Sucks So Good: True Blood 3.11, "Fresh Blood"
We only have one episode left of season three of True Blood. Let me repeat, with italics to convey my dread and horror: we only have one episode left of season three of True Blood. And there is no new episode next week, on account of labor day, so we have to wait until September 12th for the conclusion. I can hardly stand it.
Before we begin, a couple of non-"Fresh Blood" thoughts:
**The Primetime Emmys were on last night and were approximately a bajillion times better than their daytime counterpart (not like its hard) thanks in no small part to the presence of Betty White, Jon Hamm being awesome--he SINGS. What CAN'T he do?--and ASkars in formal wear.
And it was sort of exciting to see Jimmy Fallon host, because he graduated from my alma mater and is, like, the only famous alumnus we have, so I always want to sort of give him a supportive pat on the shoulder when I see him being all famous and stuff.
**Us Weekly had Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer's wedding as its cover story this week, and the article was kind of hilarious because all they had to go on was grainy paparazzi photos and a few quotes from Carrie Preston and Lindsay Haun. I admire them for not doing a gross wedding/honeymoon layout like most celebrity couples (and not-so celebrity couples. Hilary Duff and the tabloids' breathless coverage of your wedding, I am looking at you!), but it made for a weird article, albeit a weird article with this tidbit:
"The purple-themed bash (think deep lavender-hued tablecloths, napkins, flowers and aisle runners) featured an all-organic menu by Eco Caters and music by Pilbilly Knights, the band of co-star Todd Lowe (who plays Arlene's fiance, Iraq war vet Terry)."
How ADORABLE is that? VERY ADORABLE is the answer to that question.
On to "Fresh Blood"!
It wasn't a bad episode, exactly. It went by super quickly and the cliffhanger for the finale was exciting and there were a lot of fantastic moments, but when I went back through the episode in my head, I had a hard time recalling things what actually happened and kept saying to myself, "No, that can't be all that happened. It's an hour long show". And yet...
Okay, before I get to the good stuff (SPOILER: Russell and Eric rule), a few annoyances starting with: What the hell was the point of everything Jason-related in this episode?
He learned that Crystal is a werepanther. You'd expect a bombshell revelation like this to maybe bring about a new conversation, but the only things we haven't heard a million times already were (1) that Jason's image of a girl who is bad news is a shoplifter and (2) that Felton is Crystal's half-brother, which isn't exactly new information, since it was alluded to a couple of weeks ago, but I'm counting it because it seems like earth-shattering new information compared to Crystal not being able to turn her back on Hotshot because of the innocent kids and how the raid is a horrible idea.
AND YET all of that repetitive dialogue was vastly preferable to Jason's latest confrontation with Kitch, the cocky high school quarterback who is profoundly unlikable in general and, to Jason, especially so because he is on his way to shattering Jason's high school football records.
Did you make it through that sentence without rolling your eyes, half-heartedly skimming and then jumping to the next paragraph? Probably not, right? At least the Crystal/Hotshot arc is kind of connected to other parts of the show; this just seems outrageous in its pointlessness. So he's on V and his parents, coach and principal all know, and he's going to get a scholarship to LSU and I found myself incredibly annoyed by the couple of minutes this stole from my life. If this douchey kid doesn't wind up playing a pivotal role in the climaxes of pretty much every storyline this season, I am going to regret sitting through scenes that could have been better spent focusing on [insert preferable scene of your choice here. The sky's the limit! I personally would have enjoyed a few more scenes of Pam applying lipstick in a hilariously vampy--get it?--manner].
If anyone ever needs to substantially weaken me in order to, I don't know, rob me or whatever, all they will need to do is start talking about effing Eggs and Tara. After five and a half seconds of recapping their ill-fated romance, I will have visibly lost my will to live and not put up a fight at all.
Just about every episode of season two had a moment where I snorted, "Effing Eggs" as derisively as possible and Tara's mourning over him, his blandness and his negative acting talent got old really fast at the start of the season because I know full well that NOBODY could possibly care that much about him. I don't even think Mehcad Brooks was that broken up when he found out he was getting killed off. So yeah, I cringed hard when Tara learned the truth about his death, visited his grave and then confronted Andy about his role in the coverup. I briefly stopped to cringe at Andy trying to have an awkward, one-sided conversation with Tara about Sam's meltdown (see below) and offering her onion wings. Hilarious.
Tara: I know about Eggs.
You know what about him? That he was the worst? If so, thanks for catching up to the rest of the world circa last year.
Chris Bauer was so good in that scene, unfortunate though the subject matter was.
After last week's episode of This Is Your Life, Sam Merlotte entitled "Remember that time Sam killed people? So much for being nice, huh?", Sam is on a foul-mouthed, destructive downward spiral that sees him doing things like screaming horrible things at the customers in Merlotte's:
Sam: Jesus Christ, you're ugly.
Firing Tommy, kicking him out and making me feel sympathy for Tommy for the first time in a few weeks as he grappled with the thought of being completely alone. He, of course, went ahead and broke into Sam's safe and proved that my sympathy was fleeting, but still.
Snarling at Holly and Arlene:
Sam: You bitches do your job and shut the fuck up.
And worst of all, saying hateful, awful things to Terry. TERRY!
Terry: Take it easy, Sam.
Sam: Kiss my ass.
Terry: You're hurting. I can tell. Let's go on out back and talk.
Sam: Who the hell do you think you are?
Terry: I'm your friend.
Sam: I'm your boss.
Terry: This is the liquor talking, Sam, it ain't you.
Sam: No, it is me. Get back in the kitchen, shell shocked motherfucker.
I know he's in a bad place, but that is just unforgivable.
Then he and Tara hooked up.
How long did Holly's Wiccan ritual last? I didn't time it or anything, so my estimation may be way off, but I'd guess somewhere around AN ETERNITY.
And then it turned out that her potion didn't work and Arlene is still pregnant. Either Holly is terrible at what she does, or Rene's evil spawn is just that powerful. Either way, it led to Terry doing a literal happy dance.
It wouldn't have been inappropriate for the producers to pipe in the Full House audience saying, "Awww!"
Jesus and Lafayette dealt with everything that happened on their trippy V journey, and Lafayette had an "after shock": a brief flash of Jesus turning into a horrifying creature.
This sort of put a damper on all things V and romance, Lala asked his new paramour to leave and then he continued to have all sorts of weird visions.
The opening scene only confirmed my belief that I need a real life Pam to get me out of awkward situations and to have righteous fights when the need arises. I loved that she sprayed Bill with silver ("in stock and overpriced at your local health food store"), snarked on his Sookie obsession and just snarked on Sookie in general.
Pam: Now we're all going to die because of one freaky little human.
I love Pam, is what I am trying to say.
Also (surprisingly) amusing: Yvetta.
Who knew? She wound up foiling Eric's plan by letting Bill and Sookie go, holding Pam captive and giving a succinct description of Mr. Northman's character.
Yvetta: Him? Big blond stupid, I hate.
And she's a cardiologist! Fancy that.
Jessica and Hoyt weren't cute, exactly, but they are happy. Even now that Hoyt knows about Hank the dead trucker (I loved that he was mentioned in the In Memorian segment that aired before the episode). So that's good. Less good is the return of the horrible Summer (I seriously thought that Jessica and Hoyt's reunion would mean we'd heard the last of her unbearably shrill voice), who spent a few uncomfortable minutes talking to Maxine about their plot to have Summer seduce Hoyt. Ick, ew, vom.
Bill and Sookie's conversation in the car about the state of their relationship was so, so silly. Bill tried his hardest to fix all of their problems by lamely musing, "When this is over, let's begin again. We'll be new!" Most women would roll their eyes at this obvious attempt at subject-changing, but Sookie ran with it and we learned about their hopes and dreams.
Sookie: I'm not a waitress anymore...I'm going to college. No, I'm a real estate agent. And I'm really rich.
Bill: I teach third grade and I love my job.
Sookie: We'll have a big flower garden.
Bill: We'll grow vegetables.
Sookie: Tara comes over for dinner and sometimes we double date with Arlene and Terry.
Bill: And I'll go fishing with Jason.
I have never been so thankful to see two freakishly strong vampires standing in the middle of the road to stop a car.
(Although I will agree with Bill about third graders--they are awesome )
I am a total gushing fangirl about these two, I realize, but the best parts of the episode were the Eric and Russell parts.
It seems that Russell is trying to make it up to Talbot for never taking him anywhere exciting while Talbot was alive. Or, rather, dead. You know what I meant. The good news for Talbot is that now he gets to go on all sorts of field trips, this time to the museum!
That is one lucky, cultured goblet!
Denis O'Hare continued his streak of being the greatest in the museum, showcasing real pain and heartbreak over losing Talbot:
Russell: Talbot adores this one. Adored. I'm having trouble switching tenses.
Simultaneous amusement and annoyance at Eric's true motivation:
Eric: Apparently you wanted my father's crown for your vast collection of meaningless shit.:
Russell: My my. To lose the only man I ever loved because you miss your mommy and daddy? Well, that is a kick in the pants.
Russell: Eric you are nothing more than a lump of muscle with a blood grudge.
And then he reacted to Eric's tale of walking in the sun with immediate contempt, then struggling valiantly to keep his interest off of his face and out of his voice. He tried so damn hard not to seem like he was excited to hear this news. There is nothing this man can't do.
And then he got confused by Eric's ringtone.
Don't you want to be friends with him? I imagine that's the same face he'd make when you tried to get away with a ridiculous word in Scrabble.
Eric later clued Bill into his plan; I hope Bill felt a little better knowing that SOMEONE had a plan because dreaming of a hypothetical future does no one any good, really.
Russell wasn't so jazzed to hear Sookie's secret.
Russell: You seriously think I wouldn't notice if there were fairies bouncing around in the world?
What made this amazing is that he was pacing around with Talbot this entire time.
He is a scream.
When Sookie is clued in on the powers in her blood, she's put off.
Sookie: That's just nuts. Nothing in my blood is a supernatural sunscreen for y'all. Why would you even think that?
Cut to Bill's "Ooops. About that...." face.
Sookie: I hate you. I hate you all!
Russell is totally excited to drink from Sookie and got fed up when Eric couldn't do it first (aww! In a weird kind of way), jumping in with, "Oh, for god's sake".
Eric goes outside to prove the truth to Russell, who watches with Pam on a monitor.
His glee at seeing Eric in the sunshine was just amazing.
Russell: There's fairies! Fucking fairies! Who knew?
As Bill begs in the background to be unchained so he can feed Sookie, Russell is weeping.
Russell: My hands are shaking. I feel like a little child. Thousands of years of night. You can't know.
He goes outside ("It's glorious! It's sublime!" Did anyone else immediately think of Old School and Will Ferrell's vision of Blue, in heaven? "I saw Blue. He was glorious!") and then Eric turns and is starting to crisp. While Russell is caught off guard, Eric handcuffs him and they both collapse as Eric tells him, "Be brave. We'll die together". And on Russell's primal scream, we are out until September 12th!
I really hope that things get wrapped up in the finale (and that maybe Debbie Pelt returns? She's still out there all violent and unhinged, so I am hoping she comes back with Alcide so I can laugh) and that the pointless plot threads are miraculously explained. I feel like some of these stories were here to tread water and some were shoehorned in to lay the groundwork for season five, which is always disappointing in and of itself, but especially so considering how wonderful the start of the season was.
Fingers crossed that the finale is awesome, though!