“They call me a danger whore.”
Sookie and friends, and most likely the entire town of Bon Temp could be considered a proud collection of danger whores. Trouble is abound everywhere in this week’s episode of True Blood. Full of death, disaster and destruction, the mere sixth installment of the season feels more like a penultimate episode before a colossal season finale. “Don’t You Feel Me” has a distinct overall tone of finality–or possible ending devastation. We’re on the verge of total collapse and the goings on here highlight that very distressing truth with a fervent pre-climax that should have everyone talking! There are some rather shocking moments sprinkled throughout the latest episode of HBO’s vampire drama series. What is most worthy of some chatter is the much teased death that has taken Bon Temp and the whole True Blood fandom by storm. It’s a surprising turn of events, but by this point in the series, someone in the main cast has to bite the dust and the beloved oddball, Terry Bellefleur is the one to perish. Surprisingly, he isn’t the only one to die either, along with a bit of emotional death.
Eric and Pam are at odds this season, but not enough to totally destroy one another in a vicious fight to the death, especially not for the entertainment of a few pesky, butthurt humans. It certainly doesn’t take much before Sarah’s plan to put two favorite vamps at each other’s throats to become a failure and result in new measures being taken…by everyone. Eric has his vengeance-hungry eye set on Steve Newlin for ass-kissing his way into the human’s favor. All the while Governor Burrell is seeking his own sloppy vengeance on Eric for turning Willa into the thing he hates most and unfortunately for Eric, who usually remains a bit too arrogant for his own good, his sister Nora is at vamp camp as well, just waiting to be used to even the score. The convenience of vampire illnesses like Hepatitis D makes for another affective situation full of higher stakes and certainly highlights a new level of menace in this season’s villains. Fortunately for Eric, he has an ace up his sleeve; Willa, who is beginning to prove herself a useful game player and a big part in getting our favorite fangers out of this sadistic vampire prison. The antagonistic qualities of certain characters continues to be one of the best things about this season. Especially as our big bad of the season turns from Governor Burrell to Sarah Newlin…
Jason’s risky quest in infiltrating the LAVTF is easily another effective part of the episode that quickly becomes a tense unfolding of pushes between him and Sarah Newlin, who is quite a piece of work. One should have known when she returned this season that she wouldn’t be up to any good, but they’ve heightened her villainous, crazy ways. The unquestionable first evidence of Sarah’s monstrous villainy comes when she gets her new recruit to sit in on a “copulation study” that of course involves Jessica. It’s deliciously devious and again terribly effective in provoking the needed emotion to make the scene work. Jessica, already subjected to this season’s most distress is humiliated for the sake of proving a point: Sarah Newlin will not be smoted! It works for the characters of Jason and Jessica in a great way. One can even see Jessica continue her internal struggle of whether she deserves this sort treatment after devouring four fairy girls. The way Jason’s past relationships keep coming back to bite him in the ass has been a running theme for the character in the series and this is the height of just that. Beyond the whole werepanther debacle with Crystal, being framed for the murder of Amy and various other women, the torturous Jason-Jessica-Hoyt triangle and even the reunion with a special grade school teacher, Jason’s worst mistake is probably involving himself with Sarah Newlin, the real big bad of the season, who is probably the best villain since Russell Edgington’s appearance in Season 3.
It’s certainly interesting that Billith still can sense when Sookie is in danger and even more so that Sookie’s relationship with Ben is becoming more complicated and twisted. After rescuing Sookie from a possessed Lafayette, Sookie and Ben escape to that once bright light fairy dimension where even Billith cannot summon Ben back to him. It doesn’t help that Billith is stuck without any answers from Lilith, who is proving herself quite useless thus far. Her little arbitrary riddles and assertions push Bill to act, ingesting Ben’s fairy/vampire blood, walking out into the sun (successfully this time) and taking on Governor Burrell head on. I should have guessed it, but watching Bill actually rip Burrell’s head clean off is another highlight of the episode. Bill–Billith is out for blood now. But perhaps even more surprising than Bill’s impulsive slaughter and disturbing powers is Eric’s discovery of the return of Tru Blood, but with a special added ingredient: Hepatitis D. Good luck explaining that to the rest of the world.
Perhaps even more bewildering is the direction in which Sookie and Ben’s relationship goes in the final moments of the episode. Some fans will be annoyed at Sookie’s poor decision making here, just going in for the kill or living up to the name, danger whore. But in reality Sookie isn’t a whore and anyone still so dull-minded to presume her as one should probably stop watching the show altogether. Sookie is however a poor decision maker and someone who seems to be more in tune with a darker side of herself this season more than ever. She’s embracing it. And at this point in her life, after discovering the truth about her parents and Warlow/Ben, she might as well. It’s like she’s reached the biggest amount of danger possible, so she feels perhaps invincible–or maybe that isn’t’ the right word. Sookie is more untouched by the assertions of her being a stupid blonde waitress or a supernatural-loving whore. Basically, this is her embracing who she is. Vampires and fairies’ destinies have long been intertwined since B.C. It’s no wonder Sookie is so attracted to them. This fairy-vampire bond that occurs at the end is both stupid and imperative for Sookie, which is what makes it so frustrating…and yet appropriate. Where this all goes will either be an odd mess or a True Blood victory. Or maybe it will simultaneously be both.
We should all be happy to know the were-bimbo Alcide’s father was with isn’t Rikki, but even more happy that this Emma storyline is seemingly coming to a close. I’m not sure I could have put up with more of this rather boring chase down. Certainly Nicole’s involvement with Sam had previous engagements beyond being on the road together running from hillbilly werewolves and a progressively more annoying and angry Alcide. I have to say that I was personally looking forward to Sam and Nicole being the faces of new supernaturals coming to the surface and branching out. But it has unfortunately morphed into this lackluster story that hopefully moves on from here. Seriously, the character of Nicole came into the picture with so much promise, but now she is reduced to being Sam’s rebound. Very disappointing. The father and son element with Alcide and his father does little to add to the story. There is only so much pushing back and forth between the two can do to establish some thematic presence. If there is even any kind of thematic presence here at all.
One could guess that there is a smidgen of a family theme and its inherent importance, which will maybe help push Sam and Alcide to summon the courage to come out to the public as shifters and werewolves. But I doubt Rikki and the rest of the Bon Temps werewolf pack would appreciate that much. Now with Emma and Martha together, hopefully safe, Sam and Nicole are forbidden by Alcide to return to Bon Temp, or you know, they’ll face death by stupid werewolves. Like many fans, I too am over the very presence of the werewolves and hope for a swift turn of events that excluded them from the picture altogether. Adeline Brailin Charlene Danica Bellefleur. Yep, Andy’s last remaining fairy daughter finally has a name…or four. One of the lightest moments in the episode (much needed too) is when Andy finally gives his daughters names in remembrance of them and for some semblance of closure. But something tells me Andy isn’t just going to forget that Jessica killed three of his daughters. That’s just not something that goes away. That is unless a Holly hires vampire Matt to forget about it all the same way she does to help Arlene out with Terry…
Holly is probably the most forward thinker and problem solver of the whole cast. Not only does she talk perfect sense most of the time, but she always has the best solutions. As Arlene catches on to Terry’s intentions of taking his own life, Holly brings in a gay vampire friend, Matt to erase all that is torturing him out of his mind (why hadn‘t no one thought of that sooner) which allows Arlene a good twelve or so hours with a perfect husband and father. The unfortunate circumstance we all knew would destroy this momentary relief of persona demons is as crushing as we all thought it would be. It’s a lot of emotional manipulation leading up to it, which somewhat cheapens the experience, but there is a saving grace in Terry’s passing. The character of Terry has been plagued with personal demons and fever dreams–post-traumatic stress and anxiety. And yet, in a small town of freaks and monsters, Terry was still probably one of the most normal, even when tortured with everything that probably could have killed weaker minded individuals by the third season at least.
One of the few good souls left in the series who had to succumb to necessary evils which ultimately tortured him and pushed him over the edge. The aforementioned saving grace is that Terry didn’t perish a tortured man anymore. Thanks to the weird gift of supernatural creatures namely vampires and their inherent gift of glamouring, Terry left the world and his friends–his family–Arlene a happy man, unsoiled by the evils of the world and of man. All of this makes me feel like someone has put a curse on Arlene. She always has the worst luck. Seriously, if there is anyone in the True Blood universe that probably did not deserve to go yet it is Terry Bellefleur, which makes it all the more saddening. Rest in peace…
Another strong episode full of great, effective scenes and story progression for just about every single character and their respective storylines, albeit a tad sloppy, it does a great job at raising stakes that have been raised to proportionately high levels even for a series like True Blood. The antagonistic dynamics continue to propel the season’s story and highlight some intriguing themes while building on character interactions. The season is also having a great conversation with its past and using it to capitalize on the current events and plots. It’s a wonderful crazy and eventful mess, this installment. And most notably, it is one of the few episode of True Blood that has a lot of emotion attached to it, making it another winner as far as this reviewer is concerned. “Don’t You Feel Me” gets 4 out of 5 stars!
Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a comment!
© Patrick Broadnax 2013