Another week, and another solid episode of True Blood. I wasn’t terribly happy with the way Season Two ended up, but True Blood, in my opinion, has more than made up for it with Season Three. Last week, Eric, Bill, Tara, and Sookie all ended up at Russell’s mansion, each of them there for different reasons, and Sookie once again showed off whatever power it is that causes light to emit from her hand. Jason fell for a mysterious woman named Crystal, Lafayette really dug his new friend Jesus, and Sam started to realize that there’s something off about the relationship between his father and his brother. This week, the ante has been upped quite a bit, and this was likely the bloodiest episode of True Blood to date. Keep reading for the full review and, as always, there will be spoilers.
While everyone is still shocked and dazzled from Sookie’s light display, Bill tries to escape. He breaks off a piece of wood from Russell’s staircase and plunges it into the heart of one of Russell’s guards, killing him instantly. I forgot how messy it got when a vampire gets staked; I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen that since Season One (the Fangtasia bartender and Jason and Amy’s vampire hostage, specifically). Bill then leaps on Russell’s shoulders and attempts to kill him, as well, but Russell laughs and swats Bill away like a harmless fly, explaining that his age alone makes him way out of Bill’s league. Despite Sookie’s protest, Russell orders Bill to slave quarters, where he is to be killed by none other than Lorena. Sookie looks to Eric for help, but Eric makes it perfectly clear that he doesn’t care about Sookie.
Of course, we know from Eric’s dreams and blatant fascination with Sookie that this isn’t the case; he’s clearly plotting something against Russell. By now, I think it’s clear that Russell was – through the use of his wolves – responsible for the death of Eric’s father, and so Eric will stop at nothing to see his father avenged. I mentioned last week that maybe Eric, as well as all older vampires, became bisexual since sexuality is a human condition, but now I think it’s also clear that all his flirting with Talbot and Russell is just part of his scheme to endear himself to them. Later, when Eric and Russell drive not to see the Magister but instead to see Queen Sophie-Anne, Eric continues his charade when Russell explains to him that he wants to see the human race wiped out. It’s about time we had a vampire with global ambitions, I say. With Sophie-Anne desperate and at Russell’s mercy, and after a very real threat from Eric, she agrees to marry Russell.
Back in Bon Temps, Lafayette and Jesus play pool and flirt with one another when, just before closing time, an annoying customer comes in and forces Lafayette back to the kitchen. Arlene complains to Jessica that all her customers have stiffed her on tips that evening (thanks, of course, to Jessica’s glamour job from last week), and Jessica, feeling pretty bad about the whole thing, tells Arlene she’ll take care of it. Jessica glamours yet another customer, convincing the woman to leave all her money on the table and to go to the women’s restroom. I love when Jessica shows her bad, rebellious side, and she does it here by drinking from the customer’s neck in the restroom, wisely wrapping a scarf around the woman so as to hide any bite marks from Arlene.
Meanwhile, Jesus and Lafayette continue to get closer, but I found it kind of interesting that Lafayette doesn’t have sex on the first date. No, not because he’s gay, but because he always seemed so sexual to begin with. After all, wasn’t he turning tricks for Melvin from Office Space in Season One? Ah well. Anyway, back at Lafayette’s place, Jesus tells Lafayette that he takes the displayed religious items pretty seriously, which I guess you could expect from a guy named Jesus. I’m really curious as to what his deal is, and I still don’t really know. I mean, it can’t be that obvious, can it? Later, after some rednecks start bashing Lafayette’s sweet ride and it’s revealed that he’s a drug dealer, Jesus storms off in disgust. Hey, Jesus, did you really think a cook drove a car like that? Come on.
We don’t see too much of Andy this episode, but there was plenty of Jason, who seemed to have been doing his best Andy impression by picking on the local high school stud. I’m not really sure where that came from – aside from the obvious jealousy – as Jason is usually pretty happy and carefree. He’s still really into Crystal, but right when things start to get hot and heavy with her by the lake, she starts sniffing the air and runs off. Determined to see her again, Jason goes to Crystal’s home with a bunch of flowers, only to have her fiance answer the door. Crystal’s fiance is covered in scratches and bruises, and – correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t think he was one of the guys who got his ass beat by Lafayette. Meaning, I think it’s Crystal who did that to him, and that’s the reason she didn’t want to stick around Jason too long, for fear that she’d do the same to him.
Speaking of scratches and bruises, Sam begins to suspect that the reason his brother is both battered and fearful of his father is because his father has been using him in dogfighting rings. Makes sense, I suppose, and I’m glad it wasn’t molestation. Still, I’m not sure why Sam’s brother tolerates any crap from his father, so there must be some power his father has over him.
OK, now to the good stuff. I don’t know if Franklin is going to be back, because even a vampire probably can’t survive the smackdown that Tara layeth upon him. After conning Franklin into thinking that she loves him and even going to far as to bite his neck and drink his blood, Tara slips out from under his arms while he sleeps and grabs a spiked mace from the wall of the bedroom. I thought for sure Franklin would wake up at the last minute, but I’m glad I was wrong. Tara literally bashes Franklin’s head in and, silver and wooden stakes be damned, I think she killed the shit out of him. It was awesome. Earlier, Tara had “thought” to Sookie her plan of escape, and so once Tara free from Franklin, she tricks a dumb werewolf into letting her into Sookie’s room. The two girls are about to make a break for it, but Sookie insists on staying to find Bill. I think Tara summed up my thoughts perfectly when she told Sookie, “You’re a f*cking idiot.” Good for you, Tara.
Finally, Sookie comes upon Lorena and Bill, the former having tortured the latter for hours. Earlier, Coot and his trashy girlfriend intruded and drank from Bill as he lay dying, which is somewhat poetic considering that’s exactly what Bill and Lorena used to do back in the 1930s. Bill is in real bad shape when Sookie arrives, and I doubt he’s well enough to stop Lorena from sucking Sookie dry. That’s exactly what she starts to do, though, and we’ll have to wait until next week to see the fates of Sookie and Bill. Tara did run into Alcide on her way out of Russell’s mansion, so maybe they’ll go back for Bill and Sookie.
Personally, I thought this was a great episode, and I’m happy to see that three seasons in and True Blood still has appeal. I especially loved Tara destroying Franklin, and it looks like we are going to see some very dramatic arcs in the future. True Blood has its share of haters, but it’s their loss. What did you guys think?