Monday, July 9, 2012

TV Buzz: Does Season 5 of True Blood Have Too Many Story Lines?


So, we knew that Russell Edgington was returning this season, but we weren't prepared for Sookie's visions of his almost-melted body OR his hospital bed in the middle of a pretty creepy abandoned mansion. 

Okay, let's do a quick recap of the fifth episode of the season, "Let's Boot and Rally." Sookie pukes on Alcide, Sookie led Alcide, Eric, AND Bill through a haunted house to find Russell (with her visions) during a time crunch, Russell Edgington returned in a very creepy way, Tara dressed up like Pam, and we finally have some insight as to why Terry is so shell-shocked from his time in Iraq. Of course, it's a supernatural fire monster who is hunting down each member of his Marine squad. As though that wasn't enough to put in one episode, Lafayette's dead boyfriend, Jesus' head appeared in the middle of the night in his apartment as well as his mother's, we are set up to see that Russell has a friend in the Authority who has been nursing him back to health (may or may not be Nora), and Hoyt is hanging out at Fangtasia wearing eyeliner.  

A couple of things: First, is anyone completely sold on Tara as a vampire? 
I know, I know, she isn't sold either, so it's a learning curve for everyone.  But, with all of the creative story lines  True Blood has produced in the past, it seems incredibly cliche for her to be working at Fangtasia, learning the ropes so easily. Instead of bartending at Merlotte's, she's just bartending at Fangtasia.  Every time she gets out of line, Pam magically appears to compel her to stop and then she's boring again.  She tries to kill herself in a tanning bed, but Pam shows up and compels her to never do it again.  She tries to feed on a human at Fangtasia in public, but Pam rescues her. Let the girl do something dangerous.  

Next topic on the list: What is up with this fire monster? 
True Blood should skip out on his story and focus on Tara a little more or perhaps Lafayette (who gets so little screen-time).  In this episode, it is revealed that Terry's Marine squad all did acid one night and then accidentally killed a few people from a town in Iraq. To protect their squad, they killed everyone else, as well, and then burned them all to leave no evidence behind.  A barely alive woman curses Terry, saying something about a fire that will burn them all to death at some point, before he shoots her and then sets the fire.  So, while the story makes sense, it's lacking fangs, which is what the show is all about. If we have to sit through this, at least, like I already mentioned, make Tara's transition a little wilder. 

Third, how many more stories do we need to sift through in one episode?
Meanwhile, in yet another story line, after finding two of his shifter friends shot to death, Sam calls the police, to which, Jason and Sheriff Bellefleur show up.  Jason shows up and has an epiphany: crimes committed by supernatural forces have been going on forever, but humans have just been too misinformed to ever make the connection.  Now that Jason knows, however, he is going to make some changes.  Hmmm.  

Then, Sam goes over to warn Luna that someone bad is lurking around Shreveport, probably out to shoot more shifters, and on his way out when leaving, he gets shot by a group of people in masks driving a pickup truck. Then, like clockwork, Luna follows him out and gets herself shot.  Then, as though that wasn't enough, Emma comes out to see what's going on, but manages to escape by turning into a cub and high-tailing it into the woods. 

The return of Russell Edgington: finally, a moment that makes sense.
The best part of the entire episode is when Sookie, Alcide, Bill, and Eric find Russell.  He simply says, "Took you long enough." 

Is this season too confusing?
Overall, this season seems like it has a lot of story lines. By now we know that True Blood does deliver with confusing (at first) plot twists, but we also know that each season has had one main "bad guy." This season, it's hard to figure out exactly who the "bad guy" is.  Is it Russell? Is it the unknown person from the Authority who is secretly working with Russell? Is it the fire monster? Is it Lafayette's witchcraft?  Is it Alcide's old wolf pack?  Or, is it the people who shot Sam and his friends (who might be Alcide's old wolf pack, who knows?) 


Photo Credit: HBO

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