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Find the previous episode recap here before reading on.

We open this episode at the hospital with Sam and Luna. Luna is furious and wants to go after the people who attacked them. Sam convinces her that he is on it and makes her stay. After Sam leaves, Luna shifts into Sam. We know that skinwalking is really dangerous, so who knows if Luna will survive this. How did it even happen to her? Who knows.

TrueBlood S5E8 Luna and Sam argue in the hospital

Andy has the fake nurse perpetrator in custody but he won’t talk. Andy leaves Sam and the man in the interrogation room alone and Sam turns into a cobra, threatening to strike the man. This leads him to confess that the group has abducted Jessica from Fangtasia by tricking her and are holding her in their house to be murdered.

Capture

We see Hoyt with this group of shooters in the house and they present Jessica to him, bound in silver and demand that Hoyt kill her. They see this as a gift – she broke his heart and she isn’t even alive anyways, so. The group locks Hoyt in the room with Jessica and tells him that he can’t come out until she’s dead.

TrueBlood S5E8 Hoyt and the Obamas watch Jessica writhe

Hoyt and Jessica discuss why she fell out of love and it’s apparent that Hoyt is pretty hurt. We think that he may kill Jessica as we hear him call out to the lone guy still at the house guarding the room. The guy comes in and Jessica steps from behind the door and breaks his neck. Jessica can’t leave since it’s daytime, but Hoyt leaves to go get help for her. Hopefully this little interaction can help both Jessica and Hoyt just move on. I mean, it’s the end of it y’all. Move along.

TrueBlood S5E8 Jessica being held prisoner

Andy, Sam, and Luna as Sam show up and help Jessica. She is confused when they say that Hoyt is not with them and she worries for his safety. Sam and Luna sniff out a human woman while in the house Jessica was held captive. Does this mean someone else is running this game? Probably.

Abduction

We see Hoyt walking on the road and a truck pulls next to him. A gun is shoved in Hoyt’s face.

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The vampires end their crazy Lilith blood fueled night and Eric is feeling very wary. He tries expressing this to Bill, but it seems Bill has assimilated to the Lilith followers and anti-mainstreamers. Eric leaves the room. Salome entrances Bill and asks him to feed on a woman with her. The woman is begging for her life, screaming that she has a child.

This makes us see a flashback of Bill visiting his dying daughter. He daughter is of course confused as to why her young father is visiting and asks him to save her and make her like him. Bill refuses. Bill rushes back to the present and feeds on the young mother with Salome. I don’t believe for a minute that Bill has abandoned his care for humans and his ideology that mainstreaming is the only way. I feel like Bill is infiltrating sneakily while Eric rejects their views outright and is turned away from the circle.

Emptying It Out

Jason finds Sookie trying to expel all of her light, ridding her of fairy powers. He emphasizes how important her powers could be to find who killed their parents and this makes Sookie back off the whole losing her powers thing.

Jason and Sookie go to the fairy club and Claudette’s brother tells her to meet them at the spot her parents were killed the next day. Everyone shows up and join hands, intensifying their abilities. They instruct Sookie to feel her parents’ energy and she will be able to see what happened to them. Exactly this happens. Sookie envisions herself in her mother’s body and watches her parents be murdered. All of a sudden, Sookie is seeing things from the vampire’s point of view, including Claudette appearing and warning Warlow to stay away from the girl.

TrueBlood S5E8 the fairies leading Sookie

Claudette’s brother is alarmed by Sookie seeing the event through the eyes of the vampire, because this means that she has bonded to him. We see that this is true when later in the episode the creepiest vampire face ever pops up in the air and tells Sookie he is coming for her. I don’t know who Warlow is, but I’m already scared – in such a good way. Villian of next season possibly?

The Challenge

Alcide and Rikki seem to be heading quickly towards boyfriend/girlfriend status when we catch a glimpse of them having sex. Later on in the episode, the two show up for Alcide’s fight with J.D. J.D. plays really dirty and insists that they are hunting a college track star – as human, not wolf. We know Alcide’s morals won’t let him do this type of thing to an innocent person so he has to concede the fight. J.D. announces that he will celebrate by still hunting the guy. This sends Alcide and J.D. into a physical fight where J.D. nearly kills Alcide since he is hopped up on V until Martha steps in and stops it.

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TrueBlood S5E8 J.D. preaching to his pack

Arlene and Holly convince Lafayette to help them with Terry. They pay Lafayette so that he will hold a fake seance and explain to Terry that the woman he killed has released the curse. They get more than they bargained for when the woman’s spirit enters Lafayette for real and says that she will lift the curse if Terry kills Patrick or if Patrick kills Terry. I don’t know, seems fair to me. Patrick should really be the one to die since he gave the orders.

TrueBlood S5E8 Arlene and Holly beginning Lafayette for help

At Fangtasia, one of Tara’s high school acquaintances sits at the bar. She completely insults Tara and Pam breaks it up before Tara says way too much.

TrueBlood S5E8 Tara and Pam in the dungeon of Fangtasia

It seems Pam discourages Tara’s feisty behavior until the pair go to the basement later and Pam has tied up the woman for Tara to feed on. Pam glamours the woman and convinces her that she is only there to be Tara’s food, loyally. Pretty nice gift if I do say so myself.

TrueBlood S5E8 Tara and Pam with the woman from the bar

We end this episode with a scene of the vampires trying to determine their next move. They discuss simply killing mainstreaming vampires, but Bill comes up with an idea to attack the Tru Blood factories and force vampires out of their food so they have to feed on humans. Eric is appalled and asks Bill what he is doing. Bill says “evolving.” 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Follow along and watch the next episode, finding its recap here.

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms. You can find her on Instagram @crystalsnovelnook.

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Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Little Gold Man

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Last night’s episode of American Horror Story Delicate was wild. From its star-studded start to its powerfully quiet finish, I was enthralled through every moment.

Let’s discuss.

The story

We begin this episode at the funeral of Dex’s mom. While he’s giving a eulogy, which was very nice, Ms. Preecher walks in. She shouts to the room that Virginia didn’t commit suicide, she was murdered. She also tells Dex to listen to his wife.

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What a concept!

Touched by this, or maybe just curious, Anna goes to the hospital to check on Preecher. She falls asleep at the hospital. When she wakes up, Preecher is gone. A nurse says that she was discharged to a group of women.

While at the hospital, Anna also discovers that she’s been nominated for best actress.

Kim Kardashian in American Horror Story Delicate.

At a publicity event for the awards, Anna runs into Cora. And she sees the coat she remembers from her late-night visit near the start of her pregnancy.

With the slightest amount of pressure, Cora spills it all. She and Dex have been having an affair, and Cora was trying to sabotage Anna’s pregnancy. So Anna, channeling her inner Madison Montgomery, kicks him out and heads to the awards ceremony with Siobhan.

There, Siobhan asks her if she wants an Oscar more than anything. If she’d be willing to give up anything for it.

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And Anna says yes.

The bargain is then sealed with a kiss.

Kim Kardashian and Emma Roberts in American Horror Story Delicate.

What worked

I’d like to begin, paradoxically, at the end of the episode. We’ve seen Anna have some terrible, loud, frightening hallucinations in this season. At least, we assume they’re hallucinations. But this one wasn’t loud. It was, in fact, very quiet. Anna is led off stage, without a word, leaving nothing but a puddle of blood behind.

In horror, like in all art, the notes you don’t play are as important as the ones you do. And the notes that weren’t played her rang like a bell.

I also appreciated that this episode describes why being a celebrity would be a huge pain in the ass. Imagine going to an event where the whole purpose is for people to take pictures of you while holding their product. Imagine if they invaded your personal space, sprayed things on you, put things over your eyes, and you were expected to smile and pose.

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I don’t know what it is about being a celebrity that makes others feel entitled to a person. To talk with them, take their time, and share in their moments. To touch them without consent. Yes, there are way worse things happening to people. But this isn’t a great way to live. It’s no wonder so many of them go nuts. This is most clearly shown in the scene when Anna is sitting next to Preecher’s bed. She wakes up to find the older woman gone. But all anyone wants to talk about is how she was just nominated for an Oscar. At that moment, she doesn’t give a damn. She cares about this kind woman, and where she’s gone. Just like any other person.

Finally, I appreciated that this season didn’t do what so many AHS seasons do. Which is to say that this episode didn’t feel like the last episode. It felt like the penultimate episode. It felt like there was still more story to tell, not just loose ends to be wrapped up. I appreciate that the writers have finally learned that lesson.

For this season, at least.

What didn’t work

The first thing that bothered me in this episode was Cora’s confession. I said something about this during our live-watch event on Threads. (Join us next week for the finale. Bring popcorn and wine.)

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I don’t believe Cora’s confession. I further don’t believe that she just dumped all of this incriminating info on Anna with no more prompting than a wide-eyed look. There was just no reason for it. So, Anna saw her coat? Lots of people have similar coats. This feels fake, and she brought no receipts.

Tavi Gevinson in American Horror Story Delicate.

I also found Siobhan’s behavior confusing. At times she seems genuinely concerned for Anna’s wellbeing. At other times, she is more than willing to let her suffer and risk her pregnancy.

While this has been going on all season, it was happening every few minutes in this one. Either Siobhan cares about the welfare of that fetus, or she doesn’t. But she needs to pick a lane.

All in all, I don’t know what to expect from next week’s season finale. Anna has her Oscar, but now she might lose her baby. She might also get sucked into some horrible cult and experience a bad death. We won’t know until next week.

See you then.

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Fallout, The Target

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Episode two of Amazon Prime’s Fallout was equal parts funny and bloody. This almost always leads to a good time.

The story

We begin this episode with the birth of some puppies that look like they’ve had a rough start to life. Each one is weighed, with the ones who fall short being incinerated.

One pup who is just below the correct weight gets a bit of a thumb on their scale. The scientist weighing them, Wilzig, writes down the proper weight. He later takes the puppy home to raise instead of putting them into what looks like an unforgiving training program.

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Eventually, we see Wilzig put some blue glowing thing into his neck. When a soldier comes for him, Dog attacks the soldier, and the two escape.

Ella Purnell in Fallout.

We go from there to the wilderness, where Lucy is recovering from the last episode and enjoying a campfire at night. Wilzig and Dog come out of the shadows, saving Lucy from a bug monster. Wilzig tells Lucy she should go home. And if she’s not going to go home, she needs to evolve.

The next day Lucy finds her way to a town called Filly. As a Pennsylvanian, it hurts me to spell it that way. Lucy is entranced by this town, though clearly put off by the fact that no one is very nice here.

She eventually finds her way to a shop run by a delightful woman named Ma June. Ma doesn’t seem particularly interested in helping Lucy. Or, frankly, having Lucy in her shop.

Or in her town.

Eventually, Wilzig is tracked to this same shop, being tracked by The Ghoul. This is our final primary character. Lucy defends Wilzig, being aided at the last moment by Maximus.

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Maximus, by the way, has been having a terrible time. After finally becoming a squire he’s disappointed to find that his knight, Knight Titus, is a terrible person.

Fortunately, Maximus doesn’t have to put up with Titus for long. After Titus gets the bright idea to go hunting, he’s attacked by a mutated bear. Maximus freezes, unable to save him. Then, well, he decides not to save him.

It was Titus’s idea to go hunt the bear, after all.

What worked

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

The first thing I want to draw attention to is the shootout scene at Filly. This scene checked every box a fight scene should check. It was fun to watch, with great effects. But it also gave us insight into the characters. Lucy is a decent fighter and has a strong moral compass. The Ghoul is callus and desensitized to death. And Maximus continues to be, well, sort of bad at this whole fighting thing. But with enough moral fortitude that we have a hard time blaming him.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the dog. Who’s name, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, is just Dog. Which is fine. He doesn’t need to have a name to be a very good boy. He’s sweet, loyal, and fearless.

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Also, puppies. Puppies are always great.

Finally, I’d like to shine a spotlight on Lucy’s reaction to the world at large. She is both amazed and terrified by everything. And while she certainly doesn’t want to be rude, she also doesn’t want to be taken advantage of. The best example of this is when she stops to ask for directions with a bright smile and a gun.

Once again, I don’t have anything bad to say about this episode. It was funny, dark, and fun to watch. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Fallout, The End

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Launching with worldwide excitement, Fallout is based on the extremely popular game series of the same name. Fans of the series have waited with anticipation and trepidation to see if the Prime series would live up to the game.

Having now watched the first episode I can say that, so far, it’s successful.

The story

Our story begins with a children’s birthday party. A performer is there with his daughter, giving horse rides and taking pictures with the kids.

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As much as the adults try to focus on the party and the kids, it’s impossible to ignore the looming threat of war that’s on everyone’s mind.

Of course, it’s during this party that war comes, and the bombs drop.

We then cut to after the war and into one of the vaults established to protect humankind and the American Way. For future reference, this is Vault 33. We meet Lucy, our first main character, who’s petitioning to be married to a man from Vault 32 to ensure DNA diversity.

On the wedding night, though, Lucy and the rest of Vault 33 are met with a horrible surprise. The group they let in is not in fact from Vault 32, but is instead a team of raiders from the surface. The raiders kill a lot of the vault dwellers and kidnap Lucy’s father.

We are then introduced to our second main character, Maximus. He is in training to become a Knight in the Brotherhood of Steel. And, well, he’s not doing great.

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Things get worse when his best friend Dane becomes a squire before him. But when Dane is hurt, Maximus gets their spot.

Aaron Moten in Fallout.

We then go back to Lucy, who has decided to leave the vault and find her dad. Of course, the council of her vault doesn’t want her to go. So she is aided by her brother Norm and cousin Chet in a wild escape.

What worked

The first thing that deserves attention is the exceptional character work. Our three main characters are fleshed out and relatable right away. We feel sympathetic for The Ghoul before he’s even introduced as such. We love Lucy’s nativity and selflessness. And we love Maximus for his honesty and passion for his cause.

While these characters are their own people, they also exhibit the three responses we might expect to see in a post-apocalyptic world. We have the hopeful optimist who doesn’t understand how bad things are. We have the aspiring hero who wants to make the world better by force. And we have the self-serving individual who’s given up on the rest of humanity and is only focused on surviving.

Another thing I enjoyed about this episode was the balance of humor and gore. Because there was certainly enough blood and guts for even the most hardcore horror lover. We had a violent sabotage, a brawl with raiders, and even several nuclear bombs.

But there were a lot of funny moments as well. Usually from Lucy. Her overall goodwill and fearless gumption are absolutely hilarious, especially given the horrors she’s facing. It never ceases to amuse me.

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Ella Purnell in Fallout

Both of these aspects are done perfectly. The jokes land and the bloody scenes pull no punches. It was delightful.

All in all, this was an exciting start to a much-anticipated series. Here’s hoping they’re able to stick the landing.

For more tv shows based on video games, check out my review of Witcher. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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