“In the Evening” might just be the first instance in this season of True Blood where, I can’t really tell you what happened since not a whole lot took place, but I kinda don’t mind. See, as the end of season 6 rapidly approaches, it has finally become clear that, for most of the cast members of True Blood, there will be at least some sort of pay-off. Granted, that’s hardly breaking news for, well, any television show, but with the aimlessness of this season, I was worried that I was using my impeccable recap skills (sarcasm) in vain. Still, “In the Evening” suggests that maybe, just maybe, I can expect at least a little gratification by the end of season six.The episode starts off with Sookie taking on the role of stereotypical one-night-stand dude and telling Warlow that just because they had sex doesn’t mean that she has to end up with him. What was supposed to sound empowering just came across as a little douche-y. The whole awkward morning after talk was cut short when Sookie overhears Arlene crying at terry’s gravesite. The rest of Sookie’s screen time is spent playing the dutiful role of doting friend to the grieving widow. Personally, I don’t really remember when Arlene and Sookie became such close friends. I mean, are they? I could be totally off base here, but I feel like they’re usually at each other’s throats. Still, it was nice to see Terry get the kind of respect the character deserves, even if his death was a little hurried. Even though Terry was often treated as a pretty inconsequential character, his death really brought some of the characters together in some compelling ways. Arlene’s drunken confession was undoubtedly a highlight of the episode.
Even better yet, Terry’s death has helped to consolidate some of the stories of True Blood. Remember how Sam was running around with that Nicole woman? Well, when news reached him of Terry’s death, he did the “right thing” and told her to go home to her mama. With an uncomfortably casual and simultaneously sentimental goodbye, Nicole went off and Sam is headed back to Bon Tempes to pay his respects to Terry. True Blood said goodbye to another character this week as well, when Nora met the true death. Honestly, I’ve always liked Nora, so I was sad to see her go, but Brian Buckner really had no idea what to do with the character. Instead of a sharp-tongued sparring partner for Eric, like she was in season 5, Nora had been reduced to side stories and petty jealousies. It just wasn’t working for her. Still, it was admittedly emotional to see her go, but I’m hoping this means good things for Eric who, fueled by the rage of his loss, may finally take some real action in the season finale. Still, “In the Evening” wasn’t all about the feels. Anna Camp is stepping in the shoes of the Governor. When Billith killed him last week, I called this one, but I couldn’t be happier when it came to fruition. She’s had the deviousness to be the Big Bad all along, but for some reason, True Blood stuck her in late in the game. Regardless of that, I’m just glad we’ve got her, because she is single-handedly resurrecting this season for me. “In the Evening” exists for the moment that she reveals to Jason that the Governor is dead. I mean, the way she handled his whole death? Brilliance. Sheer opportunistic brilliance. But when she had the guards cut Jason and throw him into female gen pop (which is, more than anything, just alarmingly fun to say) I was sold on Sarah Newlin as the face of evil.
Let’s not mistake “In the Evening” for a truly great episode, though. It is an episode that promises a semblance of greatness to be delivered soon. Honestly, in terms of action or even story, it’s lacking, but the emotional resonance of “In the Evening” makes this exercise in tedium bearable. It has potential for future storylines, but with time quickly running out in season 6? True Blood can’t afford any more filler. It’s time to start with the pay-off already.