In every season of True Blood, one plot surfaces to hold everything together before sinking its talons deep into the viewership’s gut – a technique which the writers on this show are very good at. In season 1 it was the creation of Jessica; season 2 it was Godric’s death; in season 3 it was the events leading up to Eric’s revenge…and in Season 4 we’re still holding our breath.
At this point in the season, many may point to Eric regaining his memory, the collateral damage from remainder of the Witch War, or the spatter of Debbie Pelt’s brains on Sookie’s coat as likely contenders. But I’m gambling on something else – the tragic death of Hoyt Fortenberry.
Yup, only a few days ago I was gleefully rooting for his demise.
One of the major themes this season has been identity – specifically, what happens to a person’s identity when it becomes wrapped around their significant other. Hoyt, Debbie, and AmnesiaEric are the most obvious examples, though there are other characters experiencing identity and relationship crises who may be considered too I suppose. Yet these three are clearly talking back and forth to each other consistently this season.
We all know Maxine has coddled Hoyt, which is reason enough for him to be codependent. We also know that unless you’re Bill Compton, men shouldn’t be coddled. That’s because, people shouldn’t be coddled, as Debbie “I need this Alcide” Pelt can attest. AmnesiaEric may have been slightly coddled by his stay with Sookie – “I was born the night we met,” – but in the overall scheme of things it was for a brief time, and there was no cost to his growth as a person, since AE was never going to last forever. We know how both the Alcide/Debbie and Sookie/AmnesiaEric relationships will most likely end; what we don’t know is how Hoyt and Jessica will resolve. Though we do know that Hoyt can’t stop Jessica from falling out of love with him, just as Debbie can’t help it if Alcide prefers natural blonds.
I have to think, despite Hoyt’s verbally eviscerating Jessica in “Spellbound”, that Hamberry could come back from where they are now if they wanted to. Words are wind, even hurtful ones. What they can’t come back from are the actions and choices both make from here on out, which at this point would seem to be Jessica boinking Hoyt’s best friend. My point is, we know there are losses on the horizon for the other two couples – Debbie’s death and Amnesia Eric’s philosophical death – why shouldn’t there be a tangible loss for Hamberry too?
To that end, Jim Parrack had some interesting things to say in a recent interview with NYMag:
Q: Once the inevitable happens between Jason and Jessica, will we see a darker side to Hoyt?
Parrack: Well, Hoyt’s father is dead and gone. His mother is dead to him. So he only has two people left: the love of his life and his best friend. And if they’re gone, what is there? That’s the kind of thing people kill people over, or destroy their own lives over. And Hoyt is somewhere between those two poles. He has nothing now. People took him for granted and misused his love. So I think we’re just barely scratching the surface of how dark he can go.
Q: Think he could take Jason in a fight? I mean, you’re pretty big, and yet here you are playing the “sensitive” guy.
Parrack: It’s crazy, right? But there’s something about people who are so loving that when they snap, it’s no joke. There are definitely some volatile moments coming up. It’s not going to be pretty.
Here I thought the Hamberry reunion would be imminent and rosy. Maybe it’s time to face the sad prospect that Hoyt is going to kill himself. One, I think it would be good writing and two, I think it would be good for the show. There are too many side stories that just aren’t engaging enough, and often they end up convoluting the main plot (though lawd knows I like my side characters when they do serve the plot well). Yet even if Tara, Alcide, Lafayette, Jesus or Arlene died, would it resonate through the stories of other characters as much as Hoyt’s death would? Not nearly as much.
Of course I’m willing to eat some major crow on this, but I’ll say it anyway: Hoyt’s death is not going to be Jessica’s loss but a reaction to the loss of Jessica. I think Jessica is going to die in episode 11 or early 12. Perhaps it will be at the hands of the witches in the witch war, or perhaps the writers will actually demonstrate a commitment to wrapping up plot lines occasionally by bringing back Mamma Kitty Crystal Norris – who takes Jessica out in a jealous rage to kill off her competitor.
I’ve always believed Jessica is doomed, mostly due to her eternal virginity. Nevertheless, Ball does not let couples on this show enjoy their happiness for more than one episode and something must tear apart Hamhouse. Otherwise, it is happily ever after for both Jason and Jess, albeit with a side of guilt. Yet we know from the episode summaries pertaining to episode 12, “And When I Die,”
“Jason finds confession is good for the soul, but not the body.”
Would guilt alone force Jason to confess to Hoyt? He can barely look Bubba in the eye after just thinking about Jessica. Why is Jessica absent from this confession? Or apparently Hamhouse is not one of those “we” couples. Interesting to note from Parrack’s blurb I posted earlier that Hoyt loses Jason. He hasn’t lost Jason, yet. Apparently he will. Just as Debbie will lose Alcide and Eric will lose Sookie, post-amnesia – at least for a little while. Something beyond guilt must compel Jason to confess to Hoyt.
This snippet from the summary recalls Jason’s confession last season about killing Eggs. He told Tara the truth since he thought he needed to be honest in that moment and with her, I have to believe. We know he can’t handle guilt well, but looking back, did he only tell Tara out of shame? Coming as it did only after the conversation Jason had with Sookie about being honest with the people you love, I think he believed Tara needed to hear it…even if, in reality, she didn’t. Relating that to the present dynamic, it suggests there will be a catalyst for Jason to tell Hoyt about Jessica beyond “doing the right thing.” It might be dwarfed logic to suggest Jessica is going to die, but I think she has to in order for Jason to reach a point where he can confide in his best friend that he knows how he feels, that he shares in his pain, and that he loved her too. This would be epically Jason. If his confession acts as a trigger for Hoyt’s self destruction or suicide, I have to wonder how this would affect Officer Stackhouse going forward.
And more importantly, where does this leave Maxine?
Hoyt’s death could turn Maxine Fortenberry from an often comedic and blustering bitch into the most unfortunate and pathetic person in Bon Temps. Having survived her husband, how would this lioness handle the death of her “baby boy”? To make matters worse, Maxine will soon be homeless after Tommy sold her house without her knowledge. Comical as it may have been at the time, it’s quite possibly comical no more.
It’s interesting to note also that
the sale of Maxine’s house the sale of Maxine’s natural gas rights echos back to Sookie’s little problem with her new landlord. Perhaps Maxine’s devastation over Hoyt’s loss will parallel Sookie’s bereavement period when Amnesia Eric is gone. Will the two of them cross paths? How will Sookie respond to the loss of the man she fell in love with, when she already suffered so much heartbreak and never fully recovered emotionally from her first failed relationship? Hopefully, Sookie will realize that the man she loved still exists, but in a different form, even though he looks slightly the same. Will Tommy shift into Hoyt, to give Maxine one last goodbye?
As a theory, this may well be completely off track – only time will tell. But to me, the foreshadowing is coming thick and fast that all does not end well this season, so someone please put Hoyt on suicide watch. Maybe we should be mindful this week of whether or not the gun leaves Hoyt’s house with Lafayette when Jesus extracts him and his crazy ghost lady. Lest we forget, Hoyt’s father did commit suicide, and apples don’t fall far from the tree.
Even tall, wooden type trees.