True Blood 3.05 “Trouble” Review

July 19, 2010 by  

Trouble” is an understatement for what happened on True Blood last night! Not that I didn’t love every second of it. This was my favorite episode of Season 3 so far, with some great acting from the whole cast and engaging writing by Nancy Oliver. For the first time, I felt like what was going on in Bon Temps was just as interesting as the events brewing down in Jackson, MS.

The episode begins in the King’s mansion with Talbot and Franklin throwing snide remarks at one another and baring their fangs threateningly until Russell, Lorena, and Bill walk in, still bloody from their evening meal (depressed stripper a la carte). Tied to a chair, Tara is shocked to find her best friend’s boyfriend in such strange company. Bill doesn’t do anything to rescue her from her situation, which makes Lorena gloat, as if his seeming indifference to Tara proves something. She follows him up to his room, thinking he’s just playing hard to get and will be hers again eventually. Bill couldn’t care less: “You know, Russell was right–you’re not very smart. You’ve played yourself into a corner, you tiresome cow.” (Hopefully she finally gets the message!)

Franklin presents Russell with the file on Sookie that he uncovered in Bill’s home. The King is now certain that his new Sheriff isn’t sharing everything with him. He changes his mind about Sookie and wants her brought to him. Franklin gets to tell him the joyful news–he won’t have to look far since she’s already in Jackson. The exchange between them is just one of many brilliant moments for James Frain throughout this episode, from his request that he be paid in cash (“The last time you had any real money, you ended up at the slots in Biloxi slaughtering a church group of elderly women.” “They wouldn’t let me have a turn!”), to his insistence that his relationship with Tara is different because she’s so messed up, they could be twins.

Franklin’s psychotic antics continue. He dresses Tara in a white gown and ties her to the bed. He sees a text message on her cell phone from Lafayette and is jealous until she tells him it’s her gay cousin. Franklin has lots of fun showing off how fast he can type a response with his vampire reflexes. During the day, Tara unties herself and creeps out of the house while all the vamps are dead to the world. She takes off running across the yard, but Coot chasesher down in wolf form and brings her back. When Franklin learns that she tried to escape, he cries like a baby: “[I tie you up] to keep you safe! What other reason could there be?! You have no idea how much you’ve hurt me. I feel like I’ve been staked!” Tara plays her part well. She knows she’ll lose her life if she upsets him.

Franklin later finds her crying, sitting at the table with a bowl of flowers in front of her: “Who made you cry? I’ll kill him!” “Nobody,” Tara replies. “It’s only–I’m hungry, and they brought me this. And I can’t eat daylilies.” She calmly explains that if they’re going to be together, she needs things like food. He apologizes for forgetting to take care of her, but it won’t matter in a day–he’s going to make her his vampire bride. Lesson to Tara: if you get through this, perhaps in the future you should be more cautious of strangers.

Eric arrives to visit Russell to ask for permission to hunt Bill and bring him to justice for selling vampire blood. Russell teases Eric a little bit: “Oh no! That’s heinous. Are you sure? Let’s ask him.” Bill enters, not surprised that Eric has tried to pin Queen Sophie-Anne’s plot on him. For a few seconds, Eric looks around in surprise at this new arrangement. Then he smiles at the realization that Bill has relinquished Sookie as his human. Eric turns to the King for advice on how to address the situation with Pam. Russell growls about the Magister’s outdated methods of judgment and inflated power. He invites Eric to stay while they figure out how to proceed. Bill looks grumpy about their new house guest, but Talbot couldn’t be more thrilled. The next night, he delights in giving Eric a tour of the house. Eric admires some of the interesting and beautiful objects, while Talbot admires the beautiful vampire.

Alcide drives Sookie back to his place, still upset over what happened at Lou Pine’s. He reminisces about how good Debbie could be sometimes: “She used to play horseshoes with my dad, help my mom plant tomatoes.” But whoever that woman was has been corrupted by her new pack, lost to her V addiction. She shows up later screaming at Alcide, but good intentions almost shine through–she might actually be trying to warn him for his own safety. But Debbie goes crazy when Sookie wanders in: “Awww, hell no! You’re f—ing my wolf, bitch!…I will cut you!” From overhearing her thoughts, Sookie can tell that Debbie has no idea who or where Bill is.

Jason shows up at the police station reporting for his first day on duty. Andy puts him behind the desk to answer phones, and he spends the day passing the time with various amusements–making a chain of paper clips to limbo under; paper football; playing with the fingerprinting stuff and getting ink all over his face and shirt like a little boy. He gets very frustrated and demands he be given a special assignment, so Andy sets him to work washing the police cars. When the pretty blonde girl from the drug house in Hot Shot drives by, Jason jumps in the car and follows her. He puts on the flashing lights and pulls her over. He turns on the charm, but all he gets from her is her name: Crystal. Gotta give that girl credit–confronted with a shirtless Jason and she doesn’t cave easily! He invites her to Merlotte’s that night. Even though she says she can’t come, he says he’ll be waiting. And he does. Crystal shows up just as he’s leaving, but she’s hesitant for some reason. There are things about her that she can’t explain to him. He takes her for a walk to the lake. They kiss, and she tells him this thing between them can’t last: “Now is everything. Now is perfect. I’ve never been happier in my whole life than I am right now with you.”

Lafayette has plenty of cute flirting in this episode, too. When Jesus shows up at Merlotte’s out of the blue, he thinks Ruby Jean has passed away. Jesus feels bad for scaring him, but no, she’s fine, still her rude self. He just came by to see if Lafayette wanted to go out with him. When it sinks in with Lafayette that this cute guy has no ulterior motives and just wants to spend time with him, he looks a little shy for the first time ever on this series. Jesus decides to wait around all day for him to get off work.

Tommy is less obnoxious now that Sam has proven he wants to help his family. The Mickens move in to one of the houses he rents out (looks like the same one Dawn lived in before she was killed in Season 1!). Across the street, Terry is moving in with Arlene. He’s positively beaming, and Arlene is positively sick-looking. Her bad mood continues at work, where she hurts Jessica’s feelings by not making eye contact with her because she’s afraid of being hypnotized. (So what does Jessica do, but turn around a glamour a couple not to tip Arlene). Tommy now has a job at Merlotte’s, he shares a nice moment with Jessica when Hoyt shows up with a date (“That’s a giant 6th grade boy…Come on, you’re a smoking hot vampire. You’re the majors.”), but things get weird when we start to see more into Tommy’s relationship with his father. There’s definitely something amiss there–Tommy acts all badass, but he’s clearly frightened of Joe Lee. Sam gets to witness it firsthand when Tommy stays over in his trailer that night and his father shows up infuriated.

Alcide goes out to report what he saw to his pack master. Sookie wants to find out more about Russell, but Alcide doesn’t want to bring her. She won’t take no for an answer: “Work with me, Alcide. It gets easier.” (Ha! As if…) The alpha were is a tough-looking middle aged guy. He already knew about Russell’s dealings with Coot’s pack, and other branded weres for centuries. He commands Alcide to leave it alone, just let Russell do what he wants and then he’ll move on to someplace else. Sookie listens in on the pack master’s mind and realizes how afraid he is.

Russell talks with Bill about Sookie’s family tree. He thinks Bill has been investigating where her telepathy comes from because the Queen has some big reward for him if he discovers the truth. It becomes clear that Bill has fallen out of favor. Coot comes to see Russell and Bill is sent to his room, afraid of what will be done to him. Coot comes in to see him and laughs that he gets to break the news to BillSookie is in the same city, sleeping with a werewolf. Bill’s protective instincts are awakened. He beats Coot bloody: “WHERE IS SOOKEH?!” A guard hears the noise and comes in to check. Bill smashes his face into the silver door and flees. We know that this is a trap laid by Russell, but that doesn’t stop Bill from going to her.

While on his tour with Talbot, Eric sees a gold crown with some engraved designs on it. He recognizes it as a Viking design, and he should know; it belonged to his father. The flashback that follows shows us just why Eric has a vendetta against the pack of werewolves with the ‘Operation Werwolf’ symbol branded onto their skin.

When he was a young man, Eric‘s family was Viking royalty, and had responsibilities within their community. Eric wasn’t ready to take on any those responsibilities, and he and his father argued over dinner one night about it as his mother and baby sister watched. The argument ended with Eric leaving to indulge in some youthful exploits with a redheaded goat girl. While otherwise involved, Eric hears screams and crashes, and he returns to find his entire family killed by wolves. With his father’s dying breath, he says that Eric must seek vengeance. Outside in the snow, a cloaked figure with Russell’s voice takes his father’s crown and sweeps off into the night.

Sookie is lying in bed when Alcide calls her into the living room. He steps aside, revealing Bill standing there. She runs and jumps into his arms (cue their beautiful love theme by Nathan Barr). He has no time to explain, but she has to leave immediately. It’s too late, though. Coot breaks down the door and in comes a hulking vamp to restrain Bill, and Russell (I want to know why Coot was able to invite them in when he doesn’t live there). Coot chases Sookie, but she forces him off with her electro hand shock. And Russell couldn’t be more delighted to see that.

Based on the previews, the drama in Russell’s mansion continues to heat up next week. What will Eric do now that he’s in the presence of the one responsible for his family’s death 1,000 years ago? How will Sookie escape everyone who’s out to hurt her (Russell, Lorena, Coot, Debbie, could this list get any longer)? Will Tara become a vampire?

Ok, everyone, let’s hear it–what did you think about “Trouble“?

(Photo credit: HBO, Inc.)