True Blood Episodes

2008, TV Show

True Blood Episode: "I'm Alive and on Fire"

Season 4, Episode 4
Episode Synopsis: Alcide joins Sookie in her search for Eric; Marnie needs help breaking a spell; Bill finds something in common with the Bellefleurs; Jason pleads for his freedom from Hotshot; Sam tries to learn more about Luna; Tommy gets back to his roots.
Original Air Date: Jul 17, 2011
Guest Cast Dale Raoul: Maxine Fortenberry Cooper Huckabee: Joe Lee Mickens Brit Morgan: Debbie Pelt E.J. Callahan: Luther Katherine Helmond: Caroline Bellefleur James Harvey Ward: Felton Blaine Saunders: Becky Lindsay Pulsipher: Crystal J. Smith-Cameron: Melinda Mickens Paola Turbay: Woman/Antonia
Full Episode
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Season 4, Episode 4
Subscription | HBO GO
Length: 51:00
Aired: 7/17/2011
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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True Blood Episode Recap: "I'm Alive and on Fire" Season 4, Episode 4

On Sunday's episode of True Blood, Marnie proved once and for all that, despite her mealy-mouthed start, she will be the true villain of Season 4. There was finally some good news for the beleaguered Jason. Sam, Tommy and Bill each reconnected with family (sort of), while Sookie, Eric and Alcide took off their clothes and danced the fancy dance of seduction — though not necessarily at the same time.

Nobody expects it!

What are we thinking of Fiona Shaw so far? Marnie is a difficult role to play, in that much of the character's conflict and confusion happens internally, about things we've only begun to see ourselves. On a show where people bite and growl and turn into animals on a regular basis, it's a tough proposition to just be, well, human. It also doesn't help that the talented actress bears the burden of her former Harry Potter identity, which, despite her flawless Southern diction, I still can't shake.

But she's growing on me. At first, the timid Southern shopkeeper was playing a little flat to me, but now we've gotten some backstory in the form of Marnie's dream about the burning of a powerful witch during the Spanish Inquisition. If I'm not mistaken, it's the same spirit who guided Marnie to curse Eric. When she wakes from the dream, her eyes flicker with fire, which will be the show's shorthand for Marnie's elevated witchly state of treachery.

Over at Shreveport's Ye Olde Shoppe of Sandalwood Candles and Reanimation, we have like a little Scooby Gang all our own ready to fight the good fight: Tara, Lafayette, Jesus, Marnie and assorted dirty hippies. First up: They need to figure out how to reverse the curse. After some fits and starts, they find the answer. So, in a circle of candles, they begin, as Pam (rocking a serious bustier) watches impatiently, offering her signature sardonic wit. But Marnie needs concentration, so when she can no longer tolerate Pam's negative mojo, she turns a really gross curse on her, which appears to start the process of turning the undead stunner into the decomposed bag of bones she would be had she stayed dead. It's a shocking image (not the face!) and a reminder that Marnie has the guts and the gravitas to be this season's villain.

Red Rum! Red Rum!

A quaint scene of domestic bliss — Arlene is napping, Terry is doing the laundry — is shattered when the words "BABY NOT YOURS" appear on the living room wall in creepy red letters, and little Mikey is holding the Magic Marker that wrote them. But was it the baby or that dirty, dirty doll? Given the context, I'm guessing it's the latter.

Incest is worst

Nan Flanagan thinks that Bill is wasting his time paying attention to "some old hippies who levitated a dead bird" and mocks him for losing Eric. He cites the Spanish Inquisition, but she waves it off, saying it was nearly 400 years ago. She also pooh-poohs the witches of Salem as "a bunch of puritanettes who just needed a good lay." (Aside: My grandmother once dressed up as the Salem witch on national television. Long story. In response, the official Salem witch allegedly put a hex on her and her family! Ever since, I've been unable to parallel-park.)

In Bill's extensive search for Eric, there's one place he hasn't checked: Sookie's house. And though Sookie's refusal to allow him to do so seems to be a dead giveaway, Bill's still a little sweet on Miss Stackhouse, so he decides to trust her. Oy.

Speaking of family, remember last week when Bill and Portia Bellefleur did the nasty? Well, it turns out that he's her great-great-great-great-grandfather, which we learn when we meet Portia's patrician, genealogy-loving grandmother Caroline (hello, Katherine Helmond, who of course was the true answer to the question Who's the Boss?, but who you might also remember from this). Upon learning this sordid detail, he immediately breaks it off with Portia.

Sweet blood hangover

The effect of Eric's binge-drinking of Claudine's blood is not unlike that which one gets after too many Long Island ice teas (I've heard). He laughs a lot, loses his balance and suddenly disappears into the night... just as the sun is about to rise. Sookie panics and calls Alcide for help. To facilitate this week's male nude scene, they find him swimming in a gator-filled swamp, but the real danger is that the effect of drinking Claudine's blood has worn off, and he's starting to sizzle. They coax him out of the water, and Sookie tucks him lovingly into ground, with a nice quilt, a few sideways glances and an almost-kiss for good measure.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Alcide overhears this quasi-canoodle and warns Sookie not to get involved with Eric. Because he truly loves her, I guess? Sigh. When he gets home, he tells Debbie about his day, and while she seems OK with it, you can tell that she's seething about her fiancé's special time with Sookie... maybe just a little bit?

Dogs and MILFs

A dejected Tommy (aw) tracks down his mom Melinda in some trailer-park shantytown. She reports that she left the cruel Joe Lee, who again risked her life entering her into dogfighting competitions; he tells her he can read now! It's a happy reunion about which I, for one, couldn't give a flying Frisbee, but thankfully it's short-lived. Joe Lee hasn't gone anywhere, and with the help of Melinda's deception, the Worst Parents in the World have their meal-ticket son back on the leash... literally. Disagree with me in the comments if you must, but ugh, these people again? Let's hope Sam has some free non-flirting time available to get his brother out of this mess right quick.

In the meantime, Operation Shifterflirt it is! Sam decides to pop over to Luna's house, where he meets her daughter Emma. (Aside: Sam has the coolest car ever.) It's a nice little scene, and as much as I've said that Sam is human Sominex in the past, I like Janina Gavankar and I like this couple together. Their eternal happiness, however, is threatened by one ominous detail: Luna reports that her ex — Emma's dad — is a werewolf who has a habit of lurking in the bushes.

The great escape

It's time for Ghost Daddy to give all the ladies in Hotshot a cub, but when Becky, who appears to be about 12, enters the room for her turn, Jason refuses. Instead, he persuades her to free him. He narrowly escapes re-capture by killing Felton and makes his way to the side of a road, where Hoyt and Jessica find him unconscious. Jessica makes him drink her blood and he starts to come to. This would have been an interesting development had Jason been drained by a vampire first, but as it is, I don't think he'll turn. But he just might start having sex dreams about Jessica! I'm guessing it'll coincide with the next full moon, when we see if Felton and Crystal's efforts were successful.

What did you think of "I'm Alive and on Fire"? Are you warming up to Marnie? Are you Team Eric or Team Alcide? Have any of the B story lines — Jason, Sam, Tommy or Arlene and Terry — caught your attention? But most importantly, if your great-great-great-great-grandfather were alive today, would you date him? Let it all be heard in the comments section below.

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On Sunday's episode of True Blood, Marnie proved once and for all that, despite her mealy-mouthed start, she will be the true villain of Season 4. There was finally some good news for the beleaguered Jason. Sam, Tommy and Bill each reconnected with family (sort of), while Sookie, Eric and Alcide took off their clothes and danced the fancy dance of seduction — though not necessarily at the same time.

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Premiered: September 07, 2008, on HBO
Rating: TV-MA
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Premise: An adaptation of Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire novels focusing on the human and vampire residents in a small Louisiana town, though in multiple seasons their world has expanded to include shape-shifters, werewolves, fairies, telepaths, witches and other supernatural beings, whose stories, in some cases, have been thousands of years in the making.

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