True Blood – Season 5, Episode 8 “Somebody That I Used to Know” Review

Rating: 8.7

I think that I will do this review as a breakdown of who I love or hate and why I feel that way about them, rather than reviewing every scene. As usual, there is way too much going on in this show. So, let’s change it up a little bit, from the top.

Sam – Love! Despite being placed in the most awkwardly edited scenes, Sam is the character who carries this episode. Even though he has had a sorted past and we have seen him commit murder multiple times throughout the series (let’s face it, he only kills people who are far from innocent), it is made quite clear that he is a good guy and always will be. Sam and Luna may fight ferociously, but they always seem to come together when evil is afoot. Seeing Sam take care of Luna-Sam (as I will dub her for this episode) was a delight. I enjoyed their interactions. Most importantly, I enjoyed Sam’s “certain techniques for getting answers” from that awful waste of space, the Obama-mask terrorist who shot Luna.

Luna – Love! I think that props need to be given to Sam Trammel (who plays Sam Merlotte) for this episode. His talents really shine as an actor when Luna uncontrollably shifts into Luna-Sam. I feel like she has a hot and annoying temper, but I can’t imagine anyone acting any differently with their child in danger. She is the victim of a hate crime, how else should she act? Infuriated: Check. Insecure in her own skin: Check. Terrified to the point of violence: Check. I don’t care for it, but I understand her reaction to just everything that has been happening to her. I was happy to see Luna and Sam make up; I just hope that she gets better soon.

Kevin – Love! He only has one line which is perfectly executed in this episode: “Mr. Merlotte?!” How else can you act when someone walks out of a room that you’re guarding, then subsequently walks out one minute later, dressed quite differently? I love it.

Andy – Love! Andy always has the best lines. “What in a monkey’s buncus?” was probably the best to date.

The Authority – Hate! Ugh. I hate this. I really, truly hate this. How can I explain how much I hate this whole plot? It makes me want to stop watching, that’s how much I hate it. I’m losing the ability to write with any semblance of eloquence because I hate this so much. I hate this. I’ll concende: Stephen Moyer’s (Bill) debut as a director is entertaining, and I am so in love with his handling of the high-as-the sky-vampire theme, but I’m not loving the general turn of events. I especially do not love Bill, but as you may remember, I’m not surprised by his actions because I have never cared for him.

Russell  – Love! As always, Russell Edgington is one of the best characters to ever grace supernatural television. He remains the best villain True Blood has ever seen, and this cute little relationship that he’s started with Steve Newlin is a treat. It’s about time we see Russell move on from the death of his former vampire paramour, Talbot. I could not pick a better character for him to move on with.

Steve – Love! When we first encounter the former fanghater, Steve sits in Russell’s lap and says that he is riding a pony. This little moment right here sells me on the episode. I could not be more thrilled with the choices this show has made with Steve Newlin’s character. The once ultra-conservative, homophobic and fanghating preacher is now an unrepressed gay, American vampire. I love it.

Salome – Hate! She’s a fine villain, but I put Salome and Nora into the same camp. They’re both awful and need to die. I don’t like how she, a once victim of sexual violence (so she tells us the first time we meet her) is now enacting the same cruelty on innocent women. I do not like that she is trying to destroy the mainstreaming vampires. I do not like how she flips from one thing to the next. Most of all, I do not like anyone being with Nora, because Nora is disgusting. Clearly Salome and Nora have a thing, which makes both of them awful in my book.

Nora – Hate! I have nothing more to say. Hatred is not a strong enough word for my feelings on Nora.

Bill – Hate! I’ve always found Bill to be rather disgusting. I find his idea of “evolution” to be down right tragic. Here’s the thing, and then I’ll be on my merry way, but let me say this one and only thing: we’ve known for a very, very long time that Bill was sent by Sophie-Anne to spy on Sookie. Perhaps Bill was meant to actually hurt her or drain her, or simply repurpose Sookie from human being to some pet or tool for the Queen’s amusement and utility. We’ve known this for a little over 2 seasons, and yet there are people who are still rooting for him. My friends still think he is fine. He is not fine: He is awful! He used Sookie for his own games, he has had a very sorted past of murdering and assaulting innocent women, and he’s a very bad king. I think most importantly, however, he is unnecessarily violent to innocent women. I don’t care what anyone says, Lorena did not make him become that monster. In every flashback that we have seen that did not involve Bill’s family, he has been feasting on unglamoured, helpless women. So how can anyone still love him? Ick, Bill makes me so sick.

Eric – Love! I have loved Eric Northman since I was 12 years old. Yes, I have been reading the books for that long. I know: I was probably too young to be reading that adult material. Eric has his flaws, but in the end he’s inevitably good. He has so rarely been seen doing anything remotely physically cruel. (Well, except for that time that he tortured Lafayette. I was very much not a fan of that.) He definitely is not afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, but for the most part he is a vampire with a conscious. He’s not an open mainstreamer—as Bill once claimed to be—but at heart he seems to be nothing but in the corner for humans. His flashbacks usually consist of heroics. How could anyone love Bill over Eric?

Jessica – Love! I always love Jessica. She and Hoyt finally were able to hash it out in this episode in the most upsetting way. I was so scared for her, and I wasn’t sure she’d actually survive being tied up and silvered. I still think that she will be killed off this season, but thus far the show is allowing her to keep up appearances. I already had hated the Obama-clad hate group, but now they’re officially all kinds of messed up: They hurt Jessica.

Hoyt – I have a Love-Hate relationship with Hoyt. I was honestly not sure that Hoyt would do the right thing. But he’s Hoyt, America’s Sweetheart. He had to pull through. I hope that he’s okay. I don’t like people pointing guns at Hoyt.

Jason – Love! How could you not love Jason? He’s a great big brother and not such a bad cop. All that Jason does in this episode is stick up for and support his little sister, Sookie. I’m glad that someone’s in her corner, because she’s running out of friends. Jason and Jessica never resolved the whole him shooting her in the head thing, but I don’t really think they had time to. There’s already too much going on in this episode as is.

Sookie – I also have a Love-Hate relationship with Sookie. In general I think that she makes absolutely horrible decisions as a human being, although that’s all a part of her kind of dumb character. I can’t help but feel for her, though. She’s the protagonist of the show (sort of), so we’re meant to like her. I feel sorry for her, but I think that Jason makes a good point: What makes her a freak also protects her and keeps her strong. It’s important that she experience the tumultuous feelings in regards to her fairy light (or “luminescence”) as well as the happy ones. I was a little bit disappointed in the writing for her character, however, because I don’t feel like she really dealt with the terror of inhabiting the body of the vampire who killed her parents. She experienced first hand the death of her mother from the killer’s point-of-view. That should be the most horrific thing she will ever experience, but instead she just acted mopey and a little bit ticked off. I don’t know, I need more from this.

The Fairies – LOVE! Claude, Claudine, Claudette, Claudia, and any other variation of the “Claude” names were some of my favorite characters in the books. I’m thrilled to see them have some screen time. I love their little bohemian outfits and British accents. I love their fairy traditions and need to always be touching one another. I’m just generally in support of this plot line. Go team fairy!

Lafayette – Love! How could anyone not love Lafayette? He’s just about the best thing this show has to offer. I’m glad that True Blood still utilizes Jesus in Lafayette’s plot line because in conjunction those two are a treat. Lafayette’s entrance in this episode made me feel all weepy for a moment. Bad things need to stop happening to him. In general I’m pretty psyched that Lala is going to start charging people for his medium services, and I think it’s about time he receive something in return for all of the crazy that he gets put through.

Arlene and Holly – Love! Let’s face it: They’re basically exactly the same in this episode. I’m always happy when Holly acts like a crazy witch, and happier still when Arlene can’t decide whether she supports or hates the supernatural community. Today she supports them, and that’s just fine by me.

Terry and Patrick – Love! Well, I love Terry and I was just tickled that Patrick would run out of the building like a gazelle that had just seen a lion. Patrick gave no pretense of trying to work out the whole Terry or Patrick must kill one another thing, he simply took off. For that entertainment I thank him.

Tara – Love! I am so thrilled to have Tara back as we know and love her. She doesn’t take crap from anyone, let alone some racist and classist piece of… well, you catch my drift. Tara is settling in at Fangtasia, what more could we ask for? I’m a little bit disappointed in her for acting with such cruelty toward Tracy (ironically, Tracy is the owner of Tracy’s Toggs, a callback to the books where Tara owns a clothing shop called Tara’s Toggs), but as previously stated: I don’t have much of a problem with bad things happening to bad people.

Pam – Love! If I were to become a vampire, I would want Pam to be my maker. End of story.

Alcide – Love! Finally! A sex scene with Alcide! I hope that my fellow werewolf lovers were just as thrilled with this as I was. I don’t care for conveniently-covered-nipples-lady, but she was a fine choice for Alcide to get down and dirty with. Furthermore, I love that Alcide gave up on trying to become the packmaster for this awful group of hounds, but I was sad to see him be beaten down by the v-addict J.D.

And finally, I’m going to include Martha.

Martha – Love! I’m starting to really love Martha. She might have given birth to one of the worst characters this show has ever seen, but she is a good grandmother and a good pack member. Martha only wants the best for her pack, and she knows that murder, drugs, and animalistic behavior are not the way to achieve peace among the supernatural community.

All around this was a thoroughly entertaining episode, albeit terrifying. Until next time!

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