Thursday, July 1, 2010

What I’m Watching: True Blood

True Blood: Season 3, Episode 3 “It Hurts Me Too” (B)

This episode, while still engaging and intriguing, is admittedly a bit of a mess. A few interesting arcs could have made for a strong installment, but they’re too distracted by a few lagging ones. The character of Franklin is truly creepy and fascinating, and it’s only a shame that he has to interact with Tara of all people. The quality of his scene with Jessica was so superior to any of his several run-ins with Sookie’s best friend. I’ve come to agree with what Laura pointed out in her comment on the season premiere, that Tara is simply unbearable. Her constant whining about Eggs’ death has almost made me forget that he was once a good character. The amount of times she has been put into a trance of some sort is really going to leave her with a whole lot of brain damage, even if she has yet to add “bitten by a vampire” to her impressive list of mind-affecting head trips. The search for his family undertaken by Sam has now led to his rather obnoxious family being present all the time, and while his mother seems interesting, a drunken father and a jealous brother are not elements this show needs. Similarly, Jason’s search for meaning when he tries to take the deputy’s test without studying, due to his hilarious logic that if it’s on the practice test, it’s not on the real test, feels aimless at best. Hoyt does provide some comic relief to be sure, but it’s hardly as engaging as Jason training to kill vampires with zealots. Alcide seems like an intriguing character, but having him be concerned with losing his girl distracts too much from his mission of protecting the very brave and just as seemingly stupid Sookie. On the more positive side, seeing a usually sidelined character, Bud, make a stand for himself and resign his position because he can’t stand all the murders that keep happening was a nice treat. And even though we have to suffer through more of Lorena, it was a great surprise to experience a strong performance from Shannon Lucio after her unimpressive recurring appearances on “The O.C.” and “Prison Break,” here playing Bill’s wife Caroline. Bill’s agreement to the King of Mississippi’s proposition means that there’s some serious spying and double-crossing ahead in the future, all in the name of keeping Sookie safe.

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