True Blood S05E07: In The Beginning

I don’t even.

True Blood has gone so very far beyond the reaches of even its own half-hearted attempts at maintaining the rules of its own fictional universe, and is making some bloody odd decisions to boot. Incidentally I found a tumblr post that sums things up pretty good. Thisweek’s good: Sassy Sookie, Arlene’s Wedding Video, Sam Is A Dog; this week’s bad: just about everything else.

Sookie is still in full-on Screw You Guys I’m Going Home mode, and this week is uncomfortably close to echoing the audience in her desire to get things back to a semblance of normality. In plot terms, she discovers that the more she uses her faerie powers, the closer she gets to being a regular human, no mind-reading or hadoukens or anything. Naturally this sounds pretty appealing and Sooks is all zapping the sky like there’s no tomorrow. It’s pretty nice that the show is following through on her reaction to the vampire plotline, even if it does highlight some worrying flaws for the show, to whit, ‘we’re sick of this crap’.

I suppose at some point we’ll have to confront the hot mess that is the vampire plotline, so let’s get down to it. Last week I was wrong, Roman is toast. So instead of Meloni and O’Hare chewing each and every square inch of scenery from New Orleans to Gainesville we get… more Vampire Bible. Dammit, True Blood. What’s left is Russell’s rehabilitation into the Vampire religion, which has this weird dissonance in that he clearly doesn’t give a toot about Lilith but Salome and Bloody Terrible Nora never address it and proceed as if nothing was awry. The vampires all drink a little of Lilith’s blood and then go to an exterior scene in New Orleans and trip balls, including several giffable gems such as the all-new Russell/Newlin ship and Bill getting a piggyback from Eric.

So anyway, they all end up in a karaoke bar, and this happens:

and all our True Blood lives are complete. That’s it guys! you can stop now. Then all the tripping vampires eat all the nice people and Lilith appears, and because this is True Blood she is a naked catwalk-model-figured woman with a neatly groomed pubic triangle. Then Godric appears and tells Eric to save Nora from Lilith, who may or may not be a mass hallucination. Pretty sure it’s no coincidence that the thread has gone completely apeshit after Roman’s death. Salome and Bugger Off Already just don’t have the range or presence of Meloni, and the ceaseless triple-agenting is fatiguing.

In other, equally dumb plotlines, Hoyt has joined a self-defined ‘hate group’ who say stupid things even for a hate group which I won’t repeat here and TB should know better and halfway through typing that I realised how ridiculous an idea that is. Save for a couple of moments of self-awareness this year has gone from promising to bugfuck in record time. Even the maenad storyline made more sense than this crap. Watching the unchanged opening credits gives a stark reminder of what this show used to be: a fan-friendly soap opera, sure, but one that was tuned in to actual social issues and personal relationships.

Even this scene, which was genuinely touching in places, particularly in featuring a Lafayette before the shit started raining on him, has as its very framing device a bit of years-old nostalgia for how good things used to be. Remember when we gave not just a shit about Hoyt, but a whole bucket of shits? Even when their relationship was failing they made a fascinating couple. Back when Terry and Jason were just lovable goofs, Andy never got his end away and Tara wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Sigh.

This week Tara gets to find her self-esteem pole-dancing! Of course her mum comes into the vampire bar to tell her mid-performance that she is dead to her (okay) and for whatever reason Tara is still affected by this and gets Vampire Hugged by new mum Pam, who hasn’t done anything particularly badass in a couple weeks, and that is a Bad Thing. Her crimped hair, however, is glorious.

So this was a pretty whut kind of episode, and I’ll be honest, not a whole lot happened to change the series for the better. Now that Roman is out of the picture and Vampires Bill and Eric are tripping their little nuts off with Russell Edgington, Variety Performer, I’m not entirely sure where the show is heading. Something something faeries something hate crime werewolves? If there’s one thing you can say about True Blood,it is tricky to predict.

In brief:

  • Jason gets in an argument with Jessica because she is feeding on a human and Jason hates vampires for killing his parents. Didn’t vampires also kill his gran? W/e, that friendship lasted about thirty seconds, Jess is just kind of milling around Bon Temps these days.
  • The ifrit is laughing at all of us, Terry. We didn’t sign up for this.
  • STOP BEING A DICK TO LALA. Seriously, he gets his face stitched up and gets all of two minutes screentime in return. Why do you hate Lafayette, True Blood?
  • Alcide works out by sexfighting random willowy brunettes. While wearing a bandanna. Shrug. Anyway, something something fighting a VampireBlood!PackMaster. Press A to continue.
  • Steve Newlin lives in all of us.
  • Why does True Blood keep killing its best characters? At this rate Terrible Nora will get her own spinoff.

Next week: a séance, more Russell, Sookie hadouken, werewolf fights, Tara drinking blood, a show in search of a plot.

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