Goodbye TRUE BLOOD, Welcome Back Outlander, WTF? Masters of Sex (Spoilers)

This weekend saw the third episode of OUTLANDER and the last of TRUE BLOOD. Honestly, I don’t know what to make of what happened on MASTERS OF SEX.

Since it was the season finale, let’s look first at the last TRUE BLOOD Episode:

TRUE BLOOD SERIES FINALE

 

HBO episode 80, “Thank You”
Airdate 8/24/2014

In a nutshell:
Bill comes in to speak with Sookie as he had requested at the en of last week’s episode.  He says that he wants her to go on to live a normal and happy life with love and a family. He says that if she helped him die, in fae-speak, did him a kindness but taking his life with her last blast ball of super nuclear fairy light that would kill him, then her fairy-ness would be extinguished and she would have her desire of normalcy. She says she will think about it.
Jessica goes to Bill’s house where they make peace. Bill asks Hoyt if he can see himself marrying Jessica. He is on the spot but says he can. Jessica goes up to have a few words with Bill when he says he did not see his human daughter married but would be happy to see her married before he died.
Sookie goes to talk about what Bill wanted with Jason and runs into Brigette. She likes Brigette and tells Jason if they got together she’d be happy.
While they are there they get calls about Hoyt and Jess getting married and ask them to help.

Jessica and Holt marry, (pictures)  Jason takes Holt’s previous fiancee to the airport. .  Bill tells Andy that because of the way the laws are worded, Andy is the default heir to Bill’s house.  Andy says he could never live there.  Bill asks Andy to rent Jessica and Hoyt his house and Andy agrees.  Andy performs a not-official wedding ceremony.  During the ceremony Sookie discovers she can read Bill’s thoughts — as if he is becoming human.
Sookie drops Jason off and he takes Brigette to the airport.  Before she leaves, Sookie gives Jason her blessing for Brigette and tells him that since Hoyt and Jessica just married he has nothing to worry about. Sookie goes to talk with Reverend Daniels. She leaves feeling okay and decides to help Bill. She tells him to meet her at the cemetery.
Meanwhile at Fangtasia another story line is happening concurrently. Having sent the Yakuza to kill Sookie, hile Mr. Guy is ruminating upstairs,  Eric and Pam set Sarah free, but not until she drinks Pam’s blood so she can always be found.  Then they let Mr. Guy know. He orders the Yakuza left with him to kill  Eric, but using his super speed, Eric gets there first. meanwhile, Mr. Guy takes off down the tunnel through which Sarah escaped and  Eric send a gasoline fueled ball of fire to kill him.

Eric intercepts the Yakuza going to Sookies and Kills them. He is shown driving back with the bodies in his car, presumably so Sookie doesn’t have to deal.   Pam finds Sarah at the fairgrounds where Eric turned Willa. Sarah is pigging out on BBQ. She asks Pam to turn her and that she would be her lover. Pam says no and bites Sarah to be “vaccinated” against Hep-V.

Bill meets Sookie at the cemetery where she has had his grave unearthed. After tearful words and expressions of love, Sookie tells Bill to get in and she’ll blast him. She makes with the light ball but decides she wants to stay fae. Instead she breaks a shovel handle and she and Bill, together, drive the stake into his chest and he is gone in a puddle of goo, which of course is all over Sookie.  According to HBO Sookie hears a final thought from Bill, “Thank You.” Sobbing she climbs out of the grave and manually starts pushing the dirt back (she broke the shovel after all). She leaves the cemetery and starts home. Fade to black.

Several vignettes are presented later:

Six months or a year later (I failed to make a note):  Eric and Pam in an infomercial for “New Blood.” Eric is uber-smarmy. I believe there is a cameo from Charlaine Harris as a studio technician in the infomercial.
Three Years:
New Blood goes public with Pam and Eric ringing the bell at the NY Stock Exchange.
Pam and Eric are looking all respectable.
At the Stackhouse houses, A turkey goes into the deep fryer and we see a pregnant Sookie. Jason is crawling around on the floor with a child, Brigette comes in with two more, they start out.
Back at Fangtasia, Eric sits, looking bored, on his throne and a wealthy vampire pays $100,000 for a minute sucking the blood from a chained Sarah Newlin. She is tormented by visions of Steve Newlin who promises, as a figment of her imagination, to haunt her eternally. As Pam told her, all she’d ever be was a whore.
At Sookie’s we see the whole remaining Bon Temps gang including Sam and Nicole, Arlene and James, Jane Bodehouse, Reverend and Mrs. Daniels and more. We only see the back of Sookie’s husband’s head as he sits at the head of the long table outside the house.

square "my take"

While it feels that helping to put your loved one out of his misery would be completely impossible, it is something people face everyday with spouses, parents, children, relatives and even pets. So that is not outlandish. I liked how it was handled, although looking at twitter I feel that I may be the only person who does.  I don’t think there could have been an entirely happy ending. Nor do I believe Eric and Pam were ever going to become “human” and sweet. Eric was only ever sweet when he had amnesia and Pam, well, Pam was only ever sweet with Eric and Tara. I did not think Eric looked happy on his throne; but in his Fangtasia role he always looked bored and impatient. I think the message was that life goes on and change is inevitable.

Jason finally found someone who loved him just as he was, and who could correct his behavior without cruelty. Sookie, happily pregnant is interesting. I wonder if she could hear the baby’s thoughts.  I would have liked to have known who she married. He has short dark hair and a beard or ridiculous sideburns.

It’s been a long run for the series. I felt it became ridiculous several years ago with the way Sookie and Eric became lovers. Their first sex scene was particularly ridiculous, and then the whole thing went off the rails as the series management brought in more and more characters and moved completely off the storylines Harris explored. Of the major changes Ball made in the series the only one I really thought was good was not killing off Lafayette. The increased importance of Tara, Marianne the Maenad seasons, and the whole inquisition thing, and the “authority” season were simply ridiculous. I think like many prople, I felt the series could have ended about three years ago.

QUESTION MARKHow about you?
What storylines did you like or hate?
Do you think the producers had their own “agenda?”

TRUE BLOOD ON HBO: http://www.hbo.com/#/true-blood/index.html

 

OUTLANDER

 

Episode 103 THE WAY OUT

STARZ Airdate 8/23/2014

Ooh, that Geillis is canny, no? Do you feel she is on the edge of telling Claire her secret?

I am uncertain to what degree this episode followed the book. The director gives an explanation that to explain Claire’s adapting to the life in the mid-18th  century. Here Claire becomes the healer by force, and spends time at the castle, but soon adapts to the role.

The episode opens with Mrs Fitz helping Claire with a bath. Mrs. Fitz tells Claire she doesn’t mind helping because Claire has such lovely skin.  She imagines telling Mrs. Fitz about falling through time and the imagined Mrs. Fitz reacts badly.

Claire learns that a woman in the kitchen’s son died the night before after visiting a supposedly haunted church, The Black Kirk.  Another child becomes sick, Mrs. Fitz’s nephew who also acts as a page  in the castle.

Claire massages Collum’s legs,  and he invites her to the concert that night where she is joined by Laoghaire who says Jamie doesn’t have eyes for Laoghaire and they are joined by Jamie.  He asks her to fix his dressing. But really he is seeing her back to her rooms because she is tipsy and he wants her to be safe. He tells her he doesn’t want Alec, his boss in the stables to see his scars. And that she doesn’t make him feel pitiful. They become uncomfortable and Jamie mkaes to leave.  Claire stops him to check his wound which has scabbed over nicely. They wish each other a good night.

The next morning Claire is met by Geillis on a hunt for herbs. Geillis reveals that the priest is going to perform an exorcism by the priest on Mrs. Fitz’s nephew. They discuss the reality of magic.  She tells her that people believe the boy possessed and she challenges that belief t her peril. Claire goes off to the town followed by her guard who tells her she shouldn’t interfere. She tells him a priest told her her healing gifts were a gift from god. Claire sees Mrs. Fitz’s nephew and his family, including Mrs. Fitz.  The boy is hallucinating and Claire recognizes the signs of poisoning through differential diagnosis.  Claire tries to help him when the priest arrives and she is put off and leaves.

On returning to the castle, she is told to wait by the kitchen and  Claire sees Jamie kissing Laoghaire and teases him about it. He is embarrassed and leaves.  She is admonished by Murtagh  that Jamie doesn’t need a “girl” like Laoghaire but he needs a woman and if her father or Collum hears about it Jame will have to marry her.  Claire goes off t outside ashamed of her behavior. She cries with missing her husband. She is found by Dougal who asks if she would like to go into town to refresh her stores of herbs in town at Geillis Duncan’s for the upcoming clan gathering.  He accompanies her to the house.

Claire goes to go to town with Dougal. While in Geillis stillroom a crowd makes noise, she sees the priest drag a young man into the square for punishment. He has confessed to stealing bread. Geillis’ gets her husband to reduce the boy’s sentence to having his ear nailed to the stock for an hour.  Claire feels uncomfortable with Geillis and her glibness over the boy’s punishment and her attempts to wheedle information out of Claire who Geillis says “puzzles her. Geillis, possibly tried to charm Claire.  Jamie comes in saying Dougal  he understands that. They leave.

Jamie and Claire help the boy get out of the stocks with a distraction and they go onto the Black Kirk where she discovers Lily of the Valley, similar in appearance to wild garlic. The church was founded by German monks where the Lily of the Valley is native.  It is not indigenous to Scotland. Jamie reveals he is somewhat educated, but also a Highlander so he thinks as a Highlander too. Claire returns to Mrs. Fitz’s nephew’s side where against the priest’s wishes she administers a dose of Bella Donna to regulate his heartbeat. The priest is angered and threatens Claire because he was wrong and she was correct in her assessment.

Claire visits Jamie while he is currying a horse.  He discusses her new status as a healer. She realizes she will never be able to leave. Healing the child tightens her bonds to the place.

People look more kindly on her at the start of the Gathering which she attends in poor spirits. . Jamie bids her sit with him. The Welsh musician plays again and Jamie explains  a song about a woman who goes back and forth through he stones.  She feels then that travel through the stones is possible she must either get back to the stones ASAP or die trying.

Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley – Convallaria majalis
Wood Garlic
Wood Garlic – Allium ursinnum

 

I was a little confused about the herb Lily of the Valley Claire finds because it looks very different from the Lily of the valley I grow in my yard.  It does look like wood garlic, but neither looked like the plant I saw Claire pick up. Did anyone else notice or identify the plant as wrong? Maybe I am wrong and the look was too quick. The director says they worked hard to find exactly the correct plant

Claire is still missing Frank, but it seems that it is Claire that Jamie is interested in Claire – even though he is having a wee bit of fun with Laoghaire. There is some tension building  and it is kind of making me crazy!

QUESTION MARKTo people who have just read the book or are more recently familiar than I, what was really different? In your opinion were the changes justifiable, necessary, helpful or awful?

LINKS: http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander/
http://www.starz.com/outlandercommunity/home.html#

Masters of Sex

 

Season 2, Episode 7 ASTERION
Showtime Airdate: 8/24/2014

I missed the start of the episode and have to say I may not continue watching it at all.  the timeline was so confusing in this episode that it was clear the producers, writers and directors have no idea what they are doing.

Masters has opened a clinic in a building in a less than savory part of town. Betty is working as his receptionist.   She has gone to college for his degree in accounting. He has to get a loan and puts up everything he owns. Libby finds out a year later after having a second baby, a girl. She contacts Bill’s mother to get money that was left by his father. He refuses the money, but suddenly they have more and Betty tells him it is because they increased fees. His relationship with Virginia is very strained and today he would be so sued!

Bill keeps hiring prostitutes for oral sex but cannot get an erection.

He embarrasses her in front of her boyfriend at the time while very drunk.  The videographer, Lester has come back without Jane. He is filming throughout the episode. Dr. Langham is dating a model/burlesque star. He sees her in a stag film and tries to go back to his wife who tells him no.
Virginia brings a key to their hotel room and tells Masters she will wait there for him for four hours and if he doesn’t come she will leave.  They meet. Bill tries to work out being an in call doctor for the hotel so they can continue meeting there and it becomes apparent the waiter they had before, who is now the night manager, knows who he really is.

They decide to strengthen their questionnaire to weed out sexually dysfunctional subjects. Bill’s ex-secretary from Memorial comes in. She claims to have a sealed vagina, but that she and Dr. Greathouse did everything but.

Libby has a birthday party for one of the kids. Virginia and Bill talk  in the  kitchen and she says they should be studying the dysfunctional people as well. Libby confides in Virginia that her marriage to Bill is bad and they haven’t had sex in a year.  Bill has invited his mother. He is somewhat conciliatory.

So, they are so confusing about who, what, where, when and how that I really feel I am not getting anything from the series. I will give it to the end of these episodes  (they might split the season?) to pick up and get back on track.