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“True Blood,” “Cold Grey Light of Dawn” — The Sun!

By Sarah Carlson | TV | August 8, 2011 |

By Sarah Carlson | TV | August 8, 2011 |

Revenge was swift coming from the witches of “True Blood” — Bill’s spy, Katie, didn’t last two minutes in Sunday’s seventh episode of Season Four, “Cold Grey Light of Dawn,” for her betrayal of Marnie and the local coven. And as Antonia, now fully inhabiting Marnie’s body, used phrases such as “avenge our torment” and “exact retribution,” you know she’s not screwing around about battling vampires. This war is personal, and it’s potentially more deadly than those the vampires have seen in past seasons, from angry evangelicals armed with wooden bullets in Season Two to deranged werewolves hyped up on vampire blood in Season Three. No, Antonia is filled with rage from abuses she suffered at the hands of vampires during the Spanish Inquisition, and more importantly, Antonia is the only human to ever find a way to control vampires by forcing them into the sun to meet their deaths. She’s pissed and powerful, and Episode Seven had the Bon Temps and Shreveport vamps, as well as the humans who love them, terrified. The undead contemplated their lives and what little humanity remains in them as the suspense built to one of the series’ better cliffhangers. Most importantly, the episode built enough sympathy for the monsters that don’t often deserve it. Everyone in “True Blood” is both hero and villain. And at this point, they’re all out for blood.

The non-vampire storylines progressed but still took a backburner role to the witch war. Jason can’t get Jessica out of his thoughts and is hesitant to talk to Hoyt when his friend tries to spill his concerns with his and Jessica’s relationship. Sam learns through fighting with Luna that Tommy tried out skinwalking as Sam and slept with her, and he demands Tommy leave the area and not come back — “You have made a fool of me for the last time!” Holly and Andy try out a first date, but Andy is withdrawing from V and abruptly leaves. Alcide and Debbie are inducted into the Shreveport pack, but as they head back to find Sookie, who they think is still wandering the woods looking for Jason, they instead come across her and Eric’s midnight romp in the woods. Alcide isn’t thrilled. And Lafayette and Jesus have choice words for Don Bartolo and his rattlesnake attack on Jesus. The act was to demonstrate Lafayette’s abilities as a medium, Jesus’ grandfather said. He wouldn’t have let Jesus die — “You have the magic,” he said. Lafayette is in for another scare back working at Merlotte’s. While cooing at baby Mikey from the kitchen he turns to see the same ghost Mikey saw as Arlene and Terry’s house burned, a young black woman in ’20s dress, this time singing in French.

Even though everyone is dealing with serious troubles in their lives, Tara, of course, takes her woes the worst. After Pam nearly kills her and Naomi outside by Merlotte’s, only to be stopped by a group of onlookers with cameras, Tara sends Naomi back to New Orleans and herself on a drunken walk down a road at night. Tara loses everyone she loves, she tells Naomi, but is that true? She lost Eggs at the hands of Jason, and while she was kidnapped by Franklin Mott, tried to kill him and later watched him die, it’s not as if she loved him. Tara has never been able to handle the world and her circumstances in it, making her ripe for the picking by Antonia, who has escaped Bill’s prison. She can see Tara has been hurt by vampires — “It’s in your rage. It’s in mine, too.” — and, showing her who she truly is and what happened to her in the 1600s, easily recruits her to bring them down. With a little coaxing, Tara gets Holly to join others from the coven in helping, although they think they’ve signed up to chant along with Marnie, not a 400-year-old spirit. At Fangtasia, Pam, who now resembles a zombie, has Dr. Ludwig (Marcia de Rousse) tend to her, but Ludwig can only cosmetically heal the rotting on the outside. Pam is still being destroyed from within.

Marnie escaped with the help of Luis, who sent a message, and a bullet, to Bill of Antonia’s return and the coming “resurrection.” Luis kills himself before Bill can kill him, and immediately Bill alerts his sheriffs and commands that all vampires be chained with silver that night to avoid being lured to meet the sun through Antonia’s spell. He refuses to answer killing with killing because it is the vampires’ use of violence that got them into this mess. He visits Sookie and Eric, who have just finished a marathon of sex from the woods to her foyer to her bedroom, and implores Sookie to keep Eric chained during the day. Bill also summons Jessica and has her chained next to him in one of the mansion’s jail cells. The vampires turn a tad wistful at the prospect of dying for good. Struggling with pain from the burning silver, Bill and Jessica share touching moments as she reassures him he’s been a good father figure to her and he tells her that while she may not be human, her heart still is. Her falling out of love with Hoyt doesn’t mean she’s lost her humanity, he says. Each reassure the other how important they’ve been in their lives, and truly, their relationship arc since the end of Season One has been nice to follow. As for Sookie and Eric, they continue their pillow talk from the night before, with Eric wishing he could continue life without his memory and Sookie admitting that while she wouldn’t have let normal Eric into her bed, she may have had more feelings for him than she realized. They’re happy for the moment, but if the situation can’t last, can their relationship?

Jason stops by early that evening to check on Sookie and let her know he didn’t turn into a werepanther, and by then, the witches have gathered and the spell is starting. Sookie briefly informs him of the impending danger before running back to Eric’s cubby, and at the thought of Jessica dying, Jason hightails it to the mansion to protect her. A strong wind blows through the air, indoors and out, as Antonia, Tara, Holly and the other coven members chant the spell to compel vampires to meet the sun. Eric, Bill and Jessica struggle against their chains, and Pam struggles to get out of her coffin in Fangtasia’s basement, crying “The sun! The sun!” Sookie is there to hold Eric down, just as Ginger (Tara Buck) sprawls atop Pam’s coffin to keep it from opening. Bill is weighed down by the extra chains he had placed across his body, but because he couldn’t bear to see Jessica in as much pain, her load was lighter. She escapes. Jason is almost to the front door before he is knocked down by a security guard. As Jessica cries out “The sun!” one more time, she opens the doors and faces the bright light just before the credits roll.

Being a young vampire, she can survive several minutes in the sun, although she’ll burn. I doubt Jessica will die, but her being put in so much danger only brings more humans — namely Hoyt and Jason — into the pro-vampire fold of the war. Tara has set herself apart from those she loves with her choice to aid Antonia, especially Sookie, and after this close call, forgiveness won’t be easy. And it shouldn’t. Tara has had a hard road, but the choices she makes out of self-pity can make her more dangerous than the undead. By playing for revenge, she’s only invited more players to the opposing team.

Favorite moments:

  • “I. Am not. A zombie!”

  • “I swear to God I’ll burn this fuckin’ taco stand to the ground!”

  • “You hungry? I could make us sloppy Joe’s.”

  • “I’m listening to your heart beat.”

  • “It appears the reunion was a happy one?”

  • “I felt like a giant-ass puppet for your ghost uncle!”

  • “They were on sale.”

    Sarah Carlson has a front-row seat to the decline of the newspaper industry and lives in Alabama with her overly excitable Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

    Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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