Sunday, June 27, 2010

"True Blood" recap: Let go

Spoilers on this week's episode of "True Blood" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

 This week on "True Blood," we saw a bunch of people trying, and failing, to let go of something. Despite Eric's urging -- and the dead werewolf hanging out in the cemetery behind her house -- Sookie refuses to let go of her desire to find Bill. Jason, unable to let go of his guilt over Eggs's murder, has to let go of his dream of becoming a police officer (also, he probably would have spectacularly failed that exam). Sam, suspecting his birth family to be a bit sketchy, tries to let go of them, but they follow him back to Bon Temps. Sookie hopes that giving Eggs a proper burial will help Tara let go of him. That doesn't work, but a little eye-rolling nookie with her new British vampire friend seems to do the trick.
And, of course, Bill has to let go of Sookie, or risk her getting hurt, both physically (likely at the hands of Russell, Lorena or one of Cooter's merry band of redneck werewolves) and emotionally. Given his angry assault on Lorena, we can probably assume that letting go is only slightly less difficult for Bill than it was for Dr. Jack Shephard. But it is something I think about a lot while watching this show. Vampires are exciting and dangerous and all, but how long can a romance with them logically last? Yes, Sookie understands Bill's condition far better than poor Caroline (it probably helps that Sookie hadn't just buried a child when she met Bill. Crushing grief can make people really close-minded). However, Sookie is mortal, and, hence vulnerable to aging, sickness and death. Unless Bill "turns" Sookie, as Russell suggests, their relationship has a shelf life. Add in the fact that her association with Bill could actually be the death of Sookie, and it seems almost selfish of Bill to want to be with her.
 Yet even that fleeting happiness would probably be better than an eternity with the manipulative Russell and the flat-out psychotic Lorena. Plus, I think we can all agree that it doesn't look like Lorena is going to be satisfied as long as Sookie is still breathing, no matter what deal Bill has made with Russell.
Anyway, here are some more of my thoughts on "It Hurts Me Too."
* OK, whatever your quibbles might be over this show, you must admit that it has some of the most gasp-inducing openings and closes of any TV show. Last episode ended with Sookie about to shoot the were that had invaded her home. This week's ep opened with Eric jumping in front of the bullet and using himself as bait to lure in the V-hungry were. When Eric's resulting attempt to pull info about Bill's whereabouts out of the wolf failed, Eric drained the manimal right there on Sookie's rug. That's a shame. That rug really tied the doorway together.
* Also, it's amazing that Sookie finds time to get into the mischief she does, with all the cleaning she has to do. If she's not mopping Gran's blood off the kitchen floor, she's cleaning up Maryann's dirt-and-branch decorating job, or wringing werewolf out of her rug.
* Aw, Eric's shirt is ruined. He should really take it off.
* We learned that the vampire who invaded Bill's house -- and defended Tara's honor at Merlotte's -- is named Franklin. We also learned that he's apparently quite something in the sack. And that he wants info on Bill (which we already kind of knew). But we don't know the who-what-why of his presence in Bon Temps. By the way, Franklin is played by James Frain, whom I previously knew only from his role as Audrey's weaselly ex-husband on "24." He's kind of surprising here, oozing danger and sexuality. Still, I was a little annoyed when he glamored Tara. We're not going to have another season of Zombie Tara, are we? If she's going to keep getting brainwashed, why even have her as a character?
* However, the little funeral for Eggs was sweet, providing a nice girl bonding moment for Sookie and Tara. I really wish the show would either explore their friendship more, or write Tara out. Tara's much more interesting when she's interacting with the other main characters than when she's off in supernatural la-la-land.
* OK, the show has officially gone over the top with the "Jason feels guilty" storyline. Does he have to keep visualizing bullet wounds in peoples' heads (always, helpfully, accompanied by a gunshot sound effect, in case we forgot what those seeping holes are supposed to represent)? We know he feels guilty about Eggs! We aren't stupid! Give us some credit for being able to remember this information without the constant assistance of special effects.
* Now, don't get me wrong. I don't always mind when the show goes over the top. For instance, Franklin's puppet show with the severed head of Jessica's victim was pretty wicked.
* I'm sorry, but Sam is way nicer than I am. If my newly discovered brother tried to kill me, I wouldn't be so forgiving. I certainly wouldn't be as concerned about his well-being as Sam is about Tommy's. And I don't think any good can come of Sam's new connection with his family. Not only did they practically stalk him back to Bon Temps, but someone broke into Sam's home. The smart money is on Tommy, but don't forget that Melinda is a shapeshifter, too. And she seems just a little too grateful to have found Sam.
* Oh, if I had a nickel for every time someone told me to "lie back and think of Estonia," I'd have... 15 cents.
* By the way, can we assume that Arlene's love child is actually Rene's? Yeesh. Maybe her unborn spawn can have a play-date with Dexter Morgan's little boy.
* I almost forgot -- this week saw the introduction of werewolf Alcide Herveaux, a very important character in Charlene Harris's novels. Though the show often takes liberties with the source material, I must say that Joe Manganiello, who plays Alcide, looks pretty to close to what I pictured when I read the books. Nice job.
* By the way, next week, there will be no new "True Blood"  episode, due to the 4th of July holiday. Also, this week's episode is the last one I saw in advance, so I'm not sure how frequent my recaps will be from here on out. But you can encourage me to make the posts a weekly thing by sharing your comments below. If I think there's a lot of interest in a weekly recap, I'll be more likely to post.


The Colonel said...

No mention of the exceptionally fake-looking puppet Lorena head at the end? It was a bit too jarring, if only because this show has some damned good special effects, both practical and computerized. I was surprised to see something so obviously fake.

Wild episode, though. I'm glad to see they're upping the gore factor.

Diomar said...
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