Monday, August 24, 2009

"True Blood" recap: Jason Stackhouse is a golden God! With horns!

Usually, when I write these "True Blood" recaps, I try to find some sort of unifying theme that holds the episode together. Is it about betrayal? Loss? Sacrifice? How do the different stories tie into that theme?
Well, this week I was hard-pressed to find a theme. This episode, like most episodes near the end of a season, was mainly about advancing storylines. Bill, Sookie and Jason ended their Dallas adventure and came home to a ravaged Bon Temps (or should I say "Bone Temps"?), and resolved to end the Maryann plague. All the stories centered on that, so there wasn't time for a deeper message. That's OK, though. Because instead of a unifying theme, what we got was a whole lotta crazy: a possessed Tara, a heroic Jason, a tower of rotting meat and the most intense Wii-playing session ever. With all that, it's hard to be disappointed. Here's more on this week's episode, "New World in My View."
Spoilers below
* A few weeks ago, I was clamoring for a crime-fighting team of Sam, Andy and Lafayette. What we got was a crime-fighting team of Sam, Andy and Jason Stackhouse. I'll take it! The whole sequence with Jason pretending to be "the God who comes" to fool the revelers was one of the most hilarious things I've seen in a long time. And it allowed Sam Trammell, who plays Sam, a chance to have some fun. Usually, Trammell's overshadowed by the show's more flamboyant characters and performances. But when he started playing along with Sam and Andy, pretending to be smote (smitten? smited?), Trammell cut loose and was a joy to watch. But the whole sequence was great: Andy and Jason using flares, a gas mask and a tree branch to make Jason look godly; Jason's mangled but still convincing attempt at God-speak; Jason and Andy's stunned faces as Sam disappears and, of course, their equally bewildered looks at seeing Sam reappear wearing only an apron. The capper: Andy taking a swig of booze and proclaiming "That's the last drink I'll ever take."
* By combining their Wonder Twins powers, Sookie and Bill are able to de-Maryannify Tara. How? How did it work? Did the combination of Sookie and Bill in Tara's brain force Maryann out? What happened? Furthermore, just what is the Maryann sickness anyway? Upon entering Tara's brain, Sookie sees that the Tara she knew and loved is gone. Indeed, we see no traces of Tara in the black-eyed beast tied to that chair. But clearly, not all the revelers are erased of their identities. Terry, even in his zombie state, still loves and wants to protect Arlene. Town tramp Jane Bodehouse is still capable of being distracted from her Maryann mission by the promise of a good time with someone named Peanut. So what is the black-eyed insanity, exactly? Is it possession? An intensification of the ID, but with an implanted purpose? Whatever it is, maybe it gets worse with prolonged exposure, which is why Tara is such a shell of herself, with no emotion left for the people she loves? I don't know.
* OK, how stupid was it for Sam to be so easily fooled by Arlene into returning to the bar? In the words of the revered Dark Helmet "Now you see that evil will always triumph, because Good is dumb!"
* Must mention the incredibly, awesomely surreal scene of Hoyt getting a bewitched Maxine to focus by having her play the Wii. It helps me focus, too. But it by no means calms me down.
* Very little Eric this episode. We did get another tantalizing dream sequence, but it seemed a bit cheap to me. Either it should have been real...or it should have been Eric having the dream, to spice things up a bit and show the attraction isn't all on Sookie's side (wait -- do vampires dream? Sigh. I have no idea).
* Is there anything more inconvenient than having your cousin's exorcism interrupted by a random college student looking for you to hook her up with some vampire blood? No. No there isn't. Poor Lafayette.
* So what DID Sookie do to Maryann? What was the glow of light? It can't be that dangerous, as Maryann was more fascinated than distressed. But what is it?
OK, that does it for me. Next week, we learn more about Bill's field trip to see the Queen (what's up with that bloody foot?) and Maryann gets pissed.

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