Here's a teaser video to get you ready for the upcoming 4th season of "." We'll be covering it as usual on our , and if you're too impatient to wait you can check out some .
Sundays at 9:00 EST on HBO
Season 3 of "True Blood" has come to a conclusion, and I've got to be honest with you: it couldn't have happened a moment too soon. Between having to blog both this show and "Mad Men" more or less live, I'd reached the point where I'd begun to Sunday nights...until I realized that, no, it wasn't so much that I was dreading Sunday nights as it was that I was dreading having to blog "True Blood."
But we'll get back to that.
Since I've already watched and written about the show, let's go ahead and just tackle the events of the season finale first, beginning, of course, at the beginning.
So Eric and The King are just, y'know, kinda hanging out in the parking lot and catching some rays, like good buds sometimes do...except, of course, that good buds don't tend to be handcuffed together (unless they've taken their friendship to a, uh, higher level), and being exposed to the rays in question means imminent death. In the case of The King, it's kind of a good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish situation, but for Eric's, it's definitely a case of suicide by sunshine. So is the spirit of Godric really visiting him, or is it just his rational mind trying to get his attention? Either way, Godic's pleas for Eric to forgive The King fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, Sookie's running through the forest to catch something that looks like a cross between E.T.'s ship and a chandelier, but it turns out to be something like running toward the light, since she suddenly wakes up from what was apparently a dream and slaps the shit out of Bill for betraying her ...except that, really, he only pretended to betray her in order to save her . Yawn. As soon as she realizes that Eric's outside, sacrificing himself in order to rid the world of The King, she refuses to allow it, instead running outside and allowing The King to goad her into using her fairy powers to separate Eric and The King from each other. Rather than save them both, however, she slams The King against a wall, dragging Eric inside and leaving The King to burn...although, frankly, I don't know why she didn't do something to actively finish him off, given that he was continuing to threaten her even as she departed.
Oh, why: Sookie offers up her blood to save the day, and once Eric's in better shape, he announces that he wants to spare The King. Yeah, good plan: he sure talks and acts like he's really going to be sparing humanity when he gets released. Sookie sits around, reading Star Magazine and listening to The King rattle on with huge monetary bribes, but she's not letting him out of his chains. As a backup, he tries to make her feel paranoid about the value of her blood to Bill and the other vampires. She openly mocks him for believing that he can bring his lover back to life with her blood. Instead, she pours his remains down the sink and cranks up the garbage disposal. Ew.
Tara's watching Nan and Rev. Steve on the news as Sam whips up a bit of post-coital breakfast for them (mmmm...pancakes), but he's really only using the food to help ease her into accepting that he's a shapeshifter. I'll give her credit: it's about time someone called out the completely insane goings-on in the town. Indeed, she seems to be trying to work her way through PTSD. First, she decides to run home to her Mama, only to find that the Reverend has made a house call. I loved how Tara opened her comments to her mother by saying, "God knows I don't have any business judging anybody," but her mama has decided that she's found her calling: as a minister's wife...after, of course, the minister leaves his current wife. Tara clearly doesn't believe her mother is destined to find happiness, but she gives her best wishes and drives away.
Eventually, she makes her way back home, and there's a momentary thought that she might stab herself to death with a pair of scissors, but, no, she's just going to give herself a quick trim. After a brief heart-to-heart talk with Sookie, where the two friends rekindle their relationship, Tara hops in her car and heads off to parts unknown...or, at least, they'll be unknown 'til next season, anyway.
Jason, meanwhile, is trying to help save his girlfriend's family from being invaded by the DEA, his future career in law enforcement be damned, but her daddy isn't exactly what you'd call grateful. Once again, Jason turns out to possess a voice of reason, but he doesn't get a chance to convince him before her brother shoots Daddy in the head. He threatens everyone unless she leaves with him, but Jason keeps telling her to leave. She thinks the best of her brother, though, and she decides that Jason's the one who needs to take over for her father and keep her people safe. Time to step up to the plate, Jason! We never get to see what he does, though, aside from tipping the family to the upcoming assault and helping them find safety. Another "to be continued next season" moment, naturally. Maybe that's when we'll also finally see Sheriff Andy take a hit of vampire blood. Now that's something I'd like to see...
Hoyt's mother, ex-girlfriend, and, uh, the high school guidance counselor gang up with poor Hoyt at his work site, staging a vampire intervention. It's a waste of time, though: he loves Jessica, he's pissed off at his mother, and he knows the counselor keeps a stash of liquor in his desk. In the end, all it does is convince Hoyt that he really does want to spend his life with Jessica, so he goes off and buys a house, then promptly asks her to marry him. Clearly, they're not going to live happily ever after, since we also get to see Hoyt's mama stocking up on Rev. Steve-approved firearms, presumably to take Jessica down for the long haul. Also, what was that on the floor of Hoyt's new house? A doll...? I couldn't see it clearly enough to tell.
Lafayette's still having some serious vampire flashbacks - including one which, rather surprisingly, involved a momentary cameo from Michael Raymond James, reprising his role of Rene - which leads him to call Jesus in a panic. He manages to pull it together before returning to work, though, and when Jesus turns up, he reveals that he knows magic, resulting in Lafayette responding incredulously, "You're a witch who's a nurse who's a dude."
Sam tries to find out what's up with Tommy not answering his phone, and he finds his place in disarray, all the money gone, and - rather inexplicably - all signs pointing to a desperate attempt to get the place as cold as possible, with the A/C apparently cranked up and the refrigerator door open. What's about? Oh, well, it doesn't matter, because Sam heads back over to Merlotte's, finds that Brother Dearest has swiped the money from there, too, and hits the road to find Tommy. He eventually does, of course, and their last scene of the season ends with Sam firing his gun in Tommy's direction, though - shocker! - we don't know whether or not he actually shot .
Alcide - you may know him as Werewolf Boy - is back in the picture briefly, having returned to repay his father's debt by assisting in Bill's big plan, though he does manage to take time to flirt a little bit with Sookie. Bill's big plan, by the way, involves wrapping The King in silver, then encasing him in concrete. Not a bad idea. What I didn't expect, however, was for Bill to knock Eric flat and try to do the same to him, not to mention sending off someone to kill Pam as well. Thinking Eric no longer a viable concern, Bill turns up at Sookie's place, tells her that he's knocked off both The King and Eric. She's unsurprised about the former, but it's clear that she's horrified by the news of the latte. Bill swears it was something he had to do in order to keep her safe, which he assures her that he will do forever, even at the expense at his own life, saying, "I have never loved nor will I ever love as I have loved you." Cue Eric's appearance on the front doorstep, alive, well, and dripping wet concrete, in order to out Bill's sordid past.
So, wait, all you have to do to get a vampire out of your house is to rescind your invitation, at which point they go flying out the front door? Somehow, that seems too easy.
Time for the final wrap-up. TVampire Queen of Mississippi shows up, dressed to the nines in her best widow attire, thrilled to death about Russell's demise. She's waiting to indulge on Sookie's blood, but Bill informs her that she's fallen for his clever ruse, that he's instead planning to take her down, since he now has nothing left to lose. Cue the Matrix moment where they both leap into the air, then toward each other. Sookie, meanwhile, goes to the graveyard to commune with Gran, but she's told by the fairies that she's not alone, at which point she takes their hand, joins the light, and disappears with them.
And, so, another season of "True Blood" is behind us...and, frankly, I think it might well be the last one I'll be blogging for Bullz-Eye.
Don't get me wrong, I've been a fan of this show over the years and have certainly enjoyed a great deal of it, but this season just wasn't doing it for me, and the one moment that seemed like it was going to be an absolutely kick-ass game changer - The King ripping out a newscaster's heart on live TV - might as well have never happened for all the ultimate effect it seemed to have on the world at large. Instead, we got Jason and the Hill People, Sam's shape-changing family, Tara's PTSD, and a whole bunch of fucking fairies. There were entertaining moments in Season 3, yes, but Russell should've ruled the remainder of the season. Instead, he turned into a cross between Gollum and the Phantom of the Opera. As such, I can't call it anything other than a major disappointment to me.
What were thoughts?
I'd like to begin this week's blog with a plea to the publicists at HBO to provide us with some more photo assets for "True Blood," because I have to believe that you're just as sick of looking at this all-purpose promo shot as I am. But what can I do? We haven't been given new shots in ages, and that's really the most appropriate picture I've got to kick off the proceedings. Basically, what I'm saying is blame HBO, not me. In the meantime, though, have another look at the gift that keeps on giving, week after week after bloody week...
Okay, now that that's out of the way, let me applaud Alan Ball and his crew for offering up an awesome nod to the competing programming - yes, the Emmys - by kicking off tonight's episode with "True Blood: In Memoriam," which was a little bit of genius...and, if I'm to be honest, was more effective that the "In Memoriam" segment. (Loved the song, Jewel, but the pacing of the whole thing was off, possibly because they're not used to scoring it to something other than just some plain old orchestral music.)
On to the episode proper. Bill blows into Fangtasia on a quest to find Sookie, but on his way toward the basement, he's stopped by Pam, who tries to tell him that he just needs to chill out and put things into their proper perspective. He ignores her and heads for the stairs, but he's taken down by Pam's handy-dandy silver spray. As it happens, Sookie looks to have another savior: Eric's Russian stripper girlfriend, who's bitter at being blown off by him - possibly because he's been underestimating her (who knew she was a cardiologist?) - and decides to let Sookie go...and the timing couldn't be more perfect, since she pops up and saves Bill from Pam's wrath. Pam's kinda pissed about the situation, since she's of the belief that things are going to go to hell if Eric isn't able to present Sookie as a gift to The King.
Lafayette and Jesus are coming down from their crazy-ass trip. Jesus was clearly moved by the experience, but Lafayette, while admitting that it was pretty unique even for him, isn't particularly interested in revisiting the situation again...and that was he had his first flashback. But how about that flashback, with all of the dolls coming to life and talking to him? it.
So Jason's girlfriend is a were-panther, eh? You can't blame him for being a little upset at this revelation, especially since - as he informs her - he'd figured that her big secret was "shoplifting or something." He bristles at her suggestion that he might not be a real man, but, hell, compared to the guys in her family, he actually kind of a wuss. With no one to talk to, Jason finds himself wandering over to the the football field, where he finds his young high-school student nemesis from earlier this season alienating his girlfriend and pissing off his teammates from working them so hard, but I can't tell if it's because he's on something or if it's because he's just kind of an obsessive jerk. (It's probably both.)
Hey, Jessica and Hoyt are back together! But is it over again before it starts? At first, I thought it might be, what with her admission to him about the trucker, but, no, he's clearly decided that if she's going to put all of her cards on the table, then he's going all in, too. I could probably follow that line with a couple of other "all in" jokes, starting with her fangs and moving down from there, but I'll stop while I'm ahead. While that's going on, however, Hoyt's ex-girlfriend Summer comes crying back to Hoyt's big, fat mama, who apparently set the poor girl on the path to get her son to marry him. Boy, these two are a perfect pair. Perfectly , that is. God only knows what Hoyt's mama means when she says they're not done by a long shot, but it can't be good.
The King is battling with his tenses before battling with Eric, who arrives, explains why he's so pissed off at him, and does an impressive job of keeping it together when The King unabashedly mocks him for having killed Talbot because he misses his mommy and daddy. Indeed, for a brief moment, it looks as though Eric's actually willing to team up and help The King conquer the world and elsewhere, but The King's not having it...until, that is, Eric pitches the possibility of being able to walk in the sun, even going so far as to say, "If I'm wrong, kill me tomorrow." The King is impressed by the way Eric is wielding temptation as a weapon, but I think it's fair to say that Eric's credibility took a bit of a hit when we learned that his ringtone for Pam is "Ain't We Got Fun."
Tara's crying over Eggs's grave. Boy, that girl's really falling apart this season. Meanwhile, Arlene's still conferring with Holly over her pregnancy - that's not going to go well, I just know it - when a ridiculously drunken Sam blows into the bar, demanding his whiskey. Terry tries to talk Sam down and gets nothing but abuse for his trouble (I can't imagine I'm the only one who cringed when he used the phrase "shell-shocked motherfucker"), and in the end, Sam's such a jackass that his waitresses walk out of him, too. Tara strolls in, but she refuses to help out, instead taking a seat with Sheriff Andy. I love that guy and all his drinking-hot-sauce-out-of-the-bottle ways, but she clearly scared the hell out of him when she told him that she knew the truth about how Eggs died. Similarly, though, I think she was as surprised as I was when he burst into a tearful apology.
What the hell's going on with Sam and Tommy? Now Sam's the one who's pissed off and the one who isn't sure how to deal with the situation. It was nice to see Sam and Tara get that quiet scene together, and I guess it was arguably even nicer to see them drift into each other's arms, even if it was only for some quick, meaningless sex.
And how about Holly? certainly thinks she's got otherworldly powers, but I don't think Arlene's completely convinced. She's still willing to take a shot at putting her faith in this plan, even though she's also still kind of trying to convince herself that she's doing it for the right reasons. Me, I'd think that any plan which involves taking a dagger, drawing blood, and letting it fall into your beverage is probably something you'd probably want to stay away from...and given the state of the sheets after she wakes up, I'm even more convinced of it. I felt bad laughing when Arlene, covering in blood, told Terry, "I think we're losing the baby," especially after he started crying, but I felt better about it when, amazingly, it turned out that the baby was fine! (How is that, exactly?)
Yep, High School Boy on V, which might be why he's such a jackass, but I've got a feeling that Jason's competitive nature is going to lead him to try and match this kid...and I've got a feeling that it might involve him taking V, too. In the meantime, though, he's going back to his were-panther girlfriend, having decided that his situation isn't as bad as it could be (I feel like his standards are getting lower with each subsequent season), even if he possibly have to fight alongside her family in a battle that has nothing to do with him.
Bill's trying to be all sweet and romantic with Sookie while they're on their drive, but it's clear that A) he's worried that she's falling for Eric, and B) he's right to worry. Still, she's willing to try and imagine a rose-colored future with Bill...which lasts right up until they come up on The King and Eric standing in the middle of the road. D'oh! It's back to Fangtasia the four of them go, and the conversation starts to get pretty heavy between Sookie and The King before they slip inside. Meanwhile, Eric says he has a plan. he does...and apparently part of it involves telling The King that Sookie is a faerie, something which he finds positively laughable. The other part, however, involves Eric having to prove that drinking the blood of a faerie will allow vampires to go out in the sun. That pique The King's interest, and the next thing you know, they're both taking a hit off Sookie. As you'd imagine, Eric's first steps into the sunlight are tentative, but the look on his face when he realizes that it's worked is pretty sweet. It's short-lived, of course, but he puts on an amazing front, allowing himself to be burned a bit in order to tempt The King to step out. One quick flip of the cuffs later, and Eric utters the words that have given us the title to this week's blog.
There's no way Eric's going to be departing the series anytime soon. Russell's future, however, seems far less certain.
If I'm to be perfectly honest, this week is the first time since Season 3 began that I've been legitimately excited about tuning in for "True Blood." Granted, you have to take my position with a grain of salt, since I wasn't watching when episodes 3.7 and 3.8 originally aired, so I'm willing to admit that it's possible I could've had that feeling as a result of one of those. Even so, though, I'm willing to bet that just about who watched The King rip out the heart of that poor newscaster at the end last week's episode was desperately seeking an answer to the question, "What's going to happen ?"
I know certainly was.
It was therefore mildly disappointing to have the episode begin not with The King but, rather, with Bill finally revealing Sookie's true identity to her. Fortunately, Sookie's reaction served as an instant salve for the wound: "I'm a ? How fucking !" I think you'd have to say that Bill didn't exactly do the best possible job of playing up Sookie's ancestry, and things only got worse when he was forced to admit that her people were reportedly wiped out of existence by vampires, owing to fairy blood being magically delicious. He can't exactly confirm that the stories are true, but he can at least vouch for the awesomeness of Sookie's blood. This immediately makes her suspicious of why Bill's interested in her, but he swears up and down, "It's not your blood I love. I love you - your mind, your heart, your soul - and I will foreswear ever feeding on you again if that's what it takes to convince you of that." Aw, isn't he just the sweetest vampire?
After coming off as a total bad-ass at the end of last week's episode by killing Franklin with wooden bullets, all of Jason's bravado abruptly vanishes in a puff of PTSD as he flashes back to killing Eggs at the end of last season...and then to killing Eddie way back in Season 1, an event which I'd practically forgotten about. It's more than a little bit late for remorse, though, and Tara's clearly not asking him for have any, anyway. Together, the two of them make sure that there's nothing left of Franklin.
Lafayette and Jesus are trying their best to help get Crystal's dad someplace where they can get him medical attention, while Sam's chugging whiskey and seems to have a flurry of feelings running through his head...including his flashback, which shows a side of him we've never seen nor even imagined. It never occurred to me that he'd used his great powers with great irresponsibility, but I reckon he got what he deserved, now, didn't he? As we learn over the course of the episode, Sam's past is much darker than we'd heretofore known about. Clearly, he's not a man to be trifled with...and never has been. Meanwhile, Lafayette's stock of vampire blood serves to save Crystal's daddy, but he's not exactly grateful for their efforts, and he's still pissed off at his daughter for stepping outside of her own community...whatever that is. Jesus, however, is fascinated by the power of vamp blood. I'm not really a big fan of these moments where they try to parallel something from the real world - in this case, drug addiction - with something from the world of vampires. It always feels too heavy-handed to me, and this was no exception, coming across like a vampire-translated take on "Trainspotting" or "Requiem for a Dream."
All things considered, I don't think it's the worst plan in the world for Erik to be making sure his estate is in order, given that The King's first order of post-newsman-killing business is likely to take him down. Shame about how Erik's new dancer got screwed in the last will and testament, but I laughed out loud at the way the phrase "you gold-digging whore" was both in subtitles spoken in straight-up English.
When Bill turns on the TV, Ms. Flanagan is back on the news and, unsurprisingly, she's decrying The King's actions, likening him to Jeffrey Dahmer. Nice try, but I'm guessing it's not going to sway the tide of negative sentiment toward vampires but so much. Erik turns up, and he and Bill have one of their typically tense heart-to-heart chats, with Bill updating him on the effects of Sookie's blood and Erik offering a tsk-tsk at how disappointed Sophia's going to be. It quickly descends into a back-and-forth about Sookie, which is promptly interrupted by Sookie herself, who mouths off to Erik. In return, he offers a moment of surprising tenderness with his farewell to her, then vanishes into the night.
Hey, look, Rev. Steve is back! I guess all it took to bring him back to the forefront was The King's shenanigans on national TV. Naturally, Arlene is cheering him on, though she really should've known better than to mouth off in front of Jessica, who quickly takes her to task for her loudmouth manner. She's embarrassed, but Tommy thinks her actions are hot, which manages to embarrass her. Meanwhile, Hoyt's new girlfriend, Summer, is continuing to annoy the living hell out of him, but she's playing the sex card. Give him credit for maintaining restraint. (I'm not sure I could've been quite so strong if girlfriend had put my hand on her breast and basically said, "Take me, I'm yours.") When we next see Jessica, however, she's got a whole new problem to deal with...and, ohh, man, here's another real-world point of comparison: crosses being burned in vampires' front yards. That might even be more heavy-handed that Lafayette and Jesus's chemical-induced voyage through time. Thankfully, there's little focus on this event, and the next time we see Jessica, she's being handed the opportunity to get back together with Hoyt...and dismisses it. Ouch. Tommy sure as hell deserved the punch in the face he got from Hoyt, but, holy shit, I can't believe Tommy attacked him like that, especially since the end result was Hoyt and Jessica bonding like they've never bonded before.
Jason and Tara cross paths with Sookie and Bill, and to call it a tense encounter would be an understatement, with Tara's experiences with Franklin clearly having soured her on vampires. Specifically, she's blaming Bill for his refusal to assist her, but I think you could easily argue that she's more than within her right to be develop an anti-vamp stance at this stage of her life. For his part, Bill is putting his faith in Jason to protect the ladies in his absence...but that might be misplaced. At long last, Jason finally opens up to someone - his sister - about Eggs, who tells him that he really needs to be honest to Tara. She says he should be honest, and he says that she wouldn't know anything about honesty since she can already tell what everyone else is thinking. (Nice comeback.)
Things are pretty weird around Merlotte's in the wake of Sam's explosive behavior the previous night. He's pretty calm, but everyone else is walking on eggshells for fear of accidentally setting him off again. He claims to be fine, but is he? I reckon we'll soon find out. The scene with Terry and Arlene outside of the bar was hilarious up until the point where Arlene had to go and spoil the mood by telling him who the father of her baby was. Leave it to good ol' Terry to say just the right thing. What a guy.
When Erik turned up and Sookie was convinced it was a dream, I wasn't entirely convinced that that was the case. It was, of course, but I wouldn't put anything past that guy. After she jolted herself awake, the story switched to Jason, who delivered breakfast to Tara and tried to find the words to tell her about what he's done...and, shockingly, he wasn't very successful. Tara, however, thanked him profusely, thereby making him feel worse. (One thing: despite Tara's comment, I'm pretty Jason isn't just to be dumb.) After a kiss, though, he's jolted to his senses and finally tells her the truth. It goes over about as well as you'd expect...but, really, how could he possibly have expected anything else? I mean, that's like being surprised to discover that his sister has gone out on her own. Where's she gone? To see Erik, of course...and this time, it's no dream. There's a whole lot of kissin' going on at Fangtasia...but, hey, it's like she said: she's irresistible and intoxicating. Is Erik really picking Sookie over Pam? Surely not. And, yet, again, you never know with that guy.
Bill's royally pissed at Jason for letting Sookie out of his sight, but, frankly, Jason's a little pissed, too, and he's not afraid to lash out at Bill, officially rescinding his invitation to allow him inside the house. I'm not quite sure about the ins and outs of the whole vampires / invitations thing, but Jason's words clearly had an immediate effect on Bill, sending him hurtling out the door. But Jason's not alone: instead, he's got a blank panther in his room...a.k.a. Crystal. Oh, mama...
Remember how I said that it was mildly disappointing to have the episode kick off with Sookie rather than The King? Well, you can imagine how annoyed I was, then, to have His Majesty not actually make an appearance until the 49-minute mark of the proceedings. Looks like The King is busy shopping for a new boy toy, but all he's seeing is Talbot's ghost...which is darned unfortunate for the rent boy he's picked up, as he stabs the poor bastard. Vampire therapy is , man.
Things wrap up with Erik throwing Sookie over his shoulder, carrying her down to the basement of Fangtasia, and putting her in lockdown. I'm sure he'd say it was for her own good. Somehow, however, I don't think Bill's going to buy that...
First things first: bless you, John Paulsen, for stepping in and filling my shoes so capably while I was attending the TCA press tour in Beverly Hills. Although the Hilton did have HBO, trying to find the time to sit down on the Sunday nights that I was out there and watch "True Blood," let alone blog about it, would've been a major pain in the neck...vampire-related joke totally intended, of course. Indeed, I'm glad that you did such a good job, as I've spent so much time winding down and ramping back up again that I'm relying on your write-ups to fill me in on the pair of episodes that I missed while I was otherwise occupied.
Things kicked off tonight with Eric zipping into Fangtasia and, with an absolutely-warranted tinge of panic to his voice, informing Pam that he's just staked the lover of the Vampire King of Mississippi. Nice one, sir. Immediately after blowing off Pam's suggestion that they hide out at Sookie's house, good ol' Ginger strolls into the office. "Ginger, dear, where do you live?" he asks, casually. Good idea, bad timing: a battalion of V-Feds have already established a beachhead, with the dark and despicable (yet somehow still kinda hot) Ms. Flanagan glowering at Eric, thoroughly annoyed that his actions have taken her away from pursing the ratification of the Vampire Rights Amendment. After an apparently extreme search of Fangtasia's basement which brings up nothing ("I'm a Virgo," says Eric, "I like to be neat"), Ms. Flanagan sits down sexily and proceeds to take Eric's formal statement, broadcasting it by webcam to the members of The Authority...which, for some reason, immediately brought to mind Springfield Republican Headquarters on "The Simpsons."
Eric dives headlong into his back story, adding his comments about and thoughts on The King's philosophies, including the highly contentious statement, "Fuck The Authority," then wrapping up with a heartfelt explanation about how he wants The King's death to be at his own hand. Ms. Flanagan isn't buying what Eric's selling, however, putting him and Pam on lockdown. Pam doesn't understand why Eric's never told her about the depths of his haunted past, but he basically says, "It's not your problem," instead changing subjects and telling her that it's time for her to become a Maker. Woo-hoo!
The King runs in to find the decidedly disgusting remains of Talbot, which he promptly smears himself with. Ew. Just.... Then he sees that Eric's stolen not one but of his most precious possessions, the other being the artifact which dates back to the King's destruction of Eric's family. Oh, yeah, he's pissed.
Sookie's looking more than a little worse for wear after "making up" with Bill, but after a further bit of action in the shower, there's some healing goin' on amongst the water. You'd think it'd put a damper on her mood to walk out and find a dead werewolf corpse in the living room, but she doesn't even flinch, instead just telling Bill "there's an old tarp out back." She does, however, acknowledge that moving dead bodies aren't exactly the activities of a normal couple. Is she back to trusting him? Not until she gets more information about this secret file she's recently learned about. Bill says it's because he wants to know why Eric's so interested in her, but Sookie calls the whole thing "creepy" and tells him to stop thinking of her as some precious little thing that needs to be protected. The look on his face shows that he knows where she's coming from, but old habits die hard.
So Jesus's Jaguar tattoo holds power over the universe? No, actually, it was just his high school mascot. Funny stuff...and, yet, it's clear that Jesus does have a certain amount of sway over Lafayette. Ruby seems to approve of the end result of the relationship, too, what with her observation, "I'll be damned: maybe God love fags." Nice.
Jason blows into Crystal's place to try and save her from her supposedly evil fiancee, but it quickly becomes clear that there's more to this situation than she's been letting Jason in on. Not, of course, that he notices anything particularly amiss. When she made the comment about how "he can escape handcuffs," I immediately thought back to John's assumption that Crystal and her kin are werewolves. I guess that theory would still hold water, especially given that she pulls vampire blood out of his jacket. They tie him up, carry him into the woods, and Jason calls the police and, in a funny voice, tells them where to find him...but, uh, didn't he do that on his own phone? That's Jason. The next day, he finds out that Deputy Kevin followed Jason's instructions, turned up at the location, and found himself in the middle of an ambush. That's right, you'd look guilty, Crystal! Jason, however, tries to use the occasion to make himself look good, though he looks a little nervous when Sheriff Andy starts reeling off law enforcement acronyms. But what's this...? Andy hasn't sent the vampire blood off to the lab. Why is he hanging onto the stuff? Is he ?
Tara's at Sam's place, looking more than a little bit on edge. She's apparently bared her soul to him (I didn't see the episode, so I'm just guessing), and the end result has him hinting that she might want to consider therapy, an alternative which she clearly has no interest in pursuing. Before the discussion can go any further, however, Terry calls to complain about the "girl noises" coming from the apartment where Sam's little brother is camping out. When he arrives, li'l bro Tommy is nekkid...and so is his buxom new babe, Nicole. Nice pull, Tomster. Sam plays so much of the authority figure that, after he leaves, Nicole asks Tommy, "That's your ?" In Sam's absence, Tara apparently searched the 'net to find a rape counseling group, where she finds her new co-worker, Holly. Bons Temps surely is the smallest of worlds, ain't it? Seemed more than a little bit coincidental, and when Holly sat down to console Arlene about Tommy swiping her tips and her eyes got thin at the mention of the "evil" father of Arlene's baby (who, based on Arlene's comments, pretty much has to be Rene), I started to wonder what might be up with Holly. Is evil?
As Sookie flips through a scrapbook of articles about her family (not sure if it's something of Gram's or part of Bill's file), she gets a call from her cousin, pleading with her to come see her at the aquarium in Monroe, which Sookie does post-haste. Cuz spills the beans about her situation with the Queen of Louisiana and tells her to get the hell out of Dodge...uh, I mean, Bon Temps...but she also wants to know if her son Hunter has the same psychic abilities as Sookie. He does. This is possibly not a good thing for the lad. At the very least, her mother certainly doesn't think it is.
Back at Merlottes, Hoyt tries to introduce his new girlfriend to Jessica (it initially goes just about as well as you'd expect it would, but it has a surprising conclusion, with Jessica trying to bury the hatchet only to find Hoyt admitting that he can't actually his new girlfriend), Jason tries to make sense out of the situation he's going through with Crystal (like that was ever going to go well, though she offers an interesting twist by suggesting that not all werewolves follow the same path as her fiancee), and Lafayette flirts openly with Jesus, thereby outing his relationship to Tara, who - despite her instinct to snap at her cousin - indicates her approval while hiding her depression about her own lack of happiness. A few minutes later, Crystal's dad pops by the place, at which point Sam's had all he can stand and can't stands no more, beating the living shit out of the poor bastard. Despite everything Daddy dearest has done to her, however, Crystal's still in his corner.
Franklin's back...or is he? My wife immediately said, "Maybe he's not really there." Is this another case of PTSD on TV? Apparently not, but, damn, I would've sworn that he was just a figment of her imagination. That was a pretty harsh scene, and I didn't expect Jason to be Tara's savior, but rather than killing Franklin off, it seems like it would've been more effective if Franklin had swooped off and left Tara forever wondering when he might come back to finish her. Instead, it was, like, "Hey, look, Franklin's not dead after all...except, whoops, now he actually is."
Bill's having a strange dream where he's walking on pedal-covered water and seeing...Claudine, I guess? Well, if I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me. How strange that Bill and Sookie enter the same dreamworld when they're asleep...or it a dreamworld? Suddenly, I see why John referred to the sequence in 3.7 as a "WTF moment." Whatever it is, the link apparently resulted from Bill drinking so much of Sookie's blood, and this long, strange trip has provided him with the answer to exactly what the hell Sookie is....though, of course, we won't learn that answer 'til next week. Not that Bill doesn't to tell Sookie about his experience, but he can't get a word out before Sookie tells him what she's learned about the Queen.
Quick question: did anyone else get a serious "Dr. Phibes" vibe from The King when he addressed Talbot's remains? As he vaults forth from the rooftop, we learn that The Authority wipes its hands of the whole incident, preferring to pretend that they don't know anything at all about anything that's happened between Eric and The King, leaving Eric to solve the situation himself. When he suggests he may not be up the task of defeating him, Ms. Flanagan snaps, "Bring me fangs or I will have ." With that, she busts out of the joint and hops her flight to Oregon, but her decision to indulge in a bit of thigh diving is interrupted by...well, I didn't see coming...The King interrupts a live TBBN newscast on the VRA by punching through the chest of the newscaster, ripping out his spine, and closing with a rant which effectively destroys human / vampire relations and serves as a full-fledged game changer not only for the season but, quite possibly, for the entire series.
Greatest "holy shit" moment of "True Blood" ever...? Possibly.
Now, time for the weather. Tiffany...?
This episode was one of the few in the series that didn't begin with a legitimate bang. Bill had just saved Sookie's life, and all that was left was Sookie's (screaming) reaction when she saw Bill again. Nobody in that hospital room was about to die, so after Sookie settled down and 'broke up' with Bill, life went on. Bill doesn't really explain why he went crazy on Sookie's blood, but she explains it away later (to Jason, I think) saying that Bill was near death and couldn't control himself. Um, okay.
This episode was written by Raelle Tucker (her 6th of the series) and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, who is an experienced director but hadn't directed an episode of "True Blood" before. The show always has several balls in the air, but it felt especially scattered in this episode. It wasn't until the final 10 minutes that anything actually .
Everything else was just setup for that final sequence or for some episode down the line. For example, there was Arlene's vision of Rene, which literally had no impact on anything else that happened in the episode. I'm sure it was entirely necessary, but it only made the hour feel all the more frenetic, and not necessarily in a good way.
So let's hit the high points. To me, the most interesting storyline was Eric's continued infiltration of the King's trust. He was playing both Russell and Talbot in order to put himself into position to avenge his family's death. He had to flirt with Russell and get down and dirty with Talbot to get there, but he certainly got there, and it will be interesting to see what happens to him now that he's staked Talbot. It's not like he can blame it on someone else -- both Russell and the bodyguards knew that they were together that night.
Eric's actions essentially saved Bill's (and Sookie's, by proxy) life, because Russell felt Talbot's death and flew off into the night just as he was about to put Bill out of his misery. The fight at Sookie's house was intense, and she's lucky that Bill and Jessica (who just went through a combat training experience at Bill's house) showed up to help. When Jessica ran outside to chase one of the werewolves, Bill was left with the choice of following her or going upstairs to save Sookie, and he chose Jessica, possibly because he to, being her maker and all. Once Russell left, Bill went upstairs and he and Sookie made up in a big, big way.
Meanwhile, Jason's relationship with Crystal takes another turn when she shows up at his place soaking wet after running away from her betrothed. One can only assume she and her kin are werewolves, and Jason's confrontation with her father is only going to put him squarely in their cross hairs. But my main problem with the storyline is Crystal's assertion that she had never been out of Bon Temps -- if that's the case, how in the world did she not at some point cross paths with Jason Stackhouse? In a small town, that would seem to be entirely impossible.
Other than Sookie's flirtation with Alcide, everything else that happened this week seemed to be swirling about on the fringe -- Tara's strange recovery, Lafayette's mom and Jesus's arrival, Sam sending his own mom away, and Holly, the new waitress.
Taking a step back, I can see how some might compare the romantic triangle between Sookie, Bill and Alcide with what apparently goes on in "Twilight," but the books that "True Blood" were based on were published a full four years earlier. So, if anything, "Twilight" is a watered down version of "True Blood," not the other way around. (I'm not saying it is, I'm just saying that the "True Blood" story came first.)
Anyway, Will Harrris will be back at the keyboard next Sunday, so my time steering the ship has come to an end. Moving forward, while some have been critical of the third season, we have all the makings for a strong finish. (Namely, one crazy, pissed-off, 3000-year-old vampire.)
My esteemed colleague, Will Harris, asked me to cover the "True Blood" blog for a couple of episodes while he does his thing at the TCA press tour. So before we move on, let's go ahead and lower those expectations.
First, there's the issue of Lorena, who is about to kill Sookie in the woodshed. (That sounds a little like some backwoods version of Clue, doesn't it?) Lorena marvels at how good she tastes, underlying the ongoing question of the third season -- just what Sookie Stackhouse?
Bill manages to jump Lorena and hold her down while Sookie stakes her. Killing off a minor, yet important character is always an interesting way to start an episode, and it looks like Lorena's hold over Bill is finally over.
There were a couple of scenes in the episode where Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" would have been an appropriate soundtrack. First, to get off the King's compound, Alcide had to kill Cooter and lock his ex-girlfriend in the shed -- instead of putting her down, which will no doubt come back to bite him, pun intended -- before loading Sookie, Bill and Tara up in the truck to get them the hell out of Dodge. During the escape, he kills werewolf, which will only serve to embolden the pack's desire to track him down.
The other jailbreak was Sam's adventure to the dogfights, which have to be one of the most despicable ways to spend a sunny afternoon. After cheering him on when he let all of those dogs loose, I laughed out loud (literally LOL) when he convinced that Rottweiler that he'd be far better off making a run for it than standing there snarling at him.
One question that I have with regard to Tommy's involvement in the fights -- why doesn't he just shapeshift into the biggest, baddest pit bull in Louisiana?
Back to the truck -- Sookie offers up her blood to Bill, and he partakes -- oh man, does he . It's obvious that her blood has an effect on Bill, because he doesn't have any recollection of what happened when he comes to. Funny that Lorena didn't have the same reaction -- it must be something specifically about Bill, right?
Anyway, Tara leaves him at the side of the road, and Sookie's blood has apparently made him resistant to being in the sun. He bolts off in the other direction, which makes me wonder -- why didn't he just use his superspeed to keep up with the truck?
The scene with Jason and Hoyt (and later, Summer) at the house is a great example of why "True Blood" is so entertaining. Creator Alan Ball has so many knives in the air at one time, and does such a great job of keeping track of them all. In this scene, Hoyt pushes Jason forward on his quest to discover the truth about Crystal. Jason wouldn't think to interview the drug dealer he locked up so Hoyt has to think of it for him. Then sweet/stalker Summer shows up for a quick scene that will no doubt set up a few scenes in a future episode. I'd love to see how the writers organize all of these storylines.
As for Jason's 'interrogation' of the drug dealer... He discovers that Crystal is the dealer's cousin, and almost finds out what's up with that 'a-hole she's living with' before the dealer stops himself and says, "Oh, you're smart." That has to be the first time anyone has said that to Jason Stackhouse.
Andy only made a brief appearance in this week's episode, but it led to a great exchange with Jason:
To spill the beans about Crystal, the dealer wants meth, so Jason heads to Merlotte's to see if Lafayette can hook him up. Tara calls to tell him about Sookie, so they both head to the hospital, where Lafayette has one of the best lines of the episode after a nurse starts to talk to Jason about his 'options.'
Truer words were never spoken.
While Sookie was under, we finally got a glimpse into her true nature, but it was more of a moment than anything. She had a cryptic and entirely uninformative conversation with someone named Claudine and then all of the dancing fairies (for lack of a better term) hightailed it into the pond when the darkness came. Before Claudine left, she said to Sookie, "Do not let him take the light from you." Um, okay...
The setup for Sookie's vision was Erik's interrogation of the Queen's human, Hadley, who apparently spilled the beans about why everyone's favorite mind-reader is so important to Sophie-Anne. They used the ol' dying-whisper-in-the-ear trick so that Erik would find out before the audience. Whatever she said, it surprised him, as all he said was: "Well, I sure wasn't expecting ." Now that he knows the reason behind Bill's interest in Sookie, it will surely lead to a few interesting conversations in future episodes.
To wrap up the hour, we head back to Fangtasia for arguably the best scene of them all. Erik, the Queen and the King show up to confront the Magister, who goes on and on about 'the authority' that he's loyal to.
Finally, the King has had enough -- "Perhaps you have not quite grasped the subtex of our earlier exchange, but THERE'S A NEW F**KING AUTHORITY IN TOWN!"
When the Magister is finally convinced to marry Russell and Sophie-Anne, he thinks the King will spare his life.
Not... so... fast.
Russell surprises everyone and chops off his head. The closing credits role as PJ Harvey sings "Hitting the Ground." Fitting.
I'm sure there won't be any consequences to that decision. (Yeah, right.)
Now that’s what I call an opening!
The King drags Sookie into the royal mansion as Lorena’s coming down the grand staircase, Eric and Talbot stroll in, and Bill – who’s kind of been bringing up the rear – is thrown to the floor and declared to be a traitor. Instead of giving up the ghost, though, Bill stakes the King’s bodyguard and attempts to take down His Majesty, too. It proves a laughable effort, however, as Bill is shunted upwards into the ceiling and then comes crashing down on the staircase. Ouch…but now we cue Eric, who steps in and immediately starts sucking up to the King, telling him he’d better hold on to this fine new filly he’s found himself.
Really, you can’t blame Sookie for her response: “Eric, what the fuck?”
There’s a whole lot of pissed-off people in the royal mansion: Talbot’s annoyed that the King isn’t giving him any say in what goes on in their homestead, and Lorena’s angry that Bill’s being sent to the slave quarters to be slain. I’d love to see a cat fight between Lorena and Sookie, I surely would. Lorena might want to wear Sookie’s ribcage as a hat, but I still wouldn’t count Sookie out of any such fight.
The clientele at Merlotte’s is far more discerning that I would’ve expected. Anyone asking the help how the peas are served in that place deserve whatever answer they get...or whatever they find their peas. Obviously, there's still some serious flirtation going on between Lafayette and Jesus, but we'll get back to that in a moment. First, we should have a laugh at the whole Arlene / Jessica plot thread. I laughed at just about every moment those two shared tonight, whether it was Jessica's fangs popping out when Arlene cut her finger, Arlene's completely horrified reaction (particularly her concern that her pregnancy made for an added temptation), or - most hilariously - Arlene's assurance that she takes garlic supplements. In the end, Jessica offered an olive branch of sorts by getting Curlers to offer up a tip before offering herself up as a snack...and, hey, nobody got killed! Looks like Jessica learned something from Pam after all...
Okay, back to the Lafayette / Jesus flirtation. Jesus talked about his past, and, amazingly Lafayette actually seemed to be falling for him, though he clearly was taken aback by the concept of taking it slow. Things looked like they were getting pretty sweet between them...and then, a little later, they suddenly weren't. Oh, sure, they did double-team the hillbillies like they were Jean Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman, but as soon as Jesus learned that Lafayette was a dealer, things went south in a hurry. This, of course, begs the question as to whether or not Lafayette cares enough about Jesus to consider trying to get out of the game...and if Eric will let him do so.
I still don't know what to make of Jason's new lady friend. They're still making out hot and heavy, but it struck me as more than a little ominous when he observed how warm she was, and when she started crying about how she just wanted a taste of something that she'd remember forever and soon started sniffing the air...? To borrow a line from Wire, there's something strange going on tonight, and it's not quite right. But I laughed when she ran off, saying, "Just forget me." Boy, you really don't know this guy, do you? The next thing you know, he's at her doorstep with a big bouquet of flowers and...pardon me while I snicker...wearing his high school letterman's jacket to impress her. Still, you had to feel bad for Jason when her fiancee answered the door and, when he called for her, her reaction was to claim that she'd never seen him before. So, of course, Jason being Jason, he has to get his annoyance about the situation out of his system by smacking around his current high school equivalent...and while he's trying to bang his sweetheart. That's just not cool, man.
“My patience is not without its limits,” says the King to Sookie, taking her to his den and, after lighting a fire for proper dramatic effect, entering into a Q&A session with her. It didn't start out that way, of course, but he's bemused by her...to a certain extent, anyway. It's an educational conversation, though, with the King making her question her humanity with his comments about her powers, question Bill's motives by revealing the file that he's been keeping on her family. She tries to be as honest as possible, but he's not fucking around: he wants to know the deal with her powers. He clearly believes her when she says she doesn't know, later giving her a tsk-tsk and sighing, “Oh, sweetheart, you really don’t know anything at all, do you?”
As usual with Lorena, I find myself leaning toward the concept of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." The sequences with her and Bill were, to be blunt, fucking disgusting. I mean, she cuts him down the middle of his chest, cuts her own fingers, intermingles their blood, and then goes on to flay him. Bill comments that he would've liked to have seen her before the darkness set in, and I think he meant it, but it's far too late for her to turn back at this point. The grotesquery continues, and when the redneck werewolves entered the picture...ugh. Just...ugh.
Tara and Franklin are still sittin’ in a tree, occasionally k-i-s-s-i-n-g, but mostly Tara's just scared out of her ever-loving mind...and, frankly, she's getting much worse at hiding her emotions. Franklin doesn't seem to care, though. He's crazy in love with her...emphasis on the crazy. Still, she's trying her best to manipulate him and his silk pyjamas, and she seems to really make the most out of his request of her to bite him. Time to adapt the Blondie song to "Rip to Shreds," methinks. I have to admit that I didn't expect her attempt to bash in his skull to succeed...and since she didn't actually stake him, I feel certain that we'll see him again before long...but you can't say she didn't make the most of the opportunity provided to her.
I liked the conversation between Eric and the King in the car, with Eric discussing his hatred of werewolves and the King explaining how he uses them by giving them the blood, followed by the King reminiscing about the good ol’ days, talking about how Hitler was right: there is a master race, it’s just not the humans. It isn't long before they've arrived at their destination: the Queen's pad. How sad was it to see her scratching lottery tickets in a desperate attempt to get her fortune back? I feel as though Talbot would be less than thrilled to learn of the King's marriage proposal to the Queen, but it's clear that this would be a marriage of convenience, anyway, given the way he sneered those disparaging comments about her royalty. I knew Eric would jump into the conversation before too long, and so he did, apparently surprising the King with the depth of his threats to the Queen.
I still have no real idea what to make of the storyline with Sam's family, but I always enjoy seeing the news shows in the background, so it was nice that they let the focus settle on this one for a few minutes. I'm skeptical at Tommy's claims that he's not scared of his daddy, but when Mama showed up with her homemade corn fritters and Sam took 'em off to Merlotte's, it was certainly an intriguing conversation about Daddy dearest that also served to reveal that Mama isn't nearly as big a fan of Sam as we'd been led to believe. I was afraid that was going to prove to be the case. Sad to see I was on the right track. So you'll forgive me if I was getting a bit sleepy toward the end of the episode, but...am I right in my suspicion that Sam thinks that Tommy's involved as a contestant in the dog fights? That's some crazy stuff, man.
So things wrapped up tonight with Sookie narrowly avoiding the redneck werewolves, Tara crossing paths with Alcide, and Sookie finding Bill, proclaiming her love, and then getting her ass thrown against the wall by Lorena. We'll see what happens next week, but since I think it's fair to say that Sookie isn't dead, it's not quite as rough a cliffhanger as it might have otherwise been.
"Mmmm, spicy!" So says Talbot, the close personal friend of the Vampire King of Mississippi, as he takes a big whiff from Tara, who's tied up next to the dining room table. Franklin tells him to piss off, and so it is established immediately that these two aren't exactly thrilled with each other, a fact which is decidedly underlined by the breaking out of the fangs a few moments later. (In fairness, Franklin called Talbot "the cleaning lady." Not cool, man.) Before the two can really get down to business, though, Bill, Lorena, and the King are back in the building...and, oh, the look on Tara's face! And it only gets worse when Bill is totally dismissive of her plight. While meeting with the King, we learn that Franklin has a history of causing trouble amongst humans, but for what it's worth, he seems to legitimately like Tara...not that it makes him any less batshit crazy.
So was it just me, or was that a ridiculously anticlimactic departure from the were-club? Unless my memory is failing me, Alcide told Sookie to run, she ran, and...the next thing we see, they're driving off together in the truck? I feel more than a little bit gypped. Anyway, Wereboy's busy reminiscing about the good ol' days with his ex-girlfriend, Debbie, while Sookie's intuition has convinced her that Bill's connected to Russell in some capacity or other. That girl's got a nice set of instincts on her. There's also a touching moment when Debbie stops by to scream at Sookie, at which point it's like we've stepped into an episode of "The Jerry Springer Show," but the scene serves to confirm that Debbie doesn't know anything about Bill.
Eric turns up at the King's pad, duly impressing Talbot, who's pretty clearly undressing him with his eyes. Unfortunately, the discussion between Eric and the King goes south almost immediately when Eric tries to blame Bill for all the shenanigans back in Bon Temps, only to have Bill step out of the shadows behind him. As usual, the tension between Bill and Eric was palpable, which was good to see again, and I loved the expression on Eric's face when he absorbed the information that Sookie was now a free woman. So maybe everyone can work together like one big happy vampire family? Yeah, I'll believe when I see it...
I just don't know what to make of this whole Franklin / Tara storyline. She's petrified, he's crazy...nah, I'm just not seeing a future in it. And, clearly, neither is Tara, given the way she manages to cut herself free and make a run for it. I'm a little skeptical that she could've succeeded in escaping from literally under a vampire's nose, but it doesn't matter, anyway, since she ends up getting chased and captured by a werewolf. So he's planning to turn her and make her his vampire wife, huh? Cue another freaked-out expression from Tara.
Things in the sheriff's office have clearly gone to shit since Sheriff Bud left. Looks like Andy's dealing with Jason's threats of blackmail by giving him a gig, and, man, are the deputies pissed about it. Clearly, the desk job isn't exactly what Jason signed on for, as was proven with the comedy montage of him performing that brilliant paperclip limbo, smearing fingerprint ink everywhere, and so forth. It was deeply dumb, yes, but I laughed in spite of myself. Andy's managed to pull some strings for Jason, but even so, he's still got to take a handwritten exam, which is his worst nightmare...literally. A bit later, while he was out washing cars, he spotted the cute blonde driving by. Frankly, I'd all but forgotten about Jason seeing that girl in the woods, but I enjoyed the Flatt & Scruggs styled music playing while he was in hot pursuit. Again, watching him approach her truck wearing nothing but pants and sunglasses was so completely ridiculous that I had to laugh. Although he invites her to meet him at Merlotte's later in the evening, it looks as though she's stood him up...until he strolls outside and sees her walking away. They end up wandering into the woods, where they make out and she says cryptic things like, "There's no forever for us, only now." What's her deal, anyway?
So Sam's family's moving into their new place, and they're still acting about as white-trash as they have been all along, though Sam's dad is acting even more weird, if that's possible. Although Sam's given Tommy a job at Merlotte's, it's clear that his absence from the homestead is not going well with Daddy dearest. I knew something was up when he called the place looking for him, so when Tommy asked to stay the night at Sam's, I wasn't entirely surprised when things escalated and Dad stopped by for a visit. Damn, I was impressed with Sam's yelling, but what was all that "I own him from head to toe" stuff? There's clearly a secret to be uncovered in this family relationship, and I expect we'll find out what it is sooner than later.
Sookie's clearly pissing Alcide off by checking in on his thoughts, but you can't say she doesn't get results. Once again, he goes against werewolf tradition by taking her to meet his pack leader, at which point they discover that things are even more rough than they'd believed. The pack leader's advising silence, says there's nothing he can do about the King, and his only suggestion is that they just let him do what he wants to do 'til he goes away. Yeah, good plan.
I'm not going to lie to you: I thought the Lafayette storyline tonight was just cute as a button. He's out having a smoke with Tommy when Jesus shows up, and, naturally, he's convinced that the guy's stopped by because his mother's dead. But, no, he's swung by for a social visit...and, by God, he's willing to hang out at Merlotte's for nine hours 'til the guy gets off work. Lafayette's clearly pleased by the kid's intentions, if only because it's so unlike the guys who usually hit on him, and the nervous grin on Jesus's face when he stepped into Merlotte's showed that of these guys are out of their element. After watching them interact during their game of pool, I'm actually kind of rooting for them to become a couple. Of course, there's no way Jesus survives the season. Nothing good ever happens to Lafayette.
Just an offhanded comment about the Jessica / Arlene situation and how funny it was that Jessica hypnotized those customers to not give Arlene a tip. Also, what's up with Hoyt bringing a date to Merlotte's? I realize there's not a lot of places to go for dinner in Bon Temps, but, seriously, that seems a little uncool.
Bill reacts poorly to the very brusquely-delivered rumor that Sookie's having relations with a werewolf, kicks some ass, and steps out to find his former ladyfriend...which he does in rapid fashion, of course. Before that, though, we see Eric looking decidedly shocked at Lorena's presence in the King's domicile, only to have his mind blown even further when Talbot re-introduces him to a crown that causes him to flash back to his Viking origins. Great sequence, by the way, and let me just say for the record that, all things being equal, I would much rather be blogging about a show where Vikings battle werewolves every week, so if some network could get that series greenlit, I'd really appreciate it.
Things wrapped up, of course, with Bill finding Sookie, telling her once again to get lost, although in this case it really for her own good. It's too late, though: The King and all of his men burst into Alcide's pad and try to take Sookie away, only to have her respond by exploding forth with a giant ball of light...not unlike she did to Maryanne, if memory serves. "Fantastic!" says the King. I'll second that.
Tonight’s episode kicks off with Sookie trying to make her new werewolf pal, Alcide, feel a little less crappy about having gotten his ass kicked in Lou Pine’s were-bar. Alcide’s pissed that his brethren would indulge in vampire blood and sad about the departure of his fiancée, the latter feeling only slightly less shoehorned into the script than it did in the previous episode. Sookie obviously felt guilty about the way she was laying hands on Alcide, but one suspects that the guilt only lasted until the phone rang and Bill dumped her. I know he’s doing it because he thinks it’s the only way to save her life, but the effect it’s having on Sookie is clearly traumatizing the poor girl. She gets into a debate with Alcide over what Bill said, why he said it, and what it all means, but it’s quickly made obvious that the last person who she ought to be talking to about her situation is a werewolf dealing with his own relationship problems. Thank God the guy’s got some semblance of restraint, but come the next morning, things somehow end up even more tense between them, with Alcide accusing her of being a doormat and Sookie demanding that he take her to his ex-fiancee’s engagement party. Yeah, ‘cause that’s an event guy wants to attend…
Alcide’s sister, Janice, sure knows how to offer a compliment, telling Sookie that she’s cute and sweet, but only after admitting that she’d’ve settled for a two-bit hooker to get her brother’s mind off his ex-fiancee. Between what Janice said and what Sookie heard her thinking, it appears there are some serious parallels between the relationships of Sookie and Alcide, insofar as how long one should suffer through first love before realizing that it might not be worth all the trouble. But I digress, when I should be pointing out how Janice made Sookie look like Joan Jett’s hot little sister. ( suggested that I throw a "Sandy from 'Grease'" reference into my write-up. I'm guessing this is a reference to the "tell me about it, stud" transformation.) Unsurprisingly, Alcide isn’t exactly pleased to hear the news about Debbie’s situation, but he nonetheless agrees to help Sookie get into her party...which we'll get back to discussing in a little bit.
Sam’s ready to kick his little brother’s ass for sneaking into his office, but in the process of trying to hunt him down, he stumbles upon his family’s van and learns that they’re temporarily camped out in his parking lot because of unpaid rent. Mom and Dad are less than thrilled at the news, but they’re not in any way surprised, either. Meanwhile at Merlotte's, Jason tries to buy a round for his boys, but he ends up suffering pangs of jealousy over some young high school punk, while Sheriff Bud really retiring, apparently, and he’s been given a pair of “dancing shoes” as a farewell gift. The revelation that Andy’s taking over the reigns of command pisses Jason off, though, sending him over to start some shit with the aforementioned young punk. Jason might’ve confused the kid with his “ten years from now” speech, but it actually made more sense than most of the things that’ve come of his mouth on this show. Also, Jessica's working for Sam as a hostess...but not a waitress, owing to the fact that she's forever trapped at the age of 17 and therefore unable to sell alcohol for all perpetuity (have these people never heard of a fake ID?)...but being out in the open leads her to be spotted by a former Bible-study classmate. Clearly, she's got the hang of this glamoring thing, but too bad Hoyt got the wrong impression by only seeing the situation from a distance. So Hoyt's jealous, Deputy Jones and Jason are both pissed, Arlene’s sobbing because the number of redheads employed by the bar has suddenly doubled…yep, it’s just another night in Merlotte’s. Oh, and by the way, Sam's family is having a cookout in the parking lot. Son of a...
Tara’s baring her soul to Franklin and telling him every single thing she knows about the Sookie / Bill relationship, but she also finds herself opening up about her feelings toward Jason. It was way creepy to see Franklin mouthing the exact words that Tara was saying to Sookie at the moment she was saying them. For a moment, I thought that he might actually feel something for Tara, but that theory went out the door the second he jumped her by the front door...and, yet, though he tied her up and abandoned her, he didn't leave for dead. Eventually, of course, he returned to her, asking her if she missed him with apparently no sarcasm. Hmmm, I guess he really have feelings for her, even if he can’t quite determine what they are. Either way, he takes her on a ride, calling their time together less a kidnapping than an opportunity. She’s scared shitless…and probably should be.
Okay, for as disgusted as I was by the sex scene that ended the previous episode, I still had to laugh when Lorena called it “the best sex I’ve had in decades” and cracked her neck. Bill quickly put a damper on any emotion she might’ve felt during their encounter, though. She’s just as deluded now as she ever was, convinced that he’ll come around eventually. Ain’t happening, Lorena. Later, Bill bonds a bit more with the Vampire King of Mississippi, who’s puffing away on a stogie and quoting Rudyard Kipling (“a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke”) while Bill’s trying to confirm that Lorena’s days are numbered. To do so, he quickly sells out Eric and the Vampire Queen. Attaboy, Compton!
The sight of Eric hovering outside Sookie’s window was pretty funny, but within moments of her inviting him into her room, I knew we were looking at some kind of dream sequence. I only wish the dream had gone on a little longer, ‘cause, damn, Anna Paquin was lookin’ good! I guess it’s a testament to my “type” that the sight of the stripper made me go, “Yeah, whatever, now get back to Sookie.”
Despite his new car, Lafayette’s sales gig looked like it was taking a serious turn for the worse until Eric stepped in to save the day. Clearly that’s not going to happen every time, but I guess it serves to show that Lafayette is not alone in this endeavor, and they’d better recognize that fact. It seems weird to see Eric and Lafayette talking shop, but it didn’t last long. The next thing you know, Eric’s getting word that Fangtasia’s being raided, and…hey, it’s our man Zeljko doing the raiding! Thankfully, Eric temporarily talks down Zeljko, thereby sparing Pam for the time being.
When Sam tried to bond with Tommy, I couldn’t imagine it was going to pan out. Tommy’s not exactly the sentimental type, based on what we’ve seen thus far. But he is, though, acknowledging the guilt he’d feel if he tried to forge his own path and leave his parents on their own. In the end, Sam gives his family a place to stay ‘til they get back on their feet, provided there’s no stealing or drinking. Yeah, I wonder how long will last...
And, now, we come to the last portion of the episode, where storylines began to converge. Tara and Franklin's trip ended at the resident of the Vampire King of Mississippi, who was - as his longtime companion informed them - not home. Where was he? Out and about with Bill and Lorena. Poor Bill found himself playing the part of the procurer again, a thankless job if there ever was one, but at least he ended up getting a few confessional-esque moments with a really hot stripper before taking her back to the limo to get the lifeblood sucked out of her. While he was gone, however, The King left Lorena alone in the limo for a bit, and the expression on her face led me to think that we were possibly about to see the last of her. Instead, I was surprised to see His Majesty stroll into the werewolf bar where Sookie and Alcide were hanging out. Sookie hung tough in her disguise - it was particularly hilarious when Gus looked at her and thought, “She looks familiar. Did I bang her?” - but Alcide barely kept it together when dealing with his ex, who's either really under the influence of her new friends or just a complete bitch...or possibly even both.
Tonight's episode was one of the darkest "True Blood" installments we've seen in awhile, but it wasn't as disconcerting as last week's, so it felt like a major improvement. I'd even go so far as to say that it was the best episode of the season to date. Let's hope the various storylines continue as strongly next week.
Visit Premium Hollywood for more episode blogs!