Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Hitting the Ground

It's a damn shame. It's a shame that this was the best episode of the season so far, and yet I'm conflicted about it. I'm not generally one of those "the book is better" people. Sometimes, adaptations are better, and when people want to dispute that, I shut them up with two words: The Godfather. So far, for me, True Blood has been both faithful to the Charlaine Harris books and also a refreshing departure. The added storylines work well and even changes (Lafayette alive!) have been great ones. But this week -- ugh.

But first, let's talk about the awesomeness! The king of Mississippi unleashes his ancient speed to save Pam! And then he goes off on a half-batshit crazy tirade! And then Eric shushes him down! And then he decapitates the Magister! Huge laughs. HUGE! By this point, after seeing him smarm his evil all over HBO shows, who doesn't enjoy seeing Zeljko-Magister's head go splat! Especially after he threatened Pam. Pam! And she took it like the vampire she is, totally cool under pressure. And amidst all his plotting and preening and posturing and pensive brooding, Eric takes the time worry for his baby girl. Awww! But then in comes the king with a flourish!

Denis O'Hare is chewing scenery like it was granola and he's oh-so-grand and glibly brilliant at it. Hail to the King, for he and his court have truly entertained this year. His best line? "Maybe you didn't understand the subtext of our conversation earlier, but THERE IS A NEW FUCKING AUTHORITY IN TOWN!" He said subtext! And he challenged the mysterious, enigmatic "authority!" He was like Cartman, all "you will respect my authori-tay!" And then SPLAT with the head! Scandalous, even for vampires!

But as awesome as that moment was, it's still not the top joyous "oh shit!" moment of the week. Sam, finally, was pretty interesting. Dog fights are a fairly safe way to make you instantly hate someone, and Sam infiltrating the fights was great. Him telling off Joe Lee was pretty funny, calling him out about his baggy underwear, having "no discernable life skills," but that was topped by him telling his mom that he'd always thought Tara had the worst mother ever, but that she had her beat. And yet, even that wasn't his best moment. His best was backing down the frothing, manic, attacking rottweiler, warning it, "Don't you snarl at me!" And the dog runs off! Sam's the alpha dog -- yay!

But as great as that was, he still got upstaged by a girl. Seriously. Seriously, how awesome was Tara? Tara's back in full raging Tara-mode, and she's super-juiced on V. So she kicked Bill out of a van into the sunlight!

Best moment of the show so far this season, I swear. That was some hilarious shit. I can almost imagine how that moment came to pass, too. I imagine Rutina Wesley reading the script from the previous week and her saying, "Aw hell no! I ain't being chased by no damn wolf!" (<--because I'm going to go ahead and imagine Rutina speaking like Tara, mmkay?) And so the producers or director or someone calmed her down and said, "Listen. 'Tina. Yes, you have to run across a field and get chased by this wolf, and it's even going to jump on you and take you down from behind. But listen, if you do that scene, the next week, we'll let you actually physically KICK Bill and send him out into the sunlight." And, as any sane person would reply, she said, "Fuck yeah, I'll get knocked down by a giant wild animal if I get to abuse Bill! That's fair 'nuff! And thank you for the opportunity!"

That was just enormously entertaining.

Also good?
Queen Sophie-Anne in a birdcage.
Eric's delightful blue sweater should finally bite the dust thanks to his diurnal dalliances that caused him to get the bleeds all over it.
Also having the bleeds? Lorena, Sophie-Anne, and presumably Bill. The bleeds crack me up every time.
Jason saying, "I never thought I was smart enough to be depressed."
Hoyt's new girlfriend insisting that he eat her biscuits. Last year it was banana pudding, this year, biscuits. Food double-entendre is always welcome.
Also funny, though probably not intentionally, was Sookie's vision of...

Oh. Okay. Let's get this out there now. Is there anyone reading this post who still hasn't figured out what Sookie is yet? If you didn't get it figured out from this episode, I'm done playing, cuz that was some obvious shit. So, if you don't know, and you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading.

Sookie's vision of fairy world. Godric on a goat, that was some trite-ass shit there! Whoo-whee, now that was twee! I will say this, though, I like the actress they picked for Claudine, and Sookie has never looked prettier than in that fairy dress with the fairy lighting and floaty fairy air all around.

And I do also love me some Anna Paquin. I don't talk much about her because I'm always bitching about Bill or squeeing over Eric or the dude who plays Alcide. But I do love Anna as Sookie. I love that Kiwi's American accent and I love her trilling screams and I love her crying jags and I love her tart sass and her sweet innocence. I know Jason's the stupid one of the Stackhouse siblings, but there have been numerous occasions where Sookie has done things that'd make Talbot's quip about being as dumb as a box of rocks being insulting to boxes and rocks ring about right.

But, and here we go, people, and I do apologize, in the books, Sookie's just not all that fucking ricockulous! And, in the book, Sookie staked Lorena. By herself, dammit! That just pisses me off that they just haaaad to change it and have Bill help her. Fucking, "rescue me" complex from the girls this week. Sheesh. Why, why, WHY did they feel it was necessary to change that detail? That was a big part of Sookie's street cred -- she managed to stake Lorena on her own! She (again) had saved Bill!

Way back in season one, I'd said that if it wasn't for the graphic details, Sookie would be a great role model for teenage girls. (And, by the way, when I say "graphic details" I'm not talking about sex, I'm talking about the violence.) Sookie started the series by saving Bill. Last night, she was supposed to do that again. But oh no, someone has a hard-on for noble Bill and he somehow managed to rouse himself from manacles while being nearly drained to get a chain around Lorena's neck and subdue her for Sookie to sink the stake. Fuck that shit. My Sookie didn't need his damn help.

And another thing? Book Sookie loved her some Bill. But she wasn't stupid enough to climb into a locked space with him while he was nearly drained and then offer up her blood to him. Book Sookie, though often brazen and generous and bordering on deranged with her helpful streak is not actually an insult to boxes and rocks, and she knew better than to do that. It was deranged Debbie Pelt who locked her in the trunk with Bill. But oh no, not here. Here, Sookie climbs in and hacks up her arm and offers herself to Bill in a haze of worry and love -- and stupidity. I can't stand it. I just can't stand it.

Then again, I guess maybe that just made it a little bit funnier when Tara booted his ass out and he hit the ground! Even if he didn't splat like the magister's head, he probably learned to respect Tara's authority. Or at least her bend-it-like-Beckham right foot!


Cam said...

Whee, enjoy reading your True Blood recaps. :) And it's good to know some details from the books since I haven't read them.

Emma said...

I totally agree with you Susan, book Sookie is not that stupid and naive. The third book is one of my favourites and I don't think this season is doing it justice. Last season was better than second book though. I hope the whole plot with the king saves the day, it's the most promising of all.