So does this week’s title, ‘At Last’ refer to True Blood‘s recognition from gay fans that Jason (Ryan Kwanten) needs to spend a little nekkid time with some of the other muscle hunks on the show?
No? Just us? Bueller?
Alright then – let’s bitch it out!‘At Last’ feels like a traditional mid-season episode of True Blood in that there’s some forward momentum, but a great deal of feels like a prescribed outcome that you can see coming from a mile away. Despite the fact that there are two fewer episodes than usual this season (10 compared to the usual 12), it still feels like the arc for season six is just getting started. New(ish) storylines are still getting off the ground, and although there’s a sense that things are coming together, my impression after viewing this episode is that it feels like a whole lotta obvious.
Let’s get the one genuinely unexpected piece out of the way first: Ben (Rob Kazinsky) is also Warlow and everyone figures it out pretty quickly. After a pre-title sequence in which Ben doffs his fangs to awaken Jason (Ryan Kwanten), the entire Stackhouse family figures out that the new guy in town is both a Fae and a V. Unfortunately none of them fare well in their attempts to subdue him: Jason is glamoured, Grandpa Niall (Rutger Hauer) is drained and then tossed into the void that imprisoned Warlow for 20 years and Sookie’s country-fried poison dinner doesn’t have the silvery impact she likely hoped for. Although Sookie appears to be in a (sexily compromised) position of power by episode’s end, I feel pretty confident that she either a) won’t get a chance to explode her Faerie bomb or b) she will, but Warlow will escape first. We’re not even half-way through the season, so it seems unlikely Ben is going anywhere anytime soon.
It’s nice that the secret comes out early and is addressed in record time, though. Too often we’ve been forced to watch as unlikely villains prance around Bon Temps for the better part of a season before someone gets around to putting them in a hole in the ground. If ‘At Last’ does anything well, it helpfully lights a burner under some of the characters and forcing them to actually do something.
Unfortunately a great deal of this “something” is completely and utterly obvious. Gosh, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) turns the Governor’s daughter Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) into a vampire and she almost immediately attacks her father? No one could have seen that coming. Add to this predictable outcome the final image of poor Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), who succumbs to the temptation posed by Andy’s (Chris Bauer) four new Faerie teenagers. If anyone didn’t know these idiot girls would be drained by the end of the hour, you clearly haven’t been watching this show very long.
It all adds up to a feeling of inevitably. The good work done by revealing Warlow’s identity and bringing the fight to him is undone by the decision to play out these other obvious storylines. While I’m glad we seem to be moving closer to lining up the disparate threads (save the wolfpack storyline which continues to be terrible), I just wish that True Blood were laying down something a little less predictable.
Oh, and the fun. Last week was so enjoyable because it had funny, and while Ginger (Tara Buck) screaming and Jason acting stupid is always good for a laugh, two characters can’t support an entire episode.
- The other obvious outcome: Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) is shot and captured by the IVAEF. As soon as she and Tara (Rutina Wesley) wander off on their own, it’s clear one of them would go down. Everything Billith (Stephen Moyer) saw in his vampire genocide vision is coming true, y’all! Again – hardly a surprise
- Speaking of Billith, he’s still got Dr. Takahashi (Keone Young) locked up in the basement trying to synthesize Faerie blood. Unfortunately it’s a damn tricky process, involving science and sh*t, so there are no break-throughs yet
- Sam (Sam Trammell) and the girl from The Cosby Show do it. Wake me up when they do it while he’s still a horse. Yawn
- Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) has been sexing it up with Governor Burrell (Arliss Howard). I think I may have just thrown up a little in my mouth. We probably should have seen this coming, but still…that’s quite the power hungry, crazy Christian match, no?
- Why does Ben/Warlow have a British accent?
- Finally, goodbye Rutger Hauer. You were delightful and silly in your brief tenure on the show and your strange acting choices made you a memorable B-character. You will be missed
- Andy (to his rapidly aging daughters): “Time for bed. You ain’t slept since you were three”
- Jessica (pretending how crappy names are): “Oh my gosh that is so cool. I hate having a name. I always gotta be like ‘Hey my name is Jessica’”
- Jason (asking Grandpa): “You ever had a dream that ain’t so straight?”
- Jason (after roughing up the convenience store clerk to no avail): “That was my best Dirty Harry”
Do you agree that this felt like a few too many obvious/predictable outcomes? Are you excited to see Sookie face off against Warlow? What will Billith and Jessica do now that Andy has figured out that they have the (presumably dead) girls? Will Jason have any other dirty dreams? And do you think we’ll see Grandpa Niall again? Speculate away below
True Blood hits the midseason mark next Sunday at 9pm EST on HBO