In episode two, HBO’s bloody fantasy gave fans what they wanted but left the story lacking.
I Found You serves as a particularly strong example of what True Blood does best (fan service, dark comedy) and worst (too many characters, developing a world beyond Bon Temps, Sookie). The season’s main conflict (the Hep V vamps) was a poor choice given the show’s history of faltering without (and sometimes with) a single villian to defeat, and also because these vamps really shouldn’t pose a major threat. Stay inside at night, don’t invite vampires into your home, and send patrols to kill the vampires while they sleep during the day. Problem solved.
Instead, the citizens of Bon Temps (and the rest of the United States, apparently) respond to this new threat in the most aggressively stupid ways possible. This robs the conflict of any serious tension and makes it a chore to slog through between the occasional stellar character-driven moments (none of which involve Sookie) that have kept fans around for all these years.
The citizens of Bon Temps respond to the new threat in the most stupid ways possible, robbing the conflict of any serious tension
This new episode begins with a major bit of fan service as Jason tracks down Eric. There’s plenty of cheesy dialogue that sounds pulled directly from terrible fan/slash fiction, leading to some shirtless caressing and making out before Jason wakes up aroused and confused (in church, no less, and likely put to sleep by Sookie’s “let me be a hero” speech). Vampire blood-induced homoerotic dreams have been a running gag throughout the series so it will be interesting to see if there are any other incredibly fan service-y scenes thrown in later this season.
Sookie, Sam, Alcide, Andy, and Jason search for the pack of Hep V vamps and start by investigating the dead body Sookie found in the woods. Using the dead woman’s ID, they head two towns over and discover a ghost town with a mass grave. Exploring the world beyond Bon Temps doesn’t work so well for True Blood, and the ghost town of Saint Alice just seems like a wasted opportunity for a Walking Dead crossover. They decide to go to the dead woman’s house and, based on Jason’s “pizza forensics” (determining when the family was attacked by tasting the pizza left on the kitchen table), they determine that the vamps hit a town repeatedly until they wipe it out entirely and move on.
Sookie reads the dead woman’s diary for clues (because everyone maintains a diary during a crisis), but it’s really just an opportunity for Sookie to read about another woman’s romance with a vampire that mirrors the start of Sookie and Bill’s relationship almost exactly (except for all the violence). We get it, True Blood. We’ve always gotten it. One true pair, etc, etc.
In a classic True Blood turn, Arlene is left with a lady vamp dissolving into a puddle of goo while face down in her crotch
Arlene, Holly, and the other hostages are locked up in the basement of Fangtasia aka the most obvious place for Hep V vamps to hole up. Naturally, no one has thought to check the local vampire bar. Arlene recognises one of their captors as a local schoolteacher and convinces her to help them escape. The next time the teacher is on watch, she sneaks down to the basement to free the hostages. She’s weak with hunger, so Arlene offers to feed her. Bite marks on Arlene’s neck would cause trouble if they’re caught, so Arlene agrees to let the teacher feed from her femoral artery instead. In a classic True Blood turn, the Hep V wins, leaving Arlene with a lady vamp dissolving into a puddle of goo while face down in her crotch.
The townsfolk start to question Sam and Andy’s ability to protect them (valid concern!) and, now that Sam’s been outed as a shifter, suspect a vampire/shifter/telepath conspiracy (significantly less valid concern). They decide to storm the police station for guns and thus become an armed mob. After returning home from Saint Alice, Sookie sends Alcide upstairs to take a shower while she sneaks over to Bill’s to ask if he can still sense her, in case she got herself into some “serious shit”. Oh good, Sookie’s going to do something stupid. Again. Pam tracks down Eric in Rhone Valley, France (for real this time) and discovers him weakened by Hep V.
– After seeing some wedding photos at the dead woman’s house, Andy decides he’ll finally ask Holly to marry him, because a man is nothing without a family. That gets Jason thinking, and Jason thinking never ends well.
– Arlene hasn’t been a useful character in a long time, but Carrie Preston made the most of her screen time.
– Please let Pam and Eric return to Bon Temps ASAP to show these idiots how it’s done
All images: HBO