“Congratulations, you’re a grandfather”–True Blood review

Isn’t it odd that our main male characters both have daughters instead of sons? The relationship between a father and his male offspring, usually, is what fiction is all about. Men worry about their sons, about their lines being continued through paternity. Sons worry about how to become their fathers, how to live up to or away from them.

But on this show, both of the fathers have daughters. Neither of them deliberately chose the path of fatherhood, but both of them are faced with losing it and are rather freaked.

Eric chooses the path of full disclosure with Pam, just as he has from the beginning. He tells her everything, and tells her to carry on when he’s gone. The line will continue, and whether it’s going through a woman or a man doesn’t matter. Sex is irrelevant—the bond is about family. Eric talks like it’s an ancient ritual to an ex-madam in a pink track suit: it’s a whole new world.

Bill decides her prefers the more disconnected route, fuzzing the truth with Jessica even as he leaves her for what may be the last time. Jessica completely fails to grasp the gravity of the situation and goes on and on about Sookie (even while I screamed at her to shut up—Bill’s been doing so well!). Bill is the “cool dad,” who can wisecrack about weed but has serious trouble broaching the shit that actually matters. And Jessica is as isolated as she has ever been.

But enough of the gender dynamics of fatherhood—let’s talk about choices again! In the last episode some people had agency and some didn’t, and we watched them pitted against each other. In this episode, everyone got a little bit of agency to use in a bad situation someone else put them into.

Alcide was caught deciding whether to lie about Debbie, whether to forgive Sookie for killing the woman he had loved for most of his life. Lafayette kept reacting to his inner demon’s actions without talking to anyone. Terry and his friend drove up to confront a guy who had been screwing over everyone (A word about the Iraq flashbacks: I know that it was very complicated over there, that good people made bad choices. But I expect it was a whole lot more complicated than it appears to have been here. This is a fucking vampire show—someone else will do a lot better job reflecting on our misadventure in the Middle East).

Bill, Tara, Pam, Eric: they were all put in difficult situations and looked for the best way to make a good choice. None of them were happy with the results, but better to have a little bit of choice than no choice at all.

And now for Stupid Sookie, whose mental breakdown gets her own paragraph. In the last recap I wrote about how Sookie’s choices shape the lives of everyone around her. She’s avoided this obvious truth by sheer thick-headedness, but after hearing about Alcide Lafayette cracks and spills out what everyone’s been thinking for the last few years. Sookie makes the choices in this wacky network of relationships centering around her, and people fucking die.

Sookie immediately switches so deeply into self-hate mode that she completely misses the point. Rather than reflecting on her choices and how they affect others, she gets upset about Alcide no longer wanting to bang her and tries to turn herself into her little brother, not even thinking about what he’ll think. Her actions have set off chains of events, and now Tara, Alcide, Bill, Jessica, Jason, and Lafayette have all become complicit in a murder cover-up that Sookie was dumb to have even started in the first place.

Instead of mulling things like consequences over in her head, Sookie gets drunk. At that point, a romantic set of cause-and-effects kicks off and she ends up screwing with the feelings of all three of her inexplicable paramours. Sookie may be full of self-doubt, full of fear at her own power, but what will be a real plot twist is if she tries to stop. That’s all I want from you, Alan Ball: a scrap of self-awareness from your ego-obsessed protagonist. Is that really too much to ask?

Gaywatch:

Rather depressingly low this week, as the bromance took the episode off for the sire plots. Can’t think of anything else, sorry.

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