Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 1x10: "I Don't Wanna Know"

Written by Chris Offutt
Directed by Scott Winant

The Magister: “There’s no help for you, child. Meet your maker.”
Jessica (to Bill): “Please don’t let them kill me. Please, I don’t wanna die.”

As punishments go, Bill certainly didn’t have much in the way of options, did he? Either spent five years encased in a coffin with chains or turn a frightened teenage girl into a vampire. Neither were appealing, especially given that teen vampires would have an eternity of angst to greatly irritate. Though I suppose better than the vampire getting his teeth pulled out for feasting someone else’s human.

I’ve heard and read that in episodes to come that Jessica is a character worth getting invested in. She was one of two major characters for the next season to be introduced in this episode and to be fair; it was hard not to feel for her. All she wanted to do was go to a party. Thanks to the Magister and Bill, she’s going to be a vampire forever.

Given that I hated the actor during his Heroes gig (Danko, ugh), Zelcko Ivanec was actually a lot of fun in this episode, instilling the right sense of terror, respect and even having an odd moment where he could be snarky to Bill. He also meant business in a big way.

We saw how vengeful he could be to disobedient vampires and he certainly had no problem reminding Bill of his place on more than one occasion. He also openly express his own contempt towards human and seemed a touch uninterested when both Bill and Eric, to a lesser extent tried to explain the Sookie/Long Shadow situation.

Bill may not have wanted to turn Jessica into a vampire but there was no way he was going to get away from the Magister without having to do something drastic. Jessica’s practically going to be the daughter that Bill’s never wanted. Also given how angry Sookie was in this episode, Bill making a vampire is going to be another thing that will piss her off to no end.

Sam of all the times and ways you could’ve outed yourself as a shape shifter, did you have to do it while protecting Sookie? It’s nice to have it finally out in the open but damn, Sookie’s gut reaction was to think that Sam was the killer. At least he managed to persuade her that he wasn’t.

Ten episodes in, it’s feels like we’ve gone from knowing nothing about Sam to getting one almighty information dump on him. That could be construed as lazy writing or too much at once but I enjoyed knowing more about Sam. When he dials the righteousness down a notch, he’s actually a good person to have around.

He explained more or less everything he felt Sookie should know about being a shape shifter (I’m betting there might be some bits he edited) and in flashbacks, we saw him first change into a dog and then get abandoned by his parents. That to me does explain why Sam has some trouble opening up to people.

While Sookie spent most of the episode acting like Sam betrayed her, I have to admit that I sided with him a little more. The way he outed himself, though not deliberate was bad timing but given how Sookie of all people reacted to him, I get why he didn’t tell her. Seriously, Sookie some sensitivity wouldn’t have gone amiss during those scenes with your boss.

Andy on the other hand more or less tried to stick it to Sam that he suspected him of being dodgy. One advantage of Tara’s drunken state was that she actually Andy to back off from Sam but even she wasn’t helpful. Sam had a hard time with the ladies this week. Sookie was mostly furious at him and Tara wanted to use him for sex. I was glad Sam yelled at both of them this once.

However while Sookie might have been furious with Sam, she really did let her temper dampen Arlene’s engagement party. Even Claire Fisher would’ve told her to cheer the heck up. At least Terry and Rene tried to cheer her up in their own subtle ways but Sookie was pretty much a grouch this week.

It also didn’t help that the killer then tried to attack her in the dark in Merlotte’s. Sam showing up to rescue seemed convenient but if he wasn’t the killer in the books, I don’t think he will be here. Either way, Sookie had better prepare herself for a showdown.

Speaking of showdowns, goddamn it, Amy. Why the fuck couldn’t she have just let poor Eddie go? Was it really necessary to have killed the poor guy? Jason saw the light almost way too late. At least he was going to let Eddie go. Amy, despite her ridiculous claims of using Stockholm syndrome to keep Eddie had always intended to stake him when his usefulness ran out.

Eddie warned Jason in the previous episode that Amy was nuts and the meticulous way in which Amy reacted upon discovering that Jason had been keeping Eddie in True Blood was telling in its own right. Amy doesn’t like to be lied to, she certainly doesn’t like people getting the better of her and her killing Eddie was her own warped way of retaining the upper hand.

By killing Eddie, Amy’s basically signed her own death warrant. Eric made it abundantly clear last week that he would retaliate against anyone who wronged a vampire and the way Lafayette freaked out over Eddie’s disappearance strongly suggested that Amy was in deep shit. Then again, so is Jason too.

When it comes to shit, Tara’s also has put up with a lot of it. Going to Miss Jeanette for an exorcism was the worst possible thing she could’ve done. Finding out for definite that the woman was a fraud did not do her self esteem the world of good. Great for roughing up the fraudster but Tara really should’ve called the police on her.

Faith might be a wonderful thing but lulling someone into a false sense of security (kind of what Jeanette has done with Lettie Mae) is a seriously stupid thing to do. Tara would’ve better off using the law rather than getting drunk and nearly running over some strange woman with a boar. I know who the woman is but I’m playing dumb until next week, okay?

Also in “I Don’t Wanna Know”

I love it when shows cast great likeness in flashbacks and the young actor who played Sam looked very similar to Sam Trammell.

Sam: “Bill asked me to look after you while he was away.”
Sookie: “Did he ask you to do it buck naked?”

Is this the episode in the first where Sookie and Bill haven’t interacted at all? I think it is.

Amy (re Jason/True Blood bottles): “Why wouldn’t he tell me about this?”
Eddie: “I won’t tell him if you don’t.”
Amy: “Withholding information is tantamount to lying and I can’t have that in our relationship. This is so beneath us.”

Sookie (re shape shifting): “Can you turn into another person?”
Sam: “Humans are too complex, despite what you might see at the bar.”

Sam mentioned a grievance with werewolves and warned Sookie to avoid them. Even better was raising the question of what else exists out there. It’s a bit like Being Human in that respect. Sam’s condition is hereditary.

Miss Jeanette (to Tara): “The demon will take on any form to stay alive. It knows your weaknesses; it preys on your fears. Only you can destroy it. Don’t let it fool you, Tara Mae. You stand up to that demon.”

Sam: “What do you want it to look like?”
Terry: “A debutante ball.”
Arlene: “Hug your neck. You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

More flirting between Terry and Arlene in this episode. Terry also mentioned his cousin Portia, who’s Andy’s sister in the books.

Miss Jeanette: “Don’t touch me.”
Tara: “Don’t touch you? I could kill you, you fake, lying bitch.”

Terry: “Guilt’s a useless emotion or so I’ve heard.”
Sookie: “I just wish Bill was here.”
Terry: “There’s some dead people I wish was still around too.”

Although she’s credited as Woman on Road in this episode, Michelle Forbes character is actually called Maryann.

Jason: “I told you Amy wasn’t a psycho. The more time you spend with us, you’ll see. She’s an amazing woman.”
Eddie: “What changed her mind?”

Sam (to Sookie): “You’re right, I didn’t trust you. I trusted my instincts and they were dead on.”

Standout music: Dr John’s “I Don’t Wanna Know About Evil” and CC Adcock’s (who appeared in the episode as the entertainment for Arlene/Rene’s engagement party) “I’m Ready”.

The Magister (to Bill): “Well you haven’t bored me. That works in your favour and you seem to be obedient to your sheriff.”
Eric: “For the most part.”

Jessica: “Are you a Christian?”
Bill: “I was.”
Jessica: “I’m a good girl. Jesus will take me home to Heaven.”

Chronology: Takes place where “Plaisir D’Amour” left off.

“I Don’t Wanna Know” is wonderful. It’s like every near the finale type of episode should be ripe with plenty to get into – Bill making a vampire, Jason becoming hopefully aware of Amy’s sociopathic nature, Sookie learning more about other type of supernatural being and the killer getting closer to her. Plus naked Maryann and the pig. I wonder how that’s gonna pan out.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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