The Devil in Sookie Stackhouse: True Blood Roundtable S4, E5

Back when Tionna Smalls had a column  in Gawker, she warned one  foolish women away from the wrong man by asking “Is that all you want out of your life—hard dick and bubblegum?” Swap bubble gum for vampire bites, and that is Sookie. I need to ask Arturo about the moment that he knew Heroes was going down the drain.  Part of me feels like the vaguely orchestral swell when Eric and Sookie defy all logic and kiss is the beginning of the end.  Moreover, Alan Ball is exhibiting some disturbingly Tim Kring-like statements about future plot arcs…and saying Jason’s gang rape was his favorite part of the season.  While we are over here in a state of fanguish hoping True Blood hasn’t jumped the shark, Kendra Pettis, Alea Adigweme, Joseph Lamour, Amber Jones and Jordan St. John join me to solve the biggest mystery of the season: What the fuck is Sookie smoking?

Random

Sookie Highlights

Latoya: Sookie’s hair is nicer this season.  I just noticed that
Jordan: Yeah… i think everyone took a trip to the beauty shop – Laffy and Tara both have new dos
Amber: Yep, it seems everyone got a makeover this season. Arlene set up an appointment too and got that hair color refreshed and deepened.
Joe: And Crystal’s hair last week looked fanTASTIC. Two snaps TB hairdressers.

Tommy & Sam, for Better or Worse

Tommy and Sam

Jordan: Uh-oh…Guess that violent streak runs in the family
Alea: Damn.  Violence definitely seems to be a frequent occurrence in that family, but Tommy was acting in self-defense for a good part of it.
Jordan: What is it with them and trying to/killing family members…
Amber: Yeaaah. To be so stuck on “loyalty” they seriously have no qualms about fear and punishment. It’s sad that poor Tommy felt like he had no other choice. Joe Lee’s death = freedom (and crazy mama had to get in the way…). It’s so similar to Hotshot. Disobedience = (violent) punishment and freedom means someone has to die.
Alea: That’s a keen reading, Amber.  The “freedom = someone else’s death meme” seems very specific to the familial situations of those marked as more “southern white trash” than the rest of Bon Temps.
Latoya: Yeah, there’s an assimilation narrative to be unpacked there, but I’m trying to dredge up some sorrow…or something.
Alea: Yeah…..no.
Kendra: Hah.
Amber: Yeah…I got nothing.
Alea: Though I do feel bad for his mother, and I don’t really blame Tommy for her death.  She wouldn’t have gotten in the way if she hadn’t been brainwashed by an abusive partner.
Latoya: Be cool if Tommy became the season 5 big bad. I’m calling it early.
Kendra: (I never realised how many above the title/regulars this show has. Gosh)

Later…

Latoya:
Kendra: Uh oh.
Latoya: I see your Uh oh and raise an oh snap.
Kendra: You brought the bodies with you? Good job, Tommy. Three cheers for you.
Latoya: Well…that’s a way to bond like brothers.
Jordan: I don’t know what I would do if someone showed up with a van full of corpses to dispose of but I don’t think I would take it that well
Joe: Especially if it was my parents. Sam seemed eerily calm about the whole thing.
Kendra: Well, you’re not from Bon Temps… thankfully.
Latoya: LMAO
Alea: @Jordan: that’s how I always felt about the people in Sunnydale.  How did they take all of that strange shit in stride?
Amber: @ Alea Right? And no one ever thinks to leave town.
Latoya: Feeding the fam to the gators. Poor Tommy.
Alea: This shit is definitely coming back to get them.  As my viewing partner says, the question is, when it does come back, will Tommy sell out Sam or will Sam give up Tommy?
Amber: Even though I wish it was this simple, I get the feeling that this isn’t close to being over…
Jordan: Another inventive solution with the marshmallows. I would not know what to do with a dead body but again, thankfully, I don’t live in BT.
Alea: Sam’s disclosures are such a bad idea.  This isn’t some kind of brotherly bonding experience.  He shouldn’t trust Tommy at all.

After Tommy recites his two commandments…
Jordan: These commandments seem more like guidelines
Kendra: Hah
Latoya: lol, I like Tommy’s abbreviated commandments
Jordan: short and to the point
Amber: Ha! He remembered the essentials from Sunday School.
Joe: He didn’t seem to remember them when they counted.
Latoya: And man, Sam is getting creepy again
Jordan: let’s all bond over murder… lovely
Alea: Is it weird that I feel worse about gators eating plastic tarps than I do about Tommy and Sam’s illicit disposal of human remains?
Latoya: This is the wrong kind of bonding!

Arlene and Terry are Clearly Desperate

Kendra: Well, at least she’s not blaming the baby anymore.
Alea: Her camo tracksuit is just….amazing and so Arlene.
Jordan: I love these two’s problem solving strategies
Alea: They’re absolutely adorable.  I kind of love that Arlene is worried about looking like “them Christians who only turn to [god] when they need something.”
Joe: I’m pretty sure I would watch a half hour comedy spin off called Arlene and Terry.

Later…

Jordan: Oh Tara’s sober mama… forgot all about her. Welcome to the party.
Latoya: Sober…or high on Jesus?
Kendra: LMAO. “it’s livelier”
Latoya: Tara’s mom is a damn mess.
Joe: Frankly, she’s just traded one addiction for another. As healthy as this one is.
Amber: Ugh…she makes me so uncomfortable and she always has such a fierce crazy eye going on.
Alea: I love that they got all dressed up for the de-haunting.Terry and the baby are looking pretty sharp.
Kendra: “you people”
Alea: Oh, Arlene.
Latoya: I guess she’s just gonna stay racist.
Kendra: Terry <3
Alea: Wait.  They are smudging?  With sage?  They know that’s not exactly in the Christian tradition, right?  Though, they are right about the corners.
Latoya: This is a grand hustle.

Godric Returns to the Darkside as Eric’s Id

Eric and Godric

Kendra: What is she actually wearing, omg.
Latoya: GODRIC!
Alea: Whoa.  Godric is dead.  Who’s this?  Or, rather, what is this sequence?
Jordan: Ummm.. is this good godric or evil godric
Joe: Dream sequence. So, vampires dream. That seems indicative of the living more than the dead, doesn’t it?
Latoya: Why are we bedroom creeping tho?
Kendra: We’re getting some of that fairy blood, clearly.
Latoya: Fuck, does EVERYONE wanna fuck Sookie?
Latoya: (fumes)
Alea: “The living are good for one thing and it’s not love.”  That partially answers one of our questions from an earlier roundtable: can vampires ever love their food?
Joe: I think that may be what Godric thinks. Or Eric’s subconscious. Sort of like any political argument, it varies from vamp to vamp.
Latoya: They need to put a fake Steve Harvey in the show. You know, so he can lecture people about not giving up their blood-soaked cookies too early.
Jordan: Also, Godric, if memory serves…not that much into the ladies
Latoya: Not the Godric?
Kendra: I like the tie back to the washing of the feet… now she’s his savior.
Jordan: Yeah… this is imagined godric ie. evil
Latoya: Was that like a vampire wet dream? Eric woke up with the fangs out.
Jordan: Eric…. oh… those abs… sorry.. lost myself
Kendra: Those shorts are dangerously low.
Joe: Those shorts look ridiculous during such a serious scene.
Jordan: This is why you don’t let vamps do sleep overs
Latoya: Put your fangs away.  You’re like a teen with a boner, Eric.
Alea: Yes.  In his defanged state, he is very much like a teenager with raging hormones who cannot control his urges.
Latoya: Seriously? I miss evil Eric.
Amber: Oh little boy Eric, I just can’t get into you.
Alea: I still think he’s endearing.  It’s kind of sweet to see what Eric would be like if he were not evil.
Jordan: What the hell
Latoya:
Jordan: Make this Eric go away…Yes Eric, you are evil
Kendra: Are they going to drag this out the whole season? :-/
Joe: If memory serves, we have a lot more of this sweet Eric to come, even after he gets his memories.
Latoya: No more baby woo woo Eric. This shit is not sexy.
Jordan: Let’s list the people you have killed and tortured…
Latoya: She’s petting him LIKE A DOG.
Amber: Ugh, I’m not feeling baby Eric or Mama Sookie.
Jordan: Lies… it does not suit him
Alea: I don’t believe that he’s lying, really.  He doesn’t remember who he is and Teenager/Puppy Dog/”Baby” Eric doesn’t seem like the lying type.  [Though, Sookie is totally lying to him about whether he has ever been evil.]
Latoya: Teens may be many things, but this is straight up child-like.
Kendra: I don’t think this is what Godric would have wanted.
Jordan: Cosign
Latoya: Word. Godric would have kilt his ass in 1893.
Kendra: I’d be pretty concerned right now with getting the blood tears out of my  white linens.
Latoya: lol
Latoya: Infantalization is just not the hotness.
Alea: It is for some.  Though I don’t think Eric’s necessarily being infantilized.  Because of the spell, he’s reverted to something akin to a blank slate, which, one could argue, is a [temporary] disability in Eric’s case.  His newfound innocence, emotional sensitivity, impulsiveness, and exuberance are childlike, but this defanged Eric is still very much a man, I think.

Jason and Hoyt? We didn’t see that one coming…

Jordan: Yeah… not into these sexless sleepovers. We’re all adults here. What is this, Twilight?
Alea: I think non-sexual sleepovers are totally kosher for adults who have more-than-platonic interests in each other.
Kendra: Jason, the child these two will never have, *snrk*
Latoya: Lulz.
Jordan: Aww… Jess…no regrets now… soldier on…enjoy it while you can
Amber: I don’t know if the glamouring guilt is making things better or worse for her and Hoyt. She done fucked up and now has to pay the consequences.
Kendra: Ouch.
Latoya: Jessica, look at your pretty pretty puppet.  Look at him, while he still has some control.
Alea: I knew she wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt.  She’s still too human and young [and not enough like Pam].  Hoyt knows that something’s up; she’s going to have to glamour him more — read: psychologically abuse him — to keep him under control.
Kendra: OMG, the look on his face.
Joe: I feel like that shot was a cop out so the men didn’t have to touch each other. LOL.
Alea: What the fuck is going on?  This is the most fucked up dream ever.  Now I’m really wondering what’s going to happen with the full moon. [And I knew that something would be up when I saw the way that Jason saw Jess last episode.]
Jordan: What? Poor Jason…
Kendra: Weird full moon jitters?
Amber: Aw, poor guy can’t catch a break. That one has to have him all confused.
Latoya: Best. Dream. Ever. Jason’s going to be celibate. Cue the Jason/Hoyt slash.
Kendra: LOL
Alea: Yeaaaaaah.  I would totally read that shit.

Later…

Latoya: I wanna meet Jason’s God.  He seems like a football ref.
Jordan: Yeah… let’s not put Jason’s rape on the level of your guilty girlfriend, Hoyt
Alea: True, and I appreciate Jason being clear about that, but, well…Jessica did violate Hoyt [even though he doesn’t know it].  It wasn’t the dictionary definition of rape, but it was abuse.
Kendra: Okay, the full moon should at least be interesting.
Alea: I wonder if he’s going to tell Sookie or anyone besides Hoyt about his kidnapping and rape.
Latoya: …what an attentive sister.  Maybe she should stop stroking baby Eric and figure out what’s happening with her blood relations.
Amber: Cosign. Damn, Sookie. Jason’s been through it and you don’t even give two shits about where he’s been?! Let’s go ahead and add “family fail” to “friend fail.”
Alea: I half-agree.  Sookie’s definitely not the most attentive or selfless friend/sibling, but Jason’s not volunteering any information.

Bill’s Unholy Union Shall Not Be Torn Asunder so Easily!

Bill and Portia

Jordan: No sex with gran daddy
Kendra: …….
Latoya: Bill has become the Champagne Room.
Latoya: ewww… she’s arguing for incest.
Alea:  Barely, and I don’t see a problem with that.  She’s raising some very valid points.  Bill seems ridiculously holier-than-thou about this and it doesn’t really make any sense.  This seems more like a way for the writers to provide an unnecessary counterexample to the folks in the ‘shot.
Latoya: Perhaps, but some shit just doesn’t happen in the genteel South. You sit in the parlor, you don’t track mud in, you pretend to obey the blue laws, and you don’t sleep with your great great great granddaughter.
Kendra: Okay, there is something more that she wants here. There has to be.
Jordan: I like this chick though… she get’s a plan and sticks with it
Latoya: Glamouring again!
Amber: Such a cop out! Way to not deal, Bill.
Kendra: Vampires using this power way more this season than before.
Alea: Completely unnecessary, dishonest, and, I think, intellectually lazy on his part.  He could have reasoned with her.

Damn Pam.

Pam

Kendra: Wow. Pam. Zombie Gaga look.
Latoya: “You fuck with my face, it’s time to die.” – Pam
Amber: Between her face and Eric, she is totally in mourning. That outfit says it all.
Kendra: ew.
Latoya: Uppity? lordy… She just called her an uppity wiccan cunt.
Joe: At least Marnie isn’t black.
Alea:
Jordan: Ewwww…
Alea: A “cosmetic solution,” Bill?  “Extra lipstick?”  Really?  Her face is FALLING OFF.
Kendra: ooh, that hair.

Finally, after four seasons of madness, the brown folks realize they are in a horror movie…

Jordan: HA Laffy. He has the best lines. He is carrying the funny for a lot of these scenes.
Latoya: Hooker.
Alea: Though it’s almost always funny, I’m still not sure how I feel about the way Laffy uses the word “hooker.”
Kendra: Jesus, why are you keeping them there?
Latoya: Jesus is acting investigative/shady again
Alea: I still think that there are sketchy things about him that we don’t know.  He’s looking to gain more power by getting involved with these witches and I think he’s going to try to siphon off Laffy’s.  Maybe Jesus will be part of the Big Bad this season?  He’s totally fishy to me.
Jordan: Moon goddess my ass, Marnie. Hate to break it to her but I don’t think the spirit who has been helping them out is anywhere near that earthy and benevolent.
Alea: Marnie is a dangerous twit.  She’s choosing willful ignorance over critical thought in order to feel special and chosen.
Latoya: Witchie Poo? She’s witchie poo again?
Kendra: LMAO. “catchy shit for your head stone”
Jordan: Laffy is dropping gems tonight
Amber: Ha! He’s totally on a roll tonight. Fear heightens his wit, apparently.
Latoya: Lol – “they eat you like a fucking pot pie.” “That’s some catchy shit for your headstone.” Who writes for him?
Alea: That spirit is so obviously not benevolent.  Marnie’s fucking with powerful witchery that’s beyond her skill level and with powerful vampires.  She has no concern at all for what could possibly go wrong with all of this.  It’s like watching a slow motion, pagan train wreck.
Joe: I personally can’t wait to see the crash.

Later, after the collective decision to bounce from Bon Temps…

Jordan: I love his matching luggage
Latoya: Can we have a cheer?
Jordan: Road trip!
Kendra: Tara, STICK WITH THAT PLAN.
Latoya: The brown folks have packed and rolled out
Kendra: LOL
Amber:  It’s about damn time! Best idea they’ve had all season. None of them should return to Bon Temps. Move on and be better–elsewhere.
Jordan: Laffy’s outfit…It’s like kris kross is back

Jordan: jump, jump!
Alea: “Kriss kross will make ya…” [and the '90s are actually back, sartorially (and on Nickelodeon's new late-night programming).]
Latoya: Jump Jump! (And I saw that Alea – I will be Snickin’, best believe…)
Joe: I have to admit I listened to TLC’s rendition of All That this morning cause I was so pumped.
Kendra: Come clean, Jesus.
Latoya: Is there an ulterior motive for Jesus here?
Alea: Yes.  Yes, yes, yes.  I can’t be the only one who thinks he’s getting more and more sketch.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he were taking Laffy to his abuelo as some kind of sacrifice or offering. [Love his hat, though.]
Jordan: uh, white goats and witches don’t mix
Kendra: that… is an interesting knife.
Latoya: Man, I was hoping grandpa would be Danny Trejo.
Kendra: Aw, that would have been sweet.
Alea: That would have been too easy.  I’m glad they’ve given a different older Latino actor a job.
Jordan: Ohhhh… Jesus is a little power hungry
Kendra: Oh, okay. He’s a power addict.
Alea: A little?  It’s been getting more and more blatant through the course of the season.
Latoya: Lordy. Laffy, go with Tara. N’Awlins!
Alea: Her accent is so terrible sometimes.
Kendra: Or do the exact opposite.
Jordan: People who get off on the power of murdered goat blood are not good for your health. In any relationship, I’d say that’s a deal breaker.
Amber: Um, I don’t like where this is going–ingesting freshly murdered goat blood doesn’t seem like a good look. Laffy better get his head in the game and watch his back. Jesus can talk him into anything.
Alea: And make Laffy think that it’s his own idea.  He even bragged about it to Tara earlier this season.  Jesus is bad news bears.
Jordan: Poor laffy

Still later…

Kendra: “Lead in the pencil.” there is one I’ve never heard before.
Latoya: Laffy’s lines are epic this season.
Alea: Did that woman neither see nor hear that van drive up?
Jordan: This trip is ill conceived
Alea: Very.
Amber: Sigh. I’m worried.
Latoya: …”I’ve been expecting you?” Brujos know all….

In Which The Last Person With Sense Tries to Reach Sookie

Gram

Kendra: Okay, that dress is not from Walmart.
Alea: Yeah, try H&M.  [And my viewing associate says that she recently read an article actually listing the stores where Sookie's dresses come from.]
Alea: Also, Why is Marnie always touching her neck like that?
Amber: Right? Doesn’t she always look so stressed and confused?
Latoya: Oh Sookie. You and your innocent sundresses.
Jordan: Really sookie, really… with everything on your plate helping Eric is your top concern…let’s worry about Jason and Tara not poor sheet staining Eric who is going to get you killed
Latoya: Uh – why the Native American replica in the corner? Did I miss that?
Alea: There’s just all kinds of unnecessary shit in that shop.  Giles wouldn’t stand for it.
Latoya: Gram? They channelled Gram?
Jordan: not sure who is playing who here…
Kendra: Sookie, you should not need a dead person to tell you Eric is bad business.
Alea: Well, I guess now we know that Marnie’s gift is real?
Latoya: I am so glad Gran was like “heifer, you have a brother.”
Kendra: Truth.
Jordan: what the hell
Latoya: OMG GRAN IS AWESOME
Alea: I love that Gran said all that about Marnie.  I wonder if the knowledge that she’s a danger is going to alter the way that Marnie feels about interacting with the spirit.

They Tried to Make Him Go to V-Hab…

Andy

Kendra: …….
Jordan: Oh… the van of death is back… lovely
Kendra: Yeah, you are fucked, because if Andy doesn’t smell the dead bodies, I’m calling BS.
Jordan: Yeah… in the LA heat… that would be over when they got out the car…
Latoya: Hope they got some V.
Kendra: Looks like Andy has all the V he needs.
Jordan: Andy is messed up… he needs to calm down before he joins the others in the back.
Kendra: Is there really no smell? Really?
Jordan: I call BS on that too! It would be overpowering
Alea: Decomp would have definitely progressed by now. [And Sam is just so good-looking.]
Jordan: Nice
Alea: “Motherfucking Jesus.”  Pretty sweet litany, Andy.
Latoya: Go Tommy! [He turns into an alligator, instead of bashing Andy's brains in]
Kendra: First good call he’s made in a long time.
Amber: Agreed! I’m proud of the kid. Very quick thinking.
Alea: Ditto.  I thought he was a completely waste.
Jordan: that kid has brains after all

Sookie is the Worst Friend Ever


Kendra: Oh look, she remembered Tara exists. And is asking about her life!
Jordan: Tara is looking fabulous this season
Latoya: Ice cream and beer. Tara’s a champ.
Jordan: Why are you there then chick? LEAVE! ride off into the city, make a life with your woman. leave these crazies behind you
Alea: Tara is doing a piss poor job of burying Bon Temps.  And I have no idea why she’s turning to Sookie for advice about anything.
Latoya: Well, Beel did a whole lotta fucked up shit
Kendra: “we’re talking about you.” I am amazed those words came out of her mouth.
Latoya: Yeah, honesty, Sookie.
Alea: She knows nothing about the concept.  Now, for instance, would be the time to come clean with Tara, before Eric comes out of his damn cubby.
Jordan: Ohhhh… you are not safe there
Kendra: Tara, never speak to her again.
Amber: Sookie = Worst friend EVER. She should’ve at least given Tara a warning. C’mon! In a heartbeat homegirl went from ice cream and smiles to swinging a fire poker and fearing for her life.
Jordan: Speak on it Tara!
Alea: Sookie does have a short goddamn memory.
Latoya: Preach
Jordan: I love Tara this season
Latoya: So…what the fuck is Sookie’s problem?
Jordan: Sookie is blowing everyone off for the 1000 year old murderous vamp in the basement… and I’m sorry to harp on this here but ….she’s not even with him… i got nothing
Alea: I still maintain that Sookie is keeping her word to Pam [which has seemingly led to her falling for Eric], but I agree that she’s pretty fucking terrible for lying to her friends.

Later, the inevitable fanservice scene...

Jordan: There is not more to eric than his smug, evil self
Latoya: Sookie. WTF. You have turned ON EVERYONE YOU KNEW AND LOVED FOR ERIC’S COLD VAMPY BONER.
Jordan: And he isn’t even giving it to her
Alea: As I’ve been saying all season so far, I’m still of two minds about it.  She shouldn’t be lying to her friends, but, at the same time, she told Pam that she would watch Eric.  I don’t think it would be right for her to say that and then go back on her word.  If one wants to argue that she shouldn’t have agreed to care for Eric in the first place, that’s another thing.
Latoya: I don’t think Pam meant for this to happen. It’s Edward/Bella, redux.
Kendra: Does it not even bother her that he just specifically mentioned the one things the faeries warned her about?
Alea: Did he mean a metaphorical light or her faerie light?
Latoya: Someone please remind the writers we came for True Blood.
Jordan: I mean at least get what you pay for
Latoya: DRAIN HER
Amber: WORD. So over it…and her. Let’s just get it over with.
Kendra: LMAO This music. It’s like a Zales commercial.
Alea: +1
Jordan: I know what the hell is this music
Latoya: Where the fuck is Bill? Shouldn’t his vamp senses be going off?
Alea: Oh, Sookie.  Gran done warned you.  This shit is temporary.

And the question of the hour…

Latoya: What the fuck is wrong with Sookie?
Kendra: I mean, the sad thing is, I don’t even think it’s supernatural. I think it’s just writing.
Latoya: Does she have no shame? No loyalty? No fucking respect for her grandma, who came back from the grave to warn her?
Jordan: Her motivations aren’t there this season.  She seems to have devalued all the women in her life
Latoya: She even sold out her man.
Alea: Sookie’s all id this season, it seems.
Kendra: I would forgive her for not giving Tara all the attention, if that attention was focused on her brother. But it’s not.
Amber: Sookie cares about what’s most convenient for her. Point blank. Her loyalties lie with only herself and whoever she thinks can provide her with the most leverage. The way she just played Tara was crazy! Decades of friendship cast to the side for Eric’s whining and lost little boy eyes…? Ugh.
Latoya: All it took was some sweet game and all those seasons with Bill were out the window.
Alea: Isn’t that all it usually takes?  Bill’s betrayal threw all of those seasons out the window.
Jordan: yeah… she’s falling for Eric’s big doe eyes but he’s still killing people. Right in front of her
Kendra: people who are supposedly related to her.
Jordan: And were trying to help her
Alea: One person.  And, uh, let’s not forget that her faerie godmother’s help was dubious.  At the very least, it came with serious strings.
Latoya: And she’s telling Tara to calm down … Did this happen in the books?
Kendra: Speaking of Tara, I get that she was upset that her GF found her out, but WHY was she being upset in BT? She could have gotten to Shreveport at least.
Alea: Tara’s still not the best at acting in her own best interest.  Maybe proximity to Sookie and Bon Temps damages her sense of self-preservation.
Jordan: No. this did not happen in the books.  Her motivations made sense there
Latoya: Which were? Please spoil and enlighten.
Jordan: The whole Eric thing is completely different. he’s all talk in the books so she doesn’t really have much beef with him other than the fact he’s an ass.  There’s no laffy and Tara isn’t really involved.  She doesn’t have to ditch her friends for Eric
Kendra: Yeah, Tara in the books is completely different. She’s a shop owner, and I think the Franklin arc was much less important.
Jordan: It’s more of a “some asshole stops being an ass and you bond” not “Some asshole killed and tortured your loved ones but you totally forget that and bond”
Latoya: So Sookie is just dickmatized? That little bit of blood couldn’t have been that potent to last two seasons.
Alea: IRT “dickmatized,” they haven’t had sex and I think that that ignores the fact that Sookie believes that she is falling in lurrrrve with Eric.
Jordan: No… Laffy got much more and he hasn’t lost his sanity
Alea: Eh, Laffy is seemingly more susceptible to Jesus’ conning.  I feel like he would have had no problem smelling his bullshit earlier in the series.
Kendra: It’s just Sookie making poor, poor decisions.
Amber: Yes, agreed. Somehow in her head lying to her friends and loved ones never seems like a bad idea.
Alea: @Kendra.  It’s not just Sookie.  Tara and Laffy are making shitty decisions, too.  Do we not all think that Tara should be halfway to NOLA and that Laffy has no business going to Mexico?
Jordan: Also… it bothers me she hasn’t even slept with Eric.  This is TRUE BLOOD
Latoya: Right!
Jordan: what is she waiting for?
Latoya: Proper fanservice.
Kendra: LOL
Jordan: Ha… indeed
Kendra: on the other hand, it’s probably the one good decision she’s made, let’s be real.
Alea: Agreed
Jordan: Yeah but I hate this little dance they have going here what I did like about Sookie in the book is that she got down… Eric is Eric. He’s gorgeous and she’s a grown woman…she didn’t waste time and kept it moving.
Latoya: Right! Get your rocks off and keep it moving.  How many more times will she betray Tara?
Alea: As long as Tara’s still alive and in Bon Temps, I think.
Latoya: (And what are the Tara haters saying to this change of events? Only a fool is on Sookie’s side.)
Kendra: Well, since Tara is probably a dead woman walking, I’m gonna guess at least one more time.
Jordan: How she could sit there with Tara and defend Eric… awful
Amber: Truth. I’m glad Tara finally told her about herself though. Someone needed to (not that it really did any good).
Latoya: This roundtable is called WTF @ Sookie but we can spare a sec for other Bon Tempians? Please note, the Vamps are glamouring left and right
Kendra: Everyone is using powers that we haven’t really gotten to see in awhile.
Jordan: I know… but maybe it’s because Sookie is such a wimp but I kind of love how headstrong Portia is. Incest notwithstanding.
Alea: Ditto.  I think that’s why I was so pissed that Bill glamoured her.  It just shows that he cannot handle a woman with a strong will who know what she wants.  Bill wants brainless automatons and zipless fucks. And I agree with Portia, actually, about their blood ties being no big deal.
Latoya: I agree with grandma – it’s knowledge that cannot be unknown. @Jordan – That’s the wrong kind of headstrong.  More dickmatizing.
Kendra: Yeah, I didn’t completely get it. I get that she’s trying to make a power play in her own way, but she was arguing for incest, which seemed a very sudden leap.
Amber: Yeah, she didn’t even seem the least bit turned off or surprised by it. A relationship with your undead great-great-great-grandaddy wouldn’t make you pause and re-evaluate some things? Just sayin.
Alea: I think it was barely incest.  As she said, if cousins who are genetically closer can get married, we can’t two more distantly related people who can’t even breed together fuck?
Jordan: ehhh… she had good points and the woman wants what she wants. I say in that case, with your far removed vampire relative that you just want to sleep with, do you
Latoya: But Bill doesn’t want to. So it’s over. And I think we’ve had enough rape this season.
Jordan: If she was up on Andy… that’s not so good
Kendra: Oh, Andy. Please have your downfall soon. I’m waiting for it.
Jordan: Poor andy… i feel like his storyline is waiting in the wings to explode at the proper moment
Amber: Truth. We’re totally on a countdown to his demise.
Alea: Yes.  I think that’s kind of iffy on the part of the writers.  Andy’s a mere plot tool at this point.  He’s there to look inside vans, tell us how long Jason was missing, and provide a foil for Bill IRT southern masculinity.
Latoya: Maybe Andy is the one that dies. Fuck, maybe everyone dies.  I’m feeling angry at this series at the moment
Jordan: It would kind of break my heart if Andy left. I know people had junk to say about last season but I liked it.
Kendra: I loved 2-3, tbh. They were consistently entertaining.
Jordan: Sookie’s inexplicable Eric Affair is kind of putting a damper on things…
Kendra: It takes up time we could be using to explore other people. I mean, we left Laffy and Jesus in Mexico about 35 mins in and heard nothing else. And Maxine wasn’t even in this week.
Amber: Neither was Luna. Sookie and Eric have been taking up way too much screen time with their “How to Train Your Vampire” scenes. I’m so over it. There are so many other interesting things going on around them that I’d rather pay attention to.
Alea: Cosign.  I would have loved to have gone back to Mexico before the episode was over.
Jordan: Yeah… I need them to consolidate in a positive direction a bit
Latoya: I don’t need positivity. I need them to end the fucking fanservice. I could give two shits about Sookie and a defanged Eric isn’t one I want to know.
Alea: I like Chip Eric.
Jordan: Yeah.. they dropped the ball on that. as I have said, great in the books. here… not so much
Kendra: It’s interesting– like I mentioned earlier they have a ridiculous amount of regulars they’re naming during the opening credits and not nearly enough time to focus on them all in an hour.
Latoya: Right. What do we think about Alan Ball saying Jason’s rape scene was his favorite part of the season at Comic Con?
Kendra: Wait, really?
Latoya: Art couldn’t make it to that panel, but the quote is from this liveblog:

6:03 p.m. Favorite moments of this season? “I personally enjoyed the ritualistic rape of Jason Stackhouse,” Ball says. Kwanten agrees, calling it, “A bizarre sense of therapy.” Wesley’s favorite moment was cage-fighting. “I really enjoyed swimming in the sun,” Skarsgard says. Woll enjoyed the egg scene.

Alea: No. Shit.  Eek.
Kendra: …Therapy for what, praytell?
Jordan: ummmm… I don’t know where to start with that.  There isn’t context for that kind of statement but I was hoping to at least get a sense for how that came out so wrong…I got nothing…
Amber: Oh my…context would indeed be appreciated. “Enjoyed” is a poor verb to use in regard to rape. Just sayin. You may want to work on your word choice there, Ball.
Kendra: I know Ball has a somewhat interesting background… it got talked about a lot during Six Feet Under. Um… that could have something to do with it? But I… yeah, I don’t know. I feel like a statement like that needs to be further elaborated upon before it can be analysed. It’s just…. there.
Latoya: Maybe. Kwanten agreed with the statement but that’s all we got. To them, best moment of the season – Werepanther tribe gang rape.
Alea: That is so damn problematic.  I’ll agree with A.S. and say that Eric swimming was my favorite so far.
Latoya: And now, entourage
Jordan: Lovely…. night all
Kendra: Night!

(Images were pulled from Google Search, so thanks to HBO, io9, and Deivant Art, and Tree Song’s Tumblr among others, for the awesome screengrabs)

  • Hapa

    Word! Tara is a stunner. She has such a rich, beautiful skin color. I
    also thought she had more chemistry with Alcide than Sookie. I’d love to
    see that couple happen. Mmmm lol

  • Anonymous

    It’d be interesting to see Tara in a relationship with people like Pam and Alcide. After Sookie is done with wolfie boy I’d love to see him give Tara a try. As for Pam, I’m wondering if Ball is considering it. Someone asked about the pairing at SDCC, so who knows.

  • http://twitter.com/tsarita Carla Prada

    The current series has about as much depth and intelligence as the cover of a Harlequin romance novel. Maybe all the writers from season 1 died, I don’t know. It’s sad. I guess they understand the mentality of their “target” audience and they are writing solely for them.
    I thought Tara and Lafayette had a nice moment when they said goodbye to another. In my opinion they are the only two characters on the show who seem to  connect in a realistic way. And that makes me care about what happens to them.
    Fiona Shaw is a joy to watch. That’s what you call real acting.
    I’m sick to the back of my teeth over this Eric and Sookie drivel. Maybe it’s because there is so much Tara hate on the E/S sites. I don’t get it.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not convinced they’re writing for a core audience. They may be pissing them off actually by committing several “sins.”

      Spoiler alert for the second “sin.”

      One: Tara still lives and actually gets a modicum of happiness and kickass behavior every once in a while. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen reviewers and commentators complain about her and wish that she was dead. Or complete omit her from the site.

      Two: Haven’t given enough time to the gagfest that is Sookie/Eric (as portrayed by Ball this series). I saw a lot of people give miffed responses to the “brief” lovemaking scene and sympathetic light given toward Bill. I mean, it’s nothing new that Ball likes the Sookie/Bill pairing and views them as the OTP. He has improved Bill’s character from the book and even changed one scene which would have literally killed any chance for Bill and Sookie to be together in the future. The way I see it, Ball has portrayed S/E in a very unflattering light and he has been rushing their interaction such that things seem very unrealistic.

      I would say more but I’m gonna wait until the next roundtable.

  • miss e

    I’m trying to understand why you all don’t like this Sookie/Eric thing?!  I actually enjoy this version of Eric…maybe his ‘bad dream’ thing was a biiit much, but Godric is his maker, so I can understand why it would’ve been super intense, even if Eric doesn’t remember him at the moment.   Anyway, Sookie/Eric has been a loooong time coming, and for the record, Sookie has ALWAYS been dumb and self-serving.  Ugh, she’s probably the most annoying character ever.  I’m not sure there have been many times where she puts someone else’s problems in front of hers.  So for me, this is nothing new.  And I can’t stand Tara.  I know she went thru some extremely traumatizing experiences, but she’s been this helpless, crying-prone girl for too long…both Lafayette + Tara…I don’t know, I wish they would toughen up a bit.  They seem so breakable, more so than any other character in TB.  Now, I would never say this to an actual person, but since this is a show and they are characters, I’m taking some liberty here.

    And you know, I wasn’t suspicious of Jesus until I read this running commentary.  I suppose he is a little caught up in the bruj@5732352c67da78335a5d33fb27fbc91f:disqus  magic…not too focused on Lafayette’s safety (who seems to desire to just put his head down in the dirt lol)…hmmmm.  Though wouldn’t it be terrible if Jesus turned out bad?  Can’t Laffy get any love??  I suppose all relationships must have drama b/c otherwise the show couldn’t really exist anymore…
    And does anyone find it interesting that all the queer ppl in this show are POC?   Lafayette, Jesus, now Tara…her chick, Naomi, I’m actually not sure about here – anyone know?   There might be some way to critically analyze this from a production/casting perspective, but I’m tired…  And honestly, I hope Tommy dies…soon.  He’s more trouble than he is useful, and he seems too keen to bring Sam down in his mess.  Scared little boy runnin’ around in a grown man’s body.

    • nicthommi

      Re: Tara crying.  Even if the character wasn’t played by a black actress (I think I’ve read that the character isn’t black in the books), the relationship between Sookie and Tara and how the two characters are treated is a perfect parallel between the experience of Black women vs. White women in real life.

      Sookie doesn’t have to worry or cry because someone ALWAYS has her back.  She is the perfect special snowflake and has numerous men clamoring for her attention and FIGHTING to protect her.  We see a not so attractive (in my opinion) bleached blond White women being placed on a pedestal and we see Tara getting abused and used and no one stands up for her. 

      I might be tired of her being angry but I can’t pretend that she doesn’t have a right to be.  She has to be angry because no one is ever angry for her, or cares about how she feels.  She is expected to get over being tortured, raped, held captive, and losing a man that she loved.  She’s supposed to sit next to her abusers, or next to people who are connected to her abusers (triggers much?)

      We see Tara being in the postion where she fights for the people she loves whereas Sookie just has to sit around and wait for someone to save her as she flits about in her latest sundress. 

      • Mickey

        Exactly! As much as I love this show, this is one aspect of it that I REALLY can’t stand. And whenever Tara gives Sookie a piece of her mind, I’m sure all what some people see is “angry black Tara picking on pure, white, defenseless, Christian Sookie,” no matter the principle. When can the black woman be protected and placed on a pedestal?

      • Mickey

        Exactly! As much as I love this show, this is one aspect of it that I REALLY can’t stand. And whenever Tara gives Sookie a piece of her mind, I’m sure all what some people see is “angry black Tara picking on pure, white, defenseless, Christian Sookie,” no matter the principle. When can the black woman be protected and placed on a pedestal?

  • http://rvcbard.blogspot.com RVCBard

    I loved how Tara, Lala, and Jesus left Marnie’s ass in the woods. Total subversion of what people of color normally do in horror movies.

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  • http://twitter.com/live_love_teach C-Beans

    Great roundtable! Just wanted to point out though that Sam’s reaction to finding out his parents were dead made a lot of sense to me. He was given up by his mom at a very young age and even when they came back last season he always seemed a little withdrawn in his interactions with the family. I too couldn’t help but think “skinwalker” when I saw Tommy kill his mom. I wonder how he will discover this newfound power, if Luna & Sam will play a role in the development of it. 

    Damn Sookie is pissing me OFF this season. She is the worst.friend.ever. Full stop. 

    I wonder if Bill will roll up on them making out in the yard and what that will look like. He left very quickly when Pam let it slip that he was at Sookie’s house. Eric is older, but his pre-school “save me from being a monster” self may seriously do some damage to Bill. What will Sookie do then? Where will her alleigence fall then. I feel like so much of her motivation for liking Eric is because to her it was about 3weeks ago that Bill left her at the altar. 

    This episode makes me think this season might actually be good!

    • http://twitter.com/DropDeadPoet Alexis A.

      Yay, someone else thinking what I was thinking! About Sam’s reaction and Sookie’s hookup with Eric.

      Eric is seriously just Sookie’s rebound boy. I do hope the writers didn’t make her Ms. Selfish for the entire season, because it is so hard to watch a show where the main protagonist is annoying you to death. 

      Also, I really like Hoight and hope Jessica comes clean about why she’s acting weird. And I think the dream Jason had was more due to having drank Jess’ blood than full moon fever. 
      Speaking of the full moon: Jason and Alcide are gonna have some problems, huh? Definitely looking forward to that.

    • http://twitter.com/tweetsoftdn Martin

      Damn Sookie is pissing me OFF this season. She is the worst.friend.ever. Full stop. Amen! And it really pisses me off that ‘white’ sites are hating on Tara and suggesting she be killed off. I’m *this close* to turning off this show and I see it just got a 5th season.

  • Hapa

    Second the BAMF!

    I’ve always had a crush on Tara. Im happy to see her taking no crap this season.

  • jvansteppes

    Ball already described the rape scene as a ‘comeuppance’, revealing that he buys into that pervasive myth that rape is a suitable punishment for one’s sexual transgressions. Most of these plot arcs depend on the motif of eroticized violation. Who on this show hasn’t been either raped, bitten against their will, possessed, kidnapped and confined or glamoured? More abuse is just business as usual on True Blood. I’m not surprised at Kwanten’s response, he didn’t write that story and most actors don’t openly critique their character arcs. Even the cast of the L Word pretended it was a well written and meaningful show long after it was clear there was no redemption there. 

    I don’t get the Tara/Sookie friendship at all. With all the sunbathing and ice cream girl talk I wonder if the writers’ formula for female friendship was inspired by Seventeen magazine, unless I’m just out of touch. Sookie would have to go a long way to redeem herself. On top of all her other privilege, she doesn’t recognize that she has privilege as a fairy in her dealings with vampires and chooses to ignore the fact that Tara isn’t so lucky and may not feel so safe in their company. On top of being a model of idealized white womanhood, Sookie is protected and coveted by vampires due to her precious fairy blood (and where are the POC fairies?). Tara isn’t supernatural and thus doesn’t even register as an equal. How can Sookie not notice that the vampire men who fight over her would leave Tara to die or callously kill her in a heartbeat if it was convenient?

  • Soulsentwined

    I’m still on Team Jesus. I know you guys don’t trust him but I really enjoy his character and his relationship with Laffy. I’d hate to think there year + relationship was just a long plot to steal Laffy’s power. The new Eric was only interesting for the first 15 minutes. For them to draw this out over several episodes is way too much.

  • Digital Coyote

    Terry is the man.

    Jason/Hoyt had me screaming.  Just…..yeah.  Maybe they’ll be able to talk to each other about what’s happened to them if Hoyt can put his finger on what’s happened to him so Jason doesn’t think he was just being shallow or dull.  They’ve both been raped.  If Jason ever tells Tara, she might be saving him for a change.

    Why does Sam know gators like marshmallows? The cynic in me says that he’s dumped an awful lot of people in his day, but part of me wonders if shifters have full conversations with the animals they’re impersonating, like sleepovers or something.

    Beeyuhl needed to be embarrassed for a change.

    Run, Laffy, run.  They’ll be talking about how only the master (read: marnie’s “goddess”) or Jesus can drink your essence if they think it’ll give them your power if you’re not careful.

  • http://twitter.com/Harsh_Mistress Faye Valentine

    Another great roundtable, thanks you guys. Though have to say, I’m glad Tommy’s parents are dead. Between them and Hotshot there’s just been too much “white trashiness” going on. However, things should get real interesting real soon considering Tommy (a shifter) killed his mother (also a shifter AND a relative), so he can turn into other people now. That’s undoubtedly going to bring more trouble for Sam down the line–can’t wait!

    Also, people defend Sookie just b/c. Because she’s the protag , b/c she’s “special,” b/c she’s white–whatever. Even the writers are guilty of it. Can’t remember the exact circumstances but after Sookie and Tara had a falling out last season (over something so obviously Sookie’s fault) Tara ended up apologizing to Sookie while they were sunbathing. My mouth literally dropped open at that scene. From that point I knew Sookie would always be in the right no matter how clearly wrong she was; that’s just the way the show is. :|

  • Anonymous

    Before commenting on actual content from the roundtable and episode I have some news from another site. It seems like Tara won’t be the one to die this season. At least according to the spoilers I found online.

    Taken from here: http://www.timeswireservice.com/news/True_Blood_season_4_episode_5__it_is_becoming_more_enchanting_1311648777/

    Spoiler alert!!!

    “There were also plenty of spoilers for the next
    season, as a make-sure strategy that this as well as the next season’s
    viewership is secure. How Eric made Pam in the next season would be
    discovered. Alan Bell’s comment that ‘fairies are made in “litters” and
    are often identical’ hints at more of Claudine again. The sexual
    inclinations of Tara will be dwelt upon again and there will be more of
    Tara and Sam without their clothes on. And promises of more
    supernaturals.”

    Spoiler over!!

    Comments from here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-blankenship/true-blood-season-4_b_909198.html) are kind of pissing me off. A lot of people are just ganging up on Tara since according to them she seems to not give Sookie a chance to explain herself. But given the fact that Sookie was either lying, as is in the case in this episode, or not considering that people may not have the same experiences with vampires as herself (completely forgetting that vampires can just kill their victims without having to worry about having relationships with their food) I just feel that some criticism is just plain Tara hate. One person even brought up the Maryanne story arc as evidence that Tara wasn’t always a good friend. I don’t see how that’s a good example b/c Maryanne would inevitably enslave all of Bon Temps, so there was nothing anyone could do to stop her. And Tara herself was becoming hesitant to involve herself with Maryanne any further, but . . . we know what happened later. If anything Tara has been a very good friend, going so far as to save Sookie on more than one occasion. Sure, she didn’t give Sookie a chance to explain herself in this episode, but when you’re faced with a potentially dangerous vampire in the company of your so-called friend . . . why wait for an explanation?

    I feel that Tara hasn’t always been a good friend. Sometimes her outbursts are uncalled for. You can’t just have a conniption then run off all the time. But given her experiences of rape and abduction and betrayal by Sookie, I can understand her reactions at times. I don’t know how anyone could be remotely calm in a place like Bon Temps.

    A lot of the writing is stupefying characters lately. In Sookie’s case, I don’t know whether the writing is to blame or just forces beyond our understanding. I think it has something to do with her being part fairy.

    I just don’t understand her relationship with Eric. The kiss didn’t make sense to me at all and the music totally killed it. It looked awkward. I mean, I was very aware of the fact that Sookie had to be some steps up for her to be at level with Eric.