Saturday, June 29, 2013

True Blood – Season 5 – review

Director: Various

First aired: 2012

Contains spoilers

Season 5 of True Blood is now on UK DVD and so it is time to look at the season. For a recap of my thoughts on previous seasons you can follow the links to Season 1, Season 2, Season 3 and Season 4.

As season 4 ended Bill (Stephen Moyer, Ultraviolet & Priest) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) were arrested by the Vampire Authority and Tara (Rutina Wesley) was fatally shot when she took a bullet for Sookie (Anna Paquin). Of course this is supernatural TV and therefore she is “saved” by being turned – by Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten).

the Ifrit
I felt that the last season was somewhat fallow. This season they improved on the last and concentrated more on the vampires. Before we look at that aspect I should mention the other plots. Someone is murdering shifters and it turns out to be a pro-human, klu klux klan styled group. The local werewolf pack has a power struggle. Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe) is hunted by an ifrit, the spirit being part of a curse placed on him and his squad in Iraq. Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) has to come to terms with the aftermath of the previous season and the loss of his lover Jesus and the fairies are back and not as bad as previously made out.

Russell Edgington recovers from burial
In this season we meet an old vampire returned in the form of the recently dug up Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), newly created vampires such as the Reverend Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) – who we last saw as an anti-vampire hate pedlar but who seemed to be finding coming to terms with his homosexuality more difficult than his newly undead status, and the ruling authority, which included Salome (Valentina Cervi) – yes, the Salome.

Stephan Moyer as Bill
The Authority are the ones that placed vampires onto the mainstreaming agenda but there are still those (even amongst its inner circle) that believe it to be a mistake and believe that humans are cattle. What was interesting was the idea that the vampires have religion. Having been likened to those who are persecuted by right-wing Christianity, the show turns things around and introduces a form of religious zealotry to the vampires.

Rutina Wesley as Tara
The vampires have a bible – different to the human one but Judaeo based it seems as the first vampire is listed as Lilith. It is believed that God made vampire in his/her own image – they are closer to the image of God as they are at the pinnacle of the food chain. They also have a vial of blood believed to be the blood of Lilith – this blood is extremely potent and causes euphoria and hallucinations/divine visions (depending on your point of view).

Lilith emerges from a poll of blood
Bill and Eric are embroiled in the Authority’s machinations and conversion to the faith of Lilith, each reacting very differently. We see Lilith and she appears to emerge from pools of blood. A war between humanity and the vampires is worryingly near as True Blood factories are bombed, cutting off the vampires’ fake blood supply. The show covers these events from a distance, keeping its focus on a small group of vampires.

So, as I said earlier, I think the show pulled something back when compared to the previous season. That is not to say it has regained the initial strength of season 1 but it was much more entertaining than it has been. Not enough to drag the score too much up but noticeable to the viewer. 6.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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