Perhaps TRUE BLOOD creator Alan Ball was using last night’s episode — which he scripted — to prove once and for all to the folks over at The CW that “WTF” has only one meaning, and it most certainly is not “Watch This Fall!” Or maybe he lost a bet and was forced to prove that his show could be every bit as confounding as David Lynch’s classic — if not always logical — TWIN PEAKS? How else to explain the meandering, pointless and (worst of all) boring outing that served as the season’s penultimate offering?
Yes, there were some fine moments — mostly between Sookie and Lafayette — and I would watch Tara and her mama braid one another’s hair, but far too much of the hour was wasted with ridiculous nonsense that failed to advance storylines or offer anything in the way of character development.
It doesn’t help that this season has been majorly derailed by the pointless and seemingly ill-conceived MaryAnn The Maenid, which felt tacked on by someone who realized that while Bill, Sookie, Jason and Eric were running around Texas, the folks back in Bon Temps would need something to do. Michelle Forbes has done her best with the part, but the mythology surrounding MaryAnn simply has not held together well.
Last night also saw the introduction of Evan Rachel Wood’s Queen Sophie-Ann, a potentially interesting character who felt somehow miscast. While I’ve been a fan of Wood’s work in the past, her performance here seemed forced. I’m sure someone thought it would be cute for Wood to play the ancient character as a willful child, but instead, much like Bill, I was anxious to leave her presence.
In fact, MaryAnn and Sophie might well represent exactly what’s wrong with TRUE BLOOD this season: We’ve spent so much time away from Bon Temps that the people we truly care about have been treated like second-class citizens. Last night, every delightful moment (Eric eyeing Arline’s kids as if he could just eat them up… literally) was overshadowed by a painfully awful one (Sookie being spooned by one of the town’s lusty loons). This second season should have stayed close to home, further exploring the characters we know and love while expanding their universe slightly with the addition of Jessica (whose romance with mama’s boy Hoyt has been a major highlight) and perhaps even Godric, who was sent into the light far too soon.
TRUE BLOOD did, as always, get the final moment of last night’s episode right: No series in recent memory has offered up such phenomenal cliffhangers. So of course, we’ll be tuning in next week to see what the heck comes out of that egg (not to mention who the heck it came out of!). But here’s hoping that when the writers begin plotting out next season, they remember to stick closer to Merlotte’s… and consider keeping Ball away from the typewriter.
TRUE BLOOD’s season finale hits HBO on Sunday, September 13.