Friday, September 16, 2011

True Blood 4.12: "And When I Die"

“I am so over Sookie and her precious faerie vagina. And her unbelievably stupid name.”

“And When I Die” was an episode of “True Blood” that I actually didn’t hate. Which I guess is saying something these days. I liked the episode because nothing was taken too seriously. There were a lot of moments that made me laugh with the rather self-aware campiness. That’s how I like my “True Blood.” I watch the show for fun escapism. Not drama and gore. The main season arc was wrapped up in a rather stupid way, but because this episode embraced the camp, I didn’t really mind. As “True Blood” finales do, this one wrapped up some stories nicely and set some stories moving for next season. And it took place on Halloween. Regular readers of this blog know that I love me some Halloween and Halloween themed episodes of television. There were some gorgeous shots of Jack-o-Lanterns in this episode, and seeing everybody wearing Halloween costumes was a lot of fun too. Overall, it was, surprisingly, a rather enjoyable viewing experience.

The episode opens with Lafayette and Jesus eating breakfast. Jesus is apologizing to Lafayette for introducing him to magic so quickly, and Lafayette isn’t saying much, because, as we know, he’s currently possessed by Marnie. Jesus realizes what’s going on very quickly, but it doesn’t really do him much good. Marnie stabs him in the hand with a fork. And the violence doesn’t end there. Jesus is tied up on a kitchen chair, and it turns out that she really wants his magic. She just wants power in general. I’m not sure why. Marnie has never had especially good characterization. We get some silliness in this episode about how she sort of felt bullied all her life, but really, she’s a grown up lady. That’s not good enough for me. Especially when she stabs Jesus (fatally) while he’s in his dark, demon-y form, to take his magic.

Meanwhile, Sookie arrives home and is puttering around the kitchen when she sees a vision of Gran. It’s not some happy, light vision, either. It’s Gran murdered on the kitchen floor, exactly how Sookie found her. Tara provides a distraction with some breakfast conversation, where they talk remember Gran and talk about their hopes for the future. And how their lives ended so completely screwed up. As I already mentioned, it’s Halloween, and at Merlotte’s, the holiday is in full effect. Sookie stops by the bar to talk to Sam and offer her condolences for Tommy. Sam had just gotten back to work after having a little funeral or Tommy with Momma Fortenberry, which was actually really hilarious. Well, as funny as a funeral can be. Mommy Fortenberry is just so ridiculous. Sam finds out that Tommy fired Sookie when he was skinwalking, and Sam has to think quick. He doesn’t let on that it wasn’t him who fired her, but he says she can have her job back. As long as she wears bunny ears for her costume. Honestly, if I were Sam, I wouldn’t have given her the job. She was rarely showing up for work thanks to vampire drama, anyway.

Let’s get some Jason drama out of the way before I continue along with the main plot. Hoyt is working on the road crew, and Jason shows up to tell him the truth about how he slept with Jessica. Impressively, Hoyt doesn’t take this news nicely. This was a major violation of the Bro Code, after all! He actually gives Jason a bit of a beat down. Later in the episode, Jessica shows up at Jason’s house in a rather hot Red Riding Hood costume (if such a thing can be hot). They have sex (as you’d expect, considering it’s “True Blood” and all), but they decide they aren’t going to commit to a relationship just yet. Jessica’s not quite ready to be serious again after what happened with Hoyt, and Jason’s happy to just take what he can get. Which is fair enough. Jessica is about to leave to go feed on a random (because she’s not ready to get that intimate with Jason yet), and they have a nice conversation where they establish that they care about each other but need to go slow. Jessica leaves with the two of them in a good place, but clearly happiness can’t last long. Jason hears a knock and opens the door thinking Jessica is back. But it’s Reverend Steve, and somehow he became a vampire. And he’s not too happy with Jason.

Back at Merlottes, a new guy in town shows up wanting to talk to Terry. He’s an ex-Marine named Patrick, and he and Terry served together. Apparently they’ve saved each other’s lives or something. Clearly Patrick is shady, and no good is going to come of his arrival. Elsewhere in the bar, Sookie and Alcide are having a conversation (see what I mean about how Sam should have let Sookie stay fired?). Alcide asks Sookie out, but Sookie turns him down. Which is a good choice on her part. I think her reasoning was pretty much the same as it was in the books- he just got out of his relationship with Debbie and is nowhere near over her yet. Later, Sookie and Holly are setting up Jack-o-Lanterns, and Holly is wearing a faerie costume. I found this really funny for many reasons. Mostly because of Sookie’s faerie drama and the fact that Andy, who went on a date with Holly earlier this season, just had sex with a faerie in the last episode. Tara breaks up the party, though, with the news that she found Jesus murdered.

The ladies hop in a car and rush off to find Bill and Eric, because if Marnie’s back, she’s most certainly going to go after them. Turns out Marnie beat Sookie and company to it, though. She’s got Eric and Bill silver-chained to each other while shirtless in the yard between Bill’s house and the graveyard. That made me laugh, too, just because it was so over the top campy. I bet the slash fans had a ball with this part of the episode. This all leads to a big showdown in the graveyard, naturally. Marnie surrounds the boys with a ring of fire, which, even though they’re vampires, is still a really, really bad thing. Fire is one of the ways vampires can die. Sookie, Tara, and Holly start chanting a spell, and they manage to make spirits rise from the graveyard, including Antonia and Gran. Antonia manages to convince Marnie that she should cross over by helping her realize that being able to be at peace while vampires must live in pain for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years is its own victory. And Gran does the hard work of giving Marnie that final push over. Gran and Sookie have a little tearful goodbye as all the spirits head back where they belong.

Sookie ends up taking her chat with Gran to heart, and after letting the boys feed on her to recover, she dumps them both. I found this funny because Sookie was doing her very best Bachelorette final rose ceremony impression, and believe me I’ve watched my share of “The Bachelorette.” The changes in Alex Skarsgard’s face as he keeps hoping and then doubting that Sookie is going to choose him is comedy gold. Sookie arrives home after playing Bachelorette to yet another nasty surprise. Debbie Pelt is there, and she’s got a shot gun. Tara sees this going down and moves into the kitchen, and she ends up taking the bullet for Sookie. Sookie is enraged, and she ends up shooting and killing Debbie. If her first murder wasn’t traumatic enough, Tara has taken the bullet to the head, and she really doesn’t appear to be alive. When we last see Sookie, she’s yelling for help, probably in vain. Okay, strike that, you know those boys are all going to come running to help when the sense she’s in distress. If it’s like the book, Eric will help her bury the body. Hee.

The rest of the episode is devoted to setting up the rest of next season’s plot lines. Ghosts are all over Bon Temps on Halloween night, and Rene’s ghost appears to Arlene. He warns Arlene that Terry has a dark past, and Arlene is understandably freaked out. Too bad I don’t really care about Arlene and Terry. In other Bellefleur news, Andy and Holly have a good conversation (with Holly still in the faerie costume), and it seems like they might be on a good path. Until she finds out about the real faerie he had sex with, at least. Sam says goodnight to Luna and Emma, and as soon as they leave the trailer, Sam turns around to find a snarling werewolf behind him. Alcide’s checking out one of his construction projects, and the foreman shows him a hole in the floor with a silver chain. Nan arrives at Bill’s estate with her guards and announces she quit the Authority. They had ordered her to kill Bill and Eric, and Nan figured she was next. She wants Bill and Eric to defect from the Authority with her. She might have had some willing listeners, but she makes the mistake of insulting Sookie. Eric kills the guards while Bill kills Nan. And that was my final giggle fit of the episode.

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