True Blood: A Villain Rises

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Real Eric is back! And he still loves Sookie!

True Blood

In "Burning Down the House," Sookie's built-in taser brought sardonic, brooding Eric back. And he remembers everything! Blush. Of course, now Sookie wants both Bill and Eric. This isn't very consistent with the romantic and intensely loyal nature of Sookie's character, but conflict is what keeps the lights on at the True Blood set, so maybe they can settle things with a three-person Narnia shower. Personally, I think it's a better choice than the books make: When Eric's memory is restored in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels, not only is Sookie not there to see it and not only does she have nothing to do with breaking the curse, but Eric doesn't remember any of their time together. Eric owning his vulnerable side provides a lot of levels to explore. Plus it's a little less date-rapey.

Also how exciting was this?

True Blood

Kind of wanted them to pop out in fairyland and force-feed Marnie glowing pears. Next week's promo revealed they were merely transported to the spacious back-room of Moon Goddess Emporium, which Marntonia has decked out like a Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch-themed homeless shelter.

True Blood

Which is about to get attacked by our Matrix-style vampire heroes. Did you laugh at the freeze frame? As usual, True Blood's comedic elements are more effective than those of most self-described comedies, because they are unexpected and also unacknowledged.

True Blood

Much like a shifter or a hilarious werewolf, True Blood maintains a dual nature of compelling humanistic drama and supernatural camp. Last night's episode featured a huge turn between one pairing that perfectly exhibits this dynamic: Marnie and Antonia.

Marnie has disappeared since cutting herself and collapsing on the floor of Bill's private Gitmo, and given her gentle-vegan vibe, many of us might have assumed that she would not be thrilled with the leather jackets and harsh vengeance Antonia has been visiting on the town of Bon Temps. It was an unexpected turn that Antonia, the "evil spirit," wanted to call off the war with the vampires, and that Marnie goaded her back into a state of animosity.

True Blood

It also rang exceptionally true: Marnie, in her own way, is far more marginalized than Antonia was. Antonia was a healer/midwife and kind of hot in her time; Marnie was the type who spent high school carving pentagrams into her Trapper Keeper while wearing a T-shirt that said "You laugh at me because I'm different I laugh because you're all the same" in spatter-font, courtesy of Hot Topic. Is there any more-maligned and dismissed genre of human than New-Age Impoverished Middle-Aged Person? The exchange made it clear that Marnie's interests in this crisis are far more personal and aggressive than self defense, and later when she and Jesús sat criss-cross apple sauce and almost high-fived, the message was clear: Marnie just loves power.

True Blood

Although honestly, how do you think the world would work if New Age hippies took over? Worldwide, mandatory Burning Man with a sprinkling of Manson Family? It's not Marnie's New Age doofus quality that has allowed her to become the villain of this season, it's her personal lust for power. That's something every villain in storytelling history has in common (wanting control over others' lives), and it makes her irredeemable and gives the arc, which is gearing up for the big Halloween finale, a subtle undercurrent of good vs. evil. Will Sookie get the honor of offing her in the end?

True Blood

Sookie, so far, is the only one who has broken a witch's spell. But she'd rather yell at Bill about not bombing the Moon Goddess Emporium than get cracking on busting up more enchantments. Stop nagging, start blasting, Sookie. Bill has had a stake inches from his heart about six times now, and is about to go sizzle in a jail cell for twelve hours. You're empowered enough to suggest alternative sexing arrangements but not to raid an antique store at noon? Granted, when she finally got to the store, it was surrounded by pain. Pain so strong you need to grow an ancient Mayan face over your own face to get through it.

True Blood

It's always a treat, though, when they bring out that freaky demon. Speaking of treats, I was kissing my fingertips like a happy chef when Tommy decided to curl up and die. Sam and Alcide, hilariously, were totally supportive of that decision. In a world where there are magickal and medical ways to heal a fatal wound, Alcide and Sam decided to let Tommy bleed out on a pool table. Well done, bros!

True Blood

I really hope Alcide and Sam become a two-man task force and start cleanin' up Shreveport, because that visual contrast is too delightful.

True Blood

Just as much of a contrast: the acting styles of cousins Andy and Terry. Todd Lowe injects Terry with comedy and heart and looks damn fine doing it. To set his subtle portrayal of Terry across from Chris Bauer's Yosemite Sam impression for a prolonged scene elevated Lowe's performance but definitely moved Andy to the top of my kill list. Sam, Alcide, can you make it happen? Mention the angels.

Sam and Alcide are going to have more trash to talk on Marcus when he and Debbie hook up. She's back in the feather earrings and the Forever 21, which means she's about to get fun again. I would watch a spin-off show just about her Lady Wolf dramas, late-night fights with her pack, brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, Tik Tok, etc.

Finally, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the suspense of True Blood comes from putting the relationships in peril, not the characters, and one of the greatest sources of suspense for next episode will be how the Hoyt, Jessica, and Jason triangle develops. Jason asking Jessica to glamour him was both tragic and gross, and I don't think Jessica is completely over Hoyt—but at least part of the reason she won't glamour Jason is that she is still crushin' hard, and Jim Parrack is doing an incredible job making Hoyt tortured and sympathetic. It's a total Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle, if Lancelot had constantly brought up Arthur's most embarrassing childhood moments.

True Blood

The rise of a villain, two engrossing love triangles, and no more Tommy. I couldn't have asked for more from an episode.

Questions:

… Wait, a kid can get so tall so fast that he has to use a cane to get around?

Matrix vampires: "badass" or "hilarious"?

… If Antonia had been born in our time, would she have become less of an alienated healer woman and more of a fine women's apparel model?

… What's up with the demon face, is it based on ancient Mayan art?

… Should Jessica have glamoured Jason, or was it a faux pas that he even asked?

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