True Blood 6.08 “Dead Meat” TV REVIEW
Writer: Robin Veith
Director: Michael Lehmann
THE ONE WHERE Eric faces off with Bill and then goes on a rampage so that he can get to Warlow. Alcide leaves his pack (about feckin' time, big man!) and mends burned bridges with Sam, who realises that Nicole is pregnant. Jason becomes the human bitch of a vampire named Violet, while James, the big blabbermouth, reveals to Steve Newlin that there's Hep V in the Tru Blood – resulting in all the vamps who know about it being ushered in the big white room from Eric's vision. Sarah Newlin brutally beats one of Burrell's business partners to death, while Arlene kicks off about Terry's funeral plans. Sookie is asked to become Warlow's vampire/fairy bride, and she accepts, only to find him sucked dry by Eric.
VERDICT Technically, not much actually happens in this episode – nothing of major importance to the overall plot arc, at least, excusing Sookie's big decision. And yet this is marvellously watchable, with some brilliant performances, interlocking themes (the parallel between Jason being wedded to a vampire for life and Sookie doing the same, for example) and hysterical moments. The best just has to be the sight of Sarah Newlin chasing a screaming Ms Suzuki around the complex; you have to admire the sound FX, as heels click-click-click on the floors as the women wearing them struggle to whip up some speed. However, the sight that will stay with us forever is Sarah beating her poor adversary's brains out on a wire grating, yanking her shoe off an already broken ankle and then stabbing her in the brain with the stiletto . As if that's not funny/horrific enough, Sarah responds to this inhuman act of murder with a sincere, “Thank you, Jesus!” Wow. Just... wow!
One thing that does mark this episode out from others this season is the sense that characters are taking a breather, looking around them and acting decently again. Alcide, for instance, has been a hulking bad guy for most of this year, but here he redeems himself by returning Nicole and her mother to Sam. The two guys go for a drink, effectively wiping the slate clean and becoming friends again. There's a sense that Terry's death has helped to achieve this: many characters are reassessing their lives – as Sam says mournfully, “I don't know why death still surprises me.” When he clears out Terry's shelf in his office and sees a photo of Arlene and the baby, it reduces him to tears. It's very touching.
Sam's got more tears in his future, it would seem, this time from a sprog, as Nicole is pregnant (and ew, it's bloody creepy how he smells it on her, and then Alcide comments on it too; there's something not right about men knowing before the mother does!). I'm still not feeling the Sam/Nicole love connection but I did love her mother calling Sam a “Silver Fox”. If only she knew he could actually turn into one!
Elsewhere, Sookie does a bit of soul-searching, trying to decide whether to be vamped so she can join Warlow in eternity. Her instincts say no, but once Bill gets involved – telling her he needs Warlow to save her friends' lives – it gets even more complicated. It's no coincidence that she visits Sam and they share a tender hug over Terry. [SPOILER ALERT FOR THE FINAL NOVEL, ANY READERS OUT THERE!] In a weak moment, Sookie tells him, “Part of me always thought that you and I would, I dunno, wind up together or something.” That's a nice little nod to the readers, who discovered in Charlaine Harris's final book this year that they do, indeed, end up together (not that most fans were happy about it ). Of course, Sookie's timing sucks: Sam's about to become a baby daddy, and he quite rightly gets pissy with her for telling him this now, after he'd spent so long trying to unsuccessfully win her over. So, add this rejection to a visit to her parents' graves and then Sookie's mind gets made up. [END OF BOOK SPOILER]
JASON'S NEW OWNER Violet, played by Karolina Wydra ( House fans may remember her as the Polish wife of Dr House), gets uber-possessive about Jason and will no doubt cause him a whole world of pain in the future, assuming they both make it out of the complex alive. While I'm not convinced by her performance – she over-emphasises each word to try to make them Southern, and ends up sounding like a poor imitation of Pam – I'm already liking their relationship. “You're fucking delicious, Jason Stackhouse,” she drawls. “Thank you,” replies Jason, sounding proud , of all things. Yep, this will be interesting...
CARREY-ING ON When Eric is yanked into the air by Bill he cackles, “Mother, I can fly! I can flyyyyyy!” And boy, does he sound like Jim Carrey as The Riddler.
SMOOTH-TALKING BASTARD “I love you Sookie Stackhouse. I've loved you for 6,000 years,” says Warlow. Yeah, yeah. We've all heard variations of that line in the boozer on a Friday night, eh girls?
FUNERAL FLOWERS While the scene in which Arlene screams at Terry's family over the funeral arrangements is sad – and she's got a point, because the military screwed him up and the last thing he'd want is a 21-gun salute from the Marines – it's also gently funny. Not only is there Andy's unease (“I'm tryin' to decide if it's goin' to be more comfortable for me in here or out there”) but there's also the sweet moment when Arlene, hidden in a huddle of hugs, declares forcefully, “I want carnations. They're happy and I want 'em.”
KEEP ON RUNNING Steve on a hamster wheel. This is why you don't piss off your ex-wives by turning into a vampire, guys.
POWER SPEECH Seriously, this week's episode is filled with wonderful lines, but there's a whole speech from Sookie that's enough to make your toes tingle. Standing over her parents' graves, she makes her feelings known: “So fuck you, mum and dad. Screw your kisses, and your hugs, and your ‘attagirls’. I'm gonna become the very thing that you hated so much you were willing to kill me over it. Cause I'll be damned if I'm gonna spend eternity lying by your fucking sides. I'd rather walk the Earth as a corpse than spend another minute thinking about you.” Attagirl, Sookie.
Bill: “We have been called upon to save these vampires, all of them!”
Eric: “FUCK OFF!” [Well, that's Bill told.]
Eric [erasing the memories of Holly's boys]: “And you, young man, most certainly didn't get her shirt off. I'm sorry to take that one away from you.”
• Read our previous True Blood season six reviews
• True Blood season six will start airing in the UK on 30 September on Fox