TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Somebody I Used To Know”

     July 29, 2012

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Let’s talk about Bill.  Bill was a centerpiece hero character in the first season or two of the show because he was Sookie’s one true love and all of that, and more importantly, got her all involved in the creature world.  What we came to find later was that Bill was actually sent as a spy, but then claimed he fell in love with Sookie on the side.  He left Lorena’s grasp, took up with Sookie, left Sookie, took up with Eric (not like that), and is now more or less leaving Eric to take up with Salome.  He’s a follower without much spine.  But the root of it all is, Bill as a character has almost no continuity.  His person is always changing because there’s no real sense of who he is or should be.  It looks like it will be covered up with the phrase “I’m evolving,” but Bill will be lead whichever way the wind blows.  When the Sanguists are defeated – and they surely will be, eventually – Bill will try to get back in Eric and Sookie’s good graces and convince them he was just playing along the whole time, or that he was brain washed, or that he was bullied (“I will not be bullied!” he said to Salome, just before she bullied him into doing what she wanted). Hit the jump for more on Bill and the rest of the Bon Temps gang.

true-blood-poster-billBill has rules, a code — he’s supposed to be a gentleman.  He’s supposed to have some sense too, right?  Or at least a shred of mercy?  “Is this Heaven?” his dying adult daughter asks him hopefully.  White room, dead father holding white flowers … sure, why not?  Except Bill doesn’t afford her this mercy.  Instead he explains to her that, though she is laying there dying in complete agony, he has the power of immortality! But … another twist: he won’t share it with her.  Wow, does anyone have the award for Dad of the Year handy?

In the book series, Bill is outed for being a complete dickhead pretty early on, and Eric takes the forefront of most fans’ affections.  But show runner Alan Ball has always seemed to prefer a Sookie / Bill endgame.  His vision of the couple’s harmony has been helped by Bill and Sookie’s onscreen chemistry (undoubtedly fueled by their offscreen romance), something that Sookie and Eric lack completely.  Though Eric has had his moral ups and downs, this latest Lilith nonsense is solidifying him as one of the last people – vampire or human – to have any sense.  Bill’s constant need to bow and kowtow to whomever necessary to keep him alive and in the favor of the current most powerful person is beginning to erode any last shreds of respect fans may have for him.

Further, Bill mentions his human daughter but what about his vampire one?  Whenever Sookie is in danger, the blood bond shared with Bill and/or Eric always calls one of them to her aid.  Even more recently, remember Tara’s suicide attempt?  Pam felt that intensely.  So why, when Jessica was kidnapped and chained and about to be shot in the head by her ex-boyfriend did Bill not even get a tremor?  Maybe because he was too busy getting drunk with the Authority and figuring out how to best suck up to them.  Classy.  Also, classic self-involved Bill.

true-blood-somebody-i-used-to-knowStill, when Jason had his pep talk with Sookie to not “dump all of her fairy light” (how long does it take the actors to get accustomed to saying lines like that seriously?) he brought Bill up as Sookie’s “true love,” not Eric.  To be fair, Sookie’s relationship with Eric was brief and, for a long time, platonic, but still.  I suppose we should all just be grateful that for now, Sookie is single, because she is far more interesting that way.

Speaking of which, Sam nearly had an interesting story this week, even if it was half Parent Trap half “wow he almost made out with himself.”  The equation should look something like [2(S) = I]/L, wherein double Sams becomes interesting (like when Tommy shifted into Sam last season), but the overall interest is divided by the Luna Factor.  Despite the bizarro material, Sam Trammell did a great job portraying Sam Merlotte as Luna (or Luna as Sam Merlotte?), though not as stellar as when he was Tommy.  It was a funny, very low-stakes break in the action that almost ended with narcissistic incest.  If you makeout with yourself is that technically masturbation?

true-blood-somebody-i-used-to-know-1Anyway, on an entirely different note, Sam aiding Andy, even though born of self-interest, is just one of the many times special powers can and should be used to aid law enforcement.  The fairies showed another great trick – where you could see what the victim saw and identify the killer that way.  But no, forget all of that helping humans out stuff, the fairies just like to party at Fairy!Moulin Rouge.  Sookie at least did use this newfound fairy trait to learn an important clue in her parents’ murder by actually channeling and therefore identifying the vampire Warlow, who is apparently Freddy Krueger.  Crossover!

I’ll deal with the other bits and pieces below, but overall my hopes that this episode would at least pick up from the shambles of last week were utterly dashed.  With four episodes remaining in the season, can it be salvaged?  Will the stories ever come together?  Prayer circle for Lilith that she may show us the light …

Grade: D+ 

true-blood-somebody-i-used-to-know-2Musings and Miscellanea:

— Glad to see some Season One-level sass from LaFayette.  He’s been through so much, but his comic relief was sorely missed.  Also, he has really got to control allowing people to inhabit his body.  Thankfully at least this one didn’t stay.

— Um, wow HBO. For those missing the gratuitous sex scenes from Game of Thrones

— “Shut up, butt plug!” – Andy.  How does Andy know about butt plugs??

— I want to care about the wolf pack, but even if all of this leads up to Russell coming up against Alcide in regards to the pack, so what?  Everything that has come before it is filler, and not even interesting filler.  Showing Joey M’s ass can’t make up for all of that.

— Two male bum shots this week, although we did get two breasts as well.  Sexual equality, HBO style!

true-blood-somebody-i-used-to-know-3 — Who is the “fat woman with a poor diet to smokes” that Luna sniffed out? Mrs Fortenberry maybe? (only fat woman on the show I can think of).

— “I haven’t been to Hong Kong, but I love Kung Pao chicken.” – Steve Newlin

— Did Hoyt meet Warlow at the end?

— At least there’s Claude, who seems like a good character.  I’m sure he’ll get ruined soon.

— The racial overtones in Tara and Pam’s scene this week seemed over the top, but I did like that Pam is looking out for Tara.

— “God has the greatest tits I’ve ever seen!” – Russell.  They really weren’t that great.  Also I’m pretty sure that’s blasphemy, since everyone is pointing at everyone else and saying everything is blasphemy on this show at this point anyway.

— “Ride the pony!” – high Steve Newlin

— Einstein was half fairy? Oh, ok.

— Say what you will about her, end of the day, you want Martha on your team.

— “I hate this goddamn city” – Andy

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