’s got a boyfriend and it’s … Jason Priestley? These will-they/won’t-they deals there have to be a few false starts, and Chris is the biggest thorn in Nathan’s side. This episode, though, is about the thorn in Audrey’s side, a day that keeps repeating itself as the men she loves keep dying in front of her; Duke and Chris and Nathan, over and over again until she figures out how to fix it. Nathan’s death is heart wrenching and terrible, especially when he tells her that her touch is the only thing he can feel, even as he’s bleeding to death on the ground. Man, shippers really love a good heartbreak.
"Business as Usual" (S2, E12)
Nathan and Audrey have to investigate a series of murders where the bodies are mysteriously mummified. It’s all terrible and interesting but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for the FEELINGS and hooboy. At the end of this one, Nathan finally admits that he cares about Audrey as more than just his crime-solving police partner. Meanwhile, he also confesses to some extracurricular investigation into Lucy Ripley, the women Audrey was 27 years previous. When she hears this, though, Audrey isn’t upset, she’s elated. She plants one on him before running off to learn about her past.
"Sins of the Fathers" (S2, E13)
Everyone in Haven has daddy issues, or at least that’s how it feels when both Duke and Nathan start seeing their dearly departed dads walking around along with a whole slew of other deceased former Havenites. Audrey is the only one who can’t see them, surprisingly, and as Duke and Nathan are forced to confront their fathers’ less-than-stellar pasts and what that means for their future, Audrey and Nathan finally push themselves closer together. They even make plans to finally have dinner (pancakes, of course). Naturally, though, Audrey is kidnapped before the meal can take place.
"301" (S3, E1)
Audrey’s kidnapping sends Nathan on a tear but while he’s searching for her, she’s tied up in a basement learning some surprising things about her past. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Or maybe it drives people apart. When Nathan and Duke finally find her, Audrey immediately runs to him and it seems like they might finally be moving in the right direction. But Audrey also thinks Lucy may have loved the Colorado Kid, which brings up a whole lot more questions.
"Magic Hour" (S3, E7/8)
Things get mighty confusing in this two-parter as Nathan and Tommy, the new guy, track down a Troubled person who is bringing folks back to life for a ransom. Meanwhile, Audrey and Duke are investigating the Colorado Kid and things get a little steamy on the other side of the country. When Nathan ends up getting shot, Audrey has to team up with a whole bunch of different murders in order to save his life. Oh, and she finally admits she loves him, if only to his lifeless body.
"Sarah" (S3, E9)
What do you do when you’re accidentally zapped back in time to 1955 and run into a previous version of the supernatural woman you’re not-so-secretly in love with? Obviously to team up with her, the titular Sarah, to solve a Trouble and get yourself back home, though, not before you have a romantic meal on the beach which turns into a little something more. It’s definitely creepy, but also romantic in a “you’re using this version of Audrey to be with Audrey while also not being with AUDREY” kind of way.
"Thanks for the Memories" (S3, E13)
You know what else happened in 1955? Nathan got Sarah pregnant is what happened, and with the man who would later become known as the Colorado Kid. Talk about your timey-wimey family trees. Anyway, their son is now out and walking around in the world because the mysterious Barn has reappeared and dropped him off. If you don't know if the Barn, IT'S COMPLICATED, but basically it's a supernatural vessel that holds Audrey inside the void between worlds and appears when she has to go away. Audrey goes inside the Barn, it disappears and it takes the Troubles with her for 27 years until she comes back again. Audrey knows she has to go into the Barn, but that won’t stop her from trying to find another way to stick around. And she finds one. She has to kill the person she loves most. Three guesses who that is. Audrey is unwilling to kill Nathan and the whole thing ends with a heartbreaking goodbye and an even more heartbreaking finale as Nathan accidentally destroys the Barn.
"Lost and Found" (S4, E4)
Nathan, Duke, new arrival Jennifer, and the Guard are very concerned with finding out where Audrey is and getting her back, but for very different reasons. Nathan has promised that if they find her, he will force her to kill him, thus ending the Troubles for good. Meanwhile, Lexie, the girl who was once Audrey, is going through her own terrible experience in a mystical bar that is tearing itself to pieces. A man named William tells her that she can go back to Haven, but who she is when she gets there depends on who she most wants to be. When she finally arrives back home, Nathan plans to fulfill his promise, but there’s a problem. The woman who arrives is not Audrey … or is she?
"Countdown" (S4, E6)
A slip of the tongue while working a new case proves to Nathan that the woman who returned really was Audrey, not Lexie and they are very excited about this. Turns out, Audrey really did want to come back as herself, since she was coming back to people who loved that version. But when she arrived to find the man she loved determined to die, she thought it was better for both of them if she just kept pretending. They decide to keep up the facade in order to spare Nathan’s life and continue trying to find a different way to end the Troubles.
"Crush" (S4, E8)
Of course, they can’t exactly keep their hands off each other. They’re in love, dammit, and they want to smush their faces together and also some other bits. Then again, no sooner do they decide to finally, finally be together with all the smushing and the bits and all the pancakes they could want, do they encounter a man willing to die to save his brother from a Trouble and realize they’re being selfish. Audrey must kill Nathan, only it turns out what was once their salvation may now be their doom.
"The Trouble with Troubles" (S4, E9)
Audrey wasn’t the only one who made it out of the Barn. William came too, and he is not a good guy. Actually, he’s the literal WORST, and to make matters as bad as possible, he’s also someone powerful and dangerous and very much from Audrey’s past. He knows who she really is, who she was before all this started, and he says they love each other. Oh, also, he and Audrey are trapped in an alternate version of Haven where the Troubles never happened and everything is very weird. At first, it sucks, especially because Nathan is married with a kid, but when Audrey sees how happy he is, she feels content to keep things like this. That is until William gives her no other choice.
"Spotlight" (S5, E3)
Audrey is gone and her original personality, the very very evil Mara, has taken her place. Nathan is determined to bring back the woman he loves, so he grabs her and hides them both in a secluded location important to him and Audrey. This all seems very stupid until he discovers that speaking to Mara as though she is Audrey actually brings Audrey out. True love is a powerful thing.
"The Old Switcheroo" (S5, E5/6)
Lots more secrets about Haven are revealed in this two-parter, but what we really want to know is what’s going on with Audrey. Nathan has convinced Duke to help and the two go about the dangerous task of trying to force Audrey back as the dominant personality. Does it work? OF COURSE, BECAUSE THEY ARE IN LOVE. Also, there are a lot of episodes left. (Okay, so it's only sorta works, cause technically Duke split Audrey and Mara into different people but LET ME HAVE THIS.)
"Exposure" (S5, E8)
Nathan disappears to a ghostly plane and Audrey brings in Seth, a paranormal investigator, to help find him. While any episode with Seth is great, and an invisible Nathan is always interesting, it’s the end of the episode that shows the latest step in the Nathan/Audrey relationship. Once again burdened by guilt, Nathan wonders if they’re being too selfish trying to keep her safe from the Guard, but Audrey assures him that they’ve been through enough. It’s okay for them to be a little selfish. They love each other, and they deserve to be together. They’ll find another way to fix things.
"Chosen" (S5, E13)
So, Audrey and Mara are still in separate bodies, which is great, except for the fact that it's slowly killing Audrey. Oh, and there's a woman named Charlotte in town who we originally thought worked for the CDC, but who was ACTUALLY Mara's (and therefore Audrey's ... sorta) mom. Charlotte tells Audrey that the only way to save her is to merge her with Mara again. Audrey will technically cease to exist, but part of her will still live on within Mara, and, Charlotte hopes, might help to make Mara whole again, make her a little less evil. Once again, Nathan and Audrey face the likelihood that they will be torn apart, and once again, they face it with tears, and denial, and anger, and a lot of heartfelt speechifying. The big twist, though, is that Charlotte ultimately chooses Audrey, allowing her to assimilate Mara instead of the other way around, and offering them all another chance at happiness. For about 5 minutes.
"Close to Home"/"A Matter of Time" (S5, E21)
Once Audrey is back in control of her own body, she and Nathan are just together and with the race to the finish that is the second half of the season, every episode is both important to their relationship and not important at all. If you’re watching for the first time, you should just watch the whole thing. If this is a rewatch, though, you can skip right near the end for this two-parter, where Nathan gets stuck in an alternate plane and is forced to team up with William to stay alive. Never fun when you have to spend time with your girlfriend’s ex. Even less fun when he’s the super evil ex-boyfriend of your supernatural girlfriend’s extremely evil previous personality.
"Now/Forever" (S5, E25/26)
In the two-part season finale, everything finally comes to a head. The biggest challenge, though? Audrey’s father, Croatoan (William Shatner, naturally) has come to take his daughter back into the Barn and he’s sent Nathan, his only real threat, far away with his truck and an Audrey copy. While Nathan struggles to regain his memories and return to her and to Haven, Audrey learns the terrible truth: she cannot stay. The Barn requires love, and she must return. One gut-wrenching goodbye and a beautiful speech later, and the Troubles have gone away forever, but so has Audrey.
Not so fast, though. She isn’t about to let her happy ending slip away entirely. While she knows she cannot return to Haven as Audrey Parker, that doesn’t mean she and Nathan can’t be together. Meanwhile, a strange woman arrives in Haven, her name is Paige and she has a very familiar face, and an infant son named James, and there might just be something between her and Nathan.