Tonight’s episode of True Blood saw the apparent conclusion of two storylines.
First off, do you remember how, two weeks ago, I predicted that the Dragon would turn out to be Bud Dearborn (William Sanderson)?
Well, I was kinda right. The Dragon wasn’t Bud Dearborn. Instead, the Dragon was Sweetie, the plump woman who Bud had taken up with since leaving his wife. We really didn’t find out too much about the Dragon, beyond the fact that she’s a bit on the heavy-side and she enjoys square dancing and, quite frankly, I felt a little bit let down by the revelation that, after all the build up and mystery, the Dragon was just a broadly drawn stereotype. It is true that, in the past, True Blood has effectively used stereotypical characters to make a bigger point but tonight, the revelation that Sweetie was the Dragon just fell flat.
I have mixed feelings about how the whole “Obamas” plotline was wrapped up during tonight’s episode. At its best, the storyline managed to show how prejudice is often the product of people feeling as if they have no power over their lives, no hope for the future, and that they need a scapegoat to hold responsible for their own failures. As well, I also appreciated that the show actually had them wearing Obama masks because, quite frankly, it’s the closest any show has come to poking fun at the President since the South Park election episode way back in 2008. It has nothing to do with the Obama’s politics or my own beliefs. I just happen to believe that all leaders, regardless of who they are or what they represent, should be frequently ridiculed.
(Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom may get more critical acclaim but trust me — Aaron Sorkin will never have the guts to write an episode featuring a murderer in a Barack Obama mask.)
After a nice build up, however, it was hard not to be disappointed with how conventional and predictable the conclusion to the whole Obamas subplot eventually turned out to be. Sookie, with the aid of helpful spirits that happened to be hanging out in her bedroom, figured out that Bud Dearborn might know who killed her parents. She went to see him about it and ended up getting knocked out by a frying pan-weilding Sweetie.
When she came to, Sookie discovered that she was tied up and trapped in a pig pin with Hoyt (and I have to say that I cringed a little at this because I grew up near enough farms that I have first hand experience with just how disgusting pigs really are). Luckily, it turned out that Dearborn and Sweetie were the type of villains who can’t ever just kill anyone without delivering a lengthy monologue beforehand. This, fortunately, gave Sam, Luna, Andy, and Jason time to show up at the barn and save the day. It also gave Andy a chance to prove his worth as a lawman by gunning down Bud Dearborn.
Meanwhile, in this episode’s other major plotline, True Blood factories across the world are being bombed and both vampires and humans are in a panic. Tara, at first, suggests to Pam that they should stock up on their supply of True Blood but Pam informs Tara that they will keep selling True Blood and, once they run out, they will discreetly feed on humans. Meanwhile, the Rev. Newlin is condemning the bombings, despite the fact that the Authority is secretly responsible.
That’s right. The new Salome-led Authority has figured out that the easiest way to provoke a war between humans and vampires is to cause a True Blood shortage. When Eric asks Bill if he truly thinks this is a good idea, Bill replies that he’s not sure but that he does know that he saw Lillith earlier. When Eric and Molly, the cool techie vampire who is my favorite new character this season because she just seems so annoyed with everything in general, attempt to escape from Authority Headquarters, they are apparently betrayed by Bill. So, is Bill now a true believer or does he have a plan of his own? I’m betting on the latter.
Speaking of manipulative vampires, Russell and the Rev. Newlin paid a visit on the wolf pack where, after putting J.D. in his place, Russell proceeded to take Emma (in wolf puppy form) out of Martha’s hands and gave her to the Rev. Newlin. While I’m always happy to see wolf puppy, this development made me go, “Agck!” Seriously, Rev. Newlin’s perpetual smile is so creepy!
Along with the Obamas, another subplot concluded with tonight’s episode but it was a subplot that nobody ever really cared that much about so I’ll just say that Terry finally killed Patrick and the fire demon appeared to be satisfied. So, good for Terry and Arlene.
Random Thoughts and Observations:
- I have to admit that tonight’s episode was not one of my favorites. Part of the show’s appeal has always been its willingness to go to extremes but tonight’s episode felt over the top even for True Blood.
- I also felt a bit cheated that the scene that popped up in all the previews for this episode — Bill apparently biting Sookie — turned out to just be an elaborate hallucination on Bill’s part. It’s hard not to feel that the show didn’t play fair as far as that was concerned.
- Tonight’s unofficial scene count: 45.
- Performance-wise, this episode really belonged to Chris Bauer. Andy may not be the smartest character on the show but Bauer brought some much needed depth to the role on tonight’s show.
- Though she only had about a minute of screen time, Dale Dickey continues to make a strong impression in the role of Martha.
- I would have to go back and rewatch the previous seasons to know for sure but some people online are complaining that Bud Dearborn’s villainy seemed to come out of nowhere. Simply going by my own faulty memory (and please remember, I do not claim to be a True Blood expert, merely a fan of the show), I can see their point. The episode seemed to suggest that Sweetie was the one who brought out his evil side but still…
- William Sanderson, incidentally, is one of my favorite character actors. He has a special talent for creating Southern eccentrics (which may be because he apparently is a Southern eccentric himself) and I have to admit that I was a little sad to see his character so casually killed off tonight.
- “I ain’t gmail for dead bitches!”
- “I may be like a week old but I ain’t an idiot.”
- Only 3 more episode left in the season!