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- Episode: Who Are You, Really? (Season 6, Episode 1)
- Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Kristin Bauer van Straten
- Written By: Raelle Tucker, Alan Ball (creator), Charlaine Harris ("Sookie Stackhouse" novels by)
- Directed By: Stephen Moyer
- Network: HBO
- Studio: Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, Home Box Office (HBO)
True Blood: Who Are You, Really? Reivew
Like a naked evil Superman
By Joel Rickenbach
June 18, 2013
Welcome back to Bon Temps, once a sleepy southern town with a supernatural twist, now the epicenter for Vampire politics, high tech armed militias, invisible Faerie nightclubs, and home to every vein of creature you can pull out of your Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. Five seasons in, and it feels like this show needs to slam on the breaks, particularly after the debut of Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, which took an entire season to reveal some of its supernatural tendencies, and there’s still plenty to reveal. True Blood, on the other hand, throws so many things that go bump in the night at us its almost hard to keep track. Believe it or not- this episode actually does put on the breaks a bit, but the question is- after five seasons of ramping up the insanity, do we like what we see now that we’ve slowed down and have the chance to look around?
At the end of last season, Bill drank the entire vial of Lillith’s blood, died, then was instantly resurrected as some sort of monstrous version of himself. Sookie and Jason learned the name of the vampire that killed their parents- Warlow. Alcide became the new packmaster of the Louisiana werewolves by being naked a lot. Sam and Luna infiltrated the Vampire Authority to rescue Luna’s daughter, Emma. Luna used her shifting abilities to change into Reverend Newlin and sabotage his press conference, at the expense of her life. Pam and Tara keep getting a little closer, and Andy Bellefleur has a litter of Fae babies dropped on his doorstep. This is largely what we’re still dealing with at the onset of this season, as True Blood dropped the season arc structure long ago, and now just keeps chugging along like a freak show freight train. Also, in true True Blood fashion, the premiere picks up the moment last season’s finale ended, and quickly negates the big cliffhanger, somewhat. The pre-credits sequence feels like a different show compared to what comes after, and that’s probably due to most of the footage being shot during season 5, but it’s also because once we’re into some fresh season 6 material, the tone seems to shift and slow down. While that might not save the show as a whole, it’s definitely good news for those who want to slink their way back into Bon Temps.
The majority of our cast begins the episode running away screaming from the blood soaked “Billith”, but that’s pretty much the end of the leftover chaos. Once they pull their SUV over to gather their thoughts, the characters click into their tracks. Jason is through with Vamps, now more than ever, and storms off declaring Sookie dead to him. Pam is miffed at Eric’s rejection of their former relationship as sire and progeny, and goes so far to cry some un-Pam-like bloody tears. Eric and Nora fly off to be super vamps, and Jessica is physically being forced to answer the call from her maker, Bill. In fact, It’s tearing her heart out, so Sookie tags along to put an end to the madness. Once they arrive at Bills house, things don’t exactly go as planned. Bill is his suave, non-bloody self again, and claims to be as in the dark as the rest of them when it comes to what happened when he drank Lillith’s blood. This doesn’t stop Eric and Nora from hurtling out of the sky to attack him (a very cool moment), nor does it stop Sookie from staking Bill through the chest. This would be a big deal (and is, emotionally), but Bill has all sorts of new powers, like surviving a stake, and telekinesis. Clearly they are no match for him, and outwardly Bill seems like a version of his old self, so the drama dissipates, and Jessica stays. After, Eric does the right thing, and signs the deed to Sookie’s house back over to her, and with that she regretfully rescinds her invitation to Eric, and watches him get pushed by a phantasmal force back through the doorway. Sookie has now closed many supernatural doors from her past, what does the future hold for our heroine?
Even as Sookie’s supernatural dalliances have gone cold, Bon Temps’ are only getting hotter. The governor of Louisiana (Arliss Howard) has some choice words after the fallout from Steve Newlin’s press conference- Vampires now have a curfew, and all vampire-run business are to be shut down. Of course, there’s more to this new face than just fire and brimstone, as he secretly schemes to reopen and old factory to become the biggest supplier of TruBlood in the world. This could be an interesting wrinkle in the episodes to come, a shrewd human is a nice change from the elder vamps we’ve gotten accustomed to.
Alcide’s storyline gets even more questionable, unless you are a 14-year-old boy, in which case it’s probably the greatest story ever to grace the small screen. Not only is Alcide now packmaster, but he has gorgeous, naked women literally falling at his feet. And when Rikki catches him getting all sweaty with wolf pup Danielle, she doesn’t slap him across the face, or scold him, she joins them for a werewolf threesome. Now that’s drama!
Lets end on Jason, poor boy can't catch a break. As he hoofs it after leaving the gang, he thumbs a ride from a very curious fellow who looks a lot like Rutger Hauer. This stranger is an awful good listener, as Jason details his current dilemma, and shows us just how little he's progressed the last few seasons. At least the writers have kept one thing consistent- brother Jason has the worst luck. What are the odds that the man who gives Jason a ride is the man who killed his parents? Upon learning his driver is the infamous Warlow, Jason takes action by trying to put a wooden bullet in him at point blank rage, but Warlow is more powerful than that. He pulls a nifty disappearing act, leaving Jason alone in the car as it careens off the road. Add another uber vamp to the roster.
Despite quite a few shortcomings, this episode does successfully bring the story back down to manageable levels. Give us more secrets, more dark nights, less flying and vampire swat teams. This is the first season without show creator Alan Ball, so it will take a few episodes to see if we miss him or not. Who knows? Maybe the new showrunner Brian Buckner will bring Bon Temps back to life...
The Good: Bill's General Sherman speech
The Bad: Everything Werewolf
The Ugly: Rutger Hauer's hairdo.