Good news, everyone! I called up a guy and he came round and rewired my brain so it comprehends True Blood. This week’s episode, “We’ll Meet Again” had its ups (Pam, Eric, Christopher Meloni) and downs (Tara, Sookie, Terry’s storyline) and once more everything was thrown together into a big old gumbo fulla cray that didn’t move things along much but made a big noise doing it. So best things first.
Pam and Eric are keeping the good ship True Blood afloat just now. Their scenes made some logical sense and had real emotional depth, and even though they might not have fit into the narrative terribly neatly, I still loved what Kristin Bauer van Staten and Alexander Skarsgard have going on. When Eric tested Pam’s loyalty to the point of forcing her to question their maker/progeny relationship there was a real nice symmetry with Pam/Tara’s fledgling bffdom, and throwing Bill in to sympathise with Tara as a young(ish) vampire worked pretty nicely too.
All this stuff was great set-up for Eric’s we’ll meet again unless Russell Edgington kills me scene, which packed the biggest emotional punch the show has mustered since Godric met the true death. This thread exploring the inner lives of the vampires and their vampire children is the one I’ve come to look forward to: when TB follows its own internal logic and makes its stakes (har har) clear, it still has the potential to move anyone who’s bothered buying into the weird maker/progeny/parent/lover shenanigans. When Eric releases Pam and tells her she has to be his legacy when he’s gone, it’s complicated and rings surprisingly true. I did not think a stupid story about dumb vampires would ever affect me that way. You win this round, TB.
And kudos to the show for bringing Sookie right back to where she started five years back (ie loathed by all and sundry), though suggesting that many people in Bon Temps gave a toot about Tara was a bit of a stretch. Then Lafayette summons his spooky demon powers (sigh) to make Sookie’s crappy yellow Honda try to kill her with shitty greenscreen effects. Sookie bails at 60mph and escapes significant injury, and is sufficiently compus mentus to get hammered, listen to her believably crappy iPod playlist (nice touch) and make out with Alcide. Alcide picks up the short end of the plotstick this week, tearfully peddling lies to the Pelts about their daughter’s violent death to cover for Sookie, before heading over to her place for cocktails, reminiscing about murdering his ex-werewife and drunken wereboning. Incidentally Bill just happens to be there to see the tail end (har) of the romantic encounter play out, and after wondering how long he’s been standing there we can kinda see the ‘glad I got myself shot of that mess’ look on his face. Well played, Mr Compton.
The Authority was a big ol bag of nuts too. Sadly Terrible Nora’s Terrible Living Streak continues in spite of her inability to convey emotion, scream convincingly or make me care about Vampire Fundamentalism, though I can’t really fault her for that last one. After seeing just how much musclemoob Chris Meloni has to offer and disscovering that vampires all use Macs because I guess they record their own podcasts in their downtime, Roman gathers the councillors to expose the sanguinista traitor once and for all, using a stake made from the branch Judas Iscariot hung himself from, tipped with the silver he got for betraying Christ. Christ indeed. Let’s also overlook that one guy’s line about the guy writing the bible tripping balls at the time. Only the Gospel of John and Revelation were written in a hallucinogenic haze and you know it. Anyway, turns out it was the ten-year-old dude, who gets picked up by the scruff of the neck and sploded like a blood zeppelin. Bravo, TB writers. You were listening.
Sherriff Andy and Jason get invited to a faerie nightclub, obvs, but Officer Kevin does not. TB, that is barely a party. Turns out it’s an invisible faerie stripclub with choreographed faerie burlesque and Jason’s semi-faerie cousin Hadley, who spills some important plot beans about what really happened to the Stackhouse parents! There’s a ruckus, Andy and Jason get kicked out and faerie blasted in the face by faerie bouncers. It was kind of a cool set, one of the dancers looked awesome and there was definitely some effort putting some detail into the place, but we both know we care little for faeries even if they have great taste in vintage fashion. Unless they have something to do with vampires. So get on that, guys.
- Terry’s trip to Iraq was kind of interesting, but out of tone with the rest of the show. I am very sure that, although bravo for having the chutzpah to try it out, TB simply doesn’t have the depth to handle this stuff, and I worry that they’re going to end up doing something dumb. There’s just something about an Iraq that has vampires in it that doesn’t sit right.
- “Remember those shifters Sam hung out with last year?” “Uh…” “Well they’re dead now.” “…”
- Bill tried to have a mirror goodbye scene with Jessica, and it just came across a bit creepy. Nice try though.
- Pretty please give Lafayette enough space to be cool again. He is wasted on this nonsense.
- I guess Russell will have to wait til next week.
So great stuff all round! The show was a lot tighter, didn’t fanny around with the boring plotlines, and finally feels like it’s building towards something cool. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this sanguine (…sorry) about True Blood, and I’m re-setting the bar accordingly.