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.