Season 3/Episode 10: I Smell a Rat
Episode nine ended with some bloody messes to clean up. Franklin’s entrails were all over the Merlotte’s parking lot, Calvin’s face looked like he’d just gotten back from a Gathering of the Juggalos, and Russell pretty much destroyed any hope of the VRA passing when he ripped out that newscaster’s spine on live TV . But episode ten didn’t start off with cleaning up. Instead the writers chose to open with a close up of Sookie getting in the wry quip, “I’m a fairy? How fucking lame is that?” and set the stage for an hour that moved fast but was chock full of smart, believable character development.
Take Sookie, for instance. Bill not only tells her she’s a fucking fairy, he also fills her in on some fae history –like how they were wiped out of existence by vampires. That was all very interesting but I couldn’t get out of my head something noted comics thinker and consummate TV watcher, Robin McConnell, said over IM the other night:
Whenever I hear “Sookie,” I can’t help it, I think of “Snookie” from Jersey Shore.
Has anyone else thought that? I hadn’t but now I can’t stop comparing Sookie to Snookie. I did it the whole episode. Thanks a lot, dude.
One thing’s for sure though, like Snookie, Sookie’s got herself a major situation here . And she’s saying fuck a lot this season. I choose to think that’s another nice detail of the rich character development the writers are laying down (as Sookie’s got a lot to say fuck about) but it could also be argued that it’s a Stackhouse family trait. After the credits roll, Jason’s all, “Fuck me,” Re: blowing Franklin to gory bits. He also flashes back to killing tragic vampire, Eddie Gauthier, who Jason and his dead ex used as a blood bank for a large part of season one. Lucky for him, Tara’s getting pretty experienced dealing with acute PTSD. She pulls it together fast, ordering Jason to scrape up the rest of Franklin’s guts. They throw what’s left of him in the back of Jason’s pick up and peel out. One mess down, two to go.
Sam’s a mess too but in a different way. He’s on a post violent outburst bender, all wasted and maudlin, remembering bad things. Who woulda thunk that back in 2008, Sam was a slick jewel thief! He was a glamorous grifter like Sawyer from Lost! Except not really, because it turns out his hot blonde girlfriend at the time was actually the grifter. Her and her crook boyfriend scammed Sam hardcore. They took his jewel heist haul and left him broken hearted in an empty hotel room. You can’t trust nobody.
Sookie’s still not sure if she can trust Bill. “Do you just want me for my delicious blood?” she asks after he tells her fairy blood is delectable to vampires. Bill protests. Sookie brings up the whole rape and feed in the back of the van incident. Bill’s defense amounts to: Baby! I was hungry! Then, because he’s good and noble and trying to fight the lesser parts of his nature, he forswears to never feed on her again if that’s what it’ll take to prove his love. Then their treacly music starts playing and the power of love wins again. Oh, those two.
Eric’s not about to let petty human concerns like love or sentiment slow him down. He’s TCB-ing it over at Fangtasia, drafting his will so sassafras progeny, Pam, will be taken care of. He’s leaving everything to her. But she doesn’t want everything. She just wants her daddy. And Yvetta wants some of what he’s got too. Daddy, however, is the boss. He makes that real clear when he signs Yvetta’s name for her as witness to the will. Being the boss isn’t easy though. He manages to make both ladies mad enough to walk out on him.
Calvin Norris hasn’t got it easy either. Sam nearly killed him so bad that Lafayette has to pull over and dose him with V. They’re not going to make it to the ER in time and he’s sure to die. That fixes Calvin right up but he’s hardly grateful. He calls Lafayette and Jesus fags for their trouble and runs off. Crystal goes after him and Lafayette remarks that, “them fuckers is a whole new dimension of trash.” As usual, he’s right! When Crystal catches up to Calvin, they have a disturbing as all get out conversation about Crystal’s duty to mate with Felton. Ew! All that Jason Stackhouse sex is banging some sense into her though and she bails at the thought of having to do it with Felton again.
Nan Flanigan’s making some crazy weird sense herself. Bill’s watching her save political face for the VLA on the TV over at Sookie’s. She wisely frames Russell as a rogue terrorist and, in a savvy PR maneuver, compares him to Jeffrey Dahmer. But it’s the wrong night for Bill to catch up on the news. Eric’s outside. He and Bill go for a little stroll and, as usual, they bicker. Eric tells Bill he knows what Sookie is, then asks if it’s “true Sookie’s blood will let you walk in the sunlight.” Bill says no but let’s slip that it’s pretty awesome nonetheless. Eric tells Bill he killed Talbot and that Russell will come again for Sookie. As usual, Bill’s got nothing but contempt for Eric. This time for jeopardizing vampires politically and for the position he’s put Sookie in. Why are you even here? He asks. He’s here to save Sookie. And he wants Bill to tell her the truth. Just then, Sookie comes out and tells Eric she already knows the truth. She also knows what Eric wants from her and tells him he’ll never get it. He wishes her the best anyways then zips off into the night.
The next scene opened up with the characters watching TV while being on TV. No, seriously. I really liked how the characters reacted to watching TV news pundits this episode. It made for some well scripted plot development. And it helped that the pundit in question this time was the Reverend Steve Newlin. Yay! LOVE HIM (and the actor who plays him, Mike McMillan, who’s currently writing an odd and uneven but smart and intriguing comics miniseries for Archaia). Arlene’s maybe starting to love him a little too much herself as the TV blares his vampire hating rhetoric at the start of the Merlotte’s day shift. Newlin’s message is getting to her (as is the itsy bitsy serial killer fetus kicking around her womb). She goes off about the vampire menace. Until Jessica attacks! When she backs off, Arlene runs out screaming, “I ain’t evil! And once evil, always evil!” All this gives Tommy major wood but when he tells Jessica this she shines him. She’s still way into Hoyt. But he’s too good for her. Tommy says she’ll never have to worry about him being too good for her, proving he’s even more shameless than Jason Stackhouse when it comes tapping ass.
Speaking of Hoyt, him and Summer are getting close to getting it on in his truck. But it’s not a mutual thang. She’s throwing herself at him to bridge the distance between them. Sookie and Bill are trying to put some distance between her and the army of V drinking werewolves and the 3000+ year old vampire coming for her. They show up at Jason’s looking for a place to hide. Tara’s there and she’s not pleased Bill’s with her. She wants all vampires dead. Plus Bill didn’t lift a finger to help her when Franklin was holding her captive. Bill takes her disses as an opportune time to find some nearby ground to sleep in, and gives Jason some werewolf killing tips on the way out.
Jesus is no skuzzy werewolf but he does have one thing in common with the pack we’ve come to know and love to hate this season. He’s finding it hard to resist the allure of V after seeing how it healed Calvin. “It’s magic,” he says, then tells Lafayette, “I wanna do it with you.” At first Lafayette resists but only for the millisecond it takes him to flash on how rad it would be bone Jesus on a V. Jesus says it’ll be a truly “shamanic” but, come on, people, we know this isn’t going to end well.
Things definitely won’t end well for Russell now that he’s a fugitive, crazy with grief over losing the love of his life. The TV at Merlotte’s informs viewers the Missisippi manse has been totally cleaned out. Russell’s on the run. Sam comes in mid-broadcast, hungover as fuck, to a very well behaved staff. They’re all rightfully worried he’s going to lose his mind and they’ll be on the receiving end of it next time. Sam tells them to relax. Calvin’s not dead, he’s cool, it’s all good. Holly, along with the rest of the Merlotte’s workforce, is dubious. She offers Sam a bag of herbs that he mistakes for weed. But it’s not weed, it’s a Wiccan Herbal Remedy (which kind of sounds like weed actually). Sam bans the substance from the bar, saying there’s two rules at Merlotte’s, “No dancing, no religion.” Good rule. Little shifter brother? Not so good and super immature. He tells Sam he finally respects him for almost killing Calvin the funny smelling, gay bashing meth cook.
The other big development on the day shift was Arlene confessing to Terry that the baby she’s carrying isn’t his. It’s the evil spawn of a serial killer and she wants to get rid of it. But Terry’s prepared to marry her and raise the child as his own. The confessions continue over at Jason’s. Jason tells Sookie he killed Franklin, then, in a surprise move, confesses to killing Eggs. Straight shooter Sookie says Tara has to know. Jason points out that it was exactly that kind of straightforwardness that got Eggs all fucked up with crippling guilt.
Lafayette and Jesus aren’t fucked up like Eggs was but they’re still fucked up beyond belief on V (and sadly not naked). Their trip takes them on a colorful distressed video voyage to discover the secrets of their ancestors. Lafayette’s great great great great Grandma May was a “conjurer” and Jesus’ grandfather was a sorcerer who practiced black arts. After they see him, their trip goes bad; foreshadowing what looks like some witchy poo shit in store for these two.
Sookie’s in no way having a bad trip. She’s having one of her Northman sexy time dreams. He knows she has feelings for him. He kisses her. He also warns her again that she can’t trust Bill and that it’s her survival instinct telling her that, not him. She wakes up as Jason’s bringing Tara some food in the other room. She thanks him for saving her life and taking care of her. She can count on him and she can’t count on much. Jason consoles her. Then they start mackin! Didn’t see that one coming! More predictable is when Tara backs off, afraid of herself plus anyone with a penis. Also behaving predictably is Jason, who we must never forget is basically an idiot. He decides this is the perfect moment to tell Tara he shot Eggs. She leaves. When he runs after her, he finds Sookie gone too. At least she left a cryptic note.
Someone’s left a message on the front lawn of Compton Manor too. But this one’s in the form of a burning cross. Vampire hate crimes are running ampant nationwide post Russell’s spine rippage. Jessica wants to go after the haters but Bill insists they take the high road. Sam’s having nothing whatsoever to do with the high road. He’s getting wasted again which brings on a follow up flashback to the one he had before about the great jewel heist of ‘08. Back in the day he used his shifting powers to sneak up on the grifters in the woods and held them at gunpoint to get his goods back. But when he robbed them back, they provoked him and called him a freak. This sent Sam into the same blind rage he let loose on Norris. He beat the shit out of him, then accidentally killed his ex, once again bringing home the theme of this season – your true nature is a bitch that will bring you to your knees and make you suffer, try as you might to change or hide it.
Sookie’s never gonna change Eric and she knows it. Yet, she shows up Fangtasia and forces her way into his office anyways. Eric tells her once again she can’t trust Bill. Then he tells her he has to kiss her just once before he meets the True Death. They kiss. It’s HOTT! It’s so hott Sookie almost forgets about Bill. I sure did. Then she snaps out of the power of the Northman make out sesh and asks why she can’t trust Bill. Before Eric can answer Pam comes in with a, “Blah blah, Vampire Emergency, Blah.” Eric leaves Sookie in his office and follows Pam. She implores him to use Sookie to get Russell. Eric refuses. Then Pam pulls the how-could-you-choose-a-human-over-me card which seems to get to Eric. As it would turn out, Russell’s inclined towards a different kind of bait. He’s in a dark alley cruising a piece of rough trade who looks a lot like Talbot and agrees to being bitten for a nominal fee.
Back at Merlotte’s, Arlene approaches Holly about witchy alternatives to abortion while Hoyt approaches Jessica with his heart on his sleeve. He loves her just as she is. He broke up with Summer. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be together. Sadly, Jessica’s resigned to her nature. She’s done so many bad things. She can’t. Hoyt runs out only to be taunted by Tommy the bratty shifter in the parking lot. Tommy gets his though. Hoyt clocks him. Then Hoyt gets it right back from Tommy who shifts into a pit bull and attacks him. Thank goodness Jessica decides to give true love a chance. When she runs after Hoyt she sees Pit Bull Tommy gnawing him to death. She rips him off and throws him in the bushes. Then she tells Hoyt she loves him and rips open her wrist so he can suck up some nurturing V. Awww…
Things aren’t nearly as touchy feely over at Jason’s place. Bill shows up looking for Sookie and is he ever pissed when Jason tells him she bailed. When Bill starts railing on him, Jason rescinds his home invitation to Bill. Bill’s magically propelled out of the house and that’s really too bad because there’s a panther in Jason’s bedroom. It’s OK though because the panther turns out to be Crystal. So the Hot Shot meth heads are inbreeding big kitty shifters. I like it! All the strands that felt loose early in the season are now seamlessly coming together.
Another thing I like is how Russell’s still in the picture and becoming more and more unhinged (and after last week’s spinaldectomy that’s the way I like him!). He’s back at the rent boy’s house being the freakiest trick ever, calling him Talbot and whispering creepy shit to him like, “you saved me from the world, from myself,” then he stakes him. It’s his way of being with Talbot for “the True Death” and it was touching in a pathologically bittersweet way.
Eric locking Sookie in his office is also pathological but not so touching, especially when he takes it to the next level and chains her up in the basement. Apparently he’s taking Pam’s counsel to use her to get Russell. How they’re going to use her is anybody’s guess but I’m sure it’s going to involve a whole lotta sexy Northman dungeon master scenes. There’s only two episodes left, people, and the way things are going, anything could happen. What do you think it’ll be?