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True Blood: At Least The Characters Remember How To Please Fans

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Last night’s episode was a crowd pleaser. After months of waiting, the fans finally got to see Tommy’s parents eaten by alligators. And also, even more importantly…

Eric + Sookie! Not since middle school have I been this eager to watch something fictional unfold on TV. My heart literally started pounding in my chest. The cut away was brutal, but we were left with a cliffhanger that promises more drama than all of Shakespeare’s works performed at once while Mary J. Blige’s song “No More Drama” plays at full blast, with the “no” bleeped out.

The creepy Paranormal Activity vibe from Arlene and Randy’s exorcism was delightfully balanced by a hilarious return of Reverend Daniels and Tara’s mother singing and jangling a tambourine. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, True Blood is HBO’s best comedy. Arlene also gets the “Most Human on the Inside Award” for her reaction to Randy’s sweet pillow talk, right before their house started burning down. (Conclusive moment! There's definitely supernatural mischief afoot.)

At the same time: a lot of characters are acting pretty damn glib considering their respective situations. It did sink in when Tara was yelling at Sookie (ahh, back to normal) about it: Eric tortured Lafayette, he fed her to Russell Edgington, he has regularly threatened the life of her supposedly loved ones. Considering the trauma Sookie’s been through in relatively a couple weeks, she’s apparently suffering some memory loss herself. Plastering a smile on her face and playing Nancy Drew for the vampires seems counter-intuitive for someone who was almost drained twice last season. While Amnesiac Eric is infinitely lovable, and his vulnerability goes far into justifying her protection, her overall good cheer and yellow sundresses are pretty dissociative.

Although, if Alex Skarsgard made me the big spoon for a long night of cuddling, I’d be marching down main street in short shorts playing “Zippity-Doo-Dah!” on a trumpet. Guaranteed.

Memory loss via glamoured Hoyt is tugging at my heart strings as well. Jessica clearly feels guilty about erasing his memory of their argument last week to save the relationship. If anything would drive her into Jason’s panthery arms, it would be feelings of her own unworthiness, which drove her and Hoyt apart in Season 3. (Do I have to remind y’all I totally predicted the Jason-Jessica-Hoyt love triangle? "Pat pat pat" is the sound on my back. Because I’m patting myself on the back.)

Finally, I was uber-disappointed in Jason’s reaction to his multiple rapes last week. If Tara had reacted to her interlude with Franklin by saying it was a punishment for having had too much sex, there would rightfully be a picket line in front of HBO studios. Man rape is apparently hilarious when discussed over flapjacks! Society, I can’t fight you.You’ve got all the money and all of the candy.

So yes, a lot of the cast is acting super forgetful. Literally forgetful, in Eric and Hoyt’s case, and for Sookie and Jason, emotionally inconsistent with what we've seen them go through. Both Stackhouses had plenty of screen time this episode, with the writers focusing more on the humorous aspects of these characters (Jason’s jocular threeway after a long week of aggressive sexual abuse, Sookie talking Sabrina the Teenage Witch). To stay real, we need to see these two learn a little more from their many, many, horrible experiences. With the huge range of humor, suspense, romance and violence this season, a lot is being attempted and subtleties are getting lost. But no question, the successes are overwhelming, and last night’s episode is one to savor.

QUESTIONS:

…Jason vs. Hoyt: who should Jessica choose? (Editor's note: she should choose Tim.)

…Does Nelson Ellis get a new style of braids every week solely because the hair & make up staff loves hanging out with him?

…Is Sam becoming a “Weird Uncle” type? (lives in a trailer, stares off in the distance while dropping cryptic clues about his past)

…Pam’s face! Hours of make up or is she wearing a big patch of fluorescent green on her cheek and they CGI that gunk in?

…Did your Brujo ever make you kill a goat and lick a knife?

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