True Blood: Has Lafayette Lost His Mojo?
When True Blood first premiered, Lafayette Reyonds (Nelsan Ellis) added some much needed comedic relief to the HBO drama. His debaucherous — and often illegal — activities provided a nice change of pace from the whole Bill and Eric whinefest that is Sookie Stackhouse's terribly depressing life. But after five seasons, it seems Lafayette may have lost his mojo.
As an openly gay black character, Lafayette was celebrated when the series came out for destroying stereotypes and separating himself from the typical gay sidekicks you see on TV. There's no running around to the hairdressers or mall, selecting fashion-forward outfits for Sookie and Tara. Oh no. Instead, Lafayette — while extremely flamboyant — is undeniably masculine and shown to be one of the strongest characters on the show (at least originally).
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Case in point is one of our first introductions to the Merlotte's cook in Season 1. After a customer complains about not wanting a burger "with AIDS" — a jab at Lafayette's homosexuality -- he takes off his earrings in true bad girl fashion and shows the table of rednecks that just because he's gay, doesn't mean he's someone you want to mess with. "In this restaurant, a hamburger deluxe comes with french fries, lettuce, tomato, mayo and AIDS. Do anybody got a problem with that?" Lafayette shouts, before licking the bun and planting the soiled bread right on the customers face. "Tip yo' waitress," he quips before strutting off.
Now that is a character to love.
Both political and entertaining, Lafayette was everything a viewer could wish for. Now, however, he's about as messed up as Iraq War veteran Terry Bellefleur — and that dude is messed up! It all started in Season 3, when Lafayette started dating Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) and, consequently, started losing his edge. While it was nice to see the character relax a little and start to grow beyond colorful one-liners, in typical True Blood fashion, it all just went a little too far.
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Lafayette soon added witch and medium to his already stacked resume (which includes short-order cook, prostitute and drug dealer, to name a few). These new abilities brought nothing but trouble for our favorite Bon Temps native, culminating in his forced murder of his beloved Jesus.
Gone are the days of bling-bling and jaw-dropping dance moves. Lafayette's just too busy grieving over Jesus and dealing with his own crazy brujo issues to be the hustler we fell in love with. But unless Sookie plans on getting drunk every week, we want the old Lafayette back to help lighten the mood down in Bon Temps!
Maybe he should try listening to his own advice: "Take two Vicodin with a big glass of red wine. Then smoke some badass ganja, baby. By the time you wake up... Mmm! All healed."
Then again, we don't know if even that ill-advised cocktail could fix all of Lafayette's problems.
What do you think: Has Lafayette lost his mojo?