I have spent the last three weeks alarming Europeans about the state of the Americas and eating butter sandwiches and getting lost in castles (true story) but now I’m back. Yes, I know you’ve gotten used to the truly amazing coverage by Price, but True Blood readers, you are hereby evicted from the heights of the Peterson Penthouse and it's back to the basement with crazy Aunt Lily. (Cue the tinkling of bone wind chimes and a malicious cackle.) Sorray! However, I did extort several screengrabbing secrets from Price (people usually take in about four years of design school to handle the stuff he’s figured out on his own. I bow down!), so hopefully the images are a little improved.
First of all, having watched this week’s episode BEFORE I went back
and watched the other episodes, I caught on pretty quickly because
frankly not a ton of things have really changed? Yes,
as we predicted in the premiere in a shocking twist, Salome overthrew hunky boyfriend Christopher Meloni and the Authority celebrated by getting super high, but even with the regime change, it seems like we’re still stuck in that same eternal business meeting. I did love the bead play though. Wasted girls and beads: WE
Yes, the vibe is warmer and chattier, what with Denis O’Hare’s delightful energy and glass-cutting one liners, but we’re all still in that underground room. Instead of talking about contacting vampire parliament and different global vampiric governments, couldn’t they, like, conference call them? They wouldn’t even need to build a new set, just a good backdrop behind some extras. Just to break the monotony of sitting around a tastefully lit Design Within Reach table.
It’s fascinating that between Bill and Eric, Eric is the one having a crisis of conscience about mercilessly lording over humans (this is the same guy who kept Lafayette tied up to a corpse carousel for most of Season 2), but after a rather stunning flashback of Bill refusing to turn his dying daughter to a vampire, there is an emotional logic to Bill being converted. Also, Salome is one foxy minx. Big hair and plunging necklines and old-school glamour apparently do a lot to distract guys from the fact you’re a walking metaphor for female manipulation. And when he finds out about the World’s Dumbest Hate Group kidnapping Jessica, Bill will be EVEN MORE miffed.
Seriously, quells yokels! “Dude, we went to a lot of trouble to subdue a powerful vampire. Now I know we just met you and frankly we’re not even entirely sure of your allegiance but here is a gun, there’s the girlfriend you are still obviously obsessed with, we will be in the other room just chilling, that is how group violence works, lots of privacy and moments for a dialogue between the abusers and abused."
I absolutely loved when Jessica told Hoyt she had prayed to love him again. That was like a punch in a gut. So many relationships die a natural death and it's incredibly sad—in fact, one of the great human tragedies—but you rarely see it acknowledged on TV. Once again Jessica provided the most authentic moment on the show. Although the fact she was unable to defend herself because they draped her with, like, silver confetti means that when we saw her fight her way through silver CHAINS last season it was the continuity equivalent of a short squeaky fart in a small room. It's okay, but we noticed.
Luna/Sam was smelling something: Can I posit a theory that Hoyt’s mother is behind the hate group (and was also the “friendly face” who picked him up off the road at gunpoint)? Mello Yello? Cheetos? OBVIOUSLY Mrs. Fortenberry. Also, back to that whole “Luna/Sam” madness: Once again actor Sam Trammell got to mercilessly mock one of his primary scene partners for a whole week of filming, and yuck. When I say True Blood is one of TV’s best comedies, this shit is NOT what I’m talking about. Trammell’s portrayal of Janina Gavankar was basically the default snotty falsetto high school guys use to make fun of their girlfriends, although the sexual chemistry between Sam and himself was undeniably off the charts.
What did make me laugh was Lafayette insisting on getting paid for being a medium. Like, finally. It’s always annoyed the money-grubbing bitch in me that Sookie has never done more with her mind-reading than get pissed while cleaning tables. Lafayette is sitting on a goldmine (see Crossing Over with John Edward for a nauseating example of opportunism gone wild), and it would be refreshing to see one of these basically omnipotent characters DO something with their skills. I would love it if Lafayette got a cable access call-in psychic show, for instance. Was no one else getting a Miss Cleo (nee Youree Dell Harris, American shaman) vibe during the fake séance?!
Slain Zephira decrees: Either Terry must kill Patrick or vice versa! Cue Patrick RUNNING out of the room, because he knows he’s only been on the show for five episodes. Truly, the suspense is unbearable: How long will we have to wait before Terry kills Patrick in some completely accidental, unavoidable, unintentional way? Season finale? Second-to-last episode?
Sookie crying “I kin' smell Mama’s perfume!” whilst clasping hands with Cirque De Soleil’s cast of Hair strained one of the smaller muscles behind my eye because I rolled them so fast and so hard. I really hope I will be okay. While I love that Jason talked Sookie out of de-charging her fairy powers, he gave her all the wrong arguments. My speech would have been more like: “Sookie, your fairy powers are quite literally the only thing you have going these days and they’re also the only guaranteed defense against vampires, considering the way writers treat silver on this show. Also, you also got to eff Eric hard core, so stop whining.” By the end of the episode, Sookie had a good reason to value her vampire tasers, the hilariously named Warlo. Also, why was Warlo talking through a voice distorter? Was it in the same Halloween Costume Bargain Bin where he found the Freddy Krueger hat?
One thing that did shock me in my first viewing of this episode (before I watched the missed episodes) was that Alcide had partnered up with a very sexy lady who was NOT Sookie. Lady blue balls all over the place for Sookie! No wonder she’s going outside and throwing lightning bolts at the sky: sexual frustration.
Even having gotten up-to-date with the season, I am still puzzled by the most basic motivations of the werewolves. I’m not just talking about their dubious fashion choices, but the glaring moment when Marcus’s grieving mom kept Alcide from getting killed by the V'd up challenging werewolf. This whole Miss Manners act was so unconvincing they had to explicitly explain it in the dialogue. “You don’t want me to kill Alcide? But he killed your son!” “I know but he is a main character and you are a peripheral villain!” “Good point, good point.”
Finally, obviously the best thing this season/ever is Pam and Tara’s relationship. Pam made a present to Tara of her high school bully and they’re both looking super foxy in every scene. I wish the writers had sprinkled more of these two throughout the episode. Although along with the silver and the internal logic of the werewolf community, I would love a short explanation on the duration of glamouring. You’d think if you could permanently transform a human into a blood-whore, this whole question of vampires controlling the world would have been settled long ago. (As in, we’d all be blissfully willing blood whores currently. Doesn’t sound so bad.)
1. Eric: gearing up to be the true vampire hero of this season?
2. Can someone explain werewolf morals to me?
3. Will new sets eventually come into play or is it going to be back and forth between Bon Temps and the Authority?
4. What will you do for a string of Mardi Gras beads when you’re wasted?