Season 3 of True Blood has been polarizing to say the least with some hailing it as the best season and others proclaiming that the show is becoming a hodgepodge of stories, I am slowly entering the latter group. It’s not that tonight’s episode was bad, but Night on the Sun exemplified the structure of the series so far, becoming a group of stories without any intersection and little continuity. In a sense the series is turning into a sitcom with some problems being resolved by stories end (especially in this episode with a last minute, and heavy Sookie/Bill reconciliation). With only four episodes before seasons end it’s too late to think the structure of the series will change, but audiences are yearning for more and getting fed up with the lack of follow through.
Sookie contemplates continuing her relationship with Bill after the events of the last episode. Overcome with grief Bill plans to leave but Jessica’s newfound love for her maker forces him to change his mind. Sam and Tommy say goodbye to the rest of the Mickens clan but Sam can’t seem to keep Tommy out of trouble. Eric’s double talk with Russell ends badly for the King of Mississippi. Jason and Crystal solidify their relationship while Lafayette and Jesus come together when Ruby Jean escapes the hospital. Arlene and Tara both suffer the effects of past relationships while Hoyt grapples with the idea that Jessica may be lost to him forever. Alcide’s family emergency puts Sookie in a dangerous situation when Debbie comes seeking vengeance.
According to TV.com this episode is garnering an 8.9 and I’m just not seeing why. In fact the last few episodes have yielded the rating of Superb which continues to confuse me as most of the episode reviews have cited the weak season overall. In terms of what was good about this episode it was what wasn’t focused on or removed entirely. The Mickens clan left Sam and Tommy alone, thank goodness because they really were dominating the episodes and were boring as hell. The constant double talk with Eric is continuing to develop into a solid bit of espionage for the series as the vampire Sheriff played off both Russell and Talbot while using Hadley to send a warning out to Sookie. The small moment with the King of Mississippi arguing with his husband as the new wife, Sophie-Anne, was moving in was also hilarious especially as the once Queen was complaining about her “closet” of a room. The domesticity in the house is now ruined as the ending indicated so it should be interesting to see what Sophie-Anne does, if anything, to help Russell in his time of grief. The fight scenes in this were pretty epic, especially the Debbie/Sookie catfight. Jessica’s training scene was cut but we really had to wait all the way till Episode 8 of Season 3 to see it?
Other than those moments the episode moved quickly from plot to plot with no set transitions making it feel extremely long for a 40 minute episode. Sookie proclaimed that she and Bill were done hell Tara and Jason were this close to lynching the vampire, only to have the couple make up with some insane sex by episode’s end. At this point Sookie really needs to shut up about breaking up with Bill because the audience knows by now it’s pointless. The same can be said for Jason’s constant shout of “I’m a cop!” Funny how we haven’t seen him go near a police station in about two episodes and there’s nothing moving on that front so why hasn’t anyone reigned the rouge in yet for excessive force or something? The relationship with Crystal signals the introduction of the were-panther storyline (didn’t see that coming did you?) and along with the arrival of Claudine shows that we’re barreling into the next book with no introductions. The stories are being handled pretty slipshod with just shots of crazy creatures and everyone telling Sookie “I know what you are!” Didn’t we hear that all through seasons 1 and 2 with Sam? Just tell us already and with some decent exposition. Jessica, Arlene, Hoyt and Tara all gave pretty thankless appearances, in most cases showing up for two scenes. The “dream” moments with Franklin and Rene were interesting but only last seconds. Thankfully we didn’t need to hear too much of Tara getting on her high horse this episode (you did some pretty stupid things in the quest for Eggs but we’re supposed to forget that right?). With the ending of this episode any fans of the book will want to throw it aside as the lead-in to the Sookie/Eric relationship isn’t going according to that and seems to be abandoned for a time.
Overall True Blood is going somewhere that doesn’t seem to be where it started. Seasons 1 and 2 had connection between the stories and some continuity from episode to episode. Here we’re getting everyone on their own with plots being picked up and dropped at will. Wherever Alan Ball is he needs to see what’s going on because it doesn’t look to be pretty.