This Is What A Feminist Looks Like Watching True Blood: Episode 7

Hello, hello, hello…is there anybody in there? Just checking. Bluemilk and I are back with another True Blood chat, and we’re both curious if anybody else is out there watching along with us? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the show, on what we end up discussing, and you know…whether you’re Team Eric or Team Alcide. So, whether you come for the gifs and stay for the chat, or come for the analysis and stay for the pretty, pretty pictures, share your thoughts down below. But for now – our thoughts on episode 7.

In case you need to catch up, you can fin the rest here: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5Episode 6. As always, this chat contains spoilers up until episode 7.

Avital: So let’s talk about this episode. Lots to discuss

blue milk: The multicultural hate group is my first note from last night.

Avital: Yes. And Hoyt.
He got another “Oh, Hoyt” from me. Signing Jessica’s death warrant and not even realizing it. (or did he?)

blue: There were some very funny lines in that scene – “more love in this hate group”.
Yeah, looks like Hoyt is going to be bitter and bigoted. Think he still had to choke out that ‘yes’ to hating Jessica though.

Avital: Yeah, I’m not sure how realistic the show’s been with these super speedy change of hearts (for both Hoyt and Jason), but I understand it’s for plot development. I just am not sure either of them would flip sides so quickly, even with the reasons they’re feeding us.

blue: Yes, character consistency is not a strong point. I can imagine Hoyt would find his alleyway moment with a male vampire kind of confronting though.

Avital: I mean, it could possibly fit either of them, just not in the speeded up time frames they’re giving us.

blue: Hmm.

Avital: Oh, certainly. I could see that. But to have that influence his feelings on Jessica so significantly?

blue: Yes. Agreed.

Avital: At the same time, look how easily everyone was “persuaded” to join Team Lilith last night.

blue: Yes, it’s that ‘group think’ problem. That was kinda wonderful huh? How everyone was pretending to be about some grand vision of respect but really they were there for the power.

Avital: Russell was my favorite
He’s like “oh, yeah. sure. Praise Lilith. Sounds good.”

blue: Haha. Russell Edginton is the best. His faux ‘born again’ was superb. And that “Fangs, you’re such boys” to Eric and Bill. Russell is so fun-loving. He is intoxicating.
And the way he moves – like mooching down the road in New Orleans or sidling up to that young woman doing karaoke?

Avital: Yeah, I enjoy him. Great character and great actor as well
Speaking of…so, Lilith’s blood is just some cracked out vampire LSD, yeah?

blue: Yes, the tripping. So good. What would a group of vampires be like tripping? Well, this. And at last we’re seeing vampires as hedonistic, violent, sex-crazed creatures again. How will we feel about Eric and Bill as love interests after we saw them killing a group of innocent humans?
Special mention for Lillith with the merkin though.

Avital: Ha! Who knew vampires from ancient times trimmed so neatly.

blue: There’s your proof that she’s a god. I guess Eric will redeem himself via Godric which means he is ‘one all’ with Bill, who did that chivalrous, gentle pining for Sookie in the last few episodes.
How’s your Alcide vibe going?

Avital: Ha, you know I’m an Eric girl first and foremost.

blue: Wrestling and sparring with the sexy were-woman is a plus, doing it while wearing a Rambo bandana is a minus.

Avital: Yes, the Rambo bandanna was definitely a detractor. Glad granny wolf called him out on it

blue: Yes, and looks like we were both right with last week’s predictions. Granny wolf is good and was not manipulative about getting the cub. But the wolf packmaster is bad and working with vampires, a la Russell, surely?

Avital: Which is good, considering the current packmaster was about to push some V on the poor cub.

blue: That was a genuinely confronting moment for me. As was the bit where Jesus’ uncle, what’s his name? (Don Bartolo) Was doing all his occult thing over the pregnant belly of his young wife. I was so relieved when she ended up killing Don.

Avital: Oh, yes. Especially since she had seemed so vacant every other time we had seen her. I was cringing so hard at Lafayette’s sewn shut lips

blue: Yes, the small scale violence can be more skin-crawling than the big splattery stuff.

Avital: Definitely.

blue: Isn’t it bizarre how camp this show manages to be with all these kinds of storylines?

Avital: For sure. I mean, look at Arlene watching the wedding video and then the smoke monster about to attack Terry (and then stopping).

blue: Hmm speaking of the wedding video – how old was that tv? And the type of video camera recording the wedding? The video was nice though, huh? It showed the TB people as a community and we need a reminder that they are, in fact, a community.

Avital: Haha, yeah. They made it feel a bit old there, eh? But yes, a sweet video. Little snapshots of what happened while Sookie was away in Faerie land as well. I almost forgot about that time lapse until they brought it up in the wedding video.

blue: Anyway, Terry… I thought that scene was really, really insensitive where Terry’s friend, what is his name?, says “suicide is for Muslims”. I know we’re seeing war-damaged soldiers and we need to know that Terry’s friend is the real bad guy and not Terry.. even though Terry participated in war crimes, too..

Avital: Yeah, his sargeant.

blue: And this is the way they make that kind of distinction, because Terry’s friend says crappy things like that but not Terry.. but really.? Suicide rates are high for returned soldiers and this just seems like the wrong material to use in such a flippant show.

Avital: Yeah, it wasn’t the best choice. But the show has always skated the line of using serious issues in questionable ways to advance plot points. Oh! I have to make mention of Reverend Steve.

blue: Isn’t Reverend Steve just perfectly suited to The Authority.

Avital: He was beyond adorable when everyone is going around declaring their “love” for Lilith and whatnot, and he goes “I’m like a tree in the wind; I’m just happy to be included.”

blue: Haha yes, what a line. Some of the newer characters are really wonderful and he’s one of them. The tension between Jason and Jessica is satisfying, too, huh? I like the way they are developing those two – both as individual characters and vaguely as a couple.

Avital: I can’t believe he shot her in the head! Neither could she, it seemed.

blue: So, Sam.. rolling around and sniffing.

Avital: That was hilarious.

blue: This is pretty much adorable and this is why Sam is great to have around, I forgot how cute and funny he could be.

Avital: I couldn’t tell if the orderly just happened to work there or if he had sneaked in to finish the job.

blue: Yes, me too. Does Sookie really know Sam’s girlfriend? (I really gotta start learning their names – Luna, that’s right). Anyway, nice of her to stop by and do normal things.

Avital: Yeah, it’s that sweet, polite Southern girl in her

blue: Ah yes. So, the retired sheriff is the leader of the hate group, right? He suddenly appears for no reason in an episode.

Avital: Oh, you think so? I’m curious to see what will happen once the Lilith high wears off – where everyone stands on things. I hope we get more Reverend Steve and Russel next time as well.

blue: Hmm it’s a good point. Where is this whole Lillith thing going to go? Especially when Russell is in charge and he’s just such a cynical opportunist.. and please let’s not kill him off too fast – let him do loads more terrible things first. My final thoughts – that Sookie and Russell confrontation has to be coming up soon.. especially with Sookie doing something as reckless as trying to use up all her special light powers. And surely, this has to mean some fairies are going to have to help her out. (Hey we forgot to mention Tara and her mother and Pam…?)

Avital: Yeah, I definitely think we’ll have some sort of showdown where “poof,” Sookie’s powers will be gone and something big will come of it (either Eric & Bill stepping in to save her, or the faeries). Oh yes – that part just made me so sad.

blue: Found that scene with Tara and her mother in the club quite sad.. because it really did mimic the kind of rejection you might get from religious parents when you’re working in the sex industry.. let alone having been transformed into a vampire (almost wrote ‘vagina’). And there was something sad about Pam saying to Tara, which I know was sposed to be comforting but it was tragic, really, that in 100 years you won’t even remember your mother. Reminds me that I also found it pretty sad when Jessica was saying goodbye to her family, too. It really emphasizes the trade-off of this living forever business.

Avital: Right, which is why it was almost too easy for all those vampires to switch sides.
Like…okay, this is new status quo, but it will probably change in another 50-100 years, no big.
and they just follow the power

blue: I am not sure what TB wants us to think about Tara’s life now.. but ‘the get back on the pole’ thing.. I mean, it’s a funny line but the old Tara probably wouldn’t have worked as a pole-dancer and the new Tara has no choice because her maker commands her to do so.. and this kind of maternal figure who is also kind of leering at her and able to control her behaviour? It’s emotionally confusing for me. I just need sex scenes to straighten it all out.

Avital: Ha!
I thought we were going to get one for a second there when Pam was watching Tara at first.

blue: Hmm she’s obviously like Eric, sitting on his throne on the stage.. looking hot and leering at ‘chosen ones’ all at the same time. But somehow that was unsettling for me and maybe it was because it was a woman doing it to a woman-child. Or maybe I would find it sad with Eric, too?

Avital: Yeah, it was definitely close to that line rather than tittilating to me
sigh. I probably wouldn’t. but I have problems like that.
No, I probably would. maybe.

blue: Ah, I am finding this interesting. So, if Eric was doing it to Tara, say he was her maker? Would we find it just sexy or would it also feel exploitative?

Avital: Probably uncomfortable, just like it was for me with Pam.
(but I’d still swoon probably swoon at the image of Eric leering)

blue: I think one thing that pushes buttons for me is the idea of separating from your family.. just losing them forever, cutting off all ties.. so it is hard for me to think about that with Tara and Jessica without feeling everything around it is tragic.. maybe if that idea didn’t push buttons for you, maybe if you were the sort of person who found it a cleansing thought, which it could be, these scenes wouldn’t seem so heartbreaking..

Avital: No, definitely heartbreaking. I remember being so upset when Jessica was turned, but Bill was so whiny then too.
Pam’s handling it much differently, I think.

blue: Hmm ok.

Avital: And you see her reluctant concern there at the end when Tara breaks down. She doesn’t want to care, but she can’t be cruel.

blue: She’s still very callous about it.. which is true to her character and also to vampires, generally. Yes, I can see they’re developing the mother-daughter thing.
It feels painfully slow to me watching it.. like, Tara has lost so much in her life, for godsake someone step up and love this person properly and not damage her any further. And I know part of the beauty of developing this mother-daughter thing slowly is that it will be this emotional pay-off because it’s the unlikeliness of Pam being maternal and blah blah blah.. but ouch.

Avital: I’m curious to see their storyline develop. I hope they’re not just forgotten about w/all the others bubbling up.

blue: No, I’m fairly certain they’re really enjoying developing this one and it will be a key point.
Anyway, funny what comes up when you’re about to finish a conversation, huh?
I think that has been sitting with me for a while and I haven’t addressed it properly.

Avital: I’m glad we had a chance!

blue: Yes, me too.

12 thoughts on “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like Watching True Blood: Episode 7

  1. So. I just started watching this… right with that episode, you know right smack several seasons in.
    It was a good romp for sure.

    • It might help to watch the other seasons to catch up (and it certainly wouldn’t hurt as far as Eric-ogling goes) but you can totally pick up what’s happening if you dive right in. Glad you’re enjoying it, though!

  2. Pingback: True Blood Discussion: Season 5, Episode 7 « blue milk

  3. Team Eric, just to be clear. And yes, the who vampire tripping thing was totally awesome. I did find the moment with giving the child the V blood totally disturbing – and it certainly allowed a clarification of who is good and who is bad in the whole wereworlf scenario – and particularly for Granny.

    I was disappoitned that hoyt just flipped so quickly – but I wonder where it will leave when they do set out to kill Jessica, which would appear on the cards. I hope that Hoyt can redeem himself. In the jessica Jason scene – I thought she should have asked him whether he knows the names of those he has slept with rather than the cows he’s eaten – I think that would have made the point better.

    And finally, I think the Pam-Tara thing is clearly an internal struggle for Pam: she was a reluctant maker so she is both working through he natural lack of sentiment as well as the fact she and Tara never did get along. She has to engage in the harsh, to counter her own emotional reactions I think.

    And yes, more and more Russell!

  4. Hi, i have been reading along, but you guys are so darn thorough its hard to think of stuff to add. This week i made an effort🙂
    Strangely enough, I actually turned to fellow TB loving partner during the opening credits and said “What ever happened to Tara’s mum?” Question answered. Nice mechanism to progress the Pam/Tara relationship.
    I’d really like to see what happens with Suki if she were to exhaust her powers. I don’t like that this little titbit of news about her powers is so conveniently popped in here, after so long, but it might be the best way to protect herself from Russell. Conversely, she would have also have less leverage. I wonder if Eric/Bill would still be as attracted to her without the sweet aroma of faerie blood.
    I also like the evolution of the Jessica/Jason relationship; Jason is getting much better at being a grown up but it do miss his classic Jasonisms (“I didn’t think I was intelligent enough to get depressed. But, here I am…” or something like).
    Russell’s opportunism was terribly transparent. I want to know more about why his key players aren’t more scared of this. And I want to know why he doesn’t get rid of Eric/Bill straight out but then he may not be that threatened by them at all. (Eric certainly remembers his mum after all this time.)
    And I wouldn’t put it passed Hoyt to be undercover. He did show a lot of comfort in the conversation but he also seemed to say things that were too perfect, pandering or safe, which would be the sensible thing in that situation. I’m not sure he has the standing in that group to say anything *other* than yes, he hates Jessica. How safe would he be if he’d expressed any other opinion?

  5. Watching and very much enjoying reading your commentary – I just rarely have anything to add! I’m really enjoying this season, after what I thought was a pretty messy disappointing last season. The whole Authority storyline is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story is heading – to a full scale war between vamps and humans?

    • Completely agree re:Last season. It felt sloppy and boring, frankly. Much happier so far with this season, even with a few “meh” parts here & there. Authority/Russell plot line helped ramp things up.

  6. I’ve been watching episodes as they appear on iTunes in Australia and enjoying your and Blue Milk’s commentary. I find it interesting that Sookie seems to be playing a less ‘centre-stage’ role this season. I’ve enjoyed watching Tara’s development. I think she will become a very fierce and very strong vampire and will probably end up in some sort of leadership role. Neither team Bill or Eric, though I love the fangtasia scenes.

  7. Pingback: True Blood Discussion: Season 5, Episode 11 « blue milk

  8. Pingback: This Is What A Feminist Looks Like Watching True Blood: Season 5 Finale « The Mamafesto

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