Tonight’s episode was largely about makers and progeny, and it helped serve as some needed world-building for a show that, for awhile, seemed to just be making things up as it went along (and greatly ignoring its source material). The theme this week seems to fit better with last week’s title – “Whatever I Am, You Made Me,” and the relationships explored were sensible, emotional and some of the better stuff True Blood has done. Hit the jump to get the details, and why the guy who wrote The Vampire Bible was definitely high the whole time.
To start with the good stuff (which I’m going to highlight quickly before focusing on the more questionable elements of tonight’s fare) – the vampire parent/child moments were most certainly some of the best we’ve seen of anything the show has done in awhile (echoed by the human parent/child relationships excruciatingly portrayed by the Pelts). Pam and Eric shared a tender and difficult moment when he “released” her; Bill, despite being a terrible maker, sees that Jessica has turned out all right; and Pam herself tries to be a better maker by taking a more active interest in Tara.
As for unruly progeny, Tara had a good point early on that “I’m surprised y’all don’t use that ‘I command you’ stuff more often.” Undoubtedly the Pelts wished they could have. And Pam does use it, mostly to force Tara to start living life as a vampire. Perhaps what really sold Tara on the venture were Pam’s powerful words, “no human can hurt you any longer.” For a character who has been used and abused by just about every kind of creature on the show, it’s refreshing to think Tara might actually grow into her new life as a vampire by taking some agency and becoming a badass. Anything less and we’ll just be hoping someone stakes her for her own good.
Then there’s Sookie, a.k.a. the Angel of Death (I like this moniker). It fits, too, as Lafayette points out, “you always survive but you leave a trail of bodies behind.” Later Tara affirms a similar sentiment to Bill, who seems to be thawing on his “fuck Sookie!” line, though Eric isn’t. Sookie herself even tearfully says “I ruin people’s lives!” You do, Sook, you do. And then we get the tamest sex scene ever on HBO. Artfully cutting away from the titties? And more importantly, HBO are you in cahoots with Wahlberg in making people go see his movie to see a (mostly) naked Joe Manganiello? Because there was an Sookie and Alcide sex scene, finally, and you didn’t show it. Joe was presumably naked and you did not show it. Shame on you, HBO, shame on you.
Anyway, when he wasn’t having sex with the girl who murdered his fiancée, Good Guy Alcide had managed to save the day and make everyone happy and keep Sookie from jail by brilliantly and emotionally lying to Debbie’s parents, at least partially, and blaming Debbie’s death on the now dead, dismembered and eaten Marcus (#neverforget). Hopefully that case stays closed. But not everyone was so easily willing to cover up for Sookie, Murderess, Angel of Death, Occasional Drunk, etc. Lafayette’s rage invoked the Jesús’ demon spirit, who seems to be on the edge of fully possessing him. Sookie, Perpetual Survivor, bails out of her car at 80 miles per hour with nary a scratch when Lafayette’s spell begins to work (haven’t we all had that nightmare of a car accelerating out of control? I love how they zoomed in on the Honda logo just before it did so. Just proving it wasn’t a Toyota and therefore clearly the work of a demon) and Lafayette knows he is to blame. I didn’t care for Lafayette’s possession story last season, so if they’re going to repeat it I’m hoping it has more interest than before, and that it doesn’t end with him dead.
Speaking of questionable storylines, did my TV go on the fritz and turn to Generation Killor something? I was in Bon Temps … then South Dakota and then the Fourth of July in Iraq. Terry’s story has to connect to the others somehow, right? It has to! Same with the death of Sam’s shifter friends Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (Barack I get, fine, but Hillary? Really? This lady was wearing neither a pantsuit nor a headband, I have my doubts about your nicknaming abilities, Arlene). I’m already concerned about Sam having his own weird narrative arc again, although I did love the moment at the end of his initial scene with the couple where, when asked what he recommended at his own restaurantGood Guy Sam replied “Honestly, nothing.”
And just when the vampire world is starting to make sense (and we got a righteously fun death scene with that loudmouth kid vampire. On that subject, Salome is totally a sanguinista, isn’t she? Watch out, Chris Meloni!), we also get introduced to Fairy Land, again. In this version, Hadley is no longer hanging out with extremely powerful vampires like Sophie Anne, but is a waitress as the Moulin Fairy Rouge, which apparently allows guests in for fun and laughs and all of the skin we didn’t get with the Sookie/Alcide non-sex scene. Again, the logic starts to break down. Thought we got the cue of creepyLost-esque atonal piano chord screeching after Hadley told Jason matter-of-factly that vampires killed his parents like it was a surprise, was there was any doubt at this point? Last time we went to Fairy Land we discovered that a few minutes there equalled years in human time. Apparently this is not the case at the Moulin Fairy Rouge, perhaps because it is merely a Safe House. If Safe Houses were like that in real life, I’m pretty sure more people would frequent them.
“We’ll Meet Again” was enjoyable, but it teetered on the edge of what I fear could be an increasingly questionable back half of the season. Still, there seems to be enough anchoring it with the Authority and Russell to keep it from going completely bonkers. One hopes.
Musings and Miscellanea:
— “Three days old and she already has an eating disorder? Why me …” – Pam
– “Fuck you, Bush!” – Iraqi citizen. After the stick HBO has gotten about that Bush-like head on Game of Thrones, did they cut this from the final version or did y’all hear it, too?
— I was more interested in Andy’s fairy sex partner (and why she “attacked” him in the woods that time) than Jason finding out vamps killed his parents.
— Tara being counseled by Bill was a nice moment. Bill felt redeemed in this episode. Book readers get annoyed that Alan Ball so desperately wants Sookie and Bill to be together (when in the books he’s so awful), but in the show Ball’s made it make sense. As Jessica says to Bill, “you and Sookie are different* from Sookie and anyone else.” *Except when she’s having sex with Alcide.
— Jessica glamouring Andy was great, I like her and Jason as friends. He needs a reliable ally! (and frankly, so does she)
— Glad there was a reminder that Sookie can read minds. Further, that the fairies have odd powers we don’t know a lot about. Handled properly (which …) learning more about the fairies could be interesting.
For more season 5 recaps:
- TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Whatever I Am, You Made Me” (Season 5, Episode 3)
- TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Authority Always Wins” (Season 5, Episode 2)
- TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (Season 5, Episode 1)