Monday, July 14, 2014

Death is not the End Continued

                         Loved this scene, like a lot. HBO pics, my screencraps, IHFS gifs
                          Pam's eyeroll will be used when needed from here on out.
If you have been reading this blog a long time, you'll remember when I did one hiatus with my favorite horror movies and shows, so seeing Kindred's Stacy Haiduk brought back as a were ho, for even a smidge was a good thing to me. I was hoping Coby bounced his BBall off Sookie's head a few times, Sookie's personalities then barge into Andy's, Sookie was never that harsh & obnoxious in her dealings with people, not even Warlow. Obnoxious Sookie=no bueno.

Recaparama starting now, full articles at links, starting with EW's -The Notifications: The hour opened with Sookie using a payphone to call Alcide's dad, Jackson, and tell him Alcide was gone, and Jason on his cell, phoning Hoyt to inform him of Maxine's death. Both things had to be done and were beautifully acted by all involved, but having Jackson plan to come to town when you've finally put a nail in the coffin of the underdeveloped werewolf story line is like leaving us with Lettie Mae after Tara was killed—no one needs it. Couldn't Sookie, feeling guilty after Jackson tells her Alcide "loved the f---" out of her, have told him it wasn't safe to come to Bon Temps, period?
To his credit, Jason tries to tell Sookie that it's a bad idea for Hoyt to return now. He's probably in the safest location—an oil rig in Anchorage, Alaska, where it's light for 18 hours a day this time of year. But as an original character on the show, he's welcome. It'll be interesting to see if Bubba, who won't remember Jason or Jessica, will be used to pull the two back together (if they learn he's happy in his new life) or if he's there to serve another purpose.
 EDIT: Wondering if Hoyt comes back again, Parrack he did go to LA to film, maybe we have one more scene. Will he fall in love with Jess all over again? Will there be a big funeral and that's was why pics on set of Anna wearing all black? Telling Jackson not to come at night was dumb, since he was one hella vamp killer, he could teach her a lot. Poor Jason he cares about people and wears his heart on his sleeve, love the character, he cries for others not just himself.
Waited for Brian's to be up- Shreveport 90210, weekly must read in full at the link-
Jason and Sam (Sam Trammell) drive, and when Sam wants to go straight to Fangtasia – where the human hostages are being held, including his pregnant ladyfriend – Jason resists, because Swamp Cop. Jason insists they should wait until night – but wait, shouldn’t they invade this vampire nest DURING THE DAY, WHEN THEY ARE ALL SLEEPING?! Jesus Gawd.
Bill and Sookie try to summon some Decent Vamps to help them. Bill says he “owes her everything,” and she offers to feed him. Wait, who ISN’T Sookie offering to feed these days? May as well put a maple syrup tap in her neck and stand her in the town square.
Only two vamps respond to Beel’s call – Keith and Michael, I think. Or Troy and Chaz? Mitchell and Fotias? Whatever. Eric and Pam show up and Beel welcomes them in, because script. 

                              That Viking blood gave little Willa some giant balls.
Pam reminds them that they really came for Willa (Amelia Rose Blair), whom we had all forgotten about – she’s been feeding off some dude in alley somewhere for money (party!) but now she’s here. Sookie tells Eric, “You can’t die on me.” How about next to you?
Eric starts to take the piss out of poor dead Alcide, but Sookie stops him, because he just died THAT MORNING. Eric relents. Willa arrives and Eric puts her in her place, which is back offscreen. Pam says of Sookie: “She’s like a fucking fungus that won’t go away.” People, this is THE LEAD CHARACTER OF THE SHOW that they are talking about… and yet somehow we’re okay with that.(PAM LOVE FOREVER AND EVER).

AV Club likes this episode, first one this seasonClearly the best thing about the entire episode is Eric and Pam’s return to Bon Temps, but even their flashbacks are compelling (if ultimately kind of unnecessary, though they do tie nicely into the present-day proceedings at Fangtasia). Eric immediately brings a gravitas to scenes that probably shouldn’t have any such thing.
For an episode all about devising and executing a plan to slaughter a bunch of vampires, what impresses most is how it manages to be much more than that. Some of the best scenes involve Jessica, which isn’t surprising considering Jessica remains one of the better characters on the show. Jessica’s refusal to feed following her fairy-killing debacle is interesting as her entire mindset following that incident has been building slowly to this revelation, an impressive feat in a show that forgets about such character beats. Sookie even gets a chance to be a badass when in Jessica’s orbit, espousing a new “I don’t give a fuck about your problems, we all have problems” attitude that is a smart, smart direction to take the character in this final season. But where Jessica’s story really shines is when Lafayette comes to feed her, and in the process is able to connect with her on a level no one else can when he tells her about the horrible things he’s done. Putting two of your best characters and then just letting them make magic together is one thing, but the writing in the scene was wonderful as well. 
I would take a bad Viking wig anyday over Guido Eric wig, funniest scene.
Stray observations:
Jason calling Hoyt to inform him of his mother’s death was one of the most quietly heartbreaking things True Blood has ever done. There was a lot of nice, quiet subtext there about Jason carrying all of the burden of their “forgotten” friendship.
So Ginger was a genius this whole time and Pam just glamoured all of her good ideas out of her? This...makes perfect sense, actually. Poor, brain-addled Ginger.

   The throne chair being all Ginger was a wee bit hard to buy, even for me.Of course True Blood is introducing a new vampire (Riley Smith) six episodes before the series finale. Of course they are.
Those driving greenscreen effects were terrible. Somehow it feels like greenscreen driving effects on television are getting worse instead of better. How is this possible?

Hitfix has some very good points, some we have already echoed- Once again, a huge chunk of the episode consists of late-breaking backstory, delivered in the form of flashbacks. We learn how Eric came to become the sheriff of Shreveport; back in 1986, he and Pam were delivered there at the behest of Zeljko Ivanek’s vampire Magister, who offers that hoariest and least convincing of explanations for why someone has been placed in a situation by someone who doesn’t like him: the Vampire Authority doesn’t trust Eric and regards him as a potential threat, so rather than kill him or lock him up somewhere, they’ve decided to put him in a position of authority, so as to “keep him close.” 
I'm sorry, did we fuck and I blocked it out?
Thanks to HBO for this piece of perfection.
Eric and Pam find themselves running a video-rental store with a respectable façade, though it does most of its business renting dirty movies. “Humans love their porn,” says the Magister.
That had better be intended as an in-joke. (It’s not as funny as Pam’s horrified gasp when she sees the tacky, VHS-tape-filled room that is to be her new purgatory.)
Ginger takes a job at the video store and, after a few more years pass, comes up with the idea to convert the space into a sexy vampire hotspot, with Eric perched atop his tacky throne. She even comes up with the name “Fangtasia.” 
 Fangtasia is born!

Pam likes the whole package so much that she glamours Ginger and proceeds to tell Eric it was all her idea. It should be, but it’s disappointing to think that Eric and Pam needed anyone’s help, let alone Ginger’s, to realize that they needed to be in the hot-and-sweaty vampire-roadhouse business, and it’s all the more depressing to imagine that they were in Shreveport for 20 years, glumly lining up cassette boxes and DVD cases and hiding their light until a barrel, without mustering up the imagination or ambition to come up with a better use of their talents. If the show invested in this set-up just for the sake of the punch line of showing how Ginger started out on her eventual road of being serial-glamoured into a hollow shell casing, it wasn’t worth it.

A bit of Collider's- Musings and Miscellanea:
– As useless as most of the flashbacks have been (even just for entertainment’s sake), I did genuinely like The History of Fangtasia (as discovered by Ginger, and stolen by Pam). There were lots of little bits in there for fans, from the reappearance of the Magistrate and Eric’s appointment as Sheriff, to Pam’s horror at working at a video store for several decades before a naive girl from Tulane ends up setting the stage for what would become Fangtasia. It was fun (especially seeing the changing fashion on those particular characters).

Pam saves etc.
The fight is AWN
– Pam tells Bill there’s no chance ever again with Sookie, which means clearly there is.
– D’aww, poor Hoyt. But he was lookin’ good out on that rig!
– Didn’t need to see Alcide’s dad in his underpants, though.
– Look, I get what True Blood is trying to do this season, and I’m kind of ok with it … by why kill of major characters if you aren’t going to give them their due? I just don’t get the time management.
– “Kevin was a good man … With a funny voice” – Jason.
– “It’s hard sometimes for boys unless they have a ball with them, I don’t know why but it’s true” – Sookie.
– “History is a bitch” – Jason.
– “Eric Northman is nothing if not pure fucking sex on a throne” – Ginger.
– “I hate Shreveport” – Pam.
– “Pam tells me you wrote a book in which you claim to not be an asshole anymore. Is this true?” – Eric.
– Do we think Eric really is going to die? Or will there be a miracle cure? (DR LUDWIG!)

From Zap2It- It was nice that even in the face of death they could be charming together once again. The return of FE&P meant the return of FE&P lines. Standouts include Eric's " "Pam told me you wrote a book in which you claim not to be an a**hole" to Bill and Pam's "Oh perfect, Sookie's here." But beyond the humor, the episode really knew how to pull the heartstrings.
"Death Is Not The End" was meant to punch longtime fans right in the gut with emotion, so it was incredibly important that it deliver on that. Deliver it did, making scenes like Terry telling Arlene to be happy when she was close to death incredibly touching instead of cheesy. So too with the conversation between Sookie and Jackson about Alcide's death, which was the perfect way to say goodbye to the fan-favorite werewolf -- and resolve his daddy-issues storyline. Seriously, keep this up through the rest of Season 7, writers, and I'll be bawling in the finale.
                                    Keith gives Arlene the blood that saves her.
It helped that "Death Is Not The End" focused back on the core group of "True Blood" characters. Sookie, Eric, Pam, Bill and Jessica were all at the forefront, while Sam, Andy, Jason, Arlene and Lafayette fleshed out the plot. The only new-ish characters who played roles were Willa, James and Nicole, and then in smaller doses than usual, which is likely why the episode was so effective.

          My friend Beaver, always makes me laugh but that wig is the opposite of sexy.
Baltimore Sun's -With the sudden reappearance of Sarah Newlin last week, I'd started to think that this season might not make me furious.
Then Alcide became a casualty of one of the stupidest plans ever hatched by Sookie. Not only did I lose ANOTHER of my HBO crushes, but also I have the possibility of Sookie and Bill reuniting looming over my head. But more on that later.
The Stackhouses spread some misery Sookie gives Jackson the news about Alcide, while Jason calls Hoyt (!) in Alaska to tell him about his mother’s death. Since Jess glamoured away Hoyt’s memories of them, Jason has to pretend they never knew each other. The façade cracks when Hoyt starts to blame his mom's death on his leaving Bon Temps, with Jason calling Hoyt “Bubba” and Maxine “Big Max.” Poor Jason. 

Pam and Eric are back in town, almost My favorite TB duo flies toward Baton Rouge to question a Senator Finch about Sarah Newlin’s whereabouts. Eric wants to change course and head toward Shreveport to pick up Willa, but Pam reminds him that he abandoned her. Eric insists on seeing his progeny before he dies, which tips off the flight attendant off whom he’d just been feeding. He glibly informs her that she’s now a carrier of Hep-V and she freaks because flight attendants on a vampire-friendly airline get fired if they can’t double as snacks. Jerk move, Eric.
              James bandmates are vampires also, here's Keith and Mike to lend a hand.
Den of Geek's recap blurb-Sadly, the streak has to come to an end when Sookie strolls over to Bill’s house (like clockwork) to discover that Jessica has apparently not had any blood for at least 10 weeks. Jessica being remorseful for a plot thread that happened over a season ago is commendable, and exceedingly rare for True Blood. But a vampire starving herself? Is that a thing this side of Louis de Pointe du Lac? It is also a bit frustrating, because one of my favorite aspects of the series, which has gone bizarrely underdeveloped for the entire series run, is Bill’s mentor relationship with Jess. And here again, it is quickly scuttled despite the tenderness of seeing these characters together for Sookie to give an “I am really upset over Alcide’s death…for realsies” monologue. She then promptly lets Bill feed on her in the next scene with the meek protest that “it’s only lunch.”
Lafayette is finally the one to break the intervention streak when he knocks some sense into Jess, at James’ behest of course, by dropping some knowledge on her about killing a loved one. She feeds on Lafayette, and all is good.

IGN's is up-There was plenty of blood and glop at the end of this one. A ton of bodies hit the floor. Though honestly, aside from Vince getting stabbed in the head by Bill, I don't really know who killed who. And everything was paced strangely. You'd think that a bunch of super fast vampires would be able to rescue three gals from a basement when all they're faced with were a bunch of sick vampires.
                                                Pam again taking the lead so Eric is safe.
 I guess I'm also not sure why Eric was so and pokey and slow while the other sick vampires could speed up.
But whatever. A bunch of people died. It was sort of clear from last week that the "evil mob" of ten people weren't going to turn out to be that big a threat. So this week they were merely used to complicate matters for out heroes. I did wonder though, throughout the battle, if someone notable would bite the dust. Not a major character, but - you know - someone. Because if Alcide could fall to these jokers, then so could Arlene. Or Sam. But not only did all major players survive, so did random vamps Michael and Keith. And Keith (the drummer) wound up saving Arlene's life!
If there was a show called, True Blood: Pam's Adventures, I'd watch on a loop.
Vulture's is way longer at the link-But if we're being real, it was the Eric and Pam flashbacks that really elevated this episode to the next level. Last week I wasn't totally sure why we needed to know about Eric's early brush with the Authority (and the Yakuza?) except to beef up his screentime before his Hep-V infection really kicked into gear. Like, where to even begin with those flashbacks? The fact that Fangtasia used to be a crappy VHS store with a tunnel from the original Underground Railroad right beside the porno section? Or the part when Eric walked across the room to Garbage's "#1 Crush"? Or when Ginger showed up in the '90s dressed like a Reality Bites extra?
                    Eric scares Pam again but this time he just was catching a rosiesnack.
                        Sad Eric, sad over FungusSookie, I want to slap him with Thor's hammer.
   Xena and Gabriel make me happy, make this happen HBO. Look at Willa's smile.

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