TRUE BLOOD Recap: “9 Crimes”

     July 11, 2010

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Earlier this week, the second season of True Blood earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama.  That’s an astounding amount of validation for a show so steeped in horror/fantasy.  Now if we can just get Alexander Skarsgaard into the Supporting Actor category for season three…

Hit the jump for a review of “9 Crimes,” the fourth episode of season three of True Blood.

Even though a vampire forsaking his human love because of the chasm between their species is a touchstone of the genre, the writers want you to know that this is HBO.  Edward would never dump Bella with the line, “We fucked like only two vampires can.”  (Speaking of which, I hope that neck-twisting sex scene from “It Hurts Me Too” does not become a recurring feature on the “Previously on…” segments.  It still really disturbs me.)

Anna-Paquin-Deborah-Ann-Woll-true-blood-season-3When all the promos for season three showed Sookie disrobing for Eric, I suppose we all knew it would be somewhere outside the real world.  But I’ll always jump at the chance for insight into Eric’s reveries, in which his memories smell like the winter in ocean.

This has, so far, been a great season for Anna Paquin.  Sookie’s arc is still mostly defined by her search for her man, but at least it’s a mission.  She’s out on the road, doing things, with all kinds of spunk.  It looked like Paquin had as much fun pounding shots as Biker Chick Sookie as I had watching it.

I have liked Alcide so far, though I can’t point to any specific reason why.  Maybe it’s just that he’s a crucial player in the Sookie storyline that I’m clearly digging.  Joe Manganiello gives good smolder.  I won’t get too hung up on trying to demystify it: good addition to the cast for season three.

I don’t know how Sam is depicted in the books, but in the show he is a problematic character.  Merlotte’s serves as a good center for the plot (e.g. Jessica now works there!).  And out of all the men on the show, he would probably be the most viable husband in terms of emotional security.  But that may be his problem.  Sam seems like a super nice guy, and I generally root for him to succeed in his endeavors.  But each scene in which he explores his roots feels too much like a moment that would be better spent riding in a car with Eric and Lafayette.

Not that I want True Blood to be all vampires, sex, and drugs.  Jason’s storyline is a good example.  The manchild is mostly just trying to be a police officer (without putting in the, you know, effort).  But the less salacious scenes centered around Jason’s innate charisma never seem too mundane.  Or like we’re just passing time.  And I’m sure such scenes are necessary for the purposes of balance, so that True Blood serves more than just dessert.

In fact, the whole episode seemed a bit less extreme than recent segments.  I think we’re entering into act two of the season, a few episodes removed from the premiere designed as a shock to the system after a long hiatus.  Enough intriguing elements have been introduced that will be nice to settle down (just a bit), and maybe find out a little bit more about this Nazi werewolf thing.

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