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True Blood - Episode 4.06 - I Wish I Was the Moon - Review

 I’m going to title this episode as ‘The One Where Everyone Runs Pointlessly through the Woods for an Hour.’ Of course there was a lot more to this episode than that, but somehow half of the major characters manage to end up in the same patch of forest. The other half of the episode was the Sam/Tommy shape shifting adventures, which for the first time in a long time actually made me care about anything involving Sam or Tommy. I said in my last review that it looked like in this episode the shit was going to hit the fan, and I’m sad to say I was a little disappointed. Sure, Bill walked in on Sookie and Eric, and there was plenty of drama to be had. Jason sadly did not turn into a were-panther, at least not yet? He definitely does in the books so this is quite a deviation on the writers’ part, and kind of makes the whole Hot Shot plotline from the first five episodes seem pointless. Marnie has yet to break out of Bills basement maximum security vampire dungeon, and Jesus and Lafayette have some strange but currently useless adventures in Mexico. I may gripe, but this was still a solid True Blood episode, and definitely fulfilled the requirements for both gratuitous sex and general disturbing content. In addition, we did fill in more holes from the past, and learn more about spirits in general.

This week we received another flashback to the scene where Antonia is burned at the stake, and chanting the spell that sent all the nearby vampires to their sunny deaths. We also saw these vampires burn, but more importantly we saw the other jailed witches chanting along with Antonia as the spell was being performed. This is hugely important; Antonia/Marnie doesn’t have enough magic by herself to perform a spell that powerful. If you’ve seen any of the preview videos for the rest of the season then you’ll know that the coven gets back together, and now you know why. Although we’ve been seeing Antonia possess Marnie for several episodes now, we never really got a good understanding of the dynamics of this new supernatural element in True Blood. This episode helped to fill in a lot of those holes, at least for me, so this is what I’ve deduced. These spirits are essentially ghosts that wander around, some people can see them and some people can’t, and apparently they can possess you if you open your mouth. We’ve seen this with Antonia, and now Jesus’ uncle who temporarily possessed Lafayette. The third spirit that we’ve been introduced to is the 1950-ish black woman who appears to be either protecting baby Mikey or causing the trouble that seems to surround him. Or both? I’ve seen other people online say that she looks like a nanny, so that’s how I’ll refer to her until we get more information. The only supernatural element that doesn’t quite fit into a category yet is the filthy baby doll, and although I didn’t catch it I’ve read online that people think they saw the doll crawling around in the fire sequence. The Nanny may or may not be tied to the doll, but the doll definitely seems to be linked to fires because it looks like it’s lived through several burned down houses.

The house fire was the catalyst for the Sam/Tommy plot in this episode, which contained some absolutely amazing acting by Sam Trammell. Sam has never really had the greatest range as a character, pretty much rotating between happy and angry, so I wasn’t confident that the actor could do much else. My expectations were shattered; Trammell absolutely nailed Tommy’s voice, pacing, and physical movements, while simultaneously pulling off the transition that over the course of the day Tommy would start get used to being Sam. The other fascinating part about Tommy shifting into ‘Sam’ was how Tommy shifted his perspective of Sam’s life into his actions as the new ‘Sam’. So for instance, what he said to Sookie when he fired her, and also deciding to promote Jessica when the real Sam didn’t want to. All of the things that Tommy thought Sam did wrong, he decided to fix in his day as ‘Sam’. Of course by making all of these changes, the real Sam is going to figure out pretty quickly that someone was masquerading as himself and causing some significant damage. My bet is that Luna will be the first to let him know about how he had sex with her and then promptly kicked her out, a fact that will no doubt surprise poor Sam. 

The biggest surprise, and at least for me disappointment, was that Jason did not turn into a were-panther. As I noted in my intro, this was a pretty big plot element in the books and would have been a great addition to his character in the series. Apparently being bitten by a were-whatever is not a danger, as confirmed by Alcide and Debbie. They way this was presented it definitely seemed pretty finite, so I’d say there’s a slim chance at this point of Jason becoming a Ghost Daddy. There is however a good chance of a Jason and Jessica entanglement. The scene with the two of them in the woods sitting and talking reminded me a lot of Sookie and Bill in season one after Bill had almost been drained. The early stages of love between a vampire and a human, just with the roles reversed. Their conversation worried me a bit though, as I’ve said before the theme for this season is identity crises. Before it looked like Jason might turn into a panther, so that was where I had thought his crises might be. Now I’m starting to think his crisis is that he wants to be supernatural, but he’s not. He brought this up with both Sookie and Jessica, and now that he’s not a panther maybe he might decide that being a vampire is more appealing? His scenes with Sookie were a highpoint for me; some of my favorite moments from season two were their scenes in the hotel bed, just talking. This time around things weren’t so sweet, although that was mostly thanks to the handcuffs and shotguns.

We’ve already established that in the duo that is Jesus and Lafayette, Lafayette is the more powerful one that just doesn’t know how to use it yet. Apparently Grandpa comes to this realization fairly quickly as well, and decides that it’s better to show than to tell. To do that he decides to poison Jesus with the rattlesnake to force Lafayette to channel the spirit of Jesus’ uncle, who can apparently cure rattlesnake bites with a few words. No wonder Jesus is terrified of Grandpa. Out of this bunch though I love who I’m going to call Grandma, aka the pregnant woman who is always smirking and rolling her eyes, and also padlocked the door. I bet she sees this kind of freaky shit every day. Probably the most important element of this whole ordeal is that we find out that somehow Grandpa has a good handle on what’s going on, warning the two male witches that it’s not vampires that they need to be worried about. My current prediction is that we will spend some time in Mexico giving Lafayette some proper witch training, and he will then return to Bon Temps to save the day.

Bill seems to be under the initial impression that Eric is infected by Marnie, and could be used against the other vampires. Sookie is under the impression that Bill just wants to hurt Eric because he walked in on them getting busy. My guess is that it’s probably a little of both. The idea of Eric possibly being infected though is an interesting one, we’ll have to see if anything comes of it after Marnie’s eventual escape thanks to the vampire sheriff who stupidly decided to pay her a visit. In a nearby jail cell Pam attempts to talk the Eric back into Eric, who after learning that Bill is his King has completely acquiesced. It really pains me to see Eric so compliant to Bill, but it pays off in the end when Bill decides to set him free thanks to Eric’s heartfelt non-selfish final requests. I haven’t completely bought the idea that Bill would just set him free, my theory is that something else happened that we didn’t see before Eric showed up to Sookie in the woods. Maybe a last minute phone call from Nan, or he really didn’t want to deliver that message to Sookie, but something must have happened to make Bill not kill the only real threat to both his power and his relationship with Sookie. As for Eric and Sookie in the woods, well that just looked uncomfortable. Not just because they were having sex on the bare ground, but also because the actors didn’t really look comfortable either. Maybe I’m just used to Sookie/Bill passionate fake sex, that at home turns into husband and wife real sex, but I just wasn’t buying it. The music also didn’t help. It’s starting to remind me of one of my other favorite shows, LOST, where the damn violins would just show up and ruin every dramatic moment. I can feel things without the music blaring to accompany the scene and telling me how I need to feel, thank you very much. The scene was sweet sure, but I think I prefer the book scene which was much cleaner, but that could be because it started in a shower.

Again this week we were left with a bunch of cliffhangers. I think I prefer one major cliffhanger, instead of 4 smaller ones, but I guess it’s out of necessity because there are so many plots this season. Is Tommy really dead, or just sick? What’s Pam going to do to Tara and Naomi? Now that Marnie/Antonia is free and fully possessed, what kind of havoc shall be wreaked? And of course, what’s next for Sookie and Eric? As we get further along in the season it gets harder and harder to wait until next Sunday, but in the meantime please comment with any ideas/theories that you have, or if there is anything else to add that I missed. I really do appreciate the comments; it keeps me going until the next episode!

Random Thoughts:
  • Poor Pam, things just keep getting worse for her! The scene with her hiding under the sheet was adorable.
  • I loved Pam’s pep talk, but unfortunately it’s going to take more than that to get Eric’s memory back.
  • Yes, King Bill Skype’s like the rest of us. Any guesses on what Nan was in the middle of?
  • We finally get to meet Terry’s pet armadillo! Glad to see he survived the fire.
  • Here’s hoping that Holly manages to quell poor Andy’s temper and addiction, those two would make a cute couple. Holly + Andy = Team Handy!
  • Of course Tara and Naomi were going to get back together, but we’ll see how long that lasts thanks to Pam.
  • Did anyone else notice the Halloween décor on the walls of Merlotte’s? A smell a Halloween episode coming up, and I’m guessing it won’t involve a party.
  • This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Jason shirtless and in handcuffs, and it never gets old.
  • So it looks like Alcide and Debbie are joining a new pack, not much in this storyline yet, but my guess is that this is going to be a bad decision for both of them.
  • There have been a lot of rape scenes this season, both male and female; hopefully this is the end of them.
  • The shot of Jesus plucking the rattlesnake out of the grass randomly was pretty amazing, like croc hunter level bad ass.
  • Loved the looks on the other customers faces when Tara and Naomi walked into the bar holding hands, I guess there aren’t a whole lot of lesbians in Bon Temps.
  • Naturally Jason focuses on Jessica’s breasts to calm down from his Panic Attack.
  • Adorable In Sync Dialogue: Jason and Jessica both explaining their reasons for not telling Hoyt about their little get together under the moon.
  • Isn’t it nice how the King Bill has a ceremonial stake? It makes such a gruesome event that much classier.  I wonder how many vampires that stake has popped since he took the crown.

Favorite Quotes:
  • “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”  “Only because you can’t remember anything else.”
  • “Believe it or not, my entire existence does not revolve around what or who is between your legs.”
  • “Let me tell you a little something about King Bill. He’s a self-loathing, power hungry, pompous little dork, and you hate his guts.”
  • “If someone crosses you, you rip out their liver with one fang!”
  • “We’ve traveled the world together! Killing, and fucking, and laughing!”
  • “The ghost of my serial-killing ex-fiancé just tried to murder us in our sleep. We’re just peachy!”
  • “Goat Tongue? For Breakfast? Wow. That smells, uh, well done.”
  • “You’ve reached Jason Stackhouse. If it’s an emergency, dial 911 and ask for me.”
  • “It’s a life or death situation!” “Another one?”
  • “That boy’s dumber than a bucket of spit, and just as useful.”
  • “I’m in the middle of a special secret police investigation here!”
  • “I promised to take care of you.” “What do you think that meant? Change my kitty litter?”
  • “I’m a police officer! And a were-panther! Back off!”
  • “Your momma was a were-panther?”
  • “Go shift! Kill stuff! Do whatever werewolves do, I got this!”
  • “Tell her I was born the night found me. And because of her I went to my true death knowing what it means to love. Tell her thank you.”

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