'True Blood': When Good Advice Falls on Deaf Ears

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HBO

This week's True Blood was a thrill ride, packed with adrenaline-pumping fight scenes, PTSD-level flashbacks and the usual amount of good advice not taken. Almost everyone has an ex causing trouble, be it in the form of afore-mentioned flashbacks, heartache, or a sister's hair salon being torched. Alcide had it exactly right when he told Sookie that if they were both sensible people they would have fallen for people like each other—and I, for one, was really hoping they'd choose to sensibly make out at that moment, but they had to run off their separate ways and fight rogue werewolves and vampire kings instead.

Other good advice not taken:

1.), 2.), and 3.) SOOKIE, DO YOU NOT WATCH MOVIES? Ignoring cryptic advice from someone you don't quite trust is always a mistake. Even if Eric's message to distrust Bill wasn't warning enough, Tara was pretty clear on her low opinion of Bill. In fact, everyone, including Bill, says the relationship is a bad idea. Presumably, the adrenaline rush accompanying the fantastic Sookie-Debbie fight scene wore down Sookie's good sense. Le sigh.


MORE ON TRUE BLOOD:
Clarissa Rappoport-Hankins: 'True Blood': One Death, Countless Questions
Eleanor Barkhorn: 'True Blood': A Tale of Two Taras

4.) Lacking good sense runs in the family: Despite much advice to the contrary, Jason marches straight into the lion's den (er, the den of meth-dealing supernaturals of some kind) to announce to Crystal's family that she is no longer theirs to control. The whole family then follows Jason's trail back to Crystal, leading to Bad Things, to be made clear in the next episode.

5.) It's possible that Lafayette's crazy mother may have some useful advice, too. Could she be right that she has some grasp on what is going on (vampire threats to Lafayette do seem pretty on the money) but the meds are messing with her mind? Or is that just the schizophrenia talking?

Good sense and bad sense aside, this episode had some impressive scenes. Here's the quick top three:

1.) Eric's revenge. It was well-planned and (literally) well-executed. It's noteworthy that the writers/director made the viewers sympathize with Eric's lust for revenge while simultaneously feeling Talbot's terror at the sudden betrayal, plus a bit of guilty heartbreak for Russell as he senses Talbot's death. Dizzy, anyone?

2.) The Sookie-Debbie fight. It eschewed girly hair-pulling and went for the punches and kicks and wrestling you'd expect from a real fight between some very angry non-ninjas. It's not clear why Debbie didn't change into a wolf and tear Sookie's throat out once she'd disarmed her, but I'm willing to assume there's a good reason.

3.) Melinda Mickens bidding farewell to her son. She's dumb, and definitely isn't winning Best in Show for maternal skills (dog joke! get it??), but she's sweet and she clearly loves Tommy. The sad-faced dog at the beginning of the scene was well-chosen to play her.

The show showed great versatility this week, switching seamlessly from sad, emotionally-complicated subplots into delightfully vicious fighting scenes. Also, from Lafayette's mom brandishing a kitchen knife and dashing around the shrubbery in her fluffy pink robe, to Bill starting to finally mentor baby-vampire Jessica, almost every character got a bit more interesting this week. It's good to be back in Bon Temps!

Presented by

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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