True Blood: Dwarves, Rutger Hauer and Roy Orbison
Some people say that as the universe's entropy speeds us towards the inevitable Big Crunch, the massive amount of forces in play will actually cause bits of reality, space and time to break off from the universe proper and explode beautifully and brightly as the rest of us trudge towards our cold, singularity-based doom.
This week's episode of True Blood was a lot like that.
It was a broken-up series of pretty awesome moments that nonetheless seemed to have no real connection to the narrative. First off, there was a surprise re-appearance on the show by Marcia de Rousse as Dr. Ludwig. Sookie calls the dwarven -- she is actually a dwarf, like in Tolkien, not like in Game of Thrones -- to see what the mystical doctor can do with Bill Compton's mysteriously fast-progressing Hep V.
I'll be honest...if HBO staged a supernatural medical drama starring de Rousse as Dr. Ludwig, I would crash my car in order to get home on time to see that show. I'd never miss an episode. I'd never miss a RERUN. She just rules every single scene she's in, even when it's something like this and she can't actually do much. Of all the weirdness that True Blood offers, she's the weirdest just on how she manages to be so damned normal and otherworldly at the same time.
The eternally underused Rutger Hauer also comes back for a spell (pun intended...I have a serious problem). After Ludwig fails, Sookie calls in her fairy godfather. Hauer, like de Rousse, is there just to be awesomely useless for a few minutes before he too disappears without a trace.
It's like the show is saying goodbye from irreverent high points, honestly. Entropy approaches, and the could-have-beens are tearing off. Sort of a shame, really, but it is nice to see these characters again.
In other news...well, there's not much other news. Jason's vampire ex-girlfriend continues to redefine "psycho ex" to such a degree that it's actually a little misogynistic and petty. Some people fuck. Another dies. In the end it's just a steady march down the line. Now that I think about it, Six Feet Under sort of phoned in the plot right before the end as well.
Let's not discuss the title song. I didn't even look it up. Why bother? Whatever it was, I forgot it because Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" plays in Arlene's bar as she dances with a new vampire admirer.
Story continues on the next page.
Orbison died when I was only seven years old, but I remember it like it was yesterday. We were on the way to Oklahoma for my grandfather's funeral. Somewhere between Houston and Oklahoma we ran across a radio station that had announced the death of the legendary singer, taken fairly young at the age of 52. That station played Roy songs from the moment we entered its range to the moment we left.
All the greats, of course. "Only the Lonely" was always a big hit with my mom, and everyone on Earth has heard "Oh, Pretty Woman." That was the first time I had ever heard "In Dreams," though.
It's a complete mindfuck of a composition. If anyone tells you it's just a standard rock tune, then you need to lock that person in a room for a while with a coupe of handcrafted playlists until their taste cancer is in remission. Everything Alice Cooper tried desperately to say over the entire course of the Welcome to my Nightmare album Orbison did in less than three minutes. Hell, I can trace echoes of "In Dreams" in almost every hit single U2 ever wrote.
Sure, it's become something a cult pop-culture trope/joke since Blue Velvet, but this episode showed that it still serves its many purposes. Arlene is probably the character to have come the farthest in her journey from book to screen, and letting her have a perfect paranormal moment set to one of the best songs ever produced by a Texan.
It's definitely the perfect tune to say goodbye to a few dreamlike grand moments in this long journey into the dawn.
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