Tonight's breezy episode serves as an antidote to last week's ending, which saw heavy-hearted Godric kill himself on a rooftop, offering himself to what he perhaps hoped was a forgiving God (vampires can believe!). I was sad to see him go, downer that he was, since he was the most level-headed vampire we'd seen, prompting questions about the evolution of vampire morality and human equality. (Not to mention crumbling badass Eric Northman like a fine feta cheese.) So while Todd got to muse on vampire's place in the world and the end of the Fellowship, I return from vacation to discuss Jason Stackhouse posing as a Greek God with a couple of twigs for horns and flares for smiting devices.
This charade was absolutely the highlight of this episode's survival-horror video game, which had Sam Merlotte, Andy Bellefleur, and Dirty Little Monkey fighting against a town full of zombies. I suppose we knew it was coming to this, that Maryann would end up hijacking the brains of Bon Temps residents for her sacrificial rituals. This episode worked, though, because the show wholly embraced zombie-hood. We've spent this season just dipping our toes into the Maryann orgy-pool, getting a few minutes every episode of black-eyed fucking, dancing, and violence. So much so that it had gotten boring. But when Sookie & Co. returned to Bon Temps tonight after their sojourn in Texas, everything had gone wrong, turning this episode into a screwball zombie-horror comedy. And it was, for the most part, really funny.
For one, our three dumb anti-heroes were forced to fend off the zombies, Jason taking the traditional role of an all-equipped video-game protagonist. He's got the chainsaw, nail gun, flares, mask, etc., and has to come up with some adventure-game combination to distract the masses. Andy provided successful sidekick banter, offering up helpful advice like, "If what you say is true, we need to kill that bitch," and even turning his swigs from the bottle into comical punctuation to sometimes-nudist Sam's shapeshifting antics. The bumbling trio's nearly botched stage show was pretty ingenious.
Meanwhile, over at the "worst motherfucking intervention in history," Tara proved that 0 percent Tara was still too much Tara. Total ambivalence here during the drawn-out, save-Tara bonanza; dramatic tension failed to emerge from those blurry visions and broken picture frames. It's like watching characters talk to someone in a deep coma without any real sense of a meaningful past between the two or that the patient dying would be any real loss. In the end, Sookie sees her eat heart-soufflé and saves her in a teary-eyed reunion.
True Blood succeeds when it goes whole-hog, like it's finally done now with Maryann's character. She's grown so preposterous that I was genuinely laughing this week, with the feeling that everyone was in on the joke this time. She's barking and groaning and is a hot mess. Not bad. And lucky for us, Bill remembers his own early 20th century Wikipedia to help explain Maryann, the book on ancient myths he was conveniently perusing in a flashback. Off to see the queen for some help on how to kill a maenad. Brb!
We've two more episodes left in the season, and with the Fellowship Of The Sun plotline at least on hold and at most kaput, I'm curious to as how we'll finish up. I'm hoping it's not all going to be about Maryann; I'm not sure we dislike her enough to be whole-heartedly against her, or that we care enough about Tara to really fear for her safety. But at least we're guaranteed the shenanigans and some sort of light-show from Sookie.
— In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man was king.
— Hoyt's mom is playing Dead Space, a survival-horror game.
— Sam's ass in an apron!
— Bill's approach to the queen's lair (complete with secret service) during the last scene mirrors aesthetically Sookie's opening sequence—a quiet walk in saturated colors that almost has a music-video feel to it.
— I am digging Sookie's dream sequences about Eric; her scenes with Bill have been so predictably sappy for so long now.