Last week’s episode of “True Blood” featured Russell, who’s been going off the deep end in pretty grand style, offering a sharp criticism on the nightly news (among other plot developments). With three episodes to go, how’s the show holding up? Not to keep you in suspense, but…not that well, actually!

Check out our review…

The Players:

Episode Title: “I Smell A Rat”

Lafayette and Jesus compare family notes. Crystal shows her fuzzier side to Jason. We learn a bit more about Sam’s previous career. Sookie learns more about her family history. Eric shows Sookie his sweet basement.

The Good:

  • My Brilliant Career: Sam as a con-man, wandering the earth and ripping people off was actually pretty neat to see in a lot of ways. It gave his character some more dimension. Although I’m not sure how I feel about the murders he committed.
  • Eric The Hero: Once again, Eric is the best thing about this show, period. He’s funny, he drives the plot while everybody disappears up their own navels the rest of the time. Essentially he’s the reason we kept watching this episode.
  • About Time!: So, after weeks of dragging it out, we finally know Crystal’s deal. She’s a werepanther. Not that the reveal was well-handled, just like this entire plotline has been a botch, but it’s nice that this is finally out in the open after what felt like three years of it being painfully obvious.

The Weird:

  • When You’re Impaling Prostitutes, It’s Really Time to Let It Go: Boy, did anybody see Russell having this complete an emotional meltdown over Talbot’s death coming? Last episode, he’s got pieces of him in a jar as a creepy keepsake. This episode, he stakes a male prostitute. Leave it to this show to find a way to make this character even creepier than he already is.

The Bad:

  • Derailed: There’s no nice way to say this: this episode hurt. This might very well be the exact moment where “True Blood” turns into something less entertaining and interesting…“Heroes.” The entire episode was rife with cheesy reveals, two main characters getting painfully cheapened, and just in general was a hash. There had to be a better way to deal with all this stuff than this hot mess.
  • Everybody Has Superpowers!: There’s a theory about fantasy that good fantasy is about people who have no power discovering that they don’t need it, and mediocre fantasy is about people with power wielding it. It’s why Conan isn’t exactly held in the same high esteem as Lord of the Rings. And “True Blood” manages to break this rule with two of the most interesting characters, Sookie and Lafayette. Apparently Sookie is part fairy and Lafayette is some sort of voodoo honcho. It is nice to see something kind of baffling about Sookie, her vampire magnetism explained, but to call the explanation and the delivery of it, groan-inducing is putting it mildly. Man, I hope this is temporary.
  • Lafayette, Not You Too!: Part of what I liked about Lafayette was his ability to kick ass without needing any superpowers. I’m worried that this is about to go way by the boards now that we know more about his family history.
  • In Other News, Arlene Is Still Irritating: Can somebody just eat her? Please? Seriously, I’ll take Franklin coming back and making a snack out of her. I’ll take zombie Cooter eating her brains. I’ll take her getting hit by a truck. Just anything. I’m begging here.
  • Amateur Hour In Bon Temps: We rarely talk about technical aspects on this show but good Lord, did they run out of money or something? There’s a lot of bad green-screening (Lafayette and Jesus reflecting on their family history), terrible effects work (pick a moment in the episode), and just poorly shot moments (Crystal’s werepanther reveal). I sincerely couldn’t help feeling that the director and the cast hated this episode almost as much as I did.


This was just a bad, bad episode. The slow pace combined with the revelations that were either boring, obvious, or character ruining made for an aggravating experience. On the other hand, I’d rather all this boring stuff be crammed into one episode instead of scattered over three. My rating reflects the hope that the last two episodes, having gotten this stuff out of the way, will be a blast.

Rating: 6/10

Disagree? Agree? Hoping for a Heroes crossover? Let us know in the comments!