True Blood "In the Evening" Review: Ain't We Got Fun?

By Lily Sparks

Jul 29, 2013

True Blood S06E07: "In the Evening"

I am almost angry about how fun True Blood continues to be. Where is my chance to make bitter hilarious jokes about terrible scripts and ruined characters? Believe me, I had some zingers. All sorts of double entendres about "toothless," "defanged," "no show lives forever" etc. etc. Well, True Blood is perhaps at its freshest, its campiest, its most compelling in this, its sixth season. The prison break tension, the lace-front wigs, the weird origin details that keep getting thrown in by showrunner Brian Buckner—remember last week, when Jessica mentioned to the totally gentlemanly vampire that it would feel like she was a virgin, but she wasn’t? So that’s still been going on? Oh Jess!


You can’t feel too terribly bad for Jess, as suddenly she’s paired with that hunky long-haired Vampire Messiah James (played by Luke Grimes), a hunky hippy who's just trying to make "another choice" to be good and live another way and yet is still toooootally DTF. The irony of Jason ultimately giving Jessica the chance to go on a conference room date with Edward was completely overshadowed by the super soft porn cheesy romance of the whole thing, but Jessica’s reason for seeking him out was so believable and compelling: Based on her own murder binge on Andy’s daughters, she had come to believe that vampires were, by their nature, doomed to be ruthless murderers, but the way James protected her showed Jessica that vampires didn’t "have" to be bad. She just had to be MADE LOVE TO ON A CONFERENCE ROOM TABLE.


Yeeeeeeeesssssss girl, yes. Another vampire who got a brownie gold star this week was Willa Burrell, who thanks to one severed hand has become the Smithers of vampires, happily anticipating Eric’s requests and staying behind to watch out for his progeny while he escaped with Nora. Nora... Nora. Where to start with Nora? Everything about how the show handled the Nora backstory was so incredibly jaw-dropping. Has True Blood ever done a flashback so lavish? We were whisked back to a painstakingly luxurious Restoration-age Europe, complete with those creepy chicken-head plague doctors wandering around just to provide thematic window-dressing, and what I do believe was a lace-front wig on Eric: all in service of a rather simple explanation of how Eric and Nora became bro and sis. (Eric liked how feisty Nora was, Nora wasn't into dying of plague "postules"). 

The high-production-values, incredibly silly costumes, and redonkulous melodrama of the flashback—a highlight of this season so far—was then completely blown away by Nora’s actual death scene. I love Lucy Griffiths and all, but to be fair, Nora no longer had a compelling reason for being onscreen, and her juicy, melty death was by easily the character's best moment. And Alexander Skarsgard just sat there holding a mannequin made out of jam and sobbing with a straight face. That was a series highlight for me. I’ve never seen anything so simultaneously gruesome and effective. 


Speaking of effective grieving: If we’re to truly believe Arlene has been decimated by Terry’s death, she better let her roots grow in. I would have so much side eye for a widow who was touching up her roots every six weeks, and we all know Arlene’s hair color comes straight out of Kool-Aid packets. Arlene was sort of a nightmare this episode, n’est pas? Aside from tearing Sookie away from a much-needed post-orgasm cuddle sesh, she also hurled slurs at my beloved Lafayette for no damn reason. There is truly nothing more aggravating than when someone says something really hurtful when they’re angry and then tries to blame it on not being in their right minds. No, you just got so angry that your apparently tightly clenched leash on your tongue got loose, your right mind went into overdrive, and now we all know what you really think. Go jump in a pond and swallow some microscopic crayfish.

What I absolutely did love about Arlene’s grief session, though, was Sookie’s reaction to Bill strolling in through the door during daytime hours.

When Bill came in with the daylight gilding his features and proceeded to give a very wooden speech to Andy whilst stunning and terrifying all the humans in the room, Lafayette asked Sookie why multiple vampires were suddenly immune to daylight and she was all, "I don’t know but it ain’t about that today, it's about Arlene and her kids." I mean... it's lines like that that totally fulfill the promise of the premise of this show. Yes, the entire reality of their world just got shifted and all human security just went out the window, but by all means let’s prioritize Arlene getting drunk in her living room and sobbing. Sookie acted like Bill had walked into a funeral in a black sequin gown: "Don’t make this about you!" The ex-girlfriend-y shut-down vibe felt so real and perfect.

No, Bill was not trying to grab the spotlight on Arlene's bizarro birthday party, he was just looking for Sookie, who apparently either does not own a cell phone or doesn't answer it. Bill hauled Sookie off onto the Bellefleurs’ deck and repeated all the information he had given her previously, about their mutual friends needing fairy blood to get through this next season couple days. Instead of shrilly shrieking and throwing plates at him, Sookie reasonably heard him out and responded in a rational matter. What could have effected this change? From whence did this relaxed attitude come from? Might it have to do with the thorough boning she had just received in a graveyard? Carpe dickem, I guess.


Two things 'bout Fairy Royalty Cuddle-Sesh 2k13: 

1. Who does Sookie think she’s fooling when she acts like it's an IMPOSITION for Warlow to propose to her? All Sookie does all year is not eat and not work at Merlotte’s, it's not like she’s off doing important shit like, I don’t know, organizing volunteer hospitals in Mongolia or something. Stop acting like you have anything better to do, Sookie.

2. When Sookie heard Arlene sobbing at Terry’s grave plot, she threw her clothes on before rushing off to console her widowed friend. And according to this still frame, she put her boots on before putting her skirt on. What a maniac! 


Speaking of maniacs... Sarah Newlin sort of annoys the hell out of me, but what a fantastic turn her character took this episode. Her weird spoken-opera-aria, complete with atmospheric string music and the full kiss on the lips of the severed head and ruminations on God and purity and monsters... what other show, in the history of humankind, would have such a decadently campy scene? Complete with a swelling angel chorus? Her graduation to Vampire Death Camp Mastermind was elegant and complete—she won over the L.A. Senator with a couple veiled threats and then thrust Jason into the female vampire general population holding cell once she was back on the ranch. (For a minute I thought the Senator was played by the same actor as Governor Burrell—didn’t the character look like Burrell in a bald cap? Maybe I’m just Brad Pitt face-blind). Sarah as a big bad is sort of inspired, there’s something about wealthy blonde women who want their lives to be perfect that is truly terrifying, and Sarah captures that blind sense of entitlement beautifully (see any season of Real Housewives to back up that statement.) It's another instance of the series grounding an over-the-top moment in characters that ring incredibly true.

Scene that rang incredibly false: the agonizingly perfect Nicole stripping off her clothes and stepping into the shower to seduce... Sam? Are you kidding me? What? Her mom could not get there fast enough to deliver her away from that depth of Stockholm Syndrome. 

Unfortunately the wolves kidnapped Nicole AND her mom, guaranteeing that they will pop up next week and the week after. Seriously, can’t Sookie befriend Nicole soon? Can’t they pull Jurnee Smollett into the "real" storylines of the show? Getting a storyline connected to the werewolves or shifters on True Blood is like, I don’t even know, working at Disneyland but having to clean the bathrooms and not being allowed to step foot in the rest of the park. Just infuriating. So close, yet so far away.


So Jason is about to be the subject of a thorough mampire prison fight. Nora’s storyline has been, probably for the best, cauterized. Bill and Warlow (a.k.a. Sookie’s ex-boyfriend and Sookie's boyfriend) will have to work together, creating another little love triangle. "In the Evening" was a proud addition to the string of fantastic episodes that has been Season 6. I anticipate next Sunday as highly as ever, and I’ll be thinking about it all night long. And probably In the Morning, too.


QUESTIONS:

– Sarah Newlin: Love her? Love to hate her? Tell me your tales.

– Willa Burrell: Will she freak out when she learns about her dad?

– Will Warlow make it to Season 7?

– James: Best vampire romantic hero ever or whut?

– Are you secretly hoping the weres and shifters (cough Sam cough) will just kill each other off in next week's episode and be done?

– Did the Pam seduction sequence make you sort of uneasy because it's like watching your sister seduce someone or something?

– Does Lafayette need more to do this season besides assist people with their boring-ass storylines? Hint, the answer is YES.

– Nora: Best True Blood death EVER?!?

– What did you think of this episode?

  • Comments (219)
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  • Jimmyboyt Aug 06, 2013

    I still think Billith should've replaced the head of the governor's statue with his actual severed head, I swear, no sense of artistry.

  • ElainePinto Aug 04, 2013

    – Are you secretly hoping the weres and shifters (cough Sam cough) will just kill each other off in next week's episode and be done?

    OH, YES, BY ALL MEANS. So sick and tired of this storyline. Even Alcide doesn't take his shirt off anymore! He's just a whining, growling, boring character now.

  • Samantha_101 Aug 03, 2013

    – Sarah Newlin? I love hating her!

    – Willa will freak out about her father, because she is good.

    – I like Warlow, so I do hope that he survives...Seeing that fairies are so fertile, is Sookie pregnant with triplets?

    – James is dreamy! *sigh*

    – Does anyone like the shifters or weres? Seriously? Enough already.

    – More like thinking of my parents...*shudder*

    – Lafayette steals every scene he's in, so YES! Give him a storyline!!!!

    –Didn't care about her until she was dying...My vote goes for Governor Burell's last week, due to it's rather surprising nature...

    – I thought this was a really good one.

  • ionee24 Aug 02, 2013

    To me, one of the most entertaining things about this episode was the idea of sisterhood/brotherhood among a maker's many progenies.

    Pam couldn't stand the Governor's daughter, but this episode she almost beams with pride over her resourceful sister. Willa herself didn't seem attached to her, but one look at Nora and Pam becomes top priority to inform her of the Hep V problem.

  • Akkustikkoppler Aug 02, 2013


    OK, follow up and bling to Lily Sparks to introduce some music from 2007.

    Best quote: "You..., you don't have that stock-holder syndrome, do you?"
    Thank you for that, Jason.

    Aside that: there are girls AND boys watching that TV and THAT show - no gender discussion - but this is biased. Not like current "can a muslim write on a christian thing"-biased - but biased.

    Seeing Nora dying - bad.
    Sam's a cewl guy and frackin' him is like blowing chemicals vertically. Just because.
    On the other hand Alcide: well.... no chest shot but: we are all aware of a dressing sequence - that did not occur wrong to me in the first place. But who am I just watching Sookie get dressed after the unicorns were remove from them... can I say that?
    (which poses another question not to be discussed here, a more general question on - whatever!)

    Allright, I follow you through most part of your review, Lily Sparks (and in general I am happy there are people out there doing this work - even if they are get smashed in comments. Not so much in this one, another one I'm recurring to, damn linking).

    Arlene was fine this round, so was Lafayette. tbh Sookie in her unicorn-glowing world kinda turn me down. All softglow. WTF?

    Billlilith (how many "l" you count?) was a bit like Eric - not present. Warlow? Don't get me started. Pam? OK, but her fiancé Tara? Not there. So were most of them characters: not there.

    S06E07 just didn't drove the story on, them characters weren't there!

    my 2¢, but:



    read me next week

  • Akkustikkoppler Aug 01, 2013

    not 4 minutes into the episode: "Dude, there's a vampire on the loose!"
    Question: Since when can vampires been seen in a mirror holding underneath a car?
    First rule of story telling: stick to them facts! Ahmagaad!

    Ok, let's go on.

  • marcusj1973 Aug 01, 2013

    I get what they were trying to do with Jess, but for me, it just rang short for two reasons. First, Jason, perhaps consistantly the most likeable character on the show just worked his way into vampire jail to do right by you and break you and your friends out and the first thing you do is ask him to bring in the guy he was forced to watch almost rape you? Seriously? That's pretty cold hearted...even for a vampire. Secondly, Jess has seen more than enough examples of Vampires doing genuinely selfless things. I've got a hard time that an imortal creature not performing a sexual assault on her was enough to make her all weak in the knees.

    Initially, I was doing some facepalming at the Sarah decapitated head kissing scene. Then I remembered I was watching True Blood and it's been drastically short of the good ol' fashioned camp that made it so much fun to begin with. I don't know if I liked the character the first time around and even less sure now. I do know that I'm not buying the insecure arm candy of powerful men flipping a switch and turning all badass.

    I was looking quite forward to seeing how the Eric/Nora/Pam/Tara/Willa dynamic was going to work out once they were free. It could have been fantastic! It can still be good, IMO but not as good.

  • fleur-de-lune Aug 01, 2013

    This review should have been titled: Thank you for not raping me; it really turns me on.... WTF?

    I know I'm just about the only one, but I actually really liked Nora, a lot. I think she could have brought so much to the show, just think about how much knowledge she had, and the possible Godric flashbacks. In fact, I was expecting to see him in her death flash back. Le` sad.

    Speaking of, Nora's death the best in Trueblood? No, I'm sticking with Godric's his death covered all angles: symbolic, beautiful, utterly sad, unnecessary, ironic.

    Sarah Newlin as the big bad... well I hate her... so at least she's a good actress, but I still don't think that after all we've had, Supernatural beings and what not featured as the villain that she stands up to measure.

    And on top of that, do we "have to" have a new villain each season? There are plenty of human characteristics and facts of life that in their own could be the running animosity driving the season. Such as losing your job because you're too busy sleeping around with vampires, or the typical relationship issues all girls run into while dating vampires, or something along those lines.

    It just gets old having a new big bad each season. Give it a rest and let the dust actually settle from the shit storm of the previous seasons.

  • SesseKitty Aug 01, 2013

    Sarah Newlin is a great villain, period.

    With all the things happening I tend to forget Willa. She has potential though and her scenes are usually good.

    I can't really tell where this thing with Warlow is going. They built up this big bad for a whole season and now we have a love sick, reluctantly murderous puppy here. He is a hunk but the whole Warlow+Sookie plotline is hanging in the air now, I'm really only interested in Warlow's role to Billith. I used to care about Sookie a lot even when many others hated her but she is quite uniteresting now. I didn't really like how they sabotaged Sookie+Alcide right when that started to happen (I mean the trick from Eric was funny but they never got back to that) and then they just killed Sookie+Eric too to introduce this "big love" Warlow that no one cares about. Meh. Will see what comes out of this.

    James is the best. James came to my dreams and hopefully comes again. I would watch a few seasons made entirely of (sex) scenes with James and Jessica.

    There was a very slight tingle of hope with the were-plotline. I actually care what happens to him now. Not much, but I care. Though there's still quite a big chance I'll stop caring next week again. Sam's sex scene was.. ugh.. I am quite openly hoping they kill each other off.

    Pam, sister? What? She's a foxy lady, very good scene. Pruitt Taylor Vince is great too, no wonder people love to watch those sessions.

    Lafayette definitely needs to have more screen time and I certainly would have loved him to have his own plotline but please no new plotlines at this point of the season. I hope he gets to do something meaningful though.

    Nora's death was pretty good. I though she wouldn't die this soon but the character wasn't very useful. It was a nice thing they introduced her past, gave her a decent send off.

    Good episode and good season. If they don't ruin it with werewolves and Sam.

  • Sam20 Jul 31, 2013

    I don't think a lot of people caught this, but the senator that Sarah Newlin was speaking to was the same senator who had a sexual relationship with Lafayette in season one.

  • Dirk13 Jul 31, 2013

    ...really? I don't recall this at all :P .

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