Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: True Blood "I'm Alive and On Fire"

Non Spoiler Review:
This week saw a lot of shirtless running around with Sookie tagging along uttering one-liners. Eric suffers the after effects of his fairy blood bender, prompting Sookie to do a lot more lying for him and calling in Alcide to help. Bill's relationship with Portia takes an odd twist. Tommy goes home to visit his mother. Sam pursues Luna but gets more than he bargained for. Lafayette, Tara and Jesus race to get a solution to the vampire/witch feud. And then there are the hillbilly werepanthers (sigh).

There's nothing really new to say that I haven't said last week—the witch storyline rocks. The werepanthers suck. But at least here that little bit gets some movement at last. Most important, Alcide is thrown back into the mix.

There was a sense a lot of pieces were being set up for big developments—Tommy, Sam, Marnie, Debbie, and so on. But the episode struck a good mix of action, intrigue and a lot of funny bits. The season so far is showing it's as good as ever.

Spoilers Now!
Sookie tries to get Eric back into the house, but he's tripping on a fairy blood bender and runs off at super speed.

Bill goes to Fangtasia to find out where Eric is, but Pam assures him she isn't lying (and all his subjects are aware how ruthless he is). In fact, she thought he sent Eric to the witches to kill him. Before leaving, Bill demands she let him know the moment she finds out anything. She comments that he likes the feel of the crown.

Jason is enduring sex with all the werepanther women. He manages to reason with one of the younger girls to cut him loose, then escapes. Filton finds out and heads off in a rage. Jason leaves his shirt to divert them from his scent, then hides in a tree where he proceeds to whittle a spear—all while delirious. When Filton-panther shows up, Jason somehow manages to impale him. Crystal arrives, happy that Filton is dead and she's the head of the pack now. But Jason has had more than enough of her and warns her off or he'll kill her. For a moment, it looks like we just might be rid of Crystal, too, but he runs off. She shouts that she'll be waiting for him at the full moon.

Bill gets raked over the coals by Nan for sending Eric after wiccans. He makes mention of a Spanish witch that caused them problems four hundred years before, and knows they can be dangerous. But Nan isn't convinced. They don't make necromancers like they used to, and suggests he's being paranoid. She wants him to clean it up, but no dead humans!

Marnie has a vision of a woman burned as a witch (in Spain?) much to the glee of the priests watching her. The woman chants something to her and Marnie awakes. Jesus, Tara and Lafayette come to see her to warn her about Eric again. It wasn't her spell, she says. She makes an attempt to summon the spirit responsible, but fails.

Alcide comes to see Sookie after she asks for his help in finding Eric. He changes to a wolf to catch his scent. They find him in the swamp swimming, given he can walk in the daylight with Claudine's blood. He's about to fight Alcide when the effect wears off and he begins to burn, so Sookie wraps him up and gets him back home. Alcide thinks it's crazy keeping Eric in her house, but she fires back it's no different than trusting Debbie. But they assure one another they're still friends and he leaves her with him. 

Maxine tears a strip off Sam because Tommy hasn't come home. Tommy's actually gone to see his mother after she called him to let him know she left Joe Lee. He brings her up to speed on Sam shooting him and is happy that she's finally rid of her husband. She's pretty impressed he's learned to read. Tommy's mother confesses Joe Lee threw her back in the ring and nearly died. That's when he appears and ropes Tommy with a chain. It was all a ruse to get him back into the dog fights.

Meanwhile, Sam goes to see Luna, but she's not very happy he didn't call first before coming. She has a kid, so invites him in. Later, she confesses she has to be careful, as her ex is a werewolf who is a bit of a bad ass. He still watches her and is very jealous. But Sam is a hit with her daughter.

Portia invites Bill to meet her grandmother, Caroline. That was his wife's name, Bill says. Andy is there, as he's her grandson too, but gets antsy and takes off after awhile. Caroline thinks he's drinking again. While they look through the family bible, Bill comes across the name Elizabeth Harris, which freaks out Caroline and she has to retire after asking Bill to keep the secret. Bill leaves, telling Portia they can't see one another any more. She won't let the matter drop, so he reveals Elizabeth Harris was the daughter of Sarah Compton, his daughter. So Portia is his great-great-great granddaughter.

After an evening trying to find the correct spell, Marnie's about to give up when one book falls off the shelf. It opens to a page showing how to cure one who's suffered a spell of forgetting. 

Alcide comes home to Debbie, but she can smell that he shifted. He confesses Sookie called for his help. Debbie's pleased that he told her the truth.

Terry is looking after Mike while the rest of the family sleeps. When he leaves to get clothes out of the dryer, the kid apparently has written baby not yours on the wall in marker. 

Eric is depressed about seeing the sun, and asks Sookie for a kiss. But they're interrupted when someone comes to the door. It's Bill. He and Sookie talk on the porch, and she lies (again) about not knowing Eric's whereabouts, explaining he said she could stay in the house before leaving. Bill says they've searched everywhere, and her house is the last of his property they haven't searched. She forbids him, but Bill is insistent. So she steps in front of him and demands to know why he doesn't trust her given she's never lied to him. He admits she's right, so says goodnight. 

Jason is stumbling along the road and passes out. Jessica and Hoyt drive by just in time, and she gives him her blood to heal him. 

Pam oversees Marnie's ritual in the woods, while Tara keeps a gun trained on her. Marnie performs the spell, but Pam continues to interrupt and make threats. That brings the spirit back into Marnie, and another round of Latin that makes Pam's face begin to rot. She flees in terror. Marnie collapses.

The Verdict:
I liked. Though I've had my fill of Jason stumbling through the woods with panthers in hot pursuit, yet still managing to take some time to whittle a stake, leap from a tree, and make short work of Filton. I really wished he'd followed through and killed Crystal, too. The Jason rape scenes were just too much, even for True Blood. This is one storyline they could have dropped.

At least Jessica and Hoyt are there to save the day, though I'm unsure what the angelic Jessica look was meant to imply. Is Jason now going to be drawn to her by blood? Jason's bloodline also needs to be addressed—is he part fairy? Will that have any affect on the panther curse?

Eric and Alcide's verbal sparring match and near fight made the episode, and Sookie's casual manner of going along with the absurdity of it all. But all funny bits aside, she has really crossed the line now that she's overtly lied to Bill for Eric. That's pretty much everyone she knows now. There better start to be some repercussions for all this deception on her part.

I'm not sure where Bill and Portia's storyline is going, but it was all a matter of time before the Compton family got dug up again. But he continues to rock as king—absolutely the best thing that could have happened to his character. Now, it would be really cool to see him and Pam hook up, because she's just as awesome right now, but I'm sure there's no chance of that happening.

Tara, Lafayette and Jesus make a great team, too. She's another character that's been successfully resurrected. They've managed to pull off the magic angle with the witches so much better than they did the fairies. I'm happy they've dropped that bit for the moment. 

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