Friday, September 30, 2011

True Blood episode recap "Everything is Broken" (S3E9)

Immediately after staking Talbot, Eric flies back to Fangtasia and tells Pam that they need sanctuary, and now.  Pam: "Are you panicking? Should I be panicking?"  But it's too late because that hardcase Nan Flanagan and her Vampire Rights League (or whatever) goons have arrived.  The vote to ratify the Vampire Rights Act (or whatever) is just three days away and Nan is furious that she's back in the deep South, cleaning up messes when she should be wining and dining politicos - and that's Tru-Blood dining only for Nan, of course.  She orders the vamp goons to "silver" Eric.

Russell gets back to the mansion to find what's left of his lover lying in gooey strings and clumps on the carpet.  He falls to his knees and clutches the gunk to his chest.  When he see the Viking crown has been taken, he knows exactly who is responsible and screams in rage.

Meanwhile, back in Bon Temps, Sookie and Bill shower together and engage in a little biting, bloody shower-sex.  Then they go downstairs to clean up the dead werewolf that Bill left in the living room.  She asks him why he's keeping that secret file on her and her family and he says that he's trying to find out what she is exactly, and thus why Eric is so interested in her.  Sookie's like, you know, that file is kind of creepy, plus you can't think of me as a thing that needs protecting - I took care of Debbie all by myself, after all.

Jason gets back to his house to find Felton in there with Crystal.  She's told her fiance that Jason kidnapped and raped her, is why she's there.  When Felton starts choking Jason, Crystal beats him over the head with the butt of the shotgun.  She tells Jason that they need rope and lots of it - Felton is stronger than he looks and can escape handcuffs.  They take him out to the boondocks and make an anonymous call to the sheriff's office, reporting him.

There's a lot of talking in this episode, much of it as Nan Flanagan interrogates Eric about the Magister's disappearance in view of webcams so the members of the Authority can hear firsthand.  Blah blah blah: ERic tells her about Russell's history with the werewolves, how Russell wants to take over the world, how Russell hates the Authority, how Russell killed the Magister and forced the Queen to marry him, that he didn't report any of this because he's holding a 1,000 year old grudge and wants to kill the King himself.  Nan thinks this all might be bullshit, especially since Russell just donated $500,000 to the VRL (or whatever).  She puts Eric and Pam in coffins until the Authority can make a decision.

Back at Sam's trailer, he tries to get Tara to talk about her ordeal.  He's very gentle with her but is interrupted when Terry and Arlene call to complain about the ruckus Tommy and a lady friend are making next door.  It's quite a ruckus.  Sam goes over there and finds Tommy and a naked blonde bimbo partying hard.  Tommy thinks Sam is a fuddyduddy; Sam just asks him to keep it down.

Both Ruby Jean and Jesus have spent the night at Lafayette's house, but Jesus has spent it in his bed.  In the morning, Jesus takes Ruby back to the clinic, promising to come back soon to see Lafayette.

Jason and Crystal swing by the sheriff's office in the morning and learn that the deputy who went out to investigate Felton was mauled terribly and is in critical condition.  I guess Crystal didn't tie him as tightly as she thought.  But a bag of V was found at the scene, along with some guy's empty clothes, and Jason points out that if they can tie the V to the meth dealers at Hotshot (the white trash warren up in the hills where the meth dealers live), they can raid them again.  Andy thinks that's actually a decent idea.

Tara has made her way to a rape survivors' support group, but is startled to see Holly, the new death's-head Merlotte's waitress there.  Holly is very welcoming and warm, though, and tells her story to get things going. Tears roll down Tara's face as she listens.

Sookie gets a phone call from her cousin Hadley and meets up with her.  Hadley wants Sookie to meet her son, Hunter, to see if he has the same mind-reading gifts that Sookie has.  Hunter does and Hadley panics, convinced that the vampires will come after her little boy the way they're coming after Sookie.

That evening at Merlotte's, Arlene thinks Tommy is stealing her tips.  When Sam takes her side, Tommy accuses him of never standing up for himself.  Holly finds Arlene crying in a back room and comforts her, enough so that Arlene confesses about being afraid of the possibly evil baby she's carrying.  Holly asks if she wants the baby and Arlene cries no.  Then Holly asks if she wants to go to a clinic but Arlene can't face that, so Holly tells her that "there are other ways to resolve it."  Is Holly a witch?  Because I heard witches were going to make an appearance on this show at some point.

Bill has that dream Sookie had that brings him to Claudine's glowy world.  Claudine is NOT happy to see him.  When she runs from him, he grabs her and she blasts him with that light from her hands.  She accuses him of killing Sookie and stealing her light.  Bill insists that he did not kill Sookie and asks Claudine what she is, because Sookie needs to know so she can protect herself.

Eric's ears and nose are bleeding again when Pam emerges from her coffin.  He warns her about all the shit that's about to come down.  She tells him that he should have confided in her about what happened to his family so he didn't have to carry that burden alone.  They are sad, thinking about what might happen.  He tells her that if he can't go on, she must make a new vampire: it is time for her to become a maker.  Pam bursts into tears and hugs him tight.

Hoyt and Summer come in for dinner at Merlotte's.  Jessica's fangs accidentally pop out when she seats them and she runs off, embarrassed.  But when that annoying Summer goes to the ladies', Jessica comes back to the table and apologizes for scaring Hoyt's new girlfriend. Hoyt bursts out, "I hate her! I fuckin' hate her! She won't stop talkin'!"  Jessica: "So what are you doin' with her?"  Hoyt: "Because it beats sittin' around thinkin' about you."  Jessica bursts into tears and Tommy comes over and ushers her away.  In another booth, Jason tells Crystal about the plan to raid Hotshot and put everyone in jail.  She gets upset, saying those folk are her kin, and lots of 'em don't have anything to do with meth, and it'll be really bad to put them in jail.

Nan Flanagan returns to Fangtasia.  Across the street and unseen, Russell is watching, clutching a crystal urn full of Talbot-goo.  He thinks that the VRL (or whatever) is "protecting a murderer" and flies off before learning that Eric is, in fact, currently a prisoner.  Nan tells Eric and Pam that the Authority is going to pretend all this never happened, while instructing Eric to kill Russell, under the radar and without any outside support.  Eric is apprehensive what with how powerful and old Russell is but Nan does not care: "Bring me his fangs or I'll take yours."

Back at Merlotte's, Crystal's daddy Calvin has come in and is shouting at his daughter, calling her a snitch (and worse).  Sam has had enough and beats the ever-lovin' snot out of Calvin while everyone looks on in awe and horror.  Finally, Hoyt and Jason pull Sam off the unconscious and very bloody man.  Calvin is in really bad shape so Jesus and Lafayette put him in Jesus's truck to go to the hospital. Crystal runs out and jumps in the truck with them, ignoring Jason's pleas to stay.

In the parking lot, Tara watches the truck go and then HOLY SHIT there's Franklin, totally not killed.  He grabs her and drags her around the side of the building.  He's still completely nuts and more angry with her for not mourning his presumed death than actually having tried to kill him.  She takes a stand and tells him that he's a psychopath and she never loved him and he doesn't really love her because he is not capable of it.  Tara:  "Come on - if you're gonna kill me, fuckin' kill me! ... and then I will finally be free of you!"  Franklin seizes her and is about to bite down when Jason steps behind him and cocks his shotgun (not a euphemism).  Franklin, as a vampire, is of course not afraid of any gun and advances, so Jason fires and that big ol' wooden bullet hits the vamp square in the chest, causing him to erupt in a fountain of blood and guts.  See, Tara, that's how you kill a vampire.

Bill and Sookie reconnect and he tells her about his visit with Claudine, and that he thinks he knows why Sophie-Ann, Russell and Eric are so interested in her - he knows what she is.

Nan is in her limo, up in Oregon on her way to her next meeting in Portland.  There's a hot naked chick with enormous boobs in the limo with her and Nan, that big friggin' hypocrite, drops her fangs and starts sucking on the girl's femoral artery.  The limo's t.v. set is tuned to a local station and the anchor is talking about the upcoming VRA vote.  Suddenly, and absolutely awesomely, Russell drops onto the set, punches his fist through the news anchor's chest AND PULLS OUT THE GUY'S GODDAMNED SPINE.  Oh. my. god. Russell fucking rocks.  He pushes the dead guy out of his chair and sits down, still holding the spine in one bloody hand, and starts his rant [paraphrased and shortened]:  "We are nothing like you.  We drink true blood and the VRL is trying to hide this fact from you.  I am the true face of vampires.  Why would we seek equal rights?  You are not our equals.  We will eat you, and after we will eat your children. Now, time for the weather - Tiffany?"

Damn.  That last ten minutes totally made up for all the talking and talking and talking in the rest of the episode.  Outstanding.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Programming note

I'm churning out these True Blood recaps as fast as I can get to them because as soon as we finish S3, we're diving straight into the Second Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series!  I'm so excited to watch a bunch of scary movies - TB may be about vampires and be all gory and shit, but it's not like it's actually scary or anything.  I've got some good stuff (I think) lined up: [REC] 2, Insidious, My Soul to Take, The Devil's Backbone, Open Water and so on.  But first, back to Bon Temps!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

True Blood episode recap "Night on the Sun" (S3E8)

Sookie's screaming brings everyone to their feet.  Alcide tries to drag Bill out, Tara's ready to stake him right there, Bill's fangs pop out.  Sookie calms herself and tells them she wants to speak to Bill alone.  After her friends have gone out, she tells him that she's afraid of him now and isn't so sure she can forgive him for what he did.  He says that he doesn't deserve to be forgiven and all he wants for her is a normal life - sunshine, children, a future - which he can't give her.  He tells her he will love her forever and leaves, bloody tears streaking his face.

In Mississippi, Talbot feels like everything is spiraling out of control:  Russell is moving his new wife into the mansion; he can't get Franklin's brains out of the guest room linens; there are werewolves buried under the gazebo ... and when Russell then confesses to having killed the Magister, Talbot shrieks, "You're like a century-old child!  The Authority will be furious."  Russell is sure that everything is under control, however.  Debbie shows up, demanding an audience with the King and wanting revenge for Cooter's killing.  Eric points out to Russell that they need to keep Sookie alive, though, and the King agrees, saying she's "special."  Debbie: "She's fucking my ex-boyfriend and made him shoot my fiance - she's a cunt!"  Russell, agreeably: "But she's a special cunt."  He promises that he'll let Debbie play with Sookie for a bit when he gets her back.  After the were leaves, things get a little tense when Russell says he's unsure if he can trust Eric.  The Viking vampire drops to his knees, kisses Russell's hand and swears his loyalty.  Russell seems appeased.

Arlene has a nightmare that Rene is still alive and singing to his unborn baby, promising that his son will be just like him.  This terrifies Arlene, who wakes up screaming and afraid of the baby she's carrying.

Bill goes home and Jessica is thrilled to see him.  He tries to kick her out, saying that he can't protect her, can't be responsible for her, can't take care of her, but she refuses to go.  She needs him to teach her how to be a vampire, plus she just doesn't want to be alone anymore.  She starts to cry and Bill gives in, unable to abandon her.

Sookie is home now too and Alcide is there with her, keeping an eye on her.  Jason and Andy stop by to try to convince her to press charges against Bill.  She says that it's over between them but she won't press charges.  Jason's like, fine, but I'm killing him the next time I see him.  Tara and Lafayette are upstairs as well: she's looking wicked shell-shocked but says she can't talk about what happened to her yet.

Sam meets his mother at the rental cottage and watches as she packs up the last of her things.  Tommy asks her again to leave Joe Lee but she won't, she loves him.  She asks Sam for some money.  He gives her some and she complains that it won't get them very far.  Sam has had it and snaps, "I don't give a fuck how far it gets you as long as it's out of here."  When Lindy is gone, Tommy starts to cry.

When Lafayette gets back to his house, he is surprised to find his mother there, escaped from the psych hospital.  "I'm here to save you, Lala," she says, "... from the vampires and the witches and the dogs and cats - they all know about you."  Lafayette rolls his eyes and takes her into the house.

Sookie and Tara have a little spat about Sookie being hung up on Bill, and Tara tells her that if she goes back to him, she's a dumb bitch - Tara is over-identifying a little bit here because she just had a sexy dream about Franklin and is horrified that she could have such feelings about her captor.  Alcide comes out as Tara stomps off: "Good, maybe you can flirt some sense into that girl because logic sure as hell ain't workin'."

Jason is loading his shotgun with some leftover Fellowship of the Sun wooden bullets when Crystal appears at his front door, soaking wet and sporting a black eye.  She says she had to swim here so "they couldn't track [her] scent."  Jason thinks this might be some sort of drug code.  She wants to take his truck but he won't give it to her.  Instead, he gives her a towel and some whiskey and learns that the black eye is courtesy of "Felton," her fiance, to whom she's been promised since she was four - her daddy don't hold much with outsiders.  They talk a little more and then start making out.

Arlene interviews a new waitress for Merlotte's, Holly, who is so skinny that she looks like an actual skeleton.  Arlene tells Sam he's not to sleep with the new girl but I'm guessing that won't be much of a temptation.

Lafayette has called Jesus to come fetch Ruby Jean back.  She doesn't want to go because she wants to protect her son, who has a lot of power and that's why "they're" coming for him.  Jesus agrees and promises that he won't let anything happen to Lafayette.

At the King's mansion, Eric (again bleeding from the nose and ears for some reason) tells Hadley that he wants her to deliver a message to Sookie.  Sometime later, Hadley shows up at Sookie's house and tells her that Eric says that Russell is coming for her, and don't trust Bill.  "Like I'm supposed to trust Eric?" scoffs Sookie.  After delivering her message, Hadley bursts into tears, causing Sookie to read her mind ("I'm sorry I told them about you!"), then runs away.

Alcide gets a phonecall from his sister: Debbie and her gang have torched Janice's salon and he needs to go back to Jackson to stop her from hurting anybody.  He doesn't think it's safe for Sookie here, though, and asks her to come with him.  She says no, she won't run, and if she's really in trouble, Bill will come.  They have a sweet little moment where each realizes that if they were smarter, and things were different, maybe they would have fallen in love with each other instead of the train wrecks they've got going now.  Then he leaves.

In an excellent display of vamp-fu, Bill gives Jessica fightin' lessons in the living room.  She keeps harping on the fact that he and Sookie belong together, but Bill insists that he's no good for Sookie.  Jessica understands: she loves Hoyt but he's so good and sweet that he belongs with someone like him.  They bond over missing their honeys.

Russell tells Talbot that he's going to Louisiana after Sookie and Talbot has a total hissy fit, throwing things around.  Eric volunteers to stay behind at the mansion and keep Talbot company.  Talbot looks him up and down and agrees; Russell mouths, "Thank you!"  After the King has gone, Eric and Talbot play chess for a while until Talbot gets bored and orders the blond vampire to take his clothes off.  The henchvamps are sent away and Eric takes his shirt off.  Talbot approves.  "It's been a long time since I've done this," says Eric.  "A man?" asks Talbot,  Eric: "No, a vampire."  They start making out.

Crystal's daddy and Felton stop by Merlotte's looking for Crystal.  Sam sniffs the air questioningly before he even sees them.  He tells them that Crystal hasn't been here and asks them to leave.  Her daddy gets in his face, calls him "shifter" and threatens him; when Tommy tries to get involved, Sam holds him back and Felton sneers, "Down, boy."  When the meth dealers have left, Tommy asks Sam, "Did you smell that?"  "Yeah," says Sam.

After Jason and Crystal have sex, Jason goes out to get them something to eat, taking his shotgun with him.  But first he swings by Crystal's house and finds a naked guy chewing on a deer carcass in the back of a shed.  The guy hisses at him and keeps eating.  Jason decides to get the hell out of there.

That night, Debbie and two of her wolves break into Sookie's house.  She is holed up in her room with her own shotgun, while Bill and Jessica are downstairs.  The two vamps take on the two wolves while Debbie goes upstairs.  CHICK FIGHT.  Bill quickly kills his werewolf but Jessica struggles with hers a little and chases it out of the house, over Bill's warning.  Russell is waiting outside and grabs her.  "You are 3,000 years old and a King, but you hide behind guards, wolves and a baby vampire.  Are you scared or just lazy?" taunts Bill.  Russell tosses Jessica aside and she runs, the wolf chasing after her.  (Not to worry: by the end of the episode, she's drained him dry.)  Russell and Bill fight but Bill is absolutely no match for the King.

Fortunately, back in Mississippi, in the middle of some steamy naked man-on-man vampire sex, Eric flips Talbot over and stakes him.  Harsh.  Russell feels the loss immediately and screams, horribly, in such pain, and flies away back to his home.  (Eric better get out of there damn quick.)  Bill rushes upstairs but Sookie has managed to chase Debbie off all by herself.  They fall into each other's arms (so much for being broken up, I guess) and have some pretty rough sex where  you get to see Anna Paquin's boobs again.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Sunday, September 25, 2011

True Blood episode recap "Hitting the Ground" (S3E7)

Lorena takes a break from sucking on Sookie's neck to pronounce her utterly delicious.  While she is thus distracted, Bill manages to stagger to his feet and wrap a length of silver chain around Lorena's neck.  They fall backwards onto the floor, Lorena face up on top of Bill.  Sookie grabs a big stake and, at Bill's urging, slams it through Lorena's chest as Bill lifts her up and away from his own body.  Lorena explodes into a stringy mess of blood and goo, coating Bill thoroughly.  He's been pushed beyond his limit now, though, and just lies there unconscious as Sookie screams for help.  (She's been doing a LOT of screaming this season.)

Help arrives in the form of Alcide and Tara in Alcide's van.  Tara thinks Bill sure looks dead but Sookie insists that he's not.  She gets the manacles off his wrists and they wrap him up in a tarp.  They're about to load him into the van when Debbie shows up, waving a pistol around like a lunatic.  She is high on V and completely unpredictable.  Alcide tries to calm her down, then Sookie screams (again) to distract her while Tara tackles her, knocking the gun away.  Cooter comes in then, grinning nastily when he sees Alcide.  Alcide grabs the gun and shoots Cooter twice, killing him.  Debbie goes wild.  Alcide holds her off while the girls get Bill in the van.  Debbie swears that she will hunt him down and do for him.  He says that he believes her and locks her in the slave quarters.  Sookie rides in the back with Bill while Alcide and Tara ride up front.  Werewolves give chase and Alcide coldly runs one down which surprises Tara.

Back in Louisiana, Sam is trying to find the dog fights but is chased off by a toothless redneck with a shotguy.  He drives off a little ways, strips down and shifts into an especially cuddly-looking pitbull (if you can imagine such a thing).  He trots up to the barn where they're fighting the dogs and Johnny from Deadwood walks right on up to him and puts a leash on him.  Sam just wags his tail and follows Johnny into the barn.

Jason mopes around his house, thinking about Crystal: "I never thought I was smart enough to get depressed, but here I am!"  Hoyt tries to snap him out of it and suggests that Jason go down to the jail to talk to that meth dealer they arrested several episodes ago - surely he's got some information on her.  Then Summer, that annoyingly perky girl Hoyt went out on a date with, shows up with a plate of homemade biscuits.  She wants to be Hoyt's girlfriend.  On his way out, Jason tries the biscuits and says they're fantastic.  Hoyt just shakes his head.

At the Queen's palace in Shreveport, Eric has put Sophie-Ann in a cage.  He's got her favorite human, Hadley, Sookie's cousin, with him and is threatening to drain her unless Sophie-Ann tells him what's so special about Sookie.  (For some reason, both Eric and the Queen are bleeding from the ears and nose.)  Hadley begs Eric to stop - she'll tell him what she knows about her cousin.  She whispers something in his ear that makes him raise an eyebrow: "I certainly wasn't expecting that."  Sophie-Ann sighs in frustration.

In the back of Alcide's truck, Sookie rips open her forearm with a saw blade (ouch!) and feeds Bill, trying to rouse him.  It works too well and his fangs pop out.  He gnaws on her arm and then flips her onto her back and latches onto her neck, feeding ravenously, like an animal, covering her mouth with his hand so she can't scream.  Soon, she stops struggling.

Jason goes to the jail and asks the meth dealer about Crystal.  The guy says that he'll tell Jason what he wants to now but Jason has to bring him some meth first.  So Jason goes to Merlotte's to ask Lafayette to sell him some.  Lafayette: "I don't deal no fuckin' meth and even if I did, I wouldn't sell any to you."

Alcide pulls the truck over, needing a pee break, and Tara checks on Sookie and Bill.  When she opens the back of the truck, Bill is conscious but Sookie is not.  Tara kicks Bill out of the truck and Alcide drives off, heading to the hospital.  Bill looks dazed but most importantly, he doesn't burst into flame in the sunshine, only smoldering a little bit.  He watches the truck drive away and then dashes into the underbrush.

Johnny takes dog Sam to the cages.  "You look mean but you sure do mind good.  You're going to roll right over in there and take it like a little girl, aren't you?  I'm bettin' against you."  He unlocks a cage and turns back to put the dog in, but Sam, who has shifted back to his nekkid self, clocks Johnny with a pitchfork and steals his overalls.  Out in the ring, Tommy the dog is put in with a nasty looking Rottweiler.  The dogs start to fight, Lindy fanning herself nervously.  Sam lets all the other dogs out of their cages and sounds an alarm bell.  The rednecks running the fights all take off, except for Joe Lee and Lindy who are looking after a bitten Tommy-dog.  Sam steps into the ring and whacks the Rottie:  "Don't you snarl at me!"  The Rottie looks at him, whines and backs down.  Sam: "Good.  Now get the fuck out of here!"  The Rottie obeys.  Tommy shifts back to human and Sam tells Joe Lee to give him his clothes.  Sam chews his no-good parents out and takes Tommy with him when he goes, saying that he can't promise him a perfect life, but it'll be better than this one.

At the hospital, the doctors try to give Sookie a transfusion since she's lost so much blood, but she seizes immediately, reacting badly to the blood.  The doctors tells Tara and Alcide that Sookie somehow doesn't have a blood type.  They're tracking down some O negative (universal donor) but they're not hopeful.  Someone might want to call the next of kin.  Tara calls Jason and Lafayette who come to the hospital immediately.  They try to figure out how she could not have a blood type and Jason muses that Sookie's never been sick, never been in the hospital, not even when she was born.

Sookie, meanwhile, is having a dream or vision or something, and has been transported to a glowing, warmly-lit alternate reality where ridiculously pretty and scantily-clothes people caper and dance in a flowery Bon Temps cemetery, frolicking around a sparkling pond.  A beautiful woman with a British accent introduces herself as Claudine and shows Sookie around.  It's all kind of silly, really.  Claudine asks Sookie to stay here with them, not to go back to her world.  Then the sky grows dark.

It's because Bill has arrived at Sookie's bedside.  Everyone wants to throw him out but he says that his blood can save her.  Jason agrees to it and Bill uses an IV tube to directly connect one of his veins with Sooie's.  In the dream, all the pretty people dive into the sparkling pond and disappear.  Claudine tells Sookie not to "let him steal [her] light" and again asks her to come with them.  No, says Sookie, I don't know you!  Soon enough, she regains consciousness in the hospital.  She opens her eyes, sees Bill there and screams.

At Fangtasia, the Magister has chained Pam to a table with silver chains.  He is enjoying torturing her: he has bought sterling silver earrings from Tiffany's for her, but since her ears are already pierced, wonders if she minds if he pierces her eyelids instead.  Bravely she says it'll go nicely with her chains.  Before things can go any further, Eric, Sophie-Ann and Russell arrive.  Eric tells the Magister that he's guilty of selling V but he did it on the Queen's command.  And he's not committing treason by admitting this, because now his allegiance is to the King of Mississippi.  The Magister tries to arrest Sophie-Ann in the name of the Authority (apparently the ruling body over all vampires, including kings and queens) but Russell announces that he no longer recognizes the Authority's authority.  The Magister blusters and Russell has had enough.  In the blink of an eye, the King whisks Pam off the table and lays the Magister out on it, covered in those silver chains.  He starts torturing the Magister until, panicked and in terrible pain, the Magister agrees to speak the traditional words marrying Sophie-Ann and Russell.  Russell is pleased but not quite finished: with one stroke he decapitates the Magister as Eric, Pam and Sophie-Ann's jaws drop.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Friday, September 23, 2011

True Blood episode recap "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" (S3E6)

Russell and his henchmen drag Sookie and Bill back to the mansion while Talbot, Lorena and Eric look on interestedly.  Suddenly, Bill stakes a henchvamp with a baluster and then tries to stake Russell too, but the King just tosses him into the ceiling - to Talbot's horror and dismay - and laughs that he's almost 3,000 years old and it'll take more than that to kill him.  As the henchvamps subdue Bill again, he shouts at Eric to take Sookie out of here.  Eric advances on Sookie but he's not done infiltrating Russell's inner circle, so he just grins and tells the King, "I don't know exactly what you've got here, but I'd hold onto it."  Sookie's all, Eric, WTF?  Russell orders the henchvamps to take Bill to the slave quarters where Lorena is to kill him.  Sookie shrieks and promises Lorena that she will kill her herself if Lorena kills Bill.  Lorena sneers that she would like to see Sookie try and threatens to rip her open and "wear [her] ribcage as a hat," which, if I'm not mistaken, is a totally stolen line from BtVS.

Back in Bon Temps, it's a slow night at Merlott'es and Arlene, having been stiffed by all her customers, is down to one last diner, a horrible woman.  Jessica is hungry and decides to try Pam's advice.  She hypnotizes the woman into leaving all her money for Arlene, and then follows her into the bathroom where she drinks her fill but doesn't kill the victim - that way everyone's happy.

Down by the swamp, Jason and Crystal are still making out, hot and heavy, and then she freaks out, sniffs the wind and runs away, saying they can't be together.  Whatever.  More interestingly, Lafayette and Jesus are making some progress: playing billiards, talking about their childhoods and smooching.  When they go to Lafayette's house, Jesus is drawn to the little altar of saints and voodoo gods Lafayette has set up, saying they are very powerful.  They mack some more but are interrupted when the meth dealers show up and trash Lafayette's fancy new car.  He goes after them with a baseball bat and beats the crap out of one of them, yelling that they better sell that V he dropped off with them.  Jesus helps him chase them away but he's quite upset to learn that Lafayette is a drug dealer.

Sookie pleads with Eric to help her but he snaps that he's about to get something he's wanted since he was human so she better keep out of his way.  Russell comes in and sends Eric away, wanting to talk to Sookie.  He demands to know what she is exactly.  "A waitress."  Russell is all, look, honey, I may be immortal but my patience is not infinite.  He is amused when she says she'll answer his questions if he answers hers.  She tells him that her grandfather was like her, a mind-reader, and that she can hear humans' thoughts, and shifters' and werewolves' but not vampires.  The King commiserates with her about how dreadful that must be: "I mean, who cares what anyone else is thinkin'?"  She begs him to spare Bill's life.  Why, he wonders, when Bill has been keeping a secret file on her and her family, and shows her the file Franklin found in Bill's house.  Russell wants to know if she has any other powers aside from the mind-reading and that light from her hands, but she can't come up with anything else pertinent.

Meanwhile, out in the slave quarters, Lorena has chained Bill to the floor with silver chains.  There's an impressive array of sharp instruments on a nearby table.  She babbles on and on about how much she loves him and how she's suffered for him, and then she starts cutting on him.  Bill begs her to "do it quickly" but she can't/won't, crying over him and dabbling her fingers in the cuts she's slicing into him.  It sounds awful but really it's just boring.

Upstairs in the mansion, Franklin has tied Tara to the bed again.  He comes him, preening in his satin pajamas and excited about their upcoming wedding night.  She convinces him to untie her, and then tells him that she wants to drink his blood tonight so that she can be high while they have sex - the best sex is whilst hopped up on V.  Bite me, he tells her, and holy shit she goes right to town on his neck, tearing it wide open with her teeth and guzzling up her blood.  She is so desperate.

Russell asks Eric to accompany him on an errand.  They toss Sookie in a spare bedroom and she weeps ... until she hears Tara thinking at her:  "Hang in there until sunrise, Sookie, I'm going to get us out of here."  Poor Tara is lying in bed with Franklin, post-coitally, as he whispers crazy things in her ear.  She's covered in blood.

As the limo drives through the night, Eric inquires how Russell can stand being around werewolves when most vampires are disgusted by them.  Russell rolls his eyes, agreeing that the weres are more dog than man, stupider than dogs, really, so he uses them, gets them to do his bidding in exchange for his blood, has been doing it for centuries.  Why?  Because his dream is to have the vamps and the weres conquer the world and enslave all the humans.  And where are they going this evening?  To Queen Sophie Ann's palace.  They find her in her solarium, hilariously rubbing scratch tickets.  Russell hands her a rose and asks her to marry him.  Apparently he's asked before because she's like, why would I say yes now?  Russell: "Because in addition to never touching you, I will settle all your debts."  She is still resistant until Eric grabs her by the neck, throws her to the floor and threatens to rip her head off.  Russell smirks, "So, yes or no?"  "Goddamnit," Sophie Ann mutters and Russell is well pleased.

Back at the slave quarters, it's nearly morning and both Bill and Lorena are a mess, him because she's nearly flayed him alive and her because she's covered in blood as well, both his and from her own tears.  Bill drones on and on, how he wishes he'd known her before she was turned, and then finally says that he welcomes death because then he will finally be free of this disease (or possibly the disease that is her - doesn't matter).  Then they are interrupted by Cooter and Debbie in all their white trash glory, hoping to score a little vamp blood if Bill can spare any.  Lorena tells them to go ahead, suck out whatever's left.  She watches as they pounce on him.

At Sam's trailer over coffee, Sam asks his brother again WTF is up with him and Joe Lee.  Tommy just says that he hates his dead, who's always drunk and who loses every bit of money they ever have.  There's a knock at the door and it's Lindy, having brought a batch of her special corn fritters.  She wants a word with Tommy.  Sam heads to the bar and the other two start fighting.  Tommy wants her to leave Joe Lee; she throws a guilt trip on him, saying it's up to him to make money for the family now since she's hurt her back too badly to "go back into the ring."  She tells him that Sam might be blood but he ain't family and all Tommy has are his parents - they have to stick together.

Back in Mississippi, when the sun is fully up Tara climbs carefully out of bed.  There's a bunch of medieval weapons conveniently hanging on the wall and she picks out a mace and crushes Franklin's skull with it.  GROSS: blood and brains fly everywhere.  But I think she should have grabbed an ax or sword and cut his head off instead - he didn't collapse into stringy mush so I don't think she killed him.  She thinks she has, however, and grabs some clean clothes and runs out of the room.  After she's cleaned the brains out of her hair, she sashays up to the werewolf guarding Sookie's room and tells him that Talbot is serving Sookie's blood tomorrow night, and until then she's supposed to be eating all these almonds.  Tara is way wired on Franklin's blood and sells it, convincing the wolf to let her in.  Sookie jumps out and between the two of them, they manage to knock the were out and make a run for it.  Tara wants to just get the fuck out of there but Sookie insists on finding Bill first.  Tara is not inclined to help him, seeing how he ignored her when she asked for his help, but Sookie is adamant.  Tara calls her a fuckin' idiot.

OMFG Jason has shown up at Crystal's/the meth dealer's hovel with a bouquet of flowers.  Crystal pretends not to know him and tells her meth dealin' fiance to run him off.  Jason is confused but leaves without pressing the issue.

Arlene corners Sam at work and complains about him letting his kinfolk have that scary-lookin' pitbull in the rental when she's not allowed to get her kids a hamster.  Worried, Sam finds Andy Bellefleur and asks if there's any dog-fighting in the area.  Andy says not in his town, but he's heard of some in the neighboring parish.  Sam thanks him and takes off.

Tara is racing around the plantation, looking for a getaway car, when she comes face to face with a huge white wolf.  She turns and runs, and the wolf runs after her, shifting into NAKED ALCIDE (butt shot!) who promises her he's one of the good guys.  "You got a car?" she demands.  Meanwhile, Sookie hides as the V-drunk Cooter and Debbie stumble out of the slave quarters, then goes inside.  Poor Bill is looking drained and lifeless on the floor.  He's not quite dead yet, though, and she fumbles with his chains, not hearing Lorena approach behind her.  Lorena picks her up and slams her against the wall, snarling, "This is all your fault!" before sinking her fangs into Sookie's neck.  As one does when a vamp is gnawing on your neck, Sookie screams and screams.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why I'm giving up on Ringer before it even has a chance to get better

I'm a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan (duh).  I was sad when the show ended, although the seven seasons of DVDs (plus five of Angel) keep me in good company should I get the craving.  I very much liked Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy - bought into it all the way, even when the character got preachy and speechy in S7.  I'm not entirely convinced that SMG is all that great an actor, however (see any time Buffy is supposed to laugh, for example), and her brand new show, Ringer, isn't doing her any favors.  Or at least the pilot didn't, and that's all I'm going to officially watch - we need the room in the DVR.  I thought Ringer's first episode was slow, the visual effects pretty bad - that boat scene?  made the Doublemeat Palace head-snake demon look like extra fancy SFX - and SMG didn't bring enough difference to the twins she plays when both were in the same scene.  Pluswhich, during the scene in the loft where the masked man was attacking her, I kept thinking, "Why is she running away?  Why isn't she kicking him in the head?  Buffy would."  Sorry, Ringer, wrong number.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why did I never see Skins until now?

Having watched all the available Misfits, with no more in sight until (?) 2012, I was casting about on Hulu looking for another youthful British comedy/drama when I found Skins.  I'd heard about it before, of course, and heard about the disastrous American version on MTV (I didn't see it, though, and only know that the uptight/parental reaction to it was disastrous enough to quickly yank it off the air), but I'd never tracked the original series down.  Let me tell you, I'm loving it.  What is it about British television that is so often so frigging good?

Skins follows a group of high school age friends through their school days and nights of partying, hooking up, clubbing and pubbing, drinking, popping pills, pining away unrequitedly and generally making often bad and always teenagerish decisions.  The grownups that appear are buffoons more often than not; it's these kids who take care of each other, even while they're tearing each other up.  My favorite is the ethereal Cassie, slightly nuts, anorexic, and in love with Sid.  Sid is probably my second favorite - a bit of a dork, completely loyal but not that bright, always in the shadow of his best mate Tony and completely in love with Tony's girlfriend Michelle.  The other characters can be synopsized as quickly - Michelle/the pretty girl, Jal/the talented girl, Maxxie/gay boy, Anwar/Muslim boy, Chris/party animal, Tony/charismatic ringleader - but the show does a wonderful job of keeping slight storylines going from episode to episode, and developing these kids' characters without seeming to try.

Hulu has three seasons' worth of Skins available.  I'm only up to S1E7 and am thrilled to have so many more to go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recent reading (in brief)

Truly, I used to be a pretty well-read person.  Nowadays it's all horror and fantasy and escapist stuff - I must be in a rut.  The thing is, I'm finding some good stuff down here in the rut, recent Twilight excursion notwithstanding.  For instance:

Sunshine by Robin McKinley - Sunshine has carved out a decent life for herself: a job as head baker for her family's cafe/coffee shop, a light-filled apartment with a mysterious but friendly landlady, a solid relationship with a good, if slightly intimidatingly tattooed, man, and enough charms festooned about to keep the vampires, were-animals and demons away.  Until one night she takes a drive out to the lake and is kidnapped by vampires, and chained to a wall next to another vampire, this one starving, and it's still hours away from daylight.  In an instant her life is shattered, her understanding of who she herself is irrevocably changed, and she finds herself a soldier in a battle she had no intention of fighting, alongside a creature who is as compelling as he is dangerous.  Sunshine ain't no Twi-nonsense.  The vampires are extremely vicious and alien creatures, and humans who meet them pretty much don't get to do anything else ever.  But this novel is also quite funny, and full of delicious pastries; Sunshine is a good, flawed, evolving character who makes decisions, good and bad, and deal with the consequences.  Fun stuff.

Deathnote Vol. I: Boredom, story by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata - My first foray into manga was the graphic novel Deathnote, translated into English but still read back to front, right to left - it took a little while for my brain to figure out what was going on, but I finally got the hang of it.   Japanese schoolboy Light Yagami,, finds a strange notebook on the ground at school: a deathnote, the tool of the Shinigami, death gods.  Write a person's name in the deathnote and that person dies, of a heart attack if cause of death is unspecified, but otherwise however it is written.  Light is a very smart kid but he's bored; with the guidance of Ryuk, the former owner of the deathnote, Light decides to rid the world of all its evil people - saving the planet, if you will.  It doesn't take long for the police to figure out that something is strange - dozens of incarcerated criminals all over the world dying of heart attacks at exactly the same time is weird, for sure - but Light remains one step ahead.  This is the first volume of many and I can only imagine how far Light will go.  I'm not sure I'm going to keep going with this manga series but the deathnote is an interesting concept, the artwork is good and I did like the story.

Dungeon: The Early Years, art by Christophe Blain, story by Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim - This one's a graphic novel translated from the French and are apparently part of a larger Dungeon universe.  In The Early Years (as of this post I've read all of Volume 1 and have just started Volume 2), the Dungeon Keeper   is reflecting upon his youth, when he was aflame with the pursuit of justice and long-legged women, and took on the secret identity of The Nightshirt to fight bad guys.  That all the characters here are anthropomorphic animals - the Keeper is a short, stout sort-of penguin; his nemesis is a green-eyed cat; giant ducks and snails are used for transportation, as well as the more mundane horses and donkeys - makes it all rather hilarious, the derring-do and sword fights and all.  Whimsical, funny and yet truly an action-adventure tale - I can't remember how I heard about this one but I'm certainly enjoying it.

True Blood episode recap "Trouble" S3E5

Mr. Mouse complained after last episode that even though he was in the other room, trying not to pay attention to the television, all he could hear was the screaming.  Mr. Mouse is not a fan of screaming.  Not that he reads this blog anymore, but there was hardly ANY screaming in this episode.

Talbot and Franklin get a little hissy with each other while Franklin waits to see the King.  Wiping the stripper's blood from their chins, Russell, Lorena and Bill get back to the mansion just before things get nasty.  Tara's eyes go wide and she moans, "Bill?" hoping that he'll help her.  But he totally blows her off.  Russell and Franklin retire to the study so Franklin can make his report.  Tara begs for help and Bill flat out refuses her.

Franklin shows the King the Stackhouse file he found at Bill's house and Russell pages through it before asking why Franklin is dragging another girl around - he's tired of cleaning up after the Brit.  "This girl is spectacularly different," enthuses Franklin, "She's such a fucking disaster - we could be twins!"  Russell: "Franklin, you're a HUGE freak.  But I like your work."  He muses that Sookie got away the last time he sent a wolf after her, maybe he should send Franklin this time.  Franklin grins that he doesn't have to go anywhere: Sookie's in Jackson.

Alcide is driving his truck like a mad man down some back road, still riled up from that mass shifting he and Sookie just escaped from.  She wants to know more about Russell Edgington - wants to meet him, in fact.  "No fucking way!" shouts Alcide, reminding her that Eric wants him to protect her.

Speaking of Eric, he's just arrived at the King's mansion.  He is requesting permission to hunt for the missing Bill Compton in Mississippi because Bill is wanted for selling V in Louisiana.  Russell's like, "Really? Let's ask him," and Talbot laughs: "He's much too square to sell V."  Bill himself saunters in, sneering that it was in fact Eric selling the V at Queen Sophie Ann's behest.  Eric backpedals, saying that he lied about Bill because the Master will kill his "progeny" if he doesn't bring Bill back to Louisiana.  Russell snarls - he hates the Magister and all the power he has.  The King invites Eric to stay the night while he ponders what to do.  Eric sips from a martini glass of blood and gives Bill a knowing look.

Sookie is awoken by a loud fight Alcide and Debbie are having in the other room.  Alcide is shirtless again - yay!  When Sookie comes out of the bedroom, Debbie lunges at her, accusing her of sleeping with "her wolf."  Sookie snaps that Debbie's an idiot for leaving Alcide for "a dumb biker who's half the man and half the wolf" Alcide is.  Alcide has to hold Debbie back from ripping Sookie's head off.  Then Sookie asks Debbie where Bill is.  Debbie just thinks, "Who the hell is Bill Compton?" and Sookie's all, rats.

Franklin has dressed poor Tara in a horrible, old-fashioned, high-necked frilly nightgown and tied her to the bed.  He whispers crazy sweet nothings to her before hoisting her phone and demanding to know who this Lafayette is who is sending her texts - she said no boyfriends!  He pounces on her, choking her, until she finally gasps out that Lafayette is her cousin.  Oh, Franklin simpers, love you!

The next morning, Jason shows up at the sheriff's department, ready for his first day of work.  This storyline sucks so let's just say Andy sticks him with a desk job, which Jason totally fails at, and then outside washing the squad cars.  At least he's shirtless that way.

Sam helps the Mickenses move their van load of broken-down boxes and ripped trash bags into one of his rental cottages.  Terry shows up with his own truckload of stuff, ready to move in with Arlene.  Sam tells him congratulations and gives him a big hug.  Then Sam and Tommy head off to Merlotte's for work.

Sookie overhears Alcide thinking that he'd better consult with the packmaster for guidance.  She wants to know what a packmaster is.  After he gets annoyed with her for reading his mind, Alcide tells her that a wolfpack isn't a democracy - "wolves ain't that smart - you saw, they're all teeth and fight and sex" - the packmaster makes the big decisions and keeps the other wolves in line.  She wants to come with him and he reluctantly allows it, with an adorable little growl and glower.  Joe Mangianello ain't that great an actor but I sure do think he's purty.

While Franklin sleeps the day away, Tara loosens the knots with her teeth.  She sneaks out of the mansion but doesn't get halfway across the lawn before the werewolves tackle her.

Jesus comes by Merlotte's to see Lafayette: it's his day off, but Lafayette has to work until 11:00 p.m.  Jesus says he'll hang 'til then - "It's only nine hours."  Lafayette: "Oh lordy."  Aw!

When Alcide and Sookie talk to the packmaster, he's blustery but in fact is terrified of Russell and his Nazi werewolves: "He's the fucking King of Mississippi and he's had a pack serving him for centuries!"  Sookie overhears the packmaster's thoughts and tells Alcide to let him go, "He can't help us, he's afraid."  Alcide touches her shoulder and tells her that he trusts her.

As Jason washes the squad cars, that blonde girl he saw in the woods by the meth dealer's house drives by in a beater pickup.  He jumps into one of the squad cars, still shirtless, chasing her down and pulling her over.  They flirt and he tries to get her number but she's coy and eventually drives off, leaving him with nothing but her name, "Crystal."  He calls after her that he'll be at Merlotte's in an hour.

At Merlotte's, Arlene is bitchy to Jessica so the baby vampire hypnotizes all the people she seats to not tip their waitress.  When Hoyt comes in for a date with a tiny, annoying girl, Tommy asks Jessica why she looks sad.  She points out Hoyt as her ex and Tommy laughs, "Him?  He looks like he got bombed by radiation on his way to middle school!"  He tells her that she's a "smokin' hot vampire" and way too good for Hoyt.

That night, Franklin is rather upset that Tara tried to escape. "But you tied me up!" she pleads.  "To keep you safe - what other reason could there be?" is his rationale.  And then he starts bawling and pounding his head against the wall.  Tara's mind races: she apologizes, saying that it's not him she's afraid of, it's all the other vampires here at the King's mansion.  "I'll never let them touch you," Franklin promises, deadly serious, folding her into his arms.  Tara's eyes are like a trapped wild animal's.

Downstairs, the King asks Bill about that Stackhouse file but Bill disclaims having ever seen it before.  Russell's theory is that Bill is trying to unearth Sookie's heritage, thinking there's a payoff somewhere in there.  Bill chuckles, saying it's a nice theory, but since it's not his file, he really couldn't say.  Cooter interrupts to speak with his boss and Russell sends Bill away.  Later, Cooter pays a visit to Bill in his room, saying that Russell has seen through Bill's bullshit, plus they've heard that Sookie is fuckin' a werewolf right here in Jackson!  (Debbie can't keep her mouth shut about nothin'.)  Bill totally loses his cool, beating up Cooter and pushing a guard vamp's face up against the silver lining the door before running out to find Sookie.

As the evening at Merlotte's wears on, (1) Tommy asks Sam if he can stay with him tonight and Sam is like, okay, but WTF is with you and Joe Lee; (2) Lafayette and Jesus play pool and flirt; and (3) Crystal is outside the bar when Jason walks out, and they take a walk and talk earnestly and smooch and it's BORING.  He's smitten, she's secretive and it's clear that she's meant to be a supernatural something or other, white trash notwithstanding, but I just don't care.  They almost have sex but she runs off.  Whatever.

Russell has an errand to run and asks Eric to keep Talbot company.  Talbot gives him a tour of the house and when they get to Russell's collection of ancient arms, a Viking crown send Eric into a flashback:  A thousand years ago, Eric was a wastrel prince, fucking his way through the serving wenches while his king father wished he'd straighten up.  One night, wolves attacked the castle, killing everyone - Eric's father, mother and baby sibling.  Eric manages to kill one of the wolves and it turns into a naked man, with Russell's brand on his neck.  Another wolf takes the crown from Eric's father's head and takes it to a cloaked figure.  The figure tells Eric not to be a hero and walks off into the mist, taking the crown with him.  The accent is different, but the voice is Russell's.

That night, Joe Lee comes drunk off his ass to Sam's trailer, pounding on the door and bellowing for Sam to give Tommy back.  Sam throws his ass out and looks at his little brother, "WTF was that?"

Franklin finds Tara in the mansion's dining room, staring at a bowl of day lilies that the house vamps have brought her to eat.  After he chases off the guard, Tara looks at him and tells him that they have to talk.  Franklin: "Don't say that.  Women say that and everything goes black, and I wake up surrounded by body parts."  Heh - I think I love Franklin, even though he is a bugfuck crazy psychopath.  But Tara assures him that she is really into him.  He says he'll take her somewhere nice tonight to celebrate her last night as a human - he's going to turn her.  "Will you be my vampire bride?" he asks, kissing her hand.  Tara looks like she's about to lose her mind.

Bill finds Sookie at Alcide's apartment.  She throws herself into his arms and he embraces her, but tells her that she has to get out of here and fast.  But it is too late: Russell and his henchmen have arrived.  The henchmen immobilize Alcide and Bill and Cooter goes after Sookie.  She back up a little and then that white light flashes out of her hands, throwing the werewolf across the room.  Bill and Alcide goggle and Russell just throws his head back and laughs, "Fantastic!!!"

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Thursday, September 8, 2011

True Blood episode recap "9 Crimes" (S3E4)

Note: I should mention how much fun the actor who plays Russell Edgington, King of Mississippi, seems to be having.  Denis O'Hare is a Tony Award-winning stage actor who's had steady television work over the last few years.  He is a friggin' hoot, playing the vampire King with relish and gusto.  Also noteworthy is James Frain, who plays Franklin Mott, a former Royal Shakespearean actor who is fearlessly embracing the gory and gothic camp of this ol' vampire show.  Good casting, HBO.

After the bar fight, Sookie and Alcide go back to his apartment WHERE HE TAKES HIS SHIRT OFF OMFG and she cleans his wounds.  She tells him that those weres were hopped up on V, and it was Bill's blood to boot ("So I know it's strong," she flutters.).  Alcide is disgusted by the thought of werewolves drinking vampire blood.  Then Sookie gets a call on her call: it's Bill.  He tells her that he has left Bon Temps and is leaving her.  "Shut the fuck up," she says and reminds him that he just asked her to marry him.  He tells her that he's just fucked Lorena - who sits behind him on the bed, sipping a glass of blood and giggling - and didn't have to hold back like he does with Sookie.  This makes poor Sookie start to cry.  Bill tells her that they were doomed from the start and she needs to stop trying to find him, as he does not wish to be found.  After they hang up, Sookie refuses to accept what she's just heard, although she does take a moment to cry on Alcide's broad, muscular, bare shoulder.

Back in Bon Temps, Sam runs out of the bar and finds the Mickens's van parked out back in the trees: they got evicted from their hovel in Arkansas.  Sam's mama, Lindy, promises that they'll leave as soon as Tommy gets back.

Franklin asks a still-entranced Tara about Sookie.  He tells her to find out where exactly in Jackson she is, so Tara calls Sookie and Franklin provides the words for her to say.  After the phone call, Tara tries to make a run for it.  The vampire pounces on her and chomps down on her neck.  Tara screams.

At the King's mansion, Lorena claims that the broken-neck sex with Bill was the best she's had in decades.  Bill is glad one of them enjoyed it and throws her out of his room.

As he watches the new Fangtasia dancer writhe around on her stripper pole, Eric has a very detailed fantasy about Sookie.  I gotta say, Alexander Skarsgard and Anna Paquin have way more chemistry than she and Stephen Moyer do.

In the morning, Alcide calls Sookie a doormat when she still wants to find Bill, at least so he'll break up with her to her face.  She tells the werewolf that she wants to go to that were engagement party tonight to try to learn more.  Alcide gets mad, telling her that his debt to Eric is paid and he does not want to get messed up in her life.  Some time later, Sookie has called Alcide's big sister, Janice the beautician, to come by the apartment and give her a makeover so she'll fit in at Lou Pine's bar (not LuPine's as previously recapped).  Janice, an Amazon with dreads, tats and fierce eyeliner, proclaims Sookie "cute and sweet!" and just what her baby brother needs to get over that bitch Debbie.  Sookie reads Janice's mind and learns that the "engagement party" is really Debbie's induction into Cooter's crazy Nazi wolfpack.

Oh dear.  Franklin has left Tara in the cheap motel room, gagged, tied up and perched on the toilet.  That night, he brings her flowers, wanting to know if she missed him.  "I can't stop thinking about you," he says earnestly, "...we have so much ahead of us!"  He kisses her.  Tara is terrified and rightly so, because dude is effing crazy.

Because Arlene is freaking out about being the only current Merlotte's employee at the front of the house, Sam hires Jessica to hostess.  She wants to wait tables but he tells her that she has to be eighteen to serve alcohol in Louisiana.  She fumes that's unfair - she'll never be eighteen.  He hands her some menus and asks, nicely enough, if she can handle it.  "I'm a vampire," she snaps, "Not a fuckin' idiot."

When Alcide comes home from work, he is impressed with what Janice has wrought: black pageboy wig, leather halter and pants, fake tattoos and eyeliner all over the place.  She looks good.  Sookie tells him about Debbie's upcoming induction and her addiction to V, knowing that this will convince Alcide to come with her to the party.

King Russell asks Bill how long he worked for Queen Sophie Ann (25 years) and in what capacity (procurer).  Bill asks if, once he fulfills his duties for the King, Lorena will be gone.  Russell's all, hmm, maybe.  Bill then tells the King that Eric has been selling V at Sophie Ann's behest to settle her debts.  Russell finds this tidbit of information all kinds of delightful and announces that they're going to celebrate.

Back in Louisiana, Lafayette visits some local meth dealers to try to convince them to move some V in addition to their regular product.  The head guy is not interested and his cronies start poking around in Lafayette's fancy new car.  When he objects, the thugs start to pound on him until Eric swoops in and, by nearly ripping out the head meth guy's throat, convinces them that they do, in fact, want to sell that V.  The meth dealers scurry away and Eric cocks an eyebrow at Lafayette, "Come on, RuPaul, let's go."  In the car, Eric gets a call from a nervous Pam: Fangtasia is being raided, not by the police but by the Magister.  She says they're looking for the V - the Queen set them up/sold them out.

Franklin now has Tara in his car, driving to Mississippi where his employer is located - Franklin must work for the King, right?  When she objects to being bitten and tied up, he says, "I'm not a bad guy, Tara, I just want us to have a chance."  Untie my hands, says Tara, and I"ll give you a chance.  Franklin is such a freak.  He tells her how lonely he's been, but now that she's with him, all that has changed.  Tara is realizing that she's in really deep shit right now.

Sam finds Tommy out in the woods (after Terry says that he's seen the Mickenses, still in the parking lot but now grilling).  His little brother wants to know why he even looked them up in the first place.  Sam just wanted to know what he lost, family-wise.  He tells Tommy that he's got a chance: if he wants to live with Sam, he can.  Tommy says no, those people are fucked up but he's all they've got.  He won't be free of them until they're dead.  Sam goes with Tommy to see Joe Lee and Lindy.  He tells them that he'll get them a place to live but no more stealin' and no more drinkin'.  They think they can handle that.  I am unconvinced.

I was right: Franklin and Tara go right into the King's mansion.  Talbot doesn't like the British vamp and tells Franklin that Russell is out.  Franklin says they'll wait.  Talbot checks Tara out:  "Is it for me?  It's skinny." and sashays away.  Franklin gives a frightened Tara a wink.  Is she ever going to be anything but a victim on this show?

At Lou Pine's, no one is bothering the disguised Sookie, although one of Cooter's packmates wants her to do a tequila shot.  No, thanks, says Sookie, and the were thinks, "She looks familiar ... did I bang her?"  So Sookie grabs the shot and shouts, "I mean, fuck yeah!"  The pack hoots and hollers and hands her more shots.  A scruffy-looking, big-haired redhead in a leather jacket and bikini top comes up, gives Sookie the once-over and sneers, "Who the fuck are you?"  Alcide steps up: "She's with me, Debbie."

Russell's limo pulls up outside a strip club: the king is in the mood for "something ethnic" and since Bill used to be a procurer, sends him in to procure a girl.  Meanwhile, Russell tells Lorena that he has a quick errand to attend to.  Inside the strip club, Bill picks out a nice dark-haired stripper with real boobs and glamours her quickly.  He checks to see if she's married or has kids or family who will miss her.  She answers no to all of the above, plus has a pretty bleak outlook on life anyway, so he leads her outside.

Eric flies back to Fangtasia to find the Magister torturing poor Pam with silver implements.  He says he was framed.  The Magister wants to know who was selling the V.  Pam screams again and again and finally shouts Bill's name.  Eric: "It's true, he's gone missing and I believe he's behind this."  The Magister gives Eric two days to bring Bill to him or he'll kill Pam.

Debbie is a friggin' trainwreck, white trash and hopped up on V.  She calls Sookie a skank with whom  Alcide is trying to make her jealous.  Sookie looks Deb up and down and says, "Skank?  Well, comin' from you, that's just funny."  Then Cooter sleazes up and says it's time.  The crowd of weres strips Deb to her bra and g-string and hands her up onto the stage.  Then Russell walks out and all the weres fall to their knees as he addresses them in German (?) and bites into his own arm.  He fills a bunch of shot glasses with his own blood and then leaves.  The crowd gets more rowdy.  They brand Debbie with the Nazi mark and as she screams and cries, things get even crazier.  Cooter strips down and shifts into his wolf, and the crowd starts howling and shifting too.  It affects Alcide: he turns and looks at Sookie, eyes all yellow and wolfy, and barks at her to run.

In another part of Jackson, Bill has picked up on Sookie's sudden burst of fear as he leads the stripper to the limo.  He just pauses, however, then follows her in.  Lorena and Russell waste no time biting into the poor screaming girl, and soon, at the King's invitation, Bill joins in the feasting as well.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Monday, September 5, 2011

True Blood episode recap "It Hurts Me Too" (S3E3)

Sookie fires Terry's gun as the werewolf charges.  Eric jumps in front of the wolf, catching the bullet, because dead werewolves can't talk.  (I'm guessing Sookie doesn't have silver bullets so I'm guessing that in this world, regular bullets kill weres.)  The were sees Eric bleeding and shifts into his nekkid human form, hoping to slurp up some V fresh from the source.  The vampire holds him off, demanding to know who his master is. The wolf won't tell, saying he's dead if he does (although Sookie picks "Jackson" out of his mind).  Eric's like, okay, and savages the were's neck.  Sookie looks on, all OMG, as the dying were's blood spreads across her living room rug.  Afterwards, she pouts a little that Eric didn't let her hear more of the were's thoughts but does thank him for saving her life.  She decides that she needs to get to Jackson, Mississippi, right away to track down Bill.  Eric rolls her eyes and tells her to try to stay out of trouble.

Russell puts out the flames on Lorena using some priceless, ancient tapestry, sending Talbot into conniption fits.  Bull sulks as the King tells him that he and Lorena are going to have to get along if they're both going to be in his court.  They chat for a bit, the King inquiring about Bill's relationship with Sookie, and then the King sends Bill to bed.

In the aftermath of the Drunken Redneck Beatdown in Merlotte's parking lot, Tara and the British vamp are at a cheap motel, having extremely weird/intense sex.  She cries for him to bite her but he pulls in his fangs, saying he won't do it if she wants him to.  That's twisted.  He flips her over and the weird/intense sex continues.  Afterwards, they cuddle a little, Tara amazingly relaxed, until he starts to ask her about herself.  She jumps out of bed and throws her clothes on.  Bemused, the vamp tells her his name - Franklin - and asks hers, but she runs out, thanking him for the evening.

Sam makes his way back to the Mickens's hovel, a little cranky about Tommy almost getting him killed.  He tells his family that he's going back to Bon Temps and just wanted to say goodbye to them.

At the Stackhouse-Fortenberry bachelor pad, Hoyt scoffs a little about Jason's new found dream of becoming a copy.  He tries to help Jason go through the online practice test - Jason goes 0 for 22 - but he's distracted by thoughts of Jessica.  Jason tells him that he just needs to move on.

Pam has her head buried between Fangtasia's newest dancer's legs when her phone rings.  Super-annoyed, she answers.  It's Jessica, freaking out because the dead trucker in her basement has disappeared.  Pam's like, let's see, you DON'T have a body in your basement and that's a PROBLEM?  She hangs up on the baby vampire and muff-dives back in.

Sookie swings by Merlotte's to let Sam know she's going to Jackson for a few days.  He tells her about reuniting with his family and she brings him up to speed on Eggs's being shot in the parking lot.  Sam: I guess I'm glad there's only one bar in town.  She asks him to keep an eye on Jessica while she's gone and he threatens to give the vamp her job if she doesn't come back soon.

Arlene goes to the doctor and confirms that she is pregnant.  Trouble is, she's too far along (nine weeks at least) for the baby to be Terry's.  So whose?  Rene's?  Someone from the Maryann orgies?  When she tries to tell Terry, he assumes it's his and is so overjoyed that she just lets him believe it.  Meanwhile, the coroner - who apparently doubles as a funeral director - calls Tara to tell her that Eggs's funeral is today.  She runs to the cemetery and is saddened to see no one else there.  But Sookie is there - she paid for the funeral - and she holds Tara while they bury Eggs.  The camera pans back to an old gravestone: Thomas Compton.

Flashback to 1888.  Bill strides through the night to his home.  His wife, Carolann, is inside, terrified and alone.  She cries to see him because the war ended three years ago and when she didn't hear anything, she assumed he was dead.  She's additionally sad because their young son Thomas has just died from the pox.  Bill falls to his knees by the tiny coffin.  He cries and his tears are of blood because Lorena has already turned him.  Carolann struggles to understand this ... and then she runs for it, but Lorena catches her at the door.  Bill tries to calm his hysterical wife and Lorena just rolls her eyes, telling him that he's not helping things.  In the King of Mississippi's guest room, Bill wakes up from this remembrance/dream and falls back against the pillows, panting.

Jason has a nightmare about taking the policemen's exam with no pants on.  He's dozed off while on his road crew job.  When Lafayette wakes him up, he apologizes, saying he's got a lot on his mind.  Lafayette: "Yeah? Well, that must be somethin' new."  Then Hoyt starts screeching because the road crew just found a dead body in a culvert, headless and handless.  From the plaid flannel shirt it's wearing, I'm guessing this is Jessica's dead trucker.  Soon, Bon Temps entire police force is there - Sheriff Bud, Andy, Kenya and some other nerdy guy - staring at the latest dead body.  Bud announces that he's quitting: "43 years of this and what do I have to show for it?  Gaps in my brain and polyps in my ass.  I don't need this horsehit!"  He throws down his badge and stomps off.

Sookie goes back home and drags the living room rug out onto the porch.  As she scrubs at it, a figure moves behind her and she hears a growly voice think, "Must be her, blonde and pretty, no wonder the girl is a magnet for trouble."  She whirls and shrieks and runs from a very large, extremely attractive bearded man. He grabs her and tells her that it's okay, his name is Alcide Herveaux and Eric sent him to help her.  And yes, he's a werewolf.  A short time later over tea, Alcide tells her that he knows the pack she's sniffing after and she's going to need his help because they're a mean gang, a new gang in town.  Werewolves had lived in Jackson for 200 years without humans knowing it, but this new group - they're wicked bad news.  Plus, his ex-girlfriend is currently banging their leader.

Those white trash Mickenses have found their way from Arkansas to Sam's bar, much to his surprise and barely concealed dismay.  He sits them down in a booth and says he's buying them lunch.

Having fallen back asleep, Bill dreams/flashbacks some more.  Carolann is in shock.  Lorena chides Bill and reminds him that the human world and the vampire world cannot coexist.  Carolann begs him to kill her, to release her from her suffering.  Instead, he glamours his wife so she won't remember him.  Later that night, Bill buries his son.  Lorena tells him that truly the only way he can show his love for a human is to stay away ... forever.  We know where this is going, right?  He's going to break up with Sookie for her own protection.

Downstairs in the King's mansion, Cooter is all worked up because the wolf he sent to Bon Temps after Sookie hasn't gotten back yet.  Talbot smirks that all the werewolves are dumber than a box of rocks.  Cooter appeals to his king: "Sir, that's unfair."  Talbot:  "To boxes ... or rocks."  Heh.  Russell chides his companion and asks him to offer Cooter some refreshment.  Talbot stands and arches an eyebrow at the were: "Zima, correct?"  Double heh.  Talbot and Pam should have their own spin-off, or at least a snark contest.  Lorena sniffs that Eric Northman may have interfered with the wolf who was sent after Sookie.  Then Bill strolls in and pompously announces that he has considered the King's offer: for the safety of the humans he lives amongst, as well as for his own safety, he renounces his loyalty to the Queen of Louisiana and swear fealty to the King of Mississippi.  Lorena is miffed because she wanted to chew on Sookie but Russell, pleased with Bill's decision, tells her to stow it.

Sometime that night, a blaring car horn wakes Lafayette up.  It's Eric, in a fancy red convertible.  Lafayette says that he still needs more time to move the V but Eric cuts him off, apologizing for Pam's menacing behavior and offering the car as a gift to his best salesman.

At Merlotte's, Sam catches Joe Lee trying to give Tommy shots of booze and kicks them all out.  Later, after he's gone to bed, an alarm wakens him because someone has broken into the bar.  He catches Tommy trying to break into the safe but his little brother just turns into a hawk and flies out the broken window.

Franklin pays Jessica a visit.  He's got her dead trucker's head in a shopping bag.  He points out that since he helped her with her dead body problem, perhaps she could answer a few questions about Bill Compton for him.  That guy is one creepy-ass mofo.

Alcide brings Sookie to LuPine's, the oldest werewolf bar in Mississippi.  It's a biker bar and she's wearing a lacy white top; when she asks the bouncer (who seems to be chummy with Alcide) if she's dressed inappropriately, he tells her that she looks like dinner.  She and Alcide split up and she sashays over to the Nazi wolf gang that Alcide points out to her.  She gets them going a bit by saying Fangtasia is much scarier than this bar, plus what could possibly be stronger and tougher than a vampire, until one of the weres who kidnapped Bill drags her off into a back room.  She can't get him to think or say anything more about Bill so she screams until Alcide bursts in to rescue her.  There's a small bar fight, and Alcide gets his ass kicked until the bouncer breaks it up.  Afterwards, the bouncer tells Alcide that his ex, Debbie, is getting engaged to Cooter and the party is at LuPine's tomorrow night.  Alcide just shakes his head, sad.

Back in Bon Temps, Franklin has tracked Tara to Sookie's house.  She is shocked that he found and knows her name now - all thanks to Jessica.  She refuses to invite him in so he glamours her and gets his invitation that way.  Dude is sooooo sketchy.

At King Russell's mansion, Lorena lets herself in to Bill's bedroom.  When she mocks him for tricking the King into believing he'd give up Sookie, he reminds her that it was she who taught him that loving humans means hurting them.  He throws her up against the wall, growling that she's won., depriving him of his home and his humanity.  She kisses him and he hurls her onto the bed, ripping off her dress and thrusting himself savagely into her.  As they fuck, he twists her head around, breaking her neck, until she is facing backwards, and still she laughs and coos and tells him how much she loves him.  Horrified (me too, actually), Bill pulls back from her, clutches his head and screams.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Friday, September 2, 2011

True Blood episode recap "Beautifully Broken" (S3E2)

Bill frigging shreds the werewolf pack, killing one, amputating the leg of a second and ripping the ear off a third.  Before he can go after the last whole wolf, a vampire fop on a white horse comes riding up.  Bill bows low, intoning, "Your Majesty."  The Vampire King of Mississippi tut-tuts the remaining werewolves, who were to have escorted Bill to his mansion, not snacked on him on the way.  The wolf leader, Cooter (hee!), is awfully cranky about the evisceration Bill has inflicted on his pack but the King reminds him who's boss around here by shooting his last pack member, who goes down with a yelp even though he was in naked human form.  The King has Bill mount up behind him on the horse (not a euphemism) and they ride off into the night, leaving Cooter to stare disconsolately around at the pieces of his pack.  On the plus side, Cooter the naked werewolf is a fine figure of a man, so there's that.

Lafayette bursts into the bathroom and digs the pills out of Tara's mouth, forcing her to vomit them up into the toilet.  Lettie Mae comes in and starts shouting about Jesus.  Lafayette picks up his cousin, yells at his aunt that she's failed her daughter for the last time and tells her to get the fuck up out his way so he can take Tara to the hospital.

At Fantasia, Sookie shows Eric a picture of the Nazi werewolf brand they found on the dead were's neck.  Eric seems to recognize the brand but claims not to, and warns Sookie away from the werewolves, saying they're brutal, secretive and territorial - and if they're involved in Bill's abduction, they'll kill her for sure.  Sookie reminds him that she risked her life to help him find Godric - "Bill Compton is no Godric!" snarls Eric - so she would hope that he would at least help her a little here.  She starts to cry which makes Eric uncomfortable enough to flashback to WWII: he and Godric are dressed as German soldiers and come across a Nazi girl werewolf feeding on a U.S. soldier.  The girl wolf has the same brand as the guy Sookie found.  Eric and Godric kill the Nazi werewolf girl, after they learn that her "master" is another vampire.  Eric is particularly irate about a vampire consorting with werewolves and Godric promises that they'll find him.

Note: True Blood werewolves seem to be a variety of shapeshifters who only shift into big wolves, who look like wolves not monsters like movie werewolves so often do, whereas shapeshifters like Sam Merlotte can shift into any animal they please.  Can Sam shift into a wolf as well?  Seems to me like the shapeshifters have the better deal - or at least a more interesting one - than the werewolves.

Meanwhile, in the ladies' room, Jessica asks Pam how to snack on humans without killing them.  Pam tells her to stop when she hears the heartbeat slow down.  "But how do you stop?" wonders Jessica.  Pam: "I think about cryin' babies with soggy diapers."  Then Jessica wants to know what she should do if she can't stop in time.  Theoretically, of course.

Russell, the Vampire King of Mississippi, brings Bill to his swanky home where his consort, Talbot, a rather fey vampire, flits around and gets Bill cleaned up for dinner.  Bill believes he's being held captive but Russell tells him to just wait until he's heard his business proposal.  They close Bill into his silver-lined guest room and Talbot tells the King that he thinks Bill is going to be a challenge.  Russell nods and says he thinks he might have to bring in "the girl."

Tara begs Lafayette not to take her to the hospital, saying she's okay since she threw up all the pills. She's so sad, saying that the one time she thought she was happy she "was a fuckin' zombie."  Lafayette tells her that she has to deal with her problems, same as everyone else does, and she is not allowed to check out early and leave him here alone.  He starts the car, saying that they're going to get something to eat and then there's something he's got to show her.

Sookie takes Jessica home as it's nearly sunrise.  Hoyt is there on the porch, waiting for Jessica.  He's brought a six-pack of Tru-Blood, B+, thinking that she might be hungry.  He says he's sorry for not taking better care of her.  She's stressed about the dead body in her basement and she snaps that it's in her nature to be bad, so he can't help her and shouldn't try.  She runs in the house, crying; Hoyt leans his head against the closed door, sniffling a little himself.  Jessica goes to the basement door and looks at the dead guy: he looks awful, and smells worse, but she climbs down next to him to sleep the day away.

At her own home, Sookie is surprised by Jason and knees him in the "family junk" before she realizes it's her brother.  When he can get his breath back, he says he's here to help her clean up the house in Maryann's aftermath.  As they clean and scrub, she tells him about the werewolves and how frustrated she is by not being able to do anything to find Bill.  Jason offers to talk to Andy Bellefleur to see if there's anything they can do to help.

In the morning, Sam is awakened from sleeping in his truck by a shotgun in his face.  Tommy Mickens brings him into the house where Sam gets to meet his birth mother (shapeshifter) and father (regular guy).  Tommy, Sam's brother, is also a shifter - and they are all of them wicked white trash.  His mom says that she gave him up when she was sixteen, hoping to get him a better life.  Sam says well, okay, better until he turned 15 and shifted and didn't know WTF was happening to him.  Tommy's like, and neither of you thought to tell me that I had a brother?  Later, Sam finds Tommy out working on an old car.  They play a bit of "whose life is more fucked" until Sam says, "Okay, if it means that much to you, you win." And they decide to shift and go for a run to work off some steam.  Sam shifts into his adorable collie mix; Tommy rolls his eyes and shifts into a stocky pitbull.

When Sookie goes to Merlotte's for her shift, she hears the thoughts of a skulking man who wants to grab her.  He bolts without attacking her, however, startled by Terry Bellefleur's arrival.  Terry helps Sookie search in the woods but all they find are footprints, both man and wolf, and the guy's clothes.  When he sees that Sookie is determined to track down that guy, Terry gives her a gun and tells her that he would be sad if she got killed.  Sookie smiles and kisses him on the cheek.

Lafayette has brought Tara to a mental hospital and she is freaking out, thinking he's going to try to commit her against her will.  But no, they're here to see Lafayette's mother, played by Alfre Woodard (!), who's a little bit crazy and a whole lot racist.  Tara is shocked and stunned to see her aunt like this (she didn't know?), and now understands Lafayette, and their family, a little bit better after the encounter.

Jessica is on the phone with the Bon Temps hardware store, renting a chainsaw per Pam's advice.  She takes money from the dead guy's wallet to pay for it.

Back at the Mississipp mansion, King Russell, Talbot and Bill are dressed for dinner.  The first course is blood from a human who ate nothing but tangerines for weeks, according to Talbot.  Russell's proposal is this: he wants Bill to be his Sheriff because he's just about to attempt to join the Louisiana and Mississippi territories by marrying Queen Sophie Ann.  Bill is skeptical and says he has no interest in being sheriff.

The collie and the pitbull run and run.  The pit pauses on a road and just when the collie joins him, a truck comes screaming down the road.  The pitbull changes into a hawk and flies away; the collie lunges for the ditch, changing into a panting nekkid Sam.

Someone in creepy black cowboy boots lets himself into Bill and Jessica's house and starts rummaging through Bill's office, finding photos of Sookie.

Meanwhile, at Sookie's house, she waits in the dark with Terry's gun.  Eric shows up, noting that a werewolf came for her today.  He tells her that he and Godric had been hunting that vampire-led wolf pack for decades.  He also tells her that since the werewolves are now coming for her, he's going to help.  He tells her to invite him in so he can protect her - or have "passionate, primal sex" with her, whichever.

Lafayette brings Tara to Merlotte's because he's got a shift.  She parks herself behind the bar, depressed.  A pale British vampire comes in and chats her up.  She serves him a TruBlood and leaves.  The camera pans back and we see that the Brit vamp is the wearer of the creepy black boots.  Back at Bill's, Jessica fires up her rented chainsaw ... but the dead guy is gone from her basement.  Quoth Jessica: "Shit! Fuck!!"

Andy is driving a medium-drunk Jason home from Merlotte's in a squad car (Jason: "I never got to sit in the front before!") when a call comes in.  While the deputies are tussling with the local meth dealers, Jason (1) sees a pretty blonde girl in the trees who runs off (never good in Bon Temps) and then (2) tackles an escaping drug dealer.

Tara sits outside Merlotte's, sucking on a bottle of Wild Turkey, when a couple of drunkass rednecks come out and start pissing on the spot where Eggs was killed.  The Brit vamp darts up and holds the rednecks so Tara can beat the crap out of them.  She is sobbing as she does so; the vampire gets so turned on his fangs pop out.

At the end of the King's dinner, Lorena saunters into the dining room, the usual smug smirk on her face.  Bill jumps up, grabs an oil lamp and throws it at her.  She screams and falls to the floor, burning.

Eric hears something inside Sookie's house and insists that she invite him in.  The two of them go inside and there's a huge, snarling, slavering wolf coming at them.  Eric's fangs pop out and he snarls gleefully.  The werewolf jumps and Sookie fires Terry's gun.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood