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Monday, August 17, 2009

'True Blood' season 2, episode 9

click to enlarge GUT FEELING: Dallas vampires get a piece of Luke
  • GUT FEELING: Dallas vampires get a piece of Luke

There are only three episodes left in Season 2 and the storylines have become so intense, I find myself equally torn between wanting Sunday to come as quickly as possible to find out what happens and not wanting Sunday to come because that means we're one step closer to the end. It's the sign of an excellent season, though, which will hopefully avoid the kind of canned, cheesy wrap-up that befell last season.

Last night's episode "I Will Rise Up" was intense and somber. It traded much of the show's playful campiness for heavy themes and dark characterizations. (Although there were a few gems courtesy Hoyt and Jason, of course.)  I don't think I budged from my spot on the couch at all. We picked up a few moments before last week's episode left off, with Luke entering Godric's lair and looking a bit thick around the middle. He has a bomb strapped to his chest with chains and other silver trinkets crisscrossing his midsection. He delivers his message from Rev. Newlin and the blast incinerates Godric's pad. Bill watches, stunned, from the driveway where he's just escorted Lorena ("You may be immortal, Lorena, but you are dead to me"). From the front yard, it looks as though the white-hot blast has eviscerated everything: men, vampires, and Barcaloungers alike.

Bill rushes inside and finds Sookie still alive and sprawled on the floor beneath Eric, who shielded her from the blast. The inside is littered with insides, including Stan's. On Eric's command, Bill exits as quickly as he arrived to snag and punish Luke's cohorts. Eric feigns dying, imploring Sookie to suck the silver shrapnel from his chest. Sookie, who thinks that's like totally gross, refuses, until Eric exhales in a melodramatic whimper "(gasp) ... dying ... (gasp)" and lets a limp arm fall to the floor with a thud. Next thing we (and Bill) know, Sookie's straddling Eric and literally licking his wounds. This kind of hanky panky has consequences, Bill tells Sookie. Since she's now swallowed Eric's blood, the two are forever connected. Like Bill, he'll always be able to sense her emotions and Sookie will feel sexually attracted to Eric. "I could kill him," Sookie says later on. "I concur," says Bill.

That V works mighty quickly. Cut to Eric and Sookie lying strategically naked together in bed. In what at first clearly seems like a dream sequence, the two flirt back and forth between the sheets. But the scene goes on and on, long enough to make me say out loud: "Wait a sec is this a dream?" Then Lorena leans forward from her flame-engulfed throne, goading Sookie about Bill. OK. Definitely a dream ... I think. Honestly, I'll believe anything is "real" when it comes to this show these days. Sookie finally awakens next to Bill, startled. Probably wondering if he could sense what she was sensing, and even worse, if Eric could. Yup. Definitely a dream, just like I said.

Unable to sleep, Sook heads over to Jessica's room, where Jason's staying. The two have a teary heart to heart about all things Stackhouse. Jason tries to explain his participation in the LODI. He says unlike the citizenry of Bon Temps, who only liked him for "my athletics, my good looks, my sexual abilities" those Fellowship of the Sun folks accepted him for him. (Although one could argue that athletics, good looks and sexual abilities — not to mention songwriting skills — had everything to do with his success as a LODI cadette.) "I'm a  dumbass fuck-up," he says." "Yeah, but you wouldn't be if you used your brain instead of just letting it take up space in your head," Sookie tells him.

On the couch at Bill's, Hoyt's still dealing with the fallout from Jessica's epiphany that she's doomed to a life of eternal virginity. (Hey, worse things have happened, right? Right? Oh, wait ...) There are other things we can do besides sex, he reassures her, like meet my hateful pain-in-the-ass momma. Jessica's thrilled and Hoyt promises to build "a tricked-out double-wide" coffin-y hole thing in which they can sleep the day away together. Maxine becomes livid when Hoyt reveals his love for Jessica and demands that the two women meet. "You're my baby boy!" she cries. "I'm not a baby! I'm a grown-ass man!" Hoyt hollers back. Now gimme that sandwich!

Tara and Eggs sit at the kitchen table, bruised and battered from their lovers quarrel the previous evening. Again, the two can't remember a damn thing. Tara especially hates feeling so out of control. Maryann chastizes them for being such prudes and digresses wistfully into some sort of story about Aztecs or Mayans or Greeks or maybe all of them dancing naked in the streets and talking to God. Tara knows crazy when she sees/hears it an nods in agreement to appease Maryann. When Tara shows up to work with Eggs and a shiner around her left eye Lafayette loses it. The two throw punches as Tara screams and drags Eggs out of the bar.

That won't be the last of the drama at Merlotte's today, though. Maryann, ready to take care of business, rolls up into the bar and demands in a deep, bellowing howl, "the God who comes demands his sacrifice. Where is Sam Merlotte?" I'm sorry. The God who what? Maryann looks for Sam down at the jail, where sheriff Bud's managed to lock up almost the entire Bon Tempsian population. When Sam hears Maryann's voice, he hones in on a fly and buzzes off before she can get to him. When Maryann sees the Sam-less pile of tight jeans and cowboy boots, she turns away angrily and releases everyone from their cells.

Later that evening, Lafayette and Lettie Mae barge into the old Stackhouse place and interrupt Maryann, Tara and Eggs during a game of strip poker. Lafayette accuses Eggs of abusing Tara and orders her to come with him and Lettie Mae. The couple's eyes immediately go black and they pounce like feral cats on Lafayette and Lettie Mae. Lafayette manages to ward off Eggs long enough to throw Tara over his shoulder and hightail it out of there. Sam, all the while, has been a fly on the wall. After witnessing the throwdown, he zips over to a seedy motel where Andy Bellefleur is channel surfing and enjoying something brown and no doubt alcoholic. When Andy answers the knock at the door, he reveals a naked Sam who says simply, "I heard you were here."

Finally, Godric's taking the heat for the PR mess that was the showdown in the sanctuary and the suicide bombing. He resigns himself to death, deciding to meet the sun on his own terms atop Hotel Carmilla. Sookie waits with him, devestated and fearful for the vampire. Serene and composed as ever, Godirc says, "A human with me at the end ... and human tears. Two thousand years and I can still be surprised. In this, I see God," before dissolving into a burst of white light.

It's too bad we only got two episodes and some change worth of Godric. He was by far one of the most all-around interesting characters and quickly becoming a personal favorite. Who knows, though. He was so Jesus-like in his final days and his death, maybe they'll resurrect him.

Final Question: Are vampires technically immortal if they can be killed? Deep, I know.

NEXT WEEK: Bon Temps is a wasteland and Jason has a chainsaw.

(Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO)

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