Archive for July, 2010

Magazine alert! All you Truebies had better get a copy of next week’s TV Guide, which has a very sexy cover shot of our gal Sookie (Anna Paquin) with bad boy Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) doing their rendition of a romance novel cover. The magazine, which has another cover on newsstands featuring Anna with real-life fiance Stephen Moyer (Bill), also features a two-page spread showing Anna with both of her vampire suitors as a mid-season teaser of the major plot twists we can look forward to in Sunday’s episode. The central point of the article is the division among True Blood fans regarding which sexy vamp Sookie should be with. Musclebound werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) is thrown in as a dark horse candidate just to complicate things further. I’ll admit that Alcide — recently upgraded to series regular for season 4 — is a hot addition to the cast, but so far his attraction to Sookie has been a slow burn. He’s still hung up on that tarty she-wolf Debbie Pelt and the fact that he would even notice her dampens my enthusiasm for him. Still, there’s plenty of twists left in the remainder of the season, which has been a little overstuffed if you ask me, and perhaps Alcide will break the hold doggy Deb has on him and rise up to challenge Bill and Eric for Sookie’s love. Alan Ball hints that Bill and Sookie’s bond will be seriously damaged by upcoming revelations and this is where I think the tide will turn in Eric’s direction. I have to say I’m inching closer to Team Eric these days. I love the sound of Bill’s honey-dripped accent when he says “Sookieeeeeh,” but the way Alex Skarsgard has looked at Anna in some of his scenes from the past two seasons literally melted the TV screen. He does a great job of communicating with this facial expressions and body language (and what a body!) how Eric HATES the fact that Sookie is getting to him, but he is helpless to stop his feelings. I think Sookie feels the same way.

Image copyright 2010 TV Guide Magazine. All rights reserved.

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Will Talbot be able to clean up the bloodstains on the carpet of his royal mansion?

The Big Gusher

July 25: Is it my imagination or was this the bloodiest episode of True Blood yet? No matter where you looked there seemed to be overflowing blood. There was action aplenty, too. Bill springs into action at King Russell’s mansion, staking the vampire bodyguard and trying to get the jump on Russ. Unfortunately, Sookie’s man is no physical match for the 3,000-year-old vampire monarch, who swats him away like a fly. Talbot gets majorly bitchy about how the fighting is making a royal mess of his beautiful home. His Royal Toupee orders Lorena to kill Bill and tends to his consort’s ruffled feathers. Later, he questions Sookie about her unique abilities. On the way to Louisiana to visit Queen Sophie-Ann, Russell confides in Eric his desire to unite all the supernatural beings in a war against humans. Eric humors the King, biding his time until the opportunity to strike presents itself. Queenie is understandably miffed when Russ and Eric show up and inform her that her guards are dead and that her human companion – Sookie’s cousin — is held captive. Her skin crawls at the mere thought of marrying His Royal Toupee, regardless of how much debt she’s in, but an angry Eric, no longer respectful of her upon learning she set him up about the V dealing, overpowers her and forces her to reconsider. Will the blushing bride wear black to the ceremony? 

Tara Fights Back

In Bon Temps, Jason and Crystal are making out by the lake when she smells something (or someone) in the air and bids a hasty retreat. When he tracks her down to a shabby house, he’s greeted by a grimy, shirtless hunk whom she claims is her fiancée. Crystal denies ever meeting Jason, who is clueless, as usual. Lafayette has similar luck with Jesus, when, after some sexy double entendres over pool and kissing in his car, they go back to his house. Their romantic clinch is suddenly interrupted by the racist V junkies who keep stalking him. The bat-wielding hicks bash his new car but, with Jesus’ help, Lafayette chases them off. Learning that Lafayette deals V is a deal breaker for Jesus, however. Sam figures out that the Mickens are forcing Tommy to compete in illegal dogfights in his pit-bull form and races to stop them. Jessica, meanwhile, shows that she’s learning to feed on humans without killing them by taking a bite out of an annoying woman who mistreats Arlene at Merlotte’s.  Back in Jackson, Lorena and Bill are bound together in a sadistic scene of mind games as she carries out King Russell’s orders by slowly bleeding him out with surgical knives. She can’t resist the chance to mix her blood with his even though he berates her for her psychotic ways and begs her to kill him quickly. Lorena instead lets V-starved Coot and Debbie gorge on Bill’s blood. Also getting a taste of vamp blood is Tara, who seduces Franklin into untying her and letting her bite him without the benefit of vampire fangs. It is not a pretty sight. The next morning, Tara bashes his head in and helps Sookie escape. Sprinting out into the mansion’s beautiful grounds like an Olympian, Tara runs into a majestic white wolf, who luckily is a majestically naked Alcide coming to the rescue. Sookie gets a less hospitable greeting when she tries to free Bill from his blood-soaked shackles. “This is all your fault,” spits a livid Lorena as she sinks her fangs into her rival’s pretty neck.

 Photo: Copyright 2010 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved.

Will Lafayette see through Franklin's fake text message and save Tara from a life as a modestly dressed vampire bride?

The Ties that Bind

July18: You might say that Tara (Rutina Wesley) isn’t a gal who likes to get tied down, but since she hooked up with Franklin (James Frain) she hasn’t had much choice in the matter. Sookie’s bad-luck buddy is tied to a chair when Bill (Stephen Moyer) arrives with King Russell (Denis O’Hare) and Lorena (Mariana Klaveno) from draining the poor stripper at the end of last week’s episode. Tara is shocked when Bill refuses to help her escape. We learn a few things about His Royal Toupee, all of them bad. He’s Franklin’s mysterious employer and, even though he disapproves of Franklin’s bad habit of fixating on human females, he admires the quality of his work. He’s especially pleased to learn that Sookie’s in Jackson. Franklin, meanwhile, isn’t happy at all when Tara tries to escape her bindings in bed, only to be recaptured by a wolfed-out Coot (Grant Bowler). Freaky Frankie cries tears of blood in his anger and disappointment in Tara, who tries to manipulate him into granting her more freedom to roam around the King’s royal pad. Frankie relents, but she’s not too keen on the matronly dress he forces her to wear and her hosts’ flowery meal plan for humans.  She’s also not too jazzed about Frankie’s plan to make her his modestly dressed vampire bride for eternity. Where’s a maniacal maenad when you need one? Back in Bon Temps, Tara’s boss Sam (Sam Trammell) is busy breaking in his new hostess Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), who, annoyed at Arlene’s vamp-phobic put-downs, glamours her customers into not giving her tips. Jess also isn’t happy when Hoyt shows up at Merlotte’s with a dippy date but Tommy, unimpressed by Hoyt, pumps up her fragile ego with some sweet talkin’. How will he feel when he finds out that Jess is damned to be an eternal virgin? And what’s up with boozy Daddy Pickens yelling at Sam that he “owns” Tommy? Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) gets a visit from a love-struck Jesus (Kevin Alejandro), who spends the afternoon at Merlotte’s just to be near him.  At police headquarters, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) shows up for his first day on the force and spends it playing with office equipment. He’s much more stimulated when, shirtless and glistening, he spots the pretty blonde he’d seen in the woods during his drug bust with Andy and pulls her over, using his non-existent cop credentials to pump her for information, getting only her name – Crystal. Later that night, he spots her outside Merlotte’s and they take a walk to the lake, evoking memories of Sam’s ill-fated fling with Maryann’s pig girl Daphne last year. Taking things slowly as usual, Jason bangs Crystal while leaning against a tree, noting that she seems like an outdoorsy girl. Might she be one of the werepanthers written about in this week’s TV Guide? Hello kitty, indeed.

The Viking’s Vengeance

Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Alcide (Joe Manganiello) escape the werewolves celebrating Debbie’s initiation and argue over his devotion to the trashy she-wolf. Alcide maintains that she was a good gal — when she wasn’t drinkin’ and cheatin’ on him, that is. To her credit, skanky Debbie shows up to urge Alcide to leave Jackson while he still has his fur intact, but she loses it when Sook emerges from the bedroom. Sookie isn’t too happy when Deb offers to cut her up, but she advises her to return to Alcide anyway. I think Deb just needs to be deloused. Alcide clearly needs counseling. Sook and Alcide visit some old guy named the Pack Master for guidance on how to handle King Russell’s schemes, but Sookie picks up on the senior wolf’s fear of his Royal Toupee’s power. Russ, we learn, has been using werewolves to do his evil bidding for centuries. While the King plots to get his hands on Sookie, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) shows up at the mansion looking for Bill to serve him up to the Vampire Magister back in Bon Temps in exchange for Pam’s undead life. He’s pleased to learn that Bill has renounced his ties to Louisiana — and Sookie – to remain in Jackson as His Royal Toupee’s sheriff. Russell invites Eric to stay, to the delight of a visibly smitten Talbot (Theo Alexander) who gives him a very personal tour of Casa Edgington. Eric discovers that The King has the crown his Viking father wore the night he and the rest of Eric’s family were slaughtered by bloodthirsty werewolves commanded by a hooded figure. Will Eric use Talbot’s man crush on him to deliver a long-delayed revenge on King Russell? Is the Pope Catholic? Elsewhere, The King, accompanied by Coot and one of his vampire bodyguards, barges in on Bill’s bittersweet reunion with Sookie. After overpowering Alcide and Bill, the King and Coot corner Sook, who zaps the Cootster with her mysterious light beam to King Russell’s delight. The display confirms his hunch that Sookie is definitely something special. I still say she’s an earthbound angel. Stay tuned, Truebies!

Photo: Copyright 2010 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved.

Is Bill really turning to the dark side or is he faking it?

Bill’s Dark Journey

July 11: After the fight at the wolves’ lair, Sookie (Anna Paquin) tends to the wounds on Alcide’s chiseled body when she gets a call from Bill (Stephen Moyer), who breaks up with her, robotically telling her about his sex session with Lorena (Mariana Klaveno), who relishes pouring salt into Sookie’s wound. Lorena shouldn’t celebrate so soon since Bill tells her he only “screwed” her in order to help kill his love for Sookie and that the romp meant nothing more to him. He even punches her out of his bedroom for good measure. She, of course, enjoys the continued abuse from her prodigal offspring-lover. Alcide (Joe Manganiello) gives Sookie a well-muscled shoulder to lean on but when the devastated telepathic waitress hints at some horizontal rebound action, he sadly puts a shirt on and stays with her through the night. Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), meanwhile, has a “night dream” about consummating his desire for a lingerie-clad Sookie at Fangtasia as if he senses the rift between Sook and her undead lover. (Is that the sound of millions of Team Eric fans swooning in the background?). The next morning, Sook gets a call from Tara (Rutina Wesley), who’s been tied up, bitten and glamoured by the psychotic Franklin (James Frain) into finding out where she and Bill are. Franklin then takes Tara to The King’s mansion in Jackson where Theo deems her too thin to be a present. The question is whether Tara will end up being Franklin’s mate or his meal. Bill puts his plan into motion and gives The King (Denis O’hare) the scoop on how Eric is dealing V for Queen Sophie-Ann in Louisiana. The information gives His Royal Toupee serious leverage against Queenie and Bill asks that his Highness eliminate Lorena in return. Time to celebrate, proclaims the King. 

Will Sam's little brother Tommy get involved with Jessica at Merlotte's?

A Howling Good Time

In Bon Temps, things are jumping at Merlotte’s where Sam (Sam Trammell) discovers his family camping out in the parking lot … in a van, of course. He convinces them to let Tommy stay with him, which I suspect he will regret big time. When a hormonal Arlene (Carrie Preston) nearly loses it under the stress of juggling her missing co-workers’ jobs, Sam hires Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) to lighten her load. Arlene doesn’t appreciate the younger, red-haired competition. At sheriff Dearborne’s retirement party, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) gets annoyed by a cocky, loudmouthed guy who reminds him of himself when he was younger. Seeking a new purpose in life, he blackmails Andy, the newly instated acting sheriff, into making him a cop. Lafayette (Nathan Ellis) leaves Tara a message letting her know about his new wheels and that she is inheriting his old car, not knowing that she’s, um, tied up at the moment. When a gang of white trash V junkies overpower him to cheat him out of a sale, Eric swoops in to save the … night. Driving away from the nearly ruined sale, a disappointed Eric lectures Lafayette about good salesmanship when he gets a call from a panicked Pam (Kristin Bauer) who notifies him that the Magister raided Fangtasia and found the stash of V. Eric arrives just as the Magister is torturing Pammy into confessing. Thinking quickly, the two implicate Bill in the V dealing, pointing to his disappearance as a sign of his guilt. Not totally convinced, the Magister nevertheless gives Eric two days to track down Bill or he’ll put Pam out of her ever-charming misery. Suspecting that all is not well with Bill, Sook refuses to give up her search for him and convinces Alcide to help her infiltrate the wolves’ den during the initiation of his ex Debbie. The covert mission requires that Sookie get a biker gal makeover from Alcide’s big sister, who takes an instant liking to Sookie. Sook, in turn, picks up on her thoughts, learning that Debbie is V-hooked. At Debbie’s initiation ceremony, we learn that Deb is foulmouthed and kind of butch.  What Alcide saw in her is a mystery. A much hotter, wigged-out Sookie does shots with the werewolves and looks on in amazement with Alcide as The King shows up and feeds the howling bikers his royal blood. When the werewolves begin to transform in their V-induced frenzy, Alcide, who also begins to turn, warns Sookie to get out before she’s left surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves. Bill, who’s out luring a lonely stripper for The King and Lorena to “celebrate” with, senses Sookie’s predicament, but stays put, joining his fellow vampires in slaughtering the woman in His Royal Toupee’s limo. Something tells me Bill’s return to the dark side will have lasting ramifications on his tortured romance with Sookie. 

Photos copyright 2010 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved.

I don’t remember when I’ve hated a TV character as much as I do Bill’s meddling maker Lorena. All she has to do is show up in a scene and my back gets knotted up and my skin crawls. It’s a great testament to the acting skills of her portrayer Mariana Klaveno. This up-and-coming actress has made Lorena into one of TV’s all-time classic villainesses, right up there with Joan Collins’ Alexis on Dynasty and Marcia Cross’ psycho Kimberly on Melrose Place. Of course, being a vampire gives Lorena license to be viler than most TV characters. Fans of True Blood have to suspend belief and view the narrative through the filter of Alan Ball’s interpretation of Charlaine Harris’ book series, which takes place in a world where vampires are out and proud and have reached a tenuous detente with humans. The world of True Blood is hardly black and white. There are lots of gray areas. The “good” vampires exist on Tru Blood while the “bad” ones can’t resist the lure of drinking good-old-fashioned human blood straight from the “faucet.” Lorena clearly belongs to the latter group, but does this mean she deserves to be raped? Did Bill (Stephen Moyer), who’s ostensibly a good vampire, go too far in last week’s head-twisting sex scene? I ask this after reading an article in this week’s TV Guide that names Klaveno a scene stealer. I agree that she’s a standout, but I’m not sure I would classify what took place between Bill and Lorena in that shocking scene as his cheating on Sookie as the article states. True, they were having sex, but I interpreted the scene as a violent lashing out by Bill against Lorena for her incessant interference in his life. He was literally trying to screw her into nonexistence. I didn’t see it as the release of pent-up passion although Lorena certainly seemed to be enjoying it. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but the scene disturbed me with its unspoken message that a woman can enjoy sex that is forced upon her. The message was that Lorena is so evil that she deserved what she got. She was asking for it. Perhaps the head-twisting bit was a metaphor for their sick relationship, and vampire sex isn’t typically rose petals and chocolates, but I still found the encounter startling in its subtext. True Blood is certainly a show unafraid to push buttons. I just wonder how Sookie (Anna Paquin) will react when she finds out about this new “twist.”

Image copyright 2010 TV Guide Magazine. All rights reserved.