True Blood season 4 episode 8 review: Spellbound

It's the latest episode of the vampy US series, True Blood! Here's Emma's review of another super episode....

This review contains spoilers.

4.8 Spellbound

The vamps and wiccans face off in the dark in the latest True Blood extravaganza. True Blood’s fourth season has so far been pacier than a rioter with a plasma TV (too soon?), and in the latest instalment, Spellbound not only matched that pace, but in places, left it standing. Possession, powers, powwows and plain old broken promises abound in what was without doubt a superb episode. 

First things first, then – Eric has gone to the dark side. At least as dark as Mr Wide Eyed Innocence gets, anyway. Not that he wasn’t already embracing his inner darkness, feeding on and tearing the faces from defenceless witches, but thanks to some handily placed mist, and vampires’ apparent inability to raise their voices, the Marnie/Antonia hybrid has him.

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And, despite her proclamations of genocide, for now, she’s content to merely stroke her new pet’s hair in an entirely creepy Bond villain style. His enslaving comes about not a moment too soon – surely the so-sweet-you’ll-get-a-cavity-Eric has now run its course? The sooner he’s back to his sarcastic, torturing self, the better, frankly. 

From a vampire who’s still not himself, we jump neatly to the other pressing issue of the episode – not Sookie’s gunshot wound –Alcide’s clearly got that covered, much to Horrific Debbie’s chagrin – no, the other pressing matter in Bons Temps this week is Laf’s uninvited guest.

In one of those fabulously soapy True Blood twists, it transpires that Ghost Nanny, having taken a leaf from Antonia’s ancient book, has decided to spend her summer holiday in Laf’s body. Heading straight for Arlene and Terry’s baby, under the delusion that it’s her dead son, Laf is, for the moment, completely powerless in the face of what looks like a literal kidnapping, although how no one heard the humming is a mystery. Now that we know the origin of the dumpster doll, what we really need to know is who the old-school baby daddy was.

Chances are, he’s related to at least one current Bons Temps resident… Having survived her date with the sunrise, baby vamp Jess, who lest we forget is still only around sixteen, and pretty much a baby in human terms as well, finally put Hoyt out of his misery. Or in it, depending on your point of view. At the mercy of her hormones/vamp urges/general teenage drama, Jess has set her heart on Jason Stackhouse – heroism can sometimes have that effect. Jason, loyal to a fault, externally at least, is ‘horrified’ by the turn of events, and deals with it the only way he knows how – with push ups.

The Jason/Jess/Hoyt triangle is a neat little mirroring of the Sookie/Bill/any one of a number of vamps/werewolves situation, where a longstanding and important friendship is severely tested by the presence of the hot undead. What’s most interesting is that, despite facing off against Tara during the midnight massacre, Sookie continues to be unaffected by the complete breakdown of her friendship, while Jason is haunted by even the idea of losing Hoyt.

Make of that what you will. Elsewhere, it’s looking like Sam and Alcide will be getting to know each other quite well in the coming weeks, given that they’re both on the outs, or about to be, with the local pack leader. Shockingly, laid back, righteous Alpha Male Marcus is nowhere near as laid back and righteous as we’d been lead to believe.

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In yet another example of Sam’s bloody awful luck, it transpires that Marcus is in fact Luna’s psychotic ex-husband, and in no way impressed with Sam’s presence in the familial home. As for Alcide, despite making promises to the pack – and Horrific Debbie – to stay out of the vamp/witch conflict, his aforementioned nick of time Sookie saving is bound to cause trouble. While we’re on the subject, Horrific Debbie’s transition to Horrifically Needy Debbie has done nothing to improve her generally annoying presence, so let’s hope Sookie comes to her senses and grabs herself some werewolf soon.

So, with the midnight meeting hardly an unqualified success, leaving the field wide open and with at least two vamps in some serious trouble, the outcome is too close to call. However, Bill and Eric aren’t the only ones in dire need of assistance. Almost everyone is in something of a precarious position one way or another this week – from the vamps and wiccans, to Sam, Alcide, Tommy, and even Andy – with only a handful of episodes left, it’s going to be a very interesting, exciting and tense few weeks…

Read our review of episode 7, Cold Grey Light Of Dawn, here.