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- TV Series: True Blood
- Episode: I Will Rise Up
- Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Chris Bauer, Michelle Forbes, Alexander Skarsgård, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston and William Sanderson
- Written By: Nancy Oliver
- Directed By: Scott Winant
- Network: HBO
- Series: True Blood
TRUE BLOOD: I Will Rise Up Review
Sacrifices Upon a Deadly Dawn.
By Joe Oesterle
August 17, 2009
Mania Review of True Blood: I Will Rise Up(2009).
© HBO/Robert Trate
Well no one could ever accuse Fellowship of the Sun member, the late Luke McDonald, of not having the courage of his convictions. In an enormous explosion of fire and silver, Luke himself, a couple of other humans and a few vampires (chiefly that Billy Mays-looking neck biter, Stan) were sent to meet their original maker.
That statement of course implies that God does exist, but questioning the existence of a supreme deity is apparently a spiritual query that can haunt a 2000 year-old vampire as much, if not more so, than it does many mortals with far less time spent on this earth.
Eric Bueller’s Day Off
Most times I really enjoy the lighter moments on this show. The comedy, both dark and light-hearted, is appreciated and often needed. Things can get pretty gruesome in Bon Temps and Dallas. Folks in them parts often get their hearts cut out, throats ripped open or find themselves chained and fed upon in frightening dungeons for weeks. So a little well placed levity is paramount, one would imagine to keeping one’s sanity.
I know this sounds like a complaint, and that’s because it is; I think I’m willing to overlook it, but sometimes True Blood plays out as more cartoonish than real. I realize we’re dealing with creations of pure fiction, but if we’re buying in to their existence, I’d prefer not to see Eric smile like a vampiric Ferris Bueller while Sookie sucks his neck. It made me smirk, but it also took me out of the moment. The same note could have been hit, without breaking the fourth wall.
Bill and Eric, the Undead Versions of Jack and Sawyer?
After dumping Lorena again, a move Bill is going to pay for, Bill witnesses the blast and runs in at super fast vampire speed to makes sure Sookie’s alright. Of course she was, and Eric even shielded her from harm – but this doesn’t make Bill feel altogether at ease.
He knows Eric just deceived Sookie into drinking his blood, which gives Eric the ability to know her whereabouts and feelings, but another side effect is it also makes her horny for the savage Aryan.
Now I’m a huge fan of the ABC show LOST, but I’d rather not have Bill and Eric turn into the monster versions of Jack and Sawyer. To be honest by their height disproportions, they actually look more like a modern day gothic Hall and Oates.
My point is I’m sure True Blood will handle the inevitable love triangle differently than their island-dwelling, time traveling counterparts, but I think it’s fair to wince at the possibility. Personally I’d rather be chained and fed upon than get involved in another great show where I have to put up with some fickle chick. But if that’s the sacrifice the gods of chaos and television demand of me, I’m willing to splay myself on their altar.
Goodnight Jessica. Goodnight Hoyt Boy
Aside from the talk of intercourse with the undead, the scene with Jessica and Hoyt on the couch played out like an old Walton’s episode. It was tender and funny (in the real way.)
I can’t say enough good things about Deborah Ann Woll. Her portrayal as former conflicted Bible-thumper turned awkward teenage vampire, Jessica, allows her to show off her considerable acting range. Jim Parrack as Hoyt shows he’s more than capable of keeping up, but Woll so far has managed to steal every scene she’s in.
Brother and Sister
And speaking of tender moments, it was nice to see Jason and Sookie finally share one between themselves. Orphaned as children, they’ve known loss before, and now with Gran dead, it’s good to see they’re able to open up to each other, and promise each other they’ll be there for the other from now on.
It couldn’t have been easy on young Jason Stackhouse to be the brother of the village freak – even if he was good looking, and had sex abilities. It had to be pretty hard on ol’ Sook too. To be the small town oddity, especially when seemingly everyone loved her big brother as much as they were put off by her peculiar gift.
Again I was confused by the humor in last night’s episode. Right after a poignant heart-to-heart between siblings, we get the increasingly cartoony Reverend and Mrs. Newlin on some news program. Yes it was funny watching them bicker on camera, and maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t enjoy being joked out of the reality this program sets.
Mother and Son
Granted Maxine Fortenberry has her faults; she’s nosey, she’s controlling and she not exactly open-minded, but she does love her baby boy. She may be wrong in her views towards Methodists, (she has her reasons) Catholics, (just the priests and nuns) African Americans (secretly) and a whole assorted slew of others who are different than her, but I don’t know how hard I can come down on Maxine for not feeling comfortable in letting her son date a vampire.
I’d like to pride myself on my liberal leanings when it comes to accepting my fellow man, but vampires do have a history of killing and eating their sexual partners.
The best part of that scene was when Hoyt finally railed against his mother, jumping from the table and screaming, “I’m not a baby, I’m a grown-ass man,” and punctuating his point by grabbing half the toasted cheese and potato chip sandwich his mama made him for lunch, and running out the back door.
Seer and Viking
Was anyone else surprised and then instantly comfortable that the Sookie/Eric pillow talk scene wasn’t one of those two-second flash things, but went on and on for a while? I’m not exactly sure if Lorena is actually a part of this dream state or if it’s all in Sookie’s mind, but I thought those two had more chemistry than Bill and Sookie ever had, including season one.
Maybe I’m alone in this criticism too (though I tend to think not) but lately Stephen Moyer’s portrayal of Bill Compton has been a bit wooden – which is particularly lethal when portraying a vampire.
Maenads and Minions
So everyone’s favorite and least favorite maenad visits the jailhouse. Everyone seems thrilled to see Partygirl again. Everyone except of course Sam Merlotte. They’ve been dragging this out for longer than needed, so when do we finally get to find out why Maryann has it out for Sam. Surely it’s not just because he stole a few bucks.
Luckily for Sam, housefly is in his repertoire, so escape just means flying through a vent and appearing naked later at Andy’s motel door. Naked bartenders don’t register as strange to most Louisiana cops. Add ritualistic sacrifices, nightlong sex orgies and vampire killings and that barely registers on the “strange meter” in the Creole State.
So what the hell did Sam do to the Maryann, and how does she plan on exacting her vengeance? I fear for, and envy Sam Merlotte all at once.
Lafayette. You’re Damn Right
That Lafayette is one bad mother—(shut your mouth) But I’m talking ‘bout Lafayette. (Then we can dig it) Seriously, is that guy just as ass-kicking machine, or did he get enhanced after drinking Eric’s blood? Maryann was impressed. Maybe she sensed Lafayette’s innate hedonism, maybe she felt a supernatural surge in him, or maybe she’s into guys who wear mascara. Whatever it is, Lafayette wiped the sex stained floor with black-eyed zombie Eggs. That wasn’t even a contest. You go girl!
Fazzer, Broder, Zsoon.
How ‘bout that rooftop scene huh? The color palette alone would have made this show a winner. Sookie finally did get to witness Eric’s compassion. He does have the capacity to feel, and as she surmised in her sexy dream state, he is deep.
Godric and Eric had to say goodbye to each other after hundreds of years of the love of a father and brother and a son.
I must say, Godric in dressed in white, Eric in black, both bathed in the blue light of a possible heaven makes me wonder if Eric is going to descend to even darker places now that his mentor has decided, after two millennia, to opt for early retirement.
In the end it’s just Sookie the Plucky, and Godric the Formerly Terrible as the one-time immortal scourge of the living looks to a human for existential assistance.
Sookie asserts that God does not punish; God forgives. In the end, Godric prefers that version of a supreme being than the one put out by the Fellowship of the Sun. Paying his final penance in a peaceful blue flame ascension he is gone far too soon for my tastes.
I’d like to think Eric will grasp what took Godric dozens of centuries to comprehend, but it’s very likely Eric won’t “see the light” any time soon.
Nan Flanagan, while showing herself to be a formidable opponent even within the ranks of fellow vampires, still doesn’t scare me half as much as her non-fictional, slightly colder, but far less believable real life counterpart, Ann Coulter.
I mentioned earlier in this article that the lovely Deborah Ann Woll has stolen every scene she’s been in this season, but this week there was a tie. Dale Raoul gave Woll a run for her money during the dinner scene at Merlotte's. Nicely played ladies. I do think Hoyt is going to suffer loss eventually. I’m just not sure who’s gonna get it; Mama or Jess. (A scene where Hoyt has to stake Jessica before she kills his mother sounds plausible to me.)
Sookie’s pluck is starting to wear thin. There’s courage, and then there’s stupidity. I don’t find Sookie to be a stupid character, but she’s a little too opinionated at times where it doesn’t seem prudent. I didn’t believe she’d stand up to Lorena like she did last week, she’s seen too much to think she’s invulnerable.
Godric swore in this episode that he’d make amends, but all he did in essence was kill himself. Am I missing something here? Will HE Rise? Seems too good a character to never see again – but so far they all have been.
Alright then True Blood Believers. That’s all I’ve got. But stayed tuned for more unholy cable entertainment reviews next week. Same vamp time. Same vamp website.