Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Review of True Blood's 2x07: "Release Me"

Written by Raelle Tucker
Directed by Michael Ruscio

Eric: “Tell me, what is it you find so fulfilling about human companionship?”
Isobel: “They feel much more strongly than we do. Everything is urgent, exciting, maybe because their lives are so temporary.”

There’s certainly a stirring of excitement in this episode. Isobel gave some very interesting reasons behind her relationship with Hugo, reasons that seemed to confirm that most vampires do not consider humans equal.

Then again perhaps underneath Isobel’s facade she might harbour real feelings for Hugo but obviously not enough that would ever see her turn him into a vampire. It’s also part of the reason why Hugo is unsurprisingly the traitor in their midst. He didn’t wait too long to turn on the vampire he loved, did he?

I can understand his frustration and if he felt his relationship with Isobel was that unequal, why not just do the traditional thing and dump her? Going to the Fellowship and feeding them information about Sookie certainly wasn’t going to overly endear him to them. They locked him up along with Sookie and Gabe beat the living daylights out of him as well.

Hugo didn’t seem like a straight up baddie, so it’s hard to be too angry with him. Especially given the amount of people who genuinely deserve an ass kicking of epic proportions. Like Gabe for instance. That guy was creepy in his previous appearances and attempting to rape Sookie at the end really freaked me out.

It’s a good job that Godric actually came to her rescue on that one. I thought for sure it would be Eric but I’m glad they didn’t go there. The timing was perfect as well for Godric’s appearance, so please let Gabe be dead by the start of the next episode? That’s certainly one human life worth snuffing out.

Sookie’s undercover work and hopes for Bill to come for her certainly went down like a lead balloon in this episode. She had the misfortune of Hugo’s treachery and Steve Newlin lording it over her. But even he was surprised when he made the connection to her and Jason and it also led to an interesting turn of events.

Jason feared that Steve was going to kill him because he slept with Sarah but didn’t bank of Steve thinking he was working with vampires all along. I loved the surprised look on Jason’s face when he realised why Steve was so furious with him. More importantly, I loved him defending Sookie’s honour and beating the crap out of Gabe. Fun times.

As for Sarah, no way is that woman remotely girlfriend material. Her nutty ramblings about being honest with Steve were one thing but then it looked like she was about to get all trigger happy on Jason herself. It shows how far Jason has sort of come in this series because if all this was happening to him in the first season, I don’t think I would be as sympathetic towards his plight. I’m going to assume that he somehow still lives.

As for Sookie, it’s got to be terrible not having Bill come to her aid but we can thank Lorena for that one. Bill pretty much spent all of this episode in her captivity because she can’t quite let go of him. Again, it’s like watching Angel/Angelus and Darla all over again with this pair and there were more flashbacks.

In the previous ones, Bill embraced being a vampire and wanted to satisfy Lorena. Here he managed to stop her from chomping on Frances and threatened to stake himself if Lorena didn’t let him go. It was the only plausible way from what we’ve seen as to why Lorena did let him go. She loves him too much.

It also makes her a hypocrite. She castigated Bill because he’s fallen for Sookie and yet she’s so clingy towards him that she blocked him in every way to rescue the barmaid. Lorena certainly does take the bunny boiler act a bit further than before. Even Barry the bellboy couldn’t get near to Bill, which gave Eric a good opportunity.

Eric and Sookie – you’d have to blind not to spot that he’s got a mad one for her. The fact that he drafted in Lorena, has constantly undermined both Bill and Sookie are one thing. Then there’s also both Isobel and Lorena drilling in the fact that Eric has feelings for Sookie as well. You know, subtlety does go a long way.

Just look at Jessica and Hoyt. They’re not even half a season old and already their relationship is far better than the whole Lorena/Bill/Sookie/Eric quadrangle. No wonder so many people keep gushing about it online. Their scenes in this episode were the best freaking thing out of the entire hour.

Both of them admitted that they were virgins in a sweet manner and decided to wait for the right moment. Hoyt then played the perfect boyfriend and decorated the room for Jessica and perhaps they did become each others first. Even if they didn’t, their relationship is still the healthiest one on this show for the time being.

In terms of health, it’s nice to see that Tara’s noticing how off-kilter Maryann is but it would be nicer if she’d just dig a little deeper as well. Every time Tara seems to confront Maryann on her lack of boundaries, Maryann seems to stonewall her. It’s going to take a lot more than Sookie to get rid of Maryann.

Also the Sam situation is brilliant. I love that Maryann’s after him specifically and not Sookie, so big points there but why Sam though? I doubt it has anything to do with his little thieving and the way Daphne was talking, it did seem that Sam was specifically needed for something in particular. Maryann thrives on chaos and clearly has zero desire to leave Bon Temps any time soon.

Her latest little orgy certainly seemed to have consequences. Andy’s aware of something not being right but because everyone is clueless to Maryann’s influence, he’s left looking like an idiot. That must have been how Daphne felt as well when Maryann instructed Eggs to kill her. I know Daphne deserved some kind of fallout after nearly getting Sam killed but did it have to be death?

As for Lafayette, he’s certainly gotten his groove back and I did enjoy some of his scenes with Tara and Eggs in particular but I’m also not seeing how he’s going to benefit all that much from selling V once again. Tara was right to address the fact that he was getting himself into trouble.

Also in “Release Me”

Terry actually broke Andy’s arm while under Maryann’s influence. Arlene also worried that she date raped him.

Lorena (to Bill, re Sookie): “You smell like her. Sweet and cheap.”

Bill and Lorena’s flashback was in 1935 Los Angeles. Frances even looked similar to the wife we saw in the previous episode.

Lorena: “You are such a wet blanket, I don’t know why I keep bothering with you.”
Bill: “Why do you? I can’t stand the sight of you.”

Hoyt: “I ain’t never done it. With a girl I mean.”
Jessica: “What have you done it with?”
Hoyt: “Just myself.”

Lafayette seemed to paraphrase Lettie Mae’s saying about Satan in a Sunday hat when he was talking to Tara and Eggs at Merlotte’s.

Tara: “You’re right. Sometimes you’re Sookie, like you could read my mind or something.”
Eggs: “I just get you, that’s all.”

Sookie: “You’re gonna get yourself killed. That’s not a threat, that’s a fact.”
Steve: “They’ve got you all twisted up, haven’t they with their glamouring and their empty promises and their evil blood?”

Who grabbed Barry the bellboy at the end of the episode? Was it Eric?

Bill (re Sookie): “I may love her but I am not suicidal.”
Lorena: “I know better than anyone what you are capable of.”

Maryann: “I am fantastic. I slept outside last night and communed with my animal nature.”
Eggs: “No shit.”

Maryann with a rabbit in her hand, that was gross but seriously, when will Tara actually do something about her?

Steve (to Jason): “Say a prayer. You’re going to hell and you’re going there today.”

Sam: “If I’m so fucking insignificant, then why is she going through this trouble to try and get me?”
Daphne: “Because you got away from her once. She can’t control you.”

Sam turned into a bird in this episode, Daphne specified that Maryann was a maenad, mentioned Dionysus and the fact that Maryann can’t control supernatural creatures, even if she can wreck havoc with their shifting.

Arlene: “Excuse me, it says ladies on that door.”
Lafayette: “So what you skank ho’s doing in here?”

Lorena: “Without me you would be alone forever.”
Bill: “You are the one who’s afraid of that. You are the saddest, loneliest creature I have ever known.”

Standout music: Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love” (interesting choice) and Sia’s “Day Too Soon”.

Barry: “I have a message for Bill Compton. Is he there?”
Lorena: “I’m sorry, he’s tied up right now. I’ll be happy to pass it along.”

Chronology: Straight from where “Hard-Hearted Hannah” left off.

“Release Me” is another in a line of strong episodes, not the show’s best but this season’s been so wonderful that’s hard not to enjoy any of the episodes. It also helps that thing are also moving along nicely as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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