TV Detail: True Blood review. Episode 5 "Sparks Fly Out"
After an uneven start, True Blood's fifth episode is the best yet. Bill Compton's (Stephen Moyer) talk to a gathering of the Daughters of the Confederacy (along with the rest of the town's most curious citizens) stirs up old memories, and a flashback reveals his vampiric origins. When his Louisiana regiment was broken up during the Civil War, Compton struck through the woods to return to Bon Temps and his wife and two children. But after proving his fidelity in the shack of a beautiful young widow, he's rewarded with a bite to the neck.
The Civil War plays an interesting backdrop in a show that's been
fairly admirable when it comes to addressing issues of race in the
South. One of Tara's first questions to Compton after they meet is
whether he ever owned slaves. Bon Temps is populated by ignorant racist
rednecks as well as plenty of people who've moved past old stereotypes.
But like the vampire in the trucker hat in Episode 1, Compton as
Southern warrior puts an interesting spin on the old Eastern European
And Lafeyette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) defies a few stereotypes of his own as the African-American flamboyantly gay fry cook/prostitute/drug dealer, who was an All-State ballplayer and put the fear of God into a trio of drunk hillbillies who send their burger back because they think it might have AIDS on it. He's become one of the most interesting characters on the show, especially since the other fantastic character was killed off at the end of Episode 5.
The body count is piling high, and pretty soon Sookie (Anna Paquin) is going to need to do some sleuthing for this to count as a mystery series. To its credit, though, it's starting to feel more like a much darker Northern Exposure and much less like a creepy romance novel brought to the small screen.
PS - My wife is watching Army Wives, and I just heard The Decemberists' "16 Military Wives." Obvious song for them, I admit, but still great to hear good music on the telly.
True Blood review: Episode 3 "Mine"
True Blood review: Episode 2 "The First Taste"
True Blood review: Episode 1 Series Premiere