After a lackluster start and a slow recovery, ‘True Blood’ is finally starting to warm up this season. This week’s episode features a very entertaining storyline, a great comedic performance from one of the main cast, the return of a fan-favorite character, and a minimum of stupid crap. This is the ‘True Blood’ I remember. But can it last?
‘If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?’ picks up with Eric having lost his memory after the witches put a spell on him. He gets a good whiff of sweet-smelling Sookie and tries to attack her, but she manages to convince him that doing so would be a bad idea by breaking his nose. Because she feels sorry for him, she agrees to help him figure out what happened. This eventually means hiding him out at her house.
Alexander Skarsgard is really great in this episode. He plays amnesiac Eric with childlike innocence and confusion. He’s hilarious and adorable and vulnerable and even kind of sweet to Sookie. He decks Pam when he mistakes her usual aggression for being an attack on Sookie. When Sookie suggests that she visit Bill for help, Pam tells her that she believes Bill sent Eric into a trap on purpose. She doesn’t trust Bill at all.
Sookie eventually makes a trip to Shreveport to visit Alcide, hoping that he can hide Eric for her. But she totally freaks out when she learns that Alcide is back with Debbie, who has cleaned herself up and claims to have found religion. Sookie doesn’t want to hear Debbie’s apologies, and just high-tails it out of there before Alcide can convince her to give Debbie a chance to redeem herself.
Lafayete, having no idea of Eric’s current predicament, thinks that his best course of action is to beg Eric for forgiveness. Jesus and Tara tell him that this is a terrible, terrible idea. Nonetheless, he sneaks away to Fangtasia, where Pam nearly kills him until Tara and Jesus intervene. (Tara’s packing a gun with wooden bullets.) Pam tells them that they have 24 hours to bring the witch Marnie to her to reverse the spell on Eric, or she’ll kill them all.
Marnie herself actually has no idea what spell she used on Eric. She was possessed by the “Great Spirit,” who she tries to invoke again by offering herself wholly as a vessel.
We learn that Bill is a pretty heartless Vampire King. He puts a vamp to the true death for being stupid enough to allow himself to be filmed while feeding on a human (by a bunch of morons trying to expose vampire crimes on the internet.) However, when Jessica pays him a visit to confide in him about her problems with Hoyt, Bill is very fatherly to her and advises her to “vamp up” and tell Hoyt the truth if she loves him. Jessica does just that, but it only leads to another fight.
Jessica and Hoyt also have problems with a creepy (almost certainly haunted) doll that keeps turning up in their house despite their attempts to throw it away. They eventually give it to Arlene’s baby. You know that’s not going to end well.
The episode title refers to Jason’s storyline, which doesn’t progress very much this episode. He spends the whole hour tied to the bed. We do learn a little more about the were-panther mythology, though. The panthers believe that they originated from a founder called the “Ghost Daddy,” and believe that Jason is going to be the new Ghost Daddy who brings them back from near-extinction. Crystal slips Jason some Viagra and rapes him to impregnate her. Disturbingly, we see a line of girls (including several underage) watching from the next room and waiting for their turns.
At the end of the episode, Sookie is visited by the fairy queen Claudine, who tries to convince her to return to fairyland. My heart sinks every time the fairies make another appearance on the show, but I’ll forgive this one. Sookie basically tells Claudine to fuck off, and then Eric immediately rushes in, tackles her, and rapidly feeds on her all the way to death. Sookie exclaims, “You killed my fairy godmother!” Eric just looks back at her with big puppy-dog eyes and mutters, “Sorry.” This scene is absolutely priceless. I hope that all the fairy nonsense can be written out so dismissively.