Tuesday, 25 June 2013

TRUE BLOOD, 6.2 – 'The Sun'

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

written by Angela Robinson | directed by Daniel Attias

The prospect of sitting down to write a formal review of True Blood every week has finally broken my will, but I'm going to endeavour to jot down thoughts on each episode this season. This will probably amount to the same word-count, so you're really not going to miss too much in terms of reading material. It's just much easier to compile a series of random thoughts about this show, categorised as "truly good", "truly bad" and "truly forgettable".

Truly Good

  • I was pleasantly surprised to find that Rutger Hauer isn't playing Warlow, the ancient vampire that killed Sookie and Jason's parents. The actor carries a lot of baggage with him, so it was a forgiveable assumption to make. Instead he's playing the Stackhouse's Fairy Great-Grandfather, and he's already a great deal more interesting than Lara Pulver was allowed to be as their Fairy Godmother.
  • After five seasons, True Blood was beginning to get very stale and predictable whenever a 'vampire vs human' fight occurred. Humans only really had daylight on their side, together with the occasional silver-coated net. I'm glad things are changing this year, now the humans have developed high-tech anti-vampire arsenal: silver bullets that emit UV light )so a shot vamp can't heal) and special contact lenses to prevent being 'glamoured'. This should keep make things a little more interesting, putting vampires on the back foot slightly, and it was fun to be reminded that humans have no idea older vampire can fly when Eric was forced to rocket into the sky from Truman Burrell's residence. (But those guards were still incredibly dumb to bring Eric outside in the first place without, y'know, restraining him with silver or something.) Incidentally, I appreciated seeing Eric with a more ruthless attitude this week, and his 'Clark Kent' disguise was good for a giggle.
  • Speaking of powers, Sookie's Fairy Godfather is teaching her how to create a 'supernova' energy ball that—rather like a bee's sting—is a vampire-slaughtering last resort that will result in Sookie losing her fairy powers once and for all. You just know that's going to be used towards the end of this season, most likely to defeat Warlow, but hopefully that's too obvious. Bill, then?
  • And speaking of Bill, he also spent this episode developing his powers as a "vampire God". It seems he can control people's movements and syphon blood from bodies without lifting a finger, turning victims into wrinkled husks. Oh, and he has visions of the future. A future where vampires are on the losing end of a war with humans and are being exterminated in underground pits that open up to reveal the sun. I can smell some WWII concentration camp analogies in the wind. There was also a good performance from Deborah Ann Woll as Bill's "daughter" Jessica, scared about what her maker's become. Or becoming.

Truly Bad

  • Sheriff Andy wandered around in a field, trying to find the magical Fairy nightclub to complain about his rapidly-ageing half-Fae daughters. A nation went to make a cup of tea, and fans of The Wire cried into their mugs at the state of Chris Bauer's career.
  • I'm over this show's 'other realms' it sometimes likes us to visit. Now we have a strange mindscape where Bill can commune with Lilith and her naked blood-stained acolytes. Zzzzz.
  • Sookie and Jason are not only descended from Fairies, they're Fairy royalty?

Truly Forgettable

  • Sookie has yet another boyfriend in fellow 'halfling' Ben, played by another English actor attempting a Southern accent. For British viewers, it's a little odd seeing EastEnders' Rob Kazinsky as Sookie's new love-interest, but he fits in quite nicely in terms of appearance. I'm just indifferent to any character who's there to win Sookie's heart and facilitate a nude scene down the line. Although, sure, I will watch said nude scene.
  • Sam met an activist called Nicole (Jurnee Smollett), who wants him to come out as a shape-shifter and pre-empt public opinion turning against their kind once the government grow tired of killing vampires and start going after other "supernaturals". I'm really not sure what Nicole's thinking is here, because that's a terrible plan. If humans knew shape-shifters exist, it would quite clearly cause even greater panic, suspicion... and paranoia.
  • Lafayette did some babysitting.


Overall, "The Sun" was a better episode than last week's premiere, but one thing that's hurting True Blood is how the audience just doesn't know who to support. Are humans the clear villains? It seems that way because so many of the cast are vampires, and we never see much from an ordinary perspective anymore. The few remaining human characters rarely get involved with the vampire storylines, either, because they're off worrying about witches, spirits and demons. If things are supposed to be morally grey, that's fine, but it doesn't help me invest in anything. I feel like a spectator, watching occasionally cool and gross things happen to characters it's become very hard to identify with.

23 June 2013 | HBO