Monday, July 16, 2012

True Blood Season Five Episode Six: Hopeless

I'm not quite sure what to say about this episode.  It certainly has its moments of shock but at the same time, I still don't really feel like the plot is going anywhere and there is still far too much distraction with ancillary characters getting much more airtime than they need.

Terry realises that he is well and truly made a mistake and the irfit is going to hunt him and kill him.  He is saddened because it means that in order to keep them safe, he will have to leave Arlene and the kids behind. When he goes to Merlott's to tell her, Arlene immediately assumes that he is off his medication because of course, curses aren't real.  This really irritated me because it plays upon the idea that PWD cannot be trusted.  Arlene lives in a world of vampires, shifters and was personally put under a spell by a meanad. Last year she saw Lafayette be possessed, watched ghosts rise from the grave and saw a witch cast spells but somehow a curse is impossible and so Terry must be off his meds.  It makes no sense to question Terry's assertions given everything that she has seen and the assumption that he is off his meds, reads as highly ableist to me.

When we last left Tara and Jessica, they were getting into a fight over Hoyt.  When the fight spills into a far more public space in Fangtasia, Pam stops it and yanks Tara out of the room by her hair.  I really dislike the heavy handed nature of the relationship between Pam and Tara, when all she has to do is order her not to do something.  There is absolutely no need to ever lay hands on Tara. For her part, Jessica says that she guesses the whole friendship deal is over.  Alone, Pam tells Tara in no uncertain terms that Fangtasia is hers and that she just works there, but she does tell her that she is proud of the way she fought.  Jessica is older and therefore stronger, but Tara more than held her own.

Lafayette rushes to his mother, played by the amazing Alfre Woodard.  At first he believes that she has died but she quickly ends the ruse.   Lafayette learns that Jesus is being held hostage by his evil uncle, who we met last season.  Ruby Jean makes it absolutely clear that Lafayette must help Jesus.  I am still not pleased with the fact that the writers of True Blood routinely put homophobic slurs into her mouth.

In the hospital, Luna and Sam have clearly been hurt and at first they are worried because her daughter is missing.  They don't have to worry long because Martha shows up with her in tow.  After much angsting, Luna decides to allow her daughter to stay with Martha until they can figure out who is responsible for the attacks.  Sam is determined to get to the bottom of it and approaches Andy.  Sam feels that it's a hate crime because the shifters are being attacked for who they are. I understand why Sam made that point because the only four shifters in Bon Temps have been targeted; however, I reject its usage outright.  True Blood does not have a good record on social justice issues, or marginalized people for that matter.  

Sam volunteers to help Andy with the case, claiming that because of his ability to shift that he can get to places that Andy cannot.  When Andy does not agree, Sam tells him that he does not know what it is to be hated for what he is.  This line coming from a truly marginalised person would not be a problem but once again they have taken on the experiences of truly historically oppressed people. Why couldn't they give someone like Lafayette or Tara the opportunity to say something like this?

Finally, to the part of the story that matters.  When we last saw Russel he was challenging Bill and Eric to give it their best shot.  When Eric finally has the chance to kill Russel, Bill puts a stake to his back and threatens him because the authority wants him alive.  The authority sweeps in and clean up mode starts.  Eric glamours Alcide to forget everything that happened that night and tells him that he is to protect Sookie with his life and that he is to keep his hands off of her.  Even now, Eric couldn't help but be manipulative.  For his part, Bill has a talk with Sookie about how she needs to move on with her life and live in the light. We all knew the minute we heard those words that Sookie would have to run off and get into trouble right?

Bill plays truly converted which gets on Eric's nerves.  I actually saw this as being smart.  The humans witnesses asked to be compensated for their pain and suffering and to be compelled to forget everything that they saw.  It was no surprise when they were murdered by the authority.

The next morning Alcide wakes up in Sookie's spare room and has vague memories of making out with her.  He has to ask if they had sex and she tells him no in this sort of offended tone, as though she wasn't totally into it night before.  When she reaches out to touch his hand he recoils and so she grabs his hand and digs through his memories causing him to remember everything that happened.  When Alcide remembers that weres were involved with Russel, he runs off to reclaim the pact.

Later that day, Jason appears at Merlott's to talk to Sookie about the visions he has been having of their father and reveals that vampires killed their parents.  When Sookie learns about the fae club and the fact that Hadley and her son are there, she goes on an instant rescue mode.  I find it interesting that she could so easily risk herself for Hadley but seemed not to give a damn when Tara, her so-called best friend was being raped and held against her will.

When they get there, they meet Claude.  He explains that he looks different because fae take on the beauty standards of the dimension that they are.  Of course Sookie is incredulous but is forced to remain silent when Claude returns her disgust by making a comment about her hair. When Jason finds Hadley, she explains that she is happy there, but of course Sookie is not buying it.  When she asks about vampires attacking her parents, both Claude and Hadley stall but Sookie hears the truth.  Claude tells her that the vampire was attracted by the smell of something in their car - Sookie's blood on a bandaid.  Sookie gets ready to unleash her shiny fae power but she forgot that she is surrounded by fae and her power is met by theirs.

Roman decides that it is time to put Russel to death because no matter how much they question him, they are not going to get the truth out of him.  They drag him in with silver pouring directly into his veins and hook him up with an I-Steak.  When Roman hits the button it has no effect and before anyone can do anything, Russel kills him.  I suppose this was necessary because you cannot have two antagonists (Read: big bads) in one season. I have to say though that I was sorry to see vampire Stabler exit so early on in the season.

I do like the point Russel made about the authority not being much different than the sanguinistas.  The truth of the matter that fundamentalists, no matter what side they are on, are all dangerous.