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14 July 2009 @ 08:21 pm
True Blood 2.04  
Phew! I don't think I could have lasted two weeks without this show--last week was very empty! After a bloodthirsty start to the season, this episode featured a couple of big 'fakeout' scenes--Jason finding the Light of Day camp massacred and Tara thinking there was an intruder at Sookie's house. I had the feeling that both might be foreshadowing action to come. If the Church is really taking on the vampires in a war there will be real blood soon enough, and Tara's departure from Maryanne's controlling tenderness may turn her into a hunted object. Her 'I'm sure you'd do the same from me' line was far from innocent, I suspect.

It seems too obvious that Maryanne is the Minotaur creature, but her claws at the end did look very like those of the beast that attacked Sookie, and we know she can shape shift. What part does the pig play? Hmm. Does she need the energy of the black-eyed revellers to transform? It's all very curious. I liked her Greek goddess look at the party, though, and I wonder what significance the wedding-birthday cake had.

That final sequence also took the obsession with consmption and food to an extreme. Here it's overtly sexual as well, and helped show the escalation of Maryanne's controlling powers. The excesses that people were driven too were shown in more and more extreme form, ending with the eating of dirt. Maryanne also seemed to be linked to or draw strength from the earth? Curious.

The new waitress chick is disturbing me. Weirdly more than Maryanne! Maryanne I'm just intrigued by! She's so damn charismatic, even if she's horribly evil I will love her.

Is Tara's bloke really called Eggs? As in the breakfast food? Really? That aside he's being oh-so-terribly likeable, and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sookie is fitting the Southern stepmom role she's playing with Jessica frighteningly well. Sookie always seemed a little middle-aged in her prudishness (and what was that Stepford wife outfit she was wearing on the plane?!) and it fits her nicely. She's sympathetic to Jessica's girllishness (Jessica's 'I can't help it!' speech was very Sookie-like), and she still doesn't seem to take in the darkness of the rest of the world. It's kind of ridiculous but fascinating. I keep wanting to ask her 'don't you get it, yet?' but her insistence on treating everyone in a 'civilised' fashion (even when they're doing things like brainwashing others or drinking their blood) is a central character trait of hers and I see that it's a useful one for the narrative.

It was interesting to see vampire travel! Hee! I like the world details--hotels and planes that cater for vampires.

Alan Ball writes limited characters very well, and he seems to be having a field day with Jason and the Light of Day crew. There were some hilarious scenes this week, including that gloriously ill-educated discussion of evil in the Bible over lunch. Jason's arch-rival (whose bitterness I'm greatly enjoying), is barely better than Jason himself. 'That's why it's called EV-il': oh Lord! But my favourite line was 'Then explain Europe to me'. I'm loving the way that the religiosity of the camp comes with a heavy dose of sex and violence in the not-very-subtext. Sarah's pornstar BBQ antics and her husband's superficiously 'chaste' gun-toting have an air of sexual-repression-as-foreplay. The family dynamic they've set up is so creepy. Sarah acts as if she's untouchable as a sexual object yet she's constantly provoking Jason. That negligee and the 'we're just down the hall' were so ridiculously suggestive--but in the relgious context, of what? The cocktease seems to be working effectively to suck Jason in though.

(On a cultural note: I reacted really strongly to seeing two men sitting back being served from a BBQ. That is culturally unknown in Australia where the BBQ is the man's domain. That's not as true in America, I gather?)

I'm glad Lafayette actually is all fucked up from his experiences and doesn't just bounce back as buoyantly as Sookie--though I see the vamp blood does have a, er, bouncy effect on him. I liked the scene between him and Tara, because while Tara does care about him, it's true that she often does want some emotional connection in return, and he's not in a position to give it right now. And I looooved his scene with Eric--I was pleasantly surprised to see Eric follow up with Lafayette so soon. His line 'the healing elixir that is my thousand-year-old blood' was reminiscent for me of my favourite Smallville line ever ('the dark abyss they call my soul'). And I've warmed even further to Eric! Or, more accurately, Alexander Skarsgard, as I watched Generation Kill on the weekend and we was awesome in it. I feel kind of bad about this but it makes me see Eric as more human and less of a caricature (if a cool one) now so I feel slightly more attached to him. It probably shouldn't have taken watching another show to do that but c'est la vie.

Eric's exchanges with Bill were, as always, pleasing. :) I'm also finding Eric's Gordic-worship amusing--he's so defensive about him!

Little touches I loved:
- Poor Terry! Nice to see him dancing with Arlene at the party. They need to hook up by season end.
- Great use of TV footage (running with the bulls, the old horror movie skeleton footage on Lafayette's TV)
- There's a Queen? And there could be Kings? The Vampire terminology still cracks me up (sheriff? really?!) but I am intrigued.
- Jessica being a teenage brat ('I'm on the phone!')

And that final sequence, which so cutely introduced a fellow mind-reader! Awsome! (And oh, Jessica! *facepalm*) Great cliffhanger!
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: amusedamused
serenographyserenography on July 14th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you are watching and commenting on this show! I find myself sad when it's over and wanting MORE.

I just read an interview with the actress who plays Maryann here - http://www.tvguide.com/News/True-Blood-Forbes-1007953.aspx
You might find it interesting in regards to the nature of Maryann's character. I agree with you, she does a fabulous job, but I think that of most of the cast. Sookie is generally my least favorite (character and actor) but I really liked her in this past episode. Maybe she just needed to grow on me. I think Jessica has been a wonderful addition the Sookie/Bill story since she makes both of them more interesting in their reactions to her.

As far as the barbecue thing, it is sort of a tradition for men to barbecue, but not so strong of one that it's unusual at all for women to do it. I think Sarah was following more of the old-fashioned tradition of the woman cooking and serving the men.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Aishwarya Raibop_radar on July 15th, 2009 08:20 am (UTC)
Is link spoilery? I'm not sure I want spoilers but if it's general then that sounds good, thanks!

Sookie is generally my least favourite too--she's quite a strange character! I have my moments with her but she's definitely hard to attach to. But yes, Jessica adds a lot to the Bill/Sookie dynamic, which I think would have got pretty stale by now.

It's unheard of in Australia! It's like the ultimate unmanning of an Australian male. But I think the message was supposed to be about the woman (happy pandering to the 'boys') rather than about the men (who I instantly read as gay/effeminate!).

True Blood does create the 'want more' feeling, doesn't it?!
Invader Ace: tbjessicatxtlint138 on July 14th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)

(On a cultural note: I reacted really strongly to seeing two men sitting back being served from a BBQ. That is culturally unknown in Australia where the BBQ is the man's domain. That's not as true in America, I gather?)

It usually is. I even said something to my roommate to the affect of, "oh, I'm surprised she's on the grill."
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: True Blood Billbop_radar on July 15th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
Ok, cool. Because I found it really challenging and distracting.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: True Blood LaFayettebop_radar on July 15th, 2009 08:15 am (UTC)
I know, right?!!! *clings* And even more horrifying than that I had the involuntary anti-feminnist reaction of 'omg! lazy assholes! can't they even look after a barby!' ;) It created such conflicting emotions!

That said, I found Jason-vision, with her all sexed up, kind of hilarious, while also, yes, horrible--but they framed it ironically. I like that we can't be sure how much was him and how much was her.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Aishwarya Raibop_radar on July 15th, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
Oh, I know, it's a deeply weird (and unbelievably strong) cultural trope. Thing is... I hate BBQ-ing so I'm useless at fighting it personally. But I did once stand beside a girlfriend BBQ-ing supportively while our mutual boys did something else. It was a weird moment. ;)

My hunch is she was doing it a teeny bit and that was enough to set Jason off, and yes, I totally think she and her husband are a double-team and they see Jason as the perfectly fooled prey!
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: BSG epic failbop_radar on July 15th, 2009 10:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, I felt like one girl alone on the BBQ didn't stand a chance. She'd have been elbowed sideways in a second! You know how it is... ;) Funny thing was she's vegetarian and I'm not great with meat so we're both just staring at the meat elements trying to work out if they're cooked or not.
alienfishalienfish on July 19th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
I only just finished watching Season 1. But I was already spoiled on the fact that Lafayette (sp?) is alive and Sookie and Bill are taking responsibility for Jessica. Though, really, Eric deserved it.