Previously on True Blood:
Eric bought Sookie’s house, has claimed her as his, then caught amnesia from necromancing witches. Bill’s past identity as punk is revealed as are his roots in the Vampire monarchy as something of a triple agent once undercover for the AVL now seemingly drunk on the power of his Kingship. Jessica has ditched homebody Hoyt and is all about eating cute boys in bathroom stalls. Jason might be a were-panther daddy as a result of a very freaky threesome.
Still have catching up to do? Read my full recaps of “She’s Not There” and “You Smell Like Dinner”.
“If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’”
Sookie, addressing Eric like he’s a pre-schooler who won’t eat his broccoli “Eric I am not in the mood”
Eric, confused, hungry & bewildered by this creature in front of him utters the key words of the first season:
“What are you?”
Alexander Skarsgard completely sells the hollow and desperate look on Eric’s face when he smells sunshine on a girl who he doesn’t recognize but seems to know him well.
He acts on instinct, this is the theme of this episode. What do you do when you don’t know anything, act on instinct. Eric goes in for a bite and Sookie, smartly, takes off in the car looking back in the rearview at Eric left in the middle of the road with leaves sweeping around his legs. Because she’s Sookie and is powered by trouble, she stops, he’s not there. *breath* Eric in a vampire blur zooms out of nowhere and into the driver’s side window.
Sookie bolts and Eric zooms. Since it’ Sookie she promptly punches Eric in the face. Strangely, she does this before, not after he calls her Snookie. He’s upset because she broke his nose, then some of my questions are answered, “I know what I am, I just don’t know who I am”
He tried to recall, remembers his home, his family. He’s speaking in his native language and see’s visions of Marnie’s chanting. “ It was her, but it wasn’t her” Who is she? We all want to know.
“Everything I was was taken from me” Pam is going to be devastated, and probably more dangerous than ever.
Sookie agrees to help the befuddled Not!Eric Northman. Adorably, like a child (a big sexy, deadly, vampire child) walks just behind Sookie, as if trying to keep up.
“I am grateful for this”
Moon Goddess Emporium. Tara is somehow surprised that two hours back in town she’s already been attacked by a vampire. Marnie is feeling weak and oblivious. What’s new? Lafayette, the poor thing, is shaking in his fabulous boots PTSDing over Eric’s appearance at the circle. In case you had forgotten why Lafayette was so affected, Jesus clumsily exposits that Eric is the same vampire who captured & tortured Lafayette not that long ago.
Lafayette continues to be the smartest person in town. Reminding us that Eric is 1000 years old, incredibly strong and powerful and there is nothing the hillbilly police or anyone else for that matter can do to stop him. The best thing they can do is fuck off and pretend this never happened.
Half-crazed and half drunk on power (the other major theme this season), idiot Marnie demands action against the vampire. She doesn’t even know what happened when he was there, or how it was that she stopped it. If she wasn’t so pathetic I might care about what she has to say, but she isn’t and I don’t.
Meanwhile there is an awkward and almost hilarious exchange among the extra-witches about freedom of religion in America; this isn’t Nazi Germany, “he did look kind of Aryan”. Nazi Supernaturals were so last season.
Tara is on the side of the haters, nothing but hate because she’s never seen anything else. “ All they want in our blood.” Eric was acting on orders, and in defense of his kind. These witches aren’t exactly helpless although they might not know that, they seem to have inkling. Marnie has no idea how the fuck she stopped him.
Hillbilly Hotshot. Jason is still tied up to the bed, struggling. Grandaddy Hillbilly exposits the origins of the Panthers, something to do with a Ghostdaddy and mechanics of making a new one, telling the take ‘round a campfire as the children gnaw on raw meat.
Crystal tells Jason that once he turns they will be together forever. Then to the random girl peeping around the corner “Ain’t he purdy” “Sure is”.
I don’t want Jason to change. Can we please have a few non-supernatural characters? Let’s keep things interesting that way?
Youtube. A girl is being attacked by a vampire before anti-Vampire activists jump in to save her, she tries to look surprised and frightened (she’s with them). The vampire tried to get the camera but instead zooms away. The group delivers their message: Vamps Kill. (watch it here)
“Wake up America, before we’re all dead”
They direct us to share the video on facebook and visit www.vamps-kill.com, they’ve actually created a whole anti-vamp website. Go there.
King Bill’s Kingly Office of Judgement. Bill sits across from a big screen on which the video was playing. Across his office is the offending vampire from the youtube clip. “Since it is expressly against the rules to be caught on camera feeding on a human” Bill casually hands over the sentence of True Death.
“So I’m being punished for being who I am?” True nature, instinct. “No, you’re being punished for being stupid”. With video cameras getting smaller and more pervasive each day it’s increasingly difficult to be out of view always. He is being punished for being who he is, especially if the human is a willing participant, what are the alternatives?
He accuses Bill of wanting to push Vampires back into the coffin (isn’t mainstreaming kind of the same thing?) Bill lays the blame on Russel. It’s a fine line Bill is walking now between his thirst for power, for blood and his self-loathing brought on by a confusing moral code.
The vampire screams for justice, demanding a trial before the authority:
“I am the authority you idiot”
“It’s not fair; I was just doing what we do”
The line has blurred, how can vampires be out and still be what they are?
King Bill’s Kingly Foyer. Jessica has come to visit. She asks for advil but really needs her Daddy. She hasn’t seen him in months, he puts his arm around her with more confidence than I’ve ever seen and in such a fatherly, protective tone he asks, “what’s really going on?”
She confesses that fed on a boy who wasn’t Hoyt. Given his actions of just a few moments ago he launches into a freak out over whether she may have been photographed, he worries he cannot protect her. She says she was at Fangtasia they check all cameras and phones. She’s upset because she was unfaithful, she feels guilty. The guilt is coming from a place that Bill made for her, hating what she is, what vampires do, they feed.
Bill refers to the boy as a victim, further drilling in his self-hating moral code. “Was he willing? “Very.” He providing the sound advice she came looking for as sounds of death and torture echo in the background. “Vamp Up” he says “if you love him you’ll tell the truth”.
Sookie/Eric’s House. Eric waits by the door as she heads up the stairs. He waits for an invitation. She almost lets it slip that it’s his house but saves it at the last minute inviting him in then quickly reminding him to keep his muddy feet off the rug. I guess he lost his shoes when he lost his shirt. As if muddy feet are the worst that house has seen. He apologies, head still towards the floor as he sidesteps around the rug.
Fangtasia. Pam is feeding in a fabulously glittering red outfit and is interrupted by a phone call from Sookie. Eric is here, “So it’s his house” she retorts licking blood off her lips. “He doesn’t seem to remember that… or much else”
Sookie/Eric’s. Eric is sitting patiently on the couch with his feet in a basin. Pam zooms off without so much as hanging up the phone.
Sookie kneels down and washes Eric’s feet. He pulls away, he smiles sweetly, “it tickles.” Adorable! “You are, really beautiful”
Eric stands up, he senses danger. Pam zooms in the door:
“Who the fuck is She?” he vampire super-fast talks
Eric mumbles “I’m sorry, that was rude, I’m sorry”
“What do you know about what happened to you?”
Fabulous and terrified in her brilliant red dress. Pam tells Sookie she has to hide him; Pam will be the first place they look. Hiding him from who you might ask, from the witches “Witches, now I have to deal with witches, No!”
Sookie wants to take it to Bill, Pam threatens her “tell him and I will tear you to pieces” Eric throws Pam across the room “be nice to Her” he’s now being the protector he wanted to be, he just doesn’t know it, or know why exactly, except that she is beautiful and smells like sunshine.
Pam tells Sookie that Eric will use this to execute Eric; he’s been looking for a way to get rid of him for ages. Bill knew it was a trap when he sent him. Pam loves Eric with everything that she is. She is angry, and she is terrified.
Through all this Eric looks ashamed for all the trouble he’s caused. He can hardly lift his eyes from the floor.
Hoty wants to know why the doll was in the bed again, she said she got rid of it. Why is it back. Is this doll going to be a thing or just pop up places?
She changes the subject, she confesses. She was hungry, for something different. He asks if she fucked him, she didn’t, she promises, because that’s usually what they do. He’s kicking shit he’s so upset, other women don’t even exist for me.
He wants her to be his; to be human but not in as many words. She wanted that too, but she is something more than that and can’t fight it. But she loves him, so she glamours all his pain away. He smiles.
Eric’s Cubby. Sookie’s already down there looking around. Nice pad. She has to call him down like a cat, he looks scared, hesitant in his cut off hoodie and basketball shorts. My favourite exchange of the episode takes place right here as Eric attempts to figure out who he is, or a least what’s going on around him:
“This is my house.”
“But you live here”
“Are you mine?”
“Do you belong to another vampire?”
“Would you like to be mine?” he asks, sweetly, nervously and hopeful
“Not really, but thank you for asking” She turns to leave looking flattered and confused.
Eric vamp zooms in front of her “what are you?” He asks again. His fangs pop out as she passes, he covers his mouth embarrassed.
Lafayette/Jesus/Tara. Drinking and smoking on the porch. Lafayette wants to be proactive. Go to Eric, place the blame squarely on Marnie where it belongs, and throw himself at mercy. Not really a bad plan in this situation.
Of course Tara thinks it’s insane and tells him not to go. Jesus plays the middle ground. He’s hard to read. He agrees with Tara that it’s crazy, but I’m not sure if he thinks Lafayette’s plan is all bad given who they’re messing with. After Lafayette does to bed because he has one of his many jobs in the morning Tara asks Jesus to stop him.
Merlottes. Andy is itching trying to find Jason, he’s not picking up his phone. He flips out at Sam who asks if he’s drinking again. He pulls his gun on Sam. Rants something about overgrown shrubbery and fire codes before he realizes he’s embarrassed himself and drives away.
She asks him to take care of Eric and there is some confusion over whether this means to murder or babysit. The clean & sober Debbie shows up asking for forgiveness and Sookie couldn’t get out of their faster if she could vamp-zoom.
Maxine Fortenberry’s House of Horrors. She’s training Tommy to be her replacement Hoyt, teaching him to read using the titles of dolls on the shopping channel. So is Maxine’s superpower going to be a doll whisperer or something living only to haunt her only son?
I feel a boring Merlotte-plot coming on when a prospector shows up and Tommy steps in to somehow profit from this, and probably do something stupid.
Speaking of Merlotte’s. Tara and Sam are reunited and he just can’t stop trying to get with her. She pretends she doesn’t like it but they bore us for as long as it takes for Lafayette to pawn his shift off on Terry and disappear to Fangtasia.
Fancy Restaurant. Bill sits with a carafe of blood leaving angry voicemail messages for Eric while the waiter tries to listen in.
Portia shows up and prepositions Bill for sex on top of their friendly and functional business relationship. He says he could never love her, he doesn’t have the young heart required for love. (what does that mean about his relationship with Sookie? Did he ever love her or was it all an act, or the power of her fairyblood?).
I’m not sure what her angle is but she’s surely got one. She accepts his terms with a look in her eye.
Merlottes. Jessica pawns off the creepy doll on Arlene’s devil child. It looks pretty freaky, she claims it’s just old, a family heirloom. Heh.
In the other room Tommy reveals to Sam his plan of buying the valuable house and land out of under the woman who has taken him in. Of course Tommy was being bad. He wants to do this together, with Sam. They go into a whole thing about brotherly angst, right verses wrong and how they’ve both tried to murder each other.
King Bill’s Kingly Boudoir. Because we haven’t seen anyone getting in on yet this episode the glimmer in the eyes of intention at the dinner table wasn’t enough. So here’s that.
Sookie/Eric’s House. Sookie returns, calling out for Eric. She brought him True Blood. He’s nowhere to be found and his cubby has been left open. It looks like she’s not the only one who can get kidnapped. As much as she pretended not to care at the beginning, Sookie looks genuinely concerned.
Fangtasia. Pam is throwing Lafayette back in the dungeon, the smartest and most fabuous man on the show just can’t catch a break. Pam is probably the only one who can rival Lafayette’s fabulousness so it’s kind of awesome to see them share the screen.
“Don’t fucking mess with my maker” As she pins him down with her sexy stiletto.
At that moment Tara and Jesus burst in with a gun that shoots wooden bullets (have they no security at this bar?). They remind Pam that she needs Marnie, the head witch to restore Eric. Pam reluctantly lets Lafayette go, but only under certain conditions.
“I’ll give you 24 hours to deliver that witch to me, and if you don’t I will personally eat, fuck and kill all three of you” Did I mention Pam’s amazing outfit? Spiky sexy demin with ass kicking heels. I love this woman.
Moon Goddess Emporium. Marnie is praying to the spirit who inhabited her. Did I mention that I can’t stand her face? She’s tasted the abstract power and wants more. She cuts her wrist and sacrifices her blood.
At least this pays off. The spirit woman sits in the mirror as Marnie washes up. Is this the woman Eric sees? Who is she?
Hotshot. Yup I’m officially completely over Jason’s freaky panther storyline. He’s super hot, but it’s just not enough to carry all this nonsense. This completely gross scene where Crystal rapes Jason in the backroom of hicksville with the hillbilly circus looking on is farther than I was willing to go along with this.
Claudia has appeared to bring her back to fairyland.”we are your true family”
She retcons herself into the first episode where Sookie attacked a man with a chain claiming she channeled the energy awakening the spirit of the fairy or something.
“Why didn’t you save me from any vampires?”Claudine claims she can’t risk it being a fairy an all. But really, didn’t we cover this in the season premiere? She keeps running to trouble and she’s not dead yet. I’d call that a pretty decent track record.
Claudine starts to get angry with Sookie when she refuses to join her in Faery. Eric follows his instincts to protect Sookie. In the process he devours her fairy godmother. We watch her light die, and she turns into the weird goblin creature.
“You just killed my fairy godmother”
He looks like a puppy whose well intentioned actions turn out to displease his master.
Our WTF Cliffhangers this week:
Will the faeries seek revenge for Claudine’s murder?
What’s the deal with the spirit inhabiting Marnie (and I’m wondering if there’s a way to explore this without actually having to see Marnie)?
We’re still wondering if Jason’s transformation to panther has gone through.
Let’s throw these in for fun: Is Arlene’s baby really Satan-spawn? Is the doll haunted? What’s the deal with Portia?
Not a ton of gore this week. Some creepy sex and some pretty serious plot developments though. Power, instinct and the right to be. That’s what it’s all about.
Just a little extra…
I love with all the vamps running around trying to figure out how to be, trying to find a place to exist, some choosing self-loathing, some acceptance; Eric is both sweet but dangerous because that is what he knows. He does what his instincts tell him, like a child, pure and as innocent as a vampire can be.
It’s not just his good looks, Eric’s is a story I can get behind, even Sookie can’t bring this one down, she actually living up to it (this is not a challenge, please.)
I love that the theme of the role-reversal of Eric and Bill has been played with in so many ways. Eric taking on the role of protector instead of Bill, but in a much more meaningful way, his protection comes from a place of loyalty, devotion and trust. Bill was sent by his Queen with ill intentions.
Bill has become the powerful leader. I appreciate how it’s not so straightforward either, wrestlying with the power and how it’s changed him, is he evil now? How good was he really, to begin with? With Bill having a more complicated and shady past than he had let on, and Eric being a little more meltly than he first let on (Godric) and family, revenge with his Viking past, and now his vulnerability their paths just keep complicating themselves. Power is never simple. This show is fantastic when we play with that.
Next week: Everyone tried to fix the shit they got themselves into. Even Bill is called on his dictatorial shit. See you then.
As always I’ll leave you with the episode’s title track. Enjoy.