'True Blood': 'Leave me out with the waste. This is not what I do'
Welcome to another "True Blood" wrap-up, boys and girls. Because fewer of you had comments to make last week, this post will end up being shorter than usual (but I figured I'd toss some red meat out there anyway). I thought the last episode was the highlight of the season so far, but I'm rapidly realizing that a lot of folks didn't agree, thinking it was way too slow-moving. But, hey, to each their own, and I'm sure that with that episode being a cliffhanger, the next one will start with a crazy werewolf bloodbath or something. That, or all of the wolves will sit down and have a frank discussion about their feelings with Russell.
Thanks to all of you who pointed out that the "cover version" of Damien Rice's "9 Crimes" at the end of the episode was by Rice himself. It's a demo version that's hidden as a bonus track on the album "9." Rice sings all of the parts himself, which is why it sounds different from the completed version, a duet with a female singer. Rice has such a distinctive voice that you'd think I would have recognized it immediately, but I guess not. Again, thanks for all of the answers to my question!
Now, let's move on to your comments!
Jeff Maylor wants to know where the whole werewolf thing is going and what's up with the connection to Nazis. While I genuinely have no idea, I wonder if we're heading for some sort of storyline about ethnic cleansing, with the vampires and werewolves each trying to rub the other race off the face of the Earth. Sure, the werewolves are hyped up on vampire blood, but how long can Russell trust them to not turn on him? Or this could be about Russell trying to wipe the Louisiana vampires off the face of the Earth with his new allies. Why would he want to do this? Again, I have no idea, but I hope we get more into his motivations in the weeks to come.
Wellie also liked the return of the focus to Sookie as the main character, while Melinda agreed the show might be a little better if it did more heavily character-focused episodes. I'm not saying that that's the only way forward for the show. "True Blood" has done some enormously entertaining episodes under its standard format. But I think it can afford to vary things from time to time; not every episode has to have a million exciting cliffhangers, as we saw with the last episode. (The episode from last year where Godric died was another that did a good job of slowing the pace and doing more focus on character work without making the show uninteresting.)
KarenJ was less enthused about the episode than I was, calling it "plodding." While I can see why some people think the slower pace is less interesting, I do think we need to have episodes like that every so often so the show doesn't completely lose its soul chasing after crazy plot developments. Down that road lies "Heroes" and season three of "The OC" and any number of other TV cautionary tales. She also points out that I forgot to say anything about Bud's retirement party. While I like having William Sanderson on the show, it's been so long since the series gave him anything substantial to do that I'm liking this mini-arc, even if it's not the most developed storyline.
Halofan takes issue with me calling Sookie "dumb":
"Which show are you watching? A major facet of the character is that between her native intelligence and telepathy, she is perceptive where others are not. Perhaps the Kmart wardrobe and the fact the lines are delivered with an accent more Oxford, Mississipi rather than Oxford, England is resonating a bit too much for you."
My thought is that Sookie doesn't do nearly enough with her intelligence and telepathy (which seems to make itself known only when it's convenient for the plot). She also has a tendency to get into dangerous situations that could have been avoided if had she thought a few things through. Granted, this has gotten less pronounced as the series has gone along, and it's probably unfair to call her "dumb" at this juncture in the series. But I do think one of the things holding it back in the past was the fact that its lead had a bad habit of wandering into precarious situations without really thinking things through. Again, this could all be part of the show's sly satire on horror movies, but it still bugs me from time to time.
And with that, we're done for the week. There won't be a "True Blood" post next week. Why? Because I'll be covering the "True Blood" panel at Comic-Con, assuming I can even get into the room. Here's hoping it all works out, and remember you can e-mail and Tweet me whenever you like.
-- Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)
Photo: Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) got an episode largely devoted to her character last time on "True Blood." Credit: HBO
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