If you own a TV, it is pretty much guaranteed that you are eventually going to have a conversation about True Blood. Even people who don’t watch True Blood seem to have an opinion about it, and trying to defend or explain this season to the uninitiated can feel like showing up to court in a Halloween costume. You’re out of context, you’re defensive, and you’re yelling about vampires. It's only Episode 4, but there are Uncle-Daddies, faeries, shapeshifters, witches, were-panthers, werewolves, and V-addicts. They all have different edges on each other like in rock-paper-scissors, they’re all evolving and intermingling, but somehow humans seem to be the ones moving up the food chain.
We now know that faery blood allows vampires to walk during the daytime, illustrated for us by a gloriously sun-kist Eric frolicking in a swamp. We also know that Sookie’s faerie blood attracts Eric, but the fact that he is able to resist slurping her up like a Capri Sun has everything to do with the emotional hold she has over him as a human. Like a five-year-old, Amnesiac Eric vacillates between mischievousness and disarming emotional clarity. He melted my heart when he told Sookie he’d never hurt her, and he clinched the “Only Human On the Inside” award last night when he discussed how much it hurts to leave/stay in the sunlight.
We know also that Sookie’s faery blood attracts Bill, but that's not what kept him from searching her house. In a milestone moment, Sookie lied to Bill to save Eric, making it clear that if he searched the house she’d feel he no longer trusted her. No other authority or power could have saved Eric from King Bill now that Sookie can’t rescind his invitation. It was only her shrewd human wits and emotional mastery that kept Bill from knocking over her armoire and rooting through her underwear drawers.
Also, if faery blood is so attractive, why don’t vampires trail Jason? Why isn’t he able to zap the homely women of Hotshot off his crotch with a burst of purple lightning like Sookie would? After getting humped almost to death, Jason was found by Jessica and Hoyt, and Jessica fed him her blood. Jason’s a recovered V-addict; this should either revive that addiction, or he should start fantasizing about Jessica. Will this lead to an epic love triangle between Hoyt, Jason, and Jessica? Because that would make the agony of watching all that Hotshot nonsense almost worth it. Will Jason wear a shirt this season? Just kidding, he won’t. We all know Jason, Eric, and Alcide are engaged in a Bow-Flex Abs Battle Royale, and it's a battle my eyeballs are winning.
Marnie, meanwhile, is clearly the villain of the season, and she’s also a human. Whatever spirit she’s channeling, it's clear her coven is a bunch of crafty moms and retired baristas. Marnie may be channeling a more powerful spirit, but she’s also exactly that one lady down my street who teaches DIY gynecology at the library and makes her own compost. It's actually a brilliant story move, because while Real Marnie is an endearing doofus Wiccan, Sorceress Marnie is buying us more Eric and Sookie time. (Pam demanded Eric back from Sorceress Marnie and got her face DECOMPOSED.)
Humans are also trouncing shifters. When Tommy was captured with a chain, why didn’t he just shift into an animal with a smaller head and scoot off? He was out in the woods and has the ability to morph into an ant or mosquito. Yet an old human man, who cannot shift, but who can crouch in the bushes and lurk around waiting for the appropriate level of dramatic irony in the conversation, totally jumped Tommy. And arguably the most genuinely bone-chilling figure on the show is Arlene’s human evil baby. Who may be able to write, which would make him an human evil genius baby. Or maybe Arlene reached over in her sleep with her foot, grabbed the marker with her toes and wrote on the wall. I won an essay contest that way, once.
We’ve got humans addicted to vampires, vampires addicted to faeries, Jason with panther scat about to be activated by a full moon, dysfunctional humans—it's a full board of Chinese Checkers and I’m not sure anyone’s read the rules. And yet Sunday’s episode was maybe the most enjoyable of the season, and not just because Mona from Who’s the Boss showed up.
The next time someone asks me what True Blood is about, I’m going to simply say: True Blood is about the undeniable humanity of monsters and the monstrous side of humanity. (And ABS. Am I right, LADIES?!)
… Can you get abs like Alcide’s by lifting a trash bag full of water over your head, or do you have to buy proper hand weights?
… Jason-Hoyt-Jessica love triangle: hot or REALLY hot?
… Are they going to write Tommy out of the show, or do I just have to fast-forward through his screen time on the TiVo?
… Who would you rather spend an evening with: Normal Eric or Amnesiac Eric?