Thursday, September 15, 2011

‘True Blood’ Open Thread: I Want to Do Bad Things To You

Yowch - folks are still pretty mad about S4 storylines...

This post contains spoilers through the fourth season finale of True Blood. And lots of rage. I should talk about the events of the season finale of True Blood, but before I do, I think it’s important to discuss something that didn’t happen. The most important — and most emotionally grounded — event that began this season was the brutal and repeated physical and sexual assault of Jason Stackhouse by the female werepanthers of Hotshot. The assaults themselves were tremendously uncomfortable to watch in a way I thought was powerful. The women involved, who are genetically and by means of acculturation effectively part of a patriarchal cult, were almost uniformly unaware that they were committing assault, with the exception of a young panther who helped him escape. The assault was set up to provide an interesting and useful gender-reversed set of issues, raising questions about Jason’s prior sexual reputation, the fact that men can respond physically even when they aren’t consenting to sex. And rather than dealing with it in any systemic way, the show essentially brushed it off with a scene where Jason decides God’s punishing him for sleeping around. Last night, rather than considering the lingering effects of the attack after Hoyt tells Jason there’s something fundamentally broken in him, the show just punted. Jason’s not a panther, so apparently, the lack of magical significance to his assault means it doesn’t have much emotional or human significance either.

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