True Blood: The Ties That Bind (and Gag)

This week’s episode of True Blood brought up the ideas of family, loyalty and testing the audience’s patience with seemingly disparate storylines that do little to further the overall plot. It touched on the concepts of whom to trust, what makes a family and whether (vampire) blood is thicker than (swamp) water.

Birds of a feather, dogs of a leash, alligators of a scale, whatever you want to call it, Tommy followed in his big brother Sam’s pawprints by murdering two people. But little Tommy just had to top his brother (double entendre unintended, but welcomed) by offing their parents. Now, I’m no expert in sibling relations, so I guess it made sense for Tommy to seek out Sam’s help in disposing the bodies, even though their relationship is precarious at best. Good thing Sam had experience in body disposal, too, as he knew enough to toss the bodies into a swamp and use marshmallows to lure alligators to do away with the evidence. That’s not something you learn in college, people, it’s the kind of know-how that comes only from hard work, resourcefulness, an interest in the animal kingdom, and violent, sociopathic tendencies.

What family reunion is complete without a double homicide?

Portia, still hot for Grandpappy Bill’s family tree, puts on her best Matlock and tries to argue away the stigma of incest. Unfortunately, Bill is, at (cold dead) heart, just a simple old-school type of Southern gentleman who cannot find a way to reconcile “kissin’” with “cousins.” After hearing the tart’s tort glamorizing same-family love, he glamours her into a screaming vampire-fearing mess. Let’s hope Portia joins Crystal on the list of “annoying women we hope to never see again.”

Grandpa! What big teeth you have!

Arlene’s Rosemary’s Baby is seriously freaking her out. I get that. You get that. Hell, even the baby gets that. But her PTSD (pretty though stupid daddy) husband Terry is still having trouble wrapping his PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)-addled head around it. Seriously? After all that’s happened in Bon Temps, this is the line he draws in the sand? To make Arlene get over feeling bad about the baby’s impending demonhood, PTSD suggests they rely on their faith and call in a man of the cloth to exorcise Rene out of their lives. The reverend, accompanied by his wife, Tara’s mother (remember, a year’s passed!), show up in their living room, sing some songs, get riled up at Arlene’s subtle racism, and then try to smoke out the bad by lighting up enormous joints. The baby sleeps through the night, and Arlene and PTSD have relations. All seems to be fixed, but maybe they’re all just suffering from residual contact highs?

Aunt Petunia is captured by Bill and put in a holding cell beneath his newly refurbished house. This leads me to believe that Kelly Werstler designed everything from the ground up, but subcontracted to S.H.I.E.L.D. for the trickier bits down below. Bill, Pam and his sheriffs debate the merits of killing, torturing or glamouring Aunt Petunia (who it should be noted sounds like she’s finally over the cold that made her sound so stuffy the first four episodes) as a means to find Eric. Pam, still suffering from that decaying spell Aunt Petunia hit her with, finally tells Bill that Eric is staying with Sookie, and we get a shot of Bill looking sad, followed by Pam looking even sadder. Seriously, Bill? You want us to feel bad for you? After you’ve lied to us for four seasons? Go stake yourself. We’re Team Eric now.

I’ve got a crush on Pam. Just when we thought she couldn’t do better than giving bitchy voice to the audience, we find out she can rock a veil like nobody’s business. Team Fucking Pam!

This is a little too “Dark Willow” for me, gramps.

Jesus and Lafayette decide to leave Bon Temps and go to Mexico in search of Jesus’ Grandfather. Jesus hasn’t seen his abuelo, another powerful witch, since his ninth birthday when he made him sacrifice a goat. They think he can teach them how to fend off the vampires they’re sure are on their tails for erasing Eric’s memory. Now, I know it’s common for homosexuals to think everything is about them, but I think we can all agree that these two are the last thing on King Bill’s mind at the moment. We love you girls, but get over yourselves. Plus, by going off on your own, you’re just inviting trouble. Oh right, this is True Blood, nobody knows how not to invite trouble. Schmucks. And while we’re on the topic, can someone please explain to me how Lafayette’s hair can change so drastically from episode to episode? I get that his boyfriend’s a witch, but he’s not a hairdresser. What with his shifts at Merlotts, and the constant running from vampires, how does he find time to get a new hairdo?


Alcide (sadly wearing a shirt) gets a late night Mary Kay visit from the local pack leader. He wants him to join him and the rest of the town’s were-community in his exciting business opportunity, but Alcide resents the in-person pitch and politely declines. Pack Leader drives away in his pink Cadillac, but I’ll bet he’ll be back when the new brochures are out.

Can’t even believably open a door.

Tara pours her heart out to Sookie, the one bit of family she has. Unfortunately, the precious moment is spoiled when Eric shows up, sending Tara into such a lesbianic fury of hurt feelings and betrayal, her MMA instincts kick in and she books it the hell out of there.

The lost boy. (Not Keifer Sutherland.)

Eric’s behaving like a six-year-old boy. First of all, he’s got a major crush on his babysitter. Secondly, he wears the same thing every day and seems to have given up wearing shoes. And third, he’s having bad dreams that keep him up at night. By the end of the episode, Eric is able to push aside the bro-mantic feelings he had for Godric and his base vampire instincts to share some pillow talk and a smooch with Sookie (though, he still can’t find his shoes).

Hoyt! Hoyt! Hoyt!

Oh, and Hoyt and Jason compare sad stories. Poor Hoyt’s having trouble connecting with Jessica, who seems distracted, while all Jason suffered was a days-long gang rape by a pack of werepanthers. Cry baby.

Hoyt-us interruptus.

Robb Pearlman is the author of the Spoiler Alert: Bruce Willis is Dead and 399 More Endings from Movies, TV, Books, and Life, coming this November, as well as The Q Guide to Sex and the City and upcoming adaptations of Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh. He is an editor of pop culture and entertainment titles, including the upcoming The Joker and The Syfy Book of SciFi. Robb is known by name in comic book stores in such wide ranging locales as New York, Gotham City, Brigadoon and Alderaan. An only child in constant need of validation, he promises to accept your Facebook friend request.

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