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True Blood Sucker Punch: Season 3, Ep. 9

08/18/2010 11:20 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Welcome to Sucker Punch, the only blog post that ranks the gaudiest moments on this week's episode of True Blood.

(Warning: Spoilers Ahead)

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This week's installment may be called "Everything Is Broken," but I'd argue for "Everything Is Waiting" instead. The episode feels like it's moving chess pieces into place and leaving the final three installments to make decisive plays.

But even without lots of action, "Everything Is Broken" is elegantly structured. The storytelling's obvious plan gives me confidence that we're going out with a bang this year.

Take Bill's descent (ascent? dream-scent?) into fairyland. It's solely designed to deliver information that we can use later. Or rather, it's designed to let us know that Bill has received information, even though we don't get to know what it is. There's no action, per se, just the preparation for actions yet to come.

Clearly, this plot strand is about to overlap with several others in the super-narrative that I'm calling Sookie's True Identity.

Who else is participating in STI? Well, Cousin Hadley, of course. Her arc began when she whispered to Eric about Sookie's nature, and now she's confessing to Sookie about her confession to Eric. (Follow me?) Meanwhile, she's also introducing Sookie to her own mind-reading son, Hunter, and intimating that whoever wants Sookie will want him, too.

Another piece of STI comes from Bill's secret file. This week, he tells Sookie about it, but doesn't quite tell her what it means.

In other words, lots of people know about Sookie's True Identity, and they're all prepared to reveal or act upon that information. The only ones who don't know STI are Sookie herself and us.

That's a good strategy. By putting us in the exact same position as Sookie -- by making us equally suspicious and ignorant -- the writers almost force us to relate to the heroine. As Sookie learns, we will learn, and that will make us love her. Structurally, this gives cohesion to a show that has a million characters and a billion plotlines.

Of course, the skill of STI makes me impatient with the Resurrection of Franklin. I mean, I didn't think a simple skull-crushing could really kill a vampire, but his inevitable return feels awfully clumsy... like a distraction from the other stuff we're dealing with.

And I just don't buy his wooden-bullet death. I know that we saw Jason digging the bullets out of his Fellowship of the Sun Hope Chest, but that's not enough justification for me. Jason thought he was going to hunt meth heads at Crystal's house, so why did he load wooden bullets in the first place? And how come he just happens to be at Merlotte's, bullets at the ready, while Franklin is accosting Tara? Because the writers were in a corner, that's why.

Also... can we give Tommy Mickens another dimension or two? He has the potential to be fascinating and sympathetic, but for the last two episodes, he's been nothing but a smart-assed hothead. Whether he's calling Sam a weakling or needlessly accosting Hoyt, I want to lean through the screen and say, "Yo! Simmer the hell down!"

That said, at least Tommy's tooliness provokes Sam to beat the crap out of Felton. That's not only a surprising turn of events, but also a great way to link the Sam/Tommy story with the Crystal/Jason story. And when Nurse Jesus jumps in the ambulance, he and Lafayette get pulled into the madness, too. Thanks, writers! Now we have another super-narrative: MethWolves United.

Oh, and speaking Jesus and Fay-Fay (as his momma calls him): More sexy kissing please. More romance. And if we're going to upend everything by revealing that Jesus is using his exotic religious objects to worship the devil or aliens or something, then can we please wait until next season? I need a few months to dwell on the salty goodness of this relationship.

Besides... we don't need Jesus to be crazy. Not with Holly just waiting to go wild. Does anyone else think her support group might also be a coven? And Arlene, with her "I don't want this baby" drama, certainly seems susceptible to witchy sales pitches. "Join us, and we'll hex that baby away! And we'll make everyone believe that's your natural hair color!" How could a girl resist?

Granted, this is pretty much how Tara got hooked up with Maryanne -- powerful female creature, human woman in a moment of weakness -- but I'll wager the results will be different.

Let's see... what else? Oh, yes. I was intrigued to see the potential end of Eric and Pam's relationship. Will Pam become a Maker? Or will she just adopt Jessica? Or will Eric succeed in killing Russell -- thanks for the permission, Shadowy Vampire Leadership Board! -- and go back to being Pam's Maker/boss/friend?

Or will that all be moot, now that Russell has ripped the heart out of a newscaster and announced on live television that he thinks humans are a food source that can never be his equal? I mean, come on! That scene was crazy! Can you imagine if you were watching the news and a fey, crazy vampire destroyed the anchorman? And then delivered a campy, villainous speech?

You'd be horrified, yes, but maybe, if you thought you were just watching an HBO show, you'd also be amused. Maybe you'd be tickled and repulsed at the same time.

What am I saying? Of course that's how you'd react... because Russell's TV bloodbath is not just the Sucker Punch of the week. It's possibly the Sucker Punch of the year.

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