Mon
Jul 8 2013 11:00am

True Blood Season 6, Ep. 4: “At Last”

True Blood Ben

This show. I don’t even.

Six seasons in, there are glimpses of True Blood’s former gloriously pulpy, soapy self but it’s getting hard see to underneath a film of sloppiness and total nonsense. True Blood is like Lafayette in day-old makeup. No offense to Lafayette. It’s only a metaphor. I’m sure he spares no expense at Sephora to seal in his look for a few days of debauchery.

But for every scene of barely-legal fairy teens and a vampire’s first awakening, we also have to swallow forced plot-amnesia and character assassination.

You’re trying to glamour me, True Blood, and it isn’t working.

Bill

Bill is currently using his Billith powers to force a doctor to synthesize some fairy blood to save his vampire peers from immolation at the hands of the Governor. Okay, fair enough. But it seems like he could do cooler things as a vampire god. Last week he threw a dish and this week he made a scientist float. Meh. Too bad Billith powers don’t grant more magical abilities, like being able to filter the good stuff out of fairy blood—or any supernatual blood—and bottle it up. Bill’s story would really feel like it’s spinning wheels if it wasn’t for Jessica. For now. I mean, we know some showdown is coming between Warlow and Bill and the human-vamp war is heating up. So I’m not going to be too harsh. Even if all Bill did this episode was lure some young girls to his house to party and get their blood stolen through a vampire bondage bracelet. That was pretty pervy. Or it would be if it was anyone but Bill, who’s pretty celibate these days.

Eric

Eric’s always been one for a plan. A vampire of action, unlike Bill. Only a lot of times, Eric’s plans are really half-baked. I enjoyed watching him turn Willa. I enjoy watching humans get turned into vampires—it’s usually dark and sensual, sometimes it’s scary or tragic, but it’s especially cool to watch these babyvamps appreciate their new power and revel in it. That’s the intrinsic appeal of vampires: they’re sexy and immortal and so much stronger than the everyday mundane human. Willa’s white nightgown reminded me of Mina Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After she was turned, she looked like one of Bela Lugosi’s vampire brides. Very nice use of a costume. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

HOWEVER. Sending Willa back home to Daddy without any kind of training was pretty dense. Maybe she might’ve had a chance of convincing her dad to stop persecuting vampires if she knew how to control her bloodlust. And Miss Willa should have The Talk with Jessica, if she wants to know about having sex as a virgin vampire. Are we not going there? I could do without the status update on Willa’s hymen, but I did think it was kind of impolite of Eric not to sleep with her first. Willa had every right to be pissed and feeling used. That’s not a good way to build loyalty.

True Blood, Nicole, Lafayette

Sam

I’m still unclear about why Emma can’t stay with her grandma and the wolf-pack. The pack isn’t on V anymore. Am I forgetting something crucial here? And honestly, any ties Sam had to Luna seem pretty freaking gone when he’s making out with Nicole two whole days after she died in his arms. I love how on TV, that’s like flirting. “Someone died tragically bleeding all over me. Now, kiss me, you fool!” I know show-time has to be sped up, but this is just ridiculous. Emma even acknowledged that her mom died two days ago. This is not the way to get people to ship a couple. It’s kinda gross.

Lafayette

Dismissed from Sam like a stray dog you don’t want to follow you home. Really, bitch? That’s not cool. But, hey, he averted Emma’s eyes from naked Sam. Like she hasn’t seen all that before. Ew. It’s kinda weird to think about it too much.

Alcide

Stranded on Who Gives A Crap Island with Terry and Arlene.

True Blood, Jessica

Jessica

So, I just watched the first season of Hannibal and the ick-factor of watching a young girl lead other young girls into her father’s trap is too fresh. But Jessica’s at least altruistic and was trying to chaperone Bill. How messed up is it that she drank all four girls? Everything with Jessica was a highlight of the hour. As usual. Looking at four dead girls (or are they dead?) broke my heart for all the wrong reasons. I don’t want my favorite character to be responsible for a quadruple homicide. Next week better open with Jess in full fey-blood freakout mode or else every established rule on this show hopped out the window.

Jason

Day-um, Jason Stackhouse. As I wish I had a picture to post of Jess in her fan service schoolgirl outfit, I wish I had a screenshot to share of Jason doing shirtless pull-ups. Any goodwill that image built up was torn down by Jason wrestling with his heterosexuality after he dreamed of sexy-shaving Ben. Would Jason even be self-aware enough to be repulsed by some manscaping in a dream? It could’ve been a hot scene, way better than waif-thin Ser Loras sexy-shaving Renly on Game of Thrones. Instead it was a mean tease. It was gayer than some of the love scenes we’ve seen between two men on True Blood, and it was played for laughs. I was really hoping Ben/Warlow would make Jason into his Renfield. Instead, he was glamoured into a different storyline where we’re reminded Jason is a cop. FAIL.

True Blood, Jason, Niall

Niall

Look at his hair. If Rutger Hauer is thrown into the Phairy Phantom Zone a lá General Zod, never to be seen again? DOUBLE FAIL.

Sookie

At last... Sookie met Warlow. Is Warlow just the vampire inside of fairy Ben? Is Ben good or evil? What does he want with Sookie now? Why did he have her promised to him all those centuries ago? There’s definitely a lot of gray to this character. How will Ben/Warlow run afoul of Billith? Does it really matter?

It was just cool to watch Sookie discover Ben’s true identity on her own and to try and set a trap for him. Okay, maybe she took to playing Warlow-bait a bit too easily. It’s not a smart offensive idea to put yourself beneath your enemy, in your Victoria’s Secret best, on purpose. But, can’t blame a girl for trying. I mean, we saw Ben shirtless.

 

Next on True Blood: Are any of you still really looking forward to watching this show next week out of anything other than mild curiosity and a glimmer of hope that more beautiful people will get undressed?

True Blood airs Sundays at 9P.M. E/PT on HBO.


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com, covering True Blood, Game of Thrones, and gaming news. Follow her on Twitter @tdelucci

20 comments
Pritpaul Bains
1. Kickpuncher
I got the same vibe re: Willa's dress giving me Mina Harker flashbacks.

Eric's "plan" for her was just absolutely a complete facepalm from start to finish, unless everything he said about wanting her to teach her father about how vampires can be good was a total lie, and he just wanted to hurt the Governor. I doubt this was the case, given how selective Eric is about turning others - he wouldn't have turned Willa in some kind of petty hissy fit.

But who knows with this show anymore.
meonlyme
2. meonlyme
Yeah...Eric turning Willa made me scratch my head and then want to punch him in the face. Thus far, lame-assed reason to turn her. I like Pam's idea better - Cut off Willa's head and place it on her stomach for Daddy to find.

I'm not surprised about Ben being Warlow, but surprised he's some vampire/fairie hybrid. (I've dubbed him a "Famp" named 'Ben'low.) I wonder who will ultimately win out - Ben fairie or Ben vamp... And G-Pa Niall's hair is über cool. I swear it got bigger and more freaked the closer he got to 'Ben'low.

Jason doing pullups in the bedroom doorway? LAWD HAVE MERCY! And here I thought nothing could rival shirtless Eric or Alcide.

Lastly, thanks for the tip this week, True Blood. I had no idea I could pick up a bottle of colloidal silver while grocery shopping for chicken. *nods head*

I'll be turning in next week out of mild curiosity. Got'ta find out if Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 survive. If so, I also wonder if Bill will give 'em his blood thus turning them into Famps like 'Ben'low.
meonlyme
3. Gardner Dozois
If they thought the fact that Ben is Warlow was going to be a big surprise, they should be disappointed. Is there ANYBODY who didn't guess that Ben was Warlow? I suspected it the very first time he was introduced. I'm also disappointed that they seem to be repeating last season's plot setup--get most of the characters locked up in the Evil Lair of the Bad Guys, and then the rest of the characters have to crash in in the final episode and try to save them. Not big points for originality, especially as they used varients of this in Season Four and Season Two.

I did like this episode better than last week's episode--there was something seriously wrong with either the writing or direction or both in last week's episode, and this episode at least moved along briskly enough. But none of these characters can come up with a workable plan to save their souls (which might actually be on the table). Eric's plan is really stupid, and gives away any advantage he might had over the Govenor by holding his daughter hostage, and gives away that tactical advantage for no particularly good, or even sensible, reason. Bill's plan is stupid. Niall's plan to take out Warlow is stupid, and clumsily executed. The Governor's plan is stupid, and would hardly wipe out all vampires, probably not even all vampires in Louisiana. Sam and Pam don't seem to have a plan, except running away. Sookie's plan is stupid, although she gets points for figuring out that Ben is Warlow (it's sad when Sookie is the sharpest person in the episode). As soon as she saw that her attempt to poison him with silver had failed (and why did it, because he's part fae?), she should have immediately blasted him, rather than manuevering him to get on top of her, a pretty awkward position to blast someone from (and being in part a superfast vampire, couldn't he zip away or break her neck before she could act, once she tips her hand). It was also stupid of her not to TELL Niall or Jason that Ben was Warlow; you'd think they would have all put their heads together and figured out a plan of attack. And how come Sookie and Ben are no longer hearing each other's thoughts, as a big point was made of their being able to do in a previous episode? Wouldn't he be able to hear her thinking, "I hope he likes chicken, because I loaded it with poison?"

What WARLOW'S plan is, I have no idea. Why didn't he drain Sookie the first time he was alone with her? Is the idea to mate with her and force her to produce more half fae/half vampire children? Wouldn't he have been better off trying that with one of the full-blooded faes that he slaughtered in the fairy nightclub? Why did he heal Jason? For that matter, why didn't he just kill Jason after he deafeated their attack on him? What's all this about only he can defeat Lilith, or was it vice versa? How does Bill figure in all that?

I don't see how they can bring Jessica back as a sympathetic character after having her slaughter four innocent teenage girls (even if they are fairies), and I wonder if they're not setting her up to be killed. Andy may die too, since he obviously has not the remotest chance of defeating Bill, and probably not even of defeating Jessica. (For that matter, speaking of stupid things, how come it never occurs to the Govenor to look for vampires in the palatial home of the former King of the Vampires in Louisiana? It's location certainly wasn't a secret.)

Annoying that they brought Rutger Hauer into the show just to waste him by throwing him into the Phantom Zone, reminds me of how they wasted Christopher Melioni last season. Although they at least threw him into the Phantom Zone rather than kiling him, so maybe he'll pop up again at some point.
meonlyme
4. Gardner Dozois
If, in spite of everything, Sookie and Warlow become a couple, would they call the couple Wookie?
Constance Sublette
5. Zorra
Like everybody who ever watched Buffy, I knew Ben was Warlow the moment 'Ben' arrived.

Sheesh, the show can't even bothered to file off the serial numbers when biting Buffy. The Authority - the Intiative; Ben/Warlow - Ben/Glory. Sheesh, sheesh, sheesh.

Ah well, True Blood's days are numbered. A ten episode season only.
meonlyme
7. Petar Belic
Theresa, I think you are making some big assumptions about Willa's virginity or lack-of. We don't know what happened during the 'turn'. Remember Eric tenderly taking is shirt off to lie Willa down on... wellllllll.

Anyway, fairy-vampires? I think this has almost turned into a modern-day anime, complete with fan-service, cross-genre meta jokes and otaku shout-outs. Not that it's a bad thing, just sayin'....
Theresa DeLucci
8. theresa_delucci
This is True Blood! If there's sex, they're gonna show it. Especially if it involves Eric. I just assumed he took his shirt off because he didn't want it getting dirty. And I think it's somewhere in the actor's contract that he must get shirtless every three episodes... or else.

It's really hard not to compare True Blood to other shows that aired before it or on the same network. It was never wildly original, but it had its own distinctive voice that I loved. It's definitely still distinctive now, but not for the best reasons.

@4: If Sookie and Ben become a couple - egads, Sookie! How dumb are you?! -- Wookie is a fantastic name.

We still need a good name for a vampire-fairy hybrid. My first instinct was daywalker, but that's kinda taken by Blade. Not that True Blood wouldn't still use it. But we can think of better, no? Fangerbells? Cullens, after the most famous sparkly vampire of all? Um... Nos-fey-atu? Just some suggestions, people.
meonlyme
9. Gardner Dozois
fampire.
meonlyme
10. Gardner Dozois
Over on the io9 rewatch, they're all enthusing about how this is the best episode of TRUE BLOOD in years, which just goes to show you how mileage can vary.
meonlyme
11. sofrina
faepire! my guess is warlow sought a female descendant of the king's line so he could become king himself. marry the ruler's daughter and your child is the rightful heir no matter what. (i'm not clear why ben spit niall's blood out, but he did turn him, yes?)

tara and alcide need to go have a beer or something. they have nothing else going on. sam needs to get a grip. he has a real hero complex for someone who's so desperate for obscurity. instead of trying to save everyone, just let them fight it out amongst themselves for awhile. at the very least choose your damsels more wisely. these people approached werewolves in an isolated location, after dark. who hears werewolf and thinks 'they're reasonable human beings." they watched the whole fight at merlotte's and then plunged ahead... these kids ardently pursued their own slaughter. and when this girl wolfs out, she'll know what "and satisfaction brought her back" means.

jessica's situation is very confusing. how did she take down all four of these girls? what were the others doing while she was draining the first one? shouldn't there hands have lit up instinctively? (and how did they become so trashy overnight?) maybe bill can turn all of them. maybe vampirism stabilizes fae blood..?
meonlyme
12. Gardner Dozois
Over at io9, they're all talking about how Denise will turn into a werewolf now, since she was bitten by a werewolf, but unless the showrunners have completely abandoned or forgotten their own rules (which I wouldn't entirely put past them), that's not how it works in the TRUE BLOOD universe. You become a werewolf through genetics, not because a werewolf bit you. That was proved when Jason didn't turn into a werepanther.

I suspect that you're right, and it's going to turn out that whatever Warlow is up to it's because Sookie is Fae royalty--a "fairy princess," if you will. Probably he wants to force her to breed with him, either so he can claim the throne (perhaps it has something to do with factions in the mercifully so-far forgotten fairy civil war) or to breed more fae/vampire children.

I don't believe that Warlow was supposed to have turned Niall before he threw him into the Phanom Zone. I don't know why he spit Niall's blood into the bathtime. Maybe he finds it distasteful to suck on Rutger Hauer.
Constance Sublette
13. Zorra
Maybe Ben spit out Niall's fairy blood,because, fairy blood's a super hallucinogen for vamps, which would bring out Ben the fairy's Warlow the vamp before Warlow was supposed to reveal to Sookie? (But, as we see, Sookie's on to Benlow.)
Don Barkauskas
14. bad_platypus
HOWEVER. Sending Willa back home to Daddy without any kind of training was pretty dense. Maybe she might’ve had a chance of convincing her dad to stop persecuting vampires if she knew how to control her bloodlust.
Or, maybe, Eric isn't at all interested in convincing the governor. Maybe Eric anticipates the governor sending his daughter to the secret lab, and then Eric plans to track her there using the maker-progeny bond. Seems like a perfectly reasonable plan to me.
meonlyme
15. Gardner Dozois
Nobody in this show is that smart.
meonlyme
16. Kirshy
@Zorra The Authority and the Initiative are not even close to the same thing. The Ben/Warlow and Ben/Glory comparison I will grant you is kind of similar though.

@Gardner you seem very upset personally with this show. I think the show can be a bit ridiculous too sometimes, but it's not really a deep thinking show. It's fun and campy, and in the grand scheme of TV not that bad overall.

My thoughts on Benlow though are this; he is looking for a life companion. My guess is he wants to turn Sookie into a fae vampire like himself so he will have someone who can join him as a day walker for eternity. That would explain the deal with her parents (maybe), and also why he didn't just kill her outright. He wants to gain her trust and have her fall for him. To come willingly into his arms, as it were. A fair point was made earlier in the comments, why not just turn the other fae in their secret clubhouse. What is so special about Sookie? Her royal blood being special seems like a loose reason.

Part of what makes the show fun though is the chaos. Yes the plot can be crazy and the character motivations odd but at least when they throw a twist in at the end, it's usually surprising.
meonlyme
17. meonlyme
I agree the show's campy and fun, but do wish the writers (from last season and this season) would make the storylines a little less convoluted.

I think Ben'low didn't turn the clubhouse faes into fae/vamp hybrids because he wants to be the only one, particularly the only one who can withstand sunlight.
Constance Sublette
18. Zorra
@16. Kirshy: The cages? the stainless steel everywhere? The underground set-up reached by long elevator rides? And the same at the Gub's secret compound.

Looks pretty Initiative-like.
meonlyme
19. Gardner Dozois
I'm willing to cut a show like this a lot of slack. It's campy fun, nobody's expecting Great Art. Still, it would be nice if the plots made some remote bit of sense, and it gets annoying when the characters are consistently stupid. Advenure/fun shows don't give you a pass on that. In fact, you could make an argument that adventure shows need to be MORE tightly plotted.
meonlyme
21. monicayoung
As True Blood DVD Season 5 just finished, season 5 brings people many doubtful ends.in the dinal episode, Russell, along with Eric's vampire sister Nora and Salome, redefine the values of the Authority and view humans as nothing more than food: just as Lilith of the Vampire bible wanted. The season ends with Bill drinking the blood of Lilith in front of Sookie and Eric. He begins to fall apart, ultimately meeting the "true death". Shortly after, a nude Bill "rises from the blood", as an even more powerful vampire ("Lilith"). Surprised, Eric yells for Sookie to run prior to the end credits playing. None knows what will happen then in season 6 of true blood series. We will find the answer at the begining.
meonlyme
22. Elgo
OMG this season is so ridiculous When is sookie going to stop sleeping with the enemy!!!!! She can't trust her "feelings". Bill lied and tricker her Eric was the only one upfront with her. And did she forget time is differnt in fairy land. Last time she was gone for months and she thought it was minutes. How did she get to fairy land after they tried to kill and keep her there last time? Why drink warlowes blood dummy. Now he can alway find you!!! GRRRRR Alcide is a total douche now. How manytimes is Lafayette going to be possessed and why hasnt sookie asked Where is grandpa? This season is disappointing

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