Frenzy, the second to last episode of True Blood’s second season was a series of ups and downs. With the finale just two weeks away, I was really hoping for the knock-down-drag-out show that was hinted at from the phenomenal trailer that we were teased with all last week. But the reality is that, just like in the movie biz, the trailer can be a lot of hype and the actual delivery can leave you feeling a little gypped. Before I delve too deep, let’s hit the recap first.
So we pick up where we left off, in the mansion of Sophie-Anne, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana. Bill explains to her the happenings in Bon Temps, and asks if she knows how to destroy a maenad. She gives him a taste of her knowledge on the creatures, then holds back, toying with Bill, and insisting that he stay for a day or two to keep her company. I was really looking forward to seeing Evan Rachel Wood in this role, but after the first few moments, my hopes were dashed. First of all, I was looking for another classy ancient vampire like Godric, but instead got an 1100 year old spoiled brat (eye rolling and looking bored included) with a perverted side. Her acting left me annoyed with her character after the first scene. It felt like I was watching a 10th grader performing her first lead role in the school play. Over the top and hammy.
Anyway, back at Bill’s house, Hoyte finally yanks Jessica off his mother. He’s outraged because no matter how rude she is, she’s still his mama, and he storms out — taking his mom with him.
At Merlotte’s, Sam explains to Andy and Jason that he is a shifter, which totally blows Jason’s mind. Sam also tries to convince Jason to lay low, but he won’t have it. Jason takes Andy to go raid the police station armory before hunting Maryann down. Sam sees Arlene’s kids, Coby and Lisa, lurking around outside, and takes them in after finding them starving and frightened. They tell Sam about their mom acting crazy, and ask him if they can find a vampire to help out; giving Sam an idea.
Lafayette, Sookie, and Lettie Mae have had to handcuff Tara in the house to keep her from running back to Sookie’s in an attempt to rescue Eggs. Sookie and Lafayette take a rifle outside to keep guard, and Tara starts working her mother over to get her to free her. Lettie finally gives in, tricks Lafayette into giving her the gun, and holds it on him and Sookie while Tara makes her escape. Sookie uses Lafayette’s PTSD as a distraction to disarm Lettie, grabbing the rifle, and hauling Lafayette to his car to chase after Tara.
Jason and Andy make it in and out of the police station with as many weapons as they can carry, and drive to the woods near Sookie’s house to wait for the moment to attack. As they wait, they talk over their differences and have a hilarious impromptu pep-talk.
Tara finds Eggs, but is cornered by Maryann before she can get him away. Maryann tells her that it’s her fault she is here; that although Miss Jeanette was a fraud, the power of the ritual they performed was enough to catch her attention and bring her to Bon Temps. Maryann puts Tara back under her influence, just as the mob comes to tell her that the god came and smote Sam already. Maryann’s pissed.
Sam and the kids hit Fangtasia and talk to Eric, hoping he can help out around Bon Temps. Eric doesn’t know anything, but has the same idea as Bill, and decides to ask the Queen for help. Pleased at his chance to impress Sookie, Eric gloatingly takes flight, heading for the mansion.
Bill has been submitted to pool lounging and Yahtzee, obliging the queen in hopes she will tell him how to destroy the maenad. Angry he’s been kept here so long, he gets up to leave, and Sophie-Anne finally tells him the only time the maenad is vulnerable is after the sacrifice is made, when she gives herself to her god to be ravished. As he’s leaving, Bill runs into Eric, and seeing his ploy to impress Sookie, he tells him that unless Eric stays away from her, he will tattle to the Queen about Eric making Lafayette push V.
Sookie and Lafayette arrive at her overrun house. Lafayette creates a diversion, allowing her to sneak inside first. Maryann and Karl confront Lafayette, who tries shooting her in the head. Maryann deflects the bullet, and it ricochets into Karl’s skull, killing him.
Sookie has a few disturbing encounters with deranged townsfolk in her house before finally finding Tara and Eggs. They are creating a huge nest on her bed for an enormous egg. This kind of came out of left field, and I’m not sure what this has to do with anything. Is this the vessel for their god Dionysus to come to Bon Temps? Before the credits role we see that Lafayette has been turned by Maryann too as he sneaks up on Sookie.
Overall, Frenzy had all the basics — humor, horror, sexy vamps — but it was predictable and drab. The story felt rushed as well. I really don’t appreciate their tactics of using a terribly annoying yet convenient new character (the Queen, who has never been mentioned before and who is apparently the authority on maenads), to fill us in at the last minute on what Maryann wants and how to kill her. Not to mention her explanation of Maryann’s origin is terribly confusing; consisting of the idea that all things immortal or supernatural are thought into existence by the power of blind faith. So although Dionysus isn’t real — a figment of human imagination — they still need to get him to appear so they can kill Maryann while she is vulnerable to him? Um, can we say sketchy cop out?? Also, Maryann claims the only reason she took interest in Bon Temps was because of Miss Jeanette’s fake but still powerful ritual to rid Tara of her demons last season. But I thought she came because Sam was there and she finally found him. Was this just a HUGE and convenient coincidence? Argh. Sigh. I am desperately hoping that True Blood will pull out the stops and really surprise me with a fantastic finale. But I have a feeling that it will be predictable — that Bill will turn Sam in as an offering in order to try to kill Maryann, and somehow, as a last ditch effort, Sookie will end up saving the day with her new found glowy-hand-powers. I guess we have to wait 2 weeks to see.
I give Frenzy 3 Jeff Fahey 1989 True Blood posters out of 5.
by Rachael Edwards