This episode brings us huge plot advances, but little of last week’s ridiculous fun. Sookie’s infiltration of the cult puts her in danger, but Bill is occupied with his maker; it might be up to her dumb brother and cheating Sarah to save her, unless Eric becomes the hero. Back in Bon Temps, the mysteries of Maryann and the duplicity of Daphne become a little clearer, which is great, because — although we never expected to say this — the orgies are getting sort of boring.
The Vamp of Savannah
Eric is weary of the undead life, but before he can give full vent to his existential despair, he has a visitor. He sends his blood whore on her way, sweetly promising to put in a good word to her manager (we love nice Eric!), and greets Bill’s maker, Lorena. He’s confident that her interest in Bill means she’ll lend him a hand. He’s obsessed with figuring Sookie out, and his phrasing here is revealing: He doesn’t describe her as a human with an interesting gift, but as “more than human.”
Eric’s interest in Sookie is presumably why the vampires push Lafayette to start selling V again, but we’ll have to wait for another episode for that. For now, we get a flashback to the Jazz Age: Lorena’s a flapper, Bill is her piano man. The point is either to show how much hotter Bill is slick and tuxedoed, or how delightfully nasty he was back when he and his maker would pretend to be swingers and screw in their dying victims’ blood. Evil Bill is almost as enticing as nice Eric.
When Lorena catches up with Bill in the present, he’s just awakened in a psychic panic over what’s happening to Sookie with the cult, but Lorena straddles him and moves in for a kiss. Meanwhile, Jessica has a visitor in the next room: Hoyt’s mean mama turned off his cell phone, so he drove to Dallas to apologize for not texting.
Bite and body count: What’s up with everything good happening in flashbacks?
Booty count: Bill and Lorena … in the flashback only?
Best line: Flashback Lorena to her hosts: “When the other guests leave, maybe we can … fuck prohibition some more.”
Light of Day
Sookie and Hugo (Isabel’s human love) masquerade as an engaged couple checking out the Church of Light for their wedding. Hugo’s a confidant, lending an ear for her thoughts on dating a vampire, until the bug-chaser drops a big downer: Their vampires aren’t going to love them when they’re old and frail. Is Sookie taking seriously the idea of getting Bill to turn her, or is she just saddened and creeped out by Hugo’s talk?
Things go well at first, as Sookie and Hugo banter with the Reverend and Sarah about their “iffy” old pastor: maybe a homosexual, definitely a vampire sympathizer. But when they lead our fake couple to the Chapel of Light, it’s clear the cult isn’t going to let them go. Sookie hears the Reverend’s thoughts and realizes that he knows she’s telepathic. Sookie knows Hugo’s thoughts, so she’s sure he isn’t in on this, but what about Isabel and the other Dallas vampires?
Sookie fakes claustrophobia when the Reverend tries to lure them into his father’s tomb — but he and his henchman grab her and Hugo and force them downstairs. Sarah apologizes as they go …
… and then cries alone in the chapel until Jason comes along to comfort her. He’s spent the day happily building a platform and cross for a ceremony in which a vampire will be burned by the sun in front of the congregation, so he shouldn’t be totally surprised when Sarah complains that her husband isn’t the man she knew — and that he’s training Jason not to defend humanity, but start a war. Luke — who’s obviously either gay, hot for vampires, or both — had been counseling Jason in the virtues of celibacy, but Jason loses all resolve when Sarah announces she’s always known she was born to be the great woman behind a great man, and that she knows now that that great man is Jason — yes, the Jason who just minutes earlier was forced to admit that he hit his own thumb with a hammer not out of clumsiness but overwhelming stupidity. Is this a trick?
Booty Count: Hello, Jason and Sarah.
Dead Flowers: Queen of the Underground
Sookie’s grandma’s house is falling apart, thanks to Maryann’s mysterious, decadent powers. Tara says something snide about not having a nicer crib for Maryann to squat at, but Maryann warns her not to give her sarcasm without a hot shower, and sends her and Eggs out for a spare part for the water heater.
Eggs has — or pretends to have? — some sort of weird flashback during the drive, and they wander into the woods. A trail of discarded clothes leads them to a firepit surrounded by blood and rocks with strange drawings. Eggs weeps, Tara takes him home to the house (now messier, and still lacking hot water and sarcasm) and, uh, yeah, there’s another trail of clothes, leading of course to another of Maryann’s orgies. The couple looks terrified, but can’t help joining in.
Meanwhile, Drunk Deputy Andy drops by Merlotte’s, threatening Lafayette with arrest on charges of loss of pizazz. Terry intervenes to remind his cousin what a good guy he was when they played cops and robbers as kids. Sweetly, shellshocked Terry comforts Lafayette with some visualization techniques. On his way out, Andy sees the pig and a dog. He stumbles before he can catch the pig, but we know the animals are Daphne and Sam. Sam realizes something’s awry in Andy’s pig fascination, but Daphne dodges his questions with a blow job, just as she’d earlier brushed off his question about her scar.
Daphne’s awful good at seeming kind when she’s telling Sam to accept himself and lecturing about honest sex, but the secret’s about to come out. They walk through the woods again. When they hear drums, Sam tries to turn back, with some very sound reasoning: Drums lead only to hippies and cults.
But Maryann’s minions grab him. “It’s the end of the road,” says Daphne, as Maryann dons a bull’s head and reaches for a ceremonial dagger. We’d worry about Sam but — aren’t you paying attention? — the preview of the next episode dulls the cliff-hanger a little.
Booty Count: Where Maryann quakes, countless sex acts follow.
Related: Get a Taste of What’s to Come in True Blood Season Two