Season 4 of “Haven” kicked off Friday, but we still don’t have nifty new promos for the new season, so we’ll keep re-purposing the stuff from last season. What’s up with that Syfy?

Haven” kicked off its new season Friday night — Friday the 13th — but fans of the show considered themselves lucky to get back to the sleepy Maine town and see what happened to Duke (Eric Balfour) after he went into the barn to try to save Audrey (Emily Rose) at the end of Season 3. The montage to bring us up to date from last season left us with an image of poor Nathan (Lucas Bryant) with tears rolling down his cheeks.

That was seriously sad.

But we picked up with Duke in The Barn, which of course, only looks like a barn on the outside, but is really just a big white room on the inside. (Yeah, if you haven’t seen the show before, that’s a little confusing but just work with me.) So the white room was disintegrating with Duke in it, and what appeared to be black holes or time portals were popping up on the walls as Duke frantically called out for Audrey.

Then Duke got sucked into a portal and found himself in deep water… literally. Seems Duke portalled to the interior of a big fish tank at the zoo. In Boston.

Yeah I know it’s hard to keep up with but once again just try to stay with me.

A mystery woman saw Duke pleading for Audrey on the television news as he was hauled away in handcuffs, and she quickly left her apartment with a sense of purpose.

So Duke was in handcuffs in the hospital, which, let’s be honest: Duke in handcuffs is probably not terribly unfamiliar to him. He finds out that six months have passed since he was in The Barn, and he has been presumed to be dead. (Call me crazy but isn’t it seven years before you’re presumed dead? Boy, his friends sure wrote him off quick!) So anyway, Duke was handcuffed and not going anywhere till he hears he has a visitor named Audrey.

Imagine his surprise when the mysterious woman walks in instead of Audrey.

Turns out this new character has a Trouble of her own: Jennifer (Emma Lahana) was somehow able to overhear the voices of everyone at The Barn and knows what happened. She thought she was crazy, and was even diagnosed as schizophrenic, but we all know it’s just a little bit “special” rather than crazy.

And I don’t mean special in a short yellow bus kinda way, but a “Haven” kinda way.

So Jennifer helps Duke pick the locks of his handcuffs and orchestrates an escape from the hospital. Which is a good thing because back at the ranch in Haven, so to speak, things have gone to hell in a handbasket. Weather has been crazy unpredictable: Freak thunderstorms, sudden bursts of gale strength winds and freak tornadoes run amok.

Plus Nathan has gone AWOL from the town and is a bit different than we last remember him. Now he lets bikers pay to punch him, which when you think about it… I mean, he doesn’t really feel anything anyway so it’s not really that big of a deal right? But he’s also sporting a beard and a little rough around the edges. And by rough I mean… bad rough, not manly, five o’clock shadow rough in a Marlboro Man way.

So anyway we get a reunion between Duke and Nathan and it’s “The Hug” Part Deaux. All together now… “Ahhhhhhhhhh!”

Okay, now this is the part that does confuse me a bit. First, I find it a little odd that the first thing Nathan does when he gets back with Duke is shave. But okay, even if you go along with that, how does he shave yet still somehow have the fashionably chic five o’clock shadow thing going right after shaving? Hmmm, writers? Hello continuity people? Get with the program, ‘kay?

And that was just the first 10 minutes of the dang episode. Whew, I’m tired already. And I can hear you saying, “But what about Audrey?”

Well, we cut to a seedy bar where a bar waitress was telling a guy she can’t serve him a “screaming orgasm” because this is a real bar that doesn’t serve “frat boy” drinks. “But the other waitress gave me one,” he protests. So the waitress asked her coworker if she gave him a screaming orgasm and lo and behold there she was… Ms. Audrey, who is now “Lexi,” and confirms, “Well, he asked so nice how could I say no?”

So we get to see the new Audrey/Lexi and we also get an introduction to the character that Colin Ferguson is playing (William) this season who appears in the bar seems to know a lot more about Lexi than she knows about herself. Although, shall we say, Lexi seems to be rather brazenly letting him know she’d like to get to know a little more about him, if you know what I mean. AT least until he tried to tell her who she really is… that didn’t go over too well.

Who is this imposter that looks like a rocker/metal chick version of the former FBI agent we all know and love?

Anyway, so now Duke and Nathan have to join forces to try to find Audrey/Lexi and to help the town with their bizarre weather episodes. Fortunately for them, they have the help of the new chief, Dwight (Adam Copeland) ,who brings Nathan back as a detective so he can kind of have free reign yet utilize police resources.

The first problem the Nathan/Duke/Jennifer power trio run into is their old problems with The Guard, who want to kill Nathan. But thanks to logic – – the fact that Nathan has to be killed by Audrey to ultimately save the town – – helps persuade them not to kill him. That and the fact that Dwight takes off his bulletproof vest so if they shoot at Nathan, bullet-magnet Dwight dies.

But the uneasy alliance is disrupted when a freak tornado bears down on them, so they must deal with the weather issues going on. Now, if you’ve seen the pilot episode, you know that these weather outbursts aren’t exactly new to Haven. One person was responsible for the weather outbursts, before: Marion Caldwell.

When we last left her, her anger at the man who had used her to steal her money was tamed by realizing she and her friend Conrad were destined to be more than friend. But that has changed.

Marion and Conrad seemed destined to live happily ever after, but when Nathan goes to her house to check on her, he discovers it encased in frost inside as Marion sits in a chair, shivering. She told Nathan how Conrad — who sites frozen in a chair of his own — had died of an apparent heart attack, and her anguish brought her Trouble back with a vengeance. She turns her rage to Nathan, blaming him for her Trouble, but he convinces her she it’s not his or her fault, and there is nothing that could have been done to save Conrad. storms.

This segment where Marion breaks down, but then lets go of Conrad… We see the thick clouds slowly starting to clear and the music was perfectly matched to the mood. It was another reminder of the sense of melancholy and loss that often runs through the show, but the hope that remains despite the Troubles. And that at the heart of all the plot twists and turns, it’s the personal relationships that define the essence of “Haven.” And the way they turn to each other to cope with their suffering.

Just stellar.

Honestly, there’s so much that happens in this episode, a true recap would be longer than the novella the show is based on. You really need to watch it, but you know that already, right?

So, to summarize: Audrey is now Lexi, Nathan and Duke are reunited and it feels so good, Jennifer is their new sidekick, and sadly, the Teagues’ Mystery Machine was a casualty of Marion’s rage. Dang, we loved that van. And, oh yes, we find out at the end of the episode that Duke’s brother is back in town and has opened up a bar. And Duke seems somewhat less than thrilled about this.

Check out photos from the episode below and tune in next Friday for the next installment in the epic saga of “Haven” on the Syfy channel.

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