True Blood: Vamp Up
|Written by April Yorke|
|Monday, 11 July 2011 18:58|
Ho, boy. Last night’s True Blood, “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?” had a whole lot of only a few of things: horrible Crystal in horrible Hot Shot, approximately 1000 new faces from Puppy Eric, and rape. Talking about it, threatening it, seeing it happen. If you know me, then you know that’s my line, so I don’t know how I am going to deal with the fallout. I’ll probably comfort myself with the triumphant return of Alcide.
This is . . . my house?
Out by the side of the road, the camera makes sure to lovingly pan up from Puppy Eric’s bare feet (called it!), revel in his naked torso, and come to rest on his handsome, confused face. Fangs out, he wonders anew why Sookie smells so good, but this time he’s a little more descriptive: “Like wheat (sniff) and honey (sniff) and sunshine.” Sookie: “You know perfectly well why I smell . . . the way that I do.” She punctuates this with a pert little nod, like, this topic is no longer open for discussion, and I marvel at the idea that Sookie/Anna Paquin was ever considered a weak link on this show. We couldn’t be luckier to have her, folks. Puppy Eric, however, pays no never mind to the naysayers and leans into the car to, I don’t know, take a big whiff. Sookie hits the gas, makes it all of a couple of hundred feet while watching Puppy Eric in the rear view, then stops when she doesn’t see him anymore. Forsooth, Sookie. Try to remember that time he punched a giant dent into the front of your car. Was that her car or was it Bill’s? If it was her’s, you know he got that fixed up, too. Do you think it’s significant that her car and her house are yellow? Is it related to her sunshiny-ness? Item reserved. So Sookie’s looking around when Puppy Eric reappears and pounces on her through her open window. Sookie screams us into the credits.
I don’t know who you think you are/But I know this much is true/I wanna do bad things with you.
Sookie’s running into the woods because her flight response has overwhelmed her rational mind. Puppy Eric vamp-zips in front of her and hauls her up to a dead stop. Finally, finally, she remembers that she is a fighter, but, instead of zapping him with her light, she hauls off and punches him in the face, yelling that he can’t fucking drink her. Fair enough. Whatever spell Sookie’s tantalizing scent put him under is broken. Puppy Eric sways and wonders, equal parts shocked and annoyed, “What did you do that for? I think you broke my nose!” Sookie is flippant, “You’re a vampire: it’ll heal in five minutes anyway.” Puppy Eric just cannot believe this shit: “I know I’m a vampire, Snookie!” Hee! He takes it back down a notch to admit that he knows what he is but not who. And Lord love her, Sookie goes into Columbo mode instantly. She leans back on her heels, crosses her arms over her chest, and asks after the last thing he remembers. Puppy Eric gets a faraway look on his face has he replies either the sea or the snow (two viewings, and I still can’t seem to get this line straight). I prefer to believe he said both because of that time he fantasized about Sookie telling him that he smells like North Sea in winter. He so wished Sookie could know all of him. Puppy Eric starts speaking in Swedish about presumably his human days, then shifts his gaze to Sookie to tell her something important, but Sookie has to remind him to speak in English. Puppy Eric explains the whole sitch with the witches, but it’s Taboo, so he never says the word witch. There was one lady who was two ladies, and a circle, and chanting, and the one lady who was two ladies had empty eyes that emptied him. “They took everything from me,” Puppy Eric concludes mournfully. No revenge in his voice. No hurt or animosity. Just loss. My goodness, can we get Alexander Skarsgård an Emmy? Just hand it over. Sookie takes this all in and accepts it on its face. She’ll help him on two conditions: no touching and no biting. So, Orange County Prison rules. Puppy Eric stares at her like he’s summoning up the will power to sign off, taking just enough time for Sookie to call the whole thing off, and swears (swears) to her that he will observe her rules. As they walk to her car (one hand tucked into his pocket, this change is going to kill me), Puppy Eric leans over to tell Sookie how grateful he is. Sookie manages to tell him he’s welcome. I think she’s doing pretty well, all things considered.
Northman-Stackhouse Shack. The place really does look great. Gran would be proud. Pour one out for Adele. Sookie’s inside and halfway up the stairs while blah-blah-blahing about finding some old clothes and shoes of Jason’s, although she doubts anything would fit, while Puppy Eric waits patiently at the door for an invitation. Sookie starts to tell him that he doesn’t need any invitation, catches herself, and plays that power card with a quickness. She formally invites him in and immediately chides him for getting his muddy feet on the latest rug. Puppy Eric steps back with embarrassment, then tip toes his way around the edge of the rug and into the living room. Did I mention that he’s wrapped in a blanket? Oh, Sookie.
Over at Fangtasia, Pam’s in the office chowing down on some hyper dude’s neck (“Yeah, suck it hard!”). I didn’t know Pam was an equal opportunity biter. The phone rings, and Pam pauses to answer listlessly, “Fangtasia, Northern Louisana’s most fangtastic bar.” Sookie, carrying towels, would like Pam to know that Eric is at her place. Pam duhs that he owns it, so Sookie clarifies that he doesn’t seem to know that or much of anything, really. Pam zips out of there before Sookie can even hang up the phone.
Back in the living room, Puppy Eric’s soaking his feet in a tub. Sookie apologizes for the water getting cold, and Puppy Eric replies that he doesn’t mind, which is a nice little reminder that vampires run colder than humans on this show. The next is kind of unbelievable in a why-is-this-happening kind of a way. It’s inelegant is the point. Onwards and downwards: Sookie kneels, picks up one of Eric’s feet, and starts washing it with those towels she was carrying. Puppy Eric pulls back and giggles because his feet are ticklish. I mean, again, Skarsgård is knocking it out of the park, and I’ve never seen so much of Eric’s teeth, especially in such an innocent and joyful way, but it’s all set up, so we, as viewers, can fully take in the moment when Sookie starts to fall for Puppy Eric. I like both versions of Eric and am not opposed to Sookie being with either, but I think it’s a cheat and a con to have Sookie fall for this guy and have her feelings transfer over when the other one comes back. If there are two Sookies, it only means something if Eric loves both of them. If there are two Erics, then Sookie has to love both of them, too, or else it doesn’t count. Forgiveness is meaningless if we can’t apply it to betrayals both big and small.
So, anyway, Puppy Eric leans forward and breathes, “You are really beautiful.” It’s a straight up compliment, no innuendo or come-on or layered meaning. Sookie practically bristles with shock but manages a “thank you” nonetheless. Before things can go further down this line and to give you a sense of how long it takes to vamp-speed from Shreveport to Bon Temps, Pam busts in the door with Jethro’s blood still hanging from her lips. Blood never washes. Puppy Eric and Sookie both jump up, Eric biting out “Whothefuck’sshe?” while he’s at it. The ladies just stare and stare while Eric backtracks: “That was rude. Sorry.” Poor guy’s so embarrassed these days! Pam, loyal and faithful and loving progeny that she is, immediately goes into damage control mode: Sookie has to hide Eric. Sookie insists that she will do no such thing, Pam will take Eric back to Fangtasia, Pam’ll be able to protect him. Pam scoffs at the notion, as Fangtasia is the first place they’ll look. When Sookie finds out at that the “they” in question is witches, she’s done. There is no fucking way she’s dealing with witches on top of everything else. Girl’s got a point. Pam, however, doesn’t see what Sookie is going to do about it, given that it’s Eric’s house. Eric’s been quietly taking this all in, and he pipes up only to wonder, “This is . . . my house?” He looks around appraisingly. Hee! Sookie tells Pam that if she won’t take Eric in, she’s going to Bill. Pam zips into Sookie’s face and tells her that if she does, Pam will rip her limb from limb. In a delicious bit of framing, Eric’s hand appears and shoves Pam so that she goes sliding into Sookie’s precious rug. Though he looks a little taken aback at his own strength, Eric tells Pam to be nice to Sookie. AW! Pam, loyal and faithful and loving progeny that she is, slaps a smile on her face and pours saccharine sweetness into her voice to explain that she suspects Bill of having set Eric up with the coven and of looking for excuses to get the AVL to sign off on an assassination, topping it off with, “He’s done it before.”
Point of order: Bill didn’t try to kill Eric. He tried to do exactly what Eric had done to Russell Edginton mere moments earlier: bury him in cement where he would suffer, possibly for all eternity. So either Bill really is a cold blooded bastard (always possible, especially considering the hit he subsequently ordered on Pam), or he was merely putting Eric on ice to deal with him later when he had a better plan. It really was a crime of opportunity, not intention and malice. Bill loves Eric. After all, I’m sure that if Bill thought Eric was responsible for Sookie’s disappearance, he would have staked him faster than you can say, “Fuck the Authority.”
Back to our regularly scheduled program. Sookie clarifies that Bill only did that because Eric had “tasted” her. Eric pipes up, “I have?” registering surprise and delight akin to finding out he nailed the hottest girl in his high school. Sookie turns back to tell him that it was against her will, so, technically, he “fang-raped” her. Eric’s once again taken aback. “Oh. Sorry.” He goes right back to staring at the floor. Sookie’s programming starts to fritz again when confronted with Puppy Eric, so she turns back and agrees to keep Eric for a price. Pam begs her not to tell anyone about this, so you know it’s going to be exactly like this same time last year when Eric told Sookie not to tell anyone about werewolves, and she ran all over town telling anyone who would listen. Out of habit and maybe just to double check, Pam looks to Eric to sign off on this. He’s been carefully studying the floor and finally sheepishly looks up, all, “Hmm?” Hee!
Sookie’s climbing down into Eric’s cubby, whose motion sensor lights snap on and startle her. She takes the space in (grey-washed board walls, a double bed with stripped linens, night stand, lamp; all very sparse and modern. Would someone Eric’s size fit into such a tiny bed?). She tells Puppy Eric to come on down, even tapping on the bars of the ladder like he’s her pet, while Eric stares down uncertainly. He finally makes it down, arriving in shorts (shorts) and a blue over-sized sleeveless hoodie. Wow, he is a lot to take in these days. He unfolds himself in the space, looking around and noting that he really does own this place. Sookie opens her mouth to argue but thinks the better of it. Eric goes on to wonder, with a note of hope, if that means Sookie is his. Nope. Puppy Eric looks down, disappointed, and concludes that she must belong to another vampire. Even Sookie looks down now, a bit sad, and informs him that no, she doesn’t. With renewed hope, Eric asks if Sookie would like to be his. She wouldn’t, “but thank you for asking.” Sookie makes to take her leave, but Eric is standing between her and the ladder and starts advancing on her. Sookie nervously tells him to stop, and he does, poorly lying that he just wanted to thank her again, “That’s all.” He looks positively fascinated by her. He asks, I think for the third time this episode, what she is. Sookie “is tired of people asking her that, that’s what I am.” Reasonable. She tells Eric to let her go, and he starts to back up, only to pop fang when she goes to pass him. He embarrassedly covers his fangs with his hand and lets her ascend. He leans and stares and sighs and generally acts like he’s in a rom-com. Poor Pam. This must be torture for her.
Topside, Sookie closes up that armoire which is not at all on the second floor like I said last week (Why would it be? How does that make sense structurally?) and pats it nervously before heading to bed.
Witches are Doing It for Themselves
Witches meeting, immediate aftermath, Shreveport. Jesus is dropping his mad medical skills on Marnie, while in separate but completely open to all room, Tara is freaking out on Lafayette. She’s been back in town for all of two hours (really? Only two?) and already a “fanger” (hate speech, Tara) is trying to rip her throat out. Oh, this is gonna be good. Lafayette fixes her with a look and says, “Bitch, climb down offa that cross.” Marnie’s the one who actually got her throat bitten, and Lafayette’s the one who was actually tortured (and drugged and made into a drug mule and flirted with and rescued and generally confused) by Eric. Jesus even knows something about it, though he says Eric had Lafayette for “three days” instead of “a month.” I can’t tell if this is an error by the writers or if it means Jesus doesn’t know the whole story. Both seem possible to me. Jesus wants to know how Marnie worked that Eric-b-gone magic, but she doesn’t remember. That suits Lafayette just fine since they are all doomed. There is no authority that will be able to stop Eric from having his revenge, so they should scatter and pray. Agreed.
Back at Lala’s, the host boozily suggests that they head down to Fangtasia and throw themselves on Eric’s (possibly non-existent) mercy. Well, not Tara, who should go back to New Orleans. This plan goes over like a lead balloon with Jesus and Tara. Lala heads for beddies, while Tara informs Jesus in no uncertain terms that he is to prevent Lafayette from heading back to Shreveport. Jesus claims he will convince Lafayette of the brilliance of this plan so well that Lafayette will think it was his idea. From inside the house: “I heard that.”
Some nice house in Shreveport. Sookie checks the address, smoothes her ponytail, and knocks on the door. Alcide! He calls her a sight for sore eyes and scoops her up into a big hug, lifting her clear off the ground. He’s a mountain of a man, isn’t he? He puts her down, lingers like he wants to kiss her, and finally invites her in. Inside, it’s the usual “I thought you were dead”, “Nope, now I need a favour re: my vampire boyfriend,” until Debbie walks in with a tray of nibbles. OMG you guys, Debbie Pelt. Looking good! That’s fucking amazing. So Debbie’s been clean and sober for nearly a year now, which also means she’s back with Alcide. You should be so lucky, Debbie. We should all be so lucky. I honestly just wondered if I would 12-step my Diet Coke addiction for an Alcide. Tempting. Seriously, that’s what Debbie credits: the program, Jesus, and Alcide. I think that’s all you need in life. Debbie would like to make amends for that time she totally tried to kill Sookie, and Sookie’s pretty quick to be like, “Bygones (ish)!” But when Debbie hugs her, Sookie bolts, claiming she has to get back in time for her shift. Inside, Alcide tells Debbie that it’s just something Sookie will need time to get used it, while outside he tells Sookie that he didn’t mention Debbie because he didn’t think Sookie would come if she knew. Sookie’s undercutting Alcide and Debbie’s relationship by suggesting that it would be lovely if Debbie could stay sober and pigs could fly, so Alcide steers the conversation back to hiding Eric. As Eric helped Alcide get this contracting job (that’s why the move to Louisiana) after Alcide “did him some favours last year” (doubtless re: Sookie’s disappearance), Alcide could probably hide him in one of the properties not yet occupied. Sookie tries to play it off like it’s no big deal, she just wanted him out of her house. Alcide is enraged: “He’s livin’ in your house?!” I wonder if Sookie’s house is this season’s state lines. Sookie leaves, and I feel like it’s still up in the air if Eric is going to become Alcide’s problem now. I guess not?
Merlotte’s. Sookie is indeed working the lunch shift when Tara comes in. She wants Sookie to put in a good word with Eric re: Lafayette, and Sookie offers Tara that whatever it is, it’s probably no longer of concern to Eric. Tara, however, presses on, and, after Sookie offers incredibly delayed sympathy for Tara’s “ordeal” (I mean, honestly, she was fine), Tara explains the whole witch-sitch. Sookie, naturally, is far more interested in this spell than she is in anything else, so it’s just as well that Sam shows up and begins flirting up a storm with our Ms. Thornton.
Outside, shooting backtequila, Sam would like to know, “What the fuck?” It’s a pretty good general question, but he’s specifically asking why she took off after learning that he is a shifter. Tara explains that it wasn’t that, just everything all over the place in this damn town, and, anyway, she was following his advice about starting over. Sam denies having said any such thing. Over the past year, he’s apparently learned that lives carry on. I don’t think Tara is hearing that. Upon learning that Tara will be staying for at least a little while, he offers up one of his rental units and even his own place. Tara “wows” the forwardness of it all and tells him that she’s seeing someone back in New Orleans. He informs her that he is also in the early stages of seeing someone. Tara kids on the square that he should really stop flirting with her if that’s the case, and he replies that he will when she stops flirting right back. Ah, that was refreshing. A nice, light scene with warm and loving vibes. And, as always, if anyone on this show needs a friend, it’s Sam.
Lafayette has used this distraction to slip out, Jesus has just announced, so Tara and Jesus hop in her car to go after him.
Fangtasia. Dungeon. Pam’s kicking Lafayette around and monologuing about how messing with her makes her laugh but messing with her Maker’s another story (aw. Seriously, poor Pam on this one). Tara and Jesus come down with Ginger in tow. Hey, Ginger, way to stay alive! Pam mocks the naïveté of bringing a gun to a vamp-fight but stows it when Tara reveals that it’s loaded with wooden bullets. I guess Tara is a vampire hunter now? I mean, there’s “be prepared,” and then there’s “I keep weapons of vamp destruction in my trunk.” Ginger, as is her wont, goes screaming up the stairs at the first possible opportunity. Tara and Jesus claim that they can deliver the witch who erased Eric’s memory in exchange for Lafayette. Pam asks if Jesus is a witch, and he clarifies that he’s a Brujo in case we forgot. Also in case Pam was interested in the distinction. She’s not. Pam gives them 24 hours to bring her the witch, or she will “eat, fuck, and kill” all three of them. Oh, good, more rape talk. True Blood: Now with 800% more rape! Jesus helps Lafayette up the stairs while Tara provides cover/eyeballs Pam a while. Pam eyeballs her right back, so Pam’s in on that particular secret now.
Marnie, meanwhile, is performing a little ceremony to invite the power that possessed her to take up permanent residence in the bird cage of her soul. She offers a couple of drips of blood by lightly slashing the inside of her forearm while saying that she knows sacrifice is necessary. The third time, she makes a much bigger cut, seemingly not of her own accord. As Marnie heads over to a counter to put some paper towel on the wound, we see the other witch reflected in the mirror.
Bill Compton, Vampire King of Louisiana, and His Daughter, Princess Jessica
We’re watching this bizarre, patently faked YouTube video. The kicker is not how ridiculous it is, but that the lame vamp in it is real and really sitting hand cuffed in Bill’s office. Bill would like to take this moment to remind everyone that being caught feeding on film is expressly forbidden. Lame Vamp asks after his punishment, and Bill barely looks up from his paper work to answer that it is the true death. He seems like he has a little trouble either delivering that edict or following through on it. It doesn’t matter, though. Lame Vamp’s hauled out one door while bellowing about taking this to the Authority. Bill yells back that he is the authority, then opens the doors to the main foyer to find Jessica waiting.
“My liege,” she teases. Bill gives her a hug (AW!) and asks why she’s dropping by. She needs Advil for Hoyt, all the stores are closed, obvs Bill is not taking Advil but maybe his staff. Bill takes her by the hand into the drawing room. There is no way she’s dropping by after months of absence because she needs Advil. He closes the doors (nice to see that Bill’s still got his piano), as Jess reveals that she was feeding on a guy who’s not Hoyt. Protective Father Bill makes his first appearance of the season, ensuring that Jessica was not caught on tape, as there would be nothing he could do to protect her if she was. Aw! No, really, they are so sweet now. Seated on the couch, Bill then tells her that she is going to have to be honest with Hoyt. Jessica counters that Hoyt will be “so hurt,” so Bill asks her to imagine how hurt Hoyt would feel if he ever found out from someone else. The heartbroken look on his face makes it clear that he’s trying to teach his daughter to learn from his mistakes. Jessica sighs that she hates her life, and Bill has to smile at the delightful teenager-iness of it all. “Jess,” he says, taking her hand, “Vamp up.” Vamp up! He says that out loud! To his daughter! I fucking love Bill these days. Jessica smiles as Bill goes on to explain, “If you love him, you tell the truth. Period.” Even Jessica can see who’s really on Bill’s mind, so she gently rubs his arm, then nestles her head into his shoulder. Bill drops his own head down on top of hers. Look how far they’ve come! And, as a bonus, Bill looks hot in his fitted navy button down. Really, all his Chuck Bass-ification is missing to be complete is an excellent tailor for his suits.
Back home, Hoyt has been waiting up for Jessica. He’s holding that creepy doll that was lying on the floor back when he first took Jessica to this house. When Jessica gets home, Hoyt starts that whole, “wherehaveyoubeenIwassoworriedwhatifyouweredead” thing and doesn’t buy the Advil cover story. Jessica comes clean about Fangtasia and the fangbanger. Hoyt wants to know if Jessica also fucked him, which greatly upsets her, then seems relieved when she didn’t, causing Jessica to try to downplay which she did do. Hoyt rails that every time he kisses Jessica, he’ll taste that guy’s blood in his mouth. Jessica cries that she was just hungry for something different. Surely Hoyt looks at other women. Hoyt yells that he does NOT. Other women don’t exist for him. He punctuates this with a punch to a post, and his hand settles on the truck keys. Jessica begs Hoyt to look at her. When he does, the rattlesnake shivers on the soundtrack, and Hoyt winces away, begging/warning her, “Don’t even.” He tries to leave, but this turns out to be the difference between Jessica and Hoyt. Jessica vamp-zips over there and pins the door down, glamouring Hoyt into forgetting all about this and just be happy with her. Hoyt goofily replies that he’s the happiest guy in the world ‘cause he’s with her and hugs her while Jessica starts to cry. Not cool, Jess. I do wonder if Bill would have ever done this to Sookie if he could.
The next night, Bill is frantically leaving Eric a second message, demanding a call back as a command from Eric’s King. Aw, Bill is so worried! Also, see? I knew he couldn’t have been setting Eric up. That’s just not how he does things. Also also, this reminds me of how Bill never used to answer Eric’s texts because he doesn’t like typing on the keypad. Season 1! All over the place! Portia Bellefleur comes back from the restroom. The waiter, who had been trying to eavesdrop on Bill’s conversation, brings Portia her dessert, and the matter of fact way she slides it across the table in order to continue her business “proposal” guarantees that I am going to love Portia for a good long while. Portia’s business proposal, btw, is adding sex to their professional friendship. Bill considers this and then offers, “I could never love you.” Ruh-roh. That had better not be old Bill rearing his head. If it is, he covers fairly well. Bill explains that love is a young person’s game, and, as such, he is far too old to play. Portia can accept that, which makes me immediately understand that she cannot, so Bill gets the check. Later, Portia is riding Bill (welcome to the gun show, Bill Compton!) on his office chair. When he pops fang, she tells him it’s okay to bite, but he doesn’t. He also slides down the strap on her camisole/slip because what’s HBO without tits?
Sorry to Interrupt Your Black Panther Party (Except for the Part Where I’m Not)
Crystal determines that Jason’s fever means that the panther is taking, then slips him Mexican Viagra, and rapes him. The camera pans back to reveal that every damn woman in Hot Shot queuing up to do the same. Jason regrets ever meeting Crystal and hates her. Amen to that.
There was a bunch of stuff about Ghost Daddy and the origin of werepanthers, but all I really got out of it was the blood smeared all over her face because 1) blood never washes and 2) Crystal is no better than a vampire. If you ask me, she’s worse.
Your Real Family
Sookie comes home to find the house and Eric’s cubby empty. She’s reading a book at the kitchen table when where’s a flash of light and a distant helicopter chopping (?) outside. It’s Claudine. She’s all, “C’mon, Sookie, let’s go home,” but Sookie has no interest in Faerie. Claudine informs her that they’re not harvesting people; they’re protecting their family. Whoa, boy, do they suck at that. Which is just what Sookie is telling Claudine. Claudine points out that time she wrapped that chain around what’s-his-face Rattray’s throat, clueing Sookie into her light, but all Sookie wants to know is where Claudine was any of the many times vampires almost killed her. Hell, I want to know where she was the very next night when the Rattrays nearly beat Sookie to death. Also, and not to harp on this, but Season 1! Claudine couldn’t risk saving Sookie when vampires were involved. As if to illustrate this point, Puppy Eric appears from the darkness and whooshes Claudine into a wood pile, draining her in the process. She goes from sparkling at the end of her fingers tips to slack to creepy goblin to a puff of dust in a few seconds. As the faerie bits blow away, Eric looks up at Sookie, his mouth covered in grue. Sookie snaps, “Eric, you just killed my faerie godmother!” Eric looks down, then back up to sheepishly reply, “Sorry?” with this hilarious look on his face like he just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
In other news:
Next time: I do hope it’s the one with Alcide making that noise.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 06:09|