This review contains spoilers.
4.11 Soul Of Fire
Season four’s penultimate episode set yet another high watermark, with more shocks, spells and slayings than you can shake a stake at, proving once again that True Blood is one of the best shows currently available to your telebox.
Those of use that spent much of the episode wondering why the wiccan/vamp standoff came to what felt like a premature end got our answer in the episode’s closing moments: ding dong, the witch is dead, and possessing a fully shocked Lafayette. He really needs to come up with some sort of locking system for the vessel that is his body.
Yes, despite the hail of bullets, Marnie dies to fight another day, thus revealing that the real showdown – Laf against Jesus – is still to come. Thanks to said warlock, the hostage situation came to a fairly bloodless end, if you don’t count Marnie, and poor Roy, who met with one of Eric’s more sarcastic life taking tricks. I’m not sure how he manages to be both murderous and sarcastic at the same time, but it’s a pleasure to behold.
Marnie’s death and resurrection aside, the standoff itself held many revelations, not least of which was the willingness of two vampires to sacrifice their lives for what Pam so beautifully describes as “a gash in a sundress.” A touch harsh, maybe, but you can see where she’s coming from. Then, of course, there was Jesus’ heretofore unseen power – breaking the bond between Marnie and Antonia with nothing but a few plants and some goop. Oh, and a demon.
However powerful the new Marnie/Laf hybrid might be, Jesus clearly has game. The upcoming final showdown will be nothing if not interesting – in a battle of evil against evil, surely no one wins. We also got another glimpse – for they are all glimpses – of Sookie’s faery power, which tied in neatly with the sudden appearance in Bon Temps of one her brethren – although these days they seem more interested in being impregnated by random townsfolk than anything else. Let’s hope Andy’s good fortune doesn’t turn into something altogether more sinister.
While the supernatural standoff was the main focus of Soul Of Fire, the fledgling Sam and Alcide bromance continued apace across town. Having finally found Marcus, thanks to his kidnapped daughter’s apparently unforeseen ability to use a telephone, Sam sets about putting things right. But, being the Southern gentleman that we know him to be, Sam takes the high road and decides to let Marcus live, just long enough for Alcide to kill him in the process of saving his new best friend’s life. This surely is a bromance made in heaven.
And just in the nick of time, too – with Horrific Debbie literally caught in her knickers, the big man has no choice but to ditch her for good, so he’ll need the company.
What’s been astonishing about season four as a whole, and the last three episodes in particular, is the sheer amount of action and information squeezed into each episode – now that the show is well established, the writers give an enormous amount of credit to the audience, doing away with anything even remotely expository unless absolutely necessary.
Catering to the audience it already has, rather than chasing additional members, has allowed a shorthand to develop, giving the characters and complex storylines room to breathe, while moving at an incredible pace at the same time. It’s quite a feat, and accomplished with a confidence and finesse rarely seen.
And as always, the cast have given stellar performances throughout the season, with Ryan Kwanten in particular coming on in leaps and bounds. His new love-struck persona is fantastic, and in stark but superb contrast to his early season were-panther rape ordeal, both of which Kwanten handled with aplomb.
So, it’s with anticipation, and a touch of sadness, that we approach the season finale, an episode that always manages to be both the high and low point of the season. High because it always rocks, and low because it signals the start of an excruciating wait for the next instalment.
Will Jesus be able to save Laf? Will Marnie get her genocidal wish? Will Sookie finally make up her frickin mind? All this and more will be revealed in seven days. See you there…
Read our review of episode 10, Burning Down The House, right here.