True Blood 4.05: "Me and the Devil" Review

A column article, Shot For Shot by: Danny Djeljosevic , Rafael Gaitan
Much to Raf's chagrin, the HBO series continues! In this episode, Andy Bellefleur becomes Boss Hogg, people get hypnotized and faces get post-Russell Edgington. I'm sure we ignored a couple of subplots in this episode, but I can't remember which, which tells you how good they were.

Note: Sorry for the lateness. Still course correcting post-Comic-Con. We'll be back on track this week, promise.



Danny: Listen, Raf. We make fun of True Blood a lot, which is because its quality leaves a lot to desired. But to this show's credit, they didn't make the "Sam's brother gets captured by his adopted parents" subplot last five episodes. In fact, they finish it off at the beginning of this one.

Rafael: Sweet merciful crap, you're right! They must have read our reviews and known how boring and awful this plot was. And it concluded back in Season 3!

Danny: When we last left off, he got chained up by his dad. And, instead of turning into a snake and escaping, he struggles a bit and bludgeons his parents to death.

Rafael: At least we got to see those terrible people die terribly.

Danny: Then he gets Sam to help him get rid of the bodies, which of course results in them getting pulled over by Andy Bellefleur.

Rafael: LOL IRL at that silliness. Any excuse to get Andy involved is fine with me, but that whole scene was just so contrived. It was the opposite of that excellent showdown in Winter's Bone (Now on Netflix Instant!) with John Hawkes and Garrett Dillahunt.



Danny: It's a basic bid for tension. Sam's brother is hiding in the back of the van, and Andy wants to see what's in there. And what's in there is a fucking crocodile. Finally, someone uses their shapeshifting for strategic purposes instead of just riding around as a horse.

Rafael: Man, the horsegirls who are watching this show must've been so pissed. There was no erotica with a crocodile.

Danny: I got excited when they threw the bodies in the swamp to get rid of them, because I expected there to be a ridiculous swamp monster that would rise out of the bog anddevour the corpses.

Rafael: Oh man, Alec Holland does stalk the bayous.

Danny: True Blood has fairies, werewolves, shapeshifters (different from werewolves), vampires and witches. Why not swamp monsters, too?

Rafael: Because no one wants to see a pair of mud-abs, they want the real thing, like from Joe Montana, or whatever his name is. I don't know the man's name.

Danny: Italian Lumberjack.



So what's Cookie Crackhouse up to?

Rafael: Oh you know, same ol' same -- caressing Eric Northman when he sneaks into her room, letting him cry tears of blood. Which would be a badass Slayer song title if it wasn't something that happened on True Life: I'm a Vampire.

Danny: Plus, she pretends to be interested in witchcraft while visiting Marnie to find out just what happened to Eric. This results in one of the better uses of Cookie's mind-reading -- Marnie's possessed by that witch-ay woman, so she doesn't say anything, but the real Marnie is screaming for Cookie to get the hell out of there. Good times.

Rafael: Oh, that's what happened. My crippling disinterest must have clouded my mind. I am absolutely done with that Marnie storyline. But that was pretty neat, even though the scene screams TOO much of thread knotting. You know, "How do we get Sookie involved with Marnie?" Send her in!"

Danny: You gotta do what I do, and look forward to Marnie's sure-to-be-gory death scene. It makes the show so much more enjoyable. Bill's soldiers finally captured her in this episode, which is an exciting prospect. Hopefully they'll incinerate her.

Rafael: I'm trying! I am! But I'd rather eat a burned steak than see her burned at the stake. And I love steak! Anything above medium is burned! I will say it was worth it to have Pam say "Look at my fucking face," but ultimately I really just am not on board with this story. It's the linchpin of this season, but it's so inherently shitty.



Danny: That's her post-Russell Edgington face.

Rafael: In a Prudge world, having a face like that is something that needs to be considered.

Danny: To figure out how to deal with Marnie, Bill (who's a bit like the Kingpin of Bon Temps now) assembles his hilariously sheriffs -- Black Sheriff, Young Sheriff, Girl Sheriff and Hispanic Sheriff -- all of whom seem to be retarded.

Rafael:Was he Hispanic? I thought he was Mediterranean.

Danny: They can't all be Mediterranean, son.

Rafael: In a post-Russell Edgington world they could have been. The dream is over. Man, I did not like that scene either. You have the snarky black guy right off the bat joke about it -- that scene was almost like the first meeting of the Joker in The Dark Knight, though I'd rather see Michael Jai White than that dude.



Danny: I think Lafayette and Guy Whose Name I Don't Know's subplot got a lot better when they sought out Guy Whose Name I Don't Know's crazy uncle. Who we meet in a flashback. Who looks totally like Pope from Falling Skies.

Rafael: I really thought it was him! I got so excited that this show might have another likable character! But, man -- anything involving Nameless Man and witchcraft and magic just makes my eyes John Glaser over.

Danny: The cheesy, yellow-filtered flashback keeps making me laugh: Crazy Uncle stabs a goat to death and makes a young Guy Whose Name I Don't Know lick the blood, then cuts to the present, where Guy Whose Name I Don't Know remarks, "When I licked that knife I felt something I'd never felt before."

Rafael: An emotion? How stupid his hat would look in the future?



Danny: Then they find Crazy Uncle today, who's all gray and insane looking as he sneaks up on them.

Rafael: I like to think he's John Redcorn, all grown down. "Plot hole wide, like canyon. Audience interest wander, like coyote spirit."

Danny: "Ratings plummet, like horse off cliff."

Rafael: "Ideas dry up, like river bed."




Danny: Let's check in with Terry and Arleen. Who have gotten crazy religious people to exorcise their house. And by "exorcise," I mean sing and tambourine the evil spirits out of the house.

Rafael: Yes. Five bullets, would watch again.

Danny: It was like Chef's parents in that episode of South Park where they have to exorcise Kenny's ghost.

Rafael: These two need to be the focus of the show. Every scene they're in is silly and enjoyable and pretty clever. It's never boring watching them -- what does it say when on a show with shapeshifters, vampires and werewolves, the most interesting characters are two normal people freaked the fuck out all the time?



Danny: It's because they're the most human -- not in their supernatural leanings (or lack thereof, but in their reactions to things. Plus, there's a scene where they have sex (WITH THE BABY IN THE ROOM EW WTF), and a matchbook spontaneously bursts into flames. That was pretty funny.

Rafael: Man, you never boned in front of your kids? How else do you impart all your secret impregnating techniques? It's not like kids learn that from experience these days. But LOL IRL at the matchbook. That scene felt extraneous, but it was enjoyable enough. The real heroes were Tara's no-longer-drunk mom and the Reverend Daniels, exorcising the shit out of that house.

"They do not hold temor in their hearts for apparitions."
-Bill Condom, reciting the tagline from Ghostbusters.



Danny: If you look up the phrase "best of both worlds" in the dictionary, you'll find the following definition: "Jason Crackhouse, Hoyt and Jessica sharing scenes."

Rafael: That scene was ludicrous. Jason Crackhouse and Hoyt are so lovably goofy, and Jessica is so fucking hot. I hope it was intended to make us laugh, because IRL LOLZ during that scene in particular.

Danny: When Jason Crackhouse wakes up to find Jessica on top of her, he asks if he's dreaming and she just smiles and nods? LOLFRIRL

Rafael: Yeah that as that glean of humor that this show occasionally does so well. Ryan Kwanten is never unwatchable, and when he gets to have fun with the role and not be chained to a bed and fornicating, he's much more enjoyable.

Danny: While Jason's sex-dream-turned-gay-dream was great, I loooooved the scene where Jason and Hoyt are talking about whose situation is more fucked up: the guy who got chained to the bed to restart the shifter population or the guy whose girlfriend's hymen grows back every time they have sex. But the best part is Jason chalking up his situation to punishment from God for having too much sex. Which sounds like a Raf Gaitan joke.

Rafael: Look, the fact that I bone all the time is a curse. I spend so much time fucking, I can't write as many soon-to-be-Eisner nominated reviews for Comics Bulletin. But that's easily my favorite scene in the episode, man. Those characters are really well-written and those actors have a chemistry that not a lot of the other players do. Even Bill and Sookie never rung as in love, and they fucked all the time. And are married in real life!



Danny: Speaking of people fucking, how did we forget about the incest subplot?

Rafael: Oh, yeah! That story thread was not going to be cottoned by me. Do not let the passiveness of my voice tell you otherwise. But man, if she was my cousin, I would've staked her too. All night.

Danny: That scene was hilarious, especially because Portia spouts out a series of statistics about the legality of incest, and then he shuts her up by hypnotizing her into running away and screaming every time she sees him. Wonderful. I especially love that, despite the revelation, she still wants to do him. What's wrong with Louisianans?

Rafael: Yes sir! At least one of the characters has to embrace the silliness of the show.

Danny: Besides us, of course.



THE BIG SCORE

Rafael:

I was ready to give it a 3.0, but fuck this stupid life for keeping this witch shit around.

Danny:

If it makes me laugh and I can make fun of it, it's a solid episode. This one wasn't the most hilarious, but it'll do. It's got bad hair, gleeful incest, exorcisms, melting faces and weird sex dreams. The laughs never stop, do they?

Rafael: Man, this show occasionally gives CSI: Miami a run for best shitcom on television. But it takes itself just this side of too seriously.
They should have called this show True Thud.

For more True Blood hijinx, check out our reviews of previous Season 4 episodes:

Episode 4.01: "She's Not There"
Episode 4.02: "You Smell Like Dinner"
Episode 4.03: "If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'"
Episode 4.04: "I'm Alive and On Fire"




Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book writer, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter as @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his newest comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics.



Rafael Gaitan was born in 1985, but he belongs to the '70s. He is a big fan of onomatopoeia, being profane and spelling words right on the first try. Rafael has a hilariously infrequent blog and writes love letters to inanimate objects as well as tweets of whiskey and the mysteries of the heart at @bearsurprise. He ain't got time to bleed.

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