True Blood – Everything Is Broken (S03E09) – Episode review

The sight of an enraged Russell Edgington ripping the spine from a newsreader live on TV and delivering a horrific monologue to the American public may go down in history as the best scene on True Blood ever.

You may think it was hammy. And it was. But it was set up so beautifully. First, when Russell stormed into the mansion and started rubbing himself with Talbot’s remains. Then he turned up on the roof of Fangtasia with a chalice full of Talbot’s collected entrails, murmuring to it gently about his plans for vengeance.

In between the madness of King Russell, there was a poignant final scene where Franklin – back from being bludgeoned with a mace – catches up with Tara. Although his crazy vampire lover shtick is wearing thin, he told Tara that what hurt his psychotic heart the most was that she didn’t mourn him. So, mourning is important to vampires. Get it?

Which is why Russell’s gloriously unhinged performance was understandable in the end. And with Nan Flanagan of the American Vampire League having such a prominent role in the episode, Russell’s decision to storm the television studio and give his own broadcast was the worst possible thing he could have done. For a start, he’s killed off the friendly face of vampires forever, possibly ended the Vampire Rights movement and done more for sales of pointy wooden objects than that time Van Helsing launched his own name-brand stakes.

Let’s be honest though – we needed a shocking ending to this episode. It was more slow-paced than the others this series and it felt a bit heavy or tired in places. Especially the Jason and Crystal story, which is being drawn out at a sluggish pace. Why not reveal that she’s a werecritter already and get it over with? Oh, retrospective spoiler warning. Sorry.

Sookie and Bill were mildly boring as they bickered while disposing of a werewolf corpse. Even Sookie’s cousin Hadley made an inexplicable appearance with a child we never knew she had. To devotees of the Charlaine Harris books, it feels like True Blood is dumping all characters, past, present and future, into this series to be dragged back up at some later point. It’s a bit overwhelming, especially since many of them don’t seem to have much to do.

Even Bill’s trippy journey into – to hell with spoilers – Faery felt a bit crammed in.

Enjoyable amid the mess was Hoyt and Jessica, who had a cute moment together. Hoyt admitted to her that he can’t stand his new girlfriend – and rightly so, she’s a younger version of his own mother. But Jessica was overcome and was led off by Tommy before anyone could even think about a reconciliation between the two.

Perhaps the most shocking moment was Sam beating Calvin Norris to a pulp. Badly enough that he has to be driven to hospital. And why? Because people kept calling him a pussy. Still, Sam turning tough guy might be an interesting state of affairs.

On a related note – did anyone else think that the girl Tommy was fooling around with in the apartment was totally out of his league?

I ended the episode feeling that True Blood currently is spinning too many plates at the moment. Some of these threads feel like they’re being laid down for the fourth series and won’t pan out properly until next year. Still, there are only three more episodes in this third series, so let’s assume that things will start to get tidied up soon.

Quotes from Everything Is Broken

  • Sookie, lifting one end of a dead body: “Normal couples do not do this, Bill Compton.”
  • Sookie: “Just once I would like to not find a dead body in my house. Is that asking too much?”
  • Sookie: “I’m not afraid to spill a little blood anymore. Much as you want to be human, I think I’m meeting you halfway to vampire.”
  • Eric explains his beef with Russell: “I did not report Russell Edgington to you because I want him to die at my own hands. I have waited a thousand years for this.”
  • Ruby‘s pleased that Lafayette has a boyfriend: “I’ll be damned. Maybe God loves fags.”
  • Russell (to Talbot’s remains) “They will suffer for their sins, my beloved.”
  • Nan doesn’t want to listen to Eric’s problems: “Listen, you whiny little bitch. The only link between Sophie Anne, Russell and the Magister is you. You brought us this steaming pile of shit. And you’re going to make it go away. Bring me his fangs, or I will have yours.”
  • Tara is ready to die at Franklin’s hands: “You violated me and terrorised me, because that’s what vampires do. And you’re callin’ that love?”
  • Russell addresses the nation: “Make no mistake. Mine is the true face of vampires.”
  • Russell: “You are not our equals. We will eat you…after we eat your children.”

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