Isn’t it nice when an episode comes right out and tells you what the theme is? In the wake of last week’s action-heavy opener, this week’s True Blood takes Sookie’s words to heart, that “if you wait to tell people how you feel about them, you never know what can happen.” If last week was setting the stage for the season’s plot, ‘Beautifully Broken’ was all about reminding us where the character relationship are.
I haven’t said much about Jason and Andy’s arc so far, because not much has really happened with it. But their conversation at the bar and drunken toasts this week seemed to confirm that the two are continuing their last-season relationship as Bon Temps most inept crime fighting duo. Another pleasant surprise has been Terry’s increased role. He was utterly hilarious this week helping Sookie with her really bad plan to lure a werewolf home and shoot it, and with his very specific, armadillo-containing list of reasons why he’s good for Arlene’s kids.
Since Lafayette often gets stuck as comic relief (not that he’s not wonderful comic relief), I enjoyed seeing him take on more dramatic material with Tara. His post-suicide-attempt talk with her in the car was refreshingly free of cheese, as was the scene in the hospital. I think the writers realized how boring Tara’s relationship with Eggs was last season, so they’re smart to reorient her character around Lafayette instead. It’s like they hope if they stick them together long enough some of his sheer awesomeness will rub off on her. Like awesome lint.
Jessica and Sam had less luck with the whole truth-telling business. Sam’s newfound brother was more than upfront about disliking him, but Sam didn’t take him seriously until he found himself staring down the headlights of a truck. And Jessica couldn’t come clean to Hoyt since it involves felonies and all. Jessica’s Weekend At Bernie’s-like adventures definitely won’t end well, but as long as she’s talking it over with Pam and renting chainsaws, it’s very entertaining.
Even Eric catches the honesty bug, letting Sookie know that he thinks “her life’s too valuable to throw away” and filling her in on the secret Nazi werewolves. I could talk about how Eric being all nice and honest with Sookie is probably set up for a redemption/romance arc for Mr. Northman, but I’m going to talk about the Nazi werewolves instead, because I share Jessica’s excitement over the topic. There were Nazi werewolves! The werewolves have yet to live up to their awesome premise, in fact they haven't done much this season other than die frequently. But now that we actually have one with a name (even if the name is Cooter) I assume that they’ll get more effective. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Eric and Godric’s S.S. Adventures, and I’m holding out for Nazi zombies in season 4.
The man behind the werewolves seems to be the King of Mississippi, who is intent on breaking as many rules on the Evil Overlord List as he can within minutes of his introduction. He does that thing where he threatens Cooter (when Bill, who can say Sookie with a straight face, thinks your name sounds stupid, it really must sound stupid) for making a mistake and then shoots a random underling instead, he has Bill over for dinner and explains his dastardly plans, and he even has a ditzy significant other who may be moved to assist Bill. Even the King seems to be taking Sookie’s advice to heart, by letting Bill know all about his evil plans to take over Louisiana, supposedly because of it's natural gas and good music. Do I see a Treme crossover in the future? But I’m guessing that there’s more to his scheme than that, though his idea of marrying Sophie-Anne seems doomed to failure due to the slight obstacle of them both being really gay.
In case you were worried that the episode was entirely people talking about their feelings, we also had Bill set Lorena on fire. Between that scene, and eviscerating a pack of werewolves, Bill is turning into the unexpected badass of the season. The King’s suggestion that he’s been working for the Queen is interesting as well, the secret file he appears to have on Sookie would imply that their relationship isn’t merely coincidental. The show seems to forget that Sookie’s a mind reader, but I think they’ve kept in mind that she’s something more than human. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of her powers was the ability to attract hot vampires, since that seems to happen a lot.
So how was the episode overall? Well, Eric was hot, Lafayette was funny, both Bill and Sookie herself said “Sookehh” in a ridiculous way, and it had Godric and Pam and a fight scene, so it managed to fulfill all of my personal criteria for what I want from a True Blood episode. I don’t yet have a category for “Nazi werewolves” or “Lorena on fire” in my checklist, but if they (hopefully) end up being recurring elements of the show I’d add them. While the season is still very much in set-up mode, it’s already proving to be much faster-paced than season two, and with fewer plot lines that make me want to change the channel. Let’s see if that remains the case in weeks to come.
“I keep expecting him to come through the door and say “Sookehh””- Anna Paquin does a pretty excellent Bill impression.
“You’re going to invite me in so I can protect you. Or have passionate, primal sex with you”
“Let’s go to the ladies room and stare at ourselves in the mirror”
"Carlos! Bring me that Thai boy!"
“I found a baby armadillo on the side of the road and I nursed it and now it sleeps under my bed. Its name is Felix.”