Poor sheriff Bud Dearborn also decides he's living in a nightmare when Hoyt turns up yet another body in his patch. As Andy matter-of-factly runs down the evidence that a vampire must have ripped the body's head off, Bud has a meltdown instead, declaring that murder is so rampant in Bon Temps, "It's like crab grass!" Exit stage left and I suspect an opening has been made to increase Chris Bauer's time on the show. I'm all in favour, if that's the plan.
Besides creating space for Andy, the body (who is the missing trucker from last week) links Jessica's story to Franklin's. James Frain has made a big impression in a short time—his Franklin is genuinely menacing, strangely attractive, and just plain enjoyable on screen. He's one of my favourite newbies (I also really enjoy Denis O'Hare), making me laugh at the macabre ventriloquism act with the dead man's head. Poor Jessica has no chance against this vamp and he extracts all the information she has about Bill, Sookie—and Tara.
Tara starts out really strongly in this episode. From her really loud sex scene with Franklin where she firmly refuses to give him so much as her name to the Eggs funeral scene with Sookie, she is likable again, vulnerable but sassy, hurt but sticking up for herself. I was so relieved to get my Tara back—when the dratted writers served up another side of zombie Tara, like we were missing her. Thank goodness Franklin is fascinating, because the sight of a glamoured Tara looking blank and inviting bad news into Sookie's house is so last year. So far, Tara's interactions with Franklin have been interesting, but please, writers, give her back her spine. On the positive side, storywise at least, Franklin has linked Jessica and Tara to whatever he's up to in Bon Temps.
Eric's story also starts to knit into several other characters, and that is always a good thing. "It Hurts Me Too" springs to life when Eric takes Sookie's bullet in order to save the attacking werewolf for questioning. In what may be meant to resonate with Bill's loss of control with Lorena, Eric appears to lose control of himself when he spots the Nazi/runic tattoo on the werewolf's neck. With a snarl, he tears the man's throat out, and only when he finishes does he realise he's knocked his chances of seducing Sookie back several paces. In a wonderful True Blood moment, he ironically says, "I got your rug wet." However, he responds to Sookie's chiding about losing control by telling her a werewolf hopped up on vampire blood is strong enough to be dangerous even to him. Skarsgard forces us to wonder how out of control Eric really was.