Mid-Week Review: True Blood: Season 3, Episode 1


In my mind, there are a few cut and dry things in this world that define people. Things that you can either be one or the other, but never both. For instance:

If you're politically minded, you're either a Democrat or a Republican.

You either like the color pink or you don't.

You either believe in UFOs or you don't.  

You're either an over or under toilette-paper person.

You either like cats or you like dogs.

You either cheer for the vampires or the werewolves.

As for me, I'm a werewolf guy.  Have been since I first saw the old 1940s movie, The Wolf Man, when I was a kid.  Coincidently, I'm also a dog person.  Don't get me wrong, I think the blood suckers are cool and all, but there's just something awesome about the conflicted nature of werewolf that is attractive to me.  So it goes without saying that when I learned that one of my favorite shows on television, True Blood, was going to be bringing in the werewolves, I was all kinds of school girl giddy.  

For the uninitiated, True Blood (as shown on HBO) is based off of the excellent Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.  The title character, Sookie, is a barmaid living in rural Louisiana.  She's pretty much like any other small town girl, except for the fact she's telepathic and is in a world where vampires have recently come out of hiding in an attempt to live alongside normal humans.  As you can imagine, this would create some interesting problems and relationships as vampires kind of feed off of humans.  The universe that Harris has created is deep (there are currently 10 books and several short stories in the Sookie Stackhouse series) and phenomenally unique considering the subject matter (vampires) has been beaten staked to death in recent years.

** POSSIBLE SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT **

The television show has taken some liberties with the content of its written counterpart over the first two seasons, but has followed the general outline of the book in regards to characters and major plot points.  You'll find most of the major players from the books in the show, and here's a quick run down of the most important:

Sookie - She's lived with her grandmother and brother from the time she was little.  Her parents died in an accident.  

Jason - Sookie's handsome, but incompetent, brother

Sam Merlot - Sookie's boss and maybe best friend

Bill Compton - The first vampire Sookie meets, and her first love

Eric Northman - Owner of a vampire bar and sheriff over all of the vampires that live in Sookie's area of Louisiana

There are BUNCHES of other great characters, which I'll reference in the review (s), but they won't mean much unless you're familiar with the show/stories.  

SO IF YOU HAVEN'T READ OR WATCHED, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  GO CATCH UP AND COME BACK HERE AND CHAT ME UP!!!  

(FYI, the books and show are for mature audiences) 

Without further adieu, here's my review for the inaugural episode of season three.  

**MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD, TURN BACK NOW**

EPISODE TITLE: BAD BLOOD

Last we saw from season 2, Bill had presumably been kidnapped after proposing to Sookie; Jason had shot Tara's boyfriend Eggs; Sam had gone in search of his real family; and Eric had further weaseled his way into Sookie's mind by tricking her into drinking some of his blood after the whole Fellowship of the Sun fiasco.

Season 3 starts up EXACTLY where we left off.  Sookie comes out of the bathroom to find Bill gone, and the ball starts rolling from there.  We quickly catch up to Bill and find that he has indeed been kidnapped by some kind of gang.  They get busy draining his blood on the car ride to wherever they're taking him (it's clear they work for someone else).  However, they get more than they bargain for when Bill escapes.  

Meanwhile, Jason is trying to come to grips with the fact that he accidentally put a bullet between someone's eyes.  As you may recall, police detective Andy Bel Leflour took the blame for the shooting, saying it was self-defense.  Jason is pretty humorous in this episode, particularly when Andy tries to convince him to go back to his womanizing days so people won't suspect he's had anything to do with the shooting.  I really grew to love his character in the show over the course of last season, so I hope they can figure out some clever thing to do with him again.  I'm not sure the PTSD from his accidental killing is enough for an entire season ...  

The bigger drama from that situation comes from Tara, who's beyond upset that Eggs is dead.  She basically blows a gasket in this episode by blaming/attacking Arlene (who had it coming BY A MILE) and Sookie (who kind of is responsible), and then trying to kill herself.  I felt like Tara's character was sort of channeling the earlier crazy (er) versions of her mother from past seasons.  I don't like this Tara as much, but I think I can see where they're headed with her.  I did LOVE Lafayette in this episode!  It's nice to seem him back and interacting with his cousin.

Back to Sookie.  She's convinced that something bad has happened to Bill, so she goes to Eric (naturally) for help.  Eric is less than enthusiastic, and basically tells her he has bigger fish to fry.  We find out that he's not lying (for once) as apparently the big whig vampires have caught on to his under the table dealing of vampire blood.  Not only that, but the queen vampire of Lousiana, Sophie, is also being implicated.  You may recall that last season ended with Sophie and Eric having conversations about their elicit blood business (she's in cahoots with him).  There's some tension building here that'll be fun to see shake out.  Perhaps the biggest revelation is that Eric had in fact sent someone to kidnap Bill, but was beaten to the punch.  He didn't expressly say that he was going to kill Bill (HA!), but I think it was implied.  Bill is the only other vamp that knows he's selling V illegally, after all.  Not to mention that he's got eyes for Sook.  

There was a little bit with Sam in this episode, but other than a crazy dream (it involves he, Bill, and a kiss - that's all I'll say), it was pretty snooze.  He's my favorite character, so it was a little bit of a letdown.  

What about the wolves, you're asking?  Well I was asking the same thing.  It wasn't until the very end of the episode that we finally get some payoff.  Bill escapes from his captors injured and badly in need of some blood, luckily he stumbles upon an old lady living alone in the woods.  After he discovers that he's been taken all the way to Mississippi, he partakes in a little of her  blood (in a very gentlemanly way, I might add), and then heads outside to find that he's been tracked down by werewolves.  The episode ends with Bill being surrounded by wolves and him spoiling for a fight.

Overall, it was a GREAT start to the season!  There were some subplots I didn't discuss, namely some fun stuff with Hoyt and Jessica (Bill's vampire ward) and Arlene makes a discovery of sorts.  Perhaps my favorite thing from this episode was an expanded role for Pam (Eric's second in command); she's one of the best characters in the book, but hasn't really done much in the show.  That looks like it'll be changing.

Still, I can't help but look forward to the next few weeks as some of my favorite characters from the books start showing up in the third and fourth volumes.  I'm very excited to see which weres will get to see next week!         

How about a little tune to get us through the day?  If this isn't a blast from the past, nothing is ...








10 comments:

  1. True Blood marks one of those rare times when I actually prefer television's version of the story to Harris's novels. Not to snub Harris, whose creation has amassed quite the following. For whatever reason, True Blood has become funner to watch than to read. Like I said...rare.

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  2. Good to know the third season's starting with a bang.
    I'm waiting for the second season to get cheap before I watch. [We don't do the cable thing.]

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  3. I plan to watch "True Blood", so I stopped reading once you (thankfully) mentioned that there were spoilers ahead, but I had to comment. Vampires all the way. ;)

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  4. Didn't read past the spoilers. I've beenin Japan since this staretes. Hence I've never seen it. I didn't realise that it was based on Sookie Stackhouse, which I've never read, but really wanted to (and want to more now).

    As far as Twilight goes I'm all werewolves. Also, Harry Potter. In general, I'm more of a vampire fan though. I'm not sure if it's the power or if it's because I like guys tall and incredibly thin :)

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  5. I love Vampires AND Werewolves EJ, but if you force me to choose then I would definitely choose Werewolves. I do like the complexity behind them personally. And they don't just suck some blood, they tore the s**t out of their victims limb by limb. And honestly we know who could kick whose but in a brawl.

    I have NEVER read a vampire or werewolf book, but have seen several of their movies or TV shows. I don't get HBO, so I wonder if I can watch True Blood on Hulu or do I have to rent the series out? Sounds interesting though.

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  6. @ Elliot: I do enjoy the books, but I can def see what you mean. They are almost different experiences at this point ...

    @ Kay: Cable is so doggone expensive! I prefer watching them afterward anyway, because I can motor through an entire season without having to wait for the next episode.

    @ Kathryn: If you like vamps, you'll love the show!

    @ Claire: Tall and thin would definitely describe at least one of the vamps in TB. The guy who plays Eric is like 6'7 or something ridiculous ... yeah, ladies love him.

    @ LB: I knew you'd be a werewolf girl! I think you'd like the Sookie Stackhouse books. Most of them are in paperback, you should check them out if you get the chance.

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  8. I like watching true blood season 3 episode 5 because it really inspires me...So what are you waiting for?watch true blood season3 episode 7 online for free

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  9. Well, I'm an anachronism who doesn't do cable. [Takes time away from my writing.] So, I'll be watching the show next summer. Glad to hear the show's keeping its quality up.

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