9. I Will Rise Up
Lying vamps, flying spies and covert kidnappings? Just another ordinary week in True Blood…
Considered by many to be the best thing on TV, True Blood literally blew itself out of the water this week with I Will Rise Up. Picking up momentum with every scene, episode nine of the superb series supersedes all to claim the title of Best Episode Ever.
In last week’s exciting installment, the Luke-inator, never the sharpest tool in the box, except this time, breathes his last, thanks to a home-made bomb, but takes just a handful of vampires with him. He just can’t do anything well. Those that are gone, Stan among them, will not be missed, but everyone important is just fine.
Luckily for Sookie, that great hero and lover of mankind, Eric, threw himself in front of our favorite psychic just in time and she survived the blast intact. The same cannot be said for the Viking vamp, who despite his age and power appears to be dying. If Sookie doesn’t suck the silver shrapnel out of him immediately, it’ll be curtains for Eric. As obliging and naïve as ever, she does as asked, only to find out that he is in no way dying. The sly dog tricked the poor girl into drinking his blood, thus connecting them forever and leaving Bill a tad put out.
The American Vampire League, in the form of Nan Flanigan: TV Personality Extraordinaire pays a visit to the Dallas vamps demanding an explanation for the Fellowship of the Sun clusterfrick. Ignoring Eric’s objections, Godric takes full responsibility and steps down as sheriff, promising to make amends.
During the meeting, Sookie is mesmerized by Eric, and when he and Godric go to the roof of the hotel to talk, she is right there with them. She watches as Godric explains why he volunteered to ‘meet the sun’, and why he’s volunteering now. Eric finally, tearfully (yes, tearfully) agrees to leave Godric to the sunrise, but Sookie stays to witness the 2,000-year-old’s demise. It’s over in seconds, but the effect on Sookie will be permanent. All of which is bad news for Bill.
Speaking of bad news, the lovely Hoyt decided that it was high time Jess met his god-awful mother, which is both sweet and incredibly foolish. They meet at Merlotte’s, natch, for a drink and some getting to know you chit chat, but Mrs. Hoyt can’t be civil even for 10 seconds. Before you know it, Jess is flouncing out in tears, with Hoyt close behind. Which is handy because, just a few beers later, the one and only Maryann arrives with some orders for her black-eyed minions.
Their god apparently demands a sacrifice – they must bring her Sam Merlotte. Believing him to still be in the local lock-up, the maenad worked her mojo on the sheriff, in an attempt to get to her chosen one. This week at least, Sam is one step ahead. Having not had an idea all night, he finally realizes he can shift into a fly, and just leave. And they say Jason is dumb.
Rather than enjoy his new found freedom, Sam instead takes the opportunity to literally be a fly on the wall, or in his case, the table at Maryann’s. He chose well – the table gives him a front row seat for the big fight as the all conquering Lafayette and the slightly less conquering Mrs. Tara show up and demand that Tara leave with them.
Both Tara and Eggs are sporting the latest in couple’s accessories – matching black eyes of the punched-in-the-face variety, as opposed to the Maryann variety – although neither of them can remember how they got there. Lafayette doesn’t care and after laying out Eggs, he grabs Tara and the unlikeliest ever extraction team escape before Maryann realizes what’s happened. Vacating his front row seat, Sam flies straight to the only other person he knows for sure is not under Maryann’s spell – Detective Andy. God help them.
After all the excitement of last week, I Will Rise Up barely gave us time to get our breath back before exploding all over the TV screen. From the opening flash of violence, to the closing burst of flames, True Blood lived up to its best thing on TV epithet this week, and then some.
Although the show is never afraid to put its characters in mortal danger – the exploding Christian could have done some real damage – we very rarely lose one. Sadly, Godric’s death was something of an inevitability, but having made such an impact over the last few episodes, his suicide was all the more affecting.
Allan Hyde has done an amazing job over the course of the series, and it’s a shame that he won’t be a continued presence. Godric’s death, traumatic as it was, did give the writers an excuse to let Alexander Skarsgård flex his acting muscles a little more than usual, and the episode was all the better for it. His tearful goodbye was superbly played, as you would expect. The dynamic between Eric and Godric has been excellent all season, so it’ll be hard to replace. However, his new found love for a certain Dixie Psy-chick should help him get over it a little quicker.
Maryann’s first taste of the one-man army that was Lafayette is something she won’t forget in a hurry, and provides Lafayette with yet another episode-stealing scene. He will literally take anybody on (remember the three ‘Aids burger’ guys?) even sending hired muscle Eggs to la-la land before running off with a grown woman comically thrown over one shoulder. The man is insane and amazing.
With Tara’s dramatic ‘rescue’, the battle lines have been well and truly drawn, and the war for Tara’s soul is about to begin in earnest. Let’s hope Sookie and the fangs come to the rescue soon – even the mighty Lafayette isn’t strong enough to take on Maryann. It’ll be a fight worth watching though.
Another perfect slice of vampire heaven, I Will Rise Up ramps up the tension in the Vampire/Sookie sandwich, and the demonic takeover of Bon Temps is about to come to a head, leaving us in no doubt that whatever is coming next is going to be pretty spectacular. Only six long days til then…
Check out our review of episode 8 here.