'True Blood': Sookie has the force | Rock Candy

'True Blood': Sookie has the force

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Last night, there were at least six main plot lines weaving through "True Blood."

1. Sookie and the beefy werewolf help each other with problems of the heart, inch closer towards being tempted by the fruit of each other and fight people.
2. Sam tries to set up his long lost family with a place to live and jobs. But his pa ain't having it.
3. Increasingly nutty vampire detective Franklin "woos" Tara, who as usual does little but make her lip quiver.
4. Bill, Erik and the King of Mississippi plot and connive together and, increasingly, apart.
5. Lafayette makes googly eyes at Jesus, his mom's nurse.
6. Jason plays at becoming a cop, meets a mysterious woman.

That's not rare for an episodic hour-long drama that's built up a lot mythology, but because "TB" veers so often from slapstick to drama to horror to soap-opera-style romance, the tonal shifts often feel really, really jarring. None more so than last night's episode. Where we went (perhaps not in this precise order) from an '80s-movie-style montage of Jason killing time in the police station to a flashback of Erik's viking king father murdered by werewolves to the interminable flirt-off at a pool table between Lafayette and Jesus that's pictured above.

The quick tonal shifts would be bad enough, but as I've said before, the bigger problem is that there are too many dud story lines. Three of last night's six were compelling (Sookie, vampire politics and Sam and fam), one was tedious if occasionally entertaining (Tara and Franklin in love; the cell phone bit was gold) and the other two were absolutely dreadful.

Random thoughts:

*That was totally a "Dukes of Hazzard" ode when shirtless Jason chased Crystal in a cop car.

*Even vampires wouldn't walk around with blood smeared on their face. That's like going to eat BBQ and coming home with sauce proudly smeared all over your face.

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