Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: True Blood "I Wish I Was the Moon"

Non Spoiler Review:
I Wish I Was the Moon brings a lot of character focus in lieu of action, but it makes for a really satisfying hour, and continues this season's spell (pun!) of successful episodes. Sookie rediscovers that she has a brother as Jason comes to terms with the possibility of turning into a werepanther. The moon figures prominently in the background as Tommy also makes a self-discovery, Tara and her girlfriend have a heart to heart, Bill has to make some decisions about Eric, and in Mexico, Jesus and Lafayette deal with the evil grandpa brujah. 

There were a few pleasant surprises here in how some characters behaved and actually made good choices, or at least evolved in some way. And I have to say I was really happy (for once) about Jason's storyline direction.

Has it been six episodes already? At the halfway point it seems there's still a lot that can happen with the witches, and even a lot more simmering on the backburner—Alcide and Debbie? Andy? Portia's Compton ties? Even evil baby storyline took an interesting turn this week.

Spoilers Now!
Bill arrives at Sookie's to interrupt the tryst before it gets too far, arresting Eric. Eric goes willingly (though manages to toss Bill across the room first), confessing he has heard of all the bad things he's done in his previous life. Sookie follows them back to Bill's mansion, where Eric is taken away and silvered. They have words, and he tells her to stay out of this, and has her banned from his house. Sookie leaves in a huff, refusing to recognize Bill's auth-or-i-tay.

Eric's taken to Pam's cell where she's still rotting away and smelling like death. She wants to escape and get the witches who did this, and reminds Eric that he hates Bill's guts and was a viking who didn't take any guff from nobody. He remembers nothing of their life together, and he doesn't want it back.

Bill calls up Nan to advise her he has Eric and asks permission to execute him, given he's been infected. Score extra points, as he has the necromancer, too. Nan is impressed with his thoroughness so will get back to him.

Terry and Arlene are woken up by smoke, given the bedroom is on fire. They manage to get out, and the kids have already escaped with the baby. But the fire damages both their house and Holly's, as well as Sam's retirement plans. The baby looks behind him and sees a young black woman smiling back, who vanishes.

Sam suffers through Andy's V-induced accusations of being a slumlord, but Andy is distracted by flirting with Holly. Sam goes off to deal with the fire and asks Tommy to look after things while he handles business, but Tommy is suffering the after-effects of his parents' deaths...which means turning into a skinwalker and taking Sam's appearance (!). 

Sookie tries to get a hold of Jason to get some help, and goes to see Sam, asking if she can have the day off. Tommy fires her and gives her a lecture about her bad work ethic and always getting into trouble, and sends her on her way. He then heads out into the restaurant and runs into Maxine who wants him to let his no good brother know that he can stay away for abandoning her. And he was stupid and useless. 

Later, Luna shows up deciding it's time to throw herself at Sam, so the two have sex. She tells him it was exciting, like they'd just met. Immediately after he wants her to get the hell out, and kicks her out of the house before changing back to Tommy and collapsing.

Sookie finds Jason handcuffed to his bed at his house, so he explains the whole thing about the werepanthers, which even she finds hard to believe. But she vows to help him through it. The two of them stay up at night to wait out the change and discuss Sookie being special and what it's all entailed. When she goes into the house he takes the opportunity to run off into the woods, wanting to protect her from his pantherness should it suddenly come upon him.

Tara's girlfriend shows up asking for some s'plainin', so Tara gives her the lowdown on her miserable first three seasons. She eventually concludes she likes the new Tara better, so they go out to dinner, only to run into Jessica as their waitress, who abruptly takes off like lightning.

Jessica finds Jason in the woods, given she can detect when he's in trouble, so he explains the situation and the two talk all night and discuss what it's like to be special. When it's apparent that he's not going to change, Jason appears disappointed, but Jessica assures him he's special (as in she's got a major crush on him). He thanks her, and both agree that it's best they not tell Hoyt.

Alcide comes home to find Marcus visiting with Debbie, given she's gone ahead and joined the pack—her sobriety needs a support system. He's not impressed, but agrees to go along with it to support her. They go off into the woods for the full moon, only to run into Sookie. She asks him some questions about were-animals, and Alcide admits they're all more alike than not, and that both wolves and panthers can't be infected—they have to be born. So Jason won't become one. Happy with that, she runs off to find him.

Bill has been given permission to execute Eric, so he's brought to him outside the mansion. Bill has difficulty dealing with Eric's agreeableness and his desire that Sookie be happy. He raises the stake above his head to deliver the true death, but it appears Bill's heart has grown three sizes bigger.

In her cell, Marnie cuts herself to try to summon Antonia, and receives another vision of the burning where the witch summoned all the vampires from their sleep into the sun. Marnie awakes to being full-blown possessed by her. Luis watches her on the security cameras and goes down into the cell to see her (big mistake). Antonia knows him, given he got all rapey with her back in Spain before she was burned. He recognizes that she's in Marnie, but Antonia casts a spell that forces him to submit on his knees. 

In Mexico, Lafayette and Jesus have an awkward visit with his grandfather. He berates Jesus for having no pride coming to him for help, but does ask for a sacrifice, which means Jesus and Lafayette have to wait in the country for an animal to come to them. A rattlesnake slithers along, so Jesus takes it back to his grandfather. He says Marnie is using similar spells—blood magic—to open the spirit realm. 

He throws the snake at Jesus and it bites him. He tells Lafayette to protect him and leaves. Lafayette tries to save Jesus, and is suddenly possessed by the spirit of someone named Tio Luca, who manages to calm the poison. Lafayette then awakens free of the spirit, and Jesus appears okay.

Tara and her girlfriend leave Merlotte's only to be ambushed by a vengeful Pam. Sam comes home to find a sick Tommy on the floor. Sookie meets Eric in the woods, and he tells her Bill let him live. The two finally make love in the grass, which must certainly be full of bugs. Bill stands on his porch, very sad. 

The Verdict:
Sookie finally remembered she had a brother (!). It was refreshing to see them actually be a family again and look out for one another (Gran would be pleased). The full moon vigil to await his transformation allowed for several great scenes with her, as well as with Jessica, and culminated in the refreshing fact that he can't be made a werepanther. What more could I ask for? I'm even kind of torn whether I prefer Jessica with Jason now.

Antonia appears to be the big villain of the season at the moment, taking over Marnie to have her revenge on the vampires. Getting the bits of the history lesson in Spain was cool, as was her power over Luis. Now I'm wondering if she'll inflict a new spell to bring the vampires into the sun again, which could lead to a cast cull by the end of the season. On the other side, what's Jesus going to do? Will he gain the power he needs to fight Marnie/Antonia, and will it corrupt him? Could his grandfather eventually end up being the main villain if/when they dispatch Marnie? 

Sam Trammell did a bang up job with his Tommy imitation. While it's a cliche having the doppelganger banging the girlfriend and ruining the friendships, it did add some great humour to the episode. Alcide's storyline grows a little bit each week, but must surely be building to something for the latter half of the season. And even Arlene and Terry's drama actually broke out and managed to impact some other characters, with the curious ghostly appearance of the (thankfully non-RenĂ©) young woman. 

All in all, a bang up job, considering it was mostly character development. I'm really loving this season's dynamic.

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