True Blood 3.12 “Evil Is Going On” Review

Sam McPherson September 12, 2010 1

I haven’t reviewed an episode of True Blood since episode 3.03, “It Hurts Me Too,” mostly due to scheduling conflicts. With Rubicon coming on at the same time as True Blood, I simply wasn’t able to juggle both, along with Mad Men. I kept watching True Blood on DVR until I found that it actually re-aired an hour and a half after the first showing. As mmahoney had already taken over the reviews (and did a bang-up great job with them), I couldn’t reclaim these reviews. So when mmahoney told us that he would be unavailable to do the finale review, well, I jumped at the opportunity.

“Evil Is Going On,” is a totally different beast from last year’s finale, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.” I liked this episode much better than the last finale, mostly because it had a greater flow to it. While you could cleanly divide season two’s closer between the season two wrap-up and season three set-up, this episode felt like the two were one and the same. It worked.

One thing I liked was that we saw very little of Russell Edgington’s face. Not that there’s anything wrong with Dennis O’Hare, of course, but having his face covered in the charred make-up for the majority of the episode really made his performance that much more magnetic. And that’s a hard thing to say when you’re talking about Dennis O’Hare. His choked cries while watching Sookie drop Talbot into garbage disposal were even more horrifying seeing them come from that charcoal visage. By the way, was anyone else really scared by Sookie in that moment? I mean, that was just a mean thing to do. And she was laughing manically while she did it. Maybe we should be less worried about Russell going nuts under all that concrete and instead be worried about Sookie going nuts out in the open.

By the way, that concrete punishment that Eric dreamed up was pretty harsh. Allowing Russell no peace at all will undoubtedly make for some great television when Russell inevitably pops up again. I hope he’s even more bonkers than he was before.

Speaking of bonkers, Lafayette was having a bad day before Jesus told him that he was a witch. Does anyone else sense that this is some bit of a religious jibe on the part of Alan Ball & co., having a character named Jesus actually be a practitioner of pagan arts? The irony isn’t lost on us, don’t worry. In an unrelated note, wonder if Jesus knows Holly. Considering that they’re both witches, they’ll probably be sharing some screen time.

We also got to see the reinvention of Tara in this episode, something that I wish could have happened a long time ago. Seeing her mope around all season has been a bit of a drag, and while necessary, it was time for her to get over all that. Cutting her hair was certainly a symbolic way to do that. Does anyone else think that her short hair really makes her resemblance to her mother uncanny?

Seeing the pundit Steve Newlin back on the television was a nice touch. He’s been popping up sporadically over the season, and I really hope he gets a bigger comeback next year. He was my favorite part of season two, and was a much better villain than Maryann.

And then there’s Jason, the hapless hero who lost the girl but got a lot of emaciated inbreds. His vindication that he’s doing something right with his life, though, made the whole thing actually seem meaningful. (By the way, having the inbreds calling each other ‘uncle-father’ and things like that seems like it was done for cheap laughs, and took me out of the situation. I think they should have all just called each other ‘cuz.’ That would have been funnier, and gotten across the same point.)

Now we get to the tragic arc of Sam, who has really become an extremely messed-up character in the past, like, two episodes. I don’t like him anymore. I hope his love of money means his downfall, and I hope Tommy isn’t dead. Something tells me he’ll be around in some capacity.

Then we have the two main cliffhangers: there’s the Sophie Ann vs. Bill fight (which will end just how we think it will, I’m sure), and the Sookie teleportation, neither of which seem really compelling to me. Of course, then again, neither did Bill getting kidnapped at the end of season two. Thank God for subplots, I suppose. They give me a reason to come back week after week, and summer after summer.

True Blood will return with a fourth season next summer.