Perhaps the most frustrating thing about ‘True Blood’ is that the show has a habit of taking characters we at one time or other actually like and sympathize with, and turning them into completely unlikeable a-holes. I think I’m getting tired of that.
Sookie stopped being at all likeable a long time ago. Now she’s just a shrill bitch who repeatedly cock-teases all the men in her life and then tosses them aside. Bill has gone from good to bad and back again so many times that I’ve lost count. It seemed like his identity crisis this season might bring him around to being sympathetic once more, but now he’s back to acting like an abusive jerk. Ever since becoming packmaster of the werewolves, Alcide has started behaving like a Grade-A prick. Just two episodes ago, his girlfriend Rikki asserted herself as his “Number One Bitch,” so this week he puts her in her place and lets it be known that nothing she has to say about how he runs the pack will ever be meaningful to him. And for her part, Rikki takes out her frustration on poor young Emma, whom she and Alcide kidnapped away from Sam.
About the only character still worth rooting for is Eric, and even he treats Pam pretty badly. This is a problem that producer Alan Ball really needs to evaluate and address if his show is to continue on for more seasons.
With that said, here’s some of what happens in episode ‘You’re No Good':
- Eric glamours and kidnaps the governor’s daughter, Willa Burrell. He plans to kill her to punish her father, but it turns out that she’s a vamp tramp and offers to help Eric by telling him all about the experiments her father has been conducting on vampires. She also reveals that her father hates vampires so much because his wife ran off with one.
- Jason is totally messed up with severe migraines. When he’s not behaving like a buffoon, he spends most of the episode laid up and trying to recuperate. At the end, he mysteriously passes out.
- Newlin is captured by S.W.A.T. forces and brought to the governor’s concentration camp, where he finds his wife Sarah (the wonderful Anna Camp). Far from interested in helping him, she proclaims that she’s a politician now and eager to help the governor with his anti-vampire agenda. An interrogator named Dr. Overlark threatens to torture Newlin unless he tells him all he knows about Eric, which Newlin is more than happy to comply with.
- Eric forces Pam and Tara to abandon Fangtasia, which makes Pam very upset. They hide out at Ginger’s for a while, until the governor finds out that Eric has his daughter and chases after them. Eric says that he will return Willa, but Tara (who assumes that he’ll really kill her) runs off with the girl. (Couldn’t Pam, as her maker, just order her to come back?)
- Feeling immortal and invincible, Bill is convinced that he can now walk out into the sun unharmed. Whoops. That doesn’t work out so well. He bursts into flames and is barely pulled back inside by Jessica. He doesn’t understand why Lilith has seemingly misled him.
- Later, Bill sends Jessica out to seduce and retrieve Dr. Takahashi, the scientist who invented Tru Blood. Bill forces himself into Sookie’s house despite being uninvited, and demands that she give him some of her fairy blood so that Takahashi can create a synthetic version of it. Sookie refuses. Bill tells her that she’s dead to him, but didn’t she just tell him that a couple weeks ago? We get the message already. By episode’s end, Bill runs into Andy and learns about his fairy children (who are now ‘tweens, and whom Andy has simply named Numbers 1 through 4 to tell apart). It’s clear what Bill’s next move will be.
- On the trail of Warlow, Niall (Rutger Hauer) makes his way to the fairy brothel and finds the remains of a bloodbath there. Warlow somehow got in and slaughtered all the fairies. On his way out, Niall runs into Ben, the fairy halfling Sookie met previously, who recognizes Niall as the fairy king and pledges to be his soldier on the hunt for Warlow. When Niall brings him back to Sookie’s house, she and Ben can feel each other’s thoughts, or some silliness that we’re supposed to believe means they’re soul mates or something.
- The Vampire Unity Society bozos pay a visit to the werewolves to ask if they’d like to come out publicly. This isn’t such a good idea. The wolves get really agitated and defy Alcide, attacking and apparently killing most of the humans, except Nicole, whom Alcide manages to protect. In the chaos of this, Sam sneaks into the camp and rescues Emma.
What I will say that I liked about this episode is that it finally breaks from the relentless plot-plot-plot exposition to give us a couple of worthwhile character moments. When Jason tells Sookie that he’s still troubled by the visions of their racist parents, Sookie has to explain to him that just because their parents weren’t perfect doesn’t mean he shouldn’t still love them.
Andy also gets a little time to shine, both in a running gag about the travails of his new fatherhood, and in his attempt to win back Holly’s affection by teaching her how to shoot and protect herself. Andy is another character who’s had some ups and downs over the seasons, but I’m glad that, at least for the moment, he appears to have settled into being a good and decent person. The show needs at least one character like that.