This episode of True Bloods begins with Sookie nursing a scratch on shirtless Alcide's back, and his ego — she told him the werewolf that had kicked his ass (Don Swayze) had V in his system, so he shouldn't take it personally. After he shared the start of his sob story — fiancée Debbie left him a month ago, he still hears about her through his beautician sister, Janice — Sookie's hand lingered on the bandage, and she awkwardly told him she was almost done. We're supposed to be sensing sexual tension between the two of them, but it feels like he's doing most of the heavy-lifting, doesn't it?
@ That moment, Sookie got a call from Bill, who has apparently earned back his cell phone privileges after pledging his allegiance to the King of Mississippi. We all know that he doesn't really want to say goodbye to Sookie, but he was trying to make her believe it, and he failed in multiple ways. For starters, his voice was too void of emotion. I'm sure he had to turn his feelings off to tell her, ''I've left my life in Bon Temps. And I'm leaving you.'' (Cue the line of the episode, Sookie's ''Shut the f--- up.'') But he sounded so unlike himself that of course, she would think he was only saying she did them both a favor by not accepting his marriage proposal because someone was listening in on the call.
This portion of the conversation, Bill handled well:
''Lorena, actually,'' he said, ''to whom I have just made love.''
''Ca va, Sookie?'' Lorena added into the phone.
''We f---ed like only two vampires can. I didn't hold back for fear of hurting her like I do with you,'' Bill continued.
But then he faltered again. He told her to look at her life since he's entered it. He's only brought her pain. She said that wasn't true. (He also brought her orgasms.) ''I am death. I will bring you only suffering,'' he insisted. ''Our worlds are too different. Our natures, too. We were doomed from the start.''
Sookie said she wasn't buying it, and why should she? The only bit of that speech that felt at all genuine was the ''We were doomed from the start.'' That Bill believed.
''Believe what you want. You are no longer of concern to me,'' Bill told her. ''Do not try to find me. I do not wish to be found.''
When Sookie started sobbing worse than Meg Ryan during Sally's ''And I'm gonna be 40'' breakdown in When Harry Met Sally, Alcide tried some tough love, telling her that no matter how well you think you know someone, they can always turn around and kick you in the nut sack. Very comforting, sir. But when he figured out that Bill had been her first love, he softened his approach. He hugged her as they sat on the edge of his bed.
Franklin the vampire detective glamoured Tara into telling him about Sookie being a telepath and that she'd gone to Jackson to find Bill. He wanted to know exactly where Sookie was, so he had Tara phone her. A robed Sookie answered (from the bed she was sharing with Alcide and a bunch of used tissues) but refused to give her address because she didn't want Tara to come and get involved in this mess. Oh, it's too late for that, Sookie. Tara is easily one of the five unluckiest characters on TV. She tried to escape, and Franklin finally drank from her because now she doesn't want it. The next time we saw Tara, she was tied to the toilet, with duct tape across her mouth, unable to get to her cell phone when Lafayette called to tell her that she was inheriting his old ride now that his ass was sitting in his gift from Eric. Franklin came back with a bouquet of flowers that he taped into Tara's hands. He eventually drove her to the King of Mississippi's house, confirming that that's his boss. Talbot made a brief but memorable appearance: ''Is this for me?'' he asked, looking at a terrified Tara. ''It's skinny.'' King Russell was out, but more on that later…Is anyone else still hoping that Franklin isn't all bad, even though he's trying to force Tara to be his bride because he's lonely?
Eric was hovering outside Sookie’s window, it soon became obvious that is was a dream until Eric asked Sookie how the search is going and she responded, ''Turns out, he's not who I was looking for.'' It was even more obvious, when Sookie tells Eric that he smells like the ocean in winter. Who knew that ERIC fantasizes about Sookie smelling his memories (which somehow sounds kind of gross) and telling him, ''Oh, I got skills you can't even dream of, cowboy.'' Sookie kissed him, pushed him down on the bed, dropped her robe to reveal a matching bra and panty set and the reason Paquin recently graced the cover of Self magazine, and asked him if he wanted more. Sookie's voice turned into Yvetta's, and we saw that Eric was actually in Fangtasia, where she was dancing for him.
Alcide was ready to drive her back to Bon Temps after Bill's call, but she told him she wasn't going to believe that he was that big of a douche until he could look her in the eyes and break up with her. She wanted Alcide to take her to Debbie's engagement party, which he refused to do because he had neither the desire to get his ass kicked again nor the will to celebrate Debbie's relationship with Coot. While Alcide went out to buy a frying pan, Sookie had his sister Janice come over to give her a makeover into a werewolf biker babe ''who could kick some serious ass.'' Janice was hoping Sookie was Alcide's rebound girl, but Sookie assured her their relationship was strictly professional. When Debbie's name came up, Sookie heard Janice's thoughts — she's hooked on V and is being initiated into Coot's pack. She was Coot's first love.Alcide returned home to find Sookie wearing fake tattoos, a black wig, leather pants, gloves, and a sort of halter top corset.
Debbie seemed a bit jealous, and Sookie was getting to her with her speech about how Alcide was there to try to get her to hold onto the girl she used to be, even if he doesn't get to hold her. Cue Coot. Again, I found myself wishing the best of people. Maybe Debbie suggested Alcide stay and watch her be branded so Coot wouldn't have his crew take him outside and beat the crap out of him? Probably not. She looked like she enjoyed crowd surfing to the stage, where Russell ultimately branded her after bleeding into shot glasses for his wolf minions.
This would be a good time to back up and discuss Bill, Lorena, and King Russell. After Bill's chat with Sookie, he laid shirtless in his black pants, his legs dangling over the foot of the bed. Lorena was basking in the afterglow of the best sex she's had in decades. ''At least somebody enjoyed it,'' Bill said. Ouch! Lorena told him there'd been true passion between them (when he twisted her head 180 degrees) and he said, ''Any passion you felt was me killing my love for Sookie. It had nothing to do with you... It's been a long night, and I need to sleep. Now get the f--- out.''
This would have reduced any human woman into tears, but Lorena giggled. ''Oh, William, I'm happy. You're with me. And you're not goin' anywhere. Even if it takes 40 years, I know you will love me again. You can't help but love.'' I'm not usually in favor of violence against women, but Bill punching Lorena out into the hallway was fantastic. Even bleeding from her nose, she smiled. He closed the silver doors to his room — getting rid of her was worth the pain. Steel-jawed Bill is sexy.
The King wanted to celebrate, so he took Bill and Lorena out in his limo. A piece of me thought the King had taken them to the middle of nowhere so Bill could kill Lorena. First Russell sent Bill into a strip club to procure someone who would satisfy Lorena's craving (''smokey, not too fatty'') and his own (''ethic''), then he excused himself to run an errand. I thought perhaps the limo would explode and burn Lorena to death. But it's too early for Russell to lose an ally like Lorena. That's when he went to Lou Pine's, fed his wolves, branded Debbie, didn't realize Alcide and Sookie were in his midst even though Sookie was doing running commentary, and left his wolf pack to celebrate. (After Bill and Lorena's disturbing sex scene, would anyone have been surprised if Coot had taken Debbie right there on stage. In wolf form? He stripped down to transform, then the rest of them started shifting. Alcide, wolf eyes already showing, yelled at Sookie to run.)
Bill, meanwhile, found the aforementioned stripper, and glamoured her into telling him her sob story. If he was looking for the most depressed, broken woman in the joint so she might not mind dying, he found her. He brought her back to the limo and Lorena took the first bite, then Russell, who insisted Bill join them. The shot of blood dripping out of the limo made me think that these three should be better at killing. So much blood wasted. But maybe Bill was being purposely brutal and messy going for what I presume was the femoral artery so the girl would die sooner and not suffer any longer than she had to.
Speaking of ending suffering, how about Eric flying in to save Lafayette from the meth dealers who attacked him when he went to Hot Shot to try to sell them V? I'm all for this unlikely friendship between Lafayette and Eric. The latter of whom actually had some sound advice: He told Lafayette he lacked the artistry needed to be a good salesman. He goes into every situation all flash and fire because of his ego, when he really should be adapting him presentation to suit his customer. While in the car with Lafayette, Eric got a call from Pam, who said the club was being raided by the Magister. Eric said he would be right there, and Pam tried to tell him to run while he still could. He rolled down the window, and were Lafayette not such a fan favorite, he could have snapped off his neck and thrown it out. I mean, if Lafayette had moved the rest of the V as quickly as they'd told him to, there wouldn't have been vials left for the Magister to find. Instead, Eric flew out the window, leaving Lafayette to say, ''Oh hell, how I'm supposed to deal with this f---edupness?''
Proving Eric is just as loyal to Pam, whom he'd turned, as he was to his maker, Godric, he showed up at Fangtasia to find Pam tied up in what may or may not have been one of Eric's S&M contraptions. He almost had tears in his eyes. Eric told the Magister he was being set up. By whom, the Magister asked, Sophie-Anne? Pam blurted out Bill's name. Eric said Bill had gone missing, and he was compiling evidence against him. The Magister said Eric has two days to prove it, or Pam dies a true death. So are we to assume that the King phoned in a tip to the Magister before heading out to Lou Pine's, but left Sophie-Anne's name out of it so she'd be scared enough to come to him? Or did something else happen there?
The rest of the episode's action all took place in or around Merlotte's. Sam found his family sleeping in their van because they have no home. They're behind on rent, which is why Tommy was trying to steal from his safe. Sam had a heart-to-heart with his brother, and told him he could stay with him and work at the bar. But Tommy knows his parents can't survive without him. He won't be free of them until they die. Sam told his parents he'll find a place for them to stay as long as Tommy doesn't steal and Dad (who still looks like a character Scott Thompson would do in a Kids in the Hall sketch) doesn't drink. Sam's such a good guy… You just know he's gonna get screwed.
Sam had another issue: Arlene was tired of being the only waitress at Merlotte's. Seriously, there has to be someone else in Bon Temps who doesn't need such a flexible schedule. Sam hired Jessica as a hostess, which ticked Arlene off because people love to give redheads tips, and she's always been the only redhead at Merlotte's. Why is she keeping her pregnancy, which is making her overly emotional, a secret from Sam? Because he might be smarter than Terry and ask if the baby's Terry's or Renee's? Jessica's first night on the job, she was recognized by a boy from her old Bible study group. She took him outside to erase his memory, and Hoyt saw her laughing. He couldn't hear what they were saying, so he probably thinks they're dating. Hoyt needs a good storyline STAT.
Jason did some soul-searching at Merlotte's during Bud's retirement celebration. Let's just pretend that Jason is actually smart enough to be a quarterback… he explained to the boy (a.k.a. ''disrespectful f---tard'' Kitch) who was going to break his high school passing record that in 10 years, there'll be an underaged kid drinking in the bar getting ready to replace him. It was another one of those moments when Jason backs himself into a pearl of wisdom. Feeling obsolete, then hearing Andy was named acting sheriff, gave Jason an idea: He followed Andy into the men's room and essentially told him he's going to blackmail him into making him a deputy. Screw the exams and training. If he doesn't get a badge soon, he'll come clean about Eggs, and Andy's career will be over because he falsified evidence. I'd feel better if Jason had made sure no one was in a stall before he had this conversation. Too bad the bathrooms would have to be coed for Kenya to overhear that. She'd love to take Andy down. ''Drink like a fish, hallucinate farm animals, and kill a black man. Hey promotion!'' she summarized at the bar.
So there you have it. What did you think of the episode? Do you feel any heat between Sookie and Alcide? How much danger will she be willing to put him in now that she knows Coot was one of the men who took Bill? Do you think Jessica will work out at Merlotte's? (We know she can handle the job: ''I'm a vampire, not a f---n' idiot.'') What's your theory about how the Magister's raid will play out? Who's gonna save Tara this time? It's out of Jason's jurisdiction.