True Blood

True Blood 6×07 – In The Evening

"You don't have that Stockholder's Syndrome do you?"

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Well that sure slowed things down a lot.

Under the tutelage of a new showrunner and a compelling story-arc, this season of True Blood has been focused in a way the show hasn’t been in a long time. Sadly, it was only natural that we’d get a clunker of an episode, and In The Evening proved to be a lackluster affair in the grand scheme of things. But that’s what transitional hours are for right?

The episode’s most pivotal moment was obviously Nora’s death, and while the scene was admittedly well-executed, she was never fully-developed as a character. In fact, she existed purely to service the plot. Last season, she was quite suddenly introduced as Eric’s sister, and didn’t really get much to do besides rattle on about politics and Lilith. Yes the flashback to Nora’s original meeting with Eric was impressive (the production design was impeccable and grand), but it was shoehorned in five minutes before her death. Imagine how impactful her death would have been had we experienced further flashbacks leading up to this episode. Instead, it ended up feeling like a manufactured way to up the stakes and solidify Hepatitis V as a looming threat.

Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Alexander Skarsgard for his downright stunning performance. His portrayal of a desperate, shattered Eric singlehandedly elevated the material and imbued it with a true sense of pathos and heartbreak. It was undeniably Skarsgard’s best moment on the show so far, made all the more impressive seeing as how he was acting with a pile of red goo. Plus, there’s a nice symmetry with Nora dying from a disease, as Eric had found her centuries before in a plague-ridden state.

For the first time in a while, I wasn’t totally enamored by the shenanigans at Vamp Camp. Jessica’s story started out well enough with a reunion with Jason, but her asking the honorable vampire James to make love to her was all sorts of terrible (particularly with Jason right outside). It just felt extremely out-of-character, and too much like convenient ammunition for Jason to further hate vampires down the line. It’s the kind of plotting this year has avoided, and I do hope such contrivances don’t happen again.

On the bright side, Sarah Newlin is pretty much the show’s sole Big Bad at the moment, and she continues to be a marvelous delight. Her stumbling onto the Governor’s body and kissing his decapitated head was very fitting of the show’s campy tone, as was her dumping a wounded Jason into the female vampire population. Now who is this Queen B lady vamp, and will Tara be enough to keep her away from sir Stackhouse? Color me intrigued.

While I don’t really care about Terry’s death, the aftermath with Arlene has finally given the lovable character something to do. It was great to see her Sookie and bond for the first time in a long time, and it was especially amusing to see her react to Bill dropping by in the daytime. Hopefully this means the season’s remaining subplots will be reeled in and allowed to intersect with the main arc. All that’s left is Alcide, and I’m hopeful the animosity with his wolf pack will drive him away from that atrocious storyline. The less said about Sam and Nicole’s useless romance, the better.

Bloody Bits

– Fantastic opening escape by Eric. I especially loved him hiding under the truck and making short work of the cop who spots him with the mirror.

– Sarah hatching the coverup plot with the senator was genius. “I hear acid is effective.” Indeed it is Sarah.

– Arlene snapping and calling Lafayette a “Voodoo Queer” was pretty harsh.

– Is Nicole the most pointless character of all time? The shower sex scene was really unnecessary.

– Pam didn’t have nearly as much screen-time as I would have liked this week, but I did love watching her seduce the shrink. But have some standards Pam please!

True Quips

Sarah: When God’s message is this clear, I am a truly unstoppable woman.

Therapist: How high would you rate your sexual activity?
Pam: High. I was a whore in my human life. It wasn’t a coincidence.
Therapist: And how would you say that manifested in your vampire life?
Pam: For one, I fuck a lot.

Conclusion
Slow and lazily-plotted, In The Evening is definitely the weakest episode of the season thus far. Here’s hoping all hell breaks loose in the second half of the year and the show doesn’t fizzle out on its potential.

Β Nad Rating
C-

Also posted on Critical Myth.

7 comments

  1. Hey Nad, I saw that you filled in for John Keegan over at critical myth. Most people didn't seem crazy about this episode, and I can see why. I remember the new showrunner saying that if somebody died, they would actually stop and take the time to mourn them, so I can see why this episode happened. Still, there were problems with it, and they need to get back some momentum on the next episode. Unfortunately, I wouldn't put it past True Blood to waste more time with another so-called transitional episode, since they have in the past. I agree about the Nora part, and though I love Pam as much as anyone, that scene would of really worked extremely well if it was Pam. But nobody wants to see Pam go right? I pretty much agree with everything you wrote.

  2. Hey Roman! Yes I'll be posting my True Blood reviews on Critical Myth from now on. Love the site, have been a fan for over a decade!

    Glad to see we're on the same page on this episode. I was afraid I was being harsh on it but it was quite disappointing after a superb season. Nevertheless, I feel the final three episodes are going to be amazing! (too bad it's not 12 episodes this year, but maybe that's a plus).

    Let's pray that this was the only transitional episode πŸ˜€

  3. That's cool, I've been following that site too thanks to you (I discovered you from Billie Doux). I hope Keegan didn't quit on the show, because it seemed like was liking this season, and I know he absolutely despised last season.

  4. Nope he didn't quit on the show, just giving me an opportunity to write for a site I've loved for a long time πŸ™‚ Hehe. I think he agrees with us that this season is achieving a lot of great stuff!

  5. I totally agree with the Nora part. The character was never fully-developed and the flashback was sort of a way to make up for this lack of development and make Nora suddenly a more established character. I also agree with Jessica's asking James to make love to her as totally out-of-character, it just came out of the blue and I am not sure where we are going with this new love triangle.

    Arlene's reaction when seeing Bill in the daylight was really amusing! I am bit confused though seeing her crying in the cemetery when supposedly they didn't have the funeral yet (since we still didn't see Sam returning) so Terry is not yet buried there?!

  6. Hey Tagouga. You know I just assumed he was already buried and that's why she was at the cemetery!
    By the way, you're my blog's 1000th comment πŸ™‚ Heheh congrats to both of us (sorry no prizes)

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