True Blood – Episode 3-11 Review

In two weeks (no episode on Labor Day), the third season of True Blood will end, and without a doubt there’s going to be an epic showdown between the vampires. The main plot has been building to that, so I’m expecting a better finish than the whimper that ended the second season.

The rest of the plots, however, remain as detached as ever, and I wonder if Alan Ball is creating a base for the fourth season. Season two had a distinct and recognizable plots–Maryann in Bon Temps and the Fellowship of the Sun. Eventually the Fellowship of the Sun plot was wrapped up, and everyone joined up to take down Maryann. Season three was vastly different. There’s still a compelling vampire main plot, but Bon Temps is a loose collection of individual stories, never really coming together towards a unified ending.

In terms of things happening to people, “Fresh Blood” doesn’t fall short, but I can’t help not liking particular characters or plots which have dragged down this season.

Sam breaks down in a drunken rage, throwing everyone out of his bar, and evicting Tommy. Tara, however, stays to have a drink, having spent most of the past week crying about one thing or another, and they end in one of the most raw, uninhibited sex scenes of the series. But they’re both characters I can do without and sex together adds to nothing to the overall plot, putting little relevance of their scenes.

Similarly, Jessica sucks Hoyt’s blood-their version of a hot sex scene–but it was slightly more satisfying, because I actually like Jessica, who isn’t mopey all the time, and would like to see her have more material in the next season.

For me, Arlene is the most insufferable character. She’s always put in situations which make her uncomfortable, and we never see another side to her, so I have little opinion of her proceedings. The Wiccan Holly offers to do an abortion, which turns out to me a bland, drawn out ceremony in a ring of salt, ending with Arlene drinking something. The catch, however, is that the spirit behind all of it may choose to keep the baby. The procedure succeeds, given that Holly was telling the truth about the choice, and Arlene has blood all over herself the next morning, but the doctor tells her that the baby is still alive.

Jason’s battles with the high school football quarterback seemed misplaced every time it came up, because it was unrelated to everything else in the episode, but there was finally a connection–albeit a tenuous one–to bring relevance to the quarterback. As a former user, Jason realizes he’s doing V and toppling Jason’s records by cheating. The quarterback explains that V is undetectable and that professionals are using it as well. Before we can learn more, he leaves. What annoys me the most is that we never get to see the outside world other than Bon Temps and selective locations with heavy supernatural influence. Are professional sports rampant with V users? How has it affected society? These are the questions I’d like to see answered, but three seasons in and it’s unlikely that will ever happen.

Like every episode, “Fresh Blood” ends on cliffhanger which is nothing short of brilliant. The final tension-filled scene had my on edge, as Eric and Bill played Russell, goading him into drinking Sookie’s blood and walking outside. Russell takes the bait on the condition that Eric do it first, and the episode ends with Eric and Russell handcuffed and smoldering in bright daylight. We see that Eric has no wish to live anymore once his human goal of defeating his family’s murderers is complete. In this moment, Eric is the most human he’s been more centuries, and is willing to die to regain his humanity.

The TV Obsessed reviews over 40 shows on his blog The TV Obsessed

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