Aug 1 2011 12:02pm

True Blood episode review: “I Wish I Was The Moon”

Things have been building greatly on this season of True Blood. I’d go so far as to say if you haven’t been watching, it’s worth getting caught up. I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic that the story won’t fall apart in the final act, like it has in years past. We’ve been fairy-free for too long and it’s making me nervous. On the other hand, Fiona Shaw is hands-down the best thing to have happened to this show in a long time. She’s really playing dual roles to fantastic effect. Someone, somewhere in a small liberal arts college has to have written a paper about the use of women of a certain age as villains on True Blood. First Maryann, then Claudine, now Marnie. I’m definitely noticing a pattern on this younger-skewing show.

But anyway. There were a ton of great character twists and turns last night. But some characters remain unchanged in more ways than one.

I began the series as a hardcore Sookie/Bill shipper but as Bill became more involved with the Authority and less funny—in Bill’s way of being humorless, he was very funny. “We recycle in this house.”—and Eric became more, well, hot, it was getting a bit unrealistic for Sookie to resist Eric’s flirtations. Blond bad boy vampires are just way more sexy than their dark-haired and forthright counterpoints. It is known. But Sookie can’t be with a really bad boy, so his mind-wipe makes it acceptable for her to be with Eric. And their eventual hook-up was predictable. But aside from that, it’s the soapy goodness I’ve been desperately missing since early in season two.

But I really liked Bill in this episode, too. Once Eric gets his memories back, Bill’s definitely earned some brownie points for sparing Eric the true death. Kudos to Sookie for calling Bill out on his jealous bullshit.

In the meantime, I’m definitely loving the Sookie/Eric chemistry. I don’t really want to think about Eric getting his memories back right now.

Part of me knows he will before the season finale, but Antonia/Marnie is a very real threat. She’s making believe that Eric might not be restored to his former self and Pam’s going to have to turn an FX artist to make her convincing rubber masks for the rest of her life. Who knew Harry Potter’s Aunt Petunia could be so malevolent? As Marnie, she looks crazy, but mostly harmless. But when it’s Antonia in the driver’s seat, the seething hate is palpable. That flashback to Spain and Antonia’s spell to make vampires walk into the daylight was powerful. Those vampires deserved it. Even though I get a kick out of seeing Claire Fisher’s pretentious art teacher as an evil but stupid vampire. (NSFW language, but worth it.) Seriously, if you saw Fiona Shaw grinning like that why wouldn’t you run in the opposite direction? But no one wants to see Eric, Pam, and Jessica turned to ash.

Some highlights from the episode:

  • So Jason won’t turn into a were-panther? This departs from the books, right? I’m kind of glad. I like him as an all-American human. But his half-fearing, half-wanting to be something special was touching. I always wondered if Jason compared himself to Sookie in that way. Jessica’s monologue on becoming a vampire was heartfelt and moving, perhaps one of the best moments in the show. My, they grow up so fast. And then the awkwardness after sharing such intimate thoughts? And knowing that they shouldn’t be feeling attraction for one another? Great editing. I hope they don’t run with them having an affair. It’s sweeter as just one of those in-the-moment times. Brief, but understood to be there, then moved on from.
  • If there’s anyone less able to handle being a skinwalker, the prize would go to Tommy. Sam just can’t catch a break. Of all the nights for Luna to show up and get naked. Total TV trope. All kinds of trouble will come from this if Tommy really gets used to people treating him like he’s not a smug, self-satisfied little shit. Sam’s going to have to put this dog down for good, I think.
  • That said, Tommy-as-Sam firing Sookie for being the world’s worst waitress, then chuckling about it after was freaking hilarious.
  • So Jesus’ grandpa may be into black magic, but at least he’s not homophobic. When he was laying into Jesus, I admit I was expecting it because, well... old people.
  • Arlene’s house burned down and her demon-baby saw a woman in the — WHO CARES?! FELIX! Felix is the only one I care about in this stupid fucking storyline.
  • For a minute there, I could sympathize with Debbie Pelt. But I don’t think anything good will come from her new wolf pack and their stringy-haired leader. I feel bad for her. She saw the concern Alcide had for Sookie in the woods. That’s probably worse for her recovery.
  • This was a really well-written episode. I loved all of the supernatural characters running wild under the catalyst of the full moon. The best was the juxtaposition of Bill on his porch, looking at the moon while under that same moon, he knows, the woman he still loves is finding happiness in the arms of another man. Naked, softly-lit happiness.
  • Another beautiful Neko Case song over the end credits.

Apologies for no review last week. I was in San Diego for Comic-Con, where HBO had a bunch of panels I had no time to attend. But luckily, there’s YouTube for links to some great True Blood tidbits and teasers:

  • A very spoilertastic trailer for the rest of season four. I couldn’t help but watch. I’m uber excited.
  • The True Blood panel is up in full. Here’s part one.
  • I still think it’s pretty heretical to remake Straw Dogs with two of the world’s blandest actors, Kate Bosworth and James Marsden, but Alexander Skarsgard is in it, too. Check out the trailer
  • Incidentally, Bosworth and Skarsgard have recently split. Still, this is as close as I will probably ever get to Eric Northman:

My abysmal camera skills obviously do him no justice. He’s even better looking in real life, without all of that pale makeup.

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

Theresa DeLucci was trying to stalk Clancy Brown at the world premiere of Cowboys & Aliens during Comic-Con, to no avail. Sad blogger is sad.

Gardner Dozois
1. Gardner Dozois
I found it very hard to believe that somebody could become a priest or a monk if they could never come out in the daytime.

Yes, the evil baby/doll line is very lame; I kept hoping that Arlene would just throw the damn thing in the fire and have done with it. Is there anyone in the world--other than the characters--who hasn't yet figured out that it isn't the BABY that's evil, it's the doll?

If Antonia can control vampires so easily, as she did with the bald one here, how come she couldn't save herself in the first place in the previous life?

My guess is that Jessica and Jason will have an affair. Perhaps guilt over that is what makes her try to kill herself, as seen in the spoiler reel.
Josh Smith
2. Master_Moridin
@1-It's possible Antonia didnt figure out how to control vampires until right before being burned, so she never had a chance to save herself.
Theresa DeLucci
3. theresa_delucci
@1 &2 Yeah, I think the trauma/hate from being burned really gave Antonia the talent to control vampires. Pushed her abilities over the edge

@1 So you think the baby was just assumed evil until Hoyt & Jessica gave Arlene the doll? Makes sense. I mean, things ramped up once the baby got it. WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT THIS I STILL DON'T CARE. Heh.

Really, that and Tara are the only two points I've been bored with this season. Well, once we got out of Hot Shot.

I absolutely agree with you on the vampires as priests issue. Can a vampire be up during the day and not in direct sunlight? Or do they have to sleep during the day as a rule? Not sure what True Blood's rules are. To be honest, True Blood never had much logic anyway.
Gardner Dozois
4. AlexisS
At first I was annoyed that Jason is not going to turn were, (which is correct that it is a departure from the books) but after the gross rape scenes, I'm glad they changed that. Would be worse if he now had to actually hang out with them on full moon nights.

I didn't mind the evil doll/baby storyline so much as the editing that the fire started while Arlene and Terry were still awake and chatting -- and of course all of a sudden they are sound asleep... but oh, well.

The main question left after this one is -- after Jessica ran out of Merlotte's, with Sookie fired and Arlene/the other one said to be off dealing with fire stuff, who was left to serve anyone food there?
Gardner Dozois
5. Gardner Dozois
TRUE BLOOD's mythology seems to be that vampires sleep during the day and really can't take very much exposure to the sun at all, although they don't burst into flames quite as fast as the paper-kindling vampires on ANGEL did. Still, it's been established that five or ten minutes out in the sun will leave them in very bad shape indeed, basically a crispy critter. In the first season, Bill was almost totally crisped by the time he ran from his house to the graveyard. There's an inconsistency there too, as the Spanish vampires in this episode seem to be bursting into flame and turning to ash in a lot shorter time than Bill or Russell were exposed to the sun; of course, they'd both had fairy blood, which could account for some of the difference. Maybe if you haven't had fairy blood, you burst into flames immediately.

I really don't see any way that a vampire could become a priest or a monk or a nun--in those days, before artificial lighting, almost all of the duties of a cleric were performed in the daytime, usually outside. I don't think even high-level clerics could get away with never coming out except at night, since almost all internal Church business and politics would take place during the day too.
Gardner Dozois
6. cdv102
How quickly a vamp burns in the sun seems to depend on their age as well. The older you are, the sooner you go up in flames. At least according to Godric right before he met the sun. The only reason Russell lasted as long as he did is because he drank from Sookie. And Bill is not that old compared to Eric and Russell.
Gardner Dozois
7. Gardner Dozois
I wonder if they're not waiting to drop the other shoe about Jason. I seem to recall that in the book, he turns not into a regular were-panther but into a half-human/half-panther creature closer to the usual idea of a werewolf, so maybe it takes longer.

On the other hand, showing him changing into that kind of creature is going to call for a lot more CGI effects and be a lot more expensive than simply showing a human character being replaced by a wolf or a panther, so maybe he's NOT going to turn--that, in fact, may be the reason why they're diverting from the books.

Odd that vampires are MADE, basically by infection, but that you have to be born a were or a shifter--if that turns out to be true.

When Sookie was running around in the woods with the shotgun, before Eric showed up, I hoped that she was going to run into Crystal in were-panther form and kill her, but it turned out that a different kind of a bang was involved instead.
Ashe Armstrong
8. AsheSaoirse
Sadly, I'm having a hard time caring about True Blood this season. Too many subplots that are just lame. I wish Tommy would die, I hope to god Crystal never appears again and Tara's back to being annoying.
Theresa DeLucci
9. theresa_delucci
@7 Yes, I was definitely expecting Sookie to run in with Crystal, thinking it was her brother. Plesantly surprised to see that it was Eric instead. But not as pleasantly surprised as Sookie, clearly.

@8 Tommy is annoying as hell. I really hate him most of the time, but there are these glimmers of hope in him, that maybe he can be a man. But now that he can change into Sam, it's definitely crossed a line. I can't see him living through the season once Sam finds out what he did. Tommy's got this huge chip on his shoulder and feels entitled to Sam's life enough as it is. I think it'll be brother vs. brother and no way can Tommy match Sam, in a battle of wits or otherwise.

Marnie is really what's keeping me coming back for more. She's just so dangerous and her power can really have impact on the whole show. Maryann was a threat, but ultimately, vampires seemed immune to her power. Marnie, on the other hand, can hurt some of he show's most important characters and their relationships.

I'm curious to know what other people think of Jesus and Lafayette's relationship this season. I mostly find the FX on this show goofy (yeah, really don't want to see a were-panther hybrid if even Pam's rotting makeup looks only a few steps above the pig snouts in that Twilight Zone ep "The Eye of the Beholder.") so I don't find Grandpa brujo's game-face scary. But the threat of black magic corrupting is real. Look at Marnie. I can't say Jesus and Lafayette have my favorite of the storylines this season, but I'm invested in them as a couple and want a better sense of where they're at when they're not just serving the plot.

Also - was there a time after the first episode where Tara was not annoying?! I kept wishing that with those Angela Bassett arms she'd go on to kick vampire ass instead of being continually victimized. I know her knew girlfriend is an MMA artist, but something about seeing her hit Tara bothered me.
Gardner Dozois
10. Gardner Dozois
It's pretty obvious that Tara is going to become an active vampire fighter, recruited by Marnie, and that that will bring her into direct conflict with Sookie, who will be trying to defend Eric and maybe even Bill. I wonder if Sookie will end up having to kill Tara? There would be a major-league guilt inducer!

Has it ever been established whether vampire blood heals VAMPIRES the way it heals humans? If so, the cure for Pam is fairly obvious.
Ashe Armstrong
11. AsheSaoirse
@9 Yes, the continuous victimhood of Tara has been played out. And Tommy being beaten to death by Sam would be super. Far as Jesus and Lafayette, I loved the start of it last season but it's gotten...boring. The whole season is boring me lately though. And Jessica practically hopping in Jason's lap out of sympathy was a bit frustrating to watch.
Gardner Dozois
12. sofrina
they've been pretty clear about the daylight rules in seasons past. vamps need to go to sleep, but they can stay awake. it just really stresses them. remember when bill came out in broad daylight to save sookie in the cemetery and burned to a crisp? and the time when nan flanigan put erik and pam under house arrest at fangtasia. erik stayed up all day, blood was seeping from his eyes and pam tried to talk him into getting some sleep.

it seems most likely that group of priests was already priests and then turned into vampires. which is why that other group of priests, who presided over the witch burning, were shocked to see them burst into flames.
Gardner Dozois
13. Gardner Dozois
And nobody ever wondered, "Gee, I wonder how come we never see Father ________ around in the daytime anymore?"
Gardner Dozois
14. sofrina
would it be so hard for men with that kind of clout in that era to explain that they were up all night desperately battling the witches at their most powerful hour for the good of the people, and they need to recharge from such exhausting work during the safer daylight hours?
Eli Bishop
15. EliBishop
About the priests: we never find out exactly what their job titles are, but it's plausible that they were from outside of the community (the Inquisition was organized at a national level and was often in conflict with local authorities), and wouldn't have had to explain anything about their work or their sleep habits to anyone except the members of the regional tribunal, who could've been glamoured or just bought off-- it was a very corrupt organization, politically and financially. I have no trouble rationalizing that part, and I like the idea of vampires encouraging witch-hunts for their own not-entirely-paranoid reasons.

My main quibble with these scenes is that in real life, the Inquisition just didn't do much witch-hunting; nearly all of their victims were accused of being Jews or Muslims (or, occasionally, Protestants), not witches. The Inquisition skit in Mel Brooks's History of the World, Part I is more accurate in that regard than just about any movie or TV version of the story.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment