‘True Blood’ has really been on a tear this season. The show has considerably amped up its action, gothic melodrama, and gruesome bloody gore. Last week’s episode was a particular standout that cranked out a huge number of major plot developments. In a lot of ways, the same can be said for this week’s ep, ‘Hitting the Ground,’ which delivers several important revelations that dramatically affect the series mythology. It even features no less than three notable character deaths. And yet, somehow, I feel like the episode doesn’t quite live up to the teaser we saw at the end of the previous episode. Still, there’s a lot noteworthy going on here. (Spoilers to follow.)
Things start off with a jolt as we wrap up last week’s cliffhanger in which Lorena attacked and bit Sookie. “You’re delicious!, she proclaims. I fully expected Alcide to race in and save Sookie. Instead, Bill rallies himself and drags Lorena down to the floor with the silver chains, leaving Sookie enough opportunity to stake the vamp bitch. Which she does, in spectacularly grisly fashion. I swear, the last few episodes of ‘True Blood’ have each splattered almost as much gore as a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie. Lorena was a really fun character. I’m sad to see her go, but she certainly made a grand exit.
I’m not quite as attached to Cooter, but he seemed like he was shaping up to be an important character who’d be around for a while. I’m really surprised to see him get offed so soon.
After Sookie finishes up with Lorena, Alcide and Tara finally arrive to rescue her, just a bit too late. Sookie of course won’t leave without Bill. As they try to wrap him up in blanekts, Alcide’s white trash ex Debbie shows up with a gun and tries to stop their escape. Alcide attempts to talk her down, to little avail, until Tara finally jumps her. In the scuffle, Alcide gets the gun. Right then, in walks Cooter. Alcide immediately blows his brains out. He lets Debbie live, but locks her in the shed. She vows to hunt him down and kill him.
Bill Goes Beserk
Tara and Alcide wrap Bill up in blankets and throw him in the back of a truck. Sookie insists on riding with him, so Alcide and Tara lock them in together. Sookie gives Bill a little of her blood, which revives him a bit. He then turns feral and really chomps down on her arm, then outright attacks her, pins her to the floor, and tears into her neck. By the time Alcide and Tara stop the truck to check on them, Sookie is an unconscious bloody mess. Bill comes to his senses a little and has no idea what’s happened. Tara freaks and kicks him out of the truck, right into the sunlight. Then she and Alcide take off with Sookie, leaving him to fry. Bill sizzles a little bit, but doesn’t burst into flames. He looks as dumbfounded by this as anyone.
So, That’s What Sookie Is
By the time Tara and Alcide get Sookie to a hospital, she’s in a coma. The doctors attempt a blood transfusion, but her body rejects it. They determine that she has an unknown blood type.
Bill arrives a little later. Tara can’t believe he’s still alive. She freaks out again. Bill wants to give Sookie some of his blood to heal her. Tara tries to stop him, but ultimately Jason (as next of kin) says that they should give it a try.
While she’s unconscious, Sookie has a weird vision or dream about meeting a bunch of half-naked weirdos frolicking in a garden. A woman named Claudine acts like she knows Sookie, but Sookie has no idea who she is. There’s a pond where the water seems to glow. They talk a bit about how important the light is. Then, suddenly, darkness overcomes the scene (which coincides with Bill giving Sookie his blood). Claudine warns Sookie about the vampire stealing her light. As Sookie protests, everyone in the garden escapes by jumping into the pond. Sookie claims that she can’t swim. On the way out, Claudine says something about Sookie’s parents not drowning. This confuses Sookie, but leaves us with an implication that Bill may have killed her parents. Then Sookie awakes.
Now, I haven’t read any of the Charlaine Harris books. But as I understand it, these characters are Fairies, and so is Sookie. That’s why she has the ability to read minds and can conjure that blast of light. Bill must suspect this, since he’s been tracing her geneaology.
While this is certainly a big revelation plot-wise, it’s also pretty damn lame. I mean, really, Fairies? Faithful to the book series or not, it comes across really cheesy when played out in live action. I’m not terribly thrilled with this direction for the show. I’ve heard that the series is only intermittently faithful to the Harris novels. I wish that this storyline was one the writers could have dropped or altered.
In the other important plot thread this episode, Eric returns to Fangtasia as the Magister is torturing Pam. He’s brought Queen Sophie-Ann with him, and admits that she was behind the sale of vampire blood. The Magister assumes that Eric is turning her in (good), which would also mean that he’s committed treason against his Queen (bad). It seems like a no-win situation for Eric, until he explains that he’s renounced his fealty to the Queen and now swears to King Russell, who gleefully walks in on cue.
Russell announces his engagement to the Queen, and demands that the Magister marry them. The Magister refuses, and blathers on about “The Authority.” Russell scoffs, and proclaims his intent to overturn the Authority. He frees Pam, chains up the Magister, and tortures him with a stake until the Magister finally declares that he and the Queen are married. “I’m so happy I could bleed,” says the bride sarcastically. Russell thanks the Magister, and immediately decapitates him. The head flies across the room in slow motion and splats on the floor.
This episode also has a little bit of progression with the season’s two least interesting storylines.
Jason is still hung up on that girl Crystal. Even he seems to think that it’s strange how much she’s affected him. “I never really thought I was smart enough to get depressed,” he says. He learns that the meth dealer he busted a few episodes back is her cousin, and tries to get some information out of him. None of this amounts to much this week.
On a side note, Hoyt has a new pushy girlfriend named Summer (Melissa Rauch from ‘The Big Bang Theory’). He’s not into her nearly as much as she’s into him, but she’s persistent. She brings over some of her baking. “I really want you to taste my biscuits,” she entices. Ummm ummm ummm… Yeah, no double-entendre there!
Finally, we have Sam’s storyline. He sneaks into a dog fight… as a dog, of course. He manages to break the fight up before Tommy gets too hurt. Then he has a big argument with his parents, tells them that he’s taking Tommy from him, and shuts them out of his life. I’m sure that this isn’t the last we’ll see of them, however.
Considering how much goes on in it, the episode is surprisingly short. The end credits come up at only the 50-minute mark.
As I said, there’s some good stuff in here, but I kind of expected something more epic, based on the teaser ad. The Fairy business just isn’t doing it for me, and I kind of wish that the Sam and Jason storylines would move along. From what I hear of the books, the Jason storyline will eventually lead somewhere interesting, but it’s sure taking its damn time getting there.
Here’s hoping that next week straightens some of these issues out.