Monday, July 18, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x04: "I'm Alive And On Fire"

Written by Nancy Oliver
Directed by Michael Lehmann

Crystal: “We can be together now, like we were meant to be ... mates for life.”
Jason: “We ain’t nothing but disaster. You’re the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

They say breaking up is the hardest thing to do but when you’ve got a girlfriend like Crystal, I’d imagine it would be the easiest thing for Jason to do. Thanks to her, Jason’s been held against his will, repeatedly raped and now more than likely will become a were panther as a result of his captivity in Hotshot.

I don’t think the writers could’ve stretched Jason’s captivity to another episode and I’m sure as hell glad that this segment came to an end this week. I liked that Jason used his smarts to escape – first reasoning with Becky to loosen his restraints and then tricking Felton before killing him off.

I’ve hated Felton since his first episode and his death here was absolutely satisfying to watch. His treatment of Jason aside, Felton was a danger to his own kind and even Crystal couldn’t muster a flicker of grief when she found him dead. Though I guess that might be down to her delight in now becoming Head Mama to all of Hotshot now that Felton is out of the picture.

The best thing I loved about this plot was Jason calling Crystal out on her crap and dumping her. I would’ve lost a serious amount of respect for Jason if he had just forgiven her but by keeping her alive, I fear that we’re never gonna get rid of this whole inbred storyline and that bothers me. At least Jessica and Hoyt were able to come to Jason’s aid as well this week.

I know Crystal will probably be needed when Jason starts turning into panther and needs some questions answered but I really want to see the back of this storyline, once and for all. Hopefully the Hotshot crew will finally be dispatched with this season. Maybe we should send Bill after them. He likes delivering the true death nowadays, doesn’t he?

Ah, Bill – of course being King wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Putting the fear of something into his minions is one thing but even he cannot curb Pam’s avowed hatred towards him and Nan wasn’t particularly impressed with his handling of the witches saga as well, was she?

I thought with necromancing being such a factor that Nan would actually take Marnie and her coven seriously. Or maybe Nan is hoping that if Bill and company keep their noses out of Marnie’s business, then there will be no retaliation from the dotty witch herself. Someone really should’ve kept Pam in the loop about that this week. It might have saved her from Marnie’s wrath at the end of this episode.

Now I’ve mentioned enough times how much I love Pam as a character? Well, I do but despite all of that, I can’t help but feel that her fate in this episode was a little deserved. When are vampires on this show gonna realise that it’s best not to piss off a witch? Eric lost his memories thanks to Marnie and her little friend and now half of Pam’s face is rotten flesh because she dared to threaten the witch.

This would’ve been a perfect episode for Pam to have dialled down her snarkiness. It seems that every time Marnie’s life is endangered, that other witch spirit comes out to play and a vampire gets screwed over because of it. It’s also apparent that Marnie’s storyline is actually upping a gear as well, which is much needed.

The flashbacks to the other witches execution that Marnie dreamed of were interesting but what is it about Marnie that makes this witch come alive? I’m beginning to think that Tara, Lafayette and Jesus must hold some influence considering that they were there both times when Marnie and other witch joined forces. Either way, it’s nice to see some progression with the Marnie plot this week.

Speaking of progression, Eric annoyed me far less in this episode than he did in the last two. Don’t worry readers – I don’t find his amnesiac state cute within the slightest but I did enjoy Alexander Skarsgard’s comedic skills in this one. Drunk on fairy blood Eric was actually kind of funny but if draining Claudine didn’t give him the permanent ability to walk in the daylight, then what the hell will?

Fairy blood might be intoxicating but it seems that Eric might have to drink a whole lot of them in order to fully be able to walk in the sunlight. This should be a reminder to Sookie that perhaps she’s taking on too much by babysitting Eric. I’m not saying she should hand him over to Bill but Alcide was giving her sensible advice that Sookie seemed to dismiss a little too freely though.

Elsewhere, every time I find Tommy loathsome, the writers have to do something to make me feel bad for the little fecker. This week, he got played by Melinda and Joe Lee that I only hope he ends up killing them. It also proves that Melinda and Joe Lee are even more disgusting than Hotshot, which is impressive when you think about it.

As for Sam learning about Luna being a mother and having a dangerous ex – I smell trouble. I really want Luna to be a good thing for Sam but I got a feeling that he’s heading into some messy territory with Luna and that’s a bit of a shame really. I still like Luna for the moment though.

Also in “I’m Alive And On Fire”

Sookie briefly wondered about Claudine having folks coming after her. I think that’s proof that the fairy plot is far from done with.

Eric: “I want more.”
Sookie (re Claudine): “You can’t have anymore, there isn’t anymore. You drank the whole fairy and you’re going to your room.”

I got the impression that Nan wasn’t telling Bill the whole truth when she let rip on him. Maybe she has a history with witches herself.

Pam: “You like the feel of it, don’t you Bill? That crown.”

Bill: “You’re making a big mistake.”
Nan: “That is not for you to decide. I really don’t know what you expect me to do. I can’t take this to the Authority.”

If Jason getting raped in this episode wasn’t bad enough, those executioners in Marnie’s dream were taking a rather sick pleasure in their description of how to kill a witch.

Maxine: “Something terrible is wrong with you. There is no family feeling in your soul.”
Sam: “Well, I could point out that you’re the one who disowned your own child by blood but maybe you’re right. Maybe there is something wrong with me where family is concerned.”

Alcide: “I’m on your side, Sook, whatever happens.”
Sookie: “Same for me. Friends?”
Alcide: “Friends. Keep in touch.”
Sookie: “You know I will.”

So this week in other plots, we know that Bill and Portia are related (much to Caroline Bellefleur’s unease) and Mikey gave Arlene and Terry the creeps when he wrote “Baby Not Yours” on the wall in red marker.

Debbie: “Sookie’s okay?”
Alcide: “For now but you know her – danger on the door step every five minutes.”

Eric: “I’ll never swim in the sun again. Never feel the heat on my skin. Never see the daylight in your hair.”
Sookie: “Well, the night time’s not so bad. You’ve still got the stars in the sky.”

I don’t think Debbie was as okay with Alcide spending time with Sookie as she admitted in this episode. Why do I get the feeling that Debbie is about to revert to form?

Marnie (to Pam): “Stop saying fuck. I can’t concentrate.”

Chronology: Straight after “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?” left off and standout music was Danko Jones’s “I’m Alive And On Fire”.

Now this was a far better episode than last week. “I’m Alive And On Fire” was definitely great in progressing certain storylines but her treatment of Eric and Pam aside, how much damage can that witch really channel Marnie into doing before everyone takes notice?

Rating: 8 out of 10

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