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« This Is Some Seriously Poor Time Management | Main | Now This Is Just Not Playing Fair »

June 27, 2011

Sucks So Good: True Blood 4.1, "She's Not There"


After a nine-month hiatus that can only be described as excruciating, True Blood returned last night and brought JOY back to my Sunday nights. I was walking around today with an extra spring in my step, which did not go unnoticed by people I encountered (although I felt silly sharing the true reason for my glee--"Oh, it's because True Blood is back! What's True Blood? Um, a show, about vampires. And fairies. And witches. So..."--and tried to play it off as though I was extremely excited about the weather, which I actually was, since it was the first totally sunny day in a while, but that is beside the point). But can you blame me?! So many delicious cliffhangers we needed resolutions on!

You know the drill: spoilers obviously abound after the jump, so hurry up and get yourself caught up on any episodes you've missed and join us for discussion of "She's Not There"!


First, let's begin with the traditional part of any of my True Blood recaps: the frenzied list of hysterical questions. Bill is KING?! If I sell my house to a dummy corporation, will ASkars show up in my bedroom all brooding-like?! What the hell with the fairies, seriously?! How fucking fierce is Lafayette's mohawk?!

Is there anything in the world more blood-curdling than the sight of Maxie Fortenberry coddling Tommy like an infant?!


I only know the answer to the last question and that answer is DEAR LORD, NO!


Let's start where the episode did: Fairy Land! I have no idea why I have such a hard time with the fairy thing. Like, how are vampires and werewolves and witches/aliens (I'm sorry, Lauren Bowles still looks like an alien to me! I am anxiously awaiting that plot twist and then I will crow "TOLD YA!") not offensive to me, but fairies fill me with shame? Anyway, we're in fairy land and it's very pretty, and fairies are passing around citrus fruits filled with gleaming light, and Barry the Bellhop is there!

Barry: Do you realize that this is the one place in the universe where we're not freaks?
Claudine: (Cackles as though to say, "I wouldn't go that far, you square")

Sookie catches a glimpse of a familiar face: it's Gary Cole, from a whole bunch of awesome things!

But she recognizes him as her grandfather, who thinks he's only been gone for a few hours, not the, you know, 20 years that he was actually missing. Sookie sees the decay taking place in fairy land and tries to telephathically warn her grandfather to escape, forgetting that fairies can hear each other's thoughts. Smooth move, Sook! Queen Mab of Fairy Land lets Sookie in on her plan to harvest humans, they spar, Sookie's lightning fingers come back, and Fairy Land turns from pristine to decrepit, and then there was this prolonged battle amidst freaking mountains and sand, and the fairies threw light all over the place, and eventually Sookie and her grandfather jumped back to earth and then he died almost immediately, and I was like "???!!!??"  Because, really. That...was bad.


Luckily, things picked up with a quickness when Sookie went back to her house, that wasn't her house anymore and learned from her uniformed and well-built brother that she was missing for over a year, not just a few minutes! I loved that--I feel like a substantial jump in time does really good things for a show's creativity and after a few seasons here where the action picked up immediately after the events of the prior season's finale, it's definitely something different. I'm intrigued to see how certain characters got to where they are now. Specifically, Maxine and Tommy! I know she's aching for another son, after Hoyt estranged himself from her with hatred and disgust, but still, that is a match made in hell! She used the phrase "tushie cushion", for fuck's sake! If that doesn't send shivers down your spine and intrigue you all the same, I don't know what will.


And what's the deal with Bill becoming King?!

Color me excited! I'm not sure what to make of his story--or, rather, the brief bits and pieces that could be his story--but he is a natural politician! I really enjoyed watching him work the crowd at the ceremonial ribbon-cutting with charm and smarm.

And is he moving on with Portia Bellefleur? And how is he connected to one of Jesus's witch friends? It's all very interesting, and that means a lot coming from someone who started to roll her eyes whenever she saw him even approach the camera last season!


I love, love, love Lafayette (and his new mohawk!) and Jesus together. Lafayette being introduced as Jesus's partner, their affectionate squabbling: so cute! That's the extent of their cuteness this episode, though, because everything about the witch coven was vaguely horrifying and upsetting. Marnie (I'm glad the Dursleys are such minor characters in the Harry Potter films, because I'd hate to not be able to watch them without giving them a serious side-eye. Aunt Petunia, why so scary?!) channel Eddie and then harness the power of the coven, and Lafayette in particular, to bring her bird to life again was just...egads.


I know someone who's sleeping with the lights on tonight...


Andy is addicted to V, which we all saw coming. But what that reveal lacked in shock value, it made up for in hilarity, because his rage-filled outburst when he realized that Sookie was alive and well and on "vampire business" was amazingly funny.



Terry Bellefleur? Adorable. He invented new animals, people! Which is creepy, but he explained it so adorably! Watching Arlene struggle with her inner conviction that her infant is a baby psychopath? All sorts of hilarious.

Her horror upon finding him on the floor surrounded by decapitated Barbies was amazing ("Mikey? Momma loves you so, so very much, but you have got to understand: killing is wrong!") and her inability to tell Sookie anything remotely positive about him ("He's uh, he's really, uh, smart") made me laugh and laugh.


Tara is cage-fighting in New Orleans.

File that under "Things That Make Complete Sense And, When You Think About It, Are Long Overdue". She's also in a lesbian relationship with another cagefighter who thinks her name is Toni, and that she's from Atlanta. She was super rattled by the news that Sookie is actually alive. It's one more thing to add to her My Life Is, For Real, Bizarre list.


The tension between Hoyt and Jessica distresses me.


So, at the end of last season, when Sam took aim at his (admittedly, horrible little shit of a) brother? He really did shoot him, paralyzing him! I thought the writers would clumsily opt for a fake-out there, but Sam's downward spiral just kept going downward. Tommy's now in physical therapy on Sam's dime, which he cheerfully reminds him of, and Sam is in anger management. Or some sort of anger management that includes hanging out with other shapeshifters.


It's not therapeutic in the traditional sense, but he at least is bottling up his thirst for violence so far this season, so I consider it its own sort of success! I mean, it's bubbling under the surface in an obvious fashion, but still.


Pam's robotic and completely disinterested advertisement for vampire friendliness tickled me.

I think the fact that she was dressed in a smart tweed suit made it art.

Eric taking over and putting his own, smoldering spin on it?

The man could sell me anything. If deposed Nigerian princes had ASkars film a YouTube video requesting financial assistance, I'd send in all of my bank accounts and the bank accounts of my loved ones.


"I wonder what is happening in HOTSHOT?", wondered nobody as we approached the end of the episode without a glimpse of the, as Lafayette deemed them, Deliverance extras. So I groaned like a groaning thing when an obviously overwhelmed Jason went to deliver them food. He was sweet and patient and what happens to him? He gets knocked into and locked into a freezer by a mystery hillbilly for his troubles.

I'm going to put it out there right now: this story is going to be terrible and angry-making. I can feel it in my bones.


Sunday cliffhanger: Eric suddenly (and sexily) appears in Sookie's bedroom while she changes, and happilly (and sexily) informs her that he owns her house...which means that he owns her.

Creepy and wrong, and yet...

Let's ignore Fairy Land (is the phrase "Where the point goes to die" printed on the money?) for a moment, which I realize is basically impossible, since it took up a quarter of the episode. But put your secondhand embarrassment aside: the premiere set up a bunch of stories that could be really, good, right? I am legitimately entertained by almost everything that is percolating right now...

...although I worry about Fairy Land looming behind me, taunting me with its cheese. Do you think Gary Cole left the set in a huff when he was finished? "I played Cotton McKnight! I'm BETTER than this!"


Wow, you really WERE excited, weren't you, Mallory? Fastest recap ever!

I really don't know why fairies are just too far out there for you, Mallory, since these ain't Tinkerbell. I think the whole "they're aliens" with the flying saucer chandeliers and abductions is kinda cool. But thankfully for you, I think they're next season's Big Thing; this is The Season of the Witch (and Vampires and Shapeshifters and Werewolves, Again).

Anyway, seriously, WITCH LADY IS CREEPY! I just want to yell, "RUN, Lafayette! Run!" Still, it's nice to hear Eddie's doing okayish in the afterlife?

Bill is probably King because he defeated Sophie-Anne in last season's cliffhanger wire fight. At least, I presume.

Is it just me, or is Tara as a cagefighting lesbian a bit... on the nose? But, hey, whatever, let the straight boys have their lesbian make-outs as long as I get some men sexing it up at some point.

Hoyt and Jessica having problems... doesn't surprise me. I mean, they DO have a lot of baggage to try to haul through a life together. It's realistic. Sadly, I think the jump forward FFed through their honeymoon period.

Okay, I know I'm about the only person in the world, but Erik just fucking creeps me out. I mean, "I own you!"?!?!? Danger, Sookie, danger! That's just all kinds of fucked up. I hope Sookie kicks him in the nads.

Was it just me or when Sam and his anger management group started disrobing did anyone else think orgy?

I mean, this is "True Blood" after all.

The fairy stuff was silly and rushed (although I wouldn't have wanted to spent multiple episodes on it), but the premiere did set up a bunch of interesting stuff.

C- I was getting worried we'd be forced to watch a horse-orgy, actually. *shudder*


The joy I have at the return of ASkars/Eric Northman to my weekly viewing life has no bounds!

Can we talk about how incredibly ginormous his guns are? When he's holding up that key to Sookie's house (inappropriate-what? stalker-ish who?)? All I could look at was his muscles.

Um, yeah, and he's a sneaky one that bastard. Right. That's . . bad. Right?

I did find it interesting that he was so sure Sookie was fine as to set up this long game and wait for her.

I didn't find the fairy land as bad as it could have been, since we learned there's much more to it than flowy gowns and tampon commercial lighting. I find it interesting that Sookie (who has had a plethora of vampire blood) could see through their facade. I expect (hope?) that they will tease their threat here and there throughout the season and deal with them (and their apparent warring factions?) next season. We have enough going on as it is.

LOVE Fiona Shaw. Am truly looking forward to the witch-y wars.

Love Pam. Love Nan.

Tara's character development seemed. . . organic and am I supposed to be all shocked? Whatever. I'm glad for her, I guess. I wouldn't miss her if she never came back, but since I guess she will, I just hope that as long as she's around, she proves to be relevant to the story.

Lafayette and Jesus continue to be adorable.

King Bill, I'd say more but most of my opinion is based on the 2nd episode I watched online. I was am . . . cautiously optimistic about this twist.

The intercut scenes with Bill/Eric was fantastic. Particularly in light of Eric's "who would you rather trust . . . a vampire or a politician?" Indeed, Eric. Indeed.

I still want to hug Terry, but them making me annoyed with Hoyt just felt all kinds of wrong. I was distressed.

But not as much as I was over Maxine's new toy Tommy. What the why??

At least Sam's seems to have characters in it that don't make me want to reach for the hand sanitizer just from looking at them. So . . . progress?

And as amused as I was by Jason as the "responsible" "authority" figure. . . I really could do without seeing anything to do with Hot Shot again.

I love the time warp. I cannot WAIT to watch how (at least parts of) of this season will unfold. Particularly for Eric.

I also thought the fairys would be more like tinkerbell and less like treasure troll dolls! Tara being a cage fighter/lesbian named Toni makes sense especially with all that has happened to her in the past 3 seasons. Though I have to admit that a miss Franklin sooooo much (yes I know he was a sick freak but he was my sick freak) I watched the 2nd episode on HBO GO last night and it explains alot of what went on in the first episode. It explains how Bill became king and without giving away anything all I'm gonna say is "Liar,liar pants on fire!" and sorry Mallory but HOTSHOTS is a also in this episode and all I'm gonna say is have a few drinks handy.

Eric = Smokin' HAWT! Nuff' said. Okay, also:

Yummy on a stick
Stud Muffin

Well, you get the picture....

Lafayette is just fantastic. The mohawk is just too adorable. I told my daughter he looks like an African-American Cabbage Patch doll!! When he walked into the "witch's lair" or whatever that place was, I nearly choked when he said, "this place smells like where air fresheners go to die."

Was it me or did Bill look like he had a spray tan for that nursing home ribbon cutting ceremony? His cheestastic speech made me cringe. At least Eric pulled off his spin-doctor speech with his usual hotness. I'd buy whatever that man was sellin'....mmm-hmmm....

Hot Shot - yawn city.

I'm actually hoping for Jessica to get her vampire freak on. Even if she wasn't a vampire, the girl is 17 - FOREVER! She's going to always want to sow wild oats, not spend her days gagging over a box of Hamburger Helper for Hoyt. She will never "mature" into that arrangement.

Mallory, did you squee when they showed Russell in the "what happened last season" prologue? I'm hoping the fact that they showed him at all means we may see him again this season. Crossing fingers!

I'm interested to see what Alcide and Sookie will be up and most ASSUREDLY what Eric and Sookie will be up to, but I'm OVAH Bill Compton. He can have at Portia Bellfleur (what the BLOODY HELL is up with THAT name?)

Arlene and her spawn-of-a-serial-killer baby are too funny!

After what the writers did to Jax I don't care if GH gets canceled b/c I can't stand to watch Sonny gloat anymore. I hope he goes into deep depression or dies.

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