Monday, June 17, 2013

True Blood, Season 6, Episode 1: Who Are You, Really?

Season 6 is finally here – and what bad things is Billith (yes I am calling him Billith and no you can’t stop me) intending to do to us? Let’s see if True Blood can use this season to turn things around a little after a lacklustre season 5

We start where we left off – with Eric and Sookie running like hell from Billith (and we get to see through his eyes, including Sookie apparently having swallowed a light bulb). They manage to reach the lift despite Sookie tripping and falling in vampire goo (it’s a rule. When a blonde woman runs from a threat she must trip at least once. The longer she runs, the more often she must trip or at least convolutedly lose her clothes – it’s one of the rules of horror).  The lift goes up – and stops, out of power. That’s because Billith is ripping chunks out of the fuse box. And killing a guard by just running at him and reducing him to a fine spray.

Sookie uses her super fae powers to be a torch (file this under “you tried!” Sookie’s magic can be replicated by an Iphone app) while Eric smacks his way through the lift roof.

At the stairs, Pam, Jason the not-too-bright (aka “at least he’s pretty”), Nora (Eric’s sister), Pam, Tara and Jessica are working their way out – Jason and Pam both giving Nora crap because – well Jason isn’t too bright and Pam is Pam. She has to snark, it replaced breathing for her.

Elsewhere in the complex – how many exits does this secret lair have? I think this is a duct – a blood covered Sam tries to drag a blood covered Luna and her daughter Emma to the surface. Since last season she shifted into Steve Newlin, she’s not feeling so good (turning into a person does bad things to you). Luna begs Sam to look after Emma – and then dies. Sam runs off with Emma, getting out of there just before the vampire guards show up to confirm Luna is dead.

Nora and co get out of the building, avoiding the blurry guards – and Billith blows it up. Jason and Pam both want to go back in to save Sookie/Eric but Nora, having an ounce of common sense, decides that people blown to chunky salsa can’t rescue anyone – so keep moving damn it or does she have to choke people? (Except Jason who gets choked anyway on general principles). They start moving again as Eric and Sookie drive up in a convenient getaway car. They drive off as the building explodes again – and the bloody figure of Billith emerges. They stop and stare at the man playing in the fire. Until he shoots up in the air like a low budget superman to which everyone agrees it’s time to run like hell.

The gang continue their getaway with some bickering as to what actually happened, before a press conference from the Louisiana governor Truman comes on the radio saying how much he loves vampires, how wonderful vampires are (honest) – but since the True Blood shortage caused by the factories being bombed has led to a number of humans being snacked on; so he’s enforcing a curfew. On vampires. A nocturnal species. He adds that he’s closing down all vampire run businesses and urges all humans to buy a gun and stock up on wooden bullets. This does not sound like a good plan. No no it does not.

Jason, (at least he’s pretty) thinks this is an awesome idea. This is a man crammed in a car with 5 vampires. At least he’s pretty. Nora realises that blowing up the True Blood factories was a bad idea (no, really? This is what comes of your leaders tripping all the time). Oh and Pam and Nora do not get on – Pam asks Eric if she can kill her and is then not impressed with the revelation of Nora being his sister. Eric, you might want to sit down and discuss your family tree a bit more, maybe have some more family reunions? Pam is rather irritated that Eric never felt the need to mention Nora in the 100 years they’ve been together and Eric just shoots her objections down having other issues to deal with. I find myself agreeing with Tara – arsehole!

Eric asks Nora exactly how she could have been reading the damn holy book, spent all that time praying and dedicated her whole immortal existence to this religion and still not have a damn clue what’s happening. It’s a valid question. She knows nothing – except that 1 drop of blood completely turned her against everything and since Billith chugged the lot, he’s waay more dangerous and needs to be killed. This causes Jessica to have an angst attack. Sookie encourages Jason to go after her – but he’s still on his hating vampire kick.

Pam goes down to the beach to mope (with some excellent snark about the beach) and Tara goes to her with some powerful wisdom about love not being a competition. Pam tries to drive her off, denies she’s crying and Tara puts and arm around her and holds her. That leaves Sookie to go talk to Jess about how they love Bill, but Billith isn’t Bill and they have to let him go and… has Anna Paquin skipped voice training or something? Because that accent is awful.

Back to Nora and Eric and Nora wants to talk to Jason, assuming he may know something since he knows about Warlow (which Eric knows nothing about – that would be the vampire that killed the Stackhouse parents). I’m with Eric here, assuming Jason knows something is awfully silly. Jason is uncooperative and gets mesmerised for it to tell her all he knows about him. Eric distracts her and Jason freaks out about being all mind controlled again. He points a gun at Nora – and neither Nora nor Eric are impressed. Nora tells him that Warlow was one of Lillith’s first progeny, one of the first vampires. The whole gang appears to tell Jason what a fool he is (and he calls Tara a fanger so he’s due a slap) until Sookie stands between Jason and Nora. Oooh we’re killing Sookie now? I can go with that. Jason leaves, furious with Sookie for protecting the vampires and tells Sookie she’s dead to him. At least he’s pretty. Tara’s there to comfort poor Sookie

Since when did Tara sign up to be the shoulder to cry on for the whole group?

Then Jessica jerks like someone just hit her with a taser – Billith is summoning her. Eric tries to stop her and she vomits blood all over his chest (lovely) which is new. Jessica collapses screaming in agony, Pam decides it’s not their business which gives Nora another chance to talk about death and distraction. Pam, stop feeding the drama queen lines, she’s just waiting for the chance to declare how doomed you are. Sookie realises they need to talk Jessica to Billith or she’s going to die (and Pam uses “Billith” too! CANON!) Sookie declares she will go with Jessica if no-one else will – and Eric gets out of the way. Jessica gets up and moves, Sookie following. Tara tries to follow – but Eric hands her to Pam and tells them to go to Fangtasia. Despite Pam’s objections – Eric and Nora follow Sookie.

Time for something completely different – werewolves eating the last Packmaster and offering Aclide a choice cut of arm. Which he eats, in human form, with everyone chanting the equivalent of “chug chug chug”. Martha looks on all cynical about what power and beautiful naked women do to a man – as one of the wolves, Danielle, shifts to human form and offers to serve Alcide. The whole pack shifts to wolves except Martha and Rikki who look on, unimpressed.

On to Andy Bellefleur and his passal of faerie babies. And I’m reminded that this show has too many damn characters. Arlene takes Andy to task for hiding outside away from his litter of alien babies. Andy whines about how unfair it all is and Arelene delivers an awesome smackdown I am just going to have to quote entire:

“Well, I got news for you Andy. Life ain’t far. And there ain’t no Santa Clause neither. And when you stick Mr. Happy inside somebody’s hoo-hah without a raincoat on, babies happen!”

To which Andy has a more reasonable objection – he hasn’t taken a class or read a book or anything – he has no idea how to take care of his own babies. To which Arlene has an even more awesome speech and they go in for some crash parenting lessons with Terry

From there to Merlottes where Sam carries Emma. He nearly smacks Lafayette who is there holding down the fort (and drinking his good tequila and sleeping it off on the office floor – drunk driving kills. That’s a sassy line within 2 seconds of his return) with a shotgun. Sam asks if Lafayette is drunk enough to forget he saw him, Lafayette decides to make sure and pours another drink. And asks about Luna turning into Steve Newlin on TV - the sickest thing he’s seen on TV and he watches Dance Moms. That’s like three lines in 10 seconds. And the dramas on every single channel showing Luna transform. Hearing Emma talk about her mother dying, Lafeyette makes her something deep fried, covered in sugar and deep fried again.

Jason, walking down the side of the road and several kinds of exhausted, decides to hitchhike. In the middle of the night what’s the worst that could happen? Why he could be picked up by someone in a car that opens its passenger side door without the driver touching it. Totally not suspicious! He gets in and man-who-totally-isn’t-Warlow-honest gives him a lift. He’s not put off by a little blood (that’s not worrisome) and he’s been in Bon Temps a long long time ago (uh-huh) and he has family in the area. But he wants to know all about Jason’s family (not suspicious, honest). Jason describes Sookie as having “mental problems”. At least he’s pretty.

Jess and Sookie arrive at Bill’s house, Sookie grabbing an improvised stake. They follow the bare, bloody footprints inside. The footprints lead to a huge pile of red powder. Following Jessica’s instincts they go out to the balcony where Billith awaits – all clean and dressed without the layer of blood. Billith stands, saying he just wants to talk – and Nora and Eric attack like vampire missiles. It doesn’t go well. But while holding Eric, Billith’s back is to Sookie – and she stakes him. Guess what? Billith is immune to staking.

Billith just wants to talk – he’s not a monster and he’s all peaceful, unless they make him defend himself again then it’ll get messy. He says he’s still Bill. But Sookie says she felt Bill die and if he does mean them no harm he’ll leave Non Temps and leave Jessica alone; but Jessica refuses. Bill is staying and so is she. Jessica says Sookie can’t know it’s not Bill (true) that everyone was all Stakey before asking questions (true) and she’s hella pissed at Sookie staking Bill. She tells them to leave – and Billith backs it up with an Earthquake.

Back to evil governor Truman who meets with Ms. Suzuki, boss of the True Blood factory with a proposition to give her an empty factory to use free of charge – and he’ll even be the silent partner. And you can trust him, he’s not the new big bad (yes he actually said that. No I don’t believe him and I’m kind of depressed that Ms. Suzuki does). He does sell it well though – Louisiana needs money and so does he.

Oh joy wolfies again. Not even Alcide’s incredible backside will make me care about the wolfies. He makes out with Danielle and Rikki looks on upset. Yadda, yadda, can we go back to the possibly evil god vampire rather than the puppy love please? Rikki steps out and passionately kisses Alcide in a not-very-subtle “he’s MINE” move. Danielle starts to leave – to which Rikki calls her back, grabs her hair, bites her neck and then kisses her, while Alcide looks on; then she pushes Danielle to her knees in front of Alcide. Rikki tells Alcide she’s his number one bitch

Uh-huh, it’s bad enough the wolfies add nothing to the plot but this is turning into a bad porn film.

At Fangtasia and Tara keeps pelting Pam with more wisdom. She is particular against Pam being Eric’s tool forever and says “Fuck Eric”. Pam threatens to slap her for saying it. Tara says it again – and catches Pam’s hand. Pam is furious rejects Tara judging her for loyalty to someone she’s been in a relationship with for 100 years after they fucked once. Tara turns round with perhaps the best line in the show  - and this episode has had some epic lines:

“you’re too busy crying over an unavailable arsehole to give what’s happening between us a chance”

But Pam just tells her she can’t replace Eric. Damn it Pam, listen to Tara. Which is when goons with guns arrive to close down Fangtasia. One of them shoots Tara when she tries to protect Pam – and she falls screaming, Pam screams her name.

Elsewhere, Eric offers Sookie money so she can leave – but she has too much of Bill’s blood, Billith will always find her. Sookie and Eric have a bonding moment over her staking Billith to protect him. At Sookie’s, Eric writes a contract in his own blood, giving Sookie back her home (he technically owns it at present). Lots of bonding – he starts to leave and she calls him back, telling him he wants to be the girl in the white dress he first met (which he’s just waxed nostalgic about) so needs to be normal – so rescinds his invitation. Ouch, she didn’t even let the blood dry on the contract! Outside to Nora and Eric laying down the law that Nora will leave Sookie alone.

Back to the Bellefleur litter – who are all old enough to walk and talk. Yes, overnight they’ve grown from babies to old toddlers. Time for everyone to scream.

Time for Jessica and Billith to have a bonding moment, all ruined by Billith revealing he has telekinesis (I’m more disturbed that Jessica has vampire reflexes, speed and agility and still spills her drink) which even he didn’t know. Jessica takes the chance to speak about the monster they left at the authority and how his summoning her nearly killed her. All Bill can answer is a whole lot of “I don’t know” who what why - any of it. And he has a little caveat about how power corrupts and makes you evil and mad, with a side order of “the union bad, we southerners victims” to it. Billith decides he needs Jess to keep him grounded. And he tucks her in like a child which may even be creepier than the super-fast growing toddlers. Uckies uckies.

Back to Jason (at least he’s pretty) rambling away to the totally-not-evil-honest guy who picked him up about his hallucination racist parents and his sister’s god boyfriend. To which totally-not-evil-guy says that Warlow is totally going to get Sookie – and he knows her name because HE’S THE BAD GUY!

I am shocked! Shocked by this turn of events!

Jason reacts by shooting Warlow (who disappears) and then realises that Warlow was the one driving, at speed, along country roads. At least he’s pretty.

At Sookie’s her faerie contracts starts glowing

At Billith’s he starts hallucinating whips and ghostly voices. He sees multiple blood stained Lilliths – who all charge and merge with him.

First impression of the new season

Too. Many. Characters. I almost forgot how many there were. Andy Bellefleur, Arlene, Terry – too much. Alcide and pack? Too much. Even Sam at this point.

I’ll be a lot happier about Tara and Pam’s relationship if Pam and Eric didn’t order Tara around like a dog and so long as she can stop being the shoulder for everyone to cry on.

Do I even have to poke Rikki and Danielle’s little display for Alcide to prove that she’s his “number one bitch?”

We do have some interesting storylines here – I’m curious about Billith and Warlow (especially given that IMBD calls Warlow Niall as well – which is a major shift from the books) and evil governor Truman. But like previous seasons I’m worried that we have too many irrelevant storylines here.

I’m intrigued but think they’re making the same problems that annoyed me before.