Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

True Blood: “At Last”

Illustration for article titled True Blood: “At Last”

Overall, True Blood is a much better show this season—better in story, and significantly better in structure—yet somehow, this improved framework hasn’t really added up to an improved show to watch. “At Last” was the most cohesive episode of the season to date, with some big reveals and significant momentum on almost every aspect of the season-long arc, and yet it was still so horribly dull. Trading the funny, crazy, nonsensical, and completely frustrating True Blood of the past few seasons for the saner, more streamlined storytelling of season six is turning out to be a case of diminishing returns.

The biggest reveal of the episode (and one thoroughly predicted here in the comments) is that fairy Ben is actually fairy vampire Warlow. And he’s British! This reveal is simultaneously completely logical and totally nonsensical, because if Ben was Warlow this whole time then why hasn’t he killed Sookie and her family nine times over already? Why, instead, is he wandering around random fields and attempting to woo her with his fake Southern charms?

The answer to this question is still to come, but at least in the meantime the actual reveal in this episode is fairly decent, if a bit hazily motivated. When Jason collapses from his mysterious head injury, instead of being a logical fairy vampire who wants to keep his identity secret and waiting for an ambulance, Ben gives Jason his vampire blood to heal him. This has the always fun side effect of giving Jason naughty dreams about Ben, dreams Niall later pries out of Jason’s head and uses to determine that Ben is no regular fairy. Their attempted confrontation with him goes completely sideways, and Jason ends up with a wiped memory, while Niall gets thrown into some sort of nasty fairy hell dimension. If this is really the last we’ll see of Rutger Hauer, his odd energy will be missed.

Sookie, to her credit, manages to figure out Ben’s secret all on her own and has a plan to zap him with her magic fairy light bomb. Her plan involves feeding Ben fried chicken laced with silver and getting him into a compromising position, which is how the episode ends—with Ben on top of her and her about to send him into oblivion. Which raises the initial question: What is Ben/Warlow doing? Does he want to kill Sookie, have sex with her, or both? Is Sookie that irresistible that every immortal, all-powerful being wants to sleep with her? Or is he there, as Nora said, to lead all the vampires into the sun? This Warlow story has been predictable the whole way through, so giving him a motivational curve ball somewhere would be very welcome.

As for Bill, he’s still working on his plan to use Andy’s fairy children as blood donors for the creation of a new version of TruBlood. The girls are now 18 and of prime age to be dumb enough to be seduced by Jessica’s vampire bravado (and creepily wanting to be seduced by Bill, period), with the whole gang ending up at Bill’s for partying and bloodletting. A few snags in the plan, though: Fairy blood is too complex to replicate in the way human blood was, and Jessica accidentally went crazy with fairy lust and attacked all four of the sisters. With Andy out on a rampage looking for his kids—hilariously getting the advice that most kidnappings are done by a relative of the children—Bill and Jessica look to have some unwanted company on their trail soon.

Of all the things that happened in this episode, though, the thing that has perhaps the most long-reaching consequences is Eric’s decision to turn Governor Burrell’s daughter Willa into a vampire. It’s a strange little sequence because Eric—having only turned Pam in the past—does the deed with care and concern, and with Willa’s blessing, and yet after she’s turned, he coldly dismisses her to be his emissary to her father, simply a tool in the war Eric is attempting to fight. It’s strange because it’s such an oddly obtuse way for Eric to go about fighting this war, sort of like aiming a water gun at a four-alarm fire. It’s a move completely relying on feelings from a vampire who has very clearly in the past been able to completely separate his own feelings from any war he is waging, with Eric assuming humans cannot make the same distinctions.


Also, honestly, Eric should have predicted the very new vampire Willa would not be able to control herself around humans the way an older vampire would. So unless this is all part of a larger plan for him to get Willa inside the very prison camp she is begging her father to close down, this is a frustratingly dumb move by the one character that has consistently shown better judgment in the past. An episode where Sookie seems smarter than Eric? Now we’ve definitely seen it all.

Stray observations:

  • Of course Sarah Newlin is fucking the Governor. Of course she is.
  • For a governmental agency, the LAVTF is surprisingly efficient, this week capturing Nora, Pam, and Ginger for their secret prison.
  • The Governor’s over-the-top scene at Ginger’s house was a lot of fun, but far too brief. Now that Russell’s gone, we need at least one person willing to chew the scenery at an alarming rate.
  • Those werewolves sure are a kind bunch, killing all those people for sport. At least that opens the door for random grief sex with Sam and Nicole, I guess? (Yeah, I have no idea where this story is heading, either.)