True Blood 3.11 “Fresh Blood” Review

August 31, 2010 by  

Anna Paquin, True Blood, Sookie StackhouseEven in a fictional world like Bon Temps, things never seem to go as people hope or plan. “Fresh Blood,” the penultimate episode in True Blood‘s third season, showed every character trying to fulfill their wishes and finding that reality doesn’t always live up.

Bill & Sookie fantasize about a new beginning

After sensing her fear, Bill busts into Fangtasia looking for Sookie. Eric has already left, but Pam is keeping guard. Always the levelheaded vampire, she explains, “This is not just about your relationship, you infatuated tween. There’s a bigger picture.” When reason doesn’t work, she uses water with silver particles, sprayed right into Bill’s face. Down in the basement, Sookie is released by Yvetta, muttering about Eric, “Big, blond, stupid–I hate.” When they get upstairs, Pam has burned Bill’s eyes out with the spray. Sookie pulls her off with a silver chain. After Pam admits that Sookie was to be a gift for Russell, Sookie leaves to take care of Bill, while Yvetta restrains Pam and then takes the cash from behind the bar before departing. (Talk about a woman scorned…)

In the car, Bill tries to impress upon Sookie all the bad things Eric has done, but she tells him that she’s having a hard time trusting either one of them (understandably). Bill accuses her of having feelings for Eric, which she denies, although she acknowledges that she saw a different side of Eric on the roof with Godric. Bill wants Sookie to believe that they can have a fresh start. They imagine what that life would be like–they’d be happily married, she a real estate agent and he a 3rd grade teacher; they’d grow flowers and vegetables in a garden, go on double dates with Arlene and Terry, etc. It’s a nice fantasy, but obviously it fixes nothing because their real life could never be like that.

Jesus: A literal Satan in a proverbial Sunday hat?

Whereas Lafayette is reeling from their V trip, Jesus seems a little overeager to tap into that power again. Lafayette turns to face him and for a second, Jesus’ face transforms into a horned demon. Lafayette is understandably freaked out. He plays it off like he’s experiencing a weird after-effect from the V, but he makes Jesus leave for the first time in days. Later, he wakes up to find the spiritual figures in his shrine dancing and speaking to him. I’m confused as to what’s happening…

Jason’s disillusionment

After learning that Crystal is a werepanther, Jason has trouble coping: “My brains feel like scrambled eggs. I got my ass chewed by a vampire, my sister’s missing–” “Oh, poor you!” Crystal interrupts. “All I gotta do is marry my half-brother and let him breed me ’til I’m old or dead!” She really puts things in perspective for Jason. He goes to look for Sookie and clear his head. He ends up at the Bon Temps High School football field. The young hotshot quarterback, Kitch, is throwing balls to his friends. As Jason watches him, he realizes that Kitch has some superhuman abilities, side effects of V. He confronts Kitch for being a cheater, breaking the law, and being a disgrace to athleticism. He threatens to turn him in, but discovers to his dismay that Kitch’s coach and parents are encouraging him to use vampire blood. Times have changed, and it may not be right or fair, but Jason can’t hold the world around him to the standard he wants. It’s this that sends him back to Crystal. He knows that he loves her, occasional panther or no, and he’d rather be with her than facing this crazy world alone.

Can Jessica have her love and drink it, too?

Jessica and Hoyt have one brief scene, and it might have been the best one of the entire episode. They are both so profoundly happy to be back together. It’s a sign of how much Jessica has matured that she doesn’t hold anything back from him, even though he gives her any easy excuse to keep it hidden with his “Don’t know, don’t care” line. She admits that she accidentally drained someone to death, and that the TruBlood diet doesn’t work for her: “This is what you think you love. This is what I really am. I tried, but I can’t live on TruBlood–I drink human blood. And I’m not gonna stop.” Hoyt thinks it over, leans back, and says, “Drink me.” She bites his neck, and he pulls her into a passionate embrace.

For now, it looks like Jessica might be the only one to have her wish actually come true, that she can be with the man she loves and have him accept her. I could foresee a potential issue, however. As we’ve seen with Bill and Sookie, blood is an important part of the human-vampire relationship, but Bill has only ever drunk from Sookie to enhance their sexual experiences or when he needed to heal. He never viewed her as “food.” Hoyt might not like it so much if Jessica seems to be using him as a blood bag. We shall see. Jessica also has Maxine Fortenberry working against her, who it turns out was pushing Summer towards Hoyt to get his mind off the dead girl: “That redheaded bloodsucker put a spell on him.” Summer cries that she’ll never get over her “Bear,” but Maxine says it’s not over yet.

Tara & Sam share grief and comfort

Tara’s sadness over Eggs has been reawakened by the knowledge of what really happened. She cries over his grave and then goes to confront Andy Bellefleur. I’m not sure what she was hoping to gain by telling Andy that she was in on his secret–obviously she wanted to make him feel bad about himself, as if that would alleviate some of her pain. But when he opens up to her about the torment and regret he’s been feeling, Tara’s hard attitude softens, and then she doesn’t know who to blame. She finds a kindred spirit in Sam, who has fallen into a black hole of misery and alcohol. In a drunken rage, he insults Terry, Arlene, and every single person in the bar. The worst part is what he says to Tommy, firing him and kicking him out of the rental house: “I’m sick of you! It’s over now.” Sam is tired of being trampled on because everyone thinks he’s such a nice guy. Tara isn’t scared of this angry side of him because she can relate–she’s got a reputation for losing her temper and blowing up at people. Both Sam and Tara just want to be able to be themselves, to feel what they’re feeling and express it. Once they find this common ground, they end up back in Sam’s trailer having sex. And just like the last time they did this, it’s for the wrong reasons and still doesn’t make them a good match for each other.

Arlene goes fishing for an abortion

Arlene asks for Holly‘s help in getting rid of the baby she’s so afraid of. I suppose the nature vs. nurture argument would be lost on Arlene, but she seems decided that Rene‘s evil nature would overcome Terry’s nurturing love one day. She doesn’t want an abortion, per se, but she wants Holly to work her Wiccan mojo to kill her pregnancy. Holly invokes the spirit of the “Great Mother” and gives Arlene an herbal tea. That night, she dreams that she’s fishing, being called by her mom, when Terry shakes her awake because there’s blood on the sheets. She assumes that she’s lost the baby, and you can tell she’s relieved, while trying to comfort Terry. Except, the doctor comes in and tells her the baby’s fine and she just needs some rest. Arlene is probably going to be even more afraid of her baby than ever, like it’s bound and determined to be born and bring darkness into the world.

Eric, Russell, and the ultimate vampire dream: daywalking

Eric seeks out Russell, knowing that he must intrigue the King enough so that won’t be killed immediately. Russell asks him why Talbot had to die, and Eric reveals his quest for revenge. Russell laughs, “My, my. To lose the one man I ever loved because you miss your mommy and daddy? Well, that is a kick in the pants…Life is absurd. Still, I’m excited to destroy you.” Eric then makes his proposal: “I can offer you the sun.” Russell is enticed by the idea of getting past the greatest vampire weakness. If daywalking were really possible, he’d be invincible. Pam calls Eric to tell him that Bill and Sookie escaped, so Eric and Russell intercept them on the road. With one hand, the King is able to turn Sookie’s car up on its end.

When they all arrive back at Fangtasia, Eric provokes Bill into a fight to get him alone without the King and let him in on the plan. They need to convince Russell that Sookie’s part-fairy blood is powerful enough to let him walk in the sun, even though the effect is only temporary. This is the first Sookie hears of that, and she immediately accuses Bill of lying to her. I do not like when she jumps to conclusions without thinking them through–how many times has Bill saved her life?!

Pam: Love thy Maker

Pam and Eric have a touching goodbye before he prepares to sacrifice himself to kill Russell. “You know I love you more when you’re cruel and heartless.” She nods and stays strong so that the plan can work. Then Eric and Russell drink Sookie’s blood as Bill watches, helpless and upset. Eric walks outside, amazed to see the sunlight. He waves at Russell on the surveillance camera, before he walks farther into the parking lot where the steam rising from his body will be less visible. Russell begins to cry with joy: “My hands are shaking. I feel like a little child! Thousands of years of night…” He goes out and cringes in anticipation of the burning. When it doesn’t come, he walks over to Eric praising the glorious sun. The Viking turns, revealing the burns on his face, and handcuffs Russell to his wrist, kneeling down to await death with his greatest enemy ever. Pam watches with tears streaming down her face.

Sadly, Truebies, we now have 2 weeks to wait for the season finale because of Labor Day weekend. But sound off on your thoughts and theories about this episode!

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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