Oh, ‘True Blood’, could I love you any more than I do right now? Probably not. It isn’t that this week’s episode, ‘I Smell a Rat’, is any sort of series high-point. Because it isn’t. It’s not even in quite the same league as the previous terrific episode. It’s pretty good, but not that good. Then why am I so pleased with the show? Four words: Best. Opening. Line. Ever.
“I’m a fairy? How fucking lame!”
Thank you, Sookie Stackhouse! That is exactly what I (and I dare say many other viewers) have been thinking ever since fairies were introduced to the series a few episodes back. And the show’s writers put those thoughts to words right off the bat. They know just how dumb this concept seems on its face, and are willing to address that head-on.
Sookie gets in another line that’s almost as good a minute later, after Bill explains that the “Fae” were known for mating with humans, sometimes without consent.
“My people are rapists?!”
BWAAA-HAAAA-HAAAA!!! Rapist fairies… I love it! If there’s any way to redeem this stupid storyline that author Charlaine Harris introduced in the original novels, this is the way to do it.
Oh god, that’s so good. Do I even need to recap the rest of the episode after that? Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
Bill tells Sookie that the Fae were believed to have been wiped out by vampires many years ago. Apparently, fairy blood is very tasty. He admits that hers is the most delicious that he’s ever drunk. This makes Sookie worry that their relationship is really just an addiction for Bill, but he protests that his love is genuine. He will forsake ever drinking from her again if that’s what it takes to prove his intentions.
What Bill neglects to tell Sookie is that her blood allowed him to walk in the sunlight without immediately bursting into flames. Later, in private, Eric confronts him on this point. Legend has it that fairy blood will make a vampire immune from sunlight. He expresses disappointment when Bill tells him that it only slowed down the process a little, but he still burned.
As for the rest of the characters:
Jason & Tara
Killing Franklin has caused Jason to have traumatic flashbacks to shooting Eggs, and to the death of Eddie (Stephen Root), the vampire that his girlfriend staked in Season 1. This forces Tara to snap out of her funk and take charge. She orders him to clean up the bloody mess and bury what little is left of Franklin’s remains so that there’s no evidence of what happened.
Jason is wracked with guilt over the Eggs situation now more than ever, and tells Sookie all about it. She tries to convince him to tell the truth to Tara, but he resists, because telling the truth hasn’t often worked out for him in the past. However, when Tara thanks him for saving her, and kisses him a little too passionately, Jason blurts out his secret. She simply storms away and won’t speak to him.
The beat-down he put on Crystal’s father has caused Sam to have his own flashbacks to a storyline we’ve never seen before. In it, a young Sam (before coming to Bon Temps) and a girlfriend are working as thieves and con artists. Although she doesn’t know that he’s a Shifter, it’s clear to us that he’s been using his power to break into houses that no one else can get into.
This backstory explains how Sam could have gotten enough money together to eventually open his own restaurant.
The girlfriend double-crosses Sam and runs off with another man. He tracks them down, and beats the crap out of the man. The girlfriend shoots at him and misses, which causes Sam to shoot her dead. With that done, he also puts the man down to eliminate the only witness.
This is a very, very dark turn for Sam, and puts a lot of what we know about the character in a new light.
Hoyt & Jessica
When Hoyt’s new girlfriend Summer tries to awkwardly offer herself up to him, he’s only reminded of how much he hates her. He breaks up with Summer and tells Jessica that he wants her back. Tommy overhears and picks a fight with Hoyt.
Hoyt decks Tommy. On the way out of the restaurant, Tommy shifts into his dog mode and attacks Hoyt. Jessica rushes out to save him and drop-kicks the dog into the bushes. Hoyt has a pretty severe dog bite, so Jessica gives some of her blood to heal him.
Arlene & Terry
Overcome with guilt, Arlene finally tells Terry that the baby isn’t his, and that she wants to abort it. She expects that he will leave her, but Terry proves himself a good guy. He announces that he’s going to marry her as they planned. He will raise the baby as his own and shower it with so much love that no amount of evil could resist. Awww….
Lafayette & Jesus
On their way to the hospital, Lafayette realizes that Crystal’s father won’t make it there alive. He stops at his own house instead and gives him some V to heal him. The man revives, and is very pissed about the whole situation. He storms off, ungrateful.
Gay Jesus (sorry, I just enjoy writing that) is fascinated by the healing power of the V. He tells Lafayette that he wants the both of them to do some together. They do, and have a crazily colorful drug trip with shared hallucinations into each of their families’ pasts. We see that Jesus’ grandfather was a black magic sorcerer, and one of Lafayette’s ancestors in slavery times was also a seer of some sort.
The scene is a visual riot and a lot of fun to watch, but I have to admit that it’s getting to be annoying how almost every character on the show now has some supernatural background. Soon, there won’t be any normal humans left in the town. This is starting to remind me of one of the biggest mistakes that ‘Heroes’ made during its slide into irrelevance. I don’t think anything in ‘True Blood’ is quite that bad yet, but I wish the show would lay off this sort of revelation for a while.
After his stint killing an anchorman on national television and declaring war on humanity, Russell spends most of this episode lying low. His face is plastered all over the television. Nan of course denounces him and labels him a “terrorist.” The douchebag from the Church of the Light actually comes on TV to say “I told you so.”
Russell pops up near the end of the episode. He picks up a male hooker named Tony (who apparently doesn’t watch the news) in an alley. At first, we believe that he’s looking to make a new vampire to replace Talbot. But then he starts talking to Tony as if Tony were Talbot. He moans that they never had a chance to say their proper goodbyes, and then he stakes this human right through the heart. That’s one hell of a goodbye, all right.
Odds and Ends
Expecting repercussions from Russell, Eric wills all of his possessions (including Fangtasia) to Pam and urges her to sire her own progeny. She is not happy that he seems to be giving up, and begs him to offer up Sookie to Russell as appeasement. Eric won’t even consider it.
Russell’s actions have triggered a wave of anti-vampire hate crimes. Jessica finds a burning cross in Bill’s yard and graffiti spray-painted on the house. She moves to chase after the vandals, but Bill explains how badly restraint is needed, even if it goes against their natures.
Sookie has another sexy dream about Eric, in which he cautions her that Bill is lying and shouldn’t be trusted. But she still doesn’t trust Eric.
Sookie has decided to stay with Jason for a while because her own house isn’t safe. Jason has an argument with Bill and expels him from the house, revoking Sookie’s invitation.
Jason goes into his bedroom and finds a panther there waiting for him. The panther then transforms into naked Crystal. Because she’s a were-panther! Finally. I was wondering how long they were going to drag this storyline out before getting on with it.
The episode ends with Eric chaining Sookie up in Fangtasia’s basement/dungeon. Whether this is for her protection or if he has other motives isn’t clear. In any case, she isn’t happy about it.
So, all in all, a pretty good episode. It doesn’t have anything that can top last week’s, but the opening scene is just plain terrific.