Vampires! Witches! Shapeshifters! Were-panthers! A line that unironically uses the word “necromancer!” A really good Neko Case song! Oh god, we’re only halfway through this shit?
Rafael: Do you know what it’s like to have to relive the worst written moment of your life, an episode at a time, and have to tell the Comics Internet about which parts you hated the most? Well, I guess you do, since we do these together.
Danny: Oh yeah, I do, don’t I?
Rafael: Unfortunately. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone… but you though, because of the way you treat me. Comics Bulletin: I am a victim. For starters, let’s agree — this episode had a lot happening, but not much actually going on, huh? It seemed to me like a plot point machine on auto-pilot.
Danny: Exactly! They advanced a lot of subplots in this episode, but with very little zazz. By which I mean lulz.
Rafael: Yes, inseed: A) Eric faces down Bill. B) Jason’s “were-panther” concerns are addressed. C) Lafayette and Boyfriend arrive in Montenas Gemelas.
Danny: While I appreciate moving all these along, I also need some trashy hilarity in my life when I watch this show. I don’t watch True Blood to marvel at the plotting.
Rafael: YOU DON’T?!
Danny: I watch Falling Skies to be interested in how the thing is (poorly) written.
Rafael: I agree, I’m glad that they gave us a bit more morsels before the season’s end, which is what, 4,000 weeks away?
Danny: Hold up: how many episodes are in this season?
Rafael: And each one of them promising to be 50-60 minutes worth of stories. Of which we only care about roughly 10.
Danny: And by “stories,” you mean “abs.”
Danny: When did True Blood become the show where people almost fuck?
Rafael: Well, they almost fuck for 59 minutes, 43 seconds.Then the fangs come out. But yes, so Jason, convinced he’s going to become a were-panther, is taking every precaution to this, much to the chagrin of his sister, Cookie, and the vampire that saved his life upon his escape, Jessica.
Danny: Which leads to a great scene where Cookie Crackhouse finds Jason handcuffed to his own bed and points out that if he turns into a panther he’ll be able to slip out of his cuffs. Which Jason did not think about at all.
Rafael: All the mean things I say about this show are instantly forgiven whenever Jayceon Crackhouse has a rational thought burst his bubble.
Danny: The boy ain’t right.
Rafael: That was some major IRL LOLZ when his own sister, who is also an idiot, points out his idiocy. Those two are touched, I tell you.
Danny: Them Crackhouse kids, they ain’t too bright.
Rafael: No, sir.
Danny: My second favorite moment in this episode is when Jessica, in the middle of working, bares her fangs and runs out of Merlotte’s because he senses Jason hanging around in the woods. Which brings up an important question: How does that restaurant function without a wait staff?
Rafael: Well, considering the amount of killings and violence in Bon Temps in three seasons, there can’t be but… four people left living there? But yeah, dude, I don’t know how Merlotte’s stays in business with all the staff calling in sick or being vampires or having to protect their kindred or whatever. It’s bad business, Sam.
Danny: It’s like how nobody does any work on the US version of The Office. Get to work, people!
Rafael: I think Sam has that built in as a contingency, considering his affliction. If they dash out and shit, no one notices that he becomes a were-dude. Seriously, though Merlotte’s has got to make like, $16 a year, pre-tax. Cookie’s faerie world is the real world.
Danny: He’s all hot and bothered over Eric, who he’s captured and wants to put to the True Death (not to be confused with the BET vampire rap battle show True Def) for some reason that isn’t clear to me. Why does he want to kill Eric? Besides because he’s jealous of his looks?
Rafael: Well, he wants to kill Eric because a) Eric’s tappin’ Sookie like mana in Magic: The Gathering and b) the head of the AVL suggested that it should be his punishment for attacking Crazy Marnie.
Danny: Okay, I guess that makes sense. Either way, this leads to my favorite scene in the episode, where Bill’s about to kill Eric with a stake taken from the last of the Slayers (probably), but Eric’s is nice and apologetic. Which makes Bill really surprised. Like, “Wait… you’re a nice guy now?”
Rafael: Well, that scene was pretty grand! Skarsgard is such a great actor and that scene is really resonant and honest.
Danny: It made me laugh out loud, both because it was funny and because it was good.
Rafael: As much as I love doofy Eric, he’s extra enjoyable when he’s in earnest. And even Bill Condom doesn’t rip through his sheen 00 this might be the most potent moment in the series. Goddamn, it’s actually good!
Danny: It’s like a completely different show! Nice work, True Blood writers.
Danny: When we last left off, their bedroom was slightly on fire. Now it’s really on fire.
Rafael: And not with passionate love! The house goes up and pretty ol’ dumb ‘ol Arlene thinks Terry’s “smokin’ in bed.” Though, by the looks of him, PTSD has to add to your sex drive what it takes from your sanity. So they rush out and they think they’ve left their baby behind! Only to discover that BOOM! The kid was out there all along, playing with that creepy fucking doll.
Danny: And that’s the last time we see them for the rest of the episode. Which explains why there’s so much of every other subplot in this episode.
Danny: Yep — he shapeshifts to look like Sam, and uses that to his full a
dvantage, running Merlotte’s, firing Cookie and fucking Sam’s girlfriend and kicking her ass out the bedroom.
Rafael: Man, I’ve been doing it all wrong. Why be yourself when you can be Sam Merlotte? People seem to flipmode for that guy!
Danny: That premature silver fox.
Rafael: This story was actually pretty great- it was a lot of fun to watch. It made up for a lot of the bullshit witchcraft we’ve been subjected to in that episode and this one, in particular.
Rafael: Ehh… that’s not a selling point for me. Even though the flashback was kinda rad, I just find this whole story shoehorned in. It’s really weak, and feels like it could have been saved for a different, worse show. Why kick True Blood while it’s still down?
Danny: To me, that subplot advancing means that it will soon end.
Rafael: Ever the optimist prime, young Danny. But miles to go before we sleep.
Rafael: Hahahaha even that grated me, until you pointed out that LaFayette was flexing O-Dog’s style.
Danny: Yeah, why is LaFayette dressed like O-Dog? Hilarious.
Rafael: Man, you know how forgiving I am of things. You know this!But this I cannot allow. this story has had no redemptive qualities.
Lots of plot, sure, but not enough lulz.
And 1.0 Boners because Sam’s girl shows her boobies and is hot all the time, and my penile implant likes that.
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.