True Blood, Ep. 4.06: “I Wish I Was the Moon”

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True Blood, Season 4, Episode 6: “I Wish I Was the Moon”
Written by Raelle Tucker
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on HBO

This week, on True Blood: Eric and Sookie fans squee, something is wrong with baby Mikey, Tommy discovers a new and exciting way to ruin Sam’s life, Jesus and Lafayette visit grandpa, Jason is still Jason, Debbie and Alcide join a pack, Marnie meets Antonia, Tara’s girlfriend gets the Bon Temps tour, and Bill shows forgiveness, though Pam’s still pissed.

This episode was pretty straightforward, for True Blood at least. The storylines are progressing well and it seems, rather than witches or Faerie, this season is about spirits more than anything else. The recurring theme has been the power of memory and change, the decision to hold onto the past or to let it go. Eric has been freed of his past, a thousand years of carnage, and is reborn a gentle, soulful creature. Sookie is able to look beyond her history with Eric and let this new incarnation into her heart, as does Bill, in his own way. Tara and Jesus had run away and found peace, but this respite quickly ends upon returning home. Arlene is trying to put her past behind her, but is being dragged back unwillingly, Antonia is unable to move on, consumed by her rage and pain, Jason feels his past catching up to him, and Alcide and Debbie stand at a crossroad- their decision in this episode will either lead them back to where they were a year ago or continue them safely on toward happiness and stability.

At the halfway point of the season, the arc has been well established and the individual threads are starting to come together. Certain less successful plot threads, the werepanthers and the Mickins, are showing their purpose (bringing Jess and Jason together and making Tommy a skinwalker), and should these developments pay off in the rest of the season, perhaps they will end up having been worth the seemingly interminable time spent on them. AmnesiaEric is becoming angstier the more he finds out about his old bad self, but the writers have wisely reduced his screentime to match this development. Bringing Tara’s girlfriend into the mix is another wise move, as True Blood is greatly in need of more plain ol’ humans; Sookie’s meta comment about this was much appreciated. Humor is still there (it was great to see Terry’s pet armadillo again and know he survived the blaze), but though Pam finally getting her own arc and character motivation is overdue, her wit and outsider’s perspective are sorely missed. Lafayette, Arlene, and Terry, each a reliable source of grounding and humor, are unable to provide much levity, so the brunt of that responsibility falls on Jason, and there is only so much one character can add.

Though the performances continue to be strong, with this week’s standout being Sam Trammell as Sam and TommySam, and the writers have successfully been able to keep a lot of balls in the air, this episode wasn’t as engaging as one might hope. Maybe it is because there are so many storylines being juggled, or because of the difference in tone, and perhaps those more invested in the ‘shipping side of things would disagree, but this week, something was missing. It was a solid episode, but it won’t blow your socks off. Still, things are on the right track and hopefully the show will tighten up in the second half of the season.

Kate Kulzick

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