‘True Blood’ Open Thread: Feel Bad Time

This post contains spoilers through the fourth episode of this season of True Blood.

True Blood is a horror show, but last night’s episode of the show didn’t need need anything supernatural to get truly horrifying. This season on the show, the biggest monster in the equation is sex itself.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the Jason storyline this season. I think it’s useful that the show makes clear that what’s happening to him isn’t just somebody’s twisted interpretation of a fantasy: he’s being sexually assaulted. But I wonder how much the show is going to deal with the implications of being gang-raped for him. Jason still has power over the people who are attacking him, who are brutalized himself. The minute he names himself as a rape victim, one of the women attacking him backs off, crying, “My brother husband just bites the back of my neck and holds me down until it’s over. You’re the best I ever had.” And when his next attacker shows up, a very young teenaged girl, Jason’s able to talk her into helping him escape by giving her a gentle vision of what sex can be. “This ain’t the way it should be. Your first time should be special, with a boy you like,” Jason tells her. “You make love with him ’cause it’s the right time, not ’cause some man shoves you in a shed and says you gotta.” People react to being assaulted all sorts of ways, but it’s going to be odd if the deepest consequence of being violently attacked, sexually assaulted, and transformed from being human into something else is that Jason becomes a proponent of serial monogamy.

He’s not the only one who’s having a bad night. Bill Compton, who’s just consummated his relationship with Portia Bellefleur, pays a social call on her grandmother Caroline. At first it seems like Andy, who’s just collared a flasher, and is told when he says he’ll have a Red Bull that “No, you won’t. It’s vulgar,” is going to be the person who ruins the evening. That’s until the family Bible comes out, and Portia, Bill, and Caroline figure out they’re too closely related for comfort. “Sex is kinda gross, but it feels good, don’t it?” Felton says to the teenaged girl who freed Jason. The show spends a lot of time making the case for the former, and very little for the latter.

Until, of course, Sookie decides to deal with the fact that Eric, who got himself drunk on fairy blood, is wandering around the woods in Bon Temps in the daytime. Then, of course, the show gives us the sight of a very naked Alcide standing over Sookie as she tries to coax a very naked Eric out of a pond (someone’s paying back the ladies for sticking us with Hodor’s mantackle in Game of Thrones). “There’s big alligators in there, you crazy Viking!” she hollers at him. “I’ll just kill all the sea monsters!” he declares with absolute confidence, only to retreat as the blood wears off and he risks ending up very naked and very crispy.

There’s something uncomfortable about the juxtaposition of those three scenes (And for good measure, Arlene’s baby appears to have it out for Terry, and Sam’s mother has lured his brother back home to get him back in the dogfighting pits. Nothing good comes of sex, apparently, not even kids or their relationships with their parents.). In vampire stories, sex is death, but at least it’s a good way to go. In True Blood this season, it’s worse than that.