Well, one thing True Blood's latest installment showed very clearly last night is the show is indeed hitting the ground running—the pace was fast and furious. It also showed what is often the series' weakness—when it's good, it's very very good, and when it's bad, it's horrid.
We saw both extremes in "Hitting The Ground," as the question of what exactly Sookie is (the horrid) played in contrast to Russell's power play against the Magister (the very good). There was a little middle ground—Sam finally found his balls and Jason reminded us why he's so adorable when we don't have to care about his plot. Jessica was missing altogether, and I hope the decision to off three characters from the overcrowded show creates some space for her to come forward in the story again. Come to that, I missed Franklin, too, though I guess he needs a little time to regrow his head. Only on True Blood.
The show opens with Lorena drinking Sookie's blood with murderous intent, only to break off to remark on how absolutely delicious she is and use one of her last moments to establish Sookie's theme for the week: "What are you?" Lorena has been a rather wonderful force on the show, obviously evil, yet very compelling in her obsessive pursuit of a vampire who detests her. And she looked great doing it, embodying the edgy elegance of her favourite era. I'll miss her, though she served her purpose of reminding the audience Bill is a conflicted vampire, holding on to his humanity by denying the baser urges he nevertheless has.
I wasn't overly happy at the manner of Lorena's dispatch, though. Bill and Sookie together has not been one of the stronger plotlines in the past, and both characters benefitted from being apart this season. I had been hoping the two would avoid some of their more irritating tendencies when they reunited. But I found it a bit anti-climatic on Sookie's part when the only way she made good on her threat to kill Lorena was by Bill holding his Maker still for her. I question Bill having the strength do so to his Maker even with his chains and Sookie needing Bill to come rescue her is a tired refrain on the show.