Nine episodes into the third season and there is one imperative: Bon Temps will have the worst plots. It stayed true in “Everything is Broken,” another mixed bag to throw with the other mixed bags this season. By now I think it’s safe to say this season has been marred by inconsistency. It can go from the interesting vampire world to the insipid, dumb Bon Temps residents instantly, nearly ruining the episode.
Ignoring Bon Temps, “Everything is Broken” was a brilliant push to bring the vampire world into open. It begins with Nan Flanagan and her squad detaining Eric and Pam. However, we soon learn that the Authority is a useless band of newbies who are too stupid to realize that a threat like Russell has been operating unchecked for over a thousand years. When Eric tells his side, they brush him off. Nan’s main line of argument is that Russell donated a half million dollars to the American Vampire League, a silly notion considering that Russell rejects humans and has little need for money.
They’re too dumb to listen to Eric then, but the next night she allows Eric to move ahead and take out Russell without official Authority support.The final scene is a pure genius. Traveling in car, we see Nan chowing down on a human–rejecting her own credo–while watching a news report on the Vampire Rights Amendment. Russell bursts on screen in a flurry and shoves his hand through the reporter’s chest, ripping his spine out in a garish display. He delivers a chilling speech explaining his hatred for humans and vampires’ superiority.
We’ve seen vampires kill and kidnap before, though it’s never a big deal when it should be. But Russell comes on television and announces to the world that vampires will eat their children and then the rest of the humans. If this isn’t the breaking point, what is?
The middle section is a whole lot of Bon Temps bullshit. More Jessica and Hoyt angst, more Lafayette and Jesus fluff, Arlene fretting while her new co-worker seems to be feeding off her feelings, Crystal being secretive, and Tara crying. Even Franklin comes back only to be dispatched in a matter of seconds, a disappointing closure to his return.
And Sam’s story returned to the god-awful crap is was. It’s hard to feel anything for Tommy, despite his dogfighting experience. Punk teens on television can be good if they are very funny, but Tommy is a mean-spirited punk. Dogfighting made him that way, but can’t the writers tamp his bad side with something positive? At least Sam finally reaches his breaking point and batters Crystal’s father to the ground.
Bill visits dreamland and like Sookie’s scene earlier, there’s not much the audience learn. Is it literal or an allegory? Bill and Sookie’s relationship is stuck in an eternal lovey-dovey phase which is a exceedingly boring, especially because they aren’t involved in the vampire politics of the episode.
With three episodes left in the season, things will heat soon and maybe Bon Temps will be better (though it’s doubtful). Russell made his big announcement to the world, initiating his public battle against humanity, so it’s hard to imagine that the status quo won’t change, including a huge reduction in Bon Temps.
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