What a lovely bland picture for a band of bland vampires.
If you pressed me to pick one reason why I think the season just didn’t quite gel as a whole this year, the Authority would have to be it. I stand by what I’ve said on True Bites: there were hints of good ideas in here, but they were underdeveloped. It’s as if the producers got the idea ‘We want to tackle the separation of Church and State’ but couldn’t quite figure out how to make it all work in an interesting manner.
On top of a lack of a truly cohesive plot, another issue that must be brought up is the fact for the most part, the Chancellors were a rather dull personality-less group. Salome showed promise, but that which allowed Bill to defeat her was also why she was ultimately uninteresting as a character: she believed, but she couldn’t really put anything into motion. She wasn’t a schemer. As a result, she walked completely blind into Bill’s trap just as he knew she would. It would have been more interesting had she had she a cunning mind to go along with her faith. Even Roman- the single most hyped character of the bunch – didn’t really have much to bring to the table.
Throughout the first four seasons, the Authority was built up to be this shadowy group that, unless you were seeking to join them, you did not want to draw the attention of because odds are that True Death (or worse) would soon be following. This season shone a light on them and they were revealed to be just as petty as the vampires on the ground. Russell remained more intimidating than Roman and all the Chancellor’s combined. We had no reason to be scared of them anymore and that proved to be a huge issue.
I will say that Salome fared the best of the lot them – the writers did a great job with the subtleties of making her a believer. Her words, her actions all pointed to someone who wasn’t playing a game. If the others had been more fleshed out, it might have been a stronger arc overall.
Best Moment – Salome’s Death
Aside from the fact that we got a fantastic scene from Bill, I picked this death as the death of the night because it showed how to the bitter end she was a true believer. When she realized that she was dead, she wasn’t mad, she wasn’t even upset. She realized she wasn’t the strongest and therefore not the one that had been Chosen. She met the True Death believing that Lilith had found a perfect champion in Bill and was comforted by it because that is what she had worked towards all these years.
Worst Moment- Roman, as a whole.
I think the blame for this one had to go to HBO itself. HBO knew that Christopher Meloni had a huge fanbase – one that actually originated on HBO – so it makes perfect sense that they’d want to trumpet his joining the cast. The problem is there just wasn’t much for him there even considering how short his stay ultimately was. Though I think the character would have been a disappointment regardless of the actor playing him, having him hyped up did him no favors.