True Blood Mania TV Review -

Mania Grade: C

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  • TV Series: True Blood
  • Episode: Let's Get Out of Here
  • Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Nelsan Ellis, Rutina Wesley, Ryan Kwanten, and Fiona Shaw
  • Written by: Brian Buckner
  • Directed by: Romeo Tirone
  • Network: HBO
  • Series:

True Blood Mania TV Review

The residents of Bon Temps have lost their way.

By Rob Vaux     August 22, 2011

True Blood
© HBO/Robert Trate

True Blood may have officially jumped the shark on the season. Everything has become so mechanistic – creating chaos for the sake of chaos – that the characters themselves now resemble walking plot complications rather than real people. A few bright spots notwithstanding (most of them involving Fiona Shaw’s marvelous possessed witch), “Let’s Get Out of Here” constitutes a palpable low point for the summer.

Where to begin? Let’s start with Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) hallucinations following her consumption of Bill’s (Stephen Moyer) blood. They’ve played the concept to death long before now, and Sookie’s felt-but-only-imagined declaration that she can love both Bill and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) carries zero emotional depth. Considering that both of her would-be beaus are in harm’s way this season, it seems more prudent to focus on whether they’ll survive long enough for her to pick one. (If one of them doesn’t, it will solve the whole silly question pretty quickly, won’t it?)

So too does Lafayette’s subplot embrace too much awkward goofiness as it attempts to resolve itself permanently. It ties a number of disparate story threads together – Andy’s (Chris Bauer) V addiction, Arlene’s (Carrie Preston) supposedly infernal baby, Lafayette’s own burgeoning psychic powers – though more for expediency’s sake than any real dramatic impetus. The ghost possessing Lafayette is sad, but a very recent addition to the game, and thus lacks any real depth of character. Whether or not she finds peace holds very little interest and her presence throws a wet blanket on the much more fascinating question of whether an infant can truly be evil or not. Like so much of True Blood these days, it exists mainly to keep various cast members occupied while the real juice takes place elsewhere.

They even throw Jason (Ryan Kwanten) into the mix, to distract him from the tempestuous sight of a now boyfriend-free Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll). Jess remains a viable spark on the show, and an early moment where she gushes her woes to an unsympathetic Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck) is extremely funny. But the chemistry she feels with Jason comes from standard soap-opera stock, while further demonstrating how utterly lost the writers are with his character. (Though I’ll bet real money he turns into a panther at some dramatically appropriate point in the season finale.)

So much of the episode is taken up with similar drek – including more Sam/werewolves nonsense, which follows the same pattern as Sookie and Lafayette’s threads – that the better elements barely have time to breathe. After the nonsensical graveyard battle last week, the witches’ war kicks into higher gear with a Manchurian Candidate-style attack at vampiric tolerance rally. It’s a good notion, though a little reminiscent of the Russell Edgington incident last season, and naturally True Blood uses it as a cliffhanger to guide us into next week. The possibilities prove more enticing than the payoff, but Shaw continues to shine as Antonia… and the scope of her threat becomes much more clear here.

Less clear is how the remaining witches will respond. Most are being held hostage in Antonia’s shop, a intriguing development that nonetheless weakens the coven’s interest levels by singling out a lone “bad guy” in Antonia. It allows for one of the episode’s other cool moments, as Tara (Rutina Wesley) uses her knowledge of Sookie’s power to send her a warning. The execution doesn’t quite measure up to the concept, but it still provides flashes of what this show can do when it’s at its best.

Sadly, it hasn’t been at its best for the last few weeks, and “Let’s Get Out of Here” slips a little further down the slide. For the first time, the entire arc seems entirely at sea, and the prospect of improving in future weeks looks bleaker than it ever has. The show has shown the capacity to rebound on the drop of a hat, but with only three episodes left and a ton of plot still to resolve, its chances of doing so just became a little smaller. 


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InnerSanctum 8/22/2011 5:52:49 PM

 Actually, I think it "jumped the shark" in season 3.  The show has lost its bite.  

TheMovieGuy28 8/22/2011 7:06:39 PM

I was just commenting to a friend that after the episode was over, it said only 3 left. 3? Really?? Has an actual plot thread of this season been established, or was it "throw everything at the wall and make it all stick?"

I found myself switching back and forth less and less last night between True Blood & Breaking Bad. I only just started watching this season, but it's a fascinatingly good show.

I really wanted this season to be good, was hoping for a Star Trek movie type of scenario (good every other season) but sadly, that's not been the case.

And pull the damn rag off Lafayette's head. He looked like an idiot and I couldn't stand watching his scenes.

rulo2kx 8/23/2011 7:57:16 AM

sad, sad episode, this season episodes should have been shortened to 40 minutes, it just can´t keep 50 minutes episodes, with all the secondary arcs being really boring. 

halfbloodprincess 8/23/2011 8:55:37 AM

 What is with all the hating? True Blood is a great show and I think this season is better then last.

hanso 8/23/2011 1:54:17 PM

 MovieGuy if you are just starting to watch Breaking Bad and are tuning in to season 4, stop right now and don't watch anymore till you've started from season 1.  If you are starting from season 1 then continue to do so as its much much much better than True Blood.

I don't think True Blood sucks but lately it's just there.   I'm kind of losing interest and if it continues i'll drop the show after this season.


wish 8/23/2011 3:17:09 PM

NOTHING on TV right now is better than JUSTIFIED, but Breaking Bad is close, and yes it's much much much better than True blood as the geat Hanso states.  Having said that I still love True Blood, but the scene with Jesus digging up the baby and giving it to the posessed Lafayette and the ghost's spirit being put to rest while everyone witnesses........yeah clearing that mutha-fukking shark by a couple of fins.

The rest of the threads aren't so bad, I'm looking forward to next week's episode as it may or may not put things in order for what could be a good finale.  Maybe for the 5th (final?) season they could simplify the character compliment and keep the story simple and more central.  True Blood works best when it involves all the intertwining stories at an earlier point than the last 3 episodes!

Chopsaki 8/24/2011 3:43:54 AM

Agreed on Justified & Breaking Bad, 2 of my favorite shows.

Rob Vaux: "Like so much of True Blood these days, it exists mainly to keep various cast members occupied while the real juice takes place elsewhere."

That pretty much nails it. With undoubtedly more characters coming in next season it's officially time to thin the herd...

What, Andy is addicted to V? Sorry we already did that storyline. TIME TO DIE!.

Hoyt no longer has a hot vampire girlfriend? TIME TO DIE!

Tommy is trying to scam Maxine out of some money. TIME TO DIE...hey they can kill each other that's 2 birds with one TIME TO DIE!

Terry & Arlene your baby isnt a serial killer. If it WAS a serial killer that would be pretty interesting and then you could stay. But since it's NOT a serial killer it's TIME TO DIE!

Tara is a lesbian mma fighter?...ok admitedly you just combined 2 of my favorite things in the world so I'm of mixed feelings on this so...wait a second wth am I saying TIME TO DIE!!!

I'm not saying were in Kim Bauer fighting a cougar territory, all I'm saying is trim the fat.


ddiaz28 8/24/2011 8:09:56 AM

I gotta disagree with the general negativity.  And although it's not as great as it used to be, it still entertains me enought that I look forward to seeing it every week.  If any episode was a low I thought it was last week's. The went overboard with the Eric and Sookie lovey dovey moments and continued that with her hallucinations this past week. Other than that I have really enjoyed all the other stories. 

The ghost plot with Lafayette did seem to end quickly but I think they want to free him up to get back involved with the main witch plot.  Seeing as he's a medium he might be able to do something about Marnie and help out Tara and the rest of the trapped wicans.  And I can't wait to see what happens at the Unity rally.  I think Marnie is a great villain and the actress does such a great job playing Antonia as well.  She hasn't topped Russell as my favorite villain yet but she's getting there.

hanso 8/24/2011 12:33:19 PM

I don't think the characters should die, although I do think Tommy needs to go.  For most of the characters I think they should just be in the background if there is no use for them.  Like for example, Arlene & Terry should only show up in Merlot's scenes.

They should explore Jessica more since she's a baby vampire.  That'd be more interesting imo than some of the subplots that are going on.  And what happened to Jason and the panther thing?  That simply stopped.  If it doesn't come back then it was a big waste of time during the season.  Sookie in fairy land seems something forgotten as well.

Ddiaz, I agree about Marnie/Antonia being a cool villain.  I actually like her more than Russell just cause there is less man on man action with Marnie.

InnerSanctum 8/24/2011 1:23:42 PM

 Actually, a death or two of the main characters would shake things up.  I'd be up for a major kill like Eric.  I'm very bored with the love triangle and, really, they need to switch gears.  Introduce so new to speak.

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