Monday, June 21, 2010

TRUE BLOOD: Beautifully Broken

As you may have seen on Facebook, I thought that this episode solidified my firm belief that True Blood takes Charlaine Harris's stories and characters and bring them to a new (read: better) level. I have read all of the Sookie Stackhouse Series and while they are entertaining, they are all a little flat. In my opinion, part of that stems from the fact that in a lot of ways Sookie is not the most interesting character in Bon Temps (and it's surrounding areas) and yet hers is the only point of view we get in the books. That also means we only get her "action." Nothing that has to do with just Eric, Pam, Bill, Sam, Tara or anyone else. Nevermind that Charlaine killed Lafayette.... although who can blame her for that. She didn't know that Nelsan Ellis was going to bring so much life to that role! For the record, I really do enjoy her books and anxiously await the next one. But not as much as I ever await the next episode of True Blood. It is always a jam packed hour of fun and mayhem, and this episode was no different.

Let's start with the minor story of the episode, just because I thought it was especially funny. Arlene and Terry. Terry is both the strangest and sweetest man in Bon Temps. Between his protectiveness of Sookie this week ("I'd be sad if you died") and his list for Arlene, you can't help but love him a little more every minute. I wish we could have heard all 10 items on his list. Because if #4 was "I never killed anything on accident" I can't even begin to imagine what the last 6 entries were.

Then there is Jessica. She has a problem in the form of a quickly rotting trucker in her "hidey hole" at Bill's. Kev and I kept yelling, "Oh my god, Jessica, just carry him out back and bury him!" You are a vampire and super strong and quick. It won't take a lot of time and no one is going to be watching you at 3am. As it turns out, someone may be watching because the woods between Bill and Sookie's homes are crawling with Werewolves and scary Vampires. More on those two in a minute. Also, Jess turned down Hoyt who basically begged her to come back. Oh Jess.....

Sam is with his bio-family. For those who don't read the books, this storyline is probably the furthest from the books. In fact, they even changed some of the mythology - in the books, only the first born of a shifter can be a shifter, which is not so in the series, as we discover that Sam's younger brother, Tommy, is also a shifter. But whatever. These people are messed up, and as much as Sam may want to discover "who he is" and all that jazz, he is better off just going home and dealing with the crazy in Bon Temps. Afterall, he is why MaryAnn came to town, don't you think he owed it to Sookie to help her clean up the mess?? (Yeah, he killed her, but still......)

Bill had, what I thought, was a hysterical storyline this week. After killing 3 of the Werewolves and biting the ear off of another, he faces off with Cooter ("seriously.... Cooter??"  LOL!!) but the Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edington, comes to the rescue, kind of. He is mad that his pesky Were's botched the kidnapping, and takes Bill to his mansion himself. There he meets Talbot, the King's lover and finds himself a sort-of prisoner, but in the most posh prison everywhere. He even gets a 3 course meal (or at least we only saw 3 courses) - who knew blood could be served in so many ways??  (Does anyone else think the citrus flavored sparkling blood was a nod to the Blood Orange Flavored True Blood drink we can buy?) We learn that Russell hopes to merge with Louisiana through a marriage with Sophie Ann. And that Bill is not necessarily in Bon Temps by accident, in fact he is there for Sookie specifically. Again, for those that don't read the books, this does not happen until Book 6, so I was surprised they went there, but since I knew where they wanted to take Sookie's storyline this season, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. And who walks into this fancy dinner party but Lorena! Bill promptly throws a lamp at her setting her ablaze. I call dream sequence. Because I really don't think they would drag the actress back just to have Bill throw a lamp at her and die.

Another clue into the connection between Bill and Sookie is revealed via a mystery man in black snake skin boots (I think.... they were creepy boots, anyway) who breaks into Bill's house. He discovers a lot of articles/pictures of Sookie dating back to when she was a kid. Creepy, Bill! One can also assume he took care of Jessica's smelly problem, since he is no longer stinking up the hidey hole. Later we see mystery man's face at Merlotte's where he makes a warped connection to Tara. Poor Tara.

Tara also had a rough morning. First she had to vomit up all the pills she took. Who else cheered when Lafayette pushed away her mom?? Woman is the worst! In order to give Tara a taste of the road she is heading down, Lafayette takes her to go see him mom in an institution. There we meet Jesus, played by the oh so cute Kevin Alejandro (take a moment to sing the Lady Gaga song now......  done? ok.) Guess what... we will see more of him. Hurray!!

Jason and Andy continue to deal with the fallout of Eggs death. Andy becomes town hero. Jason is still dealing with the issues that come with it. At the end they go to the town of Hotshot to take down a meth lab. While there Jason takes down one of the drug dealers and sees a pretty girl in the woods. Get used to the scary look of Hotshot, because I guarantee you will be seeing a lot more of it. Question to those who read the book: Did the casting of Calvin Norris seem weird to you? I always pictured him better looking than that. Just curious....

And then there is the best storyline..... Sookie and Eric. Sookie is on the hunt for Bill, of course, but the Werewolves are on the hunt for her. When Sookie tries to talk about the Weres to Eric he evades her questions and gets frustrated that she is crying and bringing up all those long forgotten human emotions. We also get a look into Eric's not so distant past when he and Godric (I miss you!!) infiltrated the SS in order to hunt down some Weres. I've never thought I'd think someone would look hot in an SS uniform. Teehee. Eric is eventually moved to help Sookie because he cares about her, whether he admits it or not. And this is what inspired my "The series is way better than the books" speech up top. In the books you never really know how Eric feels. He seems very indifferent to a lot of it. Just playing a game. But in the show, Alexander Skarsgard allows Eric to have emotions, even if they are very shielded. It makes for a much more interesting dynamic between these two characters.  At the end of the episode we find out it is a good thing Eric felt that wave of compassion for Sookie - there is a Werewolf in her house!

Next week: Alcide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And in case you hadn't heard: HBO picked up TB for a fourth season this morning after another week of stellar (and growing) ratings. To which I say: It wasn't already picked up for a 4th season?? I can't wait, because Alan Ball has said that if they get a 4th season he will include the Eric storyline from the 4th book. AKA my favorite storyline ever. Though I have a feeling it may have more connection to Sookie's background considering that is where they are quickly going this season.

What was your favorite part of the episode? What are you looking forward to? Book readers: are you surprised how much Alan Ball is reaching into later books for storylines? My opinion: he knows this thing ain't going 10-12 seasons, so why not use up the good stuff where it makes sense now!

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