“True Blood” Season 6 Mid-Season Recap

I considered tackling an episode-by-episode recap of both True Blood and The Newsroom this season, but laziness got the better of me, particularly when it grew hard enough to keep up with Game of Thrones recaps when that was still around. That being said, I’ve been a fan of True Blood for several years, so much so that in taking a class on the Literature and History of Vampires, I wrote a thirty-page research paper on the show’s use of vampire sources and its effectiveness at providing cultural commentary on civil rights. You can find deep beneath the veneer of sex and gore in True Blood a rich world brimming with both mythos and pathos that asks the very serious question: if vampires “came out of the coffin” in the real world, how would society react? True Blood began as that kind of sociological drama centered on the integration of vampires with mainstream society. But as the world centered on Bon Temps opened up and evolved over the course of five seasons, the story became marred with too many sub plot-lines, some of which we do not care about whatsoever. Fairies, werewolves, witches, werepanthers, maenads, shapeshifters, vampire gods, demons, and who knows what else I am forgetting! As a show, True Blood gets has gotten distracted from its original premise and goals time and time again in the effort of cramming in more and more supernatural beings. It’s not supposed to be about a world in which supernatural beings live. It’s about True Blood, the miracle product that served as the catalyst for vampires coming out to the public and all of the consequences thereafter. Additional Supes provided spice and flavor in their introductions, but distractions and irritations when taken too far.

Erik and Pam “square off” while Sarah and others look on.

That somewhat longwinded introduction was my way of getting around to the point that particularly in light of this past Sunday’s episode, “Don’t You Feel Me?” it would appear that the real True Blood is back! To prove it, the new show-runner Brian Buckner had the following to say recently at Comic Con:

I feel like this show is ultimately about the relationship between vampires and humans and it’s about this town. I want to bring it in a little bit. I feel like at times we’ve hurt ourselves. My goal is to get all these people living under the umbrella of one story and one threat … and make it about this small town we’ve all come to know and love.

True Blood by definition ought to be about Bon Temps and how it showcases the relationship between humans and vampires. That level of focus has been forgotten in recent seasons. Even when Marnie was trying to kill all vampires, it didn’t really feel like social issues were being grappled with at all. She was just a terrorist and a distraction from what was really going on. And the foray into the affairs of the Authority merely set the stage for the greater conflict that was to come with this season. And here Buckner is, casting his one umbrella under the conflict of vampires vs. humans in a story where Sookie is finally not at the epicenter of the storm and courageously being more proactive in determining what she wants and who she wants to be. Amazingly, it all works!

In another quote, Brian Buckner had the following to say:

You’re going to feel that the show is going to return back to its roots and be about this gang of people living in Bon Temps. We’re going to try and condense the number of stories we’re telling and really make this feel like we’re going home.

In recent episodes, this has become abundantly clear. In “Don’t You Feel Me?” Buckner showed us that he is trimming the fat left and right. After killing off three of Terry’s 4 fairy daughters, he also had Andy killed in one of the most traumatic True Blood scenes to date. It was a fair and fitting end for him to be happy and at peace for the first time since we’ve met him. I actually found myself a bit choked up. His story with the Ifrit last season was laughable at times and, quite frankly, to eliminate him altogether is a bold step that is going to make the show a lot better. With him gone and the Sam-Emma-Alcid bit seemingly wrapped up, just about every other remaining conflict is vampire-centric and at least relatable to the main political conflicts at present. It’s Sarah & Humans vs. Vamps all around with characters like Sam and Lafayette just sort of drifting on the outskirts.

So bittersweet!

The main vamp gang is loosely connected but my guess is that they will all band together for the sake of vampire kind for some epic confrontation in the end. Everyone, Jessica included, is still afraid of Billith with Warlow being the wildcard. The hybrid and Sookie have to come out of their fairy garden paradise eventually, and when that happens, Warlow will be under Bill’s control again. Unless of course, the bright light of Warlow-Sookie sexytime does something weird, which it most certainly will. For some reason it reminded me of when Sookie was in that fairyland area and was warned, “Don’t let him take your light!” What if this was Warlow’s plan all along and in the act of having sex with her, he takes her light for some unknown, nefarious plan? Maybe it will cure him of his vampirism? Maybe he will absorb the rest of her light? Who knows.

In the vampire prison, Erik is leading the group of Nora, Willa, and Tara to rescue Pam and inevitably Jessica as well. With the governor now dead, it’s them against Sarah and her goons with Jason getting in the way / saving everybody somehow. It does feel like there’s some epic confrontation brewing but we can’t quite see exactly what that might be just yet. One thing’s for sure: I can’t wait to see it!