True Blood – Who Are You, Really? – Review

true blood
Latest posts by Barry Quinn (see all)

TV’s sexiest show returned last week with the première of True Blood season six, picking up exactly where the rather lacklustre fifth season ended. Season five suffered from too many plotlines about too many characters that none of us cared about—the smoke monster subplot anybody? No, didn’t think so. But this time round, the show feels more grounded. Yes, there are still a lot (!) of characters but, so far, their storylines are more or less connected. Contains spoilers.

Bill, or “Billith” as he is now colloquially known within the fan community, has risen from the dead as the vampire goddess incarnate and with that comes several new powers. He can fly, he can move objects with his mind, and he can survive a staking that comes from Sookie as she finally chooses Eric over Bill (before ditching him too!). So far so good, but I have a feeling that this plot may grow tedious over the coming weeks as Bill battles with Lilith, but Bill will surely win and Sookie will fall in love with him once again before he destroys her trust in him, once again. This stuff writes itself. It’s a circle that has, and will continue to go round and round until the show’s very end. Last season Sookie swore herself off from both Bill and Eric but she inevitably found herself helping them once again and that will surely be the case this season too. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. True Blood is fundamentally about Sookie, Bill and Eric, the three main characters. If they didn’t interact with one another we wouldn’t watch it.

Other plotlines include the fallout of Luna outing the shifters on live TV. It’s perhaps not unsurprising that she dies, but it still hits us right in the face as she bites the bullet within minutes of the episode opening. Poor Emma, fantastically played by the cute young actress Chloe Noelle, has now lost both of her parents in the space of a week. She’s gotta be one messed up kid. Sam promises he’ll look after her but surely Martha will have something to say about that. I can see a power struggle between Sam and Alcide rising which is a shame because I quite like the idea of Sam being a father figure to young Emma. The ever-amazing Lafayette, who barely features in the opening episode but still shines as bright as ever (“You want something deep-fried, dipped in sugar, and then fried all over again?—We’ll do something with your hair, too.”), reveals that Luna’s shifting is all over the TV, so I have a feeling the fallout is going to be massive.

Next onto Jason, who hitches a ride to Bon Temps and reveals everything to a complete stranger. It’s a good job that the stranger poses no threat, right? Wrong! Rutger Hauer debuts as Macklyn Warlow, the vampire progeny of goddess Lilith, who killed Sookie and Jason’s parents. So upon revealing himself to Jason why does he instantly flee? Is it because Jason has unwittingly revealed all about Sookie, and Warlow now knows where to find her? Or is he up to something else? There is absolutely no way that Sookie is going to die so we don’t have to even worry about her, but the inevitable ensuing fights are certainly going to be riveting to watch. I smell a bloodbath coming and Brian Buckner, the new showrunner replacing Alan Ball, really needs to trim the fat on the ever-expanding cast list. Here’s hoping Arlene and Terry kick the bucket.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. Arlene isn’t a bad character, but nor is she a good one either. I liked her in the first season when she was there but didn’t do anything apart from give the occasional sassy comment. But since they paired her up with Terry I have found myself despising her and I know a lot of other people feel the same. Their storylines are dull at best (need I mention the whole smoke monster thing again?) and I really can’t see them improving anytime soon. So here’s my suggestion: kill off Terry, alongside most of the werewolves (more on them in a moment) and downgrade Arlene to a guest character who appears two of three times a season and I may, may be able to enjoy her character again. But perhaps she’s now beyond redemption.

The werewolf subplot is perhaps the worst in the show at the moment. Not even the sight of a naked Joe Manganiello can salvage it, and with both Robert Patrick and Kelly Overton (as Jackson Herveaux and Rikki Naylor respectively) being upgraded to main cast members it can only get worse. Their story is too disconnected and nobody cares what happens to them. Make Alcide move to Bon Temps and forget them and maybe Alcide will finally become interesting!

Other points of interest include Eric still hating on Pam (stop that!) and Pam fighting her feelings for Tara (stop that!). I am loving Tara’s relationship with Pam and it seems as though she is finally ready to forgive Sookie for having her turned into a vampire so it looks as though my love for Tara is only going to grow. Now all we need is for her to reconnect with the fabulous LaLa.

Overall ‘Who Are You, Really?’ was a fantastic opening episode. It wasn’t to the standard of seasons one to three but it was so much better than the previous season. Perhaps having a reduced number of episodes will do the show some good as there is less time for filler material. I for one will be sticking around for the long run and I hope you all will too. True Blood is back, with extra bite.