Season 3: Episode 2 – Beautifully Broken
by Shannon O’Leary
Before the episode started, there was an announcement to stay tuned for a special Snoop Dog Tribute to Sookie video. I’ve got a thing for Snoop Dog so this made me go, “Oooo.” But right afterwards I was all, “Aw yeaaaaahhhh,” when the action started with a wolf ear dangling out of Vampire Bill’s bloodied mouth, who’s just given some members of Operation Werewolf a serious ass kicking and dismembering. One lone wolf remains when a distinguished looking man who Bill addresses as your majesty rides up on a white steed.
Dude turns out to be vampire royalty who’s also been employing Operation Werewolf to kidnap Vampire Bill. The last remaining wolf shifts back into a human form who goes by the name of Cooter. After laughing in Cooter’s face for having such a dumb name, Vampire Bill tells the new Vampire dignitary on the scene that Cooter and crew have been draining him for V. His majesty promptly shoots Cooter, then tells Bill he’s under orders to be his guest. Bill gets on the back of the horse, the credits roll and the theme song plays (and unfortunately it’s not a Snoop Dog remix of Jace Edwards’ I wanna do bad things to you).
Then it’s down to the action and thank the Maenad it’s not moving as awkwardly and expeditiously as it did in episode one. It feels natural. It feels right. Right as Lafayette choking the klonopins out of Tara’s mutherfuckin’ mouth. Then he disses Tara’s mom and tells her it’s a miracle Tara hasn’t tried to off herself sooner. Mama Thornton responds by staring regretfully off into space, probably thinking about whether there’s any Listerine or rubbbing alcohol around in she can relapse on.
But whether Mama Thornton is gonna bust into the hooch again isn’t half as important as what’s going on at Fangtasia with Eric, Jessica and Sookie. The girls would like an explanation from the good sheriff about what exactly this Operation Werewolf tattoo thingy is they found on one of Bill’s presumed abductors. Pam decides this is a good moment to leave Sookie and Eric alone with their flirty glances and sensitive werewolf subject matter and takes Jessica to the little girls room.
Jessica jumps on the opportunity to ask Pam a very important, very interesting vampire question. Specifically, how does a vampire feed without killing a human? She just wants to know in, like, theory. Pam’s aghast – or at least as aghast as she can be in her bourgeois, can’t be bothered way of expressing any emotion that doesn’t involve snacking. She explains it’s all in the heartbeat, kid. When the heartbeat slows, the human’s about ready to croak and the feeding vampire will wind up with the very same problem Jessica is dealing with right now – a dead dude in the basement.
While the lady vamps are powdering their noses, Eric and Sookie are arguing. Sookie thinks Eric’s knows more about Operation Werewolf then he’s letting on. Eric thinks Sookie shouldn’t mess with werewolves. They exchange many long, lusty looks, prompting uncomfortably human feelings in Eric. At the sight of Eric’s softer side, Sookie invokes Godric to get him to help her find Bill. As the True Blood faithful will recall, Godric was Eric’s 2000+ year old maker trapped in a cute teenage emo boy body.
GODRIC! MEIN GODRIC!!! Eric reminisces through the narrative magic of flashback. We’re in what looks like an abandoned farmhouse in Ausberg, Germany , circa 1945. An American soldier is coming to the aid of a naked, crying woman who turns into a wolf and kills him. Right after GI Joe gets it, Eric and Godric show up in SS uniforms, speaking German to the were-lady. She tells them they’re on the same side. Eric sees her Operation Werewolf tatt while manhandling her and says, nuh uh, werelady. But me, I’m all, YUH HUH! You can color me blood-red with intrigue now that I know this Operation Werewolf/Vamp struggle dates back to at least the mid 20th Century.
I wonder where Bill was during World War Two? Right now he’s at his majesty’s palatial Southern estate. His majesty is actually the Vampire King of Mississippi and has a way hott boyfriend named Talbot. Did they have to name him after a matronly ladies clothing line? Although, come to think of it, looking at their pre Civil War digs, it fits. And I’m not going to waste much more than an offhand remark on Talbott’s name when he’s being such a charming hostess! Like when he escorts Bill to a guest room with a door made of sterling silver. At the mention of sterling silver anything, Bill’s pretty much done with the political niceties and calls his majesty out for holding him captive. All smooth like, the King says he’s simply conducting some vampire biz that he’ll explain soon enough.
Back on Tara’s suicide watch, Tara’s wallowing away. She heartbreakingly tells Lafayette that the one time in her life she was happy she “was a fuckin’ zombie.” Lafayette pleads with Tara that she has to live, dammit! OK – so he doesn’t say it like a soap opera doctor like that, but he does lay on the tough love with killer lines like:
“Life ain’t not havin’ problems, Tara – it’s about dealing with the ones you got.” If I didn’t want him for a drinking buddy before, I totally want him for a life coach now.
Like me, Jessica could also use a life coach. Sookie and Pam aren’t quite cuttin’ it. Sookie’s trying her best though when she drops Jessica off at Compton Manor where Hoyt’s waiting with a bag of B positive in a last ditch attempt to save their relationship. She says she loves him but she can’t fight her nature. Hoyt points out that while she’s a vampire, he’s a mama’s boy. What’s the diff, really? They can fight their natures together. She says it too late and boy does she ever mean it. And boy is True Blood ever back after a rather shaky first episode. This scene dripped with the kind of poignancy and pathos that True Blood is so stellar at, even putting a heart wrenching cherry on top when Jessica closed the door on Hoyt to be alone with her smelly truck stop corpse.
After a brief stop at the Stackhouse place where Sookie tells Jason she feels responsible for killing Eggs with her psychic powers (making Jason even guiltier), the action moves over to Alabama again where Sam, who’s fallen asleep in his truck, now has a gun held to his head by his obviously foreshadowed shapeshifter brother from last week. Foreshadowed shapeshifting bro takes Sam into the house he was camped outside of last week to meet Sam’s moose and squirrel shapeshifting parents who turn out to be a plain ol’ white trash couple.
Cut to a set of dropped keys lying in Merlotte’s parking lot. Sookie picks them up and gets one of her psychic vibes. She sees a scraggly looking man with an Operation Werewolf mark. Then Terry Bellefleur shows up behind Sookie with his commando skills, tracking abilities and a hammer. I suppose that kind of toolkit fits in with his vetty-ness. At any rate, he figures out right quick that the guy Sookie saw in her psychic vision was wearing size 10 motorcycle boots the tracks of which end… right where some wolf paw prints begin.
Then we’re back at the Meadowglade Clinic which turns out to be the nuthouse where Lafayette’s mom resides. Lafayette’s taken Tara there to visit his nutjob mom who turns out to be the great character actress, Alfre Woodard. Then we’re introduced to Jesus who’s practically got “Lafayette’s New Love Interest” written across his forehead. That’s cool by me as long as we get to see them nekkid together.
Then we’re outside the Bon Temps police station where Andy Bellefleur has become a media point person for the department??!!? I guess this is an unexpected benefit to him killing Eggs – redemption from local crazy person to local hero. Maybe because he’s sleep deprived, Jason’s shows up with a whole new level of whack on now that Sookie is blaming herself for the death of Eggs.
Cut to Merlotte’s where Terry gives Sookie a gun which we can only assume will be used later on. Odds are it won’t be used on Sam’s long lost parents though. They’re across state lines and still in their jammies. Sam cuts straight to the chase – he got kicked out by his rich, adoptive parents the first time he shifted. Sam’s real parents do him the favor of being direct in return, letting him know that Sam’s dad is a “regular” and his mom and brother are shifters. His little brother’s an angry youngster and the whole clan seems dysfunctionaliscious.
But not nearly as dysfunctional as the Thornton clan. Back at the Meadowglade Clinic, Lafayette confesses to Tara that he’s been putting his crazy ass momma up at this joint by working two jobs. There’s a darkness in their family, he tells her, and if she’s going to survive, she’s gotta fight it. She doesn’t look too convinced.
Back to Sam’s new shapeshifter family where Sam’s new lil’ bro is hunkily fixing cars , hating on his parents, and hating on Sam for having different, adopted parents. Then they take off their shirts, turn into dogs and go on a shapeshifter run, all hatred cast momentarily cast aside. Not so for Jessica who hates herself right now and, good God, if we don’t feel for this poor baby vamp as she’s still trying to dispose of the dead truck stop dude, only to open his wallet and see a picture of a cute little baby (who looks pretty tasty too).
The meal certainly looks pretty good over at the King of Mississipi’s. Bill is enjoying a “cruelty free” glass of blood courtesy of Talbott who assures him it was given to him by a willing thai boy donor who ate nothing but tangerines for weeks. (btw, I love it when this show uses a little touch like that to mock modern human conceits like organic food. And now I officially love Talbot too). At the dinner table there is tough political talk. Bill warns the King that his Queen, Sofie Anne, will stake him which gets the King and Talbot all a titter with laughter. The King, you see, has plans to marry Sofie Anne which is where Bill comes in.
For the time being we don’t get to know how though, because it’s back to Merlotte’s where Jason’s still going nuts and Andy’s still being celebrated as the town hero. Then we’re treated to a shapeshifter brothers in their dog forms montage that nearly ends in tragedy when Sam’s almost hit by an oncoming truck. His brother, on the other hand, turns into a bird and flies away, leaving Sam naked by the side of the road (a not unusual occurence for him).
Then we’re back at Compton Manor where an intruder in what looks a lot like size 10 motorcycle boots is rummaging through papers that include a Visio genealogical chart of the Stackhouse family and a bunch of pictures and newspaper clippings about Sookie (including one of her winning a spelling bee back in the day). Hm.
Sookie’s not spelling anymore though. She’s shooting. Or thinking about at least as she sits alone at home waiting for a werewolf. But Eric shows up instead to confess he lied to her about Operation WW. Que Godric Flashback Part Deux! We’re back in Ausberg where Eric is demanding the werechick tell him who her master is. She begs for his blood which he gives her. High on V, she snarls that her master is a vampire. Eric stumbles back in shock and the werelady jumps him. She’s moving in for the kill when Godric comes from behind and, in what appears to be his signature killing move across centuries, snaps her neck. Then he tells Eric, maker to makee-like, that a vampire is never at the mercy of his emotions – he dominates them.
They must have paitience, he continues, They will find him.
Eek! I think we’ve just been made aware of the Big Bad of Season Three, peeps. But who is he? Or she?
When the episode cuts back to real time, it’s pretty clear that Eric is still waiting patiently to find out. In fact, he’s risking his life telling Sookie any of this but owes her a solid for everything she did for him and Godric last season in Dallas. While Sookie’s getting over the shock of Eric and Godric’s stint in the SS (which he assures her was just a cover to get to whoever the Big Bad behind Operation Werewolf is), Eric insists she invite him into the house while taking a not so quick peek at her rack. Even though we know she’s kinda into it, she’s still Bill’s!
Bill, on the other hand, is still at the King of Mississippi’s who’s trying to schmooze Bill into working on Sofie Anne to accept his politically motivated marriage proposal. Bill claims not to be privy to the intimate affairs of the Queen but the King’s having none of it and goes in for the hard sell; offering to make Bill Vampire Sheriff of Area Two. Bill’s not into manipulating his Queen, so the King threatens Sookie’s life.
Over at Merlotte’s, Lafayette’s babysitting Tara when who should walk in but a hot, dark, dangerous looking guy looking for a bottle of True Blood. Ho hum. Sounds like a typical night at Merlotte’s but this guy’s a dashing undead foreigner – in what looks like size 10 motorcycle boots.
Back where those boots were last seen, Jessica discovers the body’s gone. Uh oh. Meanwhile, Andy Bellefleur is driving a drunk Jason around town, presumably to keep him from confessing – are these guys gonna do this all season? I can see them keeping it up for few more episodes but for now Andy’s taking him on official police business to sniff out a meth lab in some weird outskirts town called HotShot. And wouldn’t you know it, after eyeing a hot piece of new tail Jason tackles the meth dealer after he tries to evade the scene. Do we have a new Bon Temps deputy? It seems like Bon Temps could use the beefed up law enforcement presence and Jason does need direction.
Tara certainly could use some protection at Merlotte’s where she’s downing Wild Turkey in the parking lot when two rednecks come out and start mocking her and her dead serial killer boyfriend. When they start using the N word, Tara gets pretty riled up. While none of Bon Temps finest are in sight, hot, dark dangerous size 10 undead shoes is there to hold the rednecks down as he look into Tara’s near-dead-with-nihilism eyes and silently implores her to beat the shit out of them. She looks right back at him and starts punching.
Over in Mississipi the King is still pleading his case to Bill by continuing to threaten Sookie’s life when Bill’s maker and ex, Lorena, shows up in some pretty sharp looking jodhpurs and a riding crop. She’s not looking so sharp after Vampire Bill throws a gas lamp at her though. Bitch is on fire! This is even better then when he dropped a plasma TV on her head last season! I can’t wait to see these two go at it some more this season – assuming she’s not burned to a crisp, that is.
Back in Bon Temps Eric is mocking Sookie’s engagement ring and doomed human/vampire union with Bill, all the while insisting that he invite her in. Even though Sookie’s psychic powers don’t extend to vamps, she senses Sheriff Northman’s urgency and concedes. Good thing too. There’s a werewolf in the Stackhouse henhouse! Eric lunges towards it, fangs out while Sookie’s gets her gun out and shoots. Cut to black, credits and a not nearly as good as usual closing song.
I’ve said more than enough but I’ll say one more thing: This episode rocked. What did you think?