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True Blood Season 5 Premiere: Turn! Turn! Turn!

15 Jun

ImageBy the time most shows make it to the fifth season, I find myself both pleased the show I like has survived but I dread that this might be the season the entire narrative falls apart. It tends to be a challenge by the time American television programs make it to the fifth season.  Part of the reason, I believe, is that the seasons are longer than in the UK and other countries and sometimes you can only drag out stories so far. Sure it is easy for me to criticize; I’m not sitting in the writer’s room struggling to see the overall season arcs and trying to keep the network executives pleased.  I felt the only redeeming element of True Blood Season 4 was the death of Tara (Rutina Wesley).  Why do I dislike the character so much?  It isn’t the actress, Rutina Wesley — she is doing the best she can with a severely flawed character.  It’s bad enough in real life when people don’t learn from their mistakes but on television shows, unless there is something extraordinary about their character that makes them a truly tragic figure (and this wasn’t the case with Tara), it is hard to keep excusing their stupidity.  Now, I will admit that Tara throwing herself between the bullet from Debbie’s gun and Sookie (Anna Paquin) did make her a hero, it also would have also potentially ended Tara’s tragic existence in Bon Temps on a high note.  And… it was time for Tara to meet her maker, so to speak.  It certainly wasn’t time for Tara to ‘meet her maker’ as the True Blood team intended for Season 5.   Thankfully, the evil Debbie Pelt had no opportunity to come back, of course, when you try to kill Sookie Stackhouse, you are almost guaranteed some sort of true death for your supernatural species.

Since I am never bowled over by the Season Premieres of True Blood, I am hoping things will pick up over the next couple of episodes.  Jason’s (Ryan Kwanten) fling with Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) seems to be going nowhere fast and while he might be developing true feelings for her, she can’t seem to settle down with anyone.  I actually felt sorry for Jason when she kissed that loser college boy in front of him.  What is more interesting is watching Jason grow into an actual human with feelings (yes he is human but he’s growing up…finally) and resisting a quick lay with a sorority slut for revenge.  It would be a welcome change to see Jason grow as a character and develop a bit more depth.  I’m not even going to comment on the creepy Gay Vampire American scene.  It wasn’t that he was a Gay Vampire American that made it creepy.  It was that he is creepy Reverend Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) with fangs.

While the witches might be gone this season, there will be no shortage of werewolf angst.  At the forefront of this season’s first supernatural issue is Alcide (Joe Manganiello), the reluctant werewolf leader.  He is going to go up against the evil matriarch, Marcus’ mother, Martha (Dale Dickey).  I’m beginning to wonder why there are so many middle-aged to older evil women that dominate the stories.  While the evil Russell Edgington had a somewhat strange comical edge, none of the maniacal women have any comedic outlets.  They are always a deadly threat.  Marnie, Maryann the maenad, even Bill’s maker, Lorena is an out of control harpie.  Too bad she didn’t have an “M” name as well because I could use French film critic Raymond Bellour’s obsession with women in Hitchcock films whose names begin with the letter M to discuss how these women subvert the narrative through violence, and how, like in Hitchcock’s films, they must always be contained to keep order in society.  Lucky for me, Lorena begins with an L, but it is something to think about.  The truly violent women all suffer a true death while the other women in the show are actually contained because of their subservience to their need for love.  Even Pam (Kristen Bauer van Straten), who is by far the most violent female on the show, serves Eric (Alexander Skarsgård).  Now, we get to experience a woman who is not only slighty older, she is a scorned mother.  Will there be any redeeming features in her character? I’m hoping so because it would be a welcome change to see a threatening female who goes beyond the one dimensional threat they usually represent on True Blood.

It’s amazing what Pam is sometimes willing to do to get back into Eric’s good graces.  Pam is the type of character that shows there is some hope for adding depth the the villainous females on the show.  She mixes humor, violence and anger in order to convey her emotions – and love for her maker, Eric, her true only reason for living, both figuratively and metaphorically.  In some ways, Pam is the most admirable character on the show, since she demonstrates true loyalty to Eric even when he rejects her.  The only bright spot in the premiere is the moment Pam sees the two bloody bodies of Debbie and Tara and she declares, “Color me impressed, you guys know how to party.”

Finally, Eric and Bill (Stephen Moyer), Sookie’s rejects and vampires on the lam, are quickly loosing their luster.  Although, I felt that Bill was more of a doormat all last season, at least he does show some loyalty to his feelings for Sookie even when he is dumped which is better than Eric turning to the arms of his ‘vampire sister’, Nora (Lucy Griffiths), and screwing her as soon as he gets the chance.  Both vampires must face the Authority.  Hopefully that will at least entail some excitement.  Because we are going to need some if we are dealing with Sookie’s grief over Tara seemingly turning into a killing machine and Lafayette’s (Nelsan Ellis) grief over the death of his lover.

Although the premiere ratings were down slightly from last year, True Blood was still the most watched show on cable last Sunday.  Let’s see if it can hold it’s grip or at least sink its fangs into the audience with a bit more compelling storylines as the season progresses because honestly, I don’t give a shit about Jessica’s teen angst any more.  She’s had it for a couple of years now.  Between her feeling sorry for herself, then cheating on the guys who care about her, and Tara being a victim for four seasons, sometimes it’s hard going watching these episodes.  At least Sookie killed Debbie out of hate and admits it.  That gives me a tiny ray of hope.

I’m not convinced I’m going to love this season but I’ve been a fan for the previous four, so I’m hoping I’ll at least be entertained.  And I don’t think “bad Tara” will really do it for me.  Nor will the bromance of Bill and Eric.  Maybe I’ll go ahead and order Season 2 of The Glades because I might need something else to fill up my Sunday nights.

Notes From New York Comic Con: MTV’s Death Valley Panel

19 Oct

In all honesty, I kept meaning to watch MTV’s new show Death Valley but I hadn’t gotten around to it.  I even downloaded the first episode for free from iTunes a couple of months ago.  But I got busy and distracted.  Then I noticed at NYCC there was going to be a Death Valley panel so I figured, why not?  Let me just start off by saying even if this show has no class (which actually isn’t meant as a criticism or a put down, it’s just the nature of the show), MTV was kind enough to pass around very nice UTF (Undead Task Force) baseball caps.  Yes I got one.  And at some point, I plan on wearing it.

At Saturday’s panel there was a screening of an upcoming episode where zombies attack the police station.  It was quite a ride and judging from the 13 year old kid sitting next to me, pretty great in the gory department.  The kid flipped his gord every time a zombie got decapitated or sliced and diced.  Sadly, I began enjoying all the zombie violence myself.  It was such a satisfying episode I went home and promptly watched all six episodes available for viewing on MTV/Death Valley‘s website.  Yes, I know, I’m not their target audience but there are a bunch of adult females that actually do have a sick sense of humor.  Nobody appreciates us yet as an audience.  That is probably a mistake but that’s another panel that will probably not see the light of day at any Comic Con any time in the near future:  adult women and horror/comedy:  a new market.

What works about this show is the excessive comedic gory violence, the spoof of the reality show COPS, and the parodies of the many police procedurals that take themselves and their characters so seriously, along with the fact that in Los Angeles the San Fernando Valley is a sort of open joke.  It’s also well known for it’s porn industry and obviously Death Valley couldn’t pass up an opportunity to do an episode about that.  No, the show is not politically correct in the least.  And while as a female viewer, I do get sick of the lesbian kisses, etc. that guys seem to throw in for good measure whenever they can, they at least put in enough gratuitous sexual content that can offend both sexes so I feel it’s a bit more of an egalitarian show.  For instance, in the episode we watched at NYCC, Officer Rinaldi (Tania Raymonde) tells Officer “John John” Johnson (Texas Battle) that she’ll spend the night with him if he’ll kill all the zombies.  What ensues is “John John” single-handedly killing loads of zombies while the Captain (Bryan Callen) holds everyone back since he’s in “the zone.”  Obviously this zone has been induced by the promise of sex with Rinaldi and it’s an exaggeration but still an example of what men will sometimes do to get laid.  The best part of the scene, however, happens when one of his fellow officers hands him a root beer after his zombie killing spree.  I won’t ruin it.  You have to watch for yourself but it is worth the wait.

The panel itself consisted of Spider One (who conceived the show after moving to the San Fernando Valley from Hollywood), one of the Executive Producers/Writers, Eric Weinberg, and three cast members; Tania Raymonde (Officer Rinaldi), Texas Battle (Officer “John John” Johnson) and Charlie Sanders (Office Joe Stubeck).  Spider One (Rob Zombie‘s brother) shot a sample pilot on a super-low budget of $500 and took that around town, pitching it and that’s what ended up getting the show a pilot order from MTV.  Spider also discussed the fact that there has not been a lot of mythology written about the origins of the zombie virus and why there was a sudden influx of zombies, vampires and werewolves to the Valley a year before.  He and Weinberg said that some questions will be addressed in upcoming episodes but there isn’t some giant show bible like some shows create that gives a mythology/backstory to why everything is the way it is in the narrative world of a television show.

They also said that there is a bit of improv in the show since that is Charlie Sanders background (and he still does improv on a weekly basis).  Texas Battle discussed how pleased he was that he is able to appear in two television shows at once – Death Valley and Bold and the Beautiful.  Tania Raymonde had to spend a great deal of time brushing off Battle’s come-ons through the entire panel.  It looked like she had to endure a lot of bad behavior from many of the guys.  Not a great position for any female to have to deal with.  And I say that from personal experience working in the film business.  It’s a bit disheartening to see it still not only goes on but even goes on in front of an audience at Comic Con!  That seems to be a tradeoff, to get really bad humor on TV you have to deal with lots of sexist jokes.  Sometimes they are no big deal and you aren’t offended.  Most of us women do get that is part of the job but there’s a line.  Jokes are fine but when stuff gets directed at you, it feels creepy.  It’s no longer funny.   It’s just fascinating to watch how a creative environment operates because really, there aren’t any rules.  That’s not a judgement.  It’s an observation.

Death Valley: Something from MTV I can finally watch

18 Oct

I never thought I’d look forward to a horror comedy show about a bunch of police officers in the San Fernando Valley dealing with an onslaught of vampires, zombies and werewolves who must assimilate into everyday life or… die.  Well, with the zombies, they have to die as all they want to do is infect people then tear off each other’s limbs and snack.  But I finally watched an episode of Death Valley at Comic Con in New York (write up on panel to follow) last weekend and I actually liked it.  Yes, I’m shocked as well.

Spider One (brother of Rob Zombie) conceived the idea when he moved into the San Fernando Valley a few years ago.  Any person on the other side of the hill (the Westside, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, the Palisades, etc.) would tell you living in the Valley could do that to you.  If you are detecting some underlying dislike of the Valley from me, you are right.  To understand my dislike, you only need to watch the episode of Gidget (the Sally Field show from the 1960s) where her father takes her to buy a used car in the Valley and they get lost.  So lost, they never find the car shop.   They can barely find their way back to Malibu.  That sums up the Valley for me.

But yes many people actually live there and like it.  Love it even.  And these are their stories.  What works about this show is that it’s a mockumentary as well as a horror comedy.  The mockumentary part is a COPS homage and immediately allows the viewer to feel somewhat familiar with an identifiable genre from television that has been around for a couple of decades now.  Although the show claims the stories are about the cops on the Undead Task Force (UTF for short) and the camera crew that follows them, we never really get to know the camera crew as well as I think we should.  Yes we get small moments from them, usually if they are attacked and have to be replaced, but the opening is misleading about that particular aspect of the show.

A zombie enjoys a donut instead of flesh for a change.

The UTF consists of a group of officers earmarked to fight supernatural forces, Captain Frank Dashell (Bryan Callen), Officer Carla Rinaldi (Tania Raymonde), Officer Joe Stubeck (Charlie Sanders), Officer Billy Pierce (Bryce Johnson), Office John “John John” Johnson (Texas Battle), and rookie Officer Kirsten Landry (Caity Lotz).  Captain Dashell’s briefings/rants tend to set the comedic tone for the show each episode.  Death Valley is violent, irreverent, sexist and completely not redeemable but it’s still a fun watch.  Maybe there is something relaxing and cathartic after a hard day when you just want to watch a mockumentary about shooting and decapitating zombies.  Or making sure that all the werewolves are following the city ordinance during each full moon and their lockdown areas are to code.  Perhaps it’s the growing problem of the “sex for blood” trade with the Valley Vampire hookers.  Or the entire episode about zombie street fighting that the officers want to go watch and enjoy before they shut it down.  All I know is I am somehow, entertained.  That works for me, even if it is illegal zombie fights.

Watch the trailer.

Notes from New York Comic Con: Dark Shadows Panel

16 Oct

I believe Saturday afternoon, I might have found my inner-geek.  And while I would not dress up as a character from the show (although all I’d have to do is put on a late 1960s dress), I found myself enjoying the panel for Dark Shadows as a (sshhh!  please don’t let anyone else hear this) f-a-n.  Ok, a fan but unfortunately also a trained academic and unimpressed person who has worked in film.  But as fanlike as I can probably ever be in my life.  To appreciate this fandom… you must travel back with me to around 1974.  Yes.  I’m that old.  I was a little girl.  I hated school.  I mean HATED school (ironic that I would end up teaching university courses for so many years) and I discovered one day in the summer when it was too hot to leave the house that there was this GREAT soap opera on (obviously re-runs) called Dark Shadows.  I became addicted.  I watched religiously.  It was on in late afternoons.  I planned on coming home from school every day to watch.  After the first day of school, I practically ran home to discover… cartoons.  WTF???  What happened to my show?  I went nuts.  I made my mother buy the TV Guide and combed through it.  I discovered the ultimate betrayal:  they switched the time to 12:30 p.m. on weekdays.  I knew what I had to do.  I snuck out of school at lunch and ran home to watch Dark Shadows and somehow managed to make it back everyday without being late.  This went on for about two months until they pulled it.  Before the end of the show.  Thanks a lot channel 26.  I wouldn’t see the rest of the show until I was an adult.  But that show stayed with me.  Poor Barnabus Collins, the misunderstood vampire.  It wasn’t that Barnabus was in any way hot, but there was just something appealing about him.  The threat of violence?  The fatality of his love?  I don’t know.  I was a child but even though I got a bit creeped out and scared, I had to watch.  What other show on the air had storylines about parrallel time, flashbacks, vampires, werewolves, witches, and ghost children?  Oh yes, and an evil doctor, Dr. Hoffman, hopelessly in love with Barnabus Collins while he lusted after someone else.  Even better, someone dead (alive somewhere though in a parallel time, probably).  I might not get excited about sword fights and trolls and otherworldly creatures whose names I can’t pronounce when I’m reading but apparently, I do like the supernatural stuff.   I guess it is time to admit it to myself and accept it.  I am a secret geek.  Or not so secret if you ask any of my friends.

What does all this have to do with the Dark Shadows panel at NYCC?  Everything really.  Because that is why the panels exist.  For fans like me.  I was actually excited to finally see Kathryn Leigh Scott who played Maggie Evans and Josette DePrés.  Since this was more about the publisher, Hermes Press, trying to exploit their newest re-issue of Dark Shadows comic books, only Kathryn Leigh Scott was making a personal appearance.  Lara Parker (the evil Angelique who was a witch who was in love with Barnabus in 1795 and started off the entire vampire thing) appeared on Skype.  What I began to find more interesting as I watched this panel was the power dynamics going on between these two women.  It is abundantly clear that Kathryn Leigh Scott has managed to exploit her roles as Maggie Evans/Josette DePrés/Lady Kitty Hampshire/Rachel Drummond, and milk them for everything they’re worth.  That is in no way a criticism.  I was impressed how well she’s done it.  Books, personal appearances, audio books, etc. I also notice Scott is far more able to keep everything on track than Parker.  Her adeptness at handling crowds made me think she might consider a second career as a politician.  Seriously.

All of this also made me think of Galaxy Quest, one of my favorite films of all time.  And if you have not seen Galaxy Quest, you are missing out on quite a ride.  It’s a comedy/science fiction/adventure film and if you don’t like it, then I think you might have to have your head examined.  But the dynamics of the stars of the old TV show in Galaxy Quest eerily reminded me of what I witnessed yesterday on the panel.  Ok, just Kathryn Leigh Scott but listening to her description of the reactions of the original actors to the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film made me think about how some characters/roles become so much of an actor’s personality that it is difficult to let them go.  So I can understand the reluctance Kathryn Leigh Scott has at relinquishing her title as Maggie Evans/Josette DePrés.  Because after this film gets released, if it is any sort of hit, Kathryn Leigh Scott will from that point forward be known as ‘the original’ Maggie Evans/Josette DePrés and that is far different from being her (Maggie Evans and company).  Yes a few others have played the role but this time it’s different.  This time it’s a major Hollywood film and suddenly I felt very bad for Kathryn Leigh Scott who was promoting her new book about the shooting of the film that just may strip away part of her being for the rest of her existence.

If you are wondering why I’m not covering what was said, that was because nothing much was said.  The original cast went to do cameo appearances in the new film.  That’s about it.  They signed non-disclosure statements so they couldn’t talk about it.  Now, this is where I think Tim Burton and Warner Bros. made a mistake.  Uh, you have a built in fan base.  Couldn’t Tim or Johnny have made an appearance at NYCC for this film?  Them talking along with Kathryn Leigh Scott would have upped the ante significantly – a combination of old and new Dark Shadows.  I’m sure the audience would have eaten the trailer up.  I’m not entirely sure what Warner Bros. was thinking but their marketing people might want to get their heads out of their asses and exploit something that is already in place.  What a wasted opportunity.  Oh, and some promo stuff would have gone a long way.  Now that I’ve experienced a Comic Con for the first time in my life, I cannot believe how short-sighted Hollywood can be.  They aren’t exploiting enough film and television panels on the East Coast.  And just an FYI, almost every single TV panel I went to was standing room only, or close to it.  Word of mouth among geeks is worth a lot more than some wasted advertising, marketing people.  Just remember that.

As for Dark Shadows, I will be going to see it next May, it’s tentative release date, but I won’t forget Warner Bros. wasted a great opportunity.  Just for that, I’ll go at the matinee price.

True Blood: And When I Die Episode Review/Season 4 Finale

14 Sep

SPOILER ALERT:

I’m not sure what to say besides:  I’m underwhelmed.  Possibly that the writers wrote themselves into a corner this season and they couldn’t seem to find their way out?  I’d hoped for something more.  I’m not sure what but something beyond what happened.  Now I’ll admit that there were a couple of high points with some deaths I’d been hoping for.  Other than that, the entire episode felt like it was trying to wrap everything up because it was the season finale.  And seriously?  Making it happen on Halloween?  The first thing they teach you if you take a TV writing class is NEVER to write what they call ‘very special episodes‘ for your samples.  They claim those episodes are better left to the professionals.  Someone should let the professionals know that September 11th is not October 31st, nor does it feel like October 31st here on the East Coast.   The leaves haven’t even changed yet and while it is true there is Halloween candy out at Target and the local Stop and Shop, I’m not even ready to buy it for myself let alone considering Halloween.  It could have been a very special Thanksgiving Episode for all I cared.  Or maybe the Easter Bunny could have taken Marnie down?  I just didn’t see the point.

Jesus and Lafayette/Marnie eat breakfast.  Jesus notices Lafayette’s quiet but doesn’t realize Marnie has possessed him.  I have a hard time believing that.  I realize that Lafayette is the medium but it seems he could at least sense something is terribly wrong.  So, he gets a fork in the hand and he knows he’s screwed.  Should I mention those eggs actually looked really good and made me think more about having breakfast for dinner than worrying about Jesus’s fate?

At the Stackhouse residence, Sookie looks on the floor and sees her dead grandmother there. Her vision is interrupted by Tara.  They are both trying to recover from the night before.

Sam and Hoyt’s mother are at Tommy’s grave.  She tells Sam that he can call her ‘mama’ now.  Just as she leaves, Luna and Emma show up to comfort Sam a bit more.

In yet another section of Bon Temps, Jason visits Hoyt on the job and confesses that he’s slept with Jessica.  Hoyt beats the crap out of him.

Marnie/Lafayette ties Jesus up, informs him that s/he wants his magic, stabs him in the heart, eats the blood.  Marnie gets Jesus’s magic as Jesus dies.  Later, it’s Tara who discovers Jesus, dead, and runs to find Sookie.

Sookie has gone to Merlotte’s.  Sam is there now.  Sookie reminds him that he fired her he tells her he wasn’t quite himself and he rehires her.  This is where we discover that it is Halloween.  Funny everybody but Sookie and Tara seemed to get the memo.  There is a great scene with Arlene and her kids and she tells them if they don’t behave they will be trick-or-treating at the trailer park and getting empty Coors cans and food stamps again.  Now why can’t all the lines be that good?  Patrick, a Marine buddy of Terry’s shows up .  They go off to catch up and we don’t see him again for the rest of the episode.  Couldn’t we just meet him at the beginning of next season?  Later, dead Rene shows up to a terrified Arlene and tells her that Terry’s past will cause danger for her.

Alcide shows up for a drink at Merlotte’s and to get Sookie to be with him.  He says he’s left Debbie and wants to get together with Sookie.  She turns him down.  Sort of.  It does sound like she’s sloppy seconds to Debbie anyway.  She already has enough trouble with Eric and Bill.  A little later, Sookie and Holly are behind Merlotte’s.  Holly’s getting stoned.  Tara pulls up explains what happened to Jesus and Lafayette and they all race to Bill’s mansion in time to see Lafayette/Marnie preparing to light a bonfire around Bill and Eric.  Holly somehow manages to pour sage and other magic-related stuff around everyone as Marnie sets the bonfire alight.  Then Tara, Sookie and Holly chant (who knew both Tara and Sookie were so versatile with powers) and just as Bill and Eric are about to fry like bacon, the fire goes out.  Oh yes, and lots of ghosts come up from the graveyard and Sookie’s grandmother reaches into Lafayette’s throat and grabs Marnie out.  Then we are forced to listen to Antonia try to get Marnie to go to the spirit world which finally happens.  It was just – lame.  Then Sookie asks her Grandmother to stay and for her advice and she says Sookie is better off alone.  So, later, Sookie lets both cripsy vampires feed off her then tells them that she can’t be with either one.  Then walks out the door.  Very empowering, however, kind of boring unless Sookie decides to take the Mildred Pierce route and open up popular restaurants featuring fried foods that appeal to humans and vampires and makes a killing.  Otherwise, she kind of needs a love interest for us to keep watching.

This must be the episode for female empowerment since Jessica then shows up at Jason’s to have sex then announce she doesn’t want a commitment.  Those are famous last words.  Whenever they are uttered, the person claiming that usually ends up changing their mind within a week or two.  And Jason’s line about her feeding off other men is like a prostitute having sex but not kissing was ridiculous.  Okay, so if my fuck buddy just told me that I was like a prostitute, I’m not sure I’d take it with the same ease Jessica did, but then again maybe she’s too young and Jason’s too naive to realize he delivered a backhanded compliment to her.

Now perhaps my only truly favorite moment in the entire episode comes when Pam melts down about Sookie with only lines that Pam can deliver including her ridiculing Sookie and shouting about her “precious faerie vagina” (seriously how did they even come up with that line?) or her unbelievably stupid name.  And I have to agree with Pam there.  The name Sookie is, um, unfortunate.

Later, Jesus visits Lafayette and says he will always be around and they can always talk since Jesus is dead and Lafayette is a medium.  Sounds like the making of a typical dysfunctional relationship.  And if that one isn’t bad enough, Andy brings Holly flowers and confesses that he is a V addict.  Now that’s really the way to start a relationship.

Jason gets a visit from the Reverend Steve Newlin who is now a vampire and at the same time, Alcide discovers an empty spot in a parking garage where Russell Edgington was buried just last season.  Looks like we will get a visit from him next season.

Finally… the rest of the deaths.  Nan visits Bill and Eric.  They seem to be a team now that Sookie has dumped them.  Nan’s been fired and is in the middle of a mutiny against The Authority and the American Vampire League.  She mentions Sookie and next thing we know, Eric has decapitated her henchmen and Bill has killed Nan.  I wonder what The Authority will say about that.

Things aren’t any quieter for Sookie now that she has dumped the two men in her life.  She arrives home to find Debbie waiting for her with a shotgun.  Tara is staying at Sookie’s and tries to save her as Debbie takes a shot.  Part of Tara’s head is blown off.  Sookie kills Debbie in cold blood, although Debbie had it coming.  And that ends Season 4 of True Blood.  I’m wondering how soon Sookie will falter and end up with Eric or Bill.  I feel like I should start a betting pool.

True Blood: Soul of Fire episode review

7 Sep

SPOILER ALERT:

In this week’s episode of True Blood, “Soul of Fire”, so much happens that it actually feels like a 2 hour long episode.  We begin with the Vampire A-Team getting ready to blow the Moon Goddess Emporium up in smoke while Sookie tries to talk Marnie out of holding everyone hostage.  Jason gets to the vampires in time to make them stop but not before the two best lines of the show are spoken.  First, Jessica notes how much she hates to silver herself stating that “… silvering herself leaves her feeling so pissed off it’s like what PMS used to feel like.”  I’m wondering if Premensyn would calm her down.  It even works when men get into bad moods.  It’s like valium without the prescription.  It does wonders for everyone I know.    Then, after Bill and Eric finally agree not to attack Moon Goddess because Sookie is in there, Pam voices the other great line in this episode, “Do not tell me you would put our species at risk for a gash in a skirt.”  It’s lines like that that make this show so enjoyable to watch.

In terms of Moon Goddess, so much action takes place there this episode, it’s hard to believe any other storylines had a chance.  Marnie/Anontia have a fight but Marnie proves stronger than Antonia, binding Antonia to her.  Lafayette witnesses this and tells everyone Marnie’s even more powerful and they are screwed.  One of the hostages, a girl named Casey, runs for Marnie she’s killed with a knife Marnie psychically wields and stabs her in the heart.  Marnie actually enjoyed the killing.  Sookie notices and looks more worried.  In the meantime, Jesus pretends Casey is barely alive and asks Marnie to let him try to save her, she agrees.   He orders Lafayette to help him with Casey into the bathroom to try and save her.  Once behind closed doors, Jesus reveals his plan: he’s going to create a spell unbinding Marnie and Antonia so Marnie will lose power and they can try and break free.

Outside, Bill is furious and shouts for Antonia to face them without her magic.  She brings Sookie out with her.  She agrees to let Sookie go if Bill and Eric will kill themselves.  They agree.  Sookie is visibly upset (honestly, she could have been more upset… ).  Just before they are about to die, Pam runs for the van, grabs a portable rocket launcher and blasts the power shield/protection spell Marnie’s erected.  Marnie pulls Sookie back into the Emporium and the vampires and Jason recover from the blast.  Jessica has to give Jason her blood because he’s badly injured.  Eric yells at Pam about her stunt.  Inside, Marnie forces everyone to join in a circle, lying and claiming the vampires are going to kill all of them.  They reluctantly join hands and outside, all the vampires are pulled toward the power shield/protection spell barrier but Sookie hears Jason telepathically tell her to make it stop and she manages to use her faerie powers and break the circle and the power to pull Bill, Eric, Pam and Jessica to their fiery deaths.  In the meantime, Jesus and Lafayette work on the spell and not a moment too soon since Marnie gets so angry she creates a ring of fire around Sookie who screams for help.  Jesus breaks through the binding spell, Sookie is safe, the vampires break in and first kill Marnie’s minion (Eric rips his heart out and licks some blood off it in true Eric fashion) then Bill shoots Marnie multiple times, finishing her off with a bullet to her head.  Jessica and Jason discuss the fact that their feelings are growing and Jason says now he can’t stop thinking about her with all her blood inside him.  So much drama for one night!

In the meantime there is even more going on.  Marcus takes Emma with him to Alcide‘s house.  He and Debbie discuss whether she will run off with him.  Emma calls Luna who is panicked because she knows Marcus has her daughter.  Luna, Sam and Alcide race to his house.  Sam and Marcus beat each other up.  Sam could kill him but decides not to.  Marcus reaches for a gun and Alcide kills him.  Then he dumps Debbie.

The only person having a good time in Bon Temps or the surrounding area is Andy, who gets, well… sexually assaulted by a faerie in the woods and gets laid.  He’s very pleased with himself and his performance but when he tells Arlene what happened, she thinks he needs to be committed.

If we thought we had seen the last of Marnie, we were so very wrong!  Just as Jesus and Lafayette try to drift off to sleep, Marnie appears and forces her way into Lafayette.  It should be quite a season finale next week.  I wonder who else is going to die…

Watch Inside the Episode

True Blood: Burning Down the House Episode Review or “When witches go bad…”

4 Sep

SPOILER ALERT:

This week on True Blood, things are heating up between witches and vampires, shifters and werewolves.  Faeries and vampires and witches.  We are heading toward the season finale and it promises to be – explosive.  We begin this episode in the middle of Antonia/Marnie’s carefully orchestrated attack on the vampires by their own kind at the Tolerance Rally.  Sookie saves the day with her faerie magic, zapping Eric and breaking the spell over him (and Pam we later learn).  She also saves Bill’s life.  Eric realizes what happened.  He and Sookie talk later.  They admit they love each other but she says she has feelings for Bill as well.  [I’m glad to see they decided to take the dream into ‘reality’ and make this dilemma a real part of the narrative.  I am still finding it hard to buy.  Usually there is always secretly a clear winner in these love triangles.  I will be waiting to see who Sookie chooses.  Or, if the plot will pick for her.]  Eric doesn’t have too much time to ponder his nemesis because he is forced to team up with him to try and take down Antonia/Marnie and the entire Moon Goddess Emporium.

Nan and Bill now clash constantly over everything.  He threatens to usurp her power and she threatens him, Eric and Pam with the true death.  If Nan falls apart, the front of the humanized vampire just might collapse and chaos could possibly reign in Louisiana.  In the face of great turmoil, it does seem Nan is not quite the leader she appeared to be in previous seasons.  It looks like poor Nan might be the one facing the true death at the end of the season.

Speaking of true death, poor Tommy bites the dust.  I was actually finding him likable as he was dying.  Yes, I know that says nothing good about me.  I know his heart was in the right place trying to stand up for Sam but he screwed so many things up, and was never truly remorseful, that it was hard to like his character.   Alcide joins Sam in seeking revenge against the pack that killed Tommy – his own pack.  Obviously the werewovles are going to have their own explosive day of reckoning in the near future which will only be worse when Alcide discovers Debbie hooked up with pack leader (and instigator in Tommy’s death), Marcus.  You’ve got to wonder how Luna (and her daughter) will feel if Sam pulls the trigger when he finally tracks him down.

Speaking of sex and betrayal, Jason feels extremely guilty that he is so attracted to Jessica and asks her to glamour him after they’ve had sex.  Because that’s what every girl wants to hear.  That the guy would rather forget it ever happened.  Great move, Jason.  To add to Jason’s guilt, Hoyt asks to stay with him and cries.  Jason solves this problem by going to Sookie and asking if he can crash there for a while.  She agrees but insists he help her stop Bill from destroying the Moon Goddess Emporium since Tara is trapped inside.  He agrees.  They go to Lafayette and Jesus for help.  Jesus is convinced Marnie is a victim until he manages to breach the protective spell Antonia/Marnie has cast.  He learns, as we learned earlier, that Marnie is in charge of the operation and is using Antonia for her deadly purposes.  He lets Sookie hear his thoughts.

In the meantime, throughout the episode, Holly and Tara work on a spell to break the protection spell Antonia/Marnie has cast.  The spell takes just as Sookie, Lafayette and Jason learn (from Jesus’s ‘message’ to Sookie) that Marnie is now bad.  The protection barrier is down.  Holly and Tara make a run for it just as Sookie, Lafayette and Jason run for the shop.  Antonia/Marie is too fast for all of them and casts a new spell and everyone in the perimeter disappears except Jason since he had not breached the barrier.

Finally, Terry confronts Andy about his V use.  Terry takes Andy to an old fort they used to play at when they were kids and where Terry ‘recovered’ from his time in the service.  He helps Andy see how destructive using V actually is and Andy agrees he needs to quit.

Finally, the episode ends after sundown.  Bill, Eric, Pam and Jessica are decked out in black, ready for war.  As they empty out of their vans, carrying heavy artillery as weapons, they look like something out of a time warp and what I would envision the A-Team as vampires to look like.  The showdown should be good.  At least, I’m hoping for a lot of violence.  That’s what this show is all about… sometimes.

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