'True Blood' Saturdays: 'You killed my Cooter!'
Some of you REALLY disagreed with me that last week's "True Blood" episode was stuck in the mud and not going anywhere. I heard from you in comments, in e-mail and every other possible way. One of you even wrote a blog post about how stupid I was!
I'm not complaining; I love this kind of response. And it must be said that it's fun to argue like this about the show, about what it is and what it should be. Keep sending me those thoughts because you guys are smart and passionate fans of this show, and it's always fun to read just what it is that you think, even when you fiercely disagree with me. That said, let's toss it to you guys and see if you can change my mind on the ultimate worth of last week's episode.
A reader named Ellen wrote me to say that she didn't believe the final reconciliation between Bill and Sookie was supposed to be as permanent of a reconciliation. She thinks it's all a buildup to the two having a more permanent breakup, since when you leave a longstanding relationship, it's often hard to completely write that person out of your life. A number of you took this tack, and I have to say that this is probably a case where I'm being a bit hasty in my judgment of the show. There's every possibility that Sookie and Bill will be split up again in a couple episodes, and I'll have egg all over my face. I don't hate the idea of Sookie and Bill together -- though I think their scenes can drag the show down -- but I was pretty miffed that an episode that began with such a clear statement of Sookie and Bill being split up for good would end with a question mark being put on that statement. Let's wait and see what happens.
Morgan Earle writes to talk about what Sookie is, a question the show moved to the back-burner last week. Morgan sent me a handy list of Naiad subcategories after I raised the possibility of Sookie being a Naiad two weeks ago. But Morgan hopes the show doesn't go that way because:
"All that aside, I will still be disappointed if they turn to Greek mythology to explain the origin of 'True Blood's' most important character. It's already been done, why do it again? Major fail. To be blatantly honest, I think I would rather her turn out to be a fairy. Then, at least no one would expect that, and it wouldn't be redundant."
I still think making Sookie a fairy would be obvious, but Morgan has a good point. Going back to Greek mythology could feel like a cheat. Let's hope the producers of "True Blood" have an answer that makes sense but also is something few people are guessing.
Now, let's turn to comments.
Mathew has a short list of complaints with the show. He'd like more information on how werewolf powers work, since it seems like the show is portraying their strength inconsistently. I guess I was taking werewolves to be stronger than humans but weaker than vampires, and yet Sookie didn't seem too beaten up after fighting with one. Then again, we can't think of Sookie as a mere human at this point, so maybe that's what the show is building toward.
KarenJ points out that there was very little post-coital about the scene where Eric killed Talbot. Looking at it again, I think her reading is better than mine. Eric is heading back in for another sexy romp when he pulls out the stake and removes Talbot from the equation. Either way, it was a great, gory scene, and while it's been foreshadowed for some time that Eric would do something to get back at Russell, I was completely not expecting it to come in this episode or in that fashion. The whole scene was a terrific bit of misdirection.
I liked Miriam's defense of the episode, even as I think that many of the things she cites as strengths are things the show had already shown us in previous episodes:
"I don't agree that this episode was about nothing, I think in terms of character development it worked well. Tara just went through this terrifying experience and we're finally seeing her react to it. The fact that she's grappling with a very real fear and at the same time a sexual attraction to Franklin is finally being displayed. This was a vampire that she was initially attracted to and then he turned out to be this monster who kidnapped her, and while her fantasies are because of the V, it doesn't change that she was initially attracted to him. What I liked about this episode is the contradictions in feelings and logic that these characters displayed. Sookie did the right thing for once, she finally put herself first and though she ended up in his arms at the end of the episode that doesn't change that she's become aware that he's a threat to her safety and that happily ever after doesn't exist for them. So we're seeing in these characters the complexity that we should expect. It isn't always about guts and gore, the characters are complex and that's one thing I like about this show and in particular this last episode."
And, finally, Blade agrees with me that this episode wasn't very good (I think), but he disagrees about the course of the season, which he thinks is largely terrible:
"Au Contraire, this entire season is turning into a big, giant bust. Every move has been telegraphed from -episodes- away, it's mostly one big giant yawner. Absolutely nothing has happened except for moving Eric's plot forward, and introducing more new characters than the thing has episodes. At this point, I've lost track of who more than half the new characters are. ... All in all, the series is suffering very quickly from the same problem that 'Heroes' suffered from starting with about the 5th episode -- introduction of more characters than they can handle."
I disagree so far, but we'll just have to wait and see how this season pulls together. Maybe the final episodes of the season will be a colossal bust, and we'll spend the rest of the time wondering where it all went wrong. Or maybe -- and I hope this is the case -- we get a conclusion that ties everything up in exciting and enthralling fashion.
--Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)
Photo: Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) learned how to fight like a vampire in the latest episode of "True Blood." Credit: HBO
Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.