THIS WEEK ON True Blood: Cold Grey Light of Dawn.
I usually have a True Blood support group. Every Sunday I watch the show over a friend’s house. I recline into his comfy leather sofa and I prepare myself for what I’m about to watch. I didn’t suffer such a benefit this week. The friend spend the weekend in North Carolina, and the only interaction I had with him was picking him up from the airport.
This was bad news bears. Without my friend, my sponsor if you will, I was adrift. It was up to me to watch it. I have a wandering attention span on the best of days. Without my friend-sponsor-reprimanding influence, I am liable to refresh Facebook and ponder if I want to eat Cheez-Its or take a shower while Billy and Sookie and Viking Guy are prattling on.
It was tough to get through this week’s episode. Real tough.
The fulcrum of this season is that Annoying Crusades Necromancer inhabiting the body of that chick from the henna tattoo store. She has once again come to wield her necromancy and drag vampires out into the purifying fire of Sol. The entire episode is designed to build up to her Grand Conjuration. It’s a lot of cross-cutting between the Haggard Inquisition Lady, the various vampires around Bon Temps, and storylines that I’m not even going to bother mentioning
One of the more curious things about this episode is that Tara has now officially gone from Feisty MMA Lesbian lady to the leader of the Hippie Witches Nazi Coalition. The one thing that struck me throughout the episode was that all these hippies have quickly gone from well-meaning witches into people who are okay practicing genocide. When Haggard Lady tells everyon who doesn’t want to be a part of it to leave, like only two people throw up the Peace Sign and go and find somewhere else they can light incense and meet up to sell one another weed. Only two. The rest of them have transformed from warm and fuzzy people to a gang of haters who are okay with inciting mass deaths.
Now listen I understand that one of the more overwrought and far reaching tropes of the show is the correlation between vampires and the maligned groups in modern society. The natural response to my quizzical attitude is “Yeah Caff, people banding together out of fear to inflict pain and death on people who are misunderstood happens all the time.” Fair enough. It just feels like a stretch to me. How can these seemingly innocuous people all of a sudden rally around a Floating Old Lady and her desire to wipe out vampires? I’m confused.
Maybe I’m the only one, because even Vampire Bill isn’t confused by the change. One of the awesome benefits of having all the vampires done up in silver is that they get to lay around and vomit up (can vampires vomit?) the sort of awkward proclamations that the show is known for. When explaining the situation to Jessica, Bill empathizes with the enemy. He points out that for too long vampires have run amok snacking on humans and using their orifices for fang and phallus (and others) depositories.
Bill!, c’mon yo. If you’re supposed to be the analog for maligned minorities and microcultures, you of all people can’t fall prey to such a mistake. There are rotten portions of every Cultural Apple. The mistake is in taking the vicious or broken portions of any social group and deciding it is the de facto face of a homogenous group. Some vampires may be legit douchebags, but that doesn’t justify the desire to expunge the whole strata.
You’re better than this, man!
Across town, there’s some heavy-handed bullshit conversation going on between Sookie and Eric. They’ve finally wiped the swamp muck off their crevices and previously-engorged bits and now it’s time for some silver-strapped pillow talk. If Bill and Jessica are hanging the examinations of Hate, Eric and Sookie seem fit to examine the definition of individual consciousness. While it was a favorite topic of mine in the endless (and useless in modern application) philosophy courses and also a good amount of science-fiction, Sookie and Eric reduce it into a quivering pile of mush like only they can.
Sookie is conscious of the fact that by the end of the season Old Awesome Eric will be back, replacing the faint of heart and murmuring light-weight that Sookie is now taking to bed. This awareness launches them into an examination of what’ll happen when Righteous Viking Eric returns. The only problem is that the conversation goes like this.
“Will you still love me when I’m Asshole Eric again?” “Well golly gosh I hope so! I love you!” “Yes, but you didn’t love me when I remembered.” “Well someday you will remember, and I hope I love you then.” “I’m not sure I want to remember, because then I won’t be Me-Me.” “I solemnly promise to love you even if you’re You-You or Not-You-You.” Thankfully right when I’m about to try and swallow my mouse followed by keyboard, the scene cuts away to one of the nineteen other storylines that I refuse to mention in this recap of the episode.
The episode ends with incantation finally starting and the show entertained me for a good three minutes and change. The writers used the oldest trick in the book which is the Threaten to Kill The Girl I Have A Crush On tactic. It works every time. Jessica overpowers her silver in ways that Billy Boy, Pam (she’s not funny anymore) and Eric can’t pull off. Why, it is the youth of the social groups that have the actual power! Insert cultural commentary here. Right when she’s about to enter the sunlight, the show cuts to black and the episode is over. A microcosm unto itself of the entire season so far. Backloading episodes with just enough tension at the end to keep me watching.
It works every time.