3.10 I Smell A Rat
True Blood‘s third season continued with the confession and revelation filled I Smell A Rat, from the new-found knowledge that Sookie is, um, a faerie, to Arlene, Tara and Jason’s tearful declarations, the episode provides the background for what becomes a mass unburdening in Bon Temps.
So prevalent is the get-it-off-your-chest mood, that Jason Stackhouse actually confesses his part in Egg’s death twice, but chooses to say nothing about killing Franklin. Clearly, having no one left to protect and serve plays havoc with the boy’s mental state.
Thankfully, though, in another (slightly predictable) revelation, Crystal finally reveals her shifting powers, giving rise to Jason’s best line of the season, simply, “Mama!” Always on the right side of lucky, a naked, runaway shifter was exactly what he needed to lift his mood, particularly as both Sookie and Tara escaped his ‘protection’ almost completely unnoticed.
Jason’s not alone in the unusual mood stakes, though. For the better part of the episode, Eric gives in to his Scandinavian roots and mopes around bequeathing his worldly possessions to Pam, kissing Sookie and generally looking forward to what he sees as his imminent demise.
Pam, ever the practical vamp, manages to talk some sense into him, and before we know it, he’s chaining humans up in the basement, just like old times. With one exception: this time the human in the basement is Sookie. Faerie or no, it’s unlikely that he’ll completely sell her out, but if it comes down to a choice between Sookie and himself, we all know who he’ll choose.
In an episode with so many revelations, perhaps the most interesting was that of Laf and Jesus’ ancestry. Having hinted at what might be, the mutual V trip they take through the generations leaves them in no doubt that they’re both descended from witchy-types, with the odd Satanist thrown in for good measure. It’s clear that they’ll both have a part to play in whatever vengeance Russell chooses to wreak, but just what they’ll be doing, other than being witchy, remains unclear.
And the Wiccan connection doesn’t end there. Everybody’s best friend Holly rather nonchalantly revealed to the staff at Merlotte’s that she is, in fact, a practicing Wiccan. Coincidence? Doubtful.
So, Sookie’s a faerie, Laf’s a witch, Crystal’s a shifter… Finding out that Sam’s a killer is somehow more shocking than all three of those put together, even if the definition of faerie is yet to be forthcoming.
Bucking the trend of spoken confessions, Sam’s drunken remembrances of murders past leave us in no doubt that he is a full blooded Mickens, going some way to explain his problems dealing with Tommy. Although, to be fair, a saint would have problems dealing with Tommy. His macho posturing is irritating in the extreme, and when Jess punts him into the forest for attacking Hoyt, it’s beautiful. However, a vampire healing a human outside Merlotte’s generally heralds a whole heap of trouble, if season one is anything to go by.
Having spent so much time this season in the company of His Majesty, I Smell A Rat was sadly Russell-light. Hiding from both the human and vampire authorities leaves little scope for megalomaniacal grand gestures, but his brief appearance, sans the decanter of goo that was once Talbot, confirms his elevation to complete nutcase status.
Trolling for Talbot-alike rent boys to apologise to and then stake, clearly His Majesty’s definition of closure is slightly more visceral than that of, say, Jason. Or the rest of the world.
The political ramifications of his newsroom bloodbath were mostly played out on the Bon Temps news networks and, therefore, literally in the background, but Nan Flanigan’s comparison of His Majesty to Jeffrey Dahmer was hilarious, as was the glimpse of our old friend the not-so-reverend Newlin, smugly proclaiming “I told you.”
Russell’s presence this season has allowed the writers an enormous amount of scope for bringing together lots of disparate characters and storylines, and he’s been a superb addition to the show. With just two episodes left, his glorious reign is sadly about to come to an end. Let’s hope his denouement is worthy of such a great character.
With I Smell A Rat, season three began the race to its much anticipated conclusion, but it’s still got some explaining to do. What, exactly, does being a faerie entail? Will Eric try to bargain for his life with Sookie’s? Is there any way Russell can live to crazy up season four? The answers to these questions and more will be packed into the next 120 blood soaked minutes. Miss them at your peril.
Read our review of episode 9 here.