True Blood‘s third episode is the best of the latest season as nearly every scene works: packing in the funny, the engaging and the WTF. As an added bonus(!) nearly all of our storylines also move forward. Now if only we didn’t have those damn wolves…
Let’s bitch it out!
Ah yes, Alcide (Joe Manganiello) and his wolfpack. Are they the worst storyline of season six so far? There certainly may be other silly subplots, but for me, each time the wolves or the drama surrounding Emma’s kidnapping rears its ugly head, the show grinds to a halt. I’ve said it for the last two episodes straight and I’ll say it again: I just don’t care!
It’s especially frustrating because so much else works in ‘You’re No Good.’ This is easily the funniest episode in a good long time and the majority of the scenes feel constructive and interesting (no mean feat considering how many narrative plates are currently up in the air). There are even a few really well executed scenes that reinforce why this show – despite its inconsistent quality – is still worth watching. I’m talking about nice quiet scenes like Sookie (Anna Paquin) reminder to Jason (Ryan Kwanten) that their parents were flawed, but it’s okay to love them. I’m talking about irate interplay between my new favourite trio: Eric (Alexander Skarsgaard), Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) and Tara (Rutina Wesley) as they bicker and gripe while on the run. And I’m talking about the hilarity that ensues when you put a scorned religious-turned-politician husband and wife pair in a room with handcuffs and BIG hair.
Yes, if I had to pick a favourite scene, it would be the barn burner that is the return of Anna Camp’s Sarah when she confronts her now (gay) vampire ex-husband, Steve Newlin (Michael McMillan). I adore the interplay between these two, as well as Sarah’s costuming (her introduction is a glorious tracking shot of her studded stilettos. Absolute perfection). And you just know she wears her hair big like that to be closer to God. Unfortunately it’s unclear whether we’ll see Sarah again or this was a one-shot deal. Either way Steve’s presence at the vampire extermination camp does not bode well for his well-being.
Of course it simply wouldn’t be True Blood if half of our characters weren’t in (im)mortal peril (traditionally the other half is off making incredibly stupid decisions, like Tara whisking away Arliss Howard’s daughter, Willa). Whatever happens moving forward with the Governor’s extermination plan, or the continued threat of Big Bad Warlow, at least we can look back and say that nearly everything in this episode was awesome.
- Love that Pam and Tara are drinking milk at Fangtasia. So random! (Though it does speak to the fact that Burrell’s men have taken nearly everything from the bar)
- Deborah Ann Woll got sidelined a little bit to give the irate trio more screentime, but she does make great use of her slow-mo dirty-school girl outfit on her mission to track down TruBlood synthesizer, Hido Takahashi (Keone Young)
- Everyone miss Ben (Robert Kazinsky)? No? Well…he’s back anyways. After Grandpa Niall (Rutger Hauer) finds the inhabitants of the Faerie Carni Tent massacred (Claude: nooooo!), Grandpa recruits the jacked-up halfling to fight off Warlow. Mystery question: why can Sookie sense Ben when he reads her mind, but not other Faeries and halflings?
- Also: when is Kazinsky going to get nekkid? By this point his shirt is basically being held on by gum and fishing line. Wouldn’t it be easier just to rip off those final few buttons? Amirite?
- Silliest moment of the episode: Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) practically orgasms when Eric gruffly tells her to put the tape back over her mouth. So dirty…and dumb
- Runner-up: Billith’s (Stephen Moyer) attempt to get a tan ends with him impersonating a fiery human bowling ball. Smooth Billith
- Points for Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) hilarity, but he still needs more to do
- VIP actress Tara Buck returns as hair roller-clad, perpetually screaming/glamoured idiot Ginger. Ohmygod – anything Ginger just cracks me up so much. Her disappointment at not sleeping with Eric is just great
- Did anyone else think of the concussion countdown from Not Another Teen Movie every time Jason smoked his head? Obviously these hallucinations were symptomatic of something more serious, though this mystery illness still feels a little hastily inserted
- The final scene with Billith and Andy (Chris Bauer) is unusual, if only because ending the episode with Jason succumbing to a ‘sode would have been more dramatically satisfying. I get that we’re meant to see that Billith a) could kill Andy, but doesn’t and b) has the ability to make clever deductions based on scant information (ie: the teddy bear in Andy’s passenger seat means he has a child)
- Finally, which Andy moment is better: when he confesses he hasn’t bothered to name his four (now preteen) girls, simply referring to them by number OR his terrible attempt to inappropriately touch Holly (Lauren Bowles) by suggesting he molests all of his deputies – including the males – when he teaches them how to shoot? Oh Andy Bellefleur
- Pam (when Eric asks where Nora when): “I didn’t ask because I didn’t give a shit.”
- Lafayette (declaring his intent to help Sam): “I is in…so what’s the mother f*cking plan, boyfriend?”
- Jason (when Sookie panics that he’s been hallucinating): “…you didn’t wonder why I was acting all crazy and more racist than usual?”
- Rikki (urgently shoving Martha out to speak to the police): “Oh, and you have emphysema”
- Sookie: “You’re not God, Bill. You’re just an asshole.”
- Eric (when Ginger apologizes for answering his phone): “It’s okay, Ginger, I understand – you’re stupid.”
- Grandpa (when Sookie cusses out Ben for reading her thoughts): “Sookie…hospitality”
Your turn: was this the best episode of True Blood in a long time? Did you like the irate trio? Were you impressed with Sookie’s determination in standing up to Bill or disappointed that she is now apparently “dead” to him? What’s happening with Jason? Does anyone care about the wolf/shifter crap? And why can’t we get a money & politics spin-off with Sarah and Steve Newlin as bitter co-anchors? Sound off below
True Blood airs Sunday nights at 9pm EST on HBO
I appreciate that this episode may be a turning point for this show as far as a coherent plotline goes, but I still find myself getting bored while watching. Also, it seems like they’re setting up a relationship between Sam and Nicole…didn’t his girlfriend get murdered, like, yesterday? And is it me, or does Niall look eerily like a male Glenn Close?
Anna Camp was listed as a series regular in the credits so she should be back! And the point of the scene with Bill and Andy was that Bill smelled the fairy blood of Andy’s daughters and is going to kidnap them and synthesize their blood instead of Sookie’s. That’s why it was ominous. And the scene where smug, sanctimonious Bill burst into flames like Icarus was my favorite moment on this show in ages!!
I believe you are correct since a story about an injury from her time on set just surfaced (she’s fine) – but the suggestion is that she’s been shooting a number of episodes. Exciting!
So…. Ben is Warlow, right?
I think, actually, what was in the milk cartoon was blood, seeing as vampires don’t have an appetite for “normal human” food after they’ve been turned—only blood. My thinking was, and is, that the milk cartoon is a ~cleverly-disguised~ method for transporting cartons of blood, or A carton of blood, to vampires/Pam and Tara.
Good pick-up. I figured as much (Pam in particular seems like an unlikely milk drinker), but the fact that it never goes beyond the funny visual merited the quick shout-out. We’ll have to see if blood-in-milk-containers shows up again!
Aside, I love this episode title and this song. I hadn’t heard “You’re No Good” in years, but it played on the car radio on Sunday afternoon.