This week on True Blood, everything was just one reveal after the other: we found out what Sookie and Crystal are, we got a slice of Sam’s past, we uncovered (part of?) what’s up with Holly, and we learned about Jesus and Lafayette’s ancestry.
Sam’s flashback shows he was scammed by a woman he liked and her boyfriend. He ends up killing her (kinda) by mistake and the boyfriend on purpose. Presumably, this is meant to give his character some depth. Does it succeed or fail?
THOMAS: Succeeded. To make it on his own and own his own bar, Sam had to travel a lot of distance, literally and figuratively, between the time the Merlottes kicked him out and the time he opened his doors in Bontemps. And he had to have the capacity to kick some ass in a tough world. We have seen a lot more of that in the last two episodes, but now we know that he actually holds it back a good deal because he walks around with the personal cost of killing. That adds a lot of depth to what he said when he rolled back into the bar after beating Crystal’s father. Tommy is young and doesn’t know yet, though he seems determined to find out.
LAUREN: Am I alone in thinking this was a weird time to introduce this element of Sam’s story? It felt out of left field for me, and I’m skeptical that there will be enough time in this season to address this completely new version of Sam adequately. We also know that Sam has killed before seeing that he tore Maryanne’s black heart out of her chest in last year’s season finale. So is this really news?
THOMAS: It’s one thing to kill a malevolent menace like Maryanne. It’s another entirely to shoot someone he cared about, and then to walk up to the only witness and execute him. Maryanne doesn’t haunt him.
SALLY: I also thought this was oddly placed. I liked learning more about his past, but I don’t see why we’ve had to wait this long or how this will be used in what little is left of the season.
THOMAS: Sam’s biggest problem with Tommy is that he’s trying to keep everything in so hard that he hasn’t told Tommy about how things were for him. When he told Tommy last episode that he’d done it all in his day, it just came across as paternalistic and ageist. If he could open up to Tommy that he knows what it’s like to steal to eat; to leave town to keep from getting busted or killed; to get conned by someone he thought he loved; and to shoot a man in the back of the head because he’s a witness, keep seeing the face, and drink a bottle of whiskey to forget it … well, then Tommy might respect where he’s coming from when he tells Tommy which mistakes not to make.
SALLY: Yeah, we discussed this a bit last week, but I really wish they would approach this relationship differently. I get that the whole being an older brother thing is new to Sam, but shouldn’t he at least try to treat Tommy the way he treats everybody else? At the moment, he’s treating him like a 12-year-old with bad manners or something. It’s condescending and it’ll never work.
LAUREN: Sam needs to tell Tommy he learned a life lesson about the pitfalls of hair grease.
Arlene wants an abortion but Terry says he wants to raise the kid. Was anybody bothered by this? Then it seems Arlene might have an abortion anyway — thoughts?
THOMAS: For all the supernatural stuff, this is imaginary gardens with real toads in them. Arlene lives in a world where vampires and werewolves and immortal mind-controlling sorcerers are real. She believes that the fetus carries the seed of Rene’s evil. Given what we know and what she’s seen, in the world she lives in we are in no position to tell her she’s wrong. And as much as I like that Terry wants a kid with her and believes that love can conquer genetics, it’s not his call to make. She needs to take care of her own sanity and the children she has. She seems pretty sure what she needs to do, and Terry needs to have her back. Terry wants a baby with her, and she wants one with him, but I suspect their time will come.
SALLY: I was irritated by Terry here. He’s sweet and that’s great, but it annoyed me that he wanted her to keep this baby when she so obviously doesn’t want it. That said, I also hope they’ll get the chance to have a baby together because it’s what they want and they’re nice characters so I want happy things for them.
LAUREN: I’m predicting that Holly will either induce an abortion or we will have some kind of exorcism, or cleansing ceremony or something… are there any Wiccans in the house?
Last week some of us thought that Holly was up to no good. This week, we know she’s a Wiccan with a habit of butting in and trying to help. Are there more secrets there?
THOMAS: The show has a politics, particularly around difference and inclusion, so I would be surprised if Holly was up to no good now that they’ve written her as a Wiccan. However, in the True Blood universe, a habit of butting in and trying to help is like a beacon for trouble.
LAUREN: No kidding! Now that you’ve said that, Thomas, it makes me wonder whether we are naive to accept Jesus as a pure character. Regardless it seems purposeful that Holly is being introduced as a witch at the same time that Jesus and Lafayette are beginning to explore magic.
Jesus wants to drink vampire blood with Lafayette. They have a weird trip and we learn Jesus’ grandfather was a sorcerer and had big plans for Jesus?? Um, what?
THOMAS: Every major character is a super except Tara, and even that depends on her not sharing that part of Lafayette’s lineage. This totally changes how I see Jesus’s character. He’s not a helpless babe in the woods that Lafayette needs to protect. He’s the child of a line of magic users, with powers of his own that he has not discovered. If he and Lafayette go down this road together, and I think they should and will, they’ll make a powerful couple and have more ability to take care of themselves and each other in the scary world Eric pulled Lafayette into. But it comes with the darkness of Jesus’s past, too. The grandfather is a problem they will have to deal with in some way. This makes it easier for Jesus and Lafayette to be together, too. They both bring baggage, and Lafayette doesn’t need to feel like he’s the one forever bringing trouble to an innocent partner’s life.
LAUREN: I’ve got to reserve judgement on this storyline until more happens. It’s another weird turn in the story, in my opinion, so I’m going with you, Thomas.
SALLY: Agreed. I’ll add that I’m still not convinced that Jesus will bring more good than evil/complication, but I’d like to see how this unfolds.
As we predicted, Tara was kinda sorta developing feelings for Jason again. Then he tells her he killed Eggs. Proud moment for Jason? Awful moment for Tara? Both? Something else entirely?
THOMAS: I could not detest Jason more. For once is his asinine life, he had it right when he told Sookie that she couldn’t understand and that for the rest of us, keeping our mouths shut is sometimes necessary to protect people. Then the courage of his conviction failed him, as usual, and he did something stupid and hurt someone he was supposed to be protecting. Nice job, asshole, again.
LAUREN: I don’t know — I’m not convinced that Jason *shouldn’t* have told Tara the truth, but he should have waited for a better time, a time in which she had more emotional stability, and a time in which he was telling her the truth for her sake or for its own sake instead of telling the truth to selfishly relieve himself of guilt.
SALLY: His timing definitely sucks, but I’m pleasantly surprised he actually told her at all. I really thought Sookie might end up being the one to tell Tara. Jason had a lot of guilt, but he also is one of the more selfish characters in many ways, so I didn’t think he’d fess up to Tara directly.
What I definitely wish he’d done is practice more self control and not kiss Tara! Get it together!
Two reveals this week: Sookie is a fairy and Crystal is a shape-shifting black cat of some sort. Are you impressed or bored?
THOMAS: I don’t love the cat people, but Crystal, however poor her choice, at least committed. Jason now knows they are cat people — refer to the Nastasia Kinsky movie of he same name, complete with brother-sister incest, for likely plot elements.
LAUREN: Oh, Cat People. I LOLed.
THOMAS: She’s willing to walk out on her family and everything she knows for Jason. I suspect it won’t work, and she may end up back with the cat people, but if she doesn’t get killed in the process, she will never be as cowed as she was and she’ll never let another asshole raise a hand to her in anger.
SALLY: Yeah, Crystal’s days are numbered. I can only hope that her demise isn’t totally bloody and gross.
THOMAS: The fairy thing was so long in coming that it wasn’t really news, was it? The real news was that vamps wiped out the fairies.
LAUREN: Need moar of this please.
SALLY: It’s weird that in an episode that took us down the paths of Sam’s background and Jesus & Lafayette’s trip would then have rather highly-anticipated, anti-climatic reveals.
Sookie and Eric make out. Yay or nay?
THOMAS: Yes. This direction is inevitable. Pam is not happy, but once Pam finds out that Sookie is part fairy, she’ll at least understand why she has such an effect on Eric. However, the entire season for Sookie has been a faith-shaking series of betrayals by male vampires that she is attracted to, and her best friend is now probably permanently anti-vamp because every vampire she knows has either tried to kill her or left her to die. Sookie just finished telling Eric that he wasn’t helping her trust him, when with characteristic Eric cynicism he locked her in the basement where Lafayette was his prisoner, explaining nothing. And the betrayals are not over! Bill is still lying to her, and she will find out. With Tara by her side and Bill and Eric proving Tara’s point, how can Sookie not become totally suspicious of vampires? I predict that Jessica will be a significant part of the long-term resolution.
LAUREN: If after this season’s revelations about Bill Sookie still takes up with Bill long term, even after Bill drained Sookie and left her to die, and just plain left Tara to die, I will not be able to see Sookie as the show’s moral agent.
SALLY: Sadly, Lauren, I’m pretty sure she’ll still stick with Bill. I’ve been impressed that she’s at least been questioning it a bit more than usual in these last couple of episodes, but I don’t even think that will last for too much longer. She will certainly do it, since that’s what Eric’s asking her to do (figure out if she can trust Bill), but I don’t think it will take too much energy.
As for Sookie and Eric kissing, totally saw it coming but still totally loved it. Something about them just makes me love it.
I’m still waiting for Alcide’s return, though.
Eric is choosing Sookie over himself and Pam, which pisses Pam off. Then he chains up Sookie. What do you think he has planned for her?
THOMAS: To use Sookie to bait Russell, though how remains unclear. Eric took his time to think, and he is a thousand years old and smart, so it can’t be a dumb plan. But Russell is much older and no dummy himself. Is he crazy and impulsive and erratic and arrogant enough to be outfoxed by Eric? The answer necessarily is yes, otherwise Sookie and Eric would be toast, and we know that can’t happen. But it must and will be a wild ride. Pam could get killed, which would make me very sad.
SALLY: I’m so convinced that Pam’s dying, I don’t know what to do with myself! She’s one of the best things about this show — I’d be awfully upset if she died.
Hoyt professes his love for Jessica but she turns him down. Then he’s attacked by Tommy (as a dog) and Jessica saves him. Is it bad news that Hoyt drank her blood? Or is it good enough that they’re back together?
THOMAS: It had to happen that they got back together, and it had to happen that Tommy went after Hoyt, but there’s something tidy about Tommy’s attack breaking the stalemate caused by Jessica’s issues. That moment between Jessica and Tommy was very telling: she said that Hoyt was too good for her, and Tommy said, “I’m not.” Jessica’s problem is that she believes that even though it isn’t true. Tommy’s problem is that by believing it, he makes it true.
SALLY: I really liked this scene, as well as the one between Jessica and Tommy.
Jessica needs to question what it means to be “good enough” and right for each other now that she’s a vampire. Obviously, she needs to consider that it’s always easier to back away, but her feelings for Hoyt are strong enough and they are really good together. I think that Tommy could have helped her see that just a bit, particularly when she tells him that Hoyt always wanted her to accept what/who she was.
Not gonna lie, though — a little part of me wanted Jessica and Tommy to have an epic make-out session before she headed back Hoyt’s way.
THOMAS: Jessica never said she didn’t love Hoyt. She never answered his question. It was all about her self-hate. She is still dealing with an extremely religious and abusive upbringing, and being a vampire, killing someone and having violent urges and enjoying them. That’s a lot. But she has idealized Hoyt, too. He’s a sweet guy in many ways, but when Tommy was standing outside the bar, Hoyt (who is a natural heavyweight to Tommy’s welterweight) snapped a jab right in his face by reflex. He’s done that before, and he was so sure Tommy was going to stay down that he just kept walking.
Russell hires a prostitute to live out a twisted fantasy where he says goodbye to Talbot. WTF??
THOMAS: “Live out” might be an overstatement. Russell is literally wild with grief. It is causing him to act erratically and irrationally. That’s why, though he’s a king and maybe the oldest existing vamp, Eric will beat him. I’m still stuck on the continuity error with Godric, though — Eric told the Authority that he thought Russell had met the true death, which explained why Eric thought Godric was the oldest vampire in the Americas. But Russell was the King of the neighboring state. He didn’t set up his court and his mansion in a few weeks. And Russell has been scheming to marry Sophie Ann for a while. It does not seem like there was time for him to disappear, be thought dead, and reappear over the last few months.
SALLY: I couldn’t stop saying “Is that Navid? Hey, that IS Navid! Navid, what are you doing here being all prostitute-y??”
But after I got over that, I went on with enjoying this scene in all of its warped glory. Russell completely creeped me out; I love how that character just keeps pushing my buttons in new ways each week.
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