TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Beautifully Broken”

     June 20, 2010

true_blood_season_three_cast_slice

Last week’s third season premiere of True Blood quickly got me back in the vampire mood.  It’s fantastic summer entertainment, and the first episode teased some interesting possibilities for the new season.  This episode, of course, walked just a bit further down those narrative paths.

Hit the jump for a review of “Beautifully Broken,” the second episode of season three of True Blood after the jump.

true_blood_bill_tux_imageBill yanking his head into frame with a werewolf ear in his mouth, blood flying everywhere, is a pretty cool opening shot.   But Bill’s storyline did nothing to thrust us deeper into the werewolf world, as I was hoping.  Instead, the pack was merely doing the bidding of the fey vampire king of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, gallantly positioned atop a pristine white horse.

Not sure exactly what to make of the king just yet, other than wonder just how many layers of the vamp government we’ll explore over the run of the show.  I didn’t realize that Bill was such a “promising” vampire.  What does that entail, exactly, given the relative lack of human blood in Bill’s diet?

In addition to Russell, we also met Tara’s new vamp friend, Franklin Mott, and Lafayette’s new nurse friend, Jesus.  At least, from the way they edited the scene, I presume that Jesus will achieve some sort of prominence this season.  He was awfully smiley toward Lafayette, whom I’d be happy to see with a steady boyfriend.  And Buffy‘s Spike has primed me to like bad boy bloodsuckers with a British accent, so I welcome Franklin as a necessary spice to the Tara-centric storylines.  Don’t know if he’ll be a worthy Eggs replacement…

true_blood_angry_eric_imageThe Godric arc of last season was True Blood at its best, though more contemplative than I would like the show to be with any sort of consistency.  The steady, tranquil depiction of Godric reminded me that the mind behind True Blood also created personal favorite Six Feet Under, so I was happy to have him back, however briefly.  And boy, can he pull off an SS uniform.  Likewise, as terrible as it sounds, Eric looks positively dashing as a Nazi.

Speaking of which, it’s an episode like this that makes it so clear that for narrative purposes Sookie should always be paired with Eric over Bill: “You’re going to invite me in, so I can protect you. Or have passionate, primal sex with you.  How about both?”  I’m assuming both are indeed imminent in the coming episodes.

Gotta love Anna Paquin’s impersonation of Bill’s catchphrase, “Sookeh.”

Hoyt is such a sweet presence among the rest of the characters, and I can’t help but root for his (doomed?) romance with Jessica.  Her farcical adventures with the corpse — spraying Lysol everywhere, wielding a chainsaw, losing the body — continue to be adorable.  Deborah Ann Woll has definitely become a highlight of the show for me.

Ultimately, I liked the episode, but I feel more teased than satisfied.  Such an approach makes perfect sense for the premiere, but “Beautifully Broken” continued to introduce new elements with a tantalizing ambiguity, and then moving on.  I guess I forget that True Blood has always been structured as a mystery, if a bit less directly in season two.  I’m ready to dive in to the werewolf lore, which I suppose will come when Alcide comes on stage.  I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.  Of course, it is evident in such a “complaint” that the show is working for this writer.

Play us out, Snoop:

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