Sunday, July 11, 2010

True Blood episode recap “Release Me” (S2E7)

The gods bless his stubborn heart: Andy Bellefleur is STILL chasing after his nemesis, “that pig.” He runs through the woods, falling face down in pig poo, but keeps after it. It’s a good thing too, because things are getting out of hand at Maryann’s sex zombie orgy: Sam is pinned down on a rock, arms behind his back; Zombie Tara comes up and licks his face, crooning to him to give into it because it “feels soooooo gooooood!” Sam cringes and pleads with her but she just turns and faces Maryann, who in addition to wearing the minotaur mask and flickering in and out has now grown those talons instead of hands. As Andy staggers into the clearing – “What the fuck is this?” – he inadvertently squeezes off a round (from his revolver, you perverts), which distracts everyone just long enough for Sam to break free and make a run for it. All the zombies start to howl, horribly, as Maryann chases her prey. As he runs for his life, he catches sight of an owl watching him from a tree top; shedding his clothes, Sam shifts into an owl and flies away to safety, leaving Maryann to pant and growl after him in impotent rage.

Back at the orgy, which now is all just mostly naked zombies wandering around vacantly, Andy is trying to figure things out. He catches hold of Terry’s arm but Zombie Terry just turns and snaps his cousin’s wrist, sending him screaming to the ground. Zombie Arlene just laughs and laughs.

In the basement of the Light of Day Church, Hugo is freaking out what with his not-so mild case of claustrophobia. Sookie starts sifting through the facts: the Newlins knew who she was before she got here [the mind-reading capability part, not the Jason Stackhouse’s sister part], just like they knew when she was arriving at the airport, so clearly there’s a spy in the Dallas vampires’ nest. Loyal to Isabelle, Hugo wonders if Stan might be behind it. Sookie is also concerned that Bill will have felt her fear by now and is worried that he’ll come to save her – since the Light of Day Church is on the verge of barbecuing a 2,000 vampire, they’re pretty tough.

Bill, for his part, is completely unable to get past Lorena and out of the hotel room. She’s stronger than he is. He growls at her, wondering why she’s even here and that sends us into another flashback, this time to the 1940s (I think - I missed the title card). Lorena has brought Bill another treat, this time a dancer from a musical’s chorus line, but he just sets the girl free. You see, Bill Compton is no longer a fun vampire: he doesn’t want to bathe in blood anymore or be cruel just for sport – he doesn’t like Lorena’s games and loathes her. She spits: “You are a vampire and they are food!” but Bill is back on his self-righteous horse, reveling in his conscience. He snarls that he will never again be what she wants him to be.

Back in the present, Bill promises that if any harm comes to Sookie, he’ll absolutely stake Lorena right through her shriveled heart. “It’s true,” she breathes, “You really are in love with a human … that’s so tragic, it’s funny.” She laughs and laughs while Bill just glowers.

Eric and Isabelle, gorgeously decked out in black leather, are surveilling the Fellowship of the Sun’s compound. Eric is concerned that Sookie and Hugo have been in there too long but Isabelle says – and pay attention to this – “There is no sign of alarm and if Hugo were in danger, I would know it.” So, despite his claustrophobia, Hugo is not really afraid. That bastard – he’s the traitor! To pass the time, Eric asks Isabelle what is so attractive about having a relationship with a human. She replies she likes that humans feel everything so passionately and fervently, perhaps because their lives are so “temporary.” Eric: “Yes, they certainly don’t keep well.” Heh. They wonder how it is possible that these Church folks have managed to overpower Godric and keep him locked up for so long. Eric thinks that it reeks of something other than human.

In the afterglow of their God-sanctioned, adulterous sex, Jason wonders why Sarah is crying again. This time it’s because she’s so happy! Now she knows what love is! “Wow,” says Jason, fear in his eyes, “That’s intense, huh?” Sarah, totally manic, jumps up and starts pulling on her clothes, insisting that they have to go tell Steve right now - vow of honesty, remember? Jason thinks this is a Really Bad Idea as Steve has lots and lots of guns. He convinces her to wait until after the Meet the Sun ceremony and she rushes off, fluttery and giddy. Jason leans back, not knowing what the hell to do now that the girl of his dreams is a nutjob.

Jessica and Hoyt, meanwhile, are making out on her bed. They delightedly discover that they are both virgins and decide that they want to be each other’s firsts. But not tonight: it’s nearly morning and Jessica gets sick if she doesn’t rest during the day. She asks if they could just cuddle: “Just don’t get upset if I look a little … dead.” Aw!

Eric and Isabelle have returned to the hotel where Stan scoffs at their refusal to attack the Light of Day church. Eric doesn’t want to hear about it and accuses Stan of having murdered Godric and wanting to start a war with the humans to distract the vampires from what he has done. He throws up his hands, saying that he doesn’t even care if they start a war because if Godric is really gone, he will never be able to replace what he has lost. As he lets himself into his room, a single bloody tear tracks down his cheek.

Tara and Eggs wake up on the couch in Sookie’s living room, not remembering how they got there. They think maybe they’ve been smoking too much of Maryann’s weed – it’s “serious shit,” according to Eggs.

Sam sneaks into his restaurant and pulls a handgun out of a hiding place in the fireplace.

In the morning, a chipper Steve and Gabe visit their captives. Sookie warns them that they’re gonna get themselves killed, plus they’re not very good Christians: “Jesus would be ashamed of you!” Steve has some questions for them and Hugo is ready to answer because he’s panicking. In fact, before Steve can even ask anything, Hugo has given him their real names and that they were sent here by the vampires to search for Godric. Steve is rather surprised and upset to learn that this telepathic spy is the sister of his star recruit. He immediately stands and leaves the basement, Gabe trailing behind him. Sookie concentrates and reaches out to Barry the Telepathic Bellhop, asking him to get in touch with Bill and let him know the 4-1-1.

Bored now: Bill and Lorena are struggling to stay awake in the encroaching dawn, but she refuses to sleep on the chance that he’ll try to escape. It’s icky when vampires stay up too late: they start to bleed from their ears and noses. He begs her to let him call Eric to marshal a rescue effort. Lorena just laughs: “Eric is the reason I’m here. He wants the girl, Bill, let him have her.” Bill reels.

At Church camp, Jason has decided to get the hell out and away from that crazy Sarah. Steve and Gabe catch him with his duffel bags and throw him into the back of Steve’s SUV.

Back in Bon Temps, Andy is telling Sheriff Bud about the sex zombie orgy. For his part, Bud is not exactly buying it seeing how Andy has spent his recent days more drunk than not. And over at the Stackhouse property, Maryann staggers into the house, feet bloody, a dead rabbit dangling from her hand. She says she spent the night communing with nature and when this little guy hopped by, she thought yummy - rabbit stew! She wanders off, calling for Carl to give him the bunny. Tara mutters, “She’s so fuckin’ weird.” Eggs: “Yeah, isn’t it great?”

Now Gabe has a knife to Jason’s throat. Jason thinks it’s because of the thing with Sarah but Steve is WILD about the Sookie connection. Take care of him, he snarls to Gabe.

Sam finds Daphne at the dock by that pond. He’s figured out that the scars on her back are how Maryann got Daphne to whore for her, and he’s furious that he opened up to her. Sam: “How can you do this to your own kind?” She tells him that Maryann saved her and gave her a whole new life with no fear, nothing but love. Now comes the exposition where Daphne answers all the Maryann questions Sam has/we have.

Q: Why Maryann is after Sam? A: Because he got away from her once and she can’t control him. Q: What’s with the black zombie eyes? A: That’s Maryann’s energy inside the regular humans but she can’t get inside “supernaturals” (i.e. shapeshifters, vamps, etc.) that way.  Q: What is Maryann? A: She’s been called Holly, Lilith, Gaia, Isis but she’s really a maenad*, a handmaiden of Dionysus who, according to Daphne, is also referred to as “the horned god” – Satan. Lust, anger, excess – Maryann brings it out in people and nurtures it.  Q: If Sam gives himself up, will Maryann go away and leave the townsfolk alone? A: Not likely – she’s having too much fun.

Hugo is now REALLY starting to panic and as he lets his guard down, Sookie picks up on the thought that he is the spy. He explains that he used to be like Sookie, “an emancipated thinker” which he says using his sarcastic voice, nearly addicted to the fabulous vampire sex. When Isabelle refused to turn him, he decided that he was being used and that’s when he turned to the Church. Sookie rolls her eyes: “If you’re so important to them, why are you stuck here with me? You’re nothing but a fang-bangin’ traitor to them.” Hugo shouts for Gabe to let him out and Sookie just laughs at him.

Upstairs, the Newlins are welcoming their flock to the Church, ready for the sleepover/lock-in that will precede the Meet the Sun ceremony. Steve says he needs to talk to Sarah in private about Jason. On the other side of the compound, Gabe is getting ready to kill Jason when he mentions that he’ll do the same to his “whore of a sister.” Being a good Southern boy, Jason immediately takes offense – “Don’t you ever talk about my sister!” – and pummels the crap out of Gabe. He grabs the knife and runs off.

Ooh – it’s Lafayette, on the phone, selling V and crimping his eyelashes. Looks like our boy is back.

Arlene comes running into Merlotte’s all in a tizzy. She grabs Tara, who is canoodling with Eggs, and says she needs to talk her NOW. She thinks she may have done something bad: she blacked out when she was with Terry last night [at Maryann’s orgy], and she thinks she might have date-raped him. Tara is beginning to slowly connect the dots. Then Andy stomps into the bar, bellowing for Terry, cast on his arm. When Tara asks what happened, he snaps that he’s “not talkin’ to you, devil-worshipper!” Sam pokes his head out as Andy continues, that he saw everyone, all those devil zombies “turnin’ this town into an orgy from hell.” He leaves, everyone laughing at him. Everyone except a glowering Sam who knows exactly what he’s talking about.

When Jessica wakes up, Hoyt has filled the room with candles and rose petals. She smiles and says it’s perfect, which pleases him since he thinks she’s perfect and wants their first time to be as perfect as she is. She shushes him: “Hoyt, just take off your pants.”

It’s dark now and Jason is still running down a dirt road. Sarah catches up to him on an ATV and he turns to her, gasping, saying that Steve and Gabe have gone completely off their nuts. She walks up to him, crying (ooh, big surprise there) and raises a gun. Apparently Steve told her about who Jason’s sister is. He raises his hands and backs up a few steps. She fires and his face contorts as he falls.

Daphne is still at the dock when Maryann walks up. Maryann thanks her for her service and kisses her. Then Zombie Eggs steps up and stabs Daphne in the gut. ‘Bye, Daphne!

A bruised Gabe comes into Sookie and Hugo’s cage and immediately starts beating the shit out of Hugo. Sookie jumps on Gabe’s back, trying to stop him so he turns his attention to her, choking her and ranting that she and her dumbshit brother are trying to make an asshole out of him. Now that he’s got her attention, he throws her to the floor, fumbling at his pants and tearing at her clothes. Sookie screams.

In the hotel, Bill hears her screaming but when he makes a move for the door, Lorena nudges a stake up to his back, saying that if he opens that door, she will end him. And then there’s another flashback with them screaming at each other: she thinks he should love her because she made him; he says he cannot and never will. My god her accent is SO effing bad. Finally, crying blood, she says that she releases him, as his maker.

Back in the present, Lorena and Bill’s struggle is interrupted when Barry the Telepathic Bellhop stops by to deliver his message. Eric overhears him and, like a flash (or The Flash), is out of the hotel and off to the church. Barry starts to grumbles telepathically to Sookie that this the last time he’s doing her any favors but he can’t complete the thought when someone reaches out of a hotel room and drags him inside.

Things are getting nasty in the Church basement what with the imminent rape and all, until WHOOSH someone hauls Gabe off Sookie. She scrambles up and gawks at the very pale, very young looking vampire holding her attacker by one ear. She gasps, “Godric?”

*  I'm a Classics major (from about a million years ago when I was in college) and before that I was a voracious reader of world myths, so here, finally, I get to put my brain into play just a little bit with respect to the show playing fast and loose with the mythology here.  First, I can't find any references to "Holly" as a deity. Lilith was a Mesopotamia/Sumerian/Hebrew figure, originally a storm demon (later Adam's first wife) and a child-killing seductress.  Gaia was the Greek Titan representing the earth, the fertile mother of us all.  Neither of those figures really sync up with what we've seen of Maryann. 

Calling her a maenad works pretty well - as a wine-frenzied, violent madwoman who worships Dionysus - except that the maenads were just human, mortal women, not gods.  Isis was originally considered a wise and kind Egyptian goddess, patron of motherhood, nature and magic, but when the Romans later assimilated aspects of her into their own myths, she took on aspects of Cybele whose followers took part in orgiastic ceremonies with wild music, drumming, dancing, and drinking - which is clearly what the True Blood producers are focusing on here.  I couldn't find any references connecting Dionysus with Satan, however, and he is actually more often identified with Christ as a resurrection god: since Dionysus is the god of the vine, he dies out every year when winter comes on, only to be reborn again each spring. He is connected with Cybele as well, having been taught her religious rites as a young god, and as the god of wine, he brings both good (ecstatic joy and freedom) and evil (drunkeness and savage brutality) to the world of men.  Don't know why the name "Cybele" wasn't added to Daphne's list as that goddess is the best fit by my analysis.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

1 comment:

  1. omg i'm writing story bast on true blood on fanfiction, and your recap is helping me sooo much. since i could read this, i don't have to watch the show over and over again.