Monday, July 4, 2011

True Blood 4.02: "You Smell Like Dinner"

“Never mind. There’s one thing I learned from us being together. Every time I found out something new about you, I wound up wishing I didn’t know it.”

Like I say about a lot of shows, I think the second episode of this season of “True Blood” suffered from trying to service too many plots. The structure was very disjointed, and the pace was rather frantic. The episode just kept switching between characters every scene, and it was rather distracting. The only thing it had going for it was that several of the plots started to weave together, and plausible ways for yet more plots to weave in were presented as well. There’s a lot of stuff going on this season that didn’t happen in the fourth book, but by the end of the episode, we hit a very important plot point from the book, which made me happy. Because if the Eric has amnesia plot hadn’t happened, I might have quit watching the show after this season. Of course Eric has to provoke the witches this time around (I seem to remember he wasn’t as directly evil to the witches in this book), but I’ll take what I can get.

We’ll start with Jason’s plot, since the episode opened with him. He wakes up in the middle-of-nowhere meth factory of Hotshot, chained to a bed. One of the werepanthers is licking a gash Jason sustained when another werepanther shows up at the door. It’s Crystal’s fiancé, and he’s not happy, obviously. And it seems like he’s sticking around for the long haul. At one point, Andy shows up, and it seems like Jason might be saved, but Crystal’s fiancé instructs another werepanther to bring Andy a vial of V, and that’s enough to make Andy go away. Crystal keeps Jason distracted (and gagged) this whole time so Andy doesn’t hear him. Unfortunately for Jason, it looks like Andy only came to Hotshot to get his V fix, not to save his deputy. Near the end of the episode is when this plot gets really twisted. Crystal and her fiancé enter the room where Jason is still chained up, and they tell Jason they’ve been having some infertility issues. They want Jason and Crystal to have a baby together, but in order to keep the werepanther genes going, they’re going to turn Jason into a werepanther first. This seems a bit too much like Tara’s plot with Franklin Mott last season. I think I prefer the book version better, but I’ll stop there with any details about the book to avoid spoiling.

Sam is the center of the other more minor plot in this episode. He’s got his eye on another shifter who is part of his “anger management” group named Luna. I thought that was a pretty perfect name, although it would have been even better if she had been a werewolf. They have a conversation after spending some time running as animals, but just as Sam is about to propose some sort of relationship, Luna runs off. She later visits Sam at Merlotte’s and apologizes for the quick exit, and it appears that they will now officially be an item. Tommy is in the bar while this is going down and takes a likely dangerous interest in Sam’s new girlfriend. This makes Sam pretty unhappy, naturally. Later, at a meeting of the “anger management” group, Luna reveals that she’s part Navaho, so she’s grown up hearing the legend of the Skinwalkers. Shifters have to kill a family member to become one, but once they do, they can become anything, even another person. This scene seemed to be all about the foreshadowing, which introduces the “who isn’t who they say they are and is actually a Skinwalker” question that can be so frustrating. My bet’s on Tara, and I come to this guess completely unspoiled, because this whole plot was not in the book. Oh and there’s actually one other minor plot going on- Arlene is steadily going crazier with her fear that her new baby is evil. This is not helped when a blood vessel bursts in her eye as she looks at him.

The main plot of the episode is Sookie trying to deal with Eric taking over her house and life. He claims that he is doing all this to protect Sookie, but Sookie just wants him to go away. Sookie first goes to Bill for help, and she learns two important bits of information. The first is that Bill is now King of Louisiana. We later get a helpful little flashback to tell us that Bill gained this position by killing Queen Sophie Ann on Nan Flannigan’s orders. Nan recruited him back in the 80’s in London in a scene that seemed made only because the writers thought it would be cool for Stephen Moyer to use his real accent. She was impressed at his self control (stopping his feed before killing the victim) and thought he would be a good vampire to infiltrate a monarchy and spread discord. The other important thing Sookie learns is that Bill has a new woman in his life, Katrina, who infiltrated the witch coven. Bill sort-of declines to help Sookie with her Eric problem, saying that even though he is Eric’s King, Eric has friends in high places. If he is going to do anything about Eric at all, it’s going to take time.

Tara surprises Sookie as she arrives home from the grocery store one afternoon. This doesn’t sit right with me because Tara seemed determined not to return to Bon Temps in the last episode. That’s why I’m making her a candidate for Skinwalker. Anyway, as they walk inside the house, Sookie finds that Eric has left his mark. He has left several notes and flowers around, and there’s a carafe of blood in the refrigerator. He’s also had a sleeping hidey hole (or cubby, as Sookie calls it) installed in the house. And he left ice cream. This made me laugh. I know it should be creepy that Eric is being so stalkerish, but I just keep thinking of book Eric, who is really harmless when it comes to Sookie. Tara then meets up with Lafayette and Jesus and claims Sookie had to bail on their girl time. This still doesn’t feel right to me. The boys bring Tara along to a meeting of their coven.

Meanwhile, anti-Vampire protesters are going to town outside Fangtasia. This creates some trouble for Hoyt and Jessica as they try to leave the bar one night. Hoyt gets in a fight with one of the protesters, and it’s caught on someone’s video phone. Hoyt and Jessica later get into an argument when Hoyt doesn’t want Jessica to use her blood to heal his bruises from the Fangtasia fight. I find Hoyt and Jessica’s “domestic” life to be rather snoreworthy. Jessica says she’s going out to get some asprin for Hoyt, but she ends up going to Fangtasia instead. She decides to have sex with and feed from a guy in the bathroom, and Sookie catches her. Sookie was there to continue trying to sort out the Eric mess. Pam was no help, so Sookie decided she would wait for Eric himself.

Eric was not at Fangtasia because he was on a mission from Bill. Bill wanted Eric to deal with the witch coven because the coven has witches who are necromancers. Apparently necromancers can control vampires in addition to bringing back the dead, so Bill sees them as a threat. Bill seems to have good reason to be concerned, at the coven meeting, Marnie, their leader says that she wants the group to bring back a person this time around instead of just a bird. Some of the witches agree, but there are also many who are not happy about the idea, including Lafayette. Eric shows up and tries to put a stop to the happenings by threatening Marnie. The coven responds by chanting something at him. Next thing we know, Eric runs into Sookie, and he doesn’t know who he is. All he knows is that Sookie smells good. And let the Sookie/Amnesia!Eric bonding begin!

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