True Blood: “If You Love Me Why Am I Dying” (Episode 4.03)

TV Reviews
True Blood: “If You Love Me Why Am I Dying” (Episode 4.03)

The vampires in True Blood have always had an interesting dynamic on the show, because they aren’t particularly good. The audience then has to constantly question their motivations and intentions. As season four is starting to kick off, it feels like they are really bringing this to the forefront. As I mentioned in last week’s review, it was Bill that sent Eric to shut down the Witch coven. Unless we aren’t being told everything, Eric’s visit seemed unprovoked. But lines are being drawn, and characters are taking sides. While this is by no means new to the show (people have been protesting vampires since season one), it feels like for the first time a real fight is coming. And really, the catalyst for all of this is the vampires feeling threatened. Up to this point, the only thing they had to fear was themselves. What makes all of this interesting is figuring out which side is actually right.

A heavy theme in the appropriately titled “If You Love Me Why Am I Dying” is using someone else for personal gain, which has been a recurring theme of the show. In season three, Sookie started questioning Bill’s intentions. Knowing that her fairy blood was irresistible to vampires and that Bill had been sent to procure her before they even met, she started questioning whether Bill was just using her all along. Similarly, we now see Jason being used by Crystal and her pack, as they need him to make a baby with her so that their bloodline can carry on. So against his own freewill, he’s being turned into a werepanther. Sam Merlot’s brother Tommy quickly turns on Maxine after a prospector visits her residence to tell her the house is sitting on natural gas. Instead of passing along this information to her, Tommy goes to Sam to hatch a plan to buy the house from her, so that they can collect the money off the land. Even Sookie in a way was trying to use Alcide, so that she no longer had to take care of Eric. Our dysfunctional human/vampire couple Jessica and Hoyt also venture into this territory. After seeking advice from her maker Bill, Jessica decides that she loves Hoyt, and thus he deserves to know the truth about her feeding on another man. But after confronting him, she can’t accept the consequences of her actions. So instead, she glamours Hoyt so that he will forget it ever happened. In many ways this was a selfish act, as her fear in losing something she needs outweighed his freewill.

Having just chased off Eric, Marnie and her coven feel persecuted. She even brings up the fact that they never provoked anyone, and they were just practicing their religion. A lot of the tension growing between the coven and the vampires is this lack of respect to live how they so choose. Which again brings me back to my point about the audience having to question the vampires. Up to this point, they have been very aggressive in getting what they want. It’s only in the American Vampire League that we see them trying to fit into society by playing by the rules. But even with that, their motivations seem questionable at times. Bill’s quick decision to sentence a vampire to his “true death” just because he was caught on camera feeding on a human that willingly wanted it, raised some red flags. The lengths the A.V.L. are willing to go to save face politically are extreme to say the least. As the vampire put it: “You are punishing me for just being what I am?” We haven’t been given enough to decide why we should want the coven to be destroyed. I mean, so far the vampires have caused more pain and suffering to others then anyone else on the show.

And then there is Eric. He still has no idea who he is, as everything about him as been taken from him. He’s in a very childlike state, and Sookie now has to take care of him. Which is fun to watch. But I worry about how long this “blank” Eric can really go on before it starts to get annoying. Of course, I understand it’s a set up so that Sookie can finally start to fall for him. So it’s exciting to see how they develop this new relationship. All of these moments of manipulation and using others all led to the explosive ending. As Claudine tries to command Sookie to come back with her to the fair plane, Eric tackles her from the side, and feeds her until she is completely drained. Dumbfounded, Eric looks up and says: “Sorry.” This in a way really sums up what season four seems to be shaping up to be all about, an impending war between different factions. And the reason behind the fighting? It might just be fear of one another.

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