True Blood: All Fail the Queen

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Photo: John P. Johnson / courtesy of HBO

Let’s see: We meet the fascinating Vampire Queen; Eric and Bill bicker; Hoyt learns about his daddy; Jason and Andy join forces as the most ridiculous crime-fighting duo ever; and Sookie, Lafayette, and Tara are about to see this whole Maenad plotline finally, really hatch. The season’s penultimate episode is True Blood at its best.

Of Philosopher Queens and Teacup Humans
Vampire Queen Sophie-Ann is sucking blood from the femoral artery traversing some woman’s thigh. Bill, nervously: “Is this a bad time?” But our queen is a philosopher. She reminds Bill that there’s no such thing as “bad” or “time,” and then launches into a rant about vampires who reject blood, saying that snobs have tiny souls or penises. He seems more and more uncomfortable, and we’re getting more and more bored with him. She’s momentarily excited about the Maenad and potential cannibalism in a way that makes us think, Hey, if we’re going to lose witchy-hot Maryann, at least we’ll have the vampire-lesbian philosopher queen. She tells Bill that everything that exists has willed itself into existence, and that Maryann is immortal because she’s convinced herself she’s immortal. Maryann wants her god to ravish her and devour her — she may be immortal, but she wants to die. When she gives herself up to that god-who-never-comes (like money and morality, he exists only in the human mind), she’ll be vulnerable.

Then: “Only two hours until dawn. Shall we have sex? Kidding. I haven’t enjoyed sex with men since the Eisenhower administration.” What’s her backstory with Bill, and why is Lorena’s “Vamp of Savannah” playing?

Meanwhile, Arlene’s kids helpfully point out to Sam that a vampire would probably know what to do about the town going all batshit. Is there something important to that talk about the kids’ father, Dwayne, or was that just red-herring filler? Anyway, Sam barters with Eric. He, uh, can’t give Eric Sookie, sorry, but he’ll return the favor somehow. Eric seems to love kids, and charmingly complies when they ask to see his fangs. Pam hates kids and is glad she never had any. Eric: “C’mon, Pam, they’re funny. They’re like humans but miniature. Teacup humans!” Eric, in Swedish: “Delicious.” When he flies into the air to find the queen, we’re left reflecting on how great he looked in that suit.

The queen and Bill are sunning themselves by the pool in the dayroom. She’s stunned that he’ll only feed from Sookie and INSISTS that he try this fresh Lithuanian boy. He offers to have sex with Bill, too, and Bill’s rather forceful refusal reminds us how very dull we find this particular vampire lately. “I love watching two men together,” says the queen. And then they play Yahtzee. And then she points out that Bill and Eric should stop competing and just fuck. We love this woman.

The two vampires pass outside. Bill accuses Eric of only wanting to kill the Maenad to impress Sookie, and whines again about him tricking her into drinking his blood. Eric notes that Bill fed Sookie the first night they met — was he just guessing or did Eric know something about the attack that night, either through that vampire gang or through Sookie? Bill is in a snit and drops in to talk to Sam about seeing Eric behind his back.
Bite Count: Dinner at the queen’s

Family Matters
So Jessica bit Hoyt’s mom. He’s furious. Mom’s been saying nasty things about them both — but she’s his mama, she gets to. And Hoyt reckons he should have listened to “Vampire Bill” when he tried to warn him about Jessica. They storm out, and she bursts into blood tears and lets loose an unearthly wail.

Back home, mama makes a potato-chip, coconut, Snickers, and hot-sauce casserole for the god. Mysteriously, she mentions that she should tell Maryann that this may be the happiest day of her life but that it will all be downhill from there. She’s still mad that taking care of Hoyt kept her from drinking and seducing rednecks, and she compares him again to his late daddy. It turns out Hoyt’s father wasn’t a supernatural, just a secret drinker and maybe a closet homosexual (he liked to dance more than any man should). Worse, daddy didn’t die confronting a burglar as Hoyt always thought; that was just the story his mama told so they could get the life-insurance money after daddy committed suicide.

The Oral History of the Maenad War
Jason and Andy know about Sam’s shape-shifting, and Jason has lots of questions. Stupid, disturbing questions involving animal sex. But that won’t quite distract him from his mission: He and Andy are going to save the town. And sometimes you need to destroy something to save it, just like it says in The Oral History of the Zombie War or the Bible or the Constitution or whatever. So they put aside their differences — after all, they’re both orphans, mostly, and there’s plenty of pussy to go around, which Jason works really hard for by going to the gym and watching porn for tips, etc. — raid the sheriff’s office for supplies, and become a team.
Booty Count: Some saucer-eyed chick tried to lay Andy, but then she saw Jason, and Jason decided he shouldn’t take advantage of her and declined the blow job.
Body Count: Andy’s Kevlar vest saved him.

Waiting for God. Oh ...
You’d think that now that the magic has worn off, she’d see he’s a loser, but all Tara wants to do is rescue Eggs. Lettie Mae, Lafayette, and Sookie insist it’s too dangerous and subdue her with Lafayette’s fuzzy lavender handcuffs. But Tara lays such a guilt trip on her mother that Lettie Mae turns a gun on Sookie and Lafayette and holds them while Tara escapes. And continues to point it at them, which freaks the fuck out of Lafayette and his PTSD, which tugs at Sookie’s heartstrings because they just bonded over their dirty dreams about Eric. This whole family hostage thing seems a little much, and it’s a relief when they manage to escape and set off to save Tara. Again.

Tara tries to persuade a bewitched Eggs to run off with her, but Maryann is there. She explains that Tara summoned her that night in the woods with “that unfortunate pharmacist.” So Ms. Jeannette was a fake? “Ritual is a powerful thing, and calling forth that sort of energy has consequences.” So she was real? “Sadly, no.” Maryann tries to bring Tara back into the fold by doing that quake thing, but it doesn’t work. So she punches her instead, and that brings out those black eyes just fine.

As Tara and Eggs run upstairs to rut, the townsfolk burst in to tell Maryann about the god who came and smote Sam. Hearing that Sam disappeared and left behind a pile of clothes, Maryann drives them away by emitting the sound of a million were-flies, then bitches about having to do everything herself.

And, really, she does. Arlene and Terry try to deal with Sookie and Lafayette, but Lafayette easily distracts them with drugs. Arlene protests that drugs are for losers, but Terry says they go great with sex, so she agrees that they’ll take all of them, because why not buy a hamburger if you have steak at home, too?

Sookie slips inside Gran’s house. Jane is butchering something in a washtub — her own finger. “It’s a present. He loves presents.” Some deranged man-child is curled up in the kitchen sink, playing with a pile of intestines. Sookie has to keep an older guy quiet by pretending she’ll sleep with him, spooning with him as he complains about Bill’s dead pecker.

Maryann and Lafayette stumble upon each other as she hunts for a secret ingredient for her sauce. He tries to shoot her — but she just raises her hand and the bullet hits and kills Karl instead. Maryann mourns Karl and humanity for about three seconds, then wants to discuss cooking with Lafayette.

Sookie dispatches that old perv with a swift frying pan to the head. Upstairs, she finds Tara and Eggs engaged in an orgy of destruction. They’ve gone Dash Snow and Dan Colen, using Gran’s decimated possessions to build a hamster nest. Except there’s a giant egg in the nest. Just as Sookie tries to piece this together, a saucer-eyed Lafayette comes up and says he’s been looking for her.
Booty, Bodies: Merely anticipation.