Sunday, June 20, 2010
"True Blood" recap: The cactus king of Mississippi
This week's episode of "True Blood" was all about secrets -- having them, keeping them and revealing them. Andy and Jason are still trying to keep the truth about Eggs' death a secret, but it's becoming more difficult, with Andy's escalating fame and Jason's increasing guilt and jealousy.
Lafayette shares a secret about his mother with Tara in an attempt to make her realize the importance of staying strong in the face of tragedy. Tommy Mickens learns about the secret brother he never knew about. And Sam learned that some people don't react very well to learning secrets.
Jessica tried to keep her secret about the corpse in the crawl space, with a little help from Pam.
But the biggest secrets here involved our main trio. Eric reveals a secret about his past to Sookie, even though it's risky, because of his nagging feelings toward her. Sookie wants to keep her discovery of werewolves secret, mainly to protect those around her. And Bill, clearly, has been keeping some sort of secret about his presence in Bon Temps. Russell infers that Bill was assigned to Bon Temps by Sophie Anne, and Bill seems to have some sort of file on Sookie in his house -- a file that's unearthed by that sexy British vampire with anger issues who hits on Tara at Merlotte's.
That's a lot of secrets -- and I haven't even mentioned Russell's slow revelation of his plan to strong-arm Sophie Anne into marrying him. Apparently, he wants access to Louisiana's natural gas (and music), but (seemingly) doesn't want to wage war. It's not entirely clear exactly what he wants from Bill, but he is willing to offer up that plum sheriff's position in Area 2 (the cactus district!) in exchange for Bill's services. Bill is unwilling at first, and becomes even angrier when Lorena shows up. Here's a tip, Bill -- when you're a guest in someone's home, try not to light the other guests on fire. It's bad manners.
Here are some more thoughts on "Beautifully Broken":
* So, we learn that Eric has a history with the werewolves -- a history that involves him and Godric dressing up in Nazi costumes. We also learn that the secret order of werewolves bearing the freaky marks has a long history, and that they are controlled by a vampire. Who? Russell? He certainly seems to be in control of the situation in the clearing, talking Cooter down from his attack on Bill. But the vamp in charge of the weres seems to have a personal connection to Eric, hence his momentary weakness when the she-wolf reveals that her master is a vampire. So who is it? What's going on?
* I agree with Bill. Cooter is a pretty obvious name for a redneck werewolf. But it's not like a vampire named Bill has any cause to laugh at someone else's name.
* Jessica continues to be comedic gold, consulting Pam for feeding tips, spritzing the corpse in Bill's house with Lysol and haggling over the price of a chainsaw. But there's real poignancy in her relationship with Hoyt. She's afraid of who she is and doesn't want Hoyt to get hurt, either physically or emotionally. Hoyt, touchingly, doesn't care -- he just wants to love her. But Jessica feels that her current state renders her unworthy of being loved. At any rate, she has to put all that aside and answer the serious question of what happened to her new best friend, the decaying body.
* Lafayette is a drug dealer, a some time prostitute, and a victim of post-traumatic stress, yet he consistently reveals himself to be the most well-adjusted member of his family. This week, we meet his mentally ill mother, well-played by the great Alfre Woodard. Lafayette takes Tara to see his mom, because he fears his suicidal cousin is in danger of succumbing to the family darkness. He wants to scare sense into her, but he's also kind and compassionate enough to assure her that this doesn't have to be her fate. Aww.
* Of course, Tara follows that visit up with a ferocious beat-down of some racist jerks in Merlotte's parking lot. And she appears to have made friends with a vampire who is turned on by violence. So, I have less faith in her ability to transcend her darkness than Lafayette does.
* Sam finally meets his birth parents, but is more interested in the idea that he has a brother. However, bro isn't ready to bond. Instead, he tries to kill Sam, leading him in the path of a truck. Sigh. Family stuff is so hard!
* I love that Jason, naturally, sees the existence of werewolves as possible proof of the existence of Santa. Only he would make that connection.
* Also, may I just say that Sookie's Bill impression is surprisingly excellent? Her imitation of his growling pronunciation of "Sookie" is right on.
* I'm still uninterested in the storyline about Jason's guilt, but I do like the combination of Jason and Andy as a crime-fighting team. Chris Bauer continues to make Andy one of the most likable characters on the show. Andy is bumbling and angry, but he's no dummy and he's basically a decent guy. Bauer lets all these aspects shine through.
* I'm also a big fan of Todd Lowe's Terry. Loved how he used his background as a soldier to help track Sookie's werewolf stalker. I also like that number 3 on his list of reasons why he can be trusted with Arlene's kids is "I never killed nothing by accident." Um, that should probably be number 1 on the list.
* I'm a little bored with the Mississippi storyline, but I did love seeing Talbot's many creative serving ideas for blood. I hope a cookbook is in the offing!
* As a reader of the Charlaine Harris novels on which "True Blood" is based, I was surprised to see the Norris family pop up so early. But Alan Ball has gotten into the habit of messing with the order of the books, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
* Is Eric wearing a T-shirt decorated with telephone poles? Weird.