Tuesday, August 31, 2010

True Blood - "Fresh Blood"

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Russell (Denis O'Hare) have an unconventional method for hitching a ride.
Photo Credit: HBO
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'True Blood'
Season 4 - Episode 11
"Fresh Blood"

This is the first time all season that I was actually in Arlene's subplot. The main problem before is that she would get a scene or two every other episode and they were usually the same business of her fretting over the possibility of giving to birth to a homicidal baby. If that wasn't the case, she was usually snarking at Jessica or Tara or Tommy.

This episode was a bit different. The writers were able to flesh out a lot of Arlene's misgivings about carrying Rene's child as well as her own internal conflict concerning terminating the pregnancy. Also, Carrie Preston was finally given some dialogue that could be delivered without screaming at someone and I think she sold her moments, especially while standing in Holly's Wiccan circle.

What I'm not sold on is the complete change in character in Sam Merlotte. If his interactions with the Mickens was supposed to really push his buttons and his frustrations taking care of Tommy drove him to his wit's end, I really don't think they justify his beating of Felton and subsequent bender. This seems completely forced. At least Sam and Tara got to bond again. Maybe these two damaged people can fix each other.

It's good to see that Jessica and Hoyt seem to be on the road to patching things up. Still, Hoyt's mom seems to have it in for the young vampire and I'm going to be plenty upset if she takes a shot at her. We haven't seen Mrs. Fortenberry all season and her reappearance and with plans for Jessica in the penultimate episode seems sudden.

So the kid that's about to break Jason's football record is on V. Yep... still not interested here.

The real good material, as per usual, centers on the Edgington story. Eric's using Sookie as bait to lure Edgington out into the sunlight. I've got to give Eric props for going all out on this one. He appears ready to sacrifice himself as long as he can take Russell with him. I'm sure that there will be some problems along the way, given that we have a whole episode left to wrap things up.

My favorite part though was the genuine affection between Eric and Pam. They are completely bitch to each other most of the time, but the really do love each other in a very familial sense. Hopefully they'll both survive the finale so we can see more of this relationship. As I've stated before, I'd like to see more Maker/Child moments between Bill and Jessica, too.

"Fresh Blood" was certainly better that last week's drag of an episode, but 'True Blood' hasn't bounced back to the high quality of the mid-season hours. They've got one more to end the season on a winner. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait two weeks to see it.

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