Monday, August 10, 2009

Whoo-Hoo for Woo!

After a few lackluster Blood episodes, this week's, , "Timebomb," written by Alexander Woo and directed by John Dahl (Rounders) brought back the bang! (I had to make the bomb pun-reference at least once.) Easily one of the best episodes ever for the humor, horror, suspense and sex appeal, it's almost hard to pick out the best parts.

For fans of bondage and sadism, we had both of those on display, with Eric getting chained in silver and Tara and Eggs taking slap and tickle a little too far. I think it was more than a coincidence that Sookie unraveled the chains holding Eric -- echoing her season one rescue of Bill.

That scene had a whole different vibe than the all-out disturbing Tara throwdown. Eric's skin was steaming (while he was also just smoking hot!) but it wasn't nearly as gross as the whole Hunter's Souffle thing. First, we had Maryann jumping on the Julia Childs revival bandwagon, but she took a severe left turn when she started hacking up Daphne's heart to add to the mix. And I do have to say, this plotline is now pissing me off. I know Tara's bewitched, but come ON. When you start cutting a pot pie and it bubbles blood, I still think you'd be disinclined to start eating it. At least one moment's hesitation to think, "Hmm. What sort of new fuckery is this, spilling out of this souffle?" But no. She and Eggs wolf it down, and next think you know, she's kicking him in the balls and then fucking him, all black eyed and apparently with her jeans still on.

I don't know what sort of juju Maryann is working, but that's pretty powerful to pull those feats off. But this was the only low point of the show, as the rest was nearly perfection. It was stock suspense-movie shit, the scenes with Sam getting woken in the woods and then going into the bar and getting framed. But it was done well -- so well that it's understandable why it's stock suspense scenes. Beyond that, Sam Tramell as Sam Merlotte again gives one of the easiest performances. For all the shit he's going through, getting pushed into a jail cell, he still has time to react when Mike the coroner tells him, "I sodomized a pine tree." And Sam appropriately reacts, "What'd you do that for?"

But for as funny as this episode was, I'm torn on the funniest scene of all. Once again, we have proof that Bill Compton is the undead, Southern version of Entourage's Johnny Drama. Over on the west coast, the boys played a round of charity golf (in an overall very funny episode) and Drama got bent out of shape when his game wasn't sharp and so he destroyed Tom Brady's club. This was a scene that shows why Kevin Dillon is Emmy nominated for this role. We all knew that the abuse of the club was going to happen, but it was still laugh-out-loud funny when it did. Meanwhile, Bill did some property damage of his own when he beat the shit out of Lorena with a 52 inch plasma TV. The best part -- it was the hotel's TV, so it's all still on Eric's bill! Oh my god, I love Bill. I know I make fun, because he's such a doof, but I do adore him and his oh-so-earnest and passive-aggressive ways.

Meanwhile, it was a tie for the awkward-funny between Bill and Jason for their scene together when Jason made amends to officially welcome him to the family. First, Jason opened the episode with the Reverend's wife leaning over him with a paintball gun, shouting, "You're worse than Judas!" And Jason asks, "Why? What'd he do to you?" It was getting trying to have all the characters in their own worlds and plots, separated from each other. But it paid off in spades this episode when finally Sookie and Jason's lives dovetailed again. Jason again got all "Don't talk about my sister!" and then armed himself and stormed the church and played conquering hero. But after that, he still had some karmic cleaning up to do.

First, Eric cornered him. Once Eric had Godric back to safety, it was as though Eric shook off the weight of the world and he as back to being his old, toying, self -- smirking at humans and taunting Bill, while clearly eyeing up Sookie as more than a snack, giving blatant crazy eyes to her in front of Bill. His exchange with Jason was pure joy as they cleared the air about Jason's V habit from last year and Eric gave him a pass, while also nearly scaring the piss out of Jason.

But Jason then cornered Bill, apologizing to him for his previous dickitude towards him, and then awkwardly lunging at him and hugging him. Bill, of course, reacted the way I'd assume most vampires react to a human hugging them -- essentially the way a human reacts when they don't want to be bit by a vampire. In a desperate, hopeless recoil.

But Bill did pull his shit together enough to respond, when Jason self-consciously asked, "Was that okay for you?" Bill squeaked out, "It was fine." That Bill.

But then I have to swing back to Eric, bringing the unexpected himself. I can't recall a more anachronistic creature than Eric, slinking through that church. He may not have gotten shirtless, but he did provoke a near panty-change when he leaned close to Sookie and whispered, "Trust me." Then, still clad in his black leathers, his skin gleaming white, he hunched himself down and adopted a weird stride as he took on a hilarious Texas twang to attempt to fake out churck-folk. It honestly looked like a cartoon panel with the absurdity and hilarity of it, or at least like Skarsgard had channeled Jim Carey for a few moments before he suddenly turned into his menacing self again.

Speaking of menacing, I've always got to have the attraction to the assholes. When cowboy-vampire Stan stormed the church and declared, "Destroy them all!" I have to admit I thought he was wickedly attractive. But, then again, continual good-boy Hoyt was still adorable, as was Jessica. Poor Jessica, forever doomed to be a "virgin." My lord, in the battle of vampire families, even with Jessica in the mix, Eric's bloodline of Godric-Eric-Pam kicks the everloving shit for cool quotient over the Lorena-Bill-Jessica line. Bill's family needs centuries of therapy.

Not virginal, however, is Reverend Newlin's wife. And Jason finally let him in on that. When Newlin taunted, "We'll see who goes to heaven," Jason responded with the knockout blow: "I've already been to heaven. It was inside your wife." He then punched him and called him a "white suit motherfucker" which is pretty much what clinched it for Jason, allowing me to crown him as the funniest guy this whole show.

Although Ryan Kwanten's Jason brought the ultimate in funny, he uncharacteristically remained fully clothed this episode, leaving the door ajar for Sookie to sneak in and steal the most beautiful award. She was absolutely rocking that while coat.

Even better was the set up for stunning and symbolic group shots that it allowed. Not to be outdone by Woo's outstandingly sly script, Dahl created some scenes through lighting and choreography that were better than most movies. At the "Godric is back" gathering, Sookie was wearing the snow white. Nearly every vampire was wearing black, except for Godric, who was wearing light grey, and Bill, who was in greyish-green. Human Jason was also in grey. And bloodsucker Lorena was in blood red. Two other visually stunning details when they show the wide shot: 1) Vampires don't breathe, and for several seconds, the room was completely motionless as the vampires simply hovered, watching. 2) The smallest and seemingly youngest person in the room was, by far, the most powerful. And the actor playing Godric, Alan Hyde, pulled that off.

There were also a few other stunning scenes in the church. By the time Stan arrived and the showdown started, and church was set to explode, suddenly Godric appeared at the top of the atrium in the sanctuary, commanding all attention.

And though his exact words were, "I'm actually older than your Jesus. I wish I had known him, but I missed it," he then went ultimate peacemaker and refused to allow Stan and Eric to slaughter the civilians. Oh, so sweet and wise he is. When Eric later balked, claiming that the church did nothing but fan the flames of hatred against them, Godric simply replied, "Let's be honest. We are frightening."

No shit. For as awful as the bloody heart souffle was, the most horrifying moment this week was still when Lorena attacked and bit poor, innocent Barry. I was a little torn when Sookie went all Springer on Lorena's ass. I don't blame Sookie for being pissed, but it was just a little declasse of her to start screaming like that in public. Especially because she wasn't fighting over Barry. They were, of course, fighting over Bill. Bill!

I don't think we've seen the last of Lorena. But given Eric's complete devotion to and abject submittal to Godric's will, I think we've also just stepped up the love triangle as Eric will be approaching Sookie no longer as a pet, but now as a person. God, it's all so Aniston-Pitt-Jolie I can't stand it. I'm neither Team Compton nor Team Northman here. I'm just still Team Skarsgard Shirtless, so this is all looking like good, filthy fun. Woooooo!


Emma said...

I've just discovered this blog a couple of weeks ago and all I want to say is CONGRATULATIONS on your True Blood comments, they are bloody fangtastic!
I'm with you in Team Skarsgard Shirtless ;)

SusanD said...

Thanks so much, Emma!