Tonight’s episode of True Blood could very well have been called “Everybody hates Sookie.” Seriously, Sookie did not have an easy time of it for most of tonight though, in the end, she got to have drunken sex with Alcide so I guess things didn’t work out too badly for her.
But before we get to that…
When we last saw Tara (Rutina Wesley), she was torturing herself in a tanning salon. At the start of tonight’s episode, Pam (Kristen Bauer Von Straten) finally abandoned her facade of indifference long enough to save Tara and, as her maker, command to Tara to stop with the attempts at self-destruction. Though still reluctant, Pam has started to take Tara under her wing and accept her responsibilities as a “maker.” By the end of the episode, Pam was even bringing Tara a willing young woman to feed upon.
However, Pam had more to deal with than just Tara. Having finally been released from the Authority HQ, Bill and Eric go straight to Pam and demand to know if she told anyone about Russell. While Eric interrogated Pam, Bill talked to Tara about her new life as a vampire. For me, Bill and Tara’s scene was one of the highlights of the season so far. It was beautifully acted by both Rutina Wesley and Stephen Moyer and it was a nice change from the show’s often frantic pace.
Speaking of noteworthy acting, Alexander Skarsgard got his own Emmy moment in tonight’s episode when he released Pam from his control. He did this to protect her from both Russell and the Authority and tonight’s episode skillfully got every note of drama and pathos out of the moment that it could.
Meanwhile, Jason and Andy were invited to accompany corrupt old Judge Clements for a night out on the town. Of course, in this case, that meant going out to a deserted field and stepping through a portal that led to some sort of fairy-run Moulin Rouge-type nightclub. I enjoyed the sequences in the nightclub, if just because they were so decadent and over-the-top. Jason didn’t enjoy it quite as much because he ran into his cousin Hadley, who apparently works at the club. Hadley let it slip that the nightclub’s actually a “safehouse” and that Jason and Sookie’s parents were killed by vampires. When Jason had a bad reaction to that bit of information, both he and Andy are promptly kicked out of the club and back through the portal. Who would have guessed that faery bouncers could be that effective?
Speaking of vampires, Nora (Lucy Griffiths) finally breaks down and tells Roman (Chris Meloni) who the secret Sanguinista Chancellor is. It turns out, to no one’s great surprise, that it’s the little kid vampire, Alexander Drew. Roman promptly responds by giving Drew the true death and who can blame him? That kid was a smug, spoiled little brat and, for a little kid,he certainly made a big mess when he exploded.
Even with all that going on, tonight’s episode truly belonged to Sookie and Anna Paquin’s frequently underrated lead performance. The beginning of the show finds Sookie with not a friend in the world. Alcide is mad at her for killing his fiancee. Lafayette is mad at her for telling Alcide about Debbie. Eric and Bill are missing. Tara’s blames Sookie for her transformation into a vampire. To top it off, she can hear the thoughts of everyone in town and it quickly becomes apparent that all of them blame her for everything bad that’s happened over the course of the entire series.
Poor Sookie! Seriously, who couldn’t relate to that feeling in one way or another?
Lafayette, meanwhile, has one of his possessed moments and this leads to him attacking Sookie’s car. Later, when Sookie is driving home, her brakes go out and she ends up crashing her car. Shaken but unhurt, Sookie stumbles back to her house and does what anyone would do under these circumstance.
She starts drinking.
By the time Alcide shows up to tell her that he’s covered up her involvement in Debbie’s death, Sookie is totally drunk and soon, she and Alcide are engaging in perhaps the tamest sex scene in True Blood history. And to that, I say, “You go, girl.” It probably would have been better if a jealous Bill hadn’t been standing outside her window watching (and seriously, windows have blinds for a reason) but still, it’s about time something good happened to Sookie.
A Few Random Observations:
- I apologize if tonight’s review isn’t one of my better efforts. I’ve been dealing with an onslaught of allergies and asthma for the past week and I have to admit that I’ve spent much of tonight in a sort of daze.
- Tonight’s unofficial scene count was 35.
- You’ll notice that I haven’t spent much time on Terry’s flashbacks to Iraq. That, quite frankly, is because that little subplot doesn’t hold that much interest to me. So far it just feels as if it’s an excuse for Alan Ball to indulge in some nostalgic criticism of George W. Bush and the Iraq War without having to acknowledge that Barack Obama has pretty much been pursuing the same foreign policy in the rest of the Middle East. I’m still hoping that the show does something unexpected with this whole subplot but, so far, it’s all been pretty predictable.
- “How you like Bush now!?” was the epitome of a line so heavy-handed that it probably backfired. What made this line annoying to me is that it was hard to shake the feeling that the show would never have had the guts to feature soldiers committing a war crime in Afghanistan while shouting, “Yes, we can!” (Much less, “How you like Obama now!?”)
- No appearances by the Rev. Newlin tonight but I’m sure he’ll play a big role in the later half of the season. I get the feeling that there was a lot of foreshadowing going on with Bill and Jessica’s discussion concerning whether or not Bill was still king of Louisiana.
- Compared to last week, there was a definite shortage of memorable lines in tonight’s episode. However, Kristen Bauer Von Straten’s delivery of the line, “3 days old and she already has an eating disorder…” was perfectly delivered with just the right combination of concern and self-pity.
- Anna Paquin’s version of the Pina Colada Song was adorable.
If I was the type to give out grades, I’d give tonight’s episode a good solid B. If nothing else, I was glad that Bill and Eric finally got out of the Authority HQ. I have to admit that I’m starting to wonder if Russell is actually going to show up this season or is he just going to be an unseen metaphor.
Time will tell.