Monday, September 13, 2010

My Review of True Blood's 3x12: "Evil Is Going On"

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Anthony Hemingway

Sookie (to Bill): “Love? You don’t even get to use that word. I rescind my invitation.”

Okay, you could make the argument that if we hadn’t seen Sookie rescind Bill’s invitation back in the first season, the moment where she did it in this episode would’ve been more impacting but then there are the circumstances to consider as well.

Back in the first season, Bill’s only offence (apart from being forced into making Jessica into a vampire) had been to attack Sam but here, it got a lot worse. Bill has been lying to Sookie for quite some time and finally this was the episode where she had finally had enough and did the sensible thing by telling him to get out of her life, once and for all.

I bought that Bill was determined to silence everyone aware of Sookie’s fae heritage but the fact that he had arranged for the Rattrays to attack her so he could feed her his blood left a bad taste in my mouth. I believe that he does love her but I have to admit that Sookie should hate him for this, amongst other betrayals.

Eric’s motives for telling Sookie about this weren’t purely out of a sense that she needed to know the truth. I think Eric took complete pleasure in shattering whatever high esteem Sookie might have had left for Bill, even if he seemed sincere in hating the fact that he caused her pain by filling her in on Bill’s original motives for returning to Bon Temps in the first place.

The annoying part was that I wanted to see a more dramatic punch in Sookie rejecting Eric as well like we got in “Club Dead” and I felt that was where this lacked. All episode long she was either trying to save Eric and defying Bill at every turn that there should’ve been more of an impact when she turned on Eric too.

Sookie becoming fed up with vampires had been pretty much set up throughout this entire season and between the pair of them, I think she’s totally right to distance herself from both Bill and Eric. There was even a moment where it looked like she was going to consider Russell’s offer to kill the pair of them if she freed him.

I liked Sookie’s alone time with Russell because as much as he tried to goad her or condescend her, Sookie didn’t tolerate it one bit. I even laughed during the scene where she chucked Talbot’s remains down the garbage disposal and that was a surprisingly cruel thing for Sookie to do. No wonder Russell was even more determined to vow to kill her before getting his final comeuppance.

As for Sookie running away with Claudine at the end of this episode – it was definitely an interesting cliff-hanger to run. I was so expecting something else more closely to the book and presumably more integral to the next season but I have a feeling that time in fairyland isn’t going to be as rewarding for Sookie as she might want it to be.

Speaking of rewarding, what would’ve been a satisfying way of getting rid of Russell Edgington? Given the fact that both Rene and Maryann found themselves being killed in their respective finales, it’s admirable that Alan Ball wanted to do something different with Russell. Also entombing in concrete with only his thoughts of vengeance might drive him to become even more dangerous when he’s eventually released. If Pam can rescue Eric from a cement grave (bad Bill), there’s no reason why Russell won’t escape either.

When it comes to a cemented fate, I am still shocked that Bill would’ve believed that would’ve solved his Eric problem. Did he not actually think that Eric would’ve been smart enough to have gotten some way out of there, even if Pam hadn’t come to his aid? God, I hope both Eric and Pam kick his ass next season for this.

As for the showdown with Sophie-Anne, I definitely believe that neither her nor Bill will actually die. Bill, because he’ll always be a part of the show until its end and Sophie-Anne because I’m pretty sure that we’ll get at least one interaction between her and Sookie before she sees a true death. Also I wouldn’t mind seeing Sookie use some of her fairy powers on Sophie-Anne like she did with Russell in this episode.

I’m also delighted that with the issue of powers being raised further in this episode, Jesus admitted to Lafayette that he’s a witch. It’s not remotely shocking considering the stuff we’ve seen with Jesus in the last few episodes but at the same time, it’s nice to have it out of the way. On the minus side, he basically tricked Lafayette into consuming so that he could turn Lafayette into his own magic? Bad one, Jesus.

Still, given that next season will undoubtedly be all about witches and fairies like this season was to a degree about weres and shifters; it’ll be nice storyline for Lafayette next season as well. He was definitely getting some bad vibes off Sam and Arlene and it’ll be interesting to see what he picks up from Holly next year given that she’s also a witch.

Also, when we’re not dealing with magic in this episode, there was the nice moment of Sam telling Tara that he was a shape shifter. I really like the way that was handled. I wasn’t expecting Tara to be fine with it but I did understand where her needs to get away from anything supernatural came from and it did seem in this episode that she turned a particular corner.

She was reasonable with Sam, even forgave Lettie Mae for sleeping with a married man and more or less apologised to Sookie. Plus the scene where she started cutting her hair prior to leaving town was a nice little scene too. I don’t doubt that Tara will resurface next season but I certainly hope that when she does that she’s in a far better place emotionally than she has been this year, that’s all.

I also hope the same thing for Sam, especially given that he shot Tommy. Now that was another expected thing. I know Tommy stole from Sam but did he really deserve to be shot at by his own brother? If we’re lucky, Sam only injured him but even then, Sam is slipping further and further into a dark area that I don’t think I like seeing him in as a viewer. I preferred the nicer Sam rather than this volatile version.

Last but not least, I spent this entire season not caring about Hotshot and with this episode; I began too a little more. Calvin’s death did very little to move me, given that the writers destroyed the character but I do feel for the community and even Crystal, who had to go with Felton in order to protect everyone. It was noble of Jason to want to help but the problem is that he’s going to be out of his depth and I can’t help but feel that Andy was right as well.

Also in “Evil Is Going On”

The ghostly appearances of Godric were a nice touch to the episode but it did seem like he was asking a lot of Eric to forgive Russell. Why should Eric when Russell himself showed no repentance for his killings?

Bill: “Sookie.”
Sookie: “You do not own me.”

This was also another episode with Nan Flanagan and Steve Newlin duking it out on TV debating on vampires vs. humans. Is Steve ever going to wreak havoc again like in Season 2?

Tara: “I didn’t know you could cook.”
Sam: “I never made breakfast for you? Maybe that’s because you always snuck out before I woke up.”

Sookie: “I’m here to save you.”
Russell: “Aww, thank you Miss Stackhouse.”
Sookie: “Shut up.”

Although I think Jessica and Hoyt might be rushing moving in together, I really do hope that Maxine, post failed intervention does not succeed in her plans to split them up.

Maxine: “I am your mother.”
Hoyt: “You are a mean, prejudiced, old control freak.”

Calvin: “This don’t make no difference between you and me, boy.”
Jason: “Don’t you think it should? I’m trying to help your family.”

That line where one of the Hotshot lads referred to Calvin as his “uncle daddy” made me laugh.

Crystal: “I’m so sorry, Jason.”
Jason: “Don’t worry about your people, just stay safe.”

Russell (to Sookie): “Hear that, that’s my wolves coming to rescue me.”
Ginger: “Are you sure you’re not hungry? I can make you a peanut butter and butter sandwich.”

I bet Denis O’Hare was happy when this episode was done given that he was mostly tied up, charred to a crisp and then given a cemented burial. I’m still looking forward to seeing him again next season though.

Alcide: “You in trouble again?”
Sookie: “When am I not in trouble?”

Jesus: “I’m a witch.”
Lafayette: “You’re a witch who’s a nurse, who’s a dude?”

Alcide made it pretty clear in this episode that he wanted to pursue something with Sookie but she didn’t seem interested. Debbie’s also gone missing but undoubtedly she’ll be back next year as well.

Tara (re her haircut): “I just needed a change.”
Sookie: “Change is good.”

Jessica: “I love you so much; I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Hoyt: “Well, it’s lucky for you, you’d never have to find out.”

Standout music: Jace Everett and CC Adcock’s “Evil (Is Going On)”, which was written especially for this episode.

Claudine: “Sookie, you are not alone. Come with us.”

Chronology: From where “Fresh Blood” left off.

As a finale, “Evil Is Going On” is a strange one. It definitely feels like a finale but it’s also continued a trend of sorting the main baddie out reasonably early in the episode in order to build on setting things up for the next season. That being said, it’s certainly a strong ending for a largely enjoyable (and I might be in a minority there) third season.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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