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e03-coverWhen last we spoke: most of our characters realized that Hep V could wipe out Bon Temps completely; Pam realized Eric was dying; Arlene realized she was screwed and I realized that this show has gotten extremely convoluted.

NEWLIN GIRL IN TOWN – We open on some sort of LA yoga class (pilates? tai chi? I don’t know; I obviously don’t work out). Our gentle instructor comments on everyone’s poses and breathing techniques. “Good, Sabrina,” he says. “Very nice, Nadia,” he compliments. “Rick, should your eyes be on Allison’s bum or should they be closed?” he wisecracks.

My curiosity is peaked. What the hell are we doing here?

“Excellent, Noomi,” our instructor says. And then…

… oh, shit. Sarah Newlin. I like this.

PAM WHINES, ERIC WINES– We reconvene with Eric and Pam, with Pam giving Eric a rousing speech about how he needs to “fight” the true death. I’m not really sure how to feel on this. What is Eric fighting for specifically? Why does Pam really care? Why don’t they just both meet the sunlight like Godric did five seasons ago?

I’ll admit that it was nice to get some comment from Pam on Tara’s death (which confirms that it really happened for all of you naysayers!), but it felt like an afterthought. Weren’t Pam and Tara making out like two days ago in the True Blood timeline? You’d think she cared more than just mentioning it once as a way to make Eric feel bad for her.

OH MY GOD, NAN FLANAGAN CAMEO – We flashback to the Rhone Valley in 1986, where Eric is romancing a young French girl. He tells her the sweetest of nothings when she reminds him of the looming threat of her father (i.e. “He can go fuck himself” and “Or kill him.”) Naturally, she finds this irresistible – mmm, dead parents – and we get the night’s first sex scene.

A commanding voice interrupts Eric’s moonlight shenanigans. It’s Nan Flanagan. And Eric quickly realizes that she’s part of the Authority. Ah, yes, the good ol’ Authority. How I wish we never learnt more about you.

She scolds Pam and Eric, reminding them that it’s “time to fall in line.” Nan tells them about the development of what will eventually become True Blood and they discuss the idea of mainstreaming. Pam readily accepts Nan’s new rules, but Eric… well, he finally gets to tell somebody to go fuck themselves. So original, Eric.

Pam tries to convince Eric to leave France with her, telling him that Sylvie is just a human. But Eric is boss and he tells Pam not to listen to Nan.

I miss Nan a lot. When she was the face of the Authority, it was truly a scary omnipresence. But then we learnt it was all about Jesus’ half-sister Lillith, and that it all made no sense. Now I’m not scared of the Authority, I’m just completely perplexed by it. Say: remember Salome? She sucked.

Anyway, some time later, some Yakuza thugs arrive to collect Eric for the vampire Authority. And, because we need some drama, they put Eric into a terrible Sophie’s Choice: Pam or Sylvie? Eric tries to reason with them, but there is no reasoning with a plot device! The writers have dictated that Eric’s flashbacks must involve an unneeded choice between a woman he loves and the progeny he created.

I don’t understand why one of these women has to die. But the Yakuza thug lords have spoken! And so Sylvie is sadly stabbed in the butt and dies a horrible death.

End flashback.

Pam is unsuccessful in getting Eric to fight against the Hep-V until she reveals that Sarah Newlin is alive. Talk about a hail mary!

Turns out: Eric hates her so much that he’s found a reason to live.

As far as reasons to live go, this one is pretty shitty. But I’ll go with it for now because it’s better than watching Pam cry blood while Eric mopes around.

JUST A TASTE – Alcide quickly realizes Sookie has run off. And, naturally, he knows where she’s gone – to Bill’s. He also knows not to put a shirt on because… I dunno why. Sex sells?

Shirt or no shirt, Alcide is too late! Because Sookie is with Bill and they’re alone together. Ooh la la.

Sookie’s surprised that Bill no longer can feel her presence. Bill confirms that when he heroically saved everyone last season (-10 points for the humble-bragging, dude), he lost almost all of his blood and so, for all intents and purposes, is essentially a new vampire.

“So you’re saying you get a clean slate then; that you’re not the same vampire who did all those horrible things to me?” Sookie asks. You dumb slut – close your vagina; Bill says like four words to you and you’re already eye-fucking him, begging for his teeth in your neck?

“No. I have to live with the memories of what I’ve done to you forever,” Bill responds. Nice, bro! He knows that showing Sookie any remorse whatsoever practically guarantees that she’ll be all over him.

His plan becomes a little bit more transparent when he needlessly demands that Sookie take his blood. But only an idiot would fall for this. It’s the equivalent of walking into a bar and telling a girl that she’s guaranteed to die unless she has sex with you. I’m serious: this is a Barney Stinson technique if ever I’ve seen one.

Obviously, it works on Sookie.

“I have a boyfriend,” she says with his arm in her mouth. She might repeat that in similar circumstances later, if you know what I mean.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LITERALLY – Sam and Reverend Daniels are having a heart-to-heart in the church, discussing why they need to have faith.

Look, there are lots of reasons to watch True Blood. Chief among them:

1)     Sex.

2)     Sexy vampires.

3)     Campy writing.

4)     Boobs.

5)     Requires little to no thought.

6)     It has vampires, but it isn’t Twilight.

7)     Pam.

8)     Better than Hemlock Grove.

Notice how religious debate is nowhere on this list.

Please, writers: don’t try to sell me on the religious weight of a bunch of vampires infected with the vampire equivalent of rubella. Reverend Daniels is averaging like 2.5 preachy soliloquies an episode at this point. Can we devote more time to something interesting at least? He uses his latest one to rescind Nora’s invitation to his house – and hopefully from my TV screen. A boy can dream.

Bonus points though for Lettie Mae running into the church like a crazy bitch this week, screaming for Tara again.

On his drive home, Sam runs into the angry mob from last episode. And now they all have working guns (as shown when they kill the vampire we met thirty seconds ago). Cannon Fodder Evil Guy names himself mayor, which prompts Sam to shift into a bird and get the hell outta Dodge.

I have to say: I love this angry mob. If they had torches and pitchforks, they’d be a classic angry mob. We need more of these on TV; I say every show should have an angry mob. WHO’S WITH ME?

THE LADY & THE VAMP – Jason asks Violet if she’d be game to adopt some babies. I imagine the writers are aiming for some sort of Modern Family-esque spin-off with this notion.

“Are you fucking kidding me? One town of dead people and you’re gonna let it turn you into… a girl?” Ha. I guess that’s a no?

This prompts a fight, where they essentially debate the ironclad-ness of Jason’s balls. I shit you not. Only on this show.

Their fight is interrupted by Andy, Jessica et al. And obviously… they’re worried about Sookie, so they’re off to save her. Ugh. Can’t we all just let Sookie die? She is responsible for like 99% of the vampire mess this show has gotten itself into.

Stumbling across Sam’s abandoned car, this ragtag group encounters the mob, where we have a quick Mexican standoff. But Maxine Fortenberry fires the first shot at longtime archrival Jessica. She misses, but Violet responds by literally ripping out her organs, which sends the mob’s members running for the hills.

There goes my dinner.

 SHOWMANCE O’METER: HIGH – Lafayette’s new boyfriend, James, shows up and wants to get high. He cries about feeling neglected by Jessica. Hard to argue with him, considering we have not seen them share a single scene together this season.

Lafayette makes the drug equivalent of homemade moonshine for James and we get multiple scenes of these two flirting it up big time. Innuendo notwithstanding, anyone with half a brain (so… basically just not Sookie) knows that these two are headed for some sexual healing.

ALL ALONE IN THE MOONLIGHT – More banter and playful discussion from Sookie and Bill. Bill just has to know if Sookie loves Alcide. When Sookie refuses to answer, he pulls out the “I thought we were friends!” card.

Anyone with a basic fifth-grade understanding of human nature would recognize that Bill is just trying to bait an answer out of her. But alas, Sookie’s comprehension for human psychology is minimal.

She tells Bill that while she loves Alcide, she knows that he loves her more. Ugh, why? I think Bill is loving this: he must have the biggest internal shit-eating grin because he knows he’s still got a shot with Sookie.

This relationship has always annoyed me because Bill has fucked Sookie over in an infinite number of ways:

  • Literally kept a file of information on her. Talk about possessive.
  • Allowed her to be beaten nearly to death so he could bind her to him with his blood again.
  • Cheated on her by having head-spinning sex with his ex-girlfriend/maker.
  • Drank a bunch of red goop and re-spawned as a demi-God (not particularly malicious, but like… a 10/10 on the creepy scale).

There are probably more. This is just from the top of my mind. But I think it’s fair to think Sookie’s continued attraction to Bill is a little bit ridiculous.

The writers devote a bunch of time to Sookie recapping her adventure at Six Flags, while Bill again humble-brags about going to war. This leads us to a flashback of Bill taking a photo with his family. I’m sorry: is anyone watching this show interested in this? Does anyone end the episode by saying “Jeez, that was like a 7.5 out of 10 because it needed more scenes of Bill getting ready for war”?

The best part is that while Bill was off in his own world daydreaming (nightdreaming? vamp-flashing?), Sookie was cutting herself to attract the vampires to her. And he didn’t notice. You suck, Bill. She’s like four feet away!

“Come on y’all! I taste like sunshine and flowers and I’m right fucking here!” she yells. Nothing like believing your own hype, Sookie.

THE LOVE GURU – So it turns out Sarah is sleeping with Guru Dutta. Namaste, indeed! Good for him.

While she goes to grab a bottle of red wine, the Yakuza drug lords return! This time, they’re looking for Sarah Newlin.

Guru refuses to tell them where she is, which doesn’t end well. Looks like they’ve decapitated him. Bad for him.

BLIND ALCIDED –  At Fangtasia, all of the evil vampires (to recap, we’ve got: Bratty Teenage vampire, Lenny Kravitz vampire, Adam Levine vampire and Phony British vampire) are counting their remaining food.

Lenny Kravitz decides that Holly will join them on their hunt, glamouring her to stay still while they snatch up some dinner (man, that glamour sound effect is super helpful).

 When the vampires finally arrive, using Holly as live bait, it’s a perfect storm.

Alcide and Sam show-up! Jason & Andy are there too! And everyone is able to successfully kill the vampires (RIP Lenny Kravitz & Adam Levine; at least you died eating all of their food, Adam!). Of course Bill gets chained up and is virtually useless, but I’m sure Sookie finds this completely irresistible.

Alcide yells at Bill for putting in Sookie in harm’s way – and that’s literally the last thought he ever has. Because a couple of bullets are sent right through his chest. Ouch.

Goddamnit, Sookie: you get everyone killed. Alcide was kind of boring, but he at least seemed nice.

Sookie cries. The audience sighs. And Bill… well, he’s thrilled: no more competition.

OVERALL – Again, not a bad episode. I’d like to see Pam/Eric involved in the main storyline. And if the show doesn’t stop trying to force me to want Sookie to get together with Bill, we’re gonna have a serious problem. I’m frustrated that the show is messing with its own status quo just to bring us back to the original status quo (Alcide/Sookie are done now, so she’s free to get back with Bill; Jason/Violet and James/Jessica are on the rocks, so they’re free to hook back up and Lafayette can move on with James). But alas, I should learn to stop expecting.

This episode kind of closed off the current threat, right? Most of the Hep-V vampires we’ve come to know were killed, so I presume that everyone will be rescued from Fangtasia next week. Are there more Hep-V vampires threatening Bon Temps?

Not sure where we go from here, but feel free to comment on this week’s events. Sad to see Alcide go? Let’s talk about it!

  • Linus Wesley

    If I look past the messy history that weighs down this show, I think this episode was pretty good! Like you say, it pretty much got rid of the main threat, which I felt was a pretty forced one and not the type of thing the last season should focus on. I really wasn’t into the flashback of Eric in France, because really, who cares about anything that happened there at this point in the show? I guess it was all a way of establishing this new villain who then shows up again at the end of the episode, but how excited can we get about this after having seen evil vampires thousands of years old, and last season’s original vampire god-thing. I still think that the only way to go for the end game here is a huge apocalyptic scenario where main characters start falling like flies.

    And speaking of, I wasn’t too surprised by Alcide (who before this episode I don’t think I ever actually knew what the hell his name was) dying, but I like that they did it. I have nothing against the character and I guess this does open up for Sookie and Bill to get back together by the end, which is very boring, but I also do think that there are too many characters and that it would be most satisfying to have most of them die before the show is over.

    One thing that I find weird is the James character, who not only has a new actor portraying him this season (Godot from Bunheads – now THAT was a show that was extremely witty and fun and deserved the 7 season run more than True Blood has proved to, but isn’t that usually the case…) but he also acts NOTHING like the character did last season. It’s like he’s a completely different character and I wonder why they didn’t just have him die in the season’s opening scene and have this character be a new one.

    I actually liked Bill’s flashback when not thinking about it in the current context of the show, where it seems completely pointless. It could have been nice to see back when we still cared about the characters and the show’s mythology.

    Good episode, good recap, let’s hope next one sets us up for an exciting end.

    • Cory

      Yeah, I agree that the main threat this season (random vampires infected with Hep-V) has been pretty lame. We’ll probably get a larger scale villain, but this worries me. Every time the show has tried to dig into Sookie’s past (i.e. Warlow) or brought-in a grandiose villain (ex: Maryanne, Warlow, Lillith), it has been terrible. I’m cool with an apocalypse storyline, so long as the villain delivering it is actually interesting, not just tied to the vampire bible or to Sookie’s past.

      And the James character… yawn. You’re right that they should just have tagged in a new character & killed him off in the season opener to give the premiere more oomph.

      I’m surprised you had a hard time remembering Alcide. For better or worse (mostly worse), he’s been on the show since the third season.