True Blood season 4 episode 4 review: I’m Alive And On Fire

True Blood's all about escapes and captures in Bon Temps and Hotshot this week, with some shocking events and revelations in between...

This review contains spoilers.

4.4 I’m Alive And On Fire

After what was possibly one of the most disturbing weeks Bon Temps has ever produced, you’d be forgiven for being more than a little apprehensive about True Blood‘s latest offering. Fear not. I’m Alive And On Firehas an ick factor of almost nil. Almost.

At werepanther HQ, poor Jason, having been gang raped by a steady stream of redneck women, whose brother-husbands (yes, one word) are, frankly, in desperate need of a bullet between the eyes, finally manages to put an end to his ordeal. With the help of young Becky, who would appear to be the genius in the family, he escapes and even manages to put Felton down for good.

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Despite the clearly certifiable Crystal’s pleas to stay and live happily ever after, Jason comes to the altogether sensible conclusion that he’d rather die than be anywhere near her creepy family. Finally collapsing on the road just as Hoyt and Jess happen by, the young vamp comes over all Bill, saving the poor boy’s life. Although, chances are, with all those little Jasons about to be running around, he’ll wish he had died. You have to wonder, with Crystal’s ghost daddy plan in full swing, whether the vamp blood will have the desired effect.

While Jason’s nightmare is seemingly over, it looks as if Tommy’s is just beginning. Those of us who had hoped we’d seen the last of the horrific Joe Lee were bitterly disappointed by his unexpected return, particularly as it’s to imprison and enslave his meal ticket, otherwise known as Tommy. What is it with True Blood and kidnap right now?

The despicable Mickens family is once again complete, and the enforced dog fighting can begin. With Sam off playing happy families with Luna, it’s unlikely a heroic brotherly rescue is on the cards. Could Mama Hoyt be about to impose her not inconsiderable will on Joe Lee? That’s a fight we’d all pay to see.

Elsewhere, we find out just what Marnie’s new found spirit friend is, a witch burnt at the stake during what could well be the Spanish Inquisition. And because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, Pam has no idea what she’s messing with when she starts throwing her weight around and threatening Marnie. The wiccan once again sends a vampire running, and in this case, rotting with frightening ease. Unbeknownst to Eric’s faithful sidekick, she’s just given the wiccan a very good reason to come after the Bon Temps vamp population, and there’s a good chance they won’t know what hit them. And Sookie is playing a significant part in keeping them in the dark, lying to Bill about Eric’s whereabouts, just in case. How things have changed.

Thankfully, I’m Alive And On Fire gave us a little bit of a break, not only from the ick factor, which, frankly, was excessive last week, but also from the gasp factor, given that the episodes revelations were of a much more sobering nature. Sleeping with your should be long dead ancestors aside (I said the ick was almost gone), Sookie’s lies, Debbie’s clearly feigned disinterest in Eric’s miraculous daywalking, even Pam’s rotten face were infinitely preferable to watching Jason gang raped by every woman in a five mile radius. Preferable, but just as far-reaching.

Perhaps the most sobering scene, though, is the realisation that Arlene’s baby won’t be a device for comic relief, as it’s more than likely that he is, in fact, Satan. Creepy as that thought is, Diet Eric plus evil baby equals TV genius, surely? The funniest, meanwhile, has to be that Bill is, in fact, related to Andy,something the v junkie will surely find a little hard to swallow. Can’t wait to see his face when he finds out!

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So, four episodes in and the season is bedding down nicely. The storyline seeds appear to have been well sown thus far. Even Tommy’s shaky start has suddenly become something infinitely more sinister. At the risk of repetition, the way things are going, with the myriad complex, interweaving arcs, True Blood‘s current season could well be its best. Fingers crossed…

Read our review of episode 3, If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?, here.

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