By Jordan Bartel, b
6:02 PM EDT, July 17, 2011
"If you kiss me, I promise you'll be happy" -- Eric
Now this is the "True Blood" I like: fast-paced, alternately gory and light hearted, randomly funny ... and featuring Mona from "Who's the Boss?"
Many, including myself, have complained that this season so far has been boring. This episode was nothing but, progressing each storyline quickly and realistically (um, for "True Blood"). Plus, leave it to guest star Katherine Helmond, as matriarch Caroline Bellefleur (yes, another Bellefleur) to call out Red Bull for what is really is -- "vulgar!"
Let's start with the whole Sookie-Bill-Eric-Alcide love rectangle. We're back where we left off, with Eric killing Sookie's fairy godmother. Apparently, fairy blood makes vampires act as though they downed too many Jager shots, so Eric's all wily and flirty and prone to pinch Sookie ont he butt. "Beautiful butt," he notes. Cute!
Then he runs away, all drunk and such, which leads Sookie to call on Alcide to werewolf-track him down. Which leads to a shirtless vamp-fang/werewolf grunt standoff between the two. "I'm gonna kill all the sea monsters," Eric announces when he's tracked down at a swamp where he's swimming amongst crocodiles. Cute, again.
Eric is finally sent home after he starts to burn up in the sun. Cue an awkward "friendly" goodbye between Alcide and Sookie. Cue Debbie Pelt claiming she's not worried about Alcide hanging with Sooks again (liar!). Cue Bill coming over to Sookie's looking for Eric and not voicing his lingering feelings for his old love, who lies about Eric's whereabouts.
"When have I lied to you? Ever?" Sookie says to Bill, choking back tears.
Look, the love triangle (rectangle) thingy has been a cornerstone of "True Blood," but I'm sort-of ready for things to settle down amongst Sookie and her manpanions. Nice stuff in this episode, but will we have to continue seeing if Sookie and Eric will kiss (they very nearly did this time around, no doubt because of the quote of Eric's I mentioned in the beginning of this)?
I was happier to see Jason escape from Hotshot, though I officially don't know whether to take this subplot as humorous or serious. Incest is, obviously, not funny. Hearing the werepanther folks use the words "ghost daddy" and "brother-husband" and "sister-niece" is hilarious.
Also (unintentionally?) hilarious was seeing how Jason connived his way out of captivity. The Norris clan has been passing a tied-up Jason around pretty liberally. It's young teen Becky's turn, but she's clearly hesistant, as she's a virgin and perhaps has a soul that tells her not to rape a guy in order to give herself cubs.
Jason pounces on the virgin aspect. "This ain't the way it should be. Your first time should be special," he tells her. Yes, Jason. A first sexual experience should be special and not for the purpose of continuing one's inbred werepanther family. Becky takes the bait and lets him go.
Jason stumbles away from Hotshot and Felton takes after him. Another shirtless battle! Because we needed a reminder that everyone in greater Bon Temps has no body fat.
Jason kills Felton with a tree limb and then has to ward off Crystal who oddly thinks that now they can be a couple and run off and be werepanther-happy. Jason threatens to kill her, which I thought he would, and then runs away. "I'll be waiting for you!" Crystal warns. "Full moon!"
But we'll need to see Jason turn into a panther next time. Hoyt and Jessica rescue him as he's passed out on the side of the road. Will be turn in their car on the way back to Bon Temps? I can see it now.
Meanwhile, in random focus on Bellefleur family land, Bill joins Portia at her grandmother's grand estate. Caroline may be my new favorite character. She's all Southern and gentile and, again, Mona from "Who's the Boss?" Caroline can tell Andy's been drinking again (she just doesn't know it's V his addicted to), serves sweet tea, says she doesn't coddle men and gives awesome quote. "Give me my family Bible. And some whiskey."
Oh, that Caroline! But, ew Bill and Portia. From Caroline's family Bible we learn that Portia is Bill's great-great-great-great-granddaughter. Unexpected icky complication! But I did enjoy hearing Portia demand Bill tell her about this with the reminder that "I AM A LAWYER!" Tracy Morgan's "Saturday Night Live" impersonation of Star Jones on "The View" has finally made its way on "True Blood."
Finally, the crazy Marnie-ness. I really liked the vision Marnie had of a witch burning at the stake in Spain. Apparently, this woman is her much-referenced spirit guide. And we got to learn that the best way to burn a witch is to start at the calves. I was wondering.
Lafayette, Jesus and Tara are pressuring Marnie to find the right spell to reverse whatever she did to Eric. You see, it's Marnie's burning witch spirit guide that is doing it, not her! "You get her ass on the Goddess line," Lafayette gingerly urges. Either way, they find a Greek spell they think will do the trick.
Later, they attempt the spell and do one of those candle-circle witch things. Pam, of course, is impatient. Marnie's spirit guide is not a fan of Pam -- or vamps -- so we're treated with another awesome curse scene that utterly obliterates Pam's face. She peels her face off. Peels. Her. Cheek. Off. Marnie passes out. I'm really digging the Marnie/witch scenes this year. They're welcome breaks from anything Mickens/Merlotte and lead to some cool special effects. Keep Marnie coming, "Blood" writers.
Lastly, Arlene's baby may be evil after all. The cute kid actually scrawls the words "BABY NOT YOURS" on the wall with red crayon. Redrum, indeed.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM "I'M ALIVE AND ON FIRE"
BEST PUN: Alcide says that emergency wolf assistance wrangling a vamp "takes a bite of schedule." Heh.
UNWANTED RETURN: I could have done without seeing Melinda and Joe Lee Mickens again. And seeing Joe Lee capture Tommy. Are we in for more human-dogfighting?
SAM'S RANDOM PLOT: Not really interesting that Luna has an (albeit cute) daughter, but I'm more interested in who the werewolf is she dated. Someone we know? Why was my first thought Alcide?
LEAST CONVINCING ARGUMENT: "You're gonna be panther man and ghost daddy to our clan!" -- Crystal trying to get Jason to join forces with her.
BEST SUMMARY OF A HISTORICAL EVENT: Nan recalls that the Salem witch trials happened because of "neurotic puritans who needed a good lay."
What did you think of "I'm Alive and on Fire"? Will Sookie ever hook up with Eric? And who else from "Who's the Boss?" should join the cast? Post below!
Jordan Bartel is assistant editor at b. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter, @jordanbartel.
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