20 March 2012

True Blood S4 E9 "Let's Get Out of Here"

Spoilers Ahead

I love this episode of True Blood, if for no other reason than Sookie's dream. What was so great about her dream, you ask? We'll get to that later. In the meantime...

"Let's Get Out of Here" begins with Alcide carrying Sookie's unconscious body back to her place and away from Antonia and her gang of witches (refresh your memory here). Suddenly a blur speeds by, taking her with it. The blur turns out to be Bill and by the time Alcide catches up, Bill is already trying to feed Sookie his blood. The problem is she's not taking it and she barely has a pulse. Come on, Sookie--if you can survive vampires, fairies, fanatical humans, maenads, and werewolves a little bullet shouldn't be a problem. But it's nice to see that Bill still really cares about her.

Meanwhile the witches responsible for all the trouble are back at the magic shop in a state of chaos. Most of them are upset with Antonia for not trying to make peace with Bill and they want out. Only Roy--clearly a guy with no life and less personality--still thinks the whole thing is awesome. As her minions rebel, Antonia's crazy starts coming out. She threatens anyone who tries to leave and informs them they'll be paying a visit to the next night's pro-vampire Festival of Tolerance, bringing Eric (who is still under her control) along to show what vampires are capable of. I'm guessing it won't be a showcase of their healing abilities and sexual prowess.

Back at Sookie's place all the drama seemed to be for naught as she wakes up completely fine. I guess Bill's blood finally took. I find it a little weird that all she cares about is finding Eric--she doesn't ask if anyone else is okay or care that she almost died (again). At least she thanks Bill for the blood. Her priorities drive Alcide to leave in disgust (can't really blame him).

When Alcide gets home Debbie pretends to be asleep. Aside from Debbie's eyes wolfing out as she smells Sookie on Alcide the most significant portion of this scene is Alcide's naked butt. Holy hell, how much does that man work out? Totally gratuitous nudity but I don't think anyone's complaining.

Anyway, the next time we see Debbie she's buying and downing a vial of V. She then heads over to Sookie's house, brandishing a bouquet of flowers. Sookie warily lets her in and there's a beautiful shot of the flowers in a vase bathed in light while in the foreground the women sit at the table talking in shadow. I wish I could get a copy of that and have it framed. Debbie asks Sookie if she can help her and she's apparently sincere. When Sookie listens in on Debbie's thoughts she doesn't hear any deception so she accepts Debbie's offer.

Debbie's next stop is the magic shop, where she offers the allegiance of the Shreveport wolf pack to Antonia's cause. While this is happening, Sookie is sneaking in not-so-stealthily through the back. All the other witches are sleeping on the floor in the back room. Although why they're sleeping when it doesn't seem to be particularly late is beyond me. Sookie then finds Eric in a storeroom. He realizes he's under a spell although he can't do anything about it and he tells Sookie his orders are to kill the King (aka Bill) at the Festival of Tolerance. So Antonia's big plan is to have one vampire kill another vampire in order to prove that vampires are vicious and humans should hate and fear them? Right. While Sookie is still figuring out what to do, Tara is suddenly there pointing a gun at her.

Instead of distracting Antonia from what's happening behind her, Debbie announces she's brought Sookie to her and points out that Tara's got her cornered. Antonia shouts to Tara not to shoot Sookie--she could be useful. Tara berates Sookie but tips her off to listen to her thoughts, where she tells Sookie they're being held hostage and that Bill is at the Dorchester Hotel. Then she silently orders Sookie to charge her, which she does and escapes while Tara lets the gun go off as though she was defending herself. Antonia turns back to Debbie, only to find she's gone. Angry, Antonia announces that she, Roy, and Eric are leaving. Then she magically locks all the witches inside the shop. I love this next part. When Tara grabs a doorknob to try to leave she badly burns her hand. So what happens next? Another witch runs to another door and grabs the knob, badly burning her hand. These people clearly aren't the brightest bunch. We leave them in a panic.

The Festival of Tolerance seems to mostly involve humans telling heartwarming stories about vampires to other humans. Wow--festive. Things start getting interesting, however, when Eric shows up. He lures the vampire guards into the hotel's kitchen, where Antonia is waiting to put the whammy on them. Then, just as Bill is about to give a speech, the enchanted vampires very publicly rip the hearts out of Bill's human guards. Sookie arrives at this point and, just as Eric jumps off the balcony toward Bill, she screams at him to run.

In other happenings, Sam impresses Luna by taking her and Emma on an impromptu camping trip as a way of getting away from Marcus without running away. His stock rises even more when he shifts into a bunny because Emma desperately wants to pet one and the wild bunnies aren't cooperating. Guess that's why Luna decides to share a tent with Sam. And the nice guy gets the girl.

Tommy, meanwhile is leaving a goodbye note for Sam at the bar when Marcus comes in with an attitude looking for Sam. Tommy isn't averse to giving attitude right back and when Marcus leaves his card and a message that Sam had better meet him tonight or else, it's pretty obvious that Tommy is going to be the one taking him up on his invitation. And he does, in the guise of Sam. Anyone who actually knows Sam would know this wasn't him, but, of course, no one at the garage does. Tommy goads Marcus, along with most of the other weres, into attacking him. Only Alcide holds back and tries to stop what's happening. Tommy ends up so badly beaten that he reverts to his own form, at which point Marcus finally seems to care that he and his buddies were ganging up on one smallish guy (but it was the wrong guy). Alcide grabs Tommy and carries him out of the place.

Hoyt is occupied with hating Jessica. He packs up her stuff and repeatedly calls her a monster. I'm not sure what his problem is or why he's so bitter about her biting him--I seem to recall he wanted her to bite him. I'm also pretty sure he was fully aware of what he was getting into when he moved in with her. Did he envision some 1950s idyll, with the big, strong man coming home from a hard day's work while his apron-clad vampire wife waits in their spotless house with a hot dinner and a cold beer? If so he should've married that girl his momma tried to set him up with. Perhaps that's just what he's pondering when a possessed Lafayette shows up with Arlene and Terry's baby and chases Hoyt out of the house (pantsless) at gunpoint. Bon Temps is such a fun place to live.

When Hoyt calls Jason he's already at the Bellefleurs', dealing with a hysterical Arlene who's convinced that Rene stole the baby, and a V-addicted Andy who's steadily growing out of control. He manages to drag Andy to Hoyt's place where they soon discover that Lafayette is now "Mavis" and she isn't afraid to shoot at anyone who gets too close. The situation gets even more chaotic when Terry and Arlene show up against Jason's orders. Terry's ready to stage a military incursion to get his baby back but Jason manages to hold him off and shows that he's continuing to get smarter when he sends for Jesus.

When Jesus arrives he immediately realizes what's going on. He talks to Mavis and helps her understand that she's dead and the baby she's holding isn't hers. Then he promises to use magic to try to help her hold her baby one last time. They leave the house and Mavis returns Mikey to Arlene, apologizing as she does. They forgive her (technically they forgive Lafayette), which is more than I think I'd do. Then Mavis and Jesus head back to a tree on the property where she thinks her baby is buried. It doesn't take long for the woman's skeleton to be unearthed along with the baby's. When Jesus hands the baby skeleton to Mavis, her spirit leaves Lafayette and suddenly she's standing in front of everyone holding one of the cutest babies I've ever seen. She thanks Lafayette for helping her and then they're gone. Too bad--I'm going to miss that wacky Creole ghost. Meanwhile everyone else believes they've just witnessed a miracle.

Once things are back to normal, Hoyt asks Jason to take Jessica's things back to her. Jason's reluctant but Hoyt basically guilts him into it. Can we have the old Hoyt back please? He was a sweetheart. Current Hoyt just seems to be a selfish jerk. Seriously--when did Jason become the sweet one? As he drops the box of her things off to Jessica, he tells her he's there for her if she ever needs to talk. But when she asks him if he wants to come in he says it's not such a good idea. Of course, he doesn't really make a move to leave, either. The next thing we know they're having sex in the back of his truck. I have a bad feeling about this.

And now for that lovely dream I mentioned. In it Eric shows up at Sookie's place during the day. As she's marvelling at that, Bill is suddenly there. Of course as rival alpha men are wont to do they start fighting. Sookie then steps in, stops them, and takes control of the dream. Sookie claims that the fact she's there with both of them means something. Then she announces that she loves them both and doesn't want to belong to either of them--instead they should both belong to her. Hell, yes! She also points out the double standard in that a man who has a threesome with two women he barely knows is applauded but a woman who wants to be in a relationship with two men she loves is basically called a whore. Yup. I think I finally like Sookie (and Anna Paquin too, who I believe adheres to this philosophy in real life). I can never understand all the drama of love triangles (the solution seems so simple), or the Victorian-era morality modern society still clings to (which, by the way, even Victorians didn't adhere to behind closed doors). I really hope her dream spills over into reality and that, as in the dream, both vampires are willing to be part of such a relationship. I also have to mention that the two of them biting her simultaneously in the dream is just totally hot. Lucky, lucky girl.

The season is starting to wind down and for now there's no end in sight to Antonia's malevolent hold over the vampires. I wonder if Eric will manage to kill anyone (Nan maybe, hopefully not Bill). I have no idea how or if Eric will get his memory back or whether Pam will stop rotting (by the way, what happened to her at the cemetery? She just disappeared...) And will Sookie get her dream relationship? I truly hope so but all still remains to be seen.

Fang Files

Appearance: Pale human with red-rimmed eyes and snakelike fangs that descend or retract at will (or when the vampire is excited). They cry blood.

Strengths: Super speed and strength. Their blood heals humans.

Weaknesses: Magic. Silver, sunlight.

Mythology: Vampire society is highly hierarchical with Kings and Queens presiding over Sheriffs, Nan Flanagan and the American Vampire League presiding over Kings and Queens, and the mysterious Authority ruling over all. Vampire blood (V) is a highly addictive and illegal drug for humans (although why Sookie can drink mass quantities of it and not get sick or addicted remains a mystery).

Sound Bites

Bill: [to Alcide] Werewolf, I'm going to need you to shut the fuck up.

Nan Flanagan: There have been times, I'll admit, when it's occurred to me that maybe I should put my career on hold and become a maker. But these last several hours here with you have erased those doubts forever.
Jessica: You're nothing like you are on TV.
Nan Flanagan: Oh, thanks.

Sookie: [to Bill and Eric] I'm saying I love you, both of you. And I'm asking you to love me back. Together.

True Blood, Season 4 Episode 9 "Let's Get Out of Here." Written by Brian Buckner. Directed by Romeo Tirone. From HBO.

19 March 2012

Dark Shadows Trailer

Johnny Depp (as usual) looks great in this. The rest of it, not so much. Fish out of water vampire? Sigh. I know I'll get flak for criticizing Saint Burton but his movies are increasingly becoming more about style than substance (that's not really new but it's getting excessive now). And can he make any movies anymore that aren't remakes (and mostly mediocre ones, at that)? In addition I have to mention how tired I am of seeing Helena Bonham Carter in every single movie he makes. Yeah, you're in a relationship with her--we get it. Honestly, I miss Lisa Marie. I think Dark Shadows would have been better off in someone else's hands.