All that is necessary for the survival of the fittest

is an interest in life, good, bad or peculiar--Grace Paley

Juliet Waters

Juliet Waters
Montreal, Canada
August 01
Montreal based writer, book critic, single mom. Currently working on a book about a year learning computer programming. Visit me, or


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AUGUST 2, 2010 7:50AM

True Blood Recap ep.31: "Hitting The Ground"

Rate: 6 Flag

This was not the glamorous state wedding I was hoping for. No Alcide in white fur, no rib cage hats, no celebrities of note, not even Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson. Still, I can’t think of a better wedding singer than Miss Polly Jean Harvey to celebrate the union of Russell and Sophie Anne with the song that gives this episode both its title and its theme, "Hitting The Ground."

Almost everyone this week has hit bottom. For some, it looks like the ground is where they’re going to stay (Lorena, the magister, Cooter.) For others it’s just a place they’ve hit before bouncing back finer than ever (Pam!)

Before I recap, however, an apology. I’m vacationing near Kennebunkport, which I suspect may be the capital of the vampire kingdom of Maine. As anyone who’s ever read Salem’s Lot knows, Maine vampires are hardcore. Given what they’ve probably learned from observing a certain first family, I expect them to be hovering any minute outside my window in military helicopters. So I’m trying to keep this short.

Which I will do mostly by ignoring some storylines, like Hoyt’s new girlfriend and her "biscuits;" Jason and his search for Crystal; and the dog fighting, except to note how hot Sam looks in a dog leash, and my favorite line of the night delivered to Joe Lee:"You’re just a scared man in saggy underwear, with no discernable life skills." Maybe with all the vampires in hyper drive this season anyone who isn’t a vampire might as well be wearing saggy underwear. Maybe Bon Temps is just in a rut. But it needs a new mythological creature, bad.

Maybe someone from that crazy luminescent party Sookie visits during her coma, the party that looks like if Guillermo del Toro directed an ad for Tampax. But first, let’s retrace the steps of how Sookie got there.

I didn’t think it was possible to rock the sad serial killer clown look, but just as I was starting to design my Team Lorena T-shirt, that damn Sookie turns Lorena into a giant blob of gelatinous blood. Maybe next time Sookie stakes a vampire, her new pals from the super sexy tampon ad party can help clean it up. But for now she’s stuck with Tara and Alcide who do their best to help her wrap Bill up in a sheet to bring him somewhere safe.

Except here’s Debbie wearing her not-a-band-aid bikini top, thanking them for the "vampire burrito." Ha! Debbie. Why do I think that’s the only good line they’re ever going to give you? Sure enough, conversation quickly degenerates into "are you calling me a bitch, bitch?" Do you remember a couple of episodes back when Franklin worried about overusing the word bitch? I miss Franklin.

Debbie has a gun. Sookie distracts her, so now Alcide has the gun. Cooter arrives. Alcide shoots Cooter. Debbie cries, but that’s mascara running down her face, not blood. She threatens to hunt Alcide until she kills him back, but she’s not Lorena. Her raging were-rant falls flat, and just makes me sad for her. Later Jason will have his one good line of the show: "I never thought I was smart enough to get depressed." Oh, so that’s what I’m feeling, smart.

Again. Everyone seems so lame next to the vampires. So when Bill loses control and starts to devour Sookie in the back of Alcide’s truck, and Tara moves to save her, I’m thinking "oh please don’t." But then Tara throws Bill out into the sun, leaving him on the road where he’s supposed to crisp up like a vampire marshmallow. Except he doesn’t, which means something about Sookie’s blood is like magic internal sunblock! Mystery!

And Eric! I feel better. He has a plan: suck the humanity out of Sophie Anne’s favorite companion, Hadley, while Sophie-Anne watches from an oversized birdcage. The goal is to force Sophie-Anne to explain Sookie’s importance. But Sophie-Anne won’t budge (no pun on budgie. Okay maybe half-a-pun.)Whether it’s the drive to survive, or Eric’s hand on her boob, Hadley whispers the secret into Eric’s ear. "I never would have suspected that" lisps Eric, his mouth still dripping with blood which makes it look and sound like his front teeth are missing.

Why can’t everyone be loyal like Pam. Back in the dungeon, the magister finds all kinds of awful ways to torture her with silver. But none of them break her. Still it’s a relief to see Eric show up to save her, teeth brushed.

According to Vampire politico-theology, it doesn’t matter that Eric doesn’t have Bill because he has Sophie Anne who is walking down the dungeon stairwell. But according to the magister, this means that Eric has committed treason. Except that it can’t be treason because Eric is now loyal to Russell. Now it’s Russell’s turn to walk down the stairwell. Oh, vampires! You have such presence. You make walking down crappy basement stairs look like some kind of vampire U.S.A. pageant.

Russell and the magister have a blow out about The Authority, and who is The Authority and where The Authority got its authority (I’m guessing Maine.) Then Russell starts having a big power tantrum which ends with him declaring himself the "new fucking authority." And then he gives a big speech about how he has to take back the authority to save nature from the humans who have squandered it (nature, not the authority, which I’m sure we’ve never had.).

At the hospital it’s discovered that Sookie doesn’t have a blood type, so she can’t receive a transfusion. Sookie has the aforementioned vision, where the super sexy women in diaphanous gowns frolic with their equivalent in man candy. In the vision Sookie meets Claudine who tries to talk her into diving into a giant green pool where she will be happy forever. Claudine warns her not to give Bill her light. Bill arrives, in real life, to save her by transfusing her with his blood.

Back in the dungeon. Under threat of torture, the magister marries Russell and Sophie Anne. Oh how Pam laughs at the magister’s weakness. (Pam for new magister!) "I’m so happy I could cry blood" remarks Sophie Anne acidly.

Cut to Sookie who wakes up, takes one look at Bill, and starts screaming bloody murder.

Cut back to Russell who pauses just before leaving the dungeon to slice off the magister’s head, because however much he wants to be Al Gore, he’s way more Henry VIII. Which reminds me (because he’s played by James Frain of "The Tudors") where’s Franklin? He didn’t turn into a giant pile of gelatinous blood, which means he’s got to be around somewhere. Probably back at the palace bonding with Talbot, who I notice was not invited to the wedding.

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Hilarious write up!

Having read all ten books (so far) of the Sookie Stories...I know just who the Tampax people spite of Alan Ball's smart original turns in the stories.

In spite of knowing a lot....I really don't know anything, as characters are having adventures far different from the original plot its lotsa fun.

Claudine....not sure if she is tall and angelic looking enough to be what I wonder how they are going to handle that. And will Claude arrive?

Meanwhile....Looks like a way has been created to finally introduce the BIG THING that happens between Sookie and the Viking.

...which I am looking forward to with glee.
I cried tears of blood when Lorena was killed! Slurg! (sob + glurg) She was one spectacular vamp. How did they make that fountain of blood come out of her mouth? Awesome. The post-mortem showed she "worked it" every century she lived in. The death of the Magister: whatever. If the character had been dressed in Medieval garb from the beginning, I think he would have been more effective. He reminded me of the zombie lover/stalker from Carnival of Souls.

So: what is Sookie? A fairy? I suspect her blood allows vampires to survive in the sunshine, which is why the Queen was feeding on her cousin.

I was hoping Alcide would put a bullet through psychochickwolf Debbie in the dungeon basement of Russell’s palace/plantation/basilica. It could have been an homage to Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Consider that a divorce" shooting of Sharon Stone in Total Recall.
To be completely honest, my favorite part of True Blood so far this season and I have been a big fan of the show from the start, has been watching the trailers for Boardwalk Empire. Juliette, you hit the nail on the head, the dream sequence was like a tampon commercial. All you'd need was the English girl to turn and say, "Even you Sookie?" "Well yea-ass, every woman at one taahm or another has had that not so fresh feeling!"
persephone has me wanting to read the books now!

and i beg to differ: the best line was "she's gonna make a great grandma one day".
Thanks Persephone, for the kind words and for not spoiling the "femine freshness" of the plot.

Thanks Coogan for leading into the "feminine freshnes" joke.

M. you have been right all along about Lorena, and just when I started to really appreciate her she's gone. But I loved the post mortem too. I wish they'd do one with Eric and Godric.

Tichaona, you're right the granma line was great. So subtle. That girl, Summer, creeps me out though. It's like Hoyt's mother has come back in younger form. I hope Jessica kills her.
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Don't worry about meracle. I left him on the road to crisp up like a marshmellow.
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