First off: You can tell it’s going to be a great True Blood episode when we have a bastardized Gotye song as the title. We’re right in the middle of the season, which is usually the point in True Blood where the million various plotlines start resolving themselves so that the rest of the season can start dedicating itself to whichever major narrative arc some intern drew out of a hat.
Not so fast! This is new Blood, and instead of dropping off the unnecessary side plots so we can focus on the new takeover of The Authority by Salome and Eric’s reticence to bomb True Blood buildings—vampire terrorists, well at least that’s something new—Alan Ball and his crack team have started throwing even more spaghetti at the viewers’ brains to see what sticks.
Like: Sookie used her fairy powers to "connect" with the vampire that killed her parents, which is apparently not something you’re supposed to do according to her new fairy friends. (She was only supposed to be able to go back and time and enter her mother’s body while being horrifically murdered.) Now there’s a ghost vampire that sounds like Buffalo Bill and appears behind her in the bathroom to tell her she’s gonna get herself ate up. Or maybe it’ not a ghost vampire, but rather just a vampire that can travel through space and appear in a cloud of smoke. You know, how vampires do all the time. Look it up: it’s in Dracula.
Or how about the creepy amount of time this episode devoted to Sam Merlotte trying to make out with himself once his shapeshifter girlfriend morphed into him. (Every shifter loves turning into Sam Merlotte, for some reason.) Not that I have any problem with watching actor Sam Trammel gently stroke his green-screen doppleganger’s hair and tell himself how beautiful he is, but the gravitas of the moment—Luna might die after she shifts back—is undercut by Mr. Trammel trying to act like a woman. I’m guessing the script notes read something like, "You are the prettiest princess in the whole world…OWN IT." The high-pitched voice, the hysterical hand-motions, the constant whining: Alan Ball certainly has a lot of respect for the ladies. Or maybe Sam Trammel is just a terrible actor. Unintentionally hilarious, you have to wonder what went wrong in both the planning and execution stages of this episode that no one stopped during filming and thought, "Well, if we haven’t lost the respect of our entire audience by now, this might do the trick."
Lafayette finds a vial of True Blood in Jesus’ car while driving back to Mexico and uses it to heal his DISGUSTING lips, which were sewn shut by his dead boyfriend’s crazy uncle. Then Jesus appears to him in the car and they ride back to Bon Temps holding hands.
Terry and Patrick are also back in town, and, using Lafayette as a medium (at least he’s charging for his services now), they find out that they can only lift the Iraqi smoke monster curse by having one of them kill the other. Patrick bolts, and the countdown for this season’s arbitrary character death begins.
Of course, Patrick’s death isn’t the only predictable demise: Luna very well might kick the bucket since she’s a love interest without a compelling story and we’re all sick of her; Nora the Sanguinista can’t possibly be "saved" by Eric without sacrificing herself in an 11th hour change of heart, and we’re still holding out hope that eventually someone will set Bill Compton on fire. Oh, he’s supposed to be "evil" now; in league with Salome to feed off of humans and force "mainstreaming" vampires to do the same by bombing all five of those True Blood factories, because one time he didn’t turn his dying daughter into a vampire even though she really, really wanted to and he didn’t have any good reason not to do it, except that Bill is a dick.
So now, we’re not fooled by this turn to the dark side, as Bill is always super-righteous and only an idiot would be fooled by his bad boy act. An idiot like Eric, naturally, but that’s because he’s checked out this season to cry about Godrick and his crazy, incestuous sister. It’s very hard to care about Eric’s "feelings" towards Nora, because Eric isn’t very good at expressing emotions, and we don’t have enough context about their relationship. You can’t just add in a character that was never mentioned in five years and then have us believe this chick was the light of his eternal life, sorry.
Much more interesting is Pam’s tutelage of Tara, giving what was once the least likeable character on the show an interestingly dark and sexy dynamic with her maker. Pam is the only person bitchier than Tara, and she just does it so much better that Tara can’t help but start to emulate her maker. (Because turn of the century madams know how to spit game, even though it’s slightly depressing that in 100 years, Pam still has essentially the same job she did in a San Francisco whorehouse in 1910 or whenever.) The parts where Pam gives Tara a "present" by glamoring the racist bitch from her high school into being her blood slave? I want Pam to be MY mom.
Hoyt’s new supes-hating buddies give him a present as well: trapping his ex-girlfriend Jessica and making him shoot her with wooden bullets. Forcing a guy to kill his ex isn’t the best gift a friend can give, but you can tell these guys have their hearts in the right place. Until their hearts are splattered all over the walls, because obviously Hoyt will not kill Jessica, and helps her escape instead by killing his new besties. Let’s just say that everyone in Bon Temps is a bad friend. Also, Hoyt’s mom might be behind this whole "Kill Jessica" campaign, which we can’t really blame her for, since her son has turned into the biggest pussy ever since Jessica broke his (metaphorical) heart.
Basically, True Blood breaks down into two camps of Camp: the awesome, self-aware comedy kind (as represented by the burgeoning vamp love between Reverend Steve Newlin and Russell Edgington, the two best characters on the show), and everything else (clingy shapeshifters, fay fairy burlesque clubs, juiced-up werewolves, smoke monsters, ghost vampires, Bill and Eric’s implausible bromance.)
Why stop at bombing True Blood factories? Let’s burn this whole show to the ground and see what emerges from the ashes.