Monday, July 11, 2011
Searching For Signal: “True Blood” - Season 4, Episode 3
We start out right where we left off, with Sookie sitting in that crappy lemon-hued car of hers and staring out the (stupidly) open window at Eric. He’s still jacked up from the witchy Marnie Mumbling that led to his current amnesia and lack of a shirt. Sookie is oddly intrigued by what Eric thinks she smells like. When he responds with “wheat… and honey… and sunlight”, she responds to his Yankee Candle combo by rolling up the window, hitting the gas and racing away. Good move.
Amazingly, she stops the car about 200 feet down the road, where she and her golden locks glance around to make sure she’s now safe. Only 200 feet, people. Has Sookie suddenly forgotten all that she knows about fleet-footed vampires? Girl, please.
No surprise, Eric zaps out of nowhere and smashes through the glass. Can’t really feel sorry for Sookie on this one, with the dumb-assedry and all.
Roll opening credits. Thong panties, bad teeth, pool-table humping.
Back to Sookie, who manages to hop out of the car and go dashing into the creepy woods that are everywhere around here. Of course, Eric easily runs faster than her, and jumps into her flight pattern. So Sookie hauls off and punches him. Eric: “You broke my nose!” Sookie: Shut up, you’ll heal in five minutes. (Oh, so she remembers this bit of trivia, but can’t remember that you should drive like hell and don’t look back when fangy people think you smell like sunshine?)
Anyway, things are calmer now, what with the nose-breaking, and they chat. Well, they try to, for the most part. Eric keeps breaking into a strange language, perhaps the language of his forefathers or just some crap he made up while sitting on the toilet during a shooting break. Bottom line, he vaguely recalls some mess about a circle of people, and empty eyes, and double images, and anything of value being sucked out of him. Can you help me, pretty girl who smells of UV rays?
Sookie reluctantly agrees, with a few rules. Like, don’t bite me and stuff, okay?
Cut to the Moon Goddess Emporium, where Jesus is tending to a still haggard-looking but increasingly important Marnie. Other people are fussing over the devastation that Eric wrought in their little house of séances and bird-raising. (Tara to Lafayette, not impressed with the turn of events: “Thanks for bringing me here tonight.”) It seems that most everybody is really mad at Eric for crashing the party, and not the fact that they were doing things that might, I don’t know, piss off a vampire and lead to their violent death.
Laff tells them to quit hollering about calling the police, they ain’t gonna do nothin’. Tara tells them to quit hollering about Eric, he doesn’t care about polite little society rules. Marnie tells them that it was really rude of Eric to stop them from “practicing their religion”. (One that involves reanimation? Are you thinking this through?) Then Marnie fesses that she has no idea what she really did to Eric or how.
Cut to Jason, all chewed-up and tied to that cot, but still managing to look hot. He can hear that one old guy outside, can’t remember his name, as he’s telling folk stories to the little urchins of the camp while they chomp on raw meat and don’t bother to wipe their faces. Some mess about a “Ghost Daddy” and a “Ghost Mama” being eaten by a panther back in the day, and then being puked back up to create the lovely Panther People they are today.
Really? That sounds fun.
Then we see Old Guy asking Felton if Jason is “ready yet”, like somebody’s waiting for the little red thing to pop up on a baking turkey. Then Crystal runs into Jason’s low-rent hotel room, babbling about “I swear I ain’t gonna let em kill you!” and “once you turn, we gonna be together forever!” Then she turns and gazes upon yet another dirt-smeared little girl. “Ain’t he pretty?”
And these people vote?
Quick scene with some yahoos running around with a night-vision camera, and they manage to capture a vampire sucking neck on a woman who only pretends to be horrified by the sucking after she has a camera shoved in her face. Her orgiastic cries turn into outrage and finger-pointing with the flick of a spotlight. (Can you say “Republican”?)
Cut to Bill sitting in his office with the vamp who was caught on tape in the yokel video. Apparently Bill’s new authority involves handing out sentences to vamps who are stupid and careless about modern video technology. He sentences the miscreant to “the true death”, then turns him over to some conveniently nearby henchman with vamp-restraining devices.
Jessica wanders in, and queries Bill about his staff having some Advil that she can take home to Hoyt. Wisely, Bill senses something amiss, and asks Jessica for the real reason she’s bothered to visit after months of separate lives and character arcs. Jess fesses about feeding on someone not named Hoyt. “I am not stupid, just unfaithful.”
Quick scene with Sookie and Eric arriving at her pad, and when Eric waits outside the door for Sookie to invite him in, his memory wiped clean of actually owning the house, Sookie smiles. Amnesia can be fun! But she offers the invite anyway, yet another sign that Sookie is missing a functional cylinder or two in this episode.
Zip over to Fangtasia, where Pam is feeding on some unknown extra and being bitchy, because this is her specialty. Phone rings, and it’s Sookie. Thought you should know that Eric seems to have lost his memory and his sexy tendency toward dominance. Pam immediately drops the phone and zip-flashes out of the building, leaving her supper to fend for his own bar tab.
Back to Sookie and Eric, where she is apparently bathing his feet in a small tub while he sits on her couch. (She might as well use her hair to do the job and change her name to Mary Magdalene.) Pam zips in, and tries to be her typical demanding, severe-hairstyle self. (Wait. When did Pam get invited into Sookie’s house. Should we care or let it drop?) Pam: “You have to hide him!”
Sookie’s not so sure about that. Heated discussion ensues, with Pam stressing that “this is his house” and Sookie being SO not on board with that. When Pam tries to physically threaten Sookie, Eric knocks Pam’s ass across the floor, which is quite satisfying. Pam perseveres, Eric must stay HERE and no one can know. Sookie agrees. “But you gotta pay me.”
Cut to Hoyt at home, and Jessica walking in the door. Since she’s several hours late from a supposed run to the corner pharmacy, accusations fly. But above all the tardiness and bickering, Hoyt is really disturbed about the creepy old doll that keeps reappearing in their house despite both of them trying to get rid of it. Jessica ignores this: “I was with another guy.” More bickering, finally leading to Jessica glamming Hoyt so that he doesn’t remember her confession or their troubles. Sort of sweet, saving him from the pain, but not really a good idea.
And that doll. What up?
Sookie and Eric again, with her helping him down into the Ikea cubby. Eric: “Are you mine?” Sookie: Hells no. Eric: “Would you like to be?” Sookie: Hells no. Eric: “What are you?” Sookie: Hells no. I mean, don’t worry about it, I need to go back upstairs and take a shower because I haven’t done that in this episode yet.
Scene with Lafayette and Tara and Jesus on the deck at Laff’s house, with the action kicking off with the image of Jesus peeing in the nearby bushes. (My life is filled with writing phrases that I could never have imagined as a young Oklahoma child.) What to do with the whole Eric and Marnie mess? Laff wants to go to Fangtasia and beg Eric for forgiveness. (Don’t forget that Eric held Laff hostage in that nasty cellar for a bit, and he hasn’t slept well since.)
Laff tries to get Tara to get out of this mess and head back to her lesbian training in New Orleans, but she don’t want none of that. Fine. He goes to bed, so Tara turns to Jesus with some inspirational advice. (Yet another phrase I never thought…) “Don’t let him go to Fangtasia!” Then she downs a shot of tequila, because when is that not appropriate?
Quick scene with Jason in his cot, unable to get to his ringing cell phone because the rope restraints and his pecs are in the way. Cut to Sheriff Andy making that call, sitting in his car outside of Merlotte's, all pissed off because Jason isn’t answering and he’s hankering for a V fix. Andy attempts to pray, but only gets two words out before he sucks down some V, shoving his blood-dripping finger in his mouth with the tenacity of a she-beast on crack.
Sam bangs on Andy’s car window. Can I help you with something, you finger-sucking weirdo? Andy hops out and begins to cite made-up infractions against Sam’s restaurant. This escalates to the point where punches are thrown and Andy pulls a gun on Sam, then Andy freaks out and drives away. Makes you feel really safe about calling 9-1-1, doesn’t it?
Out of the blue, Sookie shows up at Alcide’s house in Shreveport. (Yay! Fingers crossed that Alcide decides to remove his shirt for a very minor reason.) They chit-chat for a bit, then Sookie spills. She wants Alcide to take care of Eric for a bit. Initially, Alcide thinks this means killing Eric, and he seems rather excited about it, so the shirt-removal is definitely on the horizon. But Sookie just wants him to care for Eric. “He’s sick.”
Then that nasty Debbie woman walks into the room, bearing a tray of snacky things. (Boo!) She’s all apologetic, but Sookie isn’t buying it. “You tried to kill me!” Debbie spills that she’s found both a change of heart AND Jesus, and is trying to live a good life of non-killing. They eventually hug it out. Debbie: “Want a Vienna sausage?”
Sookie does not. Gotta run. Alcide follows her outside. We can work this out, Eric can stay in one of the new, unoccupied houses that I just happen to be building right down the street. Sookie: Eric can’t stay here. Not with a recovering V addict with poor hairstyle choices. Bye, now. She drives off while Alcide stands in the road and pines for her.
Cue Maxine and Tommy sitting in their kitchen, with Tommy learning to read while watching a home-shopping network featuring a Marie Osmond doll. (Totally not making that up, though it seems like I should be.) Maxine happens to mention that “Halloween is next week” (oh?) and then lets Tommy go see who is knocking on the door while she orders her some Marie.
Turns out there’s a man wanting to buy the natural gas leasing rights on Maxine’s property. Well, now. Tommy shuts the door behind him and barters personally with this stupid man who hasn’t read the script and doesn’t understand that Tommy sucks as a decent person. Tommy takes the man’s card and promises to “talk to Momma”. Then he goes back inside and asks Needy Momma if he can make her a cup of coffee. She is delighted by the offer.
Probably shouldn’t drink that coffee, Maxine. Just sayin.
Jason again, on the cot, while Crystal tends to his wounds by smearing what looks like cement all over his chest. Jason: “If you ever loved me…” Crystal: “I’m gonna be the woman to all your baby cubs!” (Now that’s a line.) Jason: “I’m sick!” I need a doctor. Crystal: Nuh uh. You’re going to be the new Ghost Daddy! Oh, and take this Mexican Viagra pill, ‘cause, you know, we might need that.
And what was up with all the crap in Crystal’s hair during that scene? Did she fall down a well?
Over to Merlotte’s, with Tara and Sookie. Tara wants Sookie to tell Eric to forgive them. Sookie is clueless. Tara spills about the tiny little matter of she and Laff and Jesus possibly having something to do with Eric getting an unexpected whammy, what with the chanting and the circle of Marnie devotees. Tara clues in a bit, and wonders why Sookie doesn’t seem to think Eric can be a threat. Sookie blows it off. There’s nothing to fear. But I’ll talk to him if I happen to see him.
People just lie in this town. Word.
Sam walks up, and gets to chattin’ with Tara. Wanna go out back and do some tequila shots. (When would anybody ever say no to this?) So they do. Sam: I’m a little miffed, I told you I was a shifter, and you split. Tara: I never hated you for anything. Sam: Wanna stay at my place? Tara: I’m seeing someone. Sam: Me too!
Jesus comes running up. Laff is missing, even though we just saw him and his jewelry cooking things up on the grill two seconds ago. Tara and Jesus run to the parking lot, discover Laff’s car is AWOL, so they jump in another car and peel out. Sam, presumably, continues drinking tequila.
Cut to a fancy restaurant, where Bill is sitting at a table, using his cell phone to leave a message with Eric, upset about him not taking his calls the last few days. (He’s been a little busy having his mind wiped.) Then that Portia Bellefleur woman trots up, taking what is apparently her seat at the table and offering a proposition to Bill. Things have been working out splendidly between them from a business perspective. Why not take it further and have sex as well, see how that goes?
Bill: I could never love you. That takes a young heart and I don’t have one. And it’s kind of dead. Portia: Fine by me. Bill: Check, please!
Next we have Jessica with Arlene and Terry, and Jess is giving that creepy doll to their probably demonic offspring. Girl, you know that doll is not right, why are you presenting it to an infant that is most likely not right as well? Jessica has been making poor decisions since she went into that bathroom stall at Fangtasia.
Sam’s office, with Tommy showing up. Tommy spills about the natural gas thing with Maxine. (Insert your own joke here, there are many available options.) She doesn’t know, let’s buy the house! Sam is not impressed. “I’m not gonna let you do that to Maxine.” (Why the hell not? Maxine sucks.) Sam: It’s a matter of right and wrong, and you’re just a replacement for Hoyt. Get over it. Tommy: I hate you!
Typical family dynamics in parts of the country where the humidity is unbearably high.
Quick scene at Bill’s house, with him and Portia bumping uglies and sweating a bit. His fangs pop, she tells him to go ahead, make your day if you want. He wills his fangs back in, and they continue to have nuptials, with only the standard piercing. Oh?
Another quick scene, with Sookie wandering around her house and looking for Eric. Everything is dimly lit, so of course this means that something bad is going to happen soon.
Cut to Fangtasia, in the not-fun basement, where Pam is being nasty to Laff, who apparently pulled a stupid and decided to spill some details to Pam. Cue Tara and Jesus to come stomping down the stairs, dragging along that one Fangtasia waitress (Tracy?) who likes to scream a lot and wear questionable clothing. Tara’s got a gun, loaded with wooden bullets, and she lets Pam know this as she points it at her. Pam is not pleased.
Jesus takes a more diplomatic approach: I think we can reverse the spell. You just have to give us time to find Marnie, make her wear something less dowdy, and we can magick Eric back into… whatever. Pam: You have 24 hours or I will kill you all. (Actually, her words were a bit more graphic, but we won’t dwell on that.)
Zip over to Marnie’s Emporium of Clueless People Messing with Crap They Don’t Understand, where Marnie is alone and is in some kind of trance, attempting communication with a spirit. She acknowledges her gratefulness at being chosen, in a very long speech filled with vagueness. She’s also screwing around with a pretty goblet, including cutting open one of her veins so that blood can drip into it, a sure sign that she’s serious about this. Then she ups the ante by doing a second cut, then a third.
With that final slice on her wrist, things get even more whacky. Feeling a bit woozy, Marnie rushes over to a sink and tends to her misguided wounds. Off in the distance, we suddenly realize that a woman is sitting in a chair, looking all psychotic and dressed in night-night clothes from days gone by. OMG!
Cut to Jason on his Un-Holiday Inn cot, just as he’s coming out of another fever dream and realizes that Crystal is astraddle him, trying to make that panther baby and all. Crystal: “Thank you, Ghost Daddy!”, with her lips encrusted from the blood of whatever rodent she’s eaten lately. Jason: “You’re a hillbilly junkie!” ( I have SO got to use that phrase in the next few days.) Then the camera pans to other Women of the Corn standing nearby, ready to assist in whatever. No men. Interesting. Is this matrilineal madness?
Back to Sookie’s house, where she’s reading a book. (Shout out to Charlaine Harris. Hey, gurl, hey!) Suddenly, a bright light does some kind of flashing thing, so Sookie and her short shorts go outside to see what’s up with that.
She finds that Travel Agent Woman who booked Sookie’s flight to Fairy Land. Seems that agent has some demands. “You belong to us!” Come now. We’ll keep you safe. Sookie: When did you ever keep me safe? Agent: Um, all those times we kept you from dying. She details such, with flashbacks to incidents where Sookie miraculously survived attacks by non-vampire meanies.
Sookie: Oh, right, that makes sense, seeing as how I couldn’t have killed all those attackers with just my minimum-wage experiences in life. But why didn’t you protect me from the vampires, too?
Agent: Uh, because vamps can rip my ass to shreds, that’s why. I know my skill set.
Right then, the Agent is whisked away by something blurry. Sookie trots along in the direction of the whisking, and finds Eric feeding on Agent Fairy Chick. Eric finishes up his supper and the Agent briefly turns into something ugly before disintegrating into yet another perplexing pile of dust.
Sookie to Eric: “You just killed my fairy godmother!”
Eric to Sookie: “Sorry.” Then he grins in a my-bad way. Saw it on the menu and I just had to have it.
Roll end credits.