True Blood Episode Review: “Burning Down the House”

What a vast improvement this week’s episode of True Blood was over the last tepid offering. Things happened. Eric made sarcastic jokes. Tommy and Sam patched up their relationship. Sookie, Jason, Lafayette, and Jesus came up with a plan to save the hostages at Moon Goddess, including Marnie, from the malevolent Antonia and a bunch of pissed off vampires. This totally went off without a hitch.

Hell, we even spent time at the Bellefleur house without getting annoyed.

“Burning Down the House” was the best kind of episode, balancing some solid action with a heavy dose of character. We saw a lot of relationships change this week.

Sookie used her fairy power on Eric, breaking Marnie’s spell and restoring Eric’s memory. Did Sookie’s power really come from her powerful love of Bill? Seems like. But this can’t be the end of Sookie and Eric either. She’s going to be torn between the two vampires for some time, at least until the Antonia threat is handled. But it was damn good to hear Eric mock Bill, just like old times. “Loveable, isn’t he?” If Sookie’s going to consider being with Eric, she needs to be with the real Eric. The loveable, smug jerk.

Loved how emotional Pam was when she found out Eric was back. And her supremely begrudging gratitude to Sookie. But that last look… if Sookie breaks Eric’s heart, I bet she and Pam are gonna have words.

Not quite ready to think about the looming love triangle drama, Bill focused on work. Would you blame Nan for everything that happened with Marnie? She didn’t want to kill a human. For self-serving political reasons, but still. But I’m definitely with Bill in thinking that this back-and-forth war has gone on too long and it’s time to take Antonia out. I like how a few weeks ago Bill saved Tara’s life in the cemetery but this week he just doesn’t give a shit that she could die in his plan to blow up Moon Goddess and everyone inside.

The other human/vampire love triangle petered out this week. Jason and Jessica aren’t meant to be together. And now there’s this huge, hurtful secret they’re both keeping from Hoyt. Jason’s lucky Hoyt’s too depressed to notice Jason’s weird avoidy behavior. Bros before undead, selfish hoes. And yet I still think Jessica’s a great character, if not a great person. I’m eager to see what will come next for her.

In another ending relationship (it’s contagious in Louisiana this week, it seems) Debbie is totally falling into an affair with Marcus. I’ll say it again, they’re a good match. Dangerous, yes. But if they don’t go all Sid n’ Nancy on each other, I like Debbie with Marcus more than Alcide. His reason for not wanting kinds is kind of ridiculous, but it’s his choice. And Debbie’s allowed to have that be a dealbreaker. Sure, she could handle it better. And her choice of new wolf is unlucky, now that Sam and Alcide are both out for the pack leader’s blood.

Way more tragic was the end of the relationship between Tommy and Sam. I still don’t know what to think about Tommy’s death. I feel a bit cheated, having just watched the episode. Surely there was some other way for the two brothers to make peace, right? Tommy wasn’t popular, but that wasn’t the point of Tommy. I felt like there was just more to explore there. And if Ball was listening to fan feedback on hated characters, why the hell is Tara still alive? WHY?

I hate that Jesus has to put himself in danger to save Tara from Moon Goddess, but I love him for volunteering. What a great boyfriend. I got a distinct Whedon-esque vibe when Lala and Jesus were talking about how much they love each other and saying goodbye before Jesus went over to infiltrate Antonia’s side. I felt forebodingly sweet. And without knowing the episodes biggest twist: Antonia is being controlled by Marnie now, instead of the other way around.

I loved the scene with Jesus, when he realized too late what the situation with his former friend Marnie truly was. I really, really thought Jesus was going to die this week. His heartbreak was palpable. I’m not convinced Jesus won’t die next week to give Lala even more pain. At least we’d never have to see that goofy brujo spirit rubber mask again.

And lastly Terry staged a good ol’ boys intervention with Andy. Without Arlene in the mix, I’m a lot more into this storyline. Even though it does still seem to be happening in a giant, pointless bubble. Maybe Andy will now get himself together enough to help Jason get his sister back from Antonia.

My one burning question this week: what the hell was with the cliche action movie freeze-frame at the very end? Hilarious. Jessica looks pretty hot with an RPG launcher.

Only two more episodes to go!


True Blood airs Sundays at 9PM E/PT on HBO.

Theresa DeLucci has been reviewing television on for three years. Her coverage includes Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Lost, Dexter and, most recently, Game of Thrones.


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