“Dead Meat” may go down in True Blood history as “the episode when Sookie finally lost her mind.” Next week, it looks like Eric loses his, but for now, the show had Sookie running around making amends, saying good-bye, weighing eternity, telling off her exes and her parents, and putting her bobby pins in place all for naught. Sookie has forever, unfortunately, been the weak link on the show — her story has failed to resonate as she has bounced from one supernatural to another in ill-fated love plots. Meanwhile though, this season has excelled in moving forward some of the plots of the secondary characters, and, in particular has given us some nice character groupings we don’t often see. Now, it seems Sookie doesn’t know where she fits in. Hit the jump for more on why “death ain’t the end anymore.”
This short season of True Blood has been quite an improvement over the last few, what with the shrinking of the cast and the clearer direction the show is taking. While much of this season has been good because it has brought — with a couple of exceptions — the characters together in a way that finally seemed unified, “Dead Meat” was a fractured episode that jumped around without clarity, lead by the madwoman that Sookie has suddenly become.
There’s still a possibility that Sookie could give up her remaining humanity and become a vampire fairy like Warlow, but it seems a slim one at best. Her “I prefer to be a walking corpse” pantomime was never one that could be taken very seriously. The tirade at her parents was just sad, while her sudden desire to partner up with Sam was confounding. Why do this? Sookie has been discussing her desire to get rid of her fae powers and be “normal” for several seasons. Before that, one of the first reasons she was so attracted to Bill and other vampires was because she couldn’t read their thoughts, and felt, again, normal. In “Dead Meat,” she went from telling Sam she wanted out of the game to, seemingly moments later, resigning herself to eternity as the one thing she never wanted to become. What?
Her plan to be with Sam was foiled not because it didn’t make any sense, but because Nicole, the most useless character on the show (which is truly saying something), is apparently pregnant. Once again, just when it seemed we would be rid of her and could streamline Alcide and Sam’s storylines (since they seem cool with each other after a few drinks), Nicole finds a way to stick around again. She and Sam declare undying love, even though really he would have run off with Sookie if she had just stopped by a few hours earlier. Thine heart is fickle!
Even though Arlene, Andy and Holly seem to be orbiting on their own, their moments are very grounded and very real, and keep the show from slipping too far into insanity. Actually, Andy is still part of things as the (not so great) keeper of one remaining fairy daughter who nearly ended up killed again. Presumably though, Eric’s plan was not to drain her but to use her to gain access to Warlow, in revenge for Sookie keeping him from helping Nora.
On the positive end, this is where things start to work again by being part of a complicated web that’s all part of the same general story. Whatever it is leading up to, most of this season has gathered characters and moved the pawn pieces into position in a fairly natural and unforced way.
Unfortunately, most of “Dead Meat” was as fractured as Sookie’s thoughts throughout it, which was regressive. But it has still set up an explosive episode next week before a finale for most of the rest of the characters: next week’s promos have promised crazy, carnage and a lot of blood. That’s the True Blood we know. But hopefully, unlike last year, the stakes of what happen from here on out have an actual bearing on the future of the series, with more of a clear direction than we saw in this hour.
Episode Rating: C
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Has Eric gone to save the group for their own sakes, or to also thwart Bill? Just as the two had secured an uneasy alliance, things were shattered after Nora’s death. One of them should befriend Alcide, since he doesn’t seem to have anything better to do than piss off his pack.
— One of the most charming things about the show and the location is that Sookie having a landline phone and an answering machine doesn’t feel that weird. What will TV shows do once those become truly obsolete?
— Sookie not knowing what happened to Niall is so Bon Temps. I dislike that she and Jason haven’t gotten real time together in awhile.
— “Oozy, but productive” – Pam, after sex.
— Sookie is ready to spend eternity, lest we forget, with a stalker she doesn’t really seem to care for.
— “Eternity? Why can’t you just ask me to the movies?” – Sookie
— Andy really needs to keep a better eye on ABCD. “You ain’t even two weeks old yet, no coffee!”
— I forgot to mention Jason and his prison mama. Not really worth talking about, actually.
— “You’re burying a lie” – Arlene
— So did Alcide officially leave his pack, or …?
— Fact: werewolves and shifters can smell pregnancy. Ew.
— “Death ain’t the end anymore.”