Oh, the city's alight with lovers and lies
And bright blue eyes.
Oh, the city is bright, it's brighter than day tonight.
Sadie said she couldn't work out what it was all about
And so she let go.
Now Sadie's on the street and the people she meets you know.
She tried to be a good girl and a good wife
Raise a good family
Lead a good life
It's not good enough
She got herself up on the 48th floor
Gotta find out
Find out what she's living for.
Oh, the city's afire
A passionate flame that knows me by name.
Oh, the city's desire to take me for more and more.
It's in the street gettin' under my feet
It's in the air, it's everywhere I look for you.
It's in the things that I do and say
and if i wanna live I gotta die to myself someday
~ Surrender lyrics - U2I had every intention of re-watching this past episode of True Blood (If You Love Me, Why Am I Dying?) and taking plenty of notes in order to write this post... that didn't really happen. I took notes, just not plenty of notes! Instead I found myself glued to the screen, desperately trying to take it all in again. I looked down at what I wrote, a mere line or two and for a split second, I got a little worried. Had I not watched closely enough? Did I not pay attention? I turned to Rachel, sitting beside me and shrugged, then we began to discuss and it was clear we both made very similar observations. We noted the recurring themes: dishonesty, temptation, religion, addiction, recovery; I turned to Rae and suddenly a light went on in my head! "Write down 'Surrender' for me", I asked. When she told me she already had I said again "Surrender", you know as in U2?!" and held up the hard cover book U2 by U2 I was leaning on to further make my point.
Sur-ren-der- verb (used with object)
1. To yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress
2. To give (oneself) up, as to the police
3. To give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion etc.
During the course of this episode we bore witness to no less than 10 different moments of surrender (to quote U2 again). These moments ranging from the traditional definition of the word, to more esoteric characterizations, can be seen throughout almost every plot and sub-plot in the episode.
Alan Ball has a way of brilliantly stringing together seemingly unconnected story lines. You could say his style is the literary equivalent to pointillism; you need to take a step back at times to see the whole picture. What I saw when I stepped back ran the gamut from emotional, to sexual, to religious surrender; every character giving up or giving in to some force seen or unseen.
From the very start we learn just how much Eric has been forced to surrender, be it his memory, his identity or his clothes! Where did those clothes go anyway? We watch as he stands there, dazed and disoriented in front of Sookie, desperately trying to remember some piece of who he used to be. In turn we see Sookie, re-inviting Eric into her house. Giving up her space, her sanctuary, surrendering if you will, to a man who only days before informed her that he had purchased said house out from under her...rendering her powerless to his advances.
Although Jessica's moment of surrender occurred in the prior episode, she is now left to deal with the aftermath. Weighed down by the guilt of acquiescing to temptation, she is advised to "vamp up" and come clean to Hoyt. What we tend to forget, given the fact that Jessica is a vampire, is that she is a seventeen year old vampire and still quite naive when it comes to love, lust and life in general. Unable to deal with the pain she has caused Hoyt she opts to confess and then Glamour her way out of what would undoubtedly be a messy fight. This proves to be our next flirtation with surrender as Hoyt, amid protest, succumbs to Jessica's influence thus putting an end their troubles....for now!
Andy, Andy, Andy oh, excuse me Sheriff Bellefleur (my apologies)! Over the years we have seen Andy rise and fall and rise again from temptation. He managed to curb his addiction to alcohol only to trade it in for a nasty "V" habit. Many recovery programs advocate giving yourself over to a "higher power". We can only assume Andy is aware of this process through his previous addiction and recovery. We get a hint of Andy using his instincts through reaching out to a "sponsor" by calling Jason, and when that didn't work he started reciting the serenity prayer, a prayer often used at support meetings. When his cravings didn't subside he gave in....surrendering to his addiction, starting the cycle over again. While on the topic of addiction and recovery let's not forget to mention an almost unrecognizable Debbie. When we last saw her she was strung out and hung up on revenge, now she claims "I got the program and I got Jesus on my side". Ready to make amends or not she seems to have given her life over to that "higher power" as well.
Our next moment of surrender comes in a very literal sense of the word. Fearing for his life and the lives of his loved one's Lafayette was looking to surrender himself to Eric, to throw his "black ass at his mercy and beg his forgiveness". LaLa was looking to wave the white flag, offer an olive branch to Eric in order to "hopefully keep us all from getting killed". This has proven to be a very static character trait for Lafayette, he has done and will do whatever it takes to survive even if that means giving [himself] up.
Straddling the lines between physical, emotional, and religious surrender we have Marnie. One of my favorite additions to the show! Masterfully played by Fiona Shaw, Marnie personifies the outcast- timid and misunderstood yet dangerously powerful, to the point of frightening. She offers all that she is to some unseen spirit. "Invade me, fill me up" she begs. She is desperate, longing for some connection "I will be your instrument on this plane to utilize as you see fit, I trust in you completely". This kind of statement requires nothing less than blind faith...absolute sacrifice. She gets so swept up in the fervor she exhibits little to no regard for her own safety, continuously slashing her wrists as an offering. "Make me your servant, I beg you PLEASE COME!"
We have been told that Jason is the character that "has the hardest time staying alive" this season. It is for this reason I chose to write about him last. Tied to a bed, tortured, drugged and raped. His is by far the most shocking and disturbing of all our moments of surrender. Jason has been made to give up his very humanity. Forced to become Crystal and Felton's pawn, he finds himself on the verge of being reborn as the "ghost daddy" of their inbred village of the damned. The plot sickens as Jason awakens to see Crystal on top of him, writhing and riding him in ecstasy, and he too weak and restrained to do anything about it can only moan in horror at what is happening. This adds yet another layer to this theme as Jason is being forced to surrender his seed, to impregnate Crystal (and I suspect every other girl in Hot Shot) in order to carry on their race.
Where does all of this lead? What lies ahead for these characters? Will they be able to carry on, get back up or rise above? Will they ever be able to recapture all that has been lost or taken from them? For these and so many more questions I fear I have no answers, I can only watch and wait with bated breath to see what fate will hand them. I hope you will watch along with me! ~ Rebecca