I have been a huge fan of True Blood from it’s inception in 2008 and had been looking forward to the past season for almost a year. The idea of True Blood letting us into the workings of the Authority, the return of Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin, the outcome of Tara being shot in the head and the consequences of Eric and Bill killing Nan made it seem as if Season 5 could go down as one of the best yet. Unfortunately, it was the slowest, most boring, disappointing season of the series. What happened to the True Blood that was exciting, sexy, funny and water cooler fodder the next day? Why did we have to wait for the last episode of the season to give us a taste of the old True Blood? Has True Blood finally jumped the shark? Here are a few missteps that plagued True Blood this season in no particular order:
The character of Vampire Authority Guardian, Roman was a waste of the talent and charisma that is Chris Meloni. Fans of the show were to believe that Roman was a very powerful vampire. He was revered and respected for secretly gaining power over all vampires and mainstreaming the vampires into society. With Roman’s many years as a vampire one would assume that he would be powerful in strength and intelligence, but that did not come to pass. Instead, viewers were forced to hear one monologue after another about the importance of the Authority and killing vampires that disapproved of mainstreaming. It also became painfully obvious that Salome, Roman’s lover, did not share his views. So when Russell Edgington came back into the picture, I was sorely disappointed that Roman wasn’t even a close match to Russell. Roman’s true death came so quickly and was so predictable it was a major letdown after all the weeks spent listening to him.
The return of Russell Edgington was anti climactic. Here was the fae obsessed, 3000 year old vampire, who disapproved of mainstreaming from the beginning, come back from his concrete grave he was put into two seasons ago by Eric and Bill. It made sense that he would be fully behind Salome’s coup of the Authority and do whatever he wanted, but too much time was spent on Salome and Nora’s obsession with Lillith and the importance of Lillith’s blood. Russell Edgington, who was an interesting, crazy, entertaining villain was resorted to a 2nd bit character who had no direction. In the end, his obsession with Sookie and daywalking made him unfocused to not even be aware that Eric was about to put him to the true death. For a character that had lived to be 3000 years old, it is difficult for me to understand how easy it was for Eric to kill Russell. Russell’s death didn’t have the impact that one would expect. In Season 3, Russell was a character that was feared by everyone and to have him die so easily and quietly just wasn’t his style. The character of Russell Edgington wasn’t given the full respect and gravitas the character should have had, considering he is such a memorable villain of the series.
Terry Bellfleur’s storyline of a smoke monster trying to kill him and his platoon due to a curse on him was a poor storyline that became more convoluted and hard to support as it went along. The saving grace may be that the writers knew how weak the story was and wrapped it up quickly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t excuse that we had to watch it. It is sad to think that the writers can’t find anything exciting for the human characters to be a part of unless it has to do with something supernatural.
Which brings me to Jason. Why can he now see his dead parents? Is he going to become a medium now? Is he going to revert back to his Season 2, “I hate Fangers” phase? I am afraid that the character of Jason has run out of steam, which is unfortunate because he is such a likable character. Jason could grow so much as a character, but the writers always seem to back him up into the same corner of being the dumb, good hearted, ignorant Southern boy, which is a shame, since Jason could be an experienced, good hearted, tolerant Southern man who opens his eyes, ears and heart to what is going on around him.
Another likable character that was coming into his own in Season 4 was Bill. After the finale, I am afraid that the road they put Bill on, in Season 5, will be hard to convince us of his redemption, or if he is even able to be redeemed after becoming the Vampire God. In the words of Godric, Lillith was a godless god and since Bill drank Lillith’s blood does that mean he is a godless god? Throughout the season, we saw Bill become obsessed with being the Chosen One. After he drank the blood of Lillith there is no turning back. It is a shame really because Bill was finally coming into his own as the King of Louisiana and viewers got to see him blossom as a leader and a maker. This season, we saw a vampire throw away all of his logic and experience for the taste of the ultimate power, which seemed like a falsehood for Bill.
Have the writers and showrunners of True Blood lost their muse? Have they become so focused on conveying a certain message that the writers didn’t stay true to the characters that viewers have come to love and hate? Has True Blood finally jumped the shark?