Monday, August 9, 2010

'True Blood:' season 3, episode 8

Posted By on Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Checkmate!
  • John P. Johnson/HBO
  • Checkmate!
Breakin' up is hard to do, but there's always the break-up sex. Last night's episode explored the many complicated facets of the age-old coping mechanism. Let's break it down.

1. THE I-WISH-I-KNEW-HOW-TO-QUIT-YOU SEX: Sookie and Bill
After nearly killing her, Bill saves Sookie with a transfusion of his own V. She comes to immediately, screaming like a banshee. Then comes the "We need to talk" line, not a phrase anyone in any kind of relationship generally wants to hear, but especially not if you've just tried to murder your mate. "I don't know how to start forgiving you ... From the day we met, it's been one long bloody fight," says Sookie. The break-up is tragic in all the ways that star-crossed love affairs are, full of things unsaid and sobbing in the fetal position.

Bill, devastated, lashes out at Jessica upon returning home and ultimately "releases" her. Stubborn and scared, she refuses to leave Bill — they'll wallow in their misery together. Realizing they have more in common than he originally thought, Bill takes Jessica under his wing, teaching her how to fight werewolves. The two zip around the living room pinning each other down in anticipation of the attack that's coming for Sookie.

Sookie finds refuge at home in the arms of Alcide, and the sexual tension is almost too much to bear. But, werewolves are retaliating against his family and he leaves to take care of business, but not before a long, lingering goodbye on the front porch ("Sookie, I know you're tougher than a one-eared alley cat").

At night, Sookie waits at her bedroom window with a loaded shotgun. When Debbie arrives with two wolves in tow, Bill and Jessica show up, also ready and waiting. The vampires and werewolves begin to brawl downstairs and Debbie heads up to find Sookie, who has her bedroom door locked. Why Sookie doesn't blow the girl's brains out immediately is a mystery, except for that "True Blood" fans love a good cat fight, and good cat fight is what we get: Sookie backhands Debbie; Debbie right hooks Sookie; Sookie smashes Debbie's faces into a mirror, and later gets a running start and pounces on the girl, punching her face repeatedly. After slashing Debbie's face with a pair of scissors, Sookie regains the shotgun and sends Debbie away, wounded but still alive. I think it's safe to say that was a mistake.

Downstairs, Bill's defeated his werewolf, but Jessica is struggling. It lures her outside into the fangs of Edgington, who uses her as bait to draw Bill out. "Let's settle this among men," Bill says. "How very sexist of you, Bill. When it comes to killing, I'm an equal opportunist." When Bill asks, "Are you a coward? Or just lazy?" Edgington attacks, searing Bill's face with his silver spurs. It looks as though it could be the end for Bill, until Edgington senses that Talbot's in trouble (see No. 4: Revenge Sex) and vanishes.

Bill runs upstairs to find Sookie and the two immediately begin frantically kissing and ripping each others' clothes off. Cut to the sex, which I'll stop short at describing except to say I'll be checking my cable bill this month to be sure there aren't any extra charges for Adult Programming, because that, my friends, left nothing to the imagination.

The I-Wish-I-Knew-How-To-Quit-You Sex, is the most complicated type of break-up sex: The love and attraction are still there, but both sides know that any kind of relationship is practically impossible, which also makes it the best of the break-up sexes: tons of passion funneled into every relapse since each moment could be the last. Was this Bill and Sookie's last time? Not likely.

2. THE MIND FUCK: Tara and Franklin
All of Franklin's rape, abuse, and mind games have left Tara completely scarred, physically and psychologically. She's living in fear of what's happened, what could happen and what she's been capable of over the past few days. On top of all of that, she's having the kind of startlingly realistic sex fantasies about Franklin that one gets after ingesting a vampire's blood, like we've seen with Sookie and Lafayette. So not only has she been emotionally and psychologically screwed by the guy, he's also invaded her subconscious. Fear is the key to this kind of break-up sex and Tara's scared big time, because even though she smashed his brain in, chances are we haven't seen the last of Franklin.

3. THE REBOUND SEX: Crystal and Jason
Crystal, running scared from the "hillbilly freakshow" that is her life, finds refuge in Jason's arms. Betrothed to her cousin since the age of 4, Crystal renounces the engagement, suffers a black eye, and inexplicably shows up on Jason's stoop soaking wet and in need of a blanket and some whisky. The two go at it relatively modestly compared to Sookie and Bill, but are having more fun. That's the thing about rebound sex, it's fun because it feels consequence free and usually results in a one-night-stand. You hardly know each other, and chances are you'll never see each other again. Which is more than likely with Jason and Crystal since he leaves her alone and hunted in his house while he runs out to play copper.

4. THE REVENGE SEX: Eric and Talbot
Revenge sex involves sex as a weapon, which Eric interpreted quite literally in this episode. Talbot pitches a fit when Russell brings his new queen home. "Oh poor Talbot. Are your diamond slippers chaffing?" Edgington asks his jilted lover. Eric volunteers to entertain Talbot, which makes Edgington jealous. But he's got business to attend to (see No. 1: I-Wish-I-Knew-How-To-Quit-You Sex) and leaves for Bon Temps. First the two try some chess, which Eric wins. "Checkmate," he says cornering Talbot's king in a bit of foreshadowing. Pissy and bored, Talbot tells Eric to take of his clothes. Now shirtless, the two get to making out in the best man-man match-up since Jake and Heath. Later, Eric tells Talbot to roll over but instead of consummating their relationship, Eric stakes Talbot through the heart as payback for the murder of his father 1,000 years ago. Revenge sex is usually impulsive and, as a result, followed by harsh consequences. It's unclear whether Eric's got a plan for taking down Edgington. If he doesn't he better think quickly, because Edgington's gonna be there in about five seconds.

Other thoughts and things:

— When I saw that golden Buddha fly up onto Lafayette's porch I started cursing, thinking Tara's mom was back. Thankfully it was Alfre Woodard as Lafayette's mom — she's my preferred crazy momma.

— Sam's not having any sex, break-up or otherwise, but he did have a great line this episode. Sam gives his mother all the money in his wallet: "That ain't gonna get us far." "Fuck where it gets you, long as it's outta here."

— Arelene's having nightmare's that the baby is Rene's. Ick.

— "You're acting like a hundred-year-old child." (Edgington)

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