Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Searching For Signal: #135 - “True Blood” - Season 3, Episode 4

We start with Sookie and Alcide, with her playing Clara Barton and dressing his wounds while he flexes his muscles. Just trying to patch things up a bit after the noisy brawl at Lupine’s. Alcide looks just fine without a shirt, and Sookie’s hands are very busy, and suddenly it feels like things are tilting just a little bit toward the sensual.

Then the damn phone rings.

Sookie answers, and it’s Bill. She’s all aglow for three seconds, finally having made contact, but then Bill knocks the smile off her perfectly-glossed lips with some news. “I have left my life in Bon Temps. And I am leaving you.” Sookie, because she’s the star, tries to prevent Bill from doing this. He must be mistaken. He’s not. While we are treated to brief glimpses of hateful Lorena wallering on the bed in post-coital bliss, Bill makes it clear. “Do not try to find me.” Click.

Sookie, distraught and confused, looks to Alcide for help, because they’ve been very good friends in the twenty minutes since they met. Alcide tries to make faces expressing concern and non-sexual interest. He also looks like he’s very glad that he chose the previous moment to take his shirt off, and ponders the next article of clothing to toss.

Roll opening credits.

Sookie’s still crying, and Alcide’s still not wearing a shirt. He really is trying to be supportive, despite his hotness. He gives her a pep talk, a very long monologue wherein he advises she should just get over Bill, and ends with Sookie explaining “But I don’t HAVE a nut sack.” (You had to be there.) He hands her some toilet paper for her tears, and then they hug, with Sookie squirming around to ensure her lips end up very near one of Alcide’s appetizer nipples.

Cut to Merlotte’s, where Sam is running out the front door waving a gun, in pursuit of what he thinks was half-brother Tommy that flew out his window. Hey look, there’s a nasty-looking van in the parking lot. The side door opens, and out pops Trashy Momma, she of the newfound family that Sam already can’t stand. They were supposed to be gone.

Momma explains that there were some issues, like not having a place to live anymore. This does not please Sam, especially when Nasty Daddy crawls out of the van as well. Sam reiterates that they need to get the hell out. Momma promises they will, just as soon as Tommy returns and he transitions back into a human or at least something that can be put in a pet carrier.

Next we have the new vampire, Franklin, and Tara, after Tara stupidly invited him into the house. First, he is just one ugly-looking guy, especially when they zoom in for a close-up, and second, he is REALLY trying to get Tara to spill the tea about Bill and, well, anybody that even remotely knows Bill. Tara backs up against a wall and quivers. Things were SO different when all she did was take drugs with Eggs.

Cut back to Sookie and Alcide and the sexual tension. They’re talking about something, but it’s not important because the script says Tara is supposed to call and they’re really just waiting for that. Right on cue, the phone comes to life. We see that Franklin is coaching Tara on what to ask, trying to find out where Sookie is, but Sookie isn’t really paying attention and finally hangs up. This upsets Franklin greatly, so he slams Tara into another wall and then bites her. This girl has just NOT had a break lately.

Bill and Lorena, with crazy-ass Lorena flouncing around in a nightie and saying things to Bill like “I know you will love me again.” (If that loving involves more head-spinning, count me out.) Bill, perhaps a little agitated because her hair looks prettier in the firelight, uses his vamp power to hurl Lorena through a set of doors and against a hallway wall. (Projectile flight seems to be a theme this episode.) But instead of whimpering like Tara, Lorena licks her lips in a lustful manner. She likey the beasty sex.

Quick dream sequence with Eric, where he imagines that he flies through the air to Sookie’s hotel room, she invites him in, then they talk about smelling oceans and memories before jumping each other with conjugal passion. Then Eric wakes up and he’s really at Fangtasia, watching a trashy girl do things to a pole that usually can only be found on age-restricted websites.

Sookie and Alcide again. He’s cooking steak in a wok or something like that, while Sookie prances around claiming that she still wants to find Bill. She’s convinced that all her troubles will be solved if Alcide will just take her to Debbie’s engagement party at Lupine‘s. (Um, Debbie is his ex, and she’s getting married to some werewolf leader that he can’t stand. Translation: Boy ain’t the least bit interested in going to the damn party.) Alcide stomps off to the other room, but takes his steak with him, because you never know when you might need one.

Quick shot of Lafayette in his new fancy car, leaving a voice mail for Tara.

Quick shot of Tara duct-taped to an unknown toilet.

Back to wherever Sookie and Alcide are shacking up. He’s not there, but his sister shows up, ready to make-over Sookie so she doesn’t look so Christian and can therefore make it into Lupine’s with less of a death potential. Sister has trashy hair but seems nice enough, and she gets to work on Sookie using fake tattoos and crotch-less panties. Sookie reads her mind, and we learn Debbie is NOT having an engagement party. She’s actually hooked on V and is getting initiated into some blasphemous society. Or something like that. Sister girl’s earring were jangling too much and I couldn’t hear.

Jason and Hoyt are at Merlotte’s, where the police force is having a retirement party for That Guy From Newhart. The outgoing sheriff names Deputy Andy as his replacement, which causes Kenya / Kendra / whatever her name is to pout. Meanwhile, some high school jock and his obnoxious friends are being really loud, so Jason goes in there and yells at people. They don’t care. Oh, and Arlene has some type of breakdown while talking to Sam. Nobody is ever happy in this town.

Alcide comes home and finds Sookie all hookered up. Apparently having her navel exposed makes Sookie chatty, because she immediately spills all about Debbie to Alcide. Well, that does it, then. Put on your dancing shoes, we’re a headin to Lupine’s

Scene with Bill and the Captain (I think his name is actually Russell, too lazy to look it up). They’re having some extended conversation about strategy and allegiances and Freudian references. Bill is willing to do whatever Russell wants, on one condition. When all is said and done, he wants Lorena gone. They shake. Then they stare at each other meaningfully while holding long, burning tubes to their mouths.

Oh wait, Bill also tells Russell about Eric selling V. And Eric is doing so at the instruction of the Louisiana queen, what’s her name. This is big news, because it means people are going to die when word gets out. Russell smiles happily. “I feel like celebrating.” Then he leaves the room. I guess he wants to celebrate somewhere that Bill is not.

Tara’s still taped to the toilet. Then creepy Franklin comes in with flowers, which he helpfully duct tapes to her hands. “Did you miss me? We have so much ahead of us.”

Somebody needs to kill this guy. Now.

Cut to Merlotte’s, where Sam is training Jessica to be a hostess, because almost all of Sam’s wait staff is either missing or dead, and lone hold-out Arlene needs some help. But Arlene is not appreciative. She’s mad that Jessica is there, because they both have red hair, and everybody knows that redheads get all the tips. I didn’t know this. Apparently Sam didn’t know this either. But he does know that Arlene is completely on his nerves and it’s time for a sit-down with Miss Pork Rind.

Terry, wanting to save his love from a tongue-lashing, races up to distract Sam. “Your folks are still in the parking lot!” Sam immediately runs outside, while Terry and Arlene touch noses and dream of the coming baby that they didn’t make together.

As Sam stomps down the steps, Jessica bumps into some guy that recognizes her. They went to Bible school together and all! Yay! Uh oh. Is Jessica going to have to kill somebody else so they won’t tell her parents she’s “alive”? Dang it. She JUST got rid of the last body and she’s still tired from that.

Scene with Lafayette trying to sell V to some rednecks. They aren’t really interested, and some of them start jacking with Laff’s shiny new car. This doesn’t look good.

Back over to Merlotte’s, where Hoyt comes driving up and spies Jessica glamoring her Bible study buddy, convincing him that they’ve never met and he didn’t order the tuna melt. Hoyt looks sad, because all he really wants in life is some Jessica with a side of fries.

Lafayette is still dealing with the rednecks being rude and pushy, when Eric suddenly shows up and starts knocking some heads together. He tells the redneck leader that he WILL be buying some V, thank you very much, or he’s going to “kill all your brother-cousins”. Then he signals Laff. “Let’s go, RuPual.”

Tara and Franklin in the car. She’s still got the flowers taped to her, so you know she’s not in the best of moods, but at least her current seat doesn’t have a gaping hole in it. She tries to find out where Crazy Boy is taking her, but all he wants to talk about is fruit.

Sam is still looking for his parents, and he stumbles across a naked Tommy. (Why does that family hate clothes so much?) While Tommy puts his jeans on real slow so we can get shadowy glimpses of things, he bonds with Sam over making mistakes in life and trying to do the right thing. I guess unexpected nudity can make such things happen.

Eric and Laff are in Laff’s pretty car, with Eric offering advice on sales techniques, when he gets a frantic call from Pam in the basement of Fangtasia. They are being raided, and it’s that Magister guy doing the raiding. Uh oh. Eric flies out of the car. Literally.

Jason and Deputy-now-Sheriff Andy in the bathroom at Merlotte’s, where Jason is angling for a job on the force while they take turns going tinkle. When Andy balks, Jason semi blackmails Andy about “falsifying evidence” when he… well, with about half of the things he does. Looks like Jason might be getting a sparkly new uniform.

Sam meets with his trashy parents and now-dressed brother, and Sam offers to give them a place to stay until they can get back on their feet. But “no more stealin’ and no more drinkin’” This has “not right” written all over. But George, Judy and his boy Elroy all nod vigorously.

Franklin and Tara arrive at Russell’s house, of all places. (What in the world are they doing here?) Franklin races off to do something, leaving Tara in the foyer to be ogled by Russell’s queeny boyfriend, who thinks she’s dinner.

Over to Lupine’s, where Hooker Sookie is working the crowd for info, while Alcide watches over her and tries to look swarthy. Just to fit in, she does a bunch of shots with some guy and then hollers like she just felt a breeze where she shouldn‘t. Okay so far.

Russell, Lorena and Bill in the car, deciding on the evening’s dining options. Russell sends Bill out to fetch something tasty. Oh, so that’s how it is now, is it, Bill? You fetch things? Your old job doesn’t look so bad now, even if The Queen had a house that was too bright.

Eric makes it back to Fangtasia, where the Magister is torturing Pam on that contraption where they had Lafayette tied up a few seasons ago. (To be fair, Pam looks like she would be really enjoying this if the circumstances were slightly different.) Eric stops short of spilling the truth about his queen, so Pam screams out “It’s Bill Compton selling V!” Total lie, of course, but the Magister pauses, and Eric fleshes out the lie by saying he’s gathering info on Bill. The Magister gives him two days, or they kill Pam. She glances down at her designer footwear, knowing how badly she’ll miss them when she no longer has feet.

Back to Lupine’s, where Sookie tries to play Jane Austen and get Debbie and Alcide back together. That doesn’t work, because Debbie is not a nice person and she has questionable goals in life, so they keep searching the crowd as people prepare for the mysterious initiation that is about to take place. Something tells me that startling pain is somehow on the agenda. Then this weird flash sound wave thing billows out from everybody.

Russell and Lorena are still sitting in the car, waiting on Bill to get back from the meat market. Russell suddenly tells Lorena he has an errand, be right back. Really? Errand? Right when the initiation is starting? But Lorena just sits there, clueless, because she’s really not all that smart or she wouldn’t be in Mississippi in the first place.

Bill wanders into a nearby stripper bar, looking for entrees that might appeal to lazy Russell and Lorena. He wanders around until he finds a drugged-out woman who is trying to appear professionally horny, which is no surprise considering he’s in a place where women get personal with metal rods attached to the ceiling. Sad music is playing on the soundtrack, so I think we’re supposed to feel bad about the woman’s sorry journey in life, but really, I’m not the one that told her to dance with her shirt off and sit on strangers’ laps.

Back to Lupine’s, where the crowd is really stoked about the impending ceremony, proudly wearing their concert t-shirts and waving lighters. Some guy comes on the stage, and we are completely not surprised to see that it’s Russell, the vaguely gay leader of the Mississippi vampire kingdom. Or vampdom. Whatever they call it. But what’s he doing in a werewolf bar? Hmmm.

Well, he’s apparently conducting some type of mass, where he speaks in a weird language that the partying wolf-humans understand. There’s a lot of celebration and genuflecting, which makes it almost appear as if we‘re watching Sunday morning TV, except for the outfits. Anyway, Russell rips open one of his veins (or arteries, I’m not a doctor) and sprinkles his specialness into shot glasses which are then passed around the crowd. Is the Pope watching this? Because I’m thinking his PR people might need to know about it.

And poor Little Debbie. She’s rude and really skanky, so we shouldn’t feel sorry for her, but they don’t even let her have one of the blood shots, despite the fact that she’s on all fours and wearing fur. Perhaps she needs to rethink joining an underground society where women do everything they’re supposed to do but still don’t get any beverages.

And we’re back at the Pole-O-Rama bar, where Bill is trying to have a conversation with the befuddled stripper, despite the fact that she just wants to dance and make sweet love with total strangers. It seems her stage name is Destiny, which Bill doesn’t find appealing, so Bill glamors her, making her tell the truth, and we learn that her life has been very disappointing. No surprise. If there had been sunshine and rainbows, she’d be working in upper management at some behemoth corporation. Or at least working the second window at McDonald’s, where you don’t have to show cleavage unless you really want to.

Back to Lupine’s, where the odd ceremony has gotten a little out of hand, and people are being really loud in that annoying way that drunk people display when they fail to realize that they have crossed the line between entertaining and outright offensiveness. Somebody pulls out a branding iron, which always happens when there’s been too much tequila, and they brand parched Debbie with that Nazi symbol thing.

Apparently the smell of sizzling flesh causes Debbie’s soon-to-be husband (Cooper?) to transition into a wolf. This is very exciting to the crowd, and before you know it, everybody wants to be a wolf as well, with people howling and thinking they’re in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. Sookie, who has calmly watched the goings-on while propped seductively against the bar, decides it might be time to become concerned. She sends out one of her telepathic group emails to the world.

Bill, helping Destiny into the limo where Russell and Lorena have their lobster bibs on, hears the message from his discarded beloved. He pauses, staring off into the night sky so that we can understand he still misses her even though he doesn’t answer her texts, then he follows Destiny to her destiny in the limo.

Where Russell and Lorena take first dibs on the pole-swinger, and then Bill samples the menu as well. Blood drips out of the bottom of the car.

Will Bill ever find his way back to Sookie? Will Sookie even care, now that she’s bandaged Alcide and seen his nipples? Will Eric prove to have the most enticing nipples of all? Tune in next time for “As The Vampire Turns”….

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