This Is What A Feminist Looks Like Watching True Blood: Episode 3

“Whatever I Am, You Made Me”

blue milk and I are back once again to discuss this past Sunday’s episode of True Blood. To catch up, check out what we had to say about episode 1 and two. As always, our chats contain spoilers for all current episodes as well as thoughts and theories as to what may be coming next. Read along as we attack episode 3 from every angle…both the thoughtful/analytical and the downright tawdry. Leave your thoughts on the episode and what we had to say down below!

Avital: Where should we start? I feel like a lot happened this episode.

blue milk: Sex! Haha kidding.

Avital: Oh my yes. It was quite the sex-filled episode. But really, not wholly unexpected. It’s as good a place as any to start.

blue: Haha. OK, you had an observation?

Avital: Oh, yes! The boobs! I mean, I giggle about it like a 13 year old boy, but seriously – I really appreciated the variety in body types this episode.

blue: Yes, what a lot of boobs tonight.

Avital: Especially seeing non surgically enhanced breasts. There is something self-satisfying about seeing a woman with “age-appropriate” breasts (whatever that means) in a sex scene – looking/feeling sexy while her breasts respond to gravity the way most do. It feels empowering a bit, even. In a world where silicone and saline seem to rule, it stands out.

blue: Which scene are you specifically referring to?

Avital: There were a few that stood out to me. The first with Jason and the woman he ran into in the grocery store (a former teacher that took his virginity way back when?) and then Salome and her various sex scenes.

blue: Yes, I think we should especially talk about the scene with the teacher.

Avital: Oh, yes. Besides my thoughts on her breasts, I did have other thoughts on that scene. I swear. But, while we’re talking bodies, I also appreciated how they showed various body types in the flashback burlesque scene with Pam. Did you also zero in on any of these things, or am I just body (breast) obsessed?

blue: Oh I noticed that too, and it’s like that in Deadwood, too. And Game of Thrones.. Don’t you think?

Avital: Is this the part where I (not so) shamefully admit that I watch neither of those shows?

blue: Normal looking women instead of homogeneous perfection, particularly in brothel scenes?

Avital: For me, that’s just nice to see when the latter feels so pervasive in Hollywood.

blue: Haha not shameful at all for you. Is it telling that sex workers are prominent characters in both shows? There’s some stats I saw once for number of times films and tv include sex workers and it’s huge and they rarely do it in a positive way.

Avital: I agree. They’re either portrayed as victims in an Law & Order type scenario or heartless home-wreckers.

blue: Hmm ok.
So, Jason was a victim of sexual abuse by his teacher.. Or something? Vague about the exact ages in that background but I hope it wasn’t below the age of consent at least.

Avital: No, I was thinking the same thing. My guess was he was probably a freshman or sophomore in high school?

blue: But it’s how he lost his virginity and it was at school, so he was young and he’s been acting out with sex ever since.
Is it OK for TB to kind of trivialise this material because Jason is the comic relief character?

Avital: Yeah. I actually had a moment of “is Jason self-actualizing?” when he started to fit all these pieces together for himself.
Well, I’m not sure if they’re trivializing, but giving us more substance to Jason.

blue: Or is TB kind of doing its thing where it tricks the audience into considering serious things in amongst all the camp?

Avital: That’s what I’m thinking. Not only does it get you thinking about this type of sexual abuse (and honestly, rarely do we talk/look at predatory women), but at the same time it allows Jason as a character to grow in a way that makes it somewhat believable.

blue: It’s quite a tragic end to that scene isn’t it? The woman was predatory, she admits as much, but is tempted back into another sexual encounter by Jason’s seduction only to find him regretting it. Only, she was his predator but now she has the vulnerability of the older woman, too, right?

Avital: Yes. I mean, it’s a bit much with the sad cat lady trope being thrust in your face, but it definitely drives the point home.

blue: It’s awful, the fucking damage done by sexual abuse. And it’s really interesting to see a scene depicting a female predator and a male victim because it debunks a few dreadful myths about what is and isn’t abuse, especially as Jason has been such a sexually confident man.
Also, sad cat lady, exactly. Good observation about that scene. The whole living room furniture and set – so very, very cat lady. Arggh.

Avital: Yes. she had cat mugs! I mean, take a trope and beat it to death why don’t you, Alan Ball. sigh.
Speaking of tropes/stereotypes – I was so interested in Salome. It feels like she’s really embodied the mythology of who she is. This seductress who does her thing (i.e. dance of the seven veils) to get what she wants from men. I wonder just who is really in control up at the top – Salome or the Chancellor? 

blue: Yes, an interesting character. Several times in this episode we saw vampire life as an escape from the cruelty of human life. Like, with Pam and with Salome.

Avital: Yes. stark juxtaposition against Tara.

blue: And Pam? Forced Eric into ‘turning her’ in a kind of co-dependent way, huh? I guess this says something about their relationship.
(Yes, I thought that too, contrasting with Tara).

Avital: Yeah, Pam was quite manipulative there, I thought. But the fact that Eric changed her speaks to his softer side that we don’t see all that often

blue: Yes, although he looked a little hungry, too, but yes, it was quite a tender scene. And Holy Shit, let me go no further without acknowledging Eric naked.

Avital: haha. yes. Always time to pause and acknowledge that.

blue: Oh, I hate to be this degenerate, but honestly, naked, naked, naked.

Avital: Well, when it’s thrust (snicker at “thrust”) in your face like that, what do you expect?

blue: Haha. I couldn’t do a sex scene, I’m too shy for acting, but I could do a scene where I was in bed next to naked Eric talking.

Avital: You’d take one for the team like that? You’re too generous. Oh! I meant to ask you: do you really believe Eric’s sister is a Sanguinista?

blue: I hope she is. I know The Authority are sort of meant to be the good guys but man, all that hierarchy and dogma gives me the heebie jeebies. I end up going for the anti-authority side.
Anyway, I’m pretty much lost in thought right now – Eric in bed naked doing naked talking to me.

Avital: Ha! Do these help? (NSFW)

blue: Hahaha. You can’t encourage me, honestly. I’m dreadful.
So, a fairy boy is in town huh?

Avital: If we can’t encourage each other, who will?
Oh, yes!
Because there aren’t enough plot lines developing right now. Let’s add in some fairies!

blue: Haha. A bit more from the books by the looks of things? He’s supposed to be physical perfection and irresistible to men and women but a bit hard for fairies to compete with everyone else who is so good looking on the show.

Avital: Yeah. Speaking of good looking men… Alcide.
If you had found out that a girl you like killed your ex and then got her best friend turned into a vamp, would you just storm out, or would you stick around and ask for a few answers?

blue: Yes isn’t he looking nice, all grey flecked beard?

Avital: ha. I like how you bypassed the question and went straight to thinking about Alcide.

blue: Seriously, I should never be encouraged. But yes, Alcide. They ended the tension there pretty fast with all that him not knowing and Sookie keeping this terrible secret from him. Bang.

Avital: But now the tension becomes – does he say anything to debbie’s parents, etc…

blue: Yes.. And the body inevitably being found by someone, and the murder investigation. Got a few good episodes there.

Avital: Definitely. Oh, what did you think of your Reverend becoming the new Nan Flannigan?

blue: The Reverend was under-utilised. He should dance in every episode. But yes, great comic character.

Avital: Well, I’m certain we’ll be seeing more of him in future episodes

blue: Anyone else we should mention?

Avital: Hoyt made me sad when he showed up at Fangtasia

blue: Oh, it was nice to have some bar action in this episode. They all still work, apparently.
Oh yes, Hoyt. My friend and I had a little chuckle, least likely emo boy ever.

Avital: right? you could feel his desperation in his black-lined eyes.

blue: It was desperate, as Pam said. Is he after Jessica still or just another vamp girl?

Avital: Another vamp girl is my guess, to show Jess he’s over her. Speaking of desperation… Tara at the end there was incredibly sad

blue: I know, we’re in dangerous territory with Tara again. Her character has been here before, oh, a few dozen times.

Avital: Final thoughts?

blue: I guess my final thoughts are that Sookie and Alcide are going to make an interesting couple seeing as Eric and Bill are out of the picture with those death cross harnesses and important to do for the Authority and all the casual sex they’re getting these days. Which reminds me, Bill having sex with Salome but without undoing their pants? Little eye roll from me.

Avital: I love how you caught that – I didn’t happen to notice. I’m curious to see where Jason’s revelations lead him.

blue: Haha keeping it real. I’d give some predictions but I think I might just be influenced by the books. 

Avital: …And to see what sort of zany adventures Bill & Eric get into. And Russell Edgington – I missed him this episode!

blue: I know, Russell, we’re ready.

10 thoughts on “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like Watching True Blood: Episode 3

  1. Pingback: True Blood Season 5, Episode 3 discussion « blue milk

  2. Shirtless Stabler too, ladies! Can’t leave that out!

    There was some strong female sexuality in this episode – Salome, Jessica, the Texan authority member – loved her comment about the sandwich! Perhaps contrasted with Jason’s teacher, whose sexual desire was predatory & damaging?

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