Unlike Season 2, there are no Maenad orgies to tie this season’s many divergent stories together. No crazy glue to hold all of the insanity in place. And True Blood is suffering badly from it.
When Russell (Denis O’Hare) brought his show to the news a few weeks back, it appeared that such a thread had been created. Finally we would have a universal threat that would bring all of our favorite characters back together. An epic struggle between the fate of vampires and mankind. Or not.
Instead we get talking dolls, “pretend” fights between Eric (Alexandar Skarsgard) and Bill (Stephen Moyer), high school quarterbacks on V (Friday Night Bites), a failed Wiccan abortion attempt (seriously, does anyone care about Arlene and her exorcist baby at all? Where can this possibly be going? About the only thing I can think of is Bon Temps being terrorized by Chucky from Child’s Play next season) and more guilt and weeping about Eggs. Was this guy really so great Tara (Rutina Wesley)? I mean, your relationship pretty much consisted of vandalism and angry boning under the influence of a Greek nymph. Not exactly the stuff soulmates are made of.
The worst offender continues to be Sam (Sam Trammell). There have been a few moments this season where I have almost declared True Blood to have jumped the shark. The show always seemed to bounce back. But Sam’s drunken rage has me teetering on the edge of the waters again, watching the fins circle the chum. Just a ridiculous scene. You can’t just completely change a character three years into a series run. It comes off as desperate. And worse, silly.
It’s almost as if the entirety of Season 3 is a set up for Season 4. About the only scene with any life in it was that between Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (Jim Parrack). A wonderful moment of reunion and blood-thirst. But then they had to go ruin the entire storyline by tossing Hoyt’s mom into the mix. There was plenty of internal conflict to play with here. No need to tack on such a silly device. Nothing seems organic this season. Nothing seems to be generated by the characters except the Russel storyline. Instead of so many forced plot devices, one has to ask what could have been.
It’s not like True Blood is finding its way smoothly amongst all these subplots. We haven’t seen a werewolf in a month. Remember them? Oh wait, we have a werepanther now. My bad.
When you have so many threads to follow simultaneously, you risk your audience not caring about any of them deeply. It becomes a schizophrenic viewing experience. Biting off more than you can chew.
It would be a terrible shame to see Russell go out so meekly. I don’t think he will, but it remains to be seen. And how many times can we have Sookie (Anna Paquin) lose faith in Bill? Five minutes ago they were talking about living on a farm or something and making little faerie vampire babies. Now she can’t see that he has a plan?
This show is meant to be over-the-top. It’s what we enjoy about it. But that doesn’t mean you sacrifice all your character logic and consistency to make it happen.
This season has a lot to answer for in the season finale. It will make or break the bipolar ride we’ve been on so far. There have been moments of greatness dispersed throughout the muck. Let’s just hope we don’t miss them in the finale because we’re asleep.
Best Worst Line: “You infatuated teen.”
Most Disturbing Moment: Sam’s Mel Gibson impression.