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If TV shows gained popularity based on how annoyingly frustrating they are, True Blood would be watched by at very least the entire population of Earth and the Na’vi from Avatar. “I Wish I Was The Moon” didn’t really break from the trend of utter pointlessness that a lot of what has come before it put onto the screen as much as I would have liked it to, but it did just enough to make the episode watchable, whilst still kind of sucking. The entire fourth season of True Blood has thus far suffered from a fatal flaw – I don’t know what the hell it’s about. Now half way through the season it really doesn’t look like that is going to change by its conclusion, hence the annoyance. The frustration beside that comes from the indecision by the writers as a result of them clearly not knowing what they’re doing either. Save for the premiere because there was nothing before it, each one of the episodes has gone in a completely different direction from the previous one, giving more or less weight to stories seemingly at random. Worse still, the unnecessary length of the episodes is killing the pacing – something that was particularly obviously this week.
I’d like to begin by saying “the main story line this week was...” but there really wasn’t one, so I’ll simply pick up with the storyline that came to us first. At the end of last week’s episode Sookie and Eric finally got down to the mouth wrestle that they’ve been waiting 3 years for and all of 5 seconds later at the start of this one, they were more than going for it. I’m all for sex, believe me, but given Sookie’s history with Bill and her generally being screwed by vampires left, right and center since the beginning of the show, I’d have imagined that she’d be slightly less willing to remove her clothing than she was. Nevertheless the point of it all wasn’t really that she and Eric were about to have sex, but rather that Bill got there just in time to see that. Unaware of who Bill was, Eric attacked him before bowing to his king when Sookie told him what was what. With Eric still firmly under the necromancer’s spell, Bill chose to jail him and request a warrant from the AVL to give his sheriff the true death. If I were to try and write this as it happened chronologically, then there would be several paragraphs before I got to say that, even with the warrant Bill chose not to kill Eric, instead allowing him to return to Sookie and see about that lovemaking.
The huge gaps between Eric’s arrest, Bill’s request, and the near kill and reveal of Eric’s continued life were just some of the staggeringly idiotic pieces of pacing that I alluded to before, with the next coming from Lafayette and Jesus. After fleeing to Mexico to avoid Pam’s wrath at her current condition, the two lovers met with Jesus’ grandfather to seek protection. That is the entire story for the two of them yet it is dragged out over several scenes involving a sacrifice and Lafayette being possessed. The show is a supernatural drama, but the show Supernatural already exists to cover the broad bases. The books may well have these things in them, but as the season progresses, one thing is becoming abundantly clear to me: they are terrible books. Okay, so the first 3 may not have been entirely bad and maybe things get better after the fourth, but for right now, there is just enough supernatural stuff in this show already. Not content with just one spirit possession for the episode, Marnie had her own poorly paced, horrendously acted and outright stupid moments in the episode as well. As she begged for possession we got another glimpse of the extremely out of place past in which the necromancing witch that takes over her body lived, before she set about freeing herself using her newfound powers now that she has been taken over.
Amazingly, the only story that really kept both pacing and a semblance of relevance throughout “I Wish I Was The Moon” belonged to Jason. After suffering mass rape and several werepanther bites, Jason set about isolating himself from the rest of the world for fear that he will turn on the full moon. His planed failed almost immediately when Sookie comes by looking for help with the Eric/Bill situation and he confessed all to his sister at her request. As the two waited it out in the middle of the night I was genuinely eager to see what was going to happen and when Jason eluded his sister’s company I was ready for the change, but when Alcide – on the way to his new pack’s meeting – informed Sookie that humans can’t be changed, I just became mad. The Crystal/Jason story has only worked from the very beginning because there was always something at stake, but now that we know that Jason could never have been a werepanther and have never fathered children with his captives, his entire existence in this season has been beyond pointless. That being said, there was one strong positive to come out of the situation as it allowed Jason and Jessica to spend some time together. After she sensed that he was afraid, Jessica rushed to be by Jason’s side and the attraction between the two almost hit breaking point. Whether or not they will actually get it on – ruining Jason’s friendship with Hoyt – remains to be seen, but it remains at least a somewhat interesting possibility and gives hope of scenes that will actually be watchable for the remainder of the season.
The only other real occurrences in the episode came from Tommy/Sam as Tommy shifted into his brother’s form following the killing of his parents. Using his position as Sam to fire Sookie, promote Jessica and sleep with his brother’s sort-of girlfriend made for somewhat interesting watching, but if this is set to be a continuing device, it’s the wrong direction for the show. Even if the aftermath of Tommy’s actions don't only serve to drive a larger wedge between him and his brother, removing all hope of a relationship between the two, it will make Tommy’s existence in the show just another pointless one. The main storylines aside: Tara explained her lies to her girlfriend before the two were attacked by Pam; Terry and Arlene survived the fire with their evil baby; and Alcide and his girlfriend continued to have almost no reason for existing at all.
“I Wish I Was The Moon” was everything that I expected it to be. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I learned several weeks ago that this particular hour on Sundays is not very likely to do much for me right now. The show has just lost its edge, serving only to compound the anger that I feel about everything currently happening on the screen. If it was always terrible then I could let it go, but the previous 3 years have always done something to make me want back in. That feeling has gone and unless major changes are about to come, it will stay that way until at least next summer.