Last week on ‘True Blood’

Jess jumps back in on True Blood, right before tonight’s new episode.

TRUE BLOOD: 4.02 “You Smell Like Dinner”

HBO did all Truebies a favor after the premiere and made episode two immediately available for watching online at HBO Go. I didn’t watch, but tortured myself until the following Sunday (and if anyone threatened to discuss episode two before then, well, it was going to have to be a hands-over-my-ears sort of reaction on my end). Was it worth the wait?

Yes.

While the premiere left me feeling slightly complacent, episode two threw a virtual bucket of cold water in my face and left me stunned. Bill’s accidental passion for Sookie becomes much more dimensional as we learn more about his past. Hired by Nan Flanagan in the early 80’s based on his compassion and potential to change the vampire image, Bill took on a noble task, but was sidetracked by greed and love. So we really don’t know what to think about him anymore, now do we?

This new perspective of Bill is bit jarring, and we finally get a true taste of how Sookie feels when she says that every time she learns something new about him, she wishes she didn’t know it. Speaking of new perspectives, how about finally seeing Eric fail at a task – to put an end to the witchcraft at Moongoddess? We already got the vibe that Marnie is, although quiet, the ringleader of this Wiccan group, but it’s when Lafayette joins the circle during each chant that the magic manifests itself. I guess we’ll see if this is a coincidence or not. Either way, when she becomes possessed and starts spewing Latin, Eric loses his cool in a way we’ve never seen before. While Sookie scorned his offer of full protection before, having accepted it would have now been a moot point.

The panther mating scene with Crystal and Jason was just as unsettling as our new perspectives on Eric and Bill (well, so is any scene with the inbred hillbilly clan, to be honest). Because Felton is sterile (a hidden PSA on the dangers of drug use, anyone? Ha), he and Crystal have decided to turn Jason into a Werepanther to procreate and keep the blood line “pure”. Yikes.

Anyway, we couldn’t be rid of Tara (/Toni) for long, whether we wanted to or not. I didn’t touch much on Tara last week, just because her disappearance was treated as such an aside. She takes off in season three’s finale with a fresh new haircut, bound for destinations unknown in Lafayette’s convertible. This season, we find her in New Orleans as a wrestling lesbian going by the pseudonym of Toni. (Another thing to love about this show – there’s no lack of “wtf” moments.) For Sookie’s sake only, I’m glad she’s back. After only a few hours in Bon Temps, she finds herself back in trouble again when she accompanies Lafayette and Jesus to Moongoddess during Eric’s visit.

Jessica runs off after another tiff with Hoyt, cheating on him with that new guy at Fangtasia’s. This wasn’t without some effort, as the parking lot is full of protesters each night condeming the vampire (and fang-banger) lifestyle. Jessica’s infidelity disappointed me, because you can’t help but pull for Hoyt to be happy (and he did take some blows fighting the protesters outside of the bar) but we all knew they wouldn’t live happily ever after just yet. Love in Bon Temps is never easy. The complexity of their relationship is rather intriguing this season, and I look forward to seeing them grapple with their differences.

There are just so many things to love about this show that I can’t get into them all right now. In a post-Russell-Edgington Bon Temps, surprises lurk around every corner, and new supernatural ghoulies go bump in the night (and day). We’re finally delving more about the dark side (is there any other?) of vampire politics, and that there’s something that can actually scare the shirt off of Eric Northman. Can this show get any better? We’ll find out tonight!

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