Hopeless, Like a Penny With A Hole In It: The Racialicious Roundtable For True Blood 5.6

Last week, we got to meet the folks behind the show. But unfortunately, this episode was kind of…meh. Joe, Tami, Kendra, and I pull threads from an increasingly tattered plot.

Tara and Pam Come To Terms
Latoya: “Yes’m Missy Pam?” Oh lord, Tara.
Joe: She’s acknowledging the slurs for what they are…that’s at least a step in the right direction.
Kendra: Did Pam just call her a dog though?
Tami: I am not comfortable with this vampire version of Gone With The Wind. More than offensive, it’s inconsistent. I know Pam was put out about having a “child” to take care of, but what about the whole “no human can ever hurt you know” and gazing at Tara in her coffin stuff? Is Pam Tara’s mom or master?
Joe: I think the writers [are] trying to emphasize that she’s waffling with responsibility and her “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, and the less responsible side of herself has the wheel most of the time, hurling vitriol. Notice I said “trying.”

The Ifrit: Revealed
Kendra: And here’s the part of the episode where I paused to find out exactly what an Ifrit is (being not at all well versed in Arabic or Islamic mythology). Wiki tells me that they’re essentially fire jinns. It’s great that they want to branch out in their sources of horror, but because it’s taking time away from Bon Temps (and is also taking place like 1000 miles away) I can’t get behind it the way I’d like to.
Joe: I also don’t like how it seems somehow Patrick is going to get all (emphasis on all) the blame for “the incident” and the fire monster will sear him till he’s well done, but Terry is going to get out of shooting some innocent Middle Eastern woman in the face.

Alcide Is Caught Up In The Glamour
Latoya: Can I just say I am somewhat glad Alcide was ordered to leave Sookie alone? And that Bill still gave enough of a shit to not glamour her? That warmed my heart a bit. They still kinda care, in that totally dysfunctional way.
Joe: I’m not sure she can be glamoured anyway.
Tami: Yeah, Bill knows that Sookie cannot be glamoured. He tried in Season One. He wanted The Authority to think her glamoured, lest she wind up like the poor folks on that bus. And about that…I thought The Authority was all about the making peace with humans. What gives?
Kendra: Glamouring is my least favorite part of the various vampire mythoses. It makes everything far too easy.

Hoyt Is Lost And Turned Out
Latoya: Can someone please give Hoyt a hug?
Joe: And a calendar? I feel like I’m watching Weekend at Bernies when I look at his outfit.
Latoya: That outfit makes me feel like he’s going to start singing Fallout Boy songs in front of Jessica’s window at any minute. Also, did you know someone (andystwist.com) made True Blood paper dolls? I can’t wait until they update this with Hoyt’s Lost in The Vamp World look.

Shots Fired!
Kendra: Luna and Sam are the only couple I care about right now. A) This is the first of Sam’s relationships to last more than a season (yes?), and B) am I wrong for enjoying the fact that they were laid low by something so human? When you have even the most human characters like Terry and Lafayette suddenly getting chased around by supes, a gunshot wound can be a really nice change of pace. Actually, on the real though, I think the whole ‘human problems’ thing is one of the reasons I prefer my teen paranormal dramas to True Blood, over all. TB’s sort of abandoned all pretense of characters having real-life problems–most of them barely even go to work anymore. On my teen dramas you can at least count on parental and school issues to keep characters somewhat grounded. Anyway, ahem.
Latoya: Word, Kendra. You make a good point with the real-life grounding. I remember that’s why I liked True Blood to begin with–it seemed like they were determined to keep things relatively true to life. That seems to be pretty far out of the window these days.

Speaking Of Work…
Latoya: How does Sookie still have a job at Merlotte’s?
Joe: I think this is going to forever be chalked up to a suspension of disbelief.
Kendra: I feel a little bad that no one’s asked about why the restaurant’s owner hasn’t showed up…
Latoya: And who is in the kitchen when Lafayette isn’t working? Whose hand was that?

Our Sexual Correspondent Is Inappropriate And A Bad Influence
Kendra: Mandatory ‘Meloni’s ass looks amazing in those pants’ comment on behalf of Andrea. (It does.)
Joe: I was this close to taking a screensho–wait, wait, nevermind, yes I did.

Arlene and Terry’s Awkward Farewell
Latoya: Thanks Terry–what did happen to poor Mavis? Oh wait, that’s right, the baby.
Kendra: Once again, I’m semi-impressed they managed to connect all that. Still, I could have done without Terry’s PTSD Road Trip.
Tami: So, Arlene thinks Terry talking about curses means he is off his meds, yet a few weeks ago (in show time) her baby was kidnapped by her possessed co-worker, and not the one who can read minds. Seems like she might be a wee less skeptical, given what does on around Bon Temp.
Joe: That’s what I said last week. What is with the Doubting Thomas thing in Sci-Fi & Fantasy?

Russell Needs Better Competition
Latoya: The authority is some suckers. Did they just watch their leader get staked? They might as well have been tied to the railroad tracks. It was six on one! With a stop point for a devastating quip from Russell! If they hadn’t all caught the vapors, Russell (and honestly, the rest of the plot) would have been toast.
Joe: This vampire religion thing is becoming rather interesting. You can cut and paste the way Nora acted this episode into almost any house of worship and yet when it’s here on this show, she reads much differently.
Latoya: Does it? Feels like the usual treatment to me.

  • EH

    The biggest disappointment of this season so far is where the show has taken Tara. Everything this show has dumped on her, they FINALLY give her some real power. She FINALLY sees the light about Sookie and is ready to toss her to the side. And then what happens? She’s basically Pam’s slave and treated little better than a dog? *headdesk*

  • Africameleon

    Also, regarding Salome… She seems VERY suspicious too. Since Eric’s “sister” served directly under her as her assistant/mentee, and now Eric’s sister is revealed to be a Lilith-crazed Sanguinista. Could Salome BE Lilith? Is that a stretch? Salome is as old as the Judeo-Christian AND Vampire Bible. Perhaps Lilith is “called by many names” and has manifested in many forms within human mythology, Salome being one of them. I think this is a possibility… thoughts?

  • Africameleon

    Also, regarding Salome… She seems VERY suspicious too. Since Eric’s “sister” served directly under her as her assistant/mentee, and now Eric’s sister is revealed to be a Lilith-crazed Sanguinista. Could Salome BE Lilith? Is that a stretch? Salome is as old as the Judeo-Christian AND Vampire Bible. Perhaps Lilith is “called by many names” and has manifested in many forms within human mythology, Salome being one of them. I think this is a possibility… thoughts?

  • Africameleon

    Did you notice how Peter Mensah asked the captives if they knew what the woman who brought them there to feed Russell looked like? They each said they remembered her and how she talked about the Sanguinists, Lilith, etc. Then he puts them on the bus and kills them.

    Do you think he’s a Sanguinist? Perhaps Roman didn’t find all of the infiltrators in the Authority? If so, that’s an interesting twist in the plot. Christopher Meloni’s character is now dead, and I’m not really interested in Salome. But Mensah is a cutie, and a great actor. So I’m excited to see how his story line progresses.

  • Africameleon

    Did you notice how Peter Mensah asked the captives if they knew what the woman who brought them there to feed Russell looked like? They each said they remembered her and how she talked about the Sanguinists, Lilith, etc. Then he puts them on the bus and kills them.

    Do you think he’s a Sanguinist? Perhaps Roman didn’t find all of the infiltrators in the Authority? If so, that’s an interesting twist in the plot. Christopher Meloni’s character is now dead, and I’m not really interested in Salome. But Mensah is a cutie, and a great actor. So I’m excited to see how his story line progresses.

    • Mickey

      Yeah, Salome is definitely shady. She is most likely the one who freed Russell. And I did think about the possibility of her being Lilith, though the show can still rule it out.

    • Anonymous

      I assumed he was a Sanguinista as soon as he killed all of those people on the bus. And that perhaps the rest of them stood there while Roman was killed b/c they were all in on it.

  • queenb727

    Everyone always questions how Sookie still has a job, and it always confuses me why this is a question. Sookie only works part-time and the events in the show usually happen over a very short time periods. Like, a couple of weeks per season. So she wouldn’t really have to take that much time off of work. If you have a daytime Monday shift, and a Wednesday nightime shift, you have 48 hours to get into all types of trouble and still show up for work. That’s before you consider that her boss is sometimes in on the drama, and would therefore be more inclined to giver her time off. Not to mention that we may just not “see” every shift. I mean, we don’t see every time Jason shows up for work.

    • Kaitlin Browne

      That’s true, but it seemed like they showed Sookie at work a lot more often when the show first started. I think showing her trying to balance the conflicts of a fairly typical working class existence with her supernatural conflicts made her a more interesting, and more likable, character. I liked the days when the show reminded us that Sookie is an outcast, not Bon Temps most eligible bachelorette,

      • Anonymous

        But I think that it’s also pretty typical that a working class service worker CAN’T take time off for personal issues the way that white collar professionals can. I can take a sick day and get paid. I can step out and go to a doctor’s appointment, take lunch whenever I want; I can take sick leave and get paid. I have lots of paid vacation. Show me where any waitress has those things. No one cares if they are sick or have family issues (okay, Sookie has some leeway since Sam knows her and knows what is going on but he’s gotten sick of her too, which is a more realistic reaction to her behavior). So that is where my incredulity comes from. If Sally at Walmart is running out mid-shift or missing scheduled shifts, she gets fired. No one can argue that people at that level of society get flexibilty and freedom like that.

        Arlene’s and the other witch’s behavior and concern about their jobs, money, families, and the security/insecurity of both are WAY more realistic, and Arlene actually has a husband and a free roof over her head. And Arlene is awful in a lot of ways, but she never acts like she can take off work and run around willy-nilly and her life is not easy either.

        It also kind of sucks b/c Sookie is never doing any of this for her friends or family. When Jason was kidnapped and tortured, she didn’t even notice, and the best part about vampire Tara is that she is finally freed from Sookie’s pull. Sookie takes off to further her own interests.

  • Anonymous

    ::strolls over from Tumblr, looks over glasses::

    I’own even know about all this “inappropriate and a bad influence” stuff you’re talmbout here.:-D I will just note that it’s mighty interesting that on the ep we finally witness the beauteousness of Mr. Meloni’s booty–and mind you, dude is wearing slacks, not skinny jeans or booty shorts or any other supposed ass-enhancing clothing–that dude gets staked. Russell Edgerton and I are now sworn enemies.

    Seriously though, I’m sooooo not feeling the racially charged contours of Pam’s and Tara’s relationship. Mixed in the reluctant maker/vampire against her will is a hell of a lot of a racialized fan service of people finally getting to see white Pam put Black Tara in her “place.” Kyriarchy much?