True Blood “Scratches” …scratching under the surface, where hidden things lie…

July 1, 2009 by  

by Kevin and Cheri
tb-s2e3First things first…this episode is all about Seduction, Secrets, and thinking in Absolutes. It seems that almost every character has something to hide…and many have issues of loss and guilt to overcome. We are only beginning to see the slightest of hints of what lies under the surface. Things could get mighty bloody in order to reveal these hidden truths…and something tells me that it will only get more complicated and messy before it ever gets any better. There are so many deep ideas underlying the journey of these characters…showing us that life cannot be really *lived* in the bondage of moral absolutes. Things are not either black or white…they are every color and shade of the spectrum. Everyone, as Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) tells us, has the capacity for both good and evil, sometimes simultaneously.  Life is complex, complicated and a jumbled-up mix of emotional landscapes. We each find our own way into the world that fits us best, doing our best to leave as little wreckage as possible in our path. Sometimes there is collateral damage, as hard as we may work to do no harm. I think the folks in Bon Temps are like us in so many ways. That is the beauty of this kind of storytelling…we can see ourselves in so many of the characters, good and bad, human and supernatural. And we are hoping for resolution and redemption…just the way they are.

Bests and Worsts:

Most obvious arc direction: Are we the only ones thinking that the Fellowship of the Sun couple is angling to have a threesome with Jason Stackhouse?   There was an extended scene at their home that had an underlying sexual tension between Jason and the leader’s wife, don’t you think?

Favorite New Couple:

During the initial meeting between Jessica and Hoyt at Merlotte‘s bar, it was obvious that Jessica was more interested in Hoyt as a meal, rather than for an amorous tryst.    Evidently his sweet innocence and honest appreciation of her swayed her because when they went back to Bill‘s place, instead of it being curtains for Hoyt, Jessica wanted to get busy.   Wow, good for Hoyt…..I think.

Least Favorite New Couple:

Mike Spencer the coroner/undertaker and Jane Bodehouse the town drunk. Just EW!

Great music:

In the last scene at Maryann‘s party, they played a very nice mellow hip/hop song from the soundtrack of “Boiler Room”.   Perfect music for that scene….nicely done!

Favorite new character:

Dr. Ludwig who treats Sookie…. her testy exchange with Eric at the end of her scene was simply priceless.  Please, for the love of God and all things holy and unholy, let’s get that M.D. a recurring role, STAT!

Favorite new story arc:

Anything to do with Jessica. The depth and breadth of emotions that she showed in the Merlotte‘s with Hoyt using only five words was amazing. Let’s give her a standing O! (since papa Bill obviously isn’t going to allow her the other O anytime soon!)

Least favorite new thread:

The Church of the Sun. While it’s great to see Jason keep his pants on (and that Ryan has a chance to show his acting chops) and it was wonderful seeing Eddie even if it was just in Jason‘s nightmares, generally this arc just isn’t very compelling. Probably due to the innate repulsiveness of religious fanatics.

Favorite Special Effect:

Sookie‘s encounter with the creature was amazing….now what is that creature, exactly?    Is it Maryann?  Or, given the size and scope of the creature (it was very tall and rangy), could it be Eggs, under Maryann‘s direction and control?    Hard to say, but this is a very interesting plotline.

Best Outfit:

Let’s see.. that tiny pink bit of fluff Bill bought for Jessica? Or those one time great pumps of Pam‘s? No, I love Eric‘s gear that he has been wearing on the show of late….it’s comical and sexy.   Who knew the sweatpants look was in for bloodsuckers?   Eric pulls it off, and you can tell there is some strong sexual tension building between Eric and Sookie or was that Eric and Lafayette.   Dallas should be interesting!

Favorite quotes:

Dr. Ludwig to Bill, “Hold her down or let her die, your choice!”

Terry to Sam, “Remind me never to get stuck in a foxhole with you! Coward!”

Best Reparte:

Eric to Sookie, “I could grow on you.” Sookie rejoins, “I’d rather have cancer.”

Best Subliminal Message:

Lafayette, despite having 3 jobs (and being an entrepreneur) has no health insurance. So, he takes his shot up, bit up, beaten up stinky (but sexy) bod home to be treated by his uncle a veterinarian! Lafayette needs health insurance!


We finally see the scene which was shown at the Paley Fest in April…and Bill is seriously angry (perhaps rightfully so) that Sookie (Anna Paquin) did not heed his warnings about how dangerous Jessica (Deborah Ann Wolll) could be. We find out (thankfully) that Bill did not destroy Jessica‘s father and her family, but instead, “glamoured them within an inch of their sanity”. He and Sookie have a terrible confrontation, with Jessica crying tears of blood and screaming at Bill about how much she hates him. This might have been any typical family drama…well, without the tears of blood and the distinct possibility of fangs popping out at any moment. It all comes to a combustible conclusion when Sookie finally storms out of the car, insisting on walking 20 miles to Bon Temps. Jessica tells Bill that Sookie wants him to “go after her and kiss her and tell her that you love her”…but, he decides that she will return when she calms down. And so he waits.

At Merlotte‘s, we find Sam (Sam Trammell) seriously shook up after his encounter with Maryann in which she forced him to shapeshift into his form as a collie. Poor Daphne picks the absolute wrong moment to tell Sam that her tickets have come up short…and he practically rips her head right off. To make matters even more aggravating for Sam, in waltzes Tara (Rutina Wesley), with tons of good advice she has learned from Maryann (Michelle Forbes) and Sam warns Tara to stay the hell away from her. She tells him, you don’t even know this person…and he says, neither do you. Little does Tara know the many secrets that Sam is hiding from her and everyone else in town…about who and what he really is and about his past with Maryann. Or, even more important, how many secrets and lies and hidden agendas Maryann is hiding from Everyone. Holy Maenad, I don’t think anyone has any idea what she really is. (Including those of us who have read the books). I think we are learning just how little any of us know… and how freaking crazy things just might get.

Even though Bill runs at vampire speed to save Sookie, it is still too late to prevent her attack by the nasty creature with horns and wicked claws. He tries in vain to help her by giving her his blood. This just makes matters worse…and when she begins foaming at the mouth, he takes her to Fangtasia to enlist the help of Eric (Alexander Skarsgard). We see that Sookie has 3 deep scratches down the entire length of her back…and she is being attended by Dr. Ludwig (Marcia de Rousse). Bill is frantic for her to save his Sookie…to which she replies, “Back off Vampire and let me do my work.”. Let me just pause to say that I found Marcia de Rousse to be alternately hilarious and one bad-ass chick! Eric tells the good doctor that Bill is abnormally attached to this human…quite ironic, particularly given his own intense interest in Sookie.

Bill and Eric retreat to Eric‘s office and discover that even Eric, in over a 1000 years, has never seen anything like what has happened to Sookie. He calls upon Pam (Kristin Bauer) and Chow (Patrick Gallagher) to search for the creature, to which Pam replies that Chow can do it, since she is wearing her favorite pumps. (Gotta love our Pam!!) Eric says something to her in Swedish (?) and she and Chow immediately leave to do his bidding. The relationship between Pam and Eric continues to be fascinating…and reminds me more than a little bit of a daddy with his much loved but very spoiled daughter. He doesn’t ever want her to be mad at him ( i.e. the scene last week when he got blood in his hair and ruined her higlighting job) and yet, he can be very stern when the need arises. He tells Bill that Pam is “extremely lazy, but loyal”…and then asks about Bill‘s “daughter”, Jessica. Eric is glad that they are “bonding” after Bill tells him that Jessica is “petulant, dangerous and afraid”. Just two Vampire Daddies sharing the joys of “parenting”. (grin)

Since Sookie has been poisoned, Dr. Ludwig treats her wounds with some kind of nasty liquid that hisses and steams, drawing shrieks from Sookie, thrashing about so much that Bill has to hold her down to complete the treatment.

Immediately thereafter, we see Jason waking with a shout (are we supposed to think that Sookie and Jason share some kind of psychic bond?) We then discover that he is still dreaming…and vampire Eddie (Stephen Root) is asking him, “what are you doing here, Jason? I thought we were friends”. As Eddie grabs Jason to bite his neck…he wakes up in his bunk at Vampire Eradication Camp (ummmm….the Light of Day Leadership Conference?) and begins to pray for another sign that he is doing the right thing…only to have the Luke-inator throw a pillow at him and tell him to shut up. Guess that was the only sign he was gonna get!

Meanwhile, back at Fangtasia, Dr. Ludwig tells Bill that he can give Sookie blood now…with Eric looking on in obvious lust (for her blood? for her body? for her skills? only time will tell…) and Eric leaps over to grab Bill‘s arm just as he is about to sink in his fangs, telling him, “Mine is much stronger, allow me…” to which Bill replies, “Never!” Eric just laughs, fangs out…with a look on his face that says, just give me time… Naughty, Naughty Eric!!

As Dr. Ludwig is leaving, Eric tells her it is always a pleasure doing business with her….to which she replies, “Fuck Off”. You gotta hand it to her, she knows the best exit line and isn’t shy about letting it fly! Eric tells Bill that she is, “No fan of the fang. (Really?! you’re kidding Eric!) and only tolerates them because their blood is of such value to healers. It is pretty funny when Eric tells Bill to be careful or he will “over-cook” Sookie with too much blood. Sookie looks lovingly at her Bill and thanks him, promptly drifting off to sleep.

Pam and Chow arrive covered in mud, having “scanned the area”…and report that the creature left human tracks with a distinct animal smell. Eric finds this intriguing and tells them to send out an alert through appropriate channels to find out what “the neighbors” know. Hmmm. Something tells me that we are definitely not in Mayberry and the neighbors probably don’t whistle on their way to the fishing hole. Eric remembers his manners and tells Pam that her ruined footwear really were “great pumps”. Bill thanks Eric for his “hospitality” and for saving Sookie‘s life…and Eric is already plotting ways for her to repay his kindness.

Over at Maryann‘s, Karl is concocting a strange brew…(and what exactly are those hunks of meat anyways? Maryann gives it a taste and tells him it needs a little more juniper. She is planning a party…and I don’t think this is the kind of party with balloons and streamers. Tara wanders in and asks Maryann why Sam hates her so much. Maryann, the picture of innocence (ha!), tells her he is just jealous and that her instincts are screaming that he is “un-evolved”…all the while rolling the worlds most ginormous joint…Is it me, or is that a big hint that Maryann is trying to keep Tara under her thumb by making sure she is in a drugged state at all times? Why doesn’t this send up any red flags for Tara after growing up with an addict all her life? I keep getting the feeling that just being around Maryann is enough to alter anyone’s perception. …and that is exactly the way she likes it.

Over at the Light of Day camp, there are not too many happy campers in the “sharing circle”… especially when Missy, a fang-scarred former fangbanger, tells her horror story of having been a “living, breathing snack machine” for a vampire. I know  they are supposed to be taking this dead serious…but that was a dead funny line! Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is goaded into “sharing”…and finds a backbone! He tells them  that he is not a “Vampire Victim”. He also makes the serious error of telling them that his sister is dating a vampire, who he thinks is a pretty good guy…and tells them about his friend, vampire Eddie, who was staked by his girlfriend right in front of him. He says that Eddie was a good “person”…to which Sarah (Anna Camp) replies, ” he wasn’t a person”…pointing to Missy, saying, “would a person do that?” Jason tells her that his Gran and his girlfriend were killed by his best friend because he had a problem with vampires. And he was a person. He finally gets up and leaves the room, distraught that all his hopes of finding a place where God had a purpose for him were just wishful thinking. Pretty insightful, actually, for our Jason. Then Sarah has to go and muck it up, (mucking up Jason‘s brains and other body parts at the same time) telling him that they are so much alike…confiding that she protested with her big sister Amber for Vampire Equal Rights…and 2 months later, her sister was addicted to V and disappeared…and she assumed that the vampires had killed her. She tells Jason that they stole her sister. It is becoming evident that Sarah has turned to vengeance as a cure for her grief…believing that every vampire is evil and needs to be wiped off the face of the earth. It is typical of this kind of bitterness that turns a person’s heart to stone: everything is viewed in moral absolutes…with no room for doubt or questions, as they constantly twist and turn every fact to serve their own agenda. She and Jason kneel to “pray”…and Jason looks at Sarah with utter longing on his face. Uh Oh.

Meanwhile, Sam is evidently moving OUT…and about to hit the road, on the run from Maryann and all the ways in which she can destroy his world. Just a wee protest…I really think Sam is much, much stronger than this!! It is especially disheartening to hear Terry (Todd Lowe) tell Sam that he would not want to be stuck in a foxhole with him… and then calls him a coward. OUCH. C’mon Sammy…you got more backbone than this!

Sookie wakes up at Fangtasia alone…and checks out her back in the mirror and finds her wounds are completely healed. Ginger brings her some sort of nauseating combination of “peanut butter and chocolate syrup” to eat and Sookie reads her mind to find that Lafayette is locked up in the basement. She also discovers that Eric specifically doesn’t want her to know about that…and that there is a gun underneath the cash register. She runs for it and turns the gun on Ginger, demanding to be taken to Lafayette. Lafayette asks her if he looks like a vampire…but realizes that he feels so bad he cannot possibly BE a vampire. She promises to get him outta there.

Jessica also wakes up alone…and gets herself dolled up…strolling into Merlotte‘s, looking mighty fine with the song, “Sex and CAndy” playing in the background. Cupid’s Arrow heads straight for Hoyt (the adorable Jim Parrack) and he asks if he can sit with her. One thing leads to another (and let me just say, that Hoyt is so darn cute and sweet you just want to eat him right up. Yum.) and after some hilarious banter about chicken fried steak, he discovers that Jessica is a vampire. She has been sneaking a few peeks at the vein throbbing in his neck, but otherwise, she seems pretty shy and she has the most beautiful smile. Hoyt sure thinks so too…telling her that he could stare at her smile all day. Jessica is a bit stressed out by mentions or daytime and food…but Hoyt finds the fact that she is a vampire, “Awesome”.

When they arrive at Bill‘s, Hoyt confesses he has always wanted to see the inside of Vampire Bill‘s home. He sees that Bill has a Wii…and proceeds to try to show her how to use it…at which point, she leans over and starts kissing him..and then…her fangs pop out! She is mortified and tries to hide her fangs from him. Hoyt is quick to tell her…”don’t do that. You don’t have to hide that from me. It’s natural”. She is so embarrassed and says she would “die if she wasn’t dead already”. He tells her, “Don’t be embarrassed by what you are. What you are…is Great.”  Awwwwww. He tries to be a gentleman…but Jessica decides she has waited too long already…and she throws him down onto the couch! Yee Haaa! You go, Jessica! I am starting to like her character so much better and have high hopes for her and Hoyt.

Over at Fangtasia, Bill runs into Sookie‘s arms, overjoyed that she is healed. Sookie, however, is in Deep Snit. She is ready to kick some ass… and tells Bill that he better not have known that Eric had Lafayette chained up in his basement. He says he has no idea what she is talking about, and in walks Eric (looking mighty fine in that green t-shirt, I have to say!) who tells Bill that she is referring to the human who traded sexual favors for vampire blood in order to sell it, which is a grave offence. Sookie gets in his face, telling Eric, “His name is Lafayette and you should be ashamed for what you’ve done to him”. Followed by one hell of a SLAP across Eric‘s face. Whoa Nelly! Hit the pause button people…since when is Sookie fearless about Eric? That is a serious veer if there ever was one. Okay, okay. I’ll zip it. Eric, however, seems remarkably unfazed and tells her, “I am glad you’re feeling better and may I add that color suits you very well.” (referring to the red Fangtasia shirt she is wearing.) She tells him to go to hell and Bill tells her that’s enough…to which she replies, it isn’t nearly enough. Has she gone stark raving mad? She tells Eric to release Lafayette right now or she will go to the police”…Eric, finally having reached his limit, snarls into her face, with fangs out, “I do not respond well to threats”. Whoa. If I were Sookie, I would put the breaks on just a bit. Good thing she didn’t see what he did to Royce! He backs away and tells her that perhaps they can come to an “arrangement”.

Back at Maryann‘s, Tara has blown off work for the night (prompting Sam to call and beg her to be careful about Maryann)…she and Eggs get hot and heavy in the pool…until a topless woman asks if she can join them, telling them how beautiful they are, and that she is a licensed massage therapist. (WTF?) Eggs seems pretty interested in this…and she slides in behind him and tells him, “you got a big knot right there”…(hmmmm…..)…while Tara looks out into the sea of people at the party and realizes that people are stripping off their clothes and getting into full-blown orgy mode. Yet again, Jane Bodehouse has those scary pure black eyes, and now, so does Mike Spencer (the coroner…euuww!) as they are rolling around together on the pool deck. Tara finally seems to wake up and runs off into the house…followed by Eggs, who doesn’t seem all that shocked by what’s going on outside. This should be a major hint to Tara…and apparently it is, since she tells him, if this is your scene, there is no US.

Andy Bellefleur shows up at Maryann‘s following-up on a complaint about noise…he goes further into her yard to find a rather outsized “doghouse” and leans down to see a pig inside of it. He says, “whatchu doing in there, pig?” Maryann comes over and starts flirting and complimenting Andy and he asks her about the pig, to which she replies, “What pig?” The pig has vanished into thin air…and although Andy begins to protest, he is quickly seduced into accepting a glass of champagne (or some kinda bubbly)…and seems to forget all about it. Hmmm. Maryann putting her whammy on yet another poor schmuck.

Over at the Rev. Steve Newlin‘s place, Jason is having dinner and discussing the forces of love and hate. Rev. Newlin (Michael McMillian) tells Jason that you have to hate evil. Hating evil is like loving good. He tells him that hate isn’t just natural, we Need it to survive. (Say WHAT???) He says there is no in-between. You are either on the side of the darkness or the side of the light. Jason is mesmerized by this man (not to mention his sexpot wife Sarah!) and seduced into believing he is hearing truth, and is completely mixed up about everything. Next thing you know, Sarah comes in, wanting to know if they have saved room for her “banana puddin’ ” Steve tells Jason that Sarah‘s pudding is a little slice of heaven. He says that Jason must be pretty special, since “Sarah doesn’t whip out her pudding for just anybody”. Thud. The look on Jason‘s face when Sarah tells them she is going to go and get the whipped cream is just priceless. It looks like he is now praying to see her wearing the pudding and the whipped cream!

Meanwhile, back at Fangtasia, Sookie is negotiating terms with Eric about taking the trip to Dallas. Bill doesn’t want her to go, but Sookie pointedly says she can make up her own mind. Eric tells her he will pay all her expenses and release her friend (Lafayette)…to which she replies, “and I want $5,000” (for missing time at work and a driveway). Eric tells Bill, “your human is getting cocky”. Bill replies,  “She will take $10,000 and I will escort her.” Eric then says, “I don’t think so. No.” Sookie tells him, “$10,000 and Bill comes with me or it’s a deal-breaker”  What a bunch of wheeler-dealers! Eric speaks into an intercom in Swedish (just assuming it’s Swedish!) and tells Sookie, “you surprise me, which is a rare quality in a breather.” She tells him he is disgusting, he hopes he will grow on her…and she then says something so vile that I won’t even repeat it. Sorry, but incurable terminal illnesses are no joking matter to me. Eric finally tells them that they must leave immediately…and Bill volunteers to handle the travel arrangements.

Right about now, Pam throws Lafayette through the doorway into the office…telling him it is a shame, she was hoping Eric would let her keep him. To which Eric replies, “You have enough pets”. (and I am sure he doesn’t mean Fido and Fluffy either!) Lafayette tells Pam she is not his type…and she asks Eric if she can kick him. Bill, meanwhile, tells Pam she can try, with a look that dares her to try it. Whoa, Vampire smackdown with Bill and Pam! Eric says, Enough…and tells Chow to fetch their car. (Maybe Eric calls Chow Fido behind his back?) Eric leans down to Lafayette, while Lafayette cowers away from him (remember, visions of flying ripped-off arms are probably burning through his brain). Eric strokes his shoulder, telling him, “I’ll see you around, I’m sure”. Lafayette tells him, “Don’t bet on it baby, I am retiring. I am done with you crazy ass effers. Done.” Eric gives him a smile and a wink…while Sookie stares Eric down. Good luck on that Sookie. Bill carries Lafayette to the car.

They take Lafayette to his place and Sookie protests that she should take him to the hospital. He tells her his veterinarian uncle will stitch him up…and doesn’t want Bill to help him into the house. He asks Bill to tell “his Vampire Friends” that Lafayette only remembers being at Club Med for the last several weeks. Bill tells him this is wise.

Poor Lafayette…he stumbles into his house…falls onto a couch, covers himself with an afghan and begins to quietly cry. Yo! Writers! We need spunky, sassy, invincible Lafayette to come back from the almost-dead…and Soon! Pretty Please with some hallelujahs on top!

Sookie and Bill have a long yadda-yadda about the darkness and evil in this world on the drive back from Fangtasia. She tells him, the more open my mind gets, the more evil I see. Bill tells her that all creatures have both good and evil in them, sometimes simultaneously. She cannot seem to see anything good in Eric. He tells her that Eric saved her life… she is determined to hate him. Bill tells her he hates that Eric is once again putting her in danger…and he hates that Eric showed her the “barbarous-ness” of what they call justice. He wishes he could glamour all of it away for her. She is glad he can’t and wants to be fully aware of all that she should be scared about, before it sneaks up on her. She knows that there is darkness in Bill…but she sees the goodness too. When she looks in his eyes, that is what she sees.

Finally, they are at Bills and have a cozy little conversation about what a softie he is about Jessica and Bill waxes eloquent about the much-missed joys of petticoats. She tells him she might know of a Halloween store that sells them….he tells her she is such a tease. Cue the hot-sex…but wait…as they grope one another right into the doorway of the house, Daddy Bill finds out Daughter Jessica is possibly preparing to make a meal outta Hoyt right there on his couch. He yanks her off of him and throws her across the room. She protests that she wasn’t going to bite him and Hoyt tries to defend himself (and her) and Bill knocks him back onto the couch and silences him with a audible growl…fangs bared.

Dean the Dog shows up at Sam‘s and looks at him in reproach…Sam tells him they can go for a run “one last time”. What the heck!? Is Sam planning on leaving forever???  They go running together and end up running onto a dock and Sam dives into the water. Dean doesn’t want to go in…and Daphne comes sauntering down the dock, looking like Trouble with a capital T. A little banter back and forth about how much Sam sucks as a boss, followed by Daphne inviting herself into the water with Sam for a midnight swim. We see her back, as she takes off her top…and there are 3 long ragged scars scratched down her back. Hmmm. Who…or what…is Daphne? Was that her at Maryann‘s with her head thrown back, drinking wine from the bottle, with her eyes pure black? Sure looked like her.  What kind of trouble is Sam in now?

What is most interesting is that there are people and supernatural creatures in the True Blood world who cannot be easily categorized…whether they are vampire or human…some of them seem to want to do good and some are impossibly evil. Some even believe they are doing good…based upon their own tunnel vision of what the world IS. So many secrets! So much seduction…on every side…trying to convince others to do what they want them to do. So addictive….this show…you may want to yank your hair out at the choices the characters are making…but, you can’t seem to help yourself…you want to keep on watching…to see how it all turns out. Perhaps Alan Ball and Co. are concocting their own strange brew….and we are drinking it up, begging and pleading for More!

and speaking of More…

True Blood is Taking a Breather?

So we can catch up?


Okay, now that I got that outta my system.

Up Next!

Eric shows up at Lafayette‘s…Lafayette tells Eric that he can’t come in unless he invites him in. Eric tells him he has to come out eventually!

Jason is summoned by Steve Newlin (holding a scary looking gun) to take a trip together. Hmmm. Could it be…to Dallas? Uh oh.

Sookie promises Tara that they will celebrate her birthday when she gets back… From Dallas?

Maryann laughs ominously when Tara tells her she is moving in with Sookie. Run Tara Run!

Is that Daphne whispering into Sam‘s ear…?

So, two weeks from now we’ll find out whether Sam‘s dip in the pond will help him scratch that itch or get him in more trouble. Two weeks from now we’ll find out if Bill‘s growl is worse than his bite. Two weeks from now we’ll learn if the ghost of Eddie is a better bedmate for Jason than Sarah, the wife of the ‘bigger than Jesus’ Steve Newlin. In two weeks we’ll find out if Lafayette will invite Eric in or just never leave his home again. The whole season takes place over less than two weeks timeframe yet we have to wait two weeks for more True Blood… Better lay in a big supply of chocolate and potato chips it’s going to be a looong two weeks!

(Photo credit: HBO)