The third episode of True Blood Season Four, picks up right where the second left off, with amnesiac Eric shirtless on the side of the road, his mind emptied by witches. His blank slate state develops into an assassination plot as well as a faerie murder. Also, Jason Stackhouse learns why sometimes you shouldn't chase the cat, and a witch shows that her cauldron runneth over with self-esteem issues. Sadly, there was no naked Janina Gavankar, but we can always rewatch last week's episode. Now, on to five things that sucked (in a good way) and five things that sucked (in a bad way) from the episode "If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?".
Written by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)
Five Things That Sucked (In A Good Way)
1. True Death Via YouTube
It used to be that the only way to kill a vampire was to stake them or expose them to sunlight until they turned to ash and scattered to the wind. Now, all a vamp-hater needs is a working camera phone.
In one of the episode’s funniest scenes, a trio of humans working for Vamps Kill, a TMZ-style website dedicated to exposing vampires as murderous evildoers, creep up on one such night walker while he feeds on a woman who feigns horror for the camera but appears to have given up the neck willingly. Unfortunately for the entrapped vamp, the Authority expressly forbids being photographed or videotaped feeding on humans, so King Compton punishes his lack of caution by sentencing the vamp to the true death. And you thought brain tumors and car crashes were all the damage a cell could do.
2. (Creepy) Toys For (Creepy) Tots
When you own a disturbing doll that mysteriously returns after you leave it at the dump, and again when you throw it in a lake, there’s only one thing that you can reasonably do:
Burn it in the hopes that you might destroy the demonic spirit that obviously possesses it. Give it to your least favorite co-worker’s infant.
In a True Blood ode to cinema’s classic evil toy stories, Jessica does the latter, dumping her baby doll, which looks like it was recovered from a nuclear test site and has an ominously innocent look on its face, on Arlene’s son Mikey. He is, of course, the son of serial killer Rene Lenier, and his own mama suspects that he is a bundle of pure malevolence. The look of gastrointestinal discomfort on Arlene’s face when Mikey instantly takes to his new plaything says it all. It's plaaaaaaaaytiiiiiiiiiiime!
3. Jessica Glamors Hoyt
Cheating on someone you love is a tricky thing. If you don’t fess up, the secret sits in your stomach like a hookworm and consumes you from the inside, but if you do spill, you probably just ruined your loved one’s day and transformed yourself into a powerless apologist who can’t ever select a movie for date night again—if you didn’t kill the relationship entirely, that is. There are no take-backs, and it’s lose-lose, no matter what.
For “vamp pup” Jessica, though, who admits to human boyfriend Hoyt that she fed on another man at Fangtasia because she craves variety, a simple either/or doesn’t apply. When, quite understandably, he explodes with rage and hurt and tries to storm off, Jessica uses her vamp super speed and strength to block his exit and then locks eyes with him, glamoring all memory of her confession out of him so he gushes about how lucky he is to be with her. It’s really awful…ly amazing, and it reminds us, we really need to download an e-book on hypnotism.
4. Meaningless, Loveless Sex
How good is it to be King Compton? While he’s dining with sultry businesswoman Portia Bellefleur, she proposes that they take their professional relationship and friendship to the next level by having casual sex, and promises that there will be no hard feelings if it doesn’t work out. When the stone cold ladykiller tells her flatly that he will never love her, she, much to her credit, is still game. That is how good it is to be King Compton. Forget the maenads and werewolves—this is now officially our favorite fantasy element of the show.
5. Eric Kills Sookie’s Faerie Godmother
Eric’s amnesia, brought about by Marnie and the coven, may have been plotted by King Compton so he could get the American Vampire League to sign off on assassinating Eric. As for the show’s creators, it seems to be a play for all the viewers who like their male True Blood characters half naked and wholly dim-witted. Though we prefer Eric’s ruthless sadism to his blank stares, his new clueless state is not without its share of horrific comedic brilliance.
Our favorite gag from this episode occurs when faerie godmother Claudine reappears in Bon Temps in an attempt to lure Sookie back to Faerie. Just as she is explaining to Sookie why she couldn't protect her from vampires because it would have put her own life at risk, in swoops Eric to suck the light and life out of her and expose her for the hideous hag that she is. When Sookie screams that he just murdered her faerie godmother, Eric, chin dripping with delicious faerie blood, looks up with a childish expression that says simply, “Whoops!”
Five Things That Sucked (In A Bad Way)
1. Nature, And The Legend Of Ghost Daddy And Ghost Mama
If we are to believe a dirty, old, white trash, meth-dealing werepanther, panthers were once “kings of the nature world,” worshipped as gods by man until “sky gods” showed up and turned man against Nature. All but one man and one woman, that is, who wished to continue living in harmony with Nature, and sought out a mighty panther, which ate them and vomited them back out as werepanthers once they’d soaked up its magic, which apparently is in its stomach acid or something. These two geniuses became Ghost Daddy and Ghost Mama, founders of the incestuous werepanther species, which blossomed so marvelously into trailer trash.
Slick-tongued young werepanther Timbo asks the old man why, if mankind is guilty of battling Nature, the werepanther species are so weak in numbers, shat upon by the environmental holiness. Hopefully Nature does recognize its mistake in creating these people and have it out for them. If not, we might have to start a brushfire up in this mufucka.
2. Sober Debbie
You hate to tell the recovering addicts in your family or circle of friends, but sometimes you just can’t help thinking how much more fun they were when they were high (you know, until they stole your TV). For us, this is the case with Debbie Pelt, werewolf Alcide Herveaux’s V addict boo, who we discover he’s reunited with when Sookie visits the burly construction company owner in Shreveport, looking for a place to hide Eric (and a possible jumpoff for herself).
When we last saw Debbie in Season Three, she was a badass snarling biker bitch who tried to snuff out Sookie and swore she would kill Alcide for murdering her then-fiancée, Coot. In the time elapsed during Sookie’s visit to Faerie, the sexy hellraiser found Jesus, got clean, and now seems to spend her time making finger foods like a good little housewife. We suppose we should be happy for her...but would it really be so wrong of us to spike her fruit punch with some vampire blood?
3. Marnie’s Low Self-Esteem
For a respected witch who can make a bird rise from the dead, coven leader Marnie doesn't seem to regard herself very highly. In a scene that is excellently acted by classically trained Shakespearean player Fiona Shaw, the old witch, who tasted the power of the spirit that possessed her and allowed her to drain Eric, entreats the young lady to use her as a conduit again.
Entreat is actually giving her too much credit. Marnie desperately pleads for the spirit to use her as a vessel and do whatever it is that it wants to on the earthly plane. Her face pitifully contorted, she slashes her wrist thrice as an offering and begs, "Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!" like a recently dumped girlfriend who shamelessly wants back with the person who just humiliated them. The third time is the charm, and we see that the spirit is observing her, almost ensuring that she will get her wish of becoming a spiritual doormat.
4. The Rape of Jason Stackhouse
It’s not often that we feel bad for Jason Stackhouse. The guy is a chiseled dolt who can say or do the stupidest things imaginable and still wind up balls deep in one or more gorgeous ladies. We’re not envious of his sexual escapades but, well, OK, maybe we are. Still, we would never wish to see him get sexually violated.
On one hand, being tied up, dosed with Mexican Viagra, and mounted by female werepanthers in heat so they can prevent their kind from going extinct doesn’t sound like the worst thing that could happen to a guy (how often is it that the cat lines up for the man?). Still, his screams haunt us. And really, once you know a woman has not only slept with but also tried to procreate with her relatives, that kind of takes the sexiness out of the equation. A Tara-like switch to the opposite sex is not out of the question after this.
5. Sam’s Holier-Than-Thou Act
We can all agree that Sam’s sniveling little shifter brother Tommy is a complete twat. He has zero scruples, is filled with jealousy, and constantly bemoans all the bad shit that has happened to him. But at least, at his core, he accepts that he’s an awful person.
Sam, however, tells Tara he is a bad man and then acts like his shit doesn’t stink, chastising Tommy for bringing him a perfectly good brotherly bonding scheme to fleece Maxine Fortenberry out of her natural gas rights. Yeah, the guy who used to shift into animals to steal from people, who killed his double-crossing girlfriend and her lover, and who later shot his own brother. Apparently Sam’s never shifted into an elephant, ’cause dude’s memory ain’t long—that, or he's just a hypocritical asshole.