Without so much as an introduction, the third season of “True Blood” gets right into things. Picking up right where season two left off, the vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) has gone missing, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) has just killed Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) boyfriend Eggs and she’s devastated, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) is dealing with an unwanted dead body in her bed and Sam (Sam Trammell) sets out to connect with his past. Of course, there is also Sookie (Anna Paquin) the vampire-loving mortal whose first concern is her missing fiance… Oh yeah, don’t forget, Bill was abducted before Sookie could ever say yes to his wedding proposal, but she’s said yes in her heart, now she just needs to say it to him in person.
Hopefully for those that keep up with the show that will give you a good idea as to what’s going on, at least a better idea than I had when I popped in episode one (“Bad Blood”) of the first three HBO sent over for me to screen. As you all know, I don’t regularly cover television programs, but have gotten into something of a trend with “True Blood” and didn’t see any reason to give up now, especially considering I love the absurdity of this show and the third season seems just as intent on continuing the trend even if these first three episodes aren’t necessarily blowing the doors off.
While “Bad Blood” doesn’t offer much of a recap, by the time the episode is over we’re all pretty much caught up, which basically makes this an hour long refresher with a few new elements introduced. Of course, considering this is only a 12 episode season, that means one episode down, 11 to go and we really aren’t much further along in the story than we were when we started and the next two episodes aren’t exactly moving at a very fast pace either.
Along with the traditional goings on with Sookie and Bil, we also have our regular supporting characters such as Louisiana vampire sheriff Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) who decides to help Sookie find Bill all while also vying for her affection. Other concerns for Eric involve the always entertaining Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) as he’s still selling vampire blood and held to a short leash. Evan Rachel Wood is back as Lousiana’s vampire queen and a new vampire king is introduced as Denis O’Hare guest stars as Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi. Yup, we’re crossing state borders here as Bill’s kidnapping not only has to do with vampires, but the addition of werewolves to the story ups the gore and the plot points, though I hope the plot picks up by episode four because the first three create a lot of set up, but not a whole lot more.
Typically I would do an episode-by-episode review as the season begins, but as far as the opening moments of the first season are concerned there isn’t too much to share. The second episode (“Beautifully Broken”) finds Sam’s story progressing as well as a new vampire comes to Bon Temps played by James Frain (Thomas Cromwell on “The Tudors”). Bill’s involvement with Mississippi’s vampire king takes a bit of a turn and Jason Stackhouse adds his usual bit of humor to the story as he is now convinced he’s going to join the Bon Temps police force.
Oh, I almost forgot, there is a fascinating tangent to the werewolves storyline that involves a major character and the Nazis. What else happens I will not say, but it’s something that really made me wish they would make a two-hour TV-movie exploring that aspect of the story alone.
With werewolves joining the “True Blood” party, future plots have a lot to work with, but there seems to be a bit of a speed bump in the current storyline that needs getting over as the opening three hours introduce only a couple new characters and it isn’t until a certain sex scene that closes the third episode that things begin to finally start progressing. And trust me, it is something fans of this show are sure to be talking about once “It Hurts Me Too” plays on Sunday, June 27.
For now, tonight, Sunday, June 13, is the season three premiere and it’s certainly nice to have the gang back, but I wish the return had been a little more rewarding, but if my assumptions are correct, by the time episode four rolls around things will be picking up quickly.
SIDE NOTE: While I was watching I got to thinking how cool it would be if they made a “True Blood” spin-off in a different city, a la “C.S.I.” Right now “True Blood” has done a great job creating a whole new vibe with the southern approach to the show, which would mean doing a spin-off in New York or something would be an entirely different show, something “C.S.I.” can’t necessarily claim as they are pretty much all the same show with just a different cast. One of the great things about “True Blood” is it uses the environment and the attitudes of the people that live in Bon Temps to the show’s benefit, which would mean taking it to a new city would completely change things up. I don’t know, just a thought…