Like a century old child
Episode 8: Night of the Rising Sun
I suppose it is inevitable that after two amazing roller coaster weeks, things had to slow down a bit. And until the very end of the episode, this felt like a sleeper episode to me. Bill and Sookie break up. Bill sheds blood tears. Sookie weeps: on Alcide’s shoulder, on Tara’s shoulder, in a bathing suit in the sun she thought she had forsaken. Bill mopes with Jessica, while also teaching her some pretty kick-ass fighting moves. Though one of my favorite lines of the season thanks to Steven Moyer’s deliver was Bill’s “way” to Jessica’s “no way” in hearing that things are really over with Sookie.Except they are not really over. All it takes is some hard core fighting and then the two are having angry, nearly violent make-up sex in the shambles of Sookie’s bedroom. What is up with Bill and angry sex? And really, Sookie, I know you just fought for your life, but you couldn’t even make it a full 24 hours out of the hospital before taking him back? We spent a lot of time dealing with a breakup that didn’t even make it one episode. And thanks to Eric’s mysterious warning sent through Holly, we have good reason to think Bill’s betrayal hasn’t been fully exposed. I suppose if that is the case, letting them get back together quickly will only heighten the coming break, but I was sort of disappointed.
Then again, their post-fight lust fest fit nicely into a larger theme of the episode (nay, the whole season): the wayward nature of desire, both in how we want that which is not good for us and don’t fully understand the nature of desire. Both Alcide and Sookie are caught in the vortex of longings for people that are clearly less than ideal for them, and the same could be said for Jason and Crystal, Jessica and Hoyt, Jesus and Lafayette, and in a more complicated way, Tara and Franklin. Those latter two are really in a category of their own, what with Franklin physically imprisioning Tara and all. Obviously, her sexual fantasies about Franklin are induced by his blood in her system, and yet, her confused, scared and angry face whens he wakes up emphasizes just how weird desire can be. She knows her fantasies are the result of his blood, and yet, there she is turned on and startled in her bed. Eric also provided a lesson in the dangerous power of desire when his polymorphous sexuality is a ploy to relieving a millenial-old grudge. If there was ever a case in point of doing something that is not good for you, killing Russell Edgerton’s lover/child is most certainly it. I thought for a while that Eric might have had a game plan to take Russell out, but it appears that he is really a Viking after all, willing to take his vengeance whatever the cost. Or, as Talbot might have said before he turned to an oozy pile of blood, he acted like a century old child – on impulse, rash and hasty.
Not unlike Russell himself killing the Magister. Or unlike Jason, who proved he is an even bigger idiot than we normally think. Or unlike Jesus who is getting in deep with Lafayette besides his initial instincts, or Tommy, who is so raring to fight he can’t even stop to figure out what he is fighting. Getting what you think you want, as I am sure all these men are going to learn, may not be worth the price, no matter what the instant gratification.
Even though the episode was a bit mopey in the beginning, it did make up for it in the final 10 minutes, with Eric’s seduction and murder of Talbot and the incredible no-holds barred throw-down in Sookie’s house (um, how often can that house get trashed? Where does Sookie find the time and energy to clean it up over and over?). Those final moments were True Blood at its best. Two favorite moments out of those awesome sequences were: 1) Sookie’s look of wonder and pleasure as she licks the blood from her cut lip and realizes that there is something incredibly awesome about throwing down, not just waiting for others to come to the rescue (though it was pretty unbelievable both that Debbie didn’t turn to a wolf and tear her throat out and that Sookie didn’t just pull the trigger at the end of the fight); 2) a weepy Hoyt driving right past the clearing where Jessica is draining her first werewolf. Maybe I just like to see otherwise passive women turn up the heat, even though I don’t really endorse their violence.
It may have been a bit slow to get going, but this episode left me craving the next like a new vampire at a blood drive. Bring on the revelations and do, please, let’s see Eric and Russell in a final throwdown!
Posted by Kathryn.