Review: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Season 4, Episode 10 – “Burning Down the House”

True Blood, I have missed you!  For the first time in weeks, I feel like we’re getting back to our roots.  Drama, intrigue, HUMOR (where did THAT go?)…this episode had almost anything we could hope for in a decent HBO show, without feeling like a supernatural episode of Jerry Springer.

Tonight’s episode of True Blood picks up where last week’s left off – at the Festival of Tolerance.  Brainwashed Eric has been commissioned to kill King Bill; and during their scuffle, something miraculous happens.  Sookie is able to use her fairy light to break Antonia’s spell.  This means, of course, Eric has his memories back and Pam has a normal face once again!

This whole thing feels like a cop-out to me.  What is the limit to these fairy powers?  She can hear your thoughts, make vampires daywalk, and she can break the spells of learned witches.  If there’s a problem, yo – she’ll solve it.  Like Vanilla Ice.  And if the writers write themselves into a corner, it’s okay.  The solution is simple: just have Sookie use her flash-hands and attribute it to another unknown fairy power.  Brilliant!

Sookie also lets Eric know that she’s jonesing for both him and Bill.  Shockingly, she’s not wearing lingerie and they don’t want to have an impromptu threesome with her.  I was surprised, too.

No threesome?!!?

The Festival of Tolerance also brings some dimension to the character of Antonia and her relationship with Marnie.  Finally.  She’s been a broken record in each episode, playing her vampire hatred on repeat, it’s about time she felt something else.  Like remorse for harming innocent people.  And we hear from Marnie for the first time in ages, and discover that she is thrilled to have the spirit of a dead necromancer living in her body.  And who wouldn’t?  It was always on my Christmas list, and I always got socks.

We also learn that Antonia can create force fields that can turn Jesus into a member of Insane Clown Posse.  I’m no fashion expert, but I think I prefer this look to his jean jacket and overly spiked hair.  I half expected him to break out in a chorus of “Hangin’ Tough.”

The rest of the witches speak Latin and a wind machine appears.

The Festival also brings out my favorite side of Nan – the bitchy side.  Of course she’s going to turn a bloodbath into some political statement.  Bill has other ideas, and FINALLY stands up to her!  I love Nan as a character, but it’s time someone questioned her motives and practices.  It’s time to take action instead of turning everything into a vampire PSA.  Nan is like the angry vampire mom, who threatens true death to anyone who mouths off to her like it’s a time out, and is realizing that her kids have outgrown her guidance.

This episode also made me appreciate how funny Terry Bellefleur is, and his dysfunctional relationship with Andy was one of the most comical things that have happened this season.  Andy’s V addiction has been a yawn this season, but Terry’s attempt to “scare him straight” at Fort Bellefleur made the episode SO much better.  These are the kinds of side stories that I wish would be incorporated more into the episodes.  We need something light and funny to take the edge off.  The show is dark and heavy enough on its own without giving so much material to minor characters.

Speaking of minor characters, TOMMY IS GONE!!!!!!!!!  I wanted to feel bad about it, but I just couldn’t!  Talk about a waste of space.  I hated this kid so much, I started calling my fast forward button the “Tommy button.”  Now, his death means that Sam (and Alcide, by the look of it) will have some confrontations with the werewolves.  I can’t say this story holds much investment for me, and I can’t say I have a dog in this fight, but mindless violence is always a good idea on True Blood.  It’s on like Donkey Kong.

This was a much better episode than those prior.  I felt like a lot of this season has been filler, and not even good filler.  I’m digging the Bellefleurs.  I’m digging the relationship between Jason and Jessica (and I love that Jason has a cooler of beer next to his armchair, that’s never a bad idea).  I’m even digging the Eric/Sookie/Bill love triangle.  Eric is so much more interesting with his memories; and it’ll be interesting to see Sookie come to terms with her feelings for both. And we’ll have to wait and see where Sookie and her Scooby Gang got transported to.

You really just have to like this episode for the Bad Boys ending.  Vampires wielding weapons, walking in slow motion to music – complete with the early ’90s freeze frame before the credits.

“Now everyone remember, if there is an explosion – do NOT look back.”

Classic.

I give this episode 4/5 bears.

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