"Never really thought I was smart enough to get depressed...." Great line by Jason Stackhouse--my pick for best quote this week. And of course, Aussie Ryan K. puts on a great show as the emerging Jason, full of surprises--like being a philosopher this season, as well as a responsible citizen, friend and brother. His character in the Harris novels is not as likable as the person we see through Kwanten's efforts, and the show is better for it.
My other favorite of the week is Nelsan Ellis's Lafayette though he's been on my radar for the last three seasons as one of the best actors on the show. By all counts, the character of Lafayette should be dead, if not completely broken, But there he stands, grateful and eager, even after all he's lived through. What a powerhouse performance by Ellis. I recently read that Harris was glad Ball kept Lafayette alive in the HBO series--in the novels, he's found dead in Andy's car instead of the voodoo woman Ball replaced him with. Adaptation is such an interesting facet to our popular culture...and it adds to the many facets of this week's True Blood.
No Jessica this week, and more's the shame. But Hoyt's got his hemming-and-hawing routine down pat. Moving on....
The King of Mississippi, now also the King of Louisiana, Russell Edgington, is another wonderful development of the adaptive powers of Ball's brainchild. Edgington is played by Denis O'Hare. I saw O'Hare playing a very different part in a syndicated episode of CSI Miami and barely recognized him--he was sniveling and odd and weak-looking. My God, that's acting! O'Hare IS the Vampire King. He owns every inch of his 3,000-year old undead life. I LOVED what he did with the Magister. I LOVED what he said. I LOVED how he said it. And I could totally relate to what should be a totally unrelatable character--all thanks to O'Hare's daring portrayal of a character that has NEVER been played before in our pop culture history. Think about it, how many 3,000-year old vampires do you know? Even Dracula wasn't THAT old! And he's not just a 3,000-year old vampire, he's a 3,000-year old vampire-philosopher. He spoke in recent episodes about philosophies surrounding the environment, defining the master race, the pretense of socio-political justice...you know, the kinds of things a 3,000-year old sentient, intelligent creature would be thinking about.
But on to more, ah, physical things...like Alcide's part in Sookie's fairyland.
Tara is kick-ass in this show! You go, Rutina! She's surprised to learn that vampires turn into bloody puddles of goop when dead because, of course, her bludgeoned beloved didn't. Gulp. Stay tuned there. But my favorite part was when she literally kicked Bill Compton out of the truck and into the sun...really terrific stuff. Empowered by the vampire blood, Tara was unstoppable...which doesn't bode well for her in future. It's like a high-functioning alcoholic who appears to be doing everything with ease but only because of their blood-alcohol levels. If that drops off, so does their effectiveness.
We meet Sookie's fairy-cousin, Claudine...her literal fairy godmother. And of course, it's what I've been saying since Season Two...Sookie's fairy-roots are emerging, even with all that peroxide in her hair.
The death of Lorena was no surprise in the show. She'd outlived her usefulness and went with grace...even love. Anna Paquin's snarling, "You wouldn't know love if it kicked you in the fangs," smelled of the episode-director's touch. I could practically hear him coaching her, "Just think of that thing that makes you so angry you could scream...or kill, whatever the case may be...." ;)
Don't we love Pam??? She's another fantastic female character who is tough, smart, strong...and fashionable. We're all Tiffany girls at heart, but could we all stare an eye-piercing in the face with a straight face?
What to look for in future? Well, I can't spoil all the surprises but there's more than meets the fang to Eric's new allegiance to Edgington...we all know he wants to keep his 1000-year old promise to his long-dead father. But Eric, like all very old creatures, sees the long-view. Pam, however, is more concise. Layfayette, still tied in to Eric and Pam, will have a part to play in the politics ahead.
All in all, a GREAT episode! Kudos to the cast and crew...TB 3:7 knocks it out of the park. And if you think this week was good, wait until you see next week's episode!
As always, my favorite Truebies, fangers, shifters, weres, and fangbangers--buy your copy of True Blood & Philosophy: We Wanna Think Bad Things with You (Wiley 2010) to gain EVEN MORE insight into this HBO summer series whose future is as wide open as the adaptative creators behind it....