24 August 2011

True Blood S4 E6 "I Wish I Was the Moon"

Spoilers Ahead

I'm starting to get the feeling I'm the only one enjoying True Blood's fourth season. Everywhere I turn I see complaints and criticisms: (former?) fans especially seem to be hating the Eric memory-loss storyline, his niceness, his helplessness, his relationship with Sookie--even his hair. I find this strange for a couple of reasons. Not only because I happen to be really enjoying this season, especially Eric, but also because I don't get how sociopathic, perpetually bored Eric (a la Seasons 1 and 2) could be deemed superior to and/or more attractive than emotionally stable and caring (yet still deadly when necessary) Eric. I think this says something about where popular culture is heading and it's not good. In any case, if you're not a fan of the new Eric you're going to hate this episode. Everyone else (if you're out there), read on.

"I Wish I Was the Moon" starts with Eric and Sookie moments after where they last left off (catch up here). Still kissing they enter her house, start ditching clothes, and end up on the couch. That's when Bill bursts in. The vampires start fighting and Eric, being much older, soon gets the upper hand. Just as Eric's about to run Bill through with a fireplace poker Sookie manages to stop him. Frustrated he asks who Bill is to her and she hesitates before finally replying that he's Eric's king. Eric immediately kneels and asks his "liege" for forgiveness. Bill, as you can expect, looks fairly well stunned.

He gets over it quickly, though, and takes Eric into custody. He even goes so far as to restrain Eric (who isn't putting up any fight) in silver. And when Sookie starts arguing on Eric's behalf Bill finally orders his guards to arrest her for trespassing if she steps foot on his property again. What's happened to Bill? His official argument is that Eric is under the control of a necromancer and could be a danger to them all. But it's obvious Bill is acting strictly out of jealousy. Bit of a double standard there, though, since (as Sookie points out) Bill's been running around sticking his fangs--and whatever else--into half the female population of Bon Temps. But he solidifies his douchery by calling Nan Flanagan and requesting a warrant to impose the true death on Eric. Come on, Bill--you used to be cool.

Meanwhile Eric gets put into a cell with Pam while she continues to rot from within, unsure how much time she has left. Pam tries to revive the old Eric by telling him he hates Bill and that he's a Viking vampire god who would rip someone's liver out with one fang. Surprisingly this doesn't convince Eric that he wants his old life back. He tells her he's not interested in remembering who he was since he is no longer that vampire. Sorry, Pam.

In the next cell Marnie desperately cuts herself and begs Antonia-the-spirit to come and use Marnie to avenge herself. We see more flashbacks of Antonia's life. In the first she's being bitten and raped by a vampire as his maker (a priest) urges him to be even more vicious because "fear sweetens the blood." In the next flashback we see Antonia burning at the stake as she chants a spell. Back in their cell her fellow witches chant along with her. Suddenly vampires are getting up and going out into the sun where they're burned alive along with Antonia, including the priest from the previous flashback. It's hard not to be upset at this scene knowing countless people were actually tortured and burned at the stake in past centuries. The vampires are actually the least disturbing part of these flashbacks because what humans beings did (and do) to each other is far worse. But I digress. As Marnie returns to the present Antonia's spirit is in the cell with her. A moment later she enters Marnie's body and takes possession of it.

The plot thickens with Terry and Arlene. They wake up to a raging fire and scramble to get the kids out. Only the baby is missing. Before Terry can run back inside to look for him the place explodes. As Arlene is about to lose it, Lisa and Coby point out that the baby was sitting outside when they got there, just hanging out with the creepy doll. Relieved, Arlene cradles him we see that he's smiling and laughing at something behind her. It turns out not to be a demon or even Rene but the ghost of a woman who smiles and waves at the baby. Okay, this is going in an entirely new direction. I like it a lot better than the possessed baby/serial killer baby plot that seemed to have been developing.

While Sam has to deal with the destruction of his rental properties (Holly's place was also ruined) he asks Tommy to open Merlotte's for him. Tommy agrees but he's deep in a spiral of depression and self-loathing after accidentally killing his mom. As he stares at himself in the mirror his self-hatred boils over and he starts hitting himself in the head. Before you can say "WTF?" Tommy has turned into Sam. Remember that thing about shifters who kill a family member can shift into other people? Suddenly Tommy's day is looking up. His mood improves even more when Sookie shows up to beg "Sam" for the day off and he gets to fire her. If Sookie believes Tommy is Sam then he can fool anyone. Unfortunately he next fools Maxine, who has nothing good to say about Tommy. She actually says she can understand why Sam shot Tommy. He seems pretty upset to hear it. It's hard not to feel sorry for Tommy sometimes.

Of course the sympathy we might have felt for him evaporates later when Luna arrives ready to hook up with Sam, not realizing it's not really Sam, and Tommy decides he can't waste the opportunity. Afterward she's ready to go shift together but Tommy is starting to look sick. Instead of telling her so he just gets mean, snapping at her to get out and throwing her clothes at her. She leaves in a fury (who can blame her?) and Tommy reverts to his own form and promptly starts throwing up. When Sam finally gets back he finds Tommy unconscious next to a pile of what looks like his internal organs. That's a lot of vomit.

After her encounter with "Sam" and unsure where else to turn for help with Eric, Sookie ends up going to Jason's. She can hear that he's in the house but he first hides from her and then shouts at her to go away. After Sookie ignores him and walks in on him half-naked and handcuffed to his bed he finally has to tell her about the possibility he might become a werepanther that night. Sookie points out that if he does transform, the handcuffs will just fall off. His reaction is what convinces her he's serious. Apparently forgetting about Eric she insists on staying with Jason. As they wait for him to turn he's upset to find out that when Sookie said she would take care of him if he turned she didn't mean she would kill him. She tries to make him feel better with a pep talk before heading inside to get them drinks. When she returns--surprise--Jason is gone.

He's off stumbling around the woods like the dumbass he is, waiting to turn and jumping at every noise. Lucky for him Jessica senses his fear and comes running. As he starts having a panic attack she calms him down and promises to stay with him while he turns.

Speaking of weres, Alcide returns home to find Marcus Bozeman having a cozy chat with Debbie. Marcus is in a much friendlier mood than he was the last time Alcide saw him and it turns out Debbie has already joined the Shreveport pack behind Alcide's back. He's infuriated with Debbie but she convinces him that her recovery (from her V addiction) depends on her getting out of the house and meeting other weres. Alcide reluctantly relents and agrees to run with Debbie and the pack during that night's full moon.

Meanwhile Sookie's started searching the woods for Jason and ends up running into Debbie and Alcide (is it just me or is it weird that on the night of the full moon we don't see any weres or shifters in animal form? Why are they all running around looking like people?) Sookie asks them whether someone can become a were by being bitten and they assure her you can only be born a were. Relieved she takes off again to find Jason. Debbie is comfortable letting Sookie take care of herself but Alcide is clearly worried. Women just love it when their partners are preoccupied with someone else.

After what is probably a few hours Jason finally realizes he's not going to turn, which leaves him strangely disappointed. He asks Jessica about what being a vampire is like and she tells Jason how awesome he is. Just when it looks like the two of them are going to act on their growing attraction Jason brings up Hoyt and starts treating Jessica like a little sister (complete with arm punches). Before Jessica leaves him they both agree not to tell Hoyt about spending time together. He just wouldn't understand.

Back at Bill's, the King of Louisiana is getting ready to execute Eric. He has his guards bring Eric in restraints out to the lawn. Eric accepts his sentence and is fine with being put to death, which seems extreme even to me. Exactly how docile has Eric become? But anyway he does have a couple of final requests. He asks that Pam be released since she doesn't have much time left and she isn't much of a threat anymore. He also asks that Bill let Sookie know that he was born the night she found him and that he's going to his true death knowing what it was like to love. He also mentions that she deserves love with anyone who can give it to her. As Bill raises the stake above his head Eric looks up in a pose that's instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with Christian iconography, particularly with those icons depicting the crucifixion. Nice touch. A little much but nice.

Tara's girlfriend, Naomi, shows up unannounced and demands to know what's been going on. So Tara finally tells her everything. This leads to anger and sex, so pretty much the usual response in Bon Temps. But the more she gets to know the real Tara, the more Naomi likes her. As for Pam's supposed harmlessness? Just as Tara and Naomi are sharing a moment outside Merlotte's, Pam shows up. And she is pissed. Tara tries to reason with Pam but when that doesn't work she begs Naomi to go. Naomi, however, isn't about to leave her. Luckily Pam is an equal opportunity killer and lets them know there's enough of her to go around (especially since parts of her are still falling off). Then she attacks.

Off in Mexico, Jesus's granddad toys with him and Lafayette, not only to punish Jesus and to prove his point but also because he just seems to like it. First he demands that Jesus bring him a sacrifice. When Jesus returns with a rattlesnake Granddad points out that snakes are gateways to the spirit world. He informs Jesus and Lafayette that they need protection from spirits and witches--not vampires. Then he sics the snake on Jesus, tells Lafayette to protect him, and leaves the room. As Jesus is slowly dying Lafayette is totally confused and panicking when he sees a man's spirit in the corner. A moment later the spirit enters his body and takes possession of him. It turns out to be the spirit of Jesus's uncle Luka, a gifted healer. He saves Jesus and departs, leaving Lafayette with no idea what just happened.

At Bill's again (presumably while he's outside with Eric) Sheriff Luis is obsessively watching Marnie on the security monitors. He was an early proponent of killing the necromancer and it looks like he can't hold out any longer. He goes to her cell ready to kill the witch but when he finds out Antonia's taken up residence in there he's all-too-eager to get his vengeance on (he turns out to have been Antonia's rapist and the "child" of the priest she compelled to greet the sun). But before Luis gets very far Antonia stops him with a spell and brings him under her control. When will these vampires learn?

The episode ends with Sookie still out in the woods shouting for Jason (how big are these woods anyway?) Suddenly Eric is there. He tells her Bill set him free and she forgets about everything else. As they kiss and the, ahem, music swells we see Bill standing alone on his porch, looking melancholy. The camera returns to Sookie and Eric who have already settled into a convenient clearing where they're (finally!) having sex. See--the new Eric isn't all bad.

Okay, so Season 4 Eric might be a little too meek. It would be good to see more fight in him. But he's also warm and caring and sweet (and still damn hot). In any case we know it won't last so those of you not enjoying this season, just hang on. Eric will be back to his Viking vampire god self in no time.

Fang Files

Appearance: Pale humans with red-rimmed eyes and long, snakelike fangs that extend or retract at will (and also when the vampire is excited). Cry tears of blood.

Strengths: Super strength (the older the vampire, the stronger they are). Super speed. Heightened senses.

Weaknesses: Silver. Witchcraft. Sun. Stakes. Sookie.

Mythology: Vampire society is highly hierarchical with Kings and Queens ruling over Sheriffs and lesser vampires, and all ruled by the mysterious Authority. Vampire blood (V) is a highly addictive and illegal drug. Once a human has consumed vampire blood the vampire will always be able to sense and track them.

Sound Bites

Eric: You are the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Sookie: Only because you can't remember anything else.

Sookie: If you ever loved me you won't hurt him.
Bill: This is strictly business. Vampire business. So for once in your life I strongly suggest you stay out of it.

Bill: Sookie is not mine.
Eric: But you love her.
Bill: Irrelevant.

True Blood, Season 4 Episode 6 "I Wish I Was the Moon." Written by Raelle Tucker. Directed by Jeremy Podeswa. From HBO.

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