True Blood: Flailing Blindly

Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood -- which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston.

If I had to describe last night's episode in one word it would be "pointless." Well, good night folks...

OK, I have been informed that a one-word review will not be worth a paycheck, so here's a few more. Absolutely nothing that happened this week on True Blood made even the slightest bit of sense. It was literally like the Alanis Morrissette song "Ironic" come to bloodsucking life. Let's recap.

Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) manages to escape the Vampire Authority under the guise of turning Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) into a vampire. Through a daring ruse and quick shooting on Jason's part, they manage to both get Jess into hiding and allow Jason to warn Sookie (Anna Paquin) that fairy-eating vampires are on the loose.

Of course, Jess is recaptured literally by dumb luck, making the whole previous action sequence pointless, and though Jason manages to warn the Fairy Tribe it turns out just about as asinine.

Jason plays bait to lead Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) into a trap, but rather than having all the fae bust out as an army and make like Jubilee all over the vampire's ass, the head fairy just waltzes out, gets killed and drained, and according to the previews at the end, makes Russell invincible.

Oh, and I want to thank this season of True Blood for continuing its fine tradition of introducing brilliant characters only to have them murdered for absolutely no reason. First it was Chris Meloni and Tina Marjorino, now Phil Reeves as General Cavanaugh joins the pile of people who really should not have been killed.

Cavanaugh makes it clear in his brief appearance that the United States government is perfectly aware that the Vampire Authority was behind the Tru Blood bombings, and that they have footage of Russell eating an entire frat house. In short, he tells the collected fangtards what any thinking person should have known, that once the world became aware of vampires, it quietly prepared for the day it might have to deal with them.

For further material on this mindset, please see ALL OF FUCKING HUMAN HISTORY! Most of which you idiots lived through.

In short, this was 45 minutes of flailing blindly in the dark like Stevie Wonder in traffic. I would like to thank the people who pick the Pulitzer Prize winners for criticism in advance for my award for most inartful and offensive segue.

The title of this week's episode comes from an early Stevie Wonder tune, "Sunset." It appeared on 1962's Tribute to Uncle Ray, as in Charles. Wonder was only 12 years old at the time, and Motown Records was still trying to figure out what the hell to do with the uber-talented prodigy. The result was a series of tribute albums that managed to showcase some originals like "Sunset" among all the covers.

Basically, Berry Gordy was trying to make Wonder a direct inheritor of Ray's legacy in the beginning, something that must have been come up with on a chalkboard with the words, "blind," "black" and "piano" circled. It wasn't really until Wonder's voice changed that he managed to become the superstar we know him as even today.

But until that time... yeah, it was a lot of stumbling around looking for the right path. I could say that such a fumbling quest reflects the crises that the True Blood cast find themselves in, but I have a feeling the crisis that matters most is whatever was happening in the writer's room when this episode was penned.

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