True Blood "Sunset" Review: Slut Your Heart Out

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True Blood S05E11: "Sunset"


The second-to-last episode of a season of True Blood is a precious thing. This is a series I love so much, mostly because it makes me chase around the edges of my room, paranoid: "Carbon dioxide leak where are you? I just saw someone squatting on a strip tease catwalk all like, 'What do you think of Ke$ha?'"

This was Alan Ball's penultimate foray into his insane little diorama of Southern heat and prey and predators (a world that always seems to expand in such depth in the credits but never quite fulfills that authentic Southern Gothic grit in the glossy town of Bon Temps). The inspiration to transform, let's face it, second-rate romance novels into first-rate political satire was rooted in Ball's busy brain, and as of next week we won't get any more of it. Sayonara! He will be onto like, Amish people getting haunted by witches or whatever. Life moves on.

However, our auteur seemed determined last night to turn the little world that he's presided over around 180 degrees before leaving it. Like an angry high school graduate pissing over the edge of Make Out Mountain onto the horizon of his hometown, Ball seems determined to leave his mark on the universe of True Blood and whatever ambitious hands hold the reins next. To wit: He has destroyed Bill. Those of you who have been all #TeamBill, I'm sorry. He's an indefensible villain, either gullible or evil, I'm not sure which is worse. His corn syrup and Red No.5 goddess is sewing the seeds of destruction by making every member of the Authority feel like the "chosen one" because she wants only havoc and murder around her and gooey pubes. Hercules already told me all about this: The ancient gods were petty and cruel. But what do you think drinking all her blood does?

Nora, an interloper on the viking genitals that should rightfully only stand erect for Sookie, bonded with her brother by jumping on his lap and forsaking her fanaticism all of a sudden. They saw Godrick beheaded by Lillith and that was all Nora needed to abandon a belief structure that had sustained her through weeks of torture.

Between that and kissing Salome Wildenstein, she was ready to get the eff out of the parking structure and back into the world of the living, but not before the most awesome new character of the season strolled through and had his say.

This dude! So effing awesome. If our defense people are anything like this then let's instate martial law. The Colonel or whomever really condescended to the vamps with his spastic clipped tone and ominous threats: "WE OWN THE DAY." You own my heart, sir. Too bad Eric had to kill them as part of his plan to escape the Authority and save humanity/protect the vampires from getting mushroom-clouded. Oh well, it all comes out in the wash. Most compellingly the Colonel, during his brief and intensely enjoyable cameo, kept holding up a thumb drive and declaring it had footage of Steve Newlin and Russell disemboweling frat boys. All I could think was, "STOP TAUNTING US AND SHOW IT." If this isn't a denouement for the finale, if we don't see these two churning through hard-bodied coeds in some YouTube or news clip, I will be incensed.

Jessica was looking for her own way out, and it led to Bill sending her to turn Jason. She fake-turned him long enough to make an interesting clip for an episode promo, and then allowed him to kill her bodyguards. She also kind of proposed to him while standing in a grave? Blood-smeared tears and the whole bit, like a goth teenage love song and still looking hot as hell, even with dirt in her hair. I love Jessica and Jason. He should frankly be so lucky.

But Jason has no time for eternity, he's too busy being wildly ineffective and barging in on Sookie as she witnesses "the Elder," easily the corniest, community theater-level moment HBO has ever broadcasted.

How embarrassing was this shit? How dare they make an artist hold a squat and dance around while saying these preposterous lines! It was like something out of an ABC family story about the dead coming back to life to influence a prom queen nomination or Vanessa Williams granting wishes to single mothers or something. Touched By an Angel backlighting and Ross "Dress for Success" all over it. Gross! It was jarringly bad. I am so sorry, legitimate actress who had to be in this unforgiving role. It probably sounded so good on paper and then when the film came through they had to roll with it like it was still a good idea when it was patently awful, like a high school play performed by your teachers. Your deaf teachers.

Whatever, the Elder is on various frequencies (a.k.a. is ridiculous and crappy). In another world, Alcide, who has spent this season unfortunately NOT rutting with Sookie, was furiously chopping wood with his chest freshly waxed. Werewolves spend a lot of time keeping their sculptured abs from growing hair. Not a follicle below the neck! Such is a werewolf's way.

It cracked me up that his dad is disgraced for stealing money from the pack. I'm imagining like a sock full of pennies. Are the wolves not consistently broke? If you have crazy supernatural skills that make you stronger/can hide your identity, you'd think you'd steal from a bank, not make off with the $45 that the wolves were saving up for a pizza party.

Jessica turned to Pam to hide her in Fangtasia, not realizing the ladies had enough on their hands covering up the murder of a certain no-name Sheriff. She also asked the question that's been on the tip of everybody's lips: Are Pam and Tara crushing on each other? Tara, in an ombre jacket with matching ombre eye shadow, got weirdly grossed out by the idea. Hello, Pam looks like a Barbie doll and you're a smokin' hot stripper and both of you like girls.

Pam also got weirdly sardonic about having Jessica hang out with them for a night. "Oh good then we can braid each other's hair and talk about boys." Frankly, Pam, that sounds better than your current plans: going upstairs and glaring at a half-empty goth club.

Unfortunately the slain sheriff was the progeny of Laura Bush one of the Authority members. And she arrested Pam for it and flitted around Fangtasia being wonderfully creepy, and now everybody is in the parking garage/Disneyland Indiana Jones Ride line waiting area they're using as the Authority HQ these days. Sam and Luna sneaked in, Pam is there, Jessica was dragged back, Ella is there, and from the promos it looks like Eric and Nora will return to set things right. (Also, they can both fly. Adorbs! Don't ask me why Eric doesn't use this skill more often.)

Andy, who has body-sculpted himself straight into my dreams this season, swore to do right by Holly right before finding out his half-fae baby is due in a matter of days. Please respond in the comments if you give even a fraction of a f*ck if Andy finds a steady romantic interest this season. I cannot say I truly care if he is fulfilled in his personal life, because I don't believe in his character's personal life or a reality that extends beyond "...AND CUT" the way I do with, say, Lafayette (who has gone plot AWOL).

Don't get me wrong, Andy has been super enjoyable this season and has become a solid police presence, but still: I don't care about Andy's personal life. It's right behind "alphabetizing my spice cabinet" in terms of things I want to give mental space to.

Arlene and Terry were necking like newlyweds despite all the OSHA violations that implies. Okay cool, thanks guys for not taking up any more of my time than strictly necessary. Please neither of you die next week.

Steve Newlin and Russell Edginton were lead by a glamoured Jason to the fairy field, ran around in a frankly enchanting display of special effects, and then Russell promptly slurped up the oldest and presumably strongest fairy of them all (the horrendously embarrassing "Elder").

The fairies are the worst, aren't they? Just so ineffectual.

I cannot wait to see how they avoid getting killed en masse next week. I'm guessing Warlo comes in and protects Sookie—as she's his property—from Russell. Hopefully he's an even older vampire or possibly a weird vampire-fairy hybrid.

Also Alcide and his dad killed some extras. Because vampires are everywhere these days! The weird disconnect between the value of a vampire to the sanguinistas and the fact you can't make vampires without humans hasn't really been explored, and I'm not holding my breath because you have to kind of give logic a pass when it comes to True Blood. It's all gossamer, and one mustn't dissect gossamer.

Suffice it to say, next week should be a real ol' show-down hoe-down, and as a set-up for that, this episode was passable. I loved the Jason/Jessica moment and the Colonel. I'm a little sad that it's basically impossible for me to like Bill ever again. I feel a little cheated that we didn't get to see the fraternity slaughtered (fingers crossed someone plays that thumbdrive on some platform next week), but I'm still very curious to see how everything unwinds.


QUESTIONS:

1. Will Eric choose Pam over Nora?

2. Are the fairies going to be saved by Warlo?

3. Is Jason basically indestructible?

4. Is there any way to redeem Bill?

5. What do you think drinking all the Lillith blood does?

6. What is Alcide even doing these days? Why did they fritter away his and Sookie's possible sexin' arc?

7. What are your predictions for the finale?

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