Review: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Season 4, Episode 3 – “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin?”

Well Megan is indisposed this week, so your friendly neighborhood Doc is gonna fill in tonight. Now I’ll be up front – over the first couple episodes this season we’ve got a lot of story lines to follow, and I care about almost none of them. I mostly don’t care about the fairies though. Mostly. I don’t like Jesus or Tara, but Lafayette is always fun, and their coven of witches became a hell of a lot more interesting last week when they owned Eric.  They still fall well below the Vampire council in terms of what I want to see however.

True Blood

Sam’s shifter community and Jason’s redneck panthers seem nothing more than filler at this point. And yes I know the 2 panthers eating Jason Stackhouse last week was important, I just don’t care about it, you know it’s gonna lead to another stupid storyline. To be honest, the best connected to that story line is my boy Sheriff Andy Bellefleur and his drug addiction. And Terry and Arlene are hilarious, but as always, my number one reason to watch – Jessica and Hoyt. ANYHOW – Tonight’s episode…

Spoilers Ahead…

We kick things off with a still bewildered Eric Northman, and a ‘mouthy as ever’ Sookie Stackhouse. Northman is now an amnesic and Sookie agrees to help him find himself. This bewilders me. Sookie hated Eric 10 minutes ago…

Cut to the hillbilly meth-heads and their stupid panther ritual. Oh Jason, stop dating crazy chicks already will ya… The old crazy panther man explains to us how they are agents of Mother Nature, and while most are born with the cat in them, they can also be changed. Like a werewolf.

The next we see is Bill passing judgment on a vampire who was dumb enough to get caught on YouTube feeding by some more rednecks. This results in the offending vampire being sentenced to the ‘true death’. That’s when my girl Jessica shows up, visiting her maker – King Bill for the first time in months. This led to an awesome moment of levity, with Jessica and Bill having a touching heart-to-heart as we hear the ominous screams of the YouTube Vamp being executed in the background. Classic.

Another part I found was hilarious was the following scene, when we got back to Sookie and Eric. She calls Fangtasia to tell Pam about Eric’s predicament, and Pam drops her meal and speeds there immediately. As Pam bursts in the door Eric jumps up and yells:

“Who the F@&% is that?”

It was hilarious, I love amnesia Eric. As it turns out, Pam has some pretty dark ideas about Bill setting up Eric with the coven, and at some point she threatens Sookie, to which Eric takes exception. This is really the only way they could’ve done it. There is too much history between Sookie and Northman for them to have made amends without a Florence Nightingale scenario – ala George McFly and Lorraine Baines.

When Jessica got home her and Hoyt had it out about her biting another man, but I couldn’t pay attention to anything other than the creepy-ass doll he found in the bed. Apparently they’ve thrown it away several times and it keeps coming back. Now I can handle the vamps and werewolves and maenads, but I draw the line a creepy dolls you can’t throw away. What the f–k is that all about?!?!

Witches, Fairies, Human Panthers, Werewolves, Vampires, Shape-Shifters, and serial killers. This town is like Sunnydale, I keep waiting for Buffy to show up.

And through some confusion on my part, I was supposed to cover next week, not this. SO, we now join Megan’s review, already in progress….

The episode opens back with Sookie and Eric, the latter still very confused about who he is and what’s going on.  After a scuffle, and a well-aimed punch to Eric’s nose, he describes to her what happened back with the witches.  (He also accidentally calls her “Snooki” which I found pretty hilarious.)  Eric described the witch’s “cold, empty eyes” and how they reached into him and took everything he knew about himself.  He also went on about how this witch “was her, but it wasn’t her.”  This witch, Marnie, must be channeling something, or someone, much more powerful and evil than herself.  As one of our readers pointed out, it may have something to do with someone from the time period of the Spanish Inquisition.  Sookie agrees to help Eric retrieve his memories, so long as he doesn’t touch or bite her.

Marnie, meanwhile, is being patched up by her very angry coven.  When she is asked how she made him leave, she cannot remember.

Back in Hot Shot, Jason is shred to pieces from those crazy Panther People.  The residents are sitting around a campfire eating raw meat and listening to some old coot tell the story of their creation.  And then my eyes glazed over and I stopped listening because this story line makes me want to cry.  I think it’s time to just cut Jason out of the show.  First it was his crazy V-tripping girlfriend, and then it was his swashbuckling Jesus freak adventures.  I am sick of it.

Moving right along….

I still can’t wrap my head around this King Bill nonsense.  He looks like such a tool in his tight pants and shiny button-ups.  It’s a completely different Bill than we are used to seeing.  Jessica comes to see him to confess that she fed on a man that wasn’t Hoyt, and she asked Bill’s advice for what she should do.  Bill began preaching about openness and honesty, something he lacked when he was with Sookie.  And did I sense a look of regret on his face?

Sookie, meanwhile, has her hands full taking care of a very child-like Eric Northman.  She calls Pam and explains her situation.  Pam then rushes over, begging Sookie to keep an eye on Eric and keep him safe.  Pam insists that Bill sent Eric to the witches on purpose looking for ways to get him assassinated.  It wouldn’t be the first time those two didn’t see eye to eye, now would it?  It seems pretty obvious that Bill is still in love with Sookie, why wouldn’t he want to murder the man who was solely responsible for their breakup?

 Jessica is back home with Hoyt.  She’s taking Bill’s advice and telling him the truth, though it didn’t go so well.  She immediately glamors him into forgetting all about it.  What a clever trick to have up your sleeve.  You can tell anyone whatever you want to get it off your chest and then force them to forget it!  That’s ten times better than writing a mean letter to someone and throwing it away.

Andy is doing V. No one cares.

Sookie goes to visit Alcide, it’s about time we got to see him again!  The only downside – he’s back with that bitch, Debbie.  Apparently she’s changed for the better, but I don’t believe it. Sookie is trying to find somewhere to unload Eric, but this doesn’t seem to be the place.

Hoyt’s mom is still playing “fake son” with Tommy, Sam’s brother.  She is teaching him how to read, and he’s already learning how to exploit someone else who takes him in and cares for him.  A man comes to the door with an offer for some of her land which may have natural gas, and he swooped right in to take his card.

Back to Jason Stackhouse in Hot Shot, who is infected with all of his flesh wounds.  He’s one of those guys who’s only attracted to crazy women.  Like CRAZY crazy.

Tara and Sam get a chance to catch up, it was sufficiently awkward.  Jesus shows up to Merlotte’s looking for Lafayette, who has magically disappeared while Sam and Tara are doing Tequila shots.  They leave in a rush, worried that Lafayette is out to get himself killed by tracking down Eric Northman.

Bill is at a restaurant with one of his employees (the crazy chick from Dexter) it would seem.  He attempts to call Eric, who does not answer.

Sam has his hands full with Tommy, who tells him about Maxine’s house being situated on a treasure trove of natural gas.  Sam tries to convince Tommy to do the right thing and let her know about it.

Sookie returns home, True Blood in hand, to find that Eric has flown the coop.

Tara and Jesus arrive at Fangtasia to find Lafayette in the angry clutches of Pam.  They inform her that they know the witch who cast the spell on Eric, and may be able to find a way to reverse it.  Pam tells them to bring the witch to her, or she will kill each one of them.

Marnie, on the other hand, can be found in her apartment slicing her wrists open as a sacrifice to the Great Spirit and begging to be the conduit.  The young Spanish woman we saw in the previous episode dancing on Marnie’s face can also be seen sitting in the other room of Marnie’s apartment.

Sookie is still waiting up for Eric to return, when she gets a visit from her fairy godmother, who insists that Sookie must come with her to Fairy Land.  Sookie vehemently refuses, and then Eric comes out of nowhere and kills her.  The godmother, that is.

All in all, not a bad episode.  I find, though, more and more, that nothing really happens in a True Blood episode.  I finish them thinking, it can’t possibly be over (and not always in a good way).  I think that there is too much going on.  Sometimes, we just get one or two minute blips of people an episode, just as a reminder that they’re still on the show.  There are more new characters, twice as many as in the show’s genesis, and there seems like there is more a focus on giving everyone equal screen time than telling a good story.

For instance, Jason’s story line blows.  Sam’s story line blows.  Jessica and Hoyt are boring.  I could fastforward through their scenes and still know what’s going on in Bon Temps.  Maybe they ran out of ideas for the vampires, but it seems to me that all the True Blood fans want to see the plots develop around the vampires and Sookie, and we’re just not getting that right now.

Don’t get me wrong, Fiona Shaw as Marnie has been brilliant.  She’s insane.  Actually, I’m a lot more interested in these witches than I thought I would be.  I don’t think, however, that each season needs a theme, or to revolve around a new character.  If they would stick to the Bill/Sookie/Eric love triangle and focus more on the vampire politics, that would be most of the show right there.  And it would be brilliant.  I just miss the dynamic in the first season, I guess.

I give this episode 3.5 bears.

The creepy baby is chewing on the creepy doll!!!

7 thoughts on “Review: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Season 4, Episode 3 – “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin?””

  1. Amnesiac Eric is a riot. I’m laughing the hardest I’ve ever laughed, because he’s so very entertaining. I really like this story. I agree with you about the rest of the storylines though, I don’t really care. Build the show around the central characters and stop giving so many stories to side characters, because you’ll end up with a mess as in the previous seasons.

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  2. You all do realize that the plots are loosely based off the Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris? All of the elements have reasons including Jason, amnesiac Eric and the witches. All of these story lines where in the 4th book and will have reasons.

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    1. Yes, I do realize. I will admit that I have not read the books. However, when adapting a story so huge to the screen, even the small screen, you have to mold the story to fit the medium in which you are presenting it. The way they’re adapting (however closely or loosely) this story seems WAY to A.D.D. While all these side plots and anecdotal twists and turns may be genius in a book, you can’t always convey that in another form. Maybe I would like it more if I had read the book. Maybe I would like it less. I am judging this purely based on its qualities as a TV series with no outside information, and that is what I review.

      I don’t care about your stupid books.

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  3. GREAT REVIEW! I totally agree with all your thoughts you said in your post, especially at the beggining of your article. Thank you, this info is very useful as always. Keep up the good work! You’ve got +1 more reader of your great blog:) Isabella S.

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