In the second episode of True Blood Season Four, a lot develops between the witches and vampires, Hoyt and Jessica, and King Compton and the American Vampire League. Too bad all we can think about is Janina Gavankar, who appears in the June/July issue of Complex, running around fully naked. Thanks, HBO! Well, we'll have a go of it anyway. Here are five things that sucked (in a good way) and five things that sucked (in a bad way) from the episode "You Smell Like Dinner".
Written by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)
Five Things That Sucked (In A Good Way)
1. Eric Northman’s Pimp Game
In life, Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) was Viking royalty. In death, he’s Sheriff of Area 5, owner of the Fangtasia nightclub, and a vampire pimp so stone cold he could make Iceberg Slim blush.
Just check out his approach to making Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her sweet faerie blood his: While she’s gone to the faerie plane, he surreptitiously purchases her house so he can enter without an invitation (and begins sprucing the place up, ’cause chicks dig home renovations); then, he sneaks up on her when she’s naked and vulnerable to reveal himself as her new landlord; when she recoils in disgust, he spits strong but sugary game in her ear, complimenting her (“Your blood tastes like freedom, Sookie, like sunshine in a pretty blond bottle.”), displaying affection with a reminder of his physical dominance (“I bought this house because I care about you. If all I wanted was to taste your blood again, I could do it right now and there wouldn’t be a thing you could do to stop me.”), and promising protection from vamps who will want to suck her dry when they discover that her faerie blood allows them to walk in sunlight.
Shit, Iceberg Northman even has his other hos recruiting for him. His assistant, Pam (Kristin Bauer), makes a case that’s part Pretty Woman, part Hustle & Flow to get Sookie in her maker’s stable: “With what you are, faerie princess, you need to be somebody’s or you won’t be at all. Eric is handsome, he’s rich, and, in his own way, he cares about you.” Oh yeah, when Eric's got a bitch, he's really got a bitch.
2. Full Frontal Janina
In last night’s episode, we learned a lot about Janina Gavankar’s mysterious shifter character Luna: She is half Mexican, half Navajo; she once shifted into her mom; she’s able to shift into other people because her mom died during childbirth (Navajo legend says that evil witches known as “skinwalkers” acquire their ability to take other human forms by killing a fellow shifter they’re related to). Oh, and she’s totally smoking hot naked.
That last and best part, we learned in the first of her several seductive scenes, where Luna lays naked with fellow shifter Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), after they’ve run around as horses, and flirts with him until his enquiries into her personal history scares her off, leading to a full-frontal shot of her running and shifting into a horse again (sigh). The nudity is totally necessary as shifters have to shed their clothes or they might shred them. And, as far as we’re concerned, more scenes of Luna showing us the full moon are absolutely necessary too.
3. Sophie-Anne’s Assassination
How exactly did Bill Compton become Vampire King of Louisiana? An awesome flashback reveals that his fight to the death with Queen Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood) at the end of Season Three was actually a setup orchestrated with Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck), American Vampire League rep, who wants the antiquated vampire monarchs out of the way. The far older and stronger Queen quickly overpowers Bill, but in rushes an execution squad locked and loaded with silver core wooden bullets. On Bill’s command, the gunmen send shots through Sophie-Anne’s body and turn her into a puddle of vampire goo that splashes all over the new king. So…Bill…maybe not such a romance novel sap after all.
4. Jessica Sucks Off A Stranger
It’s always been clear that the romance between baby vamp Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack) is doomed unless drastic changes occur. No matter how much they love one another and want to compromise so they can share domestic bliss, there’s always that small problem of her being a vampire, in whose nature it is to hunt down and feed on a variety of humans.
When Hoyt insults her healing yet narcotic vampire blood in the latest episode, it gives the fiery redhead the perfect excuse to storm out of their house and go to Fangtasia, where she ends up sucking on another guy’s…neck in the restroom. Besides being a ridiculously playful scene (Sookie interrupts what sounds like fellatio and Jessica emerges, wiping her mouth), this plotline promises to open up all sorts of blood-boiling drama between the star-crossed lovers. For Hoyt’s sake, we hope he can talk Jessica into feeding on hot human chicks. Somehow we think that would soften the blow of her straying eyes.
Creepy-ass coven leader Marnie (Fiona Shaw) is done raising lifeless birds and is graduating to possessing dead humans. Her exact intentions remain unclear, but Bill Compton’s cause for concern becomes evident when he sends Sheriff Northman to break up the coven and, with Marnie’s eyes growing fiery and her visage flickering, the witches chant and turn him into a scared amnesiac, seen when Sookie later rolls up on him on the road and he has no idea who she is (and has mysteriously lost his shirt somewhere…).
Is it possible that the witches could control the vampires, who seemed so mighty before? Might King Compton even be in cahoots with Marnie to keep all knowledge of Sookie and her faerie blood secret from the rest of the vamps? Can the witches raise some corpses so we can get a damn zombie on this supernatural horror show already? At this point, anything seems possible.
Five Things That Sucked (In A Bad Way)
1. Bill Compton, Punk
According to a flashback that details how Nan Flanagan approached Bill, in 1982, before he was a vampire king, gentlemanly Bill Compton was in England, pretending to be a punk so he could feed off of the scene's new blood (while, of course, allowing his prey to live, healing their bite marks, and glamoring them so they wouldn't be traumatized). We weren't fans of Bill as a sappy Southern gentleman out of a romance novel, but the punk look was pretty awful for him, especially considering his human form wears the spiked hair, nail polish, eye liner, and earring like an uncomfortable old man. Lafayette's hybrid Jheri curl 'fro-hawk from the premiere has been rowed into acceptability, so we're cool with it, but punk Bill is something we hope is one and done, oy.
2. Werepanthers Turning Jason Stackhouse
Of all the creatures that Jason could become, he's getting turned into a fucking werepanther by some incestuous cat-people??? The lamest of all the creatures on the show??? While Jason's trashy backwoods boo Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher) is attractive, and there's a decent connection between the V addict werepanthers and fiending Sheriff Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer), we've already had enough incest and cat-like wound licking. We maintain that the whole damn Hot Shot camp should have gone up in a meth lab explosion while Sookie was in the faerie world.
3. Naked Brotherly Bonding
The flipside of seeing Janina Gavankar and other female shifters stripped bare when they take animal form is that Sam and his younger brother Tommy (Marshall Allman) are often naked, rolling around on the ground on some Greco-Roman wrestling shit. In the latest episode, the siblings clash when the younger brother follows Sam to his “anger management” session only to find that it’s just him sitting around shooting the shit with other shifters. The development of their distrustful brotherly relationship is good, but we're hoping that more of it will play out with a pair of Wranglers on in the future.
4. Arlene's Constant Freaking
The Rosemary's Baby plotline of Arlene's (Carrie Fowler) baby boy Mikey, who was conceived with the serial killer Rene Lenier (Michael Raymond-James), is very promising. It seems entirely possible that the boy could be evil, as his mom suspects, and he will be dealt with, or that Arlene's boyfriend Terry (Todd Lowe) will protect the devilish spawn at her expense, or that the child might be entirely innocent and she is just going insane to the point of infanticide.
What is less tolerable, from our standpoint as well as Terry's, is Arlene's hollering and shrieking, which she seems to do constantly now because every scene finds Mikey giving her what is interpreted as a sign of evil—like a popped blood vessel in her eye. Forget about child abuse, it's just grating on our ears.
5. Hoyt's Aversion To V
Sorry, Hoyt, but when your sexy vampire girlfriend offers to bite herself so you can taste her blood and heal your bumps and bruises, you don't describe her blood as "shit." If you get addicted to sucking on her and go crazy, well, then, so be it. There are far worse things that a man can be addicted to than a horny, eternally youthful redhead.