Episode Review: True Blood 2×04 Shake and Fingerpop

Back in Bon Temp, Bill has just discovered his pseudo-daughter getting cozy on the couch with Hoyt. Bill tosses Hoyt out of the house after assuring him that it’s not Jessica he’s seeking to protect. Sookie worries that Bill is over-angsting, and that his treatment of Jessica suggests a deep self-hatred. “I’m a vampire; I’m supposed to be tormented,” Bill protests like many brooding bloodsuckers before him. But, of course, he gives in, agreeing to take Jessica along to Dallas. Yee-haw!

Meanwhile, Tara prepares for a move to Sookie’s. After confronting Maryann about the orgy, ahem, party, on her premises, Tara leaves without bothering to say goodbye to boytoy, Eggs. At Sookie’s, the girls chat. Tara disapproves of Sookie agreeing once again to service the vamps’ psychic needs. She accuses Sookie of blindly following Bill’s orders: “The sex can’t be that good.” I’m confident Mr. Moyer’s many fans would beg to differ.   

Back at church camp slash target practice, head cultist Steve takes Jason out in the woods to shoot cardboard vampires. After, the two head back for a BBQ with the missus. Jason’s newly honed Christian morals are no match for a hot blond proffering meat and beer. Steve and Sarah have determined that Jason is their Onward Christian Soldier and invite him to move out of the bunks and into the big house. Later, Jason unpacks at the Crazy Cultist homestead, and Sarah does her best to make him feel at home. The best part of this storyline? It’s unclear whether husband or wife is hotter for Jason’s bod. Is some sort of Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot arrangement in the works?

Speaking of people who are too interested in the sex lives of their neighbors, Maryann shows up at the Stackhouse’s with Eggs and a cake for Tara’s birthday. She throws Tara a birthday party that quickly shifts into The Great Supernatural Orgy, Part Deux. After pointing out Sam’s romantic failures with Tara and Sookie, Maryann does some dancing and romancing, her crazy shaking presumably propelling Tara and Eggs into the sack. Is it sex this girl seeks or some scary supernatural offspring? Amidst the black-eyed revelry of the partiers, Sam and Daphne get lippy with each other in Sookie’s kitchen, and Daphne makes a surprise announcement: she knows about Sam’s furrier side and doesn’t seem to care. Here’s hoping sweetheart Sam has more success with his third waitress this series.

And while we’re on the theme of women with big scary scars on their backs, the Bon Temps police finally get their investigative juices flowing this ep. Turns out Voodoo Marie, episode one’s dead woman in a car, was killed by the same creepy creature that attacked Sookie in the woods and, presumably, scarred Daphne. This reviewer was beginning to wonder if that storyline had simply been dropped due to lack of caring.  

Meanwhile, Sookie arrives at the Dallas airport, high on life and those miniature bottles of alcohol: “They’re like booze for dolls.” The man who greets her wastes no time in trying to nab her for the enemy, forcing Bill and Jessica to enact some hypnosis. Bill and Jessica bond through his lessons in mind-violating humans. Demonstrating at times a sweet girlishness and at others a raw, malicious hunger, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) is proving a fun addition to the team. While interrogating Sookie’s would-be kidnapper, Bill and Sookie learn that the Fellowship of the Sun wants to use Sookie’s skills to find Godric.

As usual, Sookie is unperturbed by this newest threat to her wellbeing. Is this sexy southerner brave or just plain stupid? Sookie and Bill’s sex-making is interrupted by the arrival of Eric, who drags Bill down to the bar for some True Blood and the truth. Bill wants to know the source of Eric’s allegiance to Godric. Appropriately, Eric’s interests are entirely self-serving; if the humans can nab a vamp as powerful as Godric, than any lesser vamps are at risk. Further, if the vamps don’t get their leader back, they’ll go after the humans, perhaps sparking an all-out human-superhuman bloodbath. Here’s hoping we get to see some of the non-fangy members of the supernatural community this season.

Back in the hotel room, a bored Sookie orders porn on-demand and Jessica orders room service in the form of a twenty-one year old blood donor. Sookie is about to intercede when she realizes that the young bellhop seems to be a mind reader like her. Excited, she leaves the hotel room and goes running after him.

There are still some soapy moments this season: would Sookie really forget to tell Tara her cuz is back in town? Some of the storylines seem to meander, and at times the show feels more rife with talk than action. Still, the dialogue is sharp and funny, and the actors even more at home in their roles. Season Two is off to a great middle.

Jason Stackhouse Quote of the Day: “Evil is making the premedicated choice to be a dick.”

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