Well, this week’s episode of “True Blood” was another mixed blood bag (maybe A positive and a smattering of O), though the good news is that we learn that some (though not all) of the plot points that seemed truly predictable and ridiculous last week actually aren’t so bad. Since it seems there’s not a lot of love for traditional recaps, I’m dividing up the bad blood, the good stuff, and the ugly of the week below.
The Bad Blood
Sookie meets a boy — While I understand the need for Sookie to have another love interest, the meet-cute passages with Ben were overlong and sadly trite, especially given that the war on vampires (and by extension supernaturals) has begun. Not only does it seem like a topic for conversation (Hey, you know any vampires? Shame about them, huh?), it seems somewhat odd that, after last week’s episode, Sookie is able to fall so easily into a “Dawson’s Creek” episode of giddy flirtation. Ben could be intriguing and I’m sure we’ll see more of him sooner than we think, but the idea that immediately after finding the guy lying in the woods, she not only takes him home and plops him on her sofa, but fights the urge to kiss him shortly thereafter suggests Sookie needs to find some self control around cute guys.
The human edibles girl — At first, I thought the “Human Edibles; we’re tasty” blood prostitute was just one of those deadpan jokes that I can’t help but love on this show. And she was, right until a comatose Bill sent her spasming backwards, yanked her arm behind her back, and sucked the blood right out of her body like a human pixie stick. While it was a cool effect and definitely memorable, it didn’t seem to serve any purpose other than to give somebody a chance to have a chick in a red dress writhe around and be eaten. Jessica wasn’t the only one who was traumatized. But I guess it answered her question: Bill was hungry after all.
Eric’s encounter with the Governor — Given that we learn early in the episode that Governor Burrell’s military might is armed with not just silver bullets, but silver bullets that emit UV light, it seems either the height of hubris or just plain dumb for Eric to crash a date with the governor and try to glamour him. If his plot was just to get to Willa, the governor’s daughter (who has taken out her glamour-reflecting contacts just before he pops by her window), there were easier ways to do it. Yeah, we get a chance to see Eric trading barbs with Burrell, which is fun, but it seems that the writer just wanted to have that moment even if it came at the cost of logic. Not well played.
Jessica prays to Bill — Lilith tells Bill that he isn’t a god, but someday he might be worshipped as one. And guess what? Jessica decides to pray to Bill because… well, because it creates a payoff to that set-up. It’s a testament to how good Deborah Ann Woll is as an actress that this isn’t entirely hokey and actually reaches an unexpected poignancy, but really, without Woll as Jessica this would just be laughable.
The Good Stuff
Nora talks to Pam about Eric — It’s a small moment, but a good one. Nora is about to track down some clue from the Vampire’s Diary when she takes a moment to tell Pam why Eric never told her about his sister — she would have surely been killed for the information. Eric really could have said that himself, but he hasn’t, so Nora has to reassure poor Pam that Eric really does love her after all. Pam, who cannot possibly respond in any way that might confer gratitude, doesn’t give away how much this means to her, but we know.
Grandpa Niall is revealed — The biggest relief in tonight’s episode was that Rutger Hauer, who seemed to be Warlow last week, isn’t Warlow. Or maybe he is Warlow (I can’t rule that out yet), but he quickly convinces Jason that he’s his “fucking fairy grandfather.” How does he prove that? He knows about Jason’s juicy porn collection (and about his best high school football moment and breaking his middle finger, but the porn revelation is the mildly funny moment). I’m hoping Grandpa Niall is actually Grandpa Niall, because Jason and Sookie really do need a fucking fairy grandfather at this point.
Jason takes Grandpa home, introduces him to the portal (and later, Sookie), and over spaghetti he reveals the scary truth — Warlow is among them somewhere, and he’s coming for Stackhouses. They are, it turns out, faerie royalty. That makes Sookie a faerie princess and Jason, well, nothing. Grandpa works with Sookie on how to channel her faerie powers into a big, vampire-killing ball — the only problem being that once she uses it, she will no longer be a faerie. I swear we see the flicker of a smile on Sookie’s face when grandpa reveals that. As Sookie has said before, she’s sick of all this supernatural stuff, and we really can’t rule out a Very Special episode in which she briefly moves to New York, rents a small apartment, and gets a desk job. Kidding. Still, a Big Moment has been set up involving Sookie, vampire-killing balls of light, and possibly Rutger Hauer. I’m in.
Bill barely moves for most of the episode — Okay, that’s not fair. But sometimes Stephen Moyer does an excellent job of conveying Bill’s conflict, sense of loss and courtly manner, and sometimes he just chews scenery. I was perfectly fine seeing a little scenery chewing at the beginning and end of the episode, then a glassy stare for the rest of it. While I’d put his scenes with Lilith in the ridiculous category, dialogue-wise (“Events have been set in motion. You are not a god. There is no god but God. I do not do contractions.”), I’m ready to see what the New Bill Compton is really like, especially now that he’s seen a very ugly future for our fingers.
Andy Bellefleur can’t handle no damn faerie babies — I will admit; this is a terrible storyline for “True Blood” and almost sitcomish in its delivery here. But the fact that this scene was so short (any more of Andy and his quads would make me throw something at the screen) made it fun. Maybe it was just watching the little kids giggle and jump around while he stood in the middle of a field and fell apart, but I was willing to let this one go as, yes, kinda cute. But after this, no more passes! I also can’t help but give props to Carrie Preston for just bringing the sass to Arlene yet again this week. No one can sell “life can be a shit sandwich sometimes” any better.
Emma’s abduction — I can’t say I disagree with Alcide and Martha, but watching them cart off Emma like a squealing piglet was just distressing. It was good to see Sam stand up to the werewolves, even though he probably knew he didn’t have a shot in hell of keeping them away from Emma. Still, Nicole certainly didn’t need to get in the thick of it, and no one needed to beat the hell out of perennial punching bad Sam or, for that matter, Lafayette.
Nicole and her friends — While Nicole’s efforts to win Sam over to expose himself ended up in a civil rights dissertation, I’m pretty sure she and her L.A. friends are working for a reality TV show or a news broadcast, aren’t you? She certainly seemed too gleeful about snapping pictures while he and the werewolves fought, and I think the show may have forecast this one too clearly. But then, I thought Rutger Hauer was Warlow last week, so I’ll just hope I’m surprised.