A theme that's popped up in two shows I'm currently watching involves multiple personas inhabiting the same body. Both Haven and Intruders raise the question which persona should be dominant.

The idea of sharing a body isn't new. You can point to the Trill, the Goa'uld and the Tok'ra for starters. Maybe because Haven and Intruders aren't about traveling to other worlds* I'm looking at the body sharing differently. (ETA: Dollhouse covers this idea too. If you haven't seen it it's worth a watch.) I can't discuss this idea without dropping serious spoilers for both Haven and Intruders so consider this your spoiler warning.


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Audrey or Mara?

To summarize four seasons of Haven backstory, Audrey Parker is the most recent persona** imposed on the woman who was originally Mara. As a punishment for causing the Troubles, Mara has had a new identity imposed on her every twenty-seven years and she returns to Haven to help people with Troubles. Recently Mara was able to regain control of her body. But creepy obsessive Nathan is trying to bring back Audrey Parker.

Mara is a bad person but was the punishment appropriate? She effectively lost her life when her personality was made dormant. Should Mara be able to live out the rest of her life? Meanwhile Audrey Parker is one of several implanted personas. Is she any more entitled to be the dominant persona than Lucy Ripley, Sarah Vernon or any of the other implanted personas? Is she more entitled than Mara, the original personality?

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Two souls, one body

On Intruders we find out that everybody has two souls. For the vast majority of people the second soul remains dormant. Souls return randomly but the secret society Qui Reverti has discovered how to find and trigger dormant souls who can take control of their bodies.

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In Amy and Madison we see two struggles for control. In both cases the second soul is an unpleasant person so we sympathize with the first dominant soul. But what about the dormant soul of someone like Gandhi or Einstein? Would that make it more acceptable for a second soul to take over?

Do all identities have equal value or should some be valued over others? If so, which ones? While both shows raise the philosophical questions, each show looks to be heading for different answers. On Haven the Audrey persona is who we're supposed to root for over Mara while on Intruders I doubt many want Marcus to stay in control of Madison.

*Dimensional travel has been introduced in Haven but the show is still almost exclusively takes place in and around the town of Haven. While Stargate does take place in the present a lot of time is spent off world.

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**Yes, she briefly became Lexie DeWitt but the Audrey persona reasserted itself so Audrey Parker was the last one before Mara took over.