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This episode opens with a news cast revealing that the largest Tru Blood factory in Texas has been bombed and there were even human casualties. The vampire crew feasts on a human to celebrate their victory.

Lockdown

Molly finds that the compound is locked down and that no one can move in or out of the building unless they are someone like Salome or Nora. Eric asks her if there is anyway they can escape and the two come up with a plan. Eric brings Bill in on the plan, asking him to steal Salome’s blood.

Trueblood S5E9 Molly near the elevator

Meanwhile, Sookie enlists Lafayette to help her figure out who Warlow is and why she is attached to him. Gran comes to Lafayette and tells him that Sookie is sleeping on top of answers. Sookie gets family photos and obituaries out from under the bed, but is confused as to how the answer is in this box of mementos that she’s combed through her whole life. Sookie does notice that in the obituary, it says that Sheriff Dearborne found her parent’s bodies, a detail she never knew. Sookie decides to pay Bud a visit.

Trueblood S5E9 Lafayette and Sookie on her bed

Is He Gone?

Jessica assures the police that Hoyt is not one of the Obama shooters. She is afraid and tells Jason so because she cannot feel Hoyt, as if he were asleep or dead. We see that this is the case because Hoyt is unconscious being dragged through a pig pen.

Trueblood S5E9 Jessica with Jason at the police station

Luna leaves the hospital with Sam against his wishes, but the two join in the search for the Obamas. They smelled pig shit where they found Jessica. Andy tells them that they need to go home and tries to cut them off from the search, so Luna and Sam seek out the perpetrators on their own.

Trueblood S5E9 Sam and Luna with Andy at the police station

Andy and Jason find a website dedicated to videos of the Obamas staking vampires and such. They cry out “Long Live the Dragon,” and Andy is remind of a Klan member that died a while back. This is definite confirmation that we are looking at a hate group modelled off of the KKK. Andy and Jason begin to try to figure out who the new Dragon is – their leader.

Means to Information

Andy and Jason beat Joe Bob in his cell when he will not reveal any information about the Dragon.

Trueblood S5E9 Jason with Joe Bob in his cell

We get to see Alcide flash back to training for his pack with Debbie when they were younger. Alcide’s father is the teacher. We aren’t sure where this is going, but Alcide drives and shows up at his father’s house later in the episode, where he is drinking and gambling.

Unexpected Twists

Sookie meets with Bud at his house and Bud tells her that at the time of her parents’ death, they just thought that alligators had gotten to the bodies but that it is very possible that the damage was from a vampire. Sookie reads Bud’s mind and realizes he’s hiding something. A woman appears and hits Sookie over the head with a frying pan.

Patrick jumps Arlene on her way into Merlotte’s and makes her call any other employees so that they don’t show up. Terry arrives and sees Arlene at gunpoint. Terry gets down on his knees and is ready to sacrifice himself when Arlene stabs Patrick in the neck with a pencil from her hair. They get the situation turned in their favor, and Terry kills Patrick when the woman’s spirit he killed appears and tells him he must do it to make it right. After Terry shoots Patrick, the woman conjures Ifrit and the monster takes Patrick’s body and Terry and Arlene are left in peace.

Trueblood S5E9 Patrick holding Arlene at gunpoint

Sookie wakes up in a pig pen and sees Hoyt. She can tell he’s been drugged by his thoughts. Bud appears with the woman and forces Sookie to drink a mixture that knocks her out.

Catching Up

Andy and Jason rewatch some of the Obama videos and notice Bud’s boots on one of the Obamas. They know they are Bud’s boots because they were a gift to him at his retirement party. They bust into Bud’s home but it is empty. They remember Luna and Sam saying something about the smell of pigs and they head to Bud’s wife’s family farm.

When Sookie wakes, Bud and the woman are in front of her. They preach about how supes must be killed – all of them, including her. We learn that this woman is the Dragon and Sookie reads her mind, finding out that her husband left her for a shifter. The pair are about to kill Sookie when Sam – as a pig – attacks them. Sam saves Sookie and Andy and Jason show up not far behind. When Bud tries to kill Sam with a shovel, Andy shoots Bud and kills him. Jason grabs Sookie, but she points to Hoyt, who seems to be getting eaten by pigs.

Trueblood S5E9 Jason finding Sookie in the pig pen

Jason and Andy rush Hoyt to the hospital. Outside, Luna runs after Sweetie, the Dragon, and beats her in a field.

Trueblood S5E9 Eric and Nora

Back at the vampire lair, Eric listens as Nora tries to convince him of her religion. He concedes that he wants to believe and Nora reunites with him. The pair head to the elevator where Molly is waiting.

Trueblood S5E9 Eric and Molly holding a limp, drugged Nora

Eric drugs Nora. Bill walks up, but so does Salome. Eric learns that Bill has turned him in and Eric is arrested. It really does seem like Bill has changed sides, but I hope not.

Trueblood S5E9 Eric being arrested

At Fangtasia, Pam tells a vampire at the club to get out of Eric’s throne. He tosses her across the room and says that Northman is over and that he is the new sheriff.

Trueblood S5E9 Newlin and Russell walking close together

Russell tells Newlin about how he lords over werewolves by giving them his blood and how they serve him. Russell visits J.D.’s pack and lets them drink from him. When Martha won’t, Russell takes the baby wolf in her arms – Emma – from her.

Trueblood S5E9 Russell choking J.D.

J.D. tries to stop Russell, but Russell attacks him and asserts that his blood is not free. Boy is Luna going to be pissed. Russell gives Emma to Newlin as a pet. At the beginning of this series, I could have never predicted that Russell and Newlin would be such an item.

Trueblood S5E9 Russell holding Emma as a pup
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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 @wellreadredhead18.

Movies n TV

Dahmer, Lionel

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Most true crime content includes a dramatic courtroom scene. Two dashing lawyers face off, defending their clients no matter how gruesome their crimes were.

While there was a courtroom scene, it wasn’t exactly what I expected. It’s something that, again, I don’t think I’ve seen before. 

Let’s discuss. 

As the title would suggest, most of this episode was from Lionel Dahmer’s point of view. And Lionel, it should go without saying, is not in a great place right now. His son, who he loves, is in a hell of a lot of trouble. And Lionel is doing his best to make this whole mess not his fault.

Richard Jenkins and Molly Ringwald in Dahmer.

The fault, as far as he’s concerned, lies with Joyce. It should be no surprise to anyone that Joyce doesn’t agree. She’s been doing her best to distance herself as much as possible from her oldest son and former husband as possible. 

This doesn’t work, as reporters find and hound her just the same. 

With Jeff in jail, an angry population doesn’t have anyone to turn their anger on, except Jeff’s family. And they are all getting harassed. Jeff’s grandma, suffering from dementia, is having her home raided by the police. People are coming forward, claiming to be Jeff’s friends from childhood. We know that’s a like, Jeff didn’t have any friends. Accusations are flying against Lionel, that he sexually abused Jeff when he was a little boy. 

All in all, it’s hard to not feel bad for the Dahmers. Yeah, they were bad parents. They made some pretty serious mistakes. But honestly, no more than lots of parents. And most people don’t go on cannibalistic murder sprees. 

Now, to the court scene. Honestly, this was so hard to watch. 

Dahmer’s attorney tried to convince him that he can plead insanity like Ed Gein. On the off chance you don’t know who Ed Gein is, he’s the notorious serial killer who inspired both Norman Bates and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He killed women who resembled his mother, cut them up, and did stuff to them. And yes, just like it says in this episode when he was caught he sold himself out for an apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on top.

Gein spent the rest of his life in a mental ward, and Lionel would like to see the same for Jeff. It’s hard to argue with him.

But that argument fails. And before sentencing, the families of the victims are allowed to speak.

They have a lot to say. 

This is what I meant when I said the courtroom scenes were unusual. We saw non of the actual trial, it was hopped right over. This is normally a dramatic moment in true crime shows. Instead, we see the impact that these murders had. Dahmer’s actions destroyed his family. He destroyed the families of the people he killed. 

DAvid Barrera, Matthew Alan and Scott Michael Morgan in Dahmer.

There is so much collateral damage when a life is lost. And that, I think, is what this episode is truly about. The extensive, heartbreaking collateral damage of Jeff Dahmer. 

With Dahmer sentenced to fifteen life sentences, I’m honestly not sure how we still have two episodes to go. One I could understand, but two seems a bit much. I’m hoping that the creators have some additional chapters of the story that we haven’t yet explored. 

I guess we’ll have to see. 

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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“The Menu” Gives Us A Bloody Good Time

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Writers Seth Reiss and Will Tracy have outdone themselves with the plot of “The Menu.” Spoilers ahead!

The Plot

Yes, chef!

Tyler and Margot are attending a high-class restaurant located on a remote island for the meal of a lifetime. This meal comes at a steep cost: thousands of dollars ($1,250 a plate to be exact) as well as possibly your life. Those who attend the dinner at Hawthorne are the type who frequently ask: “Do you know who I am?”

Chef Julian does not care who you are, and after years of serving the privileged elite, he has had enough. Julian commands his chefs and the room with a loud clap, his chefs answering him in tandem with a bone-chilling “yes, chef.” Ralph Fiennes as Julian gives a shiveringly scary performance. Julian commands the space as well as everyone in it and Ralph Fiennes is dastardly, dark, and daunting.

Chef Julian’s sidekick is creepy herself, doing his bidding just as the other chefs do. Female subservience is addressed through this side character as well as sous chef Catherine, who created one of the courses that is served to the guests.

This course is introduced by Catherine telling the story of how Chef Julian tried to have sexual relations with her. When she denied him, he refused to look at her in the eye anymore. Before Catherine serves her dish, she stabs Julian with scissors in the thigh, getting revenge for his behavior. Julian acts none the wiser, pulling the scissors from his thigh before serving the diners the hunk of meat with the same kind of scissors plunged into it.

Everyone obeys Chef Julian except for Margot. Women and men in the room accept that this is their last night alive, not protesting too hard or trying to escape. Margot is the only fighter. Perhaps this is why she escapes.

The Verdict

In a world where we have seen a rise in slasher films, The Menu lives in a place between darkly satirical horror and a slasher film.

The Menu is whip smart, remarking on our class system, displaying those who can afford a $1,250 a plate meal on a remote island against the thought of the character of Margot. Margot is revealed halfway through the film to have been a sex worker, hired by Tyler to attend the dinner. His girlfriend, the original intended guest, had broken up with him and Tyler knew that there was never a table for one at Hawthorne.

Tyler knew everyone would die at the meal, yet still involved Margot, an innocent bystander who turns out to be the only one that makes it out alive. Chef Julian does this as it is clear he believes Tyler tainted his final menu experience by not bringing the guest who RSVP’d.

Tyler gets what is coming to him in the end. He comments on each course in mostly negative ways and snaps photos (which was expressly forbidden). Chef Julian asks Tyler to make him a meal since he knows so much more than anyone about cuisine. When Tyler’s meal doesn’t live up to Chef’s expectations, he is killed.

Margot is juxtaposed with the famous and rich at the dinner who can afford such an experience while she is being paid to attend. The film remarks on the lavish actions of the rich in the movie versus those who may not know where their next meal will come from.

Final Thoughts

The food that the film shows is gorgeous and conceptual, Chef Julian giving backstory to each dish. The film is the darkest version of Hell’s Kitchen I’ve ever seen. As a foodie and a horror lover, this film touched on all my favorite genres. It was deep, had something to say, and screamed it at the top of its lungs.

I respect the filmmakers and writers of this movie as it was compelling, engrossing, and kept me guessing, all while remarking on important social themes.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Dahmer, Cassandra

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Episode seven of Netflix’s Dahmer brings the spotlight, finally, to the hero of our story. Glenda Cleveland. 

Glenda was Jeff’s neighbor. And honestly, I can’t think of a worse neighbor. A horrific stench is always coming from his apartment. He has people over, and they make a lot of noise. 

While they’re dying. 

Niecy Nash in Dahmer

If you’ll recall episode one of Dahmer ended with all of his neighbors, including Glenda, being forced to leave their homes. The whole building was declared a crime scene. They’re not given any place to go, of course. 

Everyone’s got a few thousand dollars socked away for an unexpected motel stay, right? 

Fortunately, Glenda was able to get a motel room. And that’s where she is when Reverend Jesse Jackson finds her. 

Glenda pours out her story to Reverend Jackson. The rest of the episode consists of her dark and troubling encounters with Dahmer. 

The most compelling scene, I think, is when Dahmer brings Glenda a sandwich. He’s being evicted, and he knows it’s because she’s been complaining about the smells coming out of his apartment. 

He tries to pour on his little boy charm. He tells her that he got his apartment cleaned, just for her. He brings her a pulled meat sandwich as a present. 

Notice I don’t say pulled pork, because I’m fairly sure it was human meat. Or, it was just drugged.

Or both. 

This episode just hummed with tension and rage. I was so happy to see Reverend Jackson tear into the police in the most polite way possible. I hated seeing what Glenda went through. And even though I know she lives through this horrific encounter, I held my breath the entire time she was alone with Jeff. 

Dahmer is certainly not afraid to jump back and forth between the past and present. But they are careful to never do it in such a way that I felt lost. And I honestly think this was the best way to do it. 

The reason for this is that it adds a level of suspense that Dahmer might have lacked without it. Suspense is something that true crime stories can lack. Especially well-known ones. We have heard this story before. We know how it ends. But in presenting the tale this way, first from one point of view and then another, it reveals sides of it that we may not have seen before. 

Glenda Cleveland, from the trial of Jeff Dahmer.

I loved seeing the story from Glenda’s point of view. She was brave, determined, and selfless. She had every right to be furious at the way the police dismissed her concerns for years. And yet she continued to handle everything professionally. She never stopped trying to help people, even when no one else seemed to care. And for that, she is a true hero. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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