TV

Blu Ray Review: True Blood Season Four

True Blood

The Complete Fourth Season

HBO

Sookie and company run afoul of an ancient witch who’s harboring a grudge against vampire kind.  Meanwhile, Lafayette is repeatedly used by others and Sam finally meets some nice shape-shifters.

 

 

The magic powers displayed by Marnie, the vacant, spinster witch, aren’t terribly threatening on their own.  Unless, of course, the vampire is dumb enough to stand patiently in front of her whilst she casts a spell.  To fix this problem, the series introduced an artificial roadblock, a prohibition against vampires killing humans.

It makes enough sense on its own, after Edgington’s PR disaster of season three, the AVL is very keen on cleaning up the vampire image; but in private, they don’t seem that serious about it.  It isn’t so much a ban on killing humans, it’s more of a ban on being caught.  So, when a necromancer shows up with the ability to kill every vampire in a hundred mile radius with just a whisper, it’s hard to understand why they don’t just quietly do away with her.

Even with the convenient set-up, the witches do make an effective balance to the vampires.  It sets up a really interesting dynamic.  Through magic, human beings are made equal in power to vampires, and yet, in the hands of humans, such power is considered monstrous.  It’s kind of like nuclear weapons; some countries have them and we’re perfectly fine with it, but when others build them, it’s a travesty.  Perhaps it’s how you use that power.  If the vampires actually followed the will of the AVL, there could be peace.  But that may be too much to ask.

Having a boyfriend has made Lafayette a better person.  That’s not to say that he isn’t Lafayette, he still calls every woman a hooker, and is largely disinterested in the well-being of others.  But he now sees value in himself.  He’s not just a source for drugs and sex, he now matters to someone, someone who doesn’t have to love him by circumstance of birth.  his new recognition of self is contrasted by Lafayette’s discovery of a latent ‘power,’ the ability to be possessed by spirits.  In someways, this is a throwback to his old life, except that his new ‘customers’ don’t pay him as much.

Sam’s stories are always interesting, and increasingly diverged from those of Sookie.  While equally supernatural, his life is much more concerned with smaller, more intimate things.  Season three saw him reconnect with his birth family, in the hopes of understanding his nature; but that ended badly.  In season four, he attempts to create a family of his own design, a group of shape-shifters more akin to himself.  His attempts falter when his new and old families converge in a bad way.

Season four of True Blood feels smaller than the last two seasons.  Whereas they opened up the world, introduced new supernaturals and traveled out-of-state, this season brings it all back home.  That’s not to its detriment, but the low-key nature of this outing makes it seem more like a side-story than a full adventure.

The Blu Rays are the same as we’ve seen in previous sets in terms of video, audio, and extras.  This one includes a DVD version as well, though it’s presented on two double-sided discs in a fold-out envelope, so if what you really want is a DVD version, get the full DVD set instead.

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