Take a show, like True Blood, which is already a half season, trim it down by a couple episodes due to your lead actress’s pregnancy and what you have is a really big problem when your second episode of the season already feels like filler. Well, maybe not filler, but this week’s episode, ‘The Sun”, took a helluva long time to say- well, to say not much at all. Don’t get me wrong, I get the serialized format and that they can’t give everything away in the beginning, but what exactly did we learn from “The Sun”?
Well, let’s take a look. We saw that Bill no longer has a use for his fangs as he can now telepathically squeeze the blood out of humans like a bloody Capri Sun juice pouch, and we saw… well, no, that was about it. It just felt like this week’s episode didn’t accomplish a lot, even in terms of storytelling.
Oh, of course, there was the reveal that Rutger Hauer is not Warlow (which would’ve been awesome) but is, indeed, Sookie and Jason’s fairy grandfather (considerably less awesome). I know I’m not being fair to that storyline since when the Fae were first introduced to the world of True Blood, I delivered an eye roll of Liz Lemon-esque proportions. Shifters? Sure, why not. Werewolves? They just seem to come with the vampire territory these days. But when you start getting fairies involved? I dunno man, I can only take so much.
Unfortunately, “The Sun” is pretty fairy heavy. We had the introduction of a new dude who wants to bow chicka bow wow with Sookie, cuz evidently Anna Paquin is, like, supernatural Viagra. Then, there was the breakdown of fairy powers and the background of Warlow, as detailed by Fairy Pop-Pop, Rutger Hauer. Honestly, most of the fairy stuff is kinda fuzzy for me as I got distracted after Jason mentioned Boba Fett, the greatest bounty hunter of the <i.Star Wars universe. There was something about a great ball of energy that will kill any vampire it touches, but Sookie can only use it once or something? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was the main takeaway from that whole storyline.
Unfortunately, some of the other storylines were a little less direct. Like Eric? I mean, what was I supposed to take away from all of his screen time except that A) the humans are pretty well prepared and B) he can charm the pants off of anyone, even when hovering outside a second story window. Hell, even that could have been boiled down to a five minute scene. Luckily, “The Sun” doesn’t meddle with a lot of the other useless side stories. Sure, there’s a little time devoted to Sam as well as Alcide, even less screen time spent on Pam and Tara, but that might not be such a bad thing.
Even though this week’s episode didn’t accomplish much, it did feature the introduction of a highly anticipated character. Some of you may recognize Jurnee Smollett-Bell as the tragically underused Jess Merriweather from the final seasons of Friday Night Lights. Her turn as Nicole Wright (let’s hope the last name isn’t as heavy-handed as I’m afraid it is) is unquestionably one of the most promising storylines of “The Sun.” Even though there isn’t a lot of screen time devoted to her, her passion and conviction, not to mention her more mysterious side, are a welcome addition to the show. Even though the supernatural civil rights metaphor is becoming a little clunky, a fresh face may help matters. Plus, it looks like her intentions aren’t as clear as you might think upon her first scene. I mean, seriously, what was with the Peeping Tom moment towards the end of the episode?
Speaking of the end of the episode, “The Sun” truly did save the best for last. Deborah Ann Woll has always been an interesting figure in the True Blood universe. The problem is, I feel like they have struggled with how to use her, bouncing from Jessica-heavy storylines to a bizarre absence for weeks at a time. Problem solved, folks. Just write monologues for her for every freaking episode. Seriously. Her plea for guidance or at least answers reminded me of the distinctly human element of the supernatural-heavy HBO drama. Woll is an acting force to be reckoned with, something I’ve recognized from the very beginning, but last night’s final scene only confirmed it. It was almost enough to get rid of the best taste in my mouth left by the previous 45 minutes of the episode. If only every episode could end with a Jessica monologue…
What did you think of this week’s episode?