Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 1x05: "Sparks Fly Out"

Written by Alexander Woo
Directed by Daniel Minahan

Gran (to everyone): “We don’t have anything to be frightened of. Mr Compton is the perfect gentleman.”

Oh yes, Bill is perfect in every way but this was also the same episode that Sookie decided to stop seeing him, much to Bill’s obvious displeasure. I knew she was irritated by his attitude towards that officer but to side with Bill for a little bit, the officer had it coming.

It was the cop that tried to cause a scene by deliberately stopping Sookie and Bill, all because the latter is a vampire. Bill could’ve picked a more socially acceptable way (by human standards) to have handled the situation but at the same time, Bill didn’t hurt the guy.

Still Bill’s loss did end up being Sam’s temporary gain. Under any other circumstances, I think Sookie might have rejected Sam’s offer to take her to the Descendants Of The Glorious Dead meeting. Sookie clearly doesn’t fancy Sam and I think her reason for going might have been for some normality after the last couple of nights.

Except that as an audience, it’s been established that Sam isn’t actually normal. There is something about him and even Sookie later alluded to it. Sam immediately clammed up when she asked him about his parents. He even mentioned that he practically raised himself and Sookie noted that he thought differently to other people.

However that was nothing compared to Sam’s behaviour later. Kissing Sookie when she clearly wasn’t ready for it was one thing but letting his jealousy regarding Bill out was certainly another. Sookie had every right to be pissed off with him. Why did Sam wait until Bill came into the picture to make a move?

Speaking of Bill, all it took was for him to talk openly about his war experiences at that meeting for Sookie to soften up to him. In some ways, it’s interesting to watch her grandmother almost encourage her to date a vampire while everyone else is disgusted by the very idea. Adelle seems to be the only cast regular outside of Sookie who actually likes Bill.

The meeting itself was fantastic. Having Bill talk of his war experiences was effectively touching and even seeing him choke up a little when the Mayor showed him an old picture of Bill’s family became more poignant in the last few scenes of the episode as well.

This episode in a lot of ways was Stephen Moyer’s for the taking. His performance here was by far his best. I liked seeing how Bill’s war experiences even had one person come up and talk to him being strong but more importantly, I adored the flashbacks that showed how Bill was made.

It took me the longest of times to cop on to the fact that Lorena was a vampire. When she failed to seduce Bill, she then turned him. For once, Bill’s noble intentions back fired on him in a big way. Lorena not only sentenced him to immortality but Bill was even denied seeing his family one last time.

However more shocking/intriguing that Bill’s flashbacks was the death of Adelle Stackhouse. Goddamn it, you lot couldn’t have waited until the end of the season to have bumped her off? Sadly Adelle seemed to follow a statistic but her only crime was being sweet to Bill. It’s not like she’s screwing vampires left, right and centre and if Adelle can be targeted, then Sookie can’t be far off.

Her relationship with Bill (and what are the odds that Adelle’s death won’t bring her and Bill closer?) certainly puts her in trouble but also, this is the second time that Sookie has walked in on someone close to her that’s been murdered in less than a week. How the hell are you supposed to cope with that?

More importantly, how are the police going to blame Jason for this one? Andy’s avowed hatred towards Jason and the previews for the next episode strongly suggested that Jason was going to be blamed for yet another murder he didn’t obviously commit.

It would be nice at some point if we got an actual reason as to why Andy hates Jason so much. He tried to catch Sookie out on a lie about Jason and Tara and Sookie retaliated by reminding him that he had no evidence so to speak. She was also right to be slightly annoyed with Tara for lying for her brother.

I’m betting though after this episode, a part of Tara will wish that she hadn’t bothered lying for Jason. Most people when they have a nasty drug experience will either stay well clear from the substance in question or learn to use it in moderation. Lafayette tried to teach Jason how to use V in moderation. Lafayette would’ve stood a far better chance of a wall comprehending that information. No, seriously, Jason is that thick.

Sure his trippy little scenes make for some fun moments, the kind of moments I used to enjoy on Six Feet Under whenever a certain character got high but I wanted to smack Jason. He told Tara to give him a chance and then he shagged a girl (the one that Hoyt repulsed when she saw him sampling True Blood) in an alley and didn’t stop even after Tara threw trash all over them. Damn, Jason, you are one cold bastard.

As for Lafayette, while I don’t largely approve of his drug dealing/prostitute side of him to an extent, he earned a shit load of respect for the way he handed some much needed kick ass to a bunch of homophobic jerks. AIDS burgers? Further proof of how amazingly stupid beyond belief that some people are.

I loved Lafayette smacking them. If you’re going to behave like that towards people you don’t know, then don’t be surprised if they decide to defend themselves in a more aggressive. Not that Lafayette has anything to be apologetic towards. It’s not his fault he’s more interesting that those stupid oafs.

Also in “Sparks Fly Out”

For once the first scene in the episode didn’t continue from the last in the previous episode. Sam made it out of Dawn’s house without being caught.

Adelle: “I didn’t hear you come in last night.”
Sookie: “You went to bed early. You didn’t wanna hear me.”

Isn’t it a bit strange that Andy seemed more sympathetic towards Bill than Bud did? I hope we get more on that.

Lafayette (to Jason): “Listen; don’t blame the Ferrari just because you don’t know how to drive.”

Tara (to Sookie): “Not every detail of everyone’s personal life is your business, okay? Keep that girl away from me.”

Tara’s ‘lalalala’ when Sookie was reading her mind was hilarious. However what else could Tara be hiding that Sookie isn’t aware of?

Bill (to everyone): “As you can see, I do not burst into flames. We vampires are not minions of the devil.”

Child (re Bill): “Mama, he’s so white.”
Arlene: “No, darling, we’re white, he’s dead.”

Arlene really does seem heavily intolerant of vampires. I think Rene is too, though as strongly as Arlene.

Maxine: “You won’t vanish in the photo?”
Bill: “That’s just a myth and one I’ll be happy to disprove.”

Tara: “Oh my God, you’re still high. I’m gonna kill Lafayette.”
Jason: “No don’t, I’m not high. I am high but that doesn’t mean that what I see ain’t real.”

Tara was pouring water in one of Jason’s trippy moments. He also talked about her sparking as he was seeing sparks fly out a few times in the episode.

Sam (re Bill): “You kissed him?”
Sookie: “That’s none of your business.”
Sam: “What else did you do?”
Sookie: “That’s really none of your business.”

Rene (to Jason, re Hoyt): “It’s like watching Animal Planet. Any second she’s gonna bite his head off.”

Standout music: “Sparks Fly Out” by Paul Birch and “I Feel Alright” by Steve Earle.

Bill: “They are my family.”
Lorena: “They are as good as dead if they’re found harbouring a vampire.”

Chronology: Still only less than a week since “Strange Love”.

“Sparks Fly Out” is truly a standout episode, very event worthy without feeling like an obvious event or sweep type of episode, if that makes sense. I’ve also realised that I’ve now become kind of addicted to this show and that’s quick for me.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

No comments: