True Blood – Hitting The Ground (S03E07) – Episode review

Let’s talk about the opening scene from the latest [[True Blood (TV Series)|True Blood]] episode: Sookie Stackhouse is about to get drained by the vampire Lorena. Lorena’s as intoxicated by Sookie’s blood and asks the now familiar question, “What are you?” Could it be that there’s more to Sookie than we suspect?

In one of the goriest scenes so far this season, Bill gets Lorena in a choke hold and tells Sookie to stake her. Sookie sinks a shard of wood into the vampire’s chest, narrowly missing Bill. Lorena’s mouth opens and a shower of blood pours out, then Lorena’s vanished and Bill’s covered in the gory remains of his maker. Priceless.

But after saving his life by first standing up to her friend Tara – who wanted to leave Bill for dead – and then giving him a transfusion of her own blood, Bill loses control. Remember, he’s been drained almost to the point of death. It’s daylight, which is a time vamps are compelled to be unconscious, so Bill’s not completely responsible for his actions. He leaps on top of Sookie and begins feeding savagely.

* This is a mirror of a scene in [[Charlaine Harris]]’s Club Dead, except Bill goes a step further in the book version.

By a stroke of luck (Alcide needed a pee break), the van they’re in stops and Tara checks inside, discovering a disorientated Bill astride Sookie. Enraged, she and Alcide throw Bill out of the van, in broad daylight, and drive to the nearest hospital. What’s really weird is that Bill isn’t debilitated by the sun. He singes a little, but it doesn’t kill him. What has Sookie’s blood done to him?

It’s the first clue that Lorena’s question at the start of the episode wasn’t totally random. Ever since Sookie first blasted Maryann with her ‘light-hands’ in Season 2, people have been asking “What are you?” And with Hitting The Ground, we got a little bit closer to the answer. Even in the hospital Sookie’s friends and family discover that she hasn’t got a blood type. Weird. Does that mean Sookie’s (gasp) not human?

Sookie’s coma is an excuse for a trippy little diversion to a quaint otherworldy place and a new character calling herself Claudine. In my opinion, it’s a little too soon to be bringing in Claudine, but we’ll talk about that when Claudine is explained in more detail.

Still, Claudine gives Sookie a grim warning that Bill is a bringer of darkness and he’ll steal her light. Ironic really, because Bill gives Sookie a transfusion of his own blood which restores her to life.

Elsewhere…

Eric’s having an action-packed week himself. He cleverly escapes a charge of treason for turning in his queen by defecting to Eddington’s camp. That’s a shrewd move right there, and another reason to love Eric Northman. Eddington, likewise, forces Sophie Anne to marry him (a business transaction more than a romantic gesture in vampire circles) and toys with the Magister. Well, when I say ‘toys with’, I mean ‘slices his head off’.

Eddington is unbalanced in a far more sinister way than the sadly absent (this week anyway) Franklin Mott. His take on vampire politics is old-school in case you hadn’t realised, and he wants vampires to have dominion over humans because he considers regular folks to be just…inferior.

Brief appearance from crazy Debbie and Coot. Are you noticing how many deranged love interests are in True Blood this season? You’ve got Debbie the V addict, Franklin the charming psycho and Lorena who loves Bill but wants to kill anyone he cares about.

Anyway, Sam interrupts a dogfight to save his brother. Gives his maw and paw (paw, geddit?) a telling off and takes Tommy to live with him. Sam’s best bits this week are transforming from a dog to a human, and punching a guy at the dogfight out with a dog lead still around his neck. And telling a dog “Don’t you snarl at me. Now go on, get the f*ck out of here.”

A little bit of light humour from Jason and Hoyt, whose romantic lives are causing them a bit of frustration at the moment.

Summing up…

As an avid reader of the [[Sookie Stackhouse]] books, I thought it was a bit soon to be bringing Claudine into proceedings at this stage. Maybe they’re setting the scene up for True Blood Season 4, and if so, that’s fine. If not, it feels like True Blood is pillaging the Charlaine Harris books and throwing everything into one season – Hotshot, Claudine and her lot, Werewolves and a power struggle for the Louisiana vampires.

Still, a better episode for the focus on one main storyline, with the events at Fangtasia setting the scene for later in the season. Tara’s going to have major trust issues with Bill, and I’m not sure if that’ll play out in her relationship with Sookie or if she’ll be looking for a reason to stake him. Bill hasn’t had time to explain what happened in the van, and that he didn’t intend to kill Sookie. And Sookie herself woke up to see Bill and screamed her lungs out.

Does this spell the end of Bill and Sookie’s relationship?

And Eric, despite his shrewd manoeuvring between Sophie Anne and Russell, is in over his head. He’s clearly going to make an attempt on Russell’s life, but how will his standing with the queen be after he does? Lots of things deliciously up in the air right now, and I can’t wait to see how they pan out. Good to not have to worry about inconsequential storylines of Jessica, Arlene and some of the minor Bon Temps crowd this week.

Selected quotes from Hitting The Ground

  1. Jason: “I never thought I was smart enough to get depressed, but here I am.” Hoyt:
  2. Hoyt: “Jay, she’s from Hotshot. She’s probably named after that drug that keeps the whole town afloat. I bet you a hundred to one her middle name’s ‘meth’.”
  3. Summer knows how to win Hoyt’s heart: “I like you Hoyt, I want to be your girlfriend. And I really want you to taste my biscuits.”
  4. Sophie Anne: “Why do you care about Sookie?” Eric: “Because you do and because my king does.”
  5. Random hillbilly: “Look at the size of the balls on that sum’bitch.”
  6. Jason: “I’m a cop. I’m almost a cop.” Visits the dude in jail.
  7. Lafayette: “Last time you came to me all shaky like this, you wanted to buy some V.” Jason: “Oh. No. I told you, that shit’s behind me. I just need some meth.”
  8. Jason: “God damn it Lafayette, I’m in love.” Lafayette: “With the guy in jail?”
  9. Sam gets all high and mighty with his father: “For the life of me I can’t understand the power you have over these people, coz I see you for what you are. You’re just a scared man, in saggy underpants, with no discernible life skills whatsoever.”
  10. Sam: “Until I met you, I thought the Merlotte’s were the worst people I ever met. The two of you Mickens’ make them look like a couple of Dalai Lammas.”
  11. Claudine: “That pond is bigger and deeper than you think.”
  12. Claudine adds to the mystery behind Sookie’s parents’ deaths: “Do not fear the water, it wasn’t the water that killed them.”
  13. Pam is being tortured by the Magister. He brings her silver earrings. Magister: “They’re sterling silver.” Pam: “Excellent, they’ll match my chains.”
  14. Eddington gives the Magister a piece of his mind: “It’s vampires like you who’ve been holding the rest of us back for centuries.”

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