Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What About Eric?! -- Still Sexy in a Dress.

Well, as always with True Blood we start off with the other end of the cliffhanger from last week. "Frenzy" started pretty much how I suspected, with Sophie Anne feeding from a human.

Sophie Anne was interesting. She's a lot more colorful than she was in the books. There, she was sort of demure and dressed too old for the age she looked. Although she did enjoy the company of women, there was no real mention of the virtual harem she had at her compound.

I found it interesting that she used the phrase, "That's random," one which even my parents don't use. I guess Sophie Anne's a "hip" vampire?

But what I found most curious was the absence of Andre. I actually said it in my head like this, "What happened to Andre? Where's Andre?" *Tim Gunn Voice*

But seriously folks, no. I really hope that they keep Andre in the show. There are some of the best scenes later in the novels that directly or indirectly relate to him. The main thing is, he's never supposed to leave the Queen's side. The same goes for the Berts, but they're not quite as important until later.

What we find out from Sophie Anne is that Maryann was human and can be killed in a certain way. In the novels, they don't kill Maryann, she leaves voluntarily. The only reason I can see for killing her off is they want any possible return of the Maenad to be crushed. Why is that? Boring? Who said that? Oh, yes. Me. And a million other fans of the show.

Meanwhile back in Bon Temps, Tara wants to rescue Eggs, like an idiot. But the main problem I have with this situation is what Tara says to Sookie. She says, "How many times have you put yourself in danger for the man you love?" Well, realistically, some, but not the big one. Not the one that she'll feel the worst about when the truth comes out. Not yet. I'm beginning to think that they have no intention of following one of the biggest plot points of the books. Every chance they get to paint Bill in a positive light, as a victim, they take it. And I can only say, "It didn't happen like that."

Sam reveals he's a shifter to Jason and Andy, an increasingly strange and entertaining pair, btw. I have to say, I really love the stupid Jason lines. The best one this episode: "This is Armageddon. This is a book. This is The Oral History of the Zombie War." That's a fictitious book about zombies. A parody. That was priceless. Also, "That's in The Bible or The Constitution." I really love dumb Jason.

And Lafayette's having sex dreams about Eric as well. Although he doesn't enjoy them nearly as much as Sookie. "Somebody needs to slap that bitch." "I already have." was nice. I like how Sookie shares blood bonding stories with Lafayette like she's sharing complaints about frequent runs in each other's stockings.

Can I just say something about Lafayette's flashback things? I know they are not supposed to be funny, but I can not stop laughing until I cry when I see one. Andy Bellefleur was super weird, but it was hilarious. I'll tell you why. Alexander Skarsgard is a crazy good actor, so it's not just him in a dress, it's him acting like Lettie Mae. And I kind of love it. And I won't feel bad for laughing when Laffy is cowering in the corner.

And I also completely thought Alex was joking when he said he wanted to wear a dress on the show at Comic-Con (clip here). The saddest part about that scene? He was still sexy. I still say that that man is unfair to the entire male population -- and, strange and sudden revelation -- to the man who tries on Sookie's Fangtasia dress. I'd expect not being able to pull that one off is especially heartbreaking. Alexander Skarsgard: He's too dreamy.

Jason using the term "lady dog" amused me. He would think about that. Oh, Jason. You perv. The idea of Sam laying eggs and eating them was kind of strange as well. I found myself yelling at the screen, "He's not a lady chicken, Jason!" Not that he heard me.

When Sookie tells Lafayette she's going to do something, I fully expected some more weird telepathic glowey magic stuff. No, it was just a statue.

I'm a fan of whenever someone suggests that they go see Eric. There are actual cheers over here. Sam takes advice from Coby and Lisa, obviously not thinking too clearly lately. Missed that one himself. At Fangtasia, we have the very awesome Closed sign, "Sorry We're Dead."

Tara breaks away, thanks to bitchy Lettie Mae, and gets black-eyed again. Shocker. And she also summoned Maryann with her fake demon. Lovely. Best thing about this scene? Maryann's angry gerbil noise!

Sookie and Lafayette are storming the castle, so to speak, and all I can think is, "Sookie, what is in your purse?" You didn't drive, you're not going to tip the maenad for the lovely meat tree or the house sitting, why? At least use a messenger bag when you're battling to the death. Hands free is the way to go in this girl's opinion.

So, Sam asks Eric for help at Fangtasia, and he lounges there like he's in a photo shoot for GQ, smouldering at the youngins. Eric asks Sam if he could give him Sookie, calling it a "tribute," which I found interesting. In the books, Maryann asks Eric for a tribute directly, through her attack on Sookie. I can't recall Maryann calling hers a tribute quite so often as she calls for a "sacrifice." And it's not even for herself (as in the novels), but for another god.

Eric's interaction with the children has been a big hit, particularly the phrase, "teacup humans." I guess you would call this bittersweet if you're an Eric fan, counting the winking, the showing off his vampiric skills and not eating the children, but calling them "delicious" all the same. I'm sure the chatter on the Bill-friendly sites isn't nearly as light and "Aw. Eric! You rascal."

The flying scene was a bit anticlimactic, really It looked just the same as when they use the effect on Heroes. With this (above), I expected something flashier. Not that (below). In the books, I always pictured something more along the lines of hovering than actual Superman-style flying. I was more satisfied with the zoomy moves of last season, even if they were a bit cheesy.

Sookie pretty much walked into one of those cheesy haunted houses that they do for Halloween, only real. That's all I could think of when I saw it. Move from crazy hand chopping woman to intestine man to frisky coroner, all in the dark. And to the tune of screeching violins so you know you're supposed to be creeped out.

Of course, I thought, "Sookie's going to let him spoon her?" I had a yay Sookie moment when she was all, PAN FACE! Sookie's Fangtasia dress was also weird and amusing, but I thought the whole walk through was a little fake-looking.

Really perplexed by the egg. And the nest. Still.

About Lafayette and the last stand, or whatever you want to call it. Just another wtf, Maryann?! With the frickin' Wonder Woman powers.

Bill's visit with the Queen was something about which I was really concerned. I thought revealing that Bill had met Hadley would speed up the plot too much, but really, I don't think it revealed much of anything. At least not what it was supposed to. I'm worried that Bill's big downfall is just going to fizzle into a mix of information we already know and a man that's all tortured and conflicted and a victim of circumstance. That's not really what Bill is. But at this rate, I could see that happening. And I will not let the Bill fans be proved right. Not when I'm sure that they're wrong. I'm wacky that way.

I know the Bill or Eric debate is one for the ages, and a controversial one at its core, but I'm losing my faith in the writers' ability to convey the dickishness that makes Bill Compton the man we all know and compare to Eric.

Right now, I want to like Bill. I like Stephen Moyer and it pains me that we're going to see less of him as the seasons go by. If it weren't for the prospect of more Eric smirks, winks and tasty flesh (Zombie moment? There is a war brewing...), I might be more conflicted. But, what can I say? I take things for what they are. Only right now, what they are is wrong and colored with the positive spin of which I just can't approve. But revealing this big secret now would be ridiculous. That years of dramatic irony that would be a Maryann situation all over again. What is she? She's a maenad. Well, let's talk about it for two seasons. Then we'll tell you. That would be very bad, and boring and lose it's effect.

I guess I just want some book stuff to stay the same. There's things I love about certain books in the series and it just feels wrong without them.

So, lastly, we have the big Eric/Bill exchange, which is always just a big pissing contest. I especially like to watch Bill try to be tall next to Eric. Eric's flying hair is pretty brilliant, including the show of his vanity with the hands running through it, smoothing down.

Of course, Eric threatens Bill about Sookie, and Bill threatens Eric about the "V" dealing. It's strange that Eric is doing something the Queen doesn't know about. I think it's important to note that Bill admits to having given Sookie his blood, and that Eric is curious enough to guess that Bill had done so, presumably based on what he saw after Sookie's attack, or the fact that vampires often exchange blood with their lovers. This was something that many people commented on about the dream sequence. Eric looked very human-like because he had taken Sookie's blood earlier, whereas in real life, Bill had done the same and still looked very pale.

Overall, I feel the same way about this episode that I feel about most True Blood episodes. I'm extremely anxious to see it, obviously, but there's always a hint of apprehension attached. Maybe it's because I love the novels so much that any editing makes me sad. But I just can't feel right about the deletion of my favorite scenes (The Bill-Sookie hotel scene where Eric asks for a nightcap "Warm from the vessel," and mostly the Lycra. I will miss the Lycra.) in favor of the boring, repetitive and confusingly mysterious Maryann stuff. At least if they kill her off, we'll have a little peace from giant eggs and other similar wtf moments.

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