True Blood Recap: Sweet Up True Blood

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Season Three/Episode Three: It Hurts Me Too

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Sookie and Nice, Non-Nazi Werewolf, Alcide Hevereaux

It hurts me to tell you what you already know – this recap is late.  Let’s just say my cable company sucks.  So there I was Sunday, all verklempt, with no hope of being cable ready until later this week.  But I turned that frown upside down when my homie, Shanna, suggested we go to Williamsburg watering hole, Sweet Ups, where every Sunday night True Blood airs, they party.  And with that the night became a crisitunity!

I got there half an hour early and score a seat right in front of one of the TV’s; just in time for a rundown of Sweet Ups’ True Blood drinking game rules, which are both cleverly referential and financially savvy for the bar. Every time Jason Stackhouse is shirtless or does something stupid, you take a drink.  Every time Lafayette calls someone a hooker, you take a drink.  The place was packed and getting more packed so I’m sure they make a killing every bloody Sunday.

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Sweet Ups True Blood Regulars

Just like Sookie!  Well, not quite.  No thanks to Eric who jumps all slow-mo style in front of the bullet she shot at the werewolf who was up in her crib last week.  Eric takes the bullet and the werewolf reverts to human form in a V desperate frenzy.  He manages to get a bite of Northman chest before Eric throws him off.  Sookie shoots him in the leg, enabling Eric to pin him with his super vampire strength.   Eric demands to know the name of his master.  This extra skuzzy looking werewolf says Sheriff Northman can kill him before he’ll squeal.  Eric does but not before Sookie gets a read on the were’s thoughts.  Something about Jackson, Mississippi.  Then, with the best trashy, thank-god-ths- show-hardly-ever-takes-itself-seriously line of the episode right out off the bat, Eric’s slurs, “I got your rug all wet,”  with a deliriously happy smile on his face.  Sookie looks squishy too but in that, you know, half ashamed way of her’s.

The entire bar went nutso after that as the opening credits and the theme song rolled.  Also going nutso?  Bill and his host-captors down in Mississipi.  Tablot’s pretty pissed that Bill set Lorena on fire. But just because they had to put her out with an antique tapestry and he doesn’t know how he’s going to cover up the burn marks. No one gives a shit about Lorena.  Certainly not the King who assures Bill with ruthless diplomacy that he finds Lorena unsophisticated.  He’s really hoping Bill will come around.  And not just with the political backroom deals he’s hoping to get Bill’s help with.  The real question is when’s he going to turn Sookie?  Bill sincerely says that’s impossible.  The King says that’s keerazay!  Come on, Bill!  You can’t have it both ways!  Besides, if Bill doesn’t turn her, she’s going to die anyways –by the King’s hand.

For now, Sookie’s alive and well exchanging sexually charged looks with Eric as they dig a grave for the werewolf.  She confronts him for overreacting to the were’s Operation Werewolf mark when they needed him to get info on Bill. Eric once again alludes to the wrongs Operation WW has perpetrated in the past.  What the heck did these nazi werewolves do to him and Godric?  Muss up one of Godric’s tribal tats while trying to drain his V?  It must be pretty bad. It’s bad enough, at any rate, that Eric refuses to accompany to Sookie to Jackson, saying the problems of the world consist of more than her boyfriend. Oooooo, snap.  Sookie’s going anyways though.

Tara and the hot, dark, foreign vampire, on the other hand, are in the middle of a post redneck ass-kicking fuck that must be pretty good.  Her eyes are rolling back in her head like she’s in a trance.  Maybe he’s glamour fucking her?  Although she’s got enough control of her senses to beg him to bite her, which he refuses to do because she wants it.

Much like how I refuse to get on board with Sam’s long lost Shapeshifter family storyline even though True Blood really wants me to.  They’re fun, alcoholic, white trash animal people and all and the brother’s kind of cute but I fail to see how this is going to turn into anything as compelling as the other events currently going on in and around Bon Temps . Like Jason getting inspired to become a sheriff’s deputy.  Yes! Called it right here last week, hookers!

As Jason considers opportunities in law enforcement, Tara and Franklin pillow talk.  When he asks if she has a boyfriend, she’s visibly shaken and bails but not before we find out his name is Franklin.  More sex is going on over at Fangtasia where Pam is lunching on Yvetta’s lady parts. Unfortunately for Yvetta, Jessica calls at a critical moment, totally losing her cool over the dead truck stop guy’s disappearance. Pam’s like – no body, no problem, then muff dives back into business.

Over at Merlotte’s, Sam tells Sookie about his shape-shifting family.  Sookie takes the opportunity to ask Sam to keep an eye on Jessica while she heads to Jackson.  New couple alert?  For Hoyt’s sake, let’s hope not.  Poor, sweeet, good-hearted Hoyt. In addition to being Jason’s reluctant wingman, he now has to help him practice for some kind of written cop test that Jason’s blowing off anyways.

Oh how quickly fortune’s change!  One minute you’re in love, the next minute you’ve got your feet up in stirrups, getting an electronic print out of your uterus, which is exactly how Arlene finds out she’s three months preggers.  That means the baby can’t be Terry’s!  Huh?  Who was Arlene boning three months ago?  Was it Rene?  I’m more confused than intrigued.  Like Tara, who gets a call at Merlotte’s that Eggs’ funeral is going on right now if she’d like to attend.  She shows up, of course, and it turns out Sookie has arranged and paid for the whole thing. Cheesy music plays! BFF’s forever!  Except Sookie offers to let her stay at the house again which seems inadvisable since the last time she crashed there she let Admiral Cain move in and build a giant meat sculpture.

Then night falls on the exact same spot in the cemetery and we’re in the middle of a Civil War era Vampire Bill flashback.  He’s walking to his house where his wife, Carolyn, answers the door, elated to see him. That is, until he starts crying gross blood out of his eyes over his dead by pox son’s coffin.  Then Carolyn pulls out a gun and shoots him only to run screaming from the house into Lorena’s arms.  She calls Bill a demon and begs him to kill her.  As is his broody, self-loathing, morally upstanding way, he refuses.  Lorena, however, is all too happy to oblige her.  But just as she takes Carolyn’s face into her hands, Bill wakes up.  In a bed.  WTF?  Why isn’t he in the ground?  I’m having a nerd continuity fracture.  I thought True Blood vampires had to sleep in SOIL? Is the King’s house underground or something? Sigh.

Jason’s dreaming too – about the usual stuff – heads with bullet holes.  But this time he’s also having a pants less, test anxiety theme going on too which is probably just another excuse to show off his ass.  Time for another drink.  A wake up drink at that.  It’s daylight time in Bon Temps which means there’s a mutilated body to be found.  Lafayette, Hoyt, and Jason find it while doing some kind of man work that involves wearing yellow vests.  In other daylight developments, Sookie hears a hot guy named Alcide Hevereaux’s thoughts as he thinks about her hotness while walking up the steps of her house.  Eric sent ‘im to look after her.

Sam’s long lost parents are looking after him too. They show up at Merlotte’s unannounced and incapable of picking up on social nuance by virtue of their white trashiness.  Sam offers them a free lunch while Sheriff Bud is about ready to lose his at the sight of that recently turned up headless, limbless body.  This, apparently, is his deal breaker moment and he quits the force.

Back at the Stackhouse place, Sookie and Alcide are getting to know each other.  He’s creeped out by how she can read his every thought. She’s getting an education that, just like vampires, not all werewolves are bad.  Alcide is apparently a good one who’s got all kinds of reasons to disapprove of naughty Nazi Operation Werewolf types.  And he don’t work for vamps neither!  Especially ones like Eric Northman who both he and Sookie talk mad shit about.

I’m sure Bill would join them if he wasn’t still having whack-tastic flashback dreams about Lorena and Carolyn.  God! Lorena’s such a bitch!  But she’s saying some stuff that rings true.  Particularly, that between the human and vampire worlds lies only suffering.  Carolyn gets this and begs Bill to kill her.  Instead, he glamours her into blissful forgetfulness.  As Lorena and Bill bury his pox ridden son, she lays some more of her special brand of petty, bitter vamp wisdom on him: The only way to show your love for a human, she says, is to stay away from them.

Bill wakes up in major angst, his face streaked with bloody tears.  Man! These vamps sure are putting Bill through the ringer when it comes to he and Sookie’s unconventional relationship choice.  I mean of course when it gets right down to it, it’s more about vampire politics and backroom deals.  All kinds of opaque plotting like that is going on downstairs where Lorena, Talbot, the King, and one of the OWW weredudes who abducted Bill are enjoying Zimas. Then Bill comes in and surprises everyone by renouncing his fealty to the Queen of Louisiana and the humans she has had him live a-fucking-mong!  Damn. That’s some nice character development right there.  His decision makes perfect sense when juxtaposed against the despair Lorena brought on him back in the day and the threats the King is making to his one true love, Sookie.  He’s coming to terms with what he believes to be his nature and the things he knows to be true.  And the King is kicking Lorena to the curb who, as it turns out, just wanted Sookie dead.

Over at Merlotte’s, Jason is still seeing bullet holes in people’s heads, Arlene “accidentally” tells an an ecstatic Terry about their (NOT) love child, and Sam’s family is getting wasted on what looks like jello shots.  Sam refuses to serve his underage brother and the entire shifter clan leaves in a huff.  Over at Lafayette’s, Eric shows up in a rad maroon sportscar with leather interiors that turns out to be a gift for Lafyette – so long as he can amp up the V distribution ring he’s got going on.

But things are really getting interesting over at Compton Manor where Franklin stops by to visit Jessica.  In a priceless moment, they pull their fangs on one another before she agrees to talk to him.  He finds things, he tells her.  Has anyone gone missing, he asks.  Then he uses her dead truckstop boyfriend’s head as a ventriloquist dummy to threaten her into giving up intel on Bill.

Jason, meanwhile, receives a rejection letter from Bon Temps’ finest, dashing his deputy dreams while Sam wakes up to an alarm going off.  Not the wake up kind, but the intruder kind.  Gun in hand; he goes to take a look. It’s just a a bird.  A thieving brother bird! Who flies away from a puddle of clothes with what I assume is a bunch of money.  Fuckin’ no good white trash shifter relatives.

Alcide and Sookie have made record time to Jackson, where they’re looking for deets on Bill’s disappearance at Lou Pine’s (GET IT?), the oldest were bar in Missisippi.  Alcide leaves Sookie alone so as not to arouse suspicion.  She sashays up to the toughest looking bikers in the place and asks them to buy her a cosmo.  If you think Sashaying and ordering cosmos at a were bar sounds like an ineffective strategy, you’d be right.  Sookie does, however, manage to read the mind of one of Bill’s kidnappers.  She sees Bill! She tries to get the Operation Werewolf dude to take her to him.  He tries to rape her.  Alcide intervenes!  Werewolf bar brawl in full effect!  Alcide basically wins but not before getting his ass kicked, along with his heart.  Apparently his ex ol’ lady is having an engagement party there the next night.  Guess we’ll meet her next week.

At the Stackhouse place, Franklin shows up asking for an invitation in.  Tara’s having none of it until Franklin glamour mind fucks her into it in a truly creepy/sexy scene that turns out to be a prelude to the mother of all creepy sex scenes.  Bill is chilling in his quarters at the King’s mansion when Lorena enters to throw more insults at him for trying to hold onto his sentiment and humanity.  Although she’s being pretty sentimental herself by throwing herself at him after he tells her he’ll never love her.  I guess he never will but one thing’s for sure – these two are going to be hate fucking and torturing each other for all eternity or until one of them kills the other. It looked Lorena was gonna get it for a minute there when Bill twisted her head all the way around, almost clean off, mid power thrust.  But when he gets up to scream in agony and despair over the bad things he’s done and always will do, she’s telling him she’ll always love him.

And I will always love the memory of watching True Blood at Sweet Ups – at least as much as I’ll always hate the cable company.  Which is a lot!  Here’s a few more memorable shots from the evening (most of which were taken by my previously mentioned homie, Shanna, who, incidentally, made this cool short film about two Finish cartoonists stuck in New York due to the Icelandic volcano ash cloud after this year’s Mocca Festival).

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Fangbanger, Bartender, Skater, Zinester Extraordinaire, Alex Berry

A highlight of the evening was definitely talking to Alex Berry who is a Comics/Williamsburg force to be reckoned with.  He skates, he draws cool stuff (including comics), and he’s like the busiest bartender in B-burg.  In addition to pulling shifts at Sweet Up’s, Alex also hosts a zine drawing night at Royal Oak Bar. They meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 8 PM – 4 AM. Come draw with them tonight!  I believe copies of the zine Alex makes from the evenings (called LIMN) are available at Desert Island.

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Team Eric!

I also enjoyed meeting True Blood fan, Elizabeth. We’re both Team Eric.  (Although, really, is anyone on Team Bill at this point?)  She happily made that mangled E Sign with her hand to show her support for the Northman. She’s becoming a True Blood Night Sweet Up’s regular.  Mostly because it’s close to her apartment and she doesn’t get HBO.  All in all, a practical, lovely lady.

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Skater bros, Alex and Andy, outside Sweet Ups

This one is my favorite shots of the night.  It was nice to meet a couple of straight, self proclaimed skater dudes who were willing to throw down and obsessively wax poetic about the deeper meanings of True Blood. Alex considers the show to be “the torch getting passed” from modern horror movie greats like Sam Rami and early Peter Jackson stuff. Andy, on the other hand, is more of a quiet modern day Don Draper type.   He just thinks it’s a really good show and was a very competent trivia partner during the extremely complicated and obscure movie/TV quiz Sweet Ups has after True Blood.  And he’s a gentleman!  He saved my seat for me when I had to hit the ATM.

If your cable goes out in the New York Metropolitain area, I’d highly recommend you stop by Sweet Ups to catch True Blood.  And stop by even if it doesn’t – these guys are as obsessed with True Blood as you are!  And just like the show they covet, they don’t take themselves too seriously and have a lot of fun.

Comments

  1. I have yet to figure out if this show is high class, or as redneck trailer trash as it appears to be. Is the entire thing camp, or are they going for serious and just ending up with camp?

    I do believe, though, that I am the ONLY gay man in America NOT watching True Blood. (And I’m sorta fine with this.)

  2. Joe Lawler says:

    “Bill wakes up. In a bed. WTF? Why isn’t he in the ground? I’m having a nerd continuity fracture. I thought True Blood vampires had to sleep in SOIL? Is the King’s house underground or something? Sigh.”

    I don’t think vamps have to sleep underground. Remember the vampire hotel? I think it’s just the place someone is least likely to throw a window shade open.

  3. Joe Lawler says:

    PS, Any chance you could post the full rules of the drinking game?

  4. This episode was a doozy, especially the ending! “I got your rug all wet.” was a pretty great line too.

  5. Lou Pines? Heh-heh. But that were bar should’ve been in Louisiana with the Fangstasia: and called “Lou Garew”, n’est-ce pas?

    And, is it bad to be continously be reminded of the Vampire Chronicles while watching TRUE BLOOD? The whole King/Talbot louche relationship, Bill’s flashback to his previous life— definitely Rice-ean. Can’t help but be dredging up stuff remembered from those books (ie, “Bill” being Harris’ “Louis”)… Not to mention all them vamp-on-vamp, vamp-on-human sex on display.

  6. Web Behrens says:

    Hey Nathan: No, there’s me too. I believe there’s a small subset of us. Although I’ve heard from plenty of my queer friends (whose opinions I respect) that I should be watching “True Blood,” I don’t have cable/dish TV (which I’m totally fine with) and I can’t be bothered to watch a TV show on my laptop.

  7. Shannon OLeary says:

    Wow. I can’t believe the only two gay men in America not watching this show read this re-cap. Thanks! You two are missing out. Anyone who’s attracted to men should be watching this show.

    J.L. 1) I think they make up the drinking game rules every week based on character development. Like one of the other rules was, “take a drink everytime jason is wracked w/ guilt.” If anyone from Sweet Ups is reading the comments, please share.

    2) As far as the need for True Blood vamps to be underground during the day – I might be confusing this with the books. In the Sookie Stackhouse books, Bill has to dig a hole in a closet in Sookie’s house so he can stay over. And I think they talk about how the Dallas hotel has special glass that simulates the same effect as being buried underground. I thought they were the same way on the show though.. like didn’t Bill need to dig a hole in the ground when he was initially kidnapped? I guess he was stranded though. I am curious to hear others’ thoughts…

  8. I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that the King of Mississippi’s mansion would have the same solar shielding windows as the Dallas hotel. They even had the scene where the king’s companion explained how the door to Bill’s room was made of pure silver to prevent him from escaping. So I think that place is pretty well equipped.

  9. honestly, i wasn’t too shocked by the final love scene, but the one involving franklin and tara aroused some questions… when a man becomes a vampire, over time does his penis get bigger? it is a blood based organ after all. is that a gross question? (for a gross show?)

    also, do you think they’ll address the existence of dhampirs (human/vampire hybrids)? if that’s a possibility, does that mean vampires have to do the old pull out? or wear condoms? can they even catch STDs besides Hep D?

    you are the source. enlighten me, shannon.

  10. Shannon OLeary says:

    1) you make some good points, paul dwyer. i think you’re right that it’s acceptable to suspend disbelief that the king’s manse is pretty pimped out for both capture and keeping out sunlight.

    2) cody, that’s an interesting theory about vampire wang. it makes sense to me – especially given their overall increased strength and stamina. as far as your dhampir question goes, i don’t think they’re gonna go there. twihards have that covered w/ the fetal vamp clawing it’s way out of bella’s womb in books 4 & 5 (i think, haven’t read ‘em yet). i think they’ll explore it w/ the shifters though.

  11. Zima? They still sell that cloudy sugarwater swill?

    ~

    Coat

  12. Oh man, that seen at the end, is that like a vampire donkey punk??????????

  13. Shannon OLeary says:

    well, it definitely wasn’t a vamp dirty sanchez. although the two of them did that last season. i think.

  14. This episode was the best yet. We were going NUTS at the ending sex scene, hot shit hate-fucking right there!

    I really think that they learned a lot from their failings last season, structure-wise. There’s a lot of balls being juggled right now only 3 eps in and they all seem to be en route to paying off.. Contrast that to season 2’s introducing and not doing shit with new characters/narrative dead ends for like half the season before doing anything of interest.

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