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« Twinsies Sharing Everything! | Main | Who Needs "Organic Storytelling" When You Can Just Have Characters Act Hopelessly Dumb Instead? »

August 16, 2010

Sucks So Good: True Blood 3.9, "Everything Is Broken"

This latest episode of True Blood had me clapping my hands with glee and staring at my television like so:

It was awesome, is the point that I am trying to make. After the jump, thoughts about "Everything is Broken". And exclamation points! Lots and lots of exclamation points!

To begin, a question:


There are no words.

Actually, there are several words.







I've started to draft "For your consideration..." ads to advocate that Denis O'Hare get recognition from every award-awarding body that I can think of including, but not limited to, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Nobel Prize, the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, etc., because he is just that good.

Let's rewind: Russell felt Talbot die and took a raincheck from torturing Bill to fly back to Mississippi, where he called for Talbot, pure anguish in his voice. He found him in a congealed pile on the floor and promised that he'd get revenge.


FAST FORWARD to Russell Edgington and the Goblet of Talbot on the roof of Fangtasia. Russell, in formalwear, caressed the chalice containing the remains of his royal consort, and vowed revenge on the American Vampire League. He also turned the chalice so that "Talbot" could "see" and then he kissed it and it was about as fantastic as such a disturbing thing could be.


Russell: Talbot! Talbot, look! The American Vampire League protects your murderer. Perhaps they even sent him. Oooh, they will suffer for their sins. I swear to you, they will suffer.

FAST FORWARD AGAIN to Nan Flanagan in a limo, going over her Portland speech again before getting distracted by a naked human. As she started to go about her business, I seriously thought that Russell was going to show up, all crazy like, in the limo or jump through the roof or something similarly batshit crazy, and then the camera focused on the TV in the limo, with a jolly newscaster reporting about the Vampire Rights Amendment and all of a sudden HIS SPINE WAS RIPPED OUT by none other than Russell, Full-Time King of Mississippi, Part-Time Mayor of "OMG, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?". And Russell, holding the guy's spine THE ENTIRE TIME, launched into a monologue equal parts of absurd and horrifying.



Russell: Do not turn off the camera! You've seen how quickly I can kill. Ladies and gentleman, my name is Russell Edgington and I have been a vampire for nearly 3,000 years. Now the American Vampire League wishes to perpetrate the notion that we are just like you. And I suppose in a few small ways we are. We're narcissists, we care about getting what we want, no matter what it costs, just like you. Global warming, perpetual war, toxic waste, child labor, genocide...that's a small price to pay for your SUVs, your blood diamonds, your designer jeans, your garish McMansions! Futile symbols of permanence to quell your quivering, spineless souls. But no. We are nothing like you. We are immortal. Because we drink the true blood, blood that is living, organic and human. That is the truth the AVL wishes to conceal from you. Because let's face it, eating people is a tough sell these days. They put on friendly faces to pass their beloved VRA but make no mistake, this is the true face of vampires! Why would we seek equal rights? You are not our equals. We will eat you. After we eat your children.

And then he ended with the now immortal line, "And now, time for the weather. Tiffany?" and I wanted to start a slow cap, truly I did, because it was magical.

Denis O'Hare is just SO GOOD. This show is pretty much a camp-a-thon, and what could be campier than toting around your boyfriend's remains and cheekily taking control of a news broadcast? And while he definitely played that up, the rest of the episode saw him mourning and downright terrifying, and that seems like a really tricky balance to strike, but he did it. Like I said, he is SO GOOD.

When the episode ended, I found myself completely confused about everything that had happened in the first fifty minutes, like there was awesome-induced amnesia or something. And then I immediately began counting down the minutes to next Sunday (how many minutes? Too many!)


Also awesome? Eric, Pam and their totally stressed outfits of a tight black tank top and an incredibly revealing hot pink tracksuit, respectively.



They tickle me.

I found their scenes quite touching, really. Kristen Bauer is another one who is good (great, even!) with quips and equally good with vulnerability.

Pam: You never panic, should I be panicking?

Pam: A hundred years I've been with you. Why did you never say anything about Russell, or your family?
Eric: You didn't need to know. What good would it do to share my pain with you?
Pam: You didn't need to carry it all by yourself.

Pam: We've lived through so much for so long. It can't end this quickly.
Eric: Everything ends, even the immortal. If I can't go on, you must make a new vampire. It is your time to be a maker.

Speaking of vulnerability, Eric telling the authority* the story of his family's deaths and then learning that it might not be enough to save him was all sorts of sad.

Eric: My history with Russell Edgington goes back nearly a thousand [years]. My family was massacred. All of them. By wolves. I managed to kill one and I watched him change into a man at the end of my sword. And these wolves are the same, Sweden, Germany, here. With all respect, I didn't report Russell Edgington to you because I want him to die at my own hands. I have waited a thousand years for this.

And it was amusing that even being given permission from Nan and the authority to take care of the Russell issue, the poor, tall, hot Viking is still not in the clear!

Nan: You wanted revenge, it's yours.
Eric: What resources are you going to give me?
Nan: None. We're not getting near it.
Eric: How do you expect me to kill him? He's three times my age.
Nan: Listen, you whiny little bitch [...] Bring me his fangs, or I will have yours.


It kind of sucks to be Eric. Haha, get it? Sucks? Oh, whatever, I'm tired and punny.

*Also, we caught a glimpse of the authority!


See? This episode was jam-packed! 


The show balanced out that awesomeness with a profound loss.



Now, I found James Frain and Franklin Mott to be all sorts of hilarious. "Watch how fast I type mothafucka!" Slaughtering a church group of elderly women because they were hogging slot machines. Promising Tara special dinner at Shoney's. "You keep me tied up!" "To protect you! My god, what other reason could there be?" So on and so forth.

But, really, he was a psychopath. And he brutalized Tara and gave her a host of mental issues that she now has to grapple with on top of the other issues she was already struggling with. So it makes sense that they killed him off...but I will miss James Frain's impeccable comic timing.

That said, it was a super entertaining way for him to go.

Tara: I killed you
Franklin: That's what everyone said. That you did it. I thought, why would anyone spread such vicious lies? Why would you kill someone that you loved?
Tara: I do not love you!
Franklin: Everyone said that, too, but I refused to believe. I had to see it for myself. Want to know what hurts the most? You didn't mourn. If you had a shred of love in your heart for me, you wound have mourned me.  I love you so much.

Franklin: I'll mourn you, Tara. I'll mourn you to my very marrow.

Franklin: SHUT UP! Oh, your heart is beating so fast. I want to feel it stop.

Also, in the first interesting thing he has done all season, Jason is the one who killed him.


Boy's been hankering to shoot something all season, so protecting Tara was a good way to go about that.

(Although, this is probably going to make him feel all Even Stevens for killing Eggs, huh?)


Speaking of Tara, when she walked into the rape survivor's group and Holly, the borderline-disturbing waitress at Merlotte's, was there, I started to worry that we had another Maryann situation on our hand. I don't know if I have it in me to watch another season of someone allegedly helping Tara but really using her for their own strange, supernatural gain. And this feeling only intensified when Arlene and Holly had a heart-to-heart and Holly got Arlene to confide in her that she doesn't want Rene's possibly murderous baby and the music went all ominous.


Is she the good kind of supernatural, or the bad kind of supernatural? Is she a witch? Fairy? Alien? She does kind of look like an alien (that reads as much nastier than I meant it. She just has that big forehead. I feel her pain, but I am just saying). Whatever she is, I hope she's the good kind of supernatural, because Tara seriously needs to catch a break and having a helpful sort of supernatural creature would be great for her.

Like most episodes this season, by the way, this could have used more Terry.

Terry: There are all kinds of noises, Sam. Girl noises.

I love you, Terry.


This episode was pretty light on Bill and Sookie, no? They did have a racy shower scene, and an amusing "morning after" spent disposing of a dead werewolf. Bill visited fairy land (and got a burst of light in the face for his trouble) and Sookie visited her cousin Hadley at the aquarium and got to meet Hadley's son Hunter, who is also a telepath; having that confirmed scared the shit out of Hadley and she sprinted out for who-knows-where. So actually, quite a bit happened with them, but it didn't feel like it.

Maybe because what I was waiting for--confirmation of what Sookie is--never happened. Curse you, misleading promo!


Jesus and Lafayette are adorable. I am not the only one to think this. Even Ruby Jean is on board! After raiding "Lala's" cosmetics stash, she said that the real Lafayette is shining through. When she hears that Jesus is responsible...


Ruby Jean: I'll be damned. Maybe God loves fags.


How many times do I have to say "I am so effing over Jason and Crystal" before someone listens to me? Because seriously, I am so effing over Jason and Crystal. With her lies about Jason kidnapping and raping her, and then Kevin getting attacked thanks to their planting Felton on the side of the road*, and then Crystal going with Calvin to the hospital, ugh. None of it is remotely appealing. She is the most lost of causes and I wish that we had some inkling of why she was so special.

*I do have to say that poor Kevin's injuries and Rosie's hysterical admission that he was the only man she ever loved did lead to some hilarious faces from Jason and Andy**.




**And is Andy going to start to use V? More Andy, less Crystal!


Tommy (who, uh, we saw A LOT OF during his time with the woman making girl noises.) is reverting to the awful brat he was at the beginning of the season, sneering and picking fights with everyone. Not that I care so much about Arlene or anything, but leave Hoyt alone!

I don't know if he's rubbing off on Sam or if Tommy's taunting just pushed Sam over the edge, but REALLY, that fight at the end was so gross. Sam just about beat Calvin's face off, and it was terrible.

I did chuckle a little bit at how openly amused Tommy was at this obvious trainwreck.



When will Jessica and Hoyt get back together?! I want things to work out for those crazy kids! Screw Bill and Sookie, this is the relationship I'm invested in!



Poor Jessica! Poor Hoyt and his hatred of dolls, and his overly perky girlfriend!  

Jessica: Does she know you hate dolls?
Hoyt: We don't really talk much about me.
Jessica: Doe she at least make you happy?
Hoyt: Uh...I hate her. God help me, but I fucking hate her. Everything is dolls, showtunes and cleaning stuff, and she will not stop talking and I feel like it's making me crazy, Jess.
Jessica: Then why are you with her?
Hoyt: It beats sitting around thinking about you.



So what did you think, Serial Drama readers? And also, IS IT SUNDAY YET? Also also, DENIS O'HARE FOR HIGHER OFFICE!


OK Mallory, I get that True Blood is a soapy kind of show! I guess I'm jealous that I can't afford a great premium channel like HBO!!!! SORRY!!!!
If you're gong to cover primetime soaps in your blog now, can you, or your other bloggers do recaps of "Mad Men", please? In your first TB post, you said that you can't keep up watching MM because you're doing TB blogs at the same time. MM and TB actually come on at DIFFERENT times!!! MM airs on AMC at 10/9 central and TB airs on HBO at 9 p.m. You can do BOTH recaps of the show after you take notes watching both of them and do your blog posts on those shows. If not, then that's what the other bloggers on this website is for, so they can cover your ass while your busy blogging your TB recaps!!!!

Holly = definitely an alien. That's one of the things I love about this show -- doesn't matter what it is, they'll throw it in. Vampires? Check. Werewolves? Check. Diner owners who turn into miniature Lassie dogs? Check. Fairies? Check. Things from Greek mythology? Check. So aliens is not only not out of the question but possibly even necessary. I think the only thing we need to do at this point is figure out which planet she's from.

Andy and Jason need to get a CSI: Bon Temps spin-off, and pronto.

TALBOT IN A GOBLET = outrageously awesome, yet tragically sad. Loved it.

And yes, the easy, lazy way would have been for Russell to attack NannyFlanny in the limo. But noooooooooooo! Not this show! The newscast bit was brilliant. I wish you'd included a video of your facial reactions to Mr. O'Hare's performance last night. Bruce Weitz, eat your heart out.

Actually, I know what times both shows are on; my problem is that it's such an abrupt shift in tone to go from True Blood to Mad Men (which I love dearly and never miss) and it takes me a while to get acclimated to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce! I'm sorry that you don't like the True Blood recaps. I'm pretty sure I am the only one of us who watches Mad Men and if I did recaps of both, I wouldn't sleep at all on Sunday nights, so for now that just can't happen.

Mallory you said it all. The only thing that could have topped of the scene with Russell in the news room would be if he had Talbot in the goblet sitting on the newsdesk next to him during his speech! LOL
Also I understand that Franklin had to go but I wish that he had more scenes before he was killed off. **SPOILER** I'm hearing that Holly is a witch and she is suppose to be a good one but I'll wait to see on that part. I hate there is only three episodes left. I can't wait until next week!

this show is one of the most twisted immoral shows I have ever seen, yet it's like a train wreck, I can't seem to turn away! That episode was really good. and Russel is one crazy scary SOB but.... the last line of the show when he said "AND NOW, TIME FOR THE WEATHER. TIFFANY?" that line had me cracking up! That line is a classic now! man seriously, what the hell is Suckie?? And the guy who plays Eric is seriously HOT

*claps gleefully*

I was positively giddy GIDDY at the thought of your True Blood recap today.

Denis O'Hare is genius. GENIUS. The last three minutes I just laughed and laughed and clapped and laughed. And then I watched it again. And again.

The spine! The terrifying "after we eat your children" . .. throwing it to Tiffany for the weather. GENIUS. In the hands of a lesser actor, it would never have worked. It was so sick and wrong and fascinating and evil and creepy and campy. Perfection.

At least now, Talbot cannot complain that Russell never takes him anywhere, eh?

Meanwhile. . . . I want Pam's hot pink UGGs.

Also, she and Eric have the best relationship on this show. Which I realize isn't saying much in the grand scheme, but still. . . Her being freaked out that he's freaked out; his protectiveness of her. Beautiful.

Eric is seriously losing it. And it's kind of fascinating to see. I'm excited to see what's next.

Holly creeps me out.
Hoyt breaks my heart (I feel you, Hoyt. I hate Summer, too).
Tara needs a hug.
Sam is losing it, and it's disturbing to see.
LaLa and Jesus were lovely. And the veggie burger with bacon cracked me up.

I was glad for so little Bill/Sookie. I liked them and yet I'm really so very over them by now. I was annoyed by the shower scene. The clean-up couple scene was cute, but tinged with so much subtext about trust. Also, Bill is a lying liar who lies.

He was keeping the file on Sookie to try to figure out why ERIC was so interested in her? Eric, who never met her until you introduced them? Try another one Bill.

I don't expect this show to give me Eric/Sookie in any meaningful way (and sometimes, I wonder why I'd want Eric to stoop to such an idiot as Sookie, but I do so enjoy him being completely thrown by his attraction to her). But I'd really like a full-on break from they dynamics we've had thus far. I hope that's what's coming.

Bless you Mallory!

"Russell Edgington and the Goblet of Talbot"

You are my Hero of the Day!

Also also, it should go without saying that the ASkars/O'Hare gif is ADORABLE and I'm trying to refrain from saving it to my desktop to giggle over all the time.

Loved that show and I am with you Mallory Denis O'Hare deserved an Emmy pronto, pure bliss!

I was glad that we did not see Sookie and Bill too much, I am angry at stupid Sookie.

Love Lafayette and Jesu. I am the only one always scared of the other shoe to drop and dreading to learn that Jesu is a bad guy?

@guiltypleasure, do you think Mad Men is a soapy show? Really? Please do us all a favor and stop telling these lovely ladies what to blog about. If you've got so many ideas about what's blogworthy, start your own.

I will miss Franklin.

A lot.

*slips Val a low-five*

I won't miss Franklin so much because he was a psychotic monster who could only go so far as a character and I needed to see Tara win one. But I will desperately miss James Frain's portrayal. He was simply delicious last night as he agonized over killing Tara. His gutteral moan that she was going to make him kill her. . . perfect.

I'm starting to think that getting to play a bad guy on True Blood must be becoming a serious Get for actors. I mean, just look at the juicy awesomeness for O'Hare, Frain, erm . . .the gal who plays Debbie Pelt. I just imagine O'Hare getting the script with that monologue and being all "While holding a bloody spine? Really? Is it Christmas?"

As awesome as it is that the show does not shy away from making these characters truly sick and twisted . . . .it sadly means they cannot realistically last forever.

I NEVER said that I didn't like the TB recaps!!!! I just said that the reason why I dissed you for posting TB recaps is because I admitted that I was wrong and jealous because I can't afford to get HBO to watch TB!!! I also asked you that if you couldn't do MM recaps, then contact some of the other bloggers to ask one of them to do a MM recap blog(if of course if any of them watches MM!). Thank you for replying to my comment post, Mallory!

@Mary Beth - I love Brit Morgan (Debbie). This is definitely one instance of the writers going off the books that I am totally down with; Debbie is actually a more actualized character on the show than in the books and I love the alternating vulnerability AND badassery that Brit gets to show off in the character.

I think Holly is a Good Witch, but I think they're being deliberately cagey about that. I also think Jesus is a Good Witch, but they're being REALLY cagey about it.

Am I the only one who thinks the Lassie Brothers are *thisclose* to humping each other, doggy-style? Tommy looked like he wanted to bone right there in Merlotte's after that fight. It is both intensely squicky and disturbingly hot. I love this show!

@Val -- Thank you! Brit Morgan. She's fabulous. I'm glad she survived the Sookie/Debbie smackdown. As pretty as I find Joe Manganiello to look at, Alcide is kinda . . . dull. If he's gonna be around for season 4, Debbie can stick around, too, to keep things interesting.

Debbie and her trashy bangs were the only thing that could have made this perfect episode even better. I liked when Sookie told Bill that she "took care of Debbie". If by taking care of, she meant "let her get away to taunt me with her hilarity another day", then yes, that is what you did, Sook.

Bourgeois Nerd, there is definitely a chemistry between Sam and Tommy that takes brotherly love to a new level. And I hope that Holly and Jesus are good witches. Poor Lafayette and Tara could use some help in life, seriously.

And Mary Beth, excellent point on Bill's lame excuse that he's being a creeper to protect Sookie from Eric.

guilty pleasure, it's all good!

MY GOD THIS SHOW. When they showed Nan getting her fangbanging on i was sure she was done for, but that monologue was amazing and even more impactful. Dennis O'Hare is RIDICULOUSLY GOOD and im soo hoping hell be back atleast for a bit of next season. This show finally has a really good Big Bad. Jar of Talbot was insanely humourous but also sad somehow aswell.

My poor poor Eric. Hes had like no breaks this season, which im not complaining about cuz his storyline is the most interesting to me. Him and Pam are the best relationship on this show and i love how Eric has these amazing relationships with his family and considers it very important, even his human family who hes still seeking justice for after 1000 years. Cant wait to see how he plans to take down Russell and im sure it will have something to do with Sookie and her powers.

Hoyt and Jessica were soo sad this ep, but i really dont get how they can get back together unless she comes clean about all the people shes been eating and he forgives her for it. I dont want them to get back together with lies between them, they are too cute for that!

Bill and Sookie. UGH. They annoy. I just dont enjoy how dumb Sookie gets. Bill needs newspaper clippings of your spelling bee from when you were a child to protect you from Eric?? HUH WHAT?? Bill introduced her to Eric, and Eric has no idea what she is and hasnt kidnapped her as of yet although he obviously could have by now. UGH. Im fine with Bill lying cuz it just makes it that much worse for him when the truth inevitably comes out, but god why does she have to be soo dumb? I feel like they are really parralleling an abusive relationship: he attacked her, but a few "im sorrys and i didnt mean to dont forgive mes" and shes back to letting him bite her.

Jesus and Holly are probably both witches, one will be dark and the other will be good most likely. Im going with Holly being good but im not sure.

Sam and Tommy have weird vibes and i have no idea where they are going with this, but its actually more interesting than the rest of his family.

I cant wait for the next ep. Hoping Sookie searches out Eric to ask him what he knows about her and why he said not to trust Bill. Also hoping for a kiss!

This was the best episode of the season! Russell waiving the spine when he said "SPINELESS souls", Eric's speech to the AVL, Hoyt's fear of dolls uncovered (I'm glad I'm not alone on that - dolls are creepy!), and Jesus and Ruby Jean talking about Lafayette's "light" -- is his light like Sookie's light (both have been told not to lose their light)? Are they related somehow? What's up with that? Love it when Ruby Jean yells "JESUS!" when she first sees Jesus in the room. It sounds like she's cursing in shock rather than saying "hey there!" Cracks me up!

Okay, I don't watch this show, but for some reason I clicked on the jump anyway, and OMG Denis O'Hare! Mallory, you do know he's guest-starred on Law & Order multiple times, right? The best one was Pro Se, where he played a homeless schizophrenic who went on a machete rampage and then defended himself. ("This paper is full of needles. They cut me and I bleed.") So. Awesome.

Oh Mallory....I can always count on you to know exactly how I feel about TB! As I was doing tiny little up and down jumps on my couch and doing tiny little claps as Russell threw it to Tiffany for the weather (with my husband looking at me like I'd lost my mind), I thought, who else will enjoy this moment as much as me? MALLORY, of course!

Every Sunday night, I send quotes to my friend who writes for Canyon News, and I had to admit, "If loving Russell Edgington is wrong, I don't want to be right!"

Talbot in a Goblet is by far the best thing you've ever uttered, Mal.

I was also quite sad to see Franklin disappear in a red mist. Don't get me wrong, I don't want Tara brutalized anymore than she already has been, but what an incredibly fun character that could have been under the right circumstances.

See? Between Russell and Franklin, I think I need to go to confession!! LMAO!

I heart Ruby Jean. I'm on a letter-writing campaign to see that the incredible Alfre Woodard returns. Everyone in our house now says, "gotta pee, Jesus" every time we go now. HA!

It's interesting how far down on the scale of entertainment Bill and Sookie have gone for me. It used to be the reason I tuned in. Now with Russell, Eric, Alcide, Debbie, Pam, Hoyt, Jessica...Bill and Sookie seem kind of...boring, dare I say. I'm dying to know what Sookie is, but if they wanted to do an hour of Russell just being awesome (because no matter what he does or says, he is just that), then I damn sure wouldn't complain!!

Please oh please..I want Eric to have revenge, but TB without Denis O'Hare would be a sad day indeed....

Mal, I have the series of books, but honestly, I haven't had the heart to continue reading them because I love being surprised by what's next on the show, but I do have it on good authority (if what I was told is true) that Jason DOES get more interesting in the future... :)

lol, I'm the only one on this site that continues to have mad love for Bill and Sookie. They rule and the shower scene was hot.

That is all.

I still love Sookie and Bill, TruBlood! :) I just REALLY love some of the storylines and eccentricities of some of the other characters MORE right now. That doesn't mean they won't turn around and do something incredible that will put them right back on the top for me again! LOL!

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