Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: True Blood "At Last"

Non Spoiler Review:
At Last indeed! At last a pretty damn good episode of True Blood that covered a lot of ground and advanced everyone's storyline. Ben reveals a secret, while Sookie plans the perfect date. Eric has grand plans for Willa. Alcide and his pack continue to be ornery. Bill and Jessica team up to carry out his plan to save vampirekind.

Definitely the best of the season so far, At Last moved briskly with plenty of interesting developments. Some may have predicted the twists, but I still found them enjoyable and left with the impression that the season is moving with a sense of direction.

Not all is repaired—the werewolves continue to run around in search of a storyline, Jason's actual role this season keeps attaching itself to various characters, and Terry and Arlene continue to take up unnecessary screentime. 

Spoilers Now!
Niall catches up with Nora and demands an explanation. She fills him in about Lilith and the need to destroy her. The mistranslation she discovered is that the progeny led Lilith to the sun. She gets excited by the scent of his fairy blood so he tosses her away—directly into a bunch of the governor's soldiers who capture her.

Ben and Sookie tend to Jason, who is far more wounded than they thought. While she calls for help, Ben sprouts fangs and cuts open his arm to give Jason his blood. Sookie comes back to find Jason alive and well. Niall returns and suggests this is a family matter, so Ben leaves.

Martha alerts Alcide that Sam took Emma. Sam reaches the bitten Nicole and carries her off as Lafayette arrives to drive them to safety. In the morning Nicole comes to terms that her friends are dead. Sam tells Lafayette to go home and watch out for himself, then turns into a horse to carry Nicole and Emma.

The governor's men break into Ginger's house but find no one else. Burrell has her taken to camp. Meanwhile, Pam attempts to summon Tara, who returns but refuses to reveal where she has Willa. Eric intimidates her to confess she's at the fairgrounds and he goes off. Eric finds Willa  waiting for him. She reminds him she's on his side, but she feels she deserves to taste his blood. Eric takes her to an open grave in a cemetery and makes her a vampire, his second progeny.

Andy's girls can read Terry's mind about killing Patrick, which unsettles him and Arlene. The girls go through another growth spurt into teenagers and they sneak out in the night to party. Bill and Jessica are watching the house and follow after they steal the sheriff's car. At the liquor store the girls try to buy beer as Jessica steps forward and glamors the clerk. She introduces herself and invites them over to her place to party. They admit she smells kind of funny and isn't like them. Jessica confesses she's a vampire but can control herself. They head off together. Andy is frantic to find the girls missing, but has no idea how old they might be now.

Back home, Bill takes a sample of one of the girl's blood and heads down to the lab he's set up with the Japanese scientist. Bill reveals his hope to save everyone and asks him to map the genetic code of the blood and synthesize it. Bill adds that failure is not an option.

Sookie finds a drop of blood on the floor and concludes something is up with Jason's renewed strength. She uses her fairy powers to discern it's vampire. She goes to see Ben at his hotel to apologize for Niall's behaviour and invite him for dinner, then off to get groceries, as well as some silver that she plans to sprinkle on the meal.

Jason has an erotic dream about Ben given the vampire blood and confesses it to Niall, who makes a  huge intuitive leap that a vampire could have turned a fairy and created a creature with both powers. They conclude Ben is a vampire who walks in daylight and is, indeed, Warlow.

The two of them stake out the hotel as Ben gets in the shower. But Ben is waiting for them and disables Niall and glamors Jason to forget he ever came there, and to say good-bye to his grandfather. Jason leaves and Ben begins to drink from Niall.

Research on the blood has turned up plenty of anomalies, but the scientist finds it so unstable that it reduces itself to human blood outside its host. He can't replicate it. Bill reveals he has his donors upstairs and threatens the scientist to continue his work.

New vampire Willa is dazzled by her senses, but Eric is sending her home to show her father what he fears the most. Furious, she calls Eric a monster, but he wants her to prove to her father they were all once human and not to be hunted. He did not make her into a vampire on a whim.

Pam and Tara are on the search for food but have (another) argument. Tara runs off just as the governor's men capture Pam. The governor is still waiting for word about Willa—with new lover Sarah Newlin. They're interrupted with news that his daughter is home, but had to be invited in. Willa says she's still his child, but she finds herself drawn to his bloodied hand and Sarah shoots her.

Ben hasn't killed Niall but has drank most of his blood. He admits his family lived beside Niall's before he was born, and he was turned into a vampire. He spared Niall so that their line could continue and will spare him again. He opens up a portal and throws Niall through it. 

Sam takes Emma and Nicole to a hotel. As they commiserate over their losses they end up making out.

Ben shows up late at Sookie's, bearing flowers. She watches him eat but realizes the silver is having no effect. He asks why her previous relationship went south. Sookie doesn't want to be betrayed again and questions him what it is about her that he wants. He explains she understood him when they met. 

The girls want to go home but Jessica tries to get  them to stay until her father is finished his important stuff. They gang up on her and try to leave, provoking Jessica to lose control and feed on one of them. Andy tries to interview the dense liquor store clerk and Jason suggests a vampire glamored him. Andy asks if they can sniff out fairies, and Jason explains they're like catnip to them. Andy rushes off. Bill hears the screams from upstairs and finds a distraught Jessica has fed on all the girls. 

As Ben and Sookie make out on the couch, she abruptly tells him to get off her. She knows he's Warlow and she holds her glowing hand above him.

The Verdict:
The fairy girl plot finally got interesting. I doubt they're all dead, but that would actually be quite a cool development if that's the case. I didn't really see Ben turning out to be Warlow and I'm a bit confused about the whole vampire/fairy powers mix and how all that sorted out. But the twist was well-executed, as well as a humorous Jason dream sequence. There's been no real definition of fairy abilities like we've had with vampires, so it still feels like they're being written for storyline convenience (Sookie's potential vampire WMD, for example). Curious that he left Niall alive, and something tells me he's not as evil as we've been led to believe.

Sam's sudden make out session with Nicole is more than a tad contrived, but I'll let it pass given the rest of the episode was good. I was enjoying the team up with Lafayette so I hope they continue together. Lafayette doesn't have much left to do except channel spirits when plotlines require it.

Speaking of not having much to do, that includes all vampires unless you're Bill, Jessica and Eric. Pam and Tara used to be fun but they're just outright boring now. The capture of Nora and Pam came off as equally contrived, and not much of a surprise as we can assume Bill can see the future and accurately foresaw all of them imprisoned in Burrell's camp. I'm not sure if Willa is heading for true death soon, or not. She hasn't had a chance to grow as a character and might be easy cannon fodder to force Burrell to even further extremes.

Alcide and the werewolves continue to suck. That's all that needs to be said.

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