Monday, July 04, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x02: "You Smell Like Dinner"

Written by Brian Buckner
Directed by Scott Winant

Eric: “Well, that was saucy. Must have been the fairy Sookie talking. I like it when she comes out.”
Sookie: “And I’m sorry I already said it.”

Eric, you’ve been around for a thousand years, right? Has it ever occurred to you that the whole “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen” thing doesn’t always work? Or trying to own them in every way as well? Eric crossed more than a few lines for me here.

When it comes to the whole Sookie/Bill or Sookie/Eric wars between fan girls, I always have to find myself reasoning that both Bill and Eric are bad choices for Sookie in the long run. Neither of them seem to see her beyond owning her and this episode proved it for me as well with Eric.

Owning her house was one thing but the overtures he kept making were of a deranged, controlling stalker, especially down to the cubby hole he installed in Sookie’s house. My respect for Sookie would’ve severely gone down several notches if she had been flatted by Eric’s overtures. Instead she was rightly repulsed by his actions.

Eric might be right about Sookie being in more danger if the rest of the vampires knew who she really was but it doesn’t give Eric the right to control her life either. Also, much as I can see some logic in Pam’s “he pulls good string” mantra when it comes to her maker, Eric just came across badly in this episode.

Still, this was an enlightening episode for Eric in a way. He couldn’t bend Sookie to his will and even Marnie got the better of him as well thanks to her own style of payback. Everyone who’s read the fourth book has probably been looking forward to the amnesia plot and now that it’s here, it’ll be a testament of Alexander Skarsgard’s acting skills to see if he can pull it off. The scene at the end where Eric didn’t even recognise Sookie certainly seems promising.

Staying on the witching topic for a bit – do or should vampires have any right to interfere in their business? They usually stay out of were and shifter business and while I don’t agree with Marnie’s necromancing antics, it still makes me wonder if Bill or even the AVL have the right to step in. Bill certainly seems to think he has that right, hence sending Eric to deal with Marnie.

I quite liked the confrontation between Eric and Marnie as well and for some weird reason, I found myself with the latter. If I were a member of a coven in Bon Temps, the last thing I’d want is some vampire to interrupt one of my meetings and chuck his weight about the place. More interesting was the fact that Lafayette only helped against Eric when the Viking attacked Tara.

Marnie seems to be exhibiting bits of another witch (Hallow, I presume) during her cursing of Eric and the fact that he looked afraid certainly made the moment effective. Fiona Shaw isn’t the most threatening person on screen but she’s delightfully unsettling as Marnie and I’m hoping to see more of that in later episodes.

As for the necromancing issue, I was relieved that the majority of the coven (especially Holly and Jesus) were horrified by Marnie’s suggestion of raising a person from the dead. Parrots are one thing but a person is someone else. Who exactly does Marnie want to raise from the dead – Hallow or someone else? I’m intrigued to find out to be honest.

Also intriguing is the notion of skin walkers as well. I knew Luna was going to have a purpose that extended beyond being a girlfriend for Sam but I did not see that reveal coming at all. Turning into your own mother has never been so literal, which does make me wonder if Luna is walking around looking her mother now as we speak.

The more worrying thing about the skin walker arc was the fact that Tommy had to get involved. Of course he was going to overheard Luna’s confession and despite their being some truth to his woes with Sam, I can easily see Tommy being stupid enough into killing another shifter in order to become a skin walker. Looks like Sam’s problems are about to get worse than they were last year.

Speaking of problems – I have had enough of Hotshot and its backward people. I want both Crystal and Felton to die horrible, painful deaths and I want poor Jason to be free of that lot and with someone who doesn’t force him into making babies and turning him into panthers. I knew Crystal and Felton were nasty but this episode really sold it for me.

It’s a shame because I kept an open mind with Crystal as a character but this episode killed any sympathy I might have had for her stone dead and the fact that Andy was too busy trying to score V in Hotshot makes me want to slap him across the back of the head as well. Here’s hoping Jason gets away from that mad lot as soon as possible.

In other pressing stuff this week – Sophie-Anne is no more. We got a nice flashback that saw her wiped out by the AVL at Bill and Nan’s behest and that’s how Bill became King of Louisiana. I suppose Sophie-Anne’s death could be seen as a missed opportunity but somehow it made more sense to kill her rather than imprison her.

I liked seeing more of Bill and Nan’s history in this episode as well. Their first meeting in London showed they had common ground and Nan obviously rated Bill a lot in order to make him King but I doubt she’ll be pleased when she finds out that he’s been lying to her about Sookie’s importance after all.

As for Sookie, I liked the moments she had with Arlene, Terry, Sam, Tara and even Jessica this week. Sookie’s a lot better when she gets to interact with others outside of Bill and Eric (both of whom pissed her off this week) but I kinda wished that both Sookie and Tara had been a little more honest with each other as well.

Also in “You Smell Like Dinner”

Both Lindsay Pulsipher and Evan Rachel Woods did not have their name in the opening credits and Eric mentioned being around the Spanish Inquisition. I have a feeling that will be important.

Pam (to Jessica/Hoyt, re protesters): “You lovebirds go on home and let these good people practice their constitutional right to be fucking idiots.”

While Hoyt should’ve worded it better, I actually think he had a point about not wanting to take too much of Jessica’s blood. Too bad she snacked on that guy in Fangtasia though.

Lafayette: “Don’t tell me you don’t think evil witches exist?”
Jesus: “Of course I do but don’t blame the magic for how it’s used.”

Nan (re Callum): “You don’t kill them? My name is Nan Flanagan.”
Bill: “Bill Compton.”
Nan: “I know who you are. I’ve been watching you for weeks. Why is it you don’t kill your prey?”

Louis Pasteur is a vampire? Thanks for the tip off, Nan and it was nice to have Stephen Moyer being allowed to use his accent during the flashback scene in London.

Sam: “If I had a teacher like you, I might have made it past the ninth grade.”
Luna: “And if I knew this chair would be difficult to seduce you from, I would’ve waited for you standing.”

Tara: “I thought you were dead.”
Sookie: “Everybody did. Where you’ve been?”

Tara told Sookie about being in New Orleans but not about the cage fighting or Naomi, who Lafayette knows about. Plus she tried not to be too judgemental about Bill and Eric, even if she tried to stake the latter to save Marnie.

Bill: “I brought back up.”
Sophie-Anne: “You brought humans into our affairs?”
Bill: “No, you did when you sent me after Sookie.”

Nan (to Bill, re Sophie-Anne): “You better not be lying to me. She did. Look at what happened to her.”

Even for this show, there seemed to be a lot more nudity than usual. I could’ve done without the Bill and Katie sexcapades though. Also, I don’t think Mikey caused Arlene’s eye problems this week.

Luna (to Sam/Emory/Suzanne): “My bed time stories were not written by Dr Seuss. I had to fall asleep to the legend of the skin walkers.”

Jessica (to Sookie): “Stop acting like my stepmom. I hated it before and I like it even less now. It’s got nothing to do with you. I can eat whoever I want.”

Standout music: Jinx Titanic’s “You Smell Like Dinner” was a nice way of ending the episode.

Marnie (to everyone, re Eric): “Well, what happened? Is he gone?”

Eric: “Who are you?”
Sookie: “It’s me, Sookie.”
Eric: “Who?”
Sookie: “You know me.”
Eric: “No, I don’t. Why do you smell so good?”

Chronology: Takes place from where “She’s Not There” left off.

“You Smell Like Dinner” is a brilliant episode. Its moving plots forward, setting up plots, explaining stuff, had some lovely character moment and everything. Arlene’s growing paranoia over Mikey however might become tedious if it’s unfounded though.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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