Tuesday, July 26, 2011

True Blood 4.05: "I Hate You, I Love You"

“When I was a kid, my two favorite TV shows were “Sabrina” and “Charmed.” God’s honest!”

This episode of “True Blood” included an event I’ve been anticipating for a long time. Sookie and Eric finally kissed. Of course, Bill seems on track to spoil all that joy pretty early on in the next episode, but given how anti-Sookie/Eric the show has been up this point, I’m willing to take what I can get. I’m almost certain this won’t play out remotely like it did in the book, “Dead to the World,” and I think that’s a shame, because the book tells a good story. Not truly representing the book is really to the show’s detriment in this case, because the extra plots that have been included for the show really aren’t especially engaging. Arlene’s devil baby is just silly, for one. And I’m not invested enough in Tommy (because he’s not really a well-drawn, three-dimensional character) to really care about his and Sam’s plot. Same goes with Jesus, really. What has grabbed my attention is Sookie and Eric’s story, mostly because, as I’ve said before, Alexander Skarsgard has really been giving a stand-out performance. On a related note (because it’s connected to the Eric’s amnesia plot), one change from the book that I think might be working is the focus on Marnie, the leader of the witch coven who cast the spell on Eric. She’s crazy, but she feels more like a fully-drawn character to me than the other newer characters I just mentioned.

The episode opens in the aftermath of Tommy being captured by his parents. It’s not enough for Joe Lee just to have his son participate in dog fights. He has to be abusive, too. He has a chain around Tommy’s neck, and he keeps pulling it tighter and tighter. Tommy eventually appears to pass out. He jumps up quickly, though, and he begins to fight Joe Lee. He ends up having to fight his mom, too, because she doesn’t want Tommy harming her oh so charming husband. Tommy kills Joe Lee, and this makes his mother go nuts. Tommy has to fight her off, too, and she winds up dead as well (although Tommy is actually upset and sorry about that one). Having nowhere else to turn, Tommy goes to Sam, who helps him dispose of the bodies. They have a very close call on the way to a remote swamp prime body dumping location when Andy Bellefleur stops their van. Andy still has a grudge against Sam, so he demands to see in the back of the van. Tommy demonstrates some quick thinking, shifts into an alligator, and is in the back of the van waiting for Andy when he opens the door. That scares Andy off, and Sam and Tommy are able to complete their mission.

Overall, the episode was very focused on investigating Marnie and investigating what happened to Eric. Pam is driving a lot of this, because she’s furious that she’s essentially become a walking corpse thanks to Marnie’s latest spell. Pam seeks out Bill’s help to bring Marnie to justice. She wants Bill to call the Sheriffs to deal with the problem, but Bill wants more information before he’s willing to do that. Marnie is captured and brought to what I guess is a Vampire-style holding cell. Bill questions her, and she says she doesn’t know what she did to Eric and Pam. She was possessed when she cast each spell. Pam doesn’t believe her, so to placate Pam, Bill goes down to Marnie’s cell and glamours her before questioning her again. Marnie tells the exact same story, even when glamoured. She also had another odd vision of the witch who possessed her. This time it was of the witch and the rest of her coven while they were imprisoned before the burning. Anyway, Bill does eventually call the sheriffs, and they aren’t too keen to actually do anything about Marnie. Even though Bill tells them of the havoc necromancers can wreak on Vampire-kind, they still don’t care. Pam is furious and lets slip that Eric lost his memories. When pressed by Bill, she has no choice but to reveal that Eric is staying with Sookie. Bill rushes off to confront Sookie about this, of course.

Meanwhile, Sookie has been conducting her own investigation. She goes to Marnie’s psychic reading shop (not while Marnie is in the holding cell, obviously) to ask her some questions. Marnie gives Sookie an eerily accurate reading, and she claims to be in contact with the spirit of Sookie’s grandmother. Gran allegedly wants Sookie to take care of Jason, and has a warning that her burgeoning sort-of relationship with Eric can’t last. Then Sookie hears Gran’s voice directly, and Gran says to get away from Marnie. Sookie does so. Sookie and Eric become progressively closer throughout the episode. Eric has a dream of Godric telling him he’s evil and should drink Sookie instead of loving her, and it really upsets him. He shows up in Sookie’s room, and when she asks him what’s wrong, he simply says he had a bad dream. The pair snuggle in Sookie’s bed for a while and talk about Eric’s dream, and Sookie tells Eric what she remembered of Godric. Things really come to a head when Tara is over at Sookie’s house, and Eric appears. Tara is extremely pissed that Eric is living in Sookie’s house, because Tara is convinced Eric is dangerous, and she storms out. Eric is really upset by this, because it seems to be more confirmation that he’s nothing but evil, and he gets ready to leave Sookie’s house. Sookie has the good sense to run after him and ask him to stay, and that’s when they (finally!) kiss.

Lafayette, Jesus, and Tara are all planning to leave Bon Temps now that the Marnie situation has gotten even worse. Lafayette and Jesus are going to go to Mexico to visit Jesus’ grandfather. He’s a powerful witch, and they think he might be able to help, even though he and Jesus don’t have the best history. We get a flashback to Jesus’ last memory of his grandfather. His grandfather gave him a goat for his birthday, and Jesus thought it was to be a pet. Turns out he had to kill it as part of a ritual sacrifice. Understandably, this traumatized little Jesus, although it didn’t exactly deter him from witchcraft later in life. Tara, meanwhile, wants to go back to New Orleans and her girlfriend. And I don’t blame her. New Orleans is an amazing city. There’s just one small problem. Tara’s girlfriend found some of Tara’s mail addressed to her real name instead of Toni, the name she’s been using in New Orleans. That can’t possibly end well.

In other, more random, Bon Temps news, Arlene is still freaked out over her devil baby, Mikey. In the aftermath of the writing on the wall incident, she’s convinced that her house is haunted by Rene’s ghost. Terry suggests they get a minister to cleanse the house of evil spirits. I’m not sure where Terry got this religious streak, and I’m not sure if I like it. Not because I have a problem with religion per se, but it just doesn’t really seem to fit with the character. They end up hiring Reverend Daniels, and he and Lettie Mae (who is now his wife…craziness) stop by to perform the ritual. Which really is just singing some gospel songs and burning some incense. Mikey is relatively quiet after the ritual, and Arlene is convinced that Rene’s ghost is gone. She snuggles into bed, very content, but that can’t last because a fire has spontaneously started on the other side of her bedroom. The final plot thread of this episode involves Jason, Jessica, and Hoyt. Jason and Hoyt have a somewhat amusing exchange at Merlotte’s where they complain about their lives. Jason doesn’t think Jessica being distant can trump his being gang raped, and I have to say I most certainly agree. Jason has also started having racy dreams involving Jessica and Hoyt, which is to be expected considering he’s had some of Jessica’s blood. I really can’t see that plot going anywhere interesting.

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