“In the Evening” had a strong opening act. In fact, I’d say that the first 33 minutes and 59 seconds were pretty solid. And then Jessica had sex with vampire James for the sake of her partial nudity (their partial nudity? It was a strong scene for eye candy) and the whole thing went to hell for nearly ten minutes.
Here’s what I can absolutely say about “In the Evening”: it was a successful episode because everyone put on their acting hats and the entire 60 minutes thrived in the quiet moments… for the most part. Even when characters moved through plots they had no business being involved in (Sookie and Arlene, for example), the entire hour felt fresh and quiet in all of the ways True Blood has somehow forgotten to be in the last two seasons.
Tonight I’m going to try something a little bit different*. I’m going to rate each scene (and/or character interaction) as the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Northman clan is particularly resourceful. They make it look ridiculously easy to break free from the vampire death camp (or get what they need out of it, re: Pam).
EVERYBODY WAS ACTING TONIGHT! Some of the actors on True Blood tend to phone their performances in (Anna Paquin has yet to do any acting whatsoever this season), but tonight I can safely say that Carrie Preston (Arlene) and Alexander Skarsgård (Eric) were giving top-notch performances.
Sarah Newlin has become a fangtastic big bad for this season. Anna Camp is more terrifying than most of the baddies we’ve seen on True Blood, with her delivery of “God is good” post kissing a disembodied head being particularly terrifying. Then, you know, she threw a bleeding Jason into a room filled with hungry baby vamps; that certainly solidified how scary she can be.
Nora’s entire death sequence was exceptionally well done. I never liked Nora, but she began to grow on me this season… just enough for this scene to cause me to have feelings for her. Eric was particularly heart breaking. I’ll admit that I’m still enchanted by his Lestat long blond hair from the flashback, though.
All things Bill… Like Bill making an appearance at the Bellefleur residence just to give his condolences, for example. This guy needs to die.
Bro-Time With Bill and Eric has been given a series renewal. Damnit. I really want Eric to kill Bill instead of teaming up with him again. That didn’t work out for Eric last time, and it certainly won’t this time.
Sam and Nicole just don’t make any sense to me. Like, for real. She gave him “I’m sorry your friend died sex”, and I’m supposed to give any shits about this? She doesn’t matter at all as a character… I really don’t understand why she exists except to give Sam something to do this season. Oh, I might have just figured that out.
Warlow seems to not understand that when women have sex with men in the modern era, it does not solidify them as a betrothed couple. Similarly, Sookie for some reason couldn’t predict that Warlow might have control issues… I mean, that is the kind of man she’s attracted to (re: every time someone says “Sookie is mine.”)
(Side note: Sookie’s privates were blurred out when the camera pulled away. I’m sorry, but I laughed hysterically at this realization.)
Jessica bumping uglies with James. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure EVERYONE wanted this to happen. I mean, in the HBOverse there’s nothing that us viewers love more than pretty people hooking up. But storytelling wise? This was sloppy, contrived, and plain old awful. I get the plot progression for Jessica: she’s trying to punish herself. But writing a female character so that she wants to have sex with her almost-rapist is literally the dumbest thing that I have ever seen. Deborah Ann Woll did as well as she could have in this scene, and baby vamp Jessica getting tossed around like she weighed nothing was delightful just because of Deborah’s acting ability… but still. No.
All things Alcide. This whole pack thing doesn’t make any sense to me. I thought that packmasters had control over their packs? Why do they care if he makes a decision that is better for human kind? Is it that Nicole saw them as wolves? Is it that Sam, former best friend to Alcide, is now the Shreveport pack’s number one enemy? I. Don’t. Get it.
I’m worried that Jason is going to be a rape victim again. And that True Blood will make him get over it very quickly, because the writers have no idea how real people react to anything.
You may not be able to tell, but I think this episode was second best this season next to episode 4 “At Last”. The writing was a bit rocky at times, but “In the Evening” was certainly a fantastic set up for the events that are yet to come. The mixed quality of this season is a bit upsetting if not downright offensive at times, but I’m willing to believe that True Blood will see the light and deliver a killer ending.
Follow me as I live-tweet #TrueBlood every Sunday night @BlaireLovesTV!
* – Big thanks to @evilapprentice (guest contributor Shana Lieberman) for giving me the idea to rank the episode as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!