True Blood
True Blood Review: Things Are Going Downhill in Bon Temps

Heather Barefoot | 30 Jun 2014 18:00
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Back in Saint Alice, Sookie breaks a basic human code by reading Mary-Beth's diary, which is essentially a harlequin romance novel between Mary-Beth and her vampire boyfriend, Henry. Mary-Beth and Sookie have pretty similar experiences with dating vampires and while reading the diary, Sookie reflects on her first date with Bill.

The flashback is just laughable and there's actually a moment where Sookie, in her underwear, spins into her dress, Cinderella-style. True Blood has always had a level of camp that's made the show endearing and while it makes sense that Sookie's memories would have the same kind of a lilt to them, this scene felt unnecessary.

true blood ep2 04

Lettie Mae loses it.
Lettie Mae visits Lafayette and pleads with him to give her a dose of V, or vampire blood. She claims she's able to see Tara, but only when V is in her system. Lafayette calls her out as a drug addict, which has been heavily established throughout all of True Blood's seasons, and a fight ensues between the two.

As her desperation grows, Lettie Mae physically burns herself (palm down in the middle of a cast-iron skillet) in order to plea with Willa for some of her blood. Willa gives in and soon Lettie Mae is in a V-induced haze. She's transported to a dark garden where she finds Tara, crucified on a pure white cross with a boa constrictor draped around her. Tara promises Lettie Mae answers to her questions, but begins speaking in tongues before any can be given. It's a hard scene to watch, especially when the camera shifts back to Willa, horrified as she watches Lettie Mae scream at nothing.

What's most interesting about this scene is that we finally get a chance to see what it's like inside of Lettie Mae's head. Until now, we've only had Adina Porter's incredible acting chops to guide us through Lettie Mae's highs and lows, but in this episode we had a chance to actually see what she sees. It's no surprise that the mashup of Christian symbolism comes through even in her drugged states, as Lettie Mae's struggles with substances have always run parallel to her religious beliefs. I believe Lettie Mae is, by far, the most broken character in True Blood, but it sadly does make sense for her to jump back to her drug dependency after Tara's death, as it's a familiar state for her in times of turmoil.

arlene

Arelene to the rescue! Well, sort of.
At Fangtasia, the infected vampires have holed up along with any humans they've kidnapped for food. Normally in the True Blood universe, when vampires group together, they create a "nest". These vampires, however, don't seem to be following the nest mentality very well. They're at each other's throats almost always and while there's very clearly one vampire in charge, every vampire's temper is flaring thanks to the accelerating illness in their bodies.

Betty Harris, a once-teacher-turned-vampire, is designated to poach a human from Fangtastia's underground torture chamber to feed the group. On her first trip below, she comes face to face with Arlene. The women exchange looks of recognition and Arlene explains that Betty was a previous teacher to both her and Holly's children. Using this knowledge, Arlene tries to appeal to Betty's human side and the ex-teacher promises to find a way to release them from Fangtasia.

Betty convinces the vampires to allow her to also be their sleep watcher, which means she'll wake the entire nest up every fifteen minutes to feed. Using that time, she slips down to the basement again and promises to release Arlene and the others after she feeds on one of them. Arlene offers her blood but Betty's illness seems to accelerate and as she feeds from Arlene, she also disintegrates into a bloody, gooey mess all over Arlene's body. Sadly, this means the ladies are still trapped in Fangtasia at the end of this episode.

The Biggest "Oh Shit!" Moment.
The very last scene of episode two follows Pam as she tracks Eric to France. Pam finds her maker hidden away in an underground room, emaciated and weak. The episode closes on an extended shot of Eric and his darkened, infected veins, a telltale sign of the Hepatitis V virus.

Holy. Crap. Eric has Hep V. It's not confirmed, but he's sporting the same signs of the virus that the other vampires have, which really sucks. It's a real shame that a 1,000+ years old vampire and one of the major players of the series may very well be taken out by a genetically modified disease that is less than a year old. Godric, Eric's maker, got an incredibly moving death scene where he met the sun and Eric's "sister" Nora Gainesborough was already taken out by the same virus. Eric deserves a better out than this.

Where episode one felt forced and lacked focus, episode two offered a stronger sense of what we should expect from the final season of True Blood. Not to mention that now we have to keep watching just to find out what the hell is happening with Eric Northman.

Extra: The Best Quote.
"So this is one of the last houses they hit before Bon Temps?"
"If Jason's pizza forensics are to be trusted, yeah."

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