Saturday, August 08, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 1x04: "Escape From Dragon House"

Written by Scott Buckner
Directed by Michael Lehmann

Bill: “I promised your grandmother no harm would come to you at Fangtasia tonight. I’m not sure I’m gonna be able to keep that promise with you dressed like this.”
Sookie: “So are you saying you think I look nice?”
Bill: “Doesn’t matter what I think. This isn’t a date. Remember?”

Why not? For Sookie it will definitely one of the more memorable ways to spend an evening, though to be fair, so far she’s been inundated with memorable events so far – meeting a vampire, being nearly killed by rednecks, having to save other vampires from getting Hep D and now finding Dawn’s body.

Dawn joins Maudette in the sky as the connection between them and their predilection for being fang bangers does seem to be largely acknowledged. Of course, the bigger connection is that they both also had sex with Jason before they died as well.

It was natural that Jason would be arrested for this one too. He was there when Sookie found Dawn’s body and the neighbour from the previous episode had no problem telling Andy that Jason and Dawn had one hell of a spat before she was murdered. Geez, Jason, I think someone might be out to frame you.

The interrogation scene with Jason and Andy was certainly interesting. Why does Andy seem to have it in for Jason so much? I don’t like Jason either but Andy seemed to rule out the idea that both Maudette and Dawn had bite marks on them and instead made a desperate attempt to get Jason to confess.

Of course, Jason did have a good moment in questioning Andy’s sexual prowess when trying to prove a point and if it hadn’t been for Tara’s quick thinking, then Jason would be spending the rest of the night in the slammer. He certainly owed her one after that.

However lying to the police did seem reckless on Tara’s part because apart from the fact that she’s in love with him, she doesn’t actually know whether or not he’s innocent. Most of us assume he is, though it would be nice to have more evidence to back that up as well.

Jason seemed to freak out about the prospect of going to jail, yet he did very little to actually try and clear his name. He didn’t even seem remotely grateful when Sookie was telling him that she was reading people’s minds to try and help him out after she was asked by Gran to do so. Seriously, Jason nd help him out.en Sookie was telling him that she was reading people'to actually try and clear his name.ade a da bit of gratitude wouldn’t exactly go amiss.

When Jason wasn’t defending his name, another part of the episode was dedicated to his little problem with the V Juice. Only Jason would be dumb enough to neck the whole thing after Lafayette specifically told him not. The result did lead to some trite comedy but at least Ryan Kwanten is a good sport.

There were plenty of moments to laugh and cringe with Jason excessively masturbating and even using frozen meat to ease his erection down. I also have to agree with Tara during that little trip to the doctor’s. I don’t think I would be the same after that little incident. Still though, while the sex doesn’t bother me, it is becoming a thing with Jason even if he wasn’t actually doing it this week.

Tara’s crush on Jason is something that got a deeper meaning here. Physically, it’s easy to understand her attraction but Jason isn’t really that nice a guy, though a flashback where he protected Tara from a beating by her alcoholic mother did show that he can have his moments. However, Sam was right to show some concern about Tara wanting to cover for Jason.

Sam also has his moments of strangeness as well. The barking in his sleep clearly connects him to the dog theory but this episode; he seemed creepy when Arlene asked him to walk her to her car. Then there was him sniffing Dawn’s bed and stuff. I think that’s even more bizarre than Jason’s sexploits.

So, the other question to ask – is Sam the killer? I don’t know. The creepiness with him in this episode would suggest it but I don’t believe that this early in the season, the identity of the killer would be revealed. In other words, it has got to be a red herring, though I could be wrong. Also if Sam was the killer, he wouldn’t have been so eager for Sookie to read his mind.

However with Jason being so damn lazy to clear his name, I have to admit that I did enjoy Sookie and Bill as a team. It’s like Scooby Doo, except with a telepath and a vampire. Yeah, these two do make for an awesome team and I also like that we got to see a vampire bar.

I remember in interviews that Alan Ball described Fangtasia as the kind of gay bar you might have seen from a different time but it’s certainly an analogy that stands up pretty well. Even though she showed discomfort, I do like that Sookie managed to maintain a level of cool with the vampires eying her up.

As for Eric, I know he’s a vital player in the books but if there’s a flaw with this episode, it’s that we don’t get enough of him here. Because of that I don’t have anything much to say on him, except that he intrigues me and that because of Sookie warning him of a police raid, he’s clearly intrigued by her.

Eric had made no bones about the fact that he interacted with Dawn and Maudette so there’s a fairly good chance that he might know more than he told Sookie. Alexander Skarsgard is certainly a good choice for the role and I also liked Pam and her brief flirty moment with Sookie. However apart from Eric knowing Maudette and Dawn, he didn’t really give Sookie anything else to go on.

As for Bill, Sookie did really seem annoyed with him when he hypnotised that officer for stopping them in the middle of the road. I have to say, Sookie that things like this are what you’re going to get with Bill as a boyfriend. Might want to get used to it. Also, Bill could’ve done far worse to that guy under his control. Taking his gun was probably the least of it. Still wrong though.

Also in “Escape From Dragon House”

Sam was the cliff hanger ending of this episode. I’ll be surprised if someone doesn’t catch him sniffing Dawn’s bed sheets.

Jason (re Dawn): “Yeah, we had a fight but I came here to apologise.”
Sookie: “She fired a gun at you and you come back to apologise?”

Arlene can certainly nag Rene, can’t she? Plus she was a bit of a bitch to Bill, even if the circumstances were understandable.

Sam: “I tell you, Sook, sometimes I don’t even recognise this world we’re living in. God damn it.”
Sookie: “Be careful now. God didn’t do this.”

Andy: “Does it make you hot, Jason – killing girls and sticking it to them?”
Jason: “No.”
Andy: “See, I think it does. I think it turns you on.”
Jason: “Sounds to me like it turns you on.”

Alexander Skarsgard who plays Eric was made a series regular in this episode. Looks like we’ll be getting more of the older vampire.

Tara: “Is that funny because I’m a woman or a black woman?”
Andy: “I thought it was funny because you can talk like a lawyer but you ain’t one.”

Arlene (re Dawn): “Please. Ain’t there even a part of you that thinks she had it coming?”
Sookie: “No, not a single part and I’m taking your ranch.”

Hoyt seems to have issues with his mother. His thoughts were also seemingly more pure than any of the other patrons in Merlotte’s. Sookie reacted by kissing him on the cheek, which was sweet.

Lafayette: “Maybe you should try rubbing one out.”
Jason: “Would you listen to me? I’ve got gout on my dick.”

Sookie: “Fangtasia?”
Bill: “You have to remember that most vampires are very old. Puns used to be the highest form of humour.”

More discussion on Grandpa Stackhouse. Last week it was implied that Sookie got her gift from him, this week we learned he died of gout.

Sam: “Vampires think about one thing and one thing only. Drinking your blood.”
Sookie: “Oh, like humans aren’t bloodthirsty. All those people out there want to see my brother hanged for a crime he didn’t commit. Is that what you want?”

Longshadow (re Maudette): “This one, she wanted to die.”
Sookie: “How do you know?”
Longshadow: “Everyone who comes here does in their own way. That’s what we are – death.”

In personal news, it’s been posted everywhere that actors Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are engaged, so congratulations to them. Oh and Bill drinks O while Eric can summon you if he pleases.

Jason: “A needle in my dick? That’s the least radical thing you can do?”
Doctor: “It is.”

Sookie (to Eric): “How do you know my name?”
Pam: “I never forget a pretty face. You’re in my vault.”

Standout music: Definitely would be “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Heaven 17 and “That Smell” from Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Sookie: “It’s nice to meet you.”
Eric: “Well, aren’t you sweet?”
Sookie: “Not really.”

Chronology: It’s been less than a week since the events of “Strange Love”.

“Escape From Dragon House” is a good episode, full of wonderful moments and a nice sense of momentum. Eric’s introduction and his dynamic with Bill is something I’m looking forward to seeing further fleshed out in later episodes.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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