True Blood: The World of Dark, the World of Tomorrow

Categories: TV Party

Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood -- which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston.

On its surface, the fifth episode of this season of True Blood wasn't any great shakes. The plotline involving Tara's (Rutina Wesley) new life as a vampire remains forced, and the new branches focusing on Terry (Todd Lowe) being pursued by a fire demon sent from a vengeful, wrongfully killed non-combatant in Iraq and Sam (Sam Trammel) trapped in series of shifter-related hate crimes that is one of the season's few connections to the fifth novel in the series aren't exactly gripping. Under the surface, though, a great and powerful allegory is waking up.

Two things dominate the thematics of the season, the Dark with a capital D, and living in a changed world. Up until this point in the show there has always been a sense of people learning that the monsters they fear are real, and for the first time since childhood they are forced to face the dark.

The vampires always seemed immune to this. After all, they are the night themselves. What do they have to fear? Well, it turns out they have to fear a lot.

Amongst their own kind, a radical fundamentalist movement threatens their very existence by endangering the mainstreaming movement with their adherence to the idea of humanity as nothing more than food. The most-feared weapon in this fight is the returning and restored Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare, and welcome back, sir!), who is currently rebuilding his strength and preparing to unleash his personal brand of anarchy upon the world.

Like most religious fanatics, this movement has two fallacies, one logical and one practical. First, vampires may feed of humans, but they also reproduce through them. Imagine if cows or soy beans were also instrumental in the birth of our children. Don't you think that we might treat them different if they were?

Second, as the Guardian (Chris Meloni) in the Vampiratican has previously pointed out open war against humanity is suicide. Try as they might, vampires have no shot in beating 7 billion people. None. We are Chairman Mao's wildest dream come to life, a war of attrition that is over before it begins based on inarguable math.

Which brings us to the next point. The world in the Sookieverse is a world trying to exist after world-altering change. Think America after the start of Prohibition or Europe after the birth of the train. Humans, vampires, and all other supes are being forced to learn to live in that world, and just like here in real life there are some who are failing miserably at it.

There's no doubt that America is a changed place to live in the last few years or so. The Health Care Law, the effects of the Great Recession, the meteoric rise in the Gay Rights movement, the KFC Double Down, the all encompassing presence of smartphone technology, all of it has made the way we used to live even a decade ago obsolete.

Just as we must face the darkness and learn to live with it since the planet ain't going to stop turning on our pitiful request, so do we have to learn to live in the World of Tomorrow.

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