True Blood Review – “Fresh Blood”

All season long, I’ve been trumpeting about how great True Blood has become.  Russell is far superior as a villain to Maryanne, Eric has become unleashed, so to speak, and has been quite the bad ass, and we’re finally in on the secret as to why Sookie Stackhouse is so damn valuable.  It’s been entertaining all season long, which is perhaps why the poor, penultimate episode “Fresh Blood” was such a disappointment.  This was the bridge-iest of bridge episodes, with very little action and dripping with boring scenes.  If the True Blood season finale in two weeks kicks ass, this episode can certainly be overlooked, but there’s no denying that this was a boring, bad episode.

Keep reading for the full review.  As always, there will be spoilers.

You can catch up on what happened last week HERE.

You’d think that with Russell Eddington ready to take over the world and crush anything in his path, this would have been an action-packed or at least very intense episode.  Instead, much of it felt like programming for Lifetime, not HBO.  This week, we spent far too much time with Arlene and Holly as well as Lafayette and Jesus, and I can only suspect that these are stories that will be more developed next season.  But still, is the penultimate episode really the time to give us a taste of what’s to come?

Anyway, Sookie didn’t remain a prisoner of Eric’s very long, as Yvetta, still sore no doubt from Eric calling her a “gold digging whore,” conveniently showed up to free her.  Bill, sensing that Sookie was in danger, also arrives, but must face off with Pam in order to get to Sookie.  Pam blasts Bill in the face with some silver mace (which was awesome; I’d always root for Pam over Bill in a vampire fight), but Yvetta wraps a silver chain around Pam’s neck before she can do any further damages.  Bill and Sookie leave, and Eric’s idea of keeping Sookie prisoner is crushed.  Sort of.  I’ll get back to that in a bit.

I feel like a majority of this episode – or at least, if not a majority, too much damn time – was spent on Arlene and Holly.  Look, I’ve got no problem with Arlene, and I like the dynamic of a vampire-bigot being forced to work alongside a vampire at Merlotte’s.  But it’s pretty clear by now that Holly is a wicca (or witch), and I don’t think we needed to go through the entire wicca ceremony/sacrifice to show that Holly gave Arlene a concoction that was supposed to cause her to miscarriage.  With all the blood on Arlene’s sheets, you’d think that baby was indeed dead, but like Holly said, it must be fate that the child will be born.  I did feel genuinely bad for Terry, though.  Anyhow, I hope the baby doesn’t turn out to be a demon or something like that – after all, Rene was just a man, right?  A sick, twisted man, but a man nonetheless.

Will Jesus be the villain in Season Four?  I think he’s going to at least have a major role, as perhaps the V flashbacks experienced by Lafayette reveal the true nature of Jesus.  And yes, that flashback was freaky as shit.  What was with all the religious figures talking to and taunting Lafayette?  There is going to be a lot to Jesus, I’m sure – I just hope it isn’t lame.

One pair of secondary characters that I do not tire of, however, is Hoyt and Jessica.  I thought the scene between the two of them where Jessica confesses to killing the trucker was one of the best of the episode, and it’s clear that the two of them have a terrific chemistry together.  Plus, I like the idea of Hoyt drinking vampire blood and becoming a bit of a bad boy.  But really, who wouldn’t be corrupted by Jessica?  Can we please get to some Jessica sex dreams soon?  One way or another, Hoyt’s mom is going to stick her nose back into her son’s business.

Speaking of drinking vampire blood, I do like how the writers have somehow turned V into a performance enhancing drug, not only in terms of sexual performance, but athletic as well.  Jason’s furious that his football records will be broken by someone who is taking V, but more pressing is the issue of Crystal’s inbred, were-panther family being taken down by the DEA.  Jason’s in love with Crystal, apparently, so his decision to help them out can be somewhat excused – but then again, Jason is always making stupid decisions, so just chalk this one up to character consistency.  Still, his intentions are good, which is also consistent with his character.

Sam’s reign of terror continued this week, and I wonder if that’s a direct result of Tommy getting under his skin.  Did Tommy do the same thing to his father?  Anyway, Sam and Tara are able to bond over a ton of booze and their “f*ck the world” attitude and it looks like they’ll be an item again.  Until Tara’s next emotional breakdown, of course.  I did enjoy the scene between her and Andy, and it looked as though Tara, despite not speaking, did indeed accept his very genuine apology.  I figured there would have been a much bigger blowout as a result of the truth about Eggs’ death finally coming to light, but then again, I’m just as happy to skip all that and move on.

So.  Onto Eric’s big plan to stop Russell.  It turns out that vampires don’t covet fairy blood because it tastes so damn good.  No, fairy blood is so valuable because it can give vampires the ability to walk in the sunlight (at least for a limited amount of time), every vampire’s dream.  Naturally, this concept is incredibly appealing to Russell, what with his ambitions of global domination, so Eric, fearing that he’s got to offer up something to the King to avoid death, leads Russell to Sookie in an attempt to appease the vampire that has marked him for death.  I though Russell may be a bit angrier and violent upon seeing the vampire who murdered his lover, but Russell probably didn’t get to be thousands of years old by acting on emotion.

Both Eric and Russell drink from Sookie while Bill watches and after Eric walks out into the sun, Russell follows him outside.  The effects of Sookie’s blood are only temporary, but before Russell can make his way back inside, Eric cuffs their wrists together.  Here’s where I’m kind of lost.  If you want to tell me that Eric, knowing that Russell is going to kill him eventually, wants to take down Russell with him, I have no problem with that.  But if Russell is (roughly) three times stronger than Eric, how are a pair of silver handcuffs going to subdue him?  For one, can’t Russell simply lift Eric up and walk back into Fangtasia?  If not, why not just tear free of the cuffs?  If the silver would slice right through Russell’s wrist, so what?  It’s a small price to pay for continued immortality.  I do recall Godric mentioning that the older you are, the faster you burn up in the sun, so maybe Eric’s banking on that.  Otherwise, I don’t understand this plan at all, but hopefully there’s a lot more to it that I’m just not getting right now.  There better be something epic in two weeks for the finale.  And if this is how Russell dies…ugh.

What did you guys think?  Were you as bummed as I was?

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  1. Madison, vampires even able to walk out into the sunlight would have such greatly diminished strength that Russell can’t break free. At least in theory.

  2. Yeah, the show has declined severely since last episode, in my opinion. Ever since the reveal that Sookie is a fairy, I’ve found the plot twists pretty lackluster. And much like you, I’m surprised at how anticlimactic the season’s wrap-up has been so far.

  3. There was a major fuck up in this episode.

    When Jason was supposedly distraught and out looking for Sookie, there is no way in any reality, no matter how stupid Jason is, that he would have stopped to watch the douchebag football jock and his friends…and much less hung out for as long as he did, before even making the V realization..

    I understand the whole high-school football, reliving your glory thing. But Sookie is the most important thing to him in his life and there is absolutely no way he would have done that. Total character discrepancy…

  4. Loved Eric telling Pam he loves her most when she’s heartless.
    For some reason I enjoy that poor little Summer, I just hope she/Hoyt’s momma don’t do something to Jessica to keep him away from her (I mean they eluded to it but you never know).

    I don’t know why Jason cares so much about Kitch and the V, it was kind of sad that the principal and coaches are the ones drugging him, hopefully he doesn’t have a bad freakout.

    P.S. those talking little dolls scared the crap out of me

  5. It isn’t the sunlight that makes Russell unable to escape, but the silver. Silver doesn’t just burn through the vampires it weakens them too. That’s why Yvetta managed to hold Pam down.

  6. Yeah, I noticed that too Russell. With everything else going on with Jason, he stops to watch some douchebag jock playing football? With barely a hint of concern for anything else? And then gives him an anti-V lecture. Did not fit in with the plot or character at all.

  7. The big problem with this episode was the complete lack of shirtless Eric 😀

    My guess is the combination of the silver and the accelerated effect of the sunlight on much-older Russell is why Eric can restrain him. I did love his very Viking-esque “butch up and take it like a man” quote to Russell when he put the cuffs on him. I think the reason he is will to die with Russell is to guarantee he’s dead to protect Pam and Sookie, the only people he cares about other than himself.

    I didn’t think Jason watching the douchebag football player was that out of character. He’s not too bright and easily distracted by shiny objects to begin with, not to mention he seemed to be running out of places to look for Sookie. It seems whenever Jason is feeling inadequate and frustrated this jerk shows up to rub it in his face.

    That said, I think that the actor playing Jason did an amazing job this season in the roll. Jason may be stupid, but he really gave the character a depth and complexity that I never expected.

    Oh, and I really hate his trashy shape-shifter girlfriend. The character is lame and annoying.

  8. I hope Eric doesn’t die. I am not a big fan of Vampire-longing-for-Humanity. He was a killer to begin with and the scene where Godric made him was genius. The episode was a bit slow but they probably need to setup for next season. I’ll keep watching.

  9. I finally cought up with you guys! Been watching this show like crazy the last few weeks, and I must say that it is an excellent show,although I was too a little bit dissapointed with this episode. I especially like the Jessica and Hoyt story! She is sooooo hot, and he’s a good guy and I hope they stay togetherand that nothing bad happens to her with Hoyt’s mom digging her nose in their business. They are a much more interesting couple than Bill and Sookie (i can’t stand her!!!). And Madison, I can’t agree with you more and sure hope we see some sex action between them!

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