The all sizzle and no steak (no vampire pun intended) took a turn for the better this past Sunday. The pieces are starting to come together, direction for where this season is headed is becoming clearer, and some new characters are introduced, re-vamping (I swear I'm not doing this on purpose) the series in a good way.
First a quick rundown of what happened in "The Sun". Bill goes comatose for most of the episode, seeing visions of vampires he doesn't know during their last minutes before death; in the not so distant future. Jason finds out Niall, Rutger Hauer's character, isn't in fact Warlow but his fairy godfather. Yes, that's a thing. Sookie gets introduced to Niall, is told Warlow has crossed over and is in Bon Temp, and then meets another fairy on her walk to work one morning. After pulling a new type of bullet out of Tara, Eric goes to confront the governor only to see more of this new weaponry the humans have. Andy struggles with his not so newborn quintuples. While Sam in approached by a young women named Nicole about outing himself to the world.
The story arcs for the main cast of characters, like Sookie, Bill, Eric, Jason and Sam got most of the attention here, while the rest of the minor characters get a mere scene or two so audiences don't forget about them. For Sookie and Jason we get the addition of two new cast members (three if you count Warlow making an appearance) to kick start their season six arc. Hauer as fairy godfather, Niall, seems like he'll fit right in with the kookiness that this series is known for, however I'm not sure what to make of Ben (played by Robert Kazinsky). Ben by all counts looks to be another love interest for Sookie to have. With Bill gone all vamp deity, and Eric severing all ties with Sookie after last week's episode there is a window for a new romantic interest. However, introducing a brand new character to get Sookie involved with this late into the series just seems to be a waste of time and/or filler for the show. So let's hope the show doesn't go that route.
The smaller scale stuff only got a bit of screen time but the direction looks promising. After Luna's national network level exposure after she shifted on live TV during last year's season finale, the public's idea of supernatural creatures has expanded beyond just vampires. Since then it looks like some kind of support groups for other supes have formed and in "The Sun" a new character, Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and her friends have tracked down and confronted Sam about coming out to the world. There are a bunch of different directions the show could take this new angle, all would be entertaining, they just have to work on the pacing for it. Like I said, I'm on board with this new 'coming out of the super closet' idea but True Blood is terrible for its timeline management so they shouldn't rush this one.
What I mean by the whole timeline thing is typically from season premiere to season finale the show only lapses about a week or two. That might be fine if in-between seasons they just jump a calendar year so everything evens out, but True Blood doesn't do that. The show's model is that of the cliff hanger ending for each episode works for them obviously since they are still using it six years later but I'm not sure it has actually been six years later from the "Pilot" episode. This is pretty much a minor or none issue for the average viewer, but for a TV geek like myself it bugs me a bit.
The last thing to touch on is the very cool ideas the show unveiled while following Eric. The surprises aren't shown for very long but their implications are huge. Those being the government's new defense artillery against vampires. So far the human's new tech is leaps and bounds ahead of crossbows or wooden bullets. The stuff they showed in "The Sun" is silver bullets that admit UV light and glamour protective contact lenses. Very cool stuff. I'm hoping the humans have more cool toys in the episodes to come because it will only make things more interesting. If Bill's premonition at the end of the episode of Eric, Jessica, and a room full of other vampires burning alive (or dead because they are vampires, I'm not sure which term to use) is true then this new tech from the humans looks to be the first stages of an all-out war of the species.
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Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.