When I watched the video for “Love The Way You Lie,” I contemplated that Eminem had more insight into abusive relationships than any psychologist. I think that Alan Ball may have outdone him with tonight’s ‘True Blood,’ a meditation on the varied impacts of violence on all of the human-ish characters.
Victim of Violence #1: Sookie
We pick right up where we left off last week, with Sookie waking up in the hospital screaming. Bill sounds like a wife beater in a Lifetime movie as he apologizes for drinking most of her blood: “I never meant to hurt you. I couldn’t stop.” Sookie understandably isn’t sure she can forgive him. She tells him that she keeps waiting for them to be able to start their lives together, but she no longer thinks it will happen. Bill agrees that he cannot give her the happiness that she deserves and leaves her.
Bill releases Jessica, saying she can’t stay with him anymore. She refuses to leave him, so he trains her like it’s ‘Rocky’ XIII: The Vampire Years. Alcide nobly vows to stay in Sookie’s guest room. Jason comes by with Sheriff Andy. Sookie, in the grand abused woman tradition, refuses to press charges against Bill. The audience knows she is right, but it’s an interesting take on the situation. She reads Jason’s mind and learns he is hiding something.
Debbie burns down Alcide’s sister’s hair salon, in what seems like a decoy move to get Alcide to leave Bon Temps. He wants Sookie to come with him for her own protection, but she insists on staying in Bon Temps. In a classic shipper scene that could play word for word on any CW show, she says if she knew what was best for her, she’d have fallen in love with someone like him. He’s so tall that he has to stand on the ground while she’s at the top of the porch stairs in order for their heads to be in the same frame. They share a super steamy almost-kiss. The sexy werewolf is now the safe, dependable guy.
Victim of Violence #2: Tara
Tara is a total wreck after her ordeal with Franklin. As the voice of anti-vampire sentiment, she tells Sookie that if she takes Bill back, she’s a “dumb bitch.” She refuses to talk to anyone about what Franklin did to her. I was a Franklin fan, in large part because of what James Frain brought to the role, but he tortured Tara. I like that Tara is still not over it, in contrast to so many TV characters who have no lingering psychological effects from terrible experiences. Tara does the post-sexual violence shower thing only to have it turn into a dream of sex with Franklin. Tara PTSD’s all over Merlotte’s, dropping a bottle of Tru Blood.
Victim of Violence #3: Crystal
Abused Woman #3, Crystal, shows up at Jason’s place, soaking wet and sporting a black eye. She tells him she’s been promised to a man named Felton since she was four years old. She says that Felton beat her because she said she wouldn’t marry him. They have sex, because Crystal is so grateful to have found a man who has a modicum of respect for her. Jason visits her meth family, who I believe had something to do with the dog fighting last week and finds someone eating a deer! He orders Crystal’s dad to stay away from her.
Victim of Violence #4: Tommy
There’s a fourth victim of domestic violence: Tommy the shapeshifter. This week he gets the courage to leave his bad dad. Silly Sam gives his bio-mom money to leave town. Tommy picks a fight with Hoyt. Sam offers to send him to college. He says Sam doesn’t know him at all. Is Tommy illiterate? Or does he just realize that in these tough economic times a college education is no longer a guarantee of a good job?
Meanwhile, In Dull Stories
Arlene dreams that her baby’s daddy Rene is back and that her baby will be just like him. Arlene hires a new waitress Holly who can tell she’s pregnant. (Read my interview with Lauren Bowles, who plays Holly, to find out more about her secrets.)
The Montage of TV-MA Sex
Lafayette’s Mama busts out of the hospital, telling him she will protect him from the vampires. Jesus arrives to pick her up and talks her down when she pulls a knife. Lafayette reveals that he does not enjoy being a drug dealer. Straight-edge Jesus forgives him — as someone named Jesus should — then they make sweet, sweet love. Actually, it’s barely TV-14.
In Jackson, Russell’s boy toy Talbot is not happy that Queen Sophie-Anne has moved into the house (in a coffin, under duress) or that Russell killed the Magister. Russell agrees to let Debbie attack Sookie, but not kill her. Eric gets down on his knees and declares allegiance to the king. He’ll be getting down on his knees a lot during this episode, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
At Eric’s request, Sookie’s cousin Hadley tells Sookie that Eric told her Russell’s coming for her and she shouldn’t trust Bill. Does Eric really think Sookie’s going to trust his opinion of Bill? When Russell and Talbot have a fight, Eric offers to be Talbot’s “companion.”
Debbie breaks into Sookie’s house to find Sookie holding a gun on her. Instead of immediately firing, Sookie stupidly lets Debbie disarm her. They fight until Sookie stabs Debbie with a pair of scissors and gets the gun back. She idiotically lets Debbie leave. Kill her, Sookie!
Bill kills some wolves who are Debbie’s back up. Russell grabs Jessica and offers to trade her for Sookie. Bill thinks the king is a coward because he hides behind his guards. Jessica takes advantage of his distraction to run into the woods and kill Gus. Russell digs his silver spurs into Bill.
Talbot wisely demands Eric take off his clothes. They have super hot gay vampire sex. Oh, Eric, you bisexual, bispecies scamp. Then Eric, uh, gets behind him and stakes him to get revenge on Russel for taking his family away from him. Russell senses what is happening to his love and flees to Jackson, sparing Bill’s life for the moment. Bill and Sookie reunite and have very hot, raw, intense totally naked sex to a heavy metal beat, that takes full advantage of Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer’s real life relationship.
“Maybe you can flirt some sense into that girl ’cause logic sure as hell ain’t working” –Tara to Alcide on Sookie
“You know what you sound like? One of those country song about sad women who let their men cheat and beat on them all for the sake of true love.” – Tara to Sookie, about her continued pining for Bill
“Poor Talbot. Are your diamond slippers chafing?” – Russell has little sympathy for Talbot’s relationship issues.
“No way!” – Jessica in disbelief over Sookie and Bill’s break-up. “Way.” — Bill’s response.