When you begin with vampires, werewolves, sex, and bloodsucking, it can be hard to outdo yourself. But with each episode, this season of True Blood has become ever-more hyperbolically demented. Alan Ball’s vampire soap opera has always been grimy and kitschy and shamelessly lusty, but in season three, Ball and his writers seem determined to outdo their own previous high scores for insanity (see: Prohibition-era Bill and Lorena making dirty vampire love in the same bed as their still-bleeding victim). So without further ado, we salute their shamelessness with a list of season three’s top ten goriest, raunchiest, most willfully bananas moments (so far). Tell us what we missed in the comments!
Murder and bloodsucking is almost perfunctory in Bon Temps, so how do you take it to the next level? Nipple action. The Fuck You Crew, a gang of juicehead biker werewolves, are jonesing for mind-altering vampire blood while transporting Bill, so they start gnawing on Bill like a pack of dogs with a bone. One blisses out so hard that he starts tweaking his own nipples. We’ll let the dialogue take this one home:
Wolf 1: Pull over, Jimmy, I gotta get me a drag off this fuck … I’m dying over here.
Wolf 2: Spit some in his mouth.
Wolf 3: That’s gay.
Wolf 2: And playing with your own titties in a car fulla dudes ain’t?
The show’s kinky enough. But when the king isn’t in the mood for New American, Lorena requests “something ethnic” from, yes, a strip club. Bill fetches a sullen dancer (ethnicity: debatable), then brings her back to the limo for supper. Though Bill initially resists (really, would you eat anything that had been wrapped around a brass pole?), it takes just a few seconds for the three of them to drain her completely. The shocking revelation: Now we know who eats at those disgusting strip-club buffets.
Is this the most insane use of texting in pop history? Franklin, the long-fanged sociopath
who kidnapped Tara to become his vampire bride, jumps on the bed where Tara is tied up and threatens to strangle her, unless she tells him who this Lafayette person is that keeps texting. Next, Franklin starts texting something back to Lafayette to get rid of him. “How about, ‘I’m busy bitch?’ Bitch, bitch, too many bitches.” But text impersonation is fairly standard psycho boyfriend stuff. What really puts this one over-the-top? He interrupts the strangling for a few minutes to impress his roped-up betrothed with his super-quick vampire texting. “Hey Tara, watch how fast I type, motherfucker! It’s cool, right? I’ll delete it so you can watch again.”
From the Allied forces disguised as S.S. troops to the cottage with helpless woman cowering (above the floorboards this time), Eric’s flashback was an obvious homage to Tarantino’s latest film. But the team goes the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies route here by raising the stakes with a naked she-wolf high on vampire blood.
True Blood has vampire Marriotts and S&M dungeons, but you rarely see anything as prosaic as a green lawn. What’s more, most of the terror happens at night. So the image of Tara booking it down the king’s front yard in broad daylight while wearing a Mormon fundamentalist wedding gown was somehow more beautifully surreal than all the weird shit that came before and after.
Unrequited love is confusing. Sometimes things get turned around in your head. And sometimes your head just gets turned around: When Bill hate-fucks his nemesis Lorena, he twists her head around completely. The pitiful CGI only exaggerates the schlock value.
Where do Eric’s daydreams take him while Yvetta’s pole-dancing? To Sookie Stackhouse, spouting folksy aphorisms and then pushing him down on the bed to have her way. Okay, so this scene wasn’t insane. But it was crazy how True Blood brought to life our deepest fantasy. (With our head on Sookie’s body, of course.)
There have been some spectacular vampire deaths this season. (Remember when the king’s bodyguard turned into a block of sinew and tendon?) But Lorena’s death still managed to shock. Bill holds her head down with a silver chain while Sookie impales her, triggering a spurting Bellagio fountain of blood. That’s all just setup for the capper: “When vampires are dead this is what they look like,” Sookie explains, holding up a red rope of whatever burst out of Lorena.
When Talbot’s not fussing over his collection of serial-killer collectibles, he’s putting together elaborate dinner parties that echo Delicatessen or Silence of the Lambs. Care for some chilled, carbonated blood? “Cruelty free, all willingly donated,” he says. “Note the citrus finish — this one ate only tangerines for weeks.” This explains why his staff tried to feed Tara a bowl of lilies.
Tara is trapped in bed with her kidnapper Franklin. Again, standard stuff. The insane bit is that, while Franklin sleeps, Tara discovers — what, ho! — a wall of medieval weaponry. Obviously, she bashes Franklin’s slumbering face with a mace.
Even Don Draper’s flashbacks are not as insane as this one: One minute, Eric is a bawdy, reckless Viking prince. The next, werewolves kill his parents and baby sister. His father whispers the word “vengeance” just as the wolf delivers the Viking crown to a cloaked figure in the doorway. Dun dun dun duh.
Eric and Yvetta. In the dungeon. Naked. With the torture wheel. Having vertical sex in hyperspeed. Sookie walks in. ‘Nuff said.
Lopping off someone’s head is old hat. But the owner of this head, Zeljko Ivanek
as the Magister, is strapped to the same torture wheel that he had been using, just a few minutes prior, to pierce Pam’s eyelids with silver earrings. Plus, in between the thwarted piercing and the beheading, the Magister officiates a marriage between a vampire king and queen. That’s not just insane — that’s efficient storytelling.
The fact that Sookie has a coma flashback isn’t half as insane as the fact that it’s shot like a Crystal Light commercial. Unlike everything else on this dark, neo-Gothic show, Sookie’s dreamscape gets a warm yellow filter, frolicking faeries, and a pool of sparkling silver water. It reminded us — down to the change in coloring — of this scene
from our favorite episode of Buffy
. Except that one was a joke.
An ancient Nazi sympathizer giving communion to a biker bar full of werewolves with his own blood while he says “Now you shall drink the dark wine of our ancestors,” in German — with choir music soaring in the background, crowd-surfing, and branding. It’s the kind of thing the Parents Television Council just adores.