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Fly on the Wall: An Advance Review of Next Week's Episode of "True Blood"

Every now and then an episode of a television series comes along that changes the way you see that particular series. HBO's True Blood has always been been a fun and often crazy roller coaster ride through some dark Southern swamplands (and through the darker corners of the heart) but I never thought it would touch upon the profound.

That's now changed.

I had the opportunity last night to watch next week's gripping episode of True Blood ("I Will Rise Up") and, the morning after, I'm still turning over this heartbreaking and beautiful installment in my mind. It's an episode that's a game-changer for True Blood inasmuch as it shifts the action from the physical desires of the flesh to something innately divine and, yes, profound and alters the playing field of the second season.

I'm not giving out any spoilers about just what happens in "I Will Rise Up," but if you want to know more about this brilliant installment of True Blood, keep reading.

Credit for this amazing episode goes not only to the stunning work of writer Nancy Oliver and director Scott Winant, but also to the truly extraordinary performances by actors Anna Paquin, Allan Hyde, Alexander Skarsgard, Deborah Ann Woll, Jim Parrack, and Stephen Moyer, to name just a few. Their magnificent turns in this episode elevate an already elegiac story into something penetrating and weighty.

Special kudos have to go out to newcomer Allan Hyde, who in just a few episodes has made Godric one of the most compelling and memorable vampires in recent memory. If you thought his presence in the most recent episode of True Blood had showcased Hyde's considerable skills, you might want to think again: this episode announces in no uncertain terms that a true talent has arrived.

When we last saw the vampires of Area Nine, Luke (Wes Brown) had detonated explosives (along with a cache of silver) inside Godric's nest and the episode begins seconds after the explosion. So who lives and who dies? That would be telling. But it's the aftermath of the attack by the Fellowship of the Sun that also provides one of the series' most shocking moments to date.

So what is "I Will Rise Up" about then? For one, it's about the notion of forgiveness, both in terms of the divine and the mundane. None of the characters on the series have been saints (it's rather hard to do so in a series overflowing with blood-thirsty vampires) but there are several scenes that speak to the redemptive power of compassion and grace.

The truth, as they say, will out in the end and so it does here as several secrets laid bare for all to see. Likewise, the episode deals not only with mercy but also with a mercenary craftiness that's as staggeringly bold as it is shocking... and one that forever changes the parameters of one of the series' central relationships. New alliances are forged, the bonds of friendship are severed, families reunited and ripped asunder, and evocative dreams point the way to a haunting new reality.

Several characters make decisions that will have lasting implications as we begin the race to the second season finale of True Blood. As terrifying as things have gotten for the residents of Bon Temps (including those currently in Dallas), things are only going to get more grim in these next few episodes.

In other words: be very afraid.

All in all, "I Will Rise Up" is one of the most scary, sexy, funny, and perspicacious installments of the slickly seductive True Blood to date. Whatever plans you might have had for Sunday evening, this is one episode of True Blood you definitely want to watch live.

Sunday night on True Blood ("I Will Rise Up"), Eric plays Sookie for a sucker; Sookie and Jason bond over their recent adventures; Lafayette and Lettie Mae try to figure out a way to pry Tara from Maryann’s clutches; Hoyt defends his relationship with Jessica to Maxine; Sam looks for a way to escape both jail and Maryann; Godric decides to take the fall for the vampires' recent PR disaster when Nan Flanagan arrives in town.

True Blood: Episode 21 Sneak Peek

True Blood: Ep. 21 Sneak Peek Clip 1:

True Blood: Ep. 21 Sneak Peek Clip 2:


Lisa said…
This has to be ALL Sook/Eric...

evocative dreams point the way to a haunting new reality
Mel said…
Another critic referred to this week's episode as "transcendent". I've never wanted the weekend to fly by so badly!
SweetD said…
Wow! Just reading your teaser gave me goosebumps. I can't wait to see this episode!
Anonymous said…
This just made me even more
Urno Talbot said…
I think Godric's final death will be the thing that makes Eric into somewhat of a good guy to Sookie, thus beginning the triangle. I hate love triangles!
beadrbop said…
Reading your review gave me chills! I can not wait until Sunday to watch what sounds like will be an absolutely
stunning episode. Thank you so much for all your work.
gulin vardar said…
i love this blog.
Unknown said…
Sounds amazing!!! I could feel the stakes (no pun intended) being raised in the last ep with the surprising and welcome development of Godric trying to have the vamps take high moral ground. Nancy Oliver wrote some great eps of Six Feet Under so I have no doubt this one is well written, too.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the great review! It gave me hope that the end of this season will bring some important changes to the storyline!
Keep it up!
Anonymous said…
It sounds so exciting! I am one of the many who have been waiting and hoping for more Eric in a meaningful way (even if it isnt the triangle) and after last week I think he has finally arrived. I love the character that is Eric. Along with the others, but Eric is just so interesting to me. OK. OK... it helps he is the HOT mountain of Swede who rocks the Black Tank Top of Doom too. LOL
Mazza said…
Thanks for the AMAZING review, Jace. I can't wait for Sunday!!!!! I never want the weekend to go buy fast but this Sunday night needs to get here now. Your teasing is making me crazy with excitement!
Brianna said…
Of Course the dream is about sookie and Eric (Yay Eric I love him, ask my boyfriend i tell him all the time lol) we saw that fast flash of the dream in a preview two weeks ago, eric is laying behind sookie on the bed and runs his finger up and down her arm. It was all of 1.5 seconds but I watched it over and over.
Am glad I saw this site. Thanks a lot for all your efforts for featuring my favorite series True Blood. I'll be visiting this site more often to get juicy information.

Unknown said…
OK, i guess nobody cares about Tara, Lafayette & Marianne :)
Anonymous said…
This review is illustrative of why your blog is must-read. You nary gave away anything "spoiler-ish" yet you managed to convey eloquently the tone and emotion that is contained within "I Will Rise Up."

Thank you, Jace!
VVL09 said…
Ok, I think I'm the ONLY one who is sad/mad that Luke is strapped to that bomb. When he was in the church in the last episode, he looked like a changed man, then he turns into Holy Ji-Had! I'm so angry about that! He was my favorite character and he could have been a great addition to the cast. Grrrrr!
im jealous that some people were lucky enough to see the new episode. im dying here just waiting. :(
Betty said…
"The truth, as they say, will out in the end and so it does here as several secrets laid bare for all to see."

Hmmm...I wonder what secrets will be revealed.

"evocative dreams point the way to a haunting new reality"

My guess is the beginning of Sookie's feelings for Eric. FINALLY!!

This was a great review. You gave away no spoilers but have me incredibly excited for this episode. I have been waiting for more than 2-3 scenes of Eric per episode and after last week, I have hope that it has finally started.
Anonymous said…
Well, the Ball (no pun intended) is still in Alan" court. There are many relationships and who knows where AB will take us. No use speculating!
kirst said…
I'm getting really sick of all this Eric. The only time he was remotely interesting was in the first few episodes this season with Lafayette. I don't have much faith in this episode, either, since Ms. Oliver wrote the worst episode last season and the weakest one so far this season. :\
Anonymous said…
Personally, I like Godric and hope he is around for a few more episodes. To have a vampire that old around should make for some very creative writing. Maybe he could visit Eric more since the "Luke" explosion - if he is not harmed by it some judgement afterwards.
How exciting! Thanks for the wonderful and subtly revealing review!!
cooper17 said…
I didn't read your review until after I saw the episode, and you were SO RIGHT. After last week's episode, I was very concerned about where the series was going, but this epispode was redemptive in so many ways. The last scene was gracefully done with passion and sweetness. Great episode and great review!
Wall Mounting said…
excellent.... Thanks for the article.

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