As you can tell by now, each week I look for a common theme among the many disparate storylines on True Blood. This week’s connective tissue came shortly after watching, when I sat there, dumbfounded, thinking, “I can’t believe I sacrificed an hour of my life for this.” An a-ha moment: sacrifice!
Lots of things were sacrificed this week: a rattlesnake, pride, customer service and a sizable portion of the audience’s good will. I admit it, I’m a little annoyed. I can deal with the time-leap, I can see my way to understanding that all of the stories will somehow wind up connecting, and I can certainly wrap my head around inexplicably keeping Alcide clothed, but at the halfway point in the season, I have my limits.
Jason’s tied to a bed. Must be Sunday.
After three episodes chronicling the pre-“turning” of Jason from human to werepanther, and an extended scene in which Jason basically surrenders himself to the impending full moon, we learn that humans can’t be turned into weres. So, what the hell was the point of all of that? Was it to deepen our sympathy for Jason’s struggles as a human in an increasingly supernatural world? Was it to further our understanding of the Hotshots’ ignorance? Was it to just create an excuse to show him shirtless and tied to a bed for a second time? Couldn’t those same things, and Jason’s character, have been better served trying to help Andy through his V addiction and/or helping Bill try to find Eric during daylight hours using “human” intuition and police resources? I don’t want to tell the writers what to do, but after suffering through that, well, insufferable Crystal, to find out that Jason’s no less human than before is nothing but a let down.
You are Debbie’s love toy! You are…MISTER DEBBIE!
It should be noted that it’s Alcide and Debbie who explain to Sookie, who’s basically sacrificed her job at Merlotte’s to look after soon-to-turn-(but not) Jason, that humans can’t turn. Alcide comes home to his two-bed and a bath with a bag of two-piece and a biscuit to find Debbie talking to the MaryKay pack leader from last week. MaryKay convinces them to at least try joining the pack, and Alcide surrenders himself to at least the possibility of joining in. You see, Debbie needs “more” than just Alcide. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one more piece of evidence to prove that Debbie is out of her goddamned mind. Our hirsute Ozzy and Harriet are on their way to a pack meeting in the woods when they run into Sookie who’s looking for Jason. Let’s stop for a moment to think about the ridiculousness of this scene. Alcide and Debbie are joining a new pack in their new town of Shreveport. Sookie’s looking for Jason in Bon Temps. And while these two towns are certainly close and drivable, they’re hardly right next door and certainly don’t share the same hundred acre wood. Either Sookie took a very wrong turn or the Shreveport pack had to relocate due to renovations. Ridiculous.
Speaking of renovations, Sam has to do major ones when Rosemary’s Baby basically blows up the homes of 98% of his work fiorce. Arlene tries to sacrifice herself in an effort to saver the baby from a fiery blaze, but is carried out by PTSD right before the big kaboom. This is the same baby that she 1) tried to abort because it wasn’t PTSD’s; 2) blames for all manner of demonry; and 3) tried to infect with a filthy swamp doll. We see the baby smiling at a woman who I’m pretty sure is Tiana from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. Luckily, everyone gets out alive, but we all know that creepy doll has something to do with it, and the scene ends with Holly sacrificing an evening to go on a date with Andy. She’s a witch; he’s hooked on V. We know where this is headed, and it’s yet another story thread that we don’t need.
Don’t rent that U-Haul just yet, ladies.
Speaking of dates, Tara’s girlfriend shows up, they have one of those girl-to-girl heart-to-hearts, and then Tara cries. Again. They tussle, make up, then go for dinner at Merlotte’s.
Since their homes blew up, Arlene and Holly took the night off. One assumes PTSD’s out as well, and since Lafayette’s in Mexico, the only ones working are Sam (who’s actually Tommy in disguise), some cook we’ve never seen before, and Jessica, who abruptly abandons her post when she feels that Jason’s in trouble. Jessica makes a point so say that Tara’s her first customer after being promoted to server, then boom, she sacrifices her burgeoning career in the food service industry to run into the woods to save Jason from absolutely nothing. Since Sam’s really Tommy, and the only thing he’s good at is pulling his low-riders down until you can see the top of his pubes, one can only assume that the diners are all going to go hungry.
Again-stuffy Aunt Petunia is forced to forgo her decongestants while being locked up in the S.H.I.E.L.D. basement, and in exchange, sacrifices a little bit of blood to be completely possessed by the spirit of a Spanish witch burned at the stake by vampire priests. Turns out one of the priests is also one of Bill’s sheriffs, so there’s some history there.
He is…the most interesting man in the world.
Lafayette and Jesus engage in some telenovela conversations between Jesus’s grandfather and a seemingly mute pregnant teenager. They need a sacrifice to come to them, and it does, in the form of a rattlesnake. They bring the snake back home, and Abuelo has it bite Jesus in the neck. WTF?! He tells Lafayette (still, amazingly, sporting the same hairdo from last week) that it’s up to him to protect him, so Lafayette does the only thing he can: Freaks the Fuck Out. Lucky for him, the spirit of Jesus’ dead uncle is hiding in the corner and he enters Lafayette’s body. I was going to say he totally came in his mouth, but that’s…well, ok, that’s pretty much exactly what he did. At the end, Jesus is fine and Lafayetee is still Freaked the Fuck Out. By the way, if Jesus and Lafayette are together, who’s taking care of Lafayette’s mother in the home?
This is what it sounds like, when doves cry.
Eric sacrifices a little bit of dignity by begging Bill to let poor, old decaying Pam go, and all I can say is that it takes a pretty girl to wear oozing sores so well. Eric, who has miraculously found shoes to wear, repeatedly kneels and bows in front of Bill in this episode, and all I can say is that the only thing better than a half-naked Eric is a half-naked Eric kneeling in front of you. Bill sacrifices a little bit of his kingly gravitas by pardoning Eric from the true death so he can go make disappointing whoopee with Sookie in the mist-covered woods.
Faerie girls are easy.
So there you have it. An episode in which everyone gives up a little bit of something, especially the audience. I wonder if any of us will ever get a little something back.
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.
Read all of Robb’s True Blood recaps here.