True Blood: “I Will Rise Up” episode review

On the latest episode of True Blood, Eric got naked.

Do you really need another reason to watch (and rewatch) this show right now?

“I Will Rise Up” was probably the strongest episode since the second season premiere.

So the bomb went off, taking out the undead cowboy Stan. I like how True Blood vampires sometimes turn into sticky smears of red corn syrup, instead of a tidy pile of ashes. Also gone is the Lukeanator. Will HBO ever produce Fellowship of the Sun honesty rings? They’ve been a good running gag the last few hours. I knew no one important was going to die in the explosion, but I was absolutely surprised by the major game-changer in the Bill/Sookie lovefest due to silver shrapnel.

Eric is a big, lying “a-hole.” We knew this, but damn, that shit-eating little grin as Sookie was sucking on him (his wounds, people!) could only be brought out by something really wicked. Now Sookie has drank Eric’s blood and the two will share an emotional connection forever. More than that, Bill explains that she will also feel some sexual attraction to him. (Um, does Bill really think Sookie didn’t already feel a little attraction to Eric? Because I think she did.) Does that mean Sookie’s attraction to Bill was really only based on her drinking his blood? I was rooting for Bill and Sookie as a couple in the first season, but lately, Bill’s been so damn dull. Where’s all that passion and longing? Eric may be a jerk, but he’s really giving Bill a run for his money.

It was also really cool to see a private moment between the Stackhouse siblings. It’s been so long. And here we really got to see Jason and Sookie mourn for their departed family members together. Alan Ball knows mourning and with this scene, I think he really succeeded in getting Ryan Kwanten and Anna Paquin to demonstrate a true sense of loss, of two young people with a painful awareness of their mortality. In a vampire hotel. They never felt so real and human before. I hope the two of them do stick together and are good to each other for a long time.

After her heart-to-heart with her big bro, Sookie was finally able to sleep. And have a really vivid dream of cuddling in bed, naked, with Eric. The conversation seemed so intimate and even a bit tender, with Eric telling Sookie she would make a great vampire. And lots of face-touching and almost-kisses. I didn’t think it was a real dream until Lorena appeared and chided Sookie for forgetting Bill. When Sookie woke up I fully expected Eric to wake up in his coffin, too, as if it were a shared experience. Maybe it was. I’m still a little unclear on the vampire mind-meld rules. I don’t want Bill and Sookie to break up, but a few more good dreams with Eric would liven things up a bit. And perhaps get Bill to wake up a bit, too. Because Eric is definitely the fan favorite on this show.

Lafayette is another human who has tasted Eric’s blood. When he’s not terrified of Eric, is he attracted to him, too? I want to see the two of them in a room together again. Because Eric seemed to have an affection for Lafayette. (Who doesn’t, to be fair?) But with Eric away in Dallas, Lafayette got to be completely awesome this week and forcibly kidnap Tara from Maryann and Eggs. Just who the hell does Eggs think he is, talking to Lafayette that way? So glad to see Lafayette still knows how to throw a mean punch. Maryann was especially bitchy, offering Tara’s mom cold vodka. I’m not a fan of Tara’s mom, but I was really glad to see her resist temptation and try to reclaim her daughter at last. I hope the intervention is successful. If anyone can talk sense, it’s Lafayette. It seems I got my wish from last week. Maryann’s chilling soliloquy on chaos was pitch-perfect. Totally not annoying.

And finally, so long Godric. That rooftop scene was powerful with lots of different things going on. First, I liked the actor playing this vampire. He looks young, but he gave Godric a real aura of loneliness and world-weariness. I can buy that he’s been disappointed by immortality. Eric’s sobbing got to me. Because at half the age of Godric, Eric still seems to revel in being an a-hole vampire. But I wonder if his maker’s suicide will change that. Does Eric see his own future in Godric’s self-immolation? I never quite got the appeal of being immortal, in a way. Just think of everyone you care about dying, meeting new people to care about, then watching them die, too. Rinse, repeat for centuries. At first I thought it was a dumb idea for Sookie to invite herself to the wake n’ bake party, but, once again, Anna Paquin knocked this scene out of the park for me. A human’s tears for a vampire’s final act of attrition could demonstrate a broader hope for tolerance between both species. (Just don’t tell that to Hoyt’s mama.)

Theresa DeLucci also hates checkered curtains.


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