Hosted by Thea Lim and featuring Joseph Lamour, Tami Winfrey Harris, Latoya Peterson and Andrea Plaid
Thea: Another sort of lackluster episode, though better than last week’s. Though I have to say this eppy sure had lots of good oneliners:
I used to drink hot sauce straight out of the bottle…that was a good time.
Dagnabit Shit Fuck!
So you turn into a panther! What the hell! That ain’t so bad.
Tami: What no love for Pam calling Bill an “infatuated tween”? That was the quote of the night. It perfectly captured the essence of the Bill and Sookie romance.
Andrea: Oh! My! Gawd! Pam aced the ep with that line. I so heart that vamp (pun intended).
Thea: Well, I didn’t want to steal all the good lines…I wanted to give y’all a chance to list your own fave oneliners Also I just read on the internet that Mama Hoyt actually said Dagnabit Shit Fire! I truly hope not, Shit Fuck is just so wonderful.
Thea: But to get down to the really really important business: poll – do we prefer LaLa as a pet name for our favourite, or Laffy? I can’t decide.
Joe: I love it when Ruby calls him Lala, but not when anyone else does. My vote goes for Laffy.
Tami: Co-sign, Joe. I love “Lala,” but it feels like one of those special names within friends or family that only one person is allowed to use. I’m going for Laffy.
Latoya: Team Lala. It makes me squee to think of 6 year old Lafayette. But Laffy works too.
Andrea: Honestly, I like Laffy or even Lafette, which is my fam’s nickname for my uncle, who shares the same name. I’m with Joe: let “Lala” be his mom’s nickname for him. Though, to be honest, I don’t like it coming from her mouth because there’s a homophobic bite to it.
Thea: Hm…that’s an interesting point about Lala having a homophobic bite…especially since every episode since its intro, Laffy has been addressed as such. This week, it was by the religious icons during a bad trip. Aiyeee..but more on that later, of course.
A Black Panther?
Thea: So here, for once, I would like those of you Charlaine Harris fans who’ve been sitting on your hands in the corner for fear of spoiling anything for the rest of us, to step up: is Crystal a black panther in the books, or is that just a choice they made for the visual medium of TV? Actually, wait a sec, are all panthers black? Since this is True Blood, master of dabbling foolishly in serious historical shit, I can’t help but wonder why they would choose a black panther, an animal which is, as professorjawn put it in the comments last week, “a uniquely racialized animal in the US psyche.”
Joe: Other than the Pink Panther, panthers are all black, otherwise they’re called something else, like jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, and cougars (another loaded word, this day in age.) While reading the book I definitely assumed the (spoiler alert!) Hotshot people were all panthers, and that those panthers were of this variety: and not of the beret-ed variety. Also, to my (cursory, at best) knowledge, a panther is not actually a type of cat like a lion, but it refers to the color. For instance: a black jaguar is a panther, and a black cougar is a panther. There is a such thing as a white panther, but its rare, like a white tiger. Confusing enough? Yes, yes it is.
Interestingly enough, the reason that panther cats of any variety turn out black is because of- take a guess- an abundance of melanin. The writers, and Charlaine for that matter, probably didn’t think too hard about which species of cat to go with. Willful ignorance strikes again, I guess.
Tami: The folks in Hot Shot were panthers in Charlaine’s Harris’ books, though I don’t recall her specifying black panthers. II always assumed they were the sort of panther found in America–the cougar. I think the choice of using a black panther for Crystal was stylistic–they certainly look cool lurking in the shadows. It’s just that given True Blood’s sketchy racial imagery this season, even the most benign choices seem to mean something more sinister.
Sookie & Bill Are Boring; Pam Breaks Our Heart with her Anti-Immigrant Sentiment
Thea: So Latoya totally called it last week when she said, “But again, it’s Sookie who gets the creepy chain basement to herself, and she’ll probably be saved in a day or so, so whatever, I can’t drum up any concern.” OMG, try saved in like, fifteen minutes. More and more I am just writing the word “BOOOORING” in my notebook during all the Bill-Sookie scenes.’
Latoya: I hate being right. There isn’t even time to fake concern anymore.
Andrea: LOLOLOL I think we’re supposed to either 1) conveniently ignore that she was rescued or that 2) we’re supposed to get all “yeah girl-power!” that another human–especially a woman–rescued her. I think Ball and Co. wanted us to focus on the fact that she “whupped Pam’s ass” (with said woman’s help) to save her man. What peeved me is Pam’s xenophobic plea regarding Sookie’s sex-worker rescuer, “Don’t leave me here with this idiot immigrant!” The woman response, “I’m a cardiologist!” missed the humor mark because it turns back on her: the stereotyping questions become, “Why is a cardiologist hanging with vampires? Don’t they get good pay in that line of work?” Which can play either way: 1) thoughts about why people go into sex work (basic answer: the reasons are myriad) and 2) the stereotypes of female immigrants as victims of sex trades. Too much hung on that joke, which is why it fell flat for me.