True Blood

Season 1 Episode 8

The Fourth Man in the Fire

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 26, 2008 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
484 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sookie braces herself for more tragedy. Tara thinks of a new approach with dealing with her anger by adopting a similar therapy to Lettie Mae. Amy charms a crowd showing a darker side to Jason after the V juice runs out. Bill persuades Sookie into helping Eric using her gifts to catch criminals.moreless

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  • A Marketable Gift and An Uncontrollable Addiction: A Sookie Stackhouse Story

    Quite the episode after last week's cliffhanger. It turns out that Bill got Sookie's message after all and hid naked in the ground for the evening and then they have gratuitous sex in the cemetery for some reason. Once their V runs out Amy gets Jason to follow Lafayette to his vamp supplier of blood and they kidnap him after they learn where he lives. Eric calls upon Bill to enlist Sookie's help with her gift to read minds and figure who has been stealing money from Fangtasia. The best part about this episode is that it isn't muddled and Eric's reason for bringing Sookie in for help is actually believable even though he obviously has ulterior motives.moreless
  • Tell Me What I Want To Hear Written by Alexander Woo Directed by Michael Lehmann

    Sookie: "Do you have any idea what I've been through today? A friend would ask."

    Tara: "Don't tell me how to be your friend."

    These cliff hangers really can take a lot out of you. Sookie has had the misfortune of either nearly being killed or walking into to find someone killed and while it's definitely getting formulaic, I don't think the are going to stop anytime soon.

    With this episode there was the fear of Bill being done in once and for all. I've done something I shouldn't have and went and read the first book, Dead Until Dark. However even if I hadn't done that, I still didn't think for a second that Bill was actually dead.

    However Malcolm, Liam and Diane presumably are along with some unfortunate fang banger to boot. As deaths go, vampires when killed certainly do look suitably grisly on this show. Now if this was Buffy, they'd just be dust with no fuss. Even the skeletal remains of The Master have nothing on the gnarly corpse that Sookie had to see here.

    Unfortunately for the first quarter of the episode, Sookie was convinced that Bill actually did die and it certainly did little to improve her mood. I was actually shocked when she started yelling at Tara. Granted Tara was an episode too late with the 'I can't believe you let a vampire bite you' reaction but even then, I thought Sookie was being way too harsh.

    Of course, Sookie has had to endure a lot of **** in the space of a week, so there was something of a relief when the thing that clawed its way out of the grave was Bill. Without sounding like a shipper, I have to admit that Sookie and Bill's graveyard sex scene was actually quite hot. Sure we've seen Buffybot and Spike do the nasty in a graveyard but this was something else.

    The more Sookie seems to sleep with Bill, the more enamoured she becomes. She really does change a lot personality wise too. She was too perky the next day in Merlotte's when telling everyone that Bill was alive. Sam didn't exactly do much to contain his sadness over Bill surviving either, did he?

    Then there was Sookie and Bill babysitting Arlene's kids. I don't really like Arlene's bigotry (something that Sookie even addressed twice) but I can understand why she wouldn't be so keen with Sookie having Bill over with Coby and Lisa. Rene on the other hand seemed less fazed about Bill around the kids.

    As for Bill and the kids, nice wholesome family fun apparently can be order of the day. I think the fact that he was a vampire automatically made him intriguing to Coby but it was sort of hilarious seeing Lisa trying to coach him into being a better boyfriend for Sookie. By the end of the night, even Arlene seemed less tense about Bill. Then again, she did get engaged to Rene so that would improve a lot of people's mood.

    Fun times might have been had with Bill but Eric finally popped up in an episode where he felt more like a character to me. Granted all he did was order Bill to bring Sookie to Fangtasia but it was certainly better than anything else we've seen Eric do so far. Still not completely sure of him though.

    Sookie's second trip to Fangtasia almost seemed delightfully mundane – finding the halfwit dumb enough to steal $60,000 from Eric. It would've been almost anticlimactic if Sookie hadn't made herself a deal with Eric. Nice of her to try and protect a human suspect but bad in the sense that Eric will only too well make her stick to her end of the bargain.

    Bruce and Ginger made for okayish staff members, though the latter was somewhat annoying in her attempts of flirting with Eric. The end reveal of Longshadow being the culprit was interesting. That being said, there's no way he's going to do that much damage to Sookie, what with Bill, Eric and Pam all there to help her out. As for Jason and Amy, god damn it! I really wanted to like Amy, I really did. At the start of this episode she was earning some massive brownie points. She managed to make Jason a lot more interesting and sympathetic than we've ever seen him be and she even got him to open up to her as well and they didn't even have proper sex, just touching and no naughty stuff. Hell, she even managed to get into Arlene's good books as well and I doubt that's something easily achieved as well as snagging a job at Merlotte's.

    So, where did it all go wrong? The V addiction of course. It turned out that Amy had worse withdrawal problems that Jason but at least Jason was realistic enough to know that Lafayette wouldn't sell any to them. Amy however got around that problem by kidnapping poor Eddie (one of Lafayette's clients, who clearly had a thing for Lafayette), which is damn proof that I'm beginning to feel sorry for vampires in this show.

    I shouldn't really be surprised that Jason would go down a darker path, given everything we've seen with him so far on the series. I was just hoping that Amy would've been more of a calming influence instead of being the person who brings him further down a slippery path.

    Speaking of slippery paths, I loved the cat and mouse antics with Sam and Andy in this episode. Sam really should stick to one story. He told Terry that it wasn't him running naked in the woods and then made up some naturist crap to get Andy off his back. He would've been better off sticking to one story and committing to it. I wasn't surprised that Andy then went to check up on Sam's little fable. Sam, you idiot. First you piss off Tara (though she was out of line with the racist comment) and then this.

    Tara was also another person who had a rotten time of it. Most people would be delighted to see their mother kick the booze if she was a raging alcoholic like Lettie Mae but Tara's no idiot and she had every right to be suspicious of her mother. I don't buy Lettie Mae's U-Turn either.

    Sure, it's a well constructed act. No booze means a lot of hoe cakes, renewing your church ties and even throwing subtle hints to your daughter about the demon being gone. In the end with all the crap that Tara went through in this episode, I bet Miss Jeanette saw her coming again. Damn, Tara, you don't have a demon but what you do have are two opportunistic vultures around your neck.

    Also in "The Fourth Man In The Fire"

    Another interesting vampire myth was Bill telling Sookie that it's a longer process to die due to sunlight after she told him about her dream of him burning up.

    Amy: "You're an extraordinary being."

    Jason: "What's that supposed to mean?"

    This was another episode where Steve Newlin was spouting off about his avowed hatred towards vampires. At some point, he's going to descend on Bon Temps, right?

    Amy: "You never talk about things to anybody? You don't even talk to your sister?"

    Jason: "Least of all her. She brings out the worst in me."

    Arlene (re Amy): "Sam, I think we might have found a replacement for Dawn."

    Sookie (to Jason): "Looks like you did too."

    Due to reading the first book, I know for a fact that Amy has a bigger role on this show than the book. Then again, so does Lafayette and others. I also liked that little scene with Terry and Arlene in this episode as well. I think he fancies her.

    Hoyt: "You look mighty pretty tonight, Tara. That colour suits you."

    Tara: **** you."

    Hoyt: "I'm sorry, was that sexist?"

    Sookie: "What's it like to sleep in the ground?"

    Bill: "Well, it's not exactly comfortable but it is safe."

    Eric really did know how to unnerve Bill. Then again, I wouldn't be that comfortable just making themselves at home in my bathtub either. And Eric is Sheriff of Area 5, giving him more clout over Bill.

    Tara: "A grunting sound. Like a farm animal?"

    Sam: "No, it's athletic. Like tennis players when they serve."

    Arlene: "Would you be a bridesmaid for me again?"

    Sookie: "Why of course. You hardly have to ask."

    The fourth man in the fire actually was a man – Mike Spencer's assistant, Neil who had dreaded Sookie outing him as a fang banger back in "Cold Ground".

    Andy (re Neil): "Jesus, Bud, the kid was creepy. What nineteen year old goes to work for a funeral home?"

    Bud: "I worked in a slaughter house when I was fifteen."

    Andy: "You're a naturist?"

    Sam: "No, no, good lord, no. My folks were, I'm embarrassed to say, they spent most of their lives in a nudist colony."

    Standout music: Greg Laswell's "Comes And Goes" (he's being used a lot on US TV nowadays) and Johnny Cash's "The Fourth Man In The Fire".

    Lafayette (to Tara): "Trust me. This world is filled with things we'll never understand."

    Eric (to Bill, re Sookie): "Honestly, did you think you could keep her to yourself?"

    Chronology: As per usual, this takes place from where "Burning House Of Love" left off.

    "The Fourth Man In The Fire" is certainly a fun episode. Having Bill use fake fangs to amuse Coby and Lisa, coupled with graveyard sex, more trips to Fangtasia, and references to Heroes all add to an episode brimming with utter brilliance. Too bad that Amy and Jason's little antics are going to cost them dearly.moreless
  • A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

    Oh, Sookie... After the fire destroyed the house, Sookie believes Bill to be dead. Jason and Amy seem perfect for each other after their night of passion sans penetration. Bill survived somehow by burrowing beneath the earth only to surprise Sookie after a most touching moment. Police question Sam about his nude runs, and decide to do a follow up on his story only to lead to more questions. Bill is ordered by Eric to bring Sookie into Fangtasia to question humans about missing money...only to find out that a vampire hired them. I love the storyline with Tara and her mothers, it's really good. I find Jason's storyline its enjoyable no matter what, but graphic I mean I love seeing him but not the women! Sookie and Tara have a argument due to Sookie thinking Bill is dead. I jumped so high of my chair when Bill grabbed Sookie so scary. I feel sorry for Sam, he is so in love with Sookie he is so cute I love his storyline too. I found the scene with Sam and Tara is bed was extremely funny! I love the way Rene talks, though he is a bad guy! I love the Eric and Bill scene in his bathroom, ah I'm in love with Eric. I love the Fangtasia scenes it's awesome! Awesome ending too!moreless
  • Sookie is in mourning. Tara's mom is a big surprise. Sam is seen out for morning run in the nude and he denies it at first but then admits he is a naturist. Amy is one interesting girl. Finally the vampires come to Sookie for help.moreless

    Sam running naked through the forest was about the most normal thing to happen. He did claim to the detective later on that his parents were nudists from Beaumont, TX, but that doesn't seem to jive with the locals records. I guess we'll see where that goes.

    Tara's Mom is cured and acts as if she was never possessed making Tara breakfast and doing the clothes, going to church and bringing a friend home. Tara seems possessed now not that she always hasn't seemed that way. She fights with Sookie, and then Sam and at the end we see her going to see Miss Jeanette. Again we'll see where that goes.

    Amy is really weird and without giving a blow by blow she sounds like she is sort of like those people from the first few episodes and that is where she gets her V. Jason sure knows how to pick them. Of course we will have to wait to see how all of that goes, but she did say she had faith in Jason. At least someone does. We get to see Lafayette's source and in a way I felt sorry for that Andy vampire character in the end. You sort of feel like Amy is going to kill him. We'll see.

    The way Bill grabs Sookie in the cemetery really should have creeped me out but it didn't. It was a little startling but he knew to hide himself and that was a good thing for him and Sookie. Eric shows up and has a "request" of Sookie. I like the way he says to Bill something to the effect, "you didn't think you could keep her for yourself only did you?" Sookie is a smart girl though as much as she is stubborn. She makes choices and requests and sort of evens the playing field with the other vampires. At the end it was not a surprise what was occurring and we'll see how it all turns out in the next episode. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Possum Penis bring ya luck...who knew?

    Well, aint this more like it! After taking a brief hiatus from this series, I'm back as a f.b.i.t.* and this episode has certainly sucked me back into the series (ok, ok, that's enough True Blood talk, matey). There's just so much to enjoy in this episode and to be honest, it's the kind of episode I've been waiting for from this show ever since the pilot. Everyone has a decent storyline now, and thank jeebus, cos I was getting sick of the Bill and Sookie show and Jason's sexscapades (it's a word...). I really enjoyed Tara's interaction with her mother, and her complete disbelief at her transformation. I wonder, in a show where vampires exist, perhaps demons do also. It would make for some cool storytelling down the line, but as I said before, lets not turn this into some kind of Buffy show, I'd prefer to see the series mainly focus on vampire lore.

    Jason is finally becoming a - wait for it!- likeable character. It's mostly down to the titular hippy, Amy, who, ahem, has amazing....titulars. She's the best thing to happen to this show. A breath of fresh, crazy air. I love her. She's absolutely gorgeous. I hope the writers continue to feed little bits of Jason's character to us through Amy. And, hey, if she's naked while he's doing that, who am I to complain?!

    Random, unintentionally hilarious mud-sex aside, I'm liking this direction Bill and Sookie are taking. There's a level of Buffyism to it when Sookie realises she can never have breakfast with Bill (loved that dream sequence!); just like Buffy realised she could never grow old with Angel. I mean, yes, she'd grow old, but...oh yaknowwhatimean! I hope this aspect plays into their romance, and hopefully it'll play out the way Bill described Sookie to her: "Beautiful" and "Tragic".

    Their relationship rings of epicness, and now that we've spent so many episodes paving the way, I hope the writers will push forward with their doomed romance. It has been all smiles - kinda - so far, now I'd like to see these two acknowledge the impracticalities of them being together. Even though others have already pointed them out, I want Sookie and Bill to realise them. As for that ending? I still dislike that nawb-jockey, Eric, but, oooh, twas a gudun!

    All in all, a really good effort from everyone involved. The red-headed waitress, I forget her name, even gets some decent screen time, and hopefully she'll get more as the season progresses. The reasons why this particular episode isn't receiving the full shebang is down to two simple things: the random sex is just becoming too random. Yes, ok, Bill and Sookie are happy to see each other, and I'm sure Sookie was glad to discover it wasn't just some crazy hobo pulling her into the ground. But, c'mon, CRAZY sex right after he digs himself out of the ground? Madness.

    The second one would be concerning Sam - once an intriguing character, now he's being written with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face. He's also mindy numbingly boring. There ya 'ave it.

    * Fang Banger in Training.moreless
Stephen Moyer

Stephen Moyer

Bill Compton

Ryan Kwanten

Ryan Kwanten

Jason Stackhouse

Sam Trammell

Sam Trammell

Sam Merlotte

Rutina Wesley

Rutina Wesley

Tara Thornton

Chris Bauer

Chris Bauer

Detective Andy Bellefleur

Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis

Lafayette Reynolds

John Billingsley

John Billingsley

Mike Spencer

Recurring Role

Laurel Weber

Laurel Weber

Lisa Fowler

Recurring Role

Todd Lowe

Todd Lowe

Terry Bellefleur

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Sookie: Arlene, you look so beautiful today. I love you, even if you are a bigot sometimes.

    • Sookie: I had this crazy dream this morning. We were sitting, eating breakfast, and all of a sudden the sunlight set you on fire.
      Bill: (Bill is quiet for moment) It wouldn't happen quite that way. The sunlight would severely weaken me and eventually, of course, I would die. But I wouldn't burst into flames. Not right away, at least.

  • NOTES (6)

    • In Czech Republic, the title of this episode was translated into "Čtvrtý muž v ohni", an exact translation.

    • This episode was nominated for the 2009 Golden Reel Award for "Best Sound Editing-Short Form Dialogue And ADR In Television".

    • First appearance by Stephen Root ("Eddie").

      He was added to the opening credits.

    • International airdates:
      -Latin America: March 8, 2009 on HBO Latinoamerica Este.
      -Czech Republic: March 24, 2009 on HBO.
      -Australia: March 31, 2009 on Showcase.
      -Germany: June 1, 2009 on 13th Street.
      -Italy: June 15, 2009 on Fox.
      -United Kingdom: September 4, 2009 on FX.

    • Stephen Root ("Eddie")'s first name is incorrectly spelled as "Steven" in the opening credits.

    • Featured Music:
      "Comes & Goes (In Waves)" by Greg Laswell, album Three Flights from Alto Nido (Jason and Amy talk)
      "Give It Up" by Lee Dorsey, album Candy Man (Sam and Tara make up after their fight)
      "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me" by Mildred Anderson, album No More In Life (Sam and Tara in bed in his trailer)
      "All In Good Time" by The Swampires (Sam catches Sookie taking vitamins at Merlotte's)
      "Sancto Erico" by Nathan Barr & Lisbeth Scott (Bill finds Eric in his bathtub)
      "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles, album The Essential Bangles (vampire Eddie plays the song as he allows Lafayette to drain his blood in exchange for sex)
      "The Fourth Man" by Johnny Cash, album Unearthed (Jason and Amy watch as Lafayette leaves Eddie's house)
      "I Want You So Hard" by The Eagles of Death Metal, album Death By Sexy (end credits)