Mon
Aug 22 2011 12:15pm

True Blood Episode Review: “Let’s Get Out of Here”

True Blood Episode Review: “Let’s Get Out of Here”

Well, that was an episode of True Blood. We can all agree, right? That was not some other madcap zany sitcom pretending to be True Blood? What a strangely off-putting hour. There was a big Festival of Tolerance no one talked about before this week, more soft-focus sex, and a bit of forward propulsion in the last five minutes. Spoilers ahead.

This week felt like filler. Last week’s episode wasn’t my favorite thus far, but this one was way worse. How a thirteen episode season order can afford filler, I don’t know. There’s too many characters doing their own things this late in the game. The periphery stories don’t seem to cross paths with Sookie’s at all this go-around.

Sookie’s very much hanging with the boys of late. Late boys. Wolf boys. Of course Sookie’s gunshot wound was healed by Bill’s blood. And yes this does mean she’ll have more sex dreams with her ex. Awkward. I can’t condone Sookie asking for Eric when she wakes up to both Bill and Alcide staring at her with such concern. Greedy, greedy. I know I’m rooting for the right guy when Alcide walks away from Sookie in frustration. Is he really done with his crush? I can’t have much respect for a character that can’t take a hint. Sookie’s into vampires.

So Bill and Antonia rumbled in the cemetery last week but all Nan can talk about is the Festival of Tolerance, like we’re supposed to know how important it is even though it’s never been mentioned before. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) But it gives Antonia only a day to to come up with a way to use Eric, now under her control, as a weapon against King Bill. Antonia, by the by, is in full-on diva mode. Locking up your coven is a surefire way to lose fans.

Meanwhile....

The Monster Box was my favorite part of tonight’s episode. I love how on TV, men can’t function after a breakup and suddenly their homes sprout beer bottles and empty pizza boxes. Hoyt’s living the cliche.

Until Lafayette bursts into his home with a baby and a gun. Nelsan Ellis did a great job transforming his body language to portray Mavis, the woman possessing him. And the reason behind all of the demonic activities at the Bellefleur house. This storyline was just so pointless and over-the-top, I couldn’t even muster the energy to hate on it too much anymore. Watch Andy do a shitty job of secretly taking V again! Hear Jason make a light of a serious situation! I was relieved when Jesus showed up to put an end to all of this nonsense and then it got even more ridicuous. Like Disney’s Haunted Mansion ridiculous with superimposed glowing ghosts and everyone looking on going “It’s a miracle!” Yes. Yes it is a miracle that this fucking dumb C-plot has finally ended as cheesily as it began. Let us put it in the Monster Box and leave it on someone’s doorstep. It is worse than flaming dog poop.

Tommy’s trying to leave Bon Temps, but gets tangled up in Sam’s werewolf pack business. I’m not sure why. Does he think he’s helping Sam by facing off against Marcus? The gesture is nice, but, like everything else Tommy does, misguided. It’s hard to believe Marcus the pack leader is also Marcus the abusive ex-husband. I just want to like him, I guess. I like his gradual friendship with Alcide. But that’s really how abusers work, right? Alcide’s going to regret making a pact with him. But he might regret getting back together with Debbie first. My second favorite part of the episode was Debbie watching Cheaters. That was perfect. Will Sookie find out Debbie tried to double cross her at Antonia’s?

This is also a good time to point out that Joe Manganiello will be playing a male stripper in a new Steven Soderbergh movie. Glad to see he’s not letting himself be typecast. As a naked man.

Sookie’s been spending most of her free time having ludicrous sex dreams. Again. While she raises an excellent point that male-male-female threesomes are somewhat taboo in popular culture, I just didn’t need the feminist theory right now when there’s an impending Festival of Tolerance. Also, it’s not helping her case that she’s in her lingerie while Eric and Bill remain fully dressed. So was that a conversation the vampires will actually remember having in any way? Is this the temporary solution to the love triangle? Seems fair enough to me. But my god, have sex in your waking life, people! Dream-sex doesn’t count. That’s cheating.

Everything about this episode felt weird. Bad pacing, weird editing, bad, swelling music. I love a good end montage, but not the way the rock score swelled up out of nowhere. (Bet when Hoyt told Jason he never wanted to see Jessica again, Hoyt didn’t realize he was giving Jason a silent permission to sleep with her. To Jason, anyway.)

So let’s just forget this episode was about ten minutes long and it all took place at this big political event no other vampires were invited to, until Antonia’s minions showed up and started serious trouble for King Bill. For the most part, True Blood’s been good this year, when it (and Sookie) is focused on the vampire/witch war. Since next week will pick up right where this episode ended, we can just forget about this whole bizarro hour.

And did anyone else’s cable guide mess up the title of this episode? Mine says it was called “Run.” Odd all around this week.

Into the Monster Box it goes....

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


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

20 comments
Hammerlock
1. Hammerlock
Consider yourself corrected. Nan mentioned she'd see Bill at "that Tolerance thing in a few days" a few episodes ago when Bill was asking for a warrant to kill Eric.
Hammerlock
2. Hammerlock
I really want to like Tommy. Kid's had it ROUGH, in caps, and he really is trapped by his upbringing (or lack thereof). You can see he wants to do right by Sam but he just has no impulse control--or the ability to think things through all the way. It's not his fault, really; when you're raised outside society and taught to lie, cheat, and steal as the only way to survive your ability to integrate is sorely stunted...unless he takes up law or politics, anyway.
Hammerlock
3. Pumpkin Escobar
I need to see who directed this episode as it had a different feel and pacing.
Hammerlock
4. Iamme
The Festival was mentioned in a previous epi. Nan said to Bill via webcam something along the lines of "See you at the Festival of Tolerance thing next week." That was it.
Spot-on accurate description of last night's epi - Filler. With the exception of some funny quips - Jason: "Jesus (not "Hey"sus) what are you doing here?" and Antonia wannabe chick: "I not even a Wiccan. I'm just doing this to piss off my parents." - I was bored to the point of doing a crossword puzzle while watching the show. That's a first for me.
Adrian J.
5. LightningStorm
@4. I can see the intention of Jason's line to be a sort of play on that, but I don't give the creators of this show that much credit. I took that to be more of an exclamation of surprise. "Jesus! What are you doing here?" basically the same as if he's said "Holy shit! What are you doing here?"
Hammerlock
6. sofrina
@5, i dunno, i took it your way at first, but when i recognized jesus i saw it @4's way. in which case, it seemed like a hilarious joke in an otherwise mindboggling scene. why not let terry go in there and put an end to things? he's the only seasoned combatant in the bunch.
Theresa DeLucci
7. theresa_delucci
@2 Tommy's grown on me a little, mostly because I do feel a bit bad for him. I can understand why he makes a lot of bad choices in life. Strangely his entitlement bugs me less than Tara, maybe because Tara has had Sookie and Lafayette in her life for support. Tommy's largely been all alone.

@3 I did too! The writer was a writer/producer on a lot of sitcoms including Friends. And Stark Raving Mad, which I actually liked as far as sitcoms go. It was about a cranky horror writer played by Tony Shaloub and his uptight editor, Neil Patrick Harris.

The director never worked on True Blood before but he did three episodes of Dexter last year. Pretty good episodes, too. The music choices were bad and the old song in Sookie's dream would've fit better on Dexter. Weird. Don't see him scheduled for any more episodes this season

@4 I took "Jesus!" as a joke. At least I laughed.

@6 Being trained for combat isn't the same as being trained for a hostage scenario though. I wouldn't have sent Terry in there. It's his kid and he's already really emotional.

P.S. - Sookie should not only dream about eating pie but also eat some pie in real life. Paquin was kind of shockingly thin. I think this happens to actresses as TV seasons progress, whether its busy schedules or falling to pressure to be thin or something. Her hipbones were scary.
Hammerlock
8. neli
I agree with this article.
TB is starting to pi*s me off really.
The best way to watch this is to wait until September and download the whole season.
By the way, A. Ball needs to stop writting TB and start a writting career in porn movies.
Theresa DeLucci
9. theresa_delucci
@8 Alan Ball wrote last week's episode, but not this one. A whole bunch of people go into making an episode. Ball has the biggest say in direction, but I bet he's not going over every script with a fine-toothed comb.

Most shows are better marathoned in big chunks, true.
But then I can't write episode reviews. Lost, Galactica. I'm watching a ton of Sons of Anarchy right now, but that's just because it's on Netflix. That series doesn't have nearly as many cliffhangers as True Blood.

A porn would have more sex instead of dreams of talking about sex and cuddling in a woodland bedroom. Got to give some props to Spartacus on that. It goes places other shows pretend to be too highbrow for. Not that True Blood is pretending to be anything other than camp. I think. I hope. Or Alan Ball is pretty delusional and the show is being led by a madman. Then we'd have no hope of story coherence.
Hammerlock
11. kirby33
For me the Debbie storyline was the most interesting, since she seems to be going down a different path than her murderous self in the books. It seemed to me that Debbie didn't try to double cross Sookie at all at the magic shop, and was just trying her best salvage a decoy plan gone bad after seeing Sookie being caught by Tara. She even offered to go in and help at the Tolerance thing right? Despite her chugging V earlier in the episode, I'm hoping that she turns out to be one of the good guys.
Hammerlock
12. Gardner Dozois
I agree that there was something seriously off about the tone of this episode. The tone was wrong enough that it didn't feel like a TRUE BLOOD episode at all through much of it's length. The "let's-have-a-threeway!" dream sequence was particularly off in tone--it seemed more like a Saturday Night Live take-off on TRUE BLOOD, using the actual stars, than something that ought to have been in the actual show itself. The humor on this show needs to be slyer and more backgrounded--the premise itself treads close enough to being a satire of vampire movies in the first place that if you start LAUGHING at it interstitially while the episode is going on, you're in trouble. Easy to lose suspension of disbelief and be thrown out of the show entirely.

Like Kirby33, what I took away from the episode was that, rather than double-crossing Sookie, Debbie was deliberately helping her by distracting Antonia while Sookie snuck into the shop. After all, when Sookie came running out, she didn't seem at all surprised to find Debbie waiting outside in the car or at all hesitant at jumping into it with her. They were in it together, was how it seemed to me. (After all, she can't promise the support of the werewolf pack, since she doesn't control it, so that's an indication that what she said to Antonia was a distraction rather than an atttempt to double-cross Sookie. That and the fact that Sookie didn't "hear" betrayal when she read her mind indicates that she's really on Sookie's side--for the moment. That Debbie is on V again probably indicates trouble ahead sooner or later.)

Poor Tara. Now rather than get to do anything decisive, she's going to be stuck inside a magic shop for the rest of the season. If they're not going to give her more than that to do, they really should kill her off.

I find it very difficult to believe that someone from Antonia's century would know or use the term "telepath"--to me, a jarring note.
Theresa DeLucci
13. theresa_delucci
Re: Debbie. I'm still not 100% convinced Debbie was trying to help. When Sookie was running for the car after escaping the store, Debbie looked like she was just going to ditch Sookie but it was too late. That's how I took her "Shit!" Also she's on V again.

Agreed that Debbie's a great character. I love her when she's bad and when she's trying to be good.
Ashe Armstrong
14. AsheSaoirse
I'm still not overcoming being bored by this season. I am glad that the creepy baby/doll thing is done and over with though. I am SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED that sex-time Jessica was all of 10 seconds long. Course, I'm disappointed that Jason just caved so easily but still! Some of us don't like Sookie!

And Sookie's dream, fuck. Just...so annoying. And she needs a sandwich, or pie as someone else said. A huge, buttery pie.

Does anyone else feel like they just made this season up as they filmed the episodes, save for a few spots regarding the main plot?

SERIOUSLY, 10 SECONDS OF JESSICA, GODDAMN IT! I'm not even upset Deborah didn't go topless, I was never expecting that, it's not her thing, I'm cool with that but C'MON! SOME OF US HAVE FETISHES FOR TALL REDHEADED VAMPIRE GIRLS!

Sorry...just...yeah...
Hammerlock
15. Gardner Dozois
People elsewhere are saying that they're disappointed that Jason gave into temptation so easily and fucked Jessica, but I thought that the clear implication was that she had glamored him into fucking her, just as she glamored Hoyt into forgetting about her previous indiscretion.

I can't help but wonder if bad public reaction to the fairies made them scrap the whole story arc they had planned at the last moment and instead they're rewriting the entire season on the fly as they go along. Of course, I still think it's possible that the fairies will return in the last episode to set up a cliffhanger for the next season.
Ashe Armstrong
16. AsheSaoirse
@Gardner: I dunno. She felt so awful for glamoring Hoyt and it just served to make her feelings more concrete that she didn't love him like that anymore. Still, could be.
Hammerlock
17. JasonD
3 things I want to mention:

1. Eric saying in the dream sequence "I'm afraid I know where this is going," echoing the sentiments of everyone watching at home. And was I the only one who was expecting Dream-Eric and Dream-Bill to kiss each other?

2. It has bugged me consistantly that Antonia isn't more in awe of 21st century technology. For someone mroe than 400 years dead to not marvel at the concept of a speaker phone is just a little too much for suspension of disbelief to handle.

3. I NEED to find a screen capture of the look on Bill's face when Nan suggested that "maybe those African-Americans should have stayed home from their own Civil Rights rallies so they wouldn't get shot and firehosed" or whatever. The reaction was just priceless. "Wow, you are one seriously racist b!tch, are you kidding me?"

In fact, Bill stole this episode, between that shot and getting pissed off enough at Alcide while being worried about Sookie's gunshot to actually drop an angry F-bomb. Kudos!
Theresa DeLucci
18. theresa_delucci
@15 I really need to watch the episodes a bit more closely. I do watch twice on Sunday nights, but it's hard to catch everything because I'm writing some notes. I didn't think that Jessica glamored Jason at all. They have chemistry, probably mostly due to Jason having drank of Jessica's blood. Of course it's lame that Jason would break that friendship code, but Jason loves women. They're his weakness. I really think Hoyt saying he was done with Jess justified Jason sleeping with her, in a messed up way, in his own head. "I know it was wrong, but you said you were done with her, dude!" He also crossed out Hoyt's insult on the Monster Box before he went over there.

@17 I'm on vacation, or else I would go searching the net. True-blood.net used to have screencaps of every episode. I usually get some funny gifs from the Something Awful forums, too. They had many great Game of Thrones ones. Bill has been great this season.
Hammerlock
19. Gardner Dozois
But he was still being reluctant, stammering, and backing away from her obvious invitation, clearly not wanting to hurt Hoyt by fucking his girlfriend (even if she is his ex), resisting the temptation, until he looked into her eyes. I still think she glamored him.
Hammerlock
20. Iamme
If Jessica did indeed glamor Jason, I would feel better about that part of the show as it pissed me off when he caved. Of course watching Jason rationalize his choices to escape self-loathing is always a treat.
Debbie Solomon
21. dsolo
I'm glad I'm not the only one who's disappointed in TB this season. I feel sorry for Tommy, but Sam is certainly not helping him. Instead of sitting him down and explaining how moral codes work, he alternates between helping him and kicking him out. It's obvious that Tommy wants to impress Sam. That said, I'm sick of that whole storyline. Also, I thought Marcus was going to turn out to be nicer, so I'm kind of disappointed that he's turned into such an abusive character. The best part of the Debbie plotline was the misdirection, making it look like she's going to do Sookie in, and instead she helps her. As for Alcide, he needs to let Debbie know she's important to him, and address her insecurities. I don't see her character being totally redeemed, after she was responsible for so much misery to Sookie in the books, but who knows. The 3 way dream was just ridiculous.
The witch is irritating too. She's no Russell Edgingon. With only a few episodes left, I don't know how they're going to wrap up some of these plotlines. I hope they end most of them, and get back to basics.

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