The more people change, the more they stay the same, especially in this week’s episode of True Blood. After last week’s identity-fueled outing, this week people just weren’t themselves. In Sam’s case that was quite literal, as his identity was stolen by Tommy, now able to shape-shift into people. (Is it only family members? I thought it was only dead family members initially but I guess not? Could this be cleared up sometime soon?)
Everybody’s changing yet the show itself seems to be willfully staying the same. Already the plethora of characters, all with their own storylines to service, means that sometimes an individual storyline will move forward only an inch every episode. “So much happened in this episode!” I thought to myself. Looking past the packed nature of the narrative to each individual tale, however, I was forced to admit that on the micro level not much happened at all. Arlene and Terry’s house burned down, which we already were lead to suspect last episode. Lafayette and Jesus are still out in the deserts of Mexico chilling with the smoke monster from Lost. Eric spent all episode in captivity and Jason spent all episode waiting for a change that was never going to come. I spent all episode waiting for something truly significant to happen and like Jason, I was fairly let down.
The theme of the season so far has been change. The audience popped into the story a whole year after the events of last season and we had a lot of change to get used to. Bill is now king, Jason is now respectable, Tara is now a cage-fighting lesbian that lives in New Orleans named Tony. Clearly, some of these changes were a little more ridiculous than others. The show itself, however, has refused to change it’s narrative structure of throwing fifty tiny plotlines at the audience for half a season without combining them in any meaningful way.
There were small steps in the right direction towards narrative unity. Some of the characters are beginning to cross paths, although most are still far too separated into their own craziness. It was nice to see Sookie bump into Alcide and Debbie in the woods and get some much-needed background on the nature of were-(insert-your-favorite-animal-here). Personally, I’m looking forward to were-puppies and were-pygmy giraffes. Apparently the were gene is passed on in families, therefore being bitten has no effect on humans. Besides really hurting.
The Eye-Makeup is the Window to the Soul
Alcide and Debbie were on their way to meet up with their new pack. While the pack leader spoke sensibly, he looked vaguely like a drug dealing extra from Breaking Bad. Debbie is also once more sporting dark eye-makeup with no sensible sweater-sets in sight, so clearly this pack will turn out to be bad news. Sookie was looking for Jason, who was convinced he was turning into a were-panther after the events of Hotshot which I have successfully repressed. “What’s Hotshot?” I asked the TV.
Jason Finds His Happy Place
Jason might be the comedy MVP of the episode, first handcuffing himself to the bed in his underwear in a not-sex way to keep himself from hurting anyone when he changes. “When you change, won’t the cuffs just slip off?” Sookie asks. Of course Jason didn’t think about that, just the way the audience is not supposed to wonder why he would need to be in his underwear to await this change. God bless True Blood and how well they know their audience. Shirtless Jason Stackhouse greatly improves even the slowest moving episode. Outside, having beers with Sookie he reveals his special abilities: sex and shooting. Then he takes off into the woods, where Jessica finds him because her blood in his system allows her to sense his distress. She tells him to find his happy place, which is apparently her rack, and they display some sweet sexual tension that will undoubtedly make things awkward with Hoyt in the future.
Supernatural Identity Theft
In the meantime it’s a good thing it’s Tommy in a Sam-suit walking around Merlot’s, because Sam might be angry that he has no waitresses or staff of any kind. Seriously, who works there at this point? No, think about it. Holly, Arlene, and Terry were dealing with fire fall-out. Lafayette is out in the desert catching snakes. Tara doesn’t work there anymore. Sookie was just fired by Tommy-Sam and Jessica took off to lie in a field with Jason like a reverse Edward and Bella from Twilight. Who works there anymore?
Tommy spends about five seconds as Sam before systemically ruining his life. After firing Sookie (probably justified though) he wastes no time before sleeping with Sam’s new girlfriend Luna and then kicking her out moments afterward. Sam will have a hard time explaining that one. But with a returned-to-form Tommy laying in a puddle of his own sick it might be hard for him to explain the joyride he took through Sam’s life.
Everybody’s Getting Possessed and Learning Spanish
In the ‘that’s right, this season is about witches!’ section of this episode, Marnie finally goes from mousey wiccan to possessed super-witch. And about time too. Never has a storyline been more telegraphed and yet taken so long to happen. Taken over by the spirit of Spanish necromancer and vampire-hating extraordinaire Antonia, Marnie is going to be raising hell soon.
Jesus and Lafayette’s amazing desert adventures include capturing and getting bitten by snakes. As Jesus lies dying in Lafayette’s arms, he is inhabited by the spirit of Tio Luca, who pops into him via black smoke like ol’ smokey from Lost. This allows him to heal Jesus and looked freaked out. That grandfather of the year award is surely in the mail.
Throw Out The Doll
In the horror-movie section of this episode, Arlene and Terry’s home goes boom right after they thought all was well. Not to worry, the kids and armadillo made it out of the house just fine. The first one out? Baby Mikey and his creepy doll, gurgling happily like a tiny future serial killer and seeing disappearing ghost women. How long is it going to take them to finally throw out that doll?
True Blood True Love
Back with the vampires, Pam’s face is still falling apart. When released by Bill she goes straight to harass Tara and her new girlfriend, who were previously having a lovely time getting to know each other all over again while touring Bon Temp.
Bill has taken Eric into captivity because while he’s under the influence of a necromancer’s spell he could be dangerous. Sookie is pissed but Bill dismisses her and tells his guards to keep her off the property. It looks like Pam’s fear that Bill was looking for a way to off Eric was justified when he asks and receives a death warrant for our favorite blonde Viking from a willing Nan Flanagan. But at the last minute he changes his mind because hurting memory-wiped Eric is like kicking a tiny adorable puppy and not even Bill can do that. So he lets Eric go after he says some adorable stuff about loving Sookie and wanting her to be happy. Sookie certainly seems pretty happy as she and Eric tenderly get it on in the woods at episode’s end.