True Blood: F**k the Pain Away

Posted by: Andrew Burns  //  July 16, 2013 @ 4:42pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Its been about 10 years since HBO's series OZ but it looks like they are back in the prison game. Gruesome acts on the incarcerated, vicious guards on power trips and inmates being sexuality assaulted. The only difference now is the monsters inside the prison are they are actually monsters. Vampires, to be exact.

True Blood pulls up the curtain on what they have been hinting at the last few Sundays and finally gives audiences a look into their 'vamp camps'. "F**k the Pain Away" brings the network back to its beginnings with a supernatural twist on the prison drama genre, while still finding time to reveal other great story arcs outside of the clink. A lot happened this past Sunday so I'm going to get right to it.

This episode was all over the map in terms of story, characters, and this season's main direction. From the smaller characters like Terry organizing his on death in the near future via an old army buddy, to big moments like Eric surrendering to the LAVTF. The werewolves and shifter story between Alcide & his pack and Sam, Emma, and Nicole was present but nothing to note this week. What stories that were a big deal was Andy finding his one of his daughters still alive, Warlow gets a flash-back-back-story, and Jason's love life gets him into trouble again.

First lets touch on the Sookie and Ben/Warlow situation since that was the cliff-hanger last week. Sookie obviously knows Ben is not who he says he is and with this episode's Warlow flash-back things get more clear and more confusing all at the same time. The flash-backs, which are triggered because of Bill being part Lilith, explain Warlow's origins that date back to 3500 BC. Warlow appears to be the first of his kind as a fairy and Lilith turning him into part vampire really makes him the first of his kind being the only known hybrid. The back and forth between Bill and Warlow takes Sookie out of their scenes and even though a lot is revealed it still doesn't make Warlow's previous actions make any sense. Like why he slaughtered all the those fairies in the field, why he wants Sookie to breed if he hates his own existence, and why he is just showing up now?

The next major story in this episode is getting to see the first look at the vampire prison they call 'vamp camp'. Adding the prison element to the series doesn't change the dynamic of the show but rather opens up a bunch of great opportunities to take on different subjects in new angles. The feel of the show remains the similar yet the change in setting makes interactions with older characters like Eric and Pam fresh and unpredictable. Factor in new and returning characters into this new setting and things could get very interesting. I'll admit adding Eric, Tara, and Jessica into the camp so soon after Pam had only been there for an hour is a bit quick on the pacing but with the shorten season this year time is no longer a luxury for the show.

Another welcomed addition to go along with the prison is the show bringing back Anna Camp as the religiously crazed Sarah Newlin. Sarah was connected with a vampire hate/church group back in season 2 and her return was already revealed a couple episodes ago, but the show isn't confining her to one story line like before. One of the funniest parts of Sarah Newlin's god fearing/hate of the vampires back in season 2 was her ability to make her beliefs take a back seat to her sex drive when it came to Jason. And it appears nothing has changed. After Jason and Sarah shack up after their brief reunion her character shows how big her involvement with surrounding characters already is, making her return even more exciting.

With that being said I'll finish up here with some lines from this episode Sarah and Jason exchange just before they jump back into bed together. Jason's dialogue is always something to laugh at but Ryan Kwanten's delivery is what makes this the True Blood quote of the week:

"I have a new calling now, and a new man. A powerful man." – Sarah Newlin

"Well I guess that's good, 'cause Steve turned out to be a gay vampire. So what can I do you for you?" – Jason Stackhouse

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Tags: True Blood, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Nelsan Ellis, Anna Camp

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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.

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