Alan Ball has a tough job to do. True Blood works best when it’s flying at a breakneck pace, advancing plot at every turn with wild twists and spooky creatures, and the writers try to do that as much as possible. At the same time, it’s clear Ball wants True Blood to be more than simply a campy vampire show. Grappling with two, Raelle Tucker wrote “Beautifully Broken,” an episode containing ample action and more slow, contemplative scene than we’re used to.
Several scenes–Sam with his family, Jessica after leaving Hoyt outside–carried more emotional weight than the show usually does and came close to breaking into the next level. However, it’s hard to take those scenes seriously when there are Nazi werewolves and lines like “Let’s go to the lady’s room and stare at ourselves in the mirror.” Don’t get me wrong–the campiness of the two is part of what makes True Blood so enjoyable–but it doesn’t quite fit. The premise of the show
Even though some parts of the episode didn’t work, “Beautifully Broken” was a great episode. World building in fantasy/sci-fi is very important and the episode did just that. The King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, turns out to be in charge of Operation Werewolf, a vampire-blood drinking squad dating at least as far back as World War II. Essentially, Bill has been captured and the King is using him to get to Sophie-Anne. They eat an assortment of blood foods (which looked cool) and it’s mostly civil until Lorena comes. Quickly, Bill sets her on fire and that could be the end of her–but I think her arrival serves another purpose.
There was troubling evidence against Bill and his motives for coming to Bon Temps. His interest in Sookie may not have been for only prurient reasons after all. Russel implies that Bill has always worked for Sophie-Anne, even meeting Sookie. The mysterious booted man goes through Bill’s papers and finds a sheet with Sookie’s name circled along with her grandfather, Earl. I’m guessing Sophie-Anne wanted someone as valuable as a mindreader at her disposal and Bill was her instrument.
Godric made an appearance in the episode when Eric flashed back to his time in the SS, hunting werewolves. Then, he first learned of werewolves taking orders from a vampire. Unfortunately, Godric does little outside of offering Eric sage advice.
The episode ends with Eric showing up at Sookie’s front step and entering her house to confront a wolf. Eric makes it abundantly clear he is doing this for Sookie because of how he feels for her, something Godric warned against.
I’m still not sure about the stuff revolving around the main plot, but we’ll see how they develop. Lafayette brings Tara to his mother, whose bigoted statements are tamped by the fact that she does have some kind of mental problem. Jessica’s body is starting to seem like a gag, and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be. First, she wants the guy to be alive, but he’s dead, so she leaves him there. Then she gets a chainsaw to cut his body up and now he’s missing. Sam’s family issues is right out of the starting blocks, Sam getting to know his family and his brother. Andy and Jason don’t get much to do other than drink and avoid suspicion, but Jason does chase after a woman in the woods after Andy goes to a drug bust.
Season 3 has gotten of to a solid stuff. The main plot, consisting of the vampires conspiring against each other and Sookie looking for Bill, is as good as it gets. Let’s hope the other plots catch up soon.
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Tags: True Blood