25 May 2010

True Blood S2 E10 "New World in My View"

Spoilers Ahead

Season 2 is winding down and even though Dallas is done, there's still miles to go...

"New World in My View" begins sometime after Godric's death in the last episode. We see a figure walking down a long hallway, slipping in and out of shadow. In a moment we realize the figure is Sookie (wearing a cute red and white gingham dress). She enters Eric's room where he's still crying over his maker (his bloodstained face is a nice foil to Sookie's dress). After offering her condolences Sookie starts kissing Eric, and he readily responds. Suddenly he's on top of her, fangs bared. She turns her head and offers her neck (what a slut). He strikes.

Sookie wakes up. She and Jason are being driven back to Bon Temps from the airport (Bill's in his travelling coffin in the back). I wonder how long before Sookie's dreams start becoming reality. No time to worry about it now, though--she and Jason start noticing something's amiss in Bon Temps. Everywhere they look they see vandalism, destruction, and people acting on the extreme side of weird. When Sookie and Jason try to help a couple who ran in front of their vehicle, they get their first look at the all-black eyes just about everyone in town is sporting. Not even noticing (or caring) that they've been hurt, the couple say they've got to find Sam Merlotte because "it's almost time." Something strange is afoot...and it only gets stranger from there.

Back at Sookie's house (now Maryann's headquarters), a freakish, massive effigy is being built by Maryann, Eggs, Karl, and others out of fun things like fruit, veggies, feathers, and meat. Lots of meat. You just know this can't be good. Meanwhile Sam is hiding out in Andy's darkened motel room while Andy scopes out the town (he reports back on the insanity Sookie and Jason have already witnessed, as well as mentioning that the Sheriff's department has been completely abandoned). Suddenly Sam gets a call from a hysterical Arlene begging him to come to Merlotte's; there's a mob there and she's terrified they're going to come after her. She's convincing and Sam's a good guy so he agrees to go. But I still wish he wouldn't.

As Sookie and Jason arrive at Bill's place, Mr. Compton finally wakes up. Sookie lets him know that something is seriously wrong, but before she can get too into it Maxine Fortenberry appears upstairs, black-eyed and making obnoxious comments about "vampers" and "vamper lovers." Jessica and Hoyt follow on her heels, looking normal if somewhat frazzled. They claim this has been going on since the night before, to which Maxine responds that she'll stay that way until "he" gets his offering, "he" being Maryann's god and his offering being Sam. Hoyt also lets Sookie know that her house is now Maryann's house, as well as filling her in on a few other things that have been going on. It doesn't take long for Sookie to connect Maryann with the "bull-person" that attacked her. While Jason decides to see what's going on at Merlotte's, Sookie needs to go to her place to find Tara.

Sam and Andy are already at Merlotte's, and before they know it they're surrounded by black-eyed Maryann minions. Andy tries to scare them off by shooting into the air, but Terry just grabs the gun and starts shooting around the room, eventually hitting someone in the arm. In desperation Sam and Andy lock themselves into the walk-in fridge. Content that they've "secured the target," Terry tells Jane Bodehouse to call Maryann and let her know she can come pick up Sam. Jane promptly gets distracted by a phone number on the wall, calling "Peanut" instead.

It's good of Sookie to want to go get Tara, but unfortunately Tara's not at Sookie's place anymore. She's at Lafayette's (having been kidnapped by him last episode), and he and Lettie Mae are trying to deprogram Tara with no success. They try pleading, yelling, and praying. They blame themselves for Tara falling in with Maryann. Tara's not affected by any of it. She claims "he's" coming and he's going to kill them all. Not exactly what her cousin and mother want to hear. Finally Lafayette realizes they need to call Sookie. His call interrupts her as she's discovering the shocking wreck that used to be her house. When he realizes where she is, Lafayette tells Sookie to get the hell out of there. Excellent advice, but a little late as Maryann chooses that moment to show up. Words are exchanged before Maryann starts getting rough with Sookie. Bill grabs Maryann, telling Sookie to run. As he bites her, Maryann laughs and urges him to ravage her. Sookie's frozen, staring--and who can blame her? The next thing we know Bill is doubled over, gagging on Maryann's blood, and Maryann is approaching Sookie again. This time Sookie pushes her face away and a purple-white light suddenly envelops Sookie's hand, burning Maryann. Confused looks all around. Sookie grabs Bill and helps him out while Maryann laughs and then looks awestruck, asking aloud what Sookie is. Yeah, we've all been wondering that.

Meanwhile at Merlotte's Sam and Andy are regretting their choice of hiding place, but even more than that Sam is regretting not leaving town when he'd wanted to. If he'd gone then, none of this would have happened and no one would have died (except Miss Jeanette, technically, but who's counting). Inside the bar the usual orgiastic revelry is taking place, everyone having forgotten to tell Maryann they've got Sam (this is the downside of the chaos she loves so much). And out in the parking lot Jason arrives in commando gear and packing a crazy-looking nail gun and a chainsaw. Who else is looking forward to what's going to happen next?

When Jason enters the bar and sees what's going on, he tries to get everyone's attention by firing up the chainsaw. Nothing. So he cuts the CD player in half. A couple of people complain that there's no more music, but no one's really that bothered. Realizing he needs to do something extreme, Jason grabs Arlene and puts the nail gun to her head. When people notice they start urging Jason to put a nail in Arlene's head. Even Arlene joins in with enthusiastic cries of "yeah, yeah!" These people are all going to need some serious therapy when this is over. Terry is the only one who doesn't want Jason to hurt his "special lady" so he asks what Jason's demands are. Jason tells them they all have to leave, and they all have to keep away from him and Sam. Terry agrees and they all clear out. So far so good...

Jason calls out to Sam to let him know it's safe to come out, but Andy and Sam aren't about to fall for that. They won't even open the door until Jason swears on his Gran's grave, and then Andy insists on checking his eyes before he and Sam will leave the fridge. Too bad all that caution was for nothing. A couple of minutes after they're out of the fridge, a keg comes smashing through the window and the room is suddenly full of psychotic partyers again. Realizing they're trapped with no way out Sam tells Andy and Jason they've got to save themselves. Andy tries to stop him, but Sam's determined to give himself up. Thrilled with their prize, they grab Sam and leave.

As Sookie is driving to Lafayette's, poor Bill is still sick. He's puking black blood out the window like some freshman frat boy after his first kegger. In between he asks Sookie what she did to Maryann. Sookie has no idea but she does mention that when Maryann touched her she could feel her in her back where she was slashed (how creepy is that?) so Maryann is definitely the bull-person. Bill thinks they can get to Maryann through Tara, which seems like a solid plan, although what they're going to do when they get to her even they don't know. I was a little shocked when Bill then demands Sookie give him her wrist so he can heal. Are we seeing a new side of Bill here? Is his true vampire nature coming out or is he's just stressed and letting it get to him. In any case Sookie doesn't seem too concerned about it.

Nothing adds to the crazy like a little chanting, and Tara is repeating the same (Latin?) phrase over and over and over. When slapping her doesn't help, Lafayette utters one of the best lines of the entire show: "This has got to be the worst motherfucking intervention in history." Have I mentioned how much I love Lafayette? He's relieved when there's a knock at the door, thinking it's Sookie, but instead it's a bratty college girl who refuses to leave until he sells her some V (are people usually this demanding with drug dealers? Maybe only the dumb and cute). Luckily Sookie and Bill do show up then, and Bill scares the girl off (nothing pisses a vampire quite so much as people buying and selling their blood). Lafayette then gets defensive, surprising Bill by telling him that it's Eric who's got him pushing V. A vampire (and a Sheriff no less) selling V to humans just isn't right. Eric might be in some trouble here. In the meantime Sookie runs up to the door asking where Tara is. Lafayette invites her and Bill in.

Tara is, unsurprisingly, not pleased to see Sookie. She threatens to kill her if she doesn't get Tara out of there, and calls Sookie a few choice names for good measure. Sookie is shocked to discover that Tara is nowhere inside her mind--it's all darkness. If Maryann isn't one of the scariest monsters out there, I don't know what is. Destroying someone's body is one thing, but taking over their mind... Anyway, Bill tells Sookie she needs to get further into Tara's mind than she ever has before. Sookie tries and discovers there's an abyss in there she can't cross. Bill decides to give glamouring a try. At this point they don't exactly have many other options.

In Merlotte's parking lot there's great revelry as the minions hold Sam down. Suddenly lights go shooting overhead, and then a booming voice: "It is me--the god who comes!" Jason is elevated, shirtless, wearing a gas mask, and holding two flares as their smoke envelops him in a haze. Down below Andy is working a spotlight. The minions don't seem entirely convinced and Sam signals to Andy that Jason needs horns (there's a joke in here somewhere about Jason not being horny for once). While Andy goes in search of the necessary horns, Jason tells the minions that Sam is the best offering ever, and that they'll have great weather and good crops. Whether any of them are actually farmers doesn't seem to matter to anyone. I have to say: I really love this scene; something about it just makes me laugh. I think the world needs more pagan deity humour. Just saying.

Anyway, as Terry is calling the so-called god on his lack of horns, Andy returns. Jason bends forward and then straightens, showing off his newly sprouted antlers (a branch held behind him by Andy). The crowd is convinced. Sam slowly slides off the vehicle he was held down on and approaches Jason, asking to be smited. Unfortunately Jason and Andy can't hear him, which leads to more amusement as Sam gets louder and angrier ("Smite me, motherfucker!") Finally getting it Jason "smites" Sam, who screams, convulses, and disappears. There's much shock and confusion, especially on the parts of Jason and Andy. Despite Sookie and Daphne's lectures that he shouldn't hide who he is, Sam's secret shapeshifting ability seems to have worked in his favour. The jubilant crowd runs off to celebrate and tell Maryann. As Jason and Andy stare in confusion at the pile of clothes Sam left behind, he suddenly shows up wearing nothing but a cook's apron and carrying a fire extinguisher. As he puts out the flares he tells Jason and Andy that he'll explain later. Andy takes a swig from the bottle in his hand and swears that's the last drink he'll ever have.

Things aren't quite as amusing at Lafayette's as Bill is still trying to glamour Tara. Finally he has a breakthrough and Sookie can get into her mind. Tara's eyes revert to normal and she starts crying and apologizing. Then she remembers Eggs and claims she has to go to him, but there's no way Lafayette is letting her go anywhere.

Exhausted, Sookie and Bill go out to the porch to give the family some space, as well as to try to figure things out. After seeing Maryann through Tara's eyes, Sookie is shocked to realize that not only does Maryann want people's bodies--she wants their souls too. She repeats the words Tara was chanting, and suddenly Bill remembers that book he was so conveniently reading a couple of episodes ago. Somehow remembering something he read 80-something years ago (I can barely remember things I read a couple of months ago) he connects the chant to the god Bacchus (feel free to re-read my rant on this subject, also in the episode I linked to above) and realizes there's a vampire that *might* know how to defeat Maryann. He tells Sookie that he has to leave right away in order to be back by dawn. He wants her to stay behind and help the people there. Asking whether she can do again to Maryann what she did before, he's disappointed to hear that Sookie doesn't even know what she did. He makes her promise that she'll stay away from her house (will he never learn?), kisses her, and then he's gone.

Bill might be on his way out of town, but Hoyt and Jessica are still at his place, and still trying to keep Maxine under control. As she keeps insulting Jessica (calling her a devil slut and a dead whore) Jessica is rapidly losing patience. When Hoyt can't calm things down, Jessica mentions that she hasn't eaten in days. Surprise, Hoyt! The next thing we know, she's pushed Hoyt across the room and has Maxine pinned down. When she tells Maxine to give her one good reason not to drain her dry, Maxine is less than accommodating. Jessica bites and Hoyt is horrified. Things were going so well for those two. Sigh.

Back to Bill, he's arrived at a mansion surrounded by beautifully serene pools. A guard welcomes him by name and tells him the Queen is expecting him. As Bill approaches the mansion we hear the title song (by King Britt and Sister Gertrude). Inside the house is elaborately decorated (verging on tacky) with a mosaic tile sun on the foyer floor. As Bill enters the receiving room his head is lowered. He greets the Queen and then looks up, stunned to see a woman's leg hanging limp, blood dripping off it. We cut to the credits where the titular song continues.

It's interesting that even as the season is coming to a close, new characters are being introduced and storylines are being set up for next season. I love it when writers and producers think ahead instead of just stumbling along with no cohesive plan (Buffy was good for that too). Even though things are looking up at the moment (Tara's back, Sam is safe, Bill's gone for help), with two episodes left you just know things are going to get worse before they're resolved. That is--if they're resolved. With True Blood you can expect to be kept guessing.

Fang Files

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

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

Weaknesses: Sunlight, "maenad" blood, swords (oh, wait, that last one is just a dream I had last night about Bill ).

Mythology: Vampire blood (V) is a potent drug and aphrodisiac for humans. Vampire society is hierarchical, with Kings, Queens, and Sheriffs ruling over various geographical areas.

Sound Bites

Maxine: (gleefully, re: Sam) They're gonna rip that boy open and serve him up like barbecue!

Arlene: (as Terry shoots the room up) Hey, at least shoot the cheap liquor! Bottom shelf, bottom shelf!

Andy: We are fucked.
Sam: We're still alive.
Andy: For now.

Sookie: And here I thought vampires were the only ones who could hypnotize people.
Bill: No offense, Sookie, but humans are shockingly susceptible to just about every form of thought manipulation.

True Blood, Season 2 Episode 10 "New World in My View." Written by Kate Barnow and Elisabeth R. Finch. Directed by Adam Davidson. From HBO.

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