True Blood (HBO): Season Five Ancient Forces Reawaken

by JoHarrington

A spoiler-free review of the fifth season of True Blood. The Vampire Authority not only exists, but it's lethal. Worse is in the curses hitherto hidden beneath.

In season four of 'True Blood', viewers saw how powerful magic could be, when unleashed on the world. The witches, brujos and necromancers made certain of that.

But in the end they were only human. There is a much deeper magic than that. Fey, deities and vengeful spirits have also walked this Earth. Some still do. Others lie dormant awaiting only the right circumstances, the right words, the right motives to rise up again.

In the fifth season of 'True Blood', all those things come together. There are supernatural beings out there, which make vampires look like you and me with fangs.

True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD

True Blood Explores What Lies Beneath

Hidden agendas, motivations, addictions, blood feuds, religion, love, obeying orders, so many things can cause someone to act strangely.

ImageThere have been hints before now that the Authority does not even exist. It does. It's been said that it's toothless and out of touch. It isn't.

Moreover, it's been implied that it's a mere three decades old; an upstart confederacy barely formed before factions would tear it apart. Well, that last bit is true, as far as it goes, but its antiquity is less in doubt.

Let's put it this way. The chamber in which the Vampire Authority meet is Byzantium. Not just in style, but actually from Byzantium. It's been relocated over time. On several occasions, it's been dismantled brick by brick, then rebuilt exactly as it was designed over two thousand years ago.

And the female, whom the Authority serves, makes the room look like it was constructed yesterday. Alongside her, Eric Northman is practically an embryo.

While facing down the Authority is the major story arc of True Blood's fifth season, the theme of the dark stirrings pulling strings continues throughout. We learn, for example, what happened to Terry Bellefleur to cause such debilitating PTSD. He carried his demons back from Iraq and they are not going to stay in the shadows forever.

Plus too there is the secret lying coiled in the depths of the Stackhouse blood-line. The reason that Sookie can hear thoughts and play with light, even as she embraces the darkness. With further insight, the deaths of her parents do not seem such an accident, and that impacts Jason too.

On a much more human level, vampire rights and the end of supernatural segregation has awakened an historical dragon. No-one with powers even so much as touching the preternatural is safe. There are crosses burning and, in place of pointed white hats there are Barack Obama masks. It's war out on the streets tonight and the lynch-mobs will even take out children.

In times like this, everyone has to examine where their loyalties lie. The ways forward tend to constitute the lesser of two evils. Friends and family alike can get trampled in the bid for survival; and love lies smoking in the ruins.

True Blood Season 5 Trailer

Bromance of Eric and Bill

With Sookie sending them both packing at the end of season four, Bill and Eric are forced to stop fighting. What's the point of the competition, when the main prize has removed herself?

Besides they have a much bigger problem and a common enemy to confront.

One of the most delightful developments in season five of True Blood is the resultant bromance between Bill and Eric. After four seasons of them snarling at each other, it's both amazing and amusing to watch a kind of friendship bloom.

At first it's merely working together, strength through unity. But as the season progresses, they each have the other's back. The mutual respect appears almost genuine.

True Blood Season 5 on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo

Eric Northman and Bill Compton Poster

True Blood: Waiting Sucks

A fortnight after viewing my first episode of True Blood, I've reached the end of the available seasons. Oh! Drat!

Image: True Blood Season FiveAfter some uncomfortable scenes for me, as a Wiccan, in season four, my passion for True Blood had simmered slightly off the boil. Season five brought it all back.

It felt different to all the rest. The love scenes were there and, as always, there was plenty of sex, but this one was less about who fancied who. It was more about political intrigue and spiritual wranglings. It wasn't quite the civil rights aspect, which had first lured me into becoming a fan, but it was much closer.

The scale was bigger. Instead of human rights per se, it raised questions about absolute power. It touched the very source of decision-making, and explored the dangers inherent in corruption at the top. To my mind, that was the same thing, approached from a different angle.

It wasn't so much why bad things happened, but who made them happen and how do we stop them making that call.

I've watched the first five seasons of True Blood at white hot speed. If I'd had an ounce of common sense, I'd have eked those last few episodes out. But the story was too good, the action too intense, the philosophical questions too distracting. I saw the final six episodes of season five in a single sitting.

Now, a month away before season six even airs, I find myself caught up with every other True Blood fan. I'm drumming my fingers, tapping my toes, searching the internet for spoilers and clues. I want more. I want it now.

Watch True Blood Season 5 on Amazon Instant Video

Amazon Instant Video True Blood: Season 5

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, True Blood Season 5 goes deep into the battle between the Vampire Authority and “vampire fundamentalists” – a political power play whose outcome could decide not only the fate of Sookie and her Bon Temps f

View on Amazon

More Season Reviews of True Blood

A spoiler-free review of the second season of True Blood. Learn more about the world of vampires living openly in the American South; brace for the backlash against them.
A spoiler-free review of the fourth season of True Blood. The immortal power of vampires meets its match, when the witch wars start in Shreveport.
A television drama is not the best source for learning about any religion, but it's probably the one with the biggest reach. This was my creed, and its people were murderous.
Hosting a vampire themed party to watch True Blood? There are loads of costumes and supplies to bring Bon Temps to your home.
Updated: 05/15/2013, JoHarrington
 
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JoHarrington on 05/22/2013

I need it to be shown first! I'm sitting here tapping my fingers waiting for it! But you can be sure I'll review it, after avidly watching it.

Paul on 05/22/2013

I wonder how long it'll take you to produce the sixth season's review? Hopefully it's more Wiccan friendly!

JoHarrington on 05/19/2013

You're welcome. I didn't know that Anna Paquin was in X Men too. I do definitely recommend True Blood.

Jeremy on 05/19/2013

I liked Anna Paquin in X-men, and I'm sure she's just as good in true blood. I haven't actually seen any true blood episodes, but I've always been curious about it. So, thanks for the review.

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