Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: True Blood "Someone I Used to Know"

Non Spoiler Review:
Coming off of last week's hot mess, Someone I Used to Know was a much more restrained and evenly paced episode. Sam and Andy deal with the vigilante situation while Luna discovers something about herself. Alcide and J.D. have their contest. Sookie, Jason and the fairies begin the search into their past. Salome begins her new direction for the Authority, but questions Bill and Eric's loyalties.

Despite more wacky fairy stuff, a new mystery begins over the identity of the murderer of the Stackhouses. We get a nice Bill flashback, and another gem of a Tara/Pam scene. Even Terry and Patrick's tedious story finally gets some significant movement.

Over-the-top and just plain bad acting is becoming increasingly notable—from Nora, Russell and Newlin's grandiose monologues, and now an especially rough scene with Luna this week. One expects a bit of that from True Blood, but it's really grating at times.

Spoilers Now!
The vigilante orderly is escorted away by Andy while Sam has to deal with Luna freaking out about the haters hunting them. Luna (in some of the worst acting of the season) gets out of bed after he leaves to go on her own vigilante mission but abruptly begins to shift into Sam as she stares at herself in the mirror (the dirty little skinwalker that she is). She finds some clothes and leaves the hospital.

Bloodied and still high, the reveling vampires return to the Authority headquarters, only Eric seems to have regained his senses. Bill grows pensive, but the others remain entranced with their vision and seem converted to the cause. Nora believes their path has been sanctioned by God and they can move forward with a clear conscience. Salome tells Newlin to get the guards to round up humans for food. Eric leaves, but Bill won't join him. 

Salome later summons Bill to her chambers where she has a human tied up, asking if he wants a late night snack. But he's not hungry, and Salome insists Lilith has commanded it. He refuses to be bullied and can't take a woman away from her children. He then has a flashback to Baton Rouge 1910, when he visited his daughter in the hospital. She asks to be made like him so she can live without aging, but he refuses, despite her begging him. Immortality is a curse, he tells her. Despite her cries he can't. Back in the present Salome declares his refusal as blasphemous, so he acquiesces and feeds from the woman. 

Jason runs up and stops Sookie from looking ridiculous firing off fairy blasts into the sky. He suggests being special hasn't been all bad—seeing gran one last time, for example. He figures it will never feel right until they find out what happened to their parents, and they may need that power in their search.

The two of them return to the fairy night club to discuss Sookie's secret powers. Hunter doesn't know who killed their parents, but there is a way to find out, so he tells them to meet him at the bridge where they were murdered. At the site they explain the accident sent ripples in time that can still be accessed. Sookie tries to inhabit her mother's memory to experience what happened, and relives the horrifying attack from both her mother and the vampire's perspective. She sees Claudine attempt to save her.

Hunter is repulsed that she made a psychic connection to a vampire. Jason doesn't care. He just wants to find him. Hunter warns them to be cautious. Sookie remembers Claudine saying the name of the vampire—Warlow. Clearly she knew who he was.

At Fangtasia Jessica is approached by a fangbanger, so she escorts him into the back. Hoyt and the vigilantes arrive at their home where they show him their surprise—Jessica is bound with silver. They decided to let Hoyt kill her—with their wood/silver bullets, and leave him to his task and lock the door, refusing to open it until she's dead. Jessica admits she tried to regain her love for him but couldn't. He opts to set her free, but won't accept her thanks.

At the sheriff station Sam interrogates the orderly by turning into a cobra. Luna (as Sam) show up and talks to Andy, asking if he's seen him. Sam get the address and shifts back only to find Luna walk in and tell him she's shifted into him and can't change back.

Jessica can't go outside given it's daylight, but Sam, Luna and Andy arrive. Hoyt had left to get help, but no one has seen him. Luna can smell the presence of a large human woman, then goes into convulsions. Sam takes her home to care for her and admits he loves her. She finally shifts back to Luna, but then has another seizure.

Lafayette drives home, looking through Jesus' first aid kit, but finding some V inside to heal the wounds on his lips. He has a vision of Jesus sitting next to him. When he gets home he runs into Arlene and Holly who need his help with Terry, and explain the situation. Lafayette is sick of doing his magic shit for free, so asks for $300. 

At Fangtasia Tara has to serve one of her high school classmates. The woman takes the opportunity to try to bully Tara like she did in high school, but Tara doesn't put up with it. Pam shows up to apologize for Tara's behaviour. Pam then leads her away to discuss her attitude, but brings her to the dungeon where the woman is bound. Pam glamors her—telling her she's worthless and exists only to serve Tara. She leaves Tara to have fun with her gift. Go Pam!

Alcide and Rikki have sex. Later, Alcide and J.D. battle for the pack leadership but Alcide realizes the contest is to track live prey—a teenager. J.D. suggests Alcide forfeit but Alcide steps in to save the boy and the two fight. J.D. nearly kills him but Martha, Rikki and the pack show up. Martha advises him not to start his tenure by killing his challenger. J.D. acquiesces and tells Alcide to find himself a new pack.

Arlene gets Patrick and Terry to show up at home but it's a ruse to perform a ritual with Lafayette. They agree to participate. He intends to contact the dead woman to remove her curse. Lafayette manages to summon her and she's pissed, but doesn't want to forgive them. She possesses him and declares she'll lift the curse if Terry kills Patrick. Patrick runs out.

On the road, Hoyt flags down a truck, happy to find a friendly face, only the driver pulls a gun on him. Sookie has a vision of a shadowy Warlow saying he's coming for her. Eric returns to find Nora praying to Lilith. He attempts to reach through to her about the insanity of the whole thing, but she renounces Godric instead. 

Eric and Bill join Salome and the chancellors. She's ready to start crushing the mainstreamers. Bill has an idea—rather than working the political angle, why not blow up the True Blood factories. There are only five of them. And mainstreamers will be forced to feed on humans. Everyone loves it. Eric asks what he's doing. Bill says evolving.

The Verdict:
Overall, this week was a winner, despite the aftertaste of In the Beginning's outrageous over-indulgences. A few tedious storylines are finally getting some advancement, including Jessica and Hoyt, the vigilantes, and Terry and Patrick.

The reveal that the head of the vigilantes is (most likely) Maxine Fortenberry doesn't come as too much of a surprise, but it's likely a decent plot choice to resolve a lot of the Hoyt problems. His character is suffering this season and he needs some direction.

The whole battle for the pack seems pointless, and just another retread of the Alcide/Marcus conflict. If Alcide is going to end up as the pack leader (probably by the season end?) just get to it.

As for all the vampire business, I'm doubtful Bill's loyalties to the new cause are genuine, and he's pursuing a more strategic plan to undermine the sanguinistas. How this will all resolve in a believable way remains to be seen. If too much public damage is done to the mainstreaming, I can't see it all being wrapped up neatly in the finale.

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