True Blood: Love (Not Blood) is in the Air

Call me crazy, but I'm liking this season of True Blood more than the previous two. It's a bit early to tell whether it will ultimately trump the others, but it just feels, I don't know... tighter? More focused? Only Sam's storyline with his family seems really tangential; everything else connects to something. And True Blood seems to have found a great balance between campiness and nearly-legitimate drama.

But what's really showing through this season is the cast of new characters, particularly those on the vampire side. I've already professed ultimate fandom for Franklin, who continues to be the baddest undead psychopath ever. He easily holds the crown for Best Scene Involving Speed Text-Messaging. He's hilarious and absolutely insane, and reminds me of why I screen my calls. He's exactly the kind of person you hope doesn't invite you out for beers; when he does, you agree to meet him for some reason, then end up in jail (or worse) and at the end of the day, look back on it and realize you had a great time. I hate those kinds of people almost as much as I love them.

But the man who really shone in last night's "Trouble" was Russell Edgington, Mississippi's vampire king. It took a few episodes, but actor Denis O'Hare (Milk) has comfortably slipped into the skin of this scheming royal bloodsucker, and he's becoming quite the scene-stealer.

And that's what keeps True Blood so fresh. It's other characters coming to the top. Eric used to be the show's main attraction, but now he's happily stepped to the side to let others take the spotlight, and the show is better for it. You'd never see stuff like this happen on Grey's Anatomy without some gossip polluting the internet.

"Trouble" was also struck by Cupid (either that or Merlotte's had oysters and champagne on sale), because love was in the air for almost every character. Tara and Franklin reached a boiling point, with Franklin proposing to Tara (how can she refuse?). Lafayette and Jesus had one of the more adorable and honest exchanges the show has seen. And big props to Nelsan Ellis for playing that first scene perfectly. Jason is making eyes at the mysterious Crystal with the mysterious secret, Terry is ga-ga over pregnant-with-someone-else's-baby Arlene, Hoyt is using someone (The Big Bang Theory's up-and-coming Melissa Rauch) to make Jessica jealous, Jessica might end up falling into the arms of Tommy, Russell's "cleaning lady" is eying Eric like a popsicle on a summer day, and Sookie and her pokies look like they're ready for everyone, thanks to that tight yellow shirt of hers.

Obviously all these budding relationships can't end Happily Ever After, but which ones do you think have legs? And which ones will end with one or more parties dead/undead/crying?

As for plot and storyline (for those of you interested in 'em), things are getting juicy and ready to explode like a sausage pushing the limits of its casing on a BBQ grill (I BBQ'd yesterday). Russell is after Sookie for some reason, and we finally got an idea why. He knows she's special, and when she shot off that Street Fighter II fireball thingy at the end of "Trouble," he seemed nothing but thrilled. We've seen Sookie's blue blast before, but we still don't know what it is. Well, those of us who haven't read the books don't know what it is. Theories?

Other Bloody Good Notes:

... Franklin: "Who made you cry? I'll kill him!" Now that's a good boyfriend.

... Sam and Tommy chillin', drinking beers and watching nature shows—what a perfect evening in for shapeshifting brothers.

... This episode has some really great shots—it was a beautiful segment. Jason and Crystal's walk by the lake, all the shots of Franklin... it was just a really good-looking episode.

... More classic Jason Stackhouse with his shirtless Sheriff routine.

... I still have yet to form a real opinion on Alcide. He's just sort of... there. I'm sure I'll come around to him, but so far he's pretty vanilla for a badass werewolf.

Bonus Link!

Here's more proof that True Blood fans, while still passionate, aren't as wacky as Twilight fans: An interview with a True Blood superfan.

True Blood Power Rankings

Where I rank this season's episodes of True Blood.

"Trouble": Even though it had little sex and no blood, I still liked this episode quite a bit. I know, shocker, right? But the one thing that "Trouble" had going for it was fantastic pacing, zero dull moments, and some great work by director Scott Winant and writer Nancy Oliver. It was an episode that I couldn't keep my eyes off of. The most polished episode of the season to date, and easily rewatchable. Really, the last four episode have all been great. But "Trouble" just barely takes the top.
1. "Trouble" Ep. 5
Franklin proposes to Tara, Jason meets Crystal, and Sookie shoots blue stuff out of her hands. 2. "It Hurts Me Too" Ep. 3
Where we first meet Alcide and Bill writes a painful new page of the Kama Sutra.
3. "Beautifully Broken" Ep. 2
Where we are introduced to Nazi Werewolves and Bill is recruited by the Vampire King of Mississippi.
4. "9 Crimes" Ep. 4
Where Sookie and Alcide head to Lou Pine's and meet Debbie and the Magister busts Eric for selling V.
5. "Bad Blood" Ep. 1
The season premiere.

True Blood Boob Count!

Where I tally the number of scenes in which sets of bare breasts are unnecessarily put on display. Because I can.

Season Total: We came sooooo close to adding one more with Eric's busty redheaded farmhand. She looked like she would have counted as two. Stuck at nine, but the tally of gratuitous shots of shirtless men is somewhere around 48.

Question of the day:

Now that they've been around for a while, what do you think of the way that werewolves are being portrayed?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (28)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
moar flashbacks pleez, knowing that viking eric will kill the vampire king soon almost makes up for the lack of jessica. the best scene was when terry told sam he was moving in with arlene. he can act. surprisngly well-written scene.
Reply
Flag
the director has done an astonishing work..............i hope charlain harris is happy
i read the books......the tv series is just like i imagined it and more
Reply
Flag
"We've seen Sookie's blue blast before, but we still don't know what it is. Well, those of us who haven't read the books don't know what it is. Theories?"



I'Ve read all the books (many times) and I have absolutely no idea of what this thing is. That's what makes the series so great, Alan Ball took Charlaine Harris' universe and basic plot lines and made them into something completely different, way more awesome and that can keep everyone on their toes, even those who read the books.
Reply
Flag
Love the werewolves. I'm so happy they're not all brooding and pathetic. The fact that the writers made them ruthless and a little crazy just makes me that much happier. Now, as for Alcide's pack, they're kind of...wimpy? This Bill is much better than the pathetic Bill of seasons past. He was irritating. New Bill is a vampire. At least, he is for now.. I hope they don't do it, but I have a feeling he's going to go back to his old pathetic self after a while... :(
Reply
Flag
My favorite is Lafayette and Jesus! :)
Reply
Flag
Maybe it's because it's different, but I actually like Bill better the further he is away from Sookie. He just seems more interesting when he's in scenes with people other than Sookie.



Tara: "Help me."

Bill: "No."
Reply
Flag
Her name is Crystal.. Jason first saw her at a meth bust....
It the little details that make this show so watchable :D
Reply
Flag
also im sensing the weres to be a itti bit much too pansies i mean the freaking "pack" leader is afraid of a gay vamp????? (i know he's ancient but still) also much speculation from me but i think eric is about to have quite the match with russell and them nazi weres
Reply
Flag
wtf is up with cristal i've read a bunch of spoilers but she was never mentioned where i rad about the series progress and even then the way they are portraying the story so great that even if i knew everything thats gonna happen i would still watch it
Reply
Flag
I like the totally gratuitous shots of shirtless men...I don't see any issue with that tally...
Reply
Flag
fukin wikipedia spoiled the fuk out of me, but i still enjoy the show and i stopped reading after the spoiler
Reply
Flag
Those of us who have read the books don't really know what Sookie's special light show power is. It is yet another invention of the show. As for her telepathy as I saw commented below, the portrayal has been widely inconsistent. She can't get a clear read on Sam, who is a shifter just like the Weres just a little more rare, but she can get a clear read on the Weres? That doesn't seem to make any sense. Just like the Weres seem to be the only type of shifter who have glowing eyes, which is pretty dumb in of itself. If nobody notices that these wolves aren't like normal wolves with they're glowing yellow eyes, then these characters are even more dumb than we've seen up until now.
Reply
Flag
This was the first time I liked Franklin.
Reply
Flag
Franklin made this episode
Reply
Flag
i dont like werewolfs. and i dont like they way they are being portayed in TB. I like that they are using real wolfs but i still dont like them or they way they act.
Reply
Flag
Not sure if this was mentioned but in the books, Sookie has telepathy over humans and Barry. She has to really focus and almost touch the shifters to even get a read on their emotions. The show makes her telepathy very powerful.
Reply
Flag
First time I saw Franklin I thought, what have we here?! He looks more like a mangy wolf, but ohhh, I am hooked on Franklin like those on V…hope he stays around a long time!!! This guy is spectacular!

Love how Bill came to Sookie's rescue *sigh*
Reply
Flag
Trouble was by far the best. I can't wait to see what they come up with.
Reply
Flag
I think 9 crimes was the best episode so far.
Reply
Flag
I don't know what it is but last night's episode was really good, I couldn't stop laughing though it was great
Reply
Flag
Tara: "We need to talk."
Franklin: "Don't say that, women say that, everything goes black, and I wake up surrounded by body parts." I am absolutely loving Franklin right now, he is so incredibly psychotic.
Reply
Flag
"sookie's pokies" hilarious. and obviosly true, how can you not notice those diamond-cutters.
Reply
Flag
Why did you leave out the BEST quote from Franklin (about Tara)?

"She's just such a f*cking disaster - we could be twins! The attraction is... electric".

I laughed out loud at that description of little Miss Disaster. :D
Reply
Flag
She only has telepathy in the book, so who knows what they are going to make of that. I don't understand how it could possibly tie into what she really is, but I look forward to see if they are going to say what she is according to the book or drag us along on that for the season or make something completely new. Only sad thing is that they are introducing so many things this season that are in some of that last books so it makes me wonder how long the show will even stay on. I know they are suppose to have a fourth season but if they use up all of the story lines how far can it go?

And as for Alcide being Vanilla. He won't get much more than that I feel. The character on the show is like 10 times how he was in the book.
Reply
Flag
It got a little bloody when the wolves tore out the throats of Eric's family and Eric got a bit stabby... just sayin'.

Also, busty barn bimbo tease was too much. Too many naked guys, not enough naked girls. :(
Reply
Flag
the secret of sookie power is not describe in the books but we can relate from what she is to this power. of course I'm not going to say what she is because that's a mega hiper spoiler, but i promise you won't believe it! i also wanted to say that this episode was incredibly funny i one of the best in this season so far. at top 10 for the Jason shirtless whit the sunglasses!
Reply
Flag
1. ep.5 2. ep.4

3. ep.2

4. ep.1

5. ep.3
Reply
Flag
Actually, Sookie's only power in the book series is her telepathy. The light-flash-power thing is unique to the television show.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook