What are you, Sookie Stackhouse?
Episode 7: Hitting the Ground
After two fantastic weeks in a row and the promise of a rollicking fast pace through the rest of the season, I am prepared to say this is my favorite season of True Blood yet. I continue to be very impressed with the way the writers are taking material from the various books and weaving them together, with some genuinely fantastic improvements, to make story-lines as full of juicy melodrama as a vampire’s head, ready to pop. For instance, in the third books (roughly the basis for this season), Sookie’s dispatching of Lorena with a swift stake to the heart takes place near the very end of the novel, and without Bill’s help. In fact, we learn almost nothing about Lorena in the novels, and we certainly aren’t privy to her little torture fest.I wasn’t sure I really bought the idea that Lorena would surrender so easily (and the show has done nothing but prove that she is stronger and faster than Bill, who is, let us remember, particularly weakened from blood loss and torture), but perhaps since she realizes Russell will probably kill her anyway she would rather die willingly in Bill’s embrace, even if that embrace is brought on by a silver chain around the neck. Even before Bill’s senseless fury in the back of the van, we all have to wonder why Sookie is still so love sick and isn’t she just a tad bit angry or confused by Bill’s recent behavior. We haven’t heard her voice these frustrations if they are there, but showing us her stake protruding from Lorena’s back just inches from Bill’s heart was a very nice touch. Just a hint of her desire to teach Bill a lesson too?
Of course, she doesn’t even get a chance to hear his excuses before her willing offer of blood awakens the demon lust in him that almost kills her. I guess we are supposed to think that once a vampire is nearly dead-dead, he is not capable of remembering who or where he is or that he is nearly killing his girlfriend? A perilous relationship indeed. In fact, Bill and Sookie’s relationship is starting to look uncomfortably similar to Franklin and Tara’s (and let it be noted here, I do not think we are done with Franklin). Sure, Franklin is a psychopath and Bill is just broody and confused, but both men are decidedly not good for their lady friends, and we have to ask, just how many times should one be willing to nearly die for your lover? Tara’s willingness to lump them together and cast Bill out into the daylight is a bit extreme, but not, perhaps, so far from the right path after all.
Of course, Bill doesn’t burn to ash as she intends, and this seems to have something to do with having consumed so much of Sookie’s blood. A little taste here and there during coitus is not enough to do the trick, but nearly draining her has given Bill some sort of ultra protection. Which raises the question the series has been asking since season 1, and with new vigor this season: what is Sookie Stackhouse? [NB: I know the answer that the books give, but I am holding it in reserve. Both because I don’t want to post any spoilers, and because the writers have made enough changes to make me uncertain they won’t shake things up].
Her coma vision was clearly supposed to be an answer along the way, and the two biggest clues we learn are: there is something going on with water – both the glowing water she drinks (and apparently has drunk before) and the strange exchange that gestures to the drowning accident where the Stackhouse parents died. What is the deal with water and Sookie’s magical powers? Is she a naiad perhaps, or some other water sprite? The other thing we learn is that the creatures inhabiting this paradisaical garden have never encountered vampires before, and they are loath to do so. The coming of Bill into the hospital room sends shadows over the alternative paradise and Claudette leaves Sookie with a injunction not to let him suck her light out. Whatever Sookie is, it is something in the supernatural order over and against vampires. But not, apparently something horrifying to them, since Eric looks surprised and somewhat delighted when cousin Hadley whispers the secret to him under duress.
I am hopeful that when the big revelation comes, we will also learn why Sophie-Anne was so keen to learn more about Sookie. Perhaps whatever Sookie is will play into the vampire power politics that have Russell beheading the Magister and scoffing at the mysterious Authority. I would love to learn more about the hierarchies of power in the vampire world, and in the supernatural world more broadly. If there is a realm of creatures that don’t interact with vampires, but that wield some kind of power over vampires (e.g., Sookie’s blood overpowering Bill), what does that mean for Russell’s insistence that vampires are the winners in a game of natural selection? Has Sophie-Anne been trying to get her hands on a secret weapon, a la the mysterious Sookie? Perhaps these will remain separate stories, but I am rooting for integration.
If they could find a way to integrate the other Bon Temps stories, I would be even happier, but I just can’t see it. I love Sam, and Tommy is growing on me, but I am less and less compelled by that story as the weeks go on. I am still holding out hope for our venture into Hot Shot, but if they don’t pick up that pace, I don’t think I can hold on much longer. I am loving the kick-ass Tara and hope she stays around, even if it means another scary confrontation with Franklin. Lafayette took a backseat this week, but I am still hopeful for his new love with Jesus.
The pace, the gore, the twisted love lines – it is all as delicious as a draught of Sookie’s mysterious, non-typable blood!
Posted by Kathryn.