True Blood Episode Review: “I’m Alive and on Fire”

True Blood was pretty much the only thing that could tear me away from A Dance with Dragons this weekend. Thankfully it was worth it. It was killer. It had pretty much everything I want from this show: Bill Compton talking to elderly Southern ladies, an ab-off between Alcide and Eric, minimal Arlene, and copious amounts of cursing from Pam and Lafayette. Jason tries to put Hotshot behind him and I actually felt bad for Sam’s kid brother Tommy. And there was a bonus cameo from Mona of Who’s the Boss? fame! What? That was rather random.

Sweet and flirty and giving Sookie puppy eyes while his chin is still smeared with blood, I don’t really care if Eric gets his memory back any time soon because he’s adorable. The only thing better than Amnesia Eric is Amnesia Eric drunk off fairy blood, pinching Sookie’s butt. Sookie really didn’t do much this episode but literally chase boys, so it was really fun. And I’ll shut up about the Male Gaze stuff this week because the dudity was off the charts in the first half hour. Thank you, Alan Ball.

For the record, Jason’s nudity was not in any way sexy or fun. Context is everything. Way back in the first season all he did was get naked and have sex with a parade of women, but now Jason’s in a really, really dark place. I’m really grateful he was able to talk Crystal’s underage sister-niece into letting him go because that kind of encounter would be too much even for HBO. Like his sister, Jason spent most of this episode running through the forest. The tension was upped for me thanks to the distant animal roars giving me Red Dead Redemption cougar-attack flashbacks. Quick, Jason, were-panthers always spawn right behind you!

I wish he drove a sharp stick through Crystal. She deserves that and more, but I fear it’s not the last we’ll see of her. Especially when that full moon rises. If he is indeed a were-panther, I don’t think he’d be able to get much guidance or information from the Hotshot clan anyway. Crystal’s threat that “no one else will have him now” is pretty empty. It’s Bon Temps! Who cares about were-anything at this point? I just never want to hear the words Ghost Daddy again.

In the vampire world, King Bill is kind of a dick. He does like his crown too much, doesn’t he? Bill’s always been a bit of a downer, but lately he’s just all-business and emotionless about it. Telling Pam to not think and follow orders, trying to force his way into Sookie’s house to look for Eric. I can’t tell if this is all yet another act for him, hiding some better purpose. But I don’t think it is. Without Sookie, he really has nothing special in his life. He can’t blame Sookie for lying to him about Eric’s whereabouts, if he finds out. No one trusts King Bill.

It made me glad his relationship with Portia Bellefleur is a nonstarter. That whole scene was great. I loved when Bill talked about the Bellefleur family tree with Grandma Mona. It reminded me of his first meeting with Sookie’s gran. Old, polite Southern gentleman caller Bill. Such manners! Unlike the people of Hotshot, Bill thinks sleeping with relatives is the height of impropriety. I never thought about how limited a vampire’s dating pool would be if he stuck around the same small town. The more you know.

Bill’s bigger problem is trying to find Eric and deal with Marnie’s hapless coven. I feel bad for Marnie. How did she find her centuries-dead spirit guide? She’s not in control of her spells and while she still insists Eric deserved his amnesia intruding on her coven, she and Lafayette, Tara, and Jesus seem truly worried. Not sorry, but definitely desperate to fix Eric’s memory and avoid his anger. But for now, they’re still not having any luck. And Manie’s spirit guide cursing Pam with putrescence in the finale definitely will not make things better. It was scary to see Pam scared. That’s how you know this spirit is bad. No one fucks with Pam and gets away with it.

Other things of note:

  • I thought for sure Mama Mickens killed Joe Lee when she was acting all suspicious about his whereabouts. Good misdirection. I don’t like Tommy, but maybe if his life hadn’t been so screwed up, he could be a good person. Seeing his pride at learning to read was genuinely nice. So it seemed unfair that he’s been taken prisoner by his own parents and forced back into the life he had a slight chance of escaping. Sure, last week he was scheming to steal Maxine’s gas. Er. But anyway, more time with Sam might’ve proven if Tommy was really changing. Now I want Sam to rescue the little shit and help Tommy grow up once and for all.
  • Stalker ex-boyfriends an only be made worse if they’re werewolves, too. So I guess that’s Luna’s big secret. That and her adorable daughter who instantly loves Sam. That kid is over-the-top precocious. Love her.
  • At Arlene and Terry’s house, the demon child wrote “Baby Not Yours” on the wall. What if it isn’t the baby? What if it’s somehow tied to the filthy doll that Hoyt and Jessica—OMG WHO CARES? Go away, boring storyline! 
  • Maybe Marnie’s goddess isn’t helping her out because Tara’s negative energy is in the room. Hush up, Debbie Downer.
  • Lafayette asking the spirits to “save our motherfuckin’ asses.”
  • Nan Flannigan chaneling Rupaul’s Drag Race when she was telling Bill to not kill any of the human witches. “Don’t fuck it up.”
  • Debbie smelling Sookie on Alcide. Debbie sounded as not-worried about Sookie as Sookie felt sure that Alicide is just a friend. Which means not at all. I’m so excited for another Sookie vs. Debbie smackdown.

So, yeah, things moved forward a bit this week. I really liked the focus on just a few of the bigger stories. Even spending time away from a few characters gave time for the other plots to thicken. San Diego Comic-Con is this week and there’s a big True Blood panel that will hopefully give us some interesting hints at what’s coming up for the rest of the season.

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

Theresa DeLucci can’t really look at the internet until she’s done reading A Dance with Dragons. Spoilers may be lurking.


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