True Blood 5.04 “We’ll Meet Again”
Writer Alexander Woo
Director Romeo Tirone
THE ONE WHERE Everybody hates Sookie, so she gets drunk; Jason learns something about the death of his parents at a fairy nightclub; Eric frees Pam of her bond to him; Roman discovers a traitor…
VERDICT Viewers who’ve found Sookie a difficult character to like over the past four seasons are going to love this episode – everyone else in the show suddenly has it in for the poor lass. Even Lafayette, who's declaration that Sookie is like the angel of death – surviving, but at the expense of those around her – is shocking enough (though he may have the excuse of being possessed). But’ its Bill whose volte-face is most chilling; watching the woman he would once have died (again) for making love to Alcide he calmly tells Eric, “Sookie could be useful [in finding Edgington]… I don’t think we give her the choice.”
Yo know what? Not being the heroine that everybody loves just because… well, she’s the star of the show , but having to fight to get some respect could be the making of Sookie’s character. It’s an interesting development, so let’s hope the writers don’t drop the ball. Having said that, by episode’s end Alcide’s making out with her even though she just killed his old flame; clearly she hasn’t totally lost it.
There are fairies in this episode – lots of them – but they’re not too wearisome, thankfully, though their magic nightclub is a little odd. Presumably it’s supposed to be a den of iniquity but comes across more like a low-rent burlesque theatre crossed with a Duran Duran video. They’re still fairies, though, and their mere presence threatens cringy scenes to come.
As for the revelation that vampires killed the Stackhouse’s parents all those years ago, let‘s hope that’s the fairies bullshitting, because otherwise this comes across like some hokey soap twist from the heyday of Dallas and Dynasty . (If you’ve read the Southern Vampire books you’ll know the answer to this, but a) there’s no reason to assume the show will follow the books, and b) the whole “well, whoops my tongue!” way the scene is played is what really makes it all so silly.)
There are some truly great moments in the episode which show that even though the series isn’t on top form in general at the moment, it can still capture that old magic when it needs to. Pam once again steals every scene she’s in and her two big heart-to-hearts with Eric are heartbreaking and outstandingly well acted. We would say that Pam is the breakout character of the season, except that we’ve all known she was brilliant since season one. It’s just taken the writers this long to realise. Good grief, Pam, even makes Tara bearable.
The Authority, meanwhile, has become one of the highlights of the show after its slightly underwhelming introduction. Sure, Salaome is so arch you could stick her on a roundabout and call her a Parisian tourist attraction, but Roman is downright compelling to watch; the one who’s a bit like Sharon Osborne is amusing; and the guy from Sanctuary looks constantly bemused by the silliness of his own accent. Thery’re a remarkably watchable motley crew.
And yes, they actually killed the kid. Okay, so he was probably a few millennia old or something, but staking a child is the still the kind of taboo we love True Blood for breaking.
So, after a great start to the season, then a couple of meandering, water-treading episodes, True Blood is showing signs that it may be heading back to former glories. Those damned fairies though… they just don’t bode well for the show. It could still go all horribly wrong.
TERRY VISION Terry’s war-haunted quest is all very moving, and well shot, and shocking, etc, etc, etc, but does anyone else have a nagging sense of, “Yeah, and the point is…?” Hopefully it will tie into True Blood mythology at some point in the next few weeks, but at the moment, whenever we go back to Terry plot, if feels like you’re involuntarily channel surfing.
KARAOKE OF THE WEEK We can forgive Sookie’s not-so-subtle alterations to the lyrics of “The Pina Colada Song” (aka, “Escape”) because she was pissed, and it was the cutest we’ve seen her in a long while. We’d forgotten she could do any other face than sulky…
GATECRASHING Aside from a couple of perfectly-pitched and excellently-executed slowburning key scenes (Eric freeing Pam, Roman pinpointing the traitor in the Authority), this episode of True Blood feels a little nippier than usual in terms of pace. So nippy, in fact, that the overlapping dialogue (that is, dialogue or sometimes just sound effects from the next scene starting before the current scene has finished) seems in an indecent haste to make its presence hard. It’s not a new technique for the show, but it seems somehow more intrusive this time around.
Sookie: “I’m turning myself in.”
Jason: “Into what?”
True Blood season 5 will air in the UK on FX in the autumn
Read more True Blood season 5 reviews