True Blood "The Sun" Review: This Show Just Wrote an Entry in My Emotions Diary

By Lily Sparks

Jun 24, 2013

True Blood S06E02: "The Sun"

“I need a language that is fresh and pure.” —Cyrano DeBergerac

In a time when television budgets are larger than those of many movies and the medium enjoys the discussion and attentions of its audience more than, say, national politics, surely we need a term for the experience of being transported in time by a show you’ve watched for years, where you've formed strong enough emotional bonds to the visual and music motifs and characters that when the series refers to its own past, it basically pulls a former version of yourself around to face you. By playing on your sense memories, it mentally calls up your mindset from seasons past, maybe puts you back in the room where you first watched it, with whoever you watched it with. It returns you to the overgrown, forgotten paths of your mind with same visceral force as reading through an old diary. This week an older version of True Blood returned, and brought with it a younger version of me, and I remembered exactly why I loved it in the first place. The show was exquisitely smaller in scope, sunnier in outlook, yet more dangerous in tone; more like home and yet more full of strange possibility than it’s been in several seasons.

Suffice it to say that, as of Season 6, Episode 2, we can all say with confidence that Sookie’s favorite pick-up line is, “How ‘bout I tend those wounds?”

It was genuinely hilarious that when Sookie first saw a hunk bleeding in the gutter, her reaction was, “Not today.” The fairy drifter in the Aeropostale togs who she took home to clean up was painfully reminiscent of her first moments with Bill, but her very different reactions to a dude in distress—her wariness, and her ultimate refusal at the end to engage with him—was believably entrenched between the growth Sookie has made through her experiences since Season 1 and her “to-a-fault” kindness. It came hard on the heels of an amazing moment where Arlene woke Sookie up by calling her from Merlotte’s and chewing her out for being late for work, which was a triumphant moment of the mundane. It was almost like a fan had been called into the writer’s room for twenty minutes and brought up everything that had been bothering me for the last three seasons. (“So how is Sookie paying for food these days? Did she quit Merlotte’s? Doesn’t she like, hear thoughts and shit? Is she losing her fairy powers for real?”)

The only thing that interrupted my hour-long smile this episode was the unwarranted werebitch attack on Lafayette. I am not going to be okay if Lafayette gets injured, but if him taking a few knocks this week translates to him taking up some of Sam’s screentime, then it’s a blessing in disguise for the audience—and if Lafayette could survive Eric’s corpse carousel, a little dick breath from a tweaked-out were-hick shouldn’t shake him for long.

Otherwise this episode got so many things right, and the show nailed the overall tone by grounding the violence and madness in so much cozy everyday minutiae. What is it about Sookie sitting at a starkly lit kitchen table while Jason and Rutger Hauer pull microwaved spaghetti out of some Pyrex dish with tongs that makes me just want to walk into my TV screen? Suddenly I have those goosebumps again, like I’m sitting on a porch on a summer night hearing ghost stories. I could feel the night breezes at that table.

Eric’s dork impression was also a well-timed reminder that, while Alex Skarsgard can play the Viking warrior in his sleep, his range of comedy is a vast territory I am dying to explore. Those bangs, those glasses, that posture! His scene across from Governor Burrell was fantastic not just for its broad comedy, but for the fact that it showed our hero doing everything right. 

Eric did everything in his power to solve the conflict peacefully and quickly, he used all his supernatural resources—he snuck in, he tried to glamour the governor, and he flew away when he was held at gunpoint. An audience will always root for a hero who anticipates what the audience would do in his situation, and so it was impossible not to cheer Eric on. And the contrast when he went from trying to act on behalf of vampires while disguised a dork to this…

Classic sex vampire swag. This one beautiful nutshell of a scene, which pointedly showed young Willa Burrell removing her anti-glamouring contacts, contained everything compelling and exciting about a vampire show: the dream-like appearance of an unbearably handsome stranger at a window, his seductive compulsion of the vulnerable, almost gothic heroine... it was so deliciously old-school. It was the Coca-Cola Classic of vampire scenes and babies there is NOTHING like the real thing. (Don’t drink soda, though; it’s bad for your teeth.)

Also: perfect amount of time for Andy to be in an episode. A hard 35 seconds. Perfect.

We also got the introduction of Jurnee Smollett, who walked into Merlotte’s with some picky eaters and high expectations for Sam. Her character seems to be all about reconnecting True Blood with the social-progress metaphors of its supernatural themes, and while her character was too persistent to be endearing right away, this actress is amazing and I’m just pleased as hell she’s going to be around.

Suspended in all this sort of family atmosphere and a return to the classic, fundamental appeal of the show was a return to True Blood's habit of shocking the shit out of us as viewers. Bill, in a comatose daze after absorbing all the pain of the vampires of the world, cavorted with Lillith in the sunlight—and how nice that they finally wiped that corn syrup and red food coloring off the long-suffering Jessica Clark and gave her some lines! Not that any of those lines made sense, but she sounded wise while saying them.

But that wasn’t the shocking part. This was the shocking part.

First of all, this series has shown me a woman’s head getting twisted 180 degrees during intercourse, a fairy going into labor, a man turning into a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers demon, and Alex Skarsgard’s naked hipbone; I really thought I was past the point where it could shock or upset me. But Bill puppeting that poor blood ho from the inside out like a thoughtless child might bounce a Tia Juana marionette, and then sucking the blood of her squeezed internal organs and into his maw without even like, blinking ?! That got a bit of a gasp from me. Very few blinks occurred during this encounter. It was surprising and weird and unsettling and violent in a way this show hasn’t been in a while.

And Jessica’s blasphemous prayer to Bill afterward had me in TEARS, especially when she prayed for Jason. Deborah Ann Woll, you are gifted.

Also, we finally met the big bad! Warlo is not the adorably shaggy Rutger, but an appropriately sinister looking and silent bearded dude. He looks capable of unfathomably grim havoc with his vaguely Walker, Texas Ranger steeze. That fake-out in the premiere where Niall told Jason he was Warlo was sort of unnecessary, but it provided me with a laugh when he told Jason he’d been watching over him all along. As a guardian angel-fairy, Niall’s dropped a hell of a lot of balls, not the least of which fell when he allowed Jason to be kidnapped and raped by dozens of homely werepanthers.

I loved that Niall also helped Sookie to focus her powers. Now that she essentially has a supernatural vampire atomic bomb in play, she’s got a little more autonomy and this is going to be a hell of a plot point going forward. Though you have to wonder, if Sookie explodes her light as Niall is coaching her to do, and is “fae no more,” does that mean she’s not psychic? And was she growing her light larger by feeding it all her emotions, or it’s the same amount of light as before, she’s just balling it all up, like a dust bunny when I sweep my floor? I just sort of want Sookie to recharge to full fairy power. Is that kind of what was happening? Guys I get nervous.

So did you love the second episode as much as I did? Did it transport you to the time when this show was fresh and exciting and new and dangerous and sexy? Let’s discuss.


QUESTIONS:

... Is Sookie growing her fairy light or just controlling it?

... When you were just starting out with True Blood, when was the moment when you realized, “This is MY show”?

… Can someone explain to me what Lillith was telling Bill in the sunlight?

… Are you glad Arlene finally called Sookie out on showing up to work?

… Fairy guy and Sookie: Did they have chemistry ? Do you (want to) see a future there?

… Is Sam almost certainly dead from that bone-crunching punch, and why didn’t he just turn into a junebug or something before it connected?

... So Bill can see the future or he feels the current pain that every vampire endures?

… How did you like this episode?

  • Comments (169)
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  • Akkustikkoppler Jul 02, 2013

    best to quote here - Jason: "Wow, wow, wow! You're a king? That makes you (pointing at Snookie) a Fairy Princess. Ahwa, an that makes me a Fairy Prince!" Niall: "The gene skipped you."

    And watch the acting in this scene, so you'd chime in:
    Ryan Kwanten ftw!

    Awesome acting all along any way.

    (me being male, hetero)

  • Shreela Jun 26, 2013

    Did Eric's sister read something about ancient vamps walking into the light from the vamp bible? Or was it SUNlight? Well if it was just "light", like I think she said, I wonder if she meant fairy light, since this episode focused so much on fairy light.

    I laughed out loud after Jason tried following Fairy-Godfather Rutger through the bathroom portal.

  • Oh_666 Jun 26, 2013

    ... Is Sookie growing her fairy light or just controlling it?

    I couldn't care less. Show should have sticked to vampires and maybe shifters because the get naked often)

    ... When you were just starting out with True Blood, when was the moment when you realized, “This is MY show”?

    When Bill plays Tuvia throatsinging on his car stereo on his first date with Sookie. It just fitted so perfectly with the swamp vibe, the absurdity and sureality. The fist season, including the intro, gave me the feeling that True Blood was a combination of Twin Peaks and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Unfortunately, it is now Buffy afterschool.

    … Can someone explain to me what Lillith was telling Bill in the sunlight?

    I couldn't care less.

    … Are you glad Arlene finally called Sookie out on showing up to work?

    Yes, had the same feeling.

    … Fairy guy and Sookie: Did they have chemistry ? Do you (want to) see a future there?

    It did feel like a repetition. Been here, done that.

    … Is Sam almost certainly dead from that bone-crunching punch, and why didn’t he just turn into a junebug or something before it connected?

    Hope he's dead, guess he's not.

    ... So Bill can see the future or he feels the current pain that every vampire endures?

    And?

    … How did you like this episode?

    Not that much. Pretty lame special effects, cheap sets (although not as cheap looking as the previous season). No nudity to compensate.

  • shae_SA Jun 26, 2013

    I wouldn't be mad if Eric happened to be floating outside my window...

  • ManuelValero Jun 26, 2013

    Great episode, it felt fresh and awesome. I loved Eric and Jessica, I dunno what to think about Billith yet but the only thing i didnt like is Sookie having a new love interest, is just silly. I´m curious about Warlo and what he gonna do next. I felt really entertain with this episode it was like watching the series for the very first time.

  • OliviaTurner1 Jun 25, 2013

    Omg Alexander Skarsgard + Nerd = my wet dream. Niall is so terribly cast. I always figured him as more of a Bill Nighy type. Bill drinking that chicks blood had me laughing hysterically!

  • ionee24 Jun 25, 2013

    Slightly off topic but: may I say I just love the new community feature?

    It's awesome!

  • Kerkesh Jun 25, 2013

    1.I think that if grandpa fairy had that power all along, he wouldn't need Sookie, a half-breed, to channel it. Also, I find it highly suspect that all these centuries and he wasn't not only able to catch up with Winslow but to prevent the signing of the pact by John Stackhouse.
    2.Bullshit, Supposed to be Lillith in the Garden of Eden.I loved the naked damsels though, great asses.
    3.yep.
    4.Fairy guy is a trap.
    5.he was distracted by the little girl.I would so much like to see Sam morph into a Dragon.
    Btw, TB has the werewolf thing wrong, as does Teen wolf , wolves are matriarchal, there is an Alpha wolf, but the leader of the pack is almost always female.Just saying.
    6.I'm sorry but I have no sympathy for the vamps of this show, except maybe Jess. Seeing the future is not altering it, so Bill's gift is not really one.
    7. fine episode, but really we've seen better this week in Teen Wolf, Falling Skies and The Killing.

  • Komboloi Jun 25, 2013

    I was under the impression that the grandpa fairy is something like a ghost, that's why he needs Sookie and doesn't have the power to face Warlo. Not exactly a ghost, but something like "he came back from the dead in order to help them" kind of ghost. Was I mistaken?

  • Kerkesh Jun 25, 2013

    To be frank, I have no idea what he is. He seems solid enough to eat food, though. A kind of solid hologram? There is something very fishy about him as far as I can tell.

  • ionee24 Jun 25, 2013

    "... So Bill can see the future or he feels the current pain that every vampire endures?"

    I've decided its the first because he saw Eric's whole family about to be burn to death by sunlight. Bill must be seeing the future.

  • tnetennba Jun 25, 2013

    Uh...I just looked at True Blood's imdb page. There's an actor listed for a character named "Macklyn Warlow". Not sure if I should mention who it is, since it's kind of a spoiler, if it's true.

  • Sam20 Jun 25, 2013

    I saw that too, but I'm not sure how much stock I would put into that.

  • tnetennba Jun 25, 2013

    I just realized why it says that. It's not a spoiler, so I can say the name now. It's Rutger Hauer. The reason he's listed as Warlow is probably just that he *said* that he was Warlow in the first episode, and then the episode ended before we had time to find out who he really was. So they listed him as Warlow just to make sure that we wouldn't know that he was lying until episode 2.

  • Sam20 Jun 25, 2013

    I agree. When Rutger was first cast, the reports said he would be playing Macklyn. However, given what happened on the first episode, it looks like they were trying to throw us off.

  • Shreela Jun 26, 2013

    "Interestingly, Rutger Hauer was first announced to be playing Macklyn Warlow; a "sinister, mysterious figure, with deep ties to Sookie and Jason". However, the casting call for episode 602 describes his character as Niall. It is not yet known if Macklyn and Niall are one-and-the-same, if Hauer will portray both roles simultaneously, or if the original casting announcement was deliberate misdirection." http://trueblood.wikia.com/wiki/Niall_Brigant

  • Komboloi Jun 25, 2013

    I haven't seen that but judging from what you say you are probably right.

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