Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: True Blood "Let's Get Out Of Here"

Non Spoiler Review:
Picking up on last week's frenetic pace, Run lives up to its name and packs in a ton of stuff right to the very end. Unfortunately we get one of those classic cop out cliffhangers, as the writers seemed to forget what happened at the end of last episode.

Sookie's plight gets resolved very quickly, and the plot continues on to Antonia's next plan (and securing the loyalty of her coven). Bill and Nan start to grate on one another, Hoyt packs up Jessica's stuff, and possessed Lafayette causes a whole lot of trouble. Alcide's path crosses with the Merlottes in an unexpected way.

This was a tough one to judge, as the episode redeemed itself with some crazy character pairings that kept things interesting until the end. The witty barbs were flying between Nan and Bill behaving like a married couple in some terrific scenes. The momentum is building up to a suitable True Blood hot mess. Completely over the top. But all that good was tarnished by the really bad writing of the first scene with Sookie. True Blood is famous for glazing over cliffhangers, but this was one of the worst examples by far. On the other hand, no Star Trek fairyland.

Spoilers Now!
Alcide rushes home with Sookie, but Bill (!), suddenly silverless, arrives at super speed, steals her and gets her home in a flash, trying to get her to feed from him. Alcide catches up, pissed, but Sookie finally opens her eyes after managing to feed (when this happened, I don't know, as I must have momentarily looked away from the screen). She finds Bill and Alcide, but  asks for Eric in typical Sookie selfishness. Bill has his men out looking for him. Alcide is furious she nearly died because of vampires—again. He says he's done and leaves. Sookie thanks Bill for the blood, he smiles awkwardly and leaves her alone, as well. 

Remember last week's tense vampire/witch battle? That seems to have resolved itself off screen as everyone is back at the emporium, including Marnie, who has brought Eric back with them. She commands him to clean himself up, but Tara is pissed she didn't take Bill's offer of peace. She ignores her, and orders them all to cast a protective spell. By the way, it's not Marnie anymore, but ANTONIA! Holly and Tara seem to smarten up, and are not about to blindly follow her, but Marnie isn't home anymore, and Antonia is firmly in control. Just try to leave, she dares.

There's a new plan, thanks to a handy flyer about the Festival of Tolerance between vampires and humans the next night, and she plans on bringing Eric there to show the world their true face. 

Luna suggests Sam leaves so he doesn't get into trouble with Marcus, but Sam gets an idea to take the two of them camping to get away from the werewolf drama. Luna agrees. They all bond over the campfire and Sam even changes into a rabbit for Emma to pet (ick).

Alcide comes home and climbs into bed as Debbie plays asleep. She doesn't appear happy (as her glowing yellow eyes suggest).

Jessica is morose and vents to Nan about her love life at Bill's mansion. Nan confesses that after listening to her all night, she no longer regrets choosing not to be a maker. Bill shows up and Nan compliments him for his interview on the news. The three of them all go to ground together (bound in silver), and he springs it on her that Eric is missing again. Apparently Bill changed his mind about executing Eric all by himself, despite Nan giving him the go ahead. She's not impressed.

Nan isn't willing to cancel the festival because there are other factions involved and thinks he's stupid for letting it come to this. They get into a pissy argument and he tells her she can't see beyond tomorrow's headline. She'll bolster security, but the Festival of Tolerance must go forward and he better be in a festive mood. Given they're all bound in silver, Jessica is forced to listen to their spat.

Hoyt wakes up after a bender, and packs up Jessica's things. Then Lafayette shows up with the baby, telling him to get out of his house and waving a gun on him (apparently Hoyt's house was Mavis'). Meanwhile, Arlene and Terry are frantic at their missing kid and Jason tries to get the story straight. He gets the call from Hoyt explaining Lafayette's appearance. Terry seems to be stressing out more and more at the news, and Andy takes some V in secret.

Sookie has a dream of Eric showing up at her house in the day. Then Bill is there, and tells her he never stopped loving her. Sookie tells them both to shut up. She thinks she's in love with both of them, and proposes the two of them be hers rather than the other way around. She wants to share them both. Then she wakes up.

Tommy writes a good-bye note to Sam when Marcus comes into Merlotte's looking for his brother. He leaves his card and tells him Sam needs to meet him that night. 

Lafayette remains in Hoyt's house as Andy and Jason arrive. Andy isn't taking any resistance from Lafayette and busts inside. That doesn't go well, and Lafayette nearly shoots him, prompting Jason and Andy to run out.

Jesus goes in to talk to him, tells Mavis he's a brujah, and she needs to make peace with whatever killed her. Mavis suddenly realizes she's in the body of a man. They attempt a ritual and Jesus has a vision of Mavis and how her baby had already been buried when she learned he was dead. She wants to know where he is. She remembers the tree outside, so he and Lafayette head out of the house and give back the baby to Arlene. 

Debbie's out on the street scoring some V, then heads to Sookie's. Sookie reluctantly invites her in. Debbie says Alcide came home smelling of her blood. She wants to make things better between them. Sookie reads her mind and sees that Debbie is being genuine, so believes her. Sookie also tells her Alcide really loves her, but does take Debbie's invitation to help.

Alcide and Marcus are hanging out at the motorcycle shop. Alcide wants in on the pack because it's important to Debbie. So Marcus asks him to help him out with a shifter problem he has with his exwife. He asks Alcide to stick around for his meeting with him, promising there won't be trouble, but just wants some backup to make him more inclined to listen. 

As night falls, Andy apologizes to Jason but it doesn't mean anything anymore. Jason's focused on helping Jesus dig by the tree with Hoyt, and they find two skeletons...both the baby and Mavis'. Jesus gives over the dead baby, asking for Lafayette back. Mavis leaves the body in a golden light—witnessed by everyone there, including Arlene, Terry and Hoyt. She thanks them all and disappears with her baby.

Debbie shows up at the emporium to see Antonia. She says she represents the werewolves come to pledge their allegiance. Meanwhile, Sookie sneaks in the back way and finds the coven sleeping, with Eric locked in a room. Eric is cogent enough to tell her she should go, as he's supposed to kill the king. That's when Tara shows up with a gun.

Antonia knows werewolves don't like to make themselves known, so why now? Debbie cracks and tells her she brought Sookie to her. Antonia finds them, and tells Tara not to shoot. Sookie can be of use to them. Tara tells Sookie (via her thoughts) to charge her, and that Bill is at the hotel. Sookie overpowers Tara and runs out. Debbie is waiting in the car and Sookie runs up (unaware of her betrayal). They drive off to the festival. Antonia summons Eric to go with them and commands the rest to stay there. She arcane locks the emporium (Tara gets burned trying to open the door). 

Jason helps Hoyt put his house back in order. Jason reluctantly agrees to deliver the box of belongings back to Jessica at Bill's place. She invites him in, but he doesn't think that's a good idea. But that doesn't last, because two seconds later they're having True Blood sex in the back of his truck. 

Tommy shows up at Marcus' (as Sam), and is greeted by Alcide. There are several other werewolves there as backup. Marcus tells him to stay away from his wife. Tommy says he's never touched his wife, though his brother has. That prompts a beat down from everyone but Alcide, who orders Marcus to call them off. That's when Tommy shifts back and Marcus recognizes him from Merlotte's. Furious with Marcus for breaking his word, Alcide carries Tommy out.

At the hotel, Bill's sheriffs are standing guard as the Festival of Tolerance begins, but aside from the speakers there are no vampires in the audience as per Nan's wishes not to provoke any trouble. Eric shows up outside the hotel, prompting the sheriffs to take off in pursuit. He surrenders, just as Antonia arrives to cast her mind control spell and takes them under her command, as well. 

Sookie runs in as Bill gives his speech. She yells from the audience as vampires appear around the room, disembowel the human guards for everyone to see, and prompt a panic. Jumping into the crowd, they begin killing audience members, while Eric leaps from the gallery to attack the king, and Sookie screams for Bill to run.

The Verdict:
The resolution of last week's cliffhanger was virtually ignored—not only does Bill somehow get free off camera, but we're led to believe everyone must have just decided to go home, as we see Antonia and her crew back at the emporium with Eric. What did they do with their dead? Did security just back off? Did Sookie feed from Bill or not? That bad writing could have set the tone for the whole episode, but luckily things got back on track.

Debbie's questionable loyalties really had me guessing, and now she's got Sookie thinking she's on her side. With Alcide screwing up his role in the pack, there's just enough time left in the season to finally throw the werewolf storyline into high gear. It's going to be pretty obvious to him (or should be) that Debbie's fallen off the wagon.

Nice to see Tara remember her friendship and think smart to get a leg up on Antonia. Equally cool was Antonia's magical warding of the emporium. Aside from her one crazy loyal hippie, the rest seem to have come to their senses.

I'm not clear what purpose Mavis' storyline is going to serve, aside from saying "Hey, here's what Lafayette's powers can do." But at least it seems resolved and out of the way, though that might not necessarily explain Mikey's evilness. It didn't offer anything unique at all, except the usual ghost needs closure story we've all seen too many times.

Special mention goes to Hoyt's box labelling For you, monster, and the subsequent text scribbled out when Jason delivers it to Jessica. Nan and Bill's bickering was hilarious, especially with a distraught Jessica being forced to listen to them while they were all chained in the crypt. Nan's subsequent Jackie Kennedy pink dress and Bill's Southern accent virtually dripping from his festival speech all made for an excessively funny hour.

Now that Nan has to deal with yet another vampire on human massacre it's going to be interesting to see where the public relations angle goes from here. Will they out the witches, as well? Antonia's not going to be able to keep a handle on things too much longer with her coven held prisoner. But now that Lafayette is getting experience with magic, he might be the key to her defeat.

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