True Blood: Review: Season 4 Ep 5

HBO, July 24 (US)

With the witches spellcasting going awry again, and Pam having to come clean to Bill, things come to a head. Lafayette and Jesus go in search of help from his bad ass brujo granddaddy, while Sookie and Bill both go after Marnie.

The sheer number of characters and storylines this season is rather taking its toll on the writing and execution of the episodes. Having to deal with Tommy and Sam’s little problem with their parents, Arlene’s baby, a belligerent werewolf pack leader and Portia’s lust for Bill on top of the main action with Sookie, Eric and the witches’ war with the vampires means there is barely time to squeeze in some character developments with Jason, Hoyt and Jessica.

Not that all this doesn’t mean there is a lot of sheer indulgent fun in the episode: the comic moments with Andy and the ‘gator in the back of Sam’s van, Bill glamouring Portia and Lettie Mae and Reverend Daniels exorcising Terry and Arlene’s house, are entertaining, at least. And while it might be a bit much to have two dream sequences in one episode, Jason’s is just what you would expect (with a very silly sting in the tail).

There are moments of tension and threatening horror to counterpoint the levity. Sookie’s confrontation with Marnie is chilling (though there’s not enough of Sookie being proactive and playing mystery investigator yet this season), and Bill’s cruelty now he is King is disturbing (just what is he playing at, one wonders?). It is the last few minutes of the episode that have the most impact and without giving anything away, the main characters are in for some shocks. It certainly keeps you hanging on tenterhooks until next week.

Verdict: Eric making goo-goo eyes at Sookie? Cute, but maybe not for much longer. The devil is indeed in the detail.

Episode 5 ‘Me and The Devil’: 8/10

Brigid Cherry

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