“True Blood” Episode 408 Recap: “Spellbound”

 
 

THE CHRONICLES OF MARNIA (AKA: THE VAMP,
THE WITCH, AND THE WAR)

After all the witches’ hard work (ie.
muttering in Latin, holding hands, and subjecting themselves to a rather frigid
indoor draft), they managed to get only one vampire to actually immolate
herself … Beulah Carter, Maxine’s elderly
neighbor.

Over
Beulah’s dead body (which is basically vampire road kill), there’s lots of
comic business surrounding Jason and a V-jonesing Andy
“investigating” her apparent “suicide.” Jason is disgusted
that Andy appears ready to snort her up guts and all, and Andy sheepishly
replies, “Jesus, tits, and God America, Jason, I’m only good on
the V.” In classic Jason fashion, he responds that he wasn’t really
listening.

Meanwhile, Bill is being interviewed at the
site for the local news, and he glamours a bottle-blonde reporter into letting
him give a statement to the public.

He
proceeds to try to cover up what’s been going on with the witches by giving a
statement (and I think glamouring the general public to believe it) claiming
that vampire suicide is all too common these days. Why? Because of the
increased “anti-vampire rhetoric” in the media and political
discourse that arose post-Edgington and has led many vampires to self-hatred
and despair.

Watching the telecast from the Moon Goddess
Emporium is Mantonia who, in addition to being befuddled by the
complex workings of the remote control, is outraged that vampires now live so
openly. She’s also furious about how they only managed to fry only one vampire,
and bitches about it all to her new trusted sidekick, Tara.

I’m
finding that Fiona Shaw as Mantonia,
unlike back when she was plain old Marnie,
is something of a shameless scenery chewer. I’m also finding that with Tara now acting as her blindly devoted henchwoman,
there’s a total Brenda Vaccarro/Faye
Dunaway
Supergirl vibe to these
scenes that is utterly camptastic.

At
first Tara bristles at the idea that they’re
now not only fighting vampires but planning on killing them all, but Mantonia
carries on about how they’re all soulless and evil and deserve to be snuffed
out entirely.

These
few scenes point to how this show often attempts (especially in episodes
written by Alan Ball himself) to
instill its supernatural soap opera shenanigans with a deeper, more timely
subtext – with mixed results. Timely references give the appearance of being
satiric or thought-provoking but they’re often haphazardly dropped in and not more
deeply explored or sustained.

Bill’s
comments about Beulah’s “suicide” are obviously meant to recall all
those tragic suicides of gay teens in recent months. But I’m troubled by this
comparison, because of course Beulah didn’t
actually commit suicide and anti-vampire rhetoric had nothing to do with what
happened to her; whereas those suicides of bullied teens are very real and I
have no doubt that anti-gay rhetoric played a part.

At the
same time, I’m intrigued by how Antonia’s vengeful vendetta against the
vampires is now being framed, and I think we’re getting a glimpse into why
we’re meant to ultimately side with the vampires against the witches.

Antonia
is referred to in this episode as a “fanatic” who wants to “eradicate
an entire group out of hate.” While a small group of asshat vampires did
do her a terrible wrong, she now equates all
vampires with them and wants them all annihilated. We’re getting a lesson here
in the dangers of associating an entire group of people with the actions or
beliefs of a few bad apples – something that certainly resonates with the
rampant Islamaphobia we’ve been seeing since 9/11 that’s only seemed to get
worse. But that was explored so much more richly and deeply on the Battlestar Galactica revamp than it has
been here (at least so far). We’ll have to see how this shakes out.

Anyway, back to recapping business. Wouldn’t
you know it … just then the phone rings and it’s none other than King Bill.
Tara answers, and he’s somewhat (although not all that much) surprised to hear Tara is now in cahoots with the witches. She puts him on
speaker phone so he can speak to Mantonia.

He
apologizes on behalf of all vampires for what happened to her, acknowledging
that no real forgiveness is possible. But he urges her to attend a one-on-one
meet-up with him, mafioso style, so
they can broker a peace and avoid more bloodshed.

She
hems and haws, but he’s persistent, all, “It’ll be fun! I’ll bring
donuts!” so she agrees. Obviously neither one trusts the other, and it’s
interesting to consider what they’re hoping to accomplish with this.

Bon Temps Cemetery, Midnight … time for the
big sit-down. Naturally both Bill and Mantonia have lied and
rather than showing up solo have brought extensive reinforcements. There’s an
awkward moment where Tara and Sookie see each other on opposite sides, but
before they can screech at each other as they so love to do, Bill gets down to
business.

He
assures Mantonia that no further harm will come to her or any humans, and his
only condition is that she un-do the spells she cast on Eric and Pam (who, BTW,
is looking hot again, so that demonic botox seems to have worked).

Mantonia
appears to be considering this deal, but then Sookie does the telepathy thing
and realizes she’s quietly working a spell in her mind. She shouts out a
warning to Bill and … all hell breaks loose. Bill’s goons show up with heavy
weaponry aimed right at Mantonia, while in a flash, Eric rips the heart out of
an attacking witch.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
 
 

Tags: ,