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« Know Your Strengths And Exploit Them (or For The Love Of God, Know Your Weaknesses!) | Main | Kidnappings Are Adorable (Apparently)! »

July 18, 2011

Sucks So Good: True Blood 4.4, "I'm Alive and on Fire"

True Blood's fourth season has, thus far, been filled with the kind of campy awesomeness we've come to expect from Alan Ball and Co. Was "I'm Alive and on Fire" the sort of great we've come to expect? After the gratuitous .gif of pretty, pretty men, click and find out after the jump!

The short answer: um...no. Was it just me? I found it sort of dull, actually. I know, I know, how can that be? We saw someone get burned at the stake, ASkars gave us some drunken puppy dog eyes and Hotshot...well, Hotshot was there, and Hotshot is many things, but it's usually not boring! And yet, I found myself getting distracted throughout.

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Two Guys, A Girl And A Whole Lot of Shirtlessness

When we last left the sexy and yet also adorable Eric Northman, he had just drained Claudine and we open with him totally drunk on fairy blood: flirtatious, pinching Sookie's ass and running away from her, all wasted-like.

Anybody who has ever spent an evening coralling a drunk friend and keeping him/her from incurring brain damage thanks to hitting their head on walls can totally understand where Sookie was coming from here.

Sookie: There isn't any more! You drank the whole fairy and...you're going to your room!

But Eric sped off into the night, so Sookie called in reinforcements to help find him. And by "reinforcements", I mean "super hot werewolf". Oh, sure, she can spin it all she wants. "A werewolf can pick up scents and lead me to Eric quickly". Right. Like she just didn't want to get two shirtless hotties together and see where things would go. And considering this is HBO, it could have gone in some pretty racy directions.  

Shirtlessalcide 
Shirtlesseric 
Anyway, Eric is frolicking in the water. Can you frolic in water, or is it the type of activity that only works on land? I don't know what the aquatic form would be. Whatever, he's seriously giddy about playing in the water and invites Sookie to join him (she declines) before the sun starts to beat down on his skin, burning him, which seems sort of weird; he drained an entire fairy, right? And that only bought him a few hours of sunshine? Odd.

Back at Sookie and Eric's, Alcide and Sookie argued about the other inviting DANGER into their lives. Alcide finds the Eric/cubby/roomie situation to be somewhat off-putting, while Sookie is like, "Uh, did you block out the large chunk of time where Debbie was an addict, murderer and all around rage addict with a disturbing fondness for mall hair?" They call a truce.

Hug 
Speaking of Ms. Pelt, look at her with her glasses, all reformed and literary!

Debbie 
Debbie: There's nothing to be mad about. We are living a life of rigorous honesty here. I'm glad you told me about it. You're a good man to help her with her trouble!

Yeah, I give it one more episode before she totally loses her shit in a most absurd and violent manner.

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Family Ties, Shifter Style

Sam's girlfriend Luna has a young daughter who is adorable and seriously crushing on Sam.

Sam 
That is really all you need to know about that particular plotline. Oh, and her ex is a werewolf, which I'm sure will wind up being important later. I can't promise that it will be interesting later, but it seems like it will be important.

Sam's brother, meanwhile, went back to his mother! UGH! My heart actually sank when they reunited and my head spun, confused about how to process the fact that, with Joe Lee and Melinda back in the picture, Tommy is no longer the most objectionable part of his story. Like, what? I even found myself sort of charmed by his pride in being able to read!

Melinda: If we had a book, I'd have you read it to me.
Tommy: I could do it, too!

I aww-ed against my will.

Tommy spent most of the episode operating under the assumption that Melinda had finally kicked Joe Lee to the curb, but he learned in a brutal way that wasn't the case.

Joe Lee: You will learn obedience. Loyalty. Family. Son, you done drew your last free breath.

Tommy 
UGH! It was very upsetting. So upsetting, in fact, that I'm eagerly anticipating the upcoming episode where--I'm not spoiled, but based on what Tommy overheard a few weeks ago about skinwalkers, I have to imagine this story is headed that way--Tommy kills both of them.

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Keeping Up With The Comptons (Who Keep It In The Family)

OHMIGOD, YOU GUYS!

OHMIGOD #1: We were graced with the presence of Katherine Helmond! If that didn't make you let out an "Eeeee!" of excitement, please imagine looking at you with pity and, I'll admit, a little bit of judgment. The woman was Mona Robinson AND Jessica Tate.

Mona 
I hope wherever she goes, she's greeted with applause.

OHMIGOD #2: Bill boned his great-great-great-great-granddaughter. ELL OH ELL! First of all, that's gross. Second of all, the way that realization dawned on him and Mona simultaneously and you could almost hear their inner monologues saying "Vomit, vomit, will never sleep again, vomit" was amazingly funny.

Gross 
Bill 

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Bill Cockblockermpton Pays Sookie a Visit

Reeling from the fact that his life had taken an incesty turn for the worst, Bill tried to get himself back into a royal frame of mind. He marched over to Sookie's and insisted that she let him search the house, since he hasn't been able to find Eric anywhere else and it stands to reason that he could be hiding there, since he owns the place.

Unfortunately for all of us, he chose to visit at the precise moment that Eric was about to kiss Sookie! Bastard!

Almostkiss 
Sookie tried to keep him out, but when it became clear that he was going to perform the search with or without her permission, she used her trump card.

Sookie: What reason do you have not to trust me? When have I ever lied to you, ever?

Billsookie 
It seemed like that argument wouldn't take, but he made it about one step in before the weight of those words fully hit his lying, lying ass and he left.

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The Omen

Terry is, as we all know, the cutest to ever exist, and had a sweet little scene reintroducing baby Mikey to his family and reiterating all the ways that their family unit is an awesome one. He put him down for a few minutes to retrieve clothes from the dryer (he considers this to be one of many manly responsibilities) and when he came back...horror.

Babynotyours 
Now, to be fair to the infant with serial killer DNA, he WAS in the company of that evil doll*, so it's hard to know if he's evil or if the doll's creepy shenanigans are at fault here. But either way: ack! Although, props to Terry on that pitch perfect Scream Queen shriek.

*Evil dolls are a thing! I saw this book on display at Barnes & Noble last week (sorry to Facebook friends who I'm horrifying twice now with this picture).

Creepy 
WTF?! 

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Fucking Hotshot

The last time we saw Hotshot...well, I don't need to remind you, right? It's probably all you've been thinking of since. Unable to sleep at night without the image of poor, tied-up Jason being held against his will and raped by a pack of hillbillies floating through your mind.

Well, that continued. 

Jason: I don't know why you're crying, I'm the one getting raped!

It continued with references to brother-husbands and uncle-daddys, just to really up the ick factor.

Becky Jason 
When it was time for young Becky's turn--and after she threatened to castrate him which...wasn't the worst thing that's happened to Jason in recent days. Think about that for a second! He probably thought to himself, "Hey, things are looking up for me! Being threatened with mutilation is streets ahead of literal mutilation!"--Jason was able to get through to her by sweetly telling her what a person's first time having sex really should be like and she helped him to escape.

Uncle-Daddy Felton? Not so thrilled. And EW, how gross was it when he told her that she looks different because she's not a virgin? SO gross. Anyway, Felton took off after Jason and the ferocity with which I hoped for Jason to kill that miserable character caught me a little off guard. I was legitimately blood thirsty, I almost cheered when Jason killed him!

And then I started chanting, "CRYSTAL NEXT! CRYSTAL NEXT!" when her skank ass appeared out of nowhere to whisper sweet nothings at Jason, completely oblivious to the hell she's unleashed on him. "Hey baby...I'm big momma kitty now...we can be together like we were always meant to be". THE FUCK?! I hate her so much that I'm pretty sure I won't be able to watch Lindsay Pulsipher in anything else because I will have flashbacks and then fits of rage.

Later, Jason collapsed on the side of the road and was discovered by Hoyt and Jessica! She gave Jason her blood which means that he's in for some sexy dreams. Considering the current state of his life right now, I think he's earned it.

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I'll Stop The World And Melt With You

Lafayette, Tara, and Jesus continue to be a trio of sheer delight. If they were ever on a sitcom, Jesus would be the straight man and Lafayette and Tara would get into all sorts of zany, foul-mouthed escapades.

Jesus, reasonably, tried to talk with Marnie about reversing the spell on Eric since it would, you know, protect the lives of everyone in the coven. Marnie, irritatingly, continued to bleat about how this was all Eric's fault. Lafayette, hilariously, has had it up to here.

Lafayette: Can't? Can't is not a motherfucking option here.
Tara: "Her" who?
Marnie: I don't know her name. She hasn't told me.
Lafayette: I tell you what you: get her ass on the goddamn goddess line and tell her to turn this curse a-fucking-round.

Love. Him.

The "her" Marnie was referring to, BTW, is a witch who was burned at the stake in Spain, which Marnie witnessed in a vision/flashback and was utterly horrified by (as was I, just reading the excruciating detail of what the witch would go through).

Later, the trio got their Nancy Drew on, going through all of Marnie's spellbooks to find a way to reverse the curse on Eric and eventually gathered, with Pam, to try it out.

Pam: If you guys are so lame you can't even turn around your own magic, [Eric]'s as good as dead anyway.
Lafayette: Well, so are you, bitch.

Marnie was really trying (or appeared to be trying) to make the spell work, but between Tara and Pam's constant f-bombs and Pam's "Listen, bitch, I don't have time for this. Fix my maker", she lost it, if by "it", you mean "grasp on reality". But what she lost in calmness, she found in "fucking scary conjured spell" and, well...SHE MELTED PAM'S FUCKING FACE OFF.

Melt Jesuswtf 
WHAT?! I KNOW! ALSO, GROSS.

So what did you think of this episode? Were you are bored as I am? Or is the heat wave the northeast is currently suffering through (and will suffer through for the foreseeable future. Lord, beer me strength!) making me crankier than usual?

Comments

Tonight's episode was okay, but it seemed like too much was crammed in.

When Mama Mickens showed up, I was like, "We don't have enough white trash running around this episode with Hotshot, we need her back too?" LOL.

Bill's horror over having slept with an ancestor of his was pretty hilarious. Oh heavy sits the crown...

Yeah, there wasn't quite enough... punch to it tonight. But even a non-punchy True Blood is still about ten times crazier than anything else on TV, so I wouldn't exactly call it "boring."

CHEERED when Jason killed Fenton. I, too, wish he'd done the same to Crystal. But I have to say that Batshit Crystal is better than the... whatever she was last season.

Y'all can have ASkars (and I know you want to); give me Joe Manginello any time! Seriously, though, I appear to be the only homosexual or straight woman in the world who doesn't really get into ASkars or Erik. There's something just so... Nordically, Aryanly cold about his looks. I actually go more for his father than him.

That doll is definitely the one who did the message on the wall. Poor Mikey is a totally normal baby; it's just his mother and his devil doll that are crazy.

I swear all the sister/niece, uncle/daddy & brother/cousin comments from Hotshot's was just too much I didn't know if I should laugh or toss back a shot. But what I did laugh at was when Alcide and Sookie came upon Eric in the water and the two men begin to puff their chest out at one another, Sookie: "Eric put away your fangs and Alcide stop making that noise!" I also believe that somehow Tommy is gonna get loose and kill both Joe Lee and his mom who is a shifter which means Tommy will be able to become a skinwalker. All in all the show was ok but I will say that the witch must die now for melting the face of my girl Pam!

I wasn't bored, but neither was I as completely enthralled and wowed as I was with the previous couple of episodes. I'd put it on par with the season premiere. Which I liked but felt kind of exposition heavy (understandably).

I thought this episode was actually helped by the fact that the Eric/Sookie (and Alicide) stuff could continue through the daytime stories, when usually, once the sun rises, my hand starts to itch to fast forward.

I am seriously traumatized for Pam. Is she going to continue to decompose?! ACK! I thought last season's torture sessions with the Magister were bad. And she took that like a pro. To Pam, losing her looks may be ACTUAL torture!

I snort in Bill's general direction and I cheered Sookie for standing up to him. I wonder if he really backed off because he felt he owed her, or if he'd already sensed Eric was there and will return. . .

I continue to enjoy all the Eric/Sookie bonding and laughed at Sookie's mothering of him *and* Alcide both.

I hurt when he said "Sookie, I hurt." And I felt for him realizing the sun is something he'll never have again. (And Sookie SO would have let him kiss her if Bill hadn't shown up!)

I do think in tone, though, they eked a little too close to the line with making Eric pathetic instead of just vulnerable. They've had the fun with the laughs and the drunkeness. . . now let's go with the heart and the soul of the story. I want some actual Eric/Sookie bonding time. Let them just talk!

So very happy Jason is out of Hot Shot and Felton is dead. Hoping Crystal's death will be spectacular and SOON. LOVE the idea of Jason/Jessica in whatever format comes from her saving him.

Don't care about Sam or Tommy or Luna or even Demon Baby (no matter how cute Terry is). Why didn't Tommy turn into a parakeet or something and fly away? Urgh.

I do look forward to when Debbie Pelt snaps, as she inevitably will. I'm sure it will be spectacular and trashy!

@Bourgeois Nerd: You are not alone. You and my BFF can bond over your shared Eric ambivalence. My friend, however, doesn't think Alcide is all that either. She does, however, love Stephen Moyer.

Bourgeois Nerd: You are not the only homosexual who isn't driven to fits of adoration by ASkars -- I too am totally Team Alcide.

Love, love, love that man.

Thank God my husband and I have been married nearly 22 years so when I'm sitting beside him going, "oh my" when Alcide takes his shirt off and THEN there's Eric "oh my GAWD" and even Jason is rockin' some hellacious guns, he just says, "ah, so tonight is girl/gay guy porn. Gotcha." Last week when it was Bill rockin' it with Portia, it was another story.

It reminds me of that commercial for DirecTV, I think, where the woman enters the movie and releases the hot guy from the shackles. She says, "you have a skinny dipping scene coming up, right?" As he starts to speak, she says, "no, don't talk. Just show."

HA! Yes, hot men of True Blood. JUST SHOW.

Oh, and besides that, the episode was pretty good. Oh, and as a woman "pushing middle age with a bulldozer," I'm LIVID about Pam. Thinking that you could be that hot at middle age for all eternity and never have to diet or worry about the next miracle cream from Lancome fills me with longing. To think she might be decomposing forever is NOT COOL.

P.P.S. - That animated gif fills me with joy in a way that cannot be explained. :)

I'm loving the ASkars/Manganiello debate! Would it be too much to request that, um, we include pictures or links to pictures? For, um, research purposes? Thanks in advance!

"He probably thought to himself, "Hey, things are looking up for me! Being threatened with mutilation is streets ahead of literal mutilation!" "

A Community reference!

Great recap, as usual :-)

I also wanted to add that, now having read 3 of the books, my appreciation for Alcide has grown ten fold. I was sort of indifferent toward him during season 3, but he's so great and adorable in the third book that I find myself all sorts of giddy whenever he's on screen in season 4. Also, Book Bill is just AWFUL, while Book Eric is, naturally, the greatest ever.

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