True Blood: Review: Season 4 Ep 8

HBO, August 14 (US)

The vampires survive Marnie’s spell and Jason is hero, but things go from bad to worse. Poor Jessica is unwanted and Bill’s plans are far from sensible.

How odd that the series can continue its tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top approach, but also totally fail to pull off what should be an exciting and tense climax. It’s unclear whether the compromised execution of an expected show-down between the vampires and the witches was poor design or due to problems in filming which had to be covered up in editing. Whichever it is, the sequences are muddled, impossible to make out who is attacking who, and don’t make a lot of narrative sense.

This is a shame since it rather mars what is otherwise a pretty stand-up episode, albeit with yet another dream sequence (they do seem to be over-relying on these) and an odd visit to Narnia. Um, yes, I suppose that bed in the woods when it’s snowing is just a consensual hallucination, but it would have been much more exciting if it was some sort of fairy trap in revenge for Eric drinking Claudine. But no, it’s just an imaginary bed in the imaginary woods with imaginary snow. It’s a very pretty scene, but it’s Jason who’s the star of this episode and he really does make it fun to watch.

Verdict: A strong opening, an entertaining middle and a wonky end.

Episode 8 ‘Spellbound’: 7/10

Brigid Cherry

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