Poll or no poll, I cannot resist talking about True Blood. I am so hooked!
Last week's episode was wonderful. I loved Bill's speech at the meeting and really felt for him. Bill is winning me over despite all the alarm bells ringing in my head. His origin story was moving! I am so used to vampire flashbacks being embarrassingly bad (ATS, you scarred me!) but this one worked really well. It helps that Bill himself feels like he stepped out of that era into this one. But I found them well-handled. I like the twist that she chose to turn him because he was a good man, and found her really chilling but effective, not too camp. And I ached for him when he saw his family on the verandah but could not go to them.
Meanwhile, Jason was at his most hilarious. I may not like the man, but I did find his tripping sequences very amusing. I was a bit scared that Tara was going to get suckered in my him but thankfully she's smarter than that. I loved it when she tipped the rubbish on him.
I am glad Sam plucked up courage to ask Sookie out but I still don't ship them. I am wary of Sam and I didn't like his outburst of anger at her.
Grandma!!!!! Waah, I really did not see that coming. She felt like a main character, and she seemed to know stuff. I never expected her to die and spent all week between episodes thinking up ways whereby she would not be dead (I thought Bill might turn her--hee!).
I must admit I was initially startled by Sookie's lack of tears or histrionics but wound up finding the episode dealt with her grief very well. I found her cleaning up her grandmother's blood deeply creepy... I don't know how anyone could do that without breaking down. But she was in shock--I liked that it took her until after her pie outburst to grasp that her grandma was gone. 'I don't know what I'm supposed to do' is a pretty common response to losing someone close to you, I think. And in Sookie's case she very much felt like she was on display for the whole town. That compounded with the fact that she feels like a freak in their eyes to begin with explains, very convincingly, her emotional arc in this episode.
I really felt for her at the community-gathering when she mindread that nauseating 'friend' of her grandmother's. I also liked the way she held her own against the woman from work who suggested she move. Yeah, it might seem unfeeling of her to stay, but it's her family home.
I loved her telling Sam to apologise to her another time. Was that barking we heard when she mind-read him? I can understand her feeling pressured by Sam, but I do wonder if she would feel differently if she could mindread Bill as well. I did like them alphaing over her.
I thought it was so strong of Sookie to block out all the voices at the funeral. Part of me really wanted her to get through the funeral with dignity, the other part wanted her to do exactly what she did do--scream at them to stfu.
Obligatory Tara fangirling: OMG, she is the best BFF EVER. I loved her swooping in to rescue Sookie when she had her meltdown, warding off Sam, and summoning LaFayette instead. Nice! 'This is not an appropriate event' was a great line and I felt like she told Sookie exactly what she needed to hear. And I loved her pledge of friendship with saying she'd lose it if something happened to Sookie. I heart her protectiveness. I also like that Sookie tried to explain how Bill had made things easier for her. And oh, wow, how wonderfully that was fulfilled when Sookie's turd of a brother showed up (and HIT her? OMG!). I adore Tara for stepping in. It didn't matter one iota that she was attracted to Jason. Her friend came first and she abhored his behaviour.
Jason really is 'a stupid bitch' as LaFayette puts it. And not just because he hit a police officer. He treated Sookie terribly in this episode, made no attempt to connect with her in grief and then did the most destructive thing possible in inviting an alienated member of the family to the funeral (though I did find that intriguing and Sookie very rude--what is the backstory there?)
I'll admit Jason seemed generally sorry that he'd hit Sookie but his words were the typical excuses of an abuser: 'I didn't mean to hurt you' 'You must know that' (implication: the fault lies with Sookie). He really doesn't get it. He's all impulse and no brain. Yes, you did just throw your family away, Jason.
This idea was mirrored in Tara's story with her mother saying she was sorry for hitting to her, and appealing to Tara's sense of family. I found the scene very powerful and was particularly moved by Tara's hysterical laughter at her mother saying there was a 'devil' inside of her (is there a devil in Jason too?). I'm intrigued by this idea though within this universe--partly because it's already a universe where people have mysterious aspects, partly because it echoes some myths about vampires, partly because it's interesting how people rationalise why they abuse people. I do feel compassion for Tara's mother and was moved by her speech. And i can understand why it might feel to her like there is a devil in her, and why she might find it easier to think of that way. But it doesn't change the fact that she abused Tara and I worry about Tara turning back to her at the end.
I was very happy to see Sam and Tara hook up again but it doesn't bode well that she fled from him so fast. They misunderstand one another and that seems tragic. The three couples at the end were in such stark contrast to each other--Tara and Sam not quite connecting, but straining for 'something real'; Bill and Sookie in the throes of complete romantic obsession; and Jason and his chickie with absolutely no emotional connection between them at all. It was an interesting exploration of the ways people seek renewal after death.
The Sookie-Bill angst was at its height in this ep. Despite myself I find it well done. Bill's constant awareness of Sookie is particularly hot, and the melodrama of her running to him in her long white robe and him flinging the doors open for her was kind of wonderful. (Of course we knew where that was leading...) But this raises a question: are Sookie's actions here motivated purely by love or do I see a deathwish flickering there too? She is, after all, in grief.
There was a lot of revealing Sookie material in this episode and I felt that 'I almost feel normal when I'm around him' is a particularly telling one. That gets to the heart of her attraction to Bill.
- Very cool to see Bill's gravestone
- Bill + Dog waiting on the lawn was adorable (that dog has GOT to be linked to Sam)
- LaFayette gets the sidekick sweetheart award for 'I will guard it with my life' about the pie. He was also very cute when he talked about food made with love. It has dawned on me (I'm slow!) that there is a LOT of food imagery in this show, and that there is a lot of meaning imbued in who eats what. Not only was their grandma's pie, but last episode there was the little tustle over who ate the last bit of pie--Sam or Sookie, and LaFayette lost it with the idiots who called it an 'AIDS burger', and of course there's also all the exploration of the power of V and other substances. As well as the way vampires feed... more thinky is required but I'd really like to read or write good meta on the role of food in True Blood now.
- Interesting that Tara overhears her neighbours so much. That drew a parallel with Sookie, for me, and I feel like they've got more in common than I realised at first.
More please! When is next ep? *waits impatiently*