Woo hoo--sexy moment ahead (see above)! But first...
"I Smell a Rat" starts off moments after Bill tells Sookie what she is. If you haven't already guessed (or read the books): she's a fairy. Sookie's less than impressed, calling it lame (not sure why--I think it would be pretty damn cool to find out I'm fae). But whatever she feels about it is soon overshadowed as she finds out that being part fairy is cause for fear (like she doesn't already have enough of that). Bill admits that fairies are believed to have been wiped out years ago by vampires desperate for their delicious, delicious blood. Well, that explains Sophie-Anne and Russell's interest in her (Bill includes Eric on that list too).
Speaking of Eric, he's busy making a will. It was bad enough when Russell was merely enraged at him for staking Talbot, but after eviscerating a news anchor on live TV (last episode) it's clear that Russell is also completely insane. Knowing he can't fight him (Russell being too old, too strong, and too crazy), Eric's preparing for the worst. Meanwhile Pam is distressed and infuriated that he seems to be simply giving up (Yvetta, on the other hand, is distressed and infuriated that he isn't leaving her anything in his will).
Back at Sookie's, she's sleeping on the couch while Bill hears for the first time about Russell's recent actions (Nan Flanagan is busy spinning the story, calling Russell an isolated extremist and terrorist). Side note: why would Bill--a vampire with excellent hearing--turn up the TV to listen to the story? Tsk, tsk, director. Anyway, a moment later Eric's at the door and he and Bill go for a walk. Eric surprises Bill by asking if it's true that Sookie's blood will let a vampire walk in the sunlight. Apparently, even though Sophie-Anne sent Bill after Sookie (a fact he denies), she never told him why she was interested in her. In any case, Bill admits that her blood will only allow a vampire to stay in the sunlight for a few moments at most. Eric claims he's trying to save Sookie, and it really does seem as though he means it. But neither Bill nor Sookie (who shows up as they're arguing) are buying it. He tells them he won't be around much longer and leaves. Bill and Sookie decide to stay at Jason's for a few days.
While at Jason's Sookie ends up having a dream about Eric that is both erotic (as usual) and worrisome. Even in her dream Eric is warning her that she can't trust Bill. While Jason is occupied with Tara in another room, Sookie takes the opportunity to slip away, something that upsets both Jason and Bill when they find out.
Sookie shows up--where else--at Fangtasia. She claims she's there because she wants to know why Eric said he wouldn't be around much longer, but Eric sees through her and gets her to admit that she really wants to know why she shouldn't trust Bill. As they talk she actually starts getting worried because it sounds like Eric is saying goodbye, which in fact he is. He tells her that if he goes to his final death without having kissed her it would be his biggest regret (really?) Then he kisses her in an impulsive and manly fashion. It's a pretty decent clinch and, of course, Sookie returns it with enthusiasm.
A moment later Pam interrupts and gets Eric to follow her outside to chat (or rather, to berate him). She first suggests that Eric give Sookie to Russell to save himself since Russell will get her anyway if Eric is dead. When it becomes obvious that Eric will do nothing of the sort, Pam snaps that he should at least find a way to use Sookie to help him--and fast.
Speaking of Russell, he's busy with a male prostitute who looks remarkably like Talbot. In fact he talks to him as if he is Talbot, going on about how much he (Talbot) means to him and how he failed Talbot by not being there when he met his final death. Then Russell stakes the (human) prostitute and apologizes to Talbot. He kisses "Talbot" and says how glad he is that they had their chance to say goodbye. Creepy.
Elsewhere, people are dealing with the aftermath of their actions in the previous episode. Jason is freaked after killing Franklin, flashing back to killing both Eggs and Eddie. Tara has to step in and take control of burying Franklin's remains and burning his clothes (although she does a crap job of the "burial," kicking a little dirt over what's left of Franklin. Surely no one will ever find him now!) Later, guilt propels Jason to admit to Tara that he killed Eggs. Whatever she's feeling she doesn't say before running off. After that Jason discovers that Sookie sneaked off. Then after nightfall he gets into a heated argument with Bill for not protecting Sookie. And if that wasn't enough he finds a black jaguar in his room, which turns into Crystal as he watches.
Another side note: I wish they'd gone with a panther as described in the book--aka a cougar/mountain lion--not a jaguar (a black "panther" is actually a jaguar). I don't know--a jaguar just seems out of place in Bon Temps and really, I don't buy people as trashy as the ones portrayed in the TV version of Hotshot turning into anything as graceful and elegant as a cat. Mind you, I really wish the entertainment industry would stop working with exotic/endangered animals altogether (google the topic to find out more about it).
Anyway, Sam's in flashback mode too, thinking back to a time when he had slicked-back hair (not a good look for him) and was partners-in-crime with a cute blonde. It seems they were partners in another way as well, since post-heist activities involve getting naked. But Sam also clearly loves the girl, talking about a future life together. Unfortunately, Sam's dreams are cut short when a man shows up behind him, pointing a gun at his head. It turns out blondie has been double-crossing Sam all along. She and the guy take the stolen money and jewels and run.
The next night Sam is drinking (again) and still reliving the past. This time the flashback takes us to blondie and the guy camping and enjoying their ill-gotten gains. Sam sneaks up on them easily, grabbing the guy's gun when he isn't looking and pointing it at him. Sam orders the guy to give him back the money they took, sending the girl to the truck to retrieve the rest of it. Arrogantly, the guy calls Sam a freak, and Sam responds by wailing on him. Worried for her boyfriend, blondie tells Sam to stop and then shoots at him. Sam fires back without thinking and is devastated when he realizes he hit her in the heart. After a moment of grief for the woman, he returns to the guy--writhing on the ground--and executes him. I can see why Sam would be haunted by these memories, but I have to say--I don't like what his character is being turned into. I like Sam sweet and scruffy. This Jekyll and Hyde thing isn't working for me.
The more recent product of Sam's dark side, Crystal's badly beaten father, is on the way to the ER with Crystal, Jesus and Lafayette. Realizing that Calvin (whom I only just connected to the Calvin Norris in the books--duh. Book Calvin = way better, btw) isn't going to make it to the ER, Lafayette stops at his place. While Jesus and Crystal panic at what they see as Lafayette's foolishness, he gets some V into Calvin. A moment later the were is healed--and pissed about it. He smacks Crystal across the face and shouts at her for letting "faggots" put "vamper juice" in him. Charming. He also claims his bloodline has been ruined and informs Crystal that it's her duty to marry Felton and keep his bloodline going. Yeah, she doesn't concur. As she runs off, Calvin shouts after her that she's dead to him. Big loss.
Jesus, who was previously so completely opposed to V, suddenly sees it as miraculous and intriguing. He wants to take V with Lafayette and, even though Lafayette is reluctant, Jesus convinces him with talk of how V connects you to the magic that's already part of you. Their trip is interesting--lots of religious imagery and visits to ancestors. I do think it goes on for way too long, though, especially considering the limited screen time available for the entire season and how much is going on in general. The trip ends on a scary note as Jesus encounters his frightening grandfather, who "practised black arts." Interestingly, it's Lafayette who's really freaked.
In other happenings, Jessica's not having a great night. First Arlene starts spouting off anti-vampire crap after watching Steve Newlin (having a field day) on TV. Jessica puts her in her place, although she feels guilty about it afterward. Then, even though she's clearly still in love with Hoyt, Tommy comes on to her in a not un-creepy way. At home later, Jessica gets a taste of the post-Russell extreme anti-vampire reaction as someone throws a rock through the window of Bill's house. When she runs outside to investigate there's graffiti on the house and, more disturbingly, a burning cross on the lawn. Even worse--Bill restrains her from going after the people responsible.
The next night is slightly better for Jessica. Hoyt comes in to Merlotte's to see her and basically declares his love for her, telling her he broke up with Summer. Jessica really believes she's evil, not only for doing bad things but for enjoying them. But Hoyt doesn't care--he wants to be with her. The only way he'll accept them not being together is if Jessica looks him in the eye and tells him she doesn't love him. She looks at him but says nothing. Frustrated, Hoyt storms out. Tommy, after watching the entire exchange, slips out after Hoyt and makes a snarky comment to Hoyt as he strides to the parking lot. Hoyt knocks Tommy down with a punch and keeps going. Instead of accepting that he deserved as much, Tommy shifts into a pitbull and attacks Hoyt, mangling him pretty badly. But meanwhile Jessica's had a change of heart and as she runs outside to tell Hoyt, she sees him being attacked. Throwing the dog/Tommy into a tree (this was hard for me to watch, even if it was Tommy, not an actual dog), she makes Hoyt drink her blood. A second later he's healed and, as Tommy--back in human form--watches (and looking less than happy) from the tree, Jessica tells Hoyt she loves him too. I really do like these two together.
As for the wretched subplot of Arlene's unwanted pregnancy, she finally admits to Terry that the baby is actually Rene's. But rather than being upset, Terry claims he wants to marry Arlene and raise the baby as his own, surrounding it with so much love that any residual evil from Rene will be wiped out. Well, damn, I think I want to have a baby with Terry now. But, idiot that she is, Arlene is still convinced the baby's evil because Rene was. She approaches Holly and asks her about the "non-abortion" ways of ending a pregnancy that Holly mentioned (because abortion "is just plain wrong"). I can't tell if this is a massive oversight on the part of the writers or they're deliberately making Arlene as stupid as possible, but either way--guess what?: If you terminate a pregnancy, it's an abortion--whether done in a doctor's office, with a magical ritual, or in some back alley with a coat hanger as some women have had to resort to. If you believe one is wrong--as Arlene has stated--then they're all wrong. But, like so many judgmental zealots in the world, Arlene picks and chooses her morality to suit her convenience. So, whatever. I hope the kid is evil and runs around shouting redrum all over town.
The episode ends back with Eric and Sookie. He returns to his office after his talk with Pam and tells Sookie she's his prisoner. He then picks her up and carries her to the basement, all the while as she's kicking and screaming, and chains her by the neck. She's furious and scared. Back in Bon Temps Bill feels what's happened. Meanwhile Eric shuts the door on Sookie. I'm pretty sure he has a plan in mind that will ultimately help them all but right now it's not looking good for Sookie. Then again, if he has a plan--why not just tell her instead of causing all this drama (answer: because it's TV, of course). After that kiss, though, I want to see more of Eric and Sookie together, and that's not likely to happen if he keeps chaining her in basements (or maybe it's more likely to happen--hey, you never know). Here's to Eric saving the day and (maybe) getting the girl.
Appearance: Very pale humans with red-rimmed eyes and long, snakelike fangs that extend or retract at will (and sometimes against their will). Vampires cry blood. Dead vampires resemble a bloody, stringy puddle.
Strengths: Super speed, strength. Enhanced hearing, sense of smell. Quick healing and ability to heal mortals with their blood.
Weaknesses: Sunlight, stakes. Being de-invited from a home compels them to leave immediately. Intolerant zealots.
Mythology: It is believed among supernatural beings that the fairies were wiped out by vampires; fae blood is not only delectable but also (according to rumour) will allow a vampire to walk in the sun without harm. Vampire blood (V) is healing to humans and weres. Vampires need an invitation to enter a private residence, but if that invitation is rescinded they are compelled to leave immediately. A human who has consumed a vampire's blood will forever be linked to that vampire; the vampire can sense them and the human will have (often erotic) feelings for and dreams about the vampire.
Sookie: I'm a fairy? How fucking lame.
Sam: What is this?
Guy with gun: This would be you getting screwed.
Bill: Sookie, it's not your blood I love. I love you. Your heart. Your mind. Your soul.
Sookie: Will your blood ever wear off? I'm tired of dreaming about you.
Eric: It's not just the blood. You know you have feelings for me.
Eric: [After being interrupted] What?
Pam: Blah blah vampire emergency blah.
True Blood, Season 3 Episode 10 "I Smell a Rat." Written by Kate Barlow and Elizabeth R. Finch. Directed by Michael Lehmann. From HBO.