True Blood Recap: 4.10 ‘Burning Down the House’

Posted on August 30, 2011 by Deaditor No Comments


by Stephanie Scaife

Hello, I’m Steph and I will be filling in for Brit whilst she moves house. I am a massive fan of True Blood and the books that the series is based on. Needless to say, beware spoilers…

Thank goodness for Terry Bellefleur, because he was about the only good thing about this rather poor filler episode in this overall lacklustre fourth season of True Blood. I’ve had such high hopes this season, and there have been some great episodes, but overall the writing has been all over the place and the main story arc really hasn’t been that interesting or exciting. It is a shame really considering the wealth of material they have to draw from, particularly in the fourth book, which many fans will agree is the best in the series.

This week Eric’s amnesia, which I felt verged on the saccharine at times, was quickly resolved with the use of Sookie’s magical and terribly convenient super powers. I say convenient because they always seem to pop up as an easy way to solve a problem. So now Eric has his memory back, which I have to admit is a relief. In the books he was endearing without a memory, which came across initially in the TV show but quickly petered out as his relationship with Sookie developed and they both became increasingly annoying and simpering together. Hopefully some of their on screen chemistry and dynamic will return with the Eric’s memory. It was a shame that there wasn’t more of old Eric in this week’s episode; and even his reunion with Pam seemed like an afterthought, and there can never be enough Pam and Eric.

I have to say I am glad that Sam’s dead beat family finally seem to all be gone, out of all the new characters created for the show they have been my least favourite. I’m glad to see the back of Tommy in particular because his story really wasn’t going anywhere besides around in circles of him being a douche then apologising then going back to being a douche again. I was actually amazed at how upset/forgiving Sam was when faced with the death of his brother, seeing as how he seemed pretty content to do the job himself the week before. They really need to pull something special out of the bag for Sam next year, he’s been a dead weight the past few seasons and I’m just not at all interested in him at the moment and especially his relationship with Luna and subsequent run ins with the Shreveport were pack.

Which brings me on to Alcide and Debbie, another dead narrative weight, I really hope they follow the books on this one… and soon. I don’t want to spoil things for non-book readers, but those who know, I’m sure will agree with me. Does anyone actually care about Alcide and Debbie? Didn’t think so…

Jason Stackhouse is by far my favourite character in the show this season, I was confused by the decision to make him a cop, but it really works. He’s consistently the funniest character and Ryan Kwanten does a fantastic job balancing out his gullibility and naiveté with his desire to do the right thing and be a good guy. I’m not loving him and Jessica together and I’m not sure where their relationship is going. It makes all the stuff with Crystal and Hot Shot at the start of the series seem completely irrelevant but I’m sure, or at least I hope, this isn’t the last we’ve heard from the werepathers. Other than an excuse to keep Hoyt around I’ve got no other explanation for Jason’s involvement with Jessica. I like all three of these characters and I hope the writers do something with them final two episodes that will redeem or at least offer a suitable explanation for their recent actions.

One of the fatal flaws of the TV series is how they have dealt with characters that were killed off or less important in the book series. It’s made the show awfully crowded as more and more new characters have been brought in. Tara is the obvious case in point. I’m not sure what she’s doing with the witches but she’s just as annoying as ever. Fiona Shaw however, has been fantastic as Marnie and she almost single handily saved the entire witch story arc from being completely ridiculous (not that it isn’t a little). I’m still struggling just to what her motivation is and why they decided to suddenly switch things on their head and make her more the aggressor than the spirit of Antonia who has been supposedly possessing her throughout the season. It seemed like it came out of nowhere.

It seems like I’ve been doing a lot of bitching and moaning. Don’t get me wrong, True Blood provides fantastic escapism and it’s a lot better than just about anything else on television at the moment. However the writing has been all over the shop this season, plots coming in and out, some seemingly irrelevant, too many characters cluttering up the already convoluted plot threads and even when there is so much going on they still pull out a filler episode like this weeks that really do and say nothing to develop the plot or the characters. I’m still hoping that they are going to do something amazing in the final two episodes to bring me back on board; because right now I’d rather dig out my season one boxset or start reading the books from scratch again than sit through another episode like Burning Down the House!

So, back to my original point, and thank goodness for Terry Bellefleur! His scenes with Andy this week were just hilarious. Hopefully we’ll still get plenty of Terry now that this whole spooky baby storyline has been resolved because along with Jason, he pretty much makes even the bad episodes watchable.

Bonus points:
• “You lived up there like an insane squirrel!”- Andy always has had a special way with words.
• Tommy Mickens is (hopefully) dead and gone.
• Eric finally has his mojo back.
• Terry Bellefleur.
• Fiona Shaw camping it up a treat as Marnie.

Points deducted:
• Sookie’s ever so convenient zappy hand powers and their continuous use as a copout narrative device.
• I am not loving this Jessica/Hoyt/Jason love triangle.
• What was that dreadful cover of Burning Down the House on the end credits? It was horrendous.
• Any scene with Sam.
• Any scene with Alcide or Debbie.
• Any scene with Jesus.
• Any scene with Tara.
• There was no gratuitous sex or nudity – what’s up with that TB?!

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