True Blood: It Hurts Me Too Review - Mania.com



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  • TV Series: True Blood
  • Episode: It Hurts Me Too
  • Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Chris Bauer, Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston and William Sanderson
  • Written By: Alexander Woo
  • Directed By: Michael Lehmann
  • Network: HBO
  • Series: True Blood

True Blood: It Hurts Me Too Review

Werewolf Nazis. I Hate Werewolf Nazis

By Rob Vaux     June 28, 2010


True Blood Review
© HBO/Bob Trate

 

True Blood plunges headlong into its soapier tendencies, with new love interests, old grudges and the ostensibly loyal Bill (Stephen Moyer) engaging in a pair of shocking betrayals. Director Michael Lehmann works very hard to blow our socks off with the various revelations. Unfortunately, that particular well runs a little dry this time, resulting in a basically satisfying episode that nevertheless feels like a bit of a letdown.
 
Bill’s status forms the centerpiece: forced to ally himself with the King of Mississippi (Denis O’Hare) and tossed into the viper’s nest with his hated sire (Mariana Klaveno). The arrangement suits him not at all, but he seemingly has no choice in the matter… at least thus far. Bill usually steers clear of vampiric politics, but “It Hurts Me Too” gives him nowhere to hide, which is an indisputably good thing. Lehmann lets him squirm just enough to let us know he hates his situation, while letting the enigmatic question of his true intentions hang agreeably in the air. Is he going along with the program to keep Sookie (Anna Paquin) safe, or does he have some political cards to play to maintain his old loyalties to the Louisiana power structure? Moyer balances deliciously on that razor’s edge for the entire hour, and the final twist only accentuates the mystery.
 
Undead scheming forms the gist of the episode’s other major subplot: Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) new vampire beau Franklin (James Frain). We already know he has plans for Bill--breaking into his house, finding super-secret goodies, etc.--and tonight finds him putting the whammy on poor Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), who really has more to deal with than her little noob brain can handle. He has a similar effect on Tara, still deeply in mourning and unsure if she can trust him (she’s right). The episode further establishes Franklin’s exploitative abilities, while letting the intrigue simmer agreeably for another hour or so. The show certainly has no shortage of mysterious figures, but Lehmann gets a charge out of him by eschewing the character’s more generic qualities and using him as a pure plot device. Normally, such a tactic is a sign of desperation, but True Blood’s narrative is well-constructed enough to let the episode skate by.
 
The rest of “It Hurts Me Too” sticks to similar ground: funny and engaging, but unable to hit the high notes that mark True Blood at its best. Jason (Ryan Kwanten) wants to be a cop (still), but doesn’t like the whole “studying” thing. Pam (Kristin Bauer) makes condescending sneers at everyone while engaging in mid-core lesbian sex--and to be clear, she’s very good at it--while Layfayette (Nelsan Ellis) receives an unexpected gift from Eric (Alexander Skarsgård). None of it explores any new ground, depending on the characters’ charms and general good will to make up for its lack of forward momentum.
 
The strategy holds things together--goosed by a few choice lines and typically solid turns from the cast--but no more than it needs to, and one can feel the engine that drove last week’s episode slowly coast into neutral here. The good news is that True Blood possesses too many good things in its corner to let the effect derail it. The bad news is that we can’t feel the vibe as well as we might, settling for a reliable hour’s worth of entertainment while waiting for next week to bump things up a notch. It happens in every show, even the best, and “It Hurts Me Too” makes no apologies for its comparatively easygoing nature. Good enough for government work, I suppose, and the barren summer schedule makes “acceptable” look brilliant in comparison. But True Blood can and should do better; if not every week, then often enough to remind us why we get so excited about it.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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Darkknight2280 6/28/2010 4:23:56 AM

I like the feel of this season soooo much better then last season soo far.I hated MARY ANNE and EGGS!! So glad they are both dead! Not saying that i didnt like last season, but i like the feel of this season better. Cant wait for the new episode in 2 weeks! Sucks to have to wait that long, but it is what it is :)

ddiaz28 6/28/2010 6:33:27 AM

Great review Rob.  I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the show is coasting on neutral.  While the episodes have been good, nothing this season has really gotten me excited about where it's going.  Now that Bill has decided what to do and Sookie is on the hunt, things will hopefully kick into gear.

trollman 6/28/2010 6:46:40 AM

They have lost their edge. Seems like they don't feel like they need to push the envelope anymore.  Now they don't even seem to be opening the mailbox. If they had done a sceen with Tara and Franklin last seaason. We would have seen a full frontal Nudity, sheet thrashing, This season we get Tara fluttering her eyes. Last season Sookie would have been stripped bare and thrown on the pool table by 5 werewolves, This season she gets grabbed and she screams for help and she is dumb enough to trust the tame werewolf that she met five minutes ago will come save her. OK He does save her but just because she can read minds doesn't mean she should trust him so completely, I mean, really?  I just feel the risks they used to take that caught my attention are gone and the pace is TOOOOOOOO SLOOOWWWW this season.

TheMovieGuy28 6/28/2010 9:29:28 AM

 

Guys, it's 3 friggin episodes in. Calm down your flare-up....

-Eric saying he got sookeh's rug all wet @ the beginning. flawless

-the sheriff talking about all these years on the job and all he has is a grape vine of polyps on his ass. flawless

-how many chicks have you guys made go freaky eye back of head like franklin did?

-lastly, bill twistin lorena's neck around was the freakiest thing I've seen in a long time, and it's not something i ever truly pictured as logical or existable....flawless

trollman 6/28/2010 12:20:34 PM

Oh that twisting the neck was so gross, Which made it the high point of the SEASON. Sheriff Bud snapping was funny. I'm not saying I've turned off this series I'm saying it doesn't live up to its history thus far.

redvector 6/28/2010 2:03:22 PM

I watched the first season it was just ok and part of the second not impressed.

zalder 6/28/2010 3:15:42 PM

Look at the title...they new this was a slower set up episode I expect....and it hurt them to, to have to do it....:)

Moz72 6/28/2010 3:34:03 PM

You had me at "Pam engaging in mid-core lesbian sex".

Oh and the "twist" at the finale...holy crap! Talk about rough sex!

axia777 6/28/2010 5:04:33 PM

Who else is seriously disappointed by the werewolves of True Blood?  They are just people who turn into wolves, that is ALL they are!  They is super LAME LAME LAME LAME!!!!  They are like that terrible werewolf movie with Jack Nicolson Wolf.  TERRIBLE!!!!

I am sorry but after watching the Wolfman all these other werewolves are just pure and utter fukked cr*p!  I am very disappointed in the makers of True Blood for letting us down on this.

DayDrumFour 6/28/2010 9:39:27 PM

Axia777

I said something like that in the last episode. But I'm not sure Wolfman was all that better - looked like they were going to start dancing. Maybe True Blood's weares have a power system like the vamps and we haven't met the big bad-ass ones yet.

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