Welcome to Sucker Punch, the only blog post that ranks the gaudiest moments on this week's episode of True Blood.
(Warning: Spoilers Ahead)
(Extra warning: All the major spoilers are right up top this week.)
After delivering two exceptional segments in a row, True Blood comes closer to earth with "Hitting the Ground." That's not to say that the episode is bad -- it's really pretty good -- but it does contains some frustrating elements.
And by "frustrating elements," I mean, "this whole thing with Bill."
Now in this very moment, I'm engaged with what's happening to him. By viciously attacking Sookie in the back of that van -- despite the fact that he seemed to be unaware of what he was doing -- Bill has gotten himself ostracized from the human community that means so much to him. By helping Sookie kill Lorena (Bye-bye, diva! We'll miss you!), he's only furthering his alienation from his fellow vampires, whom he's already been pissing off or avoiding for quite some time.
In other words, Bill has become a creature without a country.
And the show is suggesting this will make him an evil bastard. You noticed, I'm sure, that after drinking Sookie's fairy blood (more on that in a minute), he is kinda-sorta impervious to sunlight. And then when Sookie is in magic fairy dreamland, her magic fairy bestie tells her that Bill is going to steal her light. And then dreamland gets dark.
So... is Bill going to hunt for Sookie's blood in the belief it will make him more human? Is he going to kill the humanity in his heart in order to preserve the humanity of his body?
Those are fascinating questions, but here's the frustrating part: We kind of know the answers. I mean, no matter how rocky things are for them right now, Bill and Sookie are going to end up together and in love. The entire series revolves around their relationship, and if Bill becomes truly evil and steals Sookie "light," then the show will permanently, intrinsically change. And while True Blood is on premium cable, where unexpected things happen all the time, I do not believe it will mix things up that much. In fact, if Bill and Sookie don't end up reconciled, then I will buy a cowboy hat and eat it.
Believing that things will work out okay makes all this drama feel pointless. Honestly, I have this problem a lot. When I can tell that a couple is going to be together, it's just annoying to see them go through the motions of conflict. Why waste everyone's time? Why not let Ross and Rachel get married already and then develop new dramas for them that don't rest on the phony threat of a breakup? Why not let Bill and Sookie just be together, and then figure out something new for them to deal with? Even if a couple isn't fighting or trying to rescue each other from werewolves, they can still generate a lot of interesting stories.
Do you know what I mean? True Blood has created one of the most imaginative universes on television. Can't it free itself from these hoary plotlines?
And okay, okay... I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong. Eating a cowboy hat would be painful for a few minutes, but watching yet another iteration of Bill-and-Sookie-might-not-make-it will be painful for weeks.
Meanwhile... Sookie's a fairy? I use the word "fairy" because of some of your comments about the books, and if that's indeed what's going on... well... I can deal with it. I'm not clear on the rules of fairydom -- why didn't Bill go crazy and drain Sookie all the other times he drank her blood? -- but I'm assuming they'll be explained to me.
Plus, it'll be fun watching everyone else on the show figure out the fairy rules. One thing I enjoy about this show is that unlike in the comic books I read as a kid, supernatural creatures don't all hang out together in big control rooms or underwater palaces. Nobody seems to know that fairies exist, just like shifters and vampires and werewolves are often surprised to learn about each other. Supernatural ability doesn't make you omniscient, which creates opportunities for comedy and surprise.
Oh, and speaking of surprise... I remain endlessly amazed by how much homoeroticism this show packs into every episode. When Jason is sitting in his chair, stripped to the waist and fondling his baton, while a half-naked Hoyt struts around in the background... well, I half expect them to play cops and robbers, if you know what I mean.
I get distracted from my porn fantasies, though, by my endless amusement with Jason's good-natured goofballery. Ryan Kwanten really does great things with this role, like how flits between "I'm a cop" and "I'm a puppy in love" when he's talking to Crystal's jailbird cousin. And then, just a few scenes later, he reveals deep soulfulness as he sits next to Sookie's hospital bed. I'm especially moved by his insistence that he can't be responsible for Sookie... because he just isn't a responsible person. Ironically, of course, that kind of revelation demonstrates that Jasonis becoming more mature and compassionate.
I'm also enjoying Sam's evolution into a righteous defender of his little brother. When he barks at Pa Mickens and tells Tommy he can offer him a better life, I want to jump up and salute a flag or something. Do it, Rambo!
In light of all this hoopla, my choice for Sucker Punch is admittedly a little strange. In an especially bloody episode -- dogfighting, Lorena staking, Sookie sucking, Magister beheading, Coot shoting, and so on -- the moment that makes me squirm offers only the threat of violence.
My skin is still crawling, in fact, as I think about the Magister threatening to put silver Tiffany earrings into Pam's eyelids. That's just revoltingly awful, and it exposes the corruption that Mississippi Russell, for all his insanity, is correct to denounce in the vampire hierarchy. Pam's sassy rejoinders to the Magister ("How did you know I'm a Tiffany girl?") only make the scene more intense because it mixes horror with laughter. Somehow, guessing at Pam's fear is more gruesome than seeing it on display.
I don't know... maybe I have a thing about my eyes. A few years ago, I performed in an Off-Broadway show that required me to dress like a woman, and putting on my mascara was like falling down a well of fire in a gasoline-soaked suit. But then again, maybe I'm Sucker Punched by this scene because Pam's eye-piercing is the one terrible thing we don't see this week. Sometimes, the imagined threat is more terrifying than the actual attack.
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