Last night’s episode of True Blood was called “Spellbound” and the title couldn’t have been more fitting. Three dream sequences and more spell-casting left me reeling with mouth agape. And now Eric is Antonia’s servant? Whaaa? This will be interesting to watch develop.
The opening scene was fantastic, visually and emotionally. Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), under Antonia’s spell to bring all vampires out into the sun, opens the door and begins to burn. Through the vision of pure sunlight, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) bursts through and knocks her to the floor, kicking the doors closed and wrapping her up in the carpet. Yay, Jason saves the day! Suddenly, Jessica flips him on his back and raises her hand , baring her fangs, in a fit of vampire anger. Cut to opening credits. Gah! We are breathless!
Fortunately, Jessica comes to her senses before biting Jason and killing him, but she ends up in a passionate kiss with him, which he returns. Until he remembers that he is kissing his best friend’s girlfriend. Oops! The gallant Jason picks up Jessica and brings her downstairs to Bill who is still in his cell, chained in silver. Here is an agonized Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). He thinks his child has met the sun and he couldn’t do a thing to stop her. He is indebted to Jason and then asks that Jason keep the guard’s murder (at Jess’s hands) a secret. Jason is cool with that as long as Bill doesn’t say anything about the guard he shot in Bill’s front yard. Deal!
Sookie (Anna Paquin) begins to take the chains off of Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), but ouch! I think he screamed a cuss word in his native tongue. Sookie understands that he needs to feed, so she offers up herself (sans silver platter because that would just be…well, you know). Eric tells her to keep a peice of silver handy in case he can’t stop himself. She trusts him, though, and before you know it – Sookie Pie! The surprise came when Eric offers Sookie his bleeding hand to form a blood-bond with her. Wow, didn’t see that coming for at least another season, but cool! It was a great way to lead us into The Shower.
The Shower – well, it wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it wasn’t horrible either. Alan Ball warned us at Comic Con that it would be a lot weirder than the book scene. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. We start off in the shower, and a rather nice view of Eric’s bum, but then the lighting changes and it starts to – snow? Opening the shower curtain reveals a lovely clearing in a wooded area with a large bed in the center of it and fur blankets. Sookie and Eric make love, but then things slow down. For me, I was a bit bored by it and a little under-whelmed. Visually, it was gorgeously shot and we are reminded of Jason’s V-induced love-making with Amy a couple seasons ago. Eric is high on Sookie’s faerie blood and Sookie on Eric’s 1000-year old blood. However, things got a bit schmaltzy in the dialog department, for me. I’m still trying to figure out what Alan was trying to do here.
Antonia/Marnie (Fiona Shaw) is completely peeved that her spell didn’t work except on one vampire. She throws a fit with Tara (Rutina Wesley) as witness, and convinces Tara that the only way to keep humans safe is to destroy all vampires, good, bad or indifferent. Tara’s fine with this. She’s tired of being afraid for her life and worried about her best friend’s involvement with them. Antonia says she can teach Tara how to use power to protect herself. Well, after all that Tara had been through, wouldn’t you want an all powerful weapon for self-defense? I would!
It’s during this conversation that Bill calls. He wants to meet with Antonia and negotiate peace. Antonia is not having any of that, but Bill brilliantly plays to her emotions and they set the time and place.
Eric and Sookie tell Bill they will fight with him. Bill tries to tell Sookie that she should stay home because she could be killed, but Sookie reminds him that she has powers as well and could be of use. Besides, she’s ready to die if it means the people she loves will be safe. Brava, Sookie! Bill accepts their allegiance and when Eric calls him “my liege”, Sookie simply says “my…Bill”. I had to add that in here because I thought it was so funny, especially the look on Bill’s face when she said it.
Meanwhile, in Alcide/Debbie-land, after joining this new pack lead by Marcus, Debbie is all giddy with the sense of belonging she so desperately wanted. Alcide is still reserving judgement, but Marcus likes what he sees in Alcide and encourages him to think about moving up in the ranks. Debbie is so proud of her man! She’s still concerned about Alcide’s care of Sookie, though. Especially after Marcus the pack that they do not belong in the witch/vampire war, and will remain out of it. Alcide is clearly wanting to get into that war and Debbie basically tells him to get over it. Sookie comes with vampires and they both know it. It’s who she is. Alcide promises not to be involved with Sookie anymore. Mistake!
Jessica is having a really bad night. She dreams that she tells Hoyt she wants to break up with him and he has a complete melt-down. Kudos to Jim Parrack for his superb acting in this scene, as well as the real breakup scene, where he loses control of his temper and rescinds Jessica’s invitation in the house. Jessica makes the mistake of going to Jason’s house to tell him she and Hoyt are over and now they can be together. Jason freaks out and also rescinds her invitation. Here we see a marked growth in character. The old Jason would have been all over Jess in an instant. But this new and improved Jason will not cross that line between best friends when it concerns girlfriends. I have to give props to Jason for this.
Andy Bellefleur is at the crime scene of the vampire who burned in the sun, Maxine’s neighbor. The vampire blood almost proves too tempting to him and Jason has to step in and pull him out of it. I’m so glad because that would have been gross. That vampire, by the way, looked like a “Bones” victim. Ew!
Tommy (Marshall Allman) takes on Maxine’s image and meets with the lawyer who offered big bucks for the Fortenberry property. Being kicked out of Sam’s life for good, the kid has to live somehow and I can’t feel sorry for Maxine (Dale Raoul). She’s bad people. However, Tommy is wrong and I truly hope that Sam turns him around, if it’s not too late. By the way, much applause for Dale Raoul’s performance in this scene. She totally nailed it channeling Tommy!
Sam and Luna patch things up, largely due to little Emma’s choice. She wants Sam around! Unfortunately, this doesn’t go over too well when Marcus, who is Emma’s father, shows up. Sam just made a bad enemy.
Finally, we get the link between the creep doll and Mavis, the ghost haunting baby Mikey. While Lafayette naps on his couch, he has a dream which turns out to be Mavis’s memories. She had a baby by a white, married man, and the baby dies but she is not allowed to see it one last time. So Mavis wants baby Mikey for herself, it seems. She takes over Lafayette’s body and goes to get the baby – and the doll, which she had bought for her baby. So now creepy doll is not so creepy, but to me, sad. It’s like wondering what happened to the people who owned an antique piece. Sometimes, getting that back story is bittersweet and that’s how I felt. It also looks like the father of Mavis’s baby may have been a Bellefleur. Interesting! Another round of applause for Nelsan Ellis’s great performance as Mavis takes over.
A lot happens in this episode and some storylines come together nicely. The scene in the cemetery was confusing but well done, I thought. Bill comes upon Pam as she is just about to yank Tara’s jugular out, and he commands her to stop and never attack Tara again. I’m thinking Bill just made some points with Tara, but not so much with Pam. Then we see Sookie get shot, although we don’t know who pulled the trigger. Who comes to her rescue but Alcide – with Debbie Pelt following him, witnessing his broken promise to her. Exit nice Debbie; enter murderous Debbie.
Next week looks like it will be just as intense as the season begins to wind up to its dramatic conclusion. This was another very strong episode and I couldn’t be happier with the direction Alan Ball has taken.