Aug 16 2010 4:21pm

True Blood episode review: “Everything is Broken”

In this week’s episode of HBO’s True Blood, Sam overreacts, but probably not as much as Russell. Probably.

Wow. Eric can learn a thing or two about sweeping, dramatic gestures. Staking Talbot certainly cut Russell where it hurts, but the King of Mississippi (and Louisiana!) has a certain flare that Eric lacks. Saying you want to fuck the Authority and then beheading the Magister is pretty great, but going on national television and ripping out the newscaster’s spine as he reports on the impending ratification of the Vampire Rights Amendment, well... yeah, I’d say the Authority is kind of fucked now. But I’m glad that good ol’ hypocritical Nan Flanigan is okay for now. (Who needs Tru Blood when you have naked strippers, really?) The look on her face as she watched the news was pretty priceless.

I bet Nan’s very glad the Authority gave Eric permission to destroy Russell, but I wonder if they’ve now changed their position on not helping Eric do it. How can Eric take down a vampire three times his age and power? Will bringing in Andy Bellefleur and Blackwater help? I think Russell has to destroy himself, and underestimating the Authority’s might could be his first misstep. Perhaps he showed his hand too early, grief-stricken as he was. In other news, I think Talbot’s crystal urn looks a bit tacky for a vampire of Talbot’s taste. If I were Russell, I’d go with something more baroque and possibly Grecian. But that might be impractical for on-the-go monologues. Poor Talbot. I miss him.

But not nearly as much as I’m going to miss Franklin.

I get that Franklin needed to die for the way he tortured Tara and his appearance was only brief in the show’s history, but it seems like a waste of a great actor to have Franklin die so soon. The show needs a loose cannon like that. With a British accent and a cool pair of boots. But, it was very satisfying to see Tara tell him off in such a strong way. It would’ve been better if she was the one to shoot him with wooden bullets, but I’m glad it was Jason who came to the rescue. I liked Tara’s crush on Jason in season one. I think there’s still some potential to mine there.

Tara would be a better match for Jason that Crystal. Seriously, even Jason can’t be stupid enough to ignore that many red flags. She accused him of kidnapping and rape and then she turns around and says she wants to be with him. Even though for some reason (that’s becoming more clear) they can never be together. Just, enough already. It’d be different if Jason knew why he was drawn to her, beyond his need to be a white knight, I mean. I say leave her to the were-hillbillies. Or let Sam at ’em all.

Sam is scary-mad sometimes. This is how he sets an example for Tommy? Or is Tommy’s macho attitude getting to him? Either way, no more naked Tommy again please. Thanks. I wish Sam would smack that wiseass smirk off of Tommy’s face. Tommy reminds me a bit of Connor on Angel. That’s not a compliment. Maybe I just have a low rebellious teen threshold. I get that he’s in pain, blah blah blah, but Sam’s trying hard to take care of him and be a good person. I think if Sam needs to stop letting anyone walk all over him, clearly it’s Tommy.

Lastly, we didn’t see much of Bill and Sookie this week. So, was Bill lying about only keeping that file on Sookie so he could learn why Eric wanted her so much? I’m not trusting Bill much these days, either. I am still not feeling the magical fairy land with Disney-style swelling music. How can anyone on this show not think Sookie is at least part fairy by now? Does Claudine need to show up with wings or something? A magic wand and some pixie dust? I guess the biggest upshot is that Sookie needs to protect herself, unless she wants to be kept on tap for vamps who want to be invulnerable to sunlight or something. Okay. But I’m still more interested in seeing how Bon Temps and the world at large will react to Russell’s revelation of his own vampire agenda. Will prejudice against vampires and sympathizers rise? Will people have to choose between pro- and anti-vampire friends? Tara’s been spewing some strong anti-fang words of late. And Hoyt’s girlfriend definitely seems like the type who’d disapprove of vampires, when it really comes down to it. Especially if she learns that Jessica still has her way-cooler fangs in Hoyt. Only three episodes left! Doesn’t seem like enough time is left to wrap up so many threads.  Is it finale-worthy for Sookie to learn something most of the audience has already guessed at? What fresh bit of obnoxiousness can Tommy come up with to make Sam kick him to the curb? Is there anything Crystal can do that will redeem her?

Some things I liked:

  • Hey, so Holly might not be evil. I still think she’s a witch and has a really evil forehead, but there could be something really interesting here. I was proud of Tara for going to a rape survivor’s group and really surprised to see Holly there and hear her sad story. Maybe her past makes her want to help others. Maybe she’s a good witch. (But Maryanne started out all benevolent, too right?) I wonder how she can help Arlene’s predicament.
  • Lafayette is glowing with love for Jesus. (Hay-sus.) How cute was his mom using all of his makeup and jewelry? Oh please let this relationship last and be happy. Keep Lafayette glowing.
  • Pam begging Eric to listen to reason and not end their century-long companionship. Also, her giving this impassioned speech to her maker while wearing a magenta tracksuit and matching Uggs. Seriously. Look at her in the above picture. Brilliance!
  • The way Franklin said Tara did not mourn him and how he would mourn her to his very marrow. He gets such wonderfully creepy dialogue. The show is worse for the lack of it.
  • Bill helping Sookie clean up the werewolf corpse in her living room. 
  • Tara catching herself when she was being negative towards Lafayette’s new boyfriend. Progress is good!
  • Why is Andy keeping those bottles of V? I have no clue.
  • Nan calling Eric Northman “a whiny little bitch.” Ha! I guess we learn in the next scene why she seems so cold to Eric’s charms, really.


Theresa DeLucci will order bacon on a veggie burger next time, just to see if a chef comes out of the kitchen looking as fabulous as Lafayette.

Ashe Armstrong
1. AsheSaoirse
Ya know, I like Connor better than Tommy. And that's saying something. Tommy's an ungrateful little bastard. I'm pretty sure Sam was wailing on him in his head instead of werebilly father.

Jesus and Lafayette are so goddamn cute. It's disgusting. DISGUSTING I SAY! Don't let it end badly, pleeeeaaaase. Lafayette doesn't need to go back to how he was to keep his charm.

I really wish Jessica would eat Summer. That would be super. Seriously. And Tommy needs to shut his mouth about Hoyt and Jessica just cause he thinks he's the alpha male.

Russel chewin the scenery at the end made me laugh so hard. It was fantastic. And while I'll miss Franklin's creepy ass, I won't miss Tara being abused and crying all the time. Seriously, enough. She's now spent two seasons as a cat toy. No more.

And Crystal...jesus christ, someone pair her up with Tommy and lock them in a cellar.
2. dlebow
I think Andy seemed worn out and tired.. maybe he's contemplating taking a swig of V to get some energy?
That thought just struck me while watching last night.

Your question: Why is Andy keeping those bottles of V? I have no clue.
Blake Ellis
3. galaxyexpressed
I've loved these last two episodes. Great to see a genuinely loving gay romance unfold on such a widely viewed show for one. And so much is happening... plot development, plot development, character development, character development. I love it.
About Franklin - I loved him too but if he stayed he would have become a one note character, as bent around his obsessive and predatory nature as he was, and seeing him put to the earth after having tortured Tara for so long was a goosebump inducing moment of triumph. I hope it sent shivers down the spines of all the people out there who exploit and terrorize others in similar ways.
Stacy Hague-Hill
4. shh
God, I hated Connor. The difference I see here is, Tommy is supposed to be a little sh*t. Connor just was.

I suspect Bill’s motivation for lying was pretty simple—he’s trying to make himself look good and shift blame onto Eric so he doesn’t further jeopardize his relationship with Sookie. This has the bonus, from his perspective, of making Eric look more like a bad guy in the bargain. And he can safely say *he* never told Sookie about the Queen’s interest, so his butt is covered.

So I guess we know what Eric’s plan was—run like hell and hide until he thinks of something better? I loved Eric and Pam this episode; so much of the season is about family, especially parents, authority figures, and legacies.

I love Sam (Merlotte and Trammel) and I love that he’s getting so much to do, but Sam snapping like that was scary to watch. And kind of sad.

ITA about Tara and Jason. Watching Jason cycle backwards through the roles he knows best in his quest for a new identity has been a storyline I like in theory, if oddly non-compelling viewing. Now that he’s saved Tara from another monster, where does he go? What new Jason will be born?

What could Andy be planning to do with that V? Plant it in Hotshot? Make himself a supercop, or at least cure that ulcer?

I was cracking up when Russell produced and monologued at the crystal Jar O’Talbot. It was deliciously insane and completely WTF, though not as crazy as the newsroom. What will Nan do now? Make Eric into a Russell-hunting poster child for vamp integration and mainstreaming? Or somehow totally screw him?
5. sofrina
sam is scary-mad sometimes because sam is passive-aggressive. he swallows his anger until he can't hold any more then he blows up. after which he feels light and dandy. his problem here is that he does not know how to hold to tommy accountable for his actions. sam should get a down and dirty course on child psychology. the accusations that he's just like joe lee are guilt trips to hold him off. he might point out - while jacking tommy up - that tommy is acting like his lowlife, ex-con father. i'm not saying he has to intimidate tommy longterm, but a firm boundary backed by serious consequences is in order.

as for king russell, erik the assassin is all well and good but killing this guy has just become priority one for the authority. maybe i missed it but what exactly is the authority's endgame? they used the invention of tru blood as the basis to bid for rights in america where the law is flexible enough to make such a bid possible. they offer the enticement of taxing vastly wealthy vampire citizens as (sweet) bait. once the vra passes here, wealthy vamps begin immigrating thereby prompting other nations to want to get their cut of tax revenue through citizenship. but then what? global takeover? institutional enslavement of mankind? what's the real goal since vampires have no real intention of giving up real blood?

it'll be interesting to see the many ways people and vamps react to russell's declaration. vamps will rally to his cause, people will load up on wooden bullets and silver, maybe homeland security will create a police force to hunt vamps down, and who knows what the wolves, shifters, etc. will do. sam was not for the vra but maybe the fall out exposes his kind as well.

if i lived in bon temps, bill and jessica would be dead come sunrise.
Theresa DeLucci
6. theresa_delucci
You'd kill Jessica?! But... but... she's everyone's favorite baby vamp!

Bill I can take or leave. He's kinda boring and not in that funny stick-in-the-mud way from last season.
7. sofrina
hey, i love bill and jessica. i have always been on team bill. BUT- if i were living in this story, well... you saw what russell did. would you just carry on knowing there were vampires living in the area after that? or would you answer the call to action? just whittle some wooden bullets, put on all your silver finery and head on over to the compton plantation? when bill's creepy friends came to town they burned their house down while they were asleep.

how can you ignore "we will eat you. after we eat your children?"
9. Cowboy Funk
This episode was great. Russell is by far the best villain yet. Who needs a mic when you have a spine to speak into? I dont know how they will kill him but I dont think the Authority can just sweep this under the rug. Before Russells speech I was sure Eric would need to enlist Sookie to help kill Russell as she is the only one we've seen yet with powers strong enough to stop any vamp or supernatural creature dead in their tracks. And PS; what HAVE the Fairies done to protect Sookie? Cus I aint seen much. On that note I dont know why but I just cant trust Bill this season. It really seems like he has ulterior motives with the Stackhouse family, both Eric and the Fairies dont trust him and he has continuously put Sookie in jeopardy all the while saying he was trying to protect her.

Franklin I am sad to see go. Yes Tara needed retriubution but he was an awesome character and I like me a random Vampire bloke now and again.

Why are we assuming the new waitress is a witch? If this is a spoiler from the book I dont need an answer. I do love the revolving door of waitresses at Merlottes.

I think its funny how Eric is now my fav Vamp if only cus his 1000 year old story of revenge is just cool. His Maker was cooler than Bills. And his little Vamp Offspring is cooler than Jessica.
Stacy Hague-Hill
10. shh

The Fellowship is probably going to see a mad upswing in membership.
Theresa DeLucci
11. theresa_delucci
Phew. Okay, as long as the anti-vampire sentiment is pretend, I'll be okay. Yes, I foresee vampire hate crimes rising in light of Russell's new revelation. I don't agree with it, but I can see how this will be likely. Of course the show follows all the badass, human-killing vampires, but I wonder if there aren't more vamps like poor sad-sack Eddie. (First season, liked Heroes on Monday nights, staked by Jason, actor played Milton in Office Space.)Perhaps I really am a bleeding heart liberal.

@Cowboy Funk
Can the Vampire Authority just nuke Russell or something now? I agree that they were going to let Eric discretely kill him, but now Russell needs to be made a real example of. Even if Nan and the Authority probably do think of themselves as superior to humans.

I just assume Holly's a witch because she seems to intuit things others don't. Haven't read the books and I won't discuss book spoilers here.

In other news, here's the slightly NSFW new cover of Rolling Stone magazine. I haven't bought an issue since Kurt Cobain was on the cover, but I might actually look at this. Twice.

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