Thursday, December 03, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 2x03: "Scratches"

Written by Raelle Tucker
Directed by Scott Winant

Eric: “I’m glad you’re feeling better and may I add that colour suits you very well.”
Sookie: “Go to hell.”

For a human being, Sookie can sure be testy at the best of time. She’s been associating with vampires for long enough to know that pissing them off is not the best of ideas. Then again, neither is storming off one in the middle of the night.

Sookie and Bill’s heated words from Jessica’s house continued in the car and honestly, I saw both sides of the story. Sookie thought she was doing right with the Jessica situation but vampires have rules for those sorts of things and perhaps she should’ve discussed it with Bill before letting Jessica loose on her family.

As for the family, all Bill did was glamour them and that was off-screen. I knew he wouldn’t kill them. Sookie certainly wouldn’t have been happy about that if he did. Of course screaming at her wasn’t exactly Bill’s smartest of plans either. All it did was make Sookie storm out of the car and brave the woods alone.

I think at this point in the show, it genuinely would’ve been more surprising if Sookie had just gotten home safe. Instead a half man/bull creature scratched her and left her for dead. Why didn’t Bill listen to Jessica and go after her a few seconds earlier? Because even he is capable of not acting rationally.

If you’ve read “Living Dead In Dallas”, you know how the situation goes and who was behind the actual attacks. If you haven’t and assume that Maryann is somewhat involved, you’re on the right track. After all, there was that little scene in the previous episode where both of them could tell that something wasn’t right with the other.

For the first half of this episode, Sookie seemed to be at death’s door and with Dr Ludwig, we’ve got a snarky medic who doesn’t sound as painfully scripted as House. She even makes her displeasure of vampires known in a rather infectious way. Even Eric didn’t seem to mind the fact that she wasn’t a fan of the fanged crowd.

Scratches like that should’ve killed Sookie on the spot, especially given how poisonous they actually were. When the poison was removed, both Bill and Eric were eager to amp Sookie up with their own blood. If the first season was subtle about Eric’s beyond professional interest in Sookie, it looks like the second season won’t be.

Bill himself was definitely threatened by Eric, to the point where he refused to leave Fangtasia without her. Of course as soon as Sookie woke up, her gratitude towards Eric took a big hit when she realised that Lafayette was chained up in the basement. Geez, Ginger is almost as bad as Daphne in the employee stakes.

Even though Sookie and Lafayette aren’t exactly close (the closest they’ve ever been was in “Cold Ground” really), I loved how she went all out for him. Breaking down in the basement, even slapping Eric and making deals for Lafayette’s freedom. I know there are some viewers out there who can be frustrated with the character but you’ve gotta admire her set of balls in this one.

If Eric didn’t fancy her so much, he would’ve happily ripped her throat for her behaviour. Instead he used the situation to get her to go to Dallas. Come on, who didn’t see that one coming? At least this means that the Godric plot is going to be forwarded a bit more now. Bill also made sure to be the one escorting Sookie. Don’t be too surprised if Eric conveniently follows the both of you on your trip.

As for Lafayette’s vow of retirement, I don’t see it being permanent but I can see what exactly led to it. He talked to Royce about soul searching in the premiere and being in Eric’s captivity certainly seems to have gotten him questioning a lot of his actions. Lafayette’s not a bad person but his morals certainly are questionable at different point.

Another soul searcher was Jason. He wanted another sign to prove that being in the proximity of a bunch of deranged fanatics was a good thing. Spilling his guts about Amy and his grandmother during Sarah Newlin’s meeting certainly helped in some ways. After all, Sarah made it her mission to keep Jason within the Fellowship. That in itself is suspect. Maybe she and Steven know more about Jason that they’re letting on.

Sarah mentioned that she lost a sister due to vampires so that did offer a feasible explanation in regards to her own bigotry. However Steven has no proof that vampires actually killed his parents and baby sister so his message of hate being a good thing in certain circumstances is more alarming than ever.

It seems that this season we have two bad guy arcs and I’m not really sure which one will win out or if both somehow become connected. Should Maryann and her crazy ass orgies eventually descend on Fellowship Of The Sun territory? Maybe a loosened up Newlins could be more likeable.

Though seriously, what exactly is going on with Maryann? This is the second episode where she’s caused everyone to go into a sexual frenzy but this time, Tara actually suspected something. The only problem is that she only copped on when Eggs was getting carried away with a new girl and something tells me that Tara isn’t likely to get out of Maryann’s clutches this early in the series.

As the episode pass, I find myself intrigued by Maryann’s game plan. She’s already a better villain than vampire hating Rene but what exactly is her endgame, seeing as she was more a bit character in the second book. Also even though I get the feeling that Eggs probably does have genuine feelings for Tara, I still don’t think he’s a good thing for her right now.

In terms of good things, can I just say whoever came up with the idea of hooking up Jessica and Hoyt deserves a fucking pay rise? All summer long I’ve been reading online about how great they are as a couple and within the first scene that they interact, I totally get it. What I don’t understand is how someone as sweet as Hoyt has been single all this time.

As soon as he found out that Jessica was a vampire, he was fine with it. He flirted with her beforehand, made an effort not to invade her personal space, spouted a lot of cheesy stuff that highlighted his sincerity. Even when Jessica freaked out about her fangs coming during their kiss, he got her to calm down. No wonder she didn’t want to wait.

From what I did gather with their little scene however was that Jessica was feeding off Hoyt or something. Or was she giving him some of her blood? Trust Bill to interrupt at the wrong time. If Bill thinks that as a maker he’s going to stop Jessica from dating Hoyt, well let’s just hope that Sookie talks him around.

Speaking of talking around, how convenient was it for Daphne to show up after the dog? It must’ve been some bizarre method of stopping Sam from doing a runner because you know; she had those scratches that Sookie did as well. It looks like there’s more to Daphne than being bad at her job. Thank goodness for that.

Also in “Scratches”

I’m loving what they’re doing with Bill’s attire this season. His clothing seems less earthy than in the first season.

Bill (to Sookie): “She’s a vampire. She has no family.”
Jessica: “I’m a monster and I’m gonna be alone forever because of you. I hate you so fucking much.”

Given the amount of cast members they’ve added to the credits I’m surprised that Kristin Bauer isn’t one of them. We need more Pam.

Sookie: “What kind of doctor are you?”
Dr Ludwig: “The healing kind. I’m Dr Ludwig, what’s your name?”

Eric: “Search the roads around Highway 71.”
Pam (re Chow): “He can do it. I’m wearing my favourite pumps.”

Dr Ludwig is specified as a dwarf in “Living Dead In Dallas”. She mentioned that the poison Sookie had in her was similar to what Komodo dragons can do.

Maryann (re Sam): “You two have history.”
Tara: “Yeah but we’re better as friends than we ever were sleeping together.”

Jason (re Eddie): “But he was real nice person.”
Sarah: “He wasn’t a person, Jason. A person wouldn’t do that.”
Jason: “Well my Gran and my girlfriend were killed by my best friend, just because he had a problem with vampires and he was a person.”

We met Missy during Sarah’s little meeting and Luke seems to have continued his dislike for Jason. Sarah’s also seemingly attracted to Jason as well.

Ginger (to Sookie): “That’s the thing about being with vamps, ain’t it? You always forget to eat. I’ve lost 37 pounds since I got this job.”

Jessica: “And do you know I’m a nice girl?”
Hoyt: “Coz of your smile, I guess. You can tell a lot about someone by the way they smile. Uh, you know, watch people all the time. You see that, that’s beautiful. I could stare at that all day long.”

When Hoyt was telling Jessica all the things you could do with a Wii, she was making it even further obvious of all the things her strict father forbade her from doing. Like dancing for example.

Eric: “You surprise me. That’s a rare quality in a breather.”
Sookie: “You disgust me.”
Eric: “Perhaps I’ll grow on you.”
Sookie: “I prefer cancer.”

Andy: “I know what I saw. I’m a good cop.”
Maryann: “Of course you are, everybody knows that. Here, why don’t you stay and relax a bit?”

Andy saw a hog, both Mike and Jane went all black eyed on us during the party and Terry was pissed with Sam trying to run away. Arlene still also has guilt over Rene.

Hoyt (re fangs): “You don’t have to hide that in front of me. That’s natural.”
Jessica: “How can you say that? I have fangs, they come out and I can’t control them. This is embarrassing. I’d die if I wasn’t already dead.”

Standout music: “Scratches” by Debbie Davis and “Power (Voodoo Version)” by King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan.

Sookie (to Bill): “If I’m never gonna be safe, I’d rather know what to be afraid of.”

Chronology: Not straight after “Keep This Party Going” left off but close enough to it.

“Scratches” continues the strong and engaging path this season has been taken. Not as advancing with either Maryann or the Fellowship plots but I get that we’re nearing towards the better stuff pretty soon and there’s plenty to savour in this episode.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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