‘True Blood’ 3.05 Recap: “This Is Sexy Good News”

At its best, ‘True Blood’ provides a kicky mix of pulp melodrama, horror, and black comedy. Some episodes lean more towards one of those aspects than the others. This week’s episode, ‘Trouble’, brings on the funny in a big way. It has a fair amount of overt comedy, especially in the Jason Stackhouse storyline, and also a lot of just plain weird stuff going on. But don’t worry; it certainly doesn’t skimp on the brooding drama or bloody mayhem either.

As we last left things, Franklin had tied up Tara and dragged her along with him to Mississippi. As this episode opens, King Russell, Lorena, and Bill return home covered in blood after enjoying a nice meal of fresh stripper. Tara is confused to see Bill there, and begs for his help. He refuses. That’s cold, even for a vampire.

In private, Franklin presents the King with evidence that Bill has been lying to him. He has documents that he retrieved from Bill’s house which show that he’s been tracing the genealogy of Sookie’s family for generations. She’s clearly more special than Bill let on, and his interest in her extends far beyond a simple relationship.

Not long after, Eric pays the King a visit, asking for permission to hunt Bill. He lays out the story that Bill had been selling vampire blood. The King is very amused by this, and quickly turns the tables on the conversation by bringing out Bill, to which Eric has to confess the truth about his troubles with the Magister. Upon learning that Bill has renounced his fealty to Queen Sophie-Ann, Eric makes it very clear how interested he is that Bill has also given up Sookie. The look he gives Bill is a classic.

Alcide and Sookie escaped the werewolf party. Alcide barely managed to suppress his urge to wolf out. The next morning, Sookie wakes up to the sound of Alcide and his ex-girlfriend in a screaming match. She’d come to warn him about the vampire King. Sookie gets it in her head that she needs to talk to this King. First, Alcide needs to seek instructions from the werewolf Packmaster. Sookie insists on coming along. The Packmaster orders Alcide to stand down because the King is too dangerous. Sookie can read in his thoughts that he’s scared shitless and is planning to run away.

At the King’s compound, Franklin has tied Tara to a bed. He’s clearly just friggin’ nuts. Even the King tells him so, bemusedly. He really seems to think that he and Tara are in a relationship. When she tries to escape in daylight, Cooter the werewolf catches and brings her back. Franklin is ripshit upset, until Tara catches on that her best chance of survival is to play along into his fantasy. She claims that she was afraid of the other vampires, not him of course. This seems to calm him down.

Back in Bon Temps, Jason shows up at the police station eager to get to work bustin’ some criminal scum. The other cops are confused as to what he thinks he’s doing there. Andy has to explain that he’s hired Jason to handle some office work. But Jason really isn’t suited for office work, and very quickly grows bored out of his skull. Andy promises him that he’ll move things along as soon as he can. In the meantime, he gives Jason a very special assignment.

Cut to Jason washing police cars. As he’s hosing them down, he spots the girl that he previously saw outside the meth house drive by. We assume she’s a shifter, but Jason has no idea. He immediately hops in a cruiser and chases after her. Only after pulling her over does he realize that he’s not wearing a shirt and looks absolutely nothing like a cop. He finds a pair of sunglasses in the glove box and… well, he does his best. She just giggles at him. They flirt a little, he learns that her name is Crystal, and then she drives off. He yells after her to meet him at Merlotte’s that night.

At Merlotte’s, Sam has hired his brother Tommy to work for him. This upsets his father, who shows up at Sam’s trailer in a drunken rage until Sam puts him in his place.

Lafayette gets a visit from Jesus, his mother’s nurse. He assumes that something bad has happened, but Jesus really just came to see him. He’s got it bad for Lafayette, and actually hangs around the restaurant all day when Lafayette tells him that he won’t be getting off until 11 that night.

Jessica is still working as hostess. Arlene has chosen to start a feud with her because she doesn’t trust the vampire girl. This only leads Jessica to test out her improving skill at glamouring humans on a couple of patrons, who she instructs not to tip Arlene. Jessica also spots Hoyt at the restaurant with a date. This leaves her depressed, until she and Tommy start flirting.

Andy meets Jason to give him the good news that he has all but entirely pushed through the paperwork to make Jason a deputy. All Jason has to do is pass the written exam. Well, so much for that.

Jason leaves Merlotte’s dejected, not just at this news, but also because Crystal never showed up. However, as he walks to the parking lot, he finds her there. She tells him that her life is complicated and she can never be with him, but they have an instant connection and share a romantic moment in the moonlight. Jason is quite infatuated with this girl, which is weird because he clearly can do and has done better. Honestly, she’s a little weird looking.

In Mississippi, King Russell confronts Bill with the genealogy papers. Bill plays dumb and claims they aren’t his, but the King isn’t buying it. Later, Cooter makes a show of rubbing Bill’s face in “sexy good news” he’s learned about Sookie shacking up with Alcide. Bill beats the crap out of Cooter and escapes the King’s compound to find her.

Franklin seems to be buying into Tara’s game of playing along with him. This begs the question of whether he’s stupid as well as crazy. Or is it possible that he’s just stringing her along with false hope that she has any control over the situation? Whichever the case may be, he informs her that he wants to take her out for a nice dinner to celebrate her last night as a human. He proposes to her…that he turn her into a vampire. How romantic! Tara tries her best to hide the terror behind her shaky smile.

The King’s consort Talbot is gaga for Eric. Russell instructs that he give Eric a tour of the house while he takes care of some business. In one of the King’s trophy rooms, Eric finds a Viking crown, which prompts a flashback to his father and family being slain by werewolves while mysterious figure looked on. He makes the connection that King Russell must have been that man.

Bill finds Sookie and warns her that she must get out of Mississippi. She won’t go without him. “There is no hope for me,” he says. Just then, the King, Cooter, and other henchmen barge in to kidnap Sookie. As they try, she repels Cooter with that magic blast of light that she’d previously used against Marianne. The King is absolutely delighted by this development. She is a special girl indeed.

Sookie’s magic power is a little cheesy, but overall ‘Trouble’ is a very entertaining episode with a great mix of all the best that ‘True Blood’ has to offer. The sexy good news is that this new season seems to be shaping up nicely. So far, it’s a decided improvement over last year.

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