Monday, July 12, 2010

True Blood 3.4: A Woman is Only a Woman, But a Good Cigar is a Smoke

Not a lot happened plot wise in last night’s episode, but there was a lot of action in the sense that women, once again, got the shit kicked out of them. At first, this sat poorly with me—what is Alan Ball’s point with all of this? But then I went to bed, woke up this morning, finally recovered from yesterday’s 7-hour sinus headache, and read the news about Switzerland’s decision NOT to extradite Roman Polanski to the U.S. Maybe True Blood is actually some big metaphor for how the world works (it's not, but let's run with it). Men get to fly, watch pretty ladies dance, smoke cigars, and live free even if they are well-known child rapists. Women get punched in the face, tied to toilets, and poked with hot sticks. This is the world that we and the characters of Bon Temps are dealing with, so, brave sisters, let us explore.

We begin, as we have many times before, with poor little Sookie Stackhouse. Currently, she’s holed up with Supah Fine Werewolf Alcide Herveaux at his shit hole apartment in Jackson. Having defended Sookie when she was near-raped in the last episode, Alcide is wounded, but not in the have-your-neck-twisted-completely-the-wrong-way way. Oh, no. Alcide just has a little scratchy on his backy-wacky and it’s making him hurt. “DON’ CHU WORRY,” Sookie hollers. “MA AND PA LEARNED ME SOME HEALIN’ SKILLS,” and she goes to work smearing mud all over his wounds because that’s exactly what ma and pa learned her to do. While it doesn’t do a whole lot for his owie, it does do a whole lot for his wiener ‘cause suddenly Alcide’s all like “hey” with his eyes and Sookie’s like “hey” back. But then Bill calls and tells Sookie that he and Lorena just banged “like only two vampires could.” It’s kind of like how drugging and forcefully sodomizing a thirteen-year-old is the only way that Roman Polanski could, except that Roman Polanski is the worst person alive and this comparison was really just a way for me to point out that Roman Polanski rapes children and doesn't get held responsible for it. Anyway, Sookie is sad because Bill tells her that they are donezo—he is no longer under house arrest in the ski chalet of their love—and she cries and cries. Alcide nestles her into his overworked torso and she is momentarily distracted from her heartbreak by the heat that’s radiating off of his body. “Sorry,” he says. “We weres run hot,” because True Blood is a master of subtlety. After spending the night, Sookie decides that she still wants to find Bill so that he can break up with her face to face. To find him, she’ll have to return to Lou Pine’s for some more recon and for that she’ll need a disguise. Luckily, Alcide’s sister (who looks like Christina Aguilera circa “Dirrty”) happens to run a beauty and disguise parlor, so that all gets worked out rather quickly. Escorted by a reluctant Alcide, Sookie goes back to the Were bar, bewigged and leather-clad. She does a great job of blending in because she keeps yelling “fuck yeah” and drinking lots of shots. It’s a busy night at Lou Pine’s—Operation Werewolf is inducting a new member (Alcide’s ex Debbie) and who should show up to preside but Russell, mastermind behind Bill’s kidnapping and king of the Magnolia state. QUELLE SURPRISE! What a revela—zzzzzzzzz. Yes, Russell is the head of this Operation Were-nonsense, which I’m pretty sure we were all aware of. So much of this show seems to be about other characters discovering things that the audience already knew. Do the writers feel like their characters are empathetic enough that we’ll re-experience the surprise each time? If there is one thing that my Shakespeare professor taught me it's that dramatic irony only goes so far. But back to the plot. Debbie gets branded with the Operation Werewolf logo and all she gets to wear is an American Apparel bikini top and thong underwear even though the brand is on her neck. DUMB. Everyone starts to change into werewolves and Sookie is once again in danger. SNORE.

Causing some danger of his own is Bill Compton. After his neck-breaking sex with Lorena, he tells her that he hates her then punches her in the face. I suppose the saving grace to all of this is that, as his maker, Lorena is actually much stronger and could overpower him if she ever wanted to. Too bad that she’s a total nut job and really digs the violence that Bill has inflicted on her. Lucky for her, there is more to come—Bill, in making a deal with Russell, says that he wants her dead. Russell smiles, quotes Rudyard Kipling, and puffs away on a cigar. You see, he needs Bill to start demonstrating his loyalty before he does him any favors. To begin, Bill divulges that the Louisiana Vampire Queen is having Eric sell vampire blood to help pay off her debt. It’s a useful and powerful piece of information that, if passed along to the Vampire Magistrate, could allow Russell to legally usurp the Louisiana territory and solve the Gulf Coast oil crisis. Or not. Probably not. Bill’s work isn’t done for the night—he still needs procure dinner at the local strip club, which results in a super sad scene (4realz) in which a sad stripper sadly dances for him, tells him how sad she is, then is sadly murdered by three vampires (one of whom, Bill, is also really sad) in the back of a limo. Goodbye, stripper. We hardly knew ye.

Back at Sookie’s house, Franklin Mott is holding Tara captive. Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is what an evil vampire looks like. By day, he keeps her tied to the toilet (which my entire household agreed was a fairly considerate move for a kidnapper) with her cell phone just out of reach and, by night, he bites her and forces her into giving away secrets about Bill and Sookie. Equally freaky: his ears are about 4-inches long and I find it incredibly distracting. I know that I don’t like Tara very much, but I’m sick of how this show consistently uses her as a punching bag. My reasons for this are fairly selfish—her hardships only serve to make her more sad and angry and Sad-and-Angry Tara is already unbearable. She was abused her whole childhood and, now that she’s an adult, the abuse keeps coming. As of the end of last night’s episode, she had been forced in a car and driven to Mississippi where the threat of death (and encountering other characters) is even higher. I’m bored of her being a victim and I don’t see how the writer’s can feel differently. Let’s move on.

Someone (probably Russell) has tipped off the magistrate that V is being dealt out of Fangtasia. Eric is away when the raid occurs, helping out Lafayette in what was probably my favorite moment of the episode. Unlike Tara, Lafayette is moving on from the horrors of his past and is, once again, sharp and hilarious. Maybe we could have an entire episode in which he and Eric drive around in a sports car and argue over their prettiness—if things get slow, they can always cut to scene in which one of the female characters is being drawn and quartered, which, for the most part, is what they did last night. With Eric missing, Pam is bearing the brunt of the magistrate’s wrath. By the time Eric gets back, she has been tied up and repeatedly burned with silver. To the show’s credit, the scene did display that the love and loyalty between Eric and Pam goes two ways. To save her, Eric lies and blames Bill Compton for the blood dealing. The magistrate gives him two days to produce Bill or Pam will be staked. If, on the off chance that they do kill Pam, I might never watch this show again.

Did anything else happen this week? Sam gives his criminal brother a job at Merlotte's, Andy is promoted to sheriff, Jason begins to blackmail his way into being hired at the police department, and Roman Polanski is given a free hot tub and rohypnol prescription. The end.


Brian said...

I miss you!

Madeleine Davies said...

And I miss you, Brian! Maybe a Chicago trip is in order.

Richard C. Lambert said...

I know this is true...and I try, but it's the only time of day when it's quiet and I can get things done! mouthpiece for snoring reviews