True Blood 3.08 “Night on the Sun” Review

August 9, 2010 by  

True Blood sets the standard on shock factor, but always seems to outdo itself. This week, it delivered an episode full of heartbreak, violence, and sex, that left us crying, cheering, and running for a cold shower.

In the hospital, Sookie and Bill tearfully realize that, even though they love each other, they can’t be together anymore: “I keep waiting for us to be happy, to start our lives together like a normal couple. But it’s never gonna happen, is it?” She’s been in constant danger since they met, and the near-draining in the back of Alcide’s truck was the last straw for Sookie. She understands how weak and hungry Bill was at the time, but she doesn’t think she can forgive him, even in the face of a man who says, “I will love you forever.”

Bill wants Sookie to be happy, so he starts trying to do what’s best for her–to let her go. When he returns home, he receives a big, adorable hug from his “child,” but he’s miserable. He releases Jessica from his control as her Maker, but she doesn’t want to leave: “I drained someone. I was hungry, and I was sad, and it was an accident, but I didn’t know how to control myself because you never taught me. No! I need you, you’re the only Maker I’ve got!…I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

At the Paley Center writers panel, Raelle Tucker said that Jessica is her favorite character to write for, and it showed in “Night on the Sun,” which gave Deborah Ann Woll some great material after a few episodes sadly lacking in our favorite baby vamp.

Bill is not going to let his break-up with Sookie prevent him from protecting her when Russell inevitably comes for her. He and Jessica practice their cool vampire fighting skills so that they can be ready for Russell‘s werewolves. This was such a fun scene, but the distraction was brief. Bill and Jessica may be separated by age and experience, but they are feeling the same pain–she admits that she’s still in love with Hoyt, but knows he deserves someone better.

Sookie is trying to distract herself, too, by getting back to a normal life, lying out in the sun like she used to do all the time. Tara thinks her best friend should be glad to be rid of Bill–her trauma has justifiably made her want to get as far away from vampires as possible. Like other characters have learned before her, Franklin’s blood is giving her unwanted dreams. But for Sookie, getting over Bill is not so easy: “It might be over between me and Bill, but what we had was real. I can’t just flip a switch and turn my heart off.”

Life would be so much simpler if she and Alcide could fall for each other. They have formed a bond of friendship over the past week, but they are both dealing with a broken heart. Alcide returns to Jackson to guard his family against Debbie and her pack. He and Sookie share a nice hug and part ways, knowing that they will see each other again.

Terry singing to Arlene‘s stomach: sweet. Arlene having a nightmare about Rene, saying the baby is going to be just like him: not sweet. This subplot is approaching a potentially devastating place whenever Terry finds out the truth. I think he’d be the kind of guy who would raise the child like his own, and if Arlene doesn’t know that, I wonder why she’s even with him.

Sam underestimated the effect that kicking his parents out would have on Tommy. Even though things will undoubtedly be better for him, his issues don’t magically disappear. He’s led a life of anger and alienation, so he can’t just turn off his fighting instincts, like when he encounters Hoyt at Merlotte’s. How ANYONE could be mean to Hoyt, I don’t know, but Tommy makes him feel bad about Jessica. We only see Hoyt briefly later in the episode, but he’s crying. Sam tries to explain to Tommy that he doesn’t have to be so defensive and full of rage. He can begin to think about what he wants for his life.

Jason‘s reaction to what Bill did to his sister is typical–he wants to rush in and kill him. He breaks out the old Fellowship of the Sun kit with the wooden rounds for his shotgun. Thankfully, Crystal shows up before he can go anywhere. She has a black eye and wants to run away in Jason‘s truck. Even though Jason has no idea what he’s up against with Calvin Norris and the other rednecks from Hot Shot, he can only see the benefit right now of getting to be with this girl he’s so drawn to. After they make love, he goes to tell her family to stay away and thinks his threats will be powerful enough to make them listen (Ha!). Later, Crystal‘s father and fiance come into Merlotte’s looking for her. Sam and Tommy immediately smell something on them and kick them out. They’re only just getting to know each other, but I liked seeing the brother tag team action.

Lafayette is surprised to find his mother waiting for him when he returns home from the ordeal with Tara and Sookie. She’s escaped from her hospital because she thinks the supes are trying to get her–apparently, vampires, witches, and shifters are all after a crazy old woman… Lafayette calls Jesus to come pick her up. She pulls a knife on the two of them, but Jesus manages to calm her down. Whatever is wrong with Ruby Jean, Jesus tries to convince Lafayette that it means something that she tried so hard to come to see him. Lafayette doesn’t really believe that, but he does try to explain to Jesus about the drug dealing. Just as he’s about to walk out the door, Jesus turns around and they kiss again (it doesn’t look like anything’s going to stop them this time, unless Ruby Jean wakes up and sees them, which is a hilarious/terrifying thought).

Debbie has promised to hunt Alcide down, but first she is on a mission with Russell to retrieve Sookie. The King accompanies her to Bon Temps himself (after seeing the “pack of imbeciles” mess too many things up, he probably doesn’t trust them to do his dirty work anymore). Talbot wasn’t happy at being left behind again, feeling like he’s always second to Russell‘s work. He was already upset enough about the bloody mess left behind by Tara, Sookie, and Alcide upon their escape.

Eric still needs to keep the King‘s trust until he can exact his revenge. It was undoubtedly very difficult for the proud Viking to kneel before the one who massacred his family, but the end of his vendetta is finally within reach. We can see the emotion hiding behind Eric‘s eyes: “I have been searching for you for a thousand years…a true leader. One strong enough to unite us all… Just give me the chance, and I will show you how deep my loyalty runs.” We don’t know exactly what his plan is at this point, but he clearly does have a plan. For one thing, he sends Hadley to deliver a message to Sookie: “Russell is coming for you. Don’t trust Bill.” As to why he tells Hadley to tell Sookie not to trust Bill is very odd as Eric knows Bill would do anything to protect Sookie.  Is it a ruse to get Sookie to distrust Bill and run into Eric‘s arms?  We will have to wait and see on this one. Then, Eric offers to keep Talbot company to appease his anger, seemingly out of his desire to help the King.

When night falls, Sookie knows an attack is coming. She hears howling in the woods, as Debbie and a couple of her were buddies approach. Sookie is ready. And so are Bill and Jessica. The two vampires and wolves face off downstairs, while Sookie waits upstairs with a shotgun. Debbie kicks the door in and the cat fight ensues!

Meanwhile, in Jackson, Eric and Talbot play chess by the fire when Talbot says, “I’m bored. Take off your clothes.” Off come the clothes, and out come the fangs.

Back at Sookie’s house, Bill kills his wolf quickly, but Jessica‘s escapes out the front door. Before Bill can stop her, she steps out of the house, into the waiting arms of Russell, about to rip into her neck. Bill provokes him: “You are 3,000-years old and a King! Yet you hide behind guards, wolves, a baby vampire… Are you a coward? Or are you just lazy?” Russell releases Jessica, who runs off followed closely by a wolf. Bill is no match for Russell. Burned with silver spurs and kicked across the ground, Bill is close to being killed, but at the same time, Eric turns Talbot over in the heat of passion (but Talbot thinks a different kind of passion is coming…) and raises a stake: “Russell took my family. Now I take his.”

Russell senses the death of his lover and cries out, immediately taking flight. Sookie gains the upper hand on Debbie when she slashes her face with scissors and picks her shotgun back up: “Get outta my house, bitch!” Debbie jumps out the window and runs off. With the fighting ended, Bill comes upstairs to check on Sookie. In that moment, they forget about why they shouldn’t be together–she loves him, he loves her and he’s sorry for what he did, and that’s all that seems to matter. The episode ends with them having steamy sex on the floor with Sookie being in control in the lovemaking.

All in all, “Night on the Sun” was extremely high on tears and blood shed. It fills me with excitement and dread to think about what they’re saving for the rest of Season 3!

What did everybody else think about this one?

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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