True Blood – Season 5, Episode 11 “Sunset” Review

Rating: 9.1

Perhaps I’m finally not alone in my belief that there are too many things going on in True Blood. Perhaps the only other people who care about the sheer amount of plot lines we’re currently engaged in are my friends and sister. While I’m mostly disappointed with the gratuitous volume of character growth per hour of season 5, I am utterly and wholly pleased with the current outcome.

I was incredibly concerned with the end game of this season. For a while every single plot seemed to intersect here and there, but most every character was on his or her own ominous path. Surprisingly, episode 11 wrapped it all up into one neat little package: Sam, Alcide, Sookie, Bill, Eric, Jason, Jessica, and even Andy are, for all intensive purposes, geared up and ready to fight the same battle, albeit from a distance.

Season five was filled with overwhelmingly unnecessary threads that took us all over Louisiana, Mississippi, and even Mexico; characters were introduced or revisited only to be killed off immediately, and we lost Hoyt Thortenberry, America’s Sweetheart; a religion that polarized the True Blood audience with a god whose biography was copied and pasted from Wikipedia became the major story arc, the beautiful fairy clan established themselves as a supernatural unit, the former sheriff and his piggy paramour wasted two episodes of our time, and a fiery demon madeBon Temps’ most altruistic citizen into a villain for a short while. Oh, and Nora didn’t die.

Clearly a lot of things keep happening that make me an unhappy viewer, but I’m continually amazed by how addicting this show has become. Despite my successive anger after each episode, which is inevitably followed by 3-hour conversations, I’m quizzically happy. I can’t help it; I’ve loved all (or most) of these characters for over 12 years. Sure, they’ve taken a new form, and the writers have taken unreasonably disturbing liberties with some (cough, Bud Dearbourne and Claudine, cough)… it doesn’t matter, I’m still rooting for them.

So here we go, let’s talk it out, one more time before it all ends.

Jessica just about made me cry, like she always does. I seriously think that Deborah Ann Woll is one of the most important cast members for this series, which is why I am continually concerned for her safety. I could deal with it if Sam or even Jason died, but not Jessica. She’s about as lovable as they come, even when she’s drinking from anonymous coeds. If I didn’t hate Bill before, I sure do now for punching her and trying to force her into turning Jason into a vampire (which, thankfully, did not actually happen). It’s very hard to see Jessica frightened and helpless. She was a triumphant character, much like Tara. She overcame an atrocious, abusive past only to become an engrossing, powerful woman. Her upbringing did not hinder her; rather it made her a powerful individual to be reckoned with.

While I felt that Alcide’s part in the last three episodes was wholly unnecessary (seeing as he was rejected by the Shreveport werewolves), I’m glad that he and his father are finally in the trenches and playing heroes. Alcide’s plot was clearly written to establish the baby vampire problem, but I hope that it will pivot him forward so that he can play a big damn hero in the final battle.

Eric’s departure is worrisome, but I trust him to ditch Nora and save the day. Okay, maybe that’s just wishful thinking. I’m sad that the creepy sibling sex has been written back into the series, but I’m a little bit more accepting of it this time around. After all, the triumphant hero music was playing in the background when they finally saw eye to eye. We’re supposed to like this turn of events based solely on the sweet melody. Oh, music. You’re so manipulative.

Sam and Luna were completely engrossing this time around, and I kind of wish we’d spent a little bit more time with them. I enjoy how casual these two are when it comes to nudity; I actually think that the lack of concern that is expressed by other characters when Sam and Luna are in the buff reflects what the authors want real life to be like (despite the supernatural twist).

I really feel for Luna. I want Emma to come home safely, and I also want Sam to not be eaten by Bill. Or turned… or basically anything. Okay, I want Sam to just stay the way he is, handsome and shape-shiftery.

Stephen Moyer’s portrayal as Bill is impressive. He seems to revel in the ability to branch out beyond the lovesick civil war hero and act as a true villain. Bill has fully become the archfiend he was written to become, right down to his costuming: he has a pinky ring. Only baddies wear pinky rings. Have TV and movies taught you nothing?

Speaking of villains, Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin just about made me scream when they came for Jason. I was convinced that there would be a repeat of last season for Jason, only this time he would be in a much more terrifying position. Steve’s the type of vamp to take what he wants, and Russell is eager to give it to him. Furthermore, Russell drank the elder fairy and will now become a paralyzing foe for our fairy friends.

I don’t trust that Sookie is safe. I wonder if we’re ever going to get around to Warlow, and why Sookie was promised to him.

Despite True Blood’s attempts to make me care about the other unnecessary plots, I’ll boil it all down: I’m scared. I expect collateral damage. Hopefully in the form of Nora.

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