Tuesday, August 17, 2010

True Blood - "Everything is Broken"

Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck) knows how to make an entrance.
Photo Credit: HBO
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'True Blood'
Season 3 - Episode 9
"Everything is Broken"

Wow. In one bold move, Russell Edgington completely transformed the landscape of this entire series. Outside of a few snippets of Nan Flanagan conducting interviews on the behalf of the vampire civil rights movement, 'True Blood' has mainly stayed locked away into the southern states of Louisianan, Mississippi, and Texas. Edgington's savage on-camera murder of a newscaster followed by his proclamations of vampire superiority is certainly going to put every vampire on this show on the defensive as the species will now be considered public enemy number one by most humans.

While this was an unpredictable move by Edgington, it was the type of powerplay that I was hoping to see from the King of Mississippi. I was afraid that he was going to devolve into a raving lunatic after he was shown talking to a jar of Talbot's gooey remains on top of Fangtasia. I was afraid Russell was going to from a calculating Lex Luthor to a mad Joker, but the amazing ending scene assured me that there may be a nice balance.

We also got a peek into the workings of the Authority thanks to Flanagan's video interrogation of Eric. There was an almost sci-fi element to the proceedings and a more modern affair than what I'd expect from a bunch of long-lived supernatural creatures. Also, what's up with the vampire stormtroopers? They looked like something out of Judge Dredd. We also learn that Flanagan is a hypocrite, who publicly says she drinks only Tru Blood and not human blood, even to other vampires. We learn differently on her trip to Portland. At least the blood was being given consensually.

As with last week's episode, Eric is seen mopping up blood from his nose and his ears. What's this all about? At least we got to see more more of his and Pam's real relationship. He cares about her in that he doesn't want to burden her with his troubles and vendettas. She cares for him and wishes that he'd let her help. Fearing his own demise, he tells his "daughter" that he wants her to become a maker herself. I wonder what kind of person she would choose to turn.

Another big moment was Bill's trip to Faerie Land. Apparently, he's drank enough of Sookie's blood to grant him access to this strange, golden realm. Also, this may be more of physical realm than a dreamscape, since both Bill and Claudine were able to manifest their abilities there. Whatever Claudine and Sookie is, it's obviously hereditary, which is indicated twice this episode. The first from the news clipping about Sookie's dad saving some people from a fire due to a 'sixth sense' and the introduction of Hadley's telepathic son.

I figured that Franklin wasn't dead, since he didn't disintegrate after Tara bashed his head in. He's return was startling, but not surprising. At least Tara was able to confront Franklin armed more with anger than fear this time. Unfortunately, it was anti-climatic since Jason was able to dispatch him with a wooden bullet very quickly. I didn't care for this since Jason is not connected to this sub-plot at all. He just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

I don't know about everyone else, but I was getting a serious Maryann vibe from Holly the new waitress at Merlotte's. They both play that social worker/guardian angel role. In one episode, we see her leading a session of rape survivors attended by Tara, and later she comforts Arlene who is debating whether or not to keep Rene's unborn child. If these two things had happened in separate episodes, I might not have drawn the comparison.

Tommy was a complete prick this episode. He's always had a chip on his shoulder and given his upbringing, it's not surprising. But his behavior was pretty over the top, between his disrespect for his neighbors and Sam and stealing Arlene's tips. I was hoping that getting him away from his parents would calm him down a little.

I still have no clue as to what's up with Crystal's people. According to her handcuffs weren't going to hold her fiance and she used a rodeo knot on him. Also, their pretty strong if the deputy's injuries are any indication. Whatever they are, Sam really doesn't care for them. Either that or the stress of putting up with Tommy has really gotten to him.

So, another one for the win column for 'True Blood'. I can't wait to see how Edgington's actions will effect the vampire characters as well as the greater vampire politics. More like these past two episodes please.

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