“Trouble” does a lot of things right. True Blood is at its best when it can balance out the humor with the drama, the romance with the violence. This episode starts off light, but ends on a dramatic note.
Let’s start with some of the lighter storylines. Franklin has become the comic relief of the season, and a crazy, deranged one at that. The vamp clearly has a disconnect, and seeing Tara try to manipulate him makes me both cringe for her safety and laugh at Franklin’s puerile reaction. I wouldn’t mind Tara turning into a vampire. It would give the character more to work with, but with the new vampire role taken by Jessica, I doubt that will happen.
Speaking of Jessica, the character is quickly becoming the scene-stopper of True Blood. She is able to deliver the teenage angst while being humorous and unpredictable. Certainly, she gives a fresh vampire perspective compared to Bill and Eric. What’s not fresh is the stretched out pregnancy storyline between Terry and Arlene. They are endearing as a couple and grounds the show with some day-to-day struggles, but if this entire season is going to be about Terry being in the dark and Arlene acting cranky then I sincerely hope something supernatural happens to them.
And that is the distinct impression I got when Sam asked Joe Lee to help them move in. In case you haven’t picked up on it, that family is trouble. It’s still unclear whether the tension between Tommy and Joe Lee is simply abusive or supernatural, but as the saying goes, Sam is deep in it now.
In a surprising turn, Jason has given viewers the romantic dosage of the episode. Let’s face it, the character has been in desperate need of something substantial for a while now, and the mysterious newcomer Crystal seems destined to shake things up for him. Who else thinks she is non-human? However, Jason’s make-out scene does not top the sexual tension between Lafayette and Jesus. Although Lafayette is need of some loving (it’s alarming to see him vulnerable), something about Jesus rubs me the wrong way. The character is much too sweet to not have an alterior motive. But, if this turns out well, then I’ll be happy.
Although “Trouble” has plenty of divergence from the main plot, what the episode gives in terms of development is substantial in the True Blood universe. For one, Sookie may have finally shed her seemingly permanent damsel-in-distress role. Her abilities have been the most mysterious and underplayed element of the series, but now the show may explore the origins of her power. Notice how frequently Sookie used her power this episode? Perhaps this is a sign the character can finally put her money where her very chatty mouth is.
After spending all of last episode sheding his humanity, Bill goes running towards Sookie the minute another man insinuates that she’s moved on. Sorry Bill, but you’re not nearly as cool as Eric. I don’t mind loyalty, but the vampire’s entire existence seems to revolve around Sookie. Given his thorough research of Sookie’s lineage, perhaps there’s more to this than the fact that he’s simply whipped? With a race between Eric and Bill, it’s hard to tell where the season will end for the love triangle, but I’m becoming less and less enamored with Bill and Sookie.
“Trouble” has plenty for viewers to mull over. Whether you’re looking for blood, sex, romance or comedy, True Blood has not lost its flare.