Monday, June 11, 2012

"True Blood" Recap: Turning Tricks

"True Blood" is back, and it's up to its old tricks again! The first episode, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" was maybe a bit scattered, but I'll give them a pass - there are a lot of new story arcs to get started.

Sookie, Lafayette, Tara & Pam: When we last left Sookie back at the end of season 4, she had just killed Alcide's murderous ex-girlfriend, Debbie Pelt, in her kitchen ... but not before Debbie left a hole in Tara's head. Lafayette comes downstairs to see the carnage (right after the death of his boyfriend, Jesus, the last thing Lafayette needed was his beloved cousin dying on him), and then in waltzes Pam, looking for Eric. That gives Lafayette an idea - Pam could turn Tara into a vampire. (I would just like to say that I suggested this when Kel said that maybe Tara would become a vampire - I hoped it would be Pam who turned her!) Despite the fact that Pam hates Tara and Tara hates vampires, she agrees, and soon Tara and Pam (in a Walmart sweatsuit - genius!) are in the ground for Tara's possible transformation. (Pam warns that it might not take.) During the day, Sookie and Lafayette clean up Sookie's kitchen and find out that Jesus' body is missing (where is he!?). Then Alcide appears to warn Sookie about the return of Russell Edgington. He offers Sookie a place to stay, but she decides to stay put.

Bill & Eric: Bill darts out of his mansion to save Sookie when he hears the commotion over at her house (Eric is decidedly more hurt by her rejection), but before he can move past the porch, he's caught in silver netting by the Authority. Eric follows, and soon the pair are in the trunk of a car. They escape with a well-placed explosion and realize that Eric's vamp-sister Nora was in the car - and wants to help them. (She also wants to have sex with Eric, which, duh, and they do. "New Orleans is only 60 miles away," Bill reminds them as they get hot, heavy and loud in a shipping container.) Nora gets Bill & Eric new identities and warns them that they can never go back to Bon Temps ... but they're almost immediately surrounded by the Authority again. I smell some wacky Bill & Eric misadventures this season. I think there's a bromance brewing!

Jason, Jessica & Steve Newlin: Jason is finding himself in a similar situation to his sister ... fending off the romantic advances of vampires, except Jason has to do it while he's a lot less intelligent and a lot more naked. Steve glamors Jason into letting him into his house, then ties him up and admits that he's a gay vampire American, and he's in love with Jason. Jason tells Steve he's flattered, but "this dog don't bark that way." Steve moves in for a bite, and Jessica flies in and tells Steve that she's an older vampire and she's claimed Jason as hers. Jason rescinds his invitation to Steve, who flies out the door but, I'm sure, not out of Jason's life. Jason & Jessica have more sex, and Jason endures the taunts of Hoyt and his friends at Merlotte's the next day with class, but the next night, when Jason is off-duty, Jessica is having a party with cute college kids. Yeah, her "claim" on Jason was just to save him from Steve. Still, the fact that Jason couldn't sleep with one of the cute college girls means that things aren't done in the Jason-Jessica department.

Sam: Sam, if you'll remember, was there when Alcide killed packmaster Marcus, the ex-husband of Sam's girlfriend Luna. So, naturally, the pack thinks Sam killed Marcus, and they want Marcus' body back. Oh, and to punish Sam. With a few well-placed threats toward Luna and her daughter Emma, Sam admits to the murder (taking the fall for Alcide, who he doesn't want to rat out) and goes with the pack. They torture him for a while before Sam tells them where they buried Marcus, but then Alcide shows up (Luna alerted him to Sam's sacrifice) and says that he killed Marcus. That means that Alcide is now technically the packmaster, even though he's a lone wolf. He's not happy, and stomps away as the werewolves start eating Marcus' body. *shrug* Werewolves.

Andy: Andy and Holly wake up in bed, naked, when Holly's kids get back from their hunting trip. Hug, my ass, Holly! So, there's a budding romance there. Also, Andy takes a bribe from the local judge. Bad Andy!

Terry & Arlene: Terry's war buddy, Patrick, shows up and, eventually, tells Terry that their squadron-mates have had a lot of tragedy after "that night in Iraq" ... specifically, many of them have lost their homes to fires (just like what happened to Terry & Arlene!). Also, Terry gets scary pissed at Patrick and attacks him ... which is especially disturbing to Arlene after Ghost-Rene's warning.

The Cliffhanger: Since every episode ends on a cliffhanger ... Sookie and Lafayette take their places to wait for Pam and, hopefully, Tara to rise. Pam rises, complaining that there is dirt in her bra, but Tara stays stiff. Sookie and Lafayette cry, and suddenly ... Tara pounces out of the ground and onto Sookie! Roll credits!

What Worked: There are some interesting plotlines here:
  • We get to see more about the Authority, which, from interviews I've read, sounds like it could be a clever way to make a statement about politics. 
  • Bill & Eric just may be the perfect pair for this show. I'm hoping for many wacky misadventures.
  • More werewolf stuff will be good too. There's only so much you can do with vampires, and I'll be glad for some werewolf world building. (Especially if we get to see more of Alcide! Grr.)
  • I'm actually pretty interested in Terry's storyline. What happened in Iraq? Is it going to be supernatural, like everything else on this show, or could we have a nice, normal plotline that doesn't include witches, vampires or werewolves? Either way, it ought to be interesting.
  • Vampire Tara very well may be a great addition to the show. I love Rutina Wesley, but Tara was a little one-note last season. Being a self-hating new vampire may serve her well - the only other new vampire we've followed was Jessica, who loved her new fangs.
What Didn't Work: There are a few things that I'm skeptical of this season:
  • Steve Newlin's lust for Jason seemed a little bit out of left field. It's amusing, and there's a good commentary on hypocritical religious people there, but it was just a bit of a stretch. (A lot of that same commentary could have come just from Steve becoming a vampire.) Still, there was some great writing and acting in that scene, and I'll be willing to overlook some of it if we get a good Steve-Jessica-Jason conflict going on.
  • Andy is a good minor character, but they keep trying to do interesting things with him and it never seems to get there. The same old "Andy as a crooked cop" storyline is a little old. I do like the idea of him having a nice relationship with Holly, and I also enjoy his scenes with Jason.
Overall Opinion: A great return to Bon Temps, and a good appetizer for the rest of the season!

1 comment:

  1. There are too many storylines! Though I think they are mostly all interesting, it is only 13 episodes. That is a lot of plot for not a lot of time. We could do with some combining of stories right quick.
    Also...vampire Tara is going to be brilliant I think. I think she will hate it for a few days (nights) and then really embrace it.