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Review #2348: True Blood 4.7: “Cold Grey Light of Dawn”

Posted on the 08 August 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

This was one of those episodes that felt like it was going to be a disappointment, dragging along with minimal advancement of storylines, only to ramp up dramatically in the final act and change things in major ways. I have no idea if the writers did that intentionally, but it does make some of the cloying scenes early in the episode seem like a concerted effort to shape expectations.

Review #2348: True Blood 4.7: “Cold Grey Light of Dawn”

It seems like this episode is all about characters taking a stand, one way or another. A great example of this would be Tara. While it was a great idea for her to pursue strength away from Bon Temps, in a very real sense, she was just running from her problems, not solving them. For better or worse, her decision to throw in full tilt with Antonia is more empowering than anything she’s done to date. Of course, Pam’s threats were quite a compelling incentive.

The Jesus/Lafayette subplot seemed to be going nowhere, but it seems like Lafayette’s decision to return to Bon Temps will lead to him coming to terms with his abilities. If nothing else, that diversion unlocked his ability. It may be that the ridiculous Arlene/Terry subplot will serve as a proving ground for Lafayette’s ability to deal with spirits, before he gets involved in the witch/vampire war.

Sam really took a stand, and thankfully it came after repairing his relationship with Luna. It’s about time that Sam tossed Tommy out of his life, and I believe that his threats were real. Hopefully this means that Tommy will be gone for good, though I still hold out hope that Sam will simply kill him in the future, thereby advancing his character while assuring (hopefully) that Tommy will never, ever return.

Though it’s not clear how useful it will be in the end, Jason seems to make a decision between his growing infatuation with Jessica (surely enhanced by her blood in his system) and his lifelong friendship with Hoyt. Then again, all things being equal, I’d rather have Jessica and Jason together, for the character evolution possibilities, than more Hoyt emo nonsense. Hoyt’s romance worked for a while, but he needs something new to keep him relevant.

Sookie’s relationship with Eric has taken a disgustingly sweet turn, right down to some of the worst dialogue the show has seen in a long time. (Since the heyday of the Bill/Sookie romance, actually.) But it represents Sookie taking a stand (and every other position) in terms of her relationship with Eric. Should Eric be restored to his old badass self, this could be a good direction to take. (And I know that’s where the novels went, but the writers have shown a growing propensity to stray from the original narrative.)

Finally, Bill makes a major stand once he realizes just how much of a threat the coven is going to be. (Unfortunately, it took the death of his gorgeous redhead assistant for it to happen.) His decision to send most of the vampires out of state, and bind the remaining vampires in silver during the daylight hours, gets a lot of resistance. And at first, it merely seems like a way to force some character interaction.

Of course, then Marnie/Antonia gathers her coven, casts the spell, and things get a lot more intense than the first two acts of the episode suggested it could. Bill’s painful decision turned out to be entirely justified, and it will be interesting to see what kind of carnage will come of it all. I really hope Jessica isn’t the casualty she appears to be, since she is one of the better things about the show. I suspect she will be gravely injured, but saved by Jason.

If nothing else, this episode launches the season into a full-fledged witch/vampire conflict that should define the rest of the fourth season run. It’s taken a bit of time to build to this point, but it definitely feels earned, and since nearly every character is in some way connected to the conflict, it maintains a strong focus for the season as a whole.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 2/4

Final Rating: 8/10

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