True Blood: Radioactive Review - Mania.com



True Blood Review

Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • 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)
  • Series:

True Blood: Radioactive Review

Bill Again

By Joel Rickenbach     August 20, 2013
Source: Mania.com

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.

Joel Rickenbach is a curator of cult cinema at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, and can be heard every week talking film, TV and other geekery on the You’ve got GEEK podcast. Follow him onTwitter and hilarity will no doubt ensue.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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acidsquall73 8/20/2013 6:33:23 AM

I'm gonna go with Eric did not die. They wouldn't throw in there that Pam needed to find Eric and then fly away for nothing. And I was thinking since we seldom actually see vamps go out in flames often, the reason we saw the scene with Eric holding Steve like a marshmellow was to give us a reminder that they goo up under those circumstances, which we did not see Eric do on the mountain. Plus, for the show, although there are characters people like on there, I can safely speak for a good many people, that killing Eric off may not be the best thing for the show. He's a great character and still badass, despite him softening up a little this season.

And let me just say that even though she didn't get completely naked, Willa has a tight little body. Hopefully we'll see more of it next season.

makabriel 8/20/2013 7:22:08 AM

 My theories:

Eric is leading the Hep V vampires for some sort of payback at Bill

Tara's Mom is a carrier.

Interesting enough, we haven't seen the effects on Sam's *shudder* girlfriend from the Werewolf bite/scratch.  Wonder if that's going to come to anything..

 

ddiaz28 8/20/2013 7:46:50 AM

I was quite happy with the finale.  The Warlow thing really didn't amount to much and his death was pretty quick and convenient.  But at least it's out of the way.  And you are right about the vamp fighting.  It's never consistent.  With Warlow being the oldest vamp we've seen on the show, he should have been able to take everyone apart including Bill without breaking a sweat.  The rest of the episode was great.  My favorite scene was definitely the Tara and Let Mae.  It actually had me tear up a bit.  Even though she's been gone from the show for awhile, Leti Mae's bigotry has not been forgotten.  So seeing her tear up and apologize to her daughter in that way was really cool to see and well acted. 

The scene with Jason begging Violet to have sex with him was pretty hilarious seeing as Jason never seems to have trouble getting a woman to bed him.  I'm curious where that realationship will go. 

Sookie being with Alcide made sense.  Although his advances during funeral did seem to come out of nowhere since he pretty much had just left his she-wolf girlfriend.  I guess men get over women extremely fast in this show, especially Sam. 

The time jump has changed the status quo and I think that'll be for the better when it comes back.  And there is no way Eric went out like that.   We'll see a scene of Pam flying in and swooping him into the shade of the mountain or something.  Looks like next season will start with a bloody fight at the party.

invisioner 8/20/2013 10:47:13 AM

A, 6 months later, why hasn't a new disease free True Blood been made to negate having to suck on healthy humans? Fail.

b) Warlow was a lame duck. FAIL.

c) Why wasn't Alcide nauseous being with Sookie, as Eric glammored him to be at the beginning of the season? FAIL.

 

I love TB, but the writing was definitely weak this season...

Zarathud 8/20/2013 11:02:56 AM

makabriel, it was previously established that werewolf "creation" is via blood lineage (i.e. one or both parents are werewolves), not by surviving a werewolf attack.  Therefore, there should be no effect on Sam's girlfriend, although their child could be a shifter.

samson 8/20/2013 1:13:43 PM

 Best episode of the season. Hopefully, next year they'll let Lafyette get back to being the ass kicker he was in the first season and get away from the afraid, stereotypical cross dresser he's regressed into.

TheMovieGuy28 8/20/2013 6:05:10 PM

 Invisioner, you are exactly right!!! I was thinking all the same things.

I gave True Blood a new chance this season, as last season was boring as all hammered sh*t to me. 

How does Alcide not get sick? You're right. No explination.

Warlor was such a horrible character. From what he went to meant to the season before to now, and the whole vamp fighting thing, his character was a mcguffin that was shown, and it was so lame.

Of course Eric is not dead.

Lastly, the fact that they changed up so much with the 6 months later...it feels like when 'Eureka' on Sci-Fi hit the reset button with the time travel. I stopped watching then. May stop watching TB now....

blankczech 8/20/2013 10:37:16 PM

 The whackadoodle writing of True Blood has always been easy to pick apart (plot holes abound) ...the reason we keep watching is because it's cool, sexy, fun.

If you are looking for something with the near flawless artistry of a Citizen Kane or Casablanca I suggest you leave TB and search elsewhere for your Television entertainent, but if you just want a sick good time on a Sunday night following a warm summer weekend at the beach or lake,  I expect you'll be back for more. I will.

skoora 8/20/2013 10:41:18 PM

 Warlow's death reminded me of Russell's. Too quick and easy. But I miss Russell.Didn't Sookie use her light to un-glamor Alcide soon after Eric did it? This season was better but the finale was kind of lame. Why weren't the vamps about to attack the party showing any signs of the virus? I was really bummed that Jason didn't shoot Sarah Newlen when he could have. That would have been powerful. I think with that and Andy not shooting Jess at his door they missed two big oppurtunities to wow and shock us, which this show hasn't done for as long as I can remember.

jd25u 8/21/2013 7:05:25 AM

 All Eric would have to do is burrow under the snow until nightfall ... Not that I fathomable, given where he was

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