True Blood Episode Review: “You Smell Like Dinner”

In this week’s patriotic episode of True Blood, Eric tells Sookie that she smells like sunshine and freedom in a pretty blond bottle. There’s really nothing more American than that, is there? Also, the people of Bon Temps celebrate the holiday weekend by taking their clothes off. Except for Lafayette and Jesus because two men in a committed relationship having normal old sex like any other couple is totally un-American.

Fairy-Sookie has a dirty mouth, which Eric likes. I like that Sookie, too. The way she yells “Motherfucker!” when something annoying happens is totally relate-able. Except that she’s still mad that Eric bought her Gran’s house and even built himself a place to sleep during the day while she was at work. Just how long are shifts at Merlotte’s anyway? Again, not exactly seeing the problem with the extra room. It’s for Eric. But Sookie tries to take control of her life by… going to ask Bill for help. I can’t tell if that’s empowering or not. Maybe just level-headed.

Bill’s got a rebound girlfriend. And she kinda looks like Sophie-Ann in sexy librarian garb. Poor Sookie. Even if you ended things on good terms, no one wants to see their ex with a new “security team member” and find out that they’ve become royalty. But Sookie takes the high road and seems remarkably nonchalant about the whole thing. She kind of has seen it all. And she gets in one last little zing.

It’s so weird seeing Bill dressed as Sid Vicious. When Spike on Buffy did it, it was hot, but I can’t buy Bill as a punk for even a second. I love old fuddy-duddy Bill. I mean, he’s still under that spiky hair, preaching the importance of vitamin supplements, but why would you speak in that stilted Southern accent when you can do such a great Brit one? But really my favorite fashion choice in this flashback was Nan Flanagan’s gigantic earrings, like she’s wearing two crystal doorknobs on her head.

But in this decade, Pam’s still the most stylish vampire, especially with Queen Sophie-Ann gone.

While Bill is trying to take care of his territory, Pam’s trying to appease the American Vampire League and not eat the human protesters in front of Fangtasia. Hearing them chant Steve Newlin’s name fills me with glee. I can’t wait to see the return of the dorky preacher and his wife, she of the tasty pudding.

But, you know, while True Blood‘s making this great metaphor of vampires as social outsiders, really comparing their fight to that of today’s gay rights activists, it sure does make me scratch my head that Lafayette and Jesus get to share one little chaste kiss while Bill’s sexing up his coven spy and Sam’s putting the moves on his “anger management” buddy. This is a show by Alan Ball, the man who gave us David Fisher and Keith Charles, one of TV’s best couples of any sexual orientation. This seems to happen to gay characters on TV a lot. But it’s kind of crappy that Ball can go there with his metaphors on the one hand while adding to the lack of equal representation with the other. I just wouldn’t expect that from him. And I’m a bit disappointed.

Maybe if all things were equal, Sam would get less romantic screentime, too, because he’s so awkward at it. Sam uses lines on women that may sound all flowery and nice when said in the moment, but thinking about it afterwards, they make no sense. “People don’t get to be as beautiful as you without having a story to tell,” he tells Luna, his new love interest. Uh, they were born genetically blessed? End of story? But I suppose he means her inner beauty because she’s oh so mysterious, as any woman named Luna must automatically be. Also she’s part Navajo, so that’s TV-shorthand for being mystical in some way.

Some questions:

Why is Crystal even more nonsensical this season? Last time we saw her, she did have some dignity and sacrificed her freedom to keep the kids of Hotshot safe. Now, she’s just all gung-ho about having permission to have a panther baby with Jason. Jason sure can pick them.

Was Jason more disturbed by the fact that there was only one girl in the threesome scenario he found himself in or that they were were-panthers? Jason totally seems the type to get squicked out by the former.

Doesn’t Arlene have two other kids aside from her demon baby? I bet that cute little redhead girl aged too fast for the show’s timeline. She must be living on an island with Walt from Lost.

Can we have an episode without Jason, Sam, and Arlene so we can just focus on the good storylines? Please note that I’m keeping Tara included in the good storylines. I’m surprised, too.

Did Marnie have a specific dead body she wanted to raise or is she just looking to flex her necromancy muscles? Whose face was that flashing by during the dark spell? To me, it almost looked like Sookie.

Why did a newly-amnesiac Eric take off his shirt before wandering in the woods? Do I care? Hell no. Did Eric forget what shirts are for? I sincerely hope so.

How long until a very vulnerable Eric makes Sookie fall in love with him? How long will Eric have no memory? Give me more of Sookie and Eric and throw in some Alcide (I saw a flash of his big plaid shirt in the preview for next week’s episode. Finally!) for good measure, add a creepy witch to screw it all up, and I’m happy. True Blood‘s got its fangs in me.

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

Theresa DeLucci is still Team Direwolf.


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