Episode Review: True Blood 2×09: I Will Rise Up

It’s no real surprise that our beloved principles survive the bomb blast un-scarred. Well, mostly. Eric takes some silver shrapnel protecting Sookie. Lucky for him, she’s willing to suck the silver from his chest gashes. Well, mostly willing. “It’s too gross,” Sookie protests. “And … it’s you.” Of course she relents, and we get to see our heroine doing the sucking for once.  “I Will Rise Up” fulfils the promise of its future-tense title in that the characters make plans to fly high but, with the exception of one, refrain from accomplishing those aims just yet.

While Sookie administers mouth to chiseled chest, Bill gets bitey with one of the humans responsible for the blast. In the end he lets the dude live—it’s touch and go for a beat—and heads inside in time to berate Eric for taking advantage. Apparently, Eric exaggerated his injuries to gain entrance to Sookie’s psyche. The whole bloodsucking thing comes with some nifty side effects like shared sexual attraction. More on that later …

Back in Bon Temp, Jessica and Hoyt deal with the aftereffects of their sexual trauma. “I want you to meet my mama,” Hoyt insists during their evening canoodle. Later, at home, Hoyt accuses Mrs. Fortenberry of hating everyone from Methodists to black people. “Hush. That’s a secret,” Mom hisses. Despite reservations, the three have a family-style dinner date at Merlotte’s, and Mrs. Fort forces Jessica into a startling revelation. Not only is her virginity perma present, but, being a vampire, she can’t have any kids.  Poor Jessica. Hoyt and Jess’s pseudo-innocent romance provides a welcome dose of humor and heart to True Blood’s second season. The show deserves acclaim for developing minor characters like Hoyt, who played only a passing role in season one.

Meanwhile, Tara and Eggs suffer the aftereffects of ingesting human parts and having animal sex. Maryann champions the state of chaos and then offers morning beverages. Ye Gods, can you imagine what’s in the Bloody Mary’s? In a surprising and slightly dubious turn, Lafayette and Mrs. Thornton crash a friendly card game at the Stackhouse place and take Tara out by force. Since when does Tara’s mom care enough to speak to Tara, let alone intervene in her life over a little domestic violence? Still, this storyline is moving, and quickly.  Maryann goes public at last, demanding that the residents of Bon Temps turn over Sam to be sacrificed. Meanwhile Sam goes to see the one man in town who might be immune to Maryann’s charms. An alliance between Sam and Bon Temps finest, Andy Bellefleur, seems ripe with possibility.

On the theme of making plans and matters of the heart, Sookie and Jason share an evening of insomnia and self-pity … but the good, purposeful kind. “I love you even though I wish you’d cook for me more,” Jason says. While it’s nice seeing the Stackhouse sibs bonding, the idea that Jason joined the Fellowship out of grief for Grams is a little hard to swallow. After, the pair watch some TV, including an interview with the newly reunited but hardly happy couple, Steve and Sarah Newlin. It’s good to see these two are still in the picture, as the whole Fellowship storyline felt a little fast.

In a strange turn, Sookie jumps from Jason’s bed to Eric’s. A shot of Sookie leaving her bro’s room might have alleviated some of the confusion … and squickiness! Apparently Eric’s plan to strike a sexual connection with Sookie through the whole blood business was a rousing (or is it arousing?) success. While Sookie and Eric dream-snuggle in the nude, Lorena critiques Sookie’s lack of loyalty to Bill from the foot of the bed. The Twin Peaks style dream feels a little off for the True Blood universe, and Lorena’s presence taints the sexiness of the scene in this reviewer’s eyes. Sookie awakens in Bill’s bed, her man safely dead beside her.

In the episode’s climactic moments, Sookie, Bill and the gang meet with the leader of the vampire bureaucracy, who demands Godric’s job after the fiasco in Dallas. Godric gives in while Bill, in a moment of ballsiness, punches Eric for his earlier shenanigans with Sookie. Later, Sookie follows Godric up to the roof, intent on persuading him to fight for his job. But Godric is clearly done fighting, and she arrives in time to watch Eric plead with Godric not to end it all. Skarsgard’s Eric’s makes a beautiful picture in the blue light of dawn, his body a black silhouette and twin lines of blood staining his face. Sookie remains on the roof to watch Godric burn in a burst of blue fire. She also makes Godric a promise to look after Eric. Well, maybe.

Quote of the day: Jason Stackhouse, re the people of Bon Temp: “They liked my athletics, my good looks, my sex abilities, but they don’t like me for me.”

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