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This episode opens with the family members of last episode’s deceased getting notified. Sookie calls Jackson, Alcide’s father, and Jason calls Hoyt to tell him about his mother. Jason becomes distraight after this phone call as it is still very painful that Hoyt has no memory of their friendship. Jason wants to console him but Hoyt asks if he knows him.

Pam and Eric are on a private plane and the two disagree on where they should go. Pam wants to go to Baton Rouge and start with questioning the mayor about Sarah’s location while Eric decides that the pair will go to Shreveport. Eric wants to get Willa even though she’s surely upset that she was abandoned.

Sookie visits Arlene’s children and speaks with them about staying strong. She decides that the only way to rescue Arlene and Nicole is to bring back Holly’s memories, no matter how badly she wants them to stay buried. Holly lets Sookie make her remember and they discover that the Fangtasia dungeon is where Arlene is being held. They also learn that Kevin is dead and Jason and Sam go tell his wife, Rosie.

TrueBloodS7E4 Sam and Jason notifying Rosie of Kevin's death

Flashback of Fangtasia

1986: The absolute best part of this episode is the flashback to Eric and Pam arriving in Shreveport from France after the situation with the Japanese corporation. The Magister gifts Pam and Eric a video shop which they are required to run and give 80% of the profits to the Authority. Eric is appointed sheriff and the Magister explains that this is because the Authority does not trust him and this way they can keep him close.

1996: We get to see Ginger as a college student come into the video store looking for vampire movies. Ginger asks for an application to work for Pam and Eric.

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2006: Ginger arrives to the video store with a big chair that we know later becomes Eric’s throne in Fangtasia.

TrueBloodS7E4 Ginger in 2006

Pam listens as Ginger tells her an idea for a vampire bar (now that vampires are out of the closet) called Fangtasia. Pam loves the idea and glamours Ginger into thinking Pam came up with the concept.

TrueBloodS7E4 Ginger and Pam in 2006 at the viedo store

These flashbacks were so fun. Getting to see the origin of Fangtasia alongside the crew trying to rescue their friends from inside Fangtasia was very theatrical. Seeing Pam, Eric, and Ginger in their evolution of the relationship was super compelling and cool. More of this. Loved this.

Jessica is refusing to eat still resulting in her bullet wound not healing. James calls Lafayette and between Sookie and Lafayette, they get Jessica to eat and heal. It is clear that Jessica feels guilt over killing Andy’s daughters because that was the last time she ate.

TrueBloodS7E4 Lafayette convincing Jessica to eat

Time For Action

Bill and Sookie assemble the team of willing vampires and humans to rescue Arlene and Nicole. Eric and Pam show up and join the fight after Eric has a super tender moment with Sookie. The compassion that Eric shows her in this private moment was soft and I loved seeing this side of Eric.

TrueBloodS7E4 Eric hugging Sookie

Eric summons Willa – who is clearly pissed that she was abandoned at two weeks old – and demands her to join them and commands that they discuss their personal issues later.

TrueBloodS7E4 Willa being angry at Eric

The Recovery

Sam sneaks into Fangtasia as a rat through the alternate tunnel only Pam and Eric know about. He tells the captives what is going on and that the vampires that are about to enter after him are friend, not foe. As the vampires get ready to enter, the infected vamps take Arlene upstairs and begin feeding on her. It’s not looking too good for her but Eric creates a distraction by knocking on the door and asking for shelter.

Eric says he brought his own human and Sookie enters the doorway with him. The infected vampires let them in since Sookie smells delicious. Just as one is about to attack Sookie, a fight breaks out. A vigilante group including Vince, Rosie, and Portia show up and throw Molotov cocktails into Fangtasia. All of the vigilante group are killed when the infected vampires attack them.

In the chaos, Arlene is to the point of near death. Sookie looks into her thoughts and sees that Terry’s spirit is visiting her. Terry encourages her to stay and Sookie gets a clean vampire to give Arlene blood. Arlene recovers and looks like she’ll be okay. Whew. I’m glad we won’t be losing Arlene.

TrueBloodS7E4 Sookie holding Arlene

Bill and the vampire team kill all of the infected vamps and everyone we care about comes out alive. Sookie and Eric share a look as the episode ends.

TrueBloodS7E4 Bill, Jessica, Pam, and Violet look on to the dead vampire puddles outside Fangtasia

This episode as well as the last were extremely action packed and thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat. This final season is not disappointing – they are some of the best episodes of the entire series. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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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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