True Blood: Who Are You, Really? Reivew - Mania.com



True Blood Review

Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • 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)
  • Series:

True Blood: Who Are You, Really? Reivew

Like a naked evil Superman

By Joel Rickenbach     June 18, 2013
Source: Mania.com

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.

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

Showing items 1 - 10 of 14
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ddiaz28 6/18/2013 7:44:30 AM

I enjoyed the premiere.  I really like the new threat that this governor and his  vamp hunter elite squad pose.  A lot of people complain about the Belflour side stories but I just find those too amusing.  We need a little levity as all this serious stuff happens with the rest of the show.  And I do hope they find some good stuff for Alcide.  As fun as a werewolf threesome might be, I want to really see what his new pack can do against everyone else.  And I really wish Sookie would figure out her farie powers already and be able to use them properly. Is she still losing them slowly or something?  I forget.  I just want to see her be a bad ass for once instead of always the victim.

redhairs99 6/18/2013 9:05:46 AM

I keep watching as I've been watching since the beginning, but really it's just all become filler for me.  My wife still really enjoys it though.

Was it really a big reveal when Warlow said he was in fact Warlow?  Maybe it's all the casting news I see online, but I have to think that if I didn't know any of that before hand and sat and watched the show and I see Rutger Hauer that I would know exactly who he was playing.

Still curious, to a point, to see what's up with Bill and his new powers.  I mean I guess they had to do something to freshen up the storylines between Bill, Sookie and Eric, but I don't really like the idea of Bill as a villian.  The whole arc from last season of him buying into the vampire religion and Lillith seemed out of character for him.

TheSilentKiller 6/18/2013 9:31:14 AM

I kind of thought Rutger was going to turn out to be Niall, Sookie's Fairy great-grandfather.

skip2mylu 6/18/2013 10:26:46 AM

I thought it was a great beginning to the 6th season.  I'm just wondering who is that vampire I see in the commercials with the beard, I was thinking that was gonna be Warlow nut apparently its not.

redhairs99 6/18/2013 10:33:31 AM

skip, I thought that guy was Rob Zombie?  Okay, not really Rob Zombie, but he bears a resemblance, didn't he?

CaptAmerica04 6/18/2013 11:09:20 AM

The word you were looking for, Joel, was "brakes," not "breaks."  Sorry.  I try not to be so picky, but I have a spelling compulsion... comes from having two English teachers for parents.  And once was a typo.  Multiple times was just misuse.

skoora 6/18/2013 11:38:36 AM

 I'm not excited by this show anymore, too many lame episodes in seasons past but I did like this as a premiere. I will keep watching until it's lame again.

Chopsaki 6/18/2013 1:38:37 PM

 More werewelf threesomes pls thx.

fft5305 6/19/2013 9:08:00 AM

@CaptAmerica04 - Let's not forget the title of the article, stating that it is a "Reivew." Sorry. I didn't have English teachers for parents, but English was a 2nd language for my mother. So I grew up correcting (at her request) and have a hard time stopping.

The Warlow reveal wasn't surprising, but I don't think it needed to be. The anticipation of Jason's reaction when he found out was what made that scene interesting to me.

I'm glad to see some fresh energy injected into the Bill/Sookie/Eric tedium.

joelr 6/20/2013 6:44:49 AM

Guys, gimme a brake!

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