Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Review of True Blood's 3x02: "Beautifully Broken"

Written by Raelle Tucker
Directed by Scott Winant

Sookie: “You’re not gonna distract me by talking nasty.”
Eric: “I already have. So, are you gonna invite me in?”

If there’s one thing that will be said about this episode that it was certainly one where everything was happening all at once. I’m not kidding – not once did this episode actually stop for breath with the amount of plotlines either being furthered or set up.

With Bill, I called that it wouldn’t take long for him to be recaptured and it bloody well didn’t. Cooter and his seriously gnarly werewolf gang might have been badly damaged with their one to one with Bill but never underestimate vampire king, Russell Edgington. This is clearly one guy you do not want to piss off.

Russell showed that messing with him was unadvisable within the first three minutes of his introduction by shooting one of Cooter’s men and even Bill knew it was better to come back to his house than to try and leg it out of the woods. Russell certainly knows how to intimidate Bill and that is something that I have to admit to being impressed with.

Bill literally became a captive all over again but instead of silver chain bonds, the threat of Sookie was the weapon that Russell was happy to wield against Bill. For those who’ve read the books, originally Sophie-Anne had sent Bill to Bon Temps to seduce the telepathic waitress and it’s glaringly obvious that the series is following that route as well.

It made for an uncomfortable scene with Russell needling Bill about Sookie and more so about how his estimation in Sophie-Anne’s allies. Bill made a few attempts to deflect Russell’s line of questioning about the queen as well as an ill-advised moment where he tried to stand up to Russell. I wasn’t really that surprised when neither of them actually worked in his favour.

Then there was the scene where Bill seemingly got a little fire happy on Lorena. As much as I hoped that she’d completely burn up there and then, I’ll bet anything by next week that it was either a dream/fantasy moment or that Lorena survived the flames but either way, Bill is completely screwed on this one. He better hope that there’s some shot of luck coming his way sharpish before Russell achieves his goals.

Starting a war with Louisiana or marrying Sophie-Anne – personally I don’t think Russell will settle for one goal. Sophie-Anne doesn’t strike me as someone who’ll give into the king’s charms that easily and I’m fairly certain that if Russell actually did marry her, he’d make sure that Sophie-Anne would have as little power as possible.

But less about that, I’m intrigued about the werewolves. Russell’s got werewolves who drink vampire blood under his control and doing his bidding – this is rather brilliant in a perverse way. Cooter might have a silly name but I think he’s a lot more dangerous than he appeared to be in the woods with the mocking Bill and maybe even more so than the werewolves that spent this episode stalking Sookie.

Of course Sookie would have to spend a great deal of this episode on the radar of a bunch of wolves. If it’s not fanatics like the Fellowship, Rene or Maryann, its Russell’s minions that’ll do her the most damage, especially if Bill doesn’t play along with Russell’s demands either. On the plus side, while Sookie does attract a lot of danger, at least she doesn’t completely sit there going, ‘poor me’.

Both she and Terry stalked the woods looking for one of the werewolves following her and Terry himself was kind enough to give her a gun for protection. Terry seems to get better and better, doesn’t he? And then there was Eric of course. First he lied about the Operation Werewolf symbol and then he was compelled into telling the truth.

I’m still not on the Sookie/Eric shipper train but thanks to this episode, I can see a little clearer as to why so many fan girls are crazy about the pair. Despite the shitty thing he did with manipulating her into drinking his blood last season, I have to admit hat Eric’s feelings for Sookie do seem to be genuine.

He struggled with coping with her being upset (part of the blood bond?) and in spite of the rather sleazy come on, he did give her a satisfying information dump on that time in Nazi Germany when him and Godric had came across werewolves before. Eric also had the good sense to get Sookie to invite him into her house when another of the werewolves decided to pay her a late night visit.

But it isn’t just werewolves that Sookie should be worried about as well. Why was it that the moment it looked like someone other than Lafayette had Tara’s back that they had to turn out to be a spy for Russell? Franklin Mott might have helped Tara beat up a bunch of assholes who pissed on the spot where Eggs was shot but it didn’t stop him from breaking into Bill’s house and going through Sookie’s family tree.

It’s a shame too because Franklin is rather cute and Tara really does need to catch a fucking break on this show. Lafayette might have scared her into not trying to kill herself by reintroducing her to his mentally ill mother, Ruby Jean but it’s damn obvious that for all of Lafayette’s compassion for Tara that she is far from out of the woods.

Still, though, Lafayette was another character who has gone up in my estimation due to the events of this episode and I loved him for telling Lettie Mae how much of a failure she is as a parent to Tara and it did seem that he could have a potential lover in orderly Jesus, who was briefly seen in this episode.

Speaking of failing, I really do feel for Sam but I do not love his family one bit in this series at all. Even if Tommy hadn’t pulled that stunt that nearly got Sam killed, I just really think that the Mickens are going to turn out to be more trouble than they’re worth for Sam to handle. Maybe I will get proved wrong and we’ll see a decent side to Tommy, Melina and Joe Lee in later episodes but somehow I doubt it really.

As for Jason, he amused me to no end in this episode. His reactions to werewolves made me laugh but his scenes with Andy were just priceless, especially when he got to arrest someone purely by accident. Plus the way both Calvin Norris and his wayward niece Crystal were introduced into this episode was done nicely, given that there were so many new characters in this one.

Last but not least, there was Jessica as well. I get that she’s feeling guilty about killing a man, which is great but I still want her to give Hoyt another chance given how much of an effort that he’s actually making with her. Also, amusing as her corpse problem was – who the hell actually disposed of the body? I’d like to say that Pam did it after their little girl talk in the bathroom but I have a feeling that it’ll turn out to be Franklin though, given his snooping in Bill’s house.

Also in “Beautifully Broken”

New regulars added into this episode were Kevin Alejandro (Jesus), Alfre Woodard (Ruby Jean), Denis O’Hare (Russell) and Lindsay Pulsipher (Crystal). Expect more by next week.

Bill: “These wolves do your bidding?”
Russell: “Well, unfortunately not as well as I’d hoped. I’m terribly sorry, Mr Compton.”

Jason did a nice thing by stopping by Sookie’s to clean up the mess that Maryann’s rampage had caused, even if he did get kneed in the bollocks for his troubles.

Lafayette (to Lettie Mae): “You too busy trying to praise Jesus to notice she’s permanently trying to move in with him.”

Eric: “Here’s what I about you – you’re so blinded by your obsession with Bill Compton you’re likely to run through the streets screaming werewolf bait, alerting that whoever has Bill that we’re onto them or get yourself killed.”
Sookie: “I’m not stupid.”
Eric: “No, you’re human.”

In flashbacks, it did look like that female werewolf had the same Operation Werewolf symbol on her. Can we assume that Russell Edgington was her master as well?

Tara: “The one time in my life I thought I was happy, I was a fucking zombie. What the hell is wrong with me, Lafayette?”

Tommy: “Don’t move. Get out of the car.”
Sam: “Which is it – don’t move or get out of the car?”

We learned that Sam is 34 in this episode, that Melina is a shifter, while Joe Lee is not but he served 12 years in prison and we saw Tommy turn into a bulldog and a bat. Tommy also has a lot of scars on his back as well.

Jesus (re Lafayette): “You told me your son passed away.”
Ruby Jean: “He did. God killed him because he’s a fag but he keeps coming back.”

Terry (re gun): “You know how to use one of these?”
Sookie: “I ain’t that blonde.”

Why doesn’t Arlene just take a pregnancy test to see if she’s with child? I did love Terry’s list as to why he’s good around her children though.

Sam (to Tommy): “I didn’t realise this was a ‘who’s life is more fucked up?’ content. If it means that much to you, you win.”

Talbot: “Excuse me gentlemen, I need to drain the second course.”

Clever idea of having the door on the inside of Bill’s room covered with silver and I rather liked Russell’s lover, Talbot in this episode as well. And the blood gelato was odd to say the least.

Sookie (re werewolves): “Why did you tell me last night?”
Eric: “The bigger question is why am I risking everything to tell you now? My loyalty is not to Bill. In fact it would be advantageous in numerous ways to me if he was never found.”

Russell: “Poor Sookie, shame she has to pay the price for your stubbornness.”
Bill: “You leave Sookie out of this.”
Russell: “You’re in my home, Mr Compton, pt your fangs away.”

Standout music: Well definitely not Snoop Dogg’s horrible “Oh Sookie” ode to Miss Stackhouse but rather “I’m Alive” by Shelby Lynne or “Beautifully Broken” by Gov’t Mule.

Eric: “Invite me in now.”
Sookie: “Mr Northman, would you please come in?”

Chronology: Exactly from where “Bad Blood” left off.

With so many new characters introduced into this episode, I’m actually impressed with how effortlessly “Beautifully Broken” moved but this was certainly a busy episode. I think more has happened in the first two episodes of this season than most shows do in about twelve to be perfectly honest.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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