|Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO|
Sorry for the late recap, but I had some major Internet connection issues yesterday. As always, spoilers lie ahead. Now read on so we can get everything hetero straight...
Last week's "F*ck The Pain Away," upped the stakes by having all our vampire buddies carted off to Vamp Camp, and Warlow summoned by Bill to the Compton House of Horrors. Meanwhile Sookie learned just how bad supernatural family reunions can be. This week's episode "Don't You Feel Me?" ratchets up the "oh snap" factor, bringing the vampire-human conflict to a head as the season reaches its home stretch.
We open with Sookie face down in the water, fighting for her life as Lafayette, possessed by the spirit of her dead father, tries to drown her to keep her from falling into the clutches of Warlow. As I predicted last week though, Sookie was never remotely in danger of actually dying, as Bill, sensing she's in trouble, stops being a megalomaniac for five seconds and lets Warlow leave the Compton House of Horrors and drive her father's spirit out of Lafayette. We get a little banter between Warlow and Lafayette--don't worry we'll see more La La in a minute--about his hybrid status, before Bilith does his super hardcore summoning trick and Warlow starts hacking up blood. Out of the blue, Sookie suddenly remembers the secret fairy haven and somehow has the ability to teleport herself and Warlow there, and off we go!
Once there, Warlow explains he's fine around Sookie during the daytime, but the nighttime isn't the right time for him to be around her or any human, since he'll want to suck them dry and all. An apt if too-on-the-nose metaphor for his dual fairy/vampire I suppose, even though whole thing made me think of DayQuil and NyQuil for some reason. Anyway, he instructs Sookie to tie him up and bound his hands with fairy magic, which leaves nothing for the two of them to do except talk and emote. It doesn't take long for Warlow to get mushy, saying out of all things he regrets doing over the past 3500 years, waiting for her was not one of them. Aww.
For her part, Sookie gives voice to the questions plaguing her (and us). "How did you think this was gonna go?" she asks. "You were gonna show up with a contract, signed in blood I might add, that gave you the right to turn me into your fairy vampire bride? I mean that is seriously fucked up." Warlow gives her the old "that's the way it was back in the day" excuse, and offers to tear up the contract, but Sookie's unmoved. Then he pulls out the pre-Billith Bill Compton card, talking about how tortured his existence has been since he was turned. However, what separates this from Bill's numerous "you brought light back into my life" monologues from previous seasons is Warlow is offering to turn Sookie, something Bill never wanted or never had any intention of doing. And if Sookie were to be turned, she and Warlow would, as he said, truly be equals, only needing the others' blood to survive. "But I'd be a vampire" Sookie reminds him, but with a slight wavering timbre in her throat.
But Warlow's not the only self-loathing supernatural, as Sookie goes on to count the ways being a fairy sucks, with telepathy topping the list. "They call me a danger whore," Sookie says of Bon Temps' residents. "Maybe I just oughta accept it." Then in one glorious (or misguided, take your pick) tour de force, she binds Warlow's hands a little tighter and lets him snack on her neck before taking a bite out his. Then, with blood still caked around her mouth, she strips down to her skivvies, snatches off his pants and rides him until they're both bathed in fairy light--like literal fairy light, not some gross double entendre. Oh girl, what happened to being normal again?
Meanwhile at Vamp Camp, Governor Burrell and Sarah's plan to watch Pam and Eric fight to the true death goes awry, as they shove their spears into the human snipers, impaling one of them through the glass. This being True Blood, Pam and Eric had about as much chance of dying as Sookie did. But the scene is worth it to watch Eric peeking through the bloodied hole like Leatherface or a velociraptor, reducing that snitch Steve Newlin--or as the governor calls him, that "vamp queen"--into a babbling, squirming puddle. Round one Eric, but the governor shows he's in it to win it by bringing in a bound Nora and injecting her with the deadly hepatitis V virus. Eric summons Willa from gen pop (she got there after throwing a combination temper tantrum-harsh truth tirade against Daddy) and she frees him and Nora, who's looking sicker by the minute. It looks like they're home free, until Eric goes into True Blood bottling room and discovers the governor's true master plan: to spike all True Blood with hepatitis V so all vampires can waste away. "Fuck me," Eric says. Yea that pretty much sums it up.
Down one ancient fairy vampire, Bill seeks out some advice from Lilith by having the good professor Takahashi (seriously, no one's come looking for him yet or reported him missing?) drain him to within an inch of the true death so he can slip into a coma and meet with her and her naked crew. But all is not well in merkin land. Bill and Lilith's conversation quickly devolves into a blame game over who's responsible for vampirekind's imminent destruction, until Lilith channels her inner Miranda Priestly and says "Now is the time to act. Do not come to me for answers again." Or maybe her inspiration was Rupaul, because I was definitely getting a "lip sync for your life/don't fuck it up" vibe in her tone. Though for me the cherry on top would've been her imitating Ru's iconic laugh before vanishing into the ether. But movin' on.
Bill takes Lilith's advice and runs with it, swallowing a vial full of Warlow's blood and zipping off to raise hell. What happens next will go down as one of the series' top ten moments (along with Sookie's "embrace my inner freak" epiphany). Bill waltzes into the yard of the governor's mansion, then absorbs his guards' bullets like a bizarro Superman before using his telekinetic power to make them all kill each other. Then after a few pleasantries, he sinks his fangs into the governor before ripping his head off and setting on a statue. And scene.
In human news, Jason's going full speed ahead when his plan to infiltrate Vamp Camp and save Jessica, and sits down for interview with a LAVTF recruiter. At first his rah rah sis boom bah attitude has the recruiter thinking he's another anti-vamper wingnut with delusions of grandeur. That is, until Jason shows his in-depth knowledge of vampires and awakens the guy's own inner wingnut. You can practically see him getting the vapors when he asked Jason how many vampires he's killed, before rushing off to push through his paperwork. First Steve Newlin and now this guy. Nobody loves hearing about sin more than the self-righteous. "Racist fucks," Jason mumbles to himself. Though he could have said the same thing about himself less than two weeks ago. But I guess hearing and seeing your dead parents doesn't make the title stick in the same way.
Cut to Jason regaling the boys with stories of his vigilante vampire slaughter last season when who walks in? Sarah of course, who is momentarily thrown by his presence but keeps her poker face on long enough to ask the others to leave. She asks him what the hell he's doing at Vamp Camp, but Jason quickly gets the upper hand, letting her know he wants Jessica and if she dimes him out he'll tell the governor all about her whore for Christ ways. Then he walks off, leaving Sarah with a look on her face that's part scared, part pissed off and part turned on. I know girl, you don't know whether to hit him or kiss him.
Well maybe Sarah does know, because the next time we see her she's sitting Jason down in a control room and trotting Jessica and another vampire to participate in the copulation study. Lucky for Jason and his fragile pride, Jessica's fellow test subject is a good guy, and refuses to take her. Though it may not be a good sign that she screams out "my name is Jessica" to him as she's carted off.
Terry, still on his suicide mission, shows up at Lafayette's door, interrupting his hot glue gun designing and blunt smoking session. Terry, acting strange even by his standards, gives him the key to his safety deposit box and scampers. This still isn't my favorite story arc, but from a character point of view it does make sense. Terry was already haunted by going off to war, so of course having to kill Patrick would drudge up more demons, and not just fire ones. Plus the possibility of him getting shot through his skull any second gave the whole scene with Lafayette an extra layer of tension. Though most of the credit goes to Todd Lowe; for all his kookiness, there is a genuine sense that Terry really is a man at the end of his rope.
Holly calms a frantic Arlene by suggesting they call up her son's friend's dad's vampire husband and have him glamour Terry. Everything goes according to plan--the way vampire hubby and Holly lapse into regular parent talk the minute the glamouring is over was a nice touch--except now that Terry's military memories are erased, no one knows his old army buddy's still on call to kill him. And tragically his buddy follows through the next day at Merlotte's, as Terry's taken out while emptying the trash. Carrie Preston sells the hell out of the scene, as she simultaneously comforts her husband as he takes his last breath while dying inside herself. Again, while this arc ranked low on my list of compelling plot lines, it ultimately shaped a lot better than I expected, washing away the horrid stench of last season's Ifrit misstep with a believable, emotionally resonant twist. R.I.P. Terry Bellefleur.
If only I could say the same for the werewolves, shifters and the humans that advocate for them. Alcide is still looking for Sam and Emma and berating his father while Sam and Nicole are still on the run while bickering over just what exactly their next move is. This whole story is boring me to tears, but Jackson's new "friend" Jennie is certainly giving me life by serving trashy hooker realness, right down to the way she drawls "okie dokie big daddy" and her delightfully Pam-esque barbs. "C'mon we're werewolves. Butch the fuck up," she tells Alcide as she tears into a bucket of chicken, that she places right between her bare nether regions. She's such a lady.
Eventually Sam decides to give Emma back to Martha, who has broken rank with the pack--and who I learn also shares my distaste for Funyuns. Cue the standard tearful goodbye, but I like that Sam didn't lie to Emma and make some promise he couldn't keep about the two of them seeing each other again. Sam and Nicole run into Alcide, who spares their lives but then tells them to get the hell out of dodge, and never come back. Whatever. Though I do wonder about the future of Merlotte's.
Bill's gone berserk, Eric's realized all vampires might already be doomed, Terry's dead and Sookie's gone wild. Can't wait for next week.
---Governor Burrell to Nora: "Sorry sis, but thems the brakes!" Oh governor, if you only knew how foreboding those words were.
---Did anyone else catch that Pam wasn't bound and injected because her psychiatrist has a "special" interest in her? Hmmm.
---The transition from a grieving Arlene referencing heaven to a dying Terry to a white light then Governor Burrell reading a scripture minutes before his own demise was a nice touch.
---What happened to Ginger?