13 May 2010

True Blood S2 E8 "Timebomb"

Spoilers Ahead

No rants this time, thankfully, but a good episode that ends with a bang--literally.

"Timebomb" picks up where "Release Me" left off. My new favourite vampire, Godric, is still holding the squirming would-be-rapist (Gabe) by his shirt collar. Gabe tries reasoning with Godric, telling him "it's me" (interesting that Godric would know him that well, or care, considering he's the Fellowship's prisoner). Godric snaps his neck. He then tells Sookie she should not have come.

A moment later Eric arrives. The usually arrogant and intimidating Eric proceeds to kneel before his much smaller and younger-looking maker. It's an odd, but kind of fun, sight. Godric tells Eric that he's well aware what the Fellowship have planned for him, and that Eric was a fool to send humans after him. Godric also outs Hugo as the traitor. As the church's alarm goes off, Godric orders Eric to take Sookie and leave without him; when Eric tries to protest Godric claims he can take care of himself. He then also orders Eric to spill no blood on his way out. You know this is going to be interesting.

Meanwhile, off in the woods, Jason is still alive after being shot by Sarah--despite the bloody wound over his heart. It's a miracle--God has saved him! Or maybe not. It turns out Sarah was using a paintball gun. And she is pissed. She yells at him that she broke the sanctity of her marriage bed, gave him everything--all for a lie. He's less than apologetic so she shoots him in the crotch (she's not quite so vanilla pudding anymore). She tells Jason they have Sookie, and when he tries to say that Sookie's got nothing to do with anything, Sarah spits out that all Stackhouses are "heartless, two-face vampire fuckers." Ouch. Jason grabs the gun and pushes her down, telling her never to talk about his sister like that. Then he says if he finds out that any of them so much as touched Sookie he's coming back, "and it won't be with no paint gun." Makes me almost wish I had a brother. Jason then drives off in the ATV leaving Sarah behind.

Back at the church Eric and Sookie are trying to sneak out, but there are Soldiers of the Sun and Light of Day Institute cadets everywhere. In order to get past a group of them, Eric puts on a smile (so weird to see) and adopts a Louisiana accent. He claims Steve sent him to guard the area and that he can take it from here, but as the others question him his story begins to crumble. After he glamours one of them into handing over his stake, another tries to attack him from behind. Sookie calls out a warning and a fight ensues. Two of the humans end up running away but Eric's got the third pinned against the wall. Sookie runs up and tells Eric he doesn't need to kill him, so Eric lets the kid go. Crumpling to the floor, the kid tells them the woods are full of soldiers--they won't get away.

Sookie and Eric decide to make a break for it through the sanctuary. Just as I'm wondering why Eric doesn't simply pick Sookie up and speed the hell out of there, Steve speaks up. He's been waiting for them. The doors open and people come streaming in, all wielding stakes and weapons. Sookie tries to reason with Steve but he's too busy driving the crazy bandwagon to listen. Once again he spouts off about war and "you're either with us or against us." Sookie tells him that Godric is loose and will certainly be sending for help, but Steve's not worried. Apparently any vampire will do for the ceremony. As Steve grins gleefully, Eric gives himself up telling Sookie he'll be fine. Apparently there's a tiny spark of nobility in there.

At the hotel Lorena is now keeping Bill and Barry hostage. She wants them to feed on Barry, but sensing Sookie again Bill is rapidly losing patience. Helping herself to the former bellhop, Lorena suddenly stops, saying he tastes different and wondering what he is. As she's distracted Bill wallops her from behind with a 52-inch plasma TV. Leaving her bleeding on the floor, Bill grabs Barry and runs (stopping briefly to--accidentally--interrupt Jessica and Hoyt having sex and tell Hoyt to get Jessica back to Bon Temps post haste).

They do as Bill says, returning back to his house with two hours to spare before dawn. Oh, whatever can they do to pass the time? Hoyt is somewhat reluctant, fearing that Bill will walk in again, but Jessica is insistent. She alternates between tenderness and raw need, ultimately begging him to "do" her "right now." Kids these days. He obliges, but suddenly she's in pain. And he notices blood. And Jessica freaks. Vampires heal quickly, and since Jessica was a virgin when she was turned, well, it turns out she'll be a virgin for eternity. Hoyt tries to be reassuring at first, but she's verging on hysterical, saying it'll always hurt like hell. While I think this is absolutely brilliant (and unique, as far as I know), I do have to question why Jessica is so afraid of the pain. Aren't vampires supposed to have a higher tolerance for pain? Bonus points for concept, deduct a couple for execution.

Speaking of Bon Temps, Lafayette is spending time with Tara, reading her tarot cards. He draws the Lovers card and claims the position it's in calls for a sacrifice. Tara's going to have to make a choice. He asks if she wants to see her future. She nods and as he picks up the card, Eggs bursts in looking for Tara. Lafayette glances at the card: Justice. This does not bode well. Eggs tells Tara he needs her help, that he's lost the last few hours and has no idea what happened or what is wrong with him. Tara tries to be soothing and takes him home. They might not be so calm when they get there.

Maryann has been cooking (this is a first; usually Karl does the honours). What starts out looking good (veggies in the pan) becomes revolting as she brings out a human heart (clearly Daphne's). As she slices it, thick, dark blood starts seeping across the cutting board. With bloody hands she starts adding the pieces to the pan. This is even more horrifying and disturbing when you take a moment to consider that many cultures/religions consider the heart to be the resting place of the soul. The fact that she cuts people's hearts out while they're still alive only reinforces this connection, as far as I'm concerned (no time for the soul to escape). What exactly is Maryann cooking? Vampires suddenly don't look so scary anymore, do they?

When Tara and Eggs get there, they're still trying to figure out what's going on. Eggs claims he has a sick feeling that he did something really bad. Maryann comes in and tells them they'll ease up on the partying for a while. Ignoring their skeptical looks, she tells them to come eat the "Hunter's Souffle" she made. It does look good, until Tara cuts into it and it starts oozing that same dark blood. Somehow Tara and Eggs don't even seem to notice. They try it and are amazed at how delicious it is. Then they start gorging on it, laughing uncontrollably as they do. By the time they finish the souffle, there's blood all over the table. At first Tara and Eggs are in a good mood, but then they start behaving weirdly aggressive. They tell each other how much they hate each other. Eggs grabs Tara by the throat and they kiss. She slaps him, then punches and kicks him. Throughout all this, they're laughing--as is Maryann, watching from the sidelines. Eggs hits Tara back and then it's onto sex on the kitchen floor, complete with all-black eyes.

Sam, meanwhile, gets a hang-up call on his cellphone from Merlotte's. Going inside the bar to investigate, he finds Daphne's heartless body in the walk-in. Panicking at first, he starts wrapping her body in garbage bags, but calming down he realizes that's the wrong thing to do. Just as he's calling the Sheriff's department, there's a knock on the door and flashing lights outside. Oops--the Sheriff's already there. Things are just looking worse and worse for Sam.

As Sam tries to convince Bud and Kenya that he did not kill Daphne, Andy shows up--looking like crap--and claims that Sam's no killer--he's the victim. When he tries to tell Bud that he saw Sam nearly get killed by a bull...with claws...in a dress, he's definitely convincing them of something (just not Sam's innocence). Andy urges Sam to back him up, so Sam asks Bud if he would believe him if he did. Yeah, not so much. Sam ends up locked up for the night, despite his continued protests of his innocence. Bud claims that if anything really is trying to get him, the jail is the safest place for him--even with a bunch of Maryann's partygoers in the cell next door.

Jason finally makes it back to the church. At first the others won't let him in because there's a "vamper" on the loose, but he manages to finagle his way via his connection to the Light of Day Institute and his honesty ring (they were all given one). Inside as Jason tries to shake his escort, the guy keeps insisting that Steve needs to be told Jason's there. Suddenly he stops and asks if Jason's gun is a paintball gun. Jason freezes for what seems like an age before finally knocking the guy out and dragging his unconscious body into hiding.

Inside the sanctuary Eric's tied to the cross, gasping in pain as the silver chains burn him. Steve's blathering on about how just as Jesus was betrayed by 30 pieces of silver, so can a few ounces of silver betray a child of Satan. Right. Even Sookie points out that this doesn't make any sense. But Steve is fired up and in his element. When Eric offers himself in exchange for Godric and Sookie's freedom, Steve calls Sookie a traitor to her race, undeserving of mercy. He suggests they might just roast her alongside Eric. The truly scary thing is: it's not at all unrealistic to believe that people like this exist and have (or can find) loyal followers.

As Steve and his minions approach Sookie, Bill bursts in. Before he can get to Sookie, Steve puts a gun to her head and threatens to kill her if Bill takes another step. Bill retorts that if Steve shoots her, everyone will die. Steve tells his minions to get silver chains for Bill; much like Eric, Bill tells Sookie he'll be fine. Noble and macho. Men.

Before Bill can get tied up, Jason appears and shoots the gun out of Steve's hand with a paintball. Steve shows he's neither noble nor macho (whining about how much it hurts) and Jason sends a paintball straight into Steve's forehead. Bill takes the opportunity to rush forward and get Sookie away from the mob, but she pulls away to go free Eric. I believe we're seeing the start of a love triangle here, folks. Once Sookie frees him, Eric grabs Steve by the throat and throws him to the ground. Sookie tells Eric not to kill him, while Jason is yelling for him to do the opposite. Personally, I don't think Steve is worth it, not to mention that killing him will make him a martyr--which is precisely why Steve urges Eric to go ahead and kill him.

Before Eric can make his choice, Stan and a vampire posse arrive. Stan claims they're ready to start a war, especially since they're not going to sit around waiting to be lynched. The vampires will kill the humans first "the same way we did your father." Stan is clearly a moron. He tells his posse to kill all the humans. Chaos ensues, vampires are grabbing people, Bill is trying to get Sookie out, and then suddenly a voice: "Enough!"

Everyone stops and we see Godric up in the balcony, dressed all in white (Stan's in black, of course). He claims that humans and vampires can co-exist, that he doesn't want to create bloodshed when none is called for. He asks Steve to help him set an example--if the vampires leave in peace will the humans do the same? Steve's response: "I will not negotiate with sub-humans." Then he tries again to convince Eric to kill him. Godric's less than impressed. He speeds down to where Steve is and grabs him, pulling him to his feet. Godric asks who among the humans is willing to die for Steve's madness. No one answers. Then he orders the vampires to stand down, which they do with reluctance. As the humans start slowly leaving the church, Luke is the last to go.

I have to say, I love the way Godric speaks: calmly (but not bored, like Eric) with an underlying gentleness. He also has a bit of an accent I can't quite place. As Godric ushers the vampires out of the church, Eric pauses to ask Sookie if she's sure she's okay--much to Bill's annoyance. Jason then rushes over and hugs Sookie, asking her to forgive him. When she asks what he was thinking he says it's like Steve sucked out his brains and planted his babies inside Jason's head. Great analogy. Steve, obviously not quite getting that he lost, starts going on about how they'll ultimately see who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Jason's response is fantastic, but I think I'll let you watch the episode and see for yourself. Bill grabs Jason and they all start walking out, leaving Steve utterly bereft and alone.

The vampires, Sookie, and Jason return to Godric's house to celebrate his return. Sookie and Bill finally have some time together, so she tries to find out where he's been. He finally admits he was held; she wants to know by whom. She asks if Eric held him, and hearing his name, Eric sidles up to them. Sookie's pissed at him for letting her walk into a trap. He claims he regrets it but the bond between a vampire and their maker is stronger than she can imagine, although maybe she'll find out one day. He gives Bill a pointed look, which Sookie can't help but notice.

As Eric walks away Bill confronts him, telling him his contact with Sookie will cease from now on. He calls Eric's attempt at separating them "feeble and pathetic," and tells Eric to accept that Sookie will never be his. I hate it when characters say "never." And Eric doesn't exactly look convinced.

When Bill returns to Sookie, it's her turn to be confrontational. She asks why he was talking to Eric if Eric was the one who kidnapped him. Bill says it wasn't Eric, so naturally Sookie wants to know who. They get interrupted again, this time by Jason, who wants to talk to Bill outside (he apologizes for how he treated Bill and then gives him a bro hug).

Eric, meanwhile, is catching up with his maker. Godric claims the Fellowship didn't treat him badly, and that most of them are surprisingly ordinary people. Unexpectedly he also says that vampires are frightening so human fear is understandable. He goes on to add that after thousands of years vampires haven't evolved at all--they've only become more brutal and predatory (although that could probably be considered a form of evolution). He sounds sad as he says this. I think it's a good point to make and especially interesting coming from a vampire. It turns out he chose not to kill the Fellowship when they took him because "what would that have proven?" I think we need more vampires like Godric.

I knew we hadn't seen the last of Lorena, but I'm still not happy when she shows up at the party. There's more clumsy symbolism with colours: Sookie's in white and Lorena's in a long red dress and red lipstick. Why is red always associated with evil? It happens to be my favourite colour and I'm certainly not... oh, wait...never mind. Lorena walks up to Sookie and starts talking to her as though she already knows her. Sookie asks who she is and Lorena claims they have a mutual friend. A second later Bill strides in, furious to see Lorena. By now Sookie's guessed that she is Bill's maker.

I'm not a huge fan of the next scene. Possessive original lover, insecure new lover. Bitchiness, jealousy, the staking of claims. And then comes the trashy cat fight. Ugh. I really wish Sookie could have had a little more dignity in this scene, and shown a little more class, but she doesn't. That's why Sookie will never be my favourite character. She's not Lorena's either. The vampire pushes her back onto a table and gets ready to bite. Suddenly Lorena stops. Godric's got a hand around her throat and he orders her to retract her fangs. Now. Lorena backs off in the face of his authority. He tells her that Sookie has proven herself courageous and loyal to their kind, and yet Lorena has treated her as a child would treat a dragonfly--pulling off wings for sport, adding "No wonder they hate us." He says Lorena has had hundreds of years to better herself but she's still a savage. Then he asks Bill to escort Lorena off the property, first making sure that she knows she's not welcome in his area.

As Bill walks Lorena out she tearfully says that she doesn't know how things got this way, and she can't help that she still loves him. She looks broken. I feel sorry for her in this scene, not least because Bill is (necessarily) cold to her. He tells her they'll never see each other again, but she replies that, as immortals, odds are their paths will cross again. Then she's off.

As Bill and Lorena are outside, everyone inside appears to be having a good time. Suddenly Luke walks in, apprehensive. Jason approaches him and asks what he's doing there but Luke just tells him to get away. Then he gets everyone's attention and claims he has a message for them all from Reverend Steve Newlin. Unzipping his jacket he reveals C4 explosive strapped to his body with silver chains. Luke, you utter dumbass. Then he presses the trigger.

Cut to credits and the song "Timebomb" by Beck.

Just when we were thinking things were all settled in Dallas, we get a plot twist like this. Feel free to worry about all your favourite characters (including the ones back in Bon Temps), and then take a second to consider how it can all possibly be wrapped up in four episodes. Makes a nice change from worrying about reality, doesn't it? Or maybe not...

Fang Files

Appearance: Extra pale humans with red-rimmed eyes and snakelike fangs that extend or retract at will. Vampires cry blood.

Strengths: Ability to glamour (hypnotize) humans. Super strength, speed.

Weaknesses: Stakes, silver, sunlight, bombs.

Mythology: Very old vampires require little blood. The bond between a vampire and their maker is incredibly strong.

Sound Bites

Sarah: You're worse than Judas!
Jason: Why, what did he do to you?

Sookie: Why didn't you bring Bill with you?
Eric: His attachment to you is irrational; it clouds his judgment. He would kill every child in this church to save you.
Sookie: Why aren't you?

Eric: (after Sookie guesses that Godric is Eric's maker) Don't use words you don't understand.
Sookie: You have a lot of love for him.
Eric: Don't use words I don't understand.

Steve: (to Eric) Kill me. Do it. Jesus will protect me.
Godric: I am actually older than your Jesus. I wish I could have known him but I missed it.

True Blood, Season 2 Episode 8 "Timebomb." Written by Alexander Woo. Directed by John Dahl. From HBO.

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