Monday, August 17, 2009
"True Blood" recap: Oh, to be a fly on the wall
This week's "True Blood" was all about sacrifice. The episode, of course, picked up where last week's left off, with Soldier of the Sun Luke detonating a suicide bomb in the vampire's lair. He died, as did several other vamps and humans, but Sookie, Jason and Eric all survived (because Sookie is the star, and Jason and Eric are simply too hot to die). Throughout the episode, we saw many other examples of sacrifice. Sookie unwillingly sacrificed a piece of her freedom when she took some of Eric's blood. Maryann demanded the sacrifice of Sam Merlotte who, in turn, sacrificed a little pride by turning into a fly, escaping from prison and buzzing to the doorstep of the one person in town who believes him: drunken Andy Bellefleur.
Hoyt was willing to sacrifice his relationship with his mom to be with Jessica, and Jessica learned that, by becoming a vamp, she had been forced to sacrifice being a mother.
In a more heartbreaking example of sacrifice, Godric, we learned, volunteered himself to meet the sun, out of a desire to protect the other vamps and because, well, enough is enough. And poor, gorgeous Eric had to sacrifice his maker, perhaps the only other being that he truly loved.
Here are a few more thoughts on this week's episode of "True Blood," "I Will Rise Up."
* I'm going to get the Tara/Eggs/Maryann storyline out of the way as soon as possible. I continued to be annoyed with this storyline because of the way it has caused so many characters to devolve. Last season, Tara developed before our eyes from a whiny, one-dimensional character, into a strong, three-dimensional woman. By turning her into Maryann's plaything, the show has taken all that away. Every time her eyes turn black, my heart sinks. Plus, Maryann is too invincible. A villain who can control everyone and has no mercy isn't interesting. There's no complexity to this character at all. I just want this storyline to finish quickly. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the last few episodes are going to be all Maryann all the time and I am dreading, dreading, dreading.
* OK, let's move on to the stuff I did like about this episode, which was plentiful. In "Living Dead in Dallas," the book on which this season of "True Blood" is based, Sookie witnessing the sacrifice of Godric (or Godfrey, as he's called in the book) is one of the most moving scenes, and the show did a beautiful job of recreating it. The show upped the emotional impact by having Godric be Eric's maker. We got to see the usually stoic Eric fall apart, and Alexander Skarsgard was simply extraordinary. It was also a nice moment for Anna Paquin, who gets a lot of crap because many people don't like her character. Her conversation with Godric about God and forgiveness was one of the most beautifully shot and acted moments this season, and showed real growth in Sookie's character. I like her better now, don't you?
* We saw another side of Eric, this episode, too, as he tricked Sookie into taking his blood. Despite her assurances to Bill that she still feels nothing for Eric, we know that's not true, as her blood intake led to a pretty hot dream about ol' Blondie. Slight quibble: I have to look at Anna Paquin's breasts, but don't get to see all of Alexander Skarsgard's bottom? Unfair!
* Poor Jessica. Not only is she a virgin forever, but her boyfriend's mom hates her and she just realized she can't have children. Being a new vampire is, like, sooooo hard! By the way, great work by Deborah Ann Woll as Jess went from fang-bearing anger to sadness and shame when Maxine pointed out that she can't give Hoyt babies.
* Loved that, during his TV appearance, Steve Newlin still had a welt on his forehead where Jason shot him with the paintball gun.
* We did get a little more Lafayette this episode, even if it was in service of the Tara plot. I really wish we got to see more of him this season. Nelsan Ellis always brings the goods, and I'm dying to know where this whole "return to dealing V" plot is going.
* And, I know I keep banging the drum for Chris Bauer, but, in his one, nearly wordless scene this episode -- when Andy opens the door to find a naked Sam -- he produced one of the episode's biggest laughs.
What did you think?