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True Blood Recap: Sunblock

Last week was bloody, and this episode offers even greater carnage. But the gore isn’t the only highlight. Just when the endless mystery surrounding Sookie was getting boring, that — forgive us — seemingly obvious plot thread finally delivers a breakthrough. There are some big developments between Sookie and Bill, too: The sanctimonious vampire’s dark side rears up as the show sets her up as some sort of agent of light.

You're Delicious. What Are You?
Lorena is as intrigued as every other supernatural by the very special qualities of Sookie’s blood — but Bill pulls her away from that bite that ended the last episode. Suddenly he’s on his back, holding Lorena down on top of him with a silver chain, and urging Sookie to stake her through the heart. Sookie hesitates, afraid she’ll kill Bill, too. Bill, if you’re going to fight your vampire nature, why not pull a Godric and end it all, rather than spending centuries (or another couple seasons) as a self-righteous prat? But, no — Sookie manages to kill Lorena while only seriously wounding Bill.

Tara on vampire blood is like a superhero, fighting werewolves and throwing half-dead vampires over her shoulder. She’s not quite tough enough to convince Sookie to leave behind the bad-luck charm that is Bill, nor does anyone put Alcide’s ex out of her misery. She’ll be back.

Eric is just as curious about Sookie. He bullies one of Sophie-Anne’s minions for the answer. He picked the right one: Sookie’s cousin Hadley, who reveals Sookie’s secret value in a whisper we can’t hear.
Body Count: Two. Lorena dies in a geyser of blood, leaving behind a lake of viscera. Cooter’s death was less spectacular.

How'd You Know I Was a Tiffany's Girl?
Just as the Magister is about to pierce Pam’s eyelids with some nice silver rings, the royal couple and Eric show up. Russell mocks the Magister’s allegiance to the Authority and declares himself the new authority — but he still makes the Magister marry them. And then he kills him. We might be be more interested in Russell’s thoughts on the law of nature and the need to take the planet back from humans before they destroy it — and in unraveling why he wants the Authority’s matrimonial blessing when he’s engineering a putsch, not to mention whether the ceremony counts with the Magister dead — but this is just not the heart of the episode.
Body Count: One. The Magister’s beheading is almost as beautiful as Lorena’s staking.

I Never Really Thought I Was Smart Enough to Get Depressed
People keep accusing Jason of being smart or responsible; he keeps fondling his billy club. In an effort to figure out whether Crystal is named after the Champagne or the drug that keeps the town afloat, he interrogates a jailed drug dealer, who happens to be her cousin. Jason appeals to his love of family and of meth — and just might get some information in return.

Hoyt has his own woman problems: Summer wants him to taste her biscuits. Jason reckons she’ll make a great grandmamma some day, but Hoyt’s used to a little more excitement.
Booty Count: That’s not what this episode is about. Let’s move on.

Look at the Size of the Balls on That Son of a Bitch
Unable to talk Willie Nelson’s brother (not really, but have we talked about Patrick Swayze’s brother as a werewolf?) into pointing him to the dogfights, Sam does the obvious: disguises himself as a pitbull. He releases the other dogs, stares down a riled-up Rottweiler, calls his father out as a scared old man in saggy underpants, and saves his little brother. Tommy doesn’t quite want to go, and they don’t want to let him go. This isn’t going to end well. But let’s get back to Sookie.

There Is Only One Great Thing
Tara and Alcide bond in the cab of their escape truck while Sookie nurses Bill in the back. Has Tara finally found a decent guy? If only Alcide had the charisma to match his good looks and good heart.

When Sookie resuscitates Bill by sawing her arm open, he loses control and nearly drains her. Tara’s had enough. She kicks him out into the sunlight. And something weird happens: Daylight doesn’t kill him.

And then something weirder happens: Rather than relying on the never-fail home remedies of human or vampire blood, a True Blood character goes to the hospital. Unlike Jason — who knows he’s AB-negative “because I’m always cutting myself with power tools and what-not” — Sookie doesn’t have a blood type, just blood that vampires covet because it protects them from the sun. Her transfusion sends her into a coma.

Lafayette leads Sookie’s loved ones in prayer — last week’s reminder of his interest in Santeria and Yoruban religion was a nice bit of foreshadowing. He offers an Inuit saying: “I think over again my small adventures, my fears, those small ones that seemed so big, those vital things I had to get and to reach, yet there is only one great thing: to live and see the great day that dawns, and the light that fills the world.” (We’ll consider it an homage to another HBO hospital scene, when Tony Soprano found a note with an Ojibwe saying.)

He Will Steal Your Light
Sookie has a dream that could suggest how close death has come, but is clearly related to her strange powers. She drinks from a pool of light with her guide, Claudine — and all of this is familiar to her. They’re interrupted by an approaching darkness, and their white-clad companions dive into the pool. When Sookie is afraid to follow them, Claudine assures her that it wasn’t the water that killed her parents. She doesn’t explain what did kill them, just asks Sookie to promise not to let “him” steal her light.

Bill has hooked himself up to Sookie’s IV to save her. When she comes to and sees him, she pauses — then screams.

More Recaps:
Ken Tucker says the blood-sucking scene was a metaphor for rape and the dream was like a butter commercial.
IGN lauds Russell and calls Alcide a neutered, self-loathing man-beast.
The AV Club is glad we didn’t have to see too much dog-fighting — and that Lorena is gone.
Speakeasy waxes poetic on blood fountains.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO