Tuesday, August 24, 2010

True Blood - "I Smell a Rat"

Arlene (Carrie Preston) may have just provoked Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) one time too many.
Photo Credit: HBO
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'True Blood'
Season 3 - Episode 10
"I Smell a Rat"

After a couple of weeks of action and developments, this week's 'True Blood' felt like a bit of a time killer until the final two episodes of the season. Certainly, this wasn't as much of a wheel-spinner like some of the later season two episodes, but compared to the rest of this really fun year, this past Sunday's 'True Blood' just lacked something. There were a few revelations, but for some reason they felt anti-climatic or out of nowhere.

Right out of the gate Bill tells Sookie what a lot of folks have guessed or gleamed from their friends that have read the books. She's a faerie. Her reaction to the possible lameness of the idea was a bit funny. Bill's recounting stories of how faerie folk have been purported to have mated, sometimes forcibly, with humans does fit with the lore. In America, we tend to think of Tinkerbell and the like when it comes to fairies, but in the UK, faerie can take on a more sinister connotation and their tales are filled with sibling rivalry and child abduction.

Lafayette and Jesus' overly long, theme park ride of a vision quest provided a new commonality between the two lovers. They both have shamen/witch doctors/sorcerers in their bloodlines. I guess this is the root of the power that Lafayette's mother was referring to. I wonder if Tara is connected to this power, too, given her experiences with the voodoo woman and Maryann. We also learn that the new waitress Holly is a Wiccan. I guess it was only a matter of time before witches entered the picture.

Crystal's reveal as a shapeshifter was kind of disappointing. I was hoping for something new since her dad seemed to use the term as a insult when talking to Sam. Then again, maybe we haven't seen the whole story yet.

As for Sam, his new anger issues seemed to come out of nowhere. This felt like time killing material more than anything else in the episode. I was hoping for some kind connection to Felton or something, but instead we get treated to a darker version of a Sawyer flashback from 'Lost' starring Sam Merlotte. This just didn't seem related to anything on the show so far. It's bad enough that his little brother is still a jackass.

Speaking of which, at least Tommy's pitbull attack on Hoyt did have a positive side effect. I guess something had the force Jessica and Hoyt back together, so it might as well be a little vampire blood therapy. Their angsty separation was getting a bit old (though Summer was pretty damn funny), so I'm glad their relationship may be on the mend. For some reason I like the two together. There seems to be a level of purity in their love for one another.

As much as I've been hating on Jason Stackhouse this season, "I Smell a Rat" had two of his best moments in a long time. The first was his talk with Sookie about telling Tara the truth about Eggs' murder. The second was when he actually did so. Ryan Kwanten can be a really good actor when the writers give him the material and he hasn't been this good since those basement scenes with Stephen Root as Eddie the Vampire.

Unfortunately, it seems like Russell is completely nutty-cuckoo now. I was hoping that his rant to the Jar o' Talbot was just a momentary thing and by the end of last week's episode he had begun to channel his anger into an attack on the Vampire establishment. Sadly, no. It would seem that he's just super crazy now.

I don't think Eric intends to turn Sookie over to Russell. Even though he can't seem to articulate the reason, he cares for her on some level. Maybe the season will end with a knockdown fight of a bunch of vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters against the 3000 year old maniac. Now that would be going out with a bang.

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