Monday, July 11, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x03: "If You Love Me Why Am I Dyin"

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by David Petrarca

Eric: “What did you do that for? You broke my nose.”
Sookie: “Oh please, it’ll heal in five minutes. You’re a vampire.”

Well we’re finally here – Eric’s got amnesia and my viewpoint of the character is at a strange place. I don’t think I’ll ever like Eric the way certain viewers seem to and while I can feel a tad sorry for him, I just don’t feel a whole lot of pity for Eric. Is that wrong of me?

Yes, in a current amnesiac state, he’s reliant on Sookie, Pam and anyone else who sympathises with him until his memories return but Eric is still a vampire and he’s still dangerous and the anticlimactic as hell death dished out to Claudine in this episode was a nice reminder of that fact.

What was the point of introducing Claudine in the first place on this show if she was going to be written out in such a rubbish fashion? I might have had an issue with Sophie-Anne’s death in the previous episode but at least it made sense. All Claudine’s did was serve as a reminder that Sookie really should not be forced into taking care of Eric at this point.

Without his memories, Eric is far more unpredictable than usual and he certainly kept asking Sookie a lot about what she was. If he couldn’t control himself with Claudine, then I have a nasty feeling that Sookie could easily end up as dinner pretty sharpish too. And Pam was also similarly unhelpful in this one.

I suppose she was right to freak about the threat of witches in Bon Temps and she’s probably right about Bill setting Eric up for a fall but she had no right to force Sookie into taking care of her maker, even if there is something admirable about her loyalty to Eric.

In terms of the witch, I really didn’t think the intent was to go after vampires but because of Eric’s actions and attack on Marnie, I think that’s exactly where they will go. Holly and Jesus were suitably pissed off and Lafayette made an unwise attempt of trying to reason with Eric, only to get his backside handed to him by Pam.

However, Marnie went from being upset about being attacked to being genuinely livid about it. Fiona Shaw is still not going overboard with the role but Marnie’s conjuring of that spirit seemed to indicate to me that she was definitely preparing herself for any further reprisals from the vampires. I can’t help but think she’s being smart on that score.

Speaking of reprisals, while I wanted to fast forward the scenes between Bill and Portia having sex, I did like the fact that Bill is actually doing his damndest to ensure vampires don’t step out of line. That vampire might have been stupid to be caught feeding on tape but Bill better hope that his own staff don’t get ideas of rebellion because we all know that vampires don’t exactly enjoy playing nice.

I also liked that Bill gave Jessica some sensible advice on how to deal with her unfaithfulness to Hoyt. It’s just too bad that after telling Hoyt everything, Jessica then decided to glamour him into forgetting their fight. I hated seeing that sort of thing on Buffy and Torchwood and I wasn’t particularly impressed with it here as well. Bad move, Jessica.

Also in terms of bad moves, I kind of wish Sookie didn’t lie to Tara about Eric but Tara too isn’t exactly being honest to either Sookie or Sam about her new life in New Orleans so it does go both ways. The three of them just really need to sit down and talk honestly with each other and sharpish too.

In more serious plots – I really, really hate the Hotshot crew. I absolutely despise both Crystal and Felton with an intense passion and I don’t think I can handle seeing another episode of Jason in captivity, going through the changes to become a panther and getting raped by baby obsessed Crystal in the process. This is one plot that needs cutting short and fast.

As for Alcide – lovely to see him back but seriously, he went back to Debbie? I suppose it’s better than him pining for Sookie but what an odd development. There’s a part of me that would like to believe that Debbie has changed for the better but I just keep thinking that if Alcide shows any interest in Sookie she’ll revert to the crazy bitch we met last season. I guess time will tell on this one.

Also in “If You Love Me Why Am I Dyin”

Joe Manganiello’s name has been added to the opening credits of the series. This episode was missing Luna, Nan and Naomi.

Tara (to Lafayette, re Eric): “Thanks for bringing me tonight. It’s been a while since I got attacked by a vampire. Guess what? It still sucks and it still fucks my shit out.”

It seems that Maxine is the one who’s been leaving the creepy dolls in Jessica and Hoyt’s place. Jessica gave the latest one to Mikey.

Jessica: “Promise you won’t judge.”
Bill: “Believe me, it would be a welcome relief not to have to judge.”

Sookie (to Pam): “I have to deal with witches now? No, not my problem.”

Pam was feeding off a guy named Jethro in this episode. Feeding aside, any chance of Pam getting some semblance of a sex life this season?

Jessica: “Come on, you at least look at other women.”
Hoyt: “No I don’t because other women don’t exist for me.”

Eric: “What are you?”
Sookie: “I’m really sick of being asked that question, that’s what I am.”

In the least shocking plot strand this week, Tommy is planning to con Maxine out of money from her own home. Once a lowlife, always one, eh Tommy? And Claudine confirmed that she helped Sookie against the Rattrays in “Strange Love”.

Jesus (to Lafayette, re Tara): “I like her. She doesn’t put up with your bullshit. I could learn a thing or two from her.”

Sam: “Still hate me for being a shifter.”
Tara: “I never hated you for anything.”

Standout music: Boxing Gandhis’s “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dying?” of course.

Claudine: “We are your true family. You belong with us.”
Sookie: “No thanks.”

Sookie: “You just killed my fairy godmother.”
Eric: “I’m sorry.”

Chronology: It’s a week until Halloween but straight from where “You Smell Like Dinner” left off.

“If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’” isn’t the greatest episode the show has done but it was decent enough. The witches and Eric’s amnesia plots are solid but Claudine’s death, the Hotshot stuff and Tommy’s antics kind of let the episode down as well.

Rating: 7 out of 10

No comments: