Tons of Eric, the return of Alcide, and a Jersey Shore reference make the third episode of True Blood's new season my favorite by far — and it'll be hard to top this one. We see what happens to Eric after he got served by Marnie last week, and it's the most charming character development I've ever seen on this show. Meanwhile, the hottest werewolf in Louisiana makes an appearance, the witches brew something up for the future, and we lose someone.
I loved this week's episode, even with its creepy werepanther children scenes. If you watched, let's break it all down into superlatives when you read more.
- Most amusing personality makeover: Marnie's spell on Eric is a doozy. He has forgotten who he is — though not what; he almost makes a meal of Sookie when she comes upon him, sexily shirtless and disheveled. He's not himself at all, losing all of his arrogance and swagger for a sweetly innocent demeanor. It's totally not him (he's so apologetic and grateful), and though I adore the real Eric, this one is so disarming that I don't mind it one bit. He's also unintentionally funny, calling Sookie "Snookie."
- Ickiest Big Love allusion: Crystal and the Hotshot denizens go forward with their plan to replenish their population, using Jason like some kind of werepanther Bill Henrickson. The scene of the young girls lining up to take Jason against his will is too disturbing for words. Also, is Jason actually turning into a werepanther, or is this plan going to backfire? Let's hope for the latter.
- Least comforting child's toy: Jessica confesses to Hoyt that she drank from someone else, but when he hits the roof, she glamours him into forgetting it. That definitely seems wrong, but even more wrong is the presence of that awful baby doll, which Hoyt is chilling with when Jessica gets home. Who wants to bet that that doll is what's making Hoyt and Jessica fight so much? I love that Jessica gets rid of it by giving it to possibly-evil baby Mikey.
- Most Annoying Viral Sensation: YouTube videos of vampires feeding on humans is bad PR, and Bill tries to control of the situation. He's all business when he sentences a vampire to the true death, and then he's all business again when Portia suggests that they start sleeping together. Bill accepts, but he cautions her that he will never love her. Portia is fine with that, but it's even more telling when Bill isn't super psyched to bite her while they're having sex.
- Happiest character return: Finally, we see Alcide again! The good news is that he lives in Shreveport, where Sookie visits him at his house. The bad news is that he's not single. He's back with a recovered Debbie, who has found Jesus and wants to make amends with Sookie.
- Most evil house guest: Marnie has had a taste of power that's not her own, and she wants more. She cuts into her arm as a sacrifice to the older, more powerful witch that possessed her when she put the spell on Eric. It works, and we see an image of the witch in Marnie's home. Smells like trouble.
- Worst way to win your brother's trust back: Tommy tries to take advantage of Maxine when he finds out that her natural gas rights are worth a lot of money. He proposes to Sam that they buy her house for the money, but of course Sam declines, disgusted by Tommy's lack of morals. I'm irritated — I want Tommy to turn it around already. Stop with the old lady swindling, Tommy, and get it together.
- Most exciting rescue: Tara is definitely over her damsel-in-distress days, and it's her that saves Lafayette when Pam kidnaps him. Pam's upset about Lafayette's involvement in the spell on Eric, but new and improved Tara is not having it, and she shows Pammy who's boss. Nice work, girl.
- Most abrupt character exit: Claudine tries to get Sookie to come back to fairyland, but she's definitely not into the idea. (The fact that Claudine once helped her wrap a chain around one dude's neck? Weak sauce.) Then, as if Eric can smell a steak cooking, he darts outside and drains Claudine of her fairy blood — and life (at least he said sorry). Bye bye, fairy godmother.
What did you think of this episode? Were you as enamored of the new Eric as I was? Let's chat about it now in the comments below.