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- Episode: Radioactive (Season 6, Episode 10)
- Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer Sam, Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Alexander Skarsgard, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Joe Manganiello, Rutger Hauer
- Written By: Kate Barnow, Alan Ball (creator), Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse novels by)
- Directed By: Scott Winant
- Network: HBO
- Studio: Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, Home Box Office (HBO)
True Blood: Radioactive Review
By Joel Rickenbach
August 20, 2013
This episode is firmly split into two parts, and it’s the first half that drags down the second. True Blood employs a very tried and true device- the “Six months later” time gap. What’s so surprising is how well the time jump works for this show, we just have to sit through a lot of clean up to get there.
Our first segment picks up where we left off last episode- Terry is being buried, The Vamps are all having fun in the sun like they’ve been invited to Jay Gatsby’s house, only the property belongs to the mopey savior, and Lillith-less Bill. There’s sex and volleyball, Helios worship , and Jason’s feeble attempts to get Violet to do more than bite him. After all this celebration, Sookie comes to realize she made a promise to Warlow- her hand in marriage, and she’s having some serious second thoughts. She portals over to the faerie realm to try and convince him that “dating” her first would be a better idea, but waiting for 5,000 years will do things to a half-vampire, half-faerie, and Warlow has had enough. It is cool that Sookie’s rescuers need Adilyn to get to the faerie realm, she could be an interesting addition to the cast, and it’s nice to see her involved. What isn’t cool is the wonky vampire fighting, it just never looks right, or at least hasn’t in a long time.
What really starts to rear its ugly head is the idea that Warlow is kind of useless at this point, and isn’t really the threat he was once made out to be. Sure, he takes out Bill and Violet, but he’s undone when Niall randomly appears behind him via portal, and turns the once ZZ Top looking caveman into goo. It would have been cool if there was a stronger sense that Jason and Niall had some sort of plan, one that involved getting Warlow to Sookie’s upstairs bathroom, where the fabric between the realms is weak, and Niall can pass through. Maybe that was the idea, but not a word is said of it, in fact, Niall doesn’t even have a line before the show jumps six months into the future. The fallout, however, is interesting. All the sun-kissed vamps lose their ability to day walk once Warlow dies, including Eric, who is reclining naked on a mountaintop in Sweden, book in hand. He has nowhere to run when the Warlow wears off, and he is left screaming and aflame, his future on the show unknown…
…and what a future it is. Sookie and Alcide have shacked up together, Sam is mayor, Merlottes is now Bellefleurs, and there are roving bands of wild, Hep-V infected vampires all over the land, keeping humans locked safe in their homes at night. Oh, and Jason still isn’t gettin’ any.
Apparently Sam is a shrewd mayor, as he debuts a plan to keep Bon Temps safe from the infected vampire threat. He takes the pulpit at the combined Bon Temps church, where he has the support of Reverend Daniels and Lettie Mae. Sam’s plan is to have everyone congregate at Bellefleurs for a feast, the humans will get tested to see if they are Hep-V carriers, and the ones who pass are encouraged to befriend a clean, local vampire. The catch is the human should let the vampire feed on them, in exchange for the vampire’s protection. This plan is approved by the mighty Bill Compton (who we see is getting plenty of exposure on TV), but the idea doesn't go over well with everyone.
This plan helps give us the episode's two best moments- Jessica going to Andy's house, promising to protect he and Adilyn, even though he wants nothing to do with Jess, and Tara and Lettie Mae finally clearing the air. The Tara scene isn't exactly earned, given that Tara as been all but meaningless this season, but in the overall True Blood sense it's a moment long in the making. This new status quo in Bon Temps does feel a bit like an "Elseworlds" tale, but it's a welcome change, even if it's a trick True Blood has played before. It gives the show a bit more of a horror feel, which it has been lacking in a good long while.
Overall, in True Blood terms, this has been a good season. It surprised me how much more focused it was than the last, and it tied up most of its loose ends satisfyingly. The whole Warlow storyline was a bit of a lame duck, unfortunately, but the good news is I think we may be done with the Faeries for awhile, and that's fine by me. I may actually start to look forward to our Summer guilty pleasure come next June.