Alan Ball must have been listening to True Blood fans who felt that last year’s maenad plot lines dragged. Tonight’s “Hitting the Ground” hit it running with more action than most shows deliver over the course of weeks. We got treated to one of the most anticipated deaths–at least by me–of the season even before the initial credits rolled and it just got wilder from there.
Thanks to Sookie, Lorena finally got the thick stake she’s so richly deserved in all her time on the show. If there was any vampire on True Blood who deserved to go up in a geyser of red Jell-O, she was it. Seeing the last of her at the start of the episode was better than an early Christmas gift.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the last of Debbie Pelt. It’s understandable that Alcide wouldn’t want to put Debbie down like Ol’ Yeller; she was his first case of puppy love, after all. But she’ll want to repay him for taking out Cooter, assuming Coot’s actually kaput. Maybe Debbie will become more interesting when she isn’t just a cross between a backup dancer in a Whitesnake video and Juliette Lewis’ character from “Natural Born Killers.” Let’s hope so; I don’t think anyone wants a pathetic ex whose only reason for being is stalking a main character, not when we’ve just gotten rid of Lorena.
Speaking of stalky exes, let’s hope Tara paid attention to Lorena’s gooey mortal remains. As Sookie pointed out, dead vampires look more like something that goes on white bread with peanut butter than like the immobile Bill. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Tara’s would-be beau Franklin after she gave him her lively rendition of “A Grazing Mace.” While it might not be such a good thing for Tara, it’s awesome for viewers–Franklin was good fun to watch.
No one is more fun to watch right now than the King himself, though. Denis O’Hare’s King Russell blends superficial humor and charm with underlying menace so effectively that even in the campy, gory romp that is True Blood, he delivers some genuine chills worthy of any more serious horror flick. He’s evil. We viewers know it, Eric knows it, Queen Sophie knows it. Yet it was impossible not to cheer him on when he freed Pam and strung the Magister up in her place.
I’ve done my best to remain unspoiled; I haven’t read the Charlaine Harris novels, though I look forward to reading them once True Blood has finished its run. So while I don’t want anyone to spoil it for me, I do have to wonder why Sookie has a head full of hippies dancing around a magic fountain and what it has to do with her lack of a blood type. We’ve known for some time that Sookie’s more than human, but what she is remains a mystery–one that I hope we’ll see in greater detail than the silly flitting about the pond we saw with Claudine tonight.
The enchanted forest in Sookie’s head seems not to agree with Bill Compton’s presence. Could Claudine’s warning that Bill sought to steal her light spell the end of Bill and Sookie? Part of me hopes so; both characters are more interesting apart than they are when together despite the relationship between Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. The deranged and ravenous Bill who nearly killed Sookie and the Sookie who feebly tried to fend him off are both more entertaining to watch than the usual cooing love-fest. I could do without those.
I could also do without ever seeing Joe Lee Mickens’ appalling underwear again in my life. Good for Sam for demanding his clothes to give to Tommy–and even better for Sam for the verbal smack-down he gave to both parents–but those undies are terrifying.
As for Jason…well, I love the actor and the character, but I am having trouble mustering up even a small care about his interest in the dishwater blonde whose name I might learn sometime around episode twelve. I’m glad he got a call to the hospital and that he got to have a scene that mattered. He’s an underrated actor on the show, one whom I hope gets richer story lines in the future along with Hoyt. (I have a feeling that Hoyt finds Summer and her biscuits of domestic bliss a lot more terrifying than his vampire lover Jessica ever was. Don’t marry your mama, Hoyt; run from that girl!)
After such a busy episode with such a high body count, I fully expect a more cerebral True Blood next week. The action was sure fun while it lasted, though; “Hitting the Ground” is staying on my DVR for re-watching. I’ll make sure to whip up some cherry Jell-O for the occasion.