TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Night on the Sun”

     August 8, 2010


Tonight’s episode of True Blood was directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.  She’s new to HBO’s vampire soap, but Glatter has spent a good portion of the last several years helming six episodes of the similarly lush (if not dramatically congruous) Mad Men, including the Emmy-nominated season three installment “Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency.”

So in theory, we were in very good hands with “Night on the Sun,” the eighth episode of season three of True Blood; hit the jump for a review.

rutina_wesley_true_blood_imageWhat percentage of the episodes have opened with bloodcurdling screams?  This time it was Sookie, and it felt really familiar.  The writers like to start the hour with a shocking moment, in medias res.  The scream is arguably the most economic aural device to achieve that effect.

I’m really digging season three Tara.  Much moreso than in seasons past.  She’s been crafty, assertive — her stubborn streaks even seem to have more weight behind them.  Do I feel that way because she is currently functioning as a crucial obstacle between Sookie and Bill?  Perhaps a little.  But her stance against Bill has developed organically out of her Franklin-related trauma.  Plus, I am now dependent on her resolve, given that Sookie and Bill are having angry sex with a metal soundtrack as we speak.  Gah.

When I asked last week what kind of creature Sookie was, the answer was a bit of a forehead-slapper (aesthetically more than mythologically).  Still, I’m willing to put myself out there again: without help from the books, any insight as to which species Crystal belongs?

Is there any mind funnier than Jason’s to read?  “It’s… trespassing!”  Maybe Lafayette?

With most shows, when I hope that a pack of werewolves will massacre the central characters of a side plot that serves as a narrative black hole, I’m just daydreaming.  With True Blood, it’s totally in play.  I’m thinking Sam’s family is due for a good slaughter.

michael_raymond_james_true_blood_imageRene!  I nearly forgot that Rene tied with Lafayette as my favorite character during the first season.  I distinctly remember heading to the hiatus between seasons one and two, with  painted toenails fresh in mind, wondering whether I would continue watching a True Blood without Lafayette or Rene.  Turned out that the decorated corpse foot was a head fake, Deborah Ann Woll was a fantastic addition to the ensemble, and the writers realized how much we all loved Eric.  What was my point?  Oh yeah, it was great to have Rene and his Cajun accent back on the show, however briefly.

I don’t necessarily want to see a return to the style of season one, but there is something to be said for the clear serial killer arc set forth.   Season two turned up the volume on the soap operatic elements of the show, but “Who/what is Maryann?” served as a nice structural home base.  Season three feels too aimless — a mash of perfunctory plots without a core.  Maybe you could say the werewolves are at the center of things, but at this point I’ll need a heck of an ending — one that astounds me in how well it ties up loose ends — to justify all the meandering.

I’ll hold out hope, I suppose.  I can guarantee I’ll watch through at least the first episode of season four.  But at the moment, I fear that I’ll head into the next hiatus with the mentality I did after the first season, wondering just how long I’ll stay true.