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Monday, 25 June 2012

TRUE BLOOD: SEASON 5, EPISODE 3 - WHATEVER I AM, YOU MADE ME


When you look at this hour on paper, so muchhappened. And yet, it still feels like we're ramping up and waiting for the action to truly begin. Maybe if we would have seen more of Bill's and Eric's sex scenes with Salome, I'd have felt like we got more bang for our buck. Let's dig in...

Tara, with her newly heightened senses, nearly chowed down on a young woman who needed help changing a tire. After seeing the reflection of herself in the windshield as she was about to bite, Tara apologized and zoomed off to Merlotte's, where a confused Sam fed her bottle after bottle of Tru Blood. He wanted to call Lafayette or Sookie, but Tara told him not to tell them where she was. Meanwhile, Sookie went to Pam to beg her to summon Tara, because she and Lafayette couldn't catch her on their own. Pam was too busy texting and trying to figure out why Eric hadn't been home in four days to be bothered.

After their shoving match (Sookie won), Sookie had to wait until the next day to listen to Sam's thoughts and hear that he was trying to think of anything, like her boobs, other than the walk-in freezer where he'd put Tara. Eventually, Tara awoke, pissed off as ever. She hinted to Alcide that there was something Sookie wasn't telling him, threatened to rip everyone's throats out if they didn't leave her alone, and vanished. She ended up at the Curl Up & Fry tanning salon trying to commit suicide in a tanning bed. (So that's why we saw Bill, Eric, Nora, and the baby eater under the UV lights in their cells, to see how much that would hurt.) "You stupid b----," Pam said, sensing what Tara was doing. I assume she'll reluctantly save her.

If I zoomed through that bit, it's because this Tara story line still feels just like a roundabout way to have Pam flashback to 1905, and being turned by Eric. That was the most interesting part of the episode for me. Eric came into Pam's San Francisco brothel, and though she offered him any of her ladies, including Rubber Ruby, he wanted her. She said a good merchant doesn't compete with her merchandise, and he said a good customer knows everything has its price. In this case, that was Eric getting rid of the vampires who'd been draining her girls -- Bill and his maker, Lorena.

Eric burst in right as Bill was about to finish the job on an artery conveniently located near the groin, and Bill jumped up to defend Lorena. "Lorena, you procreated. He is protective. How sweet," Eric said. So this was the first time he met Bill. Eric was prepared to stake him, but seeing how brave, loyal, and strong he was for a vampire so young, he thought it'd be a waste to punish Bill with the true death just because his maker hadn't taught him to respect his elders. Lorena apologized to Eric, and he said it was Pam to whom she owed an apology. And $500 for every girl they'd drained, Pam added. Eric smiled, again appreciating how fearless she is. Bill and Lorena exited, and Pam told Eric, "I believe we have a debt to settle." He smiled, walked to her, grabbed her, and kissed her gently, spinning them out of frame toward her bedroom. Pam cried a single tear in her coffin at the memory.


Later, after a goth Hoyt came into Fangtasia wanting to be eaten alive in his guyliner and desperation, Pam's flashback picked up postcoital. Even though part of me is curious how a non-amnesic Eric would have made love to a human he seemed to genuinely enjoy and respect -- something we've never seen -- I'm okay not seeing that sex scene because it would have felt more incestuous than Eric and Nora's. It was a surprise to see that Eric was the kind of vampire who'd stick around for pillow talk, but there he was, lightly tracing Pam's shoulder with his fingers as she asked him what it was like to be a vampire.

The way their conversation was filmed had to remind you of his pillow talks with Sookie when he was stripped of his memory, which created that sense of connection, intimacy, and trust these two would have needed for what happened next. Pam wanted Eric to turn her into a vampire because she didn't want to grow old and die alone of syphilis or tuberculosis as madams usually do. She wanted a life worth living. She told him he could abandon her afterward, but Eric said becoming a maker is deeper than any human bond, it's an eternal commitment. He didn't want that responsibility -- he wanted to put his pants on and leave. Pam got up, put on her robe, and slit her wrists. "Let me walk the world with you, Mr. Northman, or watch me die." We know what he chose. It's interesting to think of Eric as an "honorable vampire," as Pam called him, but then again, remembering his love for Godric, the maker bond is something he has always treated with great reverence. Do you think Pam and Eric remained lovers for any period of time after he turned her, or do you think their bond immediately turned platonic? I hope we find out. I want more flashbacks.

As for Eric in present day, Roman's chancellors continued to argue over his and Bill's fates. Russell has become the poster boy for the anti-mainstreaming movement. The only thing more dangerous than a martyr is a 3,000 year-old vampire who hasn’t fed in a year. The suffering will have increased his desire for power and vengeance. Therefore, to not see his progress go down "the shitter," Roman was going to operate as though Bill and Eric are telling the truth about Russell being alive (which, of course, they are). Roman called for the new Nan Flanagan, "may the cold bitch rest in peace," and in walked Steve Newlin. My first thought: "Ooh, Steve Newlin is gonna like Roman." Newlin was confident he could get the public to believe whatever Roman wants them to believe about Russell because humans are not rational, they are motivated by fear. Roman stood up for humans -- thank you, Roman -- saying it took him centuries of feeding, f---ing, and killing to realize humans were more than talking meat. If vampires continue to behave as savages, humans will rise up with their armies. Steve told Roman he won't let him down. The way Roman caressed Newlin's face under his eye sockets as he said "You better not" made me think we may, at some point, see Roman poke someone's eyes out.

Eric and Bill were each fitted with a harness that holds a tiny stake that will pierce their hearts if they get out of line. The Authority calls it the iStake, and there is an app that triggers it. The iStake is indestructible and knows who they had for breakfast, where they go to ground, and if they try to remove it. "Do yourselves a favor, don’t f--- around, okay. You guys are too cute to be goo," said the tech wizard who hooked them up. That was Tina Majorino, of Corrina, Corrina and Waterworld! She's done a lot of TV as an adult, most recently guesting on Bones, but she will always be Molly Singer to me (her character inCorrina, Corrina). Maybe that's why her True Blood character name, according to the credits, was Molly as well. Hope we see her again. I like any woman with a legitimate reason to ask Eric and Bill to remove their shirts, but that was also a fun little scene of non-sexual chemistry between her and Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer.

Salome took it upon herself to visit both Bill and Eric, apparently to determine whether they really could be trusted by banging them. I don't quite understand how that was supposed to yield conclusive results, unless she can read men's minds while having sex. She had Bill meet her in the basement -- so Eric wouldn't hear the sex? -- and told him not to believe everything he's read about her: "The human Bible, it’s little better than US Weekly." She told Bill how the humans of her youth were far more savage than any vampires she's known, how her mother had traded Salome's body to her uncle/new stepfather, who enjoyed teen virgins, in exchange for the head of John the Baptist, who'd criticized Salome's mother's marriage to her brother-in-law. Salome told Bill she'd been following his political career and admires the way he still lets his heart rule him. She said she wants to help him, but she questions whether she can trust him. So was this a test to see whether Bill and Eric would kill her if they had the chance? She put Bill's hand over her heart, and instead of ripping it out, he had sex with her against the wall.

Next, Salome summoned Eric to her bedroom and poured them glasses of blood. She said Eric surprised her -- she'd at least expected him to try to save Nora, his sister. She said she'd sponsored Nora, so friends you can trust are rare. She took off her robe and told Eric she wants to be his friend. What he wants intrigues her. He rose and went to her. How did we not see THAT sex scene? CRUEL! Later, Eric tried to brag to Bill about having a visit from "a certain chancellor," but Bill one-upped him. "Interesting," he said, smiling. "What? You, too?" Eric asked. "You know what they say about gentlemen," Bill said, "they don’t brag about sloppy seconds." I feel somewhat comforted by the fact that neither Eric nor Bill know what the hell Salome was after either...

In her room, Salome still lounged naked on her bed while Roman slowly disrobed and asked her if she'd had fun. She said she thought they could trust Bill and Eric because they are not Sanguinista. Bill is still searching for something to believe in and Eric only believes in himself. WHAT? "I'm not sure we can trust anyone anymore" Roman said, then told Salome that Nora had confessed to being Sanguinista (even though it was clear she'd just told Cougar Town's Barb what she wanted to hear so Eric's iStake wouldn't be activated). Do we think Salome is actually Sanguinista (notice her face when Roman said mainstreaming works), and that's why she really suggested to Roman that he might want to change course? Or do you think she's genuinely concerned that he'll end up assassinated? Roman believes the latter. "With you as my secret weapon, how can I lose?” he said, finally taking off his shirt. What, we had no time for that sex scene? COME ON! I can appreciate this season is about politics but let's not forget you are a summer vampire show with a TV-MA rating.

Speaking of TV-MA, even Jason Stackhouse is more TV-14 these days. In the supermarket, he ran into "Miss Steeler," who we immediately knew was a teacher he'd slept with. They ended up at her place, with her cat Prince Charming, and she told Jason she was divorced and asked about his love life. He admitted he hadn't been lucky in that department: One girlfriend died beside him, one was married to a gay preacher, one was Crystal (he didn't elaborate), and right now, he's "f--- buddies" with the love of his best friend's life who happens to be a teenage vampire. Miss Steeler apologized for taking advantage of him back then and said it was wrong. Jason said it was amazing -- she'd taught him the only thing he's ever been great at. (So she taught him football, too?) Her protests ended when Jason slid his hand up her skirt. Next we saw them, they were postcoital and she wanted to know if she could get him a glass of box wine. But see, now Jason was ready to mope again because he realized their relationship back then was wrong. He left her.

Jessica was off having a verbal throwdown with the woman selling her short dresses when a man we assume was fae came in to pick things up for his sisters. Jessica chased after him, thinking he smelled delicious. After she lost him, she showed up at Jason's and told him the guy had smelled like cotton candy, fresh-baked bread, and sex, and that when she lost his scent, all she could think about was Jason being inside her. This had major TV-MA potential, but Jason shut her down. He couldn't be the mechanical bull she rode whenever she wanted. He realized there was a hole inside him that he learned to fill with sex to mask the pain. Only now, sex wasn't working and he had no idea how to deal with what he was feeling. He wanted her to leave, but Jessica said she'd put on a pair of his sweats, he'd get himself a beer, and they'd talk -- because that's how easy it is to be friends with a woman. I don't know, Jessica, I feel like Jason would think you in a pair of his sweats would be sexy. But it was a sweet gesture.

Now onto Alcide: Debbie's parents, Gordon and Barbara Pelt, paid him a visit to tell him Debbie's car was found in Bon Temps and Debbie was missing. Andy was at Merlotte's to question Sookie, since the car had been found near her house, and he wondered if Debbie was jealous of Alcide's relationship with Sookie. Lafayette was freakin' out, but Sookie remained calm enough and assured Lafayette that Andy was more worried about the size of his ass than whether Sookie had committed murder. She just wanted Lafayette to be his regular fabulous self: "Arlene, these beans is colder than titties in a brass bra." Yes, that's natural.

Andy showed Holly the photo of Debbie, and then the one of his naked ass in bed with her -- which her boys had posted on Facebook. I love how calm Andy was. He wasn't angry with her. Now that the town knew they'd slept together, he wanted to go steady. She reminded him that she was a witch who lived in a motel with her delinquent sons. He told her he's an alcoholic, recovering V addict who lives with his grandmother and is now the laughing-stock of the sheriff's department. "How'd we get so lucky?" she said. Ah. It's nice that SOMEONE is happy on this show this season.

Alcide showed up at Merlotte's to warn Sookie about Debbie being missing and back on V, and even before Tara awoke and hinted that Sookie had something to tell him, he was suspicious of her non-reaction. Sookie took him outside and told him what had happened. Truthfully, he seemed only upset that Sookie was never gonna tell him the truth, and instead let him waste his time looking for Debbie. He had a point: He's always had her back. And also, he knows what it's like to take a life (Marcus). Sookie wanted to know if he was going to tell anyone what she'd done -- he didn't answer.

As usual, we get to Arlene and Terry last. He showed up at Merlotte's, and she told him she'd cried herself to sleep waiting for him to come home. He doesn't want to lie to her, but he can only tell her that he's leaving to go somewhere with Patrick and he's not sure how long he'll be gone. He can't tell her what happened in combat or what they're doing now. Arlene told him not to expect her to be waiting for him when he returns. That seemed a bit harsh since she was the one who told him to go take care of whatever this is, and he's treated her better than any man she's ever known. Still, it gave us that great moment when we thought Lafayette was going to try to comfort Arlene, and instead, he said, "Is that a yes or no on seeing Tara?"

After Arlene gave Lafayette grief for having Tara turned into a vampire, he snapped and poured bleach into the gumbo. Luckily, a randomly placed mirror showed his demon-like brujo face and he came to his senses. So he still has Jesus' dark magic in his body from when Marnie took it. That could be fun to play with.. should we ever get there.

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you enjoying the build up to Russell, or are you growing impatient? Are you tired of the show pretending that it could possibly survive without Bill and Eric with these mini-cliffhangers? (Last we saw them, they were facing Authority guards after their night with Salome.)

SOURCE: EW

6 comments:

  1. I definitely have to rewatch this episode, alot went down. Poor Sookie, her world is falling apart! I love her super special talk-to-the-hand-cuz-the-head-don't-wanna-understand awesome powers!

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    Replies
    1. Things are moving fast, but story wise they are a bit slow.

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  2. Okay, I missed it. I tried to stay away from the spoiler until I finally watched it on my hard drive, which I did last night. Before last night I read a few words then DEMANDED I not spoil it for myself when I read these words : Maybe if we would have seen more of Bill's and Eric's sex scenes...

    Fuck, I should have read a few more words and it would not have been such a spoiler:'( Sigh.... a guy can dream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't get my hopes up. Though Lafayette and Alcide may be a tad hotter. Their face off in Sookie's kitchen had me thinking there was some sexual tension there:)

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    2. I hope we get some sort of man on man action.

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