“In the Evening” might not be one of True Blood‘s best episodes, but it was an important transition away from the insanity of the last two years and towards a new vision for the series. At San Diego Comic Con, fans were promised a return to the soul of Bon Temps next year, without so much of a focus entirely on the supernatural. “In the Evening” was exactly the kind of character building hour that the show needed to have to start achieving that, after cleaning up the mess of last season. Hit the jump for more, I just hope you don’t have “stock holder’s syndrome …”
Though Terry’s death in the last episode was heartbreaking (not only because of why and how he did it, but because of the loss of such a great actor, and a character who was one of the few humans left on the show), it kicked off a commitment by the series to start culling its overstocked cast. Last week I mentioned that it might be good to say goodbye to Nora, too, who was fun but who has outlasted her usefulness (and who has been replaced by Willa, who looks almost exactly like her).
In a show that kills arbitrarily and often, not a lot of time is usually given to those deaths, but “In the Evening” allowed for the mourning of Terry and of Nora in ways (and with a depth) the show doesn’t usually touch on. Yes, Arlene and the remaining Bellefleurs still largely played for comedic effect, but when Arlene was crying in grass at the cemetery it was a genuinely sad and touching moment. Eric’s final moments with Nora were somewhat ruined by a backstory involving Charles II and the plague that really didn’t make any sense (so why didn’t Eric turn Nora? Why did Godric? Godric wasn’t even there with him!), his emotion and strange prayer showed a side of Eric rarely (perhaps never) seen.
Elsewhere, Jessica was able to have the opportunity to take the time to thank James, who didn’t have sex with her, but having sex with him. But before that, she gave a depressing diatribe about death and the futility of life, while James spoke about “choosing a different path.” The vampires of True Blood are pretty uniformly bad — even Jessica drained three fairies. But James gives a glimpse of the kind of vampire that Bill used to want to be: the kind who keep their humanity and choose not to fall into the behaviors that define most vampires.
In other character moments, Sarah Newlin took on a new dimension by taking over for the falling governor and keeping up his work, while Alcide got a speech from his father about how pack life isn’t for them (after it’s taken Alcide two seasons to ascend, reluctantly, to the role). Even Sookie had sex without falling in love (though this might be the one time she should). “In the Evening” was quiet, and not necessarily great, but it was important in showing a new plan for the future of True Blood. Change is in the air, and that is a very, very good thing.
Episode Rating: B+
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Nora turning into a gelatinous mess was definitely the grossest moment of this season.
— Jessica has never been with a vampire?
— Anna Paquin really does not mind being naked.
— “You’re a liar and voodoo queer!” – Arlene
— I can’t believe Sookie didn’t investigate further once she spoke to A.B.C.D. mentally. Remember so many seasons ago when she met her first other fairy? Now it doesn’t even phase her!
— Bill walking around in the daylight should have been more surprising than it was.
— We were so close to saying goodbye to Nicole, who is really skinny and pretty but also super boring and uninteresting, when the other uninteresting plot grabbed her. Sam and Alcide are in a serious No1Currrrr zone.
— “I’m so glad I took my beta blockers. Deuces!” – Lafayette
— How could Andy just stand there and listen to Bill prattle on about how precious life is when Bill is the one responsible for kidnapping Andy’s kids?!
— Sarah Newlin needs to call Ray Donovan.
— I bet Game of Thrones will be able to use that prop severed head next year.
— Did Willa really need to carry around that entire arm? Why not just a finger?
— Pam isn’t hungry, she’s horny y’all!
— Only three episodes left? This feels right. A shorter season suits this show.