True Blood

Season 4 Episode 10

Burning Down the House

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

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

Write A Review
out of 10
243 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 ...


    *** 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.