'True Blood': Fighting Werewolves, and the IRS

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Season Three of True Blood picks up just where Season Two left off: Bill has been kidnapped moments after proposing to Sookie—and just a moment before she decides to say yes. Viewers may have been sympathetic to Sookie's hesitation, as Bill had gotten more and more prim, proper, and dull (well, for a vampire) toward the end of the season, but he looks set to redeem himself in the new one. He gracefully murders his kidnappers and then, to recuperate, drains an old lady of some of her blood (but gives her money and a courtly apology, plus a dose of hypnotism so she'll forget his visit).

Sookie wastes no time calling in favors and making threats as she begins her hunt for Bill. Her first stop is Eric's bar. Although at the end of Season Two we were left with the sense that Eric had arranged Bill's kidnapping, in order to cover up the fact that he and the vampire queen were selling vampire blood (V), it now seems a mysterious order of werewolves may have been the true culprits. (Fun fact: they used real wolves in filming!) None of the vampires are aware of "Operation Werewolf" yet, however; Eric and the queen just know they need to sell off all the remaining V and lie low, as they're being investigated by both the vampire magistrate and the IRS.

Eric does not prove particularly helpful in finding Bill, but Sookie finds a more productive method of searching. Watching Pam react to a telepathic call from Eric, Sookie discovers that a vampire can hear calls from its maker. She therefore enlists Jessica, the hormone-addled perma-teenaged vampire of Bill's making. Jessica brings them to the crash scene where Bill had killed his kidnappers and escaped into the night, and they find an interesting tattoo on one of the corpses. The duo use their handy smartphone (product placement!), which informs them the symbol is related to "Operation Werewolf."

Other plotlines from this episode that will probably tie back together later in the season:
1) Tara is in shock because the only man she ever loved is dead
2) Lafayette is caring for Tara while working two jobs and trying to sell off the remaining V in one night (Eric's orders)
3) Sookie's brother Jason is going slightly insane from the aftermath of shooting Tara's lover and then covering it up on Officer Andy's orders
4) Sam is traveling the country trying to find his old and un-endearing foster parents
5) Jessica went a bit nuts, found a horny truck driver, and killed him—and then was tormented by guilt and the smell of a rotting corpse

In the final scene, we're left watching Bill politely inform the werewolves closing in on him that he has recently fed, before the screen goes black and he presumably tears them into tiny little pieces.

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Clarissa Matthews contributes to TheAtlantic.com, mostly in the form of product management. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Publishing Institute and lives in Washington, D.C.

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