Monday, August 19, 2013

True Blood, Season 6, Episode 10: Radioactive

Sookie and Alcide have a post funeral walk to muse about things before they run into a pack of ecstatic, high and sunlight loving vamps in various states of undress (as we remember, Lillith blood is intoxicating). Sookie realises Billith was right (so, I don’t think Sookie spent any time disbelieving Billith so much as recognising him as an arsehole). And Jason’s among them – Sookie decides to join them and talks Alcide out of being the big protector (and what exactly is he going to do if a pack of day walking vampires decide he’s lunch?) She joins the half naked, dancing partying vamps who are burning their prison clothes. She finds Jason and Violet – who decides that since Sookie is Jason’s sister she’s her sister as well – and promptly kisses Sookie on the mouth (this is not a common family greeting I am sure). Jason tells Sookie he’s actually pretty happy with the whole Violet situation, feeling like she has his back – and Sookie tries not to drop a bomb of cynicism all over everything.

And Pam hugs Sookie and sounds happy! After this shocking event, it’s Tara’s turn to hug (what, Sookie, Tara and your friends were having issues you didn’t know about again? Well how surprising is this?!) Tara reveals they’re all high on Billith blood and Tara even says she can’t hate Bill any more (I’m sure that will change).

Bill is inside being all mopey. Why? I’m sure they’ll tell us soon. Or maybe Bill is just auto-angsty

Sookie leaves and heads to soft-filter faerie land where Warlow has created a hippie-flower-power maypole. He talks about soul mates and the faerie soul mate ceremony while Sookie gives him a complete “oh shit I don’t want to do this” look. Shouldn’t she be at Terry’s wake right now supporting Arlene? She talks to Warlow and says that since eveyrone’s safe they don’t have to bond forever and ever right this second and they can take time to get to that stage rather than basing their eternal relationship on “we made a deal and I had to stick to it.” Which isn’t that romantic. She wants to date, she wants to see Warlow fit in with her family and friends – Jason and Tara and Arlene. In response to which Warlow grabs her by the throat and angrily demands who she thinks she’s talking to

Well, that torpedoes that romance.

Back to vampire party, we have more fun and Violet is definitely feeling a little jealous of Jessica and Jason – and Pam is back to brooding. Tara realises Pam’s thinking of trailing after Eric and calls it out as a bad idea – and Pam threatens to release her. She leaves Tara to take care of Willa while Tara accuses her and Eric of being the worst makers ever.

Inside Jessica joins the brooding Bill – and it seems that all the blood loss has drained him of his Billithness. He is now just plain ol’ Bill. And with new Bill-ness he now mopes about poor Sookie and how she’s going to be made a vampire. Woe. Jessica delivers a fiery speech and it’s time for team rescue Sookie which includes a very annoyed Jason. But killing Bill takes second place to saving Sookie – which means they need to go through the fae portal which means they need a fae – Adalind, Andy’s remaining daughter.

While Violet and Jason get on that, Bill let’s professor Takehashi go, glamouring him to forget them and leaving him with a huge bag of money. Violet and Jason go to Andy’s and have a little drama when Andy realises Violet is a vampire (she points out she’s 800 years old, she can resist temptation – besides she and Jason are monogamous). Andy doesn’t want to risk Adalind but she – after some mind reading – wants to save Sookie, the only other part-fae she knows - just as she couldn’t save her sisters. They load up with anti-vampire equipment (including UV bullets. Really – Warlow is immune to sunlight).

Warlow is busy imprisoning Sookie, declaring how he, several thousand year old faerie royal, is far too good for the likes of her Bon Temps hick friends, and he just wants to use her – before biting her. Just in case anyone had any illusions about Warlow being a good guy.

Outside the gang meets up with Bill and Violet has a novel way to teach Adalind how to use her light and open the portal. Hey it works! Once there Bill tackles Warlow while the gang grabs Sookie and runs to her house to hide. Of course Bill isn’t Billith any more and he’s no more than a temporary annoyance before Warlow is off hunting Sookie again. Andy, Violet, Bill and Jason all try to stop Warlow – it doesn’t go well. He locks the humans with Adalind in the cubby hole Sookie has so vampires can sleep there.

He tracks down Sookie convinced she’ll love him after a millennia or so; but they’re in the bathroom – where the portal is – and Niall reaches through to grab him. Jason & co escape from the cubby, Warlow locked it with his light which means Adalind can open it with hers. While Niall holds Warlow, Jason stakes him. Warlow dissolved into goo and Sookie and Jason pull Niall through.

With Warlow dead, the shiny faerie blood in all the vampires dissolves as well. Which is a problem for Eric – on top of a mountain in Sweden, sunbathing in the nude – he burns and catches fire with no shelter in sight.

Six Months Later. Apparently

We have an interview with Bill on television about the continuing spread of Hep V – to an eighth of the vampire population. He’s written a book about it – well about everything including ripping the Governor’s head off. Sookie’s watching the show on TV – with Alcide, apparently they’re a couple now.

Jason and Violet seem to be happy albeit with Violet holding to her “I’m not going to make it easy” pledge.

At the church Sam (the new mayor) and Andy have an argument about Church and state since Louisiana doesn’t seem to have a government any more and the whole governor-creating plagues has damaged people’s faith in government anyway but people are flocking to churches. Where they’re having blood tests to see “if they’re carriers”. The churches have come together in Bon Temps  - because they need to unite.

There are roaving bands of sick, hungry vampires wiping out small towns. The blood tests are to see if people are infected with Hep v and while some people like the idea since it will kill any vampire who bites them, Sam has a different plan. The sick vamps are dangerous – but healthy vamps are stronger. So Sam wants every non-infected member of the town to agree to a “monogamous feeding relationship” with a healthy vampire who will then help protect the town. To be safe, every human needs a vampire! That doesn’t go down well with the crowd.

And Merlotte’s Bar and Grill is now Bellefleurs  - and run by Arlene. Which is where everyone gets to socialise with potential vampire… partners. Lots of surreal scenes of vampires being very open and friendly and showing off their fangs – James is the musician in the band and it’s one of the few times the whole cast seems to be together.

Tara meets up with her mother, Lettie Mae, and Lettie Mae apologises. For everything her whole life. She describes her guilt and failings to Tara; she wants to make it up to her and heal their relationship. But she wants to do it by feeding Tara her blood. They hug and Tara feeds on her. Hmmm I have a feeling that could have been a real and touching experience ended feeling more than a little uncomfortable.

Andy and Adalind stayed home – Andy not wanting any part of it. But Jessica goes to them and offers protection for both of them. She isn’t asking for blood – she just wants to offer them protection to atone for killing his other 3 daughters.

Bill offers his protection to Sookie – she needs a vampire more than anyone – but she refuses. She doesn’t trust him

Then a large pack of the sick vampires approaches the party.

As far as a season finale goes I’m a little disappointed. Last week was better

Does anyone actually think Eric is dead? Really? Eric? I doubt it.

The death of Warlow was so incredibly anti-climactic. For a vampire of his age and power, to be covered in, what, a quarter of an episode and a simple stake while someone held his arms. What a complete crash of a storyline

And that “6 months later” bit? That covered a ridiculous amount of events with no explanation. I want to see how all these developed – how they got from a stage of the whole state supporting the slaughter of all vampires to town beings destroyed and people accepting vampire protectors! Why isn’t the federal government involved? Why is Sookie with Alcide, the least compelling of all her love interests?

I wanted to see all this happen – not just be swept over. Maybe it’s the shortened season which meant they couldn’t explore it? Maybe we’ll have some flashbacks in season 7 to help fill in some of the gaps. Either way, this last episode felt disappointing.

I’m also not happy with Jason and Violet’s relationship – it’s presented as happy even if a heavily controlled relationship – but it emerged because Violet basically claimed Jason and didn’t give him a choice to not be with her. He was kidnapped, he was forced to comply under threat of violence by a person who is vastly stronger than he is. That’s not ok.

Other than this episode what about this season, since this is the series finale? I have to say I think True Blood may have turned a corner in some ways. At the end of season 5 I was tired of the show. There were too many ridiculous storylines  competing with each other for some time. In season 6 we saw a lot of the extraneous storylines cut down or, at very least, be given much less screen time. We focused on the 2 dominant lines – the vampires vs the governor and Sookie and her faerieness. There were werewolves and Andy but they were brief interludes. We even had some character death

More, for season 7 we see an emerging storyline that apparently involves all or most of the cast without the deviated storylines.

Sookie also didn’t annoy me as much. She was still pretty self-centred but not nearly as clueless, as foolish or as absorbed as we’d seen in previous seasons. She actually became a character I could actually like

This gives me hope that we may be looking at a resurgence of True Blood away from its steady decline.

What I didn’t like was Eric. Eric seemed to be randomly flailing for most of the season, driven by emotion and very little sense and treating people he was supposed to care about appallingly. The treatment of the minority characters was shockingly awful as well, even by True Blood standards. Pam had her moments of awesome but spent most of the series pining after Eric, moping after Eric and treating Tara like shit because she was tired of Pam moping after Eric. Tara spent the whole time being ordered by Pam while trying to get Pam to see reason – with breaks to play protector for Willa and Jessica. Lafayette lives to serve – Sam or Sookie, it doesn’t matter, he’s there to be called, used and drop some sassy one liners to keep the comic relief up. He’s always been a problematic figure, but he is aeons away from his Aids-Burger best. And don’t even get me started on Steve Newlin, Talbot the second, the most pathetic and useless comic relief of them all.

This leaves me both feeling positive about season 7- and feeling vaguely concerned by it as well.