Saturday, August 27, 2011

Will the jumbled True Blood Season 4 make sense by the finale?

So what exactly is up with this season of True Blood? Is it just us, or are there too many disjointed storylines happening at one time? There's so much going on, but not in a good way. It's too hard to keep track of what everyone is up to because the various plot lines don't exactly connect. Yet? (Maybe it'll all make sense by the end of the season, but we think we might be giving them too much credit this time around.) Some episodes feel like almost nothing happens for 40 minutes and others are so chock-full of action that it's almost too full.

The season premier was... underwhelming. There was plenty of "WTF" but nothing that really made us psyched for the rest of the season. (We're always psyched for True Blood regardless, but this didn't exactly pique our interest anymore than usual.) Certain storylines seem to be resolved too quickly, without much fanfare or excitement. Others seem to have just been dropped completely, as if we wouldn't remember and wonder what was going on. (Or maybe we wouldn't - since it's hard to care about some of these storylines anyway.) It's possible that they're waiting until the end of the season to bring them up again, but really what are they waiting for? There are only three episodes left and if we don't care about these storylines now, we certainly won't care much in three episodes either.

So here's a partial list of some of the mixed-up, disjointed storylines from True Blood season 4. (It should go without saying that this blog entry contains some major SPOILERS...but okay, we're say it. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.)

  • Sookie and the faeries

In the first episode, they made a huge foreshadowy deal about Sookie going to the faerie realm and pissing off the faerie powers that be and then... nothing happened. It was the entire long crazy opener of the season premiere, but so far it seems as though the only purpose it served was to allow the writers to advance the characters ahead a year without having to actually waste a year. Sookie's fairy godmother returned at the end of episode three, which we thought might be the start of something... but then she was quickly sucked dry by Amnesia-Eric. This can't have been without consequences, but so far there's not much time left for these consequences to occur. Unless they plan on getting involved in the whole vampires vs. witches battle (doubtful), there's really no logical way to bring back this forgotten storyline in a way that makes sense.

  • Portia Bellefleur and Bill
No one was shocked when Portia told Bill she wanted to make their business relationship a personal relationship as well, although some people may have been a little surprised when she turned out to be his descendent. And yeah, we were definitely surprised when she still wanted to sex him up even after learning that they were related (ew!) She was not willing to take no for an answer, so Bill glamoured her to be terrified whenever she saw him. Seems a little excessive no? Aren't vampires supposed to be proving that people shouldn't be scared of them?

  • Nan Flanagan and Bill's PR plan
Nan Flanagan and Bill have been working hard to make sure that vampires no longer look back. In the "post-Russell Edgington world" they can't be seen as evil, violent or threatening.Through out the crazy shit that's going on elsewhere during the season, it's hard to even remember that they're on a pro-vampire campaign until every once in a while we get to check in on their progress (which has been shitty). Now that Marnie/Antonia has fucked up their "Festival of Tolerance" or whatever it was called, we're sure stuff is going to get even worse... that or people will add "witch-hunts" to all their vampire-hating as well.

  • Jason and the werepanthers
In episode three, Jason was kidnapped, allegedly turned into a werepanther, and repeatedly raped by the Crystal Norris et al. It took Jason a little time to get over the trauma, but it seems like he more upset about the panther thing that the rape. Once he realized he wasn't really going to turn into a panther (which only took about an episode) he was fine and quickly moved on to his next disjointed storyline (the Jason-Jessica-Hoyt love triangle). We're sure that Crystal will be back at some point this season (or next) and probably pregnant... but for now we're enjoying her absence.

  •  The Jason-Jessica-Hoyt love triangle
Now this is actually one of the storylines that we've been enjoying. We never would've thought that we wanted to see more scenes of Jason and Jessica, until this season, and now we can't get enough of them! It seems like Jason has bounced back from being gang-raped to being in love with Jessica pretty quickly, but I suppose vampire blood can do that to a person. Watching Jessica and Hoyt's relationship downward spiral made sense to us, you can't domesticate a vampire like Jessica. We were a little surprised by how nasty Hoyt has been after the breakup, one day he's crying that he'll die without her and then he's throwing her out of the house and calling her a monster? But we're happy for any excuse to bring Jason and Jessica together. Now that they've each saved each other's lives, it seems like this could be a pretty interesting couple for the show.

  • The Eric-Sookie-Bill love triangle
Of course we were waiting for this one for a long time... Everyone was excited to see Sookie and Eric get together and since his amnesia has made him so adorable it's kind of hard not to agree. Of course, Sookie totally ignored her Gram's advice that it "won't last" but I guess she's willing to let that fact go in order to get her viking on. Bill has progressively become more and more annoying (and therefore less attractive) but he did redeem himself a bit when he spared Eric's life to make Sookie happy. Obviously, we know where this story is going... Eric's going to get his old memory back (and possibly have no memory of his relationship with Sookie) so he'll go back to his bad boy ways, leaving poor Sookie all brokenhearted and ready to fall back into Bill's lying and loving arms. But thanks for the threesome dream sequence. All that was missing was Alcide taking off his shirt in the background.

  • The Sam-Luna-Marcus love triangle
It's been kind of nice seeing Sam have a love interest again, after all the heartbreak he's had to go through on this show. Of course, falling in love with a shifter whose ex is a jealous, controlling werewolf maybe wasn't the best idea. It's definitely nice to see Sam playing barbies and being a father figure (who'd have thought he'd know how to do that after not one, but two, sets of shitty parents in a row) but we know no good can come of messing with the family of the Shreveport werewolves' pack leader.

    • Sam and Tommy's family drama
    It seemed awfully convenient that Sam learn about 'skinwalkers' right before his brother killed their parents. We have to say that watching various actors portray Tommy is pretty fucking funny. Sam Trammell proved his acting chops this season, by making it totally obvious who was the real Sam and who was Tommy-Sam (the body language and way of speaking are just so different), but our favorite has to be Tommy as Mrs. Fortenberry - her hair alone won us over. These brothers have been through a lot over their short time together: first Tommy tries to kill his newfound brother, then Sam saves Tommy from his parents, then Tommy tried to steal from Sam so Sam shot him in the leg, then Sam helps him cover up the death of his parents... and Tommy goes and shifts into Sam and sleeps with his girlfriend... oh brothers.

      • Arlene's baby and Mavis the ghost
      Since episode one there were hints that something might not be 100% right with Arlene's baby. (In fact, the foreshadowing on this one goes way back to last season.) They threw us off a little bit with the whole Lafayette-Mavis mix-up - which seemed to resolve itself way too quickly. Like... the baby's acting crazy, Lafayette's acting crazy, Jesus hosts a magical intervention and it's all good now. Even Terry didn't seem to be too pissed off at Lafayette for basically ghost-kidnapping his kid after the fact. The thing is, there were signs of something being wrong with the baby before Jessica gave her that creepy baby doll (and really, what insane parent lets their kid play with that monstrous thing in the first place?) so we don't feel like this is finished yet.
      • Tara's secret identity and girlfriend
      Episode 1: Tara is living in New Orleans as 'Toni' with her hot girlfriend Naomi. Episode 6: Naomi comes back, pissed that Tara lies. Tara tells the truth, it's all good. Episode 7: Tara tells Naomi to leave town so she doesn't get killed, bye Naomi! Is that really how this storyline is going to resolve? I guess it's kind of hard to care what's going on in Tara's life anyway.

      • Andy's V-addiction
      Oddly enough, this addiction-storyline is played mostly for comic relief. I guess that's not so odd considering how hilarious Andy Bellefleur's character often is, but can't we give the guy a break already? First no one took him seriously, then he had a problem with alcohol. Last season he finally was given some respect and now they've give him an addiction to vampire blood? Can't Andy just be happy!? This storyline doesn't really connect to the others that much, except in circumstantial ways (he shows up at Hot Shot to get V, he hassles Lafayette for V, he crosses paths with Bill visiting his sister Portia, he almost dates Holly Cleary) but at least they're giving him something to do.

      • Alcide and Debbie
      Well, here's one storyline that was pretty much useless for most of the season. It feels like they just decide "let's check in on Alcide and Debbie" every once in a while just as an excuse to still have Joe Manganiello on the show. Not that we're complaining - we do appreciate every time they come up with an excuse for him to take his shirt off. But when there are so many other storylines going on, it's just kind of hard to care whether these two can make their relationship work or whether they decide to join a pack. We finally started to see a little drama happening in episodes 8 and 9, but even then it feels like the writers are trying to come up with reasons to keep them around.

      •  Marnie/Antonia: Witches vs. Vampires
      Marnie was just an idiot, messing with a power that she didn't understand while Antonia certainly has had some serious wrongs done to her that she wants to avenge... but of all the crazy, mixed-up storylines this season, the main one seems to be the most annoying. We're kind of sick of it at this point. So many of the plotlines disappeared halfway through the season or magically resolved in one episode, but this one just won't go away. It's kind of hard to know who to root for in this magical battle of witches vs. vampires. Marnie vs. the vampire who raped Antonia back in the day? Easy, we want Marnie to win. But Marnie vs. Eric or Pam? Fuck that, we're on team Fangtasia. But Pam vs. Lafayette? Um... that's a tough one. It's hard to root again people who have been terrorized and raped by vampires, but Tara was just too annoying this season and Marnie/Antonia is starting to wear on our nerves. When it comes to pitting Eric against Bill at a tolerance rally? Sorry M/A, you're going down.
      • Pam's face
      This is really part of the "Witches vs. Vampires" storyline, but we just wanted to give it its own special section because we love Pam and we love any season that gives her more to do than just stand around behind Eric looking fabulous and menacing.  Pam's storyline this season has been hilarious and sad... she is literally decomposing. And we love it. She better not meet the true death though, because we want to see more of Pam in the future... whether it's pretty Pam or scary yucky Pam.

      There are only three episodes left... can they writers possibly tie it all together by the finale (which eerily, airs on September 11)? What do you think?

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