True Blood: “I Wish I Was the Moon” (Episode 4.06)

TV Reviews
True Blood: “I Wish I Was the Moon” (Episode 4.06)

A major part of True Blood’s appeal to fans is “the love triangle,” the whole Eric vs. Bill debate that is endlessly discussed on forums. In the first three seasons, they kept the central romance plot relatively closed off, only really focusing on Bill and Sookie. Any hints that Eric might be even interested were steadily developed, and they waited for Sookie and Bill to call it quits before developing the romance between Eric and Sookie.  And that really played to the show’s advantage.  Each relationship Sookie has had with the other vampire has felt independent, and there hasn’t been this constant back and forth over which one she wants.  They will no doubt explore that later, but that distance allowed her to develop both the relationships separately so that the audience could be invested in both.  For those that pick a side, I imagine “I Wish I Was the Moon” was either glorious or the worst thing ever. As someone who does not pick sides and is okay with either outcome (as long as it’s done well), this was the best episode of the season so far.

Unlike past seasons, the writers seem to be okay with taking their time setting up the plot arcs this season. Whereas season three felt like an orgy of plot lines and new characters being thrown at us, season four seems more focused, working towards something greater. Sure, all the characters seem to be having something going on, but it feels like they are all in the same world—a major issue season three had. It also feels like they are all connected to this greater story.  With Marnie and her spirit Antonia being one of the central threads of this season, it’s really given the story a center where any of the plots could intersect and be affected, and many already are.  By the season’s half, they have already shown us what makes Marnie so dangerous. It’s the spirit Antonia—a witch that was burned at the stake by vampires in Spain in the 1600s. By the end of this episode, Marnie is fully taken over by Antonia.  As she takes over another vampire and presumably gets ready to break out of her cell, we get a glimpse at what the show has been working towards this season—the big threat to our characters that Russell Edgington played so well in season three. Now the vampires truly do have someone to fear, but this time it’s not someone of their own kind. And like I’ve said in past reviews, from the exposition we’ve been given, it puts the audience in a weird position, as the vampires seem to be the bad guys here. 

Jason Stackhouse is still coming to terms with what happened to him at Hot Shot.  In the back of his mind, he knows that he is supposed to be turning into a werepanther by the full moon of the night.  He’s uncomfortable with this change, and rightfully so. But it also highlights a key characteristic of Jason: his need to always find some sort of sense of normalcy and direction in his life. In a very endearing set of scenes, Sookie stays by his side, and promises to stay with him through the night in case he does in fact turn.  As the night approaches and Jason still hasn’t transformed, he eventually starts having panic attacks and mistakes this for his transformation. He runs off into the woods without his shirt, and Jessica feels his danger given their bond and comes to his side. What then unfolds is another developing relationship between Jessica and Jason, which had been hinted this past episode. I’m actually okay with the pairing, but I don’t like the direction they have gone in terms of ending Jessica and Hoyt’s relationship. Hoyt has been great to her, so I don’t see enough reason for her to want to leave, outside of finding Jason more attractive. Then again, love can sometimes be shallow.  But this goes back to my gripes about them jumping ahead a year in the plot at the beginning of the season. It just feels jarring knowing that Hoyt and Jessica were madly in love and then over the course of a couple episodes have pretty much fallen apart.  

The best scenes in the episode revolved around Eric. When he and his progeny Pam finally talk about what is going on in their holding cell, Pam reminisces about their time together in the past, and Eric keeps denying these things, saying he doesn’t remember any of it. When Pam says they will get his memory back, he yells, “I don’t want it! The things I’ve done, I don’t want to remember.” Much of this season has revolved around Eric losing his memory, leaving the audience wondering if this is the true Eric. This also puts Bill in a strange position. The two have been at each other’s throats for a long time.  Using Eric’s memory loss to his advantage, Bill lies to the Nan Flanagan and says that the witches could use Eric as a weapon, that he’s been “infected.” He of course requests the true death for him.

It was at this point that I started to loathe Bill. He’s taken to the villain role quite nicely this season, but this was the pinnacle of it. As Bill takes Eric out under the full moon to stake his heart, he asks Eric for his final words. “According to my Progeny, I am a barbarian thug. I don’t expect you to show me any mercy.” Bill replies, “Surely you don’t wish to die?” “No. But I don’t wish to live this way either. The vampire I used to be is a stranger to me. I have nothing to say in his defense.”  Eric then gives his final requests: “Sookie, tell her I was born the night she found me, and because of her I went to my true death knowing what it means to love. Tell her thank you.” He even goes on to wish that Sookie finds her way back to Bill, because he knows she still loves him, and that ultimately, her happiness is all that matters.  As advantageous as this situation is, Bill just can’t bring himself to kill Eric in this state, because this isn’t the Eric he once knew either. And to kill him would be killing an innocent. For all the bad things that Bill has done in the past, he generally adheres to that code.

As the moon glistens in the night sky, all the characters are off in different locations, yet still connected by being under the same moon. Jessica is comforting Jason; Bill is looking out at the moon on his porch, mourning his love lost. And Sookie and Eric? They are passionately making love by the side of the lake in the patch of grass. Season four has really taken its time building up to these kind of big moments, but the payoff has been well worth the wait. 

We are now officially at the halfway mark of the season. While the show still tries to tackle too many plots in a single episode (Arlene and her baby, Alcide and his new wolf pack), “I Wish I Was the Moon” had too many great moments in it to let those things hold it back. And it’s not like these side plots are always uninteresting. With Arlene’s house going up in flames and the mysterious lady outside their house, I expect that will finally develop into something great by the season’s end.  And can you say “holy crap” to Tommy being able to shape-shift into Sam?  All these little moments that at times can be distracting seem to be building towards something bigger. “I Wish I Was the Moon” is a great middle piece to a season that seems to have finally founds its groove.  It remains to be seen if the second half of the season delivers on all that has been set up, but so far, this has the potential to be the second best season of the show behind season one.

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