True Blood Season 6 was the first year without the show’s creator, Alan Ball. And it turned out to be the best run since Eric got amnesia in Season 3.
While last year was waylaid by heavy religious themes, this season quickly retreats from the global implications of the vampire bible and focuses it on Bill’s personal belief system instead. The main arc is humans declaring war on vampires, returning the show’s focus to the fanged population while also shepherding our favourite characters into one place – a concentration camp for bloodsuckers. It was a smart move by new showrunner Brian Buckner, who realises you can’t give equal screen time to every member of the huge cast.
Meanwhile in Bon Temps, Sookie and Jason team up with their fairy grandpa Niall – a Munsters type eccentric played with bags of southern gothic charm by Rutger Hauer. The twist that Warlow turned out to be fairy/vamp crossbread Ben was a little underwhelming; how many seemingly perfect men just wander into Sookie’s life with no agenda? But the discovery was brilliantly entertaining with Jason drinking some of Benlow’s blood and experiencing sexy shaving dreams.
Niall was disposed of disappointingly quick but on the plus side it gave Sookie a chance to shine as she devised her own plan of attack: vagina warfare. Seducing Warlow before conjuring a fairy ball of light and declaring: “Get the f*** off me or die, Warlow” was applause worthy and the one-liners kept coming, usually as part of some pithy dialogue with Billith… Bill: “We made a deal Sookie.” Sookie: “I know we did Bill, but Eric took our deal and f**ked it in the ass.” Finally it seems that romance is off the cards.
While Bill bumbled through with boring but necessary visions of the future and attempts at saving vampire kind, Eric stole some of the best moments of the series. We loved him when he was angry – ripping off a bloke’s gonads (“I’ll be back in 10 minutes to make sure you have bled out”). We loved him more when he was upset – crying rivers of blood over the gruesome death of his sister Nora. But we loved him most when he was being tumblr bait: appearing at a virgin’s window in the night like an albino Dracula, and reclining on a glacier completely starkers before bursting into flames.
Truebies can rest in peace knowing he’ll be back for Season 7, but there was a genuine feeling that anything could happen this year. Instead of expanding the biggest cast on television, the writers bumped off a few instead. We said an emotional goodbye to Terry Bellefleur, who had certainly outstayed his welcome but the way it happened and his subsequent funeral were hugely poignant.
The better Bellefleur, Andy, really came into his own this season as the well-meaning father to his four fairy offspring. This scenario had the potential to flop but not only did they become integral to the storyline, it provided some real heartfelt moments too. The final scene where Jessica (who murdered three of them) offers her protection to Andy and Adaline was genuinely sweet and so unlike True Blood to give a subplot some closure.
Not everyone fared as well, however. Every werewolf scene bar shirtless Alcide could have been probably been scrapped with no complaints, and Sam Merlotte gratuitous relationship with a dull newbie straight after the death of Luna seemed totally inappropriate, as did Sookie’s admission that she assumed they would eventually end up together. Since when? It seemed like the show’s only nod to the series of books it’s based on, having gone completely off-track lately. Not that we’re complaining, since we loved this year’s villains: Truman Burrell and Sarah Newlin.
Her return to the show was an excellent move, bringing tons of over-the-top moments. We’ll never forget when she kissed her decapitated boyfriend’s head, or the bitch fight where she smashed her opponent’s head in with a stiletto heel. She should also be thanked for snapping Jason out of his multiple series’ worth of melodrama and that moment where she pulled the roof back and killed Steve Newlin, if only so we got to hear his final words: “I LOVE YOU… JASON STACKHOOOUSE!”
True Blood’s back to its campy best, with all the gore and social commentary that had us hooked to begin with. And next year promises more intriguing storylines, as Sookie’s now with Alcide (at last!) and the town folk are adopting a novel approach to battling Hep V – the man-made virus that kills vampires horribly – by enjoying a monogamous blood-letting relationship with the local bloodsuckers, in exchange for protection. It seems like they’ll need it, as a horde of infected zombie-like vamps started descending on Bon Temps in the closing moments….