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True Blood - Episode 4.08 - Spellbound - Review

As I’ve mentioned in my past couple of reviews, the Eric/Sookie relationship is starting to get old. My main issue is that the writers don’t really change it up at all; so far as a couple we’ve only seen them have sex in practically every corner of Bon Temps, and then cuddle in bed afterwards and talk about their feelings/situation. By limiting the viewer to only seeing these aspects we’re missing out on a lot of other potential scenes that could be funny, or sweet, or provide the same sort of bonding. Now it’s been a while since I’ve read book four, and thanks to the behemoth that is the Game of Thrones books it might be a while before I can get back to it, so blame HBO for remaking such awesome books. But I seem to remember Eric watching TV, catching up on the history he missed, having nice non-sexual conversations on the couch, etc. Not that I’m saying no more naked Skarsgaard, because goddamn, but changing the situations that they’re in would be refreshing at this point. I may not be complaining for much longer though, because in one of our cliffhangers for this episode we see AntoMarnia bewitch Eric the same way she did Luis, I’m assuming some sort of slave/servant spell. Hopefully this won’t be a quickly resolved cliffhanger, and will actually affect the plot in the next few episodes. The possibilities of AntoMarnia controlling Eric are endless, but I’m hoping that he slips back in with the other vampires unnoticed and then wreaks havoc.

Now that I’ve gotten past my main gripe for the episode, and apparently past episodes too, let’s get into the rest of the new developments. I’ve mentioned before that show runner Alan Ball has said that this season is about identity and identity crises. I initially took that as more of a psychological element, but lately this has taken a more literal interpretation with multiple characters. Marnie and now AntoMarnia is the most obvious example, and the amazing acting by Fiona Shaw really sells the character and concept, but now we have the added elements of Tommy and his skinwalking and Lafayette the ‘Fuck this Shit’ medium. I feel like I cannot give the actors enough credit, or the casting directors for that matter, but Dale Raoul playing Tommy’s “Maxine” was sublime. The walk, the mannerisms, the voice, all of it was spot on and hilarious. The character of Tommy, while despicable and annoying anywhere else, somehow becomes amazingly entertaining when in another characters body. I never thought I would say this, but I now am interested in the Tommy storylines, and any future ones to come. Although his skin walking abilities haven’t quite been fleshed out, limitations and the effect on him etc., there is a whole world of possibilities for current and future storylines.

Now with Lafayette the storyline is clearly headed in a direction, although it’s hard to tell at this point where that direction is. We did find out more about the Nanny’s backstory, and it turns out that she’s not really a Nanny but a grieving mother. Apparently back in let’s say the 30’s, she had an affair with a married man and had a child. Of course this is a double taboo for that era, out of wedlock and mixed race, so the man decides to do the best thing and kill the child. The Mother finds out as she’s returning from the store, where she had saved up her money to buy her child a baby doll. So this is the haunted baby doll that Mikey has, and it’s fairly safe to say that her spirit had been attached to it. What we don’t know is whether or not she has been the one causing all of the creepy drama surrounding Mikey. My money is still on Renee, I would very much like to see him come back as a character. He was pretty much the only non-supernatural villain that the show has had, he needs to come back as a spirit and fix that pattern! Again I have to give credit to Nelsan Ellis who did an amazing job at portraying being possessed. I said last week that I had hoped that this storyline would somehow intersect with the witches, but for now it looks like it is staying put with Arlene and Terry and a now kidnapped baby Mikey. Which means if Lafayette isn’t going to save the day with the witches, then it’s up to Faerie Sookie to tap into her magical and still unexplained light powers.

Now onto Jessica, who is really having a bad day in this episode. After Jason awesomely tackles her away from the light and back into the house she decides to break up with Hoyt, and dreams about how that might go down. In her fantasy he’s crushed, doesn’t want to live anymore, won’t let her leave, a broken shell of a man without his vampire princess. So she puts Hoyt out of his misery and kills him, then heads out to Jason’s truck where they start to have sex while she is still covered in Hoyt’s blood. Typical teenage vampire fantasy, right? Well of course the reality was far different, and instead Hoyt threw every insult he could her way and then whooshed her out of the house. So she heads over to Jason’s, to tell him the good news, get some sympathy, and maybe even some loving. Now this is the season four Jason, not season one. He’s grown up quite a bit mentally, and is putting his police skills to good work here by thinking ahead and realizing that hooking up with Jessica is a bad idea, in every way. And then whoosh, there goes Jessica, kicked out of two houses on the same night. It’s very easy to sympathize with Jessica here, and her story definitely had the most moving moments of the night. I kinda want her to take a cue from Bill here and glamour Hoyt into thinking that it was a mutual breakup, but oh well. I don’t think it will take long for Jason to change his mind, at this point I’m not sure if the Hot Shot storyline will come back this season so they need to give him something else to do.

When we last left Sookie she was taking care of Eric during the Resurrection spell. After the danger is over, Sookie lets Eric drink her to heal. Now here is where things get interesting. Eric tells her to drink from him immediately after. Anyone who read the books should have perked up instantly at this point. Blood bonding in the books is an interesting concept that shows up in book seven. I’m at work right now, so I can’t exactly grab my book to refresh my memory, but essentially two people have to swap blood within a short span of time and it forms a special bond between the two, something that’s stronger than when a human just drinks a vampire’s blood. There are a lot of side effects, but the significant end result in Sookie is that she starts to occasionally hear vampire thoughts in addition to human thoughts. Now that was just in the books, whatever the hell went on in this episode was completely different. My best guess is that Eric and Sookie had a V trip, similar to when Jason and Amy did in season one. Since Sookie didn’t need to heal, Eric’s blood decided to get her high, and her faerie blood got Eric high, and they both went on a trip to a snowy winter wonderland complete with bed and strategically placed fur skins. Oh and did I mention that this trip started in the shower? And definitely did not live up to the shower scene in the book. Oh well, so we have yet to see if this psychedelic  ‘bonding’ will have any consequences down the road, or if this was yet another way to see these two naked. Non-naked Eric/Sookie time this week included a cute scene where they decided to help Bill fight the witches, which doesn’t end up going exactly as planned.

We’re not yet at the end of the season, so I wasn’t expecting any all-out crazy battle, but the graveyard fight still provided some interesting surprises. AntoMarnia and her magical-appearing-witch-backup-squad was a nice touch, along with the fog. A battle with witches should be fun like this, there are a lot of possibilities with witches and it’s nice to see the writers using them. And that wasn’t a great deal that Bill offered, he should have worked on that one a bit more. The sight one of the other witches carrying a silver serving platter was a hilarious, nice touch. Now, why did Eric have to fuck everything up by ripping out that witches throat, unprovoked? My guess is that he didn’t want the curse removed from him. Regardless, the look on Sookie’s face was priceless. Not that the whole meet-with-the-witches-in-the-graveyard was going to go swimmingly, but Eric really fucked that one up. After things go crazy Pam goes right for target number one, Tara, but Bill comes along and puts a stop to it. This may have chipped away at Tara’s hatred for vampires, but it’s going to take a whole lot more chipping at this rate. Sookie’s fabulous faerie light makes a welcome reappearance, but it can’t do much for bullets. We don’t know who shot her, or if it’s important, but regardless Alcide comes to save the day. Or at least scoop up her body. The ominous preview for next week doesn’t make it look so good for poor Sookie, but hey she’s the main character after all so let’s pretend to be worried but know that it’ll all be OK in the end. As I mentioned in the intro, Eric on the other hand is not OK. He is now a servant of AntoMarnia, who in a chilling final scene pets him like he’s a dog.

As always, here are my speculations for the upcoming episodes. Of course Sookie’s going to be just fine, and like the last time she was in a coma she will come away from it a little more faerie and a little less human. If she’s going to fight AntoMarnia she needs a power boost anyway. My guess is that faerie magic is older than witch magic, and therefore Sookie and her light rays have the power to break the witch’s curses. If you have any other ideas please post them in the comments! Next Sunday seems like a long ways away!

Random Thoughts:
  • Loved the shot of Jason emerging from the light, and then closing the door with his feet.
  • Neck chain this time around for Jessica. Are they going to have to wear silver every day in every episode until the end of the season?
  • It took quite a while for the other guards to hear that gunshot and come running to the basement, methinks Bill needs better security.
  • So the werewolves are trying to stay out of the drama this season? Good luck with that Alcide.
  • Emma is just the cutest ever! Her and her Barbie’s need to stick around a few more seasons.
  • Can anyone see what those books are next to Eric’s bed? Just curious.
  • Jessica doesn’t seem too thrilled about the blood donor lady, I’m guessing Jason is far tastier.
  • The sight of Andy on all fours, licking his lips while looking at the pile of dead vampire like a dog was amazing, but I’m still waiting for his V addiction to tie in somewhere, anywhere!
  • Come on Sookie, grab that ass like you mean it.
  • AntoMarnia can’t figure out how to shut off the TV, how adorable! I want to see her use a computer next. Also she’s so upset that only one vampire died, didn’t she realize that they knew what was coming this time and took steps to protect themselves. Not the brightest, this one.
  • Tara at first seems disturbed that she’s helping in the vampire genocide, then she’s like ‘meh, whatever, fry those undead fuckers.’
  • Bill tries to talk to AntoMarnia and apologize, it’s a nice attempt but he’d have an easier time teaching fish to breathe air.
  • Loved Tommy trying to figure out what shoes/jewelry match the clothes he grabbed. He did a halfway decent job, but couldn’t quite get the makeup right.
  • The nice little setup with Marcus recommending Alcide for leadership is nice, expect to see more on that next season. I don’t think they have time this season to fit in the werewolf pack leadership storylines from the books, and in the books they start in the fifth anyway so it seems like a natural fit.
  • How many times at this point has Alcide promised Debbie to stay away from Sookie? She’s kinda insecure, but at least this episode she has reason to be. Nothing good is going to come from her seeing Alcide rescue Sookie.
  • When is Lafayette going to learn to duct tape his mouth closed? Seems like the only real solution.
  • Love how Bill stopped before entering the room where Eric and Sookie were, and forced himself to smile. I’m almost starting to feel bad for him this season. Almost.
  • Marcus is only calm and peaceful when leading a pack apparently. Loved how he tried to intimidate Sam, and he was all like ‘wtf?’ Also Emma seems pretty scared of Daddy.
  • Also love the scene with Tommy running through the woods still wearing Maxine clothes and makeup. Wonder how much longer he’s going to be able to keep this up?
  • Every time Jason feels guilty he does pushups. Can’t complain about that.
  • Tara’s vampire kill count is starting to climb, unfortunately her likability is still declining.
  • The cheesy AntoMarnia fire eyes makes a return!

Favorite Quotes:
  • “Think good things, hot summer days, barbecuing. Oh wait, uhmmm. Good things a vampire would think! The moon. And getting cold. True Blood?”
  • “I won’t betray you. Ever.” “I may remind you of that someday.”
  • “God, you look so fucking hot when you got blood all over you. I want you to bite me, and fuck me, at the same time. Right here.” “Ok.”
  • “Betcha it’s going to rain tonight. I can always feel it where that panther tore my throat open.”
  • “Jesus tits and God America, Jason what the fuck is happening to me?”
  • “She kept to herself like a vampire would. Or a serial killer.”
  • “Because all of us vampires know each other?”
  • “Think I made some friends tonight. Couple of really nice bitches.” That’s a pun, folks.
  • “Service in this place fucking sucks, and you know why? Because Sam Merlotte’s a fucking asshole.”
  • “Well isn’t there anything I can do to help you sweeten the deal?” “Uh, Nooooo.”
  • “Maybe God really does hate fangs. And you know what, so do I.”
  • “There is no right. Or wrong. Those are human notions.”
  • “My….. Bill.”
  • “Yeah well I gotta feeling he plays Barbie’s all by himself.”
  • “This is so fucking LAME!”

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