True Blood

Season 4 Episode 10

Burning Down the House

13
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 28, 2011 on HBO
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

8.4
out of 10
Average
242 votes
  • You might think a fair (6.0) is excessively harsh, but you would only think that if you have not seen the episode. Its clear now that there is no hope for this season. We can only hope next season is significantly better. Long review below ...

    6.0

    *** SPOILERS ***


    Where to even begin ...


    Sookie's X-Men like Deus Ex Machina
    The episode starts with the expected levels of carnage at the Tolerance festival. People are getting murdered, mind-controlled Vampires are killing people everywhere, and instead of just mind-controlling Bill, Antonia throws her new Northman dog at him so there can be a nice and dramatic fight.


    Eric is stronger. We've always known this. He's resisted killing Bill in the past for various believable reasons, but how is Bill really going to get out of this one? He's armed with Silver Bullets! Exactly like a King should be. That's believable. Then of course Sookie stands in Bill's way, giving Eric time to expel the bullets, and now Bill is screwed.


    Like a young mutant from the X-Men comic, Sookie is like a teen just flowering into her special abilities, and apparently can only use them in life-threatening or particularly enraging scenarios. This time she apparently casts a "dispel magic" ability, but it's a weird one.


    It breaks the spell on Eric (thank goodness), its stuns Antonia, and we come to find out that it also apparently broke the mummy-rot spell cast on Eric's Pam.


    Good job, Sookie! Any idea how you cast that spell? No? Okay.


    The writers have taken an irreversible step in the wrong direction with Sam's storyline, seriously.
    Alcide betrays his pack because he is morally opposed to the senseless beating of Tommy. He gathers the body and head to Merlotte's. Sam meets him there, worried. How does Sam know to meet him there? Does Alcide have his cell-phone number? I was under the impression they have never met. Especially since when Sam (Tommy) showed up at the wolves' bike shop he introduces himself to Alcide.


    Sam sees his brother mortally wounded. The combination of being beat and skinwalking has brought him to death's doorstep. Sam, like a normal person, insists they rush to the hospital. Alcide, for some reason, offers some advice that they should let him choose his fate ... Sam goes along with this?! WHAT?!


    So Sam is now a completely insane person. A simple sentence uttered by a man his has no history with convinces him to let his dying brother choose death over hospitalization. We then have to endure a tortuously bad scene of Sam consoling his dying brother and telling him of angels and crap ... This is so obviously a story-telling device motivating Sam's character to attack the wolfpack, but my goodness it is just so over the top.


    He even utters the pathetic line, "so sad ..." as he stands by and commits negligent manslaughter.


    Wait, but you're not magic?!
    Jason, Sookie, Lafayette, and Jesus decide they need to investigate the Moon Goddess Emporium and try and save their friends. Finally, a decent idea. The astute observer, upon being introduced to this scene, is going to immediately notice the downtown is completely empty. Not a single person anywhere.


    Luckily, they instantly explain this rather odd occurrence. Jesus somehow knows that she is casting a "repelling spell." How would he know that? Is that something Marnie could do, or does he know Antonia's list of abilities? Has he ever encountered this spell before? Can he sense it? Okay ... maybe he can sense it. Maybe he studied lore where this spell was used in the past. Okay, I'll let that slip.


    No matter how you dice it, an entire town's worth of people just deciding not to go to work, and avoiding the town at all costs would be a MAJOR event that would almost certainly attract the attention of law enforcement. Or is the warding spell so powerful that everyone affected is also instructed to think nothing of it?


    Jason actually says something that makes sense in this crazy scene. "I'm the law." implying that he can obviously go in there and make a difference. So he starts to move forward and Sookie utters the silliest line of the entire season, "Wait! But you're not magic!"


    Oh my freaking god ... Did she just say that? So Jesus goes, by himself, and has to battle the protection wall (which is insanely powerful) and uses his latino-demon to help him.


    There were two aspects of this episode that made sense.
    Both of them had to do with the humans still remaining in the show. The Terry and Andy storyline was a refreshing does of believable storytelling. They are working on that relationship, and they are addressing Andy's addiction. You can actually see a little growth happening there, and you're happy for it. You can have an emotional response to the family fighting out by their old fort. It all makes sense. Not an amazing scene up against True Blood standards, but an amazing scene when put in the context of this catastrophic True Blood season.


    Jason and Hoyt. Hoyt is distraught and Jason feels like crap. They have a believably awkward scene in Jason's house. Too bad they completely shat on Jason' character. He already denied Jessica once on principal. In my last review I seriously hoped that Jessica had glamoured him into banging her in the truck (to Taylor Swift, might I add), but of course, he did it of his own volition. But whatever. As scumbag as that is, it is a human thing to do, and bad things happen between friends. The "after talk" between Jason and Jessica was good.


    To wrap it up with the things that don't make any sense …
    I'm just going to rattle some things off here. Alcide is a damn tool. This whole season he is just following people around, switching sides, now he's helping Sam … Alcide is no alpha, he's a freaking lap dog this season. His character is so confused this season, and it's too bad.


    I said it in the last review, and I'll say it again: Antonia is simply too powerful. There is no explanation for her strength, but her latest feats include: (1) scrambling cell-phone signals [to address the why not just call for help thing that they all would have done already], (2) casting a powerful wall of protection spell around the coven, and (3) repelling people from an entire town!? Holy heck … I suppose the scene where Antonia confronted Marnie was supposed to be a big deal, but it really wasn't. I didn't feel connected to that at all. Antonia was upset with herself, but was instantly persuaded by Marnie, who has gone completely mad.


    Eric's back! I think … I understand that the amnesia was part of the books, and that's the real reason for it in this season, I just feel like they completely gutted a really well-defined and well-acted character. But, we'll see if Northman is back (I hope so). Oh, and Sookie healed Pam. Cool.


    I enjoyed the political scenes where Bill and Nan showed some real tension. That was strong. There is definitely some room there in the following seasons.


    Sookie's powers are just to stupidly convenient. She has displayed no effort to learn about them, at all, and the entire Fairie-troll storyline that opened the season has proven to be nothing more than as silly plot device used to reboot the setting and pass some time.


    The last scene of this episode was laughably bad …
    I already feel like the pacing in the season is off. Every episode ends at the part you want to see, and every episode starts with an unfulfilling resolution of the scene you wanted o see last week. This episode was no different, except I actually don't want to see the next episode (out of fear).


    What?! Is this Underworld? The last scene, setting up the "War" with the witch actually has Bill, Eric, Jessica, and Pam clad in black leather armed to the teeth with assault rifles, and rocket propelled grenade launchers. They actually emerge from the black SUV in slow motion to some rocking music while wielding these uncharacteristic weapons. Wow, that is bad!


    This season has been a nose-dive and is now in a full out free-fall. There is no way to salvage this season. The Russell Edgington storyline was one of the strongest we've ever seen from True Blood and now we get this season? This is unequivocally a step in the wrong direction. The only hope is that next season is damned good, otherwise, as Lily Sparks has predicted, they may have just jumped the shark on one of my favorite series.

  • One heck of a plot twist!

    10

    The Witch Wars reach a most poignant climax at the "Tolerance thing" as, once again, Terry and Nan steal the show with their one liners and Sam put aside his differences with his brother so Tommy could make peace at his death bed. The irony sinks in that, if Sam was the best part of Tommy's life then the skinwalker definitely got the worse part.


    Eric regains his memories just in time for Sookie to regain her ambivalence proving to me that, if they aren't soulmates, they must be the closest thing on earth. They even shift roles at the same time! And yet, regardless how subtle Skarsgard's acting choices were - just one look and you knew this was a different Eric - or how nuanced Tommy & Sam's final goodbye was, the plot twist of the night belongs to Antonia Gavilan of Logroño, or rather the necromancer that duped her, Marnie. Once its revealed it's been the latter who has been manipulating the espirit of the first all along.


    Jesus's grandpa, was right all along: these people didn't even know what they were up against!

  • Not bad, Not great.

    7.0

    This is a fair episode. Not horrible just not what I wanted. Bill is great this season, loved him shooting everyone. Jessica, Hoyt and Jason I'm still not sure about. I'm not comfortable with this whole thing but I do think it is the most human storyline of all. I also loved Eric and Pam's short scenes. Tara's story is getting a bit more interesting. I'm not a fan of where they are taking Lafayette and Jesus. Marnie I think is one of the best villains the show has had.


    I don't want to spoil the books for anyone so if you don't want that don't read on. I think that True Blood has been an improvement overall compared to the books. This episode was the only failure in that regard in my opinion. I prefer the book scenario were Eric and Sookie are concerned. In the books Eric doesn't get his full memory back so he doesn't remember being with Sookie. In the books Sookie was the only one who remembered, which I found incredibly sad. I wanted to see a lonely and broken Sookie and a confused Eric. The show skipped over the best part of the storyline!

  • Jessica: "I don't care what happens as long as I get to kill s***."

    8.5

    I love True Blood, but this is definitely my least favorite episode of this season. Why? Well, I think there were some gaping holes in the plot that really started to bug me. Let me enumerate:



    1). Um, who is running Merlotte's? The only person I recall seeing there is Tommy, and Sam kicked him out, so he's not even supposed to be there! Jessica was off shagging Jason; Tara and Holly are trapped in the Moon Goddess Emporium; Terry is talking down Andy from his V addiction; Lafayette is trying to rescue Tara; and Sookie, after saving Eric, is also trying to save Holly and Tara. Anyway, Tommy-as-Sam fired her! (Does Sam-Sam even know yet?) I guess Arlene's running the whole show, but if that was the case, you'd think that her frustration over holding down the fort would be mentioned, and anyway, she certainly wasn't there last episode when Lafayette abducted Mikey.



    2). Sam is all too willing to let Tommy die. So is Alcide. Okay, so maybe Alcide, who doesn't have a history with Tommy, might be able to push aside common sense notions like taking him to a hospital or feeding him vampire blood, and let him die like he wants, but have you ever heard of negligent homicide? I mean, he is legally in the wrong, but I guess I can accept that Alcide is the kind of hunky rebel of a man who would always choose to do what he feels is right, even if it's not lawful. But Sam?! If he really did love his brother, despite Tommy's cornucopia of deep, irritating flaws, he would have done anything to save him, regardless of what some stranger (Alcide) says or what his plainly suicidal brother's wishes are. I have brothers, and there is no way I would ever, ever let them die. I would do everything in my power to save them. It was almost as if Sam was as sick of Tommy as most viewers were and just wanted to get rid of him. It was slightly comical. At the same time, somehow I did get a little verclempt watching Tommy die, even as I was literally yelling at my tv, "Die, Tommy, die!" I distinctly got the feeling that Sam must have been thinking the same exact thing despite the tears in his eyes.



    3). Sookie did not fight Bill and Eric's plan to blow up the Moon Goddess Emporium nearly as much as she should have. I mean, if my two love interests were banding together to kill people, including my best friend and a coworker of mine, I would certainly threaten to never ever forgive them or let them taste my delicious, intoxicating fairy blood. I would put my freakin' foot down. Instead, after lamely trying to dissuade them with reasonable arguments, Sookie stomps off to recruit a B team of Officer Jason, Lafayette, Jesus, and Jesus' awesomely freaky Latin demon. I just find it hard to believe that she would abandon the idea of persuading them so quickly.



    4). Lastly, at the end, when the four leather-clad vamps get all A-Team outside the Emporium, you know there's no way they're going to blow it up. With the vampire blood that's been exchanged, Bill and Eric are going to know Sookie's in there, and even if they're willing to blow up her best friend, they're not willing to let her go. So in this way, I guess Sookie's plan did work, even if not in the way she intended. Point being, what seems to be meant as a cliffhanger really isn't one, or at least we know there's no danger of the vamps blowing up everyone in one fell swoop.


    Complaints aside, the best parts of the episode are quotes from Terry and Jessica respectively:


    Terry: "No drugs for me ... except the anti-psychotics."


    Jessica: "F###ing humans! I'm gonna go find someone to eat."





  • Pherhaps the best episode of the series!

    10

    I felt like this season could be the series' worst, but now it is all getting much better! These last 2-3 episodes has been really good, and I feel like they are taking a very original turn that most TV shows wouldn't turn to. It's important for TV shows like this to takes chances instead of being filles with cliche's.


    The Andy storyline was extremely bad, just really hard to watch. But Terry is still an interesting character, with a lot of history. Tara has at most times been a whiny character, but I am really starting to like her this season, especially in these last few episodes. Also nice to see that Sookie is embracing her fairy-powers, as long as they don't jump the shark on it, which can happen easily.


    And the Sam storyline isn't all too bad, things are starting to heat up, and nice to see that hewill revenge his brother, even though they had both ups and downs. Also fun that Alcide is backing him up, good that he understands that the Wolfpack is just evil people. When we are going into the wolfpack-subject... what is up with Debbie and that psycho leader of the pack?! Debbie is always jealous of Alcide, and thinks that he is in love with Sookie. And the packleader KILLES what he thought was Sam because he THOUGHT he was sleeping with his EXwife, and now it seems like those two wolves are hooking up... They must be really, really, really bad people.


    My hopes for the rest of the season:


    - That the wolfpack will have an interesting impact on the whole witch VS vampire war.


    - That Eric and Sookie will get together again even though Eric got his memories back.


    - That Sookie and the witch will have a fight towards the end.


    Anyways, in my opinion this was maybe the best episode of the entire True Blood series, hope the two remaining episodes will be even better!

  • 410

    6.0

    Okay, I actually did not think that this episode was that bad in the first half. They continued in the chaotic fashion that last week's show did and they gave male viewers a reason to watch the program: action.


    Then, about halfway through, thinks got really weird. I mean really weird. They had the gang hiding behind the car for 20 minutes like something you'd see kids doing in a sitcom from the 80's, you had Antonia casting ridiculous spells, and you had more incredibly odd lines spouted by these characters.


    I like True Blood, but this was mediocre.

  • Honestly, I'm concerned about this show.

    6.5


    It was one of the best I'd ever watched, but now it seems to be heading down the same path as that ill-fated Heroes. It seems that whenever a writer in this genre runs into a logical wall with the plot, they just invent another special superpower. It is then miraculously used to get the audience from the stumbling point to the place where the villan gives us a long winded speech to help patch up story holes. I honestly hope this doesn't happen because if it does, I won't be returning for season 5.

    Charlaine Harris had a fairly good plot line going. I'm not sure why he didn't stick closer to her thoughts. I'm ok with a tv series being different than the book, but he shouldn't have mucked with the character's personalities. Alexander Skarsgard did a great job playing a devious but intriguing character complete with the "Joix de vie" that Charlaine had talked about in her books. At the end of this episode, he was an emasculated, spineless puppy pleading for his love life. Eric the Viking in the books would * never * have done that. Yes, a VIKING. That sent me away with an image of a hugeguy in a bear pelt, with a broadsword in one hand, a tankard in the other, down onhis knees in front of a small girl pleading "Pleas please please love me. Please.. Oh but Pleeeeaasse??"

    I toohave my doubts about this series. I hope for the actors and for that incredible musician, Nathan Barr, that this works itself out because I'm sure I'm not alone in my assessment.

  • Fort Bellefleur

    8.0

    Ok, certainly not the best episode ever but things are looking better. Spoilers Ahead: Tommy dies from his complications and made himself sympathetic and this leaves Sam to go after Marcus (even though I don't remember if Luna and her daughter are still out camping) and the other weres with Alcide's help. Debby gets closer to Marcus and she considers taking him on as a lover because Alcide doesn't want a were kid. Terry takes Andy to Fort Bellefleur to try to get him to kick his V addiction with tough love which takes up way too much of the episode. The the tolerance thing Eric gets his memory back after Sookie tries to get into Antonia's mind. Bill manages to hold off the vampire onslaught with a certain silver bullet firing gun and he and Nan order a massive glamoring to prevent a press outbreak. Nan and Bill bump heads and must wait till the next evening to assault the Moon Goddess Emporium. Sookie is forbade from being part of the attack because Bill goes all protective and Eric says he still loves her, it should've had more punch but it just didn't have it at all as Sookie and Eric were only truly lovey for like four episodes then he was brainwashed again but with 12 episodes that a solid third so it's the thought that counts. Jessica and Jason come to a disagreement following their encounter and he asks her to glamor it out of him like a pathetic wuss but seeing Hoyt the train-wreck that he is later in the episode I don't really blame him. There's a lot of loose ends to tie up but the ending served as a solid cliffhanger ending to what I hope to be one of True Blood's better season penultimate episodes.

  • Burning Down the House

    7.5

    Burning Down the House was a good episode of True Blood however I felt that it was too much set up and not enough action and development in certain story lines. I thought it was awesome how Sookie broke the spell on Eric. Tara and Holly explored their own power and Bill decides to take a risk and matters into his own hands with a daring plan. Andy is taken to a childhood retreat by Terry who wants to help him. Sam decides on revenge after Tommy dies. Debbie looks like she might have a new love interest. It was funny how all the vampires were against her and she was still trying to maintain her authority. It was cool to see Jesus go through Antonia's protection barrier and the end of this episode was a bit shocking and I look forward to watching the next episode of True Blood!!!!

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