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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

True Blood: Release Me

Illustration for article titled True Blood: Release Me

Here's an idea: Let's take all of the intrigue we carefully breathed into last week's episode, or into the whole season for that matter, and just let the air go, one giant balloon fart at a time. Tonight's episode exhibited some of the most clumsy exposition I've ever seen, with bout after bout of dialogue of insulting explanation. Holy mackerel, True Blood, we're not stupid. We've patiently put together the clues you've laid out in this screwed-up fantasy land, and this is how you repay us?

"Dionysus, the God of wine?"

Last week I sat slack-jawed; this week I had to pause 37 minutes in because I was laughing too hard to take notes. In a bad way, at that line from Sam. Daphne's villain speech seriously derailed into a Wikipedia-inspired lesson on Maryann's character, laying everything on the line. Greek, Dionysus—no, more than that. She's God, dum dum. No, wait, Satan dum dum. Daphne gets the last word for awhile, but only for a moment, because Maryann kills her. You know, because she's the devil, and her Sunday hat is Eggs the black-eyed killer. I'll give True Blood this, though: Maryann did have a good moment this episode, swinging around a dead hare and singing the title for her new self-help book, Feeling Sorry For Things Is Just An Excuse Not To Celebrate Your Own Happiness.

The other great disappointment this week is how carelessly the writers did away with that glimpse of complexity in Bill's character. Last week the do-good human-lover flashed back to a time when he relished in the torture and exsanguination of innocents. How interesting! Something significant must have happened to make him that way in the first place, and then to re-instill some sense of humanity in him. Mystery squashed: This week's ep chalked it up to a brief blip in judgment. He was just faking, Miss Maker. He's been good all along, he has never loved you. This return to blind do-goodery and re-renouncement of cruelty returns Bill to one dimension. Lorena's right; Bill is a wet blanket.

My non-feeling for him was highlighted best during one scene that was surely meant to be dramatic and terrible (for Bill). Lorena reveals Eric's betrayal; he brought her there so that he could have at Sookie. "He wants the girl, William. Just let him have her." This line cuts directly to a close up of Bill's face, which crumples on these words. And I feel nothing. I'm the vampire Bill will never be, apparently.

We get snippets of Sookie's imprisonment and learn that a) she has the same taste in underwear as Sarah Newlin, and probably Gran, and b) that she has a special S.O.S. radio signal to Barry's brain. Good thing, since now it looks like Eric's coming to save the day.

This weeks' few bright spots come unsurprisingly from Lafayette and Eric. Lafayette has some fun play with Eggs Bene-dicked, but seems—like the rest of the characters this week—oddly clairvoyant, pegging Eggs for devil's work. Andy Bellefleur has a good time, too, shouting at Arlene, "Fuck you, zombie woman!"

Then the only really interesting thing we're left to mull over this week is the prospect that Bon Temps' residents might actually become cognizant of Maryann's dupery. Tara sifts through Arlene's story of nasty lingerie and hot oils to discover that the blackout might be shared. It would be kind of fun to see them all pick up their pitchforks and head off to kill the beast.

Grade: C


— Weren't Jessica and Bill sharing a suite? Is she going to lose her virginity while Lorena drains Bill, because neither one of them is bothering to check in on the other? They weren't kidding about the "double-soundproofed" walls, I guess.

— My laughing at Anna Camp's terrible acting while crying turned into actual laughter as she giggled around about telling Steve. And I love how Jason's still freaked out by her saying she loves him.

— "If Godric is gone, nothing will bring back what I have lost," says Eric. Hm.

— "I forgot myself, and I will have to live with the things we've done for eternity." Man up, Bill Compton! You are a pansy in a sea of badass vampires!

— Oh yeah, Sarah shoots Jason. Stun gun, I'm guessing? They certainly can't kill him.