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Into the Woods: Fawns, Telepaths, and Missing Vampires on "True Blood"

When is a coincidence just a coincidence?

This week's episode of True Blood ("Never Let Me Go"), written by Nancy Oliver and directed by John Dahl, featured not one but two rather huge occurrences of serendipity for two residents of Bon Temps, leading this jaded viewer to wonder if not everything is as it appears.

Adding to my suspicion are the machinations of the truly evil Maryann, who seems hellbent on keeping Tara to herself. This week, Maryann ratcheted up her plans to keep Tara under her thumb by moving herself and her retinue into Sookie's house and engaging in some nefarious behavior that gives new meaning to the term "mind games."

All this plus, Jason and the reverend's wife, Lafayette returning to Merlotte's, Sookie and Bill's search for Godric, revelations about Eric's past, Sam and Daphne, and Barry the Bellhop.

So what are you waiting for? Pour yourself an ice cold Tru Blood, grab a complimentary Danish, and let's discuss "Never Let Me Go."

When I mentioned the plethora of coincidences earlier, several things came to mind vis-a-vis this week's installment of True Blood. For one thing, we witnessed two characters--each with very different abilities of their own--come face to face with someone else who shared their secret gifts. For Sookie, it was the opportunity to meet Barry the Bellhop, a hotel employee terrified of his own telepathy who is unable to control his power and who is beyond freaked out that Sookie has outed him, as it were.

Meanwhile, Sam Merlotte discovers that not only does new waitress Daphne know about his shape-shifting abilities, she too is a shifter, as she ably demonstrates in the woods, transforming into a fawn before his eyes.

So it is providence that brought these unlikely duos together or something far more calculated? I can't shake the feeling that both these meetings spell trouble for our protagonists. After all, as I said in last week's write-up, Daphne did turn up in Bon Temps at the same time as Maryann and those nasty scars on her back match the maenad claw marks on Sookie's.

So are Maryann and Daphne in cahoots as it were? Or are their appearances in Bon Temps and interest in Sam Merlotte absolute coincidence? I'm leaning towards the former. After all, Sam knows about Maryann's abilities and true nature but if he's too distracted by Daphne to do anything about it, Maryann has swept one opponent off the board. And we can't forget about Maryann's attack of Sookie in the woods a few episodes back. What better way to remain under the radar than to remove the nosy telepath from the battlefield?

As for Tara, she's found herself between a rock and a hard place. Maryann has made it absolutely clear that she is there for Tara completely and unconditionally while everyone else around her--exacerbated by Maryann herself--seems to be at Tara's throat. The spell she cast outside Merlotte's was absolutely effective at driving a wedge between Tara and her friends but it paled in comparison for the mind games back at Sookie's house as Maryann made herself over to resemble Adele Stackhouse. Everything about Maryann, from her hair and clothes to her posture at the table reading a book, screamed out Adele; her intention was to lure Tara in, remind her of the safe haven of the Stackhouse's family home, offering comfort, succor, and nostalgia. Insidious and genius, really.

As for Sookie, I'm very worried about her plan to go undercover inside the Fellowship of the Sun and I have a feeling that we haven't seen the last of Barry the Bellhop by a longshot. It was great to see how much Sookie has grown over the past season and a half and how much more control she has over her ability now than she did when the series began. Barry, on the other hand, is spinning out of control and is absolutely ashamed of and terrified by his ability. What concerns me is that someone knew Sookie was coming to Dallas, someone tried to have her kidnapped at the airport, and now there's a telepath working in the very same vampire hotel where Sookie, Bill, Jessica, and Eric are holed up. Again, way too coincidental for me...

Loved the telephone call between Jessica and Hoyt, who might just be the very cutest couple on television ever, as Hoyt told Jessica all about his comic book while she sat in a lonely hotel room in Dallas, the two innocents joined together by their voices and longing. Sweet and well-written, it was filled with the promise and potential of young love uncomplicated by the fact that one of them is dead.

And we finally learned just why Godric's disappearance was so important to Eric as we witness a flashback to when Viking Eric Northman was turned by the wild teenage vampire Godric after a worthy battle. It's clear that Eric not only respects his maker but is deeply concerned about how a 2000-year-old vamp could be taken by the humans so easily. He's also deeply pissed off by the behavior of Godric's lieutenants Stan (Eureka's Ed Quinn) and Isabelle (The Dresden Files' Valerie Cruz). Loved the way that Isabelle asked Sookie how her human/vampire relationship was going and Stan's attitude towards Texan vengeance.

Lafayette returned to Merlotte's to ask for his job back, though he displayed none of the vim or vigor of his previous self. While Sam gave him his job back, it's clear that the bond of trust between them has been broken even as Lafayette refuses to tell Sam where he's been this whole time. The look of absolute sorrow and shame on Nelsan Ellis' face when he asks Sam for his job back was heartbreaking. I'm hoping the Emmy nominating committee is paying attention for next year...

Meanwhile, Jason got the full bath treatment from Sarah Newlin, who--sparked on by her husband's complete lack of trust and faith in her--made a move on Jason Stackhouse as he took a bath. I'm not sure what Sarah's deal is; she seems to be a true believer in the Fellowship of the Sun's message but it's also clear there's some major friction between her and Steve lurking beneath the surface. Does she view Jason as a plaything or a kindred spirit? Regardless, something tells me Reverend Steve is going to be none too pleased when he finds out about their little tryst.

And just what is Bill's maker doing wandering the halls of the hotel in Dallas? I'm seeing some bad, bad things yet to come...

What did you think of this week's episode? What does Maryann want? Where is Godric? What happened to Barry the Bellhop? And just what is going to happen next? Discuss.

Next week on True Blood ("Hard-Hearted Hannah"), Sookie and Isabel’s human boyfriend Hugo set out on a dangerous mission to locate Godric; Bill is shocked when a vampire from his past resurfaces in Dallas; Daphne tries to get Sam to get comfortable in his own skin(s); Hoyt continues to woo Jessica; Andy interrogates Lafayette about his disappearance; Tara and Eggs take a detour while on a road trip.

Comments

Rorri said…
Poor Tara. Maryann definitely has her claws in her. And I don't trust Daphne at all either. She seems to good to be true for Sam. I'm not sure if she and Maryann are connected but they both seem to be up to no good!
Rose said…
I thought they explained the coincidence of Sookie meeting Barry rather nicely. He works in a vampire hotel because that's the only place where he can think straight. He and Sookie both find relief from their telepathic gifts by being around vampires.
Unknown said…
True Blood is best served at 98.6 degrees not served cold. It is a blood substitute after all not a diet pepsi. lol. ;)

so glad they kept most of the things from the book series so I can still make sense of the plots.
LA said…
I think the Newlins' "argument" was staged for Jason's benefit. They are luring him in. I think the good Rev. Newlin is in on his wife's seduction of the dumber Stackhouse sibling.

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