True Blood: I Smell a Rat Review -

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  • TV Series: True Blood
  • Episode: I Smell a Rat
  • Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
  • Written By: Kate Barnow
  • Directed By: Michael Lehman
  • Network: HBO
  • Series: True Blood

True Blood: I Smell a Rat Review

Panther Piss!

By Stephen Lackey     August 23, 2010

True Blood Review


This week, True Blood returns on the heels of last week’s melodramatic, borderline cartoonish and incredibly entertaining monologue by Russell. This monologue was a huge threat by Russell and it promises a major upheaval in vampire/human relations. The question is: will his threats be followed up on and bring on a vampire war or will it be tied up in a nice little bow by Eric who will suddenly be able to walk in the sunlight for a few minutes? That all remains to be seen but this week’s episode specifically was full of ups and downs. Something great would happen and it would be followed by something flat.
Bill, Sookie, Tara, and Jason are all back together this week and the fellas are geared up to protect Sookie while Tara, irritating as ever, wants to cry. Tara ended last season as one of the most uninteresting characters on the show. This season, she had a few entertaining moments, but so far she continues to be a bit of a bore. There’s a series of revelations in this episode and the one she gets has the potential to set her on a predictable but at least more dramatically interesting path. You’d think she’d be more sympathetic considering all that she’s been through. She even gave it the old college try at convincing us with a scene between her and Sookie last night. Is it the actress that’s just not any good or are the writers really doing her a disservice?
On the upside, the major upside, what Sookie really is was revealed to her by Bill. Was it a true surprise? No, not really, not even to fans that have not read the books. What her heritage is still offers up many questions even after the reveal, but at least now the mystery is solved. This love triangle, or whatever it is, between Bill, Sookie, and Eric is getting a little stale but it’s a fact of life for this show so it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The fact that there’s some mysterious reason bill isn’t to be trusted even after the truth about Sookie is out is intriguing.
Jason finally learned in this episode what his new girlfriend and her family are. The first thing that came to my mind during this reveal was “Panther Piss” a reference from both Anchorman and from Heartbreak Ridge. Jason, the one line master this season, had a priceless reaction in the scene. The biggest misstep in the entire episode came when Lafayette and Jesus decided to do some V together. The really lengthy scene just wasn’t as interesting or exciting as it was meant to be. You know it would be ok if there was a character on True Blood that isn’t mysteriously tied to some magic or special ability in some way. Lafayette was so much fun in season one but his character has been on a downhill slide ever since that season ended. He has still had some great moments throughout this season, but overall his story has just felt like filler. Now, when something important seems to truly be happening with him it’s just dull.
Overall, there was a lot to be excited about in this episode of True Blood. There were tons of revelations and plot twists that will hopefully set the stage for some great action and drama. The pacing was good up until the drawn out V party that managed to drag things down for a few minutes. Does anybody else think that while it was funny the term “butt boy” doesn’t work coming from Bill? Sure, that’s why it was funny but it may have been a step too far out of character.


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mike10 8/23/2010 4:16:00 PM

 Because of sucky Dish network I missed this episode. At least HBO repeats the show enough that I can catch it later. At least it sound like nothing major happened this week.

Chopsaki 8/23/2010 5:23:25 PM

Stephen Lackey: "Something great would happen and it would be followed by something flat."

That pretty much sums up my feelings on this episode. It doesn't really bother me though because True Blood has been on such a kick ass tear the last 4 episodes I can let this one slide. The were-panthers were exposed this episode, it will be interesting to learn why Jason has such a strong connection to them...

snew929 8/23/2010 8:10:58 PM

Is it me or was this ep filmed differently than it has been before.  It seemed like the colors were a little more bright and artificial?  Took a little getting used to but I liked it.  btw I like the Hoyt/Jessica love affair thats finally going somewhere.  I'm really interested where its going....Jessica is so much hotter than Sookie anyway.....and I hope the wiccan  waitress gets killed soon....that woman just creeps me out with her ratty face....

ddiaz28 8/24/2010 6:18:27 AM

Best line this week goes to Pam "Blah, blah, vampire emergency, blah."  Classic! 

It was a bit slower than the past few weeks Chopsaki but like you said, it didn't bother me since it was chock full of different threads coming together.  I agree snew that the Hoyt and Jessica thing finally going somewhere was a relief.  I loved when Hoyt just decked Tommy out of nowhere.  Jessica giving him his blood was sweet.  I hope she turns him eventually.  That would be a kick in the nuts to Hoyts mother.  If she had them I guess.  We also found out for sure what Sookie is.  It will be interesting to see what she does with that fact.  I hope she starts developing her powers more.  And I was really happy to see Jason man up and confront Bill like he did as well as coming clean to Tara about Eggs.  His reaction to seeing the panther change into Crystal was great, "Oh mama"

ddiaz28 8/24/2010 7:41:47 AM

One thing I was disappointed about was that even after Russell's revelation, we didn't get to see wha the ramifications of that but for a few news snippets.  I think this is a perfect opportunity to widen the scope of the show to more than just Bon Temps and the surrounding areas.  I'm kinda hoping they don't, borrowing Stephen's phrase, tie it up in a nice bow and let Eric get rid of Russell so quickly.  I hope he stays around for another season and that we get to somehow see how this is all affecting the rest of the U.S. and the world.

fatpantz 8/24/2010 9:05:48 AM

It is a ritual with True up to the big reveal is always so full of intensity and excitement, that by episode 10 of a season they throw all the cards onto the table leaving the 3 final episodes for non stop action....I didnt mind the episode because it sets us up for the end of the season....

It's like riding a rollercoaster....sooo exciting as it slowly pulls us to the highest point of the ride...keeping our adrenaline running with anticipation...there is always those few seconds as we cross the plateau as our heart and brain settle as the ride slows....pauses....then..... Swooosh! down we go!! ...heart racing...adrenaline pumping...muscles the ride comes to an end, leaving us wanting to go on the ride again!!  Unfortunately, we have an 8-9 month line before we get to climb onto the next rollercoater :(

PhillipBrian 8/24/2010 9:24:04 AM

Lafayette at one time was the anchor... now they have wasted the talents of a solid actor.

Sookie... to me she is the weak link. A true shame as she has the most screen time and is the central character. I don't buy her at all. I know Paquin won an oscar... however, those skills are not apparant in this role.

Sam... he was okay in season one... lame in season two, and now finally seems to be on the money. Sam has replaced Lafayette as the anchor.

Eric... Skarsgard has more charisma than Bill and Sookie put together.

All in all I think it is better than season two, but still falling far short of what it coud be.


Skroin 8/24/2010 11:01:44 AM

I didn't mind the episode at all. I enjoyed it, but have to say that this episode wasn't as great as the last 2.

My main gripe was the pointless scene of Russell and the hooker. The dude is sobbing to a freakin' man-whore after his news announcement? I don't by it. I felt it was just random and not needed.

I actually found the scene between LaFeyette and Jesus interesting. I chuckled at first when (from what I could tell it was) the virgin Mary was dancing.
But then they kinda "teleport" around and start discussing, as LaFeyette puts it, "Shaman"-stuff.
I'm a bit intrigued by where this could lead.

I was excited about them finally announcing what Crystal and the Hotshot community are, as well as the reveal of what Sookie is.

"I'm a fairy? That's lame."

So ya, I still enjoyed the episode but like fatpantz said, it seems this episode was throw it all on the I'm hoping they stick with the going out " guns blazin' " to finish the season.

ultrazilla2000 8/24/2010 3:27:20 PM

The problem with Tara isn't the actress...she does an awesome job.  It's the fact that when you have an ensemble cast, you often have characters who were relevant at one time, no looking for something to do.  It's just a case of too many characters, and not enough interesting drama to go around.  I certainly haven't hated her this season though...she's been through a lot, and I see her current actions and state being completely rational.

axia777 8/24/2010 11:10:02 PM

I just want to kn ow how Eric kills Russlle.  That to me is the the real kicker!  Because we all know Eric does not die.  Russlle is the one that gets dead.  How?  Who knows.


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