As always spoilers lie ahead. Now read on before the proverbial ish hits the fan...
As with last week's "The Sun," this week's episode "You're No Good," dialed back the sex/violence/gore quotient in favor of moving the innumerable story lines forward.
We start off with Eric where we left him, glamouring the governor's daughter Willa and coming into her bedroom, kneeling before her as if he's about to propose. Well, he is proposing to murder her vagina then murder her (and since this is True Blood the order in which this transpires can go either way), so I'm not completely off base. Just as he's ready to begin the annihilation foreplay, Willa stops him with some business about vampire testing, which makes Eric go from seductive to "Say Wahh" and he absconds with her to Fangtasia.
Nora's still gone on her Book of Lilith fact-finding-mission, so he instead gets an earful from Pam and Tara about kidnapping the governor's daughter. Pam's all "kill her, kill her now," while Tara's more "just glamour that ass and get it the hell out our sight." After questioning Willa sans pre-glamouring (though if I were him I'd go back and do a glamour deception check, just in case), during which she reveals dear ol' Daddy is hauling vamps in for testing on their body chemistry, abilities and all of other sorts of vaguely Dr. Mengele-esque medical endeavors, Eric eventually settles on taking the girl with them to Ginger's house to shack up. Oh, and Ginger boo, I feel for you that you couldn't get a piece of Norman, but thems the brakes. But I digress.
While I love me some Pam, I'd have to say with Tara's suggestion was far and away the more level-headed course of action. I'm all for showing a little vulnerability and anxiety, but Pam's been off her game so far this season; she's always handled the endless barrage of supernatural crises with a scowl, a stiletto-heeled stomp and a sardonic retort. This is a woman--well, vampire--who quipped about being a Tiffany's girl when the magister was torturing her to death with silver; it's strange that it's taken her so long to grasp that, as Eric says the world is changing and decapitating humans for kicks and/or revenge won't cut it anymore.
Later, while on coffin lockdown, Willa spills more tea about her family. Turns out, the governor's wife ran out on him with a vampire, and he put the kibosh on her plan to go out the West coast with her mom and new step-daddy. She's being almost too candid, and Eric shares my skepticism as is he cynically mocks her for trying so hard to prove she pro-vamp. Willa responds she's just trying to keep her mind off that fact she may be worm food soon, then caresses Eric faces (he's got the bleeds) and tries to tastes his blood, but he gives her something to dream about anyway by sticking her finger in his mouth and licking the blood off. "Now put your tape back on" he says, as Willa shudders while clutching her imaginary pearls. Can't you can just hear Willa Ford singing "I, I wanna be bad," playing on repeat in her head? Huh? Anyone? Eventually the governor calls and tracks their whereabouts, but they escape before he arrives. Catch 'em if you can governor.
Bill's still trying to figure how many new tricks he's got up his sleeve, and his fugue state pow-wow with Lilith has left convinced that his greatest parlor trick is the power to walk in the sunlight. Jessica begs and pleads him to come inside, but of course Bill, sloppy drunk off "I'm the chosen one" sauce, won't listen. Though in his defense, he did get shanked through the heart and lived (died? remained undead?) to tell the tale, so it's not that big of a leap to think he could withstand the breaking of the dawn. But alas, poor Bill did meet the sun, and it did surely slew him, until his progeny did cover his burning corpse and thus slid him inside, enduring his cowering cries of anguish and confusion all the while. We always want what we can't have.
Following in Russell Edgington's footsteps, Bill wants to synthesize fairy blood into a special brew that'll allow all vampires to become day walkers, and sends Jessica out on a mission (telling her to tart it up for good measure) to seduce and kidnap Professor Hiro Takahashi, who created True Blood, while he visits Sookie for a little chat. Sookie puts up with him for a few minutes, then gets all "up out my face boy" and refuses to invite him in. But then Bill reveals new power number 1080: he doesn't need to be invited in. Sookie screams for Jason (really girl? But I get it, desperate times...) and Bill easily works some telekinetic jujitsu, pinning him up against the wall. He goes on his uber religious trip about his duty but Sookie's had enough. "You're not god, you're just an asshole!" she screams while throwing a plate at him that of course does nothing. Bill says if she won't help then she's dead to him, and with a warble of "that's fine with me," from Sookie, it looks this epic love story is finally over. Or at least for five or six episodes, give or take.
Bill's strolling by the graveyard when Andy drives up and reminds him of the vampire curfew. Bill picks up on the scent of fae in his patrol car, and well you know where this is all going now, as Bill will scoop those crumb snatchers up for his own dastardly deeds. They took the long way, but this development does tie the whole fairy-baby-mama-quadruplet-birth story arc of last season to Bill's current one. As for the rest of Andy's story, Holly's back! But she's still (rightfully) pissed at him for fathering four fae/human babies. Well, preteens now. He takes her to he and Terry's old stomping ground Fort Bellefleur, and through shooting practice and a clumsy fort-I'll-be-your-protector metaphor, the two start to reconcile.
Sookie continues to practice her fairy super nova finishing move, when she's not watching over Jason and his sudden migraine problems. And I do mean sudden. Did he even have a headache last week?. Jason explains why he was acting nuttier and more racist than usual (his words, not mine), as visions of ghost Mama and Daddy were poisoning his mind. He and Sookie share another heart-to-heart about learning to accept your parents, while not ignoring their flaws, and while the writers have gone to this well many, many times over the years, Anna Paquin and Ryan Kwanten always manage to make Sookie and Jason's sibling bond feel genuine.
Warlow makes his presence known throughout as Niall keeps vigilant watch, flash teleporting all over the place like he's Raiden circa Mortal Kombat II and visiting the Moulin Fairy to gather the troops. Unfortunately Warlow found the fae club and acted a damn fool, draining everything in sight. As consolation (and pushing he and Sookie's inevitable courtship), Niall happens upon Ben Flynn, and recruits him. Niall seems to sense Warlow again when back at Stackhouse residence, but it's actually Nora, who gets a face full of fairy light before dashing off into the night again. Where and when does that girl feed?
In were/shifter news, the police are cracking down on the werewolves, paying a visit to Martha's house to see if they're hiding Emma. Ricki channels Mommie Dearest and terrifies Emma into shifting to fool the cops (though Martha can do an emphysema cough like nobody's business) and all is well, until Nicole and the rest of her activist gang come into their midst and try to convince them to come out to the world. Things go from bad to worse when Alcide figures out they've been taping the whole tense exchange and practically growls at them to leave. Joe Manganiello is really sneaking his teeth into being big bad alpha wolf isn't he? Speaking of teeth marks, Ricki loses her shit, shifts and takes a bite out of one of the activists, and the other wolves join in, leading to much screaming and gnashing of teeth. Nicole gets a chunk of her leg eaten, but manages to limp away after Alcide scares another were off, allowing her, along with Sam and Emma, to escape.
While I'm still not thrilled with the werewolves overall, having them face the same supernatural restrictions does bring them into the show's universe a little more, albeit on the fringe. And the show seems to be at a loss at what to do with Lafayette these days. He's too magical to hang with Terry, Andy and the other humans 24/7, but he's not powerful enough to really mark his territory in the vampire/fairy/were world. The best they come up with for him now is to be the comic relief, which Nelson George handles fabulously. Though now that he and Sam are buddy buddy, perhaps he'll tap into some new abilities.
Ultimately, what's most compelling for now is Niall and Warlow's centuries old blood feud, and Bill's wicked--or is it?--scheme to synthesize fairy blood. And at least we won't have to hear the word Irfit ever again. Thanks Arlene.
---Don't think I forgot about the Steve and Sarah Newlin reunion! Praise His Light! Though fan weren't exactly clamoring for her return, she and Steve's barbed exchange provided some nice laughs. Also, wasn't Sarah serving season two Betty Draper when she told Steve "you embarrassed me?" I guess giving Don Draper a little skull duggery in the backseat leaves a mad men's taste in your mouth.
---Any guesses on what Jason's headache might be? Yeah, I'm coming up empty, but theories are welcome.