True Blood: Night on the Sun Review - Mania.com



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  • TV Series: True Blood
  • Episode: Night on the Sun
  • Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Chris Bauer, Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd, Deborah Ann Woll and Carrie Preston
  • Written By: Raelle Tucker
  • Directed By: Lesli Linka Glatter
  • Network: HBO
  • Series: True Blood

True Blood: Night on the Sun Review

They Killed My Cooter

By Rob Vaux     August 09, 2010


True Blood Review
© HBO/Bob Trate

 

It wasn’t that True Blood was MIA this season; it just took itself a little too seriously. That dampened its unique spin on vampirism and curdled its freshness ever-so-slightly. In the past couple of episodes, however, it has rebounded nicely: restoring the tongue-in-cheek humor with which it made its name and bringing a sense of energy and surprise to the proceedings.
 
“Night on the Sun” consolidates the revelations of last week’s episode while clarifying the conflicts for the final third of the season. The survivors from Russell’s (Denis O’Hare) mansion need to consolidate against a counterattack, with Sookie (Anna Paquin) holing up in her house and Bill (Stephen Moyer) grappling with his horrifying betrayal in the van where they made their escape. Meanwhile, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) plots his revenge from within the confines of Russell’s inner circle, waiting for the right moment to strike.
 
The last thread is surprisingly the weakest, with Eric’s would-be scheming a little too transparent to be believed. Sure, it entails some scorching hot gay sex (Premium cable? You’re soaking in it!), but considering Russell’s supposedly keen political instincts, one wonders why he lowered his guard so completely… especially after expressing serious reservations about Eric’s loyalty in the first place.
 
The remainder of the thread fires on all cylinders, however, with Sookie enduring a werewolf siege from her house and Bill torn between staying away from her and keeping her safe. Paquin sinks her teeth into a juicy bit of soap—notably a catfight with skanktastic werewolf chippie Debbie (Brit Morgan)—and her tearful confrontations with Bill never lose their sincerity despite the overheated nature of the material.
 
More notably, however, “Night on the Sun” gives Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) a chance to revel in her vampiric nature. The “baby bloodsucker” has spent most of the season percolating under the surface, always welcome, but limited to just a couple of scenes per week. With Bill hard-pressed to defend his beloved against Russell’s attacks, he quickly mends fences with his progeny and teaches her some fun new tricks before taking her over to Sookie’s. Woll really comes into her own this episode, with Jessica shedding her choir-girl humanity and embracing her new self for the first time. It retains the right air of grand guignol violence, sprinkled with an infectious sense of discovery and at least one brilliant moment where she waves shyly at an attacking werewolf before going for his jugular.
 
The remainder of the episode benefits from the increased creativity on display, as Sam (Sam Trammell) deals with Tommy (Marshall Allman), Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) receives an unexpected visit from his mother (Alfre Woodard) and Jason (Ryan Kwanten)… well Jason finds plenty of new ways to get into trouble. Barring a few moments of inspiration, these subplots have largely served as space filler this season. With “Night on the Sun,” they pick up steam, feeling more connected with the remainder of the series and promising some good things in the future. (Keep an eye on those crystal meth dealers tangling with Jason; they have “third act revelation” written all over them.)
 
Even as it delivers a second consecutive hour of top-notch entertainment, the episode continues circling delicately around this season’s most pertinent question: how much do we really know about Bill, and what are his true intentions towards Sookie? We learn nothing new this week, but director Lesli Linka Glatter takes great pleasure in enticing us further, casting dark assumptions on Bill’s motives even as he struggles to reconcile with the love of his life. She also hints delicately at Sookie’s background: devoid of the freaky-deaky dream sequence from last week, but still retaining traces of otherworldly influence on Sookie’s paranormal abilities. It dovetails nicely into the remainder of episode: a fine return to form that suggests the second half of the season will be markedly better than the first.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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trollman 8/9/2010 8:13:36 PM

Than the gods we have the return of SOOKIE NAKED!  "bout time but not soon enuf for me.

Personally this season has been entirely too homo-erotic. Not the sort of thing I want to see when I watch TRUE BLOOD.  Not the sort of thing that turns my wife on either. Even Anna's perky pair just wasn't enough to save this season for me.

Skroin 8/9/2010 8:21:49 PM

I've thought this season has been a great one! Even from the very beginning! I'm not sure where all the hate is coming from, but o well.

This episode rocked!

I really enjoyed how  they showed Bill and Jessica sparring one another in Bill's livingroom. It reminded me of the opening scene of The Matrix....only more bad@$$!

As far as the concern as to why the King dropped his guard so easily to Eric- I believe it was the whole speech Eric gave him about waiting for a true leader to follow, yadda yadda yadda, that got him to drop his guard and trust Eric. The look on his face seemed to me that Eric's words were really sinking in and giving him a major ego.

This episode definately deserved an A.

** On a side-note.....I was boring and channel surfing and came across AvP: Requiem showing on FX.....I never realised Sam was in it. Although it was a very brief scene he was in.

Skroin 8/9/2010 8:24:41 PM

I will have to agree with you trollman. They have been a bit focused on the homo-erotic....too much for my liking.

The only disappointment I had was the scene between Eric and the King's main squeeze and the whole "bomchicka-wa-wa." Eric NEVER did that in the books and I wish they would have kept it like that.

But then again, the whole "Eric-out-for-revenge" thing was in the books, either. But still....

Superboy93 8/9/2010 8:38:07 PM

This week’s episode was intense, plenty of tears though, what’s the deal with that?

I still don't see the appeal of Crystal, but at least Jason kind of linked his attraction to her as a mysterious byproduct of magic. "Why do you make me feel this way?" he asks, almost asking himself why he's so wrapped up with this hillbilly chick. Could she be related to Claudine?

Jason confrontation with Crystal's dad livened up his story, and, if they dispatch Russell early, these villains might lead us into the endgame for the season. Especially since there's still a big secret to be revealed about them, and they've got beefs with Jason and Lafayette. These hillbillies may actually be the dark forces generally mentioned over the last episodes!

I'm not sure what kind of powers Russell, or his minions, could gain from Sookie's magical blood, and we haven't been specifically told what she is, but it's clear that Russell needs her now more than ever. Perhaps she holds the secret to day-walking?

Not quite sure why Debbie didn't turn into a she-wolf to try and kill Sookie but the balls-out girlfight was much appreciated. Especially the gruesome half-Joker smile that Sookie wound up inflicting her, classic!

fatpantz 8/9/2010 10:31:56 PM

Slow start to the episode....strong, fun finish.....

I am thinking next week we will see the secret of Crystal and her kin folk and we will learn why they smell funny ;) haha

snew929 8/10/2010 12:12:21 AM

lol Its obvious to me, never having read the books even....I'm thinking they are some kind of shifter we havent seen yet....Sam and his brother keyed on them way to easily....I think Jason has bitten off more than he can chew here, but then he always does that.......I still remember the horned lord sequence he and the sheriff pulled off in the last season.....

Darkknight2280 8/10/2010 7:03:19 AM

This episode was WAYYY too gay! In fact this whole season has been pretty gay (as far as man on man action). Im not against gays or anything liek that..just dont like watching two men get it on.

I am soo ready for TARA to die! I hope Franklin rips her apart! its getting soo good right now! This weeks episode looks great! ill have to wait to watch the next 2 episodes  when i get back to Ohio.

JoeArtistWriter 8/10/2010 8:48:37 AM

I agree the show is really gaying it up this season, and I assume they're doing that to really drive home the homosexual = vampire allegory they've always flirted with.... but yeah, it's pretty uncomfortably in-your-face gay at times... especially for those of us who don't watch a lot of guy on guy kissing.

Nevertheless, I'm curious what Crystal and her family are. If they're just shape-shifters that would surprise me. Obviously Sam and Tommy sniffed them out on some level, but there's definitely more to them than even the Merlotte boys can understand.

I've never read the books, so I don't want to hear from anyone who has, but I'm still waiting for Jason to realize he has some, as of yet, untapped power.

HudsonTaco 8/10/2010 9:44:46 AM

Well when the executive producer in gay, it is too be expected. Not a fan of gay love myself but glad to see it the fans here not out right gay bashing like I see on some other sites. I think stuff like this will become more prevelant in modern TV so we are just gonna have to get used to it, but it has been much more pronounced this season for sure. I really don't know how to feel about it, on one hand I absolutely think they should be allowed to tell thier story anyway they see fit, on the other hand I don't really want to see it, I have too look away, its very strange to me.

Really liked the Jessica/Bill scenes, Jessica has really grown on me over the passed year, I did not like her character at all at first. Loved the girl on girl fight at the end, Naked Sookie also a bonus, great body horrible face IMO, that was quite the song at the end as well really set the mood. I have enjoyed this season much more than the 2nd so far and can't wait to see whats next.

 

invisioner 8/10/2010 9:55:34 AM

 Having read the books, Crystal and kin are...more than JUST shifters...: ) And Jason's attraction is key to that.

Interested if the show will follow as closely on that point. Am definitely enjoying Jessica more!

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