Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: True Blood "The Cold Grey Light of Dawn"

Non Spoiler Review:
Another character-focused episode brings us more heartfelt Bill/Jessica moments, as the vampires of Louisiana brace for an imminent attack by the resurrected Antonia. Sam finds out about Tommy's skinwalking, while Lafayette and Jesus deal with the revelations from their Mexico trip. 

The characters are beginning to take sides in the witch/vampire conflict, and it was interesting to see adversaries begin to work together, while others made curious choices for allies. Bill takes command, but makes some questionable decisions. It does seem odd he's the driving force to head off Antonia when he wasn't even alive during her first attack (compared to many of his contemporary vampires).

The storyline is in full throttle now with Marnie leading the way. But even Tommy and Arlene's baby are stepping up their game and have started to pique my curiosity with the new ghost. It's Sookie and Eric who remain the least interesting thing going on at the moment, vastly overshadowed by Bill's coolness factor and the charming bits with Jessica. It's a refreshing shift.

Spoilers Now!
Katie comes down to the cell to hear Marnie's screams as Luis appears to be attacking her. But she's in control—compelling Luis to glamor her to reveal the security layout of the house and allow her escape. Marnie has him kill Katie for her treason, then leaves, with orders to relay a message to his king that Antonia has returned.

Pam's attack on Tara is interrupted by a crowd taking pictures. Pam whispers to her that she'll hunt her down eventually, then departs in a flash. Traumatized, Tara tells her girlfriend that anyone she ever loved ended up dead, and so she wants to let her go and sends her away. She drives off, leaving Tara devastated.

Jesus' grandpa comes back into the room. Jesus is furious he risked his life, but the old man tells him he would never sacrifice him as he's the last of them left. He advises Lafayette that he has the magic. Tio Luca was Jesus' uncle, a healer. Lafayette, like Marnie, has the ability to channel the dead.

Alcide and Debbie are initiated into the pack in the woods in a rather mundane ceremony, but Alicide's mind is on Sookie and her safety, that does not go unnoticed on Debbie. She tells him they can spare a few minutes to go look for her. Unfortunately, they spy Sookie and Eric together, and Debbie notices Alcide doesn't look very happy. Later she confesses she thinks Alcide is in love with Sookie. He admits he worries for her, but that's it (...rrright).

Luis comes to see Bill, admitting he made a terrible mistake and that Antonia is back, then shoots Bill! But he gets his gun and fires back, then pins Luis down with a stake. Luis whispers resurrection and impales himself. Bill summons Jessica to explain the Antonia situation, and that her plan now may be to bring all the vampires into the sun. So he makes a bold decision and instructs his sheriffs to order all the vampires out of the state, and those that remain will bind themselves with silver to remain in their coffins. 

Jason continues to have fantasies about Jessica, but gets a visit from Hoyt, who is checking in on him given he was raped and all. He admits he feels Jessica is slipping away from him. 

Bill shows up at Sookie's after they get back from the woods, and she thanks him for letting Eric go. He's there to explain the Antonia situation, but he's offering Eric the choice whether to stay or leave. Eric will stay with Sookie, of course, so he leaves him with silver chains, and goes home to do the same with himself and Jessica. 

Tara walks home by herself (at night, by the woods!) and hears something from the trees. Marnie emerges, and informs her that she's now Antonia residing in Marnie. They're alike, she says, suffering at the hands of vampires. She allows Tara to have a vision of what happened in Spain, and promises she can avenge their torment and everyone else who has suffered, but needs Tara's help. Tara asks what she has to do.

Bill has his mansion secured while Jessica is painfully silvered (though the wounds will ultimately heal). Pam is getting injections to at least maintain her appearance despite the rotting inside her, and is also silvered in her coffin. Eric gets Sookie to wrap him in his chains. 

At the hospital Sam's informed Tommy had food poisoning. Sam calls Luna and gets an earful. So he comes to see her and he realizes she thinks he slept with her. He says Tommy was the only one in his trailer, then remembers her story about skinwalking and Luna getting sick afterwards. Both realize it was Tommy. Sam confronts Tommy about impersonating him, asking if he planned on killing him next. He nearly strangles him but opts to let Tommy leave as long as he stays away this time (which I'm sure he will).

Jessica and Bill lie together in their crypt, waiting for the dawn. Bill apologizes for causing her so much suffering, but she says she's lived more with him than she ever would have as a human. He tells her to think of Hoyt, but she admits she doesn't know if she can go back to him. She doesn't love him the same way given she doesn't have a human heart anymore. 

Andy shows up at Merlotte's with roses for Holly for their date. He's acting a bit strange given he hasn't had any V. They barely have a few minutes of conversation before he excuses himself and leaves her, saying it was a mistake. 

Lafayette is back cooking, and when he smiles at Arlene's baby he notices him looking past him. He turns and sees the same black woman from last week. She appears startled he can see her, then gestures for him to keep quiet and sings to the baby, before Lafayette frightens her away. 

Tara later speaks to Holly about returning to the group to fight back against the vampires. Holly has a lot on her mind with the fire, but agrees to come back. They all have to bring in at least one more to make the circle bigger. At the coven, Antonia greets them and explains who she really is. She only wants the assistance of the willing, so a couple of them leave after hearing the plan. The remaining ones vow to join her and perform a new, more powerful spell.

Eric wants Sookie to remove the silver, but she won't. He doesn't want his memory back if she can overlook all he's done. Jason (in uniform finally) shows up at Sookie's just when the effect of the spell appears to pass through Bon Temps. Eric begins yelling to be freed from the basement. She tells Jason to go on, and he realizes that Jessica, as well, may be in danger. Across town the vampires try to break out of their crypts. Maxine sees her neighbour go out in the sun and burst into flames. 

Jessica manages to break her chains and gets out of their cell. Bill commands her to unchain him, but her compulsion is too strong to see the sun, and she goes upstairs while Jason rushes to the mansion. Jason gets tackled by the guards as Jessica throws open the doors to meet the sun.

The Verdict:
A tense episode, with Antonia's imminent attack looming over everything. It did play on a few coincidences, with Bill's (correct) assumption that the witch would immediately try to bring the vampires into the sun the next day, but then depended on her conscripting a bigger coven within a few hours. But aside from those elements, the threat provided another opportunity for a great Jessica/Bill scene. Everything worked—Luis' suicide attack, the silver binding scenes, Antonia's casual escape—to convey how desperate the vampire situation is and their shock at humans being able to mount such a formidable threat.

It was refreshing to see Sookie, Bill and Eric making peace for the time being and dealing with the greater issue rather than petty bickering. King Bill has the fate of all his subjects on his mind, and doesn't easily let himself get bogged down in Sookie's drama anymore.

How Sookie will deal with Tara's firm commitment to the witch's side remains to be seen, but I hope it doesn't end up with the two chatting over ice cream again. The werewolves still have to make their decision (including Alcide), and I'm sure his choice will go against the pack and cause him some trouble.

I have no idea where Andy's storyline is going, if not to simply screw up something at a critical juncture for the other characters. I half expected Holly to bring him into the coven before he abruptly ditched her.

If Lafayette is now a necromancer like Marnie, where does that leave Jesus, and his grandfather's plans for him? Can their relationship survive one magic user (or two?). With the introduction of the ghost girl, I will admit Arlene's crazy storyline has at least become somewhat interesting.

I was surprised that Sam and Luna figured everything out so quickly, but happy it avoided all the drama that could have been involved watching Tommy play Sam for another couple of episodes. But here we are yet again with Sam and Tommy having a falling out and Sam just telling him to get out of town?

My poor Pam seems to be made to suffer this year. She's become quite a wild card acting on her own despite Bill's commands, so I hope she doesn't get too much to handle that it forces his hand to deal with her. A lot of the current problems are stemming from her impulsive actions provoking Marnie and Tara.

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