This season of “True Blood” has been on a roll for six straight episodes, but like all good things, it had to come to an end at some point. “Cold Grey Light of Dawn” is by no means a bad episode, but it does not pack the same punch of quality that is characteristic of the show. Nevertheless, fans of the series – and of a certain pairing of characters – will love aspects of this hour. It is, as always, an entertaining episode that manages to do many things right despite its shortcomings.

The Players:

Episode Title: “Cold Grey Light of Dawn”

Bill issues a controversial decree to save vampires from the power of Marnie; Alcide and Debbie join the pack; Pam gets a spa treatment; Eric chooses amnesia over his memory; Sam confronts Tommy for his transgression; Lafayette becomes a medium; Andy’s date with Holly is a disaster.

The Good:

  • My Antonia: Just by herself, Marnie added a new twist to Bon Temps’ cast of characters, but now, possessed by the spirit of Antonia, she provides even more intrigue. I even like her better as Antonia; she has an aura of confidence that seems to be even more threatening than her incredible power.
  • Pam: The rotting of Pam’s body, while not necessarily integral to any of the main plot lines occurring this season, it is a clever play on her vanity and brings out a great deal of humor in the form of her foul, yet ever-so-entertaining, language. Pam is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters solely because of how hilarious every last one of her scenes is, whether it intentionally goes for laughs or is extra dramatic.
  • Jason’s dilemma: Jason seems to have become the series’ latest emotional punching bag. What is most entertaining, though, is how he handles his growing attraction to Jessica. His scatterbrained, deer-caught-in-the-headlights type of behavior is always fun to watch unfold on screen.
  • Bill and Jessica: I always enjoy the (few) scenes we get between maker and vampire. Bill and Jessica have a tender, mentor/mentee relationship that I wish would be explored in more depth. It is fun to trace the trajectory of it, considering how defiant and naïve Jessica once was.
  • Ending on a bright note: I think it’s safe to say that this week’s cliffhanger is one of the best in recent memory. Putting a beloved main character in peril? I’ll admit, I actually yelled at the television when the screen went to black. Next Sunday could not come any sooner!
  • Line of the night: A little bit of self-reflexive humor poking fun at the ever-growing collection of supernatural beings: “Holy crap! Now there’re zombies?!”

The So-So:

  • Tara: I was so happy for Tara up until the very end of last week’s episode. Predictably, her past caught up with her in the worst way imaginable. The endless cycle of terrible, traumatic things happening to Tara is starting to get tired. It seems that all Tara does these days is complain about Bon Temps and cry. Although the writing staff has given her a way to join in the assault on the vampires, she could use a much meatier part.
  • Sookie and Eric: While I’ve enjoyed the sugary sweetness of Sookie and Eric’s storyline so far, it is quickly reaching its saturation point. Last week’s reunion was happy and satisfying, indeed, but carrying it over into this episode with gratuitous sex strained what was just about a perfect moment. Almost as soon as their scene began, I couldn’t wait for Eric to regain his memory so that I could avoid getting a cavity from the sweetness. There is only so much love that can be exchanged before both of them sound like broken records.
  • The Mexican journey: The subplot concerning Lafayette and Jesus’s trip to Mexico would be far more interesting if the show would relate it better to the immediate happenings in Bon Temps. If I recall correctly, the two went to Mexico to seek assistance from Jesus’s grandfather against the vampires. Not only have they apparently gone off the beaten path, but Marnie seems to be doing just fine without them. This episode could have been tightened up had the scenes in Mexico been left out all together.

Overall:

“Cold Grey Light of Dawn” is as close as “True Blood” can get to producing a bad episode. It is very much enjoyable on its merits, but it has some surprising faults that one would not expect to come from the well-run production that is this series. There is plenty that occurs in this hour that is pertinent to the overall arc of the season, so it is still absolutely worth watching, if only for that reason.

Rating: 7/10

“True Blood” airs every Sunday night on HBO!

What did you think of last night’s episode?