TV REVIEW: True Blood Season 5 Episode 8 – Somebody That I Used to Know

Sookie and Jason tries to find out what happened to their parents, Jessica and Hoyt are reunited in a way neither of them thought possible, and Sam and Luna discover the problems that come with shifting.

Last week it seemed that True Blood had jumped the shark, but this week we return to some sort of normality, well, what passes for normal in Bon Temps anyway. Jason talks Sookie out of trying to purge her faery powers, and instead they perform a ritual to try and find the vampire that killed their parents. Of course this does not quite go as planned, and although Sookie gets to see the events of the night that her parents died, she also gets to bond with a vampire, then be threatened by his ghostly presence. Nothing ever seems to go smoothly for Sookie, and although the vampire that killed her parents seems to have a name none of us has heard before – as yelled by the lovely Lara Pulver in flashback – this does not mean that the show has run out of surprises.

Meanwhile, Luna shifts into Sam and cannot change back, to such an extent that she really believes she is dying. It is great to see Sam Trammell playing an effeminate version of his character, and he even manages to capture some of Luna in there as well. Bravo! Hoyt’s new vampire murdering friends capture Jessica and try to get him to kill her, but instead he helps her to escape. She is eventually rescued by Sam, Andy and SamLuna but Hoyt is nowhere to be seen. Hoyt has not forgiven Jessica but it seems pretty clear that she will still go running after him to save him.

Lafayette has escaped from Jesus’s family who seemed so intent on killing him and, when Arlene turns up at his house asking for help with terry, he reverts to the sassy Southern Lafayette that we know and love. The intervention with Terry does not go as planned either; instead of a fake ceremony to try and convince Terry to come home, the spirit of the woman he killed appears to Lafayette. She will only lift the curse of the Ifrit if one of them kills the other. Lafayette’s reunion with Jesus’s spirit seems to have given him his groove back, he is really at his best when he is dismissive and funny, and it is great to see this Lafayette return. The ceremony was never going to go smoothly, and it is going to be interesting to see how it pans out. It is pretty clear who is going to win out in a fight to the death, but True Blood still manages to surprise us after five seasons.

Finally, the vampires at the Authority have come up with a way to return to their vampiric roots, but – after Godric appeared to him at the blood orgy – Eric is trying to convince them that this path is wrong. This is going to end up messily as well, but the fact that the show has pulled back from the ridiculous appearance of Lillith last week means that this storyline has returned to the realm of the believable again.

In all, this episode of True Blood could well be the best of the season so far. The story is still moving forward, but each thread is clearly defined and easy to follow. As well as this, the silly elements have been reigned in slightly and the show benefits from being heightened, but not over the top. After a slow and slightly disappointing start to the season, True Blood seems to be finally heading in a strong direction and ramping up to a fantastic finale.

Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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