True Blood: Cliffhanger, Schmiffhanger

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Sookie got shot! Promos showed her unconscious—will she make it?! If she dies, what will Season 5 be about? SO WORRIED!

True Blood

Except, not at all. I wasn't worried about Jessica, either (saved by Jason, natch), and it's not because I don't adore those characters or because I fantasize about the three of us going on a balloon ride around the world together. This is the third cliffhanger in as many weeks, and its starting to feel like R.L Stine's Goosebumps in here. Remember that kid's novella series, where EVERY CHAPTER ended on an outrageous cliffhanger ("A skull emerged from the darkness of the living room!") and then immediately reasserted the status quo in the first sentence of the next chapter? ("'Check out my new skull mask!' laughed Uncle Mark") At least Goosebumps was trying to trick nine-year-olds into reading a whole book, whereas True Blood has a guaranteed return audience—it doesn't need to scare us into coming back next week. We bought our tickets, we're on this showboat; just keep rolling down Crazy River like you've been doing, True Blood. No matter how gory the show gets, it can't scare me by putting its characters in mortal peril. The only thing it can threaten to kill off are their relationships.

True Blood

And last night there was a grisly massacre of longstanding relationships—most notably Jessica and Hoyt's, but by the end of the episode almost every couple was left in a gray area. Seeing Jessica's fantasy break-up contrasted with her actual one was brilliant storytelling. This is, after all, her first break-up, and while she imagined Hoyt pathetically clinging to her and herself effortlessly hooking up with Jason, the real-life version was one of the more accurate representations of a love triangle I've seen on TV. Hoyt had clearly felt it coming for a long time and met her with a laundry list of failings, declared himself too good for her, and revoked her invitation. If y'ever get dumped, this is a good lesson in how to react: Self-respect is sexy. For his part, Jason wanted no part of his best friend's ex-girlfriend (bros before hoes can be the single most annoying thing about guys, RIGHT LADIES?!), and I think that's best for both of them. Jason was very recently repeatedly raped, he might need to take a couple weeks to sort all that out. Plus, Jason's dating history is essentially a body count. I'd feel safer feeding a tiger a ham sandwich, with my mouth, than dating Jason.

Debbie and Alcide are on the verge of breaking up, and it's kind of Debbie's fault. She effectively forced Alcide out of the relationship by forbidding him to see Sookie. If you're honestly jealous of another person, forbidding your partner from dealing with that person is about as effective as yelling "DO NOT THINK ABOUT CHEETOS". All you can think about now is Cheetos, yeah? Sure enough, seconds after agreeing not to worry about Sookie anymore, Alcide was hustling through the mist in the Bon Temps graveyard to scoop her up, and I was finishing a value-size bag of Cheetos.

True Blood

Also, why did the witches and vampires even agree to meet in the graveyard? Bill is inaugurating an age of a kinder, gentler vampire, but what is Antonia's goal? If she can steer the vampires around like puppets, why bother negotiating? I did like that the meeting gave Fiona Shaw a chance to act her heart out across from a phone. Nothing like a silent set with one actress pausing to listen to a disconnected phone and then shouting in a weird Spanish accent.

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Eric and Sookie, I must point out, have never been stronger.

True Blood

They straight-up got high on each other and had trembling snow sex on a pile of furs.

True Blood

It was an important milestone in their relationship, but at the same time Sookie had the audacity to talk about Bill in front of Eric's abs. Stop killing the blood buzz, Sookie. And instead of running away with Eric, she dragged him into battle for Bill's sake. I know two or three of you are still rooting for Bill, and that probably meant something to you, but how annoying. Sookie's "powers" are the equivalent of a taser, so marching into battle amongst vampires instead of putting another log in the fire and having a good Viking snuggle was remarkably stupid.

True Blood

The thing that made me most anxious last night was the fact that Eric is now in Antonia's hands. God knows what she's going to do with him ("sex-slave" comes to mind), but she could very well reverse the spell, which would probably end the Sookie-Eric romance. Sookie and Eric are now a giant question mark, which I can only hope will be answered next week. Is this the end of their meaningful love?

True Blood

In other news, Lafayette was possessed by a baby-snatching ghost. Hopefully he throws Arlene's baby into the swamp along with a fistful of Stay-Puft marshmallows.

Also, the tiniest pack master in the world, Marcus, is Luna's psycho ex. Although he seems pretty chill, even if he's about as tall as two stacked apples.

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Finally, another member of the cast got to impersonate Tommy.

True Blood

I hope this trend continues. Less is more with Tommy. I wish the writers would give Andy the same treatment. I don't know where he gets his information on drug addicts, but he depicts a junkie as some weird cross between Deputy Dawg and a frowny face.

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Several weeks of outstanding, A+ episodes have spoiled me, but last night's episode was still a solid A. The cliffhanger was well done, but I'm more worried about "new" Eric than I am about Sookie. He'll definitely disappear before Eric or Sookie will.

QUESTIONS:

… Swedish speakers: What did Eric say when Sookie ripped off the chain ?

… Is this the end of "new" Eric?

… Did Jessica throw away a good man for a sexy doofus?

… Pam's got her face back! Are you relieved?

… Alcide vs. New Eric vs. Old Eric vs. Bill. Who wins?

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