Monday, June 27, 2011

'True Blood' recap: 'She's Not There'

Sassy at-home critic (and Rental Reviewer) Denise Purvis reviews HBO's vampire soap True Blood each week.

True Blood, recap 4.1: "She's Not There"

It has been nearly a year since we’ve visited Bon Temps and I feel like I need a T-shirt to commemorate our last visit like, “I went to Louisiana and all I got was this nasty bite mark.”

When we left many moons ago, Sookie revoked Bill’s privileges to enter her house, Russell was embedded in concrete, Sophie Anne and Bill were about to have it out, Sam shot Tommy and Tara rode off into the sunset with her new curl activator.

Now onto new business.

Sookie beams into a fairy land to discover mysterious Claudine is her fairy godmother. All around her, it would appear pseudo fairies like Sook are walking around with pure-bloods. Barry the bellboy from Season Two resurfaces as a new recruit to the land of the fae (I knew something was up with that guy; they surely waited a long time to reveal that secret.)

The pseudo fairies are getting all hopped up on a light fruit. I think there’s a little MDMA in every bite. And who should be with them, but Sookie’s grandpop (played by Bill Lumbergh himself).

This fairy business is entirely too ridiculous, but it turns out the fairy realm isn’t so fair after all. When Sookie won’t eat the light fruit and warns her grandfather not too (who had apparently be hanging out with the fae for 20 years but wasn’t aware of time passing), Queen Mab of the fairies pops in to reveal that she’s harvesting humans with fairy blood so they can seal their world from Earth. It’s all kind of vague, but the vampires nearly sucked fairies dry and … you know, I’ll just stop there.

Anyhow, when Sook refuses the offer from Mab and won’t eat the fruit, things get ugly, like actually ugly. As in, all the fairies turn into gremlins.

Did I accidently just change it to The Lord of the Rings? What’s up with all the orcs?

After a little mini-fae battle, Sook manages to escape Mab, head back to Earth with grandpa – who looks rough all of a sudden. Grandpa shows back up after 20 years of hanging out in fairy land, spends five minutes with Sookie and ends up dead. Typical. Adios, Grandpa. Again.

(Helpful tip: According to many sources of mythology, you're never, ever supposed to eat the food from enchanted realms. See: the story of Persephone)

Fairy land sucks up time, so Sookie thought that she was gone for two weeks, but was actually gone more than a year. As such, Jason – who is finally a deputy. Go Jason! - sold her house because everyone thought she was dead. (I guess it took a failed stint on the real estate market for them to finally clean up Marianne’s mess.)

Bill and Eric come crawling out of the woodwork once they smell Sookie. Bill – apparently now the King of Louisiana and a respectable business man who wears human makeup - said he feared Sook dead, Eric said he knew she was alive – somehow. When Sheriff Andy arrives, Bill covers for Sookie’s disappearance with a line about sending her off on vampire bidness.

In the lives of other characters, Jesus and Lafayette are still an item. Jesus has less facial hair, and Lafayette has more hair up top. The unambiguously gay duo are making the rounds at different occult gatherings, and pop in to Jesus’ coven of witches. This is when we meet Marnie, one of this season’s heavies. After much back and forth about ignoring his connection to magic – and being freaked out by a Marnie channeling the dead vamp Eddie - Lafayette accidentally assists Marnie in resurrecting her dead bird Minerva.

(Let’s get this out of the way: Minerva is the first name of Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter series. Fiona Shaw, who was Aunt Petunia in the Potter films, is the actress playing Marnie. Coincidence? Likely)

Anyhow, in one fell resurrected, then dead again, bird swoop we see Marnie get all evil-looking. And one of the sexy witches goes to report back on the sitch to King Bill.

Tara is now a MMA fighter. She always was ripped, so this twist totally makes sense. Oh and in a fancy turn of events, Tara’s fighting opponent is also her girlfriend. Tara has turned to the other team. But oh wait, that’s not really Tara as a lesbian, it’s Tara as “Tony,” her new alias that happens to be a lesbian. Tara seems stronger, tougher, but still avoiding everyone from Bon Temps. But her avoidance gets the at-home viewers a steamy sex scene. Unfortunately, we all know nothing goes well for long when Tara has sex.

Pam is back! And in a tweed suit! Apparently she’s not the best public speaker, but the vampires are still trying to regain human trust because politicians have stepped up anti-vampire sentiment after King Russell went cuckoo. Eric steps in and in with the fake charm of a TV pundit, pleads to TV viewers: “Who would you rather trust — a vampire or a politician?”

Jessica is settled down with Hoyt, but that’s not a good thing. He works, and she doesn’t want to cook for him. Then again, why would she? She drinks blood and thinks going to the Piggly Wiggly is like stepping into a morgue because all human food is dead. Hoyt to Jessica: “Do you think bleeding out into your mouth isn’t gross to me?”

After a fight, Hoyt takes Pam to Fangtasia (where human and vampires can coexists peacefully … until one gets eaten) so she can be with her own kind. Jessica is flirting with a little studly before trying to regain her (pale) composure in the bathroom. Little miss red is getting really horny and restless, or restless and hungry, but is trying to be a good girl.

Pam (now changed from her tweed suit to a dominatrix ensemble) advises her to forgo the monogamy and human relationship, and give in to the hunt.

Arlene (Hair. Even. More. Red!) had her badass evil baby. And it enjoys ripping the head off of the baby dolls. Terry’s response? “I used to put squirrel heads on lizard bodies.” Comforting.

Mama Fortenberry has taken Tommy under her wing, so I guess that Sam didn’t take a kill shot. From the looks of Tommy’s leg, I’m guessing that’s where the bullet landed. Sad day. I was hoping that Tommy would no longer be in the picture. I think Sam’s going to be paying for that injury in more ways than one. He should have just killed the dude while he had the chance. Instead, he has to deal with Tommy strutting into Merlotte’s looking like an innocent while also bilking Sam out of physical therapy money.

Smaller bites:
  • Tara abandoned the jerri curl. Good. I didn’t feel like that was a very good look for her.
  • Sheriff Andy is all hoped up on V.
  • Lafayette looks like a gay Mr. T. Then again, Mr. T looked like a gay Mr. T.
  • Sam’s anger-management group consists of shifters? I thought it was some sex club.
  • Jason is taking care of the Meth Clan. This scene is less like Bon Temps and a lot more like “The Hills Have Eyes.” I knew that he shouldn’t take care of those creeps. They locked him in a deep freezer and they padlocked it. Idiot.
  • Not only is Bill the new king but he’s got new hottie lawyer Portia Bellefleur (Courtney Ford) gunning for him. We know she’s bad news because she also played a psycho in Season Four of Dexter.