The sixth season of True Blood has finally been put to rest — and not a moment too soon. This season brought about many changes which were logical steps in the context of the show, yet were still moderately insane in the context of any discernible story structure. To be fair, the series stopped making any kind of sense since season three when a goddess made everybody want to have an orgy, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. Let’s look at the drastic changes which led to, well, almost nothing.
- The Villain
- Warlow, the millennium-old half-fairy-half-vampire, is after the ultimate prize: Sookie. Don’t worry, the series assures us that his intentions are honorable: he wants to marry our protagonist and make her his queen. This would require her to become a vampire, as well, but why not? Everyone else is doing it. Sookie makes a deal with him, promising to wed him (after all, she loves him) if he helps save her friends. Warlow, being the honorable man that he is, agrees, although he doesn’t want to help Bill. When Sookie goes back on her word, Warlow takes things into his own hands and attempts to turn her by force. The band gets together to kill him via staking. Warlow is supposed to be so incredibly powerful that Sookie’s parents would rather murder her as a child than let her fall into his clutches. It’s a difficult decision for their parents — one they would unlikely atone for — but they opt for it because it’s the only solution. Warlow is so powerful that he manages to murder the both of them before they can enact their plan of filicide. It takes Sookie a few vampires and an old fairy to take out the Biggest Bad the show has seen yet. Doesn’t that make Sookie’s parents look a little silly? They didn’t even try to stand and fight for the life of their daughter. In a roundabout way, it completely justifies Sookie’s hate for her dead parents. She appreciates Warlow killing her parents enough to promise her hand in marriage. I understand, fundamentally and actually, Warlow saved her life, but I can not understand marrying the man that orphaned you. Somehow, Sookie is stunned to learn her murdering fiance can’t be trusted, and I can’t blame her. Who could see that coming? He waited till the last episode to pull that reveal. I can only assume the other two episodes that were cut short due to Anna Paquin’s pregnancy were supposed to contain a solid two hours of fighting Warlow.They have a villain that helped for more than half of the season. If nothing else, this ruins the pacing of the season, but it also made him incredibly weak and easy to overcome. A story is only as weak as its antagonist, and this story has some issues.Sarah Newlin is the opposite kind of beast. She is less than nothing: she’s not incredibly intelligent, lacks supernatural abilities of any kind, can be called moderately good-looking, and has no real power outside of whom she’s sleeping with. All of those faults and no one can kill her because the vampires keep underestimating her. It’s easy to do if you compare her to Warlow, but should it be so easy? Warlow might have eaten a few faeries and deceived a simple southern belle, but Sarah enslaved some of the most powerful vampires in town, birthed a scheme to destroy a race, and got herself a manicure. You know what else? Sarah survives. Shortly before Warlow takes a stake to the heart, Jason catches, and then releases, Sarah. Despite the evil she has wrought upon vampire kind, Jason still believes she isn’t worth killing. Sarah’s actions run parallel to Hitler’s during the holocaust, but Jason feels he would be doing wrong by killing her. It’s upsetting to think Warlow was killed for bringing harm to one girl (who was almost asking for it), while Sarah Newlin was spared after the torture and death she brought to all of vampire-kind. I’m sure she’ll never be back though, right?
- I should be talking about Sookie here, but it’s been a while since Sookie has been the main character. It’s been even longer since she’s been an interesting character: even Jason has more of an arc than Sookie, and he’s a walking male blonde joke. In fact, let’s talk about Jason. He’s an idiot. The screenwriters will never allow him to be anything more. Sure, he can be an idiot-cop, an idiot-brother, or an idiot-racist — but idiot will always be his prefix because it’s often the only comedy in the show. For now, it seems, Jason is an idiot-lover: a monogamous sex-slave to Violet. At least he’s monogamous now. Bill and Eric have been tied pretty close for the past few episodes. Bill gained, and gave up, his godhood, while Eric gave up, and gained, a progeny. Of course, Eric ran away to Sweden (like a deadbeat dad), while Bill became a best-selling author, so I’m not sure if they actually made any positive growth. For those of you worried that Eric’s vacation will be the end of him, he’s already signed on for another season.Sam can be happy, finally? He’s got a new girlfriend, a job running Bon Temps, and a new threat. I mean, the threat affects everyone, but Sam is the only person trying to protect the town from that threat: roaming packs of hepatitis-V-infected vamps. Sam went from having a bar to having meaning. I’m sure he’ll lose it all next season.Andy experienced a character growth spurt when he fathered four fey daughters and lost three of them to Jessica’s vampiric hunger. I’m not entirely sure why the writers went the route of making Andy a father, but the byproduct is depth. Unfortunately, Adylin — the surviving daughter — could not share in the depth Andy received; it’s her first season, though, I’m sure she’ll play a bigger part in defending against the vampire onslaught. What bothered me the most about the death of Andy’s children was the lack of repercussions. Bill kidnapped them, Jessica ate them, and nobody faced consequences, legal or otherwise (which Andy is in position to appropriate). The only real change effected by the deaths was Andy’s distrust of vampires. That staggering amount of inaction is unusual in this show, to say the least.I have to hypothesize that the audience is as upset as I am about Terry’s death. He was the last truly complicated — and likable — character. Yes, hiring someone to kill you so your family can collect on the insurance is the oldest trick in the book. Usually, when someone chooses to end their own life in that fashion, that person would maintain it’s a selfless act, the only good thing they can do with their existence. Not Terry. Terry left the idea of his wife and child out of the decision, knowing he could not move forward in his life; he owned the selfishness inherent in suicide. Terry put his needs before the needs of his loved ones, finally putting aside his need to please those around him in order to reconcile his own emotional problems. Then he took out a life insurance policy to make sure his family was well provided for in his absence. I’m not sure if I can continue watching a True Blood without a Terry Bellefleur around to constantly accept anyone with no judgement for who they are, but only what they do.
- This season seems to exist exclusively to destroy the groundwork laid by the past three seasons. Granted, the past three seasons destroyed almost every relationship that had been established at the beginning. So, when you think about it, this season just sent us back to the beginning of a parallel universe where Alcide and Sookie are an item (and thus Sam, unable to pine after Sookie, found himself in a fulfilling relationship). I can only postulate that, with the departure of show runner Alan Ball, they have no idea what direction their supposed to go in—the obvious solution is to start from scratch. In fact, I don’t believe True Blood can survive another two years if this season indicates the kind of writing we should expect. Furthermore, I don’t want another two years if it’s going to be like this. As far as I’m concerned, this show needs to impress me; it’s lost any pleasure I originally found in it. Good luck, True Blood, you’ll need it.