This was a rough week for the rountable – cable outages, deadlines, and Christian bar owners threw off all our watching schedules, and this episode was full of enough set-ups to keep us talking for hours. Alea Adigweme, Joseph Lamour, Kendra Pettis, Amber Jones, and Jordan St. John join me to provide the rundown on misplaced loyalties, the acrid sting of betrayal, and the evolving Wind Done Gone relationship between Tara and Sookie.
Latoya: We have to talk about the person who is rumored to die. I feel like we need to start prepping Tara eulogies
Kendra: I think it might be Lafayette… granted, it’s positive to be one of the two.
Jordan: Ahhh Tara… I was just starting to really like her…
Jordan: I’ll miss Tara if she goes, we had so little time with her
Amber: It’s so unfair that it’s bound to be one of the two of them.
Kendra: I think if we’re thrown a curveball, it’ll be Sam
Latoya: I was thinking Hoyt would be the curve
Kendra: Okay so, apparently Tara is going to be the only free woman this season. Watch it get her killed. (And since as of the AM of 7/11 Miss. Rutina’s been cast in an off Broadway show, I’m a little more convinced that’ll be happening.)
Latoya: ooh, starting with Eric!!!
Jordan: A moment of appreciation for Eric’s abs…. okay….done
Latoya: … Sookie smells “like wheat, honey, and sunlight?” Damn, that is white womanhood.
Joe: “… and cotton, horseback riding, hats with horns, linen, tide with bleach…”
Alea: I know, right? Eau de white lady. I wonder if a spritz of that would get more white people to treat me not like crap.
Amber: Lol. I can’t.
Latoya: Yeah, I just laughed when Eric went for her neck
Jordan: Wheat is an interesting choice for me. I would have thought flowers or something softer…
Joe: Tide with fabric softener.
Jordan: Wheat, I associate with work.
Joe: I hear fiddles and the “beef its whats for dinner” song when I think of wheat.
Latoya: I can see wheat. Smells like bread, the heartland, etc…
Joe: I guess heartland might be the word for it. LOL
Jordan: true, women’s work
Latoya: Baked bread is enticing man. If they are saying Sook smells like a buttered roll, I now kind of understand the obsession. It’d be like a warm breadbasket following you around town.
Latoya: “Would you like to be mine?” Eric is really strange while polite.
Alea: So. Charming. Skarsgård does the vacant, little-boy-lost thing so heartmeltingly well.
Latoya: He’s like Spike with the chip in.
Alea: Exactly like Spike with the chip in! They’ve cribbed a lot from BtVS in these first few episodes.
Alea: “What are you?” — a question loathed by multiracial people everywhere [and Sookie, in this universe at least, is multiracial in a way].
Jordan: Is sookie on something? I would be opening my door with a crossbow this night and every night
Latoya: @Jordan – lol, right! why hasn’t she learned?
Alea: She doesn’t know that she’s in a horror flick.
Latoya: Really sook?
Alea: Really. She let Eric eat her faerie fucking godmother without even throwing a rock at his effing head. She is a waste of space.
Amber: Oh Sookie…you just keep my eyes rolling.
Kendra: Sookie is far too much on Erik’s team right now. I don’t get how this happened. He’s vulnerable, yeah, but this is crazy…
Amber: No remorse….No regret….No sadness…Nothing.
Kendra: she should have been a bit more upset by that
Latoya: and she died from that little bit of draining?
Joe: I’m not sure that really was her godmother. At least I hope not, in the books, faeries are super cool and nice. They seem to be the opposite here.
Latoya: Man, Eric just did Sookie a solid
Kendra: He might have, but she’s just… so nonchalant.
Amber: Seriously. She didn’t show any kind of emotion. She really doesn’t seem to care about anyone’s well-being but her own. I need to stop being surprised. But really, Sookie…?
Kendra: I guess living in Bon Temps makes you hard, but damn :-/
Jordan: She seems to care a ton about Eric and her male companions… her sisterhood gene is lacking
Kendra: which is weird, because I clearly remember it being there S1…it’s vanished.
Jordan: Yeah…her loyalty to Eric in this situation doesn’t make sense
Latoya: Sookie makes no sense
Amber: Not at all.
Kendra: it’s possible that in an episode or two we’ll see she’s doing this for some secret reason, I dunno– potentially foreshadowed by the fact that she immediately asked for money. I’m trying to give her an out here…
Alea: I don’t see that happening.
Latoya: Man, Kendra, I don’t know if Sookie is redeemable at this point. I know we were just playing with the whole Twilight comparision thing, but Bella didn’t give a shit about her female friends either.
Kendra: Bella had friends? (I read two of the books in HS, but that was almost 6 years ago…)
Alea: I know absolutely nothing about the Twilight universe. Sparkly vamps; white people are beautiful and civilized, brown people are animals; Mormons; virginity; and stalking being the dreamiest manifestation of love a girl could hope for. That’s all I’ve gleaned over the past few years.
Jordan: Please don’t get me started on Bella… I’m sorry. I know people love those books but i can’t… just can’t…
Latoya: @Kendra – oh yes. Two. Neither of which she gave a fuck about.
Amber: Yeah…I still don’t understand why she didn’t at least kind of mention Eric’s current state to Tara. Did it not cross her mind that Tara and Laffy could be in danger…? Apparently their safety is just not as important as her own leverage in any given situation.
Kendra: It shouldn’t have had to cross her mind– Tara out right told her. She just didn’t give a hoot.
Latoya: @Amber – Because she’s in Sookie world, where everything important happens to her.
Amber: My point exactly. She has no problem kicking her friends to the curb. It’s sad.
Latoya: I really don’t understand why people hate Tara and love Sookie. I mean, for real.
Alea: Neither do I, but I still think that Sookie was attempting to keep her word. She did a piss poor job of balancing her promise to Pam with looking out for the safety of her friends, but, still. She said she’d babysit Eric. He’s a shitheel from the old school, but her word should be her bond.
Latoya: I’ma need her to grow a brain
Jordan: Yeah… Sookie is just willfully ignorant at this point
Kendra: @LP I think it just started in S1 and no one’s bothered to change their opinion
Kendra: admittedly, I remember not being overly fond of tara in the beginning, but she grew on me.
Jordan: Tara has really evolved as a character where as Sookie has become more flat
Latoya: @Kendra – I have no patience for damn fool heroines. I start crawling in my skin. A few mistakes? Sure. A consistent habit of always making the wrong decision? WTF? Her decisions DEFY LOGIC!
Alea: She lives in an almost comically hyperbolic version of White Lady La La Land.
Jordan: I can understand Sookie’s feelings for Bill but after finding out he played you for years, I would be on high alert where all vamps are concerned… she lets one stay in her house with no protection… not a stake to her name…
Alea: She thinks that she’s safe because he’s like a vegetable-y version of Eric. She doesn’t realize that he still has fangs and still gets hungry. Maybe watching him drain her faerie godmother will jog her memory.
Amber: @LP It always magically works out for her though…fancy that. * rolls eyes *
Latoya: Chicks before Dicks, Sook, Chicks Before Dicks
Kendra: usually it works out because of the men in her life. So, luckily she’s recruiting Alcide now. Lucky for her.
Alea: Not lucky for Alcide.
Jordan: Sookie always gets saved… I do like that Tara is starting to save herself. Wooden bullets. smart girl
Amber: Yes, I love that she came ready. Heading back to Bon Temps? Better bring some protection and keep it at arms length. It didn’t take her long to know better.
Kendra: makes you wonder where the wooden bullets were from the beginning– and why Sookie has none.
Alea: Being away from Bon Temps has enabled Tara to know better and learn faster. Sookie went to a place just as fucked up as BT, so she hasn’t learned shit.
Latoya: @Amber – Tara had to learn – no one thinks she smells like wheat and sunshine.
Latoya: Oh damn – According to the Scream rules, all of Bon Temps is dead.
Amber : Yep…wheat and sunshine would be the reasons why Sookie doesn’t feel the need to keep wooden bullets handy.
Kendra: There might be something worth discussing later this season with Laffy and Jesus’ place in this coven? Witchcraft and covens are usually coded as a woman’s place in popular culture.
Amber: Was Laffy only tortured in the dungeons of Fangtasia for three days?! Was that it? It felt like weeks.
Latoya: “Bitch, climb down off that cross for three seconds.” – Damn I would watch a Tara and Lafayette show.
Alea: I don’t even know what a Tara and Laffy show would look like.
Kendra: Oh, there’s the Nazi reference again
Alea: Yeah. It feels kind of forced, though. Eric’s not German.
Jordan: I find it interesting that the blacks are doing the traditional black supernatural response… off in the farthest corner as if to say “let’s move away from this foolishness”
Alea: I’m waiting for eye rolls and head swerves.
Jordan: Laffy’s dropping knowledge… leave while you still can Tara
Alea: Preach it, Laffy.
Kendra: seriously. This is definitely the foreshadowing for one of them getting killed. Plotting anything involving Eric with this warpath Pam is on? Not a good idea…
Latoya: @Jordan – riiiight! Do yourself a solid.
Amber: Word. Tara, Get out. Go home. Take Laffy and Jesus with you.
Jordan: I like that they have this interchange between them… nice relationship, supportive, playful. you don’t always see that
Alea: Wait, wait, wait. “I can convince him not to do this in a way that will make him think this was his idea.” Jesus is getting more and more sketch every episode. [And this episode/season is so much about mind control.]
And still later, back in the dungeon…
Amber: Alright…I see you, Tara. That’s how you handle vamp negotiations–pistol cocked and ready with wooden bullets.
Jordan: People of color are doing it for themselves… no white knights needed
Latoya: @Jordan – right!
Alea: For real.
Latoya: Tara! Tara! Tara!
Amber: @jordan lol! Yes!
Latoya: Pam’s jacket is fierce though
Alea: Yes! I adore Pam’s wardrobe. So incredibly adventurous and versatile.
Joe: I was thinking the same thing! It’s like those spiked Louboutin sandals. Her clothes are so schizo- Chanel, then something Lady Gaga would wear, and now this.
After all is said and done…
Latoya: Pam was ready to throw Laffy back in the dungeon though, so I’m a bit peeved with her tonight, despite the fierceness of that jacket. But I feel like Tara was ready to kill her.
Kendra: At least we know where she’s coming from, and at least SHE knows where her loyalties lie… unlike others
Jordan: yes… but that was Pam being loyal so I forgive her
Alea: Ditto. Pam was pretty straight up about it. Laffy fucked with her maker. No one fucks with her maker.
Latoya: which is interesting, considering – Tara ain’t playing and it is straight up survival for her and the people she loves. Sookie just isn’t there yet.
Amber: YES. Tonight Tara would have shot somebody. Steady eyes…steady hand. She wasn’t messing around.
Kendra: Weird how it’s only the 3 POCs who’ve wisened up.
Alea: [The three wise POCs. I wonder what kind of gifts they’ll come bearing for the king.]
Kendra: Yet we know that they –the semi-wise ones– will be the least likely to survive the season. Well, “know.”
Amber: @Kendra They’ve got to. No one else is looking out for them.
Kendra: Yeah… that was proved with Eggs. Which, when you look back at that now that we’re in a little further, I think the cover-up of his death takes on more significance
Jordan: They are looking out for each other.
Amber: Mmmhhmmm…looking out for themselves and each other–that’s the way to survive.
Kendra: the POCs really DON’T have anyone looking out for them down in Bon Temps. And when they think they do? Turns out to be someone like Mary Anne. (Funny how the only people who care about the POCs turn out to be evil or not on the up and up. Mary Anne. Franklin. Even that fortune teller in the woods who claimed to be able to get the demons out of Tara)
Latoya: …Yeah, it’s time to talk about hotshot
Alea: Daaaaamn, Jason looks terrible.
Latoya: that kid just bit a weasel or possum or something
Alea: That is some raw fucking meat. Damn.
Kendra: That they have their own folklore is really interesting
Amber: @Jordan Lol. Totally…but Laffy and Tara did both have some traumatic experiences with vampires that I’m sure also influence their reactions to the coven situation.
Jordan: yes, this depiction is usually reserved for ethnicities. although they are very much represented as other
Latoya: @Kendra – Hmm. I thought everyone has their own folklore – it’s just suppressed or abandoned.
Kendra: Definitely. But they’re sharing it in a way that’s traditionally saved for groups of people coded as ‘native’. Campfires, creation stories, elders…
Jordan: @amber true… but they are still the ones saying let’s just step away. they don’t want to get deeper in it, they want out
Alea: @LP: Cosign. I find his characterization of the man world and nature being distinct entities that are both hostile to “their kind” rather interesting. Even though they’re not the ones fighting nature, they’re still going to get punished for it. The same could be said for anyone working towards a sustainable future, really.
Amber: Jason has been missing for two days and the only one who’s noticed is Andy. I don’t know what that says about anyone in Bon Temps.
Latoya: Good segue, Amber!
Joe: I was thinking the same thing, especially now that he’s also a cop. And his sister went missing and just got back.
Alea: Yeah, Sookie is too wrapped up in Vampire Business to realize that her brother is gone.
Latoya: Has Jason been abandoned too? Signs point to yes. But then again, he was the one that chose to care about HotShot…lots of thinly veiled symbolism there.
Kendra: could also just speak to Jason’s character? It has been a year, yeah, but to people around town still might think he’s being irresponsible and ran off for a few days? Andy seemed to indicate it in the message he left.
Jordan St.John: Yeah… Jason’s not exactly a pillar of dependability… the whole stackhouse clan is a bit flighty
Alea: True, but he seemed a bit more solid before he got kidnapped. Someone besides Andy should have noticed.
Kendra: Also, Hotshot… I can’t help comparing it to Justified’s Harlan County. It might be flawed (supernatural vs. realisim) but they’re two portrayals of working-class/poor white people, often described as Hillbillies. Both shows provide communities with increasingly questionable morals and rich cultural histories that are often referred back to and spread/passed on orally to the younger generation 9and, oddly, in both cases, a kidnapped outsider they’re trying to integrated into the community). The one thing Hotshot doesn’t have is the strong matriarch role.
Jordan: Hotshot is another thing that has taken a turn from the books. In the books they are a small community seen as strange by outsiders but minus some traditions, not that different from everyone else. Here they are portrayed as almost a different race of people…certainly a different culture.
Kendra: The Hotshot clan also seems to have a more difficult time ‘passing’ in normal society than the other weres. Their land vs. all the locales we’ve seen the wolves in sort of spell that out….
Latoya: Agreed. I also think the creation of another “other” is fascinating. The people in HotShot have no redeeming qualities and everything is used to position them against the mainstream.
Alea: I don’t know. They one redeeming quality they seem to have is their deep sense of community and love of family. If Jason has been a member of their community, I bet someone would have noticed that he was gone within the first twelve hours.
Latoya: Like even the folklore aspect someone referenced earlier
Kendra: Yeah– I still think that there are aspects of how they’re being portrayed that are very stereotypically tribal.
Latoya: Normally, acknowledging a culture’s unique folklore is a humanizing gesture (as long as people aren’t trying to appropriate.) So much of the folklore we value is very specific and very European/Chrisitan. But in HotShot…even that story seems like an explanation for their strangeness, not a part of who they are. Then again, Luna’s story felt the same way to me. Not like it was being shared, but like it was being positioned…
Kendra: I feel that’s how most Native folklore is portrayed in media, TBH. it’s always, “this is how we’re DIFFERENT’ from the western world. This is why our outlook should be othered”.
Amber: I think poor whites are often used as an “other” in the mainstream though, and Ball definitely doesn’t shy away from using that imagery.
Jordan: yeah but Ball is really playing it up
Jordan: there is no nuance… he’s wallowing in a lot of stereotypes
Amber: @Jordan Yep, agreed. Using poor whites as an “other” isn’t new, but Ball does play it up pretty hard and as LP said, so far there are no redeeming qualities.
Jordan: his portrayal of southerners has layers… this is like Deliverance extras
Latoya: LMAO at the conservative activist call out meets Blair Witch project
Kendra: (I was on this website earlier)
Jordan: ohhhh… nothing good can come from this
Amber: Oh boooo, Jessica. Do you really have to go and glamour him? Bad move.
Kendra: We now have ‘fang raped’ and this.
Alea: Poor Hoyt. Jess is both playing a trick on him and fucking with him. I think the guilt is going to eat her up [no pun intended?].
Amber: Seriously though, this is wrong on so many levels.
Jordan: more issues of dominance and control… being owned and free will
Latoya: Hmm…I want to drop back to Jessica, Hoyt and consent
Jordan: @Amber – Sookie only deals with white knights
Latoya: Can they ever be themselves again, now that Jessica mentally manipulates him?>
Jordan: Jessica killed their relationship with that
Amber: Agreed–that was a major boundary to cross. There’s no turning back from that one.
Kendra: It’s officially an abusive relationship now, even if Hoyt isn’t aware of it. I would have been interested to see his full reaction to her biting another man though.
Jordan: Cheating you can get over but she forced him… think Willow and Tara on Buffy
Alea: [Is Alan Ball lifting everything from BtVS this season?]
Kendra: It almost didn’t seem as explosive as it could have been.
Alea: It’ll get there.
Latoya: @Kendra – but she instantly flipped to controlling him.
Jordan: It’s like she threw a punch… can’t take that back… there’s always the threat you can do it again
Kendra: Right. I think she would have been surprised if she’d just let him express his feelings.
Amber: @Jordan Right…and in this situation its just too easy for her to do it over and over again. Hoyt won’t remember that it happened and there’s no evidence.
Latoya: This happens in the Patternist series – *MINOR SPOILER ALERT* One of the patternists has a human (what they call mutes) he kind of loves, at first – while she resists most of his mental control. Once she stops resisting and submits, over time, she becomes nothing more than a puppet. I hope Jessica knows what she just did.
Jordan: Indeed. They can never get back to a place where he feels safe and knows she wouldn’t do that to him
Latoya: @Jordan – And there is no longer a reason for her *not* to do it, not to take the easy way out. Pam called Hoyt a tree – I wonder how many humans she’d mentally manipulated.
Amber: Yep, which makes it even more dangerous.
Jordan: Pam’s interesting… she has her own rules
Kendra: This is the first night I can remember her (recently) feeding on a man.
Alea: I was surprised by that myself. She didn’t seem super into him, though.
Jordan: yeah… a little variety for pam
Amber: There definitely has to be some sort of “moral highground” when it comes to vamp/human relationships. The potential for abuse is overwhelming.
Alea: Dear god. This part of Jason’s storyline is fucking with me something terrible. That’s a whole lot of rape.
Kendra: Was this a wedding? That younger girl was holding flowers. Were some of them in white? (…she is reading a charlene harris novel. woooow.)
Amber: including Jason and Crystal. I think it’s really interesting that she was in on his kidnapping and agreed to turn him without asking or telling him first. I was a little confused by their last scene though…(I think Kendra asked) was that a wedding…? * side-eye *
Latoya: @Amber – I don’t think so. Next week’s preview seemed to imply that Jason is being studded out
Alea: I think it’s a little bit of both. It seems like Jason’s being married to all of the ladies of Hot Shot.
Jordan: There is a strong free will issue
Kendra: She seems convinced Jason’s loyalties will turn once he has– and I think canonly they do. I mean, also, it’s obvious that Crystal doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong
Latoya: @Jordan – Seriously. There’s free will in the Jason/Crystal dynamic…and then Jessica/Hoyt
Amber: Oh I missed next week’s preview…but “studding out” is what I gathered from the anxious line of onlookers. It’s also important to note that this is the first male rape scene we’ve seen in the series so far.
Alea: Yes. And I feel like it’s supposed to make us more queasy and be less sexy than the rape of female-bodied individuals.
Kendra: Agreed– just the SFX makeup gave us that. The blood, the gore. The violation is just as wrong as what Franklin was doing to Tara, but no one’s writing Jason as pretending to enjoy it.
Jordan: Alright kiddies… it’s my bedtime
Latoya: And it’s time for us to wrap
Latoya: Last thoughts?
Jordan: May Sookie remember that Tara was the one who saved her butt last year and get a clue
Alea: I hope that all the shady mind control stuff — Jess and Jesus, especially — doesn’t signal completely disaster for Laffy and Hoyt.
Amber: Alcide better think long and hard before heading to Bon Temps to play hero. And…Laffy’s cornrowed and beaded do in that last scene deserves a shoutout!
Kendra: a) I hope Ailcide keeps his distance from Sookie’s ish and her White Womanly smell, even though I know that’s incredibly unlikely. b) After that scene between Bill and Jess, I’m vaguely thinking she plays a part in him getting down off his high (throne) horse and becoming the person we kinda liked again.
Latoya: Seconded on Bill and Jess. I personally hope Tara gets to kick some ass.
Latoya: And that concludes this week’s roundtable – goodnight all!
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