Monday, August 5, 2013

True Blood, Season 6, Episode 8: Dead Meat

Eric stares at the remains of Nora. Sorry, Eric, you’re going to have to bin those bed linens, there’s no way that mess is going to come clean. Eric is not a happy vampire. He’s furious at Billith for not foreseeing Nora’s death, furious that Billith didn’t save her and get Warlow, furious that Billith is demanding Eric help him before the blood is even try and pretty damn angry that Billith didn’t get Warlow because he didn’t want to argue with precious Sookie.

All pretty reasonable points actually.

At which point Eric stops having good points and positively loses it while Billith floats him round the room with his telekinesis. After Eric’s ranting gets on his nerves, Billith cracks through it by insulting Godric and kicks Eric out.

In Vampire prison, Tara wisely tells Willa not to mess with big boss vampire lady who has claimed Jason. Especially since she seems to be only talking to Jason. She asks what he did to be thrown in (he says “the governor’s girl”) but while she’s nice and not savage she also makes it clear that her claiming him wasn’t just altruism. She meant it. Really meant it – forever ever meant it (she’s Catholic after all – and not modern fluffy Catholic but serious medieval Catholic).

Elsewhere in prison, Jessica and James are all lovey dovey until the guards split them up and return them to the general population cells. They also pick up Pam who just had sex with the psychiatrist – she describes it as “oozy, but productive”. A brief break there while everyone removes “oozy but productive” mental images from their minds.

They return to general prison population – and the guards start handing out bottles of True Blood. And in the male vampire population, Steve Newlin complains about being unpopular to James and James, being either a fool or a compassionate soul, tells Steve not to drink the infected True Blood.

In the female ward, Violet, the chief vamp, is enjoying Jason’s blood while Willa, Jessica, Tara and (reluctantly), Pam discuss how to save him. Being munched on, Jason begs Violet not to rape him (a special trigger for him) and she makes it clear that WHEN they have sex, it will be consensual and she has very strong ideas as to how that’s going to happen.

Sarah Newlin arrives at the camp and is told that some of the vampires are not eating the tainted True Blood. To find out why she puts pressure on her ex-husband Steve – who can’t even run in a treadmill? No, this is ridiculous, I know he’s set up to be the pathetic comic relief, but it is ridiculous that any vampire is that freaking slow. He quickly cracks and tells Sarah about them knowing about the Hep V and quickly gives up James.

Both James and Steve are moved into a room – a white room – where Sarah says anyone else who doesn’t want to drink will also join them. Steve cries and snivels.

Elsewhere, Ms. Suzuki, the spokesperson for the corporation that makes True Blood is furious and storms to the facility demanding to speak to the Governor. She rages through the factory and runs into Sarah Newlin. Sarah Newlin tries to raise the banner of eternal sisterhood to which Ms. Suzuki knees her to cut off the patronising speech and charges through to see them adding Hep V to her company’s True Blood. She rings to call the FDA and parent company in Osaka – and Sarah Newlin attacks her.

Ms. Suzuki runs into the vampire prison, chased by Sarah Newlin. Sarah catches her when Ms. Suzuki is shocked to see one of the vampire sex experiments – but Suzuki kicks Sarah in the stomach and keeps going. She runs out onto the walkway above the general male vampire population – but there’s a problem. The walkway is a grill and Ms. Suzuki is wearing high heels, she falls and breaks her ankle – when her head hits the grill, Sarah continues to slam her head into the metal grating. A vampire from below leaps up and bites her face through the grill while Sarah murders her with her high heel shoe. Sarah praises Jesus.

Sookie returns to the faerie graveyard for more bondage games with the hungry Warlow. She feeds him and asks a favour – she wants him to help Bill to help her vampire friends. He’s not thrilled at helping vampires, nor does he think Billith promising not to kill Warlow means much since Bill doesn’t exactly have a good record for truthfulness. He asks her to be his forever, she asks if that was an ultimatum and he counters that it’s a proposal (like the 2 are mutually exclusive) and that he’s loved her for 6,000 years – which is more than a little ridiculous all things considered and shows he doesn’t love her so much as the idea of her. She decides she needs to think on this and returns to the real world muttering and complaining about “eternity” and why a man can’t just ask her to go to the movies on a date

Wow, I actually agree with Sookie. Again. This is a disturbing development.

Sookie is watched by Eric who then starts waving at the spot she appeared from, trying to find the portal to faerie land. In faerie land, the eternal sunshine turns dark.

Sookie returns home and has a shower – and a scary flashback of ghostly Warlow threatening to come for her. She starts to empty a bottle of booze while listening to Jason’s answer phone message that he’s going to “make things right”. Having fortified herself, Sookie goes to see Billith and ask what his plan is

Billith wants to take Warlow to the vamp prison camp (why doesn’t he go and just kill all the guards?) and feed his blood to the vamps about to get fried, making them immune. He tells Sookie he won’t kill Warlow because Dr. Takehashi still hasn’t synthesised Warlow fae/vampire blood. Bill tries to hurry things along and Sookie snaps that Warlow wants her to become his vampire/fae bride so Bill can spare 5 damn minutes to talk about it – to which Bill says no, that sounds quite a reasonable price for Sookie to pay. Sookie is not even slightly amused by how blasé Bill is about her life.

To the werewolves and the immense lack of care I have about them. Having kidnapped Nicole and her mother, Rikki loses her ever loving shit and challenges Alcide for betraying the entire pack and siding with a shifter; she believes Alcide will win but also doesn’t think Alcide can bring himself to kill her.

Battle begins and Rikki doesn’t have the slightest chance. But when she’s defeated Alcide refuses to kill her.

At Merlotte’s, Sam clears out Terry’s things with an awful lot of grief and when he goes outside, Alcide is waiting. He’s given up the pack – and Nicole and her mother are in Sam’s trailer after Alcide rescued them from Rikki and the pack. In Sam’s trailer this calls for some booze and Sam offers them a place to stay the night and many apologies (why’s he apologising? The pack attacked them and Nicole got involved with the pack because she decided to spy on them and secretly recording them. How is any of this Sam’s fault?) and Sam and Nicole continue to be close.

In the bar Sam and Alcide have a drink and another drink and lots of quasi silent implied apology thing before Alcide mentions that he caught Nicole’s scent and asks Sam “is it yours?” And Sam says it smells like him. It looks like Nicole is pregnant.

The next day, while Nicole’s mother books her and Nicole a flight home, Sam asks Nicole to stay, declaring his love for her in the few days he’s known her. Nicole returns the sentiment. Nicole’s mother shouts the whole mess down, points out Nicole has only known him for a few days, during which she has gone through all kinds of emotional hell and, at 23, she’s far too young for Sam. Except the last point, I have to agree with her all the way.

And Sookie arrives. How long has it been since these two even spoke to each other? It’s not like she’s working any more. They go into the back room and hug; perhaps a little closer than I imagined. She talks about her drama and Sam answers she wouldn’t be Sookie without it. She shows him her sun ball and says it’s everything that makes her a vampire magnet in one place – she could be a normal human if she got rid of it. And why tell Sam? Well, because she always thought they would be together.

Yeah Sam thinks it’s the worst timing, especially since Sookie knew how he felt but went for other men and now she comes to him when Nicole’s pregnant (I don’t like this – this casts Nicole and Luna, Tara, Daphne and every other woman Sam has been with as something of a consolation prize next to Sookie). And not to tell Nicole because she doesn’t know yet – Sookie starts to tell Sam he should tell her and Sam shuts her down, he didn’t ask for her advice.

Sookie goes to the graves of her parents to seek solace as she used to – but realises how fake it is. how tainted all her good memories are in realisation that her parents tried to kill her. She tearfully tears apart the memories and the painful knowledge she learned from their ghosts and adds that she’s going to become the very thing they would kill her for – because she is not going to spend eternity lying by their sides.

She goes home and leaves a message on Jason’s phone, telling him about Terry, his funeral and asking where Niall has gone and dumping some heavy emotion. She then calls Bill and tells him to pick her up.

At the Bellefleur house, Lafayette cooks Arlene a greasy breakfast and everyone rallies round her. Lafayette tells Arelene about the $2,000,000 live insurance policy Terry had – and how he only took it out 4 days ago to which Arlene realises what Terry must have done. She has a little freak out moment, and Arlene thinks something unfair about Adalind and her sisters. Adalind protests and Alrene snaps that if Adalind doesn’t stay out of people’s minds she won’t like what she hears – and both of them leave the table, crying.

Arlene, Holly and other Bellefleurs go to the mortuary to discuss the arrangements – taken over by Caroline Bellefleur, Terry’s grandmother who wants a grand, dramatic military funeral. Arlene is disturbed by this and Holly urges her to speak up – which she does very undiplomatically and most awesomely condemning having 21 guns at Terry’s funeral after he was killed by being shot. Poor awkward Terry desperately tries to stop the argument as Portia Bellefleur goes on about military service and Arlene counters that Terry didn’t give a shit about it (far from it – he was tormented by his time in the military) – throwing in the lovely bomb that the only reason Terry enlisted was because his family wouldn’t pay for his college. Before she leaves with Holly, she tells them that they’re not burying the Terry she knew, they’re burying a lie.

Ouch. Portia and Caroline are not happy but I’m cheerleading Arlene – she’s had some awesome lines this season. Poor Andy debates what’s more uncomfortable – inside with Portia and Caroline (his sister and grandmother) or outside with Holly and Arlene. 1 set of icy glares later, he goes outside

Arlene tells Andy she doesn’t want to take the money – she knows Terry had himself killed and she knows who did it too, she asks Andy to bring him to justice. But Andy asks who wins if he does that – only the insurance company; he’s sheriff and will hunt him down if she asks but he asks her not to make him. Holly also speaks up bringing a wonderfully wise perspective on Terry’s suicide – even at his most desperate, he still thought of providing for Arlene and the kids. Holly asks what they can do And Arlene starts telling them what she wants – including Rev. Daniels from the Black church, because Terry liked him.

Holly’s 2 sons, Wade and Rocky, see Adalind and take her out to cheer her up with a big bottle of whiskey. They end up in the graveyard, Rocky passed out – and Wade and Adalind making out. Until Eric appears behind them – he wants to “borrow” Adalind. Eric glamours the brothers to forget him and Adalind. He sends them home – then bites Adalind.

Bleeding, Adalind runs down the road and is found by Andy who holds and comforts her.

At the vampire prison, in the female vampire population, the guards tell Violet to drink the True Blood. She goes to get a bottle and Tara quietly comments that this would save Jason – Violet hears her say Jason’s name and asks what she means. Pam steps in to protect Tara, saying she was just hungry. Violet asks why she can’t drink the True Blood… the warden gets edgy and Willa, Jessica, Violet and Pam are taken into the white room with James and Steve. Jessica reveals what the room is.

Sookie dresses up and she and Billith go to the cemetery. She takes him to the faerie world – but it’s already dark and Warlow, still tied to the gravestone, is injured, his throat bleeding. Sookie asks who could have done it – and Bill realises it’s Eric.

I don’t like the werewolf storylines at the best of time but these get on my nerves. There’s not enough time to develop them properly – nor should they be since it’s an annoying side plot – but that ends up with Alcide and his mood swings for no damn good reason, playing packmaster but not really taking over – having to lie and pretend to the pack rather than actually leading it, countering Rikki who is animalistic and driven entirely by emotion (anger or lust). It has the core of interesting points to be made of packs and balancing wolf and human nature – but it doesn’t fit in the small space it has on the show; nor does the show have room for it to be more.

And now a pregnancy? NOOOOO you just ended this storyline! Don’t start a new one, damn it!

I wish we’d see more of it but the hints we get of Pam and Tara’s relationship are fun – Jessica and Willa politely and carefully ask Pam to do something, she refuses and Tara just says “Pam.” In that exasperated tone.

Violet and Jason – am I supposed to be praising Violet as a sexually confident woman here? Because I’m creeped out more than anything. Jason – much weaker and utterly helpless in Violet’s hands, to say nothing of being dependent on her for survival – begs her not to rape him. To which she says she won’t – but then firmly lays down how sex between them WILL (not might) happen while unzipping his clothes.

Well Billith has pretty much completely transformed. I wonder if this means he may end up dying – setting him up as the villain in truth – or he’s going to be de-lillithed and then spend season 7 moping around whining at Sookie that he’s sorry and never meant to hurt her.

Sam and Sookie together? Y’know in the books it actually works (and I know a whole lot of irate fans just hissed at me for that), but it does because Sookie and Sam are together every day, we repeatedly hear how Sookie likes Sam, finds Sam attractive, relies on Sam, works together with Sam and how Sam often supports and helps her and even sometimes Sookie supports Sam. They’re close. In the TV series? When was the last time they were even on the screen at the same time? When did she last go to work? When did they share a storyline? In season 5 they only had contact because new-vampire Tara hid at Merlottes and later because, after hunting down the men who attacked Luna, Sam happened to be present when they tried to kill Sookie. In season 4 they barely shared any storylines either, nor much in season 3 (with Sam looking for the Mickens and Sookie looking for Bill). That’s nearly 4 seasons with only incidental contact between them.

Which is also why I’m not mad at Sam for snapping at Sookie and her advice. They’re not close enough for Sookie to offer advice on his relationships.

Sookie’s speech at her parent’s graveside though is one of the show’s classic moments.

And Sarah Newlin killed Ms. Suzuki – beyond making her character clearly evil, I want to see consequences of this. I don’t care how connected Sarah is, she just killed a spokesperson from a major international company – there’s no way that’s just going to be swept under the rug. Also, those two vampire men imprisoned and forced to have sex under threat of torture is more explicit than we have seen from 6 seasons of gay male couples in consensual relationships. That’s really pathetic, True Blood.