True Blood – Season 3, Episode 1
Just a warning for anyone who doesn’t watch “True Blood”, this is one crazy show. And my review is going to reflect that. So if you’re squeamish,don’t follow the link. (Mom, this means you!) Also, spoiler warning!
Early on, I dismissed “True Blood” as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” + nudity. Thankfully, I gave the show a second chance last year and discovered what a crazy ride it is. If you like crazy shit, no show delivers like “True Blood”. Which makes it perfect summer viewing.
Last night was the premiere of the first episode of the season. Watching the “pre-show” (which was basically a long HBO commercial) I wondered if my expectations had been set too high. I worried that there was no way the episode could deliver what I was expecting.
My fears were allayed before the opening credits even started. In rapid-fire fashion the show opened exactly where last season left off. Sookie discovered that Bill has been kidnapped. Sam was looking for his birth parents. Jason was freaked out over killing Eggs. Jessica was dragging the body of a dying trucker into Bill’s house. By the time the credits kicked in, I was primed and ready for the weirdness that was to follow.
And weird it was. The fact that the first episode of the third season was still able to surprise me speaks to the ingenuity of the show’s creators. I’m expecting to see some crazy shit on this show. I’m prepared. So for something to make my jaw drop, is pretty damn impressive.
What really surprised me though, was how laugh-out-loud funny this episode was. I’m used to True Blood being funny. But I don’t think it usually has this many stand-out lines per episode. I’ll get to my favorites as I work through a summary of the episode.
Bill’s been kidnapped by a pack of werewolves who identify themselves as “The Fuck You Crew” (I warned you not to read this one, mom. Turn back now!) The pack is feeding on Bill as vampire blood is an incredibly powerful drug. But the poor guy in the passenger seat could get to Bill to get a taste. He asked to pull over, but his request was denied.
What followed was both squirm-inducing and hysterical. One of the bikers is told to spit blood into the passenger’s mouth. The biker initially protests that spitting blood into another man’s mouth is “too gay”. But then it is pointed out that he has been “playing with his own titties in a car full of dudes.” Faced with this logic, the biker stops bogarting Bill’s blood.
Yeah, it’s that kind of show. I’m squirming and laughing just thinking about it.
Bill warned “The Crew” that at the rate they were draining him, they were going to kill him. The Crew seemed unfazed. But Bill managed to overpower them and escape. (How isn’t made clear but I can think of a few different ways Bill might have gotten the drop on them.) Bill escapes on foot and calls out to Jessica.
Back at Bill’s house, Jessica awoke uncertain of what happened. Then she remembered the dying trucker lying next to her. Jessica tried to prevent the trucker from dying. But when he begged to be taken to a hospital, Jessica refused. “You’re a fucking whore!” The trucker spat. “I know. I know I am.” she agreed.
Meanwhile, Sookie was trying to get the local authorities to believe that Bill was kidnapped. With plenty of dead humans on their hands at the end of season 2, neither the deputy nor the sheriff was all that concerned about a missing vampire. They told her she’d have to wait 48 hours to file a missing persons report. Even though the sheriff pointed out Bill wasn’t really a person anyway.
With human authorities unwilling to help, Sookie went to Fangtasia to confront Eric. She was greeted by Pam who couldn’t help but comment on her form-fitting purple dress. “Now, I don’t remember telling you that lavender was my favorite color,” purred Pam. “I’m in no mood for lesbian weirdness tonight,” Sookie shot back.
But weirdness followed. Sookie made a beeline to the basement to confront Eric. Pam followed closely behind making half-hearted protests like “Sookie, stop. Don’t.” But really she was just looking for an excuse to catch an eyeful of what Sookie was about to see.
Sookie walked in on Eric as he serviced Fangtasia’s latest dancer, Yvetta. Naturally, Yvetta was tied up. Vampires are so kinky. Eric informed Sookie that he had been at it for the last 6 hours. When Sookie looked surprised, Eric questioned Bill’s stamina.
Eric insisted he had nothing to do with Bill’s disappearance. When Sookie moved on to her next suspect, Lorena, Eric promised to investigate. He pointed out that because he was the vampire sheriff of the region, he was duty-bound to find Bill even if he wanted what was his. And the look on Eric’s face made it very clear he was talking about Sookie. Sookie reminded Eric he owed her $10,000 before she left.
Later, we see Eric on the phone with a flunky. As it turns out, Eric had tried to kidnap Bill. But The Crew got to him first. Pam (wisely?) advised Eric to go to Queen Sophie-Anne with news of Bill’s disappearance. But Eric made it very clear he was in no mood for her counsel.
Eventually, the Queen came calling on Bill along with the Magister. The Magister was investigating the increased use of vampire blood (V-juice) by humans in the area. He found it disturbing that no vampires in the area had gone missing. If humans had access to blood and no vampires were missing, that meant that the vampires were voluntarily supplying humans with blood. And that is considered blasphemy among vampires.
After the Magister departed, Eric and the Queen discussed their agreement surrounding the selling of V-juice. The Queen demanded that Eric sell off whatever they had left in stock. It turns out that the Queen has the IRS breathing down her neck and she needs the money to continue her royal lifestyle.
Eric sent Pam to pay Sookie back the money he owed her plus a bonus for going above and beyond the call. When Pam got called away by Eric, Sookie wondered if Bill had tried to do the same thing with Jessica. Jessica, who was freaking out about what to do with the dead trucker in her house, finally understood what was going on when she woke up the other day. She and Sookie did the Nancy Drew thing and turned up a clue.
Back at Merlotte’s the authorities were questioning people about Eggs’ death. Tara was upset that no one seemed particularly bothered that Eggs was dead. In actuality, Tara was right. It wasn’t Eggs’ fault. He was under Maryann’s spell just like every one else in town. But since Eggs was such a one-note character, I found myself agreeing with the townspeople. Who cares?
Tara’s story was the least compelling of the night for me. I felt like we’d seen it all before. Drama with her religious, alcoholic mama? Check. Confrontation with Sookie? Check. Careening towards self-destruction? Triple Check.
Perhaps the funniest story of the night was Jason’s. He was racked with guilt over killing Eggs. But Andy forced him to man-up and let him take the fall. He pointed out that their story had flaws, but if they kept to business as usual, the sheriff wouldn’t notice them.
Jason was considering turning over a new leaf. But Andy insisted that for Jason, business as usual meant “chasing tail”. He would need to show “a lot less conscience and a lot more cojones.” Then, to break it down in terms even Jason could remember, he said “Conscience off, dick on.”
Later, Jason and Hoyt were discussing Hoyt’s drama with his mama. Since Hoyt had no place to stay, he rather bluntly hinted at moving in with Jason. When Jason was too dim to pick up on his intention, Hoyt just blurted out “Can I move in with you?” To Jason, this request came out of the blue and he was taken back by Hoyt frustrated tone. But he agreed to let Hoyt move in.
Back at Merlotte’s Jason got down to business-as-usual by picking up a couple of NYU grads. Hoyt was still hurting over Jessica and the fact that she didn’t have time to check out his “bad ass” new haircut. But Jason told him “If you and me are going to be roommates, there’s a certain amount of pussy overflow you just have to get used to dealing with.”
In a night full of great “oh my god no they didn’t” lines, that one took the cake for me!
Back at Jason’s pad, neither guy was performing very well. Hoyt was still too hung up on Jessica to watch Jen play with herself. And Jason was having a hard time staying hard because he kept imagining gun shot wounds. Even the prospect of a three-way with Jen and Missy didn’t help. Eventually, Jason just blurted out, “Every time I look at you, I keep seeing these big ol’ bullet holes in your heads.”
And with that, the girls were out of there! Good for them. Most girls who cross Jason’s path wind up dead anyway.
“Real nice meetin’ y’all!” shouted Hoyt from the other room as they left. Such a nice boy, that Hoyt.
Sam’s story started out with a visit from a shirtless Bill. Sam asked how Bill found him and he pointed out that Sam had consumed a lot of his blood in last season’s finale. This was a big, fat clue for the homoerotic sex dream that was to follow. If it hadn’t been for that clue, I’d have been even more weirded out than I already was when Bill checked out Sam ans said “Nice.”
As it was, I very quickly put two and two together. Once you drink a vamps blood, you get the sex dreams. Just ask Sookie.
Sam was relieved when his cell phone woke him and set him on the trail of his biological parents. Next to Tara’s story, this was the one I was least interested in. Hopefully, Sam’s quest to find his parents doesn’t drag on for too long.
Finally we have Bill’s story. After “going to ground” to recouperate, Bill stumbled upon an old lady in an isolated house. When she didn’t have a phone for him to use to call for help, Bill opted to feed on her instead. Of course Bill didn’t kill the old lady. To make up for her trouble, he handed her a big fat wad of cash. Then he glamored her to make her forget him. Instead, she would believe she was visited by her son and that her son had given her the money in appreciation for all she had done for him.
That Bill Compton sure is a sweet guy. Other than the feeding on old ladies part, that is.
The episode ended with Bill being surrounded by wolves. “I should warn you,” he said defiantly. “I’ve fed.”
And with that, the closing credits started. And I was left wanting for more.
Like I said at the outset, I watch this show for a crazy thrill ride. And this episode delivered in spades. Can’t wait for next week!