True Blood: Whole Lot of Hatin’ Going On

Warning: Do not read if you haven’t seen True Blood Season 5, Episode 8 –  “Somebody that I Used to Know”.

“You don’t know me that well. My mad face and my happy face are the same.” – Pam

Well, it seems all that light heartened fun last week was just the calm before the very dark storm. There were a lot of very unhappy things happening this week, I’m racking my brains to think of something that didn’t utterly depress me and all I got is Tara getting her new toy. So yay! Good mothering! Kinda.

“Because they’re cousins, identical cousins”

Anyway, this episode picked up with the speciest hillbilly being arrested for attempting to kill Luna in the hospital. I’m still waiting to find out how these backwoods idiots found out Luna and Sam were shifters since I don’t think that’s very common knowledge, but I digress.  Luna was rightfully upset about someone trying to murder her in her sleep and even Sam’s gentle condolences couldn’t calm her. So instead she shifted in to him. Against her will, obviously, but still an interesting response.  A highlight last season was certainly Sam Trammel playing Tommy playing Sam, and while Sam Trammel playing Luna playing Sam was very good, it didn’t quite live up to that. They do get extra points though for the ick factor of Sam lovingly caressing himself.

Some disturbing imagry to start your week.

Speaking of the lovely little hate group Hoyt has found himself in, yeah, not so funny anymore. As soon as the “previously on True Blood” made sure to include Hoyt’s declaration of hate against Jessica, I knew we were in trouble and true to form, we were. One of the red necks posed as a fang banger in order to lure Jessica to some remote, undisclosed location where she was silvered and presented to Hoyt along with a gun filled with wooden bullets. Clearly I never thought Jessica was in any mortal danger (judging from the response of Roman’s death, killing off Jessica would probably cause the internet to explode), but that scene, with its brutal, unrelenting look at blind hatred was tough to watch. I’m glad the guy got his neck snapped, but I’m hoping Hoyt isn’t about to meet a similar fate.

We’re one open bar away from a catfight.

Moving on, Jason decided to give Alcide some competition in the Best Man Ever race and had a very touching heart to heart with Sookie. He successfully convinced Sookie to not give up her powers and instead take Claude up on his offer to hone them a bit more, in the hopes of finding the vampire that killed their parents. Now perhaps I’m biased because I think faeries are the lamest (besides were-panthers), but I’m getting a very strong My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding vibe from the whole lot of them. Maybe it’s the accents.Or all the sparkle.  But, regardless, Claude and his sisters took Sookie to the scene of her parents’ murder and they did…something to the…energy? I don’t know, I didn’t quite follow all that, the main point is Sookie was taken back to thae night her parents were killed, seeing things from her mother’s perspective, but then switching and seeing the events unfold from the vampire killer’s perspective.  As Claude explained, Sookie would be seeing things the way her mother had because she had the strongest connection to her, so what can it mean that she somehow had a connection with this vampire as well? Looks like someone finally has an interesting storyline…

Fighting fire with fire.

Arlene has finally come around to the idea of helping Terry instead of just giving up on him and she  and Holly have decided the best way to do this is to flatten their hair, put on their ugliest shirts, and have Lafayette “pretend” the dead lady has called off the curse. Show of hands, who saw it coming that Lafayette would actually contact the curser? That’s what I thought. Now put your hand down, you’re at work and you look ridiculous.  So yes, we got another fun spirit swallowing scene and the ultimatum that only one of the soldiers has to die, but it has to be at the hands of the other. Not the best deal in the world, but she didn’t seem open to negotiation.

Meanwhile in wolf land, Alcide got word that Jason might be overtaking him as king of the studly, yet sensitive, so he played his ace hand and ladies, I think we can all agree he’s gonna be keeping that title for a while (you know what I’m talking about). He also may have gotten a girlfriend, but I still think Naked Girl (yes, I know she has a name, I just don’t care to use it) only existed to give Alcide a sex scene and cement his position as Best Man Ever.  To that end he also forfeited his claim as packmaster by bowing out when JD wanted to hunt a human rather than a traditional animal. Can I just say, for a culture where it’s customary to eat your dead, having a hunting competition to decide leadership seems uncharacteristically tame.  But to sum up, the kid got free, Alcide got his ass kicked, and JD is still the packmaster. So that was a worthwhile plot point.

And finally, the vampires. Apparently nobody noticed the bloody bridal party they left behind, so they continued to party well into the day back at Authority headquarters, everyone that is, but Eric. Eric seemed to think that Bill would have his back on this whole lets-stop-killing-people mission, but he was very, very wrong. 

Looking like the bro-mance may be over.

After Eric’s early departure, Salome called Bill into Roman’s err… her bedroom, where she had tied up a young woman against her will just for Bill’s pleasure. How thoughtful. At first Bill seemed disgusted by the gesture, but after a very troubling flashback to his dying daughter, he came around and fed from her. Bill has always been the kinder of the two main vampires of True Blood, but it looks like the writers have decided to reverse that. On some level I get it. Bill’s “goodness” came from a place of self-hatred. He hated being a vampire and everything it meant, hated the atrocities he had committed while with Lorena and was devoted to righting those wrongs. It seems that since finding Lilith he as come to terms with what he is, which is great, and has decided that humans are indeed just food, which is not so great. Eric certainly has his work cut out for him.

Now, I try not to analyze True Blood too much because I don’t think it’s a show that stands up to too critical an eye, but the themes the show is playing with this season are too interesting to ignore. True Blood has always played with the allegory of vampirism as homosexuality to varying degrees of success, but it has all but disappeared in recent seasons. The less subtle take on religion this season has been most effective. Overall, it seems to be lambasting organized religion, but this week’s episode finally gave us some sound reasoning for it.

The main message here isn’t that religion is bad, but looks at what happens when religion is used to support evil. Any religion can be bastardized to rationalize any number of atrocities.  Salome and Nora have taken the word of Lilith and twisted (or so I assume since its not a real religion) to support the draining of babies and the murder of innocent people. It’s very hard to change a person’s mind when they believe they have a divine right to carry on with their hate. Because that is what this Sanguinista movement boils down to, a hatred and disrespect for humans, for anything that is different from themselves. Much like a certain hate group, the Authority is out to destroy those whose are different and crush anyone who might disagree with the line of action.

The addition of the social commentary is a little heavy handed to be lauded as anything too spectacular, but I’m glad the writers are at least attempting to do more than string together special effects and sex scenes.

A Few Last Burning Questions:

Did Patrick go running off because he thought Terry was going to kill him or was he off to get his own shotgun?

Why is Warlow’s voice so demonic? Is he some sort of super vampire?

Sam and Luna claimed an overweight woman had been in the hate group’s house. Hoyt’s mother certainly has a bone to pick with vampires, any chance she could be Dragon?

– Devin Mainville

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