TRUE BLOOD, Episode Three

In True Blood’s ongoing effort to tie up all loose ends and up the body count, this week’s episode sees the return of Sarah Newlin who has turned her compulsive need to obtain status through faith into hanging out at a meditation center in L.A. and shagging her yoga instructor.

Meanwhile, Pam and Eric, while discussing Eric’s Hep-V status, are having flashbacks to their adventures in France in 1986. This involves a lot nudity and outdoor sex interrupted by the Authority.  Eric and Pam are in trouble for not registering as vampires, paying their vampire taxes, and also for that outdoor sex thing.  Pam is appropriately scared of the Authority.  Eric, however, offers the Authority representative a few choice words before going back to making out with the girl.  Like many things in this episode, you should expect this to end badly.

Sookie, having run to Bill’s while Alcide was in the shower in the last episode, discovers that he can no longer feel her because of the full blood replacement that happened after his stint at Lilith.  Despite this, they go off into the woods together so Sookie can act as vampire bait after she drinks his blood again to renew the connection.  Once there, and while waiting for the Hep-V vampires to bite, they reminisce about their relationship and bicker companionably before Sookie confesses to Bill she’s not sure she loves Alcide enough.

At the same time, Adilyn and Wade are about to hook up in prison, but Andy and Jessica rescue them before they even kiss.  It’s a good thing too, because the vigilante townspeople are shooting at everything that freaks them out.  Out on the road they kill Sam’s protector vampire and then shoot at Sam when he turns into an owl and flies away.

In the midst of all this chaos, some have more domestic concerns at hand. Jason Stackhouse has decided he wants a baby.  No matter how hard you roll your eyes at Jason, you will never roll them as hard as Violet, who makes a big speech about the lack of emotion and battle warrior alpha behavior she expects from her men.  Interrupting this domestic dispute comes Andy, Jessica, Adilyn and Wade. Jessica and Violet renew their vampire dramarama with each other, Adilyn gets told to stay put and not open the door yet again, and the supposed grownups go out looking for Sookie.

As a brief respite from this chaos, we get a tender scene about Lettie Mae’s addiction and what a good woman she is from her husband, but Lettie Mae has been so awful to so many characters we love, it feels difficult to redeem her, although it’s hard not to respect the show for trying.

Off-setting this Just Say No monologue, Lafayette and James flirt and get high. Really, really high. That’s it, that’s the entire point of their scenes in this episode; they flirt and get high, and then have gloriously unresolved sexual tension, because James is still with Jessica and no matter how much you shout at the TV during this episode for them to kiss, they do not kiss.

Eventually the Hep-V vampires camped out in Fangtasia go hunting, and most of these incredibly disparate plotlines begin to intersect.

Team Jason/Violet/Andy/Jessica find Sam’s abandoned car on the road and run into the same vigilante mob. Hoyt’s mother shoots Jessica in the shoulder with a silver bullet, so Violet tears out the woman’s heart, dispersing the mob.

The Hep-V vampires find some random people in the woods to eat, and Sam and Alcide have a naked shifter showdown (which is tragically not a euphemism for anything) before they turn back into animals to continue looking for Sookie, who is now bored by Bill’s Civil War flashback sequence and self-injuring to attract the vampires who still haven’t shown up to eat her.

When the Hep-V vamps converge on Sookie’s position, along with Team Jason, and Alcide and Sam, Alcide and Bill effectively argue about which of them Sookie belongs to. Then someone in the woods shoots Alcide!  He’s incredibly dead, and you should take a moment here to skip back to the beginning of the episode on your DVR and watch him gratuitously run from Sookie’s place to Bill’s shirtless because that is the last you’re going to get to see of that, since when the various vampires on hand offer to turn Alcide into a vampire, Sookie says no.

Meanwhile, Pam and Eric are still trapped in the 80s, this time with lesbianism (because Pam has to do something while Eric remains obsessed with the French girl, Sylvie. The Authority busted him for shagging in the moonlight at the beginning of the episode. This time, a bunch of Japanese assassins, hired by the True Blood company, show up and make Eric choose whether Pam or Sylvie should die. Sorry Sylvie!

Eric, having completed his flashback moping, explains to Pam that he’s become sick of living. He  wasn’t careful and doesn’t really care about his immanent demise.  Pam’s anguish over his potential loss is spectacular, and she goes on a long tirade – which is one of the shows less comfortable AIDS allegory moments – about how vampires with adequate treatment are living longer and longer with the disease.  But nothing seems to inspire Eric to want to live until she informs him that Sarah Newlin is still alive, at which point he becomes a delightful embodiment of righteous fury. Game on.

Back in Los Angeles, Sarah goes to get a post-coital bottle of wine out of the cellar while her guru draws them a foaming ayurvedic bath.  Trust me, I hate myself for writing that sentence as much as you hate yourself for reading it.

At any rate, the same guys who killed Sylvie back in the ‘80s show up.  The guru informs them that Sarah is there, somewhere, but won’t say where.  They cut off his head and Sarah watches the blood pool under the door of the wine closet.

 

 

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