Monday, July 19, 2010

Searching For Signal: #139 - “True Blood” - Season 3, Episode 5

We start out with a trembling Tara standing in the foyer of Russell’s stately manor, while queeny Talbot is sniffing about and trying to determine her vintage. Franklin is fiddling with with Tara’s couture, and we can’t quite tell if he’s just making her presentable for society or if he’s prepping her for the dinner table.

Then we hear a clatter, and Russell, Lorena and Bill come strolling around the corner, giggling like school girls, belching while stripper blood drips from their chins.

Tara spies Bill.

Bill spies Tara.

Uh oh.

Roll opening credits. Ugly people, horny rednecks doing the lambada in some pool hall, and a fervent gospel choir bursting with praise and the after-effects of covered-dish picnics.

Still in the crowded foyer. Franklin is babbling about how Tara wants nothing more in the world than to be with him. (This is news to Tara.) Talbot does not care for unexpected guests, especially when they seem to have lost their minds. (This is news to Tara.) Bill has no intention of helping Tara out her jam. (This is probably the most surprising news to Tara. She is not pleased with the revelation.)

Russell and Franklin go off into the study.

Bill and Lorena go off somewhere so that he can continue not helping Tara.

Russell and Franklin, where Russ is paying Franklin for some errand he performed. (“You are a freak, but you do a good job.”) But why do you want Tara? Franklin: “She’s messed up like me!” (Well, that’s always a solid basis for a relationship.) Russell: Anyway, the Sookie thing? How are we going to get her here from Bon Temps? Franklin smiles. She’s right here in Jackson.

Lorena and Bill on a convenient staircase landing that allows plenty of room for cameras. She’s still deranged, telling Bill that he can flirt all he wants with other fish, but in the end “you’ll be mine”. Bill doesn’t have time for this, so he gets all huffy, yelling “You’ve played yourself into a corner, you tiresome cow.”

Love is in the air. Every sight and every sound.

Sookie and Alcide are in the car, barreling down the highway after escaping the ruckus at Lupine’s where Debbie was disappointed to learn that ceremonial sacrifice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sookie provides some amusing commentary concerning death by Mississippi pothole, which causes Alcide to slow down as well as reflect on his ex-girlfriend. “Debbie wasn’t so bad.” Sookie couldn’t be less interested in trashy Debbie right now. “That Russell guy? He knows where Bill is.” Alcide: “You stay away from Russell!”

Which means, of course, that Sookie will be running to Russell as soon as possible.

Back to the very busy foyer, where Talbot is overly proud of being the “royal consort”. (This, of course, just means “whore”. ) A group of guys bang through the doors, with Eric in the middle. Eric confronts Russell. “I’m looking for Bill. He’s wanted for selling vampire blood.” Russell: “Oh really? Let’s ask him.”

Bill waltzes around the corner. Russell grins wickedly at Eric. “We know it’s YOUR queen doing the selling” And by the way, Bill works for me now, which will hopefully make you feel even worse about unannounced arrivals at my plantation.

Eric’s first thought? “OMG, Sookie’s back on the market!” His second? Better fess up to these people, cause they mean and I’m sure somebody around here is a telepath. He admits that he accused Bill just to protect his queen. Now that we’re best friends, what are we going to do about The Magister? Russell smiles. “Spend the night. We’ll talk in the morning.”

Sookie wakes up at Alcide’s, and she overhears him fighting with Debbie in the other room. Sookie marches in there to make people behave the way she wants them to. This backfires, and Debbie turns on Sookie, yelling and such. Sookie is not pleased with this, so she reads Debbie’s tiny mind and tells Alcide what she discovers. Sadly, Sookie learns that crack-head Debbie doesn’t know where Bill is.

Back to the manor born, where Franklin is tying Tara to a bed, because he’s not crazy at all. Tara tries being nice to him, mainly because there aren’t a lot of options on the menu. Then Franklin gets all incensed about texts that Tara has been getting from Lafayette. Then he shows us how vampires speed text. Twice.

Back in Bon Temps, Kenya and some dweeby officer are talking about nothing at the police station. Jason wanders up, all Sunday-School clean. “I’m here to work.” Kenya is not impressed, and yells for “acting Chief of Police Andy Bellefleur” to get his butt in here right now. Embarrassed Andy sets up Jason at an office desk, which saddens Jason, because he really wants to be out in the field, waving a gun while them music plays.

Cut to Sam’s twisted new family moving into the house he is providing for them until they “get back on their feet,” which really means never. There’s some kind of anger thing going on with Nasty Daddy and Brother Tommy, but it’s not clear. Terry drives up, sporting odd new highlights in his hair, hops out, and tells Sam the he’s taking the plunge and moving in with Arlene. Lo and behold, she just happens to live next door, making it very convenient for the scriptwriters and the set decorators.

Arlene wanders out of her house, looking all trashy, and whines. This somehow inspires Sam to hire Nasty Daddy as a handyman. Evil music plays on the soundtrack, so I’m assuming Nasty Daddy either doesn’t care for manual labor or killed someone while pretending to snake some tenant’s toilet.

Quick scene with Tara trying to chew through her bonds while Franklin snores beside her, meaning she’s either really hungry or is late for an appointment.

Sookie is doing her nails at Alcide’s, because that’s really critical, when she reads Alcide and learns that he’s headed off to meet something called the “pack master”. She wants to go with, please. And don’t argue.

Cut back to Jason, bored out of his mind at his desk and fiddling with paper clips. He goes to Andy and complains that this non-activity is “sucking the life out of me”. Andy ponders the complaint, considers options, then smiles.

Back at the manor house, Tara has chewed her way to temporary freedom, so she and her frilly nightie slip down the stairs and out the front door. She runs like the wind. Sadly, so does the werewolf that spots her and gives chase. (Nothing racist about showing a frightened black girl in skimpy clothing running away from a plantation while being chased by baying hounds, right?) The wolf knocks her to the ground, and then transitions back into Cooter. Uh oh. (And how is it that so many of these werewolves have such remarkable human chests?)

Lafayette and Tommy are smoking cigars outside Merlotte’s, because it seemed like fun, when Jesus (the guy from Laff’s Mom’s nursing home, not the son of God) walks up. Laff makes Tommy go inside, because apparently shape-shifters shouldn’t see what’s about to happen. Turns out it’s Jesus’ day off, and he drove over here just to see Laff, special. They make googly eyes, but then Laff: “I’m working right now.” Jesus: “Then I’ll just hang till you get off. It’s only 9 hours.”

Well, then.

Sookie and Alcide are talking to the Pack Master on an abandoned road, because I guess the real set wasn’t ready yet. Packie tells Alcide “do nothing, tell no one”. That Russell guy has had a pack of evil werewolves protecting him for centuries. Sookie reads him, then tells Alcide: “Let him go. He’s afraid.”

Cut to Jason washing one of the cop cars, all wet and shirtless, with soaked jeans riding so low you can nearly tell his religion. A girl drives slowly by in a truck. Hey, it’s that “vision chick” from the drug bust night when Jason decided he wanted to join the Po-po. Jason hops in the squad car to chase her down, and “Dukes of Hazzard” music starts playing on the soundtrack. This is a very subtle show, yes?

He finally pulls her over, they flirt and chat for a bit, but I don’t really catch all of it. (Did I mention that Jason was wet and shirtless?) Turns out her name is Crystal, she’s a little stand-offish for as-yet-unknown reasons, but she definitely likes the way Jason dresses. He asks her to meet him at Merlotte’s, but she doesn’t really seem interested and drives away because she needs to get the mayo in the fridge.

Over to Merlotte’s, where Jesus is watching Laff cook in a lustful manner, Jessie is nice to newly-hired Tommy, Arlene is mean to Jessie for no reason, and Jessie glamors the next diners who walk in the door, telling them NOT to tip their waitress.

Hoyt wanders in with some new girlie and they take a booth, where we instantly dislike the new tramp. (“I can’t wait to have babies!”) Jessie gets sad watching this, Tommy notices and queries her about the Hoyt thing. (“That’s a giant sixth-grade boy right there.”) Jessie smiles forlornly. “He’s really sweet.” Aww. Then Tommy gets a call, and it’s Nasty Daddy telling him to get home right now. Tommy hangs up on him.

Back to Franklin and the re-captured Tara. Franklin: “Why?” Tara: “Dude, I’m afraid of you.” Franklin bursts into tears, slobbering all over the place and making himself even uglier, even though I didn’t think this was possible. Tara goes to Plan B. “Wait, I’m not afraid of YOU, I’m afraid of… this place. So many vampires.” Franklin’s bloody tears instantly dry up. “I’ll never let them touch you.” Then he tries to caress her gently, but all he really does his jack up her hair even further.

Downstairs, Russell and Bill are going over the Stackhouse family tree that Franklin basically stole from Bill’s house. Russell: “Have you been playing track the telepath?” (Why would he do that? He was sleeping with one. She was right there.) Cooter comes in, and Russell asks him about the guard. Bill gets a quizzical look. Something is up.

Jason is at Merlotte’s and Andy shows, brimming with good news. He got them to wave everything so Jason can be a police officer. Well, there’s still the physical exam. Jason whoops and grins. Oh, and the written test. Jason pouts.

Quick scene with Lafayette and Jesus playing pool. Passions grow as pool cues plunge.

Tommy asks Sam if he can crash at Sam’s place tonight. Sure, as long as you tell your folks. Tommy promises too quickly. Sam: “You’re lying. What does Joe Lee (Nasty Daddy) want from you? Tommy stares at the ground. Either it’s too horrible to speak of or he forgot his lines.

Bill is in his room at the manor, where he is apparently being held. Cooter comes in and starts saying graphic and annoying things. Displeased, Bill starts to beat the crap out of him. “Where is Sookie?!?”

Merlotte’s again. Sad Jason and his inability to pass written exams are leaving the building. Crystal wanders up, but she’s scared to go inside. “In fact, I shouldn’t be anywhere near you. I can’t explain.” Jason offers alternate entertainment plans for the evening. “Walk with me.” So they wander into the woods, and he eventually takes her hand. Before you know it, they are kissing passionately by some moonlit water while Enya sings on the soundtrack.

Jason: “You’re an outdoor girl like me.” (Um.) “Those things you can’t talk about, I don’t care.” Crystal: “I’ve never been happier than right now.” (Guess she doesn’t get out much.) More Enya on the soundtrack.

Back to the manor, where Russell is rushing out the door. Eric: “Can I help?” Russell: “No. Play with Talbot.” As he scoots out the door, Lorena wanders down the staircase, yelling “You!” at Eric like she’s Bette Davis discovering deceit in her family. Eric and Talbot don’t care, and go off to another room to do the playing.

Sam and Tommy kicking back at Sam’s and drinking beer, so you know something horrible is going to happen. Sure enough, there’s rude pounding on the door, and it’s Joe Lee. He is beside himself with wild anger, trying to drag Tommy out of there. But Sam does not sign off on that idea, so he scuffles with Joe Lee until Nasty Daddy settles down and leaves. Sam to Tommy: “What the hell?”

Manor again, where Tara is sitting at a dining table, crying. Franklin flits in and inquires as to why so blue. Tara is starving to death, but all the staff brought to her was a bowl of flowers. Tara: “We need to talk. You have to remember that I’m alive. I have needs. Like food.” Fine. Franklin says they’ll go out to a nice dinner. To celebrate. Before I turn you. Tara: Say what? Franklin: “Will you be my vampire bride?”

That tiny little squeak was Tara’s sphincter slamming shut.

Talbot and Eric are in some room looking at ancient Japanese porn. Eric is then transfixed by what appears to be a crown. Talbot doesn’t seem to care, probably because he can’t see his reflection in it, but Eric seems to recognize it quite well. It’s a Viking crown.

Flashback, way long ago. Presumably Viking times, based on the previous scene. Otherwise that scene was pointless. Anyway, we see Eric and his parents, obviously human, sitting in some darkened hall, drinking wine and munching on leg of horse or something. Daddy starts to counsel Eric, telling him he needs to “learn to be king!”. In typical dysfunctional dad-son dealings, Eric stomps off to go have sex with one of the milkmaids.

Suddenly there’s screaming, and werewolves are attacking. Mom dies right away, so she was kind of useless, but Eric and Dad do their best. But Dad is mortally wounded before Eric chases the Big Bads away. In the melee, Eric sees that Nazi symbol thing on one of the dead wolves. Then a mysterious hooded figure takes the crown the dad was wearing and marches into the snow.

Parting words from dying dad: “You are king now. You know what to do.”

Eric: “Vengeance.”

Back to the present, where Sookie is sitting in a darkened room at Alcide’s, looking forlorn. Alcide calls her into the other room, and she discovers Bill standing there. Great joy! She hugs him, but Bill has more pressing matters. “You have to go now. There is no hope for me.”

Then Cooter and the Gang arrives, with Russell all up in the grill. Lots of chaos, and people dashing about. Cooter tries to capture Sookie, but when she lays hands on him, we have some of that exciting electro-shock therapy that we haven’t seen since Mary Ann was handing out weed to everyone who stopped by her casa.

Russell laughs. “Fantastic!”

Sookie just glares at him. She mad.

Roll end credits.

1 comment:

  1. This is just getting to be a big 'ol box of crazy all around! Love your digest -- it adds a whole new viewpoint ('cuz mine wasn't weird enough?).