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A Lesson in Etiquette from the Cast of Mad Men and the Mister Men Series – A Recap of Mad Men’s “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”

“A lesson in whhaaaat?  From the cast of whoooooo?  DON, this damn phone don’t work and neither do I!”

Whether we are still kids, or just kids at heart, there are times in all of our lives, when we could stand to be reminded of the importance of minding our proverbial “Ps and Qs.”  And in this most recent Mad Men episode, EVERYONE fell a bit short on the Etiquette Scale. 

Let’s revisit, shall we?

Lesson One:  When you have nothing nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all . . .

In the opening moments of the episode, Don receives a phone call from the New York Times.  Apparently, one of Don’s competitors at another advertising company(Cutler, Gleason, and Chauough), has been talking smack about him. 

(Riiiiiight! Because THAT’S what top New York Times reporters cover on the front page of their paper, Word Wars between anonymous Ad men.) 

The reporter wonders whether Don has a response to his competitors’  snide remarks.  If Don was POLITE, he would simply say, “No Comment.”  However, because Don is . . .

 . . . he, instead replies, “Never heard of him.” 

Lesson 2 – Be flexible.  There is no shame in compromising to get the job done.

“Compromise is for pussies!”

Later, at a meeting of the SCDP partners, Pete mentions that he has scored a meeting with Honda, where SCDP will have the opportunity to pitch the well established Japanese corporation a campaign for their motorcycle account.

Rumor has it that Honda is dissatisfied with their current representation by Massive Ad Agency, Grey.  The “catch” is that each competing agency will get just $3,000 to create a mock pitch for Honda.  Most of the partners are THRILLED . . .

. . . but Roger is NOT!

A World War II vet, who lost a lot of friends to the Japanese war effort, Roger REFUSES to represent a Japanese company, no matter how lucrative such representation could potentially BE for SCDP.  This is because Roger is . . .

“Why don’t we just bring Doctor Lyle Evans in here?”  Roger quips.

“Huh?”

*         *         *           *

Please forgive me this slight departure from your regularly scheduled recap, while I wax poetic on Roger’s so-called “historical reference.”

Who the heck is Doctor Lyle Evans?  If you didn’t catch the reference, fear not, because the rest of the staff of SCDP didn’t either.  Seeing as I was still about two decades away from being born, back in 1965, I just shrugged the name off, assuming it referred to some villainous doc, who worked for the enemy back in World War II.  (I was never exactly what you would call a “History Buff,” anyway . . .

But, apparently, there was much more to it than that.  You see, the interesting thing about Dr. Lyle Evans, is that he DOES NOT EXIST! 

OK.  There’s probably SOMEONE out there named Dr. Lyle Evans, but he’s certainly not a historical figure.  Evidently, Matt Weiner dropped the name into the script to have a little fun with those crazy Mad Men fans who like to look up every single historical reference they hear on the show.  It WORKED!  Google and Twitter trends for the mysterious “Dr. Lyle Evans” went through the ROOF, Sunday night!

Tsk, tsk, Matt Weiner!

I hearby dub you . . .

We now return to our regularly scheduled recap . . .

*      *      *      *

Lesson 3 – Before making drastic changes to your appearance, always consult with your elders . . .

Felicity’s Keri Russell learned THIS lesson the hard way . . . So did Sally Draper.

OK.  I REALLY don’t like this Nurse Phoebe chick!  I didn’t like her when she was Reed on Grey’s Anatomy . . .

 . . . and I DON’T like her now!  Apparently, neither does Sally Draper.  Because when Nurse Phoebe was babysitting the little Drapers, over at Don’s house, while Don was out on a date, Sally did something to ensure that Phoebe would NEVER be invited back into Don’s apartment again!  She did THIS . . .

She then asked Phoebe whether she and Don were doing The Nasty together.   Well, if they WERE, they won’t be NOW! 

When Don got back from his Dull Ass Date with Boring Bethany at Benihana’s . . .

 . . . (where he learned that his advertising rivals from Cutler would be competing with SCDP for the Honda account), he fired Nurse Phoebe on the spot!

Lesson 4 – Use your words, not your fists, B*tch (especially on YOUR KIDS)!!!!

The SLAP heard round the world . . .

While Don blamed Nurse Phoebe for the whole “Sally Hair Fiasco,” Betty blamed EVERYBODY BUT HERSELF!  Poor, poor, Betty!  Apparently, the whole world is conspiring to make your life miserable.  Your daughter’s rebellious actions have nothing to do with her inner turmoil over her grandfather’s death or her parents’ divorce, they are all about YOU.  Everything is about YOU!  YOU, YOU, YOU!

“Me?  Ahhh, my favorite subject.”

Betty slaps Poor Troubled Sally so hard, it looks for a moment like her teeth might fall right out of her mouth!  And although Hen-pecked Henry and Disaffected Don look appalled by her behavior, both do astonishingly little to help the crying ten-year old, whose just been physically abused.  “Betty,” Henry whispers half-heartedly.

“Well, gosh, I’d love to help ya, Sally.  But I don’t wanna get beat up by a girl . . . AGAIN!”

Sally dashes to her room, and Don scampers out the door like a coward.  Then, Betty, clearly the wronged one, whines to Henry about how much she wants to MURDER Don!

WOAH!  Take it easy there . . .

Lesson 5 – Be respectful of that which makes others “different”

“I really don’t understand why people think I’m racist.  Can’t a guy wear a mud mask without ridicule?  I hear helps clean the pores!”

The time has come for the men of SCDP to hold their meeting with the good folks at Honda.  Preparations have been made.  “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” has been not read.  White flowers (which signify death in Japanese culture) have been hidden.  Gifts have been purchased, including expensive bottles of booze.  Old Fogey Roger has been sent off on a loooonnng lunch, and told precisely nada about what is set to occur.

Things go pretty well . . . at first.  Pleasantries are exchanged and translated.  Joan’s assets are admired.  “How does she not fall over?”  One of the business men inquires “cutely” in Japanese.

“Actually, sir, I fall over all the time.  That’s why I always try to have Japanese business men in front of me, to break my fall.”

But then Roger comes, and screws everything up.

Pissed that he’s been lied to, and that his opinion has been blatantly ignored by his colleagues, an uncharacteristically belligerant Roger starts hurling insults at the Japanese businessmen, left and right.  “They won’t know it’s over until we drop a bomb on them . . . twice,” jokes Roger, insensitively.

“We don’t want your JAP CRAP!”  He says later. 

Now, Roger, there’s no need to be . . .

After the meeting ends abruptly, Roger whines some more about the Japanese and World War II.  Don berates Roger for acting unprofessionally, and killing the Honda account, all for something that happened twenty years prior.  Pete takes the lecture session one step further, accusing Roger of being . . .

 . . . and sabotaging Pete’s ability to gain accounts, so that Roger can maintain financial supremacy over the company.  Roger tries to deck Pete, but Don intervenes. 

 Sure, Don!  NOW YOU INTERVENE!  What about when the recipient of the fist was your own DAUGHTER?   You weren’t so tough then, were you?

Lesson 6 – Keep your hands to yourself, but not IN yourself . . . At least, not when others might see you do it.

For actress Kiernan Shipka’s sake, I’m hoping she’s too young an actress to think to ask what her “motivation” is for scenes like this one.  I’m also hoping that when she’s a teenager, Kiernan’s friends never dig out DVDs of this episode for blackmail purposes . . .

Speaking of Miss Sally Draper, she’s up late at a sleepover party, watching what looks to be the LEAST sexy television show on the planet . . .

I don’t know, Sally.  These guys just don’t do it for me . . .

 . . . when she starts digging for gold underneath her nightgown. 

She doesn’t find any.

(OK.  I’m no Betty prude.  I get that kids Sally’s age experiment with their bodies.  I also get that it’s normal and natural for them to do that . . . hopefully, IN PRIVATE.  But I REALLY didn’t need to watch this, and would have preferred the producers opted not to show it.  It made me feel uncomfortable, and dirty, in a way that soap can’t wash . . .)

Apparently, Sally’s friend’s mom felt the same way, when she walked in on Sally’s “Gold Rush.”    After having a little freak out, the lady immediately drove Sally home, interrupting Betty and Henry’s own sex session, to inform them that their kid was a sexual deviant.  As per usual, Mommy Dearest makes this all about herself.  After threatening to chop Sally’s fingers off . . .

How pleasant!

 . . . Betty moans to Henry in bed about how UNPOPULAR Sally’s actions are going to make Betty with the other mothers.

“Now I’ll NEVER be prom queen!”

Concerned that Sally’s willingness to play fast and loose with her flower, might ultimately result in her becoming . . .

. . . Betty reluctantly considers Henry’s idea that Sally start seeing a therapist. 

“My daughter MUST be certifiably insane!  Where on Earth would she learn to pleasure herself on the couch?  Who DOES that?”

Ultimately, Betty suggests the therapy idea to Don, and he eventually agrees to it. 

Then, of course, when the therapist calls Don to confirm Sally’s appointment, the Lovely Miss Blankenship greets him, in his small office, with the paper thin walls . . .

 . . .  screeching, “DON, YOUR DAUGHTER’S PSYCHIATRIST IS ON THE PHONE!”

Oh, Miss Blankenship . . . You are most certainly . . .

How Don hasn’t fired you yet, is BEYOND ME!

Lesson 7 – Honesty is always the best policy . . . unless you’re in advertising.

Just when it seems as though all hope is lost for SCDP to win over the Honda campaign . . .

Don reconsiders his newfound knowledge of Japanese business, and comes up with an idea to sabotage his competitors, while, at the same time, potentially saving the account.

Recognizing that neither SCDP nor its main competitor, Cutler, have the funds necessary to produce a full advertising campaign for Honda, Don decides to make Cutler THINK that SCDP is breaking Honda’s rules and paying for a television campaign out-of-pocket.  The underlying assumption is that, by doing this, SCDP will goad Cutler into breaking the rules, thereby, shooting themselves in the foot.  Not to mention, potentially bankrupting themselves.  A few “clandestine” meetings, a fake filming session, and some carefully placed words later, the trap is set. 

 On the morning of the presentations, Cutler, as expected, goes forward with presenting Honda the television campaign, in violation of the prescribed rules for the advertising competition.  When Don enters the office, he expresses feigned outrage at Honda for entertaining such a blatant rule violation, and returns the $3,000, refusing to make any sort of presentation at all.  Interestingly enough, the Honda CEO likes Don’s attitude, he, himself, being somewhat of a  . . .

And so, even though Honda ends up keeping their motorcycle account with Grey.  They ultimately decide to throw SCDP a bone, by allowing the agency to represent their “small” car business.

Well, played, Don!  You . . .

The episode concludes with, among other things, Don sharing some Sake with the joyless Marketing Research Lady . . .

During this meeting, he learns that she is NOT married, and is only pretending to be, because, OF COURSE, once men learn Marketing Research Lady is single, they DEFINITELY won’t be able to control themselves around her. . .

I think we all know where THIS is heading . . .

Here we GO AGAIN!

Also, Betty speaks briefly with Sally’s new therapist, Dr. Edna  . . .

.  . . who seems pretty cool . . .

 Betty even agrees to visit the therapist, herself, a few times, in accordance with Sally’s “treatment.”

At the very end of the episode, Sally, accompanied by the Most Fabulous Housekeeper / Caretaker who ever lived, Carla . . .

 . . . heads off to visit Dr. Edna for the first time.  We’re rooting for you, Sally!  Because the world REALLY doesn’t need ANOTHER Betty Draper . . .

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this episode, folks!  Special thanks go out to Roger Hargreaves, and the spectacular Little Miss and Mister Men series, for helping me to illustrate this recap.

See you next week!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Everybody Wants Sookie (or should I say . . . SOOKEH!) – A Recap of True Blood’s “Beautifully Broken”

Well, would you look at that?  It’s a gay vampire riding in on a white horse to “save the day!”  (Insert sexual euphemism and/or cheesy pun here.)

Did I miss something?  Did Valentine’s Day come early this year?  Because there sure was a lot of LOVE in this episode.  And I’m not just talking sex either.  (Sadly, there was none of that.) 

I’m talking about that real mushy gushy stuff.  The kind of “stuff” that would make you drop someone’s favorite beverage at their doorstep a few minutes before dawn (Hoyt and Jessica); or write a list about why you’d be a good father to their kids (Terry and Arlene – He passed anger management and tamed an armadillo); or babysit a drunk (Andy and Jason); or save a person’s life (Lafayette and Tara); or feel “disturbingly human.” (Sookie and Eric)

So, what you do you say, we get this  lovefest started?

Things That Go Growl In The Night . . .

“Mmmm, Eric, your breath smells refreshingly minty.  What toothpaste do you use?

“AB – Negative.”

When we last left our good pal Sookie, her and Vampire Jessica were “feeling” Bill.  Their “feelings” let them to a crashed car, with a werewolf corpse inside.  Operation Werewolf markings were on both the body and vehicle.   Despite having little luck previously, Sookie, armed with new intel, decided to take another shot at asking Vampire Eric for help in finding her Bill (or should I say “Beaaal” like she says it).  At Fangtasia, Sookie tells Eric about the whole werewolf thing, and initially, he seems unimpressed.  “Your obsession with Bill Compton is going to get you killed,” he says matter-of-factly.

But then Sookie, wisely, does the same thing I do whenever I get pulled over by a cop for suspected speeding (not that it happens often, mind you) . . . She cries!

Oh no!  Not like THAT!  That’s real crying!  Ugly crying!  That NEVER works . . .

Ahh . . . much better!  Good form, Sookie!

Although his facial expression never changes, you can tell that Eric, in his own sexy vampiric way, is highly moved by Sookie’s tears.  “Please don’t do that,” he says without affect, “It makes me feel disturbingly . . . human.”

WOO HOO!  Sookie and Eric sitting in a tree,  K-I-S-S . . .Sorry, got a little carried away for a moment there.  I’m back now . . .  

Dejected, Sookie leaves Fangtasia with a final plea to Eric that he help her find Bill.  At first, it seems as though Eric has no intention of helping Sookie.  Once she is out of sight, he crumbles up the paper she gave him with werewolf intel, and tosses it aside.  But then . . . suddenly, he’s in Germany, in a Nazi uniform, and guess who’s there?

It’s GODRIC!  He’s ALIVE!  I mean . . . DEAD . . . I mean .  . . undead?

Actually, the answer is none of the above.  Godric (played by Allan Hyde) is still very dead-dead, which means this is a World War II flashback.  Apparently (as Eric explains to Sookie later), Operation Werewolf had some sort of connection to the Nazis back in the day, but they, like the vampires, were around long before that. 

In the flashback, a she-wolf eats an American solider.  Eric and Godric come upon her, and Eric attacks the she-wolf.  She claims they are on the “same side.”  Eric disagrees.  (Nice to know my lover isn’t a real Nazi.  That would have been a bit of a turnoff, I think .  . .) 

Like the “Operation” Werewolves in present day, She-Wolf seems a bit hopped up on vampire blood.  She begs Eric for a drink.  And, although Godric cautions against it, Eric complies.  But then She-Wolfs goes apesh*t, and Vampire Eric has to finish her off.  Godric doesn’t like that at all, and he gives Eric a real judgy look.  Parents . . . they’re no fun at all . . .

Later, Jason comes over to Sookie’s house to play.  She tells him how much she misses Bill, and the way he says “Sookeh!”  (Great impression, by the way!  Way to go Anna P!  Bet you and Mr. Moyer were practicing that one in bed!)  She then tells him about the existence of werewolves.  He’s thrilled!  “Does that mean Bigfoot is real too?  SANTA?!”  He asks, excitedly.

 Awww!  Jason!!  Sweet, hot, dim-witted Jason!  I already saw this scene in the promos for the show.  But it still made me giggle and squeal like a little school girl the second time around!

When Sookie arrives at work, she finds herself stalked by a real creepy looking werewolf.  But he disappears before she can get a good look at his ugly mug.  That night, ANOTHER werewolf breaks into Sookie house.  Fortunately, Eric comes to the RESCUE!

There were a ton of great scenes in this episode, but I’m pretty sure this second Sookie / Eric scene of the evening was my favorite, for obvious reasons.  Eric arrives at Sookie’s door and inquires after the intruder.  He then tells her that he lied to her earlier, and comes clean about the whole “Operation Werewolf ” thing.  “Why are you telling me this now?”  Sookie asks.

“Because circumstances have changed . . . I have no interest in rescuing Bill.  In fact, it would be advantageous to me if he were never to return.  However, now they are coming after you .  . . and I . . .”  Eric hesitates, unsure of the proper words.  (He seems almost . . . disturbingly human.)

” . . . my objective was to protect you from danger, not increase it.  Your life is to valuable to throw away,” he finally concludes.

“What do you want me to do?”  Sookie whispers.

“I want you to invite me in, so that I can protect you, and have passionate, primal sex with you.  Hopefully both.”

Sookie seems taken aback by his request, a bit angered by his boldness, and more than a little turned on by the sexual proposition (REMEMBER “stamina” is Eric’s middle name). 

A much stronger woman than I am (You had me at primal sex, Eric!), Sookie insists she still belongs to Bill.  Eric concedes that is true.  They talk a bit about the difficulties of Sookie’s relationship with Bill. 

Suddenly, Eric gets up in Sookie’s face and demands he be invited in.  Sookie begins to argue again, but notes the new insistence in his voice, and ultimately invites him inside.  At that same  moment, a werewolf enters the home, braced for attack. 

Eric bares his fangs, and Sookie grabs her gun and shoots, just as the werewolf begins to pounce . . .

Andy and Jason = BFFs Forever

 Cutest couple EVER!

While Sookie and Eric are battling werewolves and flirting shamelessly with one another, another adorable twosome is navigating the waters of a new and beautiful friendship.  If you recall, Andy has taken the rap for shooting Eggs, even though Jason ACTUALLY shot him, in order to protect his big cuddly loverboy, Andy. 

But now, Andy is being hailed as a hero, an Jason is a bit jealous.  The elder Stackhouse copes with his feelings just like everyone else in this town seems to  . . . by getting wasted, of course!

“I keep trying to be good and do the right thing,” slurs Jason.  “But I always end up doing the wrong thing.”

Andy doesn’t know exactly how to respond to this sudden drunken show of emotion by his bromantic buddy.  So, he does what any good boyfriend would do in this situation, he compliments his pal’s good looks.  “You’re prettier than most girls!”  Andy offers optimistically!

You can say THAT again!  Andy!

But Andy doesn’t say it again.  Instead, he tells Jason that he could do anything he puts his (admittedly small) mind to, as long as he applies himself.  Andy then drags a drunken Jason along with him to a nearby trailer park called “Hot Shot,” where some guy named Calvin Norris is suspected of having a meth lab.  While Andy is attempting to chase down the suspect, Jason comes across one of the few girls out there, who may actually be just as pretty as Jason, himself . . .

Jason tries to talk to Miss Pretty (Lindsay Pulpisher, playing the new upcoming role of Crystal Norris), but she runs away before he can get many words in.  This gives Jason just enough time to tackle Calvin Norris for Andy and save the day!  We knew Andy was right about Jason being pretty.  But, it looks like he was also right about that whole “applying himself” thing.  Who knew?

Vampire Jessica Makes Bill a Grandpa!

 

“Crap!  I’m a mom!  But, how can that be?  I thought I was supposed to be a Virgin for all eternity!  Is this like Divine Conception, or something?”

Vampire Jessica is a bit distracted.  You see, she ate this guy, and fed him her blood.  And now he’s rotting  and decaying, and stinking up her coffin, not to mention her “dad’s” entire house.  So, it’s understandable that she’s not exactly in the mood for nookie.  So, when Hoyt arrives at her home, with a six pack of her favorite brand of True Blood, in hopes of reconciling, she’s a bit less than friendly.

To Hoyt’s credit, he gives this really great heartfelt speech to Vampire Jess, about how he understands why she tried to eat his mother, and how the two of them can fight their flawed natures together.  Vampire Jess is clearly moved by the speech.  But she’s so horrified by the heinous murder she committed, and embarrassed by her stinky home, that she pushes Hoyt away.  And I felt so bad for the poor guy, I literally almost cried. 

Convinced that her “victim” is “Dead-Dead,” Vampire Jessica begins to make plans for his proper disposal, even going as far as to rent a chainsaw to hack up Dead Guy’s body parts (Mmmmm, yummy!)  However, when she returns to the basement that evening, the body is GONE!

Lafayette and Tara Meet Mysterious Men / Decide Life is Worth Living . . .

Surprising precisely NO ONE, Lafayette rescues Tara from her half-hearted pill-swallowing suicide attempt.  Hoping to keep her from trying to off herself again, Lafayette takes Tara to a surprisingly classy mental hospital where Lafayette’s (extremely sharp and witty for a crazy gal) mom is currently residing . . .

Lafayette’s mom (Alfre Woodard) tells Lafayette that he was “killed” when he came out as being gay.  He claims Tara was “killed” too.  “Almost,” replies Tara, quite truthfully. 

Neither Lafayette nor Tara say much to Mommy.  After all, Lafayette didn’t really want to see her, he just wanted to use her to teach Tara a lesson.   Namely, don’t go nuts like my mom, or I’ll lock YOU away too!  Lafayette DOES exchange quite a few words with this guy, however . . .

 . . . his mother’s caretaker, Jesus (played by Kevin Alejandro).

No, no . . . not that one. (It’s pronounced Hay-soos.)

And based on the close talking and lascivious looks these two were giving one another, you just KNOW they are going to hooking up sometime real soon!  It’s HIGH TIME our boy Lafayette got some loving!  After all, he hasn’t had Vampire Eric’s blood in a while, and he REALLY needs something new to dance about . . .

Back at Merlotte’s, a mysterious vampire approaches the bar.  In hopes of making small talk, Tara tells him that she wants to kill herself.  (Very nice, Tara!   What a conversationalist you are!  It’s a real wonder you’re still single!)  Fortunately, for Tara (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), the new vampire dude . . .

 . . . who we know from promos is Franklin Mott (played by James Frain), is unperturbed by Tara’s admission.  In fact, he’s so unperturbed, that later that night, he holds some drunk dudes upright while Tara kicks the crap out of them for fun.  Ahhh . . . young love! 

The Family That Shifts Together, Stays Together . . .

 

“Oh, don’t worry!  This is how we greet ALL of our long lost relatives, down in Hickville!”

After being held at gunpoint by a man who ends up being his biological brother, Tommy (Marshall Allman), Sam is led inside a shabby home.  There, he reunites with his worse-for-wear mother and father.  As it turns out, both Mommy and Tommy Merlotte (well . . . Mickens, actually) are shifters, like Sam, while his father is “normal.” 

Sam’s Mommy cries a bit (but the tears are no where near as pretty as Sookie’s, and therefore, are less, effective) about how she didn’t mean to give up Sam and blah, blah, blah . . .  Sam’s a bit resentful about being put out to pasture to fend for himself as a child, but remains remarkably polite to his trashy bio parents.

The same cannot be said for Sam’s brother, Tommy, who instantly resents him for intruding on his “happy family.”

But then, suddenly (almost TOO suddenly), Tommy wants to make friends.  His olive branch of peace?  “Let’s go for a run,” offers Tommy.

Sam immediately takes off his shirt, and I get excited . . .

But then he turns into a dog . . .

Oh well . . . can’t win em all!

Tommy turns into a dog too.  But he’s this weird funny looking bull dog thing . . . not cute at all.  While the two are out running, a car conveniently swerves into their path. 

 “Miraculously” Tommy has enough foresight to turn into a bird and fly away before the car can hit him.  Sam fares slightly less well, rolling out of the way, just moments before becoming road kill.  The bad news is, his brother clearly tried to kill him.  The good news is, Sam wound up naked in the bushes, as a result.  SO HOT!

Who Knew There Were So Many Good Recipes You Could Make with Blood?

And lastly, we have Vampire Bill and his bloody journey to Mississippi.  It looks like Alan Ball has heard our complaints.  He seems to be totally intent on making Bill Compton more interesting this season. 

 Last week, Bon Temps’ Dullest Vamp starred in that hot gay dream with Sam.  This week, he BIT OFF SOME DUDE’S EAR!  (Now, that’s not very “Southern Gentleman” like, now is it?)  Upon finding Vampire Bill looking like an extra in a zombie movie, Big Gay Vampire King Russell Edgington (Denis O’ Hare) . . .

 

 . . . lectures head werewolf Coot (Grant Bowler) on letting his men feed on Vampire Bill.   He then disposes of the remaining werewolves (aside from Coot).   Finally, in yet another homoerotic scene that would not seem at all out of place on the cover of a romance novel, Russell invites Vampire Bill aboard his massive white steed . . .

Russell brings Vampire Bill back to his bedroom his mansion.  It is there that Bill is introduced to Talbot (played by Theo Alexander), Russell’s lover, as well as home decorater, in-house chef, and host extraordinaire. 

I haven’t known this character long, but already I ADORE him!  In sheer queenishness, Talbot could give Lafayette a real run for his money.  Here’s hoping Talbot ditches old fogey Edgington, and heads to Bon Temp for some Lafayette-flavored loving SUPER soon! 

While Bill and Russell talk business in a way that is polite, while still filled with thinly veiled threats, Talbot regales them with a four course meal that includes, blood sherbert, blood soup, the blood of some Thai boy, and blood from a woman who eats nothing but Tangerines.  Take that lame True Blood bottles from Merlotte’s!

Russell meanwhile has a proposition for Vampire Bill.  If Bill spills the information he has on Queen Sophie Anne, Russell will give him the position of Sheriff of Area 2.  Apparently, Russell would like to marry Sophie Anne, in order to increase the size of his dominion.  He believes that having some blackmail material under his belt, might help him to persuade her to enter into the union.  Bill claims he has no information on Sophie Ann.  However, Russell begs to differ. 

Russell insinuates that Bill initially traveled to Bon Temps on orders from Sophie Anne.  We later learn that Russell has hired someone to search Bill’s home back in Bon Temps.  There, the searcher finds a drawer full of personal information about Sookie. 

Could Bill have seduced Sookie solely on Sophie Anne’s request?  Is there whole relationship a LIE?  If such a development means Sookie will dump Bill’s ass and run straight into Eric’s arms, I say, BRING IT ON, BABY!

When Bill fails to respond to Russell’s insinuations, the Big Gay Vampire King resorts to threatening Sookie’s life (by sending werewolves to her home perhaps?).  That’s when Bill gets angry!  It’s also when his maker Lorena magically appears . . .

And Bill responds by doing what fans of the show have wanted him to do to Lorena since she first appeared . . .

He throws a lamp at her head and SETS THE B*TCH ON FIRE!

Dammit, Bill Compton!  Stop making me like you so much!

That’s all I’ve got folks.  All in all, it was a stellar second episode, in my opinion.  Quick-moving, well-plotted, and jam packed with sexually tense Sookie and Eric goodness — exactly how I like my True Blood!

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