S3E8: The time has come for us to mourn the loss of a very special addition to the True Blood cast this season. Someone who really contributed to the show, and added something special, indefinable, that can never be replaced. I’m talking, of course, about Eric’s blue sweater, whose form-fitting perfection breathed its last and was replaced with a really ugly striped shirt. Okay, so Talbot died too, and while the quotes section certainly will miss him and his super-powered temper tantrums, at least he got to die having amazingly hot sex with Eric. His death kickstarted a whole lot of vengeance last night on True Blood, as Eric began avenging his viking family and Debbie Pelt stormed Sookie’s house with her trashy werewolves, but it’s next week when we’re going to see the king get wrathful on anybody in reach. If the episode had a theme, however, it more was about trying to reconcile the human with the superhuman than about big, bloody revenge. Russell’s marriage woes get entangled in a thousand-year revenge feud, Debbie’s messy breakup is exacerbated by the occasional murder, and even Eric’s all-consuming revenge was just daddy issues until the king came along. Part of the fun of True Blood is how, like Buffy before it, it plays with the normal dramas of everyday from a genre perspective. It’s like watching a soap opera in 3D, but instead of 3D goggles you have “schizophrenic who read too much Anne Rice and porn” goggles.
Nothing shows this better than the final shot of the episode, which juxtaposes a teary-eyed Hoyt, still trying to get over his breakup, with a blood-covered Jessica, who’s been working out her issues in her own way. It was a lot of fun to see Jessica and Bill back together again (she tells him “I never thought I’d miss you, but I totally did!”), and especially to see Bill actually take on some responsibility and not be a completely horrible maker. It was also good to see Sookie hold Bill accountable for his actions and kinda break up with him, even though they’re having sex again after all of 45 minutes. It’s just that instead of their usual candle-filled, soft-focus love making, we get crappy metal and some Lorena-esque strangling, so I suppose not everything is back to normal.
The season has been going at a break-neck pace, so this episode felt like an opportunity for characters to slow down and try to get their lives back together. Tara seems to be having a particularly tough time with it, as she has come down with a completely understandable case of post-traumatic stress and general terror. I’m not sure yet if she put together the pieces of what Sookie mentioned last week, and realized that Franklin didn’t turn into a big pile of vampire goo and sinew. Which means he’s still alive, and probably pissed. And can find her, wherever she is, because she drank his blood. Between that and the creepy Franklin sex dreams, something tells me Tara isn’t going to get any sleep this decade. But don’t panic everyone, everything is going to be all right, because Lafayette’s sex life is back on track! Thanks to some unlikely matchmaking from his schizophrenic mother, Lafayette and Jesus are back to making out and being cute. Mind, the two of them haven’t done much yet other than stand around and be cute (see also: Terry and Arlene) but I really do appreciate it. Especially when every other relationship on the show is going to hell.
Speaking of relationships going to hell, there’s Sookie and Bill. Sookie must have borrowed some of Eric’s compartmentalizing powers in order to deal with her storyline this week; as long as it’s daylight, she can sunbathe and scrapbook and try to get over her messy breakup, but come nighttime and she’s getting hostage-o-grams from Eric and has to defend her house from trashy werewolves and a silver-spurred Russell. While she doesn’t do a great job getting over Bill (see the aforementioned hate-sex), she does hold her own pretty well in the super-gratuitous cat fight with Debbie. Killing Debbie would have been a cold move, but letting her go is bound to come around and bite her in the ass. At least in theory, but the werewolves are so flipping incompetent so far they’d probably miss her ass and throw themselves out a window by accident.
Similarly, Jason’s plot would be a lot more interesting if we had the sense that Weres posed any threat, at all. Honestly, Crystal’s folks are scarier as creepy incestuous hicks as they are as whatever type of were-creatures they inevitably are. Either way, Jason is in way over his pretty little head, as the drug dealers look on in pitying bemusement when he drives away. Sam’s also gotten in on rescuing people, but he loses the good Samaritan lottery, and instead of a hot girl to take home, he gets a hormonal teenager. The writers have apparently decided to make Tommy a fairly realistic nineteen-year-old, which is unfortunate because he goes back and forth between being absolutely adorable, like when his mom finally leaves, and incredibly irritating, like when he tries to take on Hoyt. True Blood, you obviously don’t aspire to realism 98% of the time, so feel free to throw in some soap-opera aging and bump Tommy’s emotional maturity out of the whiny narcissism stage. He’s acting like a century-old child!
Russell and Talbot’s last fight was kind of great:
“You can’t buy your way out of everything!” “Of course you can! This is America!”
“They killed my cooter!” Between this, the Crystal meth joke, and all the jokes they make about Jesus, I think they’ve been naming characters just to make puns about them.
“You know what you sound like? One of those dumb country song bitches who let their men cheat and beat on them all for the sake of true love. Let me tell you something, at the end of the song the dumb bitches always end up dead.”
“Chili’s down in monroe has a vampire busboy. He’s real fast.”
“Jessica, it’s over.” “No way!” “Way.”
If there were any significant quotes from the Eric/Talbot sex scene…sorry, I definitely missed those. I was kinda distracted. Oh well, I might just have to rewind that part and watch it again.