True Blood – Season 6, Episode 2 “The Sun” Review

Rating: 7.6

 

If Ozzy Osbourne were ever to be quoted in reference to True Blood, now would be the time. “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train” is perhaps the only way to describe the events that have transpired in the youthful sixth season.

Where to begin?

How about with Granddaddy Niall and his ability to remove my attention from blah blah blah vampire politics?

Honestly, I’m a little bit done with vampire politics… but by the looks of things the vampires’ struggle for equality is a permanent fixture in the True Blood universe. Of course I recognize that the struggle for equality is at the core of this series as a central point of conflict, but I’m a proponent of exploring all of the supernatural communities. Niall, portrayed by the very talented Rutger Hauer, is a fantastic and phenomenal addition to True Blood. I may be exhausted by the sheer amount of plots and characters in this series, but the continuation of the fairy revelation is the stuff that I come to this series for. The slow and delightful reveal regarding Sookie’s powers over the course of the last four seasons has been a delight to watch, especially considering that it’s likely the most subtle and careful storytelling that this lovely series is capable of. With Niall’s lessons, Sookie will almost certainly experience a much more substantial familial love and fairy tutelage and at just the right point in the series. My only fear is that, regarding the mess that was Maab the fae queen, Niall may have more nefarious plans than I could ever suspect… I’d prefer the character to be a loving sage rather than a trickster.

I’m a bit confused about Jason and his ability to not only move on from his racist dead parents and also forgive Sookie, but his character motivations have always been to hop from one thing to the next, so I can be forgiving with almost anything he can do… no matter how crazy that may be (like having weird visions of his mother asking him if he wants a blow job while her neck bleeds out into his breakfast cereal… remember that crazy train?).

Sooks, however, was a whole other level of things I don’t want to care about… and she kind of has been for a long time. The True Blood audience is no stranger to random attractive newcomers being introduced to the main cast as temporary love interests, but the sudden arrival of Ben paired with Sookie’s inability to ask, “Why is there an injured half fairy on my property?” is a pretty classic example of things that make me check out for a minute. Despite my previous complaint about vampire politics, I would much rather watch Nora and Pam have a screaming match than some new fling being introduced that Sookie will likely be betrayed by. I know how you work, True Blood, don’t pretend that Ben’s not here to either die while saving Sookie or trying to kill her himself.

The high point of “The Sun” was most definitely Catching Up With the Northmans, though. The family dynamics between Tara, Pam, Nora, and Eric are the stuff good TV is made of. This odd group of characters somehow holds together as a believable family unit despite being a whole other species and culture from any that I could possibly empathize with. Tara’s evolution into the Northman fold is absolutely wonderful, and the doting and care that was taken to help her after she’d been shot by crazy government UV bullet technology was more touching than I ever could have thought possible for these characters. I’m also surprised that I’m actually starting to warm to Nora not because I care for her character—no, I really wish she had never been written into the series—but because I’m starting to recognize how good of an actress Lucy Griffiths is. I may not like the lines she delivers, but the way in which she can express the disdain, curiosity, and grief that Nora is feeling in any given scene is top-notch. (Side note: what the hell was going on with her eyebrow makeup in “The Sun”?)

But the best part of Catching Up With the Northmans was hands-down Dorky Eric from the Wildlife Department. Holy hell. What. A. Good. Decision. All of the awards to Alex Skarsgard for adding some well-needed comedic relief to True Blood. Well done, good sir. I take a lot of issues with the vampire-battling technology that us humans have somehow acquired because… how does science overcome magic? I like the fantasy genre because magic defies science. Sure, there’s something to be said about the two being unified (to quote a short-lived vampire comic book Dark Ivory, “What some call magic today others will call science tomorrow.”), I hope there’s a better-than-CSI-explanation for how contact lenses can be made that obscure MAGIC GLAMORING THAT COMES FROM THE ETHER. What’s next, faery light blasters? Telepathic microchips?

I guess this is why we need Billith. Ugh.

In the Bill’s New Fancy Super Power of the Week segment of  “The Sun” we learned that not only does Bill get visions of the future (very scary visions which include the death of my favorite Viking) and that he can go into a pretty comatose conference call with Lillith, but he also can control human beings by making them contort and then expel all of their bloody fluids through their mouths in some kind of weird birdlike feeding ritual, thus rendering the human lithe and completely dead.

Poor baby vamp Jessica, though, the unfortunate teen who can’t even bare to see a vampire get staked, was classically grossed out and disturbed by this turn of events and found herself praying to her own maker, Bill, out of fear and in awe of the telekinetic blood donation. Deborah Ann Woll gave a chilling performance as she prayed to her own vampire father and pleasantly unified the series. It is rare that True Blood has the skill to keep every plot tied together because the series is simply an overly populated trainwreck. What a pleasant surprise.

 

MOVING ON: I have a couple of short notes.

  • The thing about the character Alcide is that he is an alpha wolf at heart, and in being that he cannot simply be the big damn hero all of the time. He’s a pack master now, and in being a pack master he needs to not only have control of his pack behaviorally but also in a familial way. Even if it makes him the bad guy, it is his duty to keep Martha with her granddaughter, especially since Sam has no right to guardianship of the child. Furthermore, Sam may be good with children but he is by no means qualified to be a surrogate parent to a grieving child and has less opportunity to keep the child safe than a whole pack of wolves. That being said, I’m enjoying Alcide’s fall from grace and still don’t want Emma around a bunch of V-addicts.
  • As always it is a pleasure to see Martha.
  • Lafayette somehow didn’t steal the show from Eric. I’m totally okay with that. Lala was fabulous nonetheless.
  • We spent more time on Patrick: ugh.
  • Seeing the governor at night makes it seem like he’s a vampire. Show him in the daylight, please.
  • This whole “vampires have no rights” thing is a bit extreme and I don’t know that a governor could possibly have that much power… isn’t there such a thing as voting? Where’s the President? Congress? Is this being overlooked because A CERTAIN VIKING KILLED AN IMPORTANT LIUTENANT? Ugh.
  • Despite True Blood’s issues (gratuitous inability to tell a coherent story, namely), it always strikes gold when Andy Bellefleur is on the screen. I seriously could watch a spin-off in which Andy, Arlene, Terry, and the newly born faery toddlers try to get answers from Morella. I see it now: The Bellefleurs. That’d be nice, having only one family to follow.
  • I love this crazy train… but boy, is the crazy difficult at times.

Until next time!

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