TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Hopeless”

     July 15, 2012


True Blood at its best and at its worst is still entertaining.  Though we may feel compelled to roll our eyes at some of its most ridiculous storylines, humor is never far.  The best True Blood episodes combine workable mythology alongside its innate snark, and this season has given that us in spades.  It’s a show that tricks you into nodding in assent when a character solemnly says, “turns out it was a crazy smoke monster who wanted to kill me, not the demon baby like we thought.” Of course.  Further, it has developed storylines that are interesting, not always immediately telegraphed, and that have resurrected – literally or metaphorically – characters who had previously fallen out of favor or off of our screens.  Though this season still has too many irons in the fire to tell any one story particularly effectively, it grounds itself in the small moments (like Sookie, Arlene and Holly all man hatin’ together in Merlotte’s) and has continued to be down right enjoyable.  For the nitty gritty of the episode and why peace is for pussies, hit the jump.

true-blood-season-5-episode-5-moyer-skarsgardHe’s baaaaaaaaaack!  Doesn’t it feel glorious to have a foe this season who is actually a worthy foe?  And entertaining to boot – there are few things better than a profanity-laced diatribe by the deposed Vampire King of Mississippi.  First thing’s first – R.I.P. Christopher Meloni a.k.a. Roman.  According to Russell, you were a dick in the Renaissance and you remained one until the day of your true death, but you will be missed us mere mortals.  What will not be missed, however, is Roman’s singular focus on the vampire religion and the extended rituals of the Authority.  Good riddance to that.

In other world-building, the time spent watching performers at the Fairy!Moulin Rouge felt like a waste, especially when there were far more interesting fairy storylines to explore.  We got extended shots of what felt like a sudden turn to a music video, yet Claude explained his fairydom, Sookie’s parents’ deaths and pointing out his fairy brothers and sisters all in what seemed like under a minute.  There were other fairy moments that were similarly glossed over, such as Sookie being unable to be glamoured because of her fairydom, something that also gives her the power, apparently, to restore memories.  For a show that doesn’t rely much on inference, that was a huge thing to not really get into the specifics of or even mention.  Although as Sookie seemed to repeat several times over the course of the episode, “I can’t explain it because it doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

true-blood-rutina-wesleyOther creatures got a little more fleshing out this week though, including the wolf pack.  The pack has been more or less ignored for several seasons, which is a shame, because they are actually fairly interesting when it comes to unpacking their politics (you know, like the whole eating one’s offspring’s entrails, etc).  Even though Alcide’s desire to take over the pack doesn’t seem at first to have much bearing on the other plots, keep in mind that one of Russell’s greatest strengths is his alliances with wolves.  And it would appear, from the fractured nature of the pack meeting, that there are plenty of wolves who would like to get out of that trade, including Hot (and Sensible) New Lady Wolf who volunteered to be Alcide’s beta should he win over the pack.  The wolf pack (and associated shifters) is also pretty entertainingly straight-up redneck, as illustrated best by the hospital scene where Luna, Sam and Meemaw Martha all berated the poor nurse with a variety of threats, profanities and hysterical yelling.

What came of that was Sam assisting Andy in tracking down the murdererous crew.  But how wrong could Andy really go with that investigation?  Bon Temps is not a big town.  There is a store that doubles as an arsenal for the impending human versus vampire war.  Hmmm, I wonder where the vigilantes could have stocked up?  I wonder if the owner is involved?  By golly …!  It is of little surprise as well that the vigilantes are some of Hoyt’s buddies, who save him from getting drained in a back alley.  Because that is what friends are for.  Even if they moonlight as murderers.

I spent the opening paragraph praising this season and then much of the rest of the recap detailing some rather large leaps of logic, but don’t mistake my criticism of some of the show’s finer points as disappointment.  This is still True Blood operating on high octane, creating stories viewers are actually excited for (and I’ll mention a few of the more minor character arcs below, because this episode was more fractured than most).  But this was a building block episode, one which we seem to be getting almost instant rewards for starting next week.

Next Week: We learn some fairy rules, Russell’s true reign begins, Lafayette visits the Don, and war is on the horizon.

Grade: B+

true-blood-michael-mcmillian-deborah-ann-wollMusings and Miscellanea:

— Let’s give up on this Ifrit story.  No one cares.  And this is coming from someone who loves Terry.

— Sad to see Tara and Jessica’s friendship last for less than twenty seconds, but I have hopes that they will repair it.

— Does Pam really need to be such a bitch though?

— “The only thing you have to fear is …” is what? Fear itself? Tell us, Papa Stackhouse!

— There’s still an issue of no main characters ever dying. I thought Luna might be killed off to at least create some kind of dire circumstance, but nope.

— I loved the scene in the bus where the woman was asking if there would be financial restitution for their pain.

— “You wanna come into my house and fuck with me?!” – Tara

— Eric was great during all of his scenes with the Authority counsel, not sucking up at all like Bill was and just answering honestly and with extreme boredom.

— “Lilith can blow me” – Eric

— Oh Ruby Jean, you steal the show.  It was great to see her character oscillate from somewhat lucid thoughts and comments about Jesus to slipping off into the deep end, talking about the “electricity” that runs through her.  We know, Ruby Jean.  Bless.

True Blood (Lucy Griffiths Alexander Skarsgard Stephen Moyer)