Episode 9

Part 3


As previously stated, “I Will Rise Up” is, in part, an in depth look into the various relationships held within the series. Some of the relationships are quite obvious, while others are not so evident. Being able to see these relationships back to back help us to understand each character a little bit better. Alan Ball is a true genius in that he was able to intertwine each relationship into the story of this episode without having them become distracting to the story itself. This is not a recap of the episode, but an attempt to delve deeper into the characters relationships with each other. Also, I have read all of Charlaine Harris books and will not be speculating on the relationships as they are in the books. In part 1 of this article, Bill and Sookie, Hoyt and Jessica, and Luke and the Fellowship were the relationships discussed; Part 2 focused on Godric and Eric, Tara and Lafayette, and Sam and Andy; Part 3 will focus on the following :

Eric and Sookie – Vampire Boss and Unwilling Employee – Eric is a 1000 year old vampire. He is Sheriff of Area 5 in Louisiana, which covers Bon Temps. In past episodes, we have seen that he is ruthless, barbaric, and conniving and that he controls his territory with an iron fist. He has become aware of Sookie’s usefulness to the vampires and wants her under his control. Sookie is kind hearted, loyal, and looks for the good in people. She doesn’t like Eric, and for good reason. Her loyalties, and her love, lie with Bill. Sookie detests Eric for the kind of vampire he chooses to be. She is appalled at Eric’s treatment of Lafayette, and it rankles her that Bill is his underling. She only agrees to “work” for Eric to spare human lives. In episode 9, we see a major shift in their relationship. Tricked by Eric into drinking his blood, Sookie unwittingly forms a permanent connection to him. That connection truly becomes apparent during a dream Sookie has later that night. In the dream, Sookie and Eric are lying on bed naked and having a rather playful, but intense, conversation about her becoming vampire. We see a side of Eric that shows him to be charming, teasing, playing, loving, caring, and thoroughly tempting. (Totally unlike the Eric of previous episodes. It is unclear if this dream is entirely Sookie’s or if Eric is actually taking an active part in it. We probably won’t know for sure until we’ve seen more episodes.) Though she is reminded of Bill in her dream by Lorena, it is obvious that her relationships with Bill and Eric are in for a change. No longer just an unwilling employee, Sookie will have to face the fact she may become Eric’s lover, unwillingly or not. (It is my opinion that Eric is invading her dreams without her knowing it. I think she will be with Bill for awhile, but her guilt about the dreams will drive another wedge between them. I also think that Eric is using the dreams as a way to tempt Sookie away from Bill. He knows that she won’t be able to resist, so he’ll just bide his time and let her come to him willingly.)

Lettie Mae and Tara – Abusive, but repentant mother and the abused, but needy child – Lettie Mae has been a horrible mother. She is an alcoholic having only become sober in recent months. She abused her daughter emotionally, mentally, and physically her entire young life into her adult life. Now that she is sober, she appears to want to make amends with her daughter. In a recent episode, Lettie Mae tried to give Tara a birthday gift as a peace offering. As a child, Tara was forced to take on the role of caregiver to her mother, and that role continued into adulthood. She had no one she could turn to other than Sookie’s grandmother, who became a mother to her in a sense. Even though she is now a grown woman, she still wants the love and acceptance of her mother. Not finding it, Tara tends to look for it elsewhere in the form of bad relationships with men who have their own problems. It is also her desire for a mother figure that allows her to be so taken in with Maryann. In episode 9, Lettie Mae, with the help of Lafayette, attempt to save Tara from herself and her attachment to Maryann and Eggs. Tara doesn’t realize that her relationship has become volatile. She also doesn’t know that Maryann does not have her best interests at heart, despite Maryann’s feel good “we’re a family” BS. In order to save any semblance of the mother/daughter relationship, these two are going to have to reconcile their past history and start anew. Lettie Mae has her work cut out for her, but Tara is still that needy child that desires the love of a mother.

Terry and Arlene – Boyfriend? and Girlfriend? - This relationship doesn’t seem as obvious to me as some of the others. Terry is damaged goods and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The man is obviously tormented by things he did and saw during the Gulf War. He is awkward at times around women, but he can show a keen insight into a situation seemingly out of the blue. He is the quiet sort and keeps things to himself for the most part. He has complimented and stood up for Arlene in past episodes, but as far as being boyfriend/girlfriend, this has come out of nowhere as far as I’m concerned. Arlene has been married four times. She tends to pick the wrong men. Her last fiancé turned out to be the killer in Season One. She appears to have a little of the party girl in her. She is loud, obnoxious, and speaks her mind. She seems to be the type that is constantly on the prowl for a new man. I’m really not sure what to make of their relationship. The progression of it has come out of nowhere, in due part to Maryann’s influence. If they had been left alone, I’m not quite sure they would have ended up together. It’s one thing to compliment someone on her hair, or to stick up for her when she’s down, or even to hug someone in gratitude, but to base a relationship on it? I just don’t see it. I mean, what do they have in common other than working at Merlotte’s? Nothing, they are polar opposites of each other. If they are able to get Maryann out of their heads, it will be interesting to see if they choose to stay together. For that matter, are they even truly together? I just don’t know.