One of the things that True Blood the show does really well is that it incorporates certain aspects of the books into the series well before they should have appeared if they were strictly following the books continuity. Season 2 brought Bill’s maker, Lorena, in and made her an actually developed character instead of just being some ex of Bill’s that Sookie puts a stake through in Club Dead. We actually see the Queen of Louisiana (Evan Rachel Woods) long before she should have made her first actual appearance. There are definite hints at the presence of werewolves before we see the first one. And season 3 brought about the shifter community living outside of Bon Temps. However, there was one plot (which I’ll get to in this post) that isn’t revealed to far later in the series, and I was extremely disappointed to see it show up on the show since that was the moment the books “jumped the shark” for me and I could no longer continue to read them. I hope it doesn’t ruin the show as well.

Russell Edgington has discovered that Sookie is in Mississippi and that the Queen of Louisiana has taken a special interest in her (and possibly is the reason Bill went to Bon Temps in the first place). He takes Sookie captive and orders that Lorena kill Bill. Thanks to the help of Tara (who is being held captive by Franklin who is in love with her and extraordinarily creepy), Sookie is able to escape and free Bill and stake Lorena in the process. However, things don’t go entirely smoothly as Bill nearly kills Sookie as he feeds on her trying to regain his strength (the show left the part out from the books where he brutally raped her). And (in a moment that extremely pisses me off) Sookie, in a coma in a hospital, dreams of Claudine who is her fairy godmother which means the revelation that Sookie is part fairy is soon around the corner. It’s so dumb. This is a dark and violent show full of sex, blood, and gore. Fairies are not welcome. I am firmly against this plot twist.

Back in Bon Temps, Sam has discovered this his birth parents force his younger brother to compete in dog fights as a way to make money (since they’re shifters). Sam finally cuts off all ties with his family and takes his brother in. Lafayette has a new-found love interest in Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) who is his mother’s care-taker at her nursing home. Jason has finally got to join the police department and delivers some much needed comic relief. Jason is consistently the funniest (and dumbest) character on the show. We also meet his future (I assume) girlfriend, Crystal Norris, who is part of said shifter community up in Hotshot, Louisiana. Russell Edgington has also consolidated all vampire power in Mississippi and Louisiana into his hands by forcing Louisiana’s Queen to marry him and abdicate her power to him. He has also murdered the Magister (Zeljko Ivanek) to further solidify his power base.

I just want to go off on a little tangent about all of the scenes between Tara and Franklin. While Franklin is just about the creepiest character on the show and can be absolutely terrifying when he wants to be, there was something about his temper tantrums any time that Tara wanted to leave him that were just darkly comic and gut-bustingly hilarious. Maybe, I have a sick sense of humor, but knowing Alan Ball, I’m fairly certain that was all meant to be really funny, and boy, it was. It was a nice respite from the ridiculous amounts of gore in these episodes. The scenes where Lorena was torturing Bill were so bloody that I could barely watch them, and I am a veteran of countless horror films and violent video games. It was just all very intense. Tara taking the morningstar to Franklin’s head was just graphic and then some. You could easily say the same thing for Lorena’s death. If you had an appetite for blood , then these were the episodes for you.

I am so thankful that the slow start of the season was just a red herring. This season has turned out to be just as entertaining as season 2 and definitely better than season 1. If you like violent shows with tons of sex, romance, and drama thrown in for good measure, then True Blood is perfect for you. The writing isn’t Shakespeare but I don’t want all my shows to tickle my brain. Sometimes, I just want to shut my brain off, relax, and enjoy a good-old fashioned melodrama. I really wish that they had waited til much later (and preferably never) to bring up that Sookie is a fairy, but maybe they’ll do that storyline better than the books did. I’m not sure if you can do fairies well, but we’ll see.

 Score in Progress: B+