TRUE BLOOD 4.3 – “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?”

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Episode three and things finally get going.  The various stories are starting to pick up some steam, and not a moment too soon.  But you know it’s going to be an episode of some consequence when you see that show-runner Alan Ball has written this one himself.

Okay, let’s get Eric out of the way first.  Eric has forgotten a lot of things … Who he is, who “Snookie” is, where he left his shirt … Not that I imagine his many Eric-olytes will be complaining too bitterly about the latter.  Fortunately, as I hoped, this story is (at least so far) being played for laughs, allowed Skars to flex his comedy muscles as well as all his … other muscles.

That said, he does seem remarkably calm as he explains to Sookie “Everything I was, was taken from me”.  For her part, Sookie also takes in his predicament without a trace of cynicism or fluster.  But then, she has spent four years dealing with the melodramas of vampires.

As we know, Sookie’s a sucker for a vulnerable vamp … That’s how Bill won her over, by being constantly wracked with ethical and existential pain.  All Eric has to do is let his hair and his guard down.  He’s certainly more engaging when he isn’t playing the pretentious alpha vamp!

By contrast to the humour of Alexander Skarsgård’s performance,  Ryan Kwanten’s Jason is, unusually, getting to exercise his dramatic acting chops.  His story has taken a disturbing turn as his jailers – the Hot Shot Clampetts – are afforded a little back story.  They have some childish understanding of their heritage involving The Sky People (faeries maybe?) and Ghost Mama and Ghost Daddy being eaten and then thrown up by a panther – because Nature said so.  Or something.  Anyway, this garbled pseudo-religious nonsense at least begins to explain their deeply-flawed logic.    

Although his panther wounds are surprisingly superficial given how the attack seemed last week, they’re still infected and, as he passes in and out of fever, Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher) tells Jason that they believe he is “being reborn” as their new Ghost Daddy.  Of course, they believe in magic and have no idea about infection.  So his fever is not indicative of him becoming a panther, it’s indicative of him dying – hence the line used as the episode’s title. 

As we leave him, he is suffering a fate which is one part wet dream to about five parts worst nightmare.  If he makes it out of this alive, Mr Libido may well have learned to keep it in his trousers from now on!

Sam Trammell’s story still hasn’t really found a direction yet and he seems to be there merely to give Chris Bauer’s Andy Bellefleur and Marshall Allman’s Tommy Mickens someone to bounce off.  Similarly, there is no sensible reason to reintroduce Alcide Herveaux  (Joe Manganiello) save to have yet another chiselled portable wall for Sookie to be tempted by.  They grow their boys big in the backwoods!

Bill, similarly, is treading water this week.  He signs a True Death warrant, showing he can be decisive and cruel having essentially taken over the role of Magister; then dives into his tradition (now weekly, it seems) shagging scene.

Kristin Bauer looking for her vampire contact lens.
Kristin Bauer’s Pam, by contrast, steps front and centre, making all the decisions now Eric is … indisposed.  She’s always been a vampire with a clearer vision of ‘them’ and ‘us’ so, when she tells LaFayette, Tara and Jesus (Nelsan Ellis, Rutina Wesley and Kevin Alejandro) that, in twenty-four hours, she may well eat them, fuck them and kill them (in that order) you know she means that quite literally!

The weird hippy witch, Marnie (played by Fiona Shaw, who you will most likely remember as Harry Potter’s wicked aunt Petunia) reveals just how unbalanced and potentially dangerous she is with her blood sacrifice and her “make me your servant” incantation.  She gets her wish: A visitor from beyond.  I imagine she may come to rue what she has wished for.

A couple of apparent throwaway moments which will become more significant as the show develops:  Remember Jessica’s creepy doll lying on the floor in her and Hoyt's house?  That’s back.  No idea why yet.  But it is shown in the ‘previously on’ montage and then in the show – so you just know it’s going to build in significance.

Also, the latest shenanigan of the building anti-vampire movement is a YouTube video and a new viral website for the fans to visit:  Off you go, then.  But hurry back!

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