Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer, Nelsan Ellis, Alexander Skarsgard, Carrie Preston, Deborah Ann Woll, Jim Parrack, Kristin Bauer Von Straten, Todd Lowe, Kevin Alejandro, Fiona Shaw, Lindsay Pulsipher, Marshall Allman, Jessica Tuck
Writer: Brian Buckner, based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels
Director: Scott Winant
Network: HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM
Airdate: July 3, 2011
Even people who have read Charlaine Harris’ books and have some idea of what happens to Eric this season will be wowed by exactly how it is handled in the TRUE BLOOD episode “You Smell Like Dinner.” Granted, for awhile, everybody’s agendas seem so separate – we even get flashbacks for Bill – that at first the hour seems to be suffering from a little attention deficit disorder, but Brian Buckner’s script pulls everything together very deftly for a tremendous finale.
BE WARNED – SPOILERS
Up in Hotshot, Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is being held captive. It turns out his loving were-panther girlfriend Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher) has been brought back to town by her permanently angry fiancé to keep the breed from dying out. In order to accomplish this, Crystal needs to get pregnant by Jason, which means they can be a couple – but for the baby to be a were-panther, Jason has to be a were-panther, too. Crystal and her fiancé shift into panther form and start biting the tied-up Jason.
In other shapeshifter news, Tommy (Marshall Allman) figures out that big brother Sam’s (Sam Trammell) “anger management” group is really a meeting of fellow shapeshifters. The siblings form a tentative truce.
We see how Bill (Stephen Moyer) first became involved with Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck) and the American Vampire League, learn the origins of Tru Blood (would you believe Louis Pasteur?) and discover that Nan and her people were behind putting Bill on the throne of Louisana, though Bill continues to lie that there’s nothing special about Sookie (Anna Paquin), though he knows she really has fairy blood.
Although she’s still angry at Bill, Sookie goes to him for help with her problem with Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), who has purchased Sookie’s house, which means he can now come and go as he pleases. Bill has an informant in the witches’ coven that now includes Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and his lover Jesus (Kevin Alejandro). When Tara (Rutina Wesley) comes back to Bon Temps to visit Sookie, cousin Lafayette brings Tara along to the coven meeting.
Bill, as king, tries without success (not that he expects any) to get Eric to sell Sookie her house back. Bill then instructs Eric as the local vampire sheriff to do something about the coven, as they have power over the dead – which could be bad news for undead vamps. When the coven defies Eric, he starts to attack their leader Marnie (Fiona Shaw) – Tara tries to stake Eric, Eric attacks Tara, Lafayette adds his power to the circle and, zap, Eric loses his memory completely. Sookie encounters him on the road – Eric doesn’t recognize her and doesn’t seem to know who he is, either.
This isn’t even getting into the subplots with Sam’s love life, Tara’s girlfriend, Arlene’s (Carrie Preston) fears about her baby, the ups and downs of Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and the anti-vamp protesters congregating outside Eric’s nightclub Fangtasia. An awful lot of plot and characters are crammed into the episode, but aside from the Hotshot were-panther stuff, which so far is entirely separate from the main storyline but still cool because, well, actual panthers, everything weaves together very deftly. It’s particularly great to see that while there’s a suggestion that Bill might be behind Eric’s amnesia problems, nothing might have happened had Tara not been brought into the situation by family and then had a characteristic bout of reflexive attempted staking.
The back story, showing that Bill’s ascent is tied to the American Vampire League’s integration ambitions, is both clever and fun. A few scenes set in London allow Moyer to speak with something close to his real British accent, as well as allowing us to see more of Tuck as the funny-in-her-severity vamp politico Nan. The scene of cordial hostility – or hostile cordiality – between Bill and Eric is delightful and Skarsgard shows that he can switch personalities entirely in an eyeblink when Eric is hit by the witch spell.
Tara, however, gets the best line of the episode. As Sookie apologizes that Tara has returned home to more weirdness and crises, Tara just shrugs. “It’s Bon Temps.” We wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Click on link: TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 review – “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’”
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