Now in the fifth episode of its third season, True Blood has emerged as the only show that's can't-miss television for me. I haven't read the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and typically I'm not into vampire romance or paranormal fiction. But True Blood has won me over with a combination of great writing, compelling story-telling, unexpected humor and fantastic acting. In fact, I can't get through the week without my dose of V.
For those of you who haven't yet made the journey to Bon Temps, LA, to hang out with the freakish combination of humans (both straight and gay), vampires, werewolves, maenads, nymphs and other assorted creatures, there's still time to get addicted. That's all I have to say to you, because anything else would spoil the experience for you. Stop reading now and buy or rent the first season DVDs.
For the rest of you: The fifth episode was utterly fantastic, tantalizing but never explaining, leaving more questions than it answered. The Sookie/Alcide storyline finally connected with Bill, the vamp king and Eric Northman, offering the most exciting moments. (As long as Alcide leaves his shirt off, there's lots of excitement, but I digress... ) Particularly gripping: Sookie's reunion with the missing Bill, who quite clearly has endured what he's endured because he's trying to protect her. (Loved watching him smash up Cooter the werewolf); the last few minutes with the vampire king cornering the two of them and Alcide, where Sookie again demonstrated her strange white-energy-shooting power; and the freaky interaction between freaky Franklin the psycho vampire and poor Tara.
Perhaps my favorite moments, however, came with the interplay between Lafayette and Jesús — surprisingly touching and tender, while also funny. I also love the glimpse we got into Eric Northman's past as the strapping (OMG) son of a Viking king slain by werewolves. Want to know just how evil the vamp king is? Though Eric needs his help, it's clear that there will one day be a reckoning between Eric and the king. (Would anyone else love to see Eric become King in his own right?)
Predictions? I wouldn't dare. True Blood episodes turn on a dime. But I hope to see Bill and Eric working together to get themselves — and Sookie — out of this mess alive. And if Alcide comes with them, leaving his shirt behind, that would be nice, too.