On Sunday's episode of True Blood, Eric and Sookie deepen their antipathy. Hoyt introduces Jessica to his momma. Lafayette and Lettie Mae attempt to loosen Maryann's grip on Tara. Sam escapes from prison. And in the wake of the Dallas suicide bombing, Godric must make amends for his actions at the Fellowship of the Sun.
Dallas Vampire Nest
We backtrack a few minutes to see Bill send off Lorena with harsh words. Inside, the Lukenator has detonated his dirty bomb and things are... dirty. Fire, smoke, blood and sinew (echoes of Eddie's death) cover the walls, floors and ceiling of the once-chic residence, which has been partially reduced to rubble. Stan is the only major casualty, though a few other vampires and humans — and of course Luke, whose severed hand Jason finds amidst the chaos, honesty ring still intact — perish as well. Godric sends the vampires off to the Hotel Camilla where security is in place.
Eric and Sookie
Inside, Eric, who covered Sookie in the blast and has thus been hit by some silver shrapnel, asks Sookie to suck the silver out of him. "Son of a mother!" she says in her special way, as Eric is perhaps the last vamp on earth on whom she'd prefer to place her lips. Of course, vampires can heal themselves (duh), so this wasn't necessary at all. It was just a trick to get Sookie to consume some of his blood. "You're connected," Bill proclaims when he discovers Eric's dastardly deed. "He'll be able to sense your emotions." "You big, lying a-hole!" Sookie screams — and yes, she said "a-hole." "Bill, you're right, I believe I can sense her emotions," Eric snarks. Heh. The result: Eric will always know where Sookie is and how she feels; in turn, she may feel a sexual attraction to him.
Let's stop for a minute. Did anyone else, upon hearing this last tidbit, wonder if Sookie wasn't thinking: Hmmm, is that also why I'm in love with Bill? Also: If Sookie is susceptible to this kind of vampiric mental trickery, why can't she be glamoured? School me in the comments, please!
Hoyt and Jessica
"Intercourse isn't the only way to have sex," Hoyt reports. They're still discussing how it will keep growing back. While I ponder all the other ways, Hoyt announces he wants Jessica to meet his small-minded momma. Aw. He even offers to build them a "tricked-out double-wide" coffin, so they can sleep together. Creepy and sweet!
While Maxine Fortenberry (the delicious Dale Raoul) makes her baby boy a grilled cheese-and-potato-chip sandwich, he invites her to dinner with Jessica. Her hesitation sends Hoyt on a tear, in which he lists all the things that she hates, and it's a hilarious list: Methodists, Catholics, African-Americans, people who don't take care of their gardens, people who park their trucks up on the lawn, ladies who wear red shoes, families with lots of kids, checkered curtains, cats, dogs, bait (I think I heard this one wrong?) and every girl he's ever liked. "I simply object to a girlfriend who will kill you and eat you; I think that's reasonable," she protests. He protests her hateful mind, and announces that he's a grown-ass man.
Nevertheless, she shows up for dinner at Merlotte's. Jessica tries her best, but Maxine is relentless. "Hoyt has a bright future ahead of him, and by bright I mean in the sun," she hisses. Jessica's fangs come out, literally, but Maxine isn't backing down. The final straw: She makes Jessica cry blood (yuck) by reminding her that she can't ever have babies. Jessica and Hoyt storm out; Maxine chugs a beer.
Tolerance is a prevalent theme of True Blood, and this story underscores it with profound allegorical impact. Alan Ball knows it's important to show that not everyone is sunny on vampires, and that anti-vamp prejudice is just as caustic as sexism or racism or homophobia. So yes, the star-crossed lovers are cute as a bug's ear, but they also stand for something quite fundamental to the show's ethos. [Getting down off my soapbox now, but you know what I mean, right?]
Tara and Maryann
OK, this story got weird tonight, right? As Tara and Eggs again try to piece together the previous night (when they played Ike and Tina) and nurse their respective bruises, Maryann chides them for their shame. "Why be embarrassed about pleasure and laughter?" she asks, making plain her plan to create chaos as every turn. She says chaos is a higher state of consciousness enjoyed by mystics of every religion who were labeled crazy in their time. When Tara says they were crazy, Maryann dissents.
Michelle Forbes' line reading here is amazing: "No, Tara, they were ecstatic. All that fake civilization bullsh-- just fell away so they could dissolve into the infinite, so they could lose themselves and unite with their god." Tara and Eggs are all: Okey-dokee, crazy lady. "A few bumps and bruises, it's a small price to pay for bliss," she says meaningfully. And then... "Bloody Mary anyone?"
Maryann, who is Bon Temps' resident good Samaritan, remember, pays Sheriff Bud a visit to discuss this "major crime wave" that occurred the previous night. But mostly she's just there to vibrate and hypnotize him so she can steal the keys to the cellblock so she can get to Sam. In Sam's cell, we see a really specific close-up of a fly crawling around an air vent, so it's no surprise that when Maryann gets to his cell, all that's left are Sam's clothes. "Now I am really irritated," Maryann growls as she frees all her orgy-attending faithful who are free to display their gelatinous naked bodies again next week. Thanks a lot, Maryann!
Later, Maryann, Eggs and Tara are playing cards and doing shots when Lafayette and Lettie Mae barge in to rescue Tara, whom Laf thinks is getting beat up by her boyfriend. (Well, she is, but...) Maryann tries to tempt them to join them, even pulling a sweating bottle of frozen vodka from the freezer. But they aren't falling for Maryann's tricks, so she has to blacken Tara and Eggs' pupils to create violent little minions to deter Laf and Lettie Mae. Maryann pulls up a chair and, with a content smirk, watches the carnage unfold.
While Tara strangles her mother, Eggs and Laf scuffle. Before things get too out of control (or not out of control enough, depending on your point of view), Laf throws Tara over his shoulder and they make a run for it. Tara is positively shrieking for Maryann to help her, but Maryann hangs back. "She'll come back; she'll bring them with her," she foreshadows. Just at that moment, a close-up reveals a fly crawling around the doorframe. (Is that you, Sam?)
Maryann, always one to make an entrance, busts through the door of Merlotte's with a stiff wind at her back. "The god who comes demands his sacrifice — where is Sam Merlotte?" she bellows. "Bring him to me!" Everyone goes all black-eyed and obedient. Scary.
Sookie and Jason
There's a very tender scene in which the Stackhouse sibs, facing each other Indian style on Jason's hotel-room bed, reaffirm their love for each other and their dearly departed family members. "We're all alone," Sookie says. "We gotta grow up; we gotta stick together; and we gotta be good to each other, or we're letting them down." OK, fine, but can I just point out that Jason also used the term "sex abilities" in this very tender scene?
Meanwhile, on the tee-vee, Nan Flanagan is debating Rev. and Mrs. Newlin again. "We are fighting for God's green Earth and daytime and Christmas and Easter eggs all that is sacred and good," Sarah babbles nonsensically, punctuating her looney-tunes argument with a curt "I hate your hair." The Rev., with a fresh paintball bruise at the center of his forehead, practically rolls his eyes on camera. Oh, you two!
Sookie and Eric: Naked!
Now we get to the scene that I suspect will be much-discussed: Sookie and Eric naked in bed together, all flirty and post-coital-seeming. Now obviously it's a dream... for now. (All you "bookies" will be falling all over each other to be the first to spoil it for the rest of us that these two eventually become a couple, so I'll just take care of that now. So there.) But let's talk about this "dream" for a minute as it pertains to the TV show. Was it actually a dream? In their conversation, Eric is subtly trying to convince Sookie to become a vampire.
"This is the beginning," he says, as if to indicate that perhaps Eric is planting some plot seeds inside Sookie's noggin that will surely bloom in coming seasons. It's a real turning point for the show.
In a quick scene, Sam arrives, naked, at a cheap motel room currently occupied by a still-soused Andy. I like the idea that, evidenced by his immunity to Maryann's particular charms, there's more to Andy than meets the eye. I've heard one spoilery explanation from the books about Andy's antecedents, but I'm curious to see how, if at all, Alan Ball incorporates that information into the TV show. Any theories?
Back to Dallas
Nan Flanagan, the spokesperson for the American Vampire League we've seen in chic lavender suits on television, is now sporting edgy leather, a potty-mouth and a 'do that makes her look more like Basic Instinct-era Sharon Stone. The Fellowship situation and subsequent suicide bombing is a PR mess, especially since it's revealed that Godric volunteered himself to the Fellowship. As a result, Godric takes full responsibility and resigns as sheriff.
But Godric still feels like he needs to "make amends," which is apparently vampire code for suicide. Sookie senses that he's in pain and wants to help him. They head to the roof, where Godric makes plain his plan to stay there until the sun rises. Two thousand years has been enough for him. Eric tries to stop his maker, but to no avail. "Father, brother, son," Godric says to Eric Biblically, and helps him to accept his decision.
As the sun rises, Eric has to leave but Sookie stays on the roof with Godric. "Do you believe in God?" he asks her. Sookie says yes, and explains that God forgives, he doesn't punish. Just as he's getting a little crispy around the edges, Sookie starts to cry, because that's her thing. But then it's like some bad SNL skit and her eyes are leaking like faucets. "In this I see God," Godric says, as he ignites and burns blue and disappears in the sunlight. Completing the overt religiosity of this sacrificial scene is the gospel-flavored outro: Lyle Lovett's "I Will Rise Up."
So I guess that's it for Godric, which is a shame. At just 20 years old, Allan Hyde perfectly embodied both Godric's millennia of experience and his childlike optimism, and brought an interesting complexity to the range of vampire temperaments we've experienced on the show. Will his lessons of tolerance stick? A preview scene showing Evan Rachel Wood (who will play Sophie-Anne, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, in future episodes) feasting on a human victim seems to indicate not so much.
What did you think of "I Will Rise Up"? What's in store for the folks returning from Dallas? How will Eric's new connection with Sookie play out? Did Godric's death move you? What do you think Andy's secret is?
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