On this week's True Blood, Lafayette, ever the survivor, tries to make a deal with his vampire captors. Tara becomes suspicious of Maryann's motives. Jason is a standout at Jesus camp. Maryann tortures Sam, as she delights the patrons of Merlotte's with a little interpretive dance. Sookie gets into trouble with Bill when she lets Jessica visit her family. Meanwhile, Eric has a job for Sookie and Bill, which will have them singing "the stars at night/are big and bright" in no time.
It's ironic that last week's episode was titled "Nothing But the Blood," as it's this episode that contains perhaps the goriest, grisliest scene I've ever seen on television (cable television, fine, but still).
We pick up right where we left off last week. A severed arm flies through the air and smacks Lafayette, stump first, in the chest. "Is there blood in my hair?" Eric asks, as his maw oozes with blood and sinew. Um, yeah! "Oh, this is bad. Pam is going to kill me," he says. Heh.
Indeed, Pam is not at all happy that Eric's basement romp with the redneck has ruined her dye job. But first things first! The pair -- and some dude named Chow who reminds me of Otho from Beetlejuice -- question Lafayette about a) his porn website and b) his V-dealing operation, and they realize that this "survivor" could be very useful to them. While Lafayette is not what you'd call discreet, he is quotable: "If I have even a Jew-at-an-al-Qaeda-pep-rally's chance of getting myself out of this motherf---er, I'm taking it," he tells Eric, and in short order, spills the beans that Jason kidnapped Eddie, the doomed gay suburban vampire. Pam and Eric decide that going after Jason is too risky, since "Sookie is too important to us." Since he doesn't tell them what they need to hear, back to the dungeon he goes.
Crafty Lafayette remembers that the now-departed redneck said that he had a magnetic hip implant. Thank God I ate early tonight because otherwise I would have done more than dry-heave as Laf burrowed his way into the carcass to extract a metal piece of some sort to fashion a bashing implement to break his vampire bonds. Ech, he used his teeth at one point. Dear PETA, I am officially off meat... for the next 18 hours or so. You're welcome!
Once Laf escapes the dungeon, it's daylight upstairs in Fangtasia. His only obstacle: crazy Ginger, the vampires' slutty, unhinged human accomplice, who is always good for a laugh. "Kind of," she replies, when Laf asks if she's human. And then she shoots him in the leg, on Eric's orders, to prevent his escape. This sends her into a hilarious panic. Laf reminds her that he's the one who got shot. Ginger screams when she realizes the towels she gets Laf to make a tourniquet are dirty. This made me ALOL (actually laugh out loud).
Laf doesn't escape, and instead lies bleeding out on Eric's couch. "Would you like your leg to kill you or would you like us to do it?" Eric asks. Laf chooses Plan C: make him a vampire. "I'm already a person of poor moral character, so I can hit the ground running," he says. Eric says he'll take it under advisement, and then he and his vampire sidekicks snack on Lafayette's bleeding, battered body. But what does it all mean?
AT JESUS CAMP
Full disclosure: I am not particularly religious, so I apologize if my free-wheelin' sacrilege offends you. I say hey, whatever frosts your cupcake when it comes to sex and religion, but the Fellowship of the Sun's Leadership Conference seems to me to be nothing more than an improv-comedy skit gone awry — as it's meant to. Jason becomes fast friends with Luke McDonald (Wes Brown), since they have a shared football past and are both exceedingly stupid. Luke used to play "tight end," and I think it's a fair assumption that the homoerotic subtext of this meeting is not accidental.
When Luke learns that Jason had breakfast with Steve and Sarah, he is both impressed and envious. "You want to bunk together?" Luke asks. "Sh--, yeah," Jason replies. "Don't say sh--," Luke admonishes, and it makes us realize that Jason's newfound piety is most certainly going to be short-lived.
Cut to Sarah Newlin, the smokin'-hot preacher's wife who is overseeing the distribution of their "rings of honesty," which are made of real silver, all the better to protect them from vampires. Anna Camp really owns this role, made up of equal parts pep-squad cheerleader, church-choir soloist and, of course, Siren-like temptress. I would gladly genuflect at her creamy-complected altar.
Jason and Luke do battle on the flag-football field as Little Texas' solemn ode "God Bless Texas" adds a layer of humor to the proceedings. This prompts Jason to remove his shirt because, well, does he really need a reason? It's who he is. Sarah Newlin stands on the sidelines and applauds politely (and flashes her pearly whites, tosses her blond waves and licks her ever-lovin' lips -- sheesh).
And now we come to my favorite scene so far this season! Amanda Jane and the God Rockets are here to perform "Jesus Asked Me Out Today", a dirty-dirty ode to abstinence, as the sultry, be-braided Mandy details all the things she will now be doing with Jesus ("he'll have me home by 9 to pray") instead of some icky, non-Christian boy. Now I'm no gospel-pop aficionado, but this is a half-decent song, and its satire is so subtle that it makes me wonder who had a hand in writing it. (Update: The song is on the True Blood soundtrack that came out last month as a bonus track; look for it on iTunes!)
Next up — role play! Sarah puts in some plastic vampire teeth (hot) and pretends to be a "sympathizer." It's kind of hysterical, until Jason freaks out and cracks an American flag in half (the flag!) and gets ready to stake her on the spot. Sarah is so, um, moved by Jason's display that she is positively quivering. Rev. Newlin, on the other hand, is moved in a different way, seeing some real potential in young Jason Stackhouse.
"You think you walk on water, don't you?" says Luke to a shirtless, flossing Jason later that night. "I'm pretty sure that was Moses," Jason replies. Ha! He's ticked off that Jason got all the attention with his mock-staking routine, acting like he was some "Muslim Buffy with a dick." To paraphrase the great Jane Lynch on Glee, his jealousy is delicious. "Day 1 might have gone to you," he says. "Day 2 belongs to the Lukenator." At that moment, Jason remembers Eddie, and his inner conflict must really be taxing that tiny brain.
Maryann pops in to Merlotte's to torture poor Sam. "Your place is so... vibrant," she purrs as she surveys the empty bar. She sits down and orders four entrees as Sam seethes. Maryann doesn't do anything halfway, right?
Sookie is also at Merlotte's to ask Tara to move in with her. Tara teases her for becoming, like, a "stepmother to a vampire," but also reveals that she is starting to become suspicious of Maryann's motives. As if on cue, Sookie finally meets Maryann, and as she reads her thoughts, she hears her speaking a foreign tongue. "I can't place your accent," Sookie says. "Where are you from?" "Cape Cod," chirps Maryann. "Best potato chips in the world!" She seems none-too-pleased at the prospect of Tara moving in with Sookie, but hides it well.
As Maryann makes her way through the left side of the menu, we learn that newly arrived hottie Daphne is a terrible waitress, but what does that really matter? She's just there to distract Sam from his miserable life, right? Right?
With all his recent professional humiliations, Andy is off the wagon after nine years of sobriety. Sam is disheartened that people are dancing at Merlotte's (what is this? Footloose), and Andy concurs, since a woman once told him he looked like "an epileptic on meth" when he danced.
That isn't stopping Maryann though, who positively entrances the crowd with her sweet moves. Soon everyone is doing some form of boot-scootin' boogie, even Andy. Then someone turns on the B-52's, which everyone knows will make anyone dance, even me. ("Rock Lobster! Down, down, down!") The place is like that scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby is carrying the watermelons, except everyone is kind of fat and can't really dance.
Sam is a fun-hater, so he confronts Maryann about her tricks. Maryann shows him another trick — you know, the one where she vibrates -- which wills Sam to transform into a collie, which she says she can do whenever she wants. Yikes! (Continuity check: Maryann vibrated when she was having sex with Sam, but he didn't transform then, right? Or did he push her off before he could? Also: Does that mean that Maryann wanted to have sex with a beagle? Like I said, whatever frosts your cupcake, but... the hell?)
AT CHEZ COMPTON-STACKHOUSE-HAMBY
Sookie and Bill are glowing after makeup sex. "How does it compare to 'you thought I was dead' sex?" Bill asks. Soon enough, they're bickering again about... well, whatever. "We don't want to be one of those couples," says Bill, by which he means a couple whose passion manifests itself as one non-stop argument. (To which I say: too late.) Then they talk about how they're going to raise their new vampire ward, Jessica. Sookie wisely points out that a newly turned vampire is not dissimilar to a typical teenage girl.
Sookie sees Jessica's parents on the news, pleading for their baby to come home. Later, when she discovers how much Jessica hates her house arrest under Bill's paternal rule and how much she misses her family, she shares her own pain about losing her grandmother. This makes Jessica cry — blood, as all vampires do. (Ick.) Soon enough, Sookie caves and agrees to drive her to her house, so Jessica can see them — just see them, like through the windows -- one last time.
Jessica, though, is an impetuous teenage girl/vampire, so when she does see her family through the windows, she runs to the door and knocks. Her mom and sister are overwhelmed with relief to see her again, but her dad, who it seems is a tad abusive, yells at her for disappearing. This prompts Jessica to show off her spankin'-new fangs and Sookie is all: Oh no, you did-in't!
Just when Jessica is about to exact bloody revenge on her father, Bill arrives to "clean up [Sookie's] mess." Will he kill them, erase their memories or something else altogether?
BILL and ERIC
Bill goes to the mall to get that slattern Jessica some more appropriate, ladylike duds. After an awkward flirtation with a fang-banging saleslady, Eric shows up wearing a jogging suit and significantly less hair. "It's the new me," Eric says of his new 'do. Eric cuts to the chase: He is there to draft Sookie and Bill for a mission to find a missing vampire in Texas. Bill, of course, fights him on it, but who is he kidding? They're going to Texas.
What did you think of "Keep This Party Going"? Will Lafayette become a vampire? (See my Q&A with Nelsan Ellis for a clue.) What power does Maryann really have? How long will it be before Jason gets BIZ-AY with Sarah Newlin? And will you miss Bon Temps when the action shifts to Texas?
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