‘True Blood’: One Time at Vamp Camp

by | July 1, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Recap, True Blood

Alexander Skarsgard on "True Blood" (Photo: HBO)

The bad news: not much happened in this week’s installment of “True Blood,” “You’re No Good.” That’s not an editorial comment. It’s the actual title of the episode. It was an hour of set-up for what has the potential to be an explosive second half of the season. The good news: the storylines connected this week, making it the best structured episode of the season. Two prisoners use information as leverage. Two characters are guided by visions to perhaps erroneous conclusions. There is some parallelism and symmetry instead of just a group of scenes thrown together. It’s a shame that “True Blood” has set the bar so low for the past couple seasons that this is worthy of mention.

Political Leverage

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) owns this episode. He starts out by telling the glamoured governor’s daughter Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) that she is about to die for her father’s sins. She tells him that killing her won’t stop her dad, but she has information about the experiments that are being conducted on vampires. His curiosity is piqued. He flies out the window with Willa before the governor’s guard arrives. He takes her to Fangtasia and advises Pam (Kristin Bauer) to pack up the bar before the police arrive. Willa says he doesn’t have to glamor her is sharing secrets like she’s Edward Snowden. She claims that the governor took all the money earmarked for highway improvement to build a vampire concentration camp to study them and experiment on them. She doesn’t know where it is, which seems like a cheat. She found out everything but the information that would move the plot along.

We cut to Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) being brought to the camp. It’s great to see him again but having him interrogated by a literal Dr. Mengele, complete with a German accent, seems too on the nose. Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) shows up to visit Steve. She tells him that he hurt her, embarrassed her and disappeared with their money. She retaliated by writing a bestseller about the experience. She thinks the camp is part of God’s Master Plan to eradicate the vampire race. Gee, I sense that could be an analogy to something, but the show is being so subtle that I can’t figure it out. She’s in politics now, presumably working with the governor. When Not-Mengele threatens Steve with torture, he immediately offers him everything he knows about Eric.

There is a nice moment between Pam and Eric about the end of Fangtasia. Pam is upset that Eric wants to take Willa on the run with them instead of killing her. He convinces her that Willa is leverage. Eric goes to Ginger’s (Tara Buck) place. She happily invites him in, then he tells her Pam and Willa are there. Disappointed, she says, “We aren’t f***ing?” Eric promises they will in the future. That better happen on-camera. Pam is pissed that Eric is taking Willa into his coffin while she and Pam are relegated to the basement. Willa tells him that her mother left her father for a vampire who owns a bar in Hollywood. Her dad stopped her from moving in with them. She notices he has the bleeds, rubs her hand over his blood, then attempts to lick her fingers. He stops her, then licks his own blood off her hand. It’s sexy and slightly cannibalistic. Ginger answers Eric’s phone call from the governor. For some reason, Eric thinks his phone is untraceable, so he takes the call. He says Willa is still alive but not for long. He is trying to decide on the best way to off her. Meanwhile, a computer traces his location. Eric can overhear a worker in the mansion tell the governor they’ve located him. Eric glamours Ginger into keeping the governor on the phone, then discovers Tara has already disappeared with Willa, presumably because she believed Eric was about to kill her, but perhaps to get more leverage for herself.

HBO Subscribers Can Watch Sunday Night’s Episode of “True Blood” Here

How a Bill Outwits the Law

Bill (Stephen Moyer) tells Jessica (Deborah Woll) that he saw her and many other vampires being burned by the sun. He doesn’t know when it will happen, but they are all going to die. But he is going to stop it. Later he realizes that he has the answer. In his visit with Lilith they were in the sun and it was okay. He thinks he’s immortal. Jessica logically points out that he better be sure before he tries daywalking, but he insists on attempting it. When the sun rises, he instantly bursts into flame and runs back inside, which is pretty funny. Lilith should make her plans for Bill clearer if she wants him to save the vampire race. Bill tells Jessica he wants to meet with the professor who synthesized Tru Blood. She shows up in his chemistry class, which apparently is taught at night, dressed like a naughty schoolgirl. He agrees to “private tutoring.” Then she bites him. The professor happens to be Japanese, which, given the heavy-handed World War II imagery this season, may be significant. Bill asks Sookie (Anna Paquin) for help, telling her that Tara and others will die. She refuses to invite him in to her house, but his new powers allow him to come inside anyway. He wants to synthesize her special fairy blood. She refuses to help. He says she is now dead to him. She retorts, “I’m cool with that.” Fortunately, Bill runs into Andy and learns all about his now tween half-fairy daughters. They’ll be great Sookie substitutes. He walks away with a grin, in the least dramatic episode-ending cliffhanger in “True Blood” history.

Fairyland Massacre

Here’s all you need to know about Jason (Ryan Kwanten): He repeatedly gets knocked out in this episode while attempting to help the search for Warlow but refuses to seek medical help. Jason’s head injuries are clearly going to be important at some point. Sookie finally asks Grandpa Niall (Rutger Hauer) why Warlow is after her. He tells her it’s because her blood is royal. There’s got to be more to it than that. Warlow goes to the fairyland Moulin Rouge club. It’s empty. There are pools of blood everywhere. He touches them and has visions of fairies being killed. He finds Claude, who is still clinging to life. He confirms that a vampire killed everybody before Niall honors his request to put him out of his misery. Warlow returns to Earth, leaves and runs into Ben. He claims he was searching for the club, though we know Sookie told him where it was. If he isn’t actually Warlow, he’s being set up to seem like he is. Niall is not much of a king if he can’t figure this out. Ben recognizes Niall and genuflects. He recruits Ben to help him hunt down Warlow, a quest which may involve Ben putting on an “I’m Warlow, Idiot” t-shirt. Niaell brings Ben back into the house. Sookie wonders why she can feel Ben reading her mind, something she has not experienced with other fairies. Niall tells them Warlow is back. Actually, the vampire he senses is Nora (Lucy Griffiths), who is staking out their house under the assumption that Warlow will eventually turn up.

Activism Fail

Sam (Sam Trammell) wakes up with Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Nicole (Jurnee Smollett) and her boyfriend. Though Lafayette advises the Vampire Unity Society members to forget they saw werewolves, Nicole is determined to help Sam find Emma. Meanwhile, cops arrive at Martha’s house, in search of Emma. Rikki persuades Emma to shift so the cops just see Martha sitting with what appears to be a puppy. Rikki wisely warns the rest of the pack that they are doomed to be persecuted like the vampires. Alcide is determined to keep Emma with the pack. So Martha makes Rikki bow to him to demonstrate her submission. He has turned into a real jerk this season. It’s a strange choice for a character people liked because he was heroic. Sam, disguised as an owl, watches them. The VUS visits the pack to “reach out.” Alcide finds a camera and recorder, which he breaks. He is scared that they have footage of Emma. Why is this little kid so important? The pack turns into wolves and eats several members of the VUS. So much for liberal do-gooders! Sam takes advantage of the chaos to flee with Emma, but he decides he needs to help Nicole.

“True Blood” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.