Monday, September 14, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 1x09: "Plaisir D'Amour"

Written by Brian Buckner
Directed by Anthony Hemingway

Pam (to Sookie): “I’m beginning to understand the fuss everyone’s making over you.”

Well, Pam, I think one of the reasons why such a fuss can be made over Sookie is down to her knack for trouble coming after her ever since she got involved with Bill. Not that I blame him at all for her crappy misfortunes of late.

Long Shadow was a prized dunce. Anyone else would’ve darted straight out of Fangtasia rather than try to attack Sookie. What was he hoping to achieve? Even if he had succeeded in strangling the girl, he’d still have to face up to Eric’s wrath and something tells me that’s not pleasant either.

Bill might have done him a favour by actually staking. Although it’s been seen before with the trio’s deaths, vampires certainly do die gorily on this show. Back in the days of Buffy, all you had to worry about was breathing in vampire death. Here, Sookie got bathed in Long Shadow’s blood and even had bits of him in her cleavage.

The death of a vampire had to have consequences. Pam wouldn’t let Sookie leave Fangtasia because she knew that Eric and Bill (but mainly the latter) were in deep shit over killing one of their own. Bill lied to Sookie, presumably to protect her because she thought everything was her fault. It wasn’t his best of moves.

Eric didn’t seem all that sympathetic when stopping with Chow and Pam to Bill’s in order to let the latter know that he had a tribunal on his hands (while Bill was playing golf on the Wii). He even took some pleasure in trying to disrupt Bill’s parting kisses with Sookie as well. I think Eric really does want to sabotage that relationship. His interest in Sookie is more than professional even if he does look down on humans.

Sookie and Bill’s parting scene was pretty sweet, filled with some tenderness that we’ve seen enough times. Any time something terrible has happened to Sookie, Bill has been there to protect or reassure her. Because of current circumstances, he then put Sam in his place.

Why would Bill do that? He’s not shy in telling Sam how much he doesn’t like him and also how threatened he is by Sam’s attraction to Sookie. However as soon as Sam revealed himself to be a shape shifter by the end of the episode, it all made sense. I assume that Bill was aware of this, because other than that, I can’t think of any other reason why he’d want Sam to protect Sookie.

Sam being revealed as the collie who had been popping up all season certainly wasn’t a shock but it was nice to finally have that answered. Sookie and Sam’s mutual shock when the latter was spotted naked at the end of the bed was comical more than shocking. I can’t wait to see Sam fill in the blanks for viewers on shape shifting and the like.

Sookie might be sympathetic to Sam with this new bit of information but I doubt it will make any difference to Andy. Why did Sam have to go and lie about his family being nudists? I suppose he should’ve realised that Andy was actually going to go and do his job at this point.

When Sookie wasn’t taking her anger out on Andy, she was actually bonding with Amy (prior to making up with Tara). I really did enjoy Sookie and Amy’s scenes together. If Amy wasn’t such a whack job, she’d have the potential of being the best thing in the world for Jason.

Eddie saw through her immediately and even though Jason suspected that she might have abducted vampires before, it didn’t stop him from succumbing to more V trips either. The sex quotient certainly went up a notch with Jason and Amy’s antics but while he was able to admit to loving Amy, after she prodded him, it was like everyone else was pointing out how bad that was.

First off all there was Rene exploding on Jason after the idiot nearly got Rene injured over a tree and then Eddie frankly told Jason that Amy was nuts. Jason, continuing his streak of being thick refused to acknowledge what Eddie had told him. I liked Eddie more and more as this episode unfolded but while Amy has Jason under her thumb, Eddie’s screwed one or the other.

Of course, Amy herself is also in deep shit. Eric was able to spot the guys who torched Malcolm, Diane and Liam and made a point of letting everyone know in Merlotte’s that he’ll retaliate if crossed. Amy herself even looked a little spooked by Eric’s warning. However I don’t think it will be enough for her to let poor Eddie go. Damn it, Amy. Someone should tell her what happened to Long Shadow.

In other news, poor Tara. She really does believe that all it will take is an exorcism and her life will get back on track. That’s really tragic but although I still don’t believe she has a demon, I can see why she now wants an exorcism. She’s having more difficulty than usual to connect with people and even Lettie Mae seems to be reaping the benefits of being exorcised.

Her scenes with Miss Jeanette were also even more telling. Jeanette had Tara convinced that she had to pay more in order to get rid of the demon she is supposed to have inside. Sam was generous enough to actually give her the money for the exorcism as well. Too bad that it still feels like Tara is being scammed to me.

Also in “Plaisir D’Amour”

The annoying Ginger seems to have had a lot of glamouring done to her. Pam initially didn’t want to do more but did instead of taking her.

Eric: “Humans. Honestly Bill, I don’t know what you see in them.”

Sookie’s cat Tina got a far nastier demise in this episode than she did in the book. Sookie spent a lot of time in blood during this episode.

Eddie: “What are you gonna do to me?”
Jason: “Yeah, I was kinda wondering that myself.”
Amy: “We’re gonna drink from him.”

Tara: “You’re one hell of a saleswoman, aren’t you?”
Miss Jeanette: “Next time you’re alone, stand in the mirror and count backwards from ten. If you can get all the way down to zero, then I’m wrong. But if you can’t stand your own company for ten seconds, how are you gonna expect to do it for the rest of your life?”

Tara and Sookie made up in this episode with very little fuss, which made me glad. She is the best friend that Sookie needs right now.

Amy: “Why is it that we all need to be loved but that when someone finally says I love you, people just run scared, hmm? I love you Jason Stackhouse, whether you like it or not. I’m not afraid to admit it.”

Tara: “Don’t you knock? What if I was doing something in private?”
Lettie Mae: “I taught you that was a sin against God. If I walk in on you doing it, it’s your problem, not mine.”

Arlene didn’t do much in this episode, except for going on about her engagement and wangling Sam for a venue for a party. Oh, Arlene.

Sookie: “Then while you make up your mind, how about I tell you what you can get for me, Andy Bellefleur? I’d love to have whoever’s killing off my family’s head on a platter. Think you can arrange that for me?”

Sookie (re Jason): “You are way too good for him. You know that, right?”
Amy: “Course I know that. I’m not stupid.”

Standout music: “Plaisir D’Amour” by Joan Baez and “Walking The Dog” by Rufus Thomas.

Bill (re Eric): “Tell me, do you enjoy living halfway up his backside like you do?”
Pam: “Yes, it’s nice. You should try it.”

Eric (to patrons): “Oh before I go, a word of advice. We know when a human has wronged us, we can smell it. So do not make the mistake of letting the pretty blonde vampire lady on television make you feel comfortable. We may not have retaliated yet but we know who you are. Have a nice night.”

Chronology: From where “The Fourth Man In The Fire” left off.

“Plaisir D’Amour” is certainly a fine episode, another incredibly strong one for the series as well. At this point, I think I’m beginning to lose objectivity with these reviews due to the greatness of the series.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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