TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Hitting the Ground”

     August 1, 2010


With tonight’s episode of True Blood, we officially entered into the second half of season three.  We should be well on our way to whatever crazy climax the writers have in store, though I have no well-formed possibilities in mind.  No matter — True Blood is often more about the genre-tastic journey than any logical destination.

With that in mind, hit the jump for a review of “Hitting the Ground,” the seventh episode of season three of True Blood.

charlaine_harris_imageJust prior to the episode, HBO ran a clip package highlighting the show’s presence at Comic-Con.  A couple things threw me for a loop:

a) Stephen Moyer (and his British accent) hamming it up on stage.
b) The appearance of author Charlaine Harris (pictured right), whose “Sookie Stackhouse Chronicles” serve as the source material for True Blood.  I’m not sure what I expected Harris to look like, but this was not it.

Once we got into the episode, the cold open death of Lorena got under my skin.  All responsible for designing what it looks like when a vampire dies (the FX team, the makeup artists, etc.) deserve major kudos.  That moment will never cease to shock me.  Speaking of which…

Zeljko Ivanek* is sorely misused on HBO when you factor in his presence on Big Love last season.  So his decapitation is a fantastic way to end an episode.  Not only is the mini-explosion of his head another visual effects treat, it’s the perfect signoff for Ivanek, who is now free to go star in… (hold on, checking his IMDB)… The Event!  Ah, dang it.

On a related note, I like Evan Rachel Wood, so I like her in this role.  But I can see why Queen Sophie-Anne is not a universally loved character.  If I weren’t fond of Wood, I would probably be among the haters.  It does make me wonder why Wood, at this stage in her career, agreed to guest star in a series (however zeitgeist-y) with a time commitment that spans multiple seasons.

What’s the over/under on finding out what exactly Sookie is?  As in, the point where they spell it out for the audience, and we have a name for what she is without any help from the books.  If we set the end of the season as a benchmark, I think I’m going with over.  The washed out pond-centric dream didn’t add anything to my understanding, though I may be a bit behind the curve in terms of mythological creatures.  If you are cleverer than I (again, without help from the books), I welcome any suggestions.

Will this tear Sookie and Bill apart for a good long string of episodes?  Please?  The promo suggest that’s the case, though I’m seasoned enough to never trust a marketing department.

I don’t want anything to stand between Hoyt and Jessica (by far my favorite couple on the show) for too long.  But as far as obstacles go, Summer is a hoot.  She reminded me of Natalie from Greek, to the point where I checked if they were the same actress.  Nope.  Melissa Rauch (below, right) is the one behind the biscuits that made Jason exclaim “Oh, mama!”  Kristy Vaughn (below, left) is the Gamma Psi sister.


I hesitate to shortchange the creative team, in case they ever to decide to swim to the depths of the Godric arc again.  But I think if I stop trying to figure out where this season is going, or what it is “about,” I’ll enjoy the ride a bit more. So here’s to altered expectations!

*Emmy-winner Zeljko Ivanek, no less