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thoughts on true blood: turn! turn! turn!

Before we truly celebrate and analyze the return of True Blood, let’s take a moment to look at the close of last season:

  • Sookie pulled a Kelly Taylor and chose herself over the Eric and Bill. Poor Bill just keeps getting dumped by this woman!
  • Rev. Steve Newlin showed up at Jason’s door as a vampire. This has potential, which means it could either be awesome or completely irrelevant.
  • Russell Edgington somehow broke free from his concrete coffin and was on the lose. How much is he going to make Eric regret not killing him when he had the chance?!
  • Bill and Eric kicked off their bromance by killing Nan, who was fired by the Vampire Authority. I’ll miss her.
  • Terry’s Marine buddy, Patrick Devins (Scott Foley), came to town, and Rene made a brief appearance to warn Arlene about Terry’s past. Last season it was her kid, and now she’s going to run around worried about her husband. This better have a better pay off than the possessed baby storyline.
  • Debbie Pelt shows up to kill Sookie, but accidentally shoots Tara, who may or may not be dead. In turn, Sookie kills Debbie. Swift justice at its finest.
  • Lafayette finally regained control of his body, and was mourning the loss of his Jesus.
  • Jessica and Jason were beginning a FWB situation.
  • Sam is cornered by a wolf pack, presumably Marcus’ buddies.
  • Poor Pam was estranged from her maker. Hopefully this will be short lived.

“I’ve been around the block enough times to know that fangs are basically like twin hard-ons, hard-ons for trouble and for feeding on someone, never just talking, not ever.” – Jason

How are Eric and Bill going to escape the ‘true death’?
Killing Nan was a bold, but necessary move, but it also means the guys are now on the run. Eric had just enough time to clean like Mr. Belvedere on speed and toss out a “Fuck Sookie” before they were both captured. I was disappointed that Bill was the one who cared Sookie was in danger, but I suppose Eric’s reaction to the rejection is perfectly in character. Fortunately for Bill, Eric has at least one friend in a very important position. Nora (played by Lucy Griffiths) is Eric’s sister and a chancellor of The Authority, and she had every intention of rescuing the two and sending them off to start lives as Marcellus Clark (Bill) and Mike Applebaum (Eric). That plan failed fabulously, but at least we got to see some incestuous sexual activity. I’d say this doesn’t look good for Nora, nor Eric or Bill, but similar to every other season, this is most undoubtedly a fake-out.

Is Tara dead?
Yes…and no. Half of Tara’s head was shot off, so my theories were that: Eric or Bill would come and heal her, which would make for some freaky scenes and cause a rift between her and Sookie OR Eric or Bill would turn her, which would bond them together and still cause a rift. Tara was turned, but it was by a very reluctant Pam. This wasn’t the best idea, but as Lafayette stressed, it was the only way they would be able to “save” Tara. I can’t wait to see Pam as a maker or Tara as a vampire (hopefully it make the character more exciting), but most importantly, I can’t wait to see how Tara and Pam interact. Tara had a girlfriend last season…Pam loves the ladies…vampires are highly sexual beings….I’ll let you draw your own connections there. How is Eric going to feel about this, and now that he’s not getting Sookie anytime soon, is there a reason for him to still be mad at Pam? Also, can we always see Pam in tacky, buttercup yellow sweat suits from Walmart?

What’s the only way to honor your dead werewolf son?
By eating him, of course. After running flying away from the werewolves, Sam is finally caught and forced to tell Marcus’ mother, Martha, where he buried the body. In typical Sam fashion, he was prepared to risk his life for the woman he loves (or likes a lot). However, Luna rescues her man and brings Alcide to the burial site so he can tell the pack that he was the one who killed Marcus. I think this makes him packmaster by default, and while one member stepped up to say he’d never bow to Alcide, Martha was too busy performing the ritual on her dead son’s body. I’m really glad the werewolves weren’t just a one season deal, and that we’re delving into their storyline without any involvement from the vamps….or so it seems after the first episode.

Where is Jesus?!
Maybe his uncle came and collected his body. Perhaps he magically evaporated. Regardless, if this means we get more Jesus, I’m fine with any outcome.

Why is Terry suddenly so tense?
Patrick’s visit isn’t as happy-go-lucky as it seemed in the finale. It turns out the fire from last season may be connected to something that’s happened to the other Marines from their unit. I just want to know what transpired in Iraq and why Patrick thought Terry would be the cause of the other fires! Arlene should really pay close attention to all of this, because it seems like Rene was very accurate with this cryptic warning.

Was anyone surprised that Rev. Newlin turned out to be gay?
It wasn’t the most shocking of revelations and I’m still not convinced they won’t completely waste this character. He was the catalyst for Jess declaring that Jason was hers, but unless there’s another really good reason for him even being on this season, I’d prefer he not stick around. Best part of that whole scene? The “I Love Youuuuuuu” after Jason rescinded his invite and Newlin went flying out the door.

Other observations:

  • The Sheriff Bellefleur (who must have just returned from Scranton, PA) and Holly hook-up would have been a throwaway scene were it not for her son’s “On the couch mama? Where I sleep?!”
  • During the scene with little Sookie and Tara, did they use Paquin and Wesley’s voices?
  • Hoyt has a group of friends, which was funny enough, but them calling Jason “girlfriend fucker” was immature…and hilarious.
  • The loss of Debbie Pelt is no great loss at all. However, at some point Sookie will (stupidly) tell Alcide and he’s going to be upset, regardless of him banishing her last season.
  • George Clemons…who are you and why should we care?
  • How cute was it when Eric kissed Nora on the forehead after his phone interrupted their reunion as they “fought like siblings and fucked like champions’.
  • I don’t know how Russell got free, but I really hope they stretch his return out a few episodes, or at least until we get a better idea of the Authority’s agenda/plans for Bill and Eric.
  • Seriously Jessica? A green streak to symbolize your rebellion? Who are you, Britta?!
  • Speaking of hair choices: Lafayette shaved his head. I need another episode or two to decide if I like it or not.

Next week’s True Blood: Authority Always Wins (Law and Order SVU‘s loss is our gain)

Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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thoughts on american horror story: afterbirth

After Birth, I decided to avoid any AHS-based discussions so that I could enter Afterbirth completely theory-less. However, I was expecting a murder/suicide starring Ben and Constance, and considering the show’s affinity for all things gross and disturbing, I also prepared myself for some literal afterbirth. Well, I got part of that right.

I didn’t see last night’s season finale as “game-changing”. Instead, the whole episode felt like closure. In a morose way, the Harmon’s got a “happily ever after” and we won’t have to spend the next few months wondering what happens to them. All things considered, game-ender would be a more appropriate description. The perfect way to close out one horror story and make room for a bigger and better one next season.

  • I don’t know, maybe it’s haunted or something.” Although Ben casually wondered why the house was so cheap, his gut instinct was that buying the house in L.A. would be the perfect fix for their dysfunctional family, while Vivien’s gut was telling her to grab Violet and head down to Florida. Watching the flashbacks to how horrible everything turned out for the family over the last few months, and knowing it was almost avoided, was like a cruel joke.
  • Moira and Vivien become best friends (literally) forever. Vivien figured out her new reality pretty quickly, but is still lurking around Ben. Moira wants her to let go of Ben and tells her to consider “the end game” (potential clue for next season??). The ladies have similar, good-natured personalities, so it’s not surprising that they continued to click post-mortem.
  • Ben planned to commit suicide. His wife, daughter and the twin that was his all died, so he organized everything and headed to his former office to shoot his brains out. Vivien stopped him and he made peace with his family. All signs pointed to Ben leaving, but there were at least 40 minutes left in the episode so I figured the house would keep him there somehow. I didn’t expect what came next…
  • Hayden (and two of the home invaders from Home Invasion) killed Ben. The scene played out fast and the end result was Ben hanging from the chandelier. Did Hayden have a reason for staging a faux-suicide instead of just murdering Ben outright?
  • Marcy adopts Halley and sells the house again. Stacy (Lisa Vidal, The Event), Miguel (Anthony Ruivivar, Third Watch) and Gabe Ramos (Brennan Majia, iCarly) move in. Stacy and Miguel have happily married kitchen sex, while Constance and Ben watch. Violet flirts(?) with Gabe, while Tate watches. This could have been another happy family in a horror-filled home.
  • No one knows Violet is dead. Outside of Constance, who else would benefit from this? Another potential clue for next season??
  • Constance and Ben pull a Beetlejuice. Watching Stacy fight off Ben in the Rubber Man suit and Miguel initially see old Moira signified that this family was a lot stronger than the Harmons. The icing on the insane cake that sent them running into the night, with Patience and Prudence’s ‘Tonight You Belong to Me’ as the soundtrack? Vivien ripping Ben open, followed by Ben shooting her square in the forehead. Bye-bye Ramos family.

  • Tate fears he’ll never be forgiven. He was willing to kill Gabe for Violet, which was twistedly romantic. He finally admits to every horrible thing he’s done the past few years, as if that will offer him solace. Unfortunately, his story ends (at least for this season) with two things he wants far, far out of his reach: Violet and forgiveness.
  • Vivien gets at least one of her twins. Nora and Moira were the only two that knew the baby survived for a moment before dying. Vivien took over the motherly duties and made Moira the godmother. Complete with a Christmas celebration, this was such a cozy ending.
  • “You’ll come to understand Violet, that the word ancient will lose all its meaning when your entire existence is one long today.
  • Don’t tell mom, the babysitter’s dead. Three years later, we find Constance raising Michael as her son. She notes that he is a remarkable boy that needs a mommy who was “forged in the fires of adversity.” She comes home to find that her golden boy, giggling as the babysitter he killed laid bleeding at his feet. Tate was nurtured into a monster, but it seems his son was just born one.

Of course Constance is the lone survivor from this horror story. I don’t see where else the show can go with the Harmon family, but I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of them.

Update: Looks like we’ll be starting (relatively) fresh for the second season. Check out ‘Next Season of American Horror Story Will Be in a Whole New Haunted House‘.

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thoughts on american horror story: rubber man

Rubber Man was either spectacularly done or a night of lazy plot devices designed to explain away a few key mysteries, which means this episode was either awful or amazing. I’m going to go with amazing. Not only was there a brief literary review (see Moira), but also we learned the identity and motive of the rubber man. Poor Harmon family.

  • Ghost rules don’t apply. A lot of viewers speculate about whether or not Larry is alive. This speculation is based on ‘ghost rules’ (i.e., he shouldn’t be able to leave the house if he’s a ghost or he killed Hayden which he couldn’t do if he was a ghost). Last night we learned ghosts could have sex with humans (Tate/Vivien and it seems Tate/Violet as well). Normal ghost rules don’t apply here and AHS ghost rules aren’t clearly defined enough to use them.
  • [SPOILER ALERT] Tate is the rubber man. I speculated that Tate was the impregnator and it turns out that blind shot in the dark was accurate. Tate was dead at the time of conception…so those twins are definitely not human. Tate did it for Nora, which makes his deceit almost altruistic. They’re really doing a good job of playing the monster/angel sides of that kid’s personality.
  • Poor Chad. It wasn’t enough that he saw the nasty sextuals between JungleJim4311 and Hardlovejunky656 or that he purchased an outfit designed to ‘dehumanize’ and make him a ‘sex toy’, something he clearly wasn’t comfortable with, but it turns out he was losing Patrick AND the house.
  • “Every relationship is a power play, with or without the props.

  • Hayden is a fast learner. Somehow she figured out in weeks, what Nora hasn’t realized in decades. They are dead and can’t leave the house. She realized that the house gives them power, which they can use to be visible or invisible. She also found the time to keep up a rousing sex (after) life with Constance’s former amor.
  • Violet hasn’t been to school in two weeks. Vivien is emotional absent and Ben is just…absent. They aren’t doing a great job with this whole parenting thing, maybe Nora and Hayden should take over the motherly duties.
  • Moira offers up a mini-lecture on feminism. Feminist critique of The Yellow Wallpaper, hysteria is derived from the Greek work for uterus and men, especially Ben, suck.
  • Poor Vivien. Hayden has dedicated a day to screwing with her, Violet decided that Tate’s love > mommy’s sanity and she’s convinced Ben is orchestrating the whole thing. No one can blame her for going women, interrupted.
  • “Maybe he laughed and you bit the man’s head off.Haha. I see what you did there.
  • Ben deserved to be shot. Subsequently, Vivien deserved to go to the loony bin. I don’t blame her for going crazy, but she didn’t even open her eyes when she pulled the trigger! That could have been Violet!

So what comes after the big rubber man reveal? The Pope, of course.


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thoughts on american horror story: open house

Open House was misleading. The promo hinted at a few things that didn’t happen, specifically the intense interactions between Ben and Vivien. When I heard ‘open house’, I expected to see people traipsing through the house, unsuspecting of its craziness. Instead we saw just one potential buyer and spent the majority of the evening seeing the layers (tiny, slow moving layers) peeled back on Constance and company.

  • Constance and Larry were in love in 1994. The same year Tate went on a shooting spree. Although it had to be later in the year since Constance had already moved out and the son she was most worried about was Bo. The red ball hints that this was the person Addie was playing with in the basement and we now know that Constance had Larry kill him.
  • Vivien is having twins. It’s probably unrelated, but I immediately thought of the twin boys that were killed in 1978.
  • Mr. Escandarian was played by Amir Arison, Prince Farid Bin Abbud on Homeland.
  • Larry has been lying about how he became disfigured. Since he’s a liar, I don’t know what to make of anything his character says anymore. Well that’s just great.
  • Vivien’s masturbatory fantasies aka the misleading bit from the promo. She isn’t cheating on Ben…yet. But she thought about the security guard, then Ben and then Ben in the rubber suit (we still don’t know who that was, but we at least know she thought it was Ben at the time). She really did deserve those few moments to herself.
  • Do you believe in ghosts?”  So Tate, what kind of game are we playing here? Do you know you’re a ghost now? Is this some Sixth Sense thing where you don’t figure it out until the end?
  • Watching Mr. E and Moira made me wonder…are her words as sexually laced as we hear or is that all part of how men see her? We’ve never heard the older Moira say any of these things, so do they sound ‘normal’ when she says them?
  • Larry has a home? It was nice seeing Ben with some gumption, but I’m still not convinced Larry is alive. Sure, Ben did a background check on Larry, but then again, he thinks Tate has a background too.
  • Larry was/is in love with Constance. He wanted the house for her then and he wants it now. He was willing to kick his wife out, as well as their kids, so Constance could live there again. His wife decided to burn down the house…and kill Larry? If any of his family really did die in the house, we’ll see them soon enough…unless Larry is the only one who died (I’m not letting go of that theory until I have to).
  • Armenians and OJ mentioned in the same episode…coincidence?
  • Charles frankensteined Thaddeus for Nora. Or maybe because he was sick in the head and drugged up. Either way, I didn’t want to see the ‘baby’ that scratched up Nora’s chest.
  • Why is Constance so mean to Larry? Is it because he died without getting the house back for her?
  • Violet was drawn to that attic like Ben to the basement. Now she knows how to get rid of the ghosts, courtesy of Tate, who may or may not know he’s a ghost as well. This is getting frustrating.
  • Tate hates Constance. Where are his mommy issues coming from? And is the reason he’s not having the visions because Halloween passed or is it Violet’s presence?
  • We’ve met Bo, Tate and Addie. All three are dead, but only Bo and Tate are tied to the house. Who the heck is the fourth?! Assuming Tate is her golden boy, the fourth is going to be disfigured.
  • Larry killed Mr. E and Moira helped. I’m pretty sure every male viewer cringed during that scene.

We end the night with Vivien seeing a picture of Nora…the same Nora that came to see the house. Maybe now mother and daughter can bond while dad stays eerily tied to the idea that all of the things that are happening to them can be easily explained.

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