There’s a lot of talk about God in ‘Dead Meat’, but of all the religious references/expletives, only one involved murder with a high-heel shoe. Oh Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), how you make my week.
Let’s bitch it out…At this point I think it’s safe to say that Anna Camp is totally True Blood‘s S6 MVP, no? Watching her luscious “closer to God” blonde locks bounce as she stalks Spokesbitch Suzuki down the Vamp Camp halls before bashing her head in on a grate? A-mah-zing! Clubbing her to death with a leopard print heel? Sadistically hilarious! This, my friends, is the True Blood that we know and love.
I should probably admit that I’m both a sick individual and a lover of girlfights, so this scene pretty much made my entire weekend. Let’s give the show some kudos, though; the inclusion of a batshit crazy girl-fight and murder isn’t simply some desperate attempt at titillation. Well…maybe it is that, but it works because of Anna Camp’s dedication. At various points during her attack Sarah alternates between shocked amazement at what she’s doing and something akin to religious fervour. It’s a performance that’s reminiscent of Dennis O’Hare’s karaoke massacre in 5×07 ‘In The Beginning’: completely mad, unexpected and hilarious. Love it!
Aside from the over-the-top antics of Sarah Newlin, ‘Dead Meat’ dedicates a substantial amount of its runtime to our Southern protagonist, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). Love her or hate her, Sookie is the core of the show. Even when True Blood sometimes seems to forget her role in the narrative, Sookie’s plot inevitably ends up being the one we designate the “main” story. Daniel Kenneth’s script wisely dedicates a substantial amount of time to Sookie because she’s grappling with the weight of a life-altering decision. Caught in the middle of Warlow (Rob Kazinsky) and Billith (Stephen Moyer), Sookie is forced to foster a deal whose outcome will effectively end her life.
We’ve known for a while that things were headed in this direction, but as the sixth season ramps up towards the finale, it’s become increasingly clear that the show is contemplating pulling the trigger on Sookie’s humanity. Like most vampire shows, this carries a certain feeling of inevitability with it (The Vampire Diaries did this just last season). ‘Dead Meat’ does a commendable job of making the most of a fairly melancholy and (admittedly) slow storyline, following Sookie as she tries to find something in her life that requires her humanity. She reaches out to her brother via voice mail, revisits her parents’ grave and meets with Sam (Sam Trammell) to revisit their doomed early season (non)romance.
At the end of the day, however, Sookie realizes that she never truly had a choice. In the most visually evocative scene of the episode, Sookie dons a black (sexy) mourning dress and stares, motionless, at her reflection in her vanity mirror. It’s a moment of peaceful respite in an episode filled with lip-service about death.
It’s also a great lead-in to the two remaining episodes of the season.
- With that said, does it not seem like Sookie should feel a teensy bit more anxious about the fact that a majority of her friends are on the verge of death? I mean she just kinda sleep walks through the day without ever once thinking “oh yeah, my friends could be dying at this very moment”
- There’s no way Warlow is actually dead, is there? The problem with this development is that I don’t buy Eric’s (Alexander Skarsgard) reasons for attacking the vampire/Faerie, primarily because his opening argument with Billith feels rushed and unbelievable
- After watching the episode and listening to Warlow and Billith talk to Sookie about their plans for her as though she has no say in her own life I’ve retitled my True Blood thesis “Choosing and choice: the dissolution of agency and Sookie Stackhouse in ‘Dead Meat'”
- The episode also performs character CPR on a few individuals who need it most, namely Alcide (Joe Manganiello) and Sam. Watching Alcide lay the smackdown on Rikki and then chill-out in Merlotte’s with Sam, who’s suddenly staring down fatherhood with Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) feels like a return to the True Blood of old. I certainly wish we hadn’t had to sift through their crap storylines in the early episodes of this season, but at least both men are seemingly back on track
- Suddenly the character most in need of rehabilitation is Jason (Ryan Kwanten). Here’s hoping that in the remaining two episodes of the season our main crew is rescued and annoying/boring new character Violet (Karolina Wydra) gets a nice sunburn. Since her appearance in 6×06 ‘Fuck The Pain Away,’ Violet has done nothing but issue threats, which the writers seem to confuse with being interesting. This is exactly the kind of character that the show needs to stop introducing
- For those of you keeping track, now that our Vamp Camp crew – plus additions Violet, Steve (Michael McMillian), and James (Luke Grimes) – are holed up in the sun room, the only person we’re missing is Eric. With only two episodes left, I’m surprised at the lack of urgency in this storyline. It’s a little disappointing that it’s been dragged on so long
- Finally, Andy (Chris Bauer) should really just lock up Adilyn (Bailey Noble) and throw away the key, no? That girl can’t leave the house without getting bitten (the fact that she’s an idiot doesn’t help)
- Sookie (muttering to herself about Warlow): “Grown men are incapable of just wanting to date me”
- Kristin Bauer van Straten’s Pam (when Deborah Ann Woll’s Jess asks how sex with the psychiatrist was): “Oozy, but productive”
- Sarah (making Steve run on a hamster wheel): “It is scientifically impossible for you to be running this fucking slow”
- Sarah (after killing Spokesbitch Suzuki): “Thank you Jesus”
I’ll throw it back over to you: should Anna Camp get an MVP gold star for her guest role this season? Are you feeling happier with Alcide and Sam now? Is Violet a terrible character? Do you like the seriousness of Sookie’s storyline? And will Ms. Stackhouse still be human in the final episode of the season? Speculate below
True Blood airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO