It was a regal thrashing on the ‘Beautifully Broken’ episode of ‘True Blood‘ Sunday night, where we met a fresh batch of troublemakers for Season 3, including the wicked werewolves, a shady new set of shape shifters, and the surprising orchestrator of Bill Compton’s abduction.
We’re entering a new kingdom of WTF?, Trubies, so put your fangs away and show some respect to the King!
Majestic Musings and Mad Monopolies
Turns out the Bill-napper is none other than one of his own: The 3000-year-old Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, who makes a regal entrance galloping in on a white horse, and yes, I suppose we are still to consider him a threat after that. Although it’s tough while Bill is making a snack–literally with an ear in his mouth!–out of the king’s henchman–those werewolves affectionately known as the ‘F*#k You Crew.’ Except one is named Cooter, which gives us a rare moment of humor from the usually stone-cold dead-serious Bill Compton. His majesty invites Bill back to his pad for a little chat–and that’s an order.
And so Bill finds himself tuxed up for a lovely soiree hosted by the King and his minion Talbot, who’s a cross between Martha Stewart and Tim Gunn. Those southern folk sure know how to throw a dinner party. On the menu for the elegant three-course, ‘cruelty-free’ feast: fizzy blood ‘champagne’ with a ‘citrus finish’ and warm blood bisque soup infused with rose petals, polished off with a tasty blood orange sorbet.
Back to bloody business, the King has all kinds of plans, like having his eye on petulant Queen Sophie, trouncing territories, and making Bill the Vampire Sheriff of Area 2. He also hints that Bill isn’t just hanging out in the sleepy tortured town of Bon Temps just because of a certain doe-eyed mind-reading waitress; he seems to think Bill is working on behalf of the Queen. Look for more on that juicy development! Anyway, the King wants Bill to accept his somewhat indecent proposal, and–of course–threatens his precious Sookie in the process, leaving Bill royally screwed once again.
Solid silver bedroom doors aren’t the only weakness the King has in his arsenal to hold Bill hostage and make him break: Russell’s in cahoots with Lorena, that chick with the annoying southern drawl who won’t let go of her undead feelings for Bill. She shows up to dinner in full-on riding gear, clearly invited by the King but clearly unwanted by Bill, who hurls a lantern at her head and sets her ablaze in screaming horror. Their love went up in flames years ago, but surely this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Bill’s maker.
Eric and Sookie Caught in a Hairy Situation
“Here’s what I know about werewolves,” says Eric. “They’re territorial. Vicious. Pathologically secretive.” “Why does that sound familiar?” replies ‘werewolf bait’ Sookie.
While Bill’s off at the King’s mansion toasting blood champagne and turning his melodramatic maker into toast, Eric takes advantage of solo Sookie time, who’s being harassed by werewolves now–it’s always something with this damn damsel in distress. She’s desperate to find Beeel, and Eric, despite acknowledging it would be better for him on many accounts if Bill were never heard from again, feels compelled to help Sookie because he ‘owes’ her. Oh, and because he wants to have “passionate primal sex” with her too. Nothing’s hotter than a primal protector either, like the moment the Vampire Sheriff senses trouble, demands Sookie invite him in, and he gets his fangs on in the dining room with a werewolf home invader. Sookie, ‘who’s not that blonde,’ fires off a (silver?) bullet shot, just as the fur flies at the end of the episode.
We get a flashback to Nazi times, where we see Eric and–Cameo Alert– his beloved master Godrick pose as WWII soldiers who come across a hot naked chick…who growls…and bites. She’s a groupie of ‘Operation Werewolf’ and is Eric’s first introduction to the branded beasts that comprise an elite werewolf pack–that’s fueled by the blood of vampires. “Who is your master?” Eric says to the second woman he’s strung up in two weeks. “One of you,” she smirks. Ruh Roh.
P.S. Words of Wisdom (and foreshadowing) from Godrick to his lil’ Grasshopper: “A vampire is never at the mercy of his emotions. He dominates them.” Eric and his befuddling obsession with Sookie is clearly not adhering to the advice of his maker on that one.
Jealous Jason and Andy the Hero
New wingmen and BFFs Jason and Andy continue their cover-up plot about Eggs’ real shooter (Jason), and newly redeemed cop Andy, who takes, uh, the bullet, on the rap (to protect his new lil buddy). Seen as a hero for saving the town from its latest serial killer, Andy’s hosting press conferences on the lawn and lost soul Jason is suddenly jealous of all that attention. But during an unexpected ride along on a call with Andy, a drunken Jason tackles a perp and makes a drug bust. Watch out, Bon Temps, former Soldier of the Sun Jason Stackhouse may have found a new calling!
Thelma and Louise Stick Together
Tragic Tara is still a scrambled mess over the death of Eggs: “the one time I thought I was happy and I was a f*%#ing zombie.” Cause that’s how it is in Bon Temps. Swallowing a bottle of pills in the shower seems like a wimpy way to go for a woman with as much punch (and envious biceps) as Tara, so it’s Lafayette to the rescue, who busts down the door and says there ain’t no way his cousin is leaving him all alone in Crazytown. With his pirate scarf, one hoop earring and parachute pants, the V-juice drug-dealing cook from Merlotte’s is the sanest one in the bunch and usually the sole voice of sarcastic reason.
Lafayette decides to scare the crap out of Tara with a Thelma-and-Louise-style road trip in a convertible to the looney bin to visit his mentally ill mother (Alfre Woodward). The gigolo with the heart of gold has secretly been working extra jobs to pay for her care, and Mom’s thrilled to see him: “God killed him, because he’s a faggot. But he keep coming back,” Ruby Jean tells her handsome spoon-fooding nurse, Jesus. Lafayette says there is a “darkness” haunting their family and he and Tara need to fight the power and stick together. Tara agrees…and 20 minutes later meets the new vampire on the block, Franklin Mott (James Frain), aka her new love interest aka a swamp full of trouble.
Shape Shifty and Shirtless
Soul-searching Sam Merlotte, who was abandoned at 15 by his adoptive family because of his doggone specialness, goes off in search of his shape-shifter roots, and quickly learns some skeletons, and family members, should just be left in the trailer park. He finds his dirty underwear-wearing dad Joe Lee, who’s “just regular,” and his birth mother, Melinda, who’s a shifter that gave him up at age 16 while pop was in prison. The bull dog of the bunch is Tommy, Sam’s new bully of a baby brother, who has a chip on his shoulder (and a lot of scars on his back). In the “who’s life is more F’d up” contest, Sam gives Tommy the win.
Arlene and Terry: Merlotte’s New Super Human Couple
In between waiting tables and barking orders, baby mama Arlene can’t stop puking. On the advice of Sookie, Terry decides to express himself, so he writes Arlene a love letter, in the form of a David Letterman Top 10 List: ’10 Reasons Why You Can Trust Me with Your Kids,’ which includes entries like, ‘he’s a nurturer’ (because he saved a baby armadillo named Felix who lives under his bed); he has a ‘diploma in anger management;’ and he never killed anything ‘by accident.’ Awe.
The Education of Jessica
Baby Vamp Jessica was never schooled in the 10 commandments of Vampirism, apparently, because Bill is perpetually preoccupied with ‘Suuukah!’ he forgot to mention a few key rules. So desperate Jessica, who’s still dealing with the fallout from that little trucker faux pas, seeks tips from the worst (and most hilarious) teen guidance counselor ever: Pam. Ever wonder what girls do when they go to the ladies room together? Besides, “stare at themselves in the mirror,” they have a little girl talk. What do you do if you accidentally kill someone while feeding? How do you dispose of a body? What shade of blood red lipstick goes best with this outfit?
The pairing of Pam and Jessica is right up there with Andy Bellefleur and Jason Stackhouse as my favorite new tag teams.
Meanwhile, back at Compton Manor, heartsick Hoyt continues his alternately sweet and pathetic attempts to woo back Jessica, regularly littering her doorstep with bouquets of flowers and six packs of B-positive TruBlood. Jessica can’t be bothered with mama’s boys at the moment though, because there’s a rotting corpse in the cellar that not even a case of Lysol can disinfect. Or wait…there WAS a body in the basement. After following Pam’s advice for disposing of a dead body you accidentally drained one slurp too far, Jessica comes home from the 24-hour hardware store with a rented chain saw–and finds the corpse is GONE. Dun dah dun!
Meet the New Crew
~Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare): the Vampire King of Mississippi, who just might be starting a fang-tastic war
~Franklin Mott (James Frain): M.O.: vampire, a mysterious new stranger, with sights set on the oh-so-vulnerable Tara (here we go again!), whose intentions are unknown–but just what was he doing rummaging through pics of Sookie and the Stackhouse family tree documents?
~Tommy Mickens: (Marshall Allman, best known as ‘LJ,’ Lincoln’s son on ‘Prison Break’). M.O.: Shifter, spoiled brat, Sam’s newfound little brother, has the same car from Stephen King’s ‘Christine’
~Talbot (Theo Alexander): M.O.: vampire, very stylish and quippy, with exquisite taste in antiques, the mansion’s decorator and party planner, who’s been the King’s companion for 700 years
~Crystal Norris: M.O.: shifter, the mysterious blonde in the woods, who naturally catches the eye of dumb blonde Jason Stackhouse
~Ruby Jean Reynolds: M.O.: human, Lafayette’s mother (Alfre Woodard). She’s been residing in a mental institution for the last six months and is so crazy she makes Tara’s mom Lettie Mae look normal.
“You drank from my guest?”
“I’m not that blonde” –Sookie, grabbing a gun from Terry, who asked her if she knew how to use it.
“Santa?!” — Jason Stackhouse, getting a learnin’ on which legends are real (werewolves) and which ones are still–spoiler alert–fake (Santa). “Focus, Jason!”
Sookie imitating Bill’s hilariously intense pronunciation of her name while sweeping the kitchen, where she says she longs for the days when Beel would zip onto her front porch and say, ‘Suukah!’
How does bloodsucker Pam stop her impulses? “I think about crying children with soggy diapers. Also maggots.”
What did you think of this week’s ‘True Blood’? Are you digging all the new characters? Are you looking forward to hanging out in Wolf Country this season?