|Viewing Single Post From: True Blood: Season 5|
|Kenny||May 22 2012, 03:02 AM|
TV Guide article. Lots of spoilers.|
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True Blood Raises the Stakes for its Most Intense Season Yet
Christopher Meloni's face is splattered with blood. He's just shot his first staking scene for HBO's mega-hit True Blood -- and he's seriously amped up.
"When that blood hit me in the face, I went 'This looks awesome!'" Meloni says gleefully. It's nearly 11:00 PM and it took two hours to set up the shot -- called a "goo drop." A bucket of stage blood (with some latex blobs mixed in for guts) is suspended from a scaffold. Just below it hands an empty suit of clothes matching what the actor playing the doomed vamp is wearing. As the stake goes in, the bucket empties through the garments, and the bloodsucker is no more. There's only one chance to get it right. And Meloni nailed it.
The actor's excitement is matched only by the seriousness of the character he plays: Roman, the 500-year-old head of the Vampire Authority with the weight of the world on his pin-stripe-suited shoulders. He's chief executive not only of the vampire government but of their religion, too. "My first day on set, I recited a prayer in Aramaic," says Meloni. No separation of church and state here.
"Roman is a politician who has a dream," explains executive producer Alan Ball. "he was behind the coming-out-of-the-coffin movement, something that's been in the works for at least a hundred years. But there are factions in the vampire community who want to go back to the Dark Ages and feed on humans. The biggest arc in Season 5 is the future of peaceful co-existence." Adds Meloni, "Roman's determined. He wants peace, but others have been trying to stomp out his path. Think Obama with very long incisors."
Tonight's stakee is one of those fundamentalists, a traitor to the Authority who meets the "true death" in the sleekly furnished conference room of an underground New Orleans compound Ball has nicknamed "the Vampire White House," where Roman and his six chancellors govern the fractious vampire community.
Roman's pursuit of the conspirators will be a trat for Meloni fans who loved watching him solve crimes in his 12-season run as Detective Elliott Stabler on Law & Order: SVU. Says Meloni, "Elliott was free-form. Roman's more thoughtful -- yet unafraid to pull the trigger. He's a man of action. Get the facts, get it done. But they both have a certainty of their view. They both think they're right."
A major obstacle to Roman's political agenda has arisen, literally, thanks to two bloodsuckers fans know and love: King of Louisiana Bill Compton and Sheriff Eric Northman. At the end of season 3, the two buried crazed former vampire King of Mississippi Russell Edgington in cement instead of killing him as ordered. Now he has escaped, and Bill and Eric are dragged before Roman for judgment. [It doesn't help that they also killed the Authority's Nan Flanagan last season.] They bargain for their survival by offering to track Russell down and bring him in.
When the duo hit the road, "bromance" blooms. "They end up caring for one another," says Moyer, who will go behind the scenes to direct Episode 8 this season. "Me and Alex are mates, and it's been really enjoyable actually getting to do stuff where we're not just bitch-slapping each other."
Bonding won't make up for the love their characters lost in the season ender when Sookie, the fairy-blooded blonde barmaid they're both in love with, told them she didn't want to be with either of them. "Bill has lost the thing that he believed in most, and he now is trying to find something else to believe in," Moyer says. But apparently he's not too brokenhearted for some sexy action. Teases Moyer: "There is an unlikely liaison at some point."
Fans of the Sookie-Bill-Eric triangle, take heart. Mid-season, Sookie teams up with her ex-lovers when they need her mind-reading skills to help question a human witness who saw Russell unearthed. Will she be able to keep her vow and stay away from them romantically? "She's trying her best to be independent and stand on her own, for better or worse," says Paquin, who in real life is expecting a baby with husband Moyer. "She wants to eliminate drama from her life."
That won't be easy, considering last season's finale left Sookie with two dead bodies on her kitchen floor. She shot and killed Debbie Pelt, the werebitch who'd just blown half the head off Sookie's best friend, Tara. We last saw Sookie cradling Tara in her arms and crying for help. Hints Paquin, "How things pan out is a shock to her."
Help of a different kind comes from still-smitten werewolf/bodyguard Alcide, who, even though he's dealing with some messiness in the aftermath of his pack master's death, offers to protect Sookie from the escaped Russell. He doesn't know that she's killed his ex, Debbie. "It's obviously going to become an issue at some point," Paquin says. But not enough to make him lose interest. Just when it seems she and the wolf will lock lips... something happens to drive them apart. Again.
Turns out she may not need that much protecting after all. In one of the season's biggest shockers, Russell is not quite the man he used to be when he returns. Hints O'Hare: "Being resurrected means you have a new lease on life, a new outlook."
He hasn't come completely Zen, though. "Sookie should still be worried that Russell's back in the world," says O'Hare. "Once you've tasted fairy blood, you don't forget it."
Speaking of fairy blood, look for revelations about Sookie's ancestry to play into the season big-time. "She's finding out more and more about her identity," reveals Ball. "She and Jason are going to learn some stuff about their family history that's going to change both of their lives." One source of information: handsome charmer Claude (Giles Matthey), the twin brother of her former fairy godmother, Claudine. "He becomes her go-to link for into," Paquin says.
If this all sounds like a very different kind of season of True Blood, it is. The show has long left behind the storylines of Charlaine Harris best-selling Southern Vampire mystery series. Roman is completely Ball's invention. "This season we wanted to stay away from 'Who will Sookie choose?'" says Ball, who plans to exit the series after this year.
But one thing that never changes: Everyone's got secrets. And finding out who's really on whose side won't be easy. From a car bomb in the first episode ("People we love are inside," Ball warns) to the equally explosive season finale, twists are the rule this season. "There are games within games, players within players," says O'Hare. "It's not revealed until mid-season who's on what side." Those who don't think five moves ahead are at a disadvantage. "Sookie tends to act first and think later," Paquin says. "She goes headfirst into everything and then it blows up in her little blonde face."
Not even the most cautious players are safe as the season moves toward a major confrontation. "We're building to a game changer," Ball says. "One of our main characters is going to go through a profound transformation in the final episode." Getting there is going to be a wild ride. Says Moyer, "In vampire politics, we sit around a table and talk -- until somebody gets pissed off." And you won't like these vampires when they're angry.
What's next for the Bon Temps bunch?
Tara: R.I.P.? Not this tortured soul. Sookie's best friend, shot dead in the season finale, will be back. "She's not happy with Sookie," executive producer Alan Ball says. "And she's going to experience a growing intimacy with the last person she would ever have expected."
Pam: "There's a new vampire in her life," Ball teases. He/she will fill the void while maker Eric is MIA. Flashbacks later in the season will tell the story of the pair's 1905 meeting. Says Ball, "You'll see how Pam was made."
Sam: Trouble brews when werewolves blame him for their pack master's death. It's also rocky for Sam and shifter girlfriend Luna. "She'll find out if her daughter is a wolf or a shifter in a way that impacts lots of people," says Ball.
Jason: The town stud deals with lingering feelings for Jessica, some shocking family history and an erratic new vamp -- former Fellowship of the Sun leader/fang hater Steve Newlin. Warns Ball, "Jason should be afraid."
Jessica; The baby vamp's in party-girl mode until she's targeted by a vigilante hate group in Bon Temps. "They feel they have a divine duty to purge the population of nonhuman elements," Ball says. "They take the law into their own hands."
Lafayette: He's a haunted man. "That brujo demon doesn't go gently into the good night," Ball warns. But Lafayette's still a powerful medium. Some spirits will speak from beyond the grave. Teases Ball: "They'll be people we know and people we don't."
Arlene: "She feels like her husband is losing his mind," Ball says. "We learn what traumatized Terry -- war stuff but also a supernatural element -- and it's not done with him. He and war buddy Patrick will face their demons."
Nora: Eric's sister -- they had the same maker, Godric, who met the true death -- arrives to help her brother. Expect serious sibling... friction. "They don't have the same boundaries that we do in human family arrangements," Ball says with a laugh.
Salome: Yes, that Salome from the Bible. But in this world, she is a seductive New Orleans vampire and Authority bigwig. Says Ball, "She loves Roman, but other people we know and love may end up with her. She's definitely not shy."
Russell: The former King who ripped out the spine of a newscaster on national television and has a thirst for Sookie's fairy blood has escaped from his cement grave a changed man. But for Bill, Eric and the Authority, Ball says "he's enemy number one."
|True Blood: Season 5 · Primetime Discussion|