True Blood’s stretch of enjoyable episodes extends as the show once again manages to admirably support one of the largest casts on television. Well…mostly…
Let’s bitch it out…Last week the show really began to find its footing. After the first few episodes in which people seemed to be constantly running around without sense or purpose, things began to coalesce last week as everyone got a few extra beats to pause and develop their storylines a bit more. This week that structure continues as nearly every character is given something to do and the result is not only entertaining, but, at times, downright heartfelt.
The heartfelt scenes are those in which Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skargard) say goodbye to their progenies, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Pam (Kristin Bauer). I find both women stand-outs on the show: whether it’s comedy or drama, whatever they’re given, Ann Woll and Bauer rock it. Tonight is no different as both Bill and Eric say goodbye before the hunt for Russell Edgington begins. At this point, the former Sheriff and current King know that they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place with the Authority bearing down on them and Edgington loose, so it means something that they each get a nice long scene to bond, praise and ultimately leave their female successors.
Jessica and Pam both have other great scenes tonight, too. Jessica’s protectiveness for Jason (Ryan Kwanten) apparently extends to Sookie (Anna Paquin) since she’s willing to compel the human Sheriff to forget all about the Debbie Pelt case. And how hilarious is it when Jessica randomly speed-darts into the office after eavesdropping from afar? Pam, meanwhile, is stuck babysitting her own newborn, Tara (Rutina Wesley) who must routinely commanded by her maker to a) stop trying to kill herself and b) begin feeding. As always, Pam gets the best lines, although I’d say Bauer’s best work comes courtesy of the costume department, who outfit her with a great sight gag when she emerges from her coffin in pink Juicy sweats and matching heels. Always fashionable, that Pam, even when sleeping!
In truth, just about all of the storylines worked for me. I was especially pleased to see Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Alcide (Joe Mangianello) act on their mutual attraction – ’bout time, kids! Nothing says “grateful for getting the parents of the woman I killed out of town” like a late night snog, especially when copious amounts of liquor are involved. After seeing Sookie with Bill for multiple seasons, and then (cute) Eric last season, it seems like the time is right for the resident werewolf to have his chance. Word of advice, Sook: You might want to think of slowing down since you’re running out of available men. Better make this one last!
- Obviously the big news comes out of the ‘Cirque De So Gay Faerie Big-Top Burlesque’ show: Jason – partying stag with boss, Andy (Chris Bauer) – runs into his cousin Hadley (Lindsay Haun). The ditzy cousin then immediately confesses far more than she should about the death of Sookie and Jason’s parents. It seems that even a drop of Faerie blood is enough for vamps to go crazy, which is why vampires killed his parents! That’s quite the revelation, though it doesn’t explain why vamps haven’t gone cuckoo for Jason (shouldn’t he smell like cotton candy, fresh baked bread and sex to Jessica?)
- Tara remains bitter and bitchy (especially against Sookie), though her anger does make her wittier. I do like that, as forecast, Tara is beginning to settle into vampirism. Less petulance, more embracing the night lifestyle – then people may like you slightly more
- Speaking of Tara, if you want to make your own version of her famous Merlotte’s drink (Orange Marizpan), you’ll need Triple Sec, Amaretto, Baileys. That sounds like a recipe for throw-up to me
- Sam (Sam Trammell) kinda gets a storyline as some of his shifters friends return and are then immediately shot. That’s interesting enough to make me wonder why we see him hanging imprisoned in the preview for next week
- Less successful is the Authority stuff, which begins to drag as Roman (Chris Meloni) and Salome (Valentina Cervi) spend the episode torturing Nora (Lucy Griffiths) about her ties to the Sanguinista movement. I totally knew that the kid Council member was the mole, though I didn’t think they’d actually kill him (since that’s pretty much taboo in North America). Way to prove me wrong, True Blood! Now do it again and don’t have Salome be the real mole who worked with Nora, because that seems really obvious
- I’ll admit that I wasn’t bored by Terry (Todd Lowe) and Patrick’s (Scott Foley) “epic Iraq flashback” journey. I just still don’t think that it fits with this show. There’s far too much realism in these war scenes to be in sync with a supernatural soap. I feel like I’m suddenly watching Damages S4 or Homeland
- Pam (to Eric, about Tara): “Congratulations, you’re a grandfather.”
- Tara (about her ‘suicide’ attempt): “Well I can’t do it again…Pam went all ‘As your maker I command you…’”
- Pam (about Tara’s reluctance to feed): “Seriously…three days old and she already has an eating disorder. Why me?”
So that’s it for this week. What are your favourite storylines of the season, thus far? Do you think that Salome is a traitor? Were you surprised by the revelation about the Stackhouse parents’ death? And, now that it appears that the Faeries are back full time, are we excited to see more glow hands? Bitch it up in the comments below!
True Blood airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO
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