by Chris Saccaro
A little more than halfway through the fifth season, this episode of “True Blood” acts as a turning point for many of the storylines. After Roman was killed at the end of last week’s episode, it’s unsurprising that the power in the Authority would shift. However, it may act as a surprise just how quickly alliances changed.
While it took a pretty long time to happen, this is definitely a good thing for “True Blood” to be doing at this point. It takes us out of the boardroom and saves us from those endless speeches about religion and politics. While these plot points may act as an integral part of a narrative on any other show, “True Blood” shines when it is allowed to roam around biting whatever has a pulse. Perhaps that’s why the departure from sterile boardrooms into a bloody karaoke massacre works so well.
The most intriguing aspect of this turn of events is probably the degradation of Bill’s character. At one moment, he is preaching for a peaceful coexistence with humans, and by the end of the episode, he is consumed by the hypnotizing allure of religious fundamentalism.
Many of the other characters had a similar “life-altering experience.” Sookie plays around with the idea of using up her fairy powers to become a normal human, which would be a horrible decision for her to prepare for the impending vampire vs. human war. Tara and Pam grow closer, which is always pleasant to see. Hoyt is also going through some noteworthy changes. After having his heart broken by Jessica, he is now ecstatic to be in a “loving” hate group whose sole purpose is to kill as many supes as possible.
While originally this seemed to be a small insignificant storyline, it has the potential to escalate into a huge catalyst for the continuously hinted at “vampire vs. human” war. The humans are fighting, so why shouldn’t the vampires fight back? It’s pretty obvious that Hoyt’s involvement in this group will force him to face Jessica (whether to let her go or seek his revenge).
However, “True Blood’s” main fault this season still plagues this episode–the vast amount of characters. While they are all going through similar thematic struggles (Sookie and Sam questioning how different their life would be as normal people), there are still a lot of loose threads that should be tied up, And some characters that just don’t need to be focused on. Everything that can be said about how ill fitting Terry is in this season’s narrative has already been said. And the werewolf stuff still remains unappealing, no matter how many times Alcide takes his shirt off.
Overall, this episode delivers what “True Blood” always promised to deliver: vampire carnage and dark humor. It’s lacking in some of the soapy drama that has become a staple of “True Blood” since the beginning, but I think it’s a nice break. Sometimes the melodrama needs to take a back seat for the high-octane craziness that has come to represent the better episodes of “True Blood.” The ball is finally rolling as many of the characters show their true colors, and now it’s up to “True Blood” to keep this momentum for the final few episodes of the season.
Chris Saccaro is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com.