True Blood (or, as my aunt calls it, the show with all the naked people) is back! Last night saw the premiere of the first episode of the sixth season of the venerable HBO series. That also means that, for the next ten weeks, we’ll be reviewing each episode here at the Shattered Lens.
Last night’s episode started right where last season left off. Bill drank the rest of Lillith’s blood, was reborn as some sort of blood-covered demon, and then proceeded to go on a rampage through the Authority HQ. While all the characters that we care about — Sookie (Anna Paquin), Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), Jason (Ryan Kwanten), Pam (Kristen Bauer Von Straten), Tara (Rutina Wesley), Nora (Lucy Griffiths), Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), Sam (Sam Trammell), Luna (Janina Gavanker), and Emma (Chloe Noelle) — manage to get out safely, it appears that crazed Bill kills everyone else in the building and then, for good measure, blows it up.
Soon after escaping, Luna asks Sam to take care of Emma and then dies of her wounds. Luna’s death was a genuinely surprising moment, though I do have to admit that I wish Sam could at least have an episode or two where something either weird or terrible didn’t happen to him. Sam takes Emma back to his bar where they run into Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Sam watches a TV news report on how Louisiana’s governor (the wonderfully sleazy Arliss Howard) is declaring martial law on all vampires until the True Blood shortage is taken care of.
(At this point, I realized that I couldn’t remember whether or not Lafayette still has that demon inside of him. Was that resolved last season?)
Meanwhile, Andy (Chris Bauer) is a still a dumbass but he’s now also a father of a bunch of faery kids who are aging very fast. I have to admit that I’m not really that interested in Andy’s subplot, though I’m sure that the vampires of Bon Temps will be very interested in having all that new faery blood to choose from.
Alcide, meanwhile, is now pack leader, which means that he gets to eat his enemies and have sex with anyone he wants to, as long as he remembers that Rikki (Kelly Overton) is his “number one bitch.” I’ve read comments from a few reviewers who have complained that Alcide’s scenes felt gratuitous. Over on the A.V. Club, they complained that the only reason Alcide was in last night’s episode was so we could see Joe Manganiello naked. To those reviewers, I say, “Shut up!” Seriously, it’s not True Blood without Naked Alcide.
And trust me, we needed some Naked Alcide last night because the main storyline was kind of depressing.
After Eric, Nora, Sookie, Tara, and Pam all agreed that they would kill Bill if they had to, Jessica found herself being summoned to Bill’s mansion. It was there that they discovered Bill, looking very normal. After Bill explained that he was still Bill Compton but that he was also something much more, Eric attempted to attack him. Bill easily defended himself, just to then be staked from behind by Sookie.
And how did Bill respond?
By removing the stake from his chest.
So, apparently, Bill is now a demigod of some sort.
After Bill ordered everyone but Jessica to leave, Sookie and Eric returned to her home. After Eric signed the house back over to her, Sookie then took away his invitation and forced Eric to leave.
Meanwhile, Jason — who had earlier run off on his own after escaping the destruction of the Authority HQ — was picked up by a passing motorist. Now, as soon as I saw that motorist, I knew he was going to be trouble because he was played by Rutger Hauer. And sure enough, it turns out that Hauer is playing Warlow, the same vampire who previously killed Jason and Sookie’s parents. Before vanishing, Warlow says that “nothing will keep me from getting Sookie.”
So, to summarize:
Sookie is trying, once again, to live a life free of vampire drama, Eric is thinking about abandoning Bon Temps all together, Bill is acting strange, Jessica is being used as a pawn, and Alcide’s naked.
The more things change, the more thing’s stay the same, right?
Overall, I had mixed feelings about last night’s episode. After the excitement of last season’s finale, it’s hard not to be disappointed that tonight’s episode didn’t offer up much of a resolution. In many ways, it felt more like an episode that you would expect to find in the middle of a 24-episode run, as opposed to the start of a 10-episode season.
That said, this episode did feature Alcide naked so who am I to complain?
- Tonight’s unofficial scene count: 45
- Last night’s episode was directed by Bill Compton himself, Stephen Moyer.
- “I’m your number one bitch,” is something that I often say, as well.
- Where’s Rev. Newlin?
- With the death of Luna and the “possession” of Bill, last night’s episode was unusually somber. I hope that’s not going to be the way the rest of this season is going to play out. True Blood is always at its best when mixing comedy with melodrama.
- This is the first season without Alan Ball as showrunner (though he’s still an executive producer on the show). It’s tempting to say that Ball’s absence is why last night’s episode felt somewhat off but, of course, it’s still to early to say one way or the other.
- Because of Anna Paquin’s pregnancy, this season is only going to last 10 episodes.
- And I’m looking forward to reviewing all ten of them!