'True Blood' recap: '***** the Pain Away' reveals a royally ticked Sookie
This week's episode takes us in some unexpected directions, which is never a bad thing in and of itself on "True Blood." Most importantly, we get a plotline for Sookie that reflects some of the mixed feelings I've had about her character lately (yes, faeries and half-faeries are delicious, but she always seems to be knee deep in one-note hot-guy adoration). A few of our favorites were put into physical danger (and one seems to be in the process of losing her mind), and it made for a tense episode with sometimes unbelievable moments, and it stirred up some potential plotlines that could be fabulous or less-so. Let's hope for the former. This season holds plenty of promise, and with the vampire-human war afoot, it's anyone's game.
The Good Blood
Sookie fights for her life: I loved that Sookie has become as irritated by the never-ending parade of bad boyfriends in her life as we have, and the opening scene in which she confronts Ben/Warlow and then barks at Bill was both funny and suggests a welcome change in direction. While vampires may love Sookie, she's about done with all the fawning, thank you very much. Her acid reaction to Ben/Warlow's attempt to woo her proves she's had it up to here -- as have we -- and I could stand for less melting and eyelash fluttering and more eye rolling and exasperation. That Bill shows up for Ben/Warlow and not Sookie is a short, funny moment that's well-played -- and a reminder that Sookie may care more than she lets on.
Unfortunately, Sookie could be done, period, thanks to her dad hopping into Lafayette's body to finish what he started -- the drowning of his half-faerie daughter. This was a horrible turn of events, though when we learn Ben/Warlow wasn't lying about saving Sookie from her murderous parents I can't say I was surprised. The elder Stackhouses have always seemed like defensive, dismissive muggles in a supernatural world, so it wasn't a big shock that her dad's knee jerk impulse is to kill what he doesn't understand. I'm sure Ben/Warlow will pop by to rescue Sookie again. I just hope he doesn't kill Lafayette in the process.
We learn more about Ben/Warlow: When Bill trots off with Ben/Warlow, we get some backstory into his relationship with Lilith as well as, well, what seems to be a vampire rape. Anyway, Ben/Warlow used to be a good guy. And then he ate his village. Anyway, he's no fan of Lilith's and it seems the vampire Bible is dead on -- Ben/Warlow is the one to kill her. What this means for Bill, I'm curious to find out. I predict big things, and I cannot wait to see this plotline play out.
Terry makes a plan: I hate to even put this under "good," because the idea that Terry is in so much emotional pain he's asked his boot camp buddy Justin to kill him just makes my heart ache. Though we haven't spent as much time on Terry's storyline lately as I'd like, I'm always happy to see Todd Lowe. I'm hoping that a storyline this dark (and this topical) won't be played for laughs, as the Bellefleurs are so often relegated to comic relief.
Jessica loses it: She may be high on faerie blood, but Jessica also seems to be on the verge of some kind of messed-up epiphany about Bill. As she vacillates between self-loathing, regret, and the rush of drinking four faeries, she spirals into a dark rabbit hole of seeing Bill through the lens of the human Bible -- her maker as devil and her actions as sin. Being a vampire has long been a struggle for Jessica, and I fear her current, heightened state could lead to some actions that she won't be able to take back. But still, it's a fascinating spiral and one that's been long in coming.
Sarah and her general evilness: I always love watching Anna Camp do almost anything. In this episode, she gets some of the best lines -- "When a woman comes to you in black lingerie, you unwrap her!" and "I truly believe God wants me to fuck you" -- and manages to wrap up "the crazy and the hate" in a gleefully nasty, campy package. And though I was wrong about Sarah being pregnant, I'm not surprised she tossed that option on the table with the Governor.
Pam's shrink appointment: I kinda love Pam sometimes. Yes, she can be pouty and childish and a thorn in Eric's side, but here with the shrink, she's all slithery malice and sex appeal. That the shrink buys into her b.s. is pretty remarkable, and I find it hard to believe the humans are this stupid. But that brings us to...
The Bad Blood
Stupid humans: As smart (and horrible) as the humans have been in creating these vampire-killing weapons and even glamour-resisting contact lenses, I find it hard to believe that a therapist would think he's gotten the level truth out of a vampire just by offering a snack. Since everyone seems well aware that most vampires think very little of their food source, why on earth would anyone think talk therapy would reveal any great truths?
Eric turns himself in: I know, I know. Eric probably has an amazing master plan here. After the next episode, I will shake my head and wonder why I ever doubted him. But no matter how well it goes for him (and Tara) on the inside, I have to think this was a mighty risk -- and now that he's facing off against Pam in a battle to the death, I'm hoping he has a genius play in his toolbox.
Alcide's fight with Jackson: This felt a little plot-y to me, in that a fairly minor disagreement ends with Jackson declaring himself independent of Alcide's pack -- and then just happening to spot Sam and Nicole arguing across the street. Hopefully this will lead to some interesting drama, but thus far it doesn't feel particularly well-scripted.
Lafayette's unlucky possession: I hate to see Lafayette this way (especially when you know how awful he'll feel when he realizes what he's done, regardless of the outcome), but this is an interesting twist that invites more interaction between Sookie and Ben/Warlow. I'm just not sure if this is a plotline that will reap great reward or veer into silliness.
What do you think of Ben/Warlow? Do you think Eric has a master plan? What do you think Jackson is going to do?