Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pre-Sixth Annual FMS Scarelicious Movie Series

I believe we were at an all-time low for scary movies watched in October in 2014 2012.  I'm concerned that record will be broken in 2015 as October will bring houseguests as well as out-of-state travel for me.  I will do my best - over the last few weeks I've been trying to watch some movies and write posts ahead of time, to be automatically posted.  Surely I can do better than five!  Suggestions for watchable movies are always welcome (I like monsters!).

Here's what was watched in the past:

The Cabin in the Woods
Warm Bodies
The Ring
The Conjuring

Friday the 13th 3D
The Convent
Land of the Dead
My Bloody Valentine (remake)
Dog Soldiers
Ginger Snaps Back

American Zombie
Bubba Ho-Tep

My Soul to Take
The Devil's Backbone
Open Water
I Sell the Dead

Night of the Creeps
Friday the 13th
The Burrowers
Friday the 13th Part 2
Dead Snow
The Thing
28 Days Later

True Blood episode recap S6E9 "Life Matters"

Home stretch, y'all.  This episode, and then one more episode and then - eventually, I certainly don't want to rush into anything - one more season.  

Sookie feeds her own blood to Warlow, trying to save his life after Eric has all but drained him.  Bill's all, I need what blood he has left and we had a deal.  Sookie: Well, Eric just came and fucked our deal in the ass.  She points out that right now, Eric has more of Warlow's blood in him than Warlow does, so maybe Bill should just go deal with Eric directly.  Then she zaps him with her light, sending him out of the faerie realm.  He's annoyed but zooms off, back to the vamp camp.  At the vamp camp, meanwhile, it's full daylight and Eric, bursting at the seams with Warlow blood, surveys the armed guards.

Terry's funeral is just getting underway.  Sookie bids Warlow farewell (ah, so that's why she's all dressed up in a black dress) but before she goes, he asks her if she still intends to join with him.  She says that she always keeps her promises and leaves the faerie realm, re-materializing right in the cemetery where, amazingly, no one notices.  She takes a seat near Mrs. Fortenberry, saving a seat for Jason and a little dismayed when he never shows.  Alcide comes to pay his respects and she definitely takes notice of him.  Perhaps her promise will be tested.

Vamp camp.  By the time Bill gets there, Eric has gone underground after ripping dozens of the guards to shreds.  There are heads and severed limbs and viscera everywhere.  Downstairs, Eric finds a particularly sadistic doctor, the one who injected Nora with the Hep V, and casually rips his genitals right off his body.  GROSS.  Eric then continues to saunter through the compound, releasing the vampires in the Gen. Pop. pens, instructing them to go kill their captors.

Funeral.  After the preacher speaks - and he knew Terry pretty well, knowing that above all, Terry valued and believed in family - he invites others to speak as well.

Vamp camp.  Bill is tracking Eric but not catching him.  He finds the de-penised doctor, bleeding out on the floor.  The man begs for Bill to kill him.  Bill asks if he'd done anything to Jessica and the doctor whimpers yes, so Bill stomps on his head.  GROSS.  So far, just twelve minutes in, this episode is pretty much the bloodiest and nastiest episode I can recall in this whole series.

Funeral.  Andy speaks first, talking about how Terry disappeared into Fort Bellefleur - their childhood forest hideout - when he got back from the war.  We get a flashback and see the shell-shocked Terry, trying to make sense of his life back stateside, and Andy, trying to help his cousin, offering to find him a job.

Vamp camp.  As Bill stalks through the corridors, he sees vampires torturing humans in the same ways they had themselves been tortured.  When Eric releases some of the female vampires, he finds a woozy Jason who has been heavily fed upon.  Eric feeds Jason some of his blood, reviving him, so that Jason can guide him around the compound.  After the two of them walk by, Sarah Newlin drags herself out from under a pile of corpses where she has been hiding.  She runs quickly the other way.

Funeral.  Sam speaks, saying that Terry was one of the best employees and one of the best and most loyal friends he's ever had.  Flashback to Sam offering Terry a job as a cook, and the two of them and Andy going fishing together.  When Terry reels in a huge catfish, he tells Andy to throw it back, saying that every life matters.  And we have the episode title, woohoo!

Vamp camp.  Eric pauses long enough to catch up Pam's former therapist.  The man is ballsy enough to sneer that he will die a happy man since he "fucked [Eric's] progeny."  Eric immediately goes cold, snatching the protective contacts out of the therapist's eyes; thus glamoured, the therapist confirms that he traded sex with Pam for her release from solitary.  Eric relaxes a little and says that he's not going to kill him: he's going to bring him to Pam and let her kill him.  That scares the therapist somewhat.

Funeral.  Lafayette is next, relating a story about his first day working with Terry.  Flashback in which Terry spaces out and ruins a batch of fries.  He straightens up, though, and tells Lafayette that he wants to be good at this job and asks for him.  Lafayette looks deep in his eyes and sees something there.  He drops some of his usual snark and teaches him how to use the Fryolator.  After him, Terry's cousin Portia talks about being kids with Terry.  The preacher is ready to call Arlene up at this point, but Sookie hears Arlene's panicky thoughts: "I can't do this, I'm not ready, I'm not ready to say goodbye!"  Sookie walks up to the podium, giving Arlene a slight reprieve.  Then she comes out to the assembled people, saying that she's a telepath and, as such, she has a slightly different insight into Terry.  She - and we get a flashback - tells Arlene about the first night both Terry and Arlene worked together: Sookie read Terry's thoughts and heard that he was in love with Arlene from the first time he met her and he never stopped.  "Not too many people can say that they were loved like that.  But you can, Arlene."

Vamp camp.  Bill still hasn't found Eric but he has found a guard who is still alive.  He forces the guard to take him to the white room.  Meanwhile, Sarah Newlin is climbing up to the top of the building, breathily chanting the Lord's Prayer as she turns the wheel that opens the window into the white room.  But when she looks down into the now sun-filled room, she is horrified to find Bill there, spreadeagled with all the captive vampires sucking his blood from his arms, legs and throat.  Except for Steve Newlin, who can't seem to get in there.  Eric, Jason and the therapist show up.  While Jason guards the therapist, Eric grabs Steve Newlin, snarling that he has been around when everyone he loves has died.  He holds Steve by the throat and thrusts him into the sunlight; before Steve bursts into flame, he throws his head back, sees Sarah peeking down at him and cries, "I loved you ... Jason Stackhouse!"  After all the vampires have consumed enough Bill-blood to be protected from the sun, they start to flit around, dizzy and high from the blood.  Eric tells Pam that he saved the therapist for her.  She grins, "You take such good care of me," before baring her fangs and burying them in the therapist.

Funeral.  It's Arlene's time at the podium and she says that part of why she and Terry worked so well was because they took turns freaking out and taking care of each other.  Flashback:  the night their baby was born, Mikey wouldn't latch onto her breast and, not having slept, Arlene was beside herself.  But Terry was calm, encouraging her to take slow breaths.  She calmed down, and then the baby calmed down, and then the baby began to feed, and all was well.

Vamp camp.  Pam, Tara, Jessica, Willa, Violet, James and all the other vampires, still high, wander out of the compound, leaving the drained Bill on the floor.  He looks bad.  Topside, Jason grabs Sarah Newlin before she can get away.  And this scene is a bit tonally off, not only because we all know Jason is never going to kill Sarah, but it's just awkward.  Anyway, after a bit, Jason lets her go and she drives away, half-hysterical.

Funeral.  Big John (another of the cooks at Merlotte's) sings a lovely old gospel song, "Life Matters."  Pretty much everyone is in tears by the time he finishes.

Vamp camp.  As all the other vampires frolick in the sun, Eric systematically destroys the pallets of contaminated Tru Blood.  The rest of them think that looks like fun and join in.  And across the world (I guess Eric has made some phone calls?) vampires attack the delivery trucks and destroy the tainted Tru Blood shipments.  Back at the compound, Lilith's bloody merkin minions have come for Bill.  But Jessica comes to herself enough to rush back down to where he is lying, James at her side.  She feeds him some of her blood, still coursing with residual Warlow-ness, enough to revive him.

Funeral.  The Marines give a 21-gun salute, play "Taps" and fold the flag draped over Terry's coffin, handing it to Arlene.  She is actually at peace with this, thinking that she thinks even Terry would have appreciated the ceremony.  Sookie hears her and smiles a little, glad for her friend.

Vamp camp.  Jessica and James bring Bill up into the sunlight and all the vampires walk off in slow motion, some applauding him and thanking him for saving them.  Violet scoops up Jason, to his slight dismay.  Pam looks for Eric and finds him, standing apart from everyone.  They stare into each other's eyes.  He looks sad.  She says, "Don't you dare leave me" but he flies away as she gasps with pain.

The A.V. Club has a good recap/review of this episode in which they talk about the juxtaposition of Terry's funeral, as an example of "true human frailty done right," with Eric's bloody, over the top rampage through the humans in the vamp camp.  I see their point, I do.  And on my second viewing of it, I appreciated the funeral part more.  But the shallow part of me just can't get past the fact that we just spent half an episode on the funeral of a very minor character in a show with a superfluity of characters.  Still, it was a lovely send-off for Terry.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Saturday, September 26, 2015

True Blood episode recap S6E8 "Dead Meat"

Eric, staring at Nora's remains, snipes at Bill, asking him how long has he known this would happen, how long has he seen it foretold?  Bill's all, I don't see everything, I didn't see this.  Eric is enraged and grief-filled, angry that Bill didn't bring Warlow to save Nora, not in the mood to join in Bill's war against the humans.  Eric is half-crazed - which seems a bit out of character, frankly - and hisses that Bill is no fucking god.  I never said I was, snarls Bill, telling Eric to get out of his house.  With one last insult, Eric goes.

Alcide returns to his pack, only to discover that Ricki has picked up Nicole and her mom.  Ricki says that Alcide is a big ol' fuckin' liar and she's had enough of it.  She challenges him for alpha, two other werewolf bitches backing her up.  It's an ugly fight, three against one until Alcide starts breaking some of their bones.  Ricki taunts him, saying that he doesn't have the balls to kill her.  He snarls and growls but ultimately realizes that no, he's not going to kill her.  He doesn't belong here with this pack.  He collects the terrified Nicole and her mother and leaves.

In female Gen. Pop., Tara and Willa eye this new vampire chick Violet warily but are not strong enough to take her on over Jason.  And make no mistake, Violet has laid claim to him and plans to feed off him as much as she can and as often as she likes.  But she will not share him with anyone else.  Also, he's worried that she's going to rape him but she tells him that she won't fuck him until she wants to, and then he'll beg her for it.  (Actually, this bit happens a little later in the episode and goes on much, much longer, but that's the gist.  Has she just been introduced to give Jason something to do?  Because I really don't see the need for this extraneous character at this point, not at E8 in the season.)

Sookie goes back to the faerie realm and asks Warlow if he would be willing to help Bill free Jessica, Pam, Tara, etc.  She promises that she won't let Bill kill him.  Warlow is all, I will only do this if you agree to let me turn you into a vampire so we can be together for eternity.  Sookie's like, um, I need to think about this a little.  She goes back to the real world, muttering to herself: Eternity?  Can't we just go to the movies next week?  Heh.  Little does she know that Eric is lurking in the trees of the cemetery when she re-emerges.  When she goes, he tries to figure out where she went and how she got there.  In the faerie realm, Warlow, still tied up, can sense Eric's nearness and fangs up.

Jessica and James are all cute and cuddly post-sex.  She tells him not to drink the contaminated Tru Blood.  They start to get it on again but are interrupted by a couple of guards who take them back to their respective Gen. Pop.  Jessica is joined by Pam, who just finished having sex with her therapist.  Jessica, grossed out: How was it?  Pam: Oozy but productive.  God, I love Pam.  When they get back to Gen. Pop., the guards are handing out bottles of [contaminated] Tru Blood.  Our girls take their bottles but don't drink.  In the men's Gen. Pop., Steve Newlin takes his bottle of Tru Blood and sits next to a quiet James, introducing himself.  James, in an attack of conscience, tells the former Reverend not to drink the blood.

Back in Bon Temps, sad Sam boxes up Terry's belongings for Arlene.  When he goes outside, Alcide is there.  He has brought Nicole and her mother.  Sam rushes to his trailer to see if they're okay, pausing long enough to thank Alcide and to tell him that if he wants, there's cold beer in the bar.  The ladies are shaken but unharmed.  They will stay in his trailer for the night and plan to leave the next day.  When Sam says goodnight to Nicole, hugging her, he sniffs her.  Because that's not at all creepy.  He goes into the bar, finding Alcide there, having skipped the beer and gone straight to the bourbon.  Sam joins him.  They talk a bit, drinking steadily, and Alcide mentions that he scented that Nicole is pregnant.  Sam agrees - that's what he scented out too.  They keep drinking.

At the Stackhouse farmhouse, Sookie takes a shower, remembering the vision/apparition she saw in her bathroom of the scary Warlow face.  Not so much a guy she wants to spend eternity with.  She goes downstairs and, even though she generally doesn't drink, pours herself some shots.  Southern Comfort, I think.

In the morning at the Bellefleurs', Arlene is a little hungover and so Lafayette is making her eggs and bacon.  As everyone drinks their coffee, he tells them about the life insurance policy Terry took out.  Arlene is sad and angry about that, plus she's anxious about going to the funeral home later in the day.

Sookie goes to Bill's house, asking him how his plan will work.  Bill says that Warlow will accompany him to the vamp camp and feed some of his blood to all their vampires so that they will not burn up in the sunshine.  When Sookie asks if Bill is planning to kill Warlow afterwards, he says no, because his pet/captive scientist hasn't figured out how to synthesize his blood yet.  He presses her for her answer and Sookie gets a little testy, telling him about Warlow's ultimatum to her.  She just isn't sure she wants to become his vampire faerie bride - it's a big decision.  Bill doesn't seem to think it's that big a deal, brushing her off and asking when he should swing by to pick up Warlow since time is short.  Sookie: How about I let you know when I'm good and ready, you motherfucking monster.

Sarah Newlin arrives at the vamp camp, ready for battle in her sharp white suit.  Almost immediately, a middle manager reports to her that a bunch of vampires are refusing to drink their Tru Blood.  Sarah: Is my ex-husband one of them?  She pulls him out and makes him run on a hamster wheel, threatening him with UV light until he says that they know about the Hep V and his new friend James told him.  Satisfied, she stomps off.  Later, Steve and James are brought to the white room (the one with the skylights).  Sarah tells her minions that any other vampires who are not drinking their Tru Blood are to be brought to the room too.

Back in Bon Temps, Holly's two idiot sons stop by the Bellefleur house and convince Adalind to come out drinking with them.  At Merlotte's, Sam is trying to convince Nicole to stay (her mother doesn't think this is a good idea, noting the age difference between her 23 year old daughter and this redneck "silver fox."  Yes, she calls him "silver fox."  It's kind of awesome.)  They are interrupted by Sookie who is desperately striking out for any other options she can: she basically has come to Sam, offering herself to him and offering to give up her faerie gifts to be with him since he's always wanted her.  Sam is all, WTF, Sookie?  She has- the very worst timing: for years he's wanted her and she's never cared, always wanted the more dangerous guys - but now there's Nicole, pregnant with his child.  Sookie stares at him, wide-eyed, and runs off.

At the funeral home, Terry's sister and grandmother are overruling pretty much everything Arlene wants for Terry's service.  When his grandmother insists on a 21-gun salute, she freaks out: "Are y'all out of your fuckin' minds?  Terry was shot by a gun and you want twenty-one of them at his funeral?"  Holly takes her outside to calm down.  Andy sits there a moment: "I'm tryin' to decide if it's gonna be more uncomfortable for me in here or out there."  Heh.  He thinks on it and then joins Holly and Arlene outside.  They calm her down and they all three hug, banding together, supporting each other.

Sookie stops by her parents' graves in the cemetery.  She muses a bit, talking herself into it and finally deciding that she's going agree to Warlow's ultimatum, in part because "I'll be damned if I'll spend eternity lying by your fuckin' sides.  I'd rather walk the earth as a fuckin' corpse than spend another minute thinkin' about you."

The spokeswoman from Tru Blood arrives at the vamp camp, completely pissed off about who knows what and demanding to see the governor.  Sarah puts on her brightest, fakest smile and intercepts her.  The spokeswoman isn't having any of Sarah's bullshit, however, punching Sarah in the stomach and pushing her way into the back room where she sees her product being contaminated.  Cue cat fight!  Sarah chases her through the vamp camp corridors - they are hilarious on their super high heels - until the Tru Blood woman finds herself on the catwalk above the male Gen. Pop.  Her high heel gets caught in the grating and Sarah pounces on her, beating her head into the grate.  The vampires cluster beneath, licking up the spatters of blood.  Then Sarah wrenches the other woman's stiletto from her foot and pounded the heel through her head.  Blood pours out of the dying woman and the vampires below slurp it up.  Sarah sits back, white suit splattered with blood, and cries triumphantly, "Thank you, Jesus!"

Sookie goes home and calls Jason, getting his voicemail.  She asks him to be careful and come home in one piece.  She tells him about Terry and says she hopes he can come to the funeral.  She says that there's so much she wants to talk to him about but she'll see him later.  Tears in her eyes, she hangs up.  Then, steeling herself, she calls Bill: Pick me up in an hour.  She goes upstairs and gets gussied up, putting on a black lace dress for her impending wedding/transformation.  [Note:  this is meant to be symbolic, I'm sure, because Sookie usually dresses in bright colors and pastels.]

Meanwhile, out in a field somewhere, one of Holly's sons is passed out drunk on a headstone while the other one has managed to get Adalind's shirt off.  However, Eric interrupts their tryst.  He glamours the boys so they won't remember either him or Adalind.  The faerie girl takes off but doesn't get very far before Eric catches her up, burying his fangs in her neck.  Some time later, Andy finds his daughter, bleeding from the neck but okay.  He hugs her tight as she cries.

It doesn't take long before Pam, Jessica, Tara, Willa and Violet are brought into the white room with James and Steve.  Steve takes one look at Jess's face and cries, "What? What do you know?"  Jessica looks up at the ceiling and then around at all of them: "We're going to meet the sun in here."

Sookie brings Bill to the cemetery and takes his hands.  But first he wants to know what changed her mind.  Sookie: I don't know - I guess destiny is just too much of a bitch to keep fightin'.  She takes them both into the faerie realm ... but Warlow is just lying there, still tied up and unconscious (perhaps dead?).  She rushes to him, gasping, who did this?  Bill knows who did it:  Eric.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Thursday, September 24, 2015

True Blood episode recap S6E7 "In the Evening"

Eric instructs Willa to go back to Gen. Pop. and tell Pam not to drink the Tru Blood, which has been contaminated with Hepatitis V.  He then takes the failing Nora and climbs under a departing truck to make their getaway.  Their escape has been noticed, however, and all the guards are on full alert.  Jason realizes that he may need to step up his rescue of Jessica.  Willa lets Pam, Tara and Jessica know what's going on, putting herself back into Gen. Pop. in the process.  Meanwhile, Eric has taken his very sick sister to Bill's house, saying that he doesn't know WTF Bill is anymore but if, in fact, he is god, please fix her.  Eric wants Bill to give Nora his blood but Nora refuses it, saying that it's Lilith's blood and she won't drink it.

Sarah Newlin drives up to the Governor's mansion and is surprised to find the doors wide open and no guards anywhere to be seen.  She runs to the back garden and finds everyone dead, and the Governor's head propped on a piece of statuary.  She falls to her knees and sheds some tears before steeling herself.  Now is when Sarah Newlin comes into her own, I imagine.  Some time later, she meets with a senator and informs him of the plan:  they will not admit to the Governor's demise but the senator will continue to run the state and she will run the vamp camp, saying that the Governor is in hiding after an attempted attack.  He acquiesces because she threatens to reveal his secret gay lifestyle.  They only have to keep the ruse going until Hep V becomes rampant throughout the vampire community - it won't be long.

UGH GROSS.  Sookie and Warlow snuggle in fuzzy post-coital focus.  The good feeling doesn't last long, however, because Warlow has assumed that because she actually enjoyed the sex, she was willing to marry him and become a vampire.  Sookie's all, you know it doesn't work like that ... we have the vote now too.  Then she hears sobbing coming through from the real world:  Arlene is crying in the cemetery.  She gets dressed and leaves the faerie realm.  I'm not sure why Arlene is crying in the cemetery because Terry isn't buried yet, but there she is, and she tells Sookie what happened.  Sookie's all, you have to go home and tell your kids, and I'm going to be right there with you.

Also, Sam calls to check in on Lafayette, who tells him what happened to Terry.  Sam is shaken and, despite Alcide's warnings not to return to Bon Temps, immediately makes plans to go back.  He tells Nicole to call her mother to come get her - they won't be continuing on together.  But while they're waiting for her mom to show up, they have sad-faced shower sex.  In Bon Temps, when Arlene gets back to the Bellefleur house, Lafayette is there and she lays into him until Andy can calm her down and get her to go talk to the children.  Lafayette tells Sookie about Terry's safe deposit box and they decide they should go check it out.

At the vamp camp, Jason has Jessica brought to him in a conference room.  He tells her that he wants to do right by her and take her away from this.  She says no, I should stay (Jason: You don't have stockholder syndrome, do you?).  He says he saw what they tried to do to her in the copulation room and says that he doesn't want her to suffer like that again.  But for some reason, she refuses his help, asking a favor instead:  she wants to thank James, the vampire who wouldn't rape her, face to face.  Confused, Jason goes to fetch him for her.

When Sookie and Lafayette open Terry's safe deposit box, they find a single insurance policy for $2,000,000, that Terry took out on his own life just three days earlier.  They realize that Terry had planned his death.  Lafayette's all, I guess he thought he was doing the right thing.  Sookie: Since when is leaving your family behind ever the right thing?  Lafayette just shrugs sadly.

Whatever:  Alcide gives his dad a ride home.  His dad tells him that he really doesn't need to go back to the pack - that sort of life doesn't suit their family.  Alcide looks like he's thinking about it, but drives off anyway.  When Nicole's mom comes to pick her up, she gives Sam the stink-eye for whatever he's gotten her baby girl into.  Nicole and Sam say goodbye, and she gives him her phone number, you know, just in case he wants to call.

Jason brings James to Jessica and then gets his heart broken a little when Jessica says she'd like to be alone with James for a bit.  After Jason goes out into the hall, Jessica and James talk for a while and he really, really does seem like an actually nice guy.  A vampire, sure, but an unusually decent and kind one who makes different choices than most.  Jessica tells him about the contaminated Tru Blood and warns him not to drink it.  He smiles at her, "Don't you have any good news at all?"  And then, after a little more talking, they do have sex.  For Jessica, it's the first time with another vampire and apparently it's quite excellent for her.

Back at Bill's, Eric begs Bill to cure Nora, saying he will do anything he asks.  Bill's like, what if it doesn't work?  He tells Eric about his vision of everyone burning in the sunlight-filled room: he says that's why he's going to get Warlow, to get his blood so that he can protect the other vampires from the sun.  Bill says that if Eric will come with him, maybe they can stop it.  Eric says you have my word that I will help you if you help Nora.  So they go back upstairs and make Nora drinks from Bill's wrist.  But it has no effect, to Eric's utter dismay.  He latches onto the hope that Warlow's blood might help and Bill agrees to go after the vampire/faerie.

Sookie and Lafayette return to the Bellefleur mansion to tell Arlene about the life insurance.  Sookie asks Lafayette if he's ready for this.  Lafayette: "About as ready as Big Pharma can make a man."  But when they go inside, Andy heads them off, warning them that maybe this is not the best time.  And then they see why:  because Arlene is hammered, two-fisting with whiskey and PBR.  Lafayette to Sookie:  I'm thinkin', no talk.  He takes Arlene off to the kitchen just as Holly's two sons walk in.  Andy introduces Adalind to Sookie and Holly's boys and then the front door opens again, Bill Compton walking in, daylight streaming behind him.  Sookie:  HOLY FUCK.  Adalind scurries upstairs with all the rest of the young folk; Adaline and Lafayette come back into the living room.  Bill expresses his condolences to Arlene for Terry and also to Andy for the loss of his three daughters.  Amazingly, they seem to call an uneasy truce.  Then Bill wants to talk to Sookie.  He's basically, I need Warlow's blood to save Eric, Pam, Tara and Jessica, telling her about the vampire death camp.  He encourages her not to let her anger at him endanger her friends, but he does it fairly condescendingly and she's not that impressed.  "Bring me Warlow, and soon," Bill intones.

At the vamp camp, Pam goes in to her therapy session.  She knows exactly what to say to get him revved up.  And then she cuts a deal:  she'll fuck him but he has to put her back in Gen. Pop.  He thinks that can be arranged.  Guess who else is now in Gen. Pop.?  Jason: Sarah finds him, tells him that his leverage has died with the Governor, cuts his forearm and has him through into women's Gen. Pop.  Tara fangs up, protecting him from the other chick vamps until this other vampire, older and stronger than Tara, steps up, saying Jason is hers.  Oh great.  Just what we need is another character in this show.

And at Bill's, Nora is at the end of her life.  As Eric weeps and sobs, we are interrupted for a terrible flashback with horrible wigs, when Eric met Nora for the first time, back in the time of Charles II, before he took her to Godric to make her.  Seriously, these flashbacks are the worst and timed so strangely, right in the middle of when we're supposed to be sad about Nora's dying and Eric's grief.  This grief, though, is doesn't ring true for me:  we didn't even know about Nora until S5 and now, at the moment of her death we're supposed to believe that Eric's heart is breaking?  The death is pretty gnarly though:  as Eric shrieks (yes, high pitched shrieks), Nora melts like that Nazi at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, dripping and squooshing and collapsing through his arms into a stringy puddle of thick blood and liquefied organs.  Nasty!

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mini book review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

It must say something about my current opinion about the state of the world that I seem to only read fantasy and dystopian fiction anymore: I'm either looking for an escape or am trying to plan ahead to face what's coming.  Case in point: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, a bleak and yet somehow lyrical novel about what happens when 99% of the world population is brought down by the flu.

It's grim - although it isn't supernatural a la The Stand - as the few remaining people try to survive and rebuild their lives.  This flu (no reason for it given) was particularly fast-acting, decimating the planet in about two weeks.  The survivors, who never learned why they were immune when so many weren't, were scattered far and wide.  Some simply hunkered down where they were, like the passengers stranded in airport, and rebuilt from there, hunting deer, planting crops, establishing museums of what once was.  Some wandered for the first year before settling down in small settlement; those settlements were often vulnerable and people came and went.  Others banded together and kept wandering, like the Traveling Symphony, a ragtag group of actors and musicians who caravan along, stopping at various settlements to bring a little bit of art and beauty to whomever is living there.

Station Eleven does not have a straight shot narrative (which is not my favorite).  The main character is presumably Kirsten, a member of the Traveling Symphony, and the book follows what happens to her and her friends.  But Mandel bounces around in time, visiting Arthur Leander, an actor who meets Kirsten when she is a child, and then continuing with Arthur's life with his many wives, even though he doesn't survive the flu-pocalypse.  Arthur's life intersected with many other lives, and those intersections are touched upon, interweaving as the book shows life both before and after the flu pandemic.  Some parts are brutal and violent, some are gentle, wistful, hopeful, beautiful.  Although Station Eleven is about an apocalypse, it is ultimately hopeful.

Monday, September 21, 2015

True Blood episode recap S6E6 "Don't You Feel Me"

Bill senses Sookie's distress while Lafayette-possessed-by-her-father tries to drown her and he sends Warlow (or just lets him go) to rescue her.  Warlow pulls Sookie out of the swamp and zaps Lafayette with some of his faerie light, releasing him from the spirit's thrall.  Sookie growls that she wants her father to get the fuck out of her life.  Done and done.  Afterwards, Bill summons Warlow back to him.  The faerie/vampire struggles against it, vomiting blood.  Sookie grabs his hands and spirits them both into the faerie realm where Bill/Lilith cannot reach Warlow.  Bill is not happy about losing Warlow and when he discovers that Jessica is missing too, he gets worried.

At vamp camp, Eric and Pam stare at each other.  In the observation room, the humans are getting restless.  Sarah snaps that she was assured that this would get violent.  Eric and Pam seethe, rising into the air.  And then, of course, instead of attacking each other they manage to stab the two guards hidden behind panels.  Eric pulls one of the guards out, presses him up against the one-way glass and impales him with the wooden stake, shattering the glass.

Jason strides into the LAVTF and [hilariously, Ryan Kwanten is hilarious] impresses the recruiters with his knowledge and vampire-killin' prowess.  Meanwhile, Bill tells his captive scientist to put him into a coma so that he can communicate with Lilith.  The frightened scientist agrees to it (although why he wouldn't just kill Bill once incapacitated I'll never know).  Somewhere else, Sam and Nicole argue about what to do about Emma, who is sad and misses her grandmother.  Nicole's all, you can't just run and run with her.

In the faerie realm, Warlow tells Sookie that he can sense the sundown coming in the real world and since his vampire half is stronger at nighttime, he may not be able to control himself around her.  So she ties him up.  Okay, she says, now what.  We could talk, he suggests. OH DEAR GOD NO TALKING.  Meanwhile, Alcide's dad called, telling him about Sam and Nicole.  Of course, it's hours later and they have gone.  Alcide creepily sniffs the bed so he can track them.   And then, back in Bon Temps, Bill is in his coma-hallucination, searching for Lilith, and Andy's daughter asks him to give her an actual name instead of just calling her #4.  They go with Adalind (plus three other names so she can carry her three sisters with her but who cares).

On the other side of town, Lafayette is smoking some weed and enjoying some downtime when Terry knocks on his door.  Terry gives him the key to his safety deposit box and Lafayette, freaked out somewhat, at first doesn't want to take it.  But he sees something in Terry's eyes and finally accepts it. Terry gives him a big hug and thanks him and then runs off.  Lafayette immediately calls Arlene to let her know.  Arlene freaks out, hanging up the phone, sure that Terry is about to commit suicide.  Holly tries to calm her down and offers up this idea:  what if we were to get a vampire to forget about the war and all his troubles?  Arlene's like, OMG, why didn't I think of that before?  Holly gets on the phone to call a vampire friend of hers who owes her a favor.

Back in faerie land, Warlow is all, I've been waiting for you for thousands of years.  And Sookie's all, and you just think you can waltz in her and make me your faerie vampire princess?  He's smitten, saying that they wouldn't need anybody else ever, they could just feed off each other and no one else would ever get hurt.  Sookie: But I'd be a vampire.

They have put Eric in a cage at vamp camp and the Governor dances around, excited to inflict some retribution.  They wheel Nora in, strapped to a table.  The Governor says that he wants Eric to feel the same immeasurably loss that he has in losing Willa.  So they inject Nora with a big ol' dose of Hepatitis V, which they have been testing in the lab.  She's their first host.

UGH.  Bill wants answers from Lilith but she is not in the mood to answer when he's being such a twat.  She snarls, "The time to act is now.  Do not come to me seeking answers again."  And I'm all, the writers have no idea what to do with Lilith now, do they?

Sam has called Martha to come get Emma.  She promises that she won't go back to the pack but will keep the little girl safe.  Emma is sad to say goodbye to Sam but is happy to go with her grandmother.

At the Bellefleur mansion, the vampire glamours Terry, telling him to forget the terrible past, the terrible choices he made.  Arlene prompts him to forget the Marines and the war and all he needs to know is that he's a father, a stepfather, a husband and a cook.  Of course, now Terry has no remembrance of asking Whatsisname to kill him.  But he is happy and at peace and Arlene snuggles into his arms contentedly.

Jason has been inducted into the LAVTF corps and brought into the vamp camp.  When Sarah Newlin sees him, she is taken aback.  She's all, what the hell do you think you're doing?  He says that he's here to get Jessica out and if she gets in his way, he'll tell the Governor about what happened between the two of them and what a whore for Christ she is.  I'm pretty sure that Sarah is not going down without a fight.

Sam and Nicole are looking at a map, planning their next move when Alcide shows up.  He gets in Sam's face but Sam stands up to him.  Alcide is acting like a real tool but eventually backs down and lets them go, saying they should leave Louisiana and never come back because he can't protect them from his pack.  Of course, that's not completely realistic seeing how Sam's house and business are in Louisiana, but Alcide isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, we all know that.

Bill comes out of his coma and decides that time has run out.  He drinks all the blood he took from Warlow and sets off on his mission, striding out into the daylight and - lo and behold - not bursting into flame this time.  (Wonder how long this will last?)

At the vamp camp, Jason is about to see just how bad ass Sarah Newlin has become.  She brings Jason to the observation room for the copulation study; the two vampires in the study are some nice young fellow named James and, of course, Jessica.  Jessica is terrified.  James knows what is going on and tells her what the humans want them to do.  He's a nice guy, however ("I'm a vampire, not a rapist") and refuses to do it so Sarah has him hit - several times - with a U/V spotlight, burning him.  Jessica can't stand to watch him being burnt and she starts taking off her clothes, saying she'll do it.  (All this time, Jason is horrified, uncomfortable, watching.)  James continues to refuse and after a few more hits with the light, they take him away while Jessica trembles.  In the observation room, Sarah smiles smugly at Jason.

At Bon Temps, Terry is happy and helpful and at peace with himself.  Arlene is so happy that he is so happy.  Terry takes out the garbage and - of course - a shot rings out.  Arlene and Lafayette run out.  Terry is on the ground by the dumpster, gasping like a fish while his life's blood pumps out of the bullet hole in his neck.  They don't even try to save him.  Arlene kneels next to him, drawing him into her arms, speaking softly to him about their family.  And then he's gone.

At the Governor's mansion, the Governor is in the garden reading from the Bible when Bill strides up.  When they recognize him as a vampire, the guards shoot at him.  All their bullets have no effect, however, and he commands/glamours them to cease fire, and then aim at each other, and then they all shoot each other dead.  Bill advances on the Governor who is understandably blathering about how this can be happening in the daylight.  Bill grabs the man, drinks from his neck for a moment and then rips his head off.  Thus endeth the Governor.  I'm guessing Sarah will step up as the big bad for the rest of the season.

Nora is deteriorating rapidly, bleeding and veiny.  Eric's all, I'll take care of this.  He summons Willa who, as the Governor's daughter, is able to get some alone time with a guard.  She glamours the guard and gets into Eric and Nora.  Here's how they move throughout the compound: Eric is dressed in the guard's uniform/armor, Nora is dressed in a doctor's coat and they can open the locked doors, which have fingerprint sensors, because they have torn off that doctor's hand and AWESOMELY carrying it around with them, casually passing it back and forth.  Eric's priorities are Nora and Pam; Will insists on Tara and Jessica too.  Eric needs to figure out WTF first, however, and makes his way into the Tru Blood plant portion of the compound where he sees that they are contaminating all of the Tru Blood with the Hep V: Sarah and the Governor's plan is to infect vampires on a global scale.

OH DEAR GOD.  Back in faerie land, Sookie is all, I have these feelings for you that I don't want to have - I'm a big ol' danger whore - but I'm thinking I might as well just go for it.  She strengthens Warlow's bonds so he can't break free, then allows him to feed on her.  Then she pulls off his pants and strips naked [and holy crap, Anna Paquin gave birth to twins, right?  Because DAMN she looks amazing] and climbs on top of him.  The music is RIDICULOUSLY romantic and this scene is just foolish.  Sookie wriggles around, making sure her pleasure is being taken care of and all this faerie light bursts out of their groins as Warlow gasps.

This show is so foolish.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Monday, September 14, 2015

True Blood episode recap S6E5 "**** the Pain Away"

Ben/Warlow is all, you don't understand?  Sookie is on a roll, though, and isn't having any of his British accented shit.  "If you love me so much, why did you kill my parents?"  Ben/Warlow insists that her parents had planned to kill her but he actually saved her.  Sookie is all, you're a filthy fuckin' liar and I am sick of fucking vampires thinking they own me.  She throws some faerie light at him and he swats her back.  Over at Bill's house, Jessica is (a) high on faerie blood and (b) hysterical at what she's done.  But Bill doesn't have any time for that because (a) he is still connected to Sookie and tell what's happening to her and (b) as Lilith reincarnated (or whatever), he is connected to Ben/Warlow since Lilith made Warlow.  And he zips on over to Sookie's house, interrupting the spat and commanding Ben/Warlow to come with him.

Meanwhile, Andy has arrived at Bill's house to find his four faerie daughters strewn lifelessly across the living room floor.  As Jessica watches from her hiding space in the closet, Andy weeps over the dead girls, before finding one that is actually still alive.  He carries her out of the mansion.

Tara finds Eric and tells him that the LAVTF captured Pam.  "What the fuck we gonna do?"  Eric has a plan: he and Tara get themselves captured.  Meanwhile, a jumpsuited Pam is being paraded through the subterranean camp.  She bemusedly looks in all the various experimentation rooms:  sex, violence, torture.  At the Governor's mansion, Sarah Newlin tries to console the Governor about losing Willa to the vampires.  Unfortunately, her tactics are to insist that he marry her and impregnate her with a child to replace the one he just lost.  But the Governor has no time for this, pushing her aside.  Sarah is furious (and hilarious): Do not take me for granted! when a woman comes to you in black lingerie, you unwrap her!

Somehow not crossing paths with Andy Bellefleur, Bill and Warlow arrive at Bill's house, going down to the basement lab.  As Bill takes a sample of Warlow's blood, we are treated to a merkin-filled flashback: when Lilith met the faerie Warlow, fucked him and turned him into a vampire.  Warlow's all, you made me into something I despise.  Bill: I made you into our salvation.

When Jason comes home, he finds Sarah Newlin waiting for him.  She says she's here to save his soul.  He laughs her off but with just a few words, she manages to get him inside, naked and having crazy sex with her.  "I been with a gay guy, and an old guy but I never felt truly alive but when I was with you. Jason Stackhouse, I truly believe that God wants me to fuck you."  Aftewards, Jason is woken up by Jess, pounding on his door, still hysterical.  He tries to calm her down but Sarah, who had been listening in the other room comes out, all angry and righteous.  The two women get into it until somehow, for some reason, Sarah is able to rescind Jessica's invitation into Jason's house.  Jess is sucked out of the house into the waiting arms of the LAVTF, whom Sarah has called.  They take Jess away.  Jason turns to Sarah, confused, asking why she would do that.  Sarah:  "Because my body is a temple and you have defiled it with your vampire-lovin' pecker!"

Andy brings his unconscious daughter back to the sheriff's office.  He paws through the evidence locker, finds a vial of vampire blood and feeds it to her.  It's enough: she wakes up and gasps his name.  In another part of town, while looking for Sam, Nicole and Emma, Alcide finds his dad at a dive wolf bar.  They have a bit of a scuffle but nobody cares.

At the vampire camp/research facility, the Hunger Games have begun.  Seriously, I'm not going to explain it all but they are experiments and the vampires who figure out the games fast enough get to live.  Eric lives.  He's a quick study.  In Gen. Pop., he tries to find out what happened to Pam but no one knows or will talk to him.  Pam, meanwhile, is in her own game: therapy.  She doesn't want to talk about her feelings but there's an incentive: if she cooperates, she gets to feed off a human.  If she doesn't, there are guns pointing at her.  Pam is also a quick study.

The next morning, Sookie shows up at Merlotte's to talk to Lafayette.  She tells him about Warlow and what he said (and that she kind of believes him) and asks for his help in contacting her dead parents.  She wants to know if Warlow really did save her.  And in other storylines no one cares about: Terry has asked an old Marine buddy, Justin, to meet him for lunch.  They shoot the shit for a while and then Terry asks Justin to kill him.  Terry says he'll pay him for it.  He wants to die but has been unable to do it himself.  Justin is all, um, weird, but yes, I'll do it and I'll do it for free.  Terry's all, super!  Give me a couple days to get my affairs in order and then it's up to you - just don't let me know when it's coming.

Holly has come over to the Bellefleurs' to sit with Andy and his sick daughter.  He tells her that the girl told him that it was Jessica who attacked her and killed her sisters.  He wants to go after Bill but she talks him down, reminding him that Bill is much stronger than he and if Bill kills Andy, his daughter won't have anybody.  He is in tears, frustrated that there isn't anything her can do.

When Jessica is processed into the camp's Gen. Pop., she finds Tara.  Jess is still high and Tara takes care of her, talking soothingly to her.  Meanwhile, Pam is hitting her groove, telling her analyst all kinds of helpful vampire information.  He is interested in if vampires have remorse about killing each other (not really) and what the deal is with the relationship they have with their maker.  Pam's all, I don't have a maker anymore.  For a time, my maker was everything to me.  Then he released me and it hurt, but I'm over it and he's nothing to me anymore.  Her analyst isn't sure he believes her.

Jason leaves Sookie a message: he says that he messed up with Jessica and he's going to go fix it.  And to do so, he signs up for the LAVTF.  At Sookie's house, she can't answer the phone because she and Lafayette are setting up for a seance.  He performs his mojo and for a moment, nothing happens.  Then: "Oh shit, they here! Stackhouses, calm the fuck down!"  Sookie asks her question: Did you try to kill me?  Lafayette gets a vision of when Warlow came to her parents, asking them to give Sookie to him, saying that he'll make her immortal and will protect her forever.  They refuse and later, that night, her dad decides that he would rather kill his own daughter than see her turned into a vampire.  Sookie:  Oh.  And then, because Lafayette does not have the best of luck with being a medium, he gets invaded by the spirit of Sookie's father.  And he grabs her and ties her up and puts her in the trunk of his car, ready to finish what he started.

Back at the camp, Sarah has a surprise for the Governor.  She and vampire Steve Newlin and Pam's therapist have cooked something up special: Eric and Pam with wooden stakes in a death match against each other.  The two vampires just stare at each other.  Sarah gets impatient:  "Haven't you seen Gladiator?  Just fuckin' fight!"  Sarah has gotten all the best lines in this episode.

Lafayette, still possessed by Sookie's dead father, has driven out into the Louisiana swamps.  Pleading his case, how much he loves her and hates to do this,  he grabs her by the back of the neck.  As Sookie screams that she doesn't want to die, Lafayette shoves her underwater.  Sookie screams.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

True Blood episode recap S6E4 "At Last"

Sookie and Ben put the unconscious Jason on the couch, checking for a pulse.  Sookie mutters that they need vampire blood but then runs off to call 911.  And then Ben FANGS UP BECAUSE HE IS A VAMPIRE, bites his own arm and feeds his blood to Jason.  I knew it!  I never figure this out but this time I knew it!  So weird ... can't be too many faeries who are turned into vampires then, right?  Because how else can Ben be recognized as kindred by Niall and Sookie?  Meanwhile, Niall has cornered Nora and wants to know what she knows about Warlow.  Blah blah blah Warlow is Lilith's progeny and the prophecy says that only the progeny can kill her.  Then she's all, you smell delicious and he blasts her off down the road, where she is quickly captured by the LAVTF (Louisiana Vampire Task Force?)

Over on the werewolf side of town, the pack is realizing that "the one with the crazy hair" [Nicole] got away and also Sam took Emma back.  Alcide organizes the chase party and is it me or is he just completely unsympathetic/unlikeable this season?  Out in the woods, as wolves howl in the distance, Sam, Nicole and Emma stumble out onto the road where Lafayette picks them up.

The Governor and his minions bust into Ginger's house (and she screams and screams, as she does), discovering that his prey has fled the coop.  Somewhere that is else, Eric paces while Pam summons Tara.  She shows up sullenly, at first refusing to admit where she has stashed Willa.  Eric forces the issue and Tara 'fesses up even more sullenly.

At the Bellefleur household, Andy's now preteen faerie daughters read Terry's mind and giggle over the fact that he's sad about killing Patrick. [Oh god this again? No one cares.]  Arlene chastises the girls; Terry is depressed.  Andy comes in, assesses the situation and sends the girls to bed, saying they haven't sleep since they were three.  He tucks them in and turns out the light.  Moments later, they have grown more, into full-on teenagers, and they are not about to stay in for the night.  They raid Arlene's closet and sneak out, stealing Andy's cop car and looking for a place to go drinking.  Bill and Jessica are lurking in the bushes and see the girls sneaking out.  They follow the girls to a convenience store and when the clerk cards the girls, Jessica steps in, glamouring the clerk, taking the beer and inviting the girls back to her house to party.  Back at the house, one of the girls comes on to Bill a little bit and he manages to get a sample of her blood.  Chivalrous otherwise, he sends her back to the rest of the group.  Bill takes the blood down to the lab he has now set up in his basement and gives it to the captive Dr. Takahashi, instructing him to figure it out and synthesize it.

Jason is feeling just fine now - doing 200+ pull-ups - and Sookie goes to pick up the living room.  She finds a drop of Ben's blood and tests it; it glows and she realizes that Ben was the one who killed all the faeries in the safe haven.  [Sorry to gloat but I so called it.]  Also, Jason has a sex dream about Ben.  So there's that.

Eric has found Willa, waiting for him where Tara left her.  She insists that what her father is doing to the vampires sickens her.  He thinks for a moment and then asks her if she really wants to help him.  I do, she says.  So he digs a big hole and they lie down in it, Willa nervous because she's "a virgin pretty much."  Eric fangs up and latches onto her neck, drinking.  Then, as she's on the verge of unconsciousness, he cuts his own neck and makes her drink from him.

In the morning, Sam throws Nicole's phone away so no one can track them through it.  She's sad, realizing that all her friends are dead.  Sam sends Lafayette away, thanking him for his help.  Nicole's like, WTF are we going to do without a car?  Sam, a little cocky, tells her that he'll carry her and Emma, seeing how she's so curious about shifters.  He strips naked and shifts into a gorgeous black horse.  Nicole:  Shit!

Back in town, Sookie shows up unannounced at Ben's motel.  She apologizes for Niall's rudeness the night before and invites him over for a home-cooked meal to say thank you.  Ben's all, I would like that a lot.  Over at the Bellefleurs', Andy is frantic about his missing girls, wanting to put out a BOLO for four Caucasian females between the ages of 11 and 50.  He is freaking out.

Jason is also freaking out, enough that he asks Niall if he's ever had a gay-themed dream.  Niall reads his mind and chuckles, "That Ben is a handsome man."  Jason mutters that he feels like he did when he was on vamp blood.  Niall considers this, ruminating that although he never heard of such a mongrel before - a vampire who walks in daylight, who has faerie powers - this must be the case.  Ben must be Warlow.  They collect some anti-vamp weapons from the sheriff's department and go to Ben's motel.  While he in the shower, they enter his room, Niall's giant ball of anti-vamp energy/light at the ready.  But he gets the drop on them, zapping Niall with some faerie energy of his own and easily exerting glamouring Jason to forget everything.  Also, he now has an English accent (as does the actor).  He tells Jason that now would be a good time if he wants to say goodbye to his grandpa; Jason: "Goodbye, Grandpa.  We tried."  After Jason has gone,  Ben/Warlow drinks Niall's blood but keeps spitting it out for some reason.

Sookie starts to make dinner, adding colloidal silver to the recipes.

When Bill checks in with Takahashi later, the scientist has bad news: the blood is highly unstable and degrades into ordinary human blood almost immediately outside of the hosts.  Bill's all, don't worry, I have donors upstairs and I'll go get more.

After Willa has arisen, Eric orders a living donor for her so she can feed.  She is giddy, delirious, ready to fight or fuck or whatever comes next.  Eric:  You're going home.  He is sending her back to the Governor, the thing he loves most turned into the thing he despises most.  She is understandably furious at being used like this but he speaks gently to her.  "I've been around for over a thousand years and you are the second vampire I have made.  I did not make this decision lightly.  I have to send you back.  As your maker, I command you: go home to your father."  She goes.

Pam and Tara walk and talk, trying to figure out the next steps.  Tara gets angry (shocker) and leaves.  No sooner than she's gone, the LAVTF shows up and captures Pam.

At the Governor's mansion, the minions have invited Willa in.  She stands before her father (and Sarah Newlin is there too, as she's currently the Governor's squeeze), telling him that she's still his daughter and asking him to stop persecuting vampires.  Sarah interjects, saying not to listen to her.  The Governor is all, shut up, Sarah, this is my daughter.  Unfortunately, Willa can't control herself and tries to bite her father.  Sarah shoots Willa with an incapacitating silver bullet and demands that the Governor put her in the camp as Willa writhes and screams.

Out in the night, Ben revives Niall with some of his blood, telling the old faerie that he'll be weak because he drained him of his blood (so he sucked it out but didn't drink it? some sort of moral dilemma?).  He's not going to kill Niall, though, because technically they are kindred.  Instead, he opens a portal and sends a screaming Niall through it.  Somewhere else, Sam puts Emma to bed in one motel room while he and Nicole talk and cry and drink and, eventually, fuck in the adjoining room.  Sam gets a decent amount of tail for a mopey shapeshifting bar-owner.

Sookie is QUITE annoyed because Ben is late for dinner (what with the disposing of her grandfather and all).  He does finally show up, bearing wine and flowers and his Southern accent again.  She serves him dinner, not eating herself.  It's fried chicken and mashed potatoes and yes, it does look delicious.  The colloidal silver does not seem to have any effect on him as he wolfs the food down.  Sookie is perplexed and tries another tack.  She tells him a little about Bill, saying that things fell apart when he lied to her.  She asks him straight out, what is it about me that you want?  Ben says that he understands her and he knows that she understands him.

Back at Bill's, the faerie girls have gotten even older - into their mid-twenties now - and they have had enough of this lame-ass party.  They head for the door, jostling an agitated Jessica.  She grabs one of them, inhaling deeply.  "You smell like honey," Jess moans, burying her head in one girl's neck.  From the basement, Bill hears the ruckus and rushes upstairs.  He finds all four girls strewn on the floor and Jessica sobbing, "Tell me they're not dead!"  They sure look dead.

After dinner, Sookie puts some makin'-out music on and she and Ben immediately commence with the kissing and disrobing.  Right in the middle of it all, however, she pulls together her faerie energy ball, whispering, "You can get off me now."  Ben: Huh?  Sookie:  "Get the fuck off me or die, Warlow."  Nice.  I much prefer bad-ass Sookie to always-needing-rescuing Sookie.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Monday, September 7, 2015

So busy

I don't mean to derail the True Blood momentum - and, in fact, I have watched the next two episodes and will get to recapping them soonish - but there's some other stuff I've read and watched recently that is pretty damn good.  (And, frankly, when compared to True Blood, very damn good.)  Take a gander and let me know if you've partaken of any of these.

  • Black Mirror - A satirical British science fiction anthology series from the mind of Charlie Booker, Black Mirror is a dark and twisted treat.  Each episode - and there are only a few - has a different story and a different cast, and all of them involve technology that is not that far away from us right now.  As an X-Files, Fringe and Twilight Zone fan, as well as a fan of dystopian fiction, it's like this show was made for me.  It's got a great cast too, which made it great fun to recognize people (from Sense8, Agent Carter and the U.K. version of Skins, among others).  
  • Howl's Moving Castle - I read the book.  I don't think I even realized there was a book and thought it was just the acclaimed Miyazaki animated movie.  But no, it was a book first, by British author Diana Wynne Jones.  It's a lightweight YA fantasy novel about Sophie, the eldest of three sisters and, in the world of fairy tales, thus doomed to a boring and unfulfilled life.  When Sophie inadvertently pisses off the Witch of the Waste, the Witch turns her into an old woman.  Her only chance at breaking the spell is the Wizard Howl, he of the titular moving castle.  Sophie insinuates herself into Howl's household and then the adventures begin.  Howl's Moving Castle is stuffed full of fire demons, jilted lovers, fancy outfits, animated scarecrows and plain old magic.  I got sucked in against my will and now I'm just going to have to move the movie up to the top of my Netflix queue.
  • Doctor Who - It wasn't as though I was actively resisting Doctor Who, I just figured that I needed a chunk of time to watch a bunch of episodes in a row to really gain appreciation for it.  Everything I have read said that the 2005 revival, with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, is a good place to start - that those of us new Whovians don't really need to delve into the classic episodes.  I'm almost all the way through the series (I understand that Eccleston only played the Doctor for the one series) and I'm really quite liking it.  It has some fairly scary monsters for such a silly show (the Dalek, the Empty Child zombies, the Autons).  I have a big ol' girl crush on Bille Piper, who plays the Doctor's companion, Rose.  And Eccleston does a very nice job with the Doctor: he's got some darkness to him, this incarnation.  Good fun.  I'm anxious to finish out this series and see what fan-favorite David Tennant does with it.
  • The Revolution was Televised  - This non-fiction book by Alan Sepinwall covers the shows that changed television into the amazing landscape that we now know it to be.  Sepinwall discusses in detail the following shows, which include several of my all-time favorites:  Oz (which I now have to watch), The Sopranos, The Wire (which I definitely have to watch), Deadwood (love love love), The Shield, LOST, Buffy the Vampire Slayers (!!!!!!!!!), 24, Battlestar Galactica (love love love), Friday Night Lights (love), Mad Men (it's on my list) and Breaking Bad (love love love).  Those are some seriously excellent shows right there.  The Revolution was Televised is easy to read, packed with information and interview tidbits and just fascinating to any of us who love good television.  Highly recommended.
  • Mr. Robot - I also watched USA's Mr. Robot which is just great.  Rami Malek, as main guy Elliott Alderson, is phenomenal as the brilliant, damaged untrustworthy narrator.  The plot moves along quickly - a hacker group, fSociety, is looking to take down the largest corporation (Evil Corp) in the world, thus fomenting chaos - but it's the character beats that are the most compelling.  Great stuff and a wonderful change of pace from USA's usual blue sky programming.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

True Blood episode recap S6E3 "You're No Good"

Governor Burrell's daughter, Willa, has of course invited Eric in.  He tells her that she's about to die for her father's sins and fangs up.  But just before he starts to feed on her, she gasps that killing her won't stop her father but she can tell Eric about the experiments.  "What experiments?"  And when the Governor's armed anti-vamp squad busts into Willa's room, guns drawn, neither she nor Eric are there.

Jessica switches off the television and presses Bill, asking who is going to burn and WTF, really.  He's all, I HAVE TO STOP IT and tells her that she was there in his vision, burning in the sun.  He doesn't know how or where but she, Eric, Pam, Tara, et als., are all going up in flames.  "So help me, Jess, I will stop this!"  Jessica sniffles.

Over at the Stackhouse house, Sookie practices her little ball of light while Jason sits uncomfortably in the living room with Granddad.  Granddad Niall senses a disturbance in the force - "Warlow!" - and goes outside, telling Jason to keep Sookie in the house.  Jason runs out after him, however, and immediately clutches his head, wailing.  Sookie, ignoring Niall's admonitions to stay inside in case it's Warlow here for her, rushes out and drags her brother back inside.  They don't know what's wrong with him.  Niall tells them to be careful and heads back out, hunting for Warlow.

Eric brings Willa to Fangtasia and Pam and Tara - Nora is gone, Pam doesn't the fuck know where - are all pissed off about everything.  Eric says that the Governor's men are after them and they should pack up anything at the bar they're nostalgic about before they leave it behind for good.  Pam is sorrowful and angry; Tara is mostly just angry, pissed off that Eric - who severed his tie with Pam - is still bossing Pam around.  Eric snarls at them, though, and they flounce off in a snit.  Eric turns back to Willa who says he doesn't have to kill her or glamour her, she'll tell him all about the camp because it sickens her.  The Governor appropriated a bunch of taxpayer money and built this underground facility where they do all kinds of tests on vampires - physical, psychological, surgical, etc.  Eric is all, WHERE IS THIS CAMP.

Actually, Reverend Steve the Vampire Newlin is just now being dragged into said camp, bound and gagged and hooded.  He's not happy, is little ol' Steve.

Sam and Lafayette come to, finally, in Sam's trailer where annoying Nicole and her annoying boyfriend Jesse dragged them after the werewolf beat-down.  Nicole tells Sam that the werewolves took Emma.  Jesse has ALL SORTS of questions about werewolves and Lafayette, helping himself to some of Sam's personal tequila, suggests strongly that he forget all about what happened tonight.  Nicole decides they should go, first offering her help to Sam if he goes after Emma.  Sam's all, thanks but no thanks.  After they're gone, Lafayette wants to know the plan.  Sam wants to send him home and go it alone but Lafayette ain't havin' none of that.  "Yes, I is in, and what's the motherfuckin' plan, boyfriend?"

Eric brings his little band of misfits to Ginger's house (remember Ginger?  the screaming and fainting and hugely stupid human barmaid from Fangtasia).  The sun is coming up and it's time to go to ground.  Eric appropriates Ginger's coffin (is she a vamp now? do I care?) for him and Willa; Pam and Tara go with Ginger to her "shitty little underground cubby."  Pam and Tara are not at all pleased about any of this.  Over at Bill's plantation house, the sun is also coming up and Bill is convinced that he is immune to its rays because in his vision with Lilith, they were standing in the noonday sun.  Jessica is all YOU ARE GOING TO DIE but he shoos her away, standing outside and waiting for the sun with opened arms.  Of course, he immediately bursts into flames.  A sobbing Jessica hides under a blanket and rushes out to get him, dragging him back inside to safety.  He is a mess, charred and bleeding.  "I don't understand!" he sobs as she rocks him, sobbing herself.

Niall has made his way to the field where the hidden faerie speakeasy is.  He goes inside and the mess is a shambles, covered in blood.  He can sense all the poor faeries' deaths.  He finds one alive, just barely, and asks what happened.  An extremely vampire got in - no idea how - and laid waste to them all.  Niall shakes his head and euthanizes the dying faerie, saying he is sending him home.

A little later that morning, Sookie checks in on Jason.  She doesn't think he looks at all well and wants to take him to the doctor.  He's all, not, I'm getting better and the hallucinations seem to be gone.  Sookie's all, you were hallucinating?  Jason: "Like a motherfucker!  [earlier, when they were arming up against the Authority] you didn't notice I was actin' all crazy, and more racist than normal?"  He explains that was because he was seeing their parents whispering all sorts of horrible things to him.  Sookie squeezes his hand.

In storylines I don't care about:  Holly shows up at the sheriff's office to complain about the vampire curfew not being enforced.  She starts railing on Andy until she notices his four faerie daughters giggling the hallway:  the girls have now aged up to about ten or eleven years old.  Andy:  "Yeah, I know.  It's weird, right?"  He says that yes, he wants to help her with her vampire problem and asks her to take a ride with him.  They and the girls go out to Andy and Terry's secret hideout in the woods (Fort Bellefleur, remember?) and he teaches her how to shoot a gun to protect herself.  He says that they don't ever have to get naked together again, but he would like to be her Fort Bellefleur some day.  Slowly, Holly starts to warm up to him.

In other unfortunate storylines, the police have showed up at Martha's house.  Alcide growls to her that Emma needs to shift ASAP and goes out to talk to the cops.  They are, of course, looking for Emma and they have a photo.  Alcide says he hasn't seen her but the cops want to talk to Martha, seeing how she's the girl's grandmother and all.  Ricki the were-bitch goes inside to fetch Martha out.  When the older woman has gone outside, Ricki leans over the little girl and snarls evilly, telling her to fuckin' shift right fuckin' now!  Martha and Alcide do their best to move the cops along but they insist on going in the house.  Luckily (?), Emma has shifted into the little wolf puppy.  After the cops leave, Ricki is all, taking this girl is a bad fucking idea.  Alcide puts her in her place, though, saying that Emma no longer has a father thanks to him, and she's a wolf, and she's part of the pack.

Willa wakes up in the coffin and wants to talk with Eric.  He's all, "I'm a vampire.  I'm supposed to be dead during the day."  She persists, blah blah blah, and tries to get a little snuggly with him.  But he shoots her down because he needs to be dead right now.

Out in the daylight, Ben is limping up the road just as Niall comes out of the faerie speakeasy.  (Which I believe lends credence to my Ben is Warlow theory, him being in the vicinity at just the right time - although I'm not sure how a vampire could have any faerie characteristics.  (It's not a well-fleshed-out theory.))  Niall finds out that Ben knows Sookie and asks him to join the fight against Warlow.  Ben's all, I would be honored!

That evening, Bill is heading out to "run errands."  Jessica wants to go with him and he gets all stuffy like he does: "You are in peril, Jessica.  I cannot let you take the risk."  Who the hell says "in peril" these days?  She's all, don't shut me out - you have to let me help.  Fine.  He sends her off to the university to find some professor who is said to be the guy who developed Tru Blood.  And, ick, Bill says, "You should wear something inappropriate.  [This professor] has a thing for young women."  So Jess is dressed in a short skirt, thigh-high stockings and hooker heels when she shows up at the professor's class.  After the lecture, she chats him up and he's totally into her [ICK ICK ICK].  He asks if she wants to do some private tutoring, perhaps starting tonight.  Jess is all, oh, it has to be tonight and grabs him.

Back at the vampire internment camp, Steve Newlin is delighted when his little blonde wife Sara shows up.  "Sara! You're here to save me!"  She laughs coldly, "Oh, you're funny.  You were never funny when you were human."  So, not here to save him then.  He starts crying, saying that he's so scared.  Sara is all, you hurt me and scared me and disappeared with our friends and our money.  She perches on his lap and enthuses that this camp is everything that they used to want: God's plan to eradicate the vampire race.  Plus, she's in politics now where she can really affect some change.  She says bye-bye to Steve as the doctor comes in.  The doctor wants to know about Eric Northman and only has to wave an ominous hypodermic syringe around to get Steve more than willing to talk.

Back in Bon Temps, Bill knocks on Sookie's door, wanting to talk to her.  He says he needs her help and if she won't, Eric, Pam, Jessica, Tara and others will die.  This is enough to get her to open the door and ask, WTF?  He's all, I had a vision and she's all, this is because you drank fucking Lilith blood.  She is not at all inclined to help him.  Unfortunately, with his new powers, he can come into the house even if he isn't invited and, when Jason rushes to intercept, Bill telekinesises him across the room.  Sookie is all what do you want?!?  Bill is all, "I need your blood - there's a scientist who can synthesize your blood.  My progeny needs this to be saved!"  Sookie, scared and but still defiant:  "You're not a god, Bill.  You're just an asshole!"  Nice.  She absolutely refuses to give him her blood.  He looms over her, asking if she won't reconsider.  Absolutely not.  Bill: "You're dead to me now, Sookie Stackhouse."  Sookie:  "I'm good with that."

Nicole, Jesse and their equally annoying cohorts drive up to Alcide and the werewolves' compound.  The kids introduce themselves as a nonviolent coalition trying to unite humans and supernaturals but the werewolves get belligerent very quickly, especially when they realize the kids have been videoing them.  As an owl (Sam, I assume) watches from a fencepost, the pack, led by Ricki, shift and tear into the human kids, killing three of them.  Nicole is injured but manages to limp away, especially after Wolf-Alcide keeps another wolf from getting her.  Sam shifts into human form and grabs Emma.  They run out into the woods after Nicole, knowing she doesn't have a chance otherwise.

Ginger answers Eric's phone:  it's the Governor, who knows that Eric has his daughter.  As they chat, the Governor is tracing the call, of course.  Eric thinks his phone is untraceable, however, and grandstands a bit (but the Governor's tech guys do capture the location).  The Governor - bullshitting, I believe - promises to rescind all his latest proclamations and Eric says, okay, I'll put Willa on the phone.  But Tara and Willa have disappeared.  An exasperated Pam flies out the window after her progeny; Eric gives his phone to Ginger and tells her to stall.

Niall and Ben have returned to Sookie's house.  They tells the Stackhouse siblings about what happened at the faerie speakeasy and Niall says there are clearly some things they don't know about Warlow. [Ben is totally Warlow!  Especially since Sookie can feel it when he listens in on her thoughts - but she's never been able to sense other faeries or halflings doing it.]  [Also, button your damn shirt, Ben.]  Then Niall starts to get twitchy, sensing a vampire outside.  It's Nora, who is all, I'm looking for Warlow too!  And then Jason collapses unconscious and gets everybody upset.

Bill is on his way home, walking in the dark, when Sheriff Andy pulls him over, reminding him about the vampire curfew.  Bill catches a whiff of faerie about him, though, and learns about the new daughters, and all of a sudden, Bill doesn't so much need Sookie's blood anymore.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood