Get ready for Evil Audrey: Everything we know about season five of Syfy's Haven

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Sep 9, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

The Syfy series Haven had been on a slow burn with its mythology up until last season, but all that changed with some massive reveals and a gut-punching cliffhanger. So where do Audrey, Nathan and Duke go next?

We’re looking forward to finding out, and thankfully for Haven fans, we should get some answers later this week when season five premieres on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. on Syfy.

No matter where they take things in season five, fans can take solace in knowing there’s still a whole lot of Haven on the way. Instead of bringing the series back for its typical 13-episode season, the network opted to order a super-sized 26-episode season — which’ll be split between this year and 2015. So, basically, that adds up to two seasons still waiting in the wings.

Looking back at Haven’s humble beginnings, it’s crazy to think this series got its start as a little case-of-the-week spinoff loosely based on Stephen King’s novella The Colorado Kid. It’s come a long way since then and has managed to weave in a mythology that fits the narrative of the show and actually answers some of the deeper questions at the heart of the series.

That cliffhanger was crazy, but how did we get here?

In a nutshell, Haven focuses on a young cop named Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who arrives in the seaside town of Haven and ends up investigating all kinds of zany cases. Turns out, many of the people living in Haven are afflicted with “Troubles,” which can manifest in all kinds of crazy different powers and abilities.

After a few seasons, we realize Audrey has actually been to Haven before, a few times in fact, as she pops up with a different name every few decades to help quell the Troubles before they destroy the town. So she sticks around to investigate Troubles, with the help of the local police chief, Nathan (Lucas Bryant), and local bad boy with a heart of gold Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour). 

Now, here’s where the mythos comes in: Apparently Audrey used to be an evil woman named Mara, who created the Troubles centuries ago with her evil lover William (Colin Ferguson) just for kicks and giggles using these little black goo things and magic. William returned to modern times hoping to unlock Audrey’s inner Mara, and finally succeeded — but not until he was kicked into a dimensional portal by the gang.

When that happened, Mara finally woke up. And all hell broke loose. The past few seasons of Haven have brought some nice cliffhangers, but season four’s “The Lighthouse” might’ve been the most jaw-dropping yet.

All the action culminates in the town’s central lighthouse, where Nathan manages to knock William into the portal. Once that happens, Duke’s semi-girlfriend Jennifer (Emma Lahana), who is also connected to the mythical Barn that houses Audrey when she is in between stops in Haven, passes out. Oh, and Duke is left infected with Troubles and bleeding from his eyeballs while Mara decides to force the group to help her bring William back to this dimension.

A bit out of left field? Sure. But still fun.

Now that Audrey has gone bad, what happens next?

That’s the question of the day, really, which has left us hanging most of the summer. We didn't get a chance to grill the cast and crew at San Diego Comic-Con, but they have dropped some scattered intel in other places in the off season. 

For one thing, despite the fact that he was bleeding from the eyeballs in the final scene of the season finale, Duke is apparently alive and well in the new season. Which is good, because Duke is arguably the most entertaining character on the show. Balfour teased the first cast photo from season five, and he’s included (and not dead), so that’s a positive sign.

The season premiere is dubbed “See No Evil,” and will reportedly feature a new Trouble that’s silencing townsfolk, in addition to all the Mara craziness. It also seems she’ll be causing some trouble, at least judging by the fact that one of the first stills from season five shows her sneaking up behind Nathan with a gun drawn. Uh-oh.

In an interview with Zap2it, Rose teased how Mara is a very different character than Audrey:

“They are very separate. We put some blonde streaks in Mara's hair to have a bit of residual Audrey, but personality-wise they are very different in how they deal with people. Mara doesn't have a filter at all -- she will push all buttons and revel publicly in how much she is enjoying pushing those buttons … Audrey is very virtuous, and fun in her relationship with Nathan, how she enjoys giving him a hard time. Mara however has been very refreshing to play because she has such a big, manipulative personality. She loves messing with everyone and also enjoys the journey.”

Fellow star Bryant also offered up some thoughts on how the new season will affect things from Nathan’s perspective to Crave Online, and though he wouldn’t go into any major details, he did tease that the next season will take some unexpected twists:

“We left Season 4 with Nathan throwing Colin Ferguson down a hole, and this was supposed to be a good thing… it is a good thing but it seems to have opened up a can of worms that was unexpected. Now all of the characters are picking up the pieces.”

Some things we know, and things we don’t, about casting

Aside from the core cast of Rose, Bryant and Balfour — plus the rundown townsfolk we’ve gotten to know along the way — we don’t know a whole lot about exactly who else will be back in season five. Considering that part of the arc will revolve around Mara trying to bring William (Ferguson) back to this dimension, it stands to reason we could potentially see him again.

We do know a bit more about where Lahana's Jennifer stands in season five, because Balfour confirmed on Twitter that the actress has decided not to return due to personal reasons. Exactly what that means for the character of Jennifer? We don’t know. But we’d think it’s probably not good.

The one new casting addition we do know about is a face that should be familiar for Syfy fans. TV Line reported a while back that Laura Mennell (seen in the above photo), who played Nina on Alphas, will be heading to Haven in a recurring status.

She’ll be playing Dr. Erin Reid, a brilliant epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who uncovers a genetic marker found only in Troubled people. Adding a scientific take on Troubles could be an interesting angle, and we’re curious to see where that goes.