Category Archives: werewolves

True Blood: Hitting the Ground

The “previously on True Blood” brought up that Sookie’s cousin Hadley is with the Queen of Louisiana, which is something I have been waiting for them to remember. Can’t wait to see where this little tidbit is going, because they did remember. It has interesting implications later when Eric tries to use Hadley later, and it promises to get even more interesting. And speaking of Sookie, our cliffhanger from last time has Lorena getting a taste before, ahem, Sookie makes her point.

There’s a tense scene with Alcide and Debbie while Sookie and Tar try to save Bill – a situation that reverses itself by the end of this episode, by the way. Great rescue and great intensity here, nice to have some action that lasts more than just a few seconds – no offense to vamp speed.

In Sam’s little corner of Bon Temps, the brilliant concept of a champion dogfighter who is also a shapeshifter boggles the mind. Think about it – a dog with the strategic mind of a man fighting just a dog… a betting man could clean up. I have to say I am enjoying the Sam subplot now. It’s a whole lot better now than when it was just Beverly Hillbillies comic relief.

There are more interesting revelations, or should I say complications, when Sookie tries to revive Bill by giving him her blood. He eats it up, figuratively and literally. Unfortunately it nearly kills her, putting her into a coma in the hospital, where we find out she has no blood type. And that’s not the end of the crazy stuff here either. She starts tripping and visits a fantasy world. And here I thought “Lost” was canceled. My guesses as to where she went are an afterlife of people killed by vampires, or perhaps she’s really some kind of faerie? Hopefully we’ll find out sooner rather than later.

Nice to see, or is that nasty to see, that Russell Edgington take his rightful place as the true villain of the season. It is chilling to see him unofficially declare war on man and vampire alike, followed by of course, another ironic episode title song, this time “Hitting the Ground” by Gordon Gano and P.J. Harvey. Man, after last episode and this one, I am hooked on “True Blood” again.

Bookmark and Share

True Blood: I Got a Right to Sing the Blues

Sookie’s first line in this episode, “Eric, what the f**k?” says so much. It describes accurately my thoughts on the season so far, and is also the perfect commentary on this opening scene, a very tense situation in the royal court of Mississippi. Russell is a very deadly foe indeed, and not a vampire king to be trifled with, or tricked.

This is an Alan Ball script and it shows. His care and respect of the characters is plain when compared to the cartooniness of previous episodes. Under the pen of Ball, everything rolls much better. No pun intended. And under his pen, it looks like Jason has left cartoonland and entered into his initiation as a shapeshifter, just like in the books. And by the way, speaking of the books – those of you who have read them, stop telling those of us who haven’t what’s going to happen. Puh -leeze. Thank you.

The title of this episode is derived from the Billie Holiday song that plays as Lorena tried to kill Bill, as instructed. It’s a reminder of their jazz age romance/partnership, nicely played. Bill is certainly a sly one when he wants to be. Speaking of sly, Tara is quite the bitch, but then, Franklin does deserve it.

Everyone is sly in this episode. Eric does some startling and amazing face changes, his chameleonic performance is one of the prizes this night. The charisma bubbles from the interrogation of Sookie by Russell and later in the evil ride with Russell and Eric. It’s disturbing to see that Russell (a Southern stereotype unfortunately) is also a racist, and not just against the human race. Great tension, great secrets, juicy stuff.

Other things I liked this time include the secret of Sam’s family taking an exciting and unexpected turn, making all the puns of past episodes make complete sense. I also loved Jessica manipulating and glamoring (and eating) the customers at Merlotte’s. I loved the slice of Lafayette’s love life despite how it ended. More please, Lafayette is criminally underused.

All good stuff, all going to show it’s good for a series when the creator takes the reins, even if for just an episode or two. Another great cliffhanger ensures I will be here next time. Can’t wait.

Bookmark and Share

True Blood: Trouble

We find out that Franklin works for Russell Edgington, the vampire king of Mississippi, and we see his true dynamic. It’s an interesting paradox, in his world, Franklin is a screw-up, but in our world a monster. I like it a lot. And of course the more we see of him, the more truly screwed up he appears. Franklin is really effed up. Man, Tara is in trouble.

Last week’s cliffhanger is a complete bust. Like Stephen King’s Rocketman analogy from Misery or a Brian Michael Bendis Avengers comic, we really don’t see how Sookie escapes from a bar full of transforming werewolves. We just pick up her and Alcide on the run afterward. Boo hiss.

Some observations from “Trouble”… I am really warming to Russell’s royal consort Talbot, and man, his electricity with Eric is something else. Also on the homoerotic horizon, it’s really nice to see Lafayette finally getting some non-pay romance in his life. Jason’s police subplot has advanced out of cartoonish territory and into sitcom maturity. I still see it as a waste of time better spent on more serious and important storylines. And Jessica has the best line of the episode – “Do not tip your waitress.”

There is a nice tense moment with Sookie, Alcide and packmaster Colonel Flood that I liked quite a bit. Moments like this elevate the show past the cheese/camp level it’s been rolling in since this season started and brings it back to basics again. Some folks love the cheese, but this is just my opinion.

On the opposite end of the cheese spectrum we get an Eric flashback, which are always more intriguing than Bill flashbacks. Not only do we get to see Eric’s family, but we also find out why he hates werewolves so much – and we learn who the real big bad of this season truly is.

And it’s nice to know that Bill still cares about Sookie. Especially after Alan Ball said he believed they were soul mates at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. At least we know where this will be going, eventually. And for the folks who have read all of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels – I haven’t yet, so don’t spoil my fun. Another great cliffhanger – I hope we get to see the other side of this one.

Bookmark and Share

True Blood: 9 Crimes

Perhaps my not-so-like (I won’t call it dislike, because I really do like this show) of this season’s “True Blood” comes from the lack of use of the original cast and the sudden overuse of the new characters.

Sookie, Bill, Sam, Eric, Tara and even Sookie’s idiot brother Jason all have lots more to tell us and have explored, yet the bulk of the screen time this season, especially the exciting screen time, seems to be given to the likes of Alcide, Lorena, Franklin, Sam’s family, the King of Mississippi, Kitch, etc. Granted, I like all the new additions, but the reason I started watching the show, and the reason I remain, is the main, original, cast. One has to ask, do the original characters still have power for the writers? And if not, why not?

All that said, this episode was a slight improvement over the first few. Maybe like many of the other HBO series, it takes some time to get rolling, and perhaps “True Blood” was just lucky the first two seasons and immune from HBO-itis.

The give and take between Sookie and Bill and Sookie and Alcide feels like either an ironic or sarcastic, but definitely deliberate parody of what’s going on in theatres with Twilight right now. Amusing it may be, I would still rather not have that parallel so painfully paraded. Let’s put it this way – with this comparison so evident, it’s almost impossible to get new folks interested in the series because of the negative connotation Twilight has with older audiences. It might be an inside joke that tickling the heck out of a small handful of folks, but it’s detrimental to the growth of “True Blood” in the long run I think.

Some observations about “9 Crimes”… it was nice to see inside Kenya’s brain if only for a few seconds. I hope we see more of it. The conversation between Bill and King Russell Edgington was fascinating. Nice to see how our world is affecting vampire society instead of the other way around. No one escapes the IRS. The Postmortum, a brief police interrogation video, does this as well, giving a sweet glimpse inside the vampire civilization. This is also something I’d like to see more of.

Other tidbits I liked included the Goody Osburn reference, props to the writers on that one. I loved Sookie’s imitation of the evil Sandy at the end of Grease. And is it just my imagination or does the “True Blood” casting department have a preference for redheads? Not that I mind of course. I also liked how the closing song, “9 Crimes” by Damien Rice, plays so well with the themes of the episode. It’s this kind of attention to music that sets this show apart.

That’s quite a cliffhanger this week, eh? Dogpile on the Sookie, can’t wait to see what happens next. So, until next time, ponder this, why would William Shakespeare steal spoons?

Bookmark and Share

True Blood: It Hurts Me Too

I am worried about the road that “True Blood” seems to be going down. It feels more and more like a bizarre cross between “Dark Shadows” (and not in a good way) and Iron Man 2 with each new episode of this third season.

Like the golden avenger’s movie sequel, it has too many plots going on at once, far too many, and a lot of what is going on is going in a very camp direction. Not that “True Blood” hasn’t been camp from the beginning, and let’s face it, vampires on television make it hard not to go there, but it just seems too over the top – and without a more focused storyline, and at least one focused storyline, it gets bad.

There is so much happening in “It Hurts Me Too” I find it hard to even sift a theme that might explain the title. Things happen, but they seem roughshod and scattered. There is a lot of sex this time out, both physical and emotional. There is finally some electricity between Eric and Sookie. Tara gets some too from a new vampire heavy, Franklin. And Bill and Lorena give kinky sex a whole new dimension.

Jason has gone from unfortunate to comic relief to a literal cartoon. He feels like a wasted character as he is now. Similarly, but with potential otherwise, Sam is doing the same thing. I just hope we get more insight into the shapeshifter mythology as opposed to more babysitting the Beverly Hillbillies humor. And speaking of which, do monsters fall into bad stereotypes? Is it me or are shapeshifters redneck white trash, and werewolves are bikers?

We also get, for no apparent reason other to show us Lorena is bad (we already knew this), a flashback to Bill’s past when he comes home after being turned. Some final observations… Bud, in quitting the police seems to make him the sanest person in Bon Temps in my opinion. I like Pam more every time I see her. And it about time Sookie started cleaning that house…

Bookmark and Share

True Blood: Beautifully Broken

There is so much going on, so many plots, subplots and plot twists happening all at once. “True Blood” is the perfect melding of the modern quick cut drama like “The Sopranos” and old school soap opera camp craziness of “Dark Shadows” with just a touch of “Twin Peaks.” Yeah, it’s that good.

Our main cliffhanger from last week has Bill going custerfluck crazy on those werewolves, eviscerating them. Yeah, vampires are definitely superior to werewolves in this world – and almost in answer to this revelation, we learn that the wolf pack actually serves the Vampire King of Mississippi, who has plans for Bill.

Our other cliffhanger thankfully ends with Tara not taking her own life, but leads to some great acting by Rutina Wesley and Nelsan Ellis as Tara and Lafayette. There are actually more than a few spotlight performances in this episode. Debra Ann Woll’s Jessica also gets some good stage time. Surprisingly, Eric and Sookie, who are in a real life relationship as Alexander Skarsgard and Anna Paquin, manage very little passion or emotion in their scenes together.

The episode’s title bears out in the various plots, showing the broken relationships in this large web of characters, whether it’s Sam trying to find his family, Lafayette and Tara sticking together, or Jason and Sookie finally making amends – it is all broken.

We learn the nature of the werewolves. They are not just any werewolves. The silliness of that line alone had me giggling. And they’re not just Nazi werewolves either. Yeah, I know. I’m still giggling. There were lots of lines like that in this episode, as well as a cameo by Christine, and it made an otherwise uneventful episode better. From the unintentional one-liners from Eric to the intentional ones from Jason to the various ways to devour blood Bill is presented with – “Beautifully Broken” was a lot of fun.

So until next time… make sure you know where all the bodies in your crawlspace are…

Bookmark and Share

True Blood: Pack of Wolves

First things first, I’m just damned thrilled to have one of my favorite series returning for its third season. But, and there’s always a but, I found the ‘pre-game show’ for this premiere episode was kinda misleading. It was more ads for other upcoming HBO shows than it was for “True Blood” itself. I did love the new intro to the actual show however, the usual ratings warnings now have a shifting blood background, nice.

At first glance the episode “Pack of Wolves” might seem like “True Blood” is cashing in on the Twilight phenomenon, but nope, it’s just coincidence, and besides, the rivalry between vampires and werewolves goes back a looong way, and not just to White Wolf games or even House of Frankenstein. And just as they have done with vampires, I have no doubt that there will be new rules and mythology for the werewolves as well. And we know from the “Postmortem” that the folks who make the show are using real wolves over make-up and CGI, so that’s interesting.

The werewolves don’t actually show up until the last cliffhanging moment of “Pack of Wolves,” but the underlying theme of wolves flows throughout the entire episode. It’s that sort of wink-wink inside jokes that make the show so cool. I have to wonder if Jason’s aborted ménage a trois included two werewolves – they were veterinarian students after all who thought they could psychoanalyze dogs.

The episode picks up immediately where it left off. Bill is kidnapped, Jason shoots Eggs, and nobody remembers anything that happened when Maryann the Maenad was in control of Bon Temps. Sookie’s house notably still bears the décor of Maryann. Neither the viewer nor the characters literally have had a chance to breathe. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Somehow, this “24” vibe suits the series.

Apparently Bill’s kidnappers are working for Eric who’s also in trouble for his V-selling. They try to drain Bill, and this brings up an interesting supposition. The kidnappers were draining Bill for his blood. Were they also werewolves? What happens to werewolves on V? Sookie gets Jessica to help her find Bill, while Bill himself seems lost in Mississippi, the land of werewolves.

There are half a dozen subplots either continuing or manifesting at the same time. This is a soap opera after all. As with the first two seasons of “True Blood” they all revolve around sex and blood. There is an especially hot scene when Sookie goes to see Eric. Tushy alert for the women and men. Speaking of that stuff. Whoa for the homoerotic vibe between Sam and Bill. It seems that saving a life with vampire blood does that sort of thing. What Sookie has for Eric, Sam now seems to have for Bill. Dream or not, it was hot.

There are other things going on. Jason is haunted by killing Eggs. Jessica tried to make a vampire. The powers that be are bearing down on Eric. And Tara, Tara, upset by Eggs’ death is driven first against Sookie, then to her mother, and then to attempted suicide. “True Blood” is back, and it rolling full speed ahead with a loud howl.

Bookmark and Share