Sunday, June 13, 2010

"True Blood" season premeire recap: There. There wolf.

Before I dive into recapping the season three premiere of "True Blood," let me just say that I'm not sure I'll be able to write a recap every single week. Since the verdict on "TB" is somewhat split in the I Screen household, I have a feeling that I won't always be watching episodes on time. But I'll try to recap as many as possible (provided that you actually want the recaps -- covering this post with comments will go a long way to making the recaps more frequent).
Anyway, here are my thoughts on this week's episode.

The season premiere of "True Blood" picked up exactly where last year's left off, with a screaming Sookie desperately searching for a kidnapped Bill. In fact, everyone is a state of disarray. Tara is still screaming over Eggs' bleeding corpse. Jason is freaked out over having shot Eggs. Sam is high-tailing it out to Arkansas to find his birth family. And Jessica is dragging the half-dead corpse of the guy she fed on at the end of last season up to Bill's doorstep.
Welcome back to Bon Temps, folks. On balance, I thought this week's opener was pretty solid -- plenty of the usual chaos (a.k.a. blood, angst and wild, lengthy sex involving Estonian dancing girls), with a few nice, thoughtful  moments thrown in.
Here a few more of my thoughts on "Bad Blood":
* OK, I kind of understand why Kenya might not believe Bill had been taken, but shouldn't she show a little more compassion to a woman whose lover has just (for whatever reason) disappeared?  Are the cops in Bon Temps not put through any kind of sensitivity training?
* It's not long before we learn who took Bill -- some sort of gang of rogue werewolves. But why? So they could feed on him? Whoever these guys are, and whatever their endgame, they're not very well-organized. I mean, if you're kidnapping a vampire, you should probably use a little more artillery than that little silver chain -- even if you are another supernatural creature. Because Bill manages to overpower them pretty quickly.
* Points for continuity on the whole "ingesting someone's blood leads to lustful dreams" conceit. I thought the show might gloss over the fact that Sam drank a huge amount of Bill's blood in last year's finale. Nope. Sam awakes in a sweat after a pretty titillating dream involving him and our favorite Civil War vet. I don't know if this will be a recurring theme through the season, but I'm glad to see they're at least addressing it.
* Poor little Olivia, the unfortunate old woman who Bill feeds on in Mississippi. Her son is presumably ignoring her and she's actually had to choose between breathing and making phone calls. At least Bill hands her a little cash after drinking her blood and brainwashing her. A giver, that Bill.
* Um, if Eric is going to deliver important exposition, he probably shouldn't do it while naked. Because I honestly didn't hear a word he said.
* Loved the whole encounter between Pam and Sookie at Fangtasia. "Pam, I'm in no mood for lesbian weirdness tonight." Ha! I also adored Pam's half-hearted attempt to keep Sookie from entering Eric's Estonian love den. "Sookie...stop...don't." Pam's a trip, and I was happy to see her have a decent amount of screen time this episode.
* Look, Sookie -- I don't want to tell you how to spend your money, but you should probably use some of that fat check from Eric to repair that whole "bark-and-dirt chic" thing Maryann did to Gran's house. Just a thought.
* I'm hot and cold on the return of vampire queen Sophie-Ann (Evan Rachel Wood). The character is funny, but I don't think she has quite the power and strength that would be needed to hold sway over Eric or deceive the magister. But it was nice to see Zeljko Ivanek back as the magister. His interrogation and punishment of Bill was one of the best moments of season one, and I hope he has a few more scenes this season.
* Oh man -- I can see we're heading for another "Tara makes bad choices after being overwhelmed by tragedy" story. I'm pretty underwhelmed with what they do with this character. I'm not criticizing Rutina Wesley, who does a decent job as Tara. But I feel that the character has no real arc other than being angry at the world. I feel like she's just there to throw tantrums and make bad choices. It's just not that interesting to watch.
* However, focusing on Tara does give us a lot of scenes with Lafayette, who is far more interesting. I loved him telling off Tara's mom ("You, me, bridge -- ain't never gonna happen") and making the simultaneously irresponsible and totally appropriate choice to treat Tara's depression with tequila and klonopin. And only he would have the guts to try and tell off Pam. Yeah, that doesn't go well, but you have to admire his guts.
* Um, do we have to see Jason envisioning bullet holes in peoples' heads? We know he feels guilty about Eggs' death. The show could just illustrate that with his actions, instead of beating us over the head with it visually.
* I continue to be impressed with the Jessica storyline, and the way it addresses her "coming of age" as a vampire in a believable way (well, "believable" considering the circumstances). She's constantly testing her limits and trying to figure out what her powers are. Her discovery that Bill can "call" her is both exciting and mortifying to her, particularly when her new gift leads her to find Bill's car. Kudos to Deborah Ann Woll for her perfect delivery of the line "I am a freak of (bleeping) nature," presented with the right mix of amazement and shame.
What did you think?


Anonymous said...

Wow!! U really did recap! Ha! I agree with EVERYTHING u said! I sooo, hope they find a btr storyline for Tara, cuz I'm tired of it too.

I'm glad they addressed Sam's 'sex dreams' of first it was 'creeping' me out...but, then I was like,"this has to be a dream." and it was! Yeah!!

Great job recapping!! I found ur link on a post on the True Blood facebook page...

Carey's Books said...

It was a great way to introduce the season; picking up where season 2 left off, clearing up some things and messing up some more.

Allan Ball tends to have this type of power with his shows and TB is proving this more-so.

I have to admit that as someone who got into the show and then read the books, there is a sense of frustration with some of the ways the story-line is going and the fact that we find out this season what Sookie is v. waiting until the 6th or 7th book for all of that.

I love the show and can take is as it is and just need to remember how book to show does need to change. I will keep watching.