The third season opener gives us a lengthy overview on anything people might have missed or forgotten about since last summer. Sookie comes back eagerly to accept Bill’s marriage proposal only to find that he has been kidnapped. She tries to get help, but everyone is making light of the situation. All of the sheriffs in Bon Temps seem to think either he’s just taken a hint from Sookie and is keeping his distance or that he’s just simply not a priority since he’s not human. Sookie knows something is wrong and refuses to give up though. She gets Jessica to help her, who got shivers upon Bill’s disappearance and might be able to track him done with her connection to him. Jessica is dealing with enough herself though, desperate to get Hoyt back, but ends up brushing him off to deal with a dead body. Even revamping him doesn’t seem to do the trick.
Tara is dealing with the death of the only man she truly loved, Eggs. Lafayette tries to keep a close eye on her, but she is hurting. Her mother calls in spiritual help, which has no real effect on her. Tara lashes out on Sookie for letting him see what she thinks might have led to his death. Of course, Jason is really the one responsible for his death after Eggs nearly attacked Andy. Andy in turn covers for Jason. He can barely handle the pressure of covering up his death, but fears prison much more. Jason has some really great dialogue in this episode, but the lines would be nothing without the great performance by Ryan Kwanten. He really is the ideal loveable idiot, because he’s just so simple and dumbfounded, yet never lets go of his ladies man nature, even when he has no sexual appetite. Kwanten owns the role and offers a brand of comedy that contrast yet compliments the darker comedy that is a staple of the show.
Most importantly of all things the return of True Blood means the return of Eric Northman. Good news, he is back in full force. The first we see of him is where Pam and Sookie walk in on him with a chained up “fangbanger” fully enjoying herself; no surprise. Fully naked, Eric simply turns around and replies, “See something you like?” Well of course, she does. Yet, Pam is the one to say so. Sookie is all business and even though Eric tells her that Bill being gone opens up what he wants, as the sheriff it’s still his responsibility to track him done.
Last season ended with wondering who the captor was, one of the clues pointing to Eric. I for one was hoping it was Lorena, Bill’s ex, who he runs off with in the book, rather than Eric. Last season, as much as it upped the potential of the series, it worried me that they might be trying to make Bill too good of a guy. In the book series he’s actually a very flawed individual, which has nothing to do with him being a vampire. I really hope the HBO series plays true to that and all of the captivating material with Eric. True Blood holds on to the story of each book in each season, but they do deviate from the books quite a lot, which has actually been thrilling; even the fans of the books never know what might be around the corner.
Eric conspired with the Queen to try to kidnap Bill, but someone else beat him to the punch. Eric is still the deceiving and mischievous vampire he has always been, The Queen being the only one who can put him in his place, holding his very life in her cold hands. Evan Rachel Wood has brought a life to The Queen that I never thought possible. She’s one of the most talented actresses working today, always bringing something new to each role. Still, it is not an easy thing to picture a young teen who is centuries old, holding great power, sexuality, and a strange care free attitude from her life style in the 21st century, yet seeming as if she is from another time. She does not even care if she has to sacrifice her own people to get ahead herself. It is in her very nature though, “I can’t think of anything more boring than living by the law for eternity”. She has been embracing her blood thirsty nature for centuries and isn’t afraid to get creative in how to twist things in her favor. Many of the character’s traits seem like they should contradict each other, yet Wood nails them, giving us one of the most exciting characters of the show. Having her and Eric conspire together is completely enthralling.
We still don’t really know who is responsible for Bill’s kidnapping, but Sookie’s main guess is Lorena, after ruling Eric out. I was rooting for her to be the culprit so Eric wouldn’t be labeled a villain as much as an enticing bad boy. Clearly, Bill can’t be faulted here and already just in the first episode of the season things have been drastically changed from the books. The series has always veered away from the books, often doing things better than the books such as keeping Lafayette around. He is one of the funniest characters and it just wouldn’t be the same without him. As long as the writers do something interesting with the characters I’ll be happy. They are clearly pushing the sexual tension with Eric and Sookie, giving him some truly great dialogue. This only hints that even if Bill is portrayed as the good guy, Eric will still be the one standing strong in one way or another.
I don’t mean to discriminate against Bill too much. He is a fun character and certainly puts up a fight. Bill had a few great moments in this episode, especially a certain nightmare/sex dream between Bill and Sam. It was a great way to have Sam play a bigger part in the episode and just screw with our heads to get a reaction. The show really uses every avenue to give us a full serving of suspense, dark comedy, and sex appeal in every scene. When you compile all the scenes just in one episode, you have an extremely exciting opening to the series. Not to mention we get a subtle cliffhanger to the werewolves, who are sure to play a major role in this season and the series as a whole.