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- TV Series: True Blood
- Episode: New World in My View
- Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Chris Bauer, Michelle Forbes, Alexander Skarsgård, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston and William Sanderson
- Written By: Kate Barnow and Elisabeth R. Finch
- Directed By: Adam Davidson
- Network: HBO
- Series: True Blood
TRUE BLOOD: New World in My View Review
Let's Sacrifice Him to Our God!
By Rob Vaux
August 24, 2009
Review of True Blood: New World in My View(2009).
© HBO/Robert Trate
What kind of po-faced killjoy do you have to be not to love True Blood? Not only does it feature blood orgies, demonic gods and meddling mothers drained dry, but it does so after one of the most unexpectedly touching moments of the summer. Last episode ended with the poignant death of Godric (Allan Hyde), choosing to perish by sunlight on the roof of the Hotel Carmilla while Sookie (Anna Paquin) spoke tender, heartfelt wishes that a better world might greet him afterwards. It then follows that up with a picture of a giant cock spray-painted on the Bon Temps welcome sign. That's pretty much the thematic equivalent of a groin pull and yet True Blood pulls it off without batting an eyelash.
The episode then moves into the real meat, with the town now completely under Maryann's (Michelle Forbes) spell and doing things in the street that used to get people burned at the stake.
It works marvelously, though "New World in My View" hits a minor stumbling block in its seemingly arbitrary selection of those immune to her Bacchanalian powers. Some make sense--Sookie, Sam (Sam Trammell) and the vampires, for instance, whose various forms of supernatural mojo keep them safe. Jason (Ryan Kwanten) can skate by too, since he was off in Dallas when Maryann started her Sympathy for the Devil routine. But how is Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) immune? Or Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack)? There may be some explanation buried deep in the lexicon (and if anyone knows it, I stand ready to be enlightened), but without it, it feels like the screenwriters are playing favorites: detracting from the overall mood and making the subsequent band of town-saving heroes just a little too convenient.
On the other hand, the sight of the blood-crazed Bon Temps citizens chasing poor Sam down like a fox before the hounds holds the perfect mixture of queasy humor and shudder-inducing chills. Director Adam Davidson draws upon threads from Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man (AKA The Good One) to show us just how far off the deep end they've gone: trapped in a crazed mob mentality where no one cares whether they live or die. It comes interspersed with laughs--Jason's inspired attempt to rescue Sam is hysterical--but the unsettling madness beneath it crawls under your skin and lingers for hours.
Speaking of The Wicker Man, that pagan-meat idol they built in Sookie's driveway has officially entered the short list of things you never want to see when coming home from a trip. Sookie may have the strength to face down Maryann, as her confrontation in the house displays, but the lingering question of how the hell you kill such a creature promises to bring the remainder of the season to a roaring conclusion. Maryann seems almost pleased that someone can actually hurt her, which may be the scariest thing yet to come out of the show.
"New World in My View" scores further points by orchestrating a number of other fascinating face-offs: Maryann and Sheriff Dearborne (William Sanderson), Jason and Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe), Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Mrs. Fortenberry (Dale Raoul). They serve as further proof that True Blood can still surprise us so easily, and that these characters still have infinite amounts to give. Minor hiccups aside, Sunday's episode embodies a show that has well and truly hit its stride, promising not only great things for the remainder of the season but equally great things in seasons to come. With energy and creativity like this on display, there's no reason to think it can't just get better and better.