Tuesday, July 19, 2011

True Blood 4.04 "I'm Alive and On Fire" Review

*This review contains spoilers*


I’m a huge fan of the Charlaine Harris novels that True Blood is based on, so I have been wildly enthusiastic with how the show has taken the reigns from the source material.  They’re not afraid to kill important characters who live in the books and are a huge part of later storylines, while letting others who died in the books live on and flourish.  Many fans of the book series have expressed their displeasure with the changes, but I adore them because it keeps me guessing.  This week’s episode, I’m Alive and On Fire, is a prime example of how the show is balancing out using what is set out in the book series while still adding their own surprises along the way.

"Grow up you giant babies!”
An apt quote as Sookie has taken a very maternal stance with the amnesiac Eric this week.  While the memory loss is a part of it, the fact is fairy blood makes vampires drunk off their asses. So draining a whole fairy turns him into an ass pinching child, who runs off into the night not caring that the sun is about to rise.  Naturally, she calls on Alcide to sniff out where he’s off frolicking. Thanks to all the fairy blood, Eric is found naked basking in the sunlight while taking a refreshing dip in the swamp, and he’s hardly concerned about alligators who might bite his thing off.  I’m sure somewhere deep in his cement tomb that Russell Edgington is jealous of Eric’s sunny excursion.  Sookie has clearly developed a high level of nudity tolerance as she does not even flinch at Eric and Alcide both being completely naked right next to her.  I’m glad it was all male posturing and Eric didn’t try to attack Alcide or vice versa, even if the whole situation still isn’t something that sits will with our wolf friend.  Speaking of, we do get another flash of Debbie Pelt taking her boyfriend dropping everything at Sookie’s beck and call way too well... it’s only a matter of time before she snaps, if she hasn’t already!
“Awww... Poor Bill, power’s so hard!”  
 While Bill is still concerned with the whereabouts of Eric this week, he’s got bigger things to deal with.  Like the fact he completely fucked his great-great-great-great-granddaughter last week!  Yes the Bellefleurs come from the Compton family tree, while it’s not Game of Thrones-level incest it’s still very skeevy.  As a fan of the books, I gathered what the Portia and Bill sex scene last week meant, but I hope everyone else got quite the shock and wished that Marnie had given them selective amnesia after that revelation.  Bill has really been vilified this season, and this episode only adds to that with him being fully prepared to force his way into Sookie’s house to see if Eric’s there.  I’ll admit I’m a bit sad Bill gave up on it after Sookie flat-out told him she was always the trustworthy one in the relationship, because I’d have loved to see him be an asshole and go inside anyway.
"If the next time I see you or that shit hole is 100 years from now, it’ll still be too goddamn soon.”
 Thankfully, Jason escaped the Hotshot rape room this week, going for the run of his life through the woods.  While hauling his ass away from the pissed off werepanthers chasing him down, his Fellowship of the Sun training kicked in when it came to hiding and eventually killing Felton.  Crystal is completely off her rocker this season, expecting Jason would come back with her to Hotshot after what they put him through.  It was quite the coincidence that the first people to find Jason after he stormed away from Big Momma Kitty were Hoyt and Jessica, who immediately sprang into action and started feeding him her blood.  True Blood has never glazed over the exchange of vampire blood and the consequences that arise from doing so-- it’s inevitable they’ll both be having some sexy dreams about each other, maybe even more.  But first, I have to scold Jessica for giving Arlene’s baby that doll last week.  What kind of creepy wall-writing entity are we dealing with?!  Was the message referring to Mikey or the doll?

"Stop saying fuck, I can’t concentrate."
 After Pam’s promise to eat, fuck, and kill them if they don’t deliver Marnie and return her maker’s memory back to rights-- Tara, Lafayette, and Jesus get their asses in gear.  Once they get their hands on the correct spell, with a little supernatural assistance, they meet back up with Pam who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘patience.‘  I wouldn’t be calling the witch who is powerful enough to cause this in the first place names and getting her flustered-- spell-work can be delicate and the wrong word could end up turning Eric into a rabbit.  Sure enough the name-calling makes the spirit inhabit Marnie once more and she’s in no mood to be nice and fix Eric.  Instead, she invokes a spell that makes Pam’s skin rot on her body, making her look as though she would fit right in as an extra on The Walking Dead.  Strike two against you Marnie!  Even Nan Flanagan isn’t going to be able to keep Bill and the other vampires from striking back at you now.  Also part of me wished in this episode, or the one previous, that Pam ran over and snatched that gun out of Tara’s cocky little hands.  Holding that gun on her makes her just as stupid as Pam was for calling Marnie names.  Wooden bullets may have caught Franklin off-guard, but Pam isn’t the same mentally unstable psychopath.

"Something terrible is wrong with you, there is no family feeling in your soul.” 
Elsewhere the quarreling shifter brothers are both getting their own surprises involving family.  Sam learns that Luna has a daughter, and a jealous ex who happens to be a werewolf.  While I do think Luna could be a good thing for Sam, he doesn’t exactly have the best record with relationships.  It’s also inevitable he’s going to have a run-in with this werewolf, whoever he may be, and it probably won’t end with just a simple handshake.  Poor Tommy on the other hand goes and pays a visit to his mama, who swears she’s finally left his daddy after he almost caused her to get her throat ripped out while in the dog-fighting ring.  He should have seen the red flags when she was complimenting and buttering him up all day, but clearly he still wants a connection with one member of his real family.  Alas his real family includes a father who chokes him out with a chain while he proclaims he’s going to train him correctly.  I know most fans don’t like Tommy, but I do feel bad for him.  He trusts the wrong people and uses the good people who might actually help him, but who can blame him as he’s used to being the one who gets fucked over first.  I hope Sam starts giving a shit about him again and maybe Tommy won’t end up dead by the end of the season.

Overall, it was a great fast paced episode which continued to move the plot forward in a positive direction.  It’s certainly not going to be an episode that fans will point to as their favorite of the season, but it included everything a good episode of True Blood should.  As always I’m curious to see where Alan Ball and co will surprise us all next!

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