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True Blood – 9 Crimes

We are now 4 hours into season 3 and True blood still appears to be wandering amongst the Vampires, werewolves and telepaths, looking for plot direction. There are glimmers of hope that bleed through the confused narrative, but the tenuous connections between stories simply aren’t strong enough to maintain audience interest for much longer.

After last weeks shock ending, that had me spitting hot chocolate (don’t you judge me!) all over my sunburnt chest, I was hoping that we had landed with a splatter into a grittier and altogether nastier part of the True Blood universe, which could act as defibrillation to the cold heart of season 3. So far, a solid plot line is yet to emerge and the narrative flicks between characters with such pace, that as a viewer we are left feeling either teased or merely disorientated.  Unfortunately, 9 Crimes continues this focus on character dialogue, with scenes that often feel unnecessary and stagnant. I am quite confused by Sookie’s flirtations with Alcide. She is seemingly always seconds away from bedding both Eric and now the wolf with the Men's Health body. Because of my growing dislike for Anna Paquin’s character, I was genuinely spurring on the stone-faced Bill, as he broke up with Sookie over the phone.
Unfortunately and rather predictably, Sookie is not deterred in her hunt for Bill and after another near sex experience with Alcide, is dressing up like a gothic hooker so that she can go undercover at a biker bar. Luckily, she can say ‘fuck’ really loudly so no one will ever be the wiser. This was another detail that stood out to me tonight; the swearing. Now I say this not from a prudish standpoint (some of my best friends are dock workers), but more as a ‘whoa where did that come from’ stance which, more often than not, left me giggling like the first girl that saw me naked. Tonight, we had Sookie telling Bill to “shut the fuck up”, we had Bill asking Lorena to “get the fuck out” and Alcide unhilariously exclaiming “shut the fucking door”. I know this is HBO and they have a quota to fill, but this felt about as natural as my blow-up friend’s left breast (we’re seriously just friends).


Fortunately, the episode did have some redeeming features in the form of new vampire Franklin Mott and crowd favourite Eric. The Mott character is extremely compelling to watch, as he teeters on the brink of insanity, whilst demonstrating his advanced glamouring skills on Tara. Let’s put our cards on the table, we all want to torture Tara a little bit. Nothing too serious; just your basic run-of-the-mill kidnapping and light beatings. The way he plays with her like a cat does a half chewed mouse, is a guilty pleasure to experience, which balances the sick and the quirky eloquently. We all know that feeling when you duck tape flowers to your girlfriend’s hands, only to see her quiver in fear and dribble ever so slightly.

Eric comes to Lafayette’s rescue when he tries to sell drugs to some rednecks who ‘don’t take kindly to his kind’ i.e. the gays. This was possibly my favourite moment of 9 Crimes and I wish Lafayette would feature more prominently with his wonderful contradiction of personality. Eric is always fun to watch and it is driving me mad wondering whether he can actually fly, as his dream depicted, or if his zipping around is merely a roadrunner-esque manoeuvre (if you listen closely you can definitely hear a meep-meep). Unfortunately, Eric’s V business, done at the behest of his Queen, has been revealed to the King by Bill and the Magister is in a very bad mood (has been ever since he was killed off Heroes). A bit of squirming later and the blame has been somewhat shifted to Bill, setting the stage for a face off between King and Queen and their sheriffs.

The other developments that take place are barely worthy of note, with Jason trying to blackmail new sheriff Andy into making him a police officer, Sam taking in his new family and Jessica meeting an ex-Bible School buddy (praise Jebus). They are pleasant little updates, but are beginning to feel less and less relevant. The hinting possibilities of an epic battle between vampire Kings and Queens and the werewolves they control, needs to be given some context and foundation, otherwise audiences will be left with no investment as to its outcome.

Overall

I’ve been a long time fan of True Blood, but this latest season has seriously lacked direction. I feel we are being introduced to characters that we know all too well and who unfortunately, are often quite two dimensional. I was hoping that more layers to both Sookie’s and Sam’s gifts would be revealed, but instead we have only experienced more tired southern stereotypes and weak melodrama. The episode highlights were unquestionably Franklin Mott’s psychopathic monologues and the smile on Lafayette’s face when Eric came to his rescue, with the goal of the match being scored by Bill when he punched Lorena in the face like a cross between the Terminator and my Dad when he’s had too much to drink. But the greatest failure of the episode is, as everyone will be painfully aware, the distinct lack of backward head sex, which has recently become a staple part of all my TV viewing (ok now you can judge me).

Rating
6.5

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