|Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO|
As always, spoilers lie ahead. Now read on so we can learn all about Stockholders' Syndrome...
Last week's "Don't You Feel Me?" was marked not only by new reveals, such as humans planning to destroy vampires by putting a deadly virus in True Blood, but by the deaths of Governor Burrell and Terry Bellefleur. Both characters' demises affect the proceedings "In The Evening," acting as a catalysts for characters to pull themselves out of their own dramas, assume new roles or make hard decisions. And another character bites the dust.
Eric escapes with Nora from Vamp Camp, instructing Willa to tell Pam and Tara about the hepatitis V-spiked True Blood. She lets Pam know the deal, and after some standard bitchery coupled with level-headed strategy--only let Tara and Jessica in on the secret, screw everyone else so the humans won't suspect a thing--Willa sneaks back into general population, without one guard noticing the governor's daughter breezing through the hall I might add. Pam plans on getting back into gen pop in her own special way, using her psychiatrist's obvious interest in her to her advantage by teasing him silly with talk of Freud, sexual appetites and her prostitute past before working him out on the couch in exchange for getting out of solitary confinement. See Sarah, that's how true demon whores get things done.
Eric and Nora end up at the door of the Compton House of Horrors, and Eric, still wary of Bill, asks him to save her. Nora refuses Lilith's/Bill's blood, and he obliges her request. Later though, after he shares his apocalyptic visions with Eric (you know, the one where everyone meets the sun) and Eric promises to assist him in finding Warlow, Bill gives his blood to Nora, but it doesn't work. Eric, still clinging to hope that Warlow's blood will do the trick, pleads with Bill to find him. While they wait, Eric pleads with Godric to come save Nora, but she mentions how it was Eric who saved her.
With that we flash back to London in 1665, where the plague is ravaging the city and a royal has instructed Eric to get Nora, who has gotten sick, tending to well, the sick and bring her back. Eric goes to her, and, taken by her stubbornness in the face of death, promises to take her to his father (Godric) to be healed. "And here we are, where we began," Nora says in the present. She tells him to allow Pam and Willa to walk beside him as equals, then closes her eyes. Eric, thinking she's dead, pulls her close, but that's not the half of it as she starts literally crumble in his arms, before dissolving into a steamy, bloody mess. It is a truly horrifying scene, made all the more horrific by Eric's reaction; he falls apart in a way we haven't seen since Godric met the sun. Nora, you were never one of my favorites, but girl you got a helluva good send off.
If she'd been there to witness that--as well as the enraged glare on Eric's mug as he stared at Bill afterwards--it's likely Sookie may have been quicker to give Warlow up to Bill when he stopped by for a little daytime chat.
But before we get to that, let's back track. Sookie and Warlow were enjoying their post-fairy light coital bliss, with Sookie making a wry crack about this being the first time she's woken up with a man in the daytime. Sun is good for the skin chile. You know, Vitamin D and all. It's all good until Warlow started talking about vows and thinking their fairy dimension romp means Sookie's ready to be royalty. Sookie pumped his brakes to a point, but she didn't exactly lead him to believe he completely misread the situation either. She conceded she doesn't think their tryst is simply infatuation, but the way she ruefully followed it up with "it never is" makes you think she's not so much in love with him as she is just surrendering to the inevitable.
Sookie hears a distraught Arlene crying at Terry's grave back in the regular realm and goes to her. The whole scene between two is heart-breaking, not only because of Carrie Preston's superb acting, but because these two have a history. Besides, it's nice to see Sookie come to someone's aid who doesn't want to sleep with and/or kill her for once. Sookie and Lafayette use the deposit key Terry gave him and discover he took out an insurance policy three days before he died for at least $2 million. For Arlene, this would add a whole new layer of betrayal and general effed upness to an already tragic situation, so everyone decides to keep mum for now. Besides, what's a little suicide shooting and insurance money compared to an invincible vampire strolling into your house in broad daylight?
And we're back. Bill enters the Bellefleur mansion, causing everyone to murmur their own version of "oh shit" in unison. Arlene, tore up from the floor up off alcohol, thinks she's seeing things as Bill offers his condolences. He turns to Andy and offers the same for his three daughters Jessica drained. The whole sequence is brimming with tension, until it becomes clear Andy is either smart, forgiving or scared enough to just let it go, and shakes Bill's hand. Bill asks Sookie to bring him Warlow, and fills her in on all the horrors taking place at Vamp Camp. After laying a little guilt trip by saying blood will be on both their hands if she doesn't come through, he takes off.
Speaking of Vamp Camp, Sarah finds Governor Burrell's severed head on the statue where Billith left it. She appears genuinely devastated, and sheds a few tears (and shares a gross severed head kiss) over what a pure, great man he was. Obviously the governor kept her in the dark about getting kick backs from the sales of True Blood, just as Steve kept quiet about the Fellowship of The Sun's seedier activities. Oh girl, the more you change the more you stay the same.
Anyway, it takes her about one point two seconds to spin his death into a zany, fundamentalist conspiracy theory that this was all part of God's plan. Then she springs into action to implement said plan, instructing the senator (Lafayette's old fling/customer from season one) to dispose of governor's body and keep his death under wraps while she, for all intents and purposes, take command. Funny how God's and her desires get along so well, to paraphrase Susan B. Anthony. Though Anna Camp always does a good job of making Sarah's craziness come off as equal-parts power hungry manipulation and true devotion. Of course lines like "when God's message is this clear, I am truly unstoppable," help her quite a bit in that regard.
Jason summons Jessica to an office to let her know he's busting her out, but she tells him there's no need for that, as she's resigned to the fate Bill saw in his vision. She asks him instead to find James, the chivalrous vampire who refused to have sex with her on command last week, so she can thank him. Like Arlene and Sookie's exchange, this feels real because of their long, complicated history together. However, things could get more complicated if Jason found out about her and James getting down and dirty in the same office. Though Jason's got bigger problems at the moment; like how to survive after Sarah's goons sliced his arm open and threw him to the general population of female vampires. Unsurprisingly Tara sticks up for him, but then the mysterious vampire from before says, "ladies back off. He's mine." Hmmm.
In werewolf-shifter news, Sam, after learning of Terry's death, tells Nicole to call her mother to come get her so he can go home to Bon Temp. Nicole decides to initiate a little shower sex before they go their separate ways though, and gives him her number before driving off with her mother. All well and good, at least until Alcide returns to his pack to find Rikki has captured Nicole and her mother, putting a big hole in his story about killing her and Sam. Alcide probably wishes he took his father's advice about leaving the pack.
I also wish this story arc would either die or become spontaneously compelling. Here's how it'll probably play out: Alcide gets demoted from pack master, and will face some type of wolf tribunal where it's decided he'll die, or will be banished the way he banished Sam. He'll escape or go to Bon Temp, fill Sam in on Nicole's impending doom (or Nicole will find a way to call him) and they'll go back to save her in some big deadly shifting showdown. Sound about right?
The werewolves notwithstanding, "In The Evening" was probably one of the best episodes of what will likely go own as one of the most solid, consistent seasons in the show's run.
---I wonder if there are actual "spreading the gospel" motivational CDs like the one Sarah was listening to in the car?
---What are the mysterious gen pop vampire queen's intentions with our Jason Stackhouse? Maybe she wants to correct him on his usage of Stockholm Syndrome.
---Who thinks Jessica will become the third True Blood character to die this season? Her hookup with James notwithstanding, she's been in a pretty self-loathing headspace for much of this season. And if Godric taught us anything, once a vampire's ready to meet the true death, it's pretty much impossible to talk them out of it.
--Props to the makeup and special effect department on depicting Nora's disease and death. Honestly, it's one of the few True Blood scenes I do not want to watch again.