Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My Review of True Blood's 3x07: "Hitting The Ground"

Written by Brian Buckner
Directed by John Dahl

Claudine: “Sookie, you’re in the hospital. You can’t seem to stay out of trouble, can you?”
Sookie: “Do you know me?”

The one thing that has been consistent with this season is that nearly every episode so far has either introduced or reintroduced different characters and at some point, we were due a cull of some kind. This episode served up three deaths, two literally minutes apart from each other and it’s a rather mixed affair.

Much as I detested Lorena and was welcoming her death like Christmas, I felt it lacked certain oomph. I’m glad that Sookie got the chance to stake the bitch but something about the scene didn’t ignite the right emotion. Sure, Lorena expressed some curiosity about what Sookie truly is and told Bill that she loved him but the scene just didn’t work at all.

And that’s strange considering that the next character to die was the non-entity of Cooter who got gunned down by Alcide and that did ignite some strong emotion. No, I didn’t feel sad to see him die but Debbie sure as hell was and went out of her way to promise Alcide that she was going to hunt him down.

Now this is something I’m oddly looking forward to seeing. Over the last few episodes, I’ve found Debbie to be a lot more effective and engaging to watch than I should’ve and that’s a credit to Brit Morgan. Debbie’s completely unhinged and Sookie’s basically made herself another enemy in the process but she’s a fun presence on the series. Certainly better than Lorena was anyways.

As for Alcide, loved him and Tara coming in for Sookie and Bill’s aid, even if they did nearly get themselves killed by Debbie at the same time. This was an exceptionally strong episode for Tara who even braved taking down Debbie and also helped with getting Sookie and Bill away from the wolves with Alcide ably assisting her as well.

It’s because of this that I had zero problems with Tara tossing Bill out in the sunlight after she discovered that he fed on Sookie in the back of the van. Granted Sookie initiated the feeding and Bill certainly wasn’t in a right frame of mind to stop himself but it did make for some uncomfortable TV and I would’ve done the same thing if I had been in Tara’s position as well.

With a comatose Sookie, some real questions emerged this week. Even if I’ve never read the books, even I would’ve guessed that there was something more to Sookie than being able to read people’s minds and the glowing thing with her hands. Jason made something out of her never being born in a hospital and her body refused transfusions when she was in the hospital.

Then there was the coma land dream stuff as well. Now I love this show for being outrageous, overly sexual and violent but damn, the scenes in Sookie’s head this episode were some of the cheesiest things I’ve seen in a while and this is coming from someone who has watched a lot of Charmed in his spare time.

Claudine’s also been one of the characters in the books I’ve been looking forward to seeing translated on screen and this episode was a mixed way of adding her into the mix. I don’t know how many remaining episodes she’ll be in this season but I hope to hell that Sookie doesn’t have to be asleep so that we can see Claudine.

Lara Pulver played the role well in this episode and certainly echoed something rather enchanting about Claudine. Visually, her depiction of Claudine is a very stunning, flower child take on being a fairy and like everyone else, it’s nice to have another presence in the show of someone who wants to protect rather than use or hurt Sookie.

At the same time though, Claudine raised more questions than she actually answered in the episode. Who is the “he” that specifically wants to steal Sookie’s light? It could be Bill, given that Claudine seemed vocal in her mistrust of vampires but knowing this show, it’ll end up being another presence. Remember if there are good fairies, there are definitely bad ones lurking about as well.

More to the question, with the arrival of Claudine and Eric managing to extract information from Hadley about her, what the hell is Sookie? This season is promising to lift the lid on it and with five episodes left, I would at least like to know, even if Sookie is left in the dark a little longer.

As for the coma bit, I was actually expecting Sookie to pull through. Yes, the vigil at her bedside with Jason, Tara and Lafayette was touching but there was no way this episode was going to end with her still comatose. Much as I understood Tara’s anger when Bill showed up at the hospital, I was glad that Jason had enough sense to let him heal Sookie, even if her reaction to him when she woke spelt trouble.

Then again, give what Bill had done to her this week and for the fact that he’s been researching her for Sophie-Anne, I do want to see Sookie taking him to task. Inevitably she has to as well and I bet the second her and Bill breakup is the same one that fan girls will be even more desperate for her and Eric to hook up. Personally I think she should give Alcide a try first and maybe distance herself a little from both Bill and Eric.

Speaking of Eric, even though I am fascinated by him, I hated him for hurting Hadley to get information on Sookie. Hadley might not be the most interesting character on the show but Eric easily could’ve have glamoured her if he was that desperate for intelligence. Presuming that Hadley isn’t like her cousin that is.

As for the marriage of Sophie-Anne and Russell, it was as cold as the instruments that the Magister used on Pam for the last two episodes. Sophie-Anne really is powerless and thanks to Russell, she’s got even more incentive to watch her back. Russell’s certainly not a man to mince his words now.

I’m not really shocked that Russell killed the Magister given how determined he is that to break away from the rules that vampires have set up in society to co-exist with humans. Plus, the Magister’s death was oddly funny and anyone who tortures Pam like that certainly deserves to die. If it had been Eric or Bill, I might not be as bothered by it.

The most important obstacle for Russell now though is seemingly the Authority. Now that’s something we didn’t have in the books but I’m guessing they’re a lot scarier and more dangerous than the Magister. In other words, if Eric doesn’t bring Russell to his knees, then this lot certainly will.

Also in “Hitting The Ground”

What’s in Sookie’s blood that Lorena detected but nobody else has commented on?

Lorena: “What are you?”
Sookie: “I’m the bitch that’s gonna kill you.”

In the book “Club Dead”, Bill also raped Sookie in the boot out of car when he was dazed and confused. Personally I’m glad that didn’t make it into the episode.

Lorena: “William, I love you.”
Sookie: “You wouldn’t know love if it kicked you in the fangs.”

Alcide: “Debbie, look at me. You loved me once, I know you did.”
Debbie: “I’d have given up everything for you but you wouldn’t give me a baby.”

The fact that Alcide didn’t want a child with Debbie is an interesting twist. I’m beginning to feel sorry for her in a way.

Debbie (to Alcide): “So, what’s it gonna be sweetheart, you gonna kill me too? You fucking better because if you don’t, I will come after you and I will hunt you down.”

Jason (to Hoyt): “I never thought I was smart enough to get depressed.”

Jason spent most of this episode pining after Crystal and was even stupid to try and get some meth for one of the Hotshot guys in jail so he could learn more about her. This plot needs better developing.

Sophie-Anne: “Why do you care about Sookie?”
Eric: “Because you do and because my king does.”

Sam (to shifter): “Don’t you snarl at me. Good dog, now get the fuck out of here.”

Sam rescuing Tommy from his parents was a brilliant move but I can see Tommy having struggles with abandoning Melinda. Was she genuinely remorseful? Joe Lee sure as hell wasn’t.

Claudine: “Don’t go back, come with us.”
Sookie: “Come with you where?”
Claudine: “Our home. It’s more beautiful than anything you can imagine.”

Did Claudine say that Sookie’s parents weren’t killed by water here? Also, I don’t really like Summer/Hoyt, missed not seeing Jessica, Terry, Franklin (who’s not dead) and Talbot and felt bad for Sophie-Anne in the giant bird cage.

Claudine: “Sookie!”
Sookie: “No, I’m not going with you. I don’t know you.”
Claudine: “Do not let him take it from you. Promise me.”

Pam: “How did you know I was a Tiffany’s girl?”
Magister: “Most women are and most just think they’re not.”

Standout music: Some weird score music in Sookie’s dream state and PJ Harvey’s “Hitting The Ground” of course.

Russell: “There is only one law, the law of nature. Survival of the fittest and we need to take this world back from humans and not placate them with PR and billboard campaigns.”

Chronology: A week since the events of “Beautifully Broken”.

Slightly all over the place this one. I did like “Hitting The Ground” in some parts and the second half was certainly brilliant but certainly storylines weren’t that interesting and I wished that Lorena’s death had been more impacting than it was but overall, I do like that it’s moving up a notch.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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