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Jan 26

True Blood – Season Four

true4Genre: Horror
Year: 2011
Country: USA

Directors: Michael Lehmann, Scott Winant, David Petrarca, Daniel Minahan, Jeremy Podeswa, Michael Ruscio, Romeo Tirone, Lesli Linka Glatter
Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell

 

 

True Blood is back again and it starts with Sookie being in a magical fairyland, where she finds her grandfather Earl. Earl is looking exactly the same as when he disappeared many years ago. He tells her that he can’t believe she is all grown up since he has only been away for a few hours. Sookie feels that something is very wrong here and tries to make a run for it together with her grandpa. They manage to escape in a portal before the head fairy closes it and when Sookie returns, she finds out that she has been away for over a year, even though it felt like nearly an hour for her.

While she has been gone, Jason has become a real police officer and he has also sold her house to an unknown investor. She finds out that it is in fact Eric who has bought the house because he never gave up on her and was sure that she would return. Jason also takes care of the people in Hotshot, providing them with food and other things they need. Bill is now the King vampire of Lousiana, doing a lot of work on bridging humans and vampires, while Eric is still running Fangtasia. Lafayette is still seeing Jesus and has gotten convinced into checking out a witch’s coven to help him understand his own powers. The coven is run by an old and lonely woman named Marnie.

The coven starts to play with necromancy and is able to bring a dead bird back to life for a few seconds. After this is known to the vampires, Bill sends out Eric after the coven to make them stop. When he arrives and intimidates the group into stopping what they are doing, Marnie is overtaken by an unknown entity and puts a spell on Eric which makes him scared and he leaves right away. Sookie finds Eric wandering around the road without any memory at all. After consulting with Pam they make him stay at Sookie’s place so no one can find him, since Pam believes Bill would give Eric the true death sentence for failing to end the coven. This Eric is not quite the same as before, he is more innocent and childlike and Sookie starts to fall in love with him and his feelings are mutual. Pam also goes after the coven and by now Marnie has become familiar with the spirit that resides in her. It’s an old necromancer named Antonia who were abused by vampires and burned on a stake centuries ago. She puts a curse on Pam that makes her slowly rot.

Bill manages to capture Marnie and put her in an isolated cell.Antonia has more or less taken total control over her now and with her powers she is able to take control over one of the vampire guards and get out of her cell. Bill fears that she is now planning to use her magic to make all vampires walk out into the daylight since that’s what Antonia did in her past while she was burning on the stake. He orders all vampires in Louisiana to chain themselves with silver during daytime. Marnie/Antonia and her coven manages to put this spell into action, but only one vampire meets the sun and is killed. This upsets Marnie greatly and the others in the coven are starting to wonder if their actions are any better than what the vampires are doing. Bill and Marnie makes an arrangement to meet and discuss the possibility of peace between them. The meeting ends with violence and Marnie manages to get full control over Eric, using him as their weapon.

Sookie, with the help of Alcide’s girlfriend Debbie, manages to enter the coven and tries to figure out what their next plans are. They escape and goes to the Festival of Tolerance in Shrewsport where Marnie/Antonia is commanding Eric and other vampires under her command to go amok and kill everyone, especially Bill. Thanks to Sookie and heir fairy powers, she is able to stop the bloodbath and stop Marnie’s spell on Eric, who also gets his memory back and is his old self again. This attack marks the end of Bill’s patience and he now wants to kill Marnie off once and for all. The action of killing innocent humans troubles the spirit of Antonia and there’s a fight between her and Marnie, but Marnie manages to win and keep Antonia inside of her. The rest of the coven, except the extremists are now more afraid of Marnie than the vampires.

One who have managed to still be apart of the coven but is not starting to be against it is Tara and because she is in there Sookie is afraid that she will get hurt when the vampires attack them. Lafayette and Jesus who left the coven before it got too violent, has returned from Mexico where they met up with Jesus’s grandfather who possessed great magic. At their return, Jesus get back into the coven to save Marnie, who he still believes is an innocent soul in all of this. He finds out that these attacks and hatred are now more fueled by her than the spirit of Antonia. Marnie has a protection spell outside of the coven that basically works like a magic wall of fire. She also does more magic so that Lafayette and Sookie also is moved inside of the coven.

Marnie kills a human that has had enough and wants to go out of the coven. Lafayette and Jesus takes the body in a storage room and plans to attack Marnie and drive out Antonia from her. Jesus is gonna use his Brujo magic and attack her. At the same time Marnie starts to work on a spell that makes the vampires walk towards the wall of fire outside and burn up, only to be interrupted by Sookie and her magic. Marnie then tries to burn Sookie, but Jesus in his Brujoform is able to break the bond between Marnie and Antonia and also save Sookie. The vampires then storm into the coven and kills Marnie.

The problems isn’t over though and Marnie is able to possess Lafayette’s body later the same night. The day after is Halloween and it starts with Marnie killing Jesus to take control over his Brujo powers. She is able to subdue Eric and Bill and put them up on a stake, ready to burn. Sookie tries to convince her to let them go without any success, but other spirits who walk the earth on Halloween, including Antonia and Sookie’s grandma Adele convinces Marnie to let go of Lafayette’s body and join them in the afterlife.

The fairyland was quite interesting,especially that it took a very dark turn. I’m sure this will be explored more in the future. However, the filming of that place looked like a low budget sci-fi movie from the 90’s and did not feel right. To have the world speed up a year was not a bad idea either and worked well. The part where Eric looses his memory and becomes Sookie’s boytoy however went on to far and was obviously done for the female viewers who have been wanting them two together since the show started. Eric became very uninteresting without his memory and basically became a little vampire puppy. It could have worked better if they made him return back to his old self a little earlier and if some of the scenes with him and Sookie didn’t turn out so cheesy and lame. When he even kills Claudine, Sookie’s fairy godmother who has saved her life in the past, Sookie hardly even reacts to it, which is just poorly done in my opinion.

I disliked the main story in the first half of the season, but it did pick up with more action in the second half. Marnie/Antonia was an interesting villain, although she isn’t nearly as fun as Russell was in the last season. The ending left a lot to be desired though and almost seemed rushed. I guess it wasn’t easy to decide how to finish her off, but I think they could have found a better way to do it than what they came up with here. Once again the romance gets in the way of the characters. Both Bill and Eric behaves at times almost out of character because of their supposedly love for Sookie. It becomes quite silly when Eric actually chooses Sookie over his own protegé Pam. The show could benefit greatly by not continue to make Sookie into the greatest woman ever lived for these vampires.

The rest of the characters in Bon Temp also had some interesting time this year. Tara had supposedly started a new life and changed. This didn’t last long and once she returned to Bon Temp she became her old self very quickly. After she has return she join the coven, but nothing really happens with her and she is really not even needed in this season and becomes extra baggage. They could have just let her stay away instead if they weren’t going to do anything with the character in this season. Jason got kidnapped at Hotshot, bitten and tried to turn into a panther and raped by all the women, including Crystal who had come back, since they wanted to use his sperm to create new panthers.

Jessica and Hoyt moved in before this season, but their lives have not developed like they expected and they are now close to breaking up. Both Jason and Jessica starts to become interested in each other, which ends up destroying Jason and Hoyts friendship aswell. While they would make a nice couple, it just adds a new low to Jason’s behaviour. As he himself tells Jessica, Hoyt has been his best friend since they where kids and now he bangs his only ex-girlfriend? There’s really only so far you can get with boyish charms and this kind of ruined the Jason character for me. Arlene is upset about the possibility that her baby is haunted by the ghost of Rene. It turns out however that a spirit of a black woman is after her baby, thinking it’s her own and in the end she uses Lafayette’s medium powers to get to the baby, but it all works out in the end.

While Arlene and Terry are fun characters, this subplot got tired very quickly and was only used as an easy vehicle to show that Lafayette is able to be possessed by spirits, making it more accepted that Marnie would use him in the end. Alcide and Debbie are also in this for whatever reason which is unknown to me. He also confessed his interest in Sookie at the end, another hair-ripping addition that the show didn’t need. Sam has found other shapeshifters that he is hanging out with and even fallen in love with one. His brother is still causing him trouble, which in the end gets the best of him.

The fourth season felt less clusterfucked with twists and subplots than the third season, but a lot of the stuff here is simply poorly written. The best parts are the scenes with action and the worst parts are the so-called character development scenes. I also dislike a lot of the choices the characters are doing in this season, which just seems uncharacteristic from previous seasons. The humour isn’t as strong as it used to be and there’s not aloof of characters that I really like anymore either. The show has went from being very interesting to becoming a show that is entertaining enough to keep you watching even though you feel a little indifferent about what is going to happen next.

The few hints of what we can expect from next season are more backstory into the Terry character, which should be interesting. The same can be said about Andy who meets a fairy at the end of this season. I’m gonna bet that there will be some vampire vs. fairy battles in the next one and it also seems like it’s getting ready for the return of Russell. If that is done right, then it might be interesting.

True Blood: Season 4 is for fans of the show and only them. There show has gone consistently down in quality from season to season and it needs to redeem itself if it wish to stay alive for several more years. It is still better than your average TV show… at least for the time being.

 

 ★★★☆☆ 

 

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