Monday, July 19, 2010

True Blood 3.5: There's Nothing New Except Someone New

Did you hear it? Last night’s hour of blessed silence? That, my friends, was the sound of a sex-free episode of True Blood. Sure, there was a little finger-banging, but at this point in our True Blood history it seemed almost quaint, like something out of the Victorian era. “Dearest Gwendolyn, would you accompany me for high tea and a stroll around the square? Perhaps later we might partake in a little finger-banging!” “Certainly, Barnaby! But we will need a chaperone!” So charming. So cute. And, in keeping with a theme of courtship, last night’s episode was all about forming relationships.

Take Tara and Franklin for example. Currently held captive at the Mississippi vampire compound, Tara is fighting for her life—not with fists, but by cozying up to Franklin and trying to fool him into believing that she is in love with him. Unfortunately, this does not make him anymore sane, but, rather, it causes him to dress her up like an Antebellum doll and go through erratic mood swings faster than True Blood seasons are paced (do you realize that the events of season one only occurred about 2 months prior to the events of season 3? Yeesh). Lucky for us, it’s wildly entertaining. While Franklin is scary, he is also a great source of comic relief, providing some of the episode’s best quips, like saying that he killed a group of church ladies because they wouldn’t give him a turn on the slots. Poor Tara just trembles, smiles, and nods because there is nothing left for her to do—her pleas for Bill’s help (it’s a small mansion—you run into people there) seem to have gone unheard and her more proactive escape plan of chewing through her restraints are foiled by the werewolf body guards. Still, let’s give her props for demonstrating survival instincts, which, up until this point, I had assumed the citizens of Bon Temps were completely lacking. It may not help. For now it seems that Franklin will make her his vampire bride (unless someone intervenes in the next few episodes, which is definitely what will happen) and we will be stuck with a sad angry Tara for eternity.

Do you know what happens when someone is sad and angry for eternity? They become Bill Compton. Sack-a-Potatoes Bill—so boring that the other vampires call him square. I can just imagine them on the vampire playground, playing vampire tag and other vampire games. Maybe one day a vampire brings a vampire joint, which they’ll all smoke under the jungle gym, but no one will invite Bill because all he does is complain and fiddle with his vampire calculator. What an L7. Anyway… Bill has fallen out of favor with Vampire King Russell since he refuses to confess his reasons for pursuing Sookie. To make matters worse, Eric arrives at the compound with the hopes of delivering Bill to the Vampire Magistrate and freeing his progeny Pam. Talbot, Russell’s own progeny and boyfriend, takes an immediate shine to Eric because… growl. They agree to help him out, but all in good time. First, Talbot needs to take Eric on a house tour, which will probably end with a tour of his or Eric’s butt. Or both. I’m all for equal opportunity butt-exploration. But back to Bill. Bill discovers that despite his actions to protect her, Sookie is still in danger. He escapes the mansion with such ease that it, again, seems ridiculous that he was ever held there to begin with. He finds her at Alcide’s, they embrace, and a guitar goes plung plung plung in the stupid sappy way it always does when Bill and Sookie are together. “You’re in danger,” Bill says. “It’s done for me, but you can still escape if you go now” because everyone knows that the best way to get the person who loves you to escape calmly into the night is to tell her that you’re staying to die. “Okay,” she’ll say. “I’ll stop and get something to eat at a drive-thru on my way out of town. Bye!” Except that’s not what happens. Sookie cries and clutches, the bad guys come, Bill and Alcide fail to protect her (Alcide can’t land a single punch so you might say that his bark is bigger than his bite. WOLF HUMOR), but Sookie does discover an inexplicable power that protects her against supernatural creatures (she used it against Mary Ann in season 2, if you’re in to paying attention). From the looks of next week’s preview, she still ends up at Russell’s mansion, but it was cool to see her do something besides cry about Bill and get near-raped. Keep up the fighting, Sook!

Back in Louisiana, a lot of people are starting new jobs. Jason is on his way to becoming a Bon Temps police officer, but for now is regulated to pencil pushing. Poor Jason. It’s hard to work for the things you want, even when you are actually doing less work than anyone else would for the same thing. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. It looks as though he might have found a new lady. Sure, her name is Crystal and she lives in a meth lab, but she’s pretty, tortured, and interested in him. Good for Jason. Moving on. Tommy, Sam’s younger brother, has started bussing tables at Merlotte’s. Sure, he seems pretty normal when he’s smoking a cigarillo with Lafayette or flirting with Jessica at the host stand, but there is definitely some darkness lurking beneath his surface and it seems to be connected to Joe Lee, his and Sam’s redneck father (who, by the way, is GUH-ROSS). When Sam asks Tommy what the fuckin’ deal is, Tommy fails to answer, but it becomes clear that Joe Lee is using his son in some weird, vague, and inappropriate way (ABUSE! It’s not just for girls anymore!). I’ve never been terribly interested in Sam, but I’ve got to say that this is one of the more intriguing and disturbing storylines of the season.

Lastly, LAFAYETTE GOT HIMSELF A BOYFRIEND! Or at least he’s a step closer! Regardless, Nurse Jesus is coming ‘round the bar and making him all nervous and mumbly. They played pool and Jesus kept telling him how handsome he was. Good for you, Lafayette! I sincerely hope that Jesus is not evil and he ends up moving your black-velvet-painting of a house, marrying you, and producing several mini Lafayettes!

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