Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Review of True Blood's 3x09: "Everything Is Broken"

Written by Alexander Woo
Directed by Scott Winant

Russell: “Why would we seek equal rights? You are not our equals. We will eat you after we eat your children. Now time for the weather ... Tiffany?”

I hate joining bandwagons but if Denis O’Hare does not at least get an Emmy nomination next year for the role of Russell Edgington, then there is something seriously wrong with that system. Russell has been single handed the best villain on this show and the last three episodes of this season can only further that belief.

Why does Russell work so well, even above the likes of Rene Lerner, Maryann Forrester and the Fellowship Of The Sun? A lot of it is down to Denis O’Hare. He clearly relishes playing the bad guy in spite of mentioning recently that he hopes that he won’t get typecast and he practically has chemistry with every actor he’s worked with so far this season. He’s even made some of them up their game in some respects as well.

More than that, Russell is the first vampire on the show that has posed a danger on a massive scale. He’s not happy with draining a few people and unlike lower vampires; he also won’t content himself with sitting back in disgust over the idea of vampires becoming more socially acceptable to the human race.

Russell doesn’t seem to view anything outside of vampires as being equal. He openly expressed a few weeks ago that werewolves were no better than pets and his contempt for human dominance accelerated in this episode. The only difference was that this time around, Russell moved past the talking part and actually did something about it.

If Nan Flanagan and the Authority were hoping to keep Russell’s rogue activities on the down low, then they should’ve made more proactive measures into capturing him. Instead they focused their energies on trying to punish, scapegoat and berate Eric that Russell was able to take the most hostile action on television – human death.

I have to admit to flinching a little when Russell ripped out that news anchor’s spine out and the goriness didn’t stop there. Russell was happy to hold on to the spine while he told the whole human race that he intended to eat them and their children because vampires were the superior race. The best thing you can say about Russell is that he doesn’t mince his words.

The worst thing however is that his actions have given ammunition to every single vampire/supernatural hating fanatic out there. If Nan and the Authority thought their work was hard before, then I can’t wait to see what type of damage control they’re gonna have to pull in order to stop this one.

As for Russell actually succeeding in his vow to basically annihilate the human race, realistically, it ain’t gonna work. Sure, he’ll manage to slaughter/turn a few of them (even influential ones too) but truthfully, he’s living on borrowed time and he knows it. If Nan and the Authority don’t kill him, then maybe Eric will get lucky and do it. If so, Russell’s gonna be the first villain on this show to die that I will miss.

As for his reaction to Talbot’s death, I veered between actually feeling bad for him (how messed up is that?) and then finding myself snickering as he carried a glass urn of Talbot’s gooey remains around the place. However I still have that horrid piece of fear that Russell might try and settle the score with Eric by targeting either Pam or Sookie as a result of Talbot being killed.

With the surprising lack of Pam in the previous episode, this one actually made up for it in a way. Both she and Eric were forced into a lockdown thanks to Nan’s orders and there was also a wonderful exchange between the two of them. The fact that Eric wants Pam to make a vampire makes actual sense – he genuinely believes that Russell could kill him. More to the point, we are due a proper look into Pam’s backstory and it’s time that this season delivered on that note.

Speaking of delivering, the writers aren’t being particularly subtle over the fact that Sookie has fairy lineage. Much as I liked the reappearance of Claudine in this episode, I really hope that she actually comes into our world as well. Her presumption that Bill might have killed Sookie when he entered the fairy world was pretty fair, even if the reason for his entry was because he had ingested enough of Sookie’s blood to make it possible. Fairies don’t seem to have a particularly liking for vampires and Claudine herself seemed unsure of Bill.

At least until the moment where he actually managed to talk to her into telling him what Sookie happened to be. It’s nice that Bill got that information but he better do the right thing and enlighten Sookie as well. The fact that he lied about his reasons for compiling a dossier on her though was a major no-no. As if he’s going to be able to maintain, especially when Eric has been waiting and contriving to split Bill and Sookie up.

The post sex stuff with Bill and Sookie wasn’t that bad really. I know some fans viewed a certain scene between them as something that should’ve been with another vampire but I honestly didn’t care all that much to be honest. Though I did laugh when Sookie expressed that she would like not to have to be getting of corpses in her house.

However the best Sookie related stuff in this episode was with Hadley. I like that Hadley is seemingly getting more fleshed out as a character and I’m also willing to believe that she’s genuinely remorseful with ratting Sookie’s abilities to Sophie-Anne but it feels like all their scenes in this episode should’ve featured Jason in them as well.

The introduction of Hunter was a surprise move. I’m still getting used to reading him in the more recent of books but I did like the breezy way it was confirmed that Hunter was telepathic as well. Much as taking her child away from his father is wrong, I actually do side with Hadley wanting to protect him. It actually makes me admire her a little as well.

Hadley wasn’t the only mother with child issues in this episode as well. Even though I generally cannot stand Arlene, I really felt bad for her when she opened up to Holly about her fears of bringing an evil child into the world. Would this show really go there and actually be all Rosemary’s Baby on us? I think I’d almost prefer it to new pal/waitress Holly helping Arlene into aborting the baby. Terry could forgive Arlene for carrying another man’s child and lying about it but I don’t think he could forgive Arlene having an abortion.

As for Holly, if she’s not getting involved in Arlene’s baby problems, she’s also being there for Tara. The fact that Holly was a rape victim took me by surprise but it was nice that by sharing her story that there was something of a positive effect with Tara in the process. I loved that even though Tara wasn’t the one who staked Franklin (hello Jason and your wooden bullets), she still managed to stand up to the scary fecker before he became goo. Franklin’s been one of the most successful characters we’ve had this season but personally, I’m glad that he’s out of Tara’s life now.

In terms of least successful characters, I am growing impatient with this Hotshot crew more and more. Even Crystal is losing massive sympathy points with the way she kept playing both Jason and Felton off each other and while I could understand her distraught after Sam kicked the shit out of Calvin, I just wish they would forward the plot with her inbred family already.

Also in “Everything Is Broken”

How come we haven’t seen Sophie-Anne in the last two episodes? Given that she’s basically being kept against her will, it’s a little odd seeing as Hadley has come and gone twice.

Sookie: “Normal couples do not do this, Bill Compton.”
Bill: “I thought you’d given up on being like normal couples?”

I don’t really want to bash Bill here but why didn’t he check up on Jessica to see if she was alright? This maker thing really doesn’t come naturally to him, does it?

Jesus: “What is it this time?”
Lafayette: “I guess you can stay.”
Jesus: “Good answer.”

Jason: “Could you not make me a rapist?”
Crystal: “I’m sorry. It was the best I could think of.”

Jesus discussed jaguar tattoos in this episode, which is making think that he’s into or involved with either magic or shifters. Ruby Jean also made more allusions to Lafayette and power as well.

Eric (to Nan): “With all respect, I did not report Russell Edgington to you because I want him to die at my own hands and I have waited a thousand years for this.”

Andy: “I’ve got ulcers so big, coffee’s coming out of my belly button.”
Jason: “Is that even possible?”

Why was Andy keeping all that V in his desk? Don’t tell me he’s going to be the next person on this show to get hooked on the stuff? At this point, Arlene and Terry will be the only regulars that haven’t tried it.

Sookie: “You don’t have to be scared. Your momma loves you very much.”
Hunter: “Momma’s real scared too. Momma’s more scared than me.”

Arlene (to Holly): “I’ve got a time bomb inside me. Six and a half months left fooling myself and everybody else before the best man I’ve ever let through my door gets blown to smithereens. How am I supposed to live with that?”

Tommy was a prick to both Arlene and Sam in this episode and I hated that Sam might have attacked Calvin because Tommy cited him as a pushover. I also hate Hoyt being with Summer after admitting to Jessica that he can’t stand her.

Claudine: “You killed Sookie.”
Bill: “I haven’t.”
Claudine: “You’ve taken her blood. I can see it in you.”

Pam: “We’ve been through so much, so long. It can’t end this quickly.”
Eric: “Everything ends, even the immortal.”

Eric mentioned being a Virgo in this episode and Pam talked about with him for a 100 years. Claudine also indicated that she’s protected Sookie from past dangers as well.

Jesus: “A visit from the chef? Wow, it’s my lucky day.”
Lafayette: “I wanted to meet the sick fuck who ordered a veggie burger with bacon.”

Jessica (re Summer): “Does she at least make you happy?”
Hoyt: “I hate her. I fucking hate her.”

Franklin: “Why do you wanna die so much? Why do you want me to kill you?”
Tara: “Because the second I’m gone, I’m rid of you forever. I’ll be free and you’ll have nothing.”

Standout music: Bob Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken” and Los Infernos “Dead And Gone”.

Russell: “In the end we are nothing like you. We are immortal because we drink the true blood. Blood that is organic, living and human.”

Chronology: From where “Night On The Sun” left off.

Another stunning episode. “Everything Is Broken” might not be doing much to ignite that Hotshot plot but it’s certainly upping the ante with Russell’s machinations, Sookie’s origins, Lafayette’s new relationship and even moments with Tara and Sam help make this episode a classic one.

Rating: 10 out of 10.


Anonymous said...


The truth about Holly, the new waitress at Merlotte's. Let's just say she's someone we've seen before.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Clearly Holly falls into the 'more than meets the eye' category, doesn't she?