Sunday, September 11, 2011

True Blood 4.11: "Soul of Fire"

“I am so sick of silvering myself all day every day. I’m pissed off all the time. This is what PMS used to feel like!”

I think “Soul of Fire” would have been a perfectly fine place to end season four of “True Blood,” but for some inexplicable reason, there’s yet another episode next week, where the previews seem to promise that all sorts of really odd drama will go down. This seemed like a good ending place because there were some good character moments (although there were other character moments that were plain infuriating), and there was decent resolution to all the plots that have been in play this season. Having another episode next week feels like one of those movies that could have ended about four times before the credits actually role (I’m looking at you “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”). Really, the only thing that especially bothered me about this episode was the Sookie/Eric/Bill interaction, but I guess that’s to be expected. The plots that annoyed me the most this season (Jason and the gang rape and Arlene’s devil baby) were concluded before this episode began. It is kind of annoying, though, that one of those awful plots hasn’t factored into the season’s endgame at all, and the other seems to have been designed only as a very long, drawn-out introduction to Lafayette’s special skill set. It’s probably a good thing that I won’t be blogging “True Blood” anymore after this season. I enjoy the books a whole lot more.

The episode opens with Marnie’s reaction to Eric, Bill, Pam, and Jessica arriving at the Moon Goddess Emporium all decked out in leather and carrying some serious weapons. She tells the witches she’s holding captive that the vampires are outside, and understandably, they all want to leave. Sookie, Lafayette, Tara, and Holly are all now inside the Moon Goddess, too. I guess that’s where they went when Marnie made them disappear from the street outside. The discontent makes Marnie extremely agitated, and she ends up using magic to move a knife and stab one of the witches. This creates even more chaos, because everyone is horrified that Marnie, their former friend, would turn on them so violently. Even Antonia’s spirit is horrified. She tries to leave Marnie, and of course Lafayette sees the struggle go down. Marnie starts chanting a binding spell, which Jesus says is bad news. And the spell is successful, making Antonia do Marnie’s bidding against her will.

Jason arrives on the scene, and he tries to stop the vampires. It really doesn’t take much. All he has to do is remind Bill and Eric that Sookie is inside and could get hurt, and the poor whipped vampires call the whole thing off. Much to Pam’s chagrin, which made me chuckle a bit. Pam is one of the few things about this show that is still really entertaining. Bill and Eric calling off the attack doesn’t stop Marnie, though. She sends out her zombie vampires to attack, and there’s a big battle. While the battle is starting up, Jesus convinces Marnie to let him take the stabbed woman to another room to try to use his nursing skills to save her. He requests that Lafayette be allowed to join him. In the other room, Jesus explains that the woman is already dead, but he needed an excuse to get away from Marnie so he could start his own spell to try and break Marnie’s binding spell. Back in the main room of the Emporium, Sookie and Holly try to convince Marnie to end the attack, but Marnie’s not having it. She went off the deep end a long time ago.

Meanwhile, there’s still werewolf/shifter drama going down. Sam and Alcide keep trying to get information out of Marcus’ henchwolf, but they have no success. Things get worse when Luna shows up looking for Marcus too. He’s kidnapped her daughter Emma. Meanwhile, Marcus and Emma are rather predictably at Debbie and Alcide’s house. Marcus and Debbie are sitting in bed, and Marcus is trying to convince Debbie to run away with him and Emma. He says Emma needs a wolf mom, not a shifter, and in general, he is just pretty darn disgusting. Emma wants to talk to her mom, so when Marcus shoos her away so he can keep talking to Debbie, Emma has the good sense to call Luna’s cell phone. Luna, Sam, and Alcide (especially Alcide) are very surprised when they look at the caller ID and see that the call came from Alcide’s house.

The three of them all head to Alcide and Debbie’s house, and that’s when things get a bit crazy. Luna gets Emma back, and she takes her outside while Sam and Alcide deal with Marcus and Debbie. Sam is looking for a fight with Marcus to avenge Tommy’s death, and Alcide is feeling pretty violent himself after discovering his girlfriend cheating. Sam gets the better of Marcus in the fight, but he doesn’t do any more than hold him down long enough to assert dominance. Sam turns to walk away, Marcus starts to wolf out in preparation to attack, and Alcide moves in for the kill. Once Marcus is taken care of, Alcide proceeds to abjure Debbie. That basically means that he’s no longer going to acknowledge her existence.
Andy runs into a faerie on his walk home. There’s a sad moment near the end of the episode where Sam meets back up with Luna and Emma, and Emma asks where her dad is. Sam doesn’t quite know how to answer, and Luna knows something bad went down. And she’ll probably blame Sam for it, which will just be plain frustrating.

Back at the Moon Goddess Emporium, Eric really wants to kill one of the zombie vampires. Bill doesn’t want to resort to killing just yet, though, and he calls Marnie out to negotiate. Marnie steps outside, and Sookie goes along too, but Marnie doesn’t really want to negotiate. Instead, she hurls one of the zombie vampires into the barrier around the Emporium. The vampire completely fries, because apparently she harnessed sunlight or something to make the barrier. Marie says that if Bill and Eric voluntarily kill themselves, she’ll let Sookie go free. The two knuckleheads actually agree to it, and there’s quite the moment of angst as they look at Sookie while preparing to die. Thankfully, Pam, who continues to be awesome, puts a stop to that foolishness by saying no and shooting a missile at the shop.

While all of this is providing a nice distraction, Jesus starts to work his magic, and it’s pretty gruesome. It involves carving stuff into his arms and having Lafayette spread the dead woman’s blood over the wounds. Outside, Pam’s missile causes an explosion that bounces off the barrier and goes right back towards the vampires and Jason. When the smoke clears, both our idiotic boys get Hell from their progeny for being willing to face the True Death for Sookie. Pam is more up front about it, of course. Jessica’s just finishing up telling Bill to never do something like that again when she notices that Jason is on the ground and more than a little crispy from the explosion. She once again gives him some of her blood.

Marnie manages to convince her very reluctant captive witches to get back in a circle and start chanting. She’s able to get control of Eric, Bill, Pam, and Jessica, and they start lurching around outside in a rather ridiculous fashion. Sookie, thankfully, has had enough of this, and she uses her faerie powers to break the circle. As punishment, Marnie puts Sookie inside a ring of fire, and Sookie is petrified. Lucy for Sookie (and maybe not so lucky for viewers, Jesus finishes his spell just in time, and Marnie and Antonia are separated. Bill and Eric rush in, ready to kill. Sookie convinces them to spare the lives of the most of the witches, but Bill shoots Marnie dead and Eric rips out the heart of a really annoying warlock who was Marnie’s only supporter. What’s with this new Eric ripping hearts out meme? It feels like it’s just there to further vilify Eric, and I don’t like it. In the aftermath of the battle, Jesus is very upset that his actions have led to Marnie’s death, and Lafayette tries to comfort him. Sookie watches as Bill and Eric talk to each other (undoubtedly about her, and probably about how she said she still loves bill…pardon me while I go vomit). Jessica and Jason have a good talk, and while things aren’t resolved between them yet, they seem to be moving towards a better place.

We can’t get through an episode without at least a little silliness involving the Bellefleurs. Andy has quite the adventure on his walk home in the woods, spending some quality time with a random faerie named Morella. She asks Andy to “swear to the light” that he’ll keep her safe, then they have sex. Like that won’t come back to haunt Andy next season. What redeems this plot is what happens when Andy gets home. He tells Arlene what happened, and she basically tells him that she thinks he’s crazy. I laughed at the only very thin veneer of politeness she put on with that one. The episode itself ends with Lafayette and Jesus having some pillow talk about Jesus still being upset over what went down at the Moon Goddess emporium. As they talk, the ghost of Marnie suddenly appears, and of course she decides to possess Lafayette.

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