Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: True Blood "Spellbound"

Non Spoiler Review:
The vampire community suffers fallout from Antonia's first strike, leading Bill to set some plans in motion. Sookie and Eric continue their love fest through most of the episode. Lafayette gets some insight into the ghostly visitor hovering around the baby, and Tommy puts his schemes into action.

Spellbound was a great episode, ending on some exciting action bits and jeopardy for several characters. Most interesting, Sookie begins thinking of others aside from herself and Eric! It only took three quarters of the season.

Spoilers Now!
Jason manages to tackle Jessica back inside the house and out of the sun, but she abruptly prepares to kill him. Luckily Antonia ends her spell and Jessica emerges from her fugue, recognizing Jason. They share a passionate kiss as she realizes he saved her life. Below, Bill is distraught, until Jason carries her downstairs and he sees she's alive. She realizes she killed the guard too, but he assures her it wasn't her fault (and it's all part of the job being a human working for the vampire king).

Jason returns her to the cell and binds her with silver again, as the break in the spell could be a ruse to lower their guard. They won't be safe until nightfall. Bill then asks for Jason's discretion on the guard's death, and Jason admits he shot the other man in the shoulder outside. Finally Bill's security arrive en masse, and Jason surrenders to them.

Marcus summons his pack to explain the current vampire/witch dispute. Alcide asks Debbie if she told him what was going on, but she denies it. Marcus thinks it's foolish for the witches to even think they could defeat the vampires, so he's keeping his pack out of it all (Alcide smells a vampire collaborator). 

As night falls, Sookie frees Eric, but he needs to feed so she offers up herself to help him heal. He suggests she silver him should he get out of control. They ultimately share each other's blood, which  gives Sookie her first real taste of V.

Jessica returns home to Hoyt, who's paranoid that he's losing her. She wants to move out. Her human life isn't enough for her anymore. Hoyt's disconsolate and declares he'll die without her. When he persists she tells him to just die and smashes his head in the counter. Covered in blood she goes to meet Jason in his truck and has sex...which is all a dream, of course, and she wakes up in the cell with a human donor sent from Bill to replenish her. 

Bill is dealing with the fallout from the day's events, including Maxine's neighbour who died. Jason and Andy investigate the vampire remains, but Andy is more interested in the leftover blood of the body. Jason tells him to get a grip. Andy thinks he's only good when he's on V, and can't seem to command respect from anyone, least of all Maxine.

Maxine is giving an interview to the local news as Bill arrives. He glamors the newscaster to let him give his statement and comments on the lingering animosity from Russell's legacy which has led to some vampires committing suicide.

A furious Antonia watches the news and sees only one vampire died despite their efforts. That's when Tara realizes the spell wasn't just protecting them, but was drawing out vampires. Antonia wants them snuffed out once and for all, and Tara agrees. 

Bill phones the emporium and Tara answers. He's surprised to hear her voice. He wants to talk to Antonia and apologizes for what was done to her four hundred years before. He believes there can be peace. He wants to meet with her to avoid useless death for both of their peoples. She agrees to meet him at the cemetery at midnight.

Tommy breaks into Maxine's house and steals clothes. Maxine then shows up at Merlotte's to meet with the natural gas guy. Unfortunately her dead vampire neighbour left an unpaid mortgage so the gas company can pick up her property pretty cheaply, so Tommy has to settle for a much smaller amount. Tommy later shifts back in the woods and passes out.

Jessica returns home for real this time and breaks the news to Hoyt. She believes they moved too fast and should spend some time apart. He doesn't take it well at all, and gets nasty telling her he deserves someone normal who can have kids and who isn't a virgin all her life. Bitter, he kicks her out, taking back his invitation. 

Marcus and Alcide seem to have come to terms and the pack leader opens the door for Alcide to move up in the ranks. Debbie is happy to have a second chance and wants Alcide to stay away from Sookie and out of the vampire business. He promises.

While cooking, Lafayette sees the ghost again singing to the baby in the kitchen. Later, Lafayette has a revealing dream about the spirit (who happens to be carrying the doll). Her baby died, apparently at the hands of its white married father. He wouldn't have a funeral, or acknowledge its existence, and refused to let her see the infant one last time. Layayette wakes up to see the ghost, and gets possessed—again. He then shows up at the Bellefleur house where Andy is sleeping (and Terry and Arlene are staying). He takes Andy's gun...and the baby.

After an evening of V sex, Eric wants to leave town to escape the war, but Sookie says they have an obligation to stand by Bill and fight the witches, As Bill makes preparations, they show up to help him fight. She suggests her abilities can be of value, and Bill reluctantly agrees.

Sam goes to see Luna to let her know Tommy is out of his life. He admits Tommy killed his parents, though they may have deserved it. He can forgive him for that, but not for what he did to Luna. She invites him in for dinner. However, Marcus looks in on Luna (his ex) and sees them all having dinner. Luna tells him not to start anything, and goes to tuck in her daughter. Marcus leaves with a few thinly veiled threats to Sam. 

Jessica comes to see Jason and tells him she broke up with Hoyt. He doesn't want her there and takes back his invitation, so she's thrown out of his house, as well. He refuses to betray his friendship with Hoyt.

Bill shows up at the cemetery and meets Antonia. She knows he's not alone, so he admits that he's brought help, summoning out Nan, Jessica, Pam, Sookie and Eric from the woods. Antonia does the same, and has been concealing her coven, including Tara—much to Sookie's surprise.

Bill vows not to harm them again. In return he asks they remove the spells from Eric and Pam. Antonia asks if she has his word, but Sookie reads her mind and hears her casting, alerting Bill, so he summons more vampires (including his sheriffs) and human security, and they train their guns on her. Antonia laughs and summons fog, but Eric super-speeds and rips the heart out of one of the coven. Mayhem ensues, with an all out vampire/witch fight.

Alcide shows up at Sookie's, and hears gunfire in the woods, so rushes to the cemetery, but another wolf (Debbie) follows.

Tara kills a vampire, but Pam takes her gun. Bill forbids Pam from killing Tara, ever, or will personally execute her. He helps Tara up and leaves, leaving her to ponder why he saved her.

Sookie is attacked by one of the coven, and is able to summon her fairy light, but she's shot by a stray bullet. Bill and Eric both try to get to her, but Bill is silvered. Eric confronts Antonia who casts on him again, stopping him in his tracks and putting him under her spell.

Sookie lies down and begins to drift away as Alcide arrives and picks her up. Debbie shifts back to human form and watches them leave.

The Verdict:
After a couple of very nice character episodes, Spellbound picks up the action side of things. With a few episodes remaining, this first salvo in the vampire/witch war has drawn some blood, so it's any guess where it could go next. It was great to see everyone working together—Jessica, Bill, Eric, Pam and Sookie, and actually contributing (yay, mind reading powers). Even Jason can be counted among Bill's posse now.

There were so many great bits—Eric's bloodthirsty organ tearing, Bill's rescue of Tara, and everyone's "I've got allies" reveal—the last fifteen minutes were riveting. That made up for a rather boring Eric/Sookie sequence. In hindsight, it's odd that Sookie never indulged in Bill's blood (or if she had, I've forgotten). As well, I'm wondering if Nan was noting Sookie's involvement at all, and will now question if Bill was telling her the truth about Sookie being nothing special.

Jessica really got the business this week, but I can't see Jason being able to control his urges for too much longer if she's hanging around. As much as it sucked for Hoyt, their storyline was really fizzling. Though that dream sequence (damn you, Alan Ball), was good for a momentary adrenaline rush.

Tommy's portrayal of Maxine provided some comic relief, but this story still seems to be spinning its wheels. Unless Maxine's natural gas rights are just a red herring and Tommy's working towards a major shape shift that will affect the main storylines. Perhaps we'll get a major character's death that will really be Tommy.

I'm not sure what to think of Sookie's latest brush with death (coming on the heels of last season's blood draining). But Alcide's rescue was expected, and Debbie's likely fall off the wagon. Hopefully next week does not turn into another visit to Star Trek fairy land.

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