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True Blood: Bite Me

Everything comes to a peak: Godric gets a tan, Maryann proves that she’s pretty nasty, and Sookie and Eric prove pretty to each other. No doubt next week Sookie and her undead suitors will head back to Bon Temps to straighten out the mess Maryann has made and save Tara and Sam. It doesn’t seem like that should take three more episodes to play out; are there surprises coming that we haven’t anticipated?

Vampires
Surprise! All our favorites survived that terrorist attack. Duh.

Eric saved Sookie by shielding her from the debris. Even though “it’s gross. And it’s you!” she returns the favor by sucking some steel shrapnel from his chest. Except — ha! — he would have healed on his own, and this was just a ruse to get her to drink his blood. She tried to spit rather than swallow, but now Eric will always know where she is and what she’s feeling. And as Bill points out, she’ll be attracted to him.

In bed with Jason — er, with Bill, but didn’t that Sookie-Jason stick-together-and-grow-up scene feel a little incesty? — Sookie dreams of Eric. And of Lorena opining that Sookie has already abandoned Bill and that he means nothing to her. Gazing into each other’s eyes, discussing what a great vampire she’d be, Sookie and Eric have more chemistry than she and Bill ever did. We feel a little cheated: Drinking his blood is an awfully convenient excuse for their bond, when surely Eric’s tenderly naughty Nordic charms should have sufficed.

Vampire PR wizard Nan Flanagan is doing damage control. She plays talking heads with the Newlins, who bicker with one another on TV (“I hate your hair!”). But she wants Godric to step down, and he’s all too happy to do so. Eric realizes that Godric tried to let Newlin kill him and will take it into his own hands now — but Bill interrupts by sucker punching Eric. Hey, Bill: That was a dick move, and these days, you look less like a vampire, or even a corpse, and more like an old man, so kindly step back and let us watch Eric.

On the roof as dawn approaches, Eric sobs, begging Godric to stay. This scene is a lot like the flashback in which Lorena released Bill: The maker-made relationship is inverted, but they’re both about asking someone you love to let you go, and about letting someone you love go. Eric retreats, but because Godric saved her — and because Eric loves him — Sookie is there for him as he commits suicide in the sun. Godric contemplates God and his punishment; Sookie speaks of God’s forgiveness and weeps. “A human with me at the end, and human tears. Two thousand years, and I can still be surprised. In this I see God,” and then he slips off his robe, steps into the sun, and burns.

Already??? We’re not sure whether to be disappointed that the show departed (again) from the books by cutting compelling Godric’s redemption story line short, or relieved that it’s entirely skipping his unfortunate pedophilia habit.

Back in Bon Temps, Jessica and Hoyt are still dealing with that pesky hymen, but he’s making big plans to build them a “tricked-out double-wide” coffin, so it’s time she met his mother. We love his list of things Mom hates (people who don’t take care of their gardens! Women who wear red shoes! Bait!), but her reminding Jessica that she can’t have kids is a low blow.
Booty Count: Only in your dreams.
Bite Count: Sookie sucks Eric; Bill bites a Soldier of the Sun, only to send him back to his homeboys to talk about compassion.
Body Count: Stan and a few others died in that attack. Alas, poor Godric, we hardly knew ye.

Not Vampires
The magic/substance-abuse confusion remains. Maryann suggests maybe Eggs and Tara blacked out because of the acid floating around, and she dismisses their concerns. She can’t believe people could be embarrassed by pleasure, when “control is just a cage this stupid culture uses to block who we really are.” She schools them on religious ecstasy, and we really want to go along with her on this losing-yourself-every-night-with-God thing, but this episode forces us to admit that magnificent Maryann is in fact malevolent and that Tara and Sam are in trouble. Still, she obviously makes a mean Bloody Mary.

Lafayette knows someone is up to no good. When Tara and Eggs walk into Merlotte’s, he wants to know where her bruises came from, and he threatens Eggs. Eggs tells him he’d better take his eyelashes off first, which means that no matter how much time he spends in the gym, we will never, ever like Eggs. They fight, the crowd loves it (“What they fuck is y’all looking at, you ugly-ass ’necks?”), Eggs retreats.

So Lafayette tracks them to Sookie’s grandma’s place, with his aunt as backup. This is the first time Lafayette has met Maryann, but he pegs her right away: “I don’t know what you is, but I’m feeling you, and you is a soulless bitch.” Our unlikely heroic pair declines a game of strip poker, and Moms isn’t even tempted by the vodka. They just want their baby, but Tara’s eyes go all black and she attacks. Mom refuses to hit back. Somehow — probably because Maryann is letting them escape — they get Tara into the car. Maryann knows they’ll be back.

For now, she’ll turn her attention to Sam. She pops by the jail, quickly bewitches Sheriff Bud, and frees her Dionysian followers — but there’s just a pile of clothes in Sam’s cell. He’s turned into a fly, and he’s keeping a (hundred) eyes on her. Merlotte’s is her next stop. There she loudly announces that the god demands his sacrifices and asks where Sam is. Everyone’s eyes turn black and they tell her what (little) they know.
Booty/Body Counts: Next time?

Photo: John P. Johnson / Courtesy of HBO