Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 1x07: "Burning House Of Love"

Written by Chris Offutt
Directed by Marcos Siega

Pam (to Jason): “Go on in. Good luck getting out.”

It’s the night when Sookie finally lost her virginity to Bill. This episode opened up with the two of them leaving off the blood and getting down to business. Maybe not quite as romantic as Buffy and Angel but at least we can rule off Bill going after Sookie’s closest ones or can we?

I don’t know if there was possibility a subconscious part of Sookie that might have been intentional when she opened up to Bill about Uncle Bartlett’s inappropriate past behaviour with her. I more or less guessed that he might have abused her and I’m not entirely surprised that Sookie told Bill about Bartlett.

The question is was there the tiniest part of her deep down that might have hoped that Bill would end up killing Bartlett like he did in this episode? I couldn’t hold it against Sookie because hell would have to freeze over before I’d ever sympathised with the death of a paedophile and even then, I wouldn’t.

I can’t imagine that Sookie would be grateful to Bill for doing in her nasty uncle but I don’t know if I can imagine (or want to) her having any kind of grief for Bartlett as well. Still the start of this episode did connect Sookie more with Bill. He even showed her where exactly he slept as well.

The flipside to Sookie and Bill consummating their relationship however was felt through the episode. Lafayette was too suspicious of the sudden spring in Sookie’s step and Arlene didn’t waste time blabbing to everyone when she realised that Sookie lost her virginity to a vampire.

The problem was that everyone’s reactions were so bleeding predictable and ultimately annoying. People were too busy either calling Sookie a slut or yelling at her that not once did anyone express some concern. The girl just lost her grandmother; you’d think someone in Bon Temps would convey a little sympathy.

Sookie probably didn’t do herself much favours as well by being so defensive about sleeping with Bill but when you have everyone else acting like judge, jury and executioner, what else can you do? Also it didn’t help that Sam was still clearly bitter from Sookie rejecting him in the last two episodes as well. Sam, you need to let her go, she’s not interested.

The worst part of about having a boyfriend for a vampire is dealing with other vampires too. Malcolm, Diane and Liam came back in this episode and caused a riot in Merlotte’s. Worse than that, they even managed to pull Bill away from Sookie. That is unless Bill had plans to take care of them himself.

As for those redneck losers burning up the trio’s house, I’m not worried. By that, I mean that Bill has to be safe, right? Alan Ball is daring but he’s not going to kill off his leading but if the rest of them survived, those rednecks better leave town. From what we’ve seen, Malcolm is not someone who deals with being wronged so well.

Speaking of wrong, Jason and that damn downward spiral of his continues like there’s no tomorrow. He was so desperate for V that Lafayette cut him off and he resorted to trying to steal Adelle’s jewellery to get some. Sookie thankfully was able to stop so Jason did the only other thing in his bid to get vampire blood – a trip to Fangtasia.

Watching the scene drew a comparison for me. It was like watching a gay basher go to a gay bar and from the way that Pam was trying to figure Jason out, I thought she was going to kill him. I don’t think I would’ve blamed her. Jason may not be as bad as those losers who torched the trio’s house but he is a bigot in his own way.

He’s also stupid as he nearly got himself killed inside Fangtasia when trying to score some V juice. If it hadn’t been for Amy interrupting him, Sookie might be burying yet another family member in a short space of time. Amy saved Jason from being drained but she also spurred his growing dependency for V.

This makes me conflicted about Amy. On one hand, she’s possibly the most interesting woman that Jason has gotten involved with but on the other, she’s encouraging his V habit. That being said, their trippy sequences were visually stunning to watch. That’s bad on my part I know.

As for Fangtasia, I’m finding myself wanting more and more of the place. Yes, it looks horribly clichéd but it’s enjoyable and I suppose some more insight into Eric wouldn’t go amiss. This episode was his second appearance and apart from belittling a fang banger, he didn’t do much so I still don’t have a strong opinion whereas Pam I do like as a character.

I also love myself Tara and this was a hard episode for her too. I’m glad that she showed wariness towards Lettie Mae’s demon claims but I also knew that after the whole bank fiasco that she’d cave in. I know I’m going to sound like a horrible person but I really do hate Lettie Mae.

Alcoholics can’t help themselves but this woman does strike me as too manipulative and exorcisms aside, I just don’t trust Miss Jeanette. Actually you can scratch that – I actively dislike the woman and wanted Tara to smack her one when she suggested that Tara had a demon inside her.

Miss Jeanette played on Tara’s insecurities – lack of boyfriend, dire job history, living at home with her mother. Unfortunately I relate to Tara’s insecurities, hence my general sympathy for the character but I get the feeling that both her mother and Miss Jeanette are playing her. Maybe I’m wrong and Tara does have a demon inside but somehow I seriously doubt it.

Also in “Burning House Of Love”

The lighting for Sookie and Bill’s big scene at the beginning was striking. Stephen Moyer recently said in a magazine (SFX) that he’s gotten into hot water for enjoying sex scene. It’s a different response from most actors.

Bill (to Sookie): “We started many of the myths about ourselves centuries ago. If humans thought we couldn’t be seen in the mirror, it was another way to prove we weren’t vampires and that way we could stay hidden.”

Bill discussed crucifixes and holy water having no effect and garlic being slightly inconvenient. It’s nice that dispelling some of these myths give vampires on this show more freedom.

Jason: “Look, I’ll pay however you want. I’ll even show my wiener on your website.”
Lafayette: “You can take your little stumpy white dick and get the fuck up out my joint. That’s what I want.”

Tara: “Does the demon know you spike your coffee?”
Lettie Mae: “I can’t help it. The demon told me to finish off everything in the house today. It doesn’t want me to get exorcised.”

Part of Miss Jeanette’s exorcism included a chrome stone as well as drowning the possum that the ‘demon’ went into after leaving Lettie Mae’s body.

Jason: “You went and did it, huh? My own sister, nothing but a fang banger. You saved it all these years for a fucking vampire.”
Sookie: “Bill is a gentleman.”

Sam: “Don’t treat me like some asshole.”
Tara: “Do you honestly think I’d sleep with you if I thought that?”

Tara imparted some DIY tips to Sam in his trailer. Andy and Terry also saw Sam running naked through the woods when they were fishing. I liked Terry in this episode and hopefully we’ll get more of him.

Jason (re Sookie): “How do you know her?”
Pam: “She stands out, do you?”
Jason: “Um, no. Maybe in other ways.”

Lettie Mae: “Is it gonna hurt?”
Miss Jeanette: “Course, it’s gonna hurt. It’s like childbirth, except the demon doesn’t wanna come out and it ain’t your body that’s gonna get ripped up, it’s your soul.”

Some other character bits: Sam further alluded to a distant relationship with his family, Jason did Landscape Technology for two years, Amy angered her family by ditching Law for Philosophy and Lettie Mae unsurprisingly thinks that Lafayette is a sexual deviant. Plus a bank has accepted a vampire client. Bill or Eric?

Amy: “Let’s get out of here before you get us all killed.”
Jason: “I ain’t going until I got what I came for.”

Sookie (re Bill): “I am his.”
Malcolm: “Well, he’s not here, is he? And while Bill is away, Malcolm will always play.”

Standout music: The Knitters “Burning House Of Love” and Cowboy Junkies “Sweet Jane”.

Miss Jeanette: “I can help you.”
Tara: “I don’t want it, I don’t need it and I sure as hell can’t afford it.”

Chronology: Takes place directly from where “Cold Ground” left off.

“Burning House Of Love” is a satisfying episode, good in many parts but it’s not as strong as the previous two episodes. Still, this show does continue to excite me in spades, even if the cliff hangers are becoming a bit formulaic.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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