One of the reasons I’ve always loved “True Blood” is that – rather than ignoring the obvious religious associations in vampire and supernatural mythology – it plays them up and includes them into the diverse mix of plot and characters.
But it’s gotten a little ridiculous now, in Season 6, Episode 9.
First there was Lilith, the originator of all vampire, whose sacred blood makes vampires impervious to light (just like Fairy blood does).
Bill Compton, who can now see the future, sees a bunch of his friends meeting the light in a circular room.
So he decides to save them.
Not by breaking in and releasing them (which he could easily do, being near omnipotent now). Instead he thinks he needs to drink more fairy blood and then have all his friends drink from him, so they will be light-proof also.
This bizarre savior complex is never questioned.
Eric Northman also drinks fairy blood, breaks in, kills everybody… but somehow Bill beats him into the room first. The crazy thing is, once Bill has opened the door for everybody, he convinces all the other vampires to drink his blood and wait around for the light, just to prove his own power.
Nobody says “Screw you!” and leaves out of the open door.
Did he close the door and lock them inside? It’s hard to believe they wouldn’t be more angry about his absurd logic and god-complex.
“No you can’t leave! You have to stay and drink my blood and overcome death so that my own prophecy of myself being your savior comes true!”
It’s asinine. It’s ridiculous.
But how far away is it from Jesus’ real sacrifice?
God defined the rules. He created the universe. He built the room, and the light, and death, and locked us inside, and then said “You’re going to face torture, pain, suffering and death… unless you drink my Son’s blood.”
The question remaining: is the door really locked, or is it open? Can’t we just walk out and refuse to play along with this ultimatum and fear tactics? Death exists in the room that was built as a way to kill vampires. But they could have walked out and existed in the shadows. They don’t have to face the light at all.
After drinking the blood, everybody is high, dancing around.
But they forgot Bill, their savior. He’s facing his own demons – “your time on earth is over,” they say. But he drinks a little blood and has his own resurrection moment (coming out of the dark door frame in slow motion, with motivational background music, while the vampires he’s saved clap and shout in joy, surprised to see him again.)
But it’s just a TV show, right?
Not an actual commentary about religious matters? The episode concludes with Jason facing down Sarah Newlin – a delusional, love-to-hate, anti-vampire Christian fundamentalist. She’s nervous, scared, hypocritical, and prays while she kills people.
She tells Jason, “You can’t kill me! I’m doing Gods’ work. If you kill me, he will punish you.”
Jason replies, “How dare you speak for God. Jesus says to me, you deserve to die. He says ‘Go fuck yourself’ for daring to speak for his father.”
“What will become of your soul, Jason!”
But in the climatic moment, Jason changes his mind: “I don’t want anymore blood on my hands, not even yours.”
Is there a moral? If so, it may be that: powerful, motivating ideas like magic blood that saves from death belong in mythological fables, along with vampires, fairies and werewolves. Entertainment is where these ideas belong; and as for real-world prophets who speak for God and claim to know his will, they are usually blinded by a false sense of purpose, a judgmental sense of ethics, and a determined, violent duty to defend what they believe in.