"Me and the Devil," the fifth episode of True Blood's fourth season, wastes no time getting to the good stuff, as Sam Merlotte's brother, Tommy Mickens, kills their abusive parents when they try to enslave him and force him to return to the dogfighting arena. It's always good to start an episode with a murder or two. It usually signals that the next 50-something minutes are going to kill it as well, and that certainly is the case here. Keep reading for the complete recap and five things that sucked (in a good way) and five things that sucked (in a bad way) reaction.
Written by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)
Five Things That Sucked (In A Good Way)
1. Jason's Most Recent Awkward Threesome
In last week's recap, we loved the potential for awkwardness that would result from Hoyt's vamp girlfriend Jessica feeding Hoyt's friend Jason her blood to save his life, and it's paying dividends already. In Jason's second awkward threesome of the season (counting Crystal and Felton's werepanther attack), V-connected Stackhouse dreams that the lovely Jessica is getting freaky with him, only Hoyt is watching next to the bed and eventually is the one riding Jason (at which point Stackhouse wakes up and exclaims, so very awesomely, “Oh, my gravy!” Your gravy indeed!).
In waking life, there is just as much possibility for awkwardness, as Jessica is shying away from Hoyt's touch, clearly guilty about glamoring him so he wouldn't leave her for sucking on other guys. She may also feel conflicted because she knows feeding Jason will cause him to be attracted to her, and she may be thinking about taking advantage of that. Hopefully it leads to more scenes of Deborah Ann Woll in a bra and panties.
Overall, this was an extremely strong episode for Jason, who faces a full moon and the possibility of turning into a werepanther (groan) in upcoming episodes. His "gravy" line was classic, as was his response to his gang rape at Hot Shot. While telling Hoyt about his experience, Jason decides that sex is the root of all his problems, from jealous boyfriends to drug addiction and being accused of murder, and that maybe it is God's punishment for having too much sex. Doing his best God imitation, he booms, "JASON STACKHOUSE, YOU HAVE FUCKED TOO MANY HOT WOMEN! NOW LET’S SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT!” A God that punishes sex with more sex? Think we've just found religion.
2. Sookie Finally Hooks Up With Eric
Fans of the old Eric got a glimpse of the cruel sheriff in a dream sequence where his truly dead maker, Godric, urges him to feast on Sookie and convinces the blank-faced, lovestruck bloodsucker of his evil nature (“You are incapable of love. You are damned. You cannot be saved. You are a creature of death and the living are only good for one thing, and it is not love.”), and gets him to bite Sookie. But, like we said, it's just a dream.
In reality, when Eric creeps up to Sookie's bedroom, he winds up crying blood in her bed, talking about how sad he is to lose a maker he can’t even remember, wondering if he is indeed evil (Sookie: “Well, you’re not Gandhi...”), and cuddling with her like they’re tween BFFs. OK, it might be is a bit soft batch, but we're not gonna argue with this sensitive male approach, because it's exactly what lands Sookie in his arms later in the episode. An encounter with Tara, who is still deathly shook of Eric, convinces him that he is a "psycho murderin’ asshole" and a danger to Sookie. Concerned that he might hurt her, Eric walks away, but not before dropping a killer line that shows he is dangerous yet tender, and actually capable of love (“There’s a light in you. It’s beautiful. I couldn’t bear it if I snuffed it out.”). Needless to say, Sookie goes for it completely and calls him back to suck some face.
Where this will go, and how it will affect the Alcide love triangle and Bill, we don't know exactly, but what we do know is that Sookie needs some action, beacsue it's been too long since we've seen Anna Paquin rolling around naked having vamp sex.
3. Jesus' Brujo Grandfather
For such a nice guy, Lafayette's boyfriend Jesus has some seriously dark, fucked up family issues. To convince Lala that visiting his brujo grandfather is their best bet at protecting themselves after they've harmed two well-connected vampires, Jesus tells the story of his ninth birthday, when his abuelo gave him a goat (a symbol of Satan!) as a gift, only to make him stab it to death and lick its blood off the blade to take its spirit inside of him ("It was incredible.”). We can only assume that the force Jesus felt was the demon he appeared as to Lafayette when they tripped on V in Season 3. Something tells us that the old shaman, who evidently gets it in with young lady, is going to unleash darkness that Lafayette hasn't seen since he was chained up in Eric Northman's basement of horrors.
4. Tommy And Sam Dispose Of Their Parents
The despicable white trash werepanthers live on, but at least we are rid of the Mickens parents from hell. So much for our prediction that Sam or possibly even Maxine would rescue Tommy from bondage after his mom Melinda lured him home so his abusive dad Joe Lee could chain him up and force him into dogfighting matches again. No, Tommy doesn't need any help, as their assault on him so enrages him that he beats them both to death, Joe Lee purposefully, and Melinda accidentally when she takes her wretched husband's side and attempts to aid him.
Rather than being his typical hypocritical cockboy self and lecturing Tommy when he shows up on his steps with their parents' corpses, Sam actually helps his brother. The pair could turn out to be quite a force (for either good or evil) after they use their shifting abilities to dupe a suspicious Sheriff Bellefleur and dump the bodies in the swamp. In bonding with his brother, Sam reveals the depths of his dark side, justifying cold-blooded murder and explaining that his conscience is clear (“[I killed] two people. I’m doin’ all right. Haven’t seen a devil in my shower or nothin’.”). Oh, and he also teaches us all that, if you want to attract some gators to eat some bodies you want disappeared, you gotta toss them some marshmallows. Noted!
5. Pam’s Rotting Face
Eric's loyal assistant Pam, the bitch we love to hate, has become even more irresistible since Marnie, possessed by the Spanish witch Antonia (the sexy Paola Turbay), cast a spell on her that caused her face to rot. How could we not love a drooping, half decomposed face like that? But aside from the zombified makeup job, which we would love to see more of in this monster mash of a series, the disfigurement has put Pam on edge and made her more hilarious than ever before.
Hiding her hideousness with a funeral veil, Pam lays out her basic judicial philosophy: "I can put up with a lot, but you fuck with my face, it’s time to die." Denied King Compton's permission to torture and kill "the mossy little bitch who cast the spell,” Pam cranks the bitch in her up to 11, blurting out, “Look at my fucking face! Convene your sheriffs so we can kill this uppity Wiccan CUNT...your majesty." Her face may be falling off, but her one-liners are as tight as ever.
Bonus. King Compton Imprisons Marnie
Using his coven spy, King Compton captures the witch leader Marnie and locks her up in a cell in his mansion. Keeping enemies close is usually a good idea, but having spirit Antonia's conduit near promises some bloody necromancing fun. Though Marnie is pretty useless (when Bill tries to glamor answers out of her to reverse the spells, she has zero knowledge of how Antonia wiped Eric or caused Pam's face to rot), Sookie's Gran warns her in an investigative communion with the dead at the Moon Goddess store that the witch poses great danger.
Most likely this is because Marnie is a vessel for Antonia, who reveals in another flashback that she and other women imprisoned for witchcraft and fed on by vampires who infiltrated the Catholic Church. Later, Luis, who was one of these Catholic vamps and now is one of Bill's sheriffs, explains that, in 1610, while being burned at the stake, Antonia used her necromancing powers to draw all the vampires in the surrounding area out of their slumber and into the light of day (hence the Spanish Massacre).
So, as you can see, having someone capable of controlling vampires in your HQ might not be the best idea King Compton has had so far.
Five Things That Sucked (In A Bad Way)
1. The Shreveport Werewolf Pack Registration Beef
Ever wonder why folks say that all "dog people" have a pack mentality? It's because assholes like Marcus Boseman just won't just let anybody be an individual. The Shreveport packmaster, who has some kind of receding combover biker hairdo, runs up on werewolf Alcide in his home to essentially lift a leg and piss on his steps because the beefy lycanthrope has been in his territory for months and hasn't registered with the pack. Alcide, who's just trying to live in peace with his recovering addict girlfriend, responds that he’s currently "exploring free agency" and boots dude off his property, ensuring that Boseman will present him with an ultimatum: register or die. Didn't realize that dogs were such fascists, did you? Now you know why we stay around the cat.
2. The Spirit That Haunts Arlene And Terry
A perfectly good evil-baby-meets-devil-doll setup and what does True Blood do? It introduces a third element, a ghost, which may or may not be Rene Lenier, Arlene's serial killer ex and baby daddy. The spirit makes itself known by causing a pack of matches to light on the mantle after Terry and Arlene have had Reverend Daniels and Tara’s crazy-ass mom Lettie Mae over to cast the evil out of their home, following the "Baby not yours" marker incident. This doesn't necessarily ruin or replace our beloved baby-doll storyline, but why is this even necessary? You've already got an evil baby and a devil doll! We say: Don't mess with perfection.
3. Trust Issues Threaten Tara's Hot Lesbian Coupling
Tara, Tara, Tara.... Why are you so intent on ruining our favorite lesbian relationship? First, you're trying to get yourself killed by vampires, and now you're getting caught in all the lies you told your boo Naomie because you hate your Bon Temps past so much. A basic rule of deceiving a woman: When you tell her that your name is Toni, you might want to hit up the USPS to ensure it isn't going to forward a bunch of Social Security mail addressed to Tara Thornton to your spot while you're in Bon Temps (and supposed to be in Atlanta for a funeral for a fictional grandma). Not to mention the paper waste! Go paperless already!
4. Portia Bellefleur's Nonchalance About Incest
Sexy: a powerful Southern female attorney who's bold enough to proposition an equally powerful man for no-strings-attached sex. Not sexy: a powerful Southern female lawyer who's bold enough to proposition an equally powerful man for no-strings-attached sex, finds out he's her great great great great grandfather, and still wants to smash. In one of the least convincing cases a lawyer has ever presented, beautiful Portia Bellefleur tries to convince corpse lover Bill Compton that it's OK for them to keep doing the dirty:
“Fact: 42 states have repealed their anti-incest laws. Even in cases of brother and sister, they have found no credible reason to ban sex between two consenting adults. Fact: Incest is only taboo because of the potential for genetically morbid offspring, and vampire-human sex will not—cannot—result in offspring. For God’s sake, Bill, there are married cousins in Bon Temps with more DNA in common than you and me.”
To his credit, King Compton glamors the necro-incestual attraction out of Portia, convincing her that she is terrified of him. Case (and crazy bitch) dismissed.
5. Pam's Accidental Snitching
Remember how we loved the even crazier things that have been coming out of Pam's mouth since Marnie/Antonia made her face rot? Well, the downside of speaking without thinking is that Eric's assistant reveals to Bill that she's been in contact with the missing sheriff and knows where he is, at which point the king forces her to reveal that Sookie has been hiding him. Bill, looking quite hurt and betrayed because Sookie lied to his face and played the wronged ex card to protect his sworn enemy, now has even more reason to stake Eric. Damn, Pam, nobody likes a snitch. Now you've got two reasons to hide your face.
Written by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)