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"True Blood" — "Gone, Gone, Gone": Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

By Sarah Carlson | TV Reviews | August 14, 2012 | Comments ()


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"Are we vampires or school marms?," Russell Edgington asks his comrades toward the end of "Gone, Gone, Gone," the 10th episode in "True Blood's" fifth season. Good question. Not that the vampires are behaving like squares; there's plenty draining of humans going around. But the endless talk of religion -- praise Lilith! -- is a drag on him and viewers alike. Jessica's response to Bill's babbling about his favorite blood-soaked goddess also was on target: "This is feeling a lot like the Bible study my parents made me do." The tiresome fanaticism plot surely has many a fan squirming. If we wanted to hear this kind of talk, we'd pick a conservative church service to attend, or something. That it is being portrayed negatively to make a larger point doesn't make it entertaining. Molly's line -- "You are destroying the world based on a book that is thousands of years old. You call that evolved?! That's the opposite of evolved!" -- was as subtle as something you'd hear on "The Newsroom." Why take a fun vampire story and make it sanctimonious? The season started so well, with great momentum coming off Season Four's cliffhanger, but the deeper the writers have delved into the Sanguinista madness, the less interesting the show has become. We're trudging toward the finale, not sprinting.

The chaos ensuing thanks to the bombing of the TruBlood factories at least makes for a nice dynamic. Here is what the world would look like if vampires came out of the closet without the promise of synthetic blood to calm fears. Everyone is armed, and most everyone is out for themselves. Some have each other's backs -- Sam and Lafayette send Merlotte's patrons packing for thinking of threatening Jessica -- but tensions are high. Vampires aren't just feeding more frequently on humans, they're turning them, as Mike the coroner made clear when he stopped by Sookie's house to suck on her toes. Pam and Tara, however, are keeping cooler heads. Pam wasn't about to give in to the new procreation mandate to help make 30 baby vamps by year's end and was prepared to set out with Tara like an undead Thelma and Louise. ("We procreate because we want to, not because some d**khead dipped in afterbirth told us to.") Thankfully Tara, with the help of a screaming Ginger, took back control by taking the head of the new sheriff, Elijah.

Those already trapped by the Authority aren't so lucky. Molly -- another short-lived and wasted guest spot, this time for Tina Majorino -- met the true death not long after admonishing Salome, Bill and crew for their beliefs. Eric, though, was saved thanks to Nora's decision to take him with her on another blood-induced trip to see Lilith. Godric appeared in their shared vision, only to be killed by Lilith in an act that further convinced Nora of Lilith's power and just may have brought Eric into the fold as well. Bill already appears to believe what he's saying, which makes the conclusion of this storyline fairly unpredictable. Will Bill and Eric go back to their heathen ways, forgetting this religious talk once/if the Sanguinstas are defeated? Or is this development here to stay? Please, Lilith, let it leave with the season.

Hoyt was ready to forget his heartache as he prepared to leave Bon Temps for Alaska. "I want you gone -- out of my head," he told Jessica. "I want to lay down, go to sleep, close my eyes and not dream about you ever again." She gave him his wish in a tender goodbye, glamouring away most of his memories of her and Jason, but the manner of his exit only makes Hoyt weaker, not stronger. She should have made him watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Jason was understandably hurt by Hoyt's rejection, even as Sookie tried to soothe him. They are all each other really has right now, aside from their many fairy cousins. Unfortunately, someone else has a claim on Sookie. Her ancestor, John William Stackhouse, promised his first fae-bearing heir (that would be Sookie) to Warlow, the killer of her parents. Warlow likely won't be the only vampire after Sookie, either, now that Russell has it in his head to hunt fairies and synthesize their blood. He wants to walk in the sun again, and he even promised as much to his new beau, Steve, as they slow-danced after slaughtering a slew of fraternity brothers (they were in the mood for Greek). Now that Sookie has tried to extinguish her powers, she may not have enough microwave fingers left to ward off Russell.

A fairy showdown would seem lame if not for the Lilith plot we've been forcefed this season. Perhaps a little fae magic -- and we can't forget Sam and Luna's impending showdown with Steve and Russell to get Emma back -- is in order to liven things up. The supernatural war will never be over in this world, but here's hoping the religious one gets benched.

Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio and will probably start calling her favorite redheaded friend a Cheeto-headed tramp.



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  • roodle

    ive given up on this show. shark and jump

  • dizzylucy

    I've been disappointed with this season, but thought this one was a bit better - no fire monster crap, and no wolf politics. A return to focus on the main characters and stories.
    Loved bad ass Vamp Tara. Pairing her off with Pam this season has been a good move, and redeemed the writers a bit for constantly making her a crying victim.
    Also enjoyed Lafayette and Sam working together, but I'm so sick of Luna.
    Tired of all the fairy stuff.
    As for the Hoyt/Jessica/Jason stuff - I didn't like the idea of him wanting her to wipe his memories and her agreeing, but the actors did such a nice job with it, I think it elevated the material. Jason was so sad then, and again when he broke down.

  • hoosie

    This was a great episode, but none of the things that made is wonderful is mentioned here. Shouldn't these recaps be written by a more dedicated viewer?

  • hapl0

    The Reverend made the episode for me when he was dealing with Emma. "What did Daddy say bout changing into human? Do you want Nigel to eat you?" *Claps hand*

    Sarah Carlson: What happened to the memorable lines from the episode section? Really enjoyed reading through those again after watching.

    If Bill's sudden conversion left me confused, Eric's gave me a headache. I'm not sure what to believe anymore.

    Took Russell long enough to give the finger to everyone. So he's a problem to the Authority regardless of the agenda after all. His accent change was brilliantly timed too.

    I really don't see the problem with his demands actually. Why wouldn't Salome agree to synthesizing fairy blood if only not to piss off a three thousand year old vamper?

    As for the Hoyt-Jess-Jason scene, couldn't care less bout Hoyt-Jess but Jason breaking down was a lil hard to watch. Should've thought bout that before sticking it in if you valued his friendship that much. Ugh.

  • Dominic

    piss off Russell because Salome wants all the power . "share " it , while still having control . Russell's the loose cannon risk , that only a character like hers would get off on taking . Now something that you and Sarah missed was the doubt coming into Nora's eyes , while Eric without his father is rudderless , needing to join the pack and pledge to its leaders . Now Nora has to save Eric ! On Jason , you forget that it's been established : once you drink a vampire's blood you are fixated on them . And they are in tune with you . He HAD to " stick it in " . It's the theme of the whole show , btw : What happens when vampires legitimately come into your life ? ( hopefully without killing you ? ) A DDG one saves your life ; how much control you gonna have ?

  • hapl0

    I don't know about Salome being a power hungry or getting off of that. I must have missed that Nora bit because she always looks the same to me, all high and shit. You're right bout Jason. I was thinking bout it when I typed but I was kinda hoping Bubba meant so much to him that he could at least put up a fight. DDG?

  • Dominic

    Drop Dead Gorgeous , especially with that 20's style flapper hair . seen the replay twice now Nora's eyes and expression change after Godric gets ripped " did ya hafta kill dad hmmmm " . lol at looks high , but rewatch and u see she gets a serious , contemplation look . they all act with their eyes to denote or connote a mood ...

  • shel

    I think Russell was the best part of this episode... I'm really hoping he kills Salome for her stupidity...
    And Steve scolding Emma for being a little girl was quit hilarious...

  • hapl0

    I'm surprised he didn't kill her that time. Afraid of Lilith, are we?

  • Shel

    This was the 10th episode of the season... not the 11th...

  • TheOriginalMRod

    This was the first episode ever where I actually liked Tara's character. Thank Lilith they aren't making her cry and be wimpy anymore, I couldn't stand her chin wiggle. And I have to admit Lafayette is my favorite character, even though in the books he should've been dead at the end of the first season. Some of this is still enjoyable, I had my doubts after last season... but I am going to remain on the fence because there are still some plot lines that either don't make any sense or they are just lame.

  • Sarah

    While the episode was dull, I fucking loved the beginning.

  • ed newman

    OK. Maybe you all can explain something to me. Bill is watching the monitors as Eric and Nora see Godric get eliminated by Lilith. He can't see what they see (or at least we can't through the monitors) yet he seems strangely happy about the scene and not all that curious what the hell they are going through. He also seems to maybe be fiddling with the controls somehow. Finally, when we cut back to Eric's POV, Lilith emerges and does her thing, destroying Godric. When Lilith does emerge, I thought I saw a bit of red laser in the background. Could it be that Bill was controlling a (holographic) show? Or am I seeing things and trying to apply logic to a totally illogical and inconsistent True Blood?

  • Maguita NYC

    I saw the red laser as well! My only hope is this storyline ends with somewhat of an impressive bang! But TB writers have proven themselves fanatics of the dull blip.

    I also with for that Marlow character, who apparently has the rights to Sookie's blood and soul, to be some kind of drop-dead (no pun intended) gorgeous vampire, who will mesmerize Sookie, and create some conflicting emotions because of his apparent responsibility in her parents' death.

    By the same stroke, have Bill madly jealous of Sookie's reaction to Marlow...

    After this season's fuck-ups and dull-downers, I'm starting to think that Alan Ball's departure might be a blessing in disguise. For let's face it, the only genuine fun inTrue Blood, is its marketing genius (TB bottles, "News reports" on vampire sightings and people discovering that their dog is actually human, etc.)

  • " Could it be that Bill was controlling a (holographic) show?"

    Yes.

    "Or am I
    seeing things and trying to apply logic to a totally illogical and
    inconsistent True Blood?"

    It's only 'illogical' and 'inconsistent' in the same way *any* story lacking in facts and data would be. Give the story time to progress and add more facts, it'll all fall into place.

  • First of all, Bill is Warlow. This is obvious to everyone, right? 'Sookie is MINE' was Bill's mantra for 3 entire seasons. Maybe it wasn't just a joke catch phrase. Russell spelled out the entire conspiracy driving True Blood, so I guess he doesn't know that a Fae breeding program and factories producing synthetic Fae blood is already underway. That's why Bill no longer needed the Tru Blood factories. Competition!

    Second of all, my opinion of the Hoyt/Jessica/Jason scene is more in line with Sarah's. I am deeply disturbed by how 'moved' everyone is by that scene.

    I don't get it. Watching a 'sweet young thing' with a beatific
    expression on her face wiping a man's mind like a sticky bar top was
    terrifying to me. How do we know Hoyt wasn't glamoured to 'ask for it'
    like those whores in Pam's brothel? Why did Jessica go through with it
    without much thought of the consequences to Hoyt's mental capacity? By
    removing a huge, WONDERFUL aka Jason, chunk of Hoyt's life the poor boy
    now has Swiss cheese for brains. What was stopping Jessica, if she really MUST hypnotize him, from planting 'suggestions' that would help him cope with his sadness and pain? Why not encourage Hoyt to yes, move on to wherever you want to go, but help him endure his pain with dignity because without the pain a person cannot
    grow and learn. You know, that thing humans are always striving to do in
    bad circumstances.

    Who wants their minds wiped of all the bad shit? Even if all the good
    shit didn't by neccessity have to go with it, the bad shit helps make
    us who we are. Hoyt is no longer who he is. Jessica not only took his
    memory but his identity as well.

    Jessica did something horrific while making a pretty speech just like
    her Daddy Bill is prone to doing. And as with her Daddy, there had to
    be a hidden agenda. We saw her become extremely indignant when Jason
    wanted her to glamour away the memory of their sex. Jessica is a bit too
    egotistical not to think twice about what she did, but she didn't. Why?
    What does Hoyt know that needed to be wiped out of his mind?

  • blorft

    That made me really hate Jessica, whose fuck-ups have mostly been interesting and endearing until this point. Granted, I'm still smarting from the "Hoyt and Jessica destroy the notion of adorable love forever," storyline in general. Blast.

    Also, I really do hope Bill is Warlow. I would like for him to have to really confront his hypocrisy and inner bad guy, but now that he and Sookie are done, does he even care what she or anyone thinks?

  • Dominic

    Why ? Hoyt asked for it ! I don't see it as wimpy as others ; but she and jason know the damage they did - this would seem to kill two birds - guilt and ties that bind - with one glamour . Also split the actor from the character to appreciate it ; it's just a great fucking scene !! best of the episode acted so well your Blast .... well in this world , adorable love is apparently not possible with a vampire that can basically enslave others to them , even tho the intent ( saving his life twice ! ) was pure

  • The parallel is Lorena glamouring the prostitute in Pam's brothel to beg Bill to 'drain me daddy, drain me to death!'. That's pretty much what Jessica did to Hoyt--drain him to a metaphorical death. Now if LORENA did this on behalf of BILL, who is to say Jessica didn't do the same to Hoyt on behalf of Bill?

  • Dominic

    NO u missed this entirely it's a MERCY " killing " of memories , so that it doesn't hurt so bad that he suicides . I think ur coming from a religious interpretaion of this ( only GOD should have the power to mess with your mind ) and it's totally not about that . It's HOYT realizing he'll die if he doesn't get the picture of those two OUTTA HIS HEAD ! And he knows she can . An act of desperation .... LOL this is the one scene Bill has nothing to do with . For all you Hoyt haters , it's now obvious that this was the planned story arc all along , from the start . It's just a cliche , but it's the guy getting a heart shredded instead of the girl . They've had Jessica feel bad cause it's her 1st love ; U think any of the other female vamps would feel like that ??? Pam would glamour and then re-introduce herself to start it all over again ! Asi said above , this whole series starts after Vampirism has " mainstreamed " The effect on human society is that A powerful Alpha female would treat her men like cattle , just as powerful Alpha men have done to women . " Adorable Love " wasn't enough , and she told her Maker and Jason exactly that .

  • Bill was a suspect in my mInd unil they had a timeline. Unless Bill's origin story is a fake, he can't be Warlow, based on the dates.

  • Bill's origin story is a fake. Too many inconsistencies, which doesn't come from the WRITING, it's indicative of the lies the character has told.

  • Bill being older would explain a lot but he'd also have to have faked who he was (since Bill Compton is in the historic register) and Lorena would have had to go along with the fake story. We've also seen flashbacks he wasn't narrating for another's benefit plus he seemed genuinely freaked by his accidental incestuous relationship. I am going to guess he really is Bikl Compton, Civil War Vet:.: and therefor not Warlow in the early 1700s.

  • $27019454

    I agree. Bill can't be Warlow. His origin story has been told to and by too many third parties for him to be Warlow.

  • Which third party told his origin story? Only Bill himself has done that, and the story he told was of stumbling across a cabin in the woods reeking of corpses yet he smelled nothing. As a depraved psycho lunatic serial killer, the smell wouldn't bother him but he forgot to add it into his story for verisimilitude.

    Lorena told Eric in PAM'S flashback that Bill was 'brand new' but this is a blatant lie. At that point, if his story were true, Bill would have been vampire for over 40 years.

    Godric said he could tell Lorena was a 'very old vampire'. He was 2000 years old so he wouldn't say this about a vampire who is only a couple of centuries old. Lorena probably was Bill's maker but she made him much longer ago than either of them admitted. Why did Lorena go along with Bill? Because she gave up her power to service Bill. She was the ultimate 'Bill Banger' aka lunatic Bill fan.

  • $27019454

    I'm gonna back off because you seem to be taking this really really (too) seriously and I'm just here for a fun TV show...mmmkay? *backs away*

  • shel

    Bill didn't actually tell his origin story to anyone... it was shown to us in a flashback... as were his visits to his family. So they weren't done for the benefit of anyone in the TB world, they were for the viewer.
    But the tintype picture was of him and his family and he has a gravestone in the bon temps cemetery.
    So unless the writers gave us 4 seasons of fake flashbacks ( in which case, shouldn't we assume every flasback is then fake... ie. Eric's making, Russell killing his parents. etc.) I think we can be sure that Bill is who he says he is. And therefore not Warlow... who probably isn't even a vampire anyway. Why would a fairy strike a deal with a vampire? It's more likely that Warlow is the fairy in that contract...

  • "Bill didn't actually tell his origin story to anyone... it was shown to
    us in a flashback... as were his visits to his family. So they weren't
    done for the benefit of anyone in the TB world, they were for the
    viewer."

    This would be true in an ordinary show with a straightforward narrative mode, but True Blood is not that. There is an unreliable narrative pov that is extremely difficult to pin down without obsessing over the thing, but bottom line is the narrator, or the person influencing the narrator, has an agenda to, well, hide his agenda. Just like corporations influence the media--the mediator between actors and spectators--- to skew their coverage by regularly presenting the masses with false narratives that withhold facts and cover up truly malevolent agendas. [this is Alan Ball, people]

    As one of the writers said in Inside the Episode, almost everything we've been told has been a lie. The trick is to figure out who has the means, motive, and opportunity to influence the narrator to twist what WE see and hear, hide key scenes from us, and restrict our 'need to know' access to straight up facts.

    False flashbacks are an homage to Hitchcock's use of the device in Stage Fright. The reference is plausible because season 1, Rene's serial killer arc echoed the Hitchcock film Frenzy.

  • For Bill to be an unreliable narrator...to no one but himself, he has to be under soneone's influence. It isn't entirely implausible but to happen with a central character would require more than the what? two episodes we have left?

    I don't deny there is a way to make Bill Warlow but at this point...it is such a betrayal of the audience that I hope not. I hope it is Russell. I would have enjoyed it being Billl but once you toss out a 1720s date, you'd have to pull some Gold-level gymnastics for me to buy that. Bill has to be so damn old that why did he even bother with the fake out in the first place. Or under someone else's spell.

    Either it is Russell, a fae (they have sharp teeth, too!) or they are introducing a new villain. Could be Eric, Salome, or other vamp but I doubt it.

  • shel

    Well... that is quite the conspiracy you've come up with for a campy HBO show... but I think I'll take a page from klingonfree and back away... cause I don't buy it, and won't buy it... and you are sold on it... so continuing this discussion isn't going to benefit anyone.
    Enjoy the show! I know I will :)

  • $23348352

    Then how come Claudine (who knows Warlow) did not recognize Bill as Warlow when he went to fae, all dressed in white and walking on water? He did not know her and she did not know him.

  • What made you think Claudine didn't recognize Bill? She didn't shout 'who are you?!' she ran away from him in fear, accused him of killing Sookie, and blasted him with her electric hands. Seems to me like Claudine knew Bill pretty damn well.

    As for the Warlow, we're dealing with vampires who had to live underground before the Revelation. Particularly in the case of serial killing vampires, frequent changes in aliases probably happened.

    Anyway, 'Warlow' is the Welsh word for 'warlock'-- a TRAITOR or deceiver. Bill has been called a traitor twice, with good reason.

  • Dominic

    Sunny i actually like your takes on Bill . You're probably wrong, because Bill had two children before Lorena ( give her due for the most over-the-top Vamp before Russell ) and wouldn't SHE know he was a vamp already ? She also called him " young " in the Pam flashback , as well as Eric . But ur right it's a " fantasy booking " ( to use a pro wrestling term ) soap opera ; who knows what they'll come up with . Does this have anything to do with the fact that Moyer is directing episodes now - " If my wife isn't the main focus , I am it's OUR show "

  • A man named William T. Compton who lived in Bon Temps and died just after the Civil War had two children. How do we know Bill didn't steal this man's identity, Somersby-style?

    The only flashback we ever got from Lorena's pov, she and 'William' were posing as 'entertainers' in Chicago, slaughtering an innocent couple and having quite a fun time of it, too. This is the man whom people think would never hurt Sookie, or tell lies, or manipulate situations.

  • Dominic

    right but u forgot the dialogue i mentioned from Pam's POV. Bill WAS as savage as Lorena in certain takes of her POV . And yes the vamp who feeds only a little as to not kill the human is the same who lied to Sookie from the beginning . So i think none of us are saying they'll be surprised at a (another) heel turn ; just that they gonna hafta SST-tt-r-rre-t-tcc-cch some backstory to do it . Unless Alex , Sam , or Kristen start directing , tho , looks like a power-couple power grab in this francise to me

  • shel

    Woops... havin't figure out this new posting thing yet... obvs. that comment wasn't directed at you, klingonfree....

  • ed newman

    Moved by that scene?? More like bored by that scene.

  • $27019454

    This episode left me ice cold. I was invested and along for the ride up to this point. But I am so tired of wondering if a WTF moment is an actual clue or just lazy writing, a plot hole, convenient storytelling or just an overlooked inconsistency.

    And Hoyt's a big baby.

  • Maguita NYC

    I'm just trying to get over how Russell's accent drastically changed from Southern Gent to good ol' Dracula the Impaler!

    Was it just me who heard Russell start speaking suddenly with a Transylvania accent?

  • ed newman

    He definitely switched accents. Not entirely sure why. Maybe to accentuate his ancientness?

  • PuraPuma

    He changed to his original accent from 3,000 years ago. Why? Not sure but that's why it changed.

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