Monday, July 25, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x05: "Me And The Devil"

Written by Mark Hudis
Directed by Daniel Minahan

Adele (to Sookie): “Sweetheart, this woman poses great danger.”
Marnie: “No, how can I be a danger to someone? I have never hurt anybody.”

Even from beyond the grave, Adele Stackhouse is one hell of a savvy woman. It’s just a shame that voice aside; we didn’t actually see her in this episode visually. Sookie certainly needs to listen to her grandmother’s words of wisdom.

In less than a minute, Adele gave Sookie three sensible heads ups – one, she needs to look after Jason. He might not want to let her in about his own ordeals but sooner or later, he’s going to need his younger sister and Sookie should be there for him. Two, Sookie and Eric will not last – the fan girls are probably incensed with that one but hey, at least the show’s being practical.

And then there’s three – Marnie poses a great danger. The fact that Marnie doesn’t consider herself to be a threat kind of speaks volumes. Granted there are sociopaths and psychopaths out there who genuinely believe their actions are right or for some good but is Marnie either one of those categories?

From what we’ve seen she’s been a somewhat mild mannered woman who’s gotten in over her head by becoming a conduit of sorts to Antonia (not Hallow then) and struck out against vampires – but only when she has been provoked herself as well. And this week, she was kidnapped by Bill’s men and glamoured by the head vampire himself but I have my qualms with this witch storyline.

For the life of me, it’s been five episodes and everything we’ve seen with Marnie and Antonia in the past and the present and it’s occurred to me that the witches are more victims than villains. Antonia herself had her coven and herself fed on and burned at the stake by vampires, so why should I feel outraged that she got her own back by summoning some of them into the daylight?

If the show is trying to generate sympathy for the vampires in this saga, then it’s actually failing on that front. Vampires are interesting to watch but on this show, the majority have a huge disregard for human life (look at how nearly all of them, except Bill wanted to torture and kill Marnie?) and the witches so far have only struck out in self-defence.

Granted that’s obviously set to change in the next few weeks when Marnie/Antonia come into their own but right now, I’m kind of sympathising a little more with the witches on this show than I am the vampires. Even Pam’s rotting face isn’t doing much to make me feel bad for the vampires this week. That being said, I do not support the whole necromancing thing either, so Marnie obviously loses points for that bit.

Continuing with the witching trend, it’s nice that we got some more back story on Jesus’s family history, but I kind of wish someone would tell both him and Lafayette that right now, Eric is actually the least of their worries. In fact Jesus’s crazy looking grandfather looks a lot more threatening than the memory wiped Mr Northman nowadays.

As for Eric and Sookie, I’ll never ship them as a couple but I am enjoying their scenes together in this episode. Their closeness feels organic enough and while their relationship will not last (coupled with Tara’s timely reminder of Eric’s shortcomings); even I thought the kiss between them at the end worked nicely. Too bad Pam blabbed to Bill about Eric’s whereabouts and memory loss then, isn’t it?

Speaking of blabbing, I kind of wished Tara had actually allowed Sookie to explain what was going with Eric instead of going off on one but considering that she did open up about Naomi and Sookie deliberately tried to keep Tara in the dark about Eric, I can see why she was so mad at her friend. As for Naomi – come on, show, and involve her better into the storylines a little more please.

Even Tommy has a better purpose now that he killed his awful parents, got Sam involved in disposing of their bodies and realised that his own brother has killed before. I wouldn’t trust Tommy if my life depended on it but I love this plot with him and Sam though and with Joe Lee and Melinda dead, that’s another two characters I won’t have to deal with any more.

Also, please let’s hope that this new pack master of Shreveport doesn’t last too long either. With leaders like Marcus, is it any wonder Alcide refuses to get himself bound to a pack? That guy was absolutely annoying and he was only on the air for at least a minute. On the plus side, at least this should mean that Alcide is getting more to do, story wise.

Keeping with the rest of the stories – the show didn’t waste time with Jason having sex dreams about Jessica and Hoyt but I’m not sure if I want another love triangle, plus even Jason should have enough common sense not to go after his mate’s girlfriend, though something tells me that Hoyt and Jessica are heading for a break up anyways.

Last but not least – I got a right laugh out of Reverend Daniels and Lettie Mae trying to exorcism Arlene and Terry’s house. It was actually genuinely funny to watch without being insulting but this whole baby plot with Mikey needs to step up a gear. Is it the baby or that creepy doll that Jessica gave them? Let’s not drag this one out, eh?

Also in “Me And The Devil”

HBO have this episode credited as “Me And The Devil” but other places are citing it as “I Hate You, I Love You”. What is it called?

Godric (to Eric): “You are incapable of love. You are damned.”

Nice use of Godric in this episode. Even in death, the man is still a huge part of Eric, isn’t he?

Eric: “Am I evil?”
Sookie: “You’re no Gandhi but you’re not evil.”

Pam (to Bill, re Marnie): “I can put up with a lot but you fuck with my face, it’s time to die.”

Bill’s beekeeping comments about Pam were sort of amusing but the fact that he had to glamour Portia to stop harassing him was weird, but Portia is weird herself.

Marnie (re Adele): “She misses you very much.”
Sookie: “I miss her. Is she okay? Is she happy?”
Marnie: “She’s at peace.”

This episode was written by a new writer for the series – Mark Hudis and Sookie mentioned she was a fan of Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Charmed when trying to appease Marnie.

Sookie (re Eric): “Something’s happened, he’s different. He isn’t gonna hurt you.”
Tara: “He’s a psycho murdering asshole.”

Standout music: Gil Seth Heron’s version of “Me And The Devil” naturally.

Pam (to Bill, re Marnie): “If anyone deserves the true death, it’s that witch. Let’s at least torture her.”

Chronology: From where “I’m Alive And On Fire” left off and Comic Con premiered a trailer for the rest of the season, which can be seen on HBO’s YouTube page.

I really loved this episode. “Me And The Devil” just gelled in the right places with nearly every plot just hitting the right spot. Granted the likes of Holly and Andy didn’t serve much purpose to the episode but overall, this one is a cracker.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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