[Review] True Blood – Season 5

ALL BARK, NO BITE

For a lot of TV shows, something usually happens by the time you reach Season 5.  They go stagnant.  I didn’t expect that to happen with True Blood because of the nature of the show but perhaps it’s due to the insane storylines and characters over the last four years that I’ve grown desensitized.

This year follows the aftermath of Nan Flanagan’s disappearance and the murder of Tara.  Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) are captured by the Vampire Authority while Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) enlist Pam’s (Kristin Bauer van Straten) help in turning Tara (Rutina Wesley) into a vampire in order to “save” her life.

We also focus on Terry (Todd Lowe) who is cursed by a demon after committing a terrible act while he was a soldier in the Middle East.

This year, we are also introduced to some of the chancellors and even the Guardian, Roman (Christopher Meloni), of the Vampire Authority, who are the heads of state for the vampire community.  Roman wants to modernize the vampires into a new age by mainstreaming but a secret vampire organization, the Sanguinistas, aim to bring him down in the name of Lilith.  They believe that humans only exist to feed the vampires and believe Lilith will rise again to take down disbelievers.

After such a build up of Christopher Meloni joining the cast as Roman, I was extremely disappointed to see him go so quickly.  I expected more of from hischaracter and wanted to learn about his background but it barely seemed like he was a formidable force for the Sanguinistas.

Really, I cared less about the whole Sanguinistas and Lilith storyline.  Lilith is such an inanimate character and when we begin to see Bill’s transformation I’m unconvinced that he’s so easily swayed by her.

Sure, it’s all in his head but even still I had hope that she’d be more charismatic since Bill has this incredibly refined southern charm. This season, Bill was predictable.

I was more interested in Sookie and Jason’s history.  It was interesting to see Sookie with her Fae family and more importantly getting along with some of them.  At first in Season 4,  I was unsure of the whole Fae storyline to begin with but I was a little disappointed when we didn’t really get to go back and explore the Fae World further.

This season we get to know a little bit more about them and I like that Sookie and Jason work with them in order to take down Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin.  The disappointment  was the show set up the whole mystery of Warlow but I wish we would have gotten to know more about him rather than exploring the Sanguinistas.  I’m curious to find out why Warlow is so hell-bent on getting Sookie because after all, she is only a half-faery.

Finally, we got some insight into Terry’s military past.  It’s always been this looming thing over his character but it was nice to learn how he became the person he was before meeting Arlene.  I’m sure Arlene wants to hold on to some semblance of normalcy so I get why she didn’t want to believe Terry when he confesses to her about the curse.  But at this point, I would be game for any kind of supernatural entity trying to attack our family.  Rather, I’d wouldn’t believe it if something completely normal happened on this show.

I think the major problem this season was spending too much time on the Sanguinistas and not enough time with some of the more fun characters on the show (i.e. Lafayette and Pam).  I’m especially upset that we got a glimpse of Pam’s history and more importantly her history with Eric but it was fleeting.  I hope next season we will get a full storyline with her like we did with Terry.  But for now, I found this season sorely lacking in suspense and cohesion between the various plotlines.  Since that this will be the final season in which Alan Ball will be working on it as the showrunner, I’m concerned about how future seasons will pan out.

Rating

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