Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer, Nelsan Ellis, Joe Manganiello, Carrie Preston, Deborah Ann Woll, Jim Parrack, Kristin Bauer Von Straten, Todd Lowe, Kevin Alejandro, Fiona Shaw, Lindsay Pulsipher, Marshall Allman, Jessica Tuck, Dale Raoul, Janina Gavander, Vedette Lim
Writer: Raelle Tucker, based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Network: HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM
Airdate: July 31, 2011
TRUE BLOOD is a show where everything can, and frequently does, heat up all at once. That’s the case literally and figuratively in “I Wish I Was the Moon,” with a major house fire and flashbacks to a witch-burning and multiple vampire conflagrations, plus all kinds of relationship havoc with just about everybody. The Sookie (Anna Paquin)/Bill (Stephen Moyer)/Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) takes a giant leap forward for all parties concerned, in ways that neither the audience nor the characters have been expecting.
BEWARE – SPOILERS
But first, that house fire. Arlene (Carrie Preston) and Terry (Todd Lowe) awake to find their home ablaze, courtesy of a book of matches that spontaneously ignited. There seems to be some tie to adorable baby Mikey and an extremely creepy baby doll that’s been given to him.
Werewolf Alcide (Joe Mangianello) is unhappy to learn that his girlfriend Debbie (Brit Morgan) has joined the localShreveportwerewolf pack without telling him, but when she urges him, he reluctantly agrees to accompany her to a full moon meeting.
Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) seek protection inMexicoat the home of Jesus’s powerful brujo (warlock) grandfather. Per Grandpa’s direction, they bring him a rattlesnake to sacrifice. Grandpa makes the snake bite Jesus in the throat and instructsLafayetteto save him.Lafayettebecomes possessed by the spirit of another brujo and makes healing magic.
Tara’s (Rutina Wesley)New Orleansgirlfriend Naomi (Vedette Lim) comes to Bon Temps, furious atTarafor lying to her about her identity, but ultimately forgiving.
We and Sam (Sam Trammell) learned earlier in the season that if a shape-shifter kills a family member, he or she can take on the form of other humans. Sam’s brother Tommy (Marshall Allman) killed their parents and while Sam is away, Tommy shapeshifts into Sam. Tommy uses the opportunity to fire an astonished Sookie. He then has sex with Sam’s girlfriend, and is so rude to her afterwards that she flees in fury.
Knowing from Pam’s accidental revelation that Eric is at Sookie’s house, Bill heads over there with a group of his human soldiers. He arrives just as Eric and Sookie are starting to make love. Bill has Eric arrested. When Sookie asks why, Bill says both that an amnesiac, witch-bespelled Eric is a danger to all vampires and that Eric is a master manipulator who would say or do anything to have Sookie. Sookie is livid and says it’s got to be one of the other – Eric either is bespelled or faking it, he can’t be both.
When Sookie can’t get Bill to release Eric, she seeks help from her now-policeman brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), only to find him terrified that he’ll turn into a were-panther under the full moon. Sookie tries to reassure Jason that she’ll stand by him no matter what, but he slips off into the woods. Trying to find Jason, Sookie encounters Alcide and Debbie, who explain to her that shapeshifting is hereditary – Jason won’t turn into a were-panther just because he’s been bitten.
Jason is found by Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll). They share confidences with each other and both are uncomfortable about the attraction between them, as Jessica is the lover of Jason’s best friend Hoyt (Jim Parrack).
In a cell with Pam (Kristin Bauer Von Straten), who is rapidly decaying thanks to a witch curse, the still-amnesiac Eric is brought up to date on what sort of a vampire he was. He is horrified and tells Pam he doesn’t wish to remember his old self.
Witch Marnie (Fiona Shaw), locked up alone and terrified in King Bill’s dungeon, pleads for help from the spirit that possessed her before, summons and is taken over by the spirit of Antonia Gavilan, a witch who was burned at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition, but whose powers were able to force many vampires (including those who were priests and nuns) to burn themselves to death in the sun. Antonia-in-Marnie summons one of the vampire sheriffs, who she knows as one of her tormentors, Father Luis, and magically forces him to bow to her.
Bill gets permission from the Vampire Authority to subject Eric to the True Death. In order to accomplish this, Bill fibs a little about the danger Eric poses as a vampire under the control of a witch. Faced with being staked, Eric asks for Pam’s release – she’s not much of a threat to Bill in her current state – and for Bill to deliver a message to Sookie. Eric wants Sookie to know that he learned about love from her. Eric also says he can tell that Sookie still cares for Bill. Eric hopes Sookie and Bill can get back together. Bill, astonished, asks why, and Eric says he wants Sookie to be happy with someone.
Pam, free, goes after Tara and Naomi. Sookie is found in the woods by Eric, who tells her that the king has set him free. Sookie and Eric make love in the forest, and a very depressed Bill drinks alone.
There is so much going on with such passion that even when we can’t tell how some parts will fit with the whole – the diabolical but cute baby, Jesus’ grandfather – we’re drawn into the sheer intensity of what’s happening. Seeing Tommy gain the power of human impersonation is pretty alarming, and Trammell does a terrific job of channeling Allman’s nervous, impulsive performance when Tommy is in Sam’s body.
If the lore we are getting is true, it’s nice to know that Jason is not going to be stuck in Hotshot with the dopey were-panthers in future. It’s possible Alcide has it wrong and Jason will turn, but the heating-up triangle between Jason, Jessica and Hoyt has a lot more promise. Woll, who has superb chemistry with all of her scene partners, achieves great affinity with Kwanten in their sequence with one another.
Marnie/Antonia is very intriguing and creates an engrossing tug of war with our sympathies. This is no hateful, high-handed mage in the spirit of the late Mariann Forester. On the one hand, both Marnie and Antonia have been heinously wronged and we can’t blame them for being angry, let alone for wanting to protect themselves. On the other hand, we don’t want any of “our” vamps to self-immolate as a result of witch vengeance.
And then, oh, the things those vamps do for love. Eric’s speech about Sookie and even his automatic fealty to King Bill in the face of Bill’s harsh intentions are very touching – and so is Bill’s amazement in the face of the changes in Eric, and his mercy in letting Eric go.
There are also some simply great moments. Bauer Von Straten could hold her own in a deadpan snark-fest with anyone on TV – when Pam gets a speech about what she thinks of Bill, she’s hilarious. A confrontation between Sookie and Bill has a lot of dimension and heat, and the sheer craziness at the brujo’s home makes us feel almost as worried and disoriented as Lafayette clearly does.
All the way around, “I Wish I Was the Moon” is a splendid episode. Unless, of course, one doesn’t like all those mushy sentiments. In which case, never fear, more violence and insanity is surely just around the corner.
AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW HOW YOU FEEL – COMMENT BELOW!
Click on link: TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 – “Me and the Devil”
Click on link: TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 premiere review – “I’m Alive and On Fire”
Click on link: TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 premiere review – “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin”
Click on link: TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 review – “You Smell Like Dinner”
Click on link: TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 premiere review – “She’s Not There”
Click on link: TRUE BLOOD – THE COMPLETE SEASON 3 DVD review
Click on link: Exclusive photos from the TRUE BLOOD Paley Fest screening
Click on link: Exclusive photos from the TRUE BLOOD comic book signing featuring some of the cast
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Article: Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 – “I Wish I Were the Moon”