OK, as we open on the fourth episode of "True Blood" Season Three, we’re definitely Team Werewolf. Alcide the hot werewolf is shirtless and letting Sookie mop up his wounds. She’s also pumping Alcide for information about his love life, but that’s fine, as long as it keeps the scene going and, ergo, provides us with a lingering view of Alcide’s hot abs. Team. Werewolf.

Oh, bye bye, Alcide. There he goes. Sookie is getting phone dumped by Vampire Bill and has to walk away from Alcide’s frame so she can argue and cry. From his new player mansion in Mississippi, Bill is telling Sookie that he’s once again taken up with his maker, Lorena, and that “we f***ed like only two vampires can.” Oh, and also, “I am death.”

Thanks, man.

[Full recap of Sunday's (July 11) "True Blood" after the break...]

“That isn’t the man I love,” Sookie declares to Alcide after hanging up. Honey, there is a hot half-naked dude with marvelous were-abs who wants to keep you warm with his lyco-love, and he is right in front of you. Vampire Bill is cold and still speaks like he’s headed for the Battle of Bull Run. Get some sense, darlin’.

Back at Merlotte’s, Sam has discovered that his newly discovered, shifty shape-shifter brother, Tommy, has been rummaging up in his place of business. Sam chases him outside only to discover that his entire estranged family has taken up residence in the Merlotte’s parking lot. Shape shifters: They keep it classy.

Speaking of unwelcome guests, Franklin the Woebegone Vampire is using his big hypnotic undead eyes to grill Tara about the whole town, and Sookie in particular, doubtless for some nefarious vampire purpose. Still, Franklin seems to dig Tara, you know, in a psychotic sort of way; he looks at her adoringly in between his whispering orders and sucking her neck dry.

Back at the Mississippi royal mansion, Vampire Bill informs Lorena that his passionate lovemakin’ wasn’t really about her, but rather Sookie, and to prove it, he socks the daylights out of her. She adores it, but doesn’t bother spinning her head all the way around this time. Maybe she’s starting to take Bill for granted.

Apparently vampires can not only screw like maniacs but also float through the velvety black skies of the American Deep South. Eric Northman floats on over to pook Sookie’s window and they git it on, that is, until Eric stops fantasizing. He’s actually at Fangtasia, not in Sookie’s bed, and that annoys him all the way down to his very cold bones.

Back at Alcide’s place, Sookie is arguing with the hot werewolf instead of shagging him. Has the world gone mad? Anyway, Sookie is still hung up on Vampire Bill and wants to track him down. Alcide doesn’t seem keen on helping. So Sookie calls on Alcide’s hot-to-trot sister for some help in the slutting-it-up department. Alcide’s sister festoons Sookie with tattoos and a Clara Bow wig, while Sookie reads the sister’s mind. Apparently, Alcide’s estranged girlfriend, Debbie, is about to dedicate herself to the werewolf pack. Debbie is also addicted to V. Which means she’s both Team Werewolf and Team Vampire. Not. Cool.

At least one person seems to have his priorities right, and that’s Lafayette, who knows how to look good in his brand-new, vampire-funded sports car. He’s trying to reach Tara to show off said car, but she’s been tied up by Franklin and spirited away. At least he kept Tara alive; in vampire parlance, that’s pretty much true love right there.

Jason and Hoyt are hanging out at Merlotte’s, glaring at some cocky young high school punks and celebrating the sheriff’s retirement. Andy Bellefleur is named the new acting sheriff, but the cocky grommets are causing a disruption, which Jason cannot abide. Jason, being Jason, must step to the grommets while chugging from a pitcher of beer and flashing his awesome biceps. Jason really, really wants to be a cop, and he won’t stop pushing Bellefleur about it. In fact, Jason is so eager to become a law-enforcer that he threatens Bellefleur with extortion if he doesn’t get his way. It makes perfect sense, if you’re Jason Stackhouse, or a television writer.

Back at the Casa de Vampire King of Mississippi, Bill informs the King about the neighboring Queen’s drug-selling scheme. Bill also wants some assurances that someone will off Lorena eventually.

Oh, man, Franklin is a total psycho-vamp. Even his Britishness isn’t hot anymore. It’s creepy Britishness now. He has kidnapped Tara and is dragging her all over Bon Temps on mysterious errands. At least his eyes don’t go all black in between orgies run by a supernatural creature who eats human hearts. It’s allllll relative. Turns out, Franklin is working for the vampire king of Mississippi, and he and Tara end up at the king’s mansion.



Speaking of psychos, pregnant Arlene is freaking out about everything, because she is pregnant and not telling anyone. Jessica is a new waitress at Merlotte’s; Arlene don’t like that. Sam is being taken advantage of by his family; Arlene don’t like that. Et-ceter-y.

Some kid from Jessica’s bible study class spots her at Merlotte’s; Jessica glamors him into forgetting all about it, but Hoyt oversees their intimate conversation and gets the wrong idea.

Uh oh. Lafayette may have a new car, but he’s still in the drug business, and when he tries to sell V to the wrong rednecks, Eric has to intervene to prevent Lafayette from getting a whuppin. As the two drive away, Eric’s lecture Lafayette on salesmanship is interrupted by a call from Pam, informing him that the magister is raiding Fangtasia, and they’ve discovered the V operation. As Lafayette might put it, Eric flies right up out the car.

Eric gets to Fangtasia before Pam gets tortured too overmuch, but the magister won’t listen to Eric’s insistence that this is all a setup. Finally Eric and Pam are able to convince the magister that it’s really Vampire Bill behind the V dealing.

At the were-bar, which, apparently, is like a biker bar, but with lycanthropes, Sookie slams down shots like a trucker until Debbie shows up and stares her down. Alcide tries to convince Debbie to come home with him before she gets branded by an entirely inappropriate group of werewolves, but Cooter already has his claws in her.

Alas, the were-hag is a lost cause. She strips to her underwear and is put up on a dais, where a vampire Roy Orbison spills a bunch of his own blood into some vials. German is spoken; the blood is consumed, and much growling ensues before the Debbie is finally branded. Then the whole bar freaks out and starts turning into wolves en masse. Sookie barely makes it out of there with her Louise Brooks wig intact.

On the King’s orders, Vampire Bill goes into a strip club to find some ladies for everybody to suck on. He finds a topless chick with a heart of gold who has lost the will to live and decries love as an inescapable hell.

The stripper makes for fine take-out.

What'd y'all think of "9 Crimes"?