"True Blood" -- "Me and the Devil": "You Are Damned." "She Can Redeem Me."
Ah, gratification. Both the living and the undead of Bon Temps are giving in to their natures, good or bad, in dreams or awake, in Episode Five, "Me and the Devil." Some ask God for forgiveness; others feel that if there is a God, they were forsaken by him long ago. Others still are living happily in the moment, the future be damned: Sookie realizes that even though Eric isn't himself, she doesn't want this new version of the vampire to leave. And so they kiss, giving viewers instant gratification -- and the desire to see much more. Sunday's "True Blood" was true to its titillating form, providing enough developments to have viewers surprised and perhaps even jumping a bit in their seats. Just as nature is a major theme, so is loyalty. But ties are being tested, and if the sneak peek video for the rest of the season (posted below) that debuted at Comic-Con is any indication, things are about to get even crazier. That's how creator Alan Ball likes it, as he told the crowd Friday: "People all over the world love crazy, messed-up weirdness."
Tommy fights back when his father, Joe Lee, tries to capture him for a return to the dog-fighting ring, and Joe Lee ends up dead. Tommy also kills his mom, Melinda, albeit unintentionally, and while the situation doesn't precisely mirror Season Three's plot of Sam rescuing Tommy, the distraught younger brother does turn to the elder for help in covering up the murders. Sam is shocked but stays calm, and throughout the episode we see how numb he's become toward death, even wrongdoing in general. Because it all depends on how you define "wrongdoing." Sam rationalizes away the murders -- Tommy was essentially at war and killed out of self defense, he says. While taking the bodies to the swamp to be dumped, the two are pulled over by a high-on-V Andy, but quick thinking on Tommy's part lets them escape. As Andy opens the back of the van where the bodies are stashed, he's greeted by an angry alligator -- Tommy in shifter form. His nature helped out after all. They dump the bodies in the swamp and watch as gators, lured by marshmallows Sam brought, devour Joe Lee and Melinda Mickens.
Arlene and Terry are terrified about their baby Mikey's nature and have the Rev. Daniels and his new wife, Tara's mother Lettie Mae, come by their house to banish the ghost of Rene or whatever evil is present. The Bellefleurs are hopeful the preacher's spiritual cleansing tactics worked, but that night as they are in bed, a book of matches on their dresser lights itself on fire. Creepy. Also disturbing is Marcus Bozeman, the leader of the Shreveport werewolf pack who wants to know why Alcide hasn't joined after living in the city for months. It takes some effort on Alcide's part to get him to leave his doorstep, but we know Marcus will soon be trouble for more than one character. Meanwhile, Hoyt and Jessica are still on rocky terms after she heals Jason with her blood and they take him home. Her excuse for being distant with Hoyt is that she's tired, but he knows something is wrong. He tries sharing his concerns the next day with Jason, who in turn points out that his ritual gang-rape by were-panthers beats any of Hoyt's problems. That night, however, both Jessica and Hoyt appear in Jason's sex dream, no doubt Jessica's blood having turned Jason on to the redheaded vampire. His conscience, however, won't let him forget that she's his best friend's girlfriend. The new Jason can't find it in his heart to cheat, even in a dream.
Because Marnie can neither control the witch that possesses her nor the spells the witch casts, Lafeyette and Jesus hightail it to Mexico to track down Jesus' grandfather, a fellow brujo (witch) and the one person Jesus thinks can help them. Through Marnie's spell-casthing, they think they have two vampires after them, Eric and Pam, although it's more than that. Bill has Marnie abducted, but as he interrogates, she tells him she doesn't know what she's doing, and his glamoring her verifies this. (That wasn't the only time Bill glamored someone in the episode; he convinced Portia that she is terrified of him, not enamored with him, although that may come back to bite him in the ass.) Pam is beside herself, what with her face falling apart and at present, no hope of finding a reverse spell. Tara needs some comforting, too, having stayed in Bon Temps as her cousin and his lover fled. She visits Sookie and opens up about her many lies to girlfriend Naomi, but as the sun sets and Eric emerges from his cubby, she loses it. Once again, Tara is screaming and belligerent. It passed getting old several seasons ago. She calls Sookie a hypocrite for protecting Eric and storms out. If only she'd go back to New Orleans and stay there. Unfortunately, Tara is headed toward full-throttle vampire hatred, which means her and Sookie's friendship will soon be up for an ultimate test.
Tara not skipping town when there's a vengeful and zombie-like Pam running about can't be wise. Pam will do anything to right Eric's memory loss, and she most definitely wants blood for what Marnie did to her lovely face. Bill gathers the Louisiana sheriffs to discuss the problem with the coven and we learn it is the sorceress Antonia that Marnie is channeling. In 1610, she was burned at the stake in Spain but managed at the end to use necromancy to pull all vampires within 20 miles of her from their sleep. They died in the sunlight, including the maker of one of the sheriffs, Luis. Antonia is capable of great magic; therefore, so is Marnie. Earlier through a sort of trance Marnie "visited" Antonia back in Spain and saw her with other witches attacked by vampire priests. And when Sookie followed the Wiccan trail to the Moon Goddess Emporium to see what she could learn about Eric's condition (talking with Holly at Merlotte's got her nowhere), the reading Marnie gave her seemed legitimate. Marnie channeled Gran, which Sookie knew because she heard Gran's voice in Marnie's head, telling her to get away from the witch. (Gran also told Sookie not to give her heart to the man she has feelings for.) As Bill and Luis try to impress upon the others the danger of the situation, Pam chimes in and lets slip that Marnie erased Eric's memory. Oops. She then is forced to tell Bill that Eric is hiding at Sookie's, which both surprises and hurts the king. Sookie lied.
It's debatable whether Sookie is thinking clearly at this point. Her attraction to Eric has always been present, whether he's tricked her into feeding from him or not. And now this sweet and gentle Eric has arrived at the right time to potentially mend her broken heart. Godric had come to Eric in a dream, encouraging him to feed on Sookie and to not fight his true nature. But when Eric towers over a sleeping Sookie in reality, her popping awake in shock has him popping his fangs back in. He had a bad dream, he says, and he rests his head on her lap. In many ways, Sookie needs someone to take care of, and this vulnerable version of Eric is ideal. She likely isn't considering what will happen once his memory is restored and the sarcastic and aggressive viking returns. For now, she's in the moment. And when a distraught Eric leaves her house, upset at learning the pain he has caused her in the past, she calls him back. She wants him, and oh, the gratification is beautiful. But with Bill headed their way, it won't last for long.
Sarah Carlson has a front-row seat to the decline of the newspaper industry and lives in Alabama with her overly excitable Pembroke Welsh Corgi.