This week’s pivotal episode opens with Nathan (Lucas Bryant) questioning Dave (John Dunsworth) in his old office. Dave insists he’s being possessed by Croatoan and isn’t aware of what he’s doing. He then admits, to Nathan’s horror, that he believes he might have also killed James, the Colorado Kid (Nathan’s son). Dave adds there was a strange woman on the beach that day, who disappeared through a thinny, just before he was pulled into it.
Nathan realizes this thinny could still be there and may a way into the void. We then find Nathan and Audrey (Emily Rose), walking hand in hand near where James’ body was found. They discuss what Dave said and Nathan concludes that he must go back to 1983 to learn about this mystery woman and see how she was able to create thinnies.
At the former HPD, Audrey has brought in Stuart Mosley. Nathan tells Vince (Richard Donat) of his plan to use Stuart to go back to the day of the Colorado kid murder. Vince has sketched a picture of the woman Dave saw, but asks to go with Nathan, since he remembers that time period. Audrey is immune to Stuart’s trouble, so she can’t go. Instead, she gives Nathan a fake FBI badge to use as a means to gain access to police intel and a warning to not interfere with the past.
Elsewhere, Duke (Eric Balfour) is in a hotel room when 4 official looking men bust in and wrestle him to the ground. He thinks it’s about the bank robbery, but it isn’t. After they go through his belongings, they tell him they’ve been tracking him for some time.
In Haven, Nathan walks in and surprises Mr. Mosley as Vince is questioning him. In a flash, they’re transported back to 1983 HPD and into a room where a boy stands holding a camera. He snaps a Polaroid of the two men, which Nathan immediately confiscates. “We’re from the Government aaannd we need that photo!”
The men split up. Vince leaves to keep Dave away from the beach, while Nathan spies a young Garland through an open door. He’s taken aback, when he sees Lucy standing rather close to his father. Nathan stutters out that he’s looking for the woman in the sketch he presents, as a somewhat curious Lucy studies him.
Garland asks who he is and Nathan states he’s Nathan Butterworth (syrup reference!) of the FBI and flashes the badge Audrey made him. Garland needs to escort his “ladyfriend” out first, but as they exit, Lucy tells Garland the picture is of a troubled woman named Barbara Colton. Garland promises to handle the situation, while Lucy goes to say goodbye to her son and advise him to leave Haven, before she enters the barn.
Back with Duke, now cuffed to the bed and questioning his captors. He asks what they want, they admit they aren’t from the government. Duke yells for help, until one of them punches him unconscious.
In Haven, Garland brings Nathan some coffee and tells him he has a son with the same name. Nathan asks if he’s a good kid and Garland answers with, “sometimes,” though he likes to sit his butt on his desk, just as older Nathan was doing. Nathan suggests, “maybe he just wants to be closer to his dad,” to which Garland scoffs.
Garland asks what the woman in the picture has done. Nathan says it’s confidential. When Garland leaves to do some checking, the boy with the camera approaches Nathan and asks if he can help him get his stolen camera back from Duke Crocker. Nathan is delighted to tell the boy where Duke hides his stolen stuff!
Outside, in the hallway, Lucy is on the phone, telling James she has to leave and asking if he’d meet her for one last walk on the beach. After she hangs up, Garland tells her something is up with this FBI agent and asks Lucy to stall Nathan, as he does some digging.
Elsewhere, Vince, posing as a literary agent, approaches young Dave. Vince tries to convince Dave to get out of town. Young Dave catches on quickly, suddenly realizing he’s talking to Vince and calls him on it.
Back at the old HPD, Nathan is doing some snooping. He quickly locates Barbara Colton’s file and address, just before Lucy walks in on him. He claims to be looking for a pen, so she offers him hers. Once their hands touch, Lucy feels something and asks him, “what just happened?” He is stammering again and tries to make his way out of the office, while keeping his distance. He even leaves the pen on a sill, before hightailing it out.
After Nathan leaves, Lucy discovers the file and calls to warn Barbara. Nathan arrives at Barbara’s residence shortly thereafter and notices she’s got a ring identical to his as she conjures up a thinny and disappears. Just as suddenly, she reappears outside through another one. Nathan begins to follow, but Garland stops him at gun point and demands to know who he really is. Nathan has no choice but to admit to a shocked Garland that he’s his son.
After Garland is satisfied that Nathan is telling the truth, they discuss what’s happening and their own turbulent relationship. Nathan begins to understand why the chief was always so hard on him. He was preparing him for things to come. Nathan acknowledges he never gave his dad credit for all he did for him, but Garland smiles and says, “I guess you just did.”
At the door, Lucy overhears their conversation regarding what Howard told Garland. Killing the one she loves, ends the troubles. Nathan thinks it’s Garland, but Garland says, “maybe I was once, but it’s her son (James).” Lucy leaves in tears before hearing Nathan tell Garland that killing the one she loves means all the troubled will die.
Garland notices Lucy’s car leaving and they run outside. Garland needs to find Barbara and Nathan must stop Lucy. Garland offers Nathan a ride, but Nathan spots the Bronco, currently owned by someone else, across the street. He tells Garland that it won’t belong to that guy forever and he coincidentally knows how to hotwire it. Garland chuckles and says, “Damn, I did an outstanding job training you!”
Lucy shows up at Dave’s house and asks him what he’d be willing to sacrifice to end the troubles. Dave admits he doesn’t know what he wouldn’t sacrifice to do so, leading Lucy to ask him for a gun. Dave goes back inside and informs Vince. He also decides to face his fear and go after Croatoan, with Vince’s help. Apparently Vince forgot Audrey’s warning.
At the fateful beach, James approaches Lucy. She wants to walk with him and talk before she has to leave. She tells him how he gave her existence purpose and they tell each other they love one another before she asks him to go grab her sweater from the car. As James leaves, Lucy nervously aims her gun at him. Luckily, Nathan arrives and stops her. He also confesses that James is his son and their son together.
As Lucy takes it all in, she says she knew she felt something when they touched. She’s happy because she thinks Nathan came back to save her and James. Sadly, Nathan explains that he didn’t come back to save them. He can’t. He needed to find a way to open a thinny for the future of Haven.
Garland arrives at the beach just after Barbara. She runs through a thinny and creates another one near James. Dave and Vince also arrive, just to have Dave sucked through and possessed by Croatoan as he emerges behind James. Nathan and Lucy are forced to watch in anguish as Dave kills their son.
Nathan comforts her momentarily, but has to leave with Vince, to let things play out as they should. Croatoan sends out a pulse and wipes out memories of all those nearby. Dave then collapses as the aether is drawn from his body into the thinny. After it closes, Dave wakes and flees the beach. Shortly thereafter, we see the young photographer Nathan met, with his retrieved camera, taking the infamous photograph.
Back at the station, Nathan and Vince get Stuart to send them back to current day Haven. Once there, we find a somber Nathan trying to digest all that took place. Audrey is trying to comfort him, while he explains that his dad must have always known he came back. A touching realization which explains a lot.
Nathan tells Audrey they need a Colton and the ring in order to create an entrance into the void to retrieve the controller crystal. Unfortunately, Audrey says she couldn’t locate a Colton anywhere in Haven, but Nathan isn’t discouraged. She thinks his trip back to 1983 didn’t change anything, though he confidently states, “No, it changed everything.”
We rejoin Duke, talking to another suited man, who has been on a 3 decade mission to locate him. The man doesn’t recall Haven, or why he was tracking Duke, but Duke recognizes him as Saul Goodwin, a kid whose camera he stole in elementary school. Duke apologizes as Saul hands him an envelope he’d been holding, then leaves. It’s a letter from Nathan. He tells Duke he’s found a way to end the troubles, but needs him to find a Colton and bring them back to Haven. Duke says, “Hailie.”