It’s not often we get an episode of True Blood in which every storyline touches Sookie’s lifeline in some way, shape, or form. Oh wait. That’s right. It happens all the time. This week, True Blood managed to keep the tradition alive while reminding us that Sookie is both the glue that hold the series together and the dynamite that blows its plots and relationships to smithereens.
And she starts out the episode by standing in the shrapnel shower of her latest big decision: Telling Alcide the truth about who killed Debbie. Lafayette storms out of Merlott’s, chastising her for confessing her guilt to Alcide. She swears Alcide won’t tell (but it’s obvious she’s not really sure that’s true) and that doing right is the only way to get right. Lafayette is livid, worried her passionate, irrational choice will get him locked up for Jesus’ death too. “You’re the f**king angel of death,” he says.
But it’s not just Lafayette. Tara, fresh off her revelation as a self-loathing vampire, is still furious with Sookie for making Pam turn her. When Bill visits Fangtasia and asks Tara about Sookie’s safety, Tara responds with a curt command for him to stop asking. Sookie will be fine. Someone will always protect her. But she makes sure to note that someone else always pays the price. And it’s true. Sookie is at the center (and is often the catalyst) for some of the biggest dramatic problems in Bon Temps. But Tara should step back for a second and remember the time her friendship was the one that caused the whole town to be turned into sex-crazed zombies when a Maenad came to town in Season 2.
Still, the Sookie hate continues. At Merlott’s Sookie experiences a similar level of contempt and curiosity to the time she took a shift after going public with (then) Vampire Bill. Her customers’ and coworkers’ thoughts invade her brain and everyone is thinking about how she had Tara changed into a vampire and whether or not it makes her a terrible person. Because she’s not already worried enough about that herself. She even goes to Jason’s to confess, since he’s the deputy, and he tells her they’re going to keep her out of jail. Of course when she confesses she turned Tara, Jason freaks out completely. Oh, Jason. You’ve always got your priorities straight.
At this point, Sookie is so wrought after the events of the day, confessing to Alcide, and being chewed out by Lafayette that with tears in her eyes she cries, “I ruin lives, Jason!” But does she? Or does she just draw such attention, what with her sweet blood and her ability to read minds, that she’s an unwilling magnet for trouble and those who are willing to protect her? It’s about time True Blood at least opens the door to that question (because we’ve been thinking it for four years) and it seems that Bill may be about to use that quality to his own tactical advantage. But more on that later.
Back at Merlott’s, Lafayette is still livid with Sookie even after she leaves and his dark magic, apparently left from when Marnie stole it from Jesus while she was in Lafayette’s body, comes out in creepy, kindergarten clay mask form and Lafayette (or the dark magic; we’re not quite sure who’s really responsible here) puts a spell on Sookie’s car. Later, when she hops in a drives home from Merlott’s, it begins to speed up and the brakes fail, so she bails right before the car crashes.
Convinced the crash is punishment for her status as a life-ruiner, Sookie walks home and pours herself a glass of every hard liquor known to man. Soon, she’s drunk and singing new vampire lyrics to Rupert Holmes’ “Escape” (yes, sight, the Piña Colada Song). Lafayette calls her; he found her car wrapped around a tree and he’s worried something happened to her. When she sings him the song (literally - she’s wasted, remember?) of what happened to her, Lafayette realizes he’s the one that did it. So that’s happening this season. Why can’t Lafayette just drop the magic and be his magical self so we can actually enjoy his character again? Why, True Blood, why?
Sookie drunkenly puts down the phone as Lafayette tries to do the right thing (like she taught him) and confess, but Alcide is at the door. He didn’t turn her in (because of course he didn’t, he’s a big ol’ lovable softy who just happens to be incredibly attractive, the vampire race’s greatest rival outside of humans, and a man with a raging case of Sookie love). He told Debbie’s parents she was dead, because he’s a good man and he knows they deserve closure. But, he tells them Marcus killed Debbie, got drunk and bragged about it, and Alcide killed him as retaliation. Of course, only the Debbie being dead part and the Alcide killing Marcus part are true, but let’s all take a moment to ooh and ahh over the werewolf who is not only sweet, selfless, heroic, and... okay, let’s just say it : hot. He’s got the cherry on top that he’s also incredibly clever and quick on his feet. Bill and Eric who? (Sorry shippers, but this new Sookie suitor is just so my speed. No disrespect.)
Of course, because he’s so perfect, he doesn’t move on to Sookie without breaking down into adorable lumberjack tears over his slain ex-girlfriend. He loved her, even after he abjured her. And boom, now he’s clear for some Werewolf on Fairy action. After he tells her what he did and confesses he couldn’t bear sending her to jail, she does the right thing and apologizes for putting him in that position and expresses her gratitude. He knows. Of course he knows. He’s so wise. Did I mention he’s handsome? He’s really handsome. I’m sorry, where was I? Oh yes. Sookie offers him a drink and when we cut back, they are happily drunk. (Though it’s a miracle Sookie’s not passed out on the floor at this point.) Finally, she gets on top of him and says he’s in love with her and finally (FINALLY) they drunkenly make out. Please don’t let Sookie think this is a mistake in the morning. I couldn’t handle her putting Alcide through that rejection. Let’s be real. No lady would turn down Alcide. Unless she was blind and stupid. Sookie, you are not blind and stupid. Don’t make us hate you like Tara and whatever magic being is controlling Lafayette.
Next: Let's get Tara out of that tanning bed, shall we?Speaking of Tara, she’s having a rather hard time tanning to death. Pam finds her and commands her to never try to burn herself alive again. Damn that Maker bond. Tara is naturally pissed, but then again, it’s hard to be anything but when your skin is melting off. It also makes we wonder if there’s some sort of governmental deal to get tanning bed death on this show. How many of you want to go down to the salon and get nice and crispy right about now? Oh, no one? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
After Pam wrangles Tara out of the tanning bed and puts her an triple XL t-shirt at Fangtasia, Eric finally shows up. He and Bill are in town to find Russell. She’s excited to see him (though that word doesn’t seem to cover it) and introduces Tara as his granddaughter. (Um, hottest. grandfather. ever.) That’s quickly dashed when he hold Pam down by her neck to question her about Russell; besides Bill and Eric, only Alcide and Pam knew and Alcide alerted them, so he’s in the clear. But Pam is in bloody, bloody tears. She says (and we know it’s true) she’d die for him, and she’d never betray him. She trusts him implicitly why can’t he trust her? He says neither of them should trust anybody. Typical, cryptic Eric. She says if she means so little Eric should release her as his maker.
And to her surprise, Eric finally agrees. But, he’s not lost his heart just because Sookie broke it. He’s got his reasons, and they’re pretty solid. Eric says even if he and Bill find Russell they still face treason charges. If Russell doesn’t kill them, they’ve still got orders for the true death on their heads at the Authority. “The end will come soon” and Eric needs her to live and carry his legacy because she’s his only progeny. And while at the beginning of the episode, he trusted no one, it’s clear he trusts her with everything now.
Eric releases Pam but he makes sure to explain just how much weight is placed on her shoulders. She’s Godric’s granddaughter, which means she was born into greatness, and as a Maker, she must carry that bloodline on. And, if that wasn’t an interesting enough perspective, Eric releasing Pam now makes Tara her sole connection to Eric. Tara is the new baby/hope of the bloodline and Eric has entrusted Pam to nurture her and let the bloodline “thrive.” She must now put all her grudges aside and take care of one of the people who hates her most.
So, she does just that. Pam wakes Tara up like she’s a teenager sleeping until noon and forces Tara to feed on a human with another one of those “as your Maker I command” bits. In Tara’s unprepared brain, blood is still gross. But as Tara continues to bite the volunteer, Pam switches into motherly mode so Tara can learn how to drink without killing. Aw, what a mommy. But of course, we learned that vampire families are all sexual, so Tara is practically making out with this girl’s neck, the victim has a serious case of O face, and Pam’s explanation has a palpable twinge of almost sexual desire for the fresh blood.
They may hate each other, but Tara needs to survive and she needs a guide, and Tara is now Pam’s only piece of Eric, which means their forces relationship will only continue to grow. And these are growing pains worth watching. This complicated dynamic is one of the best aspects this series has going for it at the moment.
Eric and Bill are on their Authority-sanctioned mission and they return to Bon Temps to find who let Russell out. Only four people knew where he was: Alcide, Eric, Bill, and Pam. Alcide blew the whistle, Bill and Eric are on the hunt, and after breaking Pam’s heart, Eric finds she knows nothing of Russell’s breakout. Bill’s sure there’s a leak somewhere, so he speeds off to his house to check his office for bugs. And perhaps it’s just my nature now that Bill’s been revealed to not be the perfect gentleman we thought he was upon our first arrival in Bon Temps, but his searching techniques and pensive moments are draped with a level of hesitation and desperation that normally accompany someone racked with guilt. Could it be that Bill is actually the one who leaked it? He’d have an excuse to watch over Sookie all the time; he’d have someone to oppose the Authority, who want him dead; and he’d get to be the hero when he finally gives him the true death or puts him back in the ground.
It seems like an even greater possibility because while Sookie makes out with Alcide, Bill watches jealously outside and when Eric drops by with his every hilarious obvious observations (“Awkward time for a drop-in, Bill”). Eric says she doesn’t want them in her life, but Bill says Sookie is integral to finding Russell and that they’re going to watch her like bait until Russell comes for her. That doesn’t sound like Good Bill. That sounds like sinister, secret-keeping Bill. And I don’t like it.
He did have a minimal reaction when Jessica told him to check on “falling apart” Sookie and insisted that Sookie and he are different than Sookie and everyone else. And while it may have given him some hope, it was washed away by seeing her wrapped around Alcide. But what else can a short pasty vampire do when he sees his ex being felt up by a towering, tan, heated werewolf? Plus, he’s not an impulsive as Eric, but he is perhaps more emotional under the surface. Couldn’t it be possible that he’d be capable of letting his emotions drive him to something this extreme?
Next: Hey, Roman. You've got some blood on your face.And as soon as we know the answer to that question, so will the Authority because they are watching over Bill and Eric on their laptops like an episode of Big Brother. Many of them are concerned that Bill and Eric are just trying to buy time for the Sanguinistas or start violent, scary Russell rumors that will keep humans from passing pro-Vampire laws.
But while they argue about the unknowable, Roman and Salome visit Nora who still won’t talk. But when they threaten to kill Eric and Bill with Roman’s (literally) killer app, she breaks. We don’t hear the answer, but It seems Nora confessed that another chancellor was part of the Sanguinista movement. Roman pulls out the holy stake and awaits confirmation of the traitor. It’s the young boy, who taped himself killing a human and sent it out with an encrypted message to the Sanguinistas. He tries to make excuses but Roman kills him in an instant and says he will tolerate no further opposition as the boy’s blood drips down his face like a melting Jackson Pollock. The seeming enjoyment he gets from this level of control is disconcerting. He’s starting to reveal himself as the guy on the dark side. Sure, he’s supporting a movement that could help all vampires, but he seems to be getting his jollies elsewhere (like by killing other vampires in explosive and very cold blood). He’s quickly solidifying his role as a villain, but I hope the waters stay a little murky for a while. He’s a fun one to parse out.
And alas, we must deal with Andy, whose plot is tied to Jason’s this week because the crooked judge invites them both to a party. Just before, Jessica comes in and glamors Andy so he stops the Debbie Pelt investigation and Jason marvels at what a good friend she is (naked). We find out later that he’s still in love with her because he and Andy get in a limo with the judge and a few scantily clad club girls put bags on their heads and take them to a secret fairy party, where all the girls read minds.
In the same seemingly empty clearing where Jessica chased the guy whose blood “smelled like cupcakes and sex,” an invisible door gets acceptable visitors into a burlesque club run by faires. Andy runs into the fairy he bonded with in the woods, they kiss and he immediately forgets about Holly, the girl he just got the guts to fight for just last week.
Jason is having a rougher go of it after his fairy date senses he’s thinking about someone else, a vampire. Just then he sees his cousin, Hadley, she’s surprised Sookie is alive and says Sookie needs to come to the fairy club to be with the other “refugees.” Hadley warns him that vampires will turn on her and kill Sookie just like they did their parents. Oh yes. That flood death we were all supposed to believe is BS. According the quickly silenced Hadley, their family was made of fairies and the vampires killed their parents. But wouldn’t that make Jason a fairy? And why does no one freak out around him when they smell his blood? Maybe he’s like Sookie and he’s only half.
But after the mess of Hadley’s spilled secret, Jason fights to get back to his cousin, eventually getting thrown out and hit in the face with fairy light, which I’m just going to assume is set to some sort of Men in Black memory eraser.
Finally, we have our fringe characters. This week, Sam’s old shifter friends find him at Merlott’s and ask him to come back and run with them. He and Luna are broken up, so he didn’t want to come back, but they insist they chose him over her. It just too bad that when he does go, they’re dead and we’re left waiting for next week when Sam will get another minute and a half of the whole hour to unfold his apparently interesting story.
Finally, in the plot that doesn’t fit anywhere in here: Terry and Scott Foley are on their road trip and remembering their army days. Terry has a dream about him and his buddies were drinking and taking some sort of pills. They’re all screwed up and Terry is staring at the missile fire in the distance like Gollum or Snooki with a plate of fried pickles, Down below, one of their men kills a trespasser and the whole group ends up in a crossfire with hostiles. They kill lots of civilians and Terry is wracked with guilt – it turns out he was remembering this in a dream. Terry wakes up and he and Scott Foley find their friend’s bunker. He’s there, and he pulls a gun on them. As usual, this plot makes no sense with the rest of the story and there is not enough time to explain what all this crytic military background talk is about.
Do you think Bill could be the person to dig up Russell? Will Sookie and Alcide last? Or is she going to break his heart soon?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
[Image Credit: HBO]