Sucks So Good: True Blood 3.12, "Evil Is Going On"
If we changed the title of this episode to "Sadness Is Going On", it would accurately reflect my mood after the end of True Blood season three. Sadness! If we didn't have this supremely entertaining season of Mad Men to make Sunday nights wonderful, I'd have to upgrade that to despair, but for now: sadness.
Now it's time to write my True Blood Hiatus To-Do List which, to the surprise of absolutely no one, includes items such as:
1) Befriend Denis O'Hare
2) Be-more-than-friend Alexander Skarsgard
3) Perfect my imitation of Stephen Moyer saying Sookie's name
And so on.
After the jump, lots of thoughts on "Evil Is Going On"!
This episode, like much of the season, was a mixed bag. There were parts so amazing that I was basically foaming at the mouth, and there were long stretches that were just...offensively pointless. And then that ending! My lord, that ending.
Maybe we should start there, last part first? Okay. The mini-cliffhangers.
Tara and the adorable new haircut that was the result of a very tense "Will she kill herself? Won't she kill herself? Will Rutina Wesley ever learn to make the lip tremble a little more subtle? Does she know she's not on stage?" scene pull into the parking lot of Merlotte's to say a goodbye and then drive away to parts unknown.
The newly dark Sam catches up with Tommy, who has run off with all of the money from the Merlotte's safe. There is yelling and eventually Tommy runs and Sam takes aim and shoots.
Sophie-Anne, looking gorgeous in her best widow wear
comes to Bill's to get Sookie except it turns out that he totally played her and lured her there in order to fight her and he melodramatically pledges that only one of them will leave the house alive. Or dead. You know what I mean. Then they flew all over Bill's living room like The Matrix with fangs.
Sookie went to fairy land and we went to the credits.
For some odd reason, they chose the least compelling ending to close out the third season. I mean, it's true that they would probably never end a finale with Hoyt and Jessica (which, see below, was the most traditionally cliffhanger-y of all the stories) or the less exciting but still somewhat intriguing Sam/Tommy note, and maybe it's a good thing that it wasn't a huge cliffhanger, because how on earth would I contain myself for the next nine months with that kind of uncertaintly? But...ugh.
What a silly way to end.
Now it's time for the segment I like to call Denis O'Hare Is Better Than The Rest of Us.
I mean REALLY. He spent most of the episode acting under about ten pounds of hideous burnt skin and still managed to be a better actor than the majority of people who appear on television.
He gave us comedy, he gave us crazy, he gave us sadness. He is magical. He is, to quote Russell himself, fantastic.
Only about this show would I be able to say the following sentence: I am so glad that he has been buried alive in cement. I was afraid that he would meet the true death and never have the chance to grace our screens again, except in flashback or as a moralizing vision (good to see you, Godric! No, really, it was. Godric was one of my favorite parts of last season). And while it's unlikely that he'll be a regular again, I am comforted by knowing that it is at least a possibility.
Seriously though, if he doesn't get nominated for and win an Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy, I am going to...rant angrily, and probably with the caps lock on and lots of exclamation points, and might even be forced to make him a fake Emmy which, considering the fact that I am the least crafty person on this planet, would be pretty embarrassing for all involved. So I really hope that the Emmy voters do right by him!
If you ignore the whole fairy thing at the end (which I realize is difficult, if not impossible, to do), Sookie was pretty great this episode.
Anna Paquin and Denis O'Hare are delightful together--I loved their scenes in Mississippi a few weeks back, and this was equally wonderful.
Russell: It's about fucking time! Now drag me the fuck inside!
Sookie: You watch your fucking language!
And I loved Russell trying to bargain with Sookie for his freedom, going so far as to promise her five million dollars, his mansion in Mississippi and the deaths of Eric AND Bill. She rejects the offer and he reacts...poorly, telling her that one of these days a vampire is going to want her blood and will rip her right open. His tangent about Bill's control over himself gives her pause, though and only added to her general anger with vampires.
Sookie: I feel better protecting myself since now I know I'm basically vampire crack!
Although...I know Russell is the villain and Sookie our heroine, but when Sookie poured Talbot out of his goblet (!) and into the sink (!!) and then turned the trash compactor on (!!!) while cackling devilishly (!!!!), I was overwhelmed with grief.
Yes, Russell totally goaded her into doing it by making reference to his plan to bring Talbot back to life using her blood. And while that is insane, it is also sad. And on top of that, it's horrifying to me that Talbot, a well known lover of all things beautiful, wound up in the dingy Fangtasia sink!
You know what was a pleasant surprise, except not really much of a surprise since it was in the previews for this week? Alcide! Eric called him for assistance with his punishment for Russell and in exchange, all of Alcide's father's debts are forgiven and Sookie was reminded that there is more to life than vampires.
Alcide: Are you in trouble again?
Sookie: When am I not?
It turns out that Alcide thinks about Sookie all the time and even dreams about her, which she is both scandalized and flattered by. Although it was brief, I enjoyed this scene because (a) Joe Manganiello is super handsome (b) these two could actually work together, I think (c) it's amusing to think that having to listen to this was probably a more painful punishment for Russell than the cement burial (d) I actually guffawed at Alcide and Bill's staredown which was followed by Eric's impatient "If you two are finished eye-fucking each other, can we go?" Amazing.
I was going to make a terrible joke about how Russell and Eric cemented their legacy and place in my heart, respectively, because...cement, you know? And then I cringed with embarrassment over my own lameness and have decided for some reason to relay this anecdote to you.
Anyway! I spent most of this scene biting my lip to keep from bursting out with peals of delighted laughter, because then I wouldn't be able to hear anything that was going on.
You have Eric telling Russell that he's unwilling to give him any shot at redemption, and all of a sudden Bill jumps in, and starts a monologue of his own. And it was really weird, because it was so over the top ACTING and DRAMATIC and I was like, "That's a strange choice, Stephen Moyer", but it all made sense later.
Russell refuses to give them the satisfaction of feeling like they'd beaten him.
Russell: One hundred years? That's nothing to me. That's a nap!
But Eric (who knows that Russell will be alone with all of his grief) and Bill (who refers to him, again in that self-important and in retrospect hilarious voice, as "mad as a fucking hatter") proceed, and then Godric tells Eric "You make me bleed, my child" and Eric chooses to react to that by screaming at Godric, who is not there, and Bill and Russell are both pretty much like "..."
Russell tries his hardest to get the last word, but...
Russell: You will regret this.
Eric: Maybe. But right now, it feels fucking good.
Bill holds his hand out for Eric to shake, and Eric accepts it, which was shocking enough, but then! Bill handcuffs him and our delicious Mr. Northman finds himself on the wrong end of his own chute of cement. Bill uses Eric's phone to place a call to Ruben the assassin, pretends to be Eric and orders Pam's death. !!! I actually gasped with glee. I mean, obviously I didn't want anything to happen to Eric or Pam, but there were still about fifteen minutes left in the episode, so I didn't think they'd be dead-dead, and...well, it was kind of great move by Bill, who I spent much of the episode thinking of as "Fucking Bill Compton" because, really. From the very start, he was bugging me.
Sookie: You fucking betrayed me. Again!
Bill: I only pretended to betray you so I could save your life, again.
You'd think someone who was carrying around so many secrets and shady dealings would dial the smug back a few notches, but not Fucking Bill Compton.
What secrets and shady dealings, you ask? WELL! After being uninvited from Sookie's house, he goes to visit and she lets him back in (...) and he tells her that he's gotten rid of Russell, Eric and Pam (and plans to get rid of Sophie-Anne) because it is too dangerous to have vampires out there who have had her blood. He presents this as a very noble thing he's doing, because he loves her so much, and he starts to make a dramatic exit when Eric, covered in cement and still looking disturbingly hot, shows up at Sookie's doorstep and unleashes the truth.
(Seriously, he looked so cute despite the cement)
(And also, why did we not get to see Pam go save him? I would have adored that. I know they only had an hour to work with but if the choice was between Pam and Eric and fucking Hotshot, I don't even think Ryan Kwanten would vote for Hotshot)
Eric: Did you tell her you were originally sent by the queen of Louisiana to procure her because of what she might be?
Bill: I did not know why she wanted you. As I grew to know you, I purposely kept you from her.
Sookie: Were you ever going to tell me?
Bill: I hoped to someday. I swear it.
Eric: What about you letting two psychos beat her within an inch of her life so you could feed her your blood the night you met? Think she'll forgive you for that?
Sookie: Oh my god.
Sookie: Is it true?
I kind of loved this reveal a whole lot. I think it actually deserved a much bigger chuck of screentime to play out.
Sookie rescinds Bill's invitation again, screams at Eric to "Go back to hell where you came from, you fucking dead piece of shit" and then runs to talk to her grandmother's grave/cavort with fairies, while Bill tricks Sophie-Anne into seeing him, promising her Sookie, which gets her excited.
Sophie-Anne: I can't wait to feel the sunlight on my skin again. Maybe I'll get a yacht!
Except it turns out that Sookie's not there and he proposes the aforementioned fight to the death and I am so on the edge of my seat wondering who will survive!
Now I am going to publicly beg for someone to explain to me the fucking point of this entire Crystal/Hotshot story, becaue I don't get it. It completely ruined Jason for me. RUINED.
So much time was wasted this season on Jason's inexplicable love for this girl and after twelve episodes of the same repetitive crap, Crystal has to leave with Felton (who is on V and shot Calvin dead which...whatever. All of it, whatever. And another whatever to the stupid high school quarterback plot, which was completely useless. Insultingly so, actually!) and leaves Jason in charge of Hotshot. How in the what in the why?
I have so many questions. Actually, just one question. And that one question is WHY WAS THIS TELEVISED?
Lafayette spent most of the episode seeing things that he didn't want to see, like Sam with blood all over his hands and Rene holding Arlene by the throat and saying that he's inside her. He panicked that he could be a schizophrenic like his mother, and it was just heartbreaking. So much of Lafayette's story is about his fabulosity, but I think it needs to be noted again that Nelsan Ellis is just as good with sad moments like this and last season's PTSD.
Lafayette called Jesus for help with his visions, and Jesus revealed that he could also see things that people wanted to hide because--drumroll, please, and pats on the back for all of us who guessed something along these lines--
Jesus: I'm a witch.
Lafayette: You're a witch? You're a witch who's a nurse who's a dude? Oh, shit. I guess I lucked out then, huh?
Here is the thing I don't understand about Sam's downward spiral: why couldn't they just have one character on this show who is completely good? Isn't being a shapeshifter dealing with his newfound family enough drama? The flashback to Sam's dark past a few weeks ago was so poorly done (and, really, seemed like the writers just did it to give Sam Trammell something new to do) and shooting at Tommy tonight...I just don't know, but I know I don't like it.
(And I have to admit that when Tommy admitted that he can't read, I actually said, "Awww!" out loud. I still think he's obnoxious most of the time, but that made me so sad)
Poor Hoyt found his mother, terrible Summer and his high school guidance counselor (!!!) at his job site, ready to perform an intervention. I have mentioned several times that I am a sucker for televised interventions (but, oddly, not Intervention. Only fictional ones), but this one just annoyed me because...well, because Summer is the worst. I can't stand the sound of her voice. She doesn't entertain me in the slightest. So while I did get a chuckle out of Maxine taking out a spiral notebook to recite her various thoughts on why Jess is so terrible and I was proud of Hoyt for standing up to his mother, I spent most of this scene ready for it to end.
But then came the end! Hoyt and Jessica were being all adorable and having an adorable conversation about their future and being generally happy (and adorable, if I hadn't mentioned that. He wants to make her a "tricked out hidey-hole"!) that had me screaming "Don't taunt the writers this way, you adorable fools! They will ruin you!"
Jessica: I love you so much. I don't know what I'd do without you.
Hoyt: Well, it's lucky for you you'll never have to find out.
YOU GUYS, that is basically encouraging something bad to happen. And how! Because the camera pans back in Hoyt's new place to reveal an incredibly creepy doll, no doubt belonging to Summer the doll fetishist, on the floor. Horrifying! And even more horrifying was Mrs. Fortenberry shopping for a Rev. Newlin (LOVE the glimpses we've gotten of him this season) endorsed rifle to get rid of Jessica.
I just have to say that if anything bad happens to these to because of creeper Summer or Hoyt's crazy mother, I am going to be devastated. DEVASTATED. I love them!
(Although I have to admit that my love for them doesn't stop me from cackling whenever people talk about how annoying Jessica is. Pam and Eric hated her, Franklin called her "annoying as all get out" and tonight, Russell made reference to Bill's "unbearable progeny". It cracks me up)
There wasn't enough of two of my favorite supporting characters, but is there ever?
Pam: Eric, do the world a favor and let that little fuck fry.
Pam: Eric, who the fuck are you right now? He killed your family. Rip off his fucking head.
Pam: Ruben tried to kill me by the way. I took him out.
Eric: Great. On top of everything, I'm out an assassin.
Pam: I have zero patience with that shit.
Terry: Just when I thought it couldn't get any better! I swear, sometimes I just feel so lucky and so grateful and I feel it so hard that I feel like it's going to just split me in half, but I don't want it to stop, you know?
I was also jubilant to get an update on his armadillo, Felix. I am so happy that Felix is doing well.
I am conflicted about this episode and this season. They were both just so uneven. What was good was great, and what was bad was...aggressively so. But it was better than season two, I think. Just think: Russell, Alcide, Talbot, Franklin Mott, Jesus...even Cooter and Debbie Pelt, PLUS Pam as a regular. And the good parts were so good that I am going to have a hard time waiting for season four to roll around!
What did you think, Serial Drama readers? And, by the way, thank you SO MUCH for reading the True Blood posts! I have had such fun writing about something, you know...good and reading your thoughts about this campy fun, too. Thank you for being awesome!