Friday, December 18, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 2x06: "Hard Hearted Hannah"

Written by Brian Buckner
Directed by Michael Lehmann

Eric (re Sookie): “She’s something more than human.”
Lorena: “What is she?”
Eric: “That I do not know but whatever she is, he loves her.”

Halfway point of the season and this is definitely the episode where everything seems to be coming along rather interestingly. All of a sudden the ante got upped that fraction more and everyone seems to be in way over their heads to swim.

Like Sookie for instance. Did she really think even with Hugo that she genuinely stood a cat in hell chance of actually infiltrating the Fellowship of the Sun successfully? I didn’t and that nasty son of a bitch, Steve Newlin certainly saw her coming a mile away. Sookie should’ve made an earlier attempt to bolt from there.

As plans went, the Fellowship were one step ahead. It made sense. If they knew where Sookie was going to be in “Shake And Fingerpop”, it would’ve made sense that Steve would’ve recognised her the second both herself and Hugo posed as a newly engaged couple.

The strangest thing however was Sarah Newlin in this whole mix. Six episodes in and I still can’t figure her out. I doubt she really likes Sookie all that much but her attempts to reason with Steve did seem genuine. Maybe she is a victim who’s just woken up to the fact that her loving husband is a monster.

Steve’s misogyny towards women was abundantly clear with the way he’s been talking to Sarah in the last two episodes and he was certainly a nasty piece of women when him and Gabe locked Sookie and Hugo down the basement. Gabe is also someone who seems quite dangerous as well.

Steve’s grown more unlikeable as the episodes have progressed this season and every scene he’s shared with Jason has suggested that he knew more than he was letting on. I refuse to believe that he’s unaware of Jason’s connection to Sookie and I also don’t doubt that he’s unaware of Sarah’s growing attraction towards Jason as well.

The fact that Jason actually waited six episodes before sleeping with Sarah showed some surprising restraint on his part as well. Jason actually tried to be a better man. He even felt guilty over the hand job incident in the last episode. Season One Jason wouldn’t have cared less about sleeping with another man’s wife.

Jason trying to be a better man is inspiring but it’s too bad that it’s at the expense of him getting embroiled with the Fellowship freaks. I do hope that Sarah actually warning Jason about Steve’s desire for war will snap him out of it soon enough. Also if Bill can’t come to Sookie’s rescue and Sookie’s unable to save herself, then Jason better hop to it.

Speaking of Bill, is this the first episode where Sookie’s been in trouble and he’s been unable to save her? Nope, there was “You’ll Be The Death Of Me” but for some reason, I was kind of thrilled that Lorena put the kibosh on him doing the heroics with her supernatural hold over him.

I’ve said it before that Lorena and Bill’s story has an eerie similarity to Angelus and Darla and almost to back me up on that was this episode. The flashbacks while not breathtakingly original did show the two of them at their gruesome best. Poor Sidney thought him and his wife were going to have quite the four-way.

Sadly for them, they got tortured and killed as Bill and Lorena more or less made their humble abode in Sidney’s home. It’s rare that we’ve really seen Bill enjoy himself as a vampire and it’s almost a good thing that this episode addressed that point home. It’s also clear that Lorena’s besotted with him as well.

Her attempts to deny it at first were a little silly. Eric could see through her almost straight away and Lorena did spring into possessive ex mode when she overpowered Bill. Funny how both her and Eric have the mutual interest in keeping Sookie and Bill apart as much as they can. Not so coincidental that Lorena’s a little more aggressive with it though.

In terms of aggression, Maryann really should keep her temper in check as well. Being a bitch towards Tara might not be the best move she can make, especially when Tara is showing some signs of tiring of the social worker/maenad all the more. Tara’s mocking of Maryann to Eggs on their journey to get a part for the water heater was amusing.

That being said, even though I don’t hate Tara’s scenes with Eggs, he’s still not good for her. In the woods, he went off about a past event and when him and Tara got back to Bon Temps, they also got sucked into another one of Maryann’s orgies. What is it with those things already? They’re becoming relentless at this point.

Also relentless is Sam’s inability to catch a break. Of course Daphne would have to turn out to be too good to be true. Those lovely scenes earlier on in the episode where she was encouraging Sam to embrace his shape shifter more was just a front. Damn. All she was up to was setting Sam up for a meeting with Maryann.

So Maryann wants or needs Sam but what the hell for? A sacrifice seems to be the most logical of options but to what and again, what for? The fact that it’s not Sookie she’s after is a relief but it’s gotta sting for Sam if he’s got to spend the rest of the season being one step ahead of Maryann. That girl certainly is determined, I’ll give you that.

When it comes to determination, I wish Andy would use his for good. Apart from Lafayette being gone for a few weeks, what on Earth made him think that the cook was responsible for Miss Jeanette’s death? Come to think, is there a regular character on this show that Andy isn’t suspicious of in some way? At least Terry had the good sense to put Andy in his place and offer Lafayette some comfort. How brilliant was that?

While Bill and Eric are the sex symbols of this show, you have admit that it’s Terry and Hoyt who certainly give men a better name on this show. Terry’s attempts of helping Lafayette were fantastic and so was Hoyt’s timely appearance to Jessica in Dallas, especially after proudly outing her as a vampire to Maxine as well. It’s amazing that despite their relationship being so early, that Hoyt and Jessica are shaping up to be the best couple on the show. They’re even more compelling than Eric/Sookie/Bill/Lorena at this point.

Also in “Hard Hearted Hannah”

Was that really Stephen Moyer’s singing voice for the title of this episode? If so, he was wonderful.

Sam: “You’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met.”
Daphne: “You’re just saying that because I’m the first honest sex you’ve ever had.”

Daphne asked about Sam sleeping with Sookie. I get the impression that for now, Sookie is of no interest to Maryann.

Daphne: “You got to share this life with people. It’s what we were put on this big old round ball to do. People, they need to know you. You’re just too damn special not to.”
Sam: “Where the fuck did you come from?”

Maryann: “Tara, you may not know this about me but without a hot shower in the morning, I have no tolerance for sarcasm.”

Maryann was wearing a bull mask courtesy of Daphne and the fact that Carl had a knife did point to sacrifice time for Sam.

Terry: “I don’t like surprises, Arlene.”
Arlene: “Well that’s too bad because I happen to be a very mysterious woman.”

Jason: “Jason Stackhouse, abstinent.”
Luke: “Sounds good, don’t it?”
Jason: “Not really.”

Hugo made an interesting point about vampires falling out of love with humans when they age. I know Sookie can be naive but I’m surprised that she didn’t at least consider that possibility at all.

Hugo: “I thought you were gonna let me do the talking.”
Sookie: “When I get nervous, sometimes I talk too much.”

Sidney’s Wife: “Why are you doing this?”
Bill: “Because we can.”

From what I gathered in this episode, Godric is going to be publicly burned by dawn as part of Steve’s call to war. It was called meet the sun.

Eggs: “Tara, something happened. Something terrible happened here.”
Tara: “That’s pretty obvious.”
Eggs: “You think this is funny?”

Pam: “Remember me?”
Lafayette: “Oh shit.”
Pam: “Oh you do. How’s life?”
Lafayette: “Not so good.”

Why does Eric want Lafayette selling V? Also it was him who ended up calling Lorena, which wasn’t that much of a surprise.

Tara: “People are pigs.”
Eggs: “You got that right.”

Hoyt: “I’m so sorry Jessica.”
Jessica: “I can’t believe it. You came all this way.”

Standout music: Come on, Stephen Moyer’s version of “Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp From Savannah)” definitely wins out on this one.

Sarah (to Jason, re Steve): “He’s not the man I thought he was. You’re not being trained to defend us. He wants to use you to start a war. He’s vicious and he’s cruel, and he uses the C-word. And he lies to me, Jason. Our marriage has always been a partnership, and now he’s shutting me out.”

Chronology: Mostly from where “Never Let Me Go” finished up with Lorena.

“Hard Hearted Hannah” is definitely the strongest episode from the first half of this season. Granted the standard’s been exceedingly high but even still, this is an episode where a lot actually does happen and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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