Vampires are being rounded up all around Louisiana and experimented on in the Governor’s internment camp. Sookie is being torn every which way by relatives living and dead, Bill wants her fairy blood while Warlow dangles other temptations. The Bellflowers and their associates are beset by a host of problems of their own.
Quite frankly, True Blood has changed its focus so dramatically that not only does this season seem like a series with a different premise, it is a pale imitation of its former self. This time around the passion seems forced, the characters have become dreadfully flat, and the intensely complex portrayals of small town life have all but vanished.
Always a highlight in previous seasons, Pam seems to have lost her sharp edge and just become a shrill harridan—though thanks to the presence of Pruitt Taylor Vince at least her scenes on the psychiatrist’s couch are compelling. Worse, Bill and Jessica lose all sympathy with their kidnap of Andy’s fairy children and it will take a heck of a good dramatic turn to redeem them. Even worse, Alcide seems to have become some sort of pod person and acting for no real motive except to have a face-off or two with Sam—who is, incidentally, equally wasted here. The focus away from the bar (except for the culmination of Terry’s storyline which only seems like an excuse to further reduce the background cast) is also a loss as it seems to take the heart out of the series.
As for the revelations of the deal Warlow made for an ‘arranged marriage’ with Sookie… oh, please! At least Rutger Hauer livens things up for a little while, and even though he seems to be a caricature of a Tim Burton character, he is still rather underused. Perhaps he was just stunt casting after all. At times the storyline does start to develop in intriguing ways – Eric turning the Governor’s daughter, the plague being unleashed via TruBlood, Sarah Newlin reappearing on the scene and facing off with Jason—but none of it quite manages to overturn the sense that this is a series which has veered too far off its original USP.
Verdict: A series burning up in the light of day, 4/10