Last week’s episode of True Blood was a bit of a let down considering how many great and/or ridiculous episodes the series had managed to rattle off in a row. In what’s been an otherwise terrific season – already much better than last – last week’s episode was slow and didn’t get into anything really new. That all changed this past week, though, and while we still don’t know exactly who or what Sookie is, True Blood is going in a direction that I didn’t foresee. Russell, ladies and gentlemen, is done screwing around. Keep reading for the full review and, as always, there will be spoilers.
Eric knows he’s in deep trouble after ultimate donkey punching staking Russell’s lover Talbot, so he flies back to Fangtasia to warn Pam about the impending showdown with the Vampire King of Mississippi. However, Nan Flanagan arrives with her silly-looking Authority soldiers, and announces that she’s there to get an official statement from Eric with regard to the disappearance of the magister. You’d think the Authority’s soldiers – who must presumably be vampires themselves – would look a bit more threatening. And what’s with the guns? Pretty useless unless they’re loaded with wooden bullets, which, as we see later on, isn’t such a far-fetched idea. Anyhow, Nan transmits Eric’s statement directly to the headquarters of the Authorty, wherever that may be, and it’s clear that these vamps are well-connected. I’m guessing that we’ll find that vampires are much more controlling and embedded in human civilization than humans have ever conceived. Eric – smartly – comes clean about the magister’s murder by Russell, Russell’s plan to rise to power and destroy humanity, and Eric’s own desire to avenge his family. Nan takes this all under consideration and instructs Eric and Pam that they’re on lockdown until the Authority can render a decision. Fortunately for Eric and Pam, the vampire “government” functions a lot more expeditiously than our own.
Later, Nan returns and informs Eric and Pam that the Authority wants to wash its hands of the whole situation, which is really just a diplomatic, clandestine way of authorizing Eric to dispose of Russell himself. Naturally, Eric is pretty happy about this. Eric versus Russell for the big Season 3 showdown? I’m pumped. But how will Eric defeat a vampire that is three times his age? Russell’s going to be plenty motivated, too, not only by his desire to wipe out humans, but to exact revenge on Eric for his murder of Talbot. Yes, it was disgusting to see Russell writhing in agony in Talbot’s remains, but I also thought it was a pretty powerful scene – losing someone you love is hard enough; losing someone you have loved for hundreds (or thousands?) of years must be beyond painful.
Bill and Sookie are back in relationship mode (for now, I guess), which means that Bill is once allowed to drink Sookie’s sweet, special blood. He does this in a shower scene – Anna Paquin’s boobs! – and we get a nice little Hitchcock homage at the end of the scene as the blood spirals into the shower drain. Sookie later calls Bill out on the chart he was keeping on her and her family – as she should; it’s definitely creepy stalker-esque – but he responds that he needed to know what she was in order to protect her. Of course, Sookie buys this. Whether it’s the truth or not, it’s still pretty lame.
And so, just what is Sookie? True Blood insists on dragging this revelation out, but hopefully we’ll know next week. Sookie’s cousin Hadley knows, Eric knows, and now, thanks to drinking a ton of Sookie’s blood and finding himself in the same metaphysical paradisaical realm in which we saw Sookie and gallivanting beings in white a couple weeks ago, Bill knows.
Speaking of Hadley, she contacts Sookie and asks her to meet her at the local aquarium (how big can a Bon Temps aquarium be?) with her son. Hadley is freaking out because she thinks that if her son is a telepath like Sookie, Queen Sophie-Anne and possibly a whole gaggle of other vampires will come looking for him, what with how valuable telepaths are. Sookie has a telepathic conversation with Hadley’s son, confirming Hadley’s worst fears. She takes her son and leaves the aquarium in a panic. Speaking of telepaths, whatever happened to Barry, the telepath from the vampire hotel last season? I wonder if he’ll be back once it’s revealed what Sookie is.
Jesus and Lafayette continue their romance; the only significant thing stemming from this is that Lafayette’s mother, seeing how happy Jesus makes Lafayette, seems to be cool with her son being gay. There’s definitely a message here (and why not? True Blood was all about allusions from Day One), but this wasn’t nearly as heavy-handed as Arlene confessing to the new Merlotte’s waitress, Holly, that she doesn’t want the baby Rene put inside of her.
As for Hoyt and Jessica, it’s clear that they still have strong feelings for one another, and I don’t know anyone who watches this show that doesn’t want to see the two of them together. What I didn’t like, though, was making Hoyt’s new girlfriend so unbearably annoying. His decision to leave her and be with Jessica should be a little tougher; right now, it’s a no-brainer. Lazy writing, I suppose, but to me, that’s a rarity on this show. It gets a pass.
For whatever reason, Tommy continues to be more and more of a dick, not only to Arlene, Hoyt, and whoever else happens to cross his path, but to his brother Sam, too. Seriously, how are you going to be a dick to Sam? There’s gotta be something going on with Tommy, but he manages to get under Sam’s skin and convince him that he’s been walked on by so many people for a long time. And the thing is, he has a good point. Sam is always putting others before himself – Tara, Sookie, Bill, and Sam’s entire family come to mind – and it was only a matter of time before he snapped. Well, snap he does – when the scummy Calvin barges into Merlotte’s looking for Crystal (who’s with Jason), Sam beats him to a pulp. Oh well.
Speaking of Crystal, despite Calvin abusing her, she accompanies him tot he hospital, telling Jason that Calvin is her kin and all she has. The question remains: what is this family? They’re obviously pretty rare (or endangered?) to be sticking together this long. And speaking of Jason, he had some classic moments this episode. Coming up with probable cause was one, but the best was when he asked Crystal if the guy they tied up needed medical attention. I think I could watch a Jason Stackhouse spinoff comedy show. For real.
Moving on, I guess that bashing a vampire’s head with a mace doesn’t kill it – Franklin came back, crazier than ever. Tara has seemingly become stronger and stronger every episode and refused to back down from him, but luckily for her, Jason was on the scene with a gun loaded with wooden bullets. Suffice to say, Franklin is gone for good. He’ll be missed.
Finally, the show ended with what may be the greatest scene of the season. During a live news broadcast on the issue of vampire rights, Russell appears in the news studio and literally rips out the anchor’s spine. He charmingly explains to America that he is the true face of vampires and that he wants to eat humans and, echoing the great Mike Tyson, their children, too. Russell doesn’t see humans as equals, but then again, why should he? And showing that True Blood always has a sense of humor about itself, Russell ends his diatribe with, “And now for the weather. Tiffany!” Great, great scene, and I’m excited that the show is moving in this direction.
What did you guys think?