Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: True Blood "If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?"

Non Spoiler Review:
After last week's strong showing, If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin' loses the momentum in a few ways, getting bogged down in Sookie's attempts to help Eric at the expense of pretty much all her friends. That tainted the episode, despite all the fun dealing with Eric's mind wipe. A second endurance test was Jason's slow and tedious captivity with the hillbilly werepanthers, spending the entire episode tied to the bed. Two episodes tied to a bed is two too many for any character.

But on to the positive—the fallout from Eric's memory loss provides the main focus, with Lafayette, Tara and Jesus attempting to make peace with him, while Marnie opts to act on her own. Sookie seeks out Alcide, and gets a bit of a surprise. Bill catches up with Jessica, who also deals with Hoyt in her own way, and we see some of Bill's management style as king. Sam and Tommy come into conflict—again (surprise!). 

The witch angle continues to be the strength of the season so far, along with the reinvigorated Tara (who would have thought!), and nice scenes with Bill/Jessica and Pam. True Blood runs the risk of isolating its heroine—while she can still deliver the snappy one-liners, Sookie's go-it-alone behaviour isn't making her a particularly sympathetic character right now.

Spoilers Now!
Sookie drives off when it looks like Eric might chow down on her, but he catches up and she's forced to run off through the woods. She punches him in the face which seems to shake him out of his fugue...he knows what he is, but not who he is. He remembers the chanting and the coven, but everything he was has been taken from him. Sookie says she'll help, but lays down some ground rules—no touching or biting.

Marnie's resting, and the group agrees they all hate Eric. Tara isn't impressed she came back to town and was already attacked by a vampire. Lafayette warns them it's Eric Northman they're dealing with who's 1000 years old and starts wondering if he can try to make peace with him. Holly wants to retaliate and Marnie agrees they were provoked, but she has no idea what she did to make him leave.

Bill has to punish one of his subjects captured on a video feeding on a human—meaning the true death. Bill tells him he's being punished for being stupid, and he's dragged away. Russell ruined it for everyone, it seems. Jessica later pays a visit, looking for Advil, given she needs some for Hoyt.

It's been months since she visited and she confesses she fed on someone. Bill's afraid she was photographed, which would mean even he couldn't protect her. But she's not stupid and just feeling guilty. He urges her to explain things to Hoyt, regretting his own past actions with Sookie.

Sookie brings Eric home and invites him in, given he can't remember he owns the place, then calls Pam to fill her in. She arrives in a flash, and seems to know the witches are behind this. Sookie threatens to tell Bill, and Pam threatens back, getting thrown across the room by Eric. Rattled, she believes Bill set up Eric by sending him into the coven, so pleads with Sookie not to go to Bill. He has to stay there with Sookie and no one can know. Sookie agrees, but wants payment for all the inconvenience.

Hoyt is watching the news as Jessica returns (Reverend Newland has apparently been missing for six months). He's found the creepy doll again in the bed (the doll from season three's finale), which they've apparently been trying to get rid of before (throwing it in the lake, the dump, etc.), so someone appears to be playing games with them. But Jessica brushes that off rather quickly and admits to drinking from someone at Fangtasia. When he gets too angry, she glamors him to make him forget it ever happened. Later, Jessica gives the ratty old demon doll to Arlene's son, who seems to like it. Problem solved (?).

Andy's trying to find Jason, but continues to use V and provokes a heated argument with Sam which nearly comes to blows (and a drawn gun) when Sam suggests Andy might be drinking. Andy drives off in a rage.

Sookie shows up at Alcide's house, getting the customary hugs and I thought your were dead! out of the way. She wants him to take care of Eric, but is shocked when Debbie (V-less) walks in. She's been clean and sober for a year, and hopes to win back Sookie's trust. Sookie seems more annoyed that Alcide is back with her, especially given Debbie is sweet as pie now, and leaves relatively quickly. He apologies for not letting her know they were back together. He thinks he can put Eric up in one of his unfinished homes, but Sookie says she'll find a different solution.

At Merlotte's, Tara asks Sookie to talk to Eric about forgiving Lafayette—she explains the witches circle and the spell, which fills in some blanks for Sookie. She tells Tara Pam said he's gone missing so Lafayette shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Sam is pleased to see Tara again and the two reminisce. Since he told her he was a shifter, she left town, but Tara assures him she just wanted to start a new life. She confesses she's seeing someone. And so is he, he says. But Lafayette takes off to see Eric, prompting Tara and Jesus to run off after him.

Bill is trying to get a hold of Eric, too, and commands him to call him back. He's joined for dinner by Portia, who propositions him to take their professional relationship to a personal level. He lets her know he can never love her, but she can accept that and they go home to have sex.

Tommy intercepts a salesman who wants to buy Maxine's natural gas rights. So he goes to Sam and lets him know Maxine's house might be sitting on some money. He thinks the two of them could buy the house from her and keep her in the dark. Sam won't let him do that and tells him to let Maxine know, or he will. Tommy says he hates him and leaves.

Pam has thrown Lafayette in the dungeon at Fangtasia, but Jesus and Tara break in and she pulls a gun (with silver bullets) on Pam. Jesus suggests they might have a chance of reversing the spell if she cooperates. Pam gives them 24 hours to deliver Marnie to them or she'll come after them all.

Meanwhile, Marnie conducts a spell in private to summon the spirit that gives her her power. After a round of cutting, a woman appears in her mirror (the woman from the spell that erased Eric's memory).

Jason is a chewed up mess but Filton and Luther think it's working and he'll change. He later wakes up in a fever with Crystal having sex with him. She calls him ghost-daddy, after the stories of the father of their werepanther race. The other girls in the family all wait their turn at the door.

Sookie comes home to find Eric gone. Claudine pays a visit and wants to take her back with the promise to keep her safe. Sookie isn't too impressed with her lack of help, but Claudine reveals the night she met Bill Compton, she was there helping her—providing the energy to control the chain that strangled her attacker. Claudine gets tough and orders her to come with her. That's when Eric jumps her and feeds on her. Claudine attempts to fight back but changes back to her true form, then dissolves. "You just killed my fairy godmother!" Sookie chides.

The Verdict:
As mentioned, Sookie is the weak link in the storyline. While she's not responsible for her one year absence, her lies are disrespecting the solid relationships with everyone around her, including quietly judging them for moving on in her absence.

Pam really stole the show with some great scenes, trying to balance out the new reality of having to serve Bill, but save Eric. Bill continues to be much more interesting, though I'm not sure where his fling with Portia will go, as I imagine there's more to her than meets the eye.

Alcide's brief introduction was more of a cameo, so I hope his storyline kicks into gear soon. While Debbie's turnaround is kind of nice to see on a show where all the characters go through such turmoil, I somehow doubt it will last.

As for the weaker elements—the doll plot line just leaped out of nowhere. It almost seems as though the writers cut a lot of Jessica and Hoyt's scenes after last season, so we get a bunch of exposition about Maxine trying to shoot her and the attempts to ditch the doll (which I can barely remember from last year). That leads into more of Arlene's wide-eyed crazy baby stare. 

Well, it took less than an episode to get Tommy and Sam fighting again. There's really no growth to his character at all, and I'm still thinking he's just going to be cannon fodder for Sam to become a skinwalker. But get it over with, please.

I'll throw the werepanther storyline one bone—that it's totally creepy with all the hillbilly girls lining up to get impregnated by Jason. We also get a confusing hillbilly tale about the origin of the panthers. It's just gone on and on, and I really hope his fairy blood nixes the transformation and we can move on from this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...