True Blood Season 3 Premiere – Bad Blood (S03E01) – Episode review

The third season of [[True Blood (TV Series)|True Blood]] has got of to a roaring start. Kind of like the [[Charlaine Harris]] books, this series follows on directly from the last one, giving the characters no time to recover from the events of the second season finale.

There’s not a single member of the Bon Temps and Streveport posses who hasn’t got something to do here. Bill’s been kidnapped, and Sookie’s frantically trying to find out where he is. She’s arguing with the local law enforcement who are being incredibly rascist about the disappearance of Bill…because he’s dead.

Jason Stackhouse is reeling from the trauma of having shot Eggs in the head. Andy’s taken the blame and concocted a cover story, but he’s forcing Jason to act normal. This is difficult for Jason, because he starts to see bullet holes in people’s heads. Not convenient when you’ve convinced a couple of New York graduates to come back to your place for a threesome.

And also suffering from the aftermath of Eggs’ death, Tara Thornton is manic. Not helped by the fact that her mother calls the local reverend around to preach at length. Tara promptly locks herself in the bathroom and starts swallowing pills like a champion.

Which brings me to Lafayette. Dealing with a suicidal Tara isn’t enough, the Shreveport vampires decide that they need him to dump his stock of V and get them money. Like, tomorrow. Vampire Queen Sophie Anne has put pressure on Eric to get rid of the vampire blood, because

  1. A vampire investigator is suspicious about the amount of vampire blood on the market, and
  2. Sophie Anne’s broke and needs money. Fast.

I haven’t even got to Sam Merlotte or Jessica’s storylines yet. That’s how packed Bad Blood was. I can see each character’s storylines flying off in different directions throughout the series, and it’s clearly going to be far more action-packed than ever before.

Thoughts

I loved it. Regular readers will know that I’m an avid reader of the Sookie Stackhouse books that this series was spawned from. OK, we’re one episode into the series, but it already feels as if there are going to be larger discrepancies with the books. Which is a good thing, because it gives us something new rather than just acting out the novels verbatim. Besides, Alan Ball injects an extra level of sleaze and danger into the series that I really appreciate.

I loved seeing Jessica struggling with the corpse of a trucker she’d fed from. On one hand, clutching a bunch of flowers from Hoyt and sighing, then simultaneously dragging the half-dead man inside Bill’s house. And like a child who’s broken her mother’s favourite vase, Jessica is now frantic to cover up her crime. I loved it.

Sexy time

There were a handful of audacious sex scenes, most notably Sookie walking into Eric’s torture cellar to find him in his sixth hour of nookie with a Fangtasia dancer. Kudos to Alexander Skarsgard for the impressive butt-naked scene. Not so impressive was a reluctant Jason Stackhouse, finding it hard to keep an erection during a threesome because of the bullet holes he kept seeing in the two girls’ heads.

Of course, there’s a big sexual elephant in the room. Stand up, Sam Merlotte, for your very gay dream about…Bill Compton. Sam dreams that Bill comes to him in the middle of the night, looking for help. Bill invites him to the shower…and then Sam wakes up. It was like a game of chicken, you were wondering if they’d do it, but couldn’t look away from the screen. It felt like a bit of a bluff though, making it a dream sequence. I can only wonder if it has some deeper meaning for Sam.

Sookie for me is not the most interesting character in the show. She’s kind of our introduction to the world of Bon Temps, but for me it’s the other characters that provide the entertainment. The Jasons, Hoyts and Andy Bellefleurs provide the comedy value, while Eric, Pam and Bill bring the danger of the undead world.

I have to echo RandomEnigma’s comments about Tara’s mother. I’m growing tired of her hyper-Christian nonsense. Yes, I love it when fiction points out the banality of praising God for everything that happens in life, when in fact it’s people who pull the strings and make things happen. I think that was better dealt with by the manipulative Steve Newlin, who seemed to know what God desired better than I’m sure God himself might have.

We should also take a moment to savour the extra Pam this episode showed. Those bee-stung lips and piercing blue eyes. She’s like the dead Angelina Jolie. But with better boobs.

I could go on and on. I really enjoyed this episode, and in true…True Blood style, it had me craving the next episode almost immediately. I loved the cliffhanger with Bill staring down four wolves, especially his usual stuff admonition, “I should tell you…I have fed.” Some people online are saying that the V addicts who captured him at the start of the episode were werewolves, and these are the same wolves who have tracked him down. I didn’t make the direct connection during the episode, but I will take their word for it.

Quotes from Bad Blood

  • Arlene: “I’m sorry you fell in love with a serial killer, alright? But honestly, who here hasn’t?”
  • Gang member #1: “Spit some in his mouth.” Gang member #2: “That’s gay.” Gang member #1: “And playing with your own titties in a car full of dudes ain’t?”
  • Gang member #1: “Aw shit…ah got vampir juice all over mah good tourin’ gloves.”
  • Andy Bellefleur: “I need to see a lot less conscience and a lot more cajones and I need to see ’em pronto.”
  • Pam: “Now I don’t remember telling you lavender was my favourite colour.” Sookie: “I’m in no mood for lesbian weirdness tonight, Pam. Where’s Bill?”
  • Bill: “I hear the water in Arkansas is very…hard.”
  • Sam: “Remind me never to mess with the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce.”
  • Lafayette: “Do everybody a solid and instead of looking up to a god that let all this shit happen, you need to keep your eyes on your fuckin’ daughter.”
  • Jason: Ladies, this here’s Hoyt Fortenberry. He just moved out of his mother’s house. Girl: I like you, you’re like a big puppy.
  • Jason: “Hoyt, I you and I are going to be room mates, there’s a certain amount of pussy overflow you’re just gonna have to get used to dealin’ with.”
  • Sophie Anne: “Hell hath no fury like a vampire queen broke.”
  • Pam: “I don’t know what it is about me that makes people think I want to hear their problems. Maybe I smile too much, maybe I wear too much pink. But please remember, I can rip your throat out if I need. And also know that I am not a hooker. That was a long, long time ago.

It would be remiss of me to not point you to RandomEnigma’s excellent review of Bad Blood, also here on Shout. He makes some quite different observations, but equally worth a read.

4 Comments

  1. RandomEnigma

    Thanks for the mention. I like your review, its more concise and not a big ramble fest like mine. Damn, I’m absolutely rubbish with remembering quotes *steals quotes from your article and puts them into mine*

    I think I was only very very very mildly disappointed with this episode because of the trailers revealing so many spoilers from it. And I was good at staying away from spoilers all while True Blood was showing on FX but I just couldn’t resist waiting for FX to play catch up with Season 3 and had to watch it online, looks like you were the same way.

    Agreed about the major divergences from the book. With Charlaine Harris contracted to write at least thirteen Sookie Stackhouse books, I imagine their bringing forward elements from later books because the show is unlikely to go on for thirteen seasons thanks to the fickle world of television (cast bored of being on one show for more than 5 years, viewers losing interest, HBO pulling the plug, vampires aging by 10 years – although it is Hollywood).

    I want to share my conspiracy theories and about what I think will happen in Season 3 of True Blood based on this episode, I haven’t read any spoilers (just seen them in trailers) apart from the books.

    • Bill will get nastier. Eric will be more humanised. Sort of a given.
    • Yvetta, the lapdancer that Eric was banging. Definitely something up with her. Why did Sophie Anne allow her to stay while herself, Eric and the Magister were having a meeting? I doubt it was lesbian lust. I think Yvetta might be connected to a bunch of supernaturals who make an appearance in Book 4 (readers wink) and that will be the end of this season’s cliffhanger. I also think the Queen and The Fuck You Crew are connected to this crew.
    • The Queen is way more devious than she is in the books and she’ll have several eggs in different baskets. I believe she’ll have a connection with a number of supernatural creatures.
    • Andy and Terry’s speech about the first kill = definitely foreshadowing something. I just don’t know what.
    • Viewers will watch their dreams come through as Jason and Andy get their spin-off cop show. Okay, not quite. But Jason will join the police force.
    • Sookie will use her radioactive hands again. She may possibly find out her true lineage too (readers wink).
    • One or both of the Newlins will return for a brief appearance.
    • Godric will reappear in a flashback related to Eric.
    • Pam and Jessica will become an all female, all comic duo similar to Andy and Jason.
    • Lettie Mae will be viciously murdered or get a personality transplant. Wishful thinking. I’m just prayin’ to Lord Jesus up there that we don’t get a sex scene between her and Reverend Daniels.
    • Alan Ball’s going to change the mythology of the books. In the books only the eldest child of a full bred shapeshifter or Were couple becomes a shapeshifter or Were also. The gene skips younger children and they remain fully human. I’m betting in the TV show, all children of a Were of shifter couple gain the gene. That’s why I’m betting Tommy, Sam’s younger brother, is also a shifter or, what will lead to Sam’s disgust, a werewolf.
    That’s it. Oh, is Dead In The Family out here yet?

  2. Gerard McGarry

    Hey, don’t beat yourself up – this was your first episode review on Shout, if I’m not mistaken! I actually enjoyed the difference between your quotes selections and mine, because it’s interesting to see what stood out for other people!

    By the way, I usually pause an episode when a good quote comes up. It breaks up the flow of the episode a little bit, but it’s worth it.

    Yes, Dead In The Family is out. I have the hardback sitting in my bedroom waiting to be read. Unfortunately, I don’t want to read it until I’ve had a chance to finish this re-reading and reviewing of the earlier books I’m doing. Don’t know if I can wait that long though…

    Conspiracy theories/predictions: That whole section is so good, it should be a blog post on its own – True Blood Season 3 Conspiracy Theories. What do you think?

    1. RandomEnigma

      I’ve edited my review and put my conspiracy theories and predictions in there as well as other fun facts about the episode. I’m going to do this everytime I review an episode as you rewatch True Blood, you notice little clues and hints which lean towards my conspiracy theories and predictions.

      Damn, I can’t find Dead In The Family anywhere. Must check the book shop tomorrow again!

Log In or Sign Up

css.php
Skip to toolbar