Well now, that was not for the squeamish, was it? I’m the wuss who had to turn away a couple of times, especially when Tara was onscreen. Girlfriend had a lot of rage she needed to get out and did she ever. Oh Franklin, we never knew ye! Fare thee well on the other side, my psychotic friend. It was good to see a little bit of the old, feisty Tara using her brain and standing up for herself. On the flip side of the coin, who the hell is writing dialogue for Sookie? Just when I thought she couldn’t be more dim, the words that came out of her mouth - they were really just horrifyingly stupid.
In a lovely slow-motion opening, Russell and his goons march Sookie into the Pleasure Palace; Bill is pushed to the floor. As Lorena and Eric walk into the foyer, joining Talbot, Russell announces that Bill is unworthy of their trust and has been hiding something interesting from them all. Super-speedy Bill jumps up and grabs a baluster, stakes the pushy vamp goon who is reduced to a gushing pile of innards, then jumps on Russell’s back to stake him. But Russell easily tosses off Bill, laughing and asking if Bill is serious - he’s a 3000 year old vampire. Sookie runs toward Bill, Eric blocks her and takes her by the arm back to Russell, saying he doesn’t know what “it” is, but he knows it’s quite valuable. Eric and Russell continue to amusingly discuss Sookie as a thing; Talbot continues to be anal about the state of his home.
Lorena asks Russell what will be done with Bill; Russell orders Bill to the slave quarters and Lorena to kill him. Lorena begins to protest and Russell angrily reminds her not to defy his Kingliness. Sookie threatens Lorena that she’ll kill her if Lorena kills Bill. Lorena tells Sookie to please try because she’d love to wear Sookie’s ribcage as a hat - and goodness knows that would be a welcome sight.
Arlene interrupts Lafayette and Jesus’ flirting with a fussy patron’s late night order. Jessica’s fangs inadvertently come out when Arlene cuts her finger and Arlene fearfully overreacts as usual. After Arlene complains about not having gotten tips all night (Jessica’s doing) Jessica finds a solution to make them both feel better. She glams the customer into leaving Arlene a big tip on her way to the ladies’ room. Jessica follows the woman to the bathroom, feeds on her and then sends the formerly cranky lady on her merry way.
Jason and Crystal do it in the woods until she smells something with her super (panther?) nose and starts in with the “we can’t do this” nonsense again. Blah.
Sookie’s mad that Eric doesn’t really feel anything for her and threatens him in the manner of a 12 year old. Eric bares his fangs and informs Sookie he’s close to getting something he’s wanted since he was human and she’d best not get in his way. Russell walks in and tells Eric to leave them, then asks Sookie what she is. The poor, dim girl replies that she’s a waitress and Russell indulges her by playing a question game. Sookie admits her mind reading capabilities and cries over the thought of Bill being killed. Russell shows her the file on her that Bill was keeping and asks about Sookie’s magic light hand. Sookie tells Russell she doesn’t know what her new powers make her; I can tell you they do not make her any smarter.
Jesus and Lafayette hang out in the car and get to know each other.
Lorena speaks wistfully of the 1930s to Bill, who is chained to the slave quarters floor. She tells him she might not be able to make him feel for her but she will make him feel. As she runs a knife down Bill’s torso, he begs to die quickly. Bill appeals to her emotions, saying he wished he had known her before she was made and before she turned hard. Lorena cries and sobs that she has no choice and she cuts him again.
Tara pretends to be happy to see Franklin as he returns to the bed where she’s tied. Franklin advises Tara that her friend, Sookie, has been brought to the palace, meaning his work is done. Tara convinces Franklin to untie her, enticing him by saying she wants to drink and get high on his blood and make love with him as her last human act. And she really does bite the hell out of his neck when he gives the go ahead.
Eric and Talbot play cards to pass the time. Russell interrupts and angers Talbot by asking Eric to accompany him out; a goon drags Sookie up the stairs as she screams at Eric to save Bill. The guard throws Sookie into a room where she screams and cries again. As she sobs over Bill and her predicament, she hears Tara sending thoughts that Tara is going to get Sookie out and they’ll escape together. In bed with Franklin, Tara waits for her future husband to sleep.
On a ride to destinations unknown, Russell queries Eric about his connection to Sookie. Eric makes it clear that he was only interested in Sookie because his Queen was. They discuss werewolves and Russell admits to using the stupid creatures by giving them blood. When Eric wonders what use weres are, Russell explains his disgust over the way humans have been destroying the earth and tells Eric he believes that the vampires and werewolves together can wipe out a good chunk of humanity. Eric strokes Russell’s ego and waits to see where they’re going.
Lafayette and Jesus go back to Lafayette’s place where Jesus admires Lafayette’s shrine. The boys are sharing a kiss when they’re interrupted by a noise outside. Felton (James Harvey Ward) is there with a couple of idiots from the crystal meth house; Felton uses a bat to smash Lafayette’s car windows. Jesus sneaks up behind Felton and gets the bat away from him, then threatens the other two with the bat and they run away. As Lafayette beats the crap out of Felton, he yells that Felton will have Lafayette’s car fixed. Felton asks how he’s supposed to pay for it and Lafayette suggests Felton sell the V he left. Jesus stops the Lafayette from going too far so Felton can join his pals running. Jesus asks if Lafayette is really a drug and V dealer and clearly put off by that knowledge, Jesus asks Lafayette to take him back to his own car.
Queen Sophie-Anne is busy scratching off lottery cards when she’s interrupted by Russell proposing to her. He offers to settle her debts and IRS issues and informs her the Magister will eventually figure out she’s selling blood. Sophie-Anne tells Russell she’s already pinned that on Eric, who in turn tells her that he’s sworn allegiance to Russell. After Eric threatens to rip off her head and toss it into the pool, the Queen has no choice but to cry for her stuffed ani..human and accept. Eric flirts with Russell who seems for the moment, fooled.
Bill and Lorena are both covered in blood from Bill’s wounds and Lorena’s tears. Bill continues to mentally torment Lorena over her past deeds, her maker and her nature, just as she has physically tortured him. Cooter and Debbie show up, wanting to drink from Bill and Lorena sobs even as she gives them permission.
Sam and Tommy share a cup of joe and Sam again asks what’s going on between Tommy and their father. Tommy doesn’t answer again and Mama Melinda barges in with fritters, asking to speak to Tommy alone. Sam leaves and Melinda tries to make Tommy feel good about his father by saying she almost aborted Tommy, but Joe Lee thought they ought to have him in case he was a shifter. Melinda alludes to having worked on some sort of circuit and says it’s Tommy’s turn now. (In a sea of bad accents, J. Smith Cameron’s rings true and the actress raises up her every scene.)
Franklin sleeps and Tara grabs a mace from the wall and viciously bashes in Franklin’s skull, then grabs some clothes and escapes the room. I’m unsure whether Franklin can awaken and recover; if he can I hope he has plenty of ibuprofen and happy pills.
Jason brings flowers to Crystal’s place. Felton - the dude Lafayette beat up - answers the door. Jason asks to see Crystal, who pretends not to know Jason and lets Felton claim her as his fiance. Jason leaves all pissed off and releases some anger by playing almost-cop with Kitch Maynard (Gray Damon) who had been busy in the backseat of his car, banging his girl Tammy (Carlson Young).
Tara pretends she has a specially ordered meal on Talbot’s orders for Sookie; she cons the guard were into opening the door and Sookie is ready for the suprise attack. The girls beat the crap out of the guard and though Tara’s ready to leave, Sookie wants to find Bill. Tara righteously calls Sookie a frakking idiot and heads out the front door running.
Arlene lets slip to Sam that she saw Ma and Pa taking Pitbull Tommy out of the house and Sam quickly realizes what must be happening. He calls Andy over to the bar to ask about dog fighting in the area. Andy admits to having heard about something in Union parish and Sam takes off to find his brother.
Sookie nearly bumps into a blood-high Cooter and Debbie, the two run off to the woods. Tara makes a break for it but is stopped by a wolf who chases her and turns out to be Alcide. He tells Tara he’s looking for Sookie and Tara asks if he has a car. Meanwhile, Sookie finds Bill and sobs over his broken form, promising that she’s going to save him. But Lorena is listening in the shadows and she emerges with an “Isn’t that sweet?” exclamation. Declaring that this is all Sookie’s fault, Lorena throws Sookie against the wall. In an instant Lorena has Sookie by the neck, pushes her head to the side and bites down hard. Sookie screams.
How’d you like that people? Two pretty damned good episodes in a row, this one filled with violence and glee and heartache and suffering. Again, Denis O’Hare is just an absolute joy to watch - he’s taken on the role of King and by Godtopus he’s playing it to the hilt. Every time he cackles, I cackle. When he’s onscreen, I watch his every facial nuance because he’s communicating with each one. And matching his every move was a fabulous Alex Skarsgård, acting as good as he looks. From his expression as he ironically told Sookie no one pulls one over the King and gets away with it, to his seductive threats against the Queen, it’s impossible to look away when Eric is speaking. More of these two please!
Closing credits: Cary Ann Hearst “Hells Bells”
Cindy is no vampire (not that there’s anything wrong with them). You can reach Cindy here