Have you ever played Street Fighter II? Any of the original flavors will do for my analogy- World Warrior, Champion Edition or Hyper Fighting. The game had two characters, Blanka and E. Honda, who could hurtle themselves across the screen at you, which usually led to a quick block, or a life-reducing smack in the chest. Now, if you had the skill, you could stop those moves cold with a counter move, like a dragon punch from Ryu or Ken for example. That was always my favorite- quickly pulling off a dragon punch to connect with Blanka's annoying face, and it did extra damage too, so it was a good risk/reward type of situation. In this episode of True Blood, Alcide pulls off that exact move to his one-time humping partner, Rikki. She flies across a parking lot full of werewolf rage, and Alcide swiftly connects his packmaster fist to her slobbering cabeza. He literally dragon punches her out of the show. Hopefully...
It was a long road to get Sam and Alcide to this point- drinking rye in the wee hours of the morning at Merlotte’s. It turns out Alcide doesn't have the stones to be packmaster, which we knew all along, and it turns out Sam is still good ole' Sam, which we also knew all along. It was nice to see how Terry's death affected Sam, and how Alcide recognized it. It was even more interesting that Sam and Alcide could use their animalistic powers to instantly tell that Nicole is pregnant. The show paints her as a much more young and innocent girl when around her mother, and makes Sam seem much more like a cradle robber, hence him being dubbed "Silver Fox". The best scene in the episode, however, is when Sookie comes calling, and Sam lays it out to her with no filter. "...you kept me waiting in the wings because there was a more dangerous guy available..." sums it up brilliantly. As much as Sookie has had her share of being manipulated and taken advantage of, she's also done her share to others, and it's good the show recognizes it.
The Bellefleur side of this season continues to be well written, from Arlene railing against the southern funeral opulence, to Andy being uncomfortable in every situation, to Terry's life insurance causing even more pain. Andy not letting Adilyn have coffee was a funny moment, and just like her growth spurt, that's all it took for her to rebel, and follow Holly's boys out to the woods for some Louisiana misbehaving. Addy learns her lesson quick, but we'll get to that.
I'm not 100% sold on Sookie giving in to Warlow's offer to turn her into a vampire. However, her scene at her parents' graves was very well done. It's good to see Anna Paquin get into that headspace and deliver a good performance.
Sarah Newlin stakes her claim as a worthy villain yet again, this time with a giant hamster wheel and a high heel. Her chase through the factory with the Japanese TruBlood rep was both interesting and hilarious. It was fun to see the one person who could unravel Sarah's plan show up, and to see the lengths she will go to see it through.
The tip of the hat for this week belongs to Eric, however. He was in serious danger of being de-fanged in a world of Billeth and psycho Sarah, but pulls the rug out from all of them. His mocking of Bill- "Mother, I can fly!" was fantastic, he truly had no fear in the face of a greater power. He also gets points for slyly following Sookie, and figuring out how to use the faerie portal. My only gripe is he should have killed Warlow, drained him dry. Suddenly all of Sookie's consternation would have been for nothing, and Eric truly would have changed the board completely.
The Good: "Oozy but productive."
The Bad: Neutered Jason
The Ugly: The thought of seeing Alcide's "pack" again.
Joel Rickenbach is a curator of cult cinema at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, and can be heard every week talking film, TV and other geekery on the You’ve got GEEK podcast. Follow him onTwitter and hilarity will no doubt ensue.