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True Blood Recap: Adventures in Babysitting

Last week left us hanging, the image of a shirtless Alexander Skarsgard forever burned — as if it weren't already — in our collective conscious. Not a bad thing, but questions need to be answered! Powers have shifted in the vampire community, Jason’s in a bind, and there’s a new coven in town that looks like trouble. Tally ho! To the recap!

“What are you?”
Eric’s shirtless, shoeless, and acting a fool. He gives Sookie the old “you smell like wheat and honey and sunlight” line, but she’s not buying it. He comes at her with fangs bared to prove his point and she makes a run for it. Too bad, Sooks. Eric moves faster than you'd like to admit. A brief chase ensues and ends with a punch to the nose. “I’m not your fuckin’ dinner!” Sooks chirps.

Snooki — excuse us, Sookie — realizes that something is amiss with Eric once he starts speaking Swedish. Whatever crazy hoodoo magic Marnie cast rebooted Eric. He knows he’s a vampire, but everything else is gone. Our girl is down to help out. First, some ground rules. Do not touch the Sookie. Do not bite the Sookie. Eric agrees, and they lope off.

While Eric settles in, Sookie calls Pam, who’s going to town on a plaid-clad ‘banger named Jethro. Pam can’t be fussed to leave, but when she hears that Eric’s forgotten who he is, she’s gone in a flash. Pam sees that her maker is in serious trouble and begs Sookie to hide him. It's clear to her that Bill sent Eric into this coven as a trap. This little hiccup is precisely what the AVL needs to assassinate Eric.

At her house, Sookie leads Eric into his cubby. He's confused, but appreciative, and continues to ask Sookie if she's "his." Sooks informs Eric that she most certainly doesn't belong to anyone else, and then he gets that look in his eyes — "What are you," he asks. Eric, step aside, and let the lady up the ladder!

Sookie’s not sure she wants this burden, so she pays Alcide a visit. After an awkward catch-up chat, Sookie lets him know that she wants him to shelter Eric. As Alcide processes, Debbie enters. She's been clean for a year now, and is awfully sorry about that one time she tried to kill Sookie. She's got Jesus and Alcide on her side, and really, who wouldn't be okay without that? This is all a bit much. Sooks rejects the proffered Vienna sausage and squash pickle, and beats feet back to her car.

She’s Havin’ My Baby
Back at Hotshot, Jason is writhing in agony as Felton guards him with a shotgun. Around a campfire nearby, feral children eat raw meat and Uncle Luther lays out the were-panther creation myth. Panthers used to be gods, but then the sky people came and turned everyone against them, except for two rebels named Ghost Mama and Ghost Daddy. The panther gods ate them, they absorbed the magic via osmosis, then the panther barfed them out, and voilà — were-panthers! Were-panthers: They come from vomit. Jason wants out, but not yet: He just has to change and make babies with Crystal before he’s released from his misery.

For Andy’s sake, we hope Jason makes it out of Hotshot alive. He’s parked outside Merlotte’s, jonesin’ for V and moral support. When he can’t deal anymore, he puts some V on his finger and makes sure he gets every drop. Sam pops his head in, scaring the crap out of Andy. When Sam asks if he's been drinking again, Andy throws a punch. When Sam punches back, Andy pulls out the taser and the gun, and stumbles toward his car, yelling about tree removal and fire hazards. Caution, Sheriff. Let’s hope your sponsor gets out of Hotshot alive.

The fever is taking hold, which means Jason's changing, or he's dying. Crystal, in crazy-person rollers and stained peignoir, rubs healing mud into his wounds. He's been looking for a purpose in life, and now he has it — to be the new Ghost Daddy and to save the race from extinction, She feeds him Mexican Viagra and he passes out, only to wake up to Crystal, all gussied up and trying her damndest to make a baby. There’s a whole line of Hotshot ladies in their Sunday best, waiting their turn to mount Jason and make the next generation.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Back at his mansion, Bill watches a YouTube clip of a vamp feeding on a lady by a Dumpster, all caught on-camera by the friendly folks at www.vamp-kills.com. The video ends, and Bill confronts the vamp in question. It may have been entrapment, but being caught on-camera feeding on a human is very illegal. His punishment? The true death. Bill dispatches the protesting offender to his guards, and in comes Jessica. She wants both Advil and advice. When she confesses her indiscretion to Bill, he tells her to “vamp up.” If she loves that big lug, she needs to ’fess up to Hoyt.

At home, Hoyt's just hanging out on the couch. Jess shows up, and she spills the beans — she fed on someone else. Hoyt's not pleased, and while she didn't sleep with the other guy, it doesn't seem to matter. For him there's no one else but her. Jessica can't change the past but she can sure glamour it away.

Love — or at least sex — is in the air for the King of Louisiana. He’s at dinner with Portia and she's got a proposition for Bill: Why not add some sex into their already successful business relationship? After dating a closet racist, a gay man, and someone bad in the sack, she's ready to go after what she wants. Bill is bemused, but warns her — his heart is too old to accept new love. Whatever, Portia's down. Check please!

Forgiveness, Possession, Retribution
Back at the coven, Marnie is recovering from her episode. Jesus is pissed and understandably so; last he heard, Eric was a mean old thing who kept his boyfriend in a dank basement turning a giant donkey wheel. Tara's not thrilled; she’s been in Bon Temps two hours and she’s already been threatened by a vampire. Everyone’s fired up, ranting about retribution, but Lala cautions them against this. Eric Northman is a powerful entity. It’s better to beg for forgiveness instead of raising hell. Tara lays it out: Eric's a vampire, pure and simple. He’s in it for the blood.

Over dinner alfresco, Lala tells it like it is. He knows that Eric won't forget about what happened, so he wants to talk it out with him. Jesus and Tara know better, and beg Lafayette to leave well enough alone.

Tara stops by Merlotte’s to ask Sookie for a favor. Eric has got to forgive the coven. Without letting on to Eric’s secret, Sookie assures Tara that Lafayette is safe.

Enter Sam, stage right. He hasn’t seen Tara in a while. Time to take tequila shots and catch up. Tara clarifies her reasons for leaving. It wasn’t because Sam’s a shifter. Her life in Bon Temps had taken a turn for the crazy and she needed a change of pace. Before things get too awkward, Jesus runs in from the kitchen — Lala’s missing.

Lafayette didn’t quite listen to Tara and Jesus, so he ends up in the basement of Fangtasia being tossed around by Pam and her spike-epaulets. Mess with her maker, and she’ll kill you. Tara and Jesus come to the rescue. Tara's got a gun loaded with wooden bullets, trained on Pam. They have a way to fix Eric. If they can just get Marnie, she can reverse the spell.

Back at Moon Goddess Emporium, Marnie kneels before a makeshift altar, imploring the spirit that possessed her to come back. Out comes the ceremonial dagger and she cuts her arm, dripping blood into a chalice. When that first attempt doesn't work, she tries it again. Still no dice, so with tears streaming down her face, she really goes for it. She runs back to the sink to clean up and lo and behold — there's a lady in the mirror!

It’s a Gas
Maxine sits at her kitchen table, using QVC to teach Tommy how to read. There's a knock on the door, and Tommy answers. It's a prospector looking for Maxine. Her house is sitting on a huge amount of natural gas. Smooth as silk, Tommy lies through his teeth. Of course he's Maxine's son, and of course he'll let her know. Ten thousand dollars an acre gets that gleam back in his eye. Something tells us Tommy isn’t reformed, after all.

At Merlotte’s, Tommy and his leg brace fill Sam in on his latest scheme — buy Maxine's house from her and split the proceeds from the natural gas. Sam's not into this and Tommy thinks Sam's rejecting him. There's a difference between right and wrong, and Sam recognizes that. It’s clear that the reconciliation isn’t going as well as planned.

Bippity Boppity Boo
Later that night, at the Stackhouse homestead, our favorite forgetful Viking has gone missing. Sookie waits up, reading a Charlaine Harris novel (nice touch, A-Ball). She sees a ball of light outside and investigates. It's Claudine, who is very insistent on taking Sookie back to Fairyland. It's where she belongs. The Fae were a bit too weird for Sookie to be around, plus they're harvesting people, so she wants nothing to do with it. Besides, when have fairies ever helped her? Oh — that time outside of Merlotte’s, when she wrapped a chain around a guy's neck to get him off her. Claudine sent the energy that awoke the light within her. It's a bit much for Sooks, who walks away just as Eric whooshes by and starts feeding on Claudine. Sookie yells halfheartedly for him to stop, but Claudine expires, turning into a needle-toothed pointy nosed elf, and then dust. "You just killed my fairy godmother!" Sooks exclaims. Good Eric?

Photo: John P. Johnson /HBO