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"True Blood" — "Somebody That I Used to Know": You Don't Know Me That Well

By Sarah Carlson | TV Reviews | July 31, 2012 | Comments ()


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The eighth episode of "True Blood's" fifth season has one of the more apt titles of the series in "Somebody That I Used to Know." That's how it feels watching most of characters, whose motivations and alliances change on a whim. Remember: all the action is taking place over the course of a few days, and at this point, most viewers are excused for giving up trying to understand just what is taking place -- we'd need to be high on the blood of Lilith to have a clue. As if on cue, however, the writers threw a lengthy sex scene to keep us distracted from the ridiculousness. Now that's the "True Blood" we used to know. The first half of the season was solid; these past two episodes, though, don't bode well for the conclusion.

With Roman out, the blasphemy game has been given a 180 -- now, to not want to treat all humans as blood bags is considered a sin against Lilith herself. Mainstreaming is for heretics. Eric and Bill have been playing it safe, toeing whichever line needed toeing to help them stay undead. But just as a visit from Godric reminded Eric of the craziness around him, a little peer pressure from Salome and a painful memory of his own daughter begging for immortality has Bill rethinking his stance against the Sanguinistas. That, or he's playing them. He didn't get to be king of Louisiana for nothing. Still, why Bill and Eric haven't headed home -- their original mission to recapture Russell having been thwarted and then twisted around -- is unclear. So is the desire of the writers to dwell on religious fanaticism -- it's getting in the way of Russell and Steve's flirting.

Also troubling is the transformation of Hoyt. He may want Jessica to issue a press release apologizing for sleeping with Jason, but she's not going to, buddy. Back away from the hate group. Unfortunately for Hoyt, the writers have never given him much of a story or a purpose outside of his relationship with Jessica, so now that the two are apart, he's lost. He's turning to anything and everything -- from fang-banging to fang-hating -- to find a sense of belonging, and it's sad to see. The character deserves better.

At least Tara is having a better time in her new role, finding a mother figure in Pam and now a plaything of sorts in the boutique owner, Tracy. (For non-book readers: Tara, who is completely different, is the one who owns the shop in the novels.) But glamouring an innocent person into being her slave only sends Tara further away from what she was and more in line with what Tara, as a human, abhorred. Her cousin Lafayette, at least, found a bit of closure over the loss of Jesus. Real or not, the two of them holding hands was the sweetest moment of the episode, with the tender and surreal interaction between Sam and Luna skinwalking as Sam coming in second. And Alcide's acrobatic romp with Rikki? Nothing short of impressive. Now that's the "True Blood" many of you have been clamoring for.
 
The episode was thankfully short of an appearance from the fire monster, but plenty of entities were being channeled. Lafayette did his best Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost impression at the request of Arlene and Holly and soon called up the spirit of the Iraqi woman Terry killed on Patrick's orders. She'll only call off the Ifrit if Terry kills Patrick, an ultimatum that sent Patrick fleeing. Sookie, meanwhile, inadvertently psychically bonded to the vampire, Warlo, that killed her parents, a vampire that came back in a weird energy form to threaten her. Claude seemed genuinely freaked out at Sookie bonding with the vampire. Just what has she gotten herself into now? Whatever it is, she's back to being on her own, aside from Jason. Bill is busy playing along with the Lilith Freaks and Alcide is back to not being in a pack (and has Rikki to distract him). And Eric? He's the only one looking around and wondering just what the hell is going on. I know how he feels.

Favorite moments:

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  • Andy: "Shut up, butt plug."
  • Bill: "We were in the presence of God." Eric: "We were high as f**king kites."
  • Russell: "First, may I say god has the most beautiful tits I have ever seen. Now, I have never been called devout, but watching Lilith shoot out of a blood pool while I sucked down a bride to the dulcet strains of 'You Light Up My Life,' well, praise Lilith! Praise Jesus! Praise Moses' c**k! I am born again!"
  • Lafayette: "Thanks." Jesus: "For what?" Lafayette: "Are you f**kin' real?" Jesus: "Does it matter?"
  • Andy: "I hate this goddamn town."
  • Lafayette: "Hookah, I ain't in the helpin' business no more. I'm in the f**k off while I smoke a blunt business and business about the pick way the f**k up."
  • Jason: "Well this was a goddamn bust, fairy boy."
  • Tara: "Listen you white trash f**k t**t, we're not in high school anymore. So if you let anymore of that racist bulls**t fall out of your mouth, I'm gonna rip open your heart and fry it up with some grits -- and collard greens."
  • Tara: "I thought you were mad." Pam: "You don't know me that well. My mad face and my happy face are the same."
  • Eric: "What are you doing?" Bill: "Evolving."

Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic at Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • Dominic

    " has one of the more apt titles of the series in “Somebody That I Used
    to Know.” That’s how it feels watching most of characters, whose
    motivations and alliances change on a whim. " Sarah , Sarah how long have you been watching the show ? Are you just now seeing that the storyline of an episode is DIRECTLY related to the title ?? that the characters act or do things described by the title ? Remember when Bill didn't kill Eric lat year and he ran right to Sookie and they went at it in the forest , under a full moon ? The title was " I Wish I Was The Moon Tonight " And the character all referred to " it's a full moon tonight " ? I have never had any problem understanding what's taking place , or where the story might twist and turn . This one was rather obvious . Even Claude "turning away" when sookie mentions seeing thru a vampire's eyes . The really challenging part must be finding a old blues or folk song which has the title they want . I've always wondered which inspiration came first : the storyline , or the song with the perfect title for it ???

  • hapl0

    You would think that Eric uttering, "What are you doing?" at the end would mean insta-death if the council hates mainstreaming so much but no.

  • CitizenErased

    I couldn't watch the whole episode due to a laptop meltdown and I don't even care. Really, are we going with this Bill is Evil to Blend in with Bad Guys sh*t again? Or is he actually evil? He WAS my favourite character and now I grow weary. I'm Team Sheriff Andy now :p

  • buell

    Making out with yourself will now be called samsterbation.

  • Jim

    It's a pity “You don’t know me that well. My mad face and my happy face are the same.” is a little long for a t-shirt.

  • Dominic

    Half on front half on back

  • klingonfree

    But how great was it to see/hear Lafayette back to his old badass mufuking self? I love that man from his false eyelashes on down.

  • roodle

    the words jump and shark come to mind..

  • SCG

    Speaking of the psychic link thing, I was wondering why Bill didn't sense Jessica's peril and run to help her? I was hoping that was what would get Bill and Eric back to Bon Temps, but no such luck.

  • Dominic

    obviously, it ruins both subplots if Bill leaves JUST to save Jessica . Then Hoyt can't see the light with his friends/ evolve his "hate Jessica/Jason" feelings and Bill can't worm his way into to the Council . And Eric needs to save Norma . Give the writers a little credit ;the Hoyt/Jess story has run for 3 seasons now .

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Yep... this is so far from making sense to me, it feels like they aren't even in Louisiana anymore. I guess that was why they made a point of going to New Orleans to romp down Bourbon Street.

  • Dominic

    Yes Eric/Bill haven't been in Louisiana since they were taken . Not where the Council building is , which is kinda good cause a story happpens AWAY from Bon Temps . But if they wanted a blood orgy , Bourbon street would be perfect . Y'know , I think this walk down "Bourbon St " looks a lot like the Twilight scene of RPat and KStew going to the island but stopping to walk thru a street festival (from Dawn 1 ). The background is almost the same , sans taxi driver about to die . funny if TB writers were influenced by that ....

  • John W

    This show is in dire need of some true deaths.

  • " inadvertently psychically bonded to the vampire"

    Nothing inadvertent about it. Sookie is already psychically bonded to two vampires, Eric and Bill.

    That's what vampire blood does. "I'll always know where you are. I'll always be able to feel your emotions". If that's not a psychic connection I don't know what is.

    Your choice: Eric or Bill.
    BTW 'Warlo' is actually Warlock in Welsh, something these British Fairies know something about. The murderer of Sookie's parents is a practitioner of dark magic.

    In related news, why didn't Bill just heal his horribly suffering daughter? No need to turn her could have just given her a drop or two of his poison...errr..healing elixir.

  • Ozioma

    Considering how creepy he is thus far, I can see Warlo being the type to glamour the parents of a human family that's connected to the fairies, waltz into their newborn's room and drip some blood into the baby's mouth. Kind of like Azazel from 'Supernatural,' in a way.

  • Ozioma

    Didn't Denis O'Hare say that Russell was a druid priest when he was turned? I think that they're going to make Warlo be Russell's maker, just to make him even 'scarier' than he is.

  • logan

    Bill's just faking right, just going along with the crowd right? If he's really evil why go and make him interesting after all this time?
    Oh and Pam OWNS this show HBO could spin her and the bar off into their own show easily.

  • Aislinn

    I'm telling myself that Bill's endgame is to be the Guardian of the Authority, kill/bury Salome and Nora, and get the whole boat back onto mainstreaming shores.

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