Television Tourniquet: We Bite Into 'True Blood' 3.5


True Blood Episode 3.5
Written By: Nancy Oliver
Directed By: Scott Winant
Original Airdate: 18 July 2010

In This Episode...

Tara is both shocked and pleased when Bill walks into the mansion, covered in blood.  He refuses to help her, but he also says he doesn’t want her.  Franklin stashes Tara upstairs, tied to a bed.  While he sleeps, Tara gnaws through her restraints and makes for daylight.  Halfway across the expansive lawn, Cooter catches her and returns her to the mansion.  Franklin is in hysterics over the fact that Tara tried to leave him, so she plays along with his obsessive fantasy.  All is going well until he reveals that tonight is her last night as a human - he is going to turn her and make her his vampire bride.  

Sookie accidentally-on-purpose reads Alcide’s thoughts and discovers he is going to the pack leader, the one who keeps all the area werewolves in line.  Alcide finally admits he is going to tell the pack leader about Russell getting the area weres hooked on V.  The pack leader tells Alcide to do nothing, let it go, but Sookie takes a peek into his mind too: the pack leader is scared shitless of Russell.  Back at Alcide’s flat, he wakes Sookie to greet a visitor: Bill.  They embrace passionately before he begs Sookie to leave Mississippi.  “It is too late for me,” he tells her.  Sookie refuses to leave until he tells her what she is running from, but the answer comes bursting through the door in the form of Russell, Cooter, and a muscly bouncer-type.  A struggle ensues, and when Cooter tries to grab Sookie, she blasts him away with a bolt of blue lightning.  This delights Russell to no end.

Eric shows up at the Jackson mansion as well, politely asking to search the district for his missing vampire.  Bill appears, and admits that, in order to save Pam, he told the Magister that Bill was to blame for the sale of V.  Russell asks Eric to stay the day so he can mull over how best to take care of the Magister, a thorn in everyone’s side.  While there, Eric flirts with Talbot and discovers that, among Russell’s many antiques is his father’s viking crown.  A flashback tells us that Eric hunts werewolves because they slaughtered his entire family.

Also: Sam sets the Mickens up with a house jobs for the menfolk, but tensions between Tommy and Joe Lee rise.  Terry is delighted to be moving in with Arlene.  Arlene is uncomfortable working with Jessica, a vampire, but she and Tommy are becoming friends.  Hoyt brings a date to Merlotte’s to make Jessica jealous.  Lafayette is taken off guard when Jesus asks him on a date, but once his defenses are down, he becomes coy and soft.  Andy pulls some strings to fast track Jason to deputy, but his attention is already on something else: the blonde he saw in the forest, named Crystal.

Dig It or Bury It?

Half of Bon Temps seems to have descended on Jackson this week.  A change of scenery that doesn’t really seem like much of a change.  Sookie’s storyline was really played down this week, which was fine with me, because Tara and her crazy-obsessive one-night-stand-from-hell is far more interesting.  Franklin is off his nut, obsessively in love with Tara, someone who is such a disaster, “she could be my twin.”  He is beyond bi-polar, and Tara’s reactions to his insanity are just delightful.

I must admit, I am getting a little antsy waiting.  I am waiting for the Mickens story to pay off - there has to be more there than just a dysfunctional redneck family.  I am also waiting to see what kind of a baby Arlene is going to pop out - I figure there is at least a 50% chance that thing is not entirely human.  I am not enthralled by Jason’s storyline at all - Crystal irks me.  She has this weird cocky grin that I think is supposed to be mysterious, but instead is just annoying.  On the upside, I am glad that they are bringing back Sookie’s X-Men-like power.  It seemed out of nowhere last season.

Ass Factor

Besides a hint of viking side-boob, the only even remotely titillating moment came by way of Sookie’s nipples, which were almost obscenely hard in one otherwise innocent dialogue scene.

Blood Count

Call me jaded, but the guts and violence tonight were just on the average side.  The werewolf attacks were made a little less impressive by the low-grade CGI werewolves (which are still quite good for television, but I have been spoiled by the graphics in films like Avatar... or even An American Werewolf in London). 

I did enjoy that Russell, Bill, and Lorena all came back from their limo feast with blood caked on their clothing, lips, and chin.  None of them seem to be in a hurry to clean up; Russell even takes a meeting with Franklin with gore on his face.

Biting Humor

As a whole, Franklin’s insanity - and Tara’s reactions to it - are delightful, almost silly.  Also on the silly tip is Jason, who goofs off when alone behind the desk at the sheriff station.  He tips back in his chair until he wipes out, he plays limbo by himself, and he gets tangled in a paper clip chain.

My favorite funny is when Franklin sees a text from Lafayette on Tara’s phone.  He flies into a rage until Tara explains that Lafayette is her gay cousin.  Franklin, happy again, demonstrates how he can use his speedy vampire reflexes to text at warp speed.  “Look, I’ll delete it and show you again!” he tells her gleefully.  Franklin repeats this a number of times, a deranged child with expensive toys.


Next week seems short on story, long on action.  And fangs, lots and lots of fangs.  Frankly, I am okay with that.