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True Blood: Me and the Devil

Sookie: "I always knew there was decency in you, even when you were a smug, sarcastic ass."

This episode was a hoot. We got an upgrade in plotlines I initially thought were a waste of time, and a specific all-encompassing theme: parents, grandparents, great-great-great-great grandfathers, packmasters and makers, and I think we even got an ancestor in there. The whole parental gamut, as it were.

Matricide, patricide, and justifiable homicide

I don't plan to cry about the deaths of the horrible Mickenses, especially after they tried to chain, imprison and exploit their own son. Does Tommy have the emotional strength to survive something like this? At least he has a big brother who has experience concealing murders and getting rid of bodies. Gators like marshmallows. (What's that in Swedish? I was saying "krokodiler" all last week.)

It was smart of Tommy to go to Sam for help, and Sam showed Tommy some compassion by sharing the truth about his own murders. But Sam's coldness has been quite a turnoff for me, I must say; he showed no sadness at the deaths of both of his parents, or remorse for the two people he killed. If Tommy hadn't been sharp enough to masquerade as a gator, would Sam have killed Andy just as coldly?

Tommy can shift into his mother now, can't he?

A timely visit from Gran

Sookie went undercover to read Marnie's mind about Eric, and instead got a strong message from her Gran. And we got a vampire history lesson. Apparently, vampires had infiltrated the Catholic Church back in 1610, and at her execution, Antonia used necromancy to pull them into the light. No wonder Marnie is freaking the vamps.

The execution Bill had to carry out at the behest of the Authority makes more sense plotwise, now. Bill can't have Marnie killed. And Marnie genuinely doesn't know how to reverse the spells that Antonia cast (at least Antonia finally has a name) and I bet Antonia can never be compelled to reverse them herself. I wonder if Antonia is an ancestor of Marnie's? It would certainly be in keeping with the theme of this episode. Every time Antonia looks right at Marnie, I think her master plan is to switch places with her.

Grandfathers with lead in their pencils

Lafayette and Jesus, still terrified of Eric, are off to Mexico to visit Grandpa because Jesus wants that goat-killing power. Getting off on killing a goat doesn't make me feel all that good about Jesus. I still think Lafayette is the answer to the spells, not Jesus. I bet he's the only one more powerful than Marnie and/or Antonia.

Portia went through all of the arguments about incest and common DNA that we went through last week, and I was right; Bill can't do it because it's an emotional issue for him. He probably sees Portia as an extension of his daughter. I bet glamoring Portia will come back to bite Bill.

Makers

Godric returned in Eric's dream, although it obviously was less Godric and more the voice of Eric's conscience. Eric's amnesia and confusion have made him child-like. It was so sweet, him crying in Sookie's lap. And he was dressed like a teenager. Okay, a really large teenager with fangs. (Those shorts strike fear in no one, Eric.)

Speaking of innocuous clothing, Sookie spent most of the episode in a sweet yellow sundress, definitely in line with her new softness. (More like book Sookie, too.) Maybe she really is falling in love with Eric, even though her Gran just warned her not to do it, Eric is bound to change back at some point, and Bill is about to explode on her doorstep, catching them at some flagrante position or another. Damn. Hate it when that happens. Well, it hasn't happened yet.

At least we got passionate smoochies, initiated by Sookie, no less. How cute that they staged it on the steps so that the height difference wouldn't be so noticeable.

I was sad that Pam betrayed Eric. Was it just being freaked about her face? Maybe a little jealousy about Eric's affection for someone else?

Ghost daddy

The devil baby plot was actually fun this time. How did that happen? Maybe because Arlene has realized that baby daddy Rene is probably behind it all. Although the best part was Tara's horrendous mother and new stepdaddy prancing around the Bellefleur abode with burning sage unsuccessfully evicting evil from the corners. (Maybe they should try salt in the doorways.)

During the entire hilarious exorcism scene, baby Mikey was wearing a beret. Nice touch.

Okay, I can't think of a parental heading for this one

Jason is now free, healthy again, and rethinking his former habits, but his new dream theme isn't going to help that along at all. I could not stop laughing, especially when Hoyt showed up to coach from the sidelines. I bet Jason's conscience couldn't quite allow him to cheat with his best friend's girl, even in a dream and while under the influence of vampire blood.

Now all that remains is to wait and see what happens to Jason during the full moon.

Bits and pieces:

-- Did the title of this episode change? When I was looking for photos, they all said something else. (Actually, yes it did change. It was originally "I Hate You, I Love You" but it was changed to "Me and the Devil.")

-- Marcus Bozeman, Shreveport packmaster, stopped by to assert his authority, and Alcide refused to heel. Wonder what Debbie will do?

-- We met the four other Louisiana sheriffs, one of which was just out of range during Antonia's execution in 1610. I bet Antonia and Luis the sheriff are destined to meet again.

-- The burning sage and of course the magic shop reminded me of Buffy. Sookie mentioned Sabrina and Charmed, and Lafayette called Marnie "Witchy-poo."

-- Sookie kept Eric's presence from Tara. Surprise. I bet that friendship is over. And Tara's lies just got her in trouble with her girlfriend. It's too bad it was the least interesting part of this episode.

-- Bill's prison is a lot nicer than the basement at Fangtasia.

-- Andy is constantly encountering shifters in animal form, isn't he? Maybe it's his karma.

-- Since I've mentioned clothes, Sookie's pink nightshirt had angels on it. Really. Why was Eric in his cubby while it was still dark out? Did Sookie make him go to bed early?

Quotes:

(Standing over Tommy's unconscious body)
Melinda: "Is he dead?"
Joe Lee: "He's just resting."
Pining for the fjords, no doubt.

Hoyt: "You just saved my best friend's life."
Jessica: "It's all in the wrist."

Eric: "Am I evil?"
Sookie: "You're not Gandhi. But no, you're not evil."

Bill: "Good. The world needs more beekeepers."

Pam: "I can put up with a lot. But when you fuck with my face, it's time to die."

Jason: (as God) "You have fucked too many hot women. Now let's see how you like it."

Tommy: "It's in the Ten Commandments. Don't kill shit, don't fuck with your parents. I did both."

Bill: "In the 1600s, that was the Catholic Church. And today, as you all know, it's Google and Fox News."
There's a large vampire presence at Google and Fox News? That explains a lot.

There wasn't anything about this episode I didn't enjoy. Four out of four beekeeper veils,

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

20 comments:

WriterDrew said...

Melinda: "Is he dead?"
Joe Lee: "He's just resting."
Pining for the fjords, no doubt.

And this is why I read your reviews, Billie.

Juliette said...

I didn't think Pam betrayed Eric, she just let the cat out of the bag by accident because she was distracted by the damage to her face (love Bill's reaction to that!).

And for the love of all that's good Sookie, please, please buy Eric some decent clothes! (Or take them off all together. Either way ;) ).

Steph said...

This is the first place I come to after I watch an episode. Another great review Billie!

HellBlazerRaiser said...

Gators like marshmallows.

See, TRUE BLOOD is educational as well as entertaining.

I've been watching clips on YouTube of people feeding alligators marshmallows.

I wonder if they like them because of the texture, the taste or both?

Josie Kafka said...

I had a True Blood realization the other day: I am not deeply passionate about this show.

That may sound like a stupid realization, but it was sort of a surprise. I like TB a lot. Really a lot. Bunches. I think it's funny and interesting and vampires are cool.

But I don't care if Sookie winds up with Bill, Eric, or Alcide. I don't care if Tara stays in Bon Temps or returns to N'awlins (and, by the way, only Texans say it like that). I like to watch, but I'm astonishingly not engaged.

The evil baby (or evil doll) plot, for instance? It would drive me crazy on a show I adored. Here, I think it's just perfect. Somehow, my lack of passionate engagement means I can appreciate the most bizarre twists even more. Charismatic Christian exorcisms? Jason as a were-panther? Little green men transporting all of Bon Temps to the valleys of Mars and probing the vampires to find the secret to eternal life? Laissez le bons temps roulez!

Usually, when I'm this disengaged from a show, I just stop watching. (Heroes, I'm lookin' at you. Ditto, Falling Skies.) But with TB my disengagement makes the show more wonderful. Like it can only be fully appreciated by maintaining a vast critical distance.

Am I the only one?

Juliette said...

I am, unfortuantely, far too passionate about True Blood (I'm starting to fear for my sanity at this point!). But I do think it's a show that starts off with such silly stuff - like the Vampire Queen of Louisiana - that it can get away with a lot of daftness that would kill most shows. (Oddly enough, it also gets away with showing really horrible subject matter that would stop me watching any other show - I haven't read Breaking Dawn because I have ethical issues with Twilight, and yet I've lapped up every volume of the Sookie Stackhouse books, and I think the overall daftness must be the reason).

Billie Doux said...

I do care (obviously, or I wouldn't be reviewing the show). Although I'm more deeply invested emotionally in the books, and I know that investment spills over into how I feel about the series.

shawnlunn2002 said...

I thought this episode was called Me And The Devil. Even the HBO site has that title. Most confused.

Easily the best episode of the series so far but my sympathy with the vampires is waning a lot. In fact, necromancing aside, there's more to sympathise with Marnie and Antonia than the vampires here.

Nice to hear Adele again. Hope Sookie heeds her about Eric, Jason and Marnie.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Shawn. My TV told me it was "I Hate You, I Love You". HBO apparently changed the title at the last minute. I fixed it.

Cecilia said...

I don't know whether I am passionate about the show, but it is one of the most entertaining hours of TV each week.

I am still not crazy about dumb-down Eric, and I finally figured out why. When he came to Sookie's room to tell her he had a bad dream, I had flashbacks of my 4-year-old doing the same thing, and Sookie's reaction to Eric was the same reaction I have to my child. It was weird to see that as sexy/romantic. I am really not crazy about any of the vampires. Imagine your best friend telling you she is falling in love with a guy who has killed countless people, could kill her in a split second, has turned her in to a psychopatic millionaire for his own gain, has tortured one of her best friends, and bought her house so he could barge in whenever he wants to. But no worries, he's changed. Argh. Sookie would be much better off with a human, although I am not sure she has any options in Bon Temps. (The worst part it is that I can't help but love the character of egocentric psychopatic Eric.) Maybe I don't get it because I didn't read the books?

Bill is less of a tyrant king than I initially thought. He's going to great extremes to help Pam and to find Eric (I don't really think he sent Eric to Marnie's hoping he would get hurt). He is a much more interesting character this season.

And the Jessica-Jason-Hoyt sex scene was one of the most hilarious moments of the season. Disturbing, yes, but funny.

Felipe said...

Can someone please explain why losing his memories has turned Eric into a child. However adorable it may be, it's illogical and it bugs me. I mean amnesics don't all of a sudden revert to childhood. Is his demeanor in keeping with the books?

Why is Jason keeping what happened to him in Hotshot a secret from Sookie. Shouldn't he want support from his family right now.

I didn't quite get why Bill would glamor Portia into being afraid of him. He could have easily dissuaded her infatuation without the running in fear part.

Billie Doux said...

Felipe, in answer to your questions:

1. Because making him childlike and vulnerable is a complete reversal of his real personality. He isn't as childlike in the books, but he's definitely much sweeter, simpler and more vulnerable.

2. I bet Jason is too embarrassed to talk about what happened in Hotshot with his sister.

3. Bill was freaked and overreacted. :)

Katherine said...

As alway,s love the reviews Billie :)

I'm sorry to say, there's no translation for marshmallow in Swedish... not that I know of at least. So the translation would only be:

Krokodillar gillar marshmallows.

Not too exciting I'm afraid.

Keep up the awesome revies!

Banastal said...

Billie, I wanted to mention this to you for a while, and if someone has already done so - that's ok - since I have not read all notes for all episodes - just all your reviews: When I was watching all True Blood - I could not help but feel that Sookie/Bill relationship really reminds me a lot of Nikita/Michael relationship: he betrays her to save her, etc. I feel there are so many parallells. Bill expressses his emotions more than Michael, but still some times is very Michael-esqe.

I love all your reviews.

Billie Doux said...

What a great comment, Banastal. I never thought of it that way. Maybe if Bill were played by Roy Dupuis...

Banastal said...

I agree, Billie :)

Olga said...

Oh! Wow... who would have thought I'd joint Sookie/Eric camp.... True Blood works wonders....

Baby plot is boring but at least now that Arlene stopped freaking out about Mikey it's sort of watchable....

So, Tara's mother got what she wanted after all.

I share Billie's feelings regarding Sam's new cold attitude to pretty much everything... He's becoming less likeable with every episode.

The doll thing is a bit unclear for me.... Jess and Hoyt were trying to get rid off the doll for ever and it always came back. Why all of a sudden doll decided to stay at Arlene's house?

Henrik Bennetter said...

Here be a besserwisser-flag flying, beware:
The correct translation of "Gators love marshmallows" is "Alligatorer älskar marshmallows".
As in english there's a difference between Alligators/Alligatorer and Crocodiles/Krokodiler.
I'm guessing that Alexander and the rest of the crew agreed on "Krokodiler" because it sounds funnier and, well, more sviidiish.
Speaking of sviidiish and Alexander Skarsgård - have you seen his interwiew on Jimmy Fallon?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MimrJZk3yvk
As always, great review Billie!

Anonymous said...

I liked the episode a lot. The episode was not boring at all even with Tara being the least interesting part. I can´t wait to see more!

Anonymous said...

Henrik Bennetter...that interview was great! It is funny that they played the "Buffy" theme when Alexander Skarsgard walked out and that Sarah Michelle Gellar was also a guest that night!