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True Blood Sucker Punch: Episode 9

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Welcome to Sucker Punch, the only blog post that ranks the gaudiest moments on this week's episode of True Blood

Warning: This post contains spoilers

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What can I say? I wasn't feeling it tonight. "I Will Rise Up" has a few Sucker Punches, but it mostly functions as a placeholder, as though the series is clearing its throat before it gets down to the serious business of wrapping up the season.

This episode's biggest event is Godric's suicide-by-sunlight, but as turning points go, it's not that powerful. The dude's only been around for a few episodes, meaning we've heard about his greatness more than we've actually seen it for ourselves. And since we haven't had time to connect to him, it's hard to care about his death.

Plus, actor Allan Hyde has given a bloodless performance. His mopey take on Godric's spiritual fatigue has slowed the show down, making it even harder to fret that he's gone.

And sure, sure. I wrote last week that Godric's willingness to compromise with the Fellowship was intellectually interesting, and it was. But that was the problem, you know? Godric was an interesting concept who never became a fully engaging presence.

At least there's Alexander Skarsgaard's performance as Eric. We might not be able to share his character's remorse for Godric's death, but his breakdown on the hotel rooftop is stirring just the same. Weeping blood and whimpering in pain, he crouches before his beloved maker, aware that he can't stop what's about to happen. We can see his grief and sympathize. We can maybe fall in love with him.

But we can't love him completely, the little scamp. He starts the episode by tricking Sookie into drinking his blood, which bonds her thoughts to his. His "I'll die if you don't suck this silver out of my chest" routine is sexy, funny, and perverse, and in conjunction with the rooftop scene, it makes Eric even more complex and enjoyable. You've got to appreciate a character who can be so callous and so tender in the same night.

Meanwhile, this is yet another episode that leaves the characters in Bon Temps getting ready to do stuff instead of actually doing stuff, but at least they can't take another step without finally taking some decisive action. I mean, for God's sake, Maryann storms into Merlotte's claiming that the "coming God" demands a sacrifice. I'd say it's finally time for some capital-B butt kicking. If the throwdown is gigantic enough, then I will forgive all sorts of foot-dragging and sidetracking.

As for Sucker Punches: Hoyt's shouting match with his mama sure gets a nomination, especially when he mentions that she hates African-Americans and she says that's supposed to be a secret. That's so trashy and so accurate. I mean, do you have a white relative or neighbor or friend who always says the word "black" in a whisper? As in,"Oh Hoyt, you know Dana. She's that pretty young (((black girl))) who works at the bank." That's exactly the kind of "secret" racism we're talking about here, and God love Nancy Oliver's script for evoking it in just a few words.

The Sucker Punch Silver Medal goes to Lafayette for busting Tara out of Sookie's house. Between the thirty-five brilliant one-liners and the do-not-touch-her punches he throws, he basically impersonates the entire cast of American Gladiators as he drags his cousin away from Maryann.

Ultimately, though, this week's Sucker Punch prize is that chest-sucking scene. Bloody and intimate and dirty... it's just the kind of nastiness that makes True Blood tick.

For more, please join me at The Critical Condition.