True Blood 3.10 “I Smell a Rat” Review

August 23, 2010 by  

Alexander Skarsgard True Blood Eric NorthmanTrust is a tricky thing–especially on True Blood, where most characters have dark pasts, hidden secrets, and conflicting emotions. And sometimes, if you trust the wrong person, you will end up chained in a basement.

Sookie the Fairy

Sookie has been wondering her whole life, and especially in these last couple of months, what she is. Bill gives her the answer: she’s part-fairy. Sookie goes from being disappointed, to confused, to scared, as Bill explains that fairies, aka “the Old People,” used to mate with humans sometimes, until they were wiped from existence by vampires because of their intoxicating, super-delicious blood. Sookie fears that Bill’s feelings for her might be because he’s addicted to her blood, but he pleads with her to see that is not the case:

“We grew into something much deeper. You must know that. You see the difference between the way I look at you and the way Eric and Russell do…Sookie, it is not your blood I love. I love you. You’re mine–your heart, your soul. And I will forswear ever feeding on you again if that’s what it takes to convince you of that. You have brought light back into my life, and hope, and gratitude. That is why I love you. Nothing else.”

Bill and Eric and the Game of Truth or Dare

Over at Fangtasia, Eric is putting his affairs in order with his lawyer. In his will, he leaves everything to “my progeny, Pamela Swynford de Beaufort,” as Pam paces behind him, angry that he seems to have given up. He explains, “Russell Edgington was maybe the oldest and strongest vampire on the planet before he eviscerated a newsman live on tv. Now he’s also the craziest. And his rage is directed at me. Do the math.” He insists that he is going to fight back, just as soon as he comes up with a brilliant plan to defeat Russell.

Eric goes to visit Bill, wondering if Sookie’s blood would truly allow him to walk in the sunlight. Bill reluctantly tells him that it only works for a couple of minutes, then you still burn. As they’re arguing, Sookie comes up to them, having just overheard Eric ask Bill why he doesn’t tell her the truth. She still has some doubt about if Bill is sharing everything he knows, but she’s certain that Eric isn’t trustworthy. Sookie insists she’ll never let him feed on her, but as he leaves, he says, “I won’t be around much longer anyway. I wish you the best, Sookie Stackhouse.”

Jason’s Dilemma

Jason panics after shooting Franklin, flashing back to Eddie and Eggs. Tara covers what remains of Franklin with dirt and, as the final act in the whole nightmarish experience, spits on him. Jason brings Tara back to his house for a place to unwind, surprised to find Sookie and Bill there. Sookie explains that she needs somewhere to hide because she’s being hunted by some werewolves and a vicious vampire. Tara blames Bill for all the trouble. Sookie starts to scold her, until she begins to realize the depth of Tara’s trauma. Bill speaks to Jason before he goes to sleep for the day about protecting Sookie until he returns.

At Merlotte’s

Nan Flanagan‘s PR campaign has moved into damage control mode after Russell’s “extremist” behavior, but the anti-vampire side uses the opportunity to gain ground. Thus, we see our old buddy Steve Newlin again! “This heinous act of pure evil is a blessing, actually, because it finally reveals the true nature of these beasts to us all. If I were a less of a Christian, I’d say, ‘Told ya!’ ” Arlene is watching at Merlotte’s nodding in agreement, which gets on Jessica‘s last nerve. Her fangs pop out, and pinning Arlene against the wall she tells her to stop being such a “narrow-minded, skinny bitch with a bad dye job.” Tommy gets totally turned on by this display of power. He tries to kiss Jessica, but she runs away from him. At the same time, Hoyt is getting jumped by Summer. She gives him the unwanted nickname of “Bear” and tries to help him move on from Jessica, but he clearly doesn’t take advantage of the situation.

Calvin’s Recovery

Lafayette knows there’s no time to get Calvin to the hospital. He takes him to his house instead, where he has something he know will cure Calvin’s injuries instantly. He pours a vial of V into his mouth, and Crystal and Jesus look on in shock as the bruises and cuts disappear. Apparently they don’t teach manners in Hot Shot, though, because Calvin jumps up in a rage at Crystal for letting two gay guys put “vamper juice” in him. The concern she was feeling for her father quickly vanishes when he hits her and tries to force her to stay away from Jason forever. She is dead to him, he says, as she runs away from him for what is hopefully (but probably not) the last time.

Sam’s Memories

Sam has a lot of painful memories running through his head when he gets back to his trailer after beating Calvin to a pulp. One incident in particular comes to his mind, back before he was the cute, scruffy, sweetheart we’ve all gotten to know. In 2003, he and his pretty blond girlfriend were running around, stealing jewelry, until she betrayed him. Her real boyfriend showed up, put a gun to Sam’s head, and took everything Sam had stolen. This side of him is new to us, and to his employees (who are really his only friends). They’re a bit scared of him at work the next day, except for Tommy, who was impressed by how intimidating his big brother was, and new waitress Holly, who’s a Wiccan tries to give Sam some herbs to calm his rage.

Arlene’s Confession

Arlene finally comes clean to Terry about the baby. She cries and tells him that Rene is the father and that the baby’s going to be evil. He looks at her for a few seconds not saying anything, and then he gives the best possible response: he hugs her and tells her he’s going to raise the baby as his own. “Do you hear me, Arlene? I want to marry you, and together we will surround that baby with more love than it can handle.” So sweet! Except Arlene still goes to Holly and asks her about those other methods of getting rid of the baby…

V Tripping

After seeing the power of V, Jesus is curious and wants to try it out with Lafayette so that their power can be enhanced and connected, or something like that. Whatever it is, the two of them go on a very strange, spinning V trip in which they see some Mexican healing woman, and Lafayette’s great-great-grandmother and Jesus’ grandfather, who both practiced magic.

Jason’s Confessions

Jason has been keeping a lot bottled up recently, and he finally shares it with Sookie. She says he should tell Tara before she finds out from someone else, but he thinks he’s protecting Tara from getting hurt more if she knows what he did. Still, when Tara’s trying to thank him for being so good and heroic and dependable, he can’t lie anymore. She kisses him, and he feels so guilty that he admits to shooting Eggs.


Away from the rhetoric of talking heads on television, we can see that vampires really have been set back by what Russell did. Somebody vandalizes Bill’s house and sets a cross on fire in his yard. Jessica wants to go after them, but Bill calms her down saying, “It’s more important than ever that we restrain ourselves, even if it is against our nature.”

Sam’s Dark Past

Sam continues to be haunted by that night years ago. He had tracked down the couple who who cheated him, took his money back, and shot both of them. Killing the girl seemed to be an accident–she shot at him, and he fired impulsively. He was upset when she died, perhaps some residual feelings from their relationship, even if it was fake. Then, he goes over to the guy whimpering on the ground and shoots him in the back. Sitting in the woods, drinking and remembering, it’s hard to discern what Sam is feeling.

A Sookie and Eric Moment

What Eric said about not being around much longer made Sookie wonder what will happen to him, and she has another dream about him. While Jason is distracted with Tara, she goes to Fangtasia to see what’s going on. She wants to know why Eric and her intuition say Bill can’t be trusted. Eric ignores the question: “Here’s the truth. There are forces beyond even my control. And if I meet the true death without having at least kissed you, Sookie Stackhouse, that would be my biggest regret.” She resists at first but then stops pulling away, and they share a long, hungry kiss before she steps back. Then Pam interrupts, “Blah blah, vampire emergency, blah.” Pam wants Eric to give Sookie to Russell to save himself. He refuses, but Pam says she has no interest in inheriting his farm. She will do anything to save him, so he had better figure out a way to use Sookie if he’s so set on keeping her safe from Russell.

Russell’s Loss

Speaking of the lunatic vampire king, he picks up a male prostitute on the street who resembles his dead love. After they’ve had sex, he’s lying on the guy’s chest, apologizing over and over to Talbot that he wasn’t there in the end. Tony the hooker is getting really creeped out and tries to leave. Russell recreates Talbot’s “true death,” driving a stake into the guy’s chest and kissing him goodbye.

Jessica and Hoyt Connect

Hoyt shows up at Merlotte’s. He broke up with Summer, and he tells Jessica he loves her. She’s afraid of him finding out that she’s fed on people and even killed a guy. “Well, if you don’t wanna be with me because you don’t love me, that’s something else. But don’t tell me what I want and what I don’t want. That’s my decision to make, and I want you.” Jessica is silent for a moment, unable to tell Hoyt that she really loves him, so he walks outside. Tommy has been watching the exchange and goes outside to taunt Hoyt, “Nice work in there, dude.” Hoyt gives him a much-deserved punch in the nose. As Hoyt is leaving, Tommy shifts into a pit bull and attacks him. Coming out to admit her feelings, Jessica finds them and throws Dog Tommy into the woods. She barely even hesitates at the blood flowing from his arm, biting her own wrist: “Hoyt, I love you, too. Now drink my blood.”

Hello Crystal

Jason returns home from searching for Sookie and finds a very distraught Bill, who yells at him for breaking his word to look after her. Jason cuts in, all the emotions of the day exploding as he curses at Bill and kicks him out of the house, slamming the door in his face. He hears a noise back in the bedroom and finds a panther sitting there, who then shifts into Crystal. All he can do is call for his Mama.

Eric’s Dungeon

After doing some thinking, Eric goes back to get Sookie from his office. He picks her up over his shoulder and carries her to the basement. She screams at him, but he coolly clamps a chain around her neck and walks back up the stairs.

Now, I’m an equal opportunity viewer. For the same reasons that I have defended bad things Bill has done in Season 3, I’m willing to give Eric the benefit of the doubt that he is thinking about what will keep Sookie safe. He’s protected her in the past, and he clearly told Pam that giving her up to Russell was not an option, but as of now, his actions are frustrating. He probably arrived at the conclusion that drinking her blood will give him just enough of an advantage to go in the sun, if only briefly, to kill Russell while he sleeps. But why not TELL SOOKIE THAT?! She has mixed feelings about him, but it’s clear she cares for him to some degree and doesn’t want him to die. All he’s doing by chaining her up is making it so much harder for her to ever trust him. And if, as I suspect, people want to see Eric and Sookie in a relationship and not just having a fleeting physical attraction (although I’m sure nobody would mind that, either!), then he’s just hurting his cause.

I have no doubt all of you have very strong opinions on the subject, and I’m excited to hear them. So….what did you think about this episode?

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)