Apart from overwhelming relief that it was NOT Lafayette in the back of the car, I was a little underwhelmed by the first episode. I liked that it picked up exactly where we left off but at the same time I didn't feel like we got that much further... Jason has a religious epiphany (yes, that was signalled last season), Bill is burdened with Jessica (yes, we know) ... we did get a bit of backstory on Sam and Maryanne but it was tantalisingly incomplete. We still have no idea what her real agenda with him is. And, of course, Sookie found out Bill killed her granduncle, but I'm not that into their on-again, off-again thing--they're fine as the narrative the rest of the series rides on but I'm not here for them, really. So meh.
However, the second episode seriously made up for it! First of all: Eric! Rocking that tracksuit. I am loving Eric this season and am very glad we're getting more of him. The dungeon was disgusting and they're definitely milking the gore this season, but I loved that it made Eric both comedic and scary. Ditto Pam, still much love for Pam.
Jason's Jesus Camp proved to me much more entertaining than I thought it would be, thanks to the repressed homsexuality and the Lukeinator. 'Some Muslim Buffy with a dick!' = best LOL of the season so far.
Tyra's hot dude is going to be evil, isn't he. Something is seriously too good to be true about that guy, especially with his shirt off (distraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacting!). But while I was sad to see the death of Tara/Sam last season, I'm finding Sam too cranky all the time for me to really want to see Tyra with him. Also his Maryanne plot suffers from the 'just TALK to her about it!' problem--if he actually told Tyra even part of the truth (leaving out the dog bit) then she might not think he was mad. I guess Sam is just that scared of being found out to be a shapeshifter, but I have to keep reminding myself of that. He's frustrating me.
My favourite part of the episode was Maryanne getting everyone dirty dancing in Sam's bar. Hee! (I always like to mess with non-dancers too--so that really appealed to me! I mean what is with people that don't dance?!) I'm loving her Bacchanalian vibe and am going to be really sad if she turns out to be a disgusting evil monster (which she so is, no doubt! the stuff with her servant is a tip off). I also like that we get to see how she always says just the right thing to those around her, bolstering everyone's esteem. But black eyes of zombie-tude to not bode well. Sigh.
Jessica too proved to be LOTS more enjoyable than I expected. I was fearing a one-note character played for laughs alone, but the actress has terrific range (and does a great Bill impression) and I found myself alternately moved, amused and mesmerised. I like the way her naive teenage girlhood and monster-hood are at war with each other, and while the sulking and blood tears could get old fast, the storyline with her family was intense, and I have confidence that she'll continue to be interesting to watch.
Even though I like Maryanne, I'm glad Tara got a clue in the third episode, firstly because Tara is smart and her blindness to Maryanne was starting to annoy me, and secondly because sunny, laidback Tara turns out to be not that much fun as pissed off edgy Tara. ;) I look forward to finding out what she uncovers for here--I'm guessing it's going to be hard to get away from Maryanne.
It seems too easy that Maryanne is the minotaur, doesn't it? Maybe Tara's too-good-to-be-true dude? Maryanne wanted to take Sam under her wing, maybe she collects other strange beasties? But that doesn't explain why she collected Tara... so I'm not sure yet. And how did the waitress survive an attack? or DID she? Is she the minotaur and actually the poison turns you into one? (ok, maybe not, but I like that the show is still leaving me with mysteries to puzzle over each week)
I'm greatly relieved Lafayette got out of the dungeon but was a bit disappointed when he wasn't turned into a vamp, after the end of episode fakeout. I had psyched myself up for that! Hmm. Where to from here, Lafayette? I did love that Sookie sussed on and got him out of there--her bargaining with Eric was rather awesome and I like that we've had enough from Eric's point of view now to see that he finds Sookie amusingly direct and unafraid for a human.
Sookie in a Fangtasia t-shirt really cracked me up. Wow, how fangbanger-trailertrash did she look? (also how much hypocrisy in her telling Jessica to get changed in the previous ep? Have you seen the cut of your own shorts, Sookie?!) Also, how much vamp blood has that girl drunk now? Isn't it sending her a bit mental?
Jason continued to be mesmerising--I like that he's haunted by Eddie and what happened to him (aww, poor Eddie!) and that he at least tried to get out of the Jesus Camp. Unfortunately he seems to have a very poor grasp of logic because blondeJesusfreakchick talked him out of it with THE most illogical argument ever. However, Ryan is such a damn good actor I was still sucked in by that scene and seeing how Jason's guilt is activated. Ahh, guilt, the religious nuts will prey on that like blood...
Highlight of the third episode though was Jessica and Hoyt. WOW! I am totally shipping those two now. Jessica turned all cute and girly around him and I was totally crushing on Hoyt when he was all 'don't be ashamed of your fangs!' I kept expecting things to go horribly, terribly wrong--I love that this show makes me think they really might!--but they didn't and YAY. I don't know how long this bubble of adorable will last, but I enjoyed it.
Not sure what I think about Sam clearing out of town... I don't really get what's going on with him this season, but I'll wait and see.
In short it leaves me anxious for more!