True Blood Recap: Episode 10 – “I Smell A Rat”

ALTS3E10 It’s hard to believe that there’s only two more episodes left of True Blood. Or rather, it’s easy to believe, since this episode was nothing but set up for the finale, but we’re sad about it anyway. In an unfortunate contrast with last week’s electrifying ending, “I Smell A Rat” was mostly slow-paced maneuvering, as the writers tied up the loose threads of some of the season’s more boring plots, and moved the characters that actually do anything into position for the final showdown with Russell.

Foremost of last night’s “let’s get this crap out of the way so that the finale will be exciting” plots was Sam, who spent the episode reminiscing his criminal past. Or rather, gained a criminal past, because the writers had no idea what else to do with him.  It turns out that Sam, unlike his idiot parents, actually found a smart use for his powers, and used his shapeshifting abilities to steal from people. His newfound guilt seems to be sending him into a stereotypical TV spiral, so look forward to Sam being mean to people and drinking straight from the bottle for the next few weeks, until he has a meaningful talk with one of his friends and gets sorted out. Or, alternatively, he wanders off the show and no one notices, because he’s had absolutely nothing to do with the plot this year.

Jason also got his resolution this week, when he finally cracked about Eggs and started to confess to anyone who would stand still for long enough. Including Tara, in what has to be Jason’s most misguided move in a lifetime full of them, barely a minute after they begin making out and she thanks him for single-handedly restoring her faith in humanity. So nice job breaking Tara’s already tenuous grip on sanity, Jason. And while he may have ruined his relationship with Tara, he finds out that his girlfriend can turn into a panther, which seems like a fair trade-off.

ALTThen again, if Tara does go crazy, she might end up being as consistently entertaining as Russell Edgington, who again spends the episode galavanting around with his punch bowl o’ Talbot. He delivers a rather touching eulogy to his dead lover, the impact of which is only slightly diminished by the fact that he does it while staking a very confused male hooker and hallucinating that he’s Talbot. It seems unlikely that both Eric and Russell are going to survive the season, but I hope they find a way to keep Denis O’Hare around. Russell’s been a fabulous villain so far, and they’re going to have trouble topping him next year.

As fun as Russell’s trip to Crazytown is for us viewers, it has some consequences for the humble vamps of Bon Temps. The King’s spine-ripping speech hasn’t fallen on deaf ears, and the anti-vampire movement is back with a vengeance (and is marked by the hilarious return of Rev. Steve Newlin, who shows up on the news with a whole new level of smug self-satisfaction.) Jessica and Bill find themselves on the end of some anti-vampire violence, as they wake up to a vandalized house and some burning symbolism on their lawn. Fortunately, Jessica and Hoyt manage to make amends, after she rescues him from Tommy, in a great gender-flipped version of every time Bill saves Sookie. And, as an added viewer bonus, Jessica chucks the increasingly obnoxious Tommy into the woods in the process, fulfilling the wish of many a recapper.

ALTThe person most at risk of Russell’s wrath is, of course, Eric, who spends the episode basically putting his affairs in order and looking through punch-bowl catalogues to house his own remains. Pam is justifiably, and amusingly, irritated with him, and badgers him into doing something besides composing epitaphs (Here lies Eric Northman, beloved Maker, Progeny, and Sex God). The “something” mostly involves following Sookie around and telling her that Bill isn’t trustworthy, and then running away before he explains why. And then locking her in his sex dungeon. I’m pretty sure that the writers were trying to build suspense and emotional conflict by having Eric not explain anything, but there’s a thin line between suspenseful and annoying. And this mostly falls into annoying, since he doesn’t even consider asking Sookie for help before he kidnaps her. I know it’s supposed to be because he’s all emotionless and badass, but it’s just stupid. Why is it that, every time he has to go shopping, he needs to kidnap the clerk and torture them until they tell him which aisle the tank tops are in?

For all the talk of Bill being untrustworthy, he’s back to his protective, boring, season two self this episode.  In one of the least revelatory reveals in television history, he spills the beans on Sookie’s fairy ancestry. (Seriously, what other supernatural species would live in a magical realm that looks like a tampon ad?) He also fills Sookie in on fairy history, mainly that they were thought to have been eaten into extinction by vampires because their blood is so tasty. Sort of like how early humans depleted the mammoth population, or how whenever I have friends over, they eat all of my Pringles. Sookie takes the news fairly well, and seems to believe Bill’s insistence that he loves her for her heart, not the yummy red stuff that comes out of it. But not enough that she doesn’t go to visit Eric and make out with him. Dream Eric tells Sookie that her aversion to Bill isn’t Eric’s blood, it’s survival instinct. We’ve seen that Sookie doesn’t usually have barrels of that, but maybe it’s time for Sookie to look around an realize that it’s difficult to have a meaningful relationship with people who look at you like a can of Pringles.


“I’m a fairy? That’s so fucking lame.”

Bill thinks fairy blood is “delectable and intoxicating”. I think his choice of words is gross.

Hey, I can say gold-digging whore in swedish! It’s “gold digging whore”! True Blood, you’re so educational.

“Them fuckers is a whole new dimension of trash.”

“This heinous act of pure evil… Is a blessing, actually, because it finally reveals these beasts to us all. And if I was less of a Christian, I would say “told ya!”. But of course I take no joy in this dark time.”

If Sam’s going to be evil now, at least he gets some good lines out of it.

“Do you have anything that works for nosiness and bad boundaries?”

“It’s not respect when your employees think you’re a psychopath.”