My Thoughts on True Blood Season Three

For various reasons, I was behind the times with True Blood this season, and only recently did I sit down and get through season three. I know our own Madison reviewed each episode every week, and I’m working my way through those as we speak, but I just wanted to share some of my own thoughts about the season.

I thought it started out pretty strong, and was better than the Maryanne craziness of season two, but ultimately fell apart for a number of reasons, and I’m worried for the future of the show, as I think it’s just running out of ideas.

Nothing intersects. There were two distinct plotlines in season two, the Fellowship of the Sun kidnapping Godric, and Maryanne’s mind control of the town. This season? It seems like practically every single character has their own story, and none of them have anything in particular to do with each other. Read on to see what I mean.

Don’t mind me, I’m just here to be British and creepy and give Tara something to do for 12 episodes.

Tara’s tale of being kidnapped by Franklin had barely anything to do with Sookie and Bill’s adventure, and it just made her jumpy and whimpering all season. I know the psychological effects of rape are a big deal, but it more or less took her character out of the equation the entire season.

Sam meeting his family was initially interesting, but ultimately stupid. The father had his shapeshifting wife and son enter dogfighting contests? That’s incredibly retarded. They even showed a flashback which had Sam as a master thief in his glory days with his ability to turn into small creatures. There has to be a million different ways to make cash with that ability, and dogfighting just didn’t make any sense. Sam kicking his brother out because he was drunk once and having him come back and rob him was a stupid climax to that family drama. And note, this had nothing to do with anything else going on.

My least favorite subplot of the season was Jason Stackhouse’s adventures with the werepanthers. WEREPANTHERS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was excited to see Jason becoming a cop, but then these stupid inbreds came along and ruined that whole plotline. I HATED that stupid girl he was always trying to impress. Note that in the entire season, only one of them changed into a panther, and didn’t do it for any particular reason other than to show that it was possible. Why couldn’t they have just been a commune of inbred family members supported by drug dealers? Oh, because this is True Blood, that’s why, and everything has to be magical.


This leads to Lafayatte’s adventure, where he finally meets a nice guy named Jesus, and a bad V trip reveals to him that his own grandfather was a voodoo witch doctor, and Jesus has actually been trained to be a witch. I assume this will come up more in the next season, but I feel like between this and werepanthers, we’re really stretching for more supernatural beings here. I was really fine with just vampires and shapeshifters in season one to be honest.

Werewolves are f*cking stupid. Yeah, I said it. In True Blood, they have no real powers, except when they’re hopped up on V. Tell me why it’s better to have a bunch of wolves patrolling your grounds than say, a bunch of humans with assault rifles? Bullets travel faster than wolves after all. They’re just a lesser form of shapeshifters, as Sam could change into a wolf if he really wanted to. He could also probably change into a bear or a lion if he saw one, making him way cooler. The wolves here just weren’t at all powerful, and never felt like a real threat.

I liked this dude’s character, but werewolves are just awful at everything.

The main plotline of the season was Sookie, Bill and Eric’s involvement will Russell, king of Mississippi. We discover that Sookie is part faerie (not fairy), which is implied is a race of aliens with telepathic and telekinetic powers that the vampires wiped out centuries ago for their delicious blood.  Sadly, out of all the craziness in this season, this was the new breed of creatures I found most believable.

I did not understand Bill Compton at all this season. He went  bad, then good, then bad, then good, and I guess it was all to protect Sookie, but it never really made all the much sense. Then at one point he attacks her because she was healing him and he lost control. Hasn’t she healed him with her blood from near death a few times? Why was this time different? It felt like a plot device.

The end of this season was just awful. Eric hatches a rather brilliant plan to kill Russell, but then a vision of Godric appears and tells him to forgive him. That’s all well and good, but the minute he’s healed he’s going to rip the heads off him, Bill, Sookie and anyone else involved. Their new solution is to wrap him in silver and put him in concrete, but ghost Godric still disapproves of this. It’s said that it will only contain him for 100 years, which as Russell puts it, is a “nap” for him, and surely he’s just going to come kill them and anyone they care about the minute he’s out. Then Bill knocks Eric into a hole and fills that up with cement because he knows about Sookie.

“Sure you’re thirty times my age, but it’s worth a shot!”

Unfortunately, for reasons that the show doesn’t even attempt explaining, Eric escapes immediately. Did Russell escape immediately too? If Bill wanted all those who knew about Sookie to meet “the true death” as he says, why didn’t he just jump down there and stake the both of them once and for all? And I never understood why after Russell ripped out a news anchor’s spine on the air, why the entire vampire nation wasn’t after him, and somehow it was still just up to Eric to take him down all by himself. It was a bit late for Nan Flanagan to keep things quiet, no?

I think between vampires and shapeshifters and maenads and werewolves and werepanthers and voodoo and witches and faeries, True Blood has just exhausted itself and has lost any semblance of being a remotely plausible reality where humans and vampires now coexist because of True Blood. The Bill and Sookie rollercoaster is just annoying at this point, and all the subcharacters we all know and love are completely disjointed from each other, and relegated to insipid storylines.

I like True Blood, or else I wouldn’t have watched it for three seasons. But it’s got some serious storytelling issues that need to be rectified if the show is to go on.

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  1. Eric escaped immediately because Pam detected that he was in danger as soon as it happened and went to save him before the cement dried. The same can’t be said for Russell because Eric killed his lover, the only one who would’ve picked up that he was in danger.

  2. I have to wonder if the creators are trying to appease people who have read the books but also use their own ideas? I agree there was just too much this season, compared to the past 2 anyways and instead of really one bad guy there were multiple. I adore Russell and hope he comes back and I miss Franklin too!

  3. Glad someone agrees with me on the werepanthers and Jason’s devolving plotline. I’ve always hated Tara, so if losing an awesome character like Franklin is what gets her off the show, then I accept it. In reference to the Eric/Pam thing Sewell explained, I also felt that was poorly handled. Its probably something that is referenced much more in the books, but I pretty much started watching True Blood online halfway through season 3, so I watched them all as a marathon. If that power was something vamps were possible of, I can really only think of maybe once where it was used before. Hey, at least they didn’t kill Russell or Jessica- those would be deal breakers for me on True Blood.

  4. I was sorely dissapointed with this last season for a number of reasons. It’s like the people who write this show didn’t even bother to read the books, they just looked it up on Wikipedia and said “okay we can make a show out of this.”

    I’ve always liked that the show has been different from the books, but this season would have been much better if they had stuck a little closer to the source material. I’m almost afraid to watch the next season…

  5. Agreed.

    The third was certainly a step up from the way two had ended, but then it just…slowly started rolling down hill.

    Sookie went batshit and freakin’ annoying.

    I don’t remember the third book being so…muddled. That whole book was, Sookie finding Bill. Then saved Russell, went to his house, found Bill, killed Lorena, and left. Just to have to call Russell’s place and tell his people NOT to kill the Bubba/Elvis. This season was totally weird. Really, the only thing that got me through most of it, was Franklin, and they killed him! Not cool. He doesn’t die yet. He give Tara to another vampire, who is way worse than he is. Then Sookie gets Eric to help her somewhere down the line of books but only if he tell her what they did during his…uh…temporary condition in book 4.

    As much as I hope it doesn’t happen, Tara with more than likely be back.

  6. Somebody needs to forward this to Alan Ball, STAT.

    They’ve lost all control of their show. I watched every episode from about 7 onward thinking “they really have no idea what they are doing or where this is going, do they?”

    It’s like they hired a different writer for every episode and told them, “do whatever you want! seriously, we don’t care! It’ll be a fun suprise when nothing makes any sense to the fans!”

    It’s hard to believe that this show used to be taken seriously and that Anna Paquin won a golden globe…

  7. The show is now so far off the books…

    Tara’s plot was only occasionally mentioned, Sam’s family was completely different, Sam didn’t freak out, the werepanthers made a whole lot more sense, and instead of Russel going batshit insande, he at the Queen of Louisiana actually went to war and mostly killed each other off. Bill never did all the flip=flopping, the faerys haven’t been revealed yet, etc.

    Marianne in season 2 only had about 50 pages in the book, and wasn’t some God-creature.

    They’re not ruining the show by trying to stay true to the books, it’s because they’re going away from the books.

    Me & wifey are starting to get sick of the show.

  8. Wow. Thank you for putting my issues with last season into words. I really don’t know what happened. Season 1 had such a cool organic feel with the fantasy intersecting with real world commentary. Hopefully they clean that shit up.

    Also of note. Why does Tara have like 800 love interests? Remember that quick scene where she kisses Jason? I mean, that after all the labor of introducing us to the werepanthers. Its almost as if the writers realized that plot line was useless and they tried to retroactively correct it.

    True Blood already has a big cast of good characters. They don’t need to keep exponentially adding to them.

  9. I love the books, and watched season one and two, but the more season three diverged from the books, the less sense it made, so I’ve quit watching the show altogether. I had such high hopes for it too.

  10. I love this blog — Paul, you in particular. It’s like you read my thoughts and then just write them down for the world to read..

    Even though I can’t stop watching, I can’t help but get annoyed by all things you listed. It seems like they could’ve taken a lesson from the people who wrote Buffy and/or Angel..

  11. I still love the show, and if history tells us anything then a bad season doesn’t make a bad show…as long as it recovers from it.

    I don’t think it was a bad season and I enjoyed it, but it WAS a lot more all-over-the-place than Season 1 and 2.

    I almost feel like they wanted to get this season out of the way to get to the next one, and I am hoping that is the case. Jason’s werepanthers debacle might be interesting in the next season but I hated Crystal and I am disappointed that he didn’t make cop. He would have been BRILLIANT as the law and deputy to Andy.

    Sookie’s faerie thing is a bit meh, but lets see where they go with it.

    Russell was great, but I have a suspicion that Bill is going to go evil…which would be great.

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