True Blood Episode 3.02 “Beautifully Broken” Review

June 21, 2010 by  

After the fast-paced premiere of last week, “Beautifully Broken” slowed down a bit (as much as True Blood can ever be said to) and took some time for the emotional moments. It also introduced us to a few dangerous new characters, and cast into question the motives of familiar ones.

Bill fought the werewolves and left three of them strewn in pieces on the ground. As he faces off against the other two snarling wolves with blood dripping from his mouth, in comes Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi, riding his white horse. He calls off the wolves and apologizes to Bill that his escorts had behaved so poorly. Russell doesn’t know the extent of what had happened, until Bill tells him that these werewolves (spitting out the word in the same tone that many humans use to talk about vampires) had chained him with silver and fed on his blood.

“You drank from my guest?” Russell glares at Cooter (Grant Bowler) with a look that suggest that this was not the first time that the werewolves serving him had gotten high on V. Russell promises Bill an explanation for his summons when they get to his house, a picturesque Southern mansion with chiseled men walking all over the place. Bill meets Talbot, Russell’s beautiful Greek lover of 700 years. Bill gets shown to his room, complete with ornate silver doors–the truth sinks in, that he will not be leaving any time soon.

In Fangtasia, Sookie is showing Eric the symbol they found on the dead guy’s neck. Apparently it has something to do with Nazi werewolves. Eric claims not to know anything and dismisses her with a warning–werewolves are vicious, secretive animals, and messing with them to find Bill is going to get her killed. Sookie reminds him of everything she did to help him find Godric. “Bill Compton is no Godric!” Eric says, which makes Sookie start crying, “But he’s everything to me.” Eric suddenly looks uncomfortable. “Please don’t do that. It makes me feel…disturbingly human.”

While this is going on, Jessica is in the ladies’ room with Pam. With Bill gone, she really has no one else to ask, so she seeks advice about how not to kill someone when you’re feeding on them. And if you do (hypothetically) happen to kill them (accidentally), what would you do with the body?

After Sookie and Jessica leave, Eric remembers back to Germany in 1945 when he encountered the Nazi werewolves he claimed not to know. With artillery sounding outside, Eric and Godric, in SS uniforms, were lying in wait for a werewolf, and then they attacked her demanding to know who she worked for.

Sookie takes Jessica back to Bill’s, where Hoyt is waiting. They clearly miss each other, but she thinks it’s too late for them to be together because of what she did. It made her realize that she’s not strong enough to resist her vampire nature, but I’m sure she will regret not trying harder when this great guy who’s crazy about her moves on with his life and finds another girl. For now, though, she has to worry about the dead trucker who’s stinking up the house. Following Pam’s instructions, she goes to the hardware store to rent a chainsaw. Opening his wallet, she seems to feel bad when she sees a picture of him smiling with his young son, and then there’s a cruel irony when she takes his money to pay for the power tool that’s going to chop up his body…

While she’s gone, somebody comes in the house, but all we see are the boots on his feet. He rifles through the drawers in Bill’s office until he finds a file with research…on Sookie. Newspaper clippings, photographs, a family tree–something has been going on… And when Jessica returns, the body of the truck driver is gone.

Sookie returns home at the crack of dawn to find Jason. They work together to clean up the house from maenad destruction and have some nice brother-sister bonding time.

“There’s werewolves?”
“Shit…Bigfoot–is he real, too?”
“I dunno, I guess it’s possible.”

Sookie talks to him about how strange it is for Bill to really be gone: “I keep expecting him to come through the door and say, ‘Sookeh!’ ” (Imagine how much fun Anna must’ve had doing that impression!) It feels really strange to see her in her Merlotte’s uniform later that day, but in the condensed show time, she has really only missed about a week or so of work. There’s a werewolf watching her from the trees, but he quickly runs off. Terry doesn’t understand who this guy was, but seeing how scared Sookie is, he gives her a gun to carry around: “I’ve always liked you, and…I’d miss you if you got killed.”

Meanwhile, Arlene is having scary mood swings, and Terry still doesn’t know why. Sweetheart that he is, he makes a list for her: “Ten reasons why you can trust me with your kids. Number one: I’m a nurturer. I found a baby armadillo by the side of the road, and I nursed it. Now it sleeps under my bed, and its name is Figgins. Number two: I have a diploma in anger management, where I learned talking about your feelings is the manly thing to do.” Before he could continue, Arlene ran off to the bathroom to puke again. Terry just keeps talking to her through the door: “Number three: I never killed nothing by accident…”

Over in Arkansas, Sam had followed Tommy Mickens home and fallen asleep in his car. He is awakened in the morning by Tommy and his shotgun. Tommy brings Sam inside to find out why he was asking questions about their family. Melinda and Joe Lee are…a bit rough around the edges. They look like they might be constantly drunk, but it doesn’t take long before Melinda realizes that this is the son she gave away 34 years before. She tries to explain why she gave him up–she was only 16 (not to mention a supernatural being) and Joe Lee was in prison. The Merlottes seemed like they could make a better life for Sam.

Tommy is mad that he never knew he had a brother, that his freak family is so messed up, and that he couldn’t have been adopted. He and Sam don’t really know what to talk about, so they decide to go for a run–Sam, the collie, and Tommy, the pit bull. They seem to be enjoying themselves, but Tommy leads Sam out into the street in front of a truck that almost hits him.

There were more great buddy scenes between Jason and Andy. Jason has no one else he can talk to about what he’s feeling: “I keep trying to do good all the time, but all I ever end up doing is hurting people.” “You’re a good guy, Stackhouse,” Andy assures him. “You got a lotta heart. You’re prettier than most girls…” Andy thinks Jason just needs to apply himself. And he gets an opportunity to do just that when he rides along with Andy on a police call busting a meth lab in Hot Shot. Jason is supposed to be waiting in the car, but he gets out when he sees a mysterious crying girl in the woods. Then when the suspect flees, Jason tackles him: “Hey, I got one! I got a drug dealer!” It’s cute to see him so proud, but this is going to put another ridiculous idea into his head…

Back at Russell’s mansion, Bill is finally hearing Russell’s plan for him, as Talbot serves carbonated blood with a hint of tangerine, blood bisque infused with rose petals, and blood gelato (all made cruelty-free). Russell wants to make Bill the Sheriff of Mississippi Area 2, and to have Bill help convince Queen Sophie-Anne to unite the kingdoms of Mississippi and Louisiana through a marriage. While Russell goes on and on about wanting to learn the Queen’s secrets, Bill insists that he doesn’t know any of them. Russell is unconvinced: “You honestly expect me to believe that she would allow you to move to a tiny town in the middle of a swamp and date a waitress?” (We know she’s much more than a waitress, and given the file hidden away at Bill‘s, other people know that, too.)

Russell threatens Sookie, and Bill panics. He tries to convince the King that Sookie isn’t involved, when Lorena walks in with a smirk on her face, calling Bill “delusional” for his stubborn romantic notions. Suddenly Bill understands why he has been brought here, and in his fury, he grabs a lamp and hurls it at her. She instantly catches on fire and falls to the floor shrieking. (I just wish that could be the end of her…)

Lafayette and Tara shared several wonderful scenes in this episode. After Lafayette broke in the door to the bathroom, he prevented her from swallowing all the pills in his medicine cabinet. He carries her to his car to go to the hospital. She says she’s fine, but it’s clear that is not the case. Lafayette knows she’s grieving and that it feels too painful to bear: “Life is suffering. It don’t mean you get to check out early and leave me here.” He takes her to see his demented mother, Ruby Jean (Alfre Woodard), in the mental care facility, as if to show her: this is what happens when you’re not strong enough to deal with the world.

Ruby Jean is crazy and mean. She makes racist remarks to Jesus (Kevin Alejandro), the gentle nurse who cares for her, and tells people that Lafayette is dead because he’s gay. He has more problems than we knew, but he finds a way to cope “There’s some darkness in this family, Tara. My mama, your mama. They ain’t strong enough to be that we are. We been fuckin’ fightin’ tooth and nail to survive this bullshit our whole life. And I ain’t lettin’ you give up now.”

Lafayette takes Tara with him to Merlotte‘s so she won’t be alone while he’s at work. A tall, dark, and handsome vampire strikes up a conversation with her. And then we see his feet, wearing those boots, and all of a sudden the mystery of Franklin Mott begins. Tara goes outside and starts drowning her sorrows, but then she overhears a couple of rednecks disrespecting Eggs. She goes over and hits one of them. Franklin zooms in and restrains the other one so that she can beat on him, too (such a gentleman!).

At the end, Sookie is sitting in her house holding the gun. Eric shows up to share a little more of what he knows. The Nazi werewolf he trapped during World War II revealed that her master was a vampire. Whatever experiences Eric has had with this pack since then have taught him that these werewolves are even more dangerous than others–they’re strong, organized, and fueled by vampire blood. Having told Sookie this, Eric knows that these werewolves are coming for her: “You’re going to invite me in. So I can protect you. Or have passionate, primal sex with you. How about both?”

Then he sees the engagement ring on her finger. She’s still Bill‘s (for now). He seems amused by the vows that she and Bill would make at their wedding: “To love and to cherish, blah blah blah…’til death do you part. Doesn’t bother you that you’ll be the only one doing the dying?” Then a sound inside the house catches his attention. All seriousness, he pushes Sookie up against the wall: “Invite me in,” he commands, fangs out. She senses the danger and responds quietly, “Mr. Northman, won’t you please come in?” Eric walks in and squares off against the werewolf with a smile, as Sookie walks in, gun raised, and pulls the trigger. The episode ends, quite literally, with a bang. It was superbly written by Raelle Tucker, giving us humor, intrigue, and touching character moments.

So what did you all think of this one?

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)