I smell a horrendously boring episode. I’ve had something positive to say about every episode of True Blood this season without thinking too hard, but with “I Smell a Rat,” I can’t single out anything I liked aside from Pam’s “Blah blah vampire emergency blah.”
After last week’s eyeopening ending, I expected a lot to happen and action all over. Russell declared a literal war between vampires and humans on television. This has to send the world at large into overdrive, right? But True Blood has never bridged Bon Temps to the outside world where normal suburban families seemingly live without vampires running around all over the place and we see little fallout. A raid on Russell’s mansion, Steve Newlin back on television, a hate crime, but certainly nothing dramatic to match the potential after Russell’s actions.
The revelation that Sookie is a fairy and that vampires hunted out fairies in the past was my favorite part of the episode (still didn’t really like it), but do we doubt Bill? He’s done nothing to indicate he’d consciously hurt Sookie, nor has he been anything more than protective of Sookie. But Sookie doubts Bill and goes to Eric for the truth. He won’t tell Sookie anything more, and at the end of the episode, chains her in the basement, presumably to help fight back against Russell.
Russell finally appears at the end of the episode and is full on crazy. He picks up a guy, substituting him for Talbot before staking him. Looks like we have an old, powerful, insane vampire on the loose.
And then there’s the useless Bon Temps minutiae.
Lafayette and Jesus’s V trip. It was so long that I tuned out and ignored most of what they were saying, not that it was pertinent. Apparently, their ancestors were into weird stuff. Who cares?
Tara should be put in a box. She’s more annoying than Arlene and that’s saying something. She spent another episode quivering and crying.
Arlene spills the beans to Terry and then goes to the Wiccan waitress to get rid of the baby.
Crystal reveals herself as a werepanther to Jason. However, there is no follow-up which was disappointing.
There is a boring flashback of Sam using his shapeshifting ability to steal gems, getting conned, and then killing the two con artists to get his stuff back.
The second season ran out of steam in the final few episodes and while it appears that Alan Ball is rectifying that mistake by leaving more plot at the end of this season, he hasn’t balanced the rest of the episodes to make them comparably exciting. It seems like the show would be much better if it were squeezed into 10 episodes per season instead of 12, allowing for quick paced episodes each week instead of an occasional boring one here and there.
The TV Obsessed reviews over 40 shows on his blog The TV Obsessed
Follow him on Twitter