'True Blood': Everyone Wants Sookie & Alfre Woodard Is Awesome

Sona Charaipotra

Vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters, oh my! Not to mention some really messed up humans.

Alexander Skarsgard as vampire Eric on True BloodOkay, no nudity courtesy of Eric this week. But there was a lot to absorb in episode two of True Blood's third season -- and I spent the hour trying to create a who's who charticle in my head as the show introduced new character after new character at breakneck speed, setting up future plot lines while dropping the wry one-liner here and there.

Case in point? "I'm not that blonde," our heroine Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) deadpans when Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe) entrusts her with a pistol, asking if she knows how to use it. Does she ever! (Which leaves me wondering: how?) Turns out it comes in very handy by the end of the episode.

Anyway, the reason she's got the gun: Bill's still missing, so Sookie's still on a mission to find him. And Nordic vampire God Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) is on a mission to stop her. The werewolves have nabbed Bill (Stephen Moyer). But not just any werewolves. All is not quite clear, but Eric tells Sookie that this bunch is a gang of super-werewolves. "They're organized, well-funded, highly trained -- and fueled by vampire blood." Sounds scary. And Sookie should be worried. After all, there's a werewolf out there trying to get her. And then there's Eric, who no doubt has ulterior motives in trying to "protect" her.

Turns out vampire Bill is being held hostage -- very politely, complete with chilled, clementine-noted human blood, a rivetingly red blood gelato, and other vampire-oriented delicacies -- by Russell Edgington, the vampire king of Mississippi (Denis O'Hare) and his partner, the home-and-decor-focused Talbot (Theo Alexander), who are refined beyond belief. Except when they repeatedly threaten to kidnap Sookie. See, Russell has a master plan. He wants Bill to police one of his territories, and in exchange, eventually hook him up the vampire queen Sophie Anne (Evan Rachel Wood). Yeah, I don't get it either. Anyway, things are proceeding quite calmly until Bill's maker, Lorena (Mariana Klaveno), waltzes on in wearing riding gear. Apparently, that's enough to set otherwise always-civil Bill right off the edge -- he whacks her with a fireball out of nowhere. Eeeps. 

Other plot lines move along to: Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) meets his messed up family, and his newfound baby brother (Marshall Allman) -- also a shape-shifter -- nearly gets him killed. On purpose.

All that crime-fighting he's been doing inspires Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) to join the police force. Vampire Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) rents a hacksaw to dispose of that body she sucked dry -- but it seems to have disappeared. Oops.

Still mourning Eggs (the sorely missed Mehcad Brooks), Tara (Rutina Wesley) tries to take pills and eventually meets a mysterious vampire, Franklin Mott (James Frain), whom she just may fall for.

But before all that, she's rescued by Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), who knows what she needs to heal herself. He takes her to meet his mama -- and can I say Alfre Woodard is just brilliant, spot on, as Ruby Jean Reynolds, his racist, sexist, complete whack job of a mother. And I thought Lafayette was feisty! Can't wait to see more of him. Woodard -- who also managed to stir things up on Desperate Housewives -- is sure to prove one of the more colorful performances this season on True Blood. Which is saying a whole lot, given its ever-expanding world of vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, and just plain odd humans.

Which new True Blood storyline are you most excited about?


Image via HBO

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