This week's True Blood is less explosive than previous weeks, but the stories that are unfolding for all the characters are getting better and better. The werewolf/vampire history deepens, Sookie and Bill interface again, Tara's situation gets weirder, and Eric wears a new sweater. Then again, maybe it is pretty explosive!I don't want to ruin anything for those who haven't watched yet, so let's chat about the episode, spoilers and superlatives and all, when you
- Cutest first date: Jesus, Lafayette's mother's caretaker, comes to Bon Temps to spend time with him, even waiting nine hours until his shift is over. Adorable. The best part of the whole situation is seeing Lafayette lose his swagger in the face of the boy he likes.
- Most interesting confrontation: Russell talks to Bill about his files on Sookie that Franklin swiped, and his questions are the same as ours: why does he have a dossier on Sookie and her family? His theory is that Bill is trying to trace the telepathy in her family, and that there is a payoff involved. Hmm.
- Most priceless expression: Eric's face when Bill says that Sookie is no longer his is 100 percent solid gold. Sure, he's still cool and collected, but you could sense his excitement. He so wanted to break into a big goofy grin.
- Best text read with an English accent: I died when Franklin reads Tara's text messages to her from Lafayette. From "Bitch, where are you?" to observing that Lafayette likes to call Tara "hook-ah" to showing Tara how fast he can text curses, Franklin has become my new favorite character, even if he is certifiably insane.
- Most disturbing proposal: Speaking of the two lovebirds — besotted Franklin and tied-up Tara — their situation has moved from unromantic to plain freaky: Franklin wants Tara to be his vampire bride. What happened to just giving someone a ring?
- Best new chemistry: I felt a sting for Jessica when Hoyt brings a date to Merlotte's, but I loved that Tommy steps in to boost her ego by flirting with her. Do I smell a shifter/vampire love connection?
- Worst family portrait: What the heck is going on with the Mickens family, exactly? Joe Lee has gone from mean but mostly harmless drunk to a menacing figure. The way he claims to "own" Tommy is odd and threatening, and I can't decide if Tommy is trying to escape his crazy parents or is in on a plot with them to do something to Sam.
- Hottest makeout session: The crying blond girl Jason encountered in the series premiere comes into Jason's neck of the woods and is somehow able to resist his shirtless cop act (how she didn't melt when he says, "I'm Jason Stackhouse. I want to know you," is beyond me). She's Crystal, a character we've been waiting to meet, and she's working the tragic beauty thing hard. Her tearfulness earns her a sexy, smoldering makeout session with Jason in the moonlit woods. Oh, to be in her shoes/sundress.
- Best reductive description of werewolves: Weres are "teeth and fight and sex." Noted. Also, hot.
- Most illuminating flashback: A tour of Russell's mansion leads Eric to a familiar-looking crown, prompting a flashback to his prevamp days as a Viking. It was his father's, and we learn more about Eric's past than we ever have: the son of a King, he watched his family get killed by werewolves. He swears vengeance to his dying father and gets a glimpse of a hooded figure leading the wolves — definitely Russell.
- Most surprising fashion choices: This week, Eric wears a baby blue sweater and Bill wears a track jacket. Consider my world rocked.
- Biggest reunion tease: When Coot taunts Bill with the lie that Sookie is getting it on with Alcide, Bill rushes to see her, and they have a brief blissful moment until Russell and his minions break it up to kidnap Sookie. The little waitress gets the best of them: with her hand up, she radiates light from her hand into Coot's face, the same way she did to Maryann last season. To quote that departed character about Ms. Sookie: "What are you?!"
This episode leaves so much open-ended — will Franklin turn Tara? Are Bill and Sookie getting back together, or will Eric take his chance now? Will Eric take down Russell for centuries-old revenge? Tell me your theories now and don't forget to show your fandom by joining the True Blood Southern Vampire Series group in the Buzz community!
Photos courtesy of HBO