September 14th, 2009
12:14 PM ET

'True Blood' leaves unanswered questions

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, Sept. 13 episode of HBO’s “True Blood.”

And just like that, it was over.

Another season in Bon Temps has come and gone – with, thankfully, at least one more season on the way. It started with a dead body in the parking lot of Merlotte’s and ended with … well … a dead body in the parking lot of Merlotte’s.

In between, we met the hilarious true-believers of the Fellowship of the Sun, the noble vampire Godric, the doe-eyed and short-lived Daphne and, in Maryann, someone who sort of took the whole Bridezilla thing a bit far (and who, for the briefest of moments Sunday night, actually seemed somewhat sympathetic).

We saw newly-turned vamp Jessica become both a star-crossed teen lover and a merciless killer, saw life turn dark for the perpetually fabulous Lafayette and watched the Bill-Sookie-Eric love triangle get curiouser and curiouser.

Oh yeah … and there was a lot of blood and a bunch of people got naked. Not that anybody watches the show for that sort of thing. Ahem.

In the end, Maryann got her just desserts, Sookie got her house back and the residents of Bon Temps got un-zombified – plus or minus a finger or two. But in great “True Blood” fashion, the season ended with plenty of questions left. Among them:

1. Who got Bill? Clearly this is the big one. The obvious answer would be Eric – acting on his promise to the queen to make sure Bill doesn’t gum up the works of their secret blood-dealing operation. But the show’s writers have a way of avoiding the obvious. Lorena? The Fellowship? All possibilities. Hard to imagine Eric’s not involved, though. The queen’s cover-up order dovetails way too nicely with his hankering for Sookie.

2. What’s up with Sam’s parents? Fresh from finishing off Maryann (please note the lack of “bull by the horns” puns here) everyone’s favorite shape-shifter starts barking up the family tree. “Bad people?” According to the parents that abandoned him? This one promises to be interesting.

3. What of Jason and Andy? Once accused of being a mass murderer, Jason has now actually killed a man. Andy had earned his badge back, but does he have enough credibility to cover up the killing? And how will Tara react to her beloved Eggs living through the Maryann craziness only to take a bullet in the head from a friend?

Good news … there’s a Season 3 to answer all those questions. Bad news … it doesn’t start until June of next year.

See you then.

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Filed under: television • True Blood
August 24th, 2009
10:05 AM ET

'True Blood': The god who comes to Bon Temps

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, August 23 episode of HBO’s “True Blood.”

Religions based on the worship of space aliens, The Dude from “The Big Lebowski” and spaghetti monsters? Seen ‘em all - old news.

tb.samandandy.courtesy

But Jason Stackhouse in a gas mask with antlers made out of a tree branch? I think that’s a spiritual leader we can all believe in.

The segment with Jason, Sam Merlotte and Andy Bellefleur fighting their way through Sam’s bar in Sunday’s “True Blood” episode, “New World in My View,” was a highlight.

Basically, we were served up a short zombie movie in the middle of a vampire show. Sure, there was no gore-splattered hacking and slashing, but all the key elements were there.

Chainsaw? Check. Mindless horde of your former friends banging on the door? Check. Hapless buddies working their way through the mob in increasingly creative ways? Check.

And Jason’s shirtless appearance to fool the black-eyed horde was classic. Who didn’t laugh at a “god” who doesn’t know what the word “smite” means and serves up such eloquent pronouncements as, “I am the god who comes! I have come … and now I am here!” (We’ll step slowly away from the possible double entendre’ there as it applies to Jason, OK?)

Maryann haters, and indeed there are many, can take heart in the fact that Sam’s escape, combined with Sookie’s newfound face-zapping ability, suggest there are some chinks in the armor of Dionysus’s No. 1 gal – even if her decidedly non-tasty blood means Bill might not be much help.

Only two episodes left this season, which means there’s not much time left for Maryann to become this season's Rene Lenier (hopefully).

Who knows? If they’re lucky, they may make it out of this mess before Maryann’s meat tree goes bad.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
August 3rd, 2009
10:13 AM ET

'True Blood' - dead or alive?

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, August 2, episode of “True Blood.”

Can anyone remember a show that dropped more cliffhangers on the viewer in the last couple of minutes than “True Blood” does?

truebloodjason

It’s not like the first 50 minutes or so are devoid of action. But Sunday’s episode, “Release Me,” was a vintage example of the last-minute craziness – leaving a few characters dead, mostly dead, possibly dead or as good as dead right before the credits roll.

But which is it? As we saw in the first minutes of this week’s episode, escape is always possible. [Of course, it helps if, like Sam, you have the ability to turn yourself into bird of prey and scram.]

So here, with no advance knowledge or insight, are some guesses as to who’s really made their final blood donation and whose heart will keep beating to bleed another day. Worth noting that the series is ahead of my very limited reading of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and, as we’ve seen time and again, the makers of the TV series have strayed far from the books many times anyway.

Death candidate No. 1: Daphne

We learned a little about why Maryann might keep “Eggs” Benedict around and got a not-surprising look at how she treats friends who don’t live up to her expectations. While Daphne’s got the whole shape-shifting thing going for her, that knife in the gut looked pretty convincing and it’s generally not good for your life expectancy to anger an immortal handmaiden of a Greek god.
Likelihood of death:
95 percent

Death candidate No. 2: Gabe
The Fellowship of the Sun goon would certainly be expendable - plenty more where he came from. And being snatched up by the ear by a 2,000-year-old vampire can’t be a good thing. But is it really a coincidence that Godric showed up just in the nick of time? I still can’t quite get my brain around how Eric’s “scared little boys with Bibles and crossbows” could have captured a vampire so powerful. Maybe there’s something more to his capture, maybe not. But I’ll say the mystery gives ol’ Gabe a fighting chance.
Likelihood of a well-deserved death: 50 percent

Death candidate No. 3: Jason Stackhouse
Love kills, Jason. And maybe so does a raging case of lust with the preacher’s wife. Either way, Sarah Newlin blasts the dim-but-likable Jason with a Godzilla-sized pistol at the end of the episode. He was worried that his dalliance with Sarah would do him in. But, instead, he’s blasted for something he didn’t even do by the woman he was rolling around with just hours earlier. They’ve thrown us curve balls before, but it’s hard to imagine the show’s creators are going to snuff out a fan favorite like Jason.
Likelihood of a death that would break the hearts of half the show’s viewers: 25 percent

Unrelated but happy note: HBO announced recently at Comic-Con that “True Blood” has been renewed for a third season.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
July 27th, 2009
10:42 AM ET

'True Blood' and its hard-hearted vamps

Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for Sunday’s episode of “True Blood.”

“Leather is tough/but Hannah’s heart is tougher./She’s a gal who loves to see men suffer.”

TB Daphne

So … any question why the Tin Pan Alley classic, “Hard-Hearted Hannah,” was the title of Sunday’s “True Blood” episode?

Sure, we see Prohibition-era Bill crooning it – just as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Bobby Darin and probably hundreds of others have done over the years.

But last night, there were a whole bunch of “gals” making a whole bunch of men suffer.

There was vampire Pam telling a traumatized Lafayette that, after nearly being killed by vampires for selling vampire blood, he needs to start once again selling vampire blood.

There was Lorena, Bill’s maker, showing back up and making it pretty clear she’s ready to take back what’s hers. And whether or not Sarah Newlin set out to make Jason suffer, their one-on-one sanctuary session could have some ugly end results.

But the “Meanest Gal in Town” award clearly goes to Maryann and Daphne.

Some readers of this blog were getting tired of the Maryann storyline not going anywhere. But that all changed last night, when we learned exactly what she had in store for sad-sack Sam.

Daphne, of course, reminds us that – just like with those “make millions working from home” signs and e-mails from Nigerian diplomats – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

So, guys, if a cute waitress shows up out of nowhere, shows you she can magically turn into a whole barnyard full of different animals and proposes a use for a pool table that they do NOT show on ESPN2... run the other way.

We all pretty much knew the creepy Maryann had it in for Sam, but for the seemingly sweet Daphne to have been in on the plot?

Well, that, as the songwriter said, is colder than travelin’ through Alaska in your BVDs.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
July 20th, 2009
10:16 AM ET

'Young' blood on 'True Blood'

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, July 19 episode of HBO’s “True Blood.”

With the appearance of 2000-year-old Godric on Sunday night’s “True Blood” episode, the show’s giving a nod to one of my favorite vampire twists – vamps who were young when they were “turned.”

true blood 7/19

In solving what was apparently a mystery only to Bill – although pretty obvious to any viewer paying attention - Godric was the maker of Eric, the sheriff of Louisiana and, according to the posts on this blog, a favorite of a lot of viewers.

Looking about 15 years old, Godric (played by 19-year-old Danish actor Allan Hyde) saved Viking Eric from certain death on an ancient battlefield – answering the question of why his disappearance is important enough for the Nordic vamp to leave his post and head to Dallas (gotta love the cowboy vampires) to look for him.

The kid-as-ancient toughie bit will remind genre fans of Claudia, an even-younger child when she was turned by Lestat in “Interview With the Vampire.” Claudia, of course, never becomes the powerhouse that Godric is – but shows the same ruthlessness and adult-sized blood thirst that is just really cool coming from a child-size body.

It’s a reminder that while vampires remain in human form, they’re something else – deadly and ancient even in a child’s body.

On other fronts, Jason’s “reward” from Sarah Newlin, the disappearance of telepathic Barry the Bellhop and Daphne’s revelation to Sam (who still hasn’t seemed to notice those gigantic gashes on her back despite some up-close opportunities) show the twists and turns will keep coming.

The saltiest, though, promises to be the woman walking through the hall of the Dallas hotel while Bill and Sookie were enjoying a private moment. I won’t spoil it for anybody who didn’t immediately recognize her.

But the opening recap montage should have reminded viewers who she is, one of the reasons for the episode's title, “Never Let Me Go,” and why things could be getting even trickier for poor Bill.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
July 17th, 2009
09:25 AM ET

'True Blood': Light of Day 'hacked"

Devotees of HBO's "True Blood" will probably already have discovered that those wacky true believers at the Fellowship of the Sun have their own Web site.

True Blood 2

Need Sarah Newlin's advice on how to "detoxify your marriage" or a prayer to help you "fight the perversions of life at every turn" (Including, of course, the allure those pesky blood-suckers)?

You'll find all that at www.fellowshipofthesun.org - and more.

This week HBO (a CNN sister network) rolled out another twist on the site - part of a viral marketing campaign that it's been using for the show.

The church group's site has been "hacked." Using the login and password of Luke - Jason Stackhouse's rival at the Light of Day Institute - you can get a peek behind the thin veneer of goodness and light at the anti-vampire group's camp for fang haters.

In addition to "The Lukenator's" rambling and poorly-spelled musings, you'll find a recruitment video for Soldiers of the Sun - complete with barking drill sergeant and images of masked recruits tackling a dummy with a Dracula mask on - and an instructional video on how to load shotgun shells with wood for a new twist on the old stake-through-the-heart routine.

As the preview for Sunday night's episode suggests - along with the Dallas bushwhack attempt in last week's show - it looks like the group's rhetoric has already become action.

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