The Preacher Is About To Begin Mass


Preacher

Preacher the comic book that came out in 1995 and became the title that everyone gravitated to to balance out all the superhero titles that were coming out from Marvel, DC, Image and every small publisher in-between. The book was written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Steve Dillon. It was the book that took on the institutions of the Church, government and family in the most irreverent and blasphemous way one could think of at the time.

The book had been talked of within Hollywood since it’s release as one title that producers (seems all of them at one time or another) wanted to adapt for the big-screen. It wasn’t a superhero title so there was no need to worry about trying to adapt tights-wearing heroes and villains. Yet, the book’s subject matter which tended to go into the extreme at times became something that kept the title from being adapted.

After almost two decades of futile attempts to get Preacher up onto the big-screen it took the star-power of one big-screen star (Seth Rogen) to finally get the book adapted, but not on the big-screen, but on the small-screen to become part of AMC’s stable of unique series titles (The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Into the Badlands).

So, fans of the books only have until 2016 to wait for their dreams of Preacher finally coming to live-action life and non-readers will finally see what all the hype has been all about.

A Late Film Review: Winter’s Tale (dir by Akiva Goldsman)


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I liked Winter’s Tale.

And I don’t care what anybody else says!

And that’s a good thing too because, critically, Winter’s Tale has been one of the most maligned movies of 2014.  It came out on Valentine’s Day, at the same time as Endless Love.  And the critics absolutely hated it!  For a while there, the online film community was taking bets on which one of the two Valentine’s Day releases would end up with the lowest score on Rotten Tomatoes.  And, though it was a close race, Winter’s Tale actually ended up with the lower score, coming in at 13% as opposed to Endless Love‘s 15%.

That’s right — according to most mainstream film critics, Winter’s Tale was actually worse than Endless Love.

Well, those critics were wrong.  That’s how I felt when I first saw Winter’s Tale and, after watching it a second time on HBO, that’s still how I feel.  Winter’s Tale is not a bad movie!

(Incidentally, Winter’s Tale has a 6.2 rating over at the imdb, which would seem to indicate that I’m not the only person who knows better than Peter Travers.)

Admittedly, the plot of Winter’s Tale does not make much logical sense but that’s kind of the point.  It’s a tale and tales are not about being realistic.  Tales are about emotion and the whole point of listening to or telling a tale is to inspire feelings. To truly appreciate Winter’s Tale, you have to understand that this is a fairy tale that happens to be set in the most mythical of American cities, New York.

Opening in 1895 and ending in 2014, Winter’s Tale tells the story of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell).  When Peter was an infant, his immigrant parents were refused entry into Manhattan because they both had tuberculosis.  So, they put Peter in a toy boat and dropped him into ocean and watched as the boat slowly floated towards America.

Jump forward 21 years and Peter has grown up to be a thief, working for a gangster named Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe).  What few people know is that Pearly is actually a demon who regularly visits his boss, Luicfer (played by Will “Yes, that Will Smith” Smith).  Pearly is immortal as long as he stays in New York City.

When Peter decides that he wants to leave Pearly’s gang, Pearly orders that Peter be killed.  However, while fleeing from the rest of the gang, Peter is rescued by a flying white horse.  While Peter’s first instinct is to fly the horse out of New York and spend the winter in Florida, he instead decides to rob one more mansion.  (It helps that the horse literally takes him to the mansion.)

While robbing the mansion, Peter meets Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a passionate and talented pianist who is dying of tuberculosis.  In what is literally a case of love at first sight, Peter forgets about robbing the mansion and instead has a cup of tea with Beverly.  They discuss their lives and Beverly tells Peter that everyone has a miracle inside of them and that everyone becomes a star after dying.

Soon, Peter and Beverly are a couple and Peter even manages to win over Beverly’s suspicious father, Isaac (William Hurt).  Peter and Beverly spend the winter at her family’s summer home.  Peter believes that his miracle is to save Beverly.  Meanwhile, an angry Pearly waits for his chance to get revenge…

Now, I will admit that there are some obvious flaws with Winter’s Tale.  Russell Crowe goes totally overboard, with his accent wildly going from Australian to New Yorkish to Scottish and back again.  Meanwhile, Will Smith is not necessarily a bad choice to play the devil and he actually gives a pretty good performance but it doesn’t chance the fact that, whenever he’s on screen, all you can think about is that he’s Will Smith and he’s playing the devil.

But, honestly, who cares?  This is an amazingly romantic film and Farrell and Findlay have a lot of chemistry.  When you see them together, you have no doubt that Peter and Beverly are meant to be together.  You care about them as a characters, even if you don’t always understand everything that’s happening around them.  Their love feels real and, when it comes to telling a love story, isn’t that the most important thing?

(Add to that, does any actor fall in love as convincingly as Colin Farrell?)

And the film itself is gorgeous!  From the costumes to the set design to Caleb Deschanel’s cinematography, the film is just beautiful to look at.  Undoubtedly, cynics would argue that the film is almost too glossy in its appearance but Winter’s Tale is not a film for cynics.  It’s a film for romantics.

So, yes,  I did like Winter’s Tale and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Review: True Blood 6.7 “In The Evening”


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Poor Eric!

Going into tonight’s episode of True Blood, I knew that another major character was expected to die but I was really hoping that it wouldn’t be Nora.  Not only did I feel that the character (and Lucy Griffiths) has never quite been used to her potential (not an uncommon occurrence on a show that has a huge ensemble, like True Blood) but it also seems like Eric is always losing the vampires who are most important to him.

However, I also knew that, story-wise, Nora had to die if just so we could understand how dangerous Hep-V truly is.

And so, after bringing Nora to Bill’s mansion and even going so far as to pray for her recovery, Eric ended up holding Nora while she literally melted in his arms.  Adding to the pathos of the situation, we were treated to a flashback to 1666 where we saw how Eric originally turned Nora into a vampire in order to save her from falling victim to the Great Plague.

It was a highly effective moment in an otherwise average episode of True Blood.  If the show often struggled to figure out what exactly to do with Nora, it at least allowed her to make a powerful exit.

Tonight’s episode was all about death.  While Eric watched Nora die, the rest of Bon Temps struggled to deal with the demise of Terry.  Sookie abandoned the post-coital bliss of Warlow so that she could comfort the grief-stricken (and quite drunk) Arlene.

Sookie’s return allowed Bill to track her down and, in a wonderfully tense scene that was very well-acted by real-life husband and wife Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, Bill told Sookie that if she doesn’t lead Bill to Warlow than all the other vampires will die.  I imagine that Bill’s plan is for all the other vampires to drink Warlow’s blood.  Once they, like Bill, are immune to the sunlight, the LAVDF will no longer be able to burn all the vampires to death.

Back at Vamp Camp, Jessica, Pam, and WIlla are aware that the new tru blood is tainted with Hep-V but, as Pam explained, they can’t say anything because, if all the vampires refuse to drink the tru blood, then the authorities will know that the secret is out.  That said, Jessica still asked Jason to arrange a meeting between her and the surprisingly sensitive vampire James (Jake Grimes).   Jessica informed James about the tainted tru blood and then proceeded to lose her vampire virginity to him.  And good for her because James is seriously superhot!

Meanwhile, Sarah Newlin discovered the massacre at the Governor’s mansion and, after kissing the Governor’s severed head, she took command of his plan to destroy all of the vampires.  She returned to the Vamp Camp where she tracked down Jason, cut his wrist, and then tossed him into a cell full of female vampires.  Tara jumped up to defend him but then, a vampire named Violet announced that Jason was hers.

FInally, Sam found out about Terry’s death and is now planning on returning to Bon Temps, despite the fact that he promised Alcide that he wouldn’t.  Alcide, it turns out, lied to the rest of the pack and told them that he had killed both Sam and Nicole.  As tonight’s episode ended, Alcide discovered that Nicole and her mother had been captured by the pack and his lie had been exposed…

(Seriously, I can understand why Alcide didn’t want to be packmaster.  The werewolves are way too much drama!)

As I said, this was an average episode of True Blood.  It featured a few memorable moments (Nora’s death, Arlene getting drunk, and the James/Jessica sex scene) but, for the most part, it felt like the main purpose of this episode was to set things up for the season finale.  There’s only 3 more episodes left before the end of season 6 and there are rumors that at least one more major character might be leaving before the end of the season.

Here’s hoping it’s not Eric!

Random Thoughts and Observations:

  • Tonight’s unofficial scene count: 49
  • I noticed that Todd Lowe is still listed in the opening credits.  Was Arliss Howard listed as well?
  • Willa really does look a lot like Nora.   It’s a bit distracting.
  • In my notes, I wrote: “Ewwwwwww!” when Sarah Newlin kissed the Governor’s head.
  • The attempts to provide therapy for the vampires are a pretty obvious comment on the whole “ex-gay” movement.
  • Alexander Skarsgard made me cry tonight.
  • During tonight’s show, I tweeted the following: “When Sheriff Andy is the voice of reason, you know bad things are going to happen in Bon Temps. #TrueBlood”  As of this writing, it’s been retweeted 77 times and favorited by 52 people.  That’s a personal best for me so yay!
  • “How deep do you want to go?”

Review: True Blood 6.3 “You’re No Good”


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I just finished watching the latest episode of True Blood and I have to admit that I have mixed feelings.

On the one hand, Bill’s acting evil again and I hate it when Bill acts evil.

On the other hand, Eric is being all dangerous and sexy and you know how much I love that.

So, as often happens when it comes to True Blood, I’m conflicted.

After spending most of the previous episode in a catatonic state, Bill spent most of this latest episode acting like a jerk.  First off, he decided to test his new powers by standing outside while the sun rose and ignoring Jessica as she pleaded with him to come back inside.  At first, it looked like Bill might actually be onto something but then the sun actually rose, Bill burst into flames, and barely managed to make it back inside the mansion.

Once Bill had healed, he sent Jessica to kidnap one of the men who first created true blood so that Bill could force the man to synthesize a new type of blood.  Not surprisingly, this involved Jessica dressing up all trampy (though I have to say that I own that same outfit and I’m thinking about being Jessica for Halloween this year, again) and flirting with the man until they were alone and she could grab him.

Bill’s plan also involved finding the perfect donor for this new blood and, as always, this led to him showing up at Sookie’s.  Even though Sookie refused to invite him in, Bill was able to enter her house and cause Jason to float in the air while he talked to Sookie.  Only after Sookie emphatically refused to be his donor did Bill leave the house.

However, Sookie isn’t the only faerie around.  As Bill walks back to his home, he runs into dumbass Andy.  While Andy explains to Bill that the governor’s curfew is in effect, he lets slip that he now has four half-faerie daughters.  A small smile comes to Bill’s lip as he congratulates Andy on his luck.

See what I mean?  Bill is acting totally evil!

Meanwhile, Eric has gained entry to the bedroom of Willa, the Governor’s daughter.  Despite initially saying that he’s going to kill her, Eric instead kidnaps her and, with the reluctant help of Pam and Tara, holds her prisoner.  Willa (who actually looks a lot like Eric’s “sister,” Nora) doesn’t really seem to mind the idea of being Eric’s prisoner and you know what?  I don’t blame her!  Seriously, for those of us who love True Blood when Eric is being all sexy and dangerous, tonight’s episode was for us!

Along with all of that, we also had Niall (played, perfectly, by Rutger Hauer) attempting to recruit a faerie army so that he could defeat Warlow.  However, it turned out that Warlow had already found most of the faeries before Niall did.  The only faerie that Niall was able to find and recruit was Ben, who — with Bill crazy and Eric kidnapping — appears to be destined to become Sookie’s love interest for the season.

Speaking of love interests, Nicole and those annoying activists showed up in tonight’s episode but the majority of them ended up getting killed by the werewolves.  A wounded Nicole was last spotted (by Sam, who was there to rescue Emma) stumbling into the woods.  Saying that Nicole needed their help, Sam followed after her.  As I said last week, I think Sam could do better.

And finally — Rev. Newlin’s back!  In case you were wondering what happened to everyone’s favorite spokesvamp, he’s currently being held prisoner and interrogated about Eric by the creepiest government doctor that I’ve ever seen.

As I said, I had mixed feelings about tonight’s episode.  On the one hand, I could tell that it was obviously laying the groundwork for something pretty spectacular.  On the other hand, Bill’s evil and I don’t want that.

So, as of this writing, I’m conflicted but hopefully, things will be a bit more clear after next week.

Random Thoughts and Observations:

  • Unofficial scene count: 58
  • Alexander Skarsgard is so freaking hot.  I know I point that out a lot but seriously…
  • Whenever I watch True Blood, I’m reminded of how happy I am that I don’t cry bloody tears.
  • Did anybody else instantly hate Nicole’s boyfriend?
  • Unlike Jessica, I was actually surprised when Bill burst into flames.
  • As far as fan service goes, I got Eric seducing the governor’s daughter and Arleigh got Jessica’s entrance at the lecture.
  • “The girl is sleeping with me because I don’t trust you not to kill her!”
  • “Fuckin’ science!”
  • “Do they have names?” “Right now, I’m just using numbers.  It seems to work.”
  • “You’re not God, Bill.  You’re just an asshole!”

Review: True Blood 6.2 “The Sun” (dir by Daniel Attias)


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After last week’s anemic season premiere, I have to admit that I was a bit worried about the direction of season 6 of True Blood.  I watched that episode and I thought to myself, “I don’t want to have to spend an entire season with Bill acting weird, Eric not having sex with Sookie, and Jason chasing around Rutger Hauer.”

What a difference a week can make!

Tonight’s episode was a return to form for True Blood.  Tonight’s episode reminded me of what made me fall in love with this show in the first place.  In short, tonight’s episode was True Blood the way I wanted it to be.

It helps that this episode featured a lot of Eric acting like Eric.  But I’ll get to that in a minute.

First off, tonight’s biggest revelation was that, despite what he said last week, Rutger Hauer is not Warlow.  Instead, he’s Sookie and Jason’s faerie grandfather and he’s specifically come to help Sookie defeat Warlow.

And I have to say that this is brilliant casting.  We, as viewers, have been so conditioned to automatically view Rutger Hauer as a villain that it’s actually surprisingly refreshing to see him playing a good guy and Hauer seems to be having a lot of fun with the role.

Anyway, Grandpa explains to Sookie and Jason that Warlow is obsessed with the Stackhouse family, specifically because the Stackhouses are actual royalty (making Sookie into a literal faerie princess).  However, Grandpa explains, Sookie can defeat Warlow by harnessing all of her light and literally going supernova.  The only side effect is that Sookie can only do this once and she’ll no longer be a faerie after doing so.  Sookie, who spent most of last season trying to deplete all of her power, immediately starts practicing harnessing her light.

And that’s probably a good idea because Warlow is already in Bon Temps.

Speaking of Sookie, before she meets her grandfather, she meets another faerie.  This one is named Ben (Rob Kazinsky) and when Sookie comes across him, he’s lying on the ground after being attacked by vampires.  Sookie nurses him back to health and it becomes obvious that the two of them are attracted to each other.  I have to admit that I groaned a little when Ben showed up.  It’s not that Rob Kazinsky isn’t cute, because he is.  And it’s not that he and Anna Paquin don’t have a lot of chemistry because they do.  However, Ben is not Eric.  For that matter, he’s not even Bill.

Speaking of Bill, he began tonight by going into a catatonic state and he remained that way for most of the episode, despite the best efforts of Jessica to wake him up.  At one point, Jessica even brought in a hilariously trashy prostitute named Veronica so that Bill could feed.  Even in his catatonic state, Bill still ended up graphically drawing out every drop of blood from her body.

While catatonic, Bill has a vision where he stands in the middle of sun-drenched field and talks to Lillith.  Lillith explains that Bill’s purpose is to save all the vampires from destruction.  The scenes between Bill and Lillith were perfectly filmed and acted, with an obvious emphasis being put on the fact that the bright sun was effecting Bill and Lillith not at all.  When Bill finally does wake up, he tells Jessica that he can now see the future.

And what is that future?

Every vampire in Bon Temps being herded into a stark, white room where, once the roof opens up, they are all burned to death by the sun.

Meanwhile, Eric has also taken it upon himself to try to prevent the future that Bill has seen.  Eric sneaks into the Governor’s mansion, confronts the governor, and attempts to hypnotize him.  The Governor (and have I mentioned how much I love Arliss Howard’s villainous performance) responds by laughing.  It turns out that the Governor is wearing special contact lenses that make it impossible for him to be hypnotized.

After managing to escape the Governor’s armed guards, Eric tracks down the Governor’s daughter, Wilma.  In a nicely gothic touch, Wilma looks out her bedroom window and sees Eric floating outside her window.  Eric asks for permission to enter and she gives it.

And seriously, who wouldn’t?

I got so caught up with the vampires tonight that I nearly forgot that some pretty important things happened to Sam as well.  I always feel bad for Sam because he literally cannot catch a break and tonight was not any different.  First off, he found himself being harassed by Nicole, a political activist from L.A. who wants Sam to come out publicly as a shape shifter.  (I have to admit that I have a sinking feeling that, with Luna dead, Nicole is going to become Sam’s new love interest.  I’m not looking forward to this development because Nicole is kind of self-righteous and annoying.)  Then, Sam ended up getting beaten up by Alcide, who has taken it upon himself to make sure that Emma is raised among the werewolves.

Seriously — bad Alcide!

I loved tonight’s episode.  If last week’s premiere felt like True Blood fan fiction, The Sun felt like true True Blood.  Hopefully, the rest of Season 6 will follow its example.

Random Thoughts and Observations:

  • Unofficial Scene Count: 53
  • That precredits sequence with Warlow appearing on the bridge was pretty effective, I thought.
  • Rutger Hauer deserves an Emmy for his delivery of the line “I am your fucking faerie grandfather.”
  • Alexander Skargard is so hot and sexy!  Oh.  My.  God.
  • The sudden appearance of Patrick’s wife reminded me of how much I disliked last season’s Iraqi smoke monster subplot.
  • I’m sure that the writers of True Blood meant for the Governor to come across as some sort of right-wing boogeyman but, to be honest, he reminds me more of our current President.
  • I love the way Jason got so excited when he said, “That makes me a faerie prince!”
  • It’s interesting to note that both True Blood and the Walking Dead feature a villain called “The Governor.”
  • “They attacked the Chuck E. Cheese yesterday.”
  • “You’re not going to read me my rights?” “You don’t have no rights, vampire.” “Well, that’s not nice.”
  • The performers on True Blood never get enough credit.  Tonight’s standout was Deborah Ann Woll.  Jessica’s episode ending prayer is definitely the highlight of the season so far.

Review: True Blood Ep. 6.1 (“Who Are You, Really?”)


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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?

Random Observations:

  • 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!

Review: True Blood S5E12 “Save Yourself”


(BE WARNED!  SPOILERS AND PROFANITY AHEAD)

As I sit here writing this, it’s been about an hour since the 5th season finale of True Blood and I’m still trying to figure out how to start my review of the episode.  Foolishly, I’ve got the finale of that terrible Aaron Sorkin male egofest, The Newsroom, on for background noise and I’m hoping that it ends with the entire cast getting staked and exploding into red goo.  It’s only a distraction though from confronting the issue of what happened during the final five minutes of True Blood tonight.

Seriously — what the fuck was that?

Up until Bill drank what remained of Lilith’s blood, the season finale was playing out in a rather predictable fashion.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was exciting and there were plenty of good scenes but it all felt somewhat familiar and I was fairly sure that Eric and Sookie would confront Bill and Sookie would be able to talk some sense into him.  I knew there would be some sort of macabre twist at the end because it is True Blood and all.  I thought maybe Lafayette’s demon would pop up or maybe Roman would suddenly materialize out of thin air.  What I was not expecting was that Bill would dissolve into a red puddle just to then suddenly rise out of the pool of blood as some sort of male Lilith.  As Sookie so correctly put it, “Fuuuuuuuuuck….”

Though tonight’s finale was dominated by the fall of the Vampire Authority, there were a few other things going on.

First off, dumbass Andy is now a father as Maurella, the faerie he impregnated earlier this season, gave birth to four girls.  Somewhat inconveniently for Andy, she did so at the exact same time that he was trying to explain the situation to Holly.  Even more inconveniently, Maurella then promptly vanished, leaving Andy to raise the four babies.  To be honest, I wasn’t really a huge fan of this plotline when it was introduced last week and I’m still not.  That said, it could be interesting to see, in season 6, how all the show’s vampires react to having four new sources of faerie blood in Bon Temps.  Especially since it now appears that humans, vampires, and practically everyone else is going to be very much at war with each other.

Speaking of war, the war for control the wolfpack was finally resolved during tonight’s episode and, not surprisingly, it was won by Alcide who not only defeated J.D. but killed him as well.  A friend of mine e-mailed me during the show to say, “I know you ladies love this Alcide guy but the werewolves bore me shitless…” I have to say that my friend is right on both counts.  We do love Alcide and yes, the werewolf storylines are never as interesting as whatever’s going on with the vampires.

And, believe me, a lot was going on with the vampires tonight.

Last week ended with Russell, having just feasted on a faerie, now approaching the faerie night club while Sookie and friends vainly tried to hold him back.  Tonight’s episode began with Eric and Nora conveniently showing up and promptly saving the day by killing Russell.  That’s right — Russell exploded into red goo.  He’s dead and you know what?  I’m going to miss him.  Denis O’Hare brought such a wonderfully decadent sense of evil to the show and, to be honest, it was hard not to feel that he (and the character) deserved a better send off than just being killed during the pre-credits sequence.

I was probably not alone in hoping that the Rev. Newlin would be killed right alongside Russell but instead, the sleazy little toadsucker managed to scurry off and was missing for the rest of the episode.  This, however, did prove convenient for Sam and Luna because, with Newlin nowhere to be found, that allowed Luna to shift into Newlin’s form and then try to walk out of the Authority HQ with Emma (who was still in adorable wolf puppy form).  In the past, I’ve often felt that Michael McMillan has gone a bit overboard with his performance as the Rev. Newlin but he deserves all the credit in the world for his performance in tonight’s episode.  Luna-as-Newlin was a wonder to behold.

Unfortunately, right when Luna/Newlin is on the verge of escaping on wolf puppy, she’s grabbed by a very angry Rosalyn.  Apparently, the video tape of Newlin and Russell attacking that frat house has been released by the U.S. Government and Rosalyn drags Luna/Newlin downstairs to the media room so that she can do an interview and practice a little damage control.  However, during the interview, Luna/Newlin starts to have convulsions and shifts back into Luna form.  Before she apparently faints, Luna manages to tell the world that humans are being held captive at the Authority HQ.  I’m not really sure what was happening to Luna, if it was a lingering effect of her having been shot earlier this season or something even worse.  Fortunately, for Luna, she was saved from Rosalyn’s wrath by Sam who, having shifted into a fly earlier, flew into Rosalyn’s mouth and then apparently shifted back to human form inside of her, causing Rosalyn to explode into one big mess.

While this was going on, the Authority HQ was being attacked by Eric, Nora, Sookie, Tara, and Jason (who, oddly enough, is now having hallucinations where his dead, and surprisingly bigoted, parents talk to him).  After killing every vampire that they come across and freeing Jessica and Pam (which leads to a Pam/Tara makeout session), Eric and Sookie go to confront Bill, who has just finished staking the final member of the authority, Salome.

And that, of course, led us to this season’s final scene — Bill being reborn as some sort of blood God.

So, is Bill now truly evil?  Are Pam and Tara a couple?  Is Jason going crazy?  Is Luna dying?  Can a war between humans and vampires be prevented?  And who, in their right mind, would trust dumbass Andy with one baby, let alone four?

For answers to all of those questions, we’re going to have to wait until season 6…

Random Observations

  • Tonight’s unofficial scene count: 60.
  • I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed with tonight’s finale.  It’s not that it was a bad episode as much as it just really annoyed me that, after taking so long to reach this point, tonight’s finale still didn’t resolve or explain much of anything.  Nor did it even really attempt to.  That said, I’ll still return to watch season 6 so, obviously, tonight’s episode must have done something right.
  • Again, I was disappointed with how easily Russell was finally dispatched.  I also wish that Rosalyn and Salome hadn’t been killed off as they were both interesting characters and I think the series could have done more with them.
  • I also felt bad for Chelsea, the receptionist.  My sympathy is always with the receptionists.
  • Does Lafayette still have that demon inside of him?
  • Is Emma going to be in Wolf Puppy form forever?
  • I have mixed feelings about season 5 on True Blood.  It definitely was not a season to use to introduce someone to True Blood for the first time.  That said, I also think that this season featured a lot of really good moments and I’m looking forward to Season 6.
  • Hopefully, Season 6 will not feature any Iraqi fire demons.
  • I also had a lot of fun recapping each episode here on the Shattered Lens and thank you to everyone who read them!  It was fun!
  • By the way, The Newsroom did not end with Jeff Daniels getting a stake driven through his heart and that’s a shame.