Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood -- which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston. Much thanks to True-Blood.net, who has offered to help us with tracking down the songs of True Blood post-episode.
It's amazing just how fast things can really happen in True Blood. Already, Billith's prophecy about a vampire holocaust is coming true, with pretty much the entire vampiric cast of the show incarcerated in a concentration camp by the time this week's episode ends. Though it may sound like an odd remark, it's the best thing for the show, really.
The problem you find with a show like True Blood is that it spreads like a bloodstain. Storylines and character arcs just ricochet off and leave little core behind. But with Eric, Tara, Pam, Jessica, Nora, and even Steve Newlin and newcomer Willa forced into an enclosed space fighting for survival, it really gives the show a chance to bounce emotions off the actors.
The only sad thing about it is that it takes all the action away from Sookie's story, and there is a lot going on there. Warlow confesses that he was trying to save her life as her parents intended to kill her rather than allow her to be claimed by Warlow as a bride once she reached maturity.
In an absolutely horrifying scene to watch, Sookie's dad drugs her juice and drives off with her into the night in order to drown her. We learn all this from a séance with Lafayette... a ceremony with dire consequences.
And it unfortunately has nothing to do with the song that this week's episode is named after.
"Fuck the Pain Away," is Peaches breakout hit. I've been hearing it in Numbers since I was a baby goth, and it's found itself into dozens, maybe hundreds of movie and TV-show soundtracks whenever anyone needs a good, overtly offensive song with pop catchiness.
There is a theme that fits well with the tune's usage, I'll give you that. It's just that it's so ancillary to both the engaging vampire persecution story and Sookie's own dilemma that it feels forced.
After Jessica drains the four fairy daughters of Andy she is high as a kite and tries to immediately mount Bill, who tells her to go to her room. She runs off to find Jason, who has just spent some time screwing Steve Newlin's ex-wife, bitter over the governor's refusal to have a baby with her. It's a scene with a lot of meaning as it leads to Jessica's capture, but since all the rest of the fangs had been locked up it wasn't really a surprise.
I could see a whole "fucking the pain away" catharsis going on down the road, but this episode is all about pain without any relief at. Pam is forced to fight Eric as part of an experiment and for the revenge of the governor. Andy, who honestly gets the best scenes of the episode, rescues the one daughter left alive after Jessica's rampage and breaks down as he realizes there is nothing he can do to stand against Bill. If anything, the pain stays right on.
Even Sarah Newlin's attempt to assuage her rejection only brings a host of misery down for everyone, even to herself though she's frankly too much of a bitter, hateful person to realize it.
Fond as I am of Peaches, going back to this old tune was a miss. Why not "Lose You" off I Feel Cream? That would have made sense. Every single moment of the episode was hanging off a precipice where someone was about to be gone forever in a flurry of fire and hurt. "Fuck the Pain Away" was a poor choice, even if True Blood simply wanted to do a Peaches shoutout.
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