The Devil Inside

July 28, 2011 in 4.05 Me and the Devil, Recaps, True Blood

In this week’s episode of True Blood, we learn that vampire beekeepers are in hot demand, disco naps are dangerous, bloody piñatas make birthdays magical, and a handful of marshmallows helps the parricide go down…

Sink your teeth into some spoilery commentary after the jump…

Before we get started, please accept my apologies for the slight delay on today’s recap. That annoying thing called “real life” ran some interference this week, until I told it where it could stick all of its unreasonable demands. So now that that’s out of the way, where to begin? Five episodes in, and we have indeed graduated to spooning—not to mention a whole lot more.

But first things first…

Beat the Parents

So… Tommy bludgeoned his parents to death. And the entire True Blood viewership breathed a collective sigh of relief.

I am neither a) surprised by this development, nor b) sorry about it… AT ALL. If any two fictional characters ever had it coming, it’s Melinda and Joe Lee Mickens. And as far as I’m concerned, Tommy Mickens-Merlotte is a motherfucking hero.

If only this had happened sooner.

But what I don’t understand is why he didn’t shift into a bear, a wildcat, or some sort of mutant raccoon in an effort to make that shit look like a perfectly natural if unfortunate accident. Oh wait… I’ll tell you why. Because then we wouldn’t have gotten to see Andy practically pee his pants upon opening the van’s back door—a spectacle that, you must admit, was pretty awesome.

This clumsily executed murder also gave Sam the opportunity to rise to the occasion for his brother, who was having an understandably hard time holding his shit together. And this, in turn, paved the way to Sam’s first confession, toward which Tommy was incredulous, for some inexplicable reason.

SAM SHOT YOU, TOMMY. I don’t know why you’re so surprised to learn of his homicidal tendencies. Or the fact that gators love marshmallows. I mean, really… everyone knows that.

Oh My Man Gravy

Meanwhile, Jessica and Hoyt put a recovering Jason to bed, at which time Hoyt exalts Jessica for saving his best friend’s life with her blood. He goes in for a snuggle, but she recoils, leading to a chilly moment between the two, during which Hoyt’s suspicions and Jessica’s guilt are both on full display.

Maybe they ought to take a shower to wash it off.

Later, as Jason recounts his Hotshot horror story in detail, Hoyt interjects to bemoan his confusion over Jessica’s recent behavior—amounting to what might constitute the biggest FRIENDSHIP FAIL by anyone, anywhere, ever. Jason was just gang raped by two dozen inbred shifter women, Hoyt. It’s not a good time to bitch about your relationship problems.

Just… NO.

This does, however, set the stage for a scandalous (and not just a little foreboding) sexy dream, featuring what was before now a rather unlikely threesome. I must admit that it’s tough for me to understand how a freshly wounded Jason could find a dream in which Jessica straddles him like Crystal and all of her sister-cousins enjoyable—timely blood donation or not. But then, Jason’s recent misfortune might at least partially explain the sour note on which this little fantasy ultimately ends.

Boner killer, thy name is Fortenberry.

Wake Me Up Before You Uh-Oh

So what’s going on with the witches this week?

Well, two things were clarified: First, there are fang marks on Marnie’s neck, as opposed to what I mistakenly observed in my last recap—though her arms appear to remain unmarked, which is still rather suspicious.

Second, Marnie is still a fan of ill-timed naps and continues to have no idea what she’s doing… or any comprehension of the fact that possession of any kind is a fundamentally negative occurrence. Her insistence that Antonia is a benevolent protector continues to confound and frustrate her coven members, who somehow manage to find themselves in increasingly deep doo-doo with every passing week.

Third, as we learn from another one of Marnie’s psychic head trips, the target of Antonia’s ire on the stake wasn’t just the clergy… more specifically, it was the vampire clergy. So her proclamation that they will be the ones who burn for their sins was more than a bunch of hot air. As we learn from the vampire sheriff Luis, her necromantic barbecued chickabee charges compelled all of them to stroll into the sun and die, M. Night Shamalamadingdong style.

And the winner is... you! Come on down!

What the vampires stood to gain by executing the witches in the first place remains a mystery—I can only imagine they didn’t like the idea that there were people out there capable of controlling them. But you’d think that more diplomatic negotiations would have been in everyone’s best interest, no?

Then again, vampires don’t negotiate with terrorists. And much like Chuck Norris, they don’t sleep—they wait. So it is that this series offers yet another glowing endorsement of the Catholic Church and Fox News.

Oh, and Google. Something to think about before you launch that Plus account, ladies and gentlemen.

Finally, this storyline gives Bill the best line of the evening, in what is surely a True Blood first. His remark on Pam’s Hot-Topic-meets-beekeeper ensemble was rivaled only by her referring to Marnie as an “uppity Wiccan cunt” who needs to die. It’s clear that, at the moment, Pam’s energies are entirely devoted to planning Marnie’s torture and to keeping her other ear attached.

I'm giving Pam a pass for this plot advancing error of hers. Mostly because she looks like Pizza the Hut.

That’s why this momentary lapse in discretion in which she lets her maker’s secret whereabouts slip probably isn’t surprising to anyone… except, it appears, to Bill.

So naturally, having had his deepest suspicions and worst fears simultaneously confirmed, Queen Compton sets off for Sookie’s house. Because where there is a party in need of pooping, Bill will always be there.

You Say It’s Your Birthday…

Speaking of parties, remind me never to celebrate a birthday in Catemaco.

Jesus’ fond memories of his grandfather back in Mexico weren’t exactly made of puppies and pastel de tres leches. Actually, they involved goats and ritualistic blood licking, all of which was seven shades of disturbing… mostly because I was hoping that the goat would start levitating and spewing demonic insults a la Drag Me To Hell, only to be inconsolably disappointed.

And also because I expected Lafayette to put on a backward baseball jersey and start rapping about Sprite. But that’s neither here nor there.

The point is that young Jesus was forced to stab a goat to death and drink its blood in order to access some dark magical power… which is kind of gross and evil. But then, maybe his creepy Abuelo is actually just a senile sweetheart who mistook aforementioned barnyard buddy for a piñata.

Die, bitch!

Given the fact that he’s still got enough swagger to knock up women half his age—and get them to do his laundry—that doesn’t seem especially likely. But I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

And Now, A Brief Intermission From Anything Of Interest

Does anyone really care about Marcus Boseman, the Shreveport packmaster? Because I don’t.

In fact, the only thing that piques my curiosity is how he managed to impregnate Luna—you know, seeing as how he’s a troll, she’s a fox, and spoilers indicate that he’s the stalkery werewolf ex of which Ms. Garza spoke so highly last week.

And while I’m at it, SOMEONE PUT TARA IN A CAB AND SEND HER BACK TO NEW ORLEANS ALREADY. Or kill her… I really don’t care.

The addition of cigarettes, lies, and lesbian cage-fighting does not make Tara’s put upon existence more interesting… and it certainly doesn’t make her broken record bitching less obnoxious. Furthermore, no one waves a poker at Eric Northman and gets away with it. This is not the zombie apocalypse, Tara. It’s a sexy vampire show. AND YOU ARE KILLING MY BUZZ.

I said good day.

This House Is Clean

I’m pretty sure that Reverend Daniels and Lettie Mae are the byproduct of some unholy genetic experiment to cross Paul and Jan Crouch with Whitney and Bobby gone horribly wrong. Or right, as the case may be… it’s a little hard to tell.

Either way, casting out evil is old hat to Lettie Mae, who is herself recovering from demonic possession. And now that she’s Mrs. Daniels, surely, no one came more highly recommended when Terry was on the hunt for holy ghostbusters. Indeed, she and her new husband knew all the tricks—such as, you know, smoking out the corners where the evil hides.

Lettie Mae said she carried a demon inside of her + nobody puts baby in a corner = ZOMG UGUISE, TARA WAS A DEMON BABY.

To which I say, TESTIFY, LETTIE MAE—those corners are always a bitch. In fact, someone really ought to get working on an iRobot Roomba “Exorcist Edition.” Because I would totally buy that shit.

Anyway, all of the sage-burning and folk-singing seems to have done the trick, as Mikey actually sleeps soundly enough to let Terry and Arlene squeeze in a little action between their satin sheets. (Am I the only one who finds this odd? Bed, Bath, and Beyond must have been having a sale.)

Of course, the fun is all but over when a nearby book of matches spontaneously combusts as Terry and Arlene cuddle. And although Arlene will surely blame Rene’s defiant ghost for this little slice of hellfire, I think we all know that it’s nothing more than an innocent telekinetic explosion… that started in Sookie’s panties.

The Bad and The Beautiful

That’s right—we save the best for last here at Sookieverse. And no, I’m not talking about yet another groan-worthy cameo by Godric, the bipolar ghost-vampire… though I did enjoy that brief moment of facial molestation shared between maker and progeny, which made me feel ever-so-slightly dirty.

Ghost daddy only likes to touch, sweetling.

Alas, we learn that this encounter—and the subsequent fairy blood tag team effort—was only a nightmare. The head-stroking and sweet-talking that followed, however, were 100 percent real. And while all of this chatter about redemption and damnation infallibly gives me a rash, at least it reveals that Eric Northman does indeed have a deeply ingrained sense of right and wrong, which can be quite simply reduced to: YOU’RE UGLY, AND SO YOU MUST DIE.

Such is the keen moral compass of the really, really ridiculously good looking.

The next day, refreshed from an evening of innocent-but-hot vampire spooning, Sookie ventures out to The Moon Goddess Emporium in an ill-advised attempt to get the scoop on Marnie. After some coaxing, Marnie agrees to give Sookie a psychic reading, which is graced by yet another ghostly cameo courtesy of Gran, who has a laundry list of requests and warnings to heap upon her granddaughter—including advice that Sookie not surrender her heart in the name of a temporary ladyboner.

Sorry, Gran, but last I checked, YOU WERE DEAD. And therefore, you don’t get to vote people off the island. No one solicited the peanut gallery, so why don’t you just drink your demon blood in Photoshop Land or whatever it is that you do these days and KEEP YOUR OPINION TO YOURSELF.

Well, except that bit about getting the hell away from Marnie. That struck me as rather sound advice.

Luckily, that’s the advice that Sookie took… while selectively ignoring the nugget that came before it. Because let’s be real, people: When you have a hot piece of morally conflicted Swedish beefcake walking away from you, you don’t let it go… you grab it and suck its face until fireworks start flying out of your vajayjay.

source: alexhp7

And for doing just that, Sookie Stackhouse, I SALUTE YOU.

In Summary…

Like the Alan Ball-penned third episode before it, this week’s episode definitely appeared to have an identifiable overarching theme. And I’m inclined to boil it down to the destructive power of guilt—the proverbial “devil” of this episode’s title—whether real or imagined.

They may not have shown up in Sam’s shower yet, but there’s little doubt that the demons of his own murderous past still haunt him. And while he insists to Tommy that he won’t burn for killing his parents, he fails to mention that the shackles of guilt are a hell unto themselves—perhaps the only real hell there is.

It’s also one that these two brothers share now, for better or for worse… no matter how practiced Sam has become at rationalizing his misdeeds, or how reluctant Tommy is to cut himself a break for killing two parents who would have just as soon killed him.

A similar dynamic carries over in the case of Jessica, Hoyt, and Jason. While Jessica struggles with the weight of her own conscience in the knowledge that she’s abused Hoyt’s love and trust, Hoyt wonders what he did to invite her rejection—just as Jason is certain that his recent mass rape was a form of holy retribution for his innocent-but-sleazy past.

That neither character actually deserved his fate—and in both cases, it’s clear that the only thing of which they’re guilty is being poor judges of character—isn’t nearly as important as the fact that they both nevertheless believe that they’re being punished for something.

Of course, no discussion of guilt would be complete without mention of the Queen of Complexes himself, Bill Compton—who was so scandalized by his brief affair with ancestor Portia that he glamoured her to scream at the sight of him, despite her litany of arguments as to why their roll in the hay is nothing to be especially ashamed of.

But nowhere is this theme of crushing guilt more pronounced than in the plotline of Eric Northman—wherein “the devil” was very literally anthropomorphized in the form of his dead maker Godric, who insists that his vulnerable progeny is damned and incapable of love.

This is almost certainly not true… but once again, that’s completely irrelevant.

So long as his guilty conscience continues to weigh on his shoulder like an evil Jiminy Cricket, Eric will never be truly free of his own personal demons, regardless of how much Sookie may or may not grow to love him. Ultimately, as our own infinitely fallible judges and juries, we are only ones capable of redeeming ourselves… and the devil always gets his due in the end.

What that means for Eric’s future—with or without amnesia—is uncertain. In the meantime, I’m just hoping that Tara and Gran shut up long enough for Sookie to get her hot little sternohands down his overstuffed basketball shorts in peace.

Which brings me to that age-old question: What did you think of Sunday’s episode? Sound off below!

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