Welcome to Sucker Punch, the only blog post that ranks the gaudiest moments in this week's episode of True Blood.
I liked several things about "Soul of Fire," but since I want us to leave in a good mood, I'm going to save them until the end. First, I've gotta deliver some tough love...
I hart True Blood, but this entire season has been based on a bogus conflict.
For 11 episodes, we've been watching the Witch-Vampire war, and we've been told the war is important because it could result in vampire extinction. Martonia has been determined to obliterate the fangers, and the vampires have been afraid she could actually do it. Scenes like Jessica's slow crawl to the sun have suggested the vampires are this close to getting wiped out, and we're obviously supposed to be worried about it. By extension, we're also supposed to worry for Sookie. In this episode, when Martonia surrounds her in a burning ring of fire, we're supposed to think that she could die for trying to help the vamps.
But we know it's just a tease. True Blood is a vampire show, and on a vampire show, the vampires are never going to lose. Meanwhile, Sookie is the lead character, so even though she's not a vampire, she's not going to die, either. Therefore, all this witch vs. vampire stuff is just a waste of our time. Instead of getting wrapped up in it and wondering how it will end, I get bored and frustrated, waiting for Marnie's inevitable defeat.
AND SO... I don't give a salty damn when Marnie magically binds Antonia to her spirit, even though Antonia wants to be free. I don't care when Martonia kills a defecting witch, then Jesus and Lafayette use her corpse in a secret spell that releases Antonia for good. I don't care that Marnie loses her power once Antonia is set free, meaning her force field around MoonGoddess goes down, and I don't care that the vampires break in and kill her. I don't care, because there was no other way this was going to end.
I am not saying, however, that I don't care about these individual characters. I still love Lafayette and Jesus, for instance... just not in these predictable circumstances.
And speaking of predictable, it seems like Jesus is going to die next week. Now that he's been a hero and saved everyone from Marnie's wrath, he's arguably ended his journey on the show. I'm guessing that Marnie's spirit (which jumps into Fay Fay's body at the end of this episode) will attack Jesus and that Jesus will finish his hero's voyage by rescuing Lafayette and sacrificing himself. I hope I'm wrong, but again, it seems inevitable. Someone is probably going to die in the season ender, and the show is obviously never going to kill off a character from Season 1. And since the writers have just launched a new storyline for Debbie and Alcide, that leaves Jesus. Again, I hope I'm wrong.
Oh, also? The other big problem with this season, along with the faulty "drama" of Witches vs. Vampires, is the insistence on bringing everyone back to life and/or denying them consequences. I've written at length about this, so I won't harp on it, but let me say this: When Jason gets fried by Martonia's force field, it's incredibly boring to have Jessica run right out and heal him with her blood. Again. It's equally boring to have Marnie inhabit Lafayette's body about one second after she dies. If we know the vampires can't lose and we know that no one ever really dies, then nothing means anything.
Okay, okay. I'm being repetitive. Let's move to Andy's woodsy romp with a faerie, which at least was unpredictable. I have no idea how this story is going to play out, and I'm grateful for that. What if something awesome happens? Fingers crossed!
Similarly, I'm not sure what to make of Jessica and Jason's episode-ending decision to love each other, Hoyt be damned. It took a long time to get to this point, but now that we're here, I'm interested to see what will happen next. Will either of these characters grow into something else as they grow toward each other?
I'm also dying to see what happens next with Alcide, Debbie, and Sam. They all end up at Alcide and Debbie's place, since Marcus is there to put the moves on Debbie and (whoops!) he's also brought his little girl. When Alcide and Sam burst in on Debbie and Marcus, Sam drops some revenge punches on Marcus for killing Tommy and kidnapping the kid, but it's Alcide who goes wild. Suddenly disillusioned by both his pack and his girlfriend, he kills Marcus in a rage. After he does that, eyes blazing, he ritually separates himself from Debbie, hurling horrible phrases like "I will no longer share flesh with you." The acting in this moment is incredible. We can see Alcide's wolf nature tearing free and see Debbie's soul collapse as her worst fear comes true. I've heard rumblings that the werewolves and shifters will be the focus of next season, and I hope they are. Right now, they're the ones with the most interesting stories to tell. They're the ones who are surprising me because the series hasn't trapped them inside a phony conflict.
Oh... and Alcide's nasty break-up with Debbie is totally the Sucker Punch of the Week. Turns out, some things are worse than getting dumped via Post-It.
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