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Review #2579: True Blood 4.2: “You Smell Like Dinner”

Posted on the 05 July 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

The good news is that this episode is much better than the season premiere, and starts setting up the story arcs with a bit more cohesion. The bad news is that some of those plot threads are still not nearly as interesting as the writers seem to think (though, admittedly, less so than in the third season).

Review #2579: True Blood 4.2: “You Smell Like Dinner”

The highlight here is the vampire intrigue, especially the revelations about Bill and his true purpose in Bon Temps. I have no idea if this is how it played out in the books, but I like it. It makes Bill a compelling character with a clear direction, instead of someone seemingly lurching from plot point to plot point. It also serves to free up both himself and Sookie for other story possibilities, which is a necessary turn of events. I buy the notion that Bill fell for Sookie in the process of using her, and his decision to protect Sookie’s secret is testimony to that fact. (And I find Katerina a more than suitable replacement!)

Another big development has been Eric’s role. On the one hand, Eric is protecting Sookie at least as much as Bill, and perhaps more so. On the other hand, his methods are typically heavy-handed. Of course, this is purposeful, since there is the inevitable turnabout when Eric gets his mind wiped by the coven and Sookie is the one who finds him.

Speaking of which, I thought the writers did a capable job of explaining why Bill would have Katerina infiltrate the coven and then send Eric to deal with them. Witchery has been shown to have the potential to mess with all sorts of things, and necromancy is an obvious threat to the undead population. The scenes with the coven made it clear that Marnie is pushing for the necromancy, so I doubt her motives.

Tara’s return, and her presence at the showdown with Eric, should give her a reason to work with Lafayette and Jesus to discover the truth about Marnie and the coven. I only hope that they let her use some of the skills she’s acquired. It was frustrating to see her rendered useless right off the bat, though I suppose Eric is hardly her usual opponent.

Sam and Jason both have subplots that suffer from association with their third season borefests, but it’s a matter of correcting the flow, so to speak. Sam and Luna make for a great pairing (Janina Gavankar is ridiculously hot), and her story about skinwalkers makes me wonder what road she’s going to lead Sam down, and how far he’ll be willing to go. (I vote for killing Tommy and being done with it.)

Jason’s fling with Crystal is having some serious repercussions, but I can’t help but see this as a positive direction for his character to take. Perhaps he can show these idiots a better way to live? I have no idea why, if they scoff at normal humans as weak, they continue to live as they do. More to the point, Jason could use a bit of a power boost, since nearly everyone else has one as well.

The domestic issues between Jessica and Hoyt need to either end or lead into something much bigger before they get more annoying than they already are. I’m all for Jessica getting sexy and dangerous (I preferred her original look, frankly), so it wouldn’t be bad for her to come under Pam’s wing for a while. Hoyt is getting to be irritating and two-dimensional, so he needs to evolve or die.

On the balance, some of the subplots are still a work in progress, but at least they show more potential than most of the subplots in the third season. It’s all going to come down to execution. There’s still a lot of season left to go, after all, and it took some time before the third season began to fall apart at the seams.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Rating: 7/10

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