Bottom line at the top: So, so , SO much better and easier to enjoy than last episode, and back on track with the weird and the goofy, and not over the line at all. Perfectly on-line. Still messed up and getting more messed up, and we aren’t sure if nine whole crimes were committed (or, like, if the actual count was more like 77, but hey), but a much more palatable episode. Though we’re already getting sick of Bill’s whole storyline.
Yay! We don’t havve to relive that horribleness of last episode in the recaps! And we get to pick up with Alcide sitting around in a poorly-lit room without a shirt to make up for it!
So anyway, Sookie is poking at his injuries very unconvincingly, trying to look like she’sleaning them, when really she’s trying not to wipe off the makeup, and she’s telling him that it’s not really his fault that he had his tail handed to him, since everyone is on teh V and she know’s it’s strong because it’s Bill’s (and she’s been there, though she doesn’t quite mention that). Alcide is outraged because that’s against everything the pack is supposed to be for, so now we know he’s old fashioned and honorable, and probably the only one in the pack who is.
Sookie asks all awkwardly if this Debbie that was mentioned was his ex girlfriend and he says she was his fiancee– about a month ago, which shocks her because she thinks his new house should have more furniture by now and that shocks us because, come on, Sookie hasn’t let go of anything at all ever, so why should he have? Sooks keeps asking about her and whether they still talk, and we’ll assume it’s because she wants to know what she’s supposed to do after a relationship since she’ss never really had an after, and he admits that his sister Janice still talks to her because she’s a hairdresser and Debbie gets her hair done there. At which point we imagine a werewolf chick with elaborate hair extensions and long fake nails that would be hilarious when she shifted.
Then it’s like he realizes that she’s still feeling up his shoulder and they sort of look at each other in that way that Sookie does when she thinks someone is hot and doesn’t want to, and we all groan and go Oh Em Gee, Sookie, what is it with you and supernatural men? Aside from the fact that you can read his mind and that will put him firmly in the category of every man you tried to date before Bill, and, also, weren’t you just talking about how he still loves his ex, like, a second ago? And we’d all heard that there was to be a love triangle, but we were hoping it was someone other than Sookie, even if she is the main character. Wouldn’t it be fun if it wasn’t her at all?
Anyway, we’re spared that weird by the phone ringing, and there’s no one there. She immediately assumes it’s Bill, and this time it actually is, and he’s all harsh and horrible, saying he’s not held captive and she needs to stop looking for him and he never loved her and blah blah blah. He’s standing off away from that horrible bed where horrible things happen (maybe it’s haunted and that explains last ep; ghosts could totally be real in this world, too), looking all dead and depressed and cold, and Lorena is sitting back there gloating. Really, the best part of this scene is seeing Sookie and Bill curse at each other because they’re usually so proper and polite. And it really is awesome. So he says he and Lorena just did it and Lorena is all gloaty in the phone, and he hangs up on her and she starts crying with that really ugly real-person craying face. It’s kind of amazing how Stephen Moyer can say things in such a harsh voice and make his face look like he wants to die, isn’t it?
CREDITS, and we sing along because you have to with such a catchy song.
Sookie is a horrible mess, and she’s all insisting that Bill couldn’t possibly be breaking up with her like this because he loves her and too much has happened for it to end like this and there has to be something else going on, and so on and so forth in that squeaky cry-voice. Alcide looks decidely uncomfortable and is insisting that guys are just jerks and will happily kick you in the nads, and she pauses for a second and says “But I don’t have a nutsack” and we all laugh because it’s great, in a twelve-year-old-boy sort of way. But so we know that Alcide is actually a nice guy, he tries to comfort her, and she notes that he’s warm. He says that weres run hot, and we all go Boy do they ever and sort of drool a little and try not to miss the rest of the scene. She says it’s just that she’s not used to that, which reminds us all that her current lover is dead and has the body temperature of a dead body, and that sort of squicks us out and about kills the mood. They do that attraction shorthand again, and he gets uncomfortable and says he’ll leave her alone, but she says she doesn’t want to be alone, and he gives in but says he needs to go put on a shirt, which saddens us and amuses us– like a little flanel in the middle of summer in Mississippi will keep Sookie off him if she decides that’s what she wants!
Back at Merlotte’s (which they sell t-shirts for at Hot Topic, so you know it’s legit), Sam is trying to chase a hawk that robbed him and instead finds a van full of his sleeping, evicted parents. In his parking lot. He tells Mama Shifter that Tommy tried to rob him and she says he gets weird whenever they get evicted, and it’ll pass, and Sam is all “Whenever?? How often does this happen??” and we’re glad he’s smart enough to be outraged because sometimes he seems a little dense and we like him better smart. They say they’ll be gone as soon as Tommy gets back and he says they’d better… but he doesn’t look like he’s buying it.
Back at Sookie’s House of Crazy, Tara is sitting on the stairs and Franklin is giving her the whammy and she’s answering all his questions, and she’s wearing that particular expression Tara wears when things go goofy around her and she doesn’t understand them. The fun part is that all her answers are very Tara– it’s her view of the last two and a bit seasons, and we love her for it, which is nice since she’s usually just annoying lately. He asks if Jason is a telepath, too, and she says no and smiles, and when he asks about that, she says she loved him forever but he never noticed, and Franklin says something about being jealous, and goes all creepily loving on her and she looks terrified but still has the whammy and can’t do anything about it. He asks where Sookie is, she says she doesn’t know, and he says Find Out.
Back in wolftown, Alcide is asleep, and he did get that shirt after all, and Sookie is in bed next to him, but it’s not sexy. Her phone rings and it’s Tara, but we soon learn that it’s only really Tara’s voice: Franklin is feeding her lines, trying to get her location, and Sookie is totally missing the stiltedness of the conversation because she’s so wrapped up in herself. And yet, she somehow manages to dodge that bullet anyway, and hangs up on them and goes back to bed. Franklin is pissed and drops his control for just a second, and Tara bolts like a bolting thing– except that vampires are faster and he catches her at the door. She’s screaming about “What do you want from Sookie?” and he’s all “What do I want from you?” and then he bites her and she screams and it’s much more a traditional vampire sort of thing and not sexy and kind of reminds us how freaky vampires really are when we aren’t assuming they’re like us.
Lorena is at the vanity being all girly about the best sex she’s had in decades while she cracks her neck and Bill lies on the bed all shirtless and emo behind her. He snarks at her and she says there was real passion there and he says the only passion was him killing his love for Sookie, and then he starts combing his hair into his face and wearing eyeliner. He tells Lorena to get out, and snarky mean Bill is pretty fun. She starts to go all lovey-dovey on him, and he’s having none of it and isn’t even arguing and snarking anymore– he just punches her right through the silver doors and into the hall and closes them with his bare hands and doesn’t even care that he’s burned because his love for Sookie was all that made him care and now he’s a Bad Mother. This is much more interesting than Mopey Bill, and we’re looking forward to many more punchings-through-doors in the future.
Next, we’re looking at the outside of this big old-fashioned building that must be where Alcide’s apartment is supposed to be, because then we’re looking through a window at her laying on his bed in a room that looks bigger and better-lit, and Alcide is nowhere to be found. She wakes up all startled and Eric is hovering outside the door-sized window, trying to look casual in his flying harness and kind of just looking awkward, and he asks if he can come in. Sookie invites him in even though she doesn’t live there and shouldn’t have the power to do so, and we go “This is too weird and makes no sense”. She asks if all vampires can fly, and is sort of extra-Southern, and he asks if all humans can sing, to which she answers that she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it, which is both funny in it’s own right and funny because it’s pretty obvious it’s a dream at this point and that it isn’t her dream, which means we’re getting to see her through Eric’s eyes and she’s SUCH a bumpkin.
And then things get really ridiculous and we see that Eric probably has other issues: Sookie moves in close and says he smells like the sea and starts talking about how he grew up on the North Sea and he’s all at a loss, and we’re overcome by the cheesiness, and tiny little ninety-pound Sookie Stackhouse overpowers him and gets him on the bed and they start making out. Sookie is all on top and wearing sexy panties in what should be a sexy scene and kind of isn’t, and Eric just keeps looking confused, and then Sookie starts talking in Yvetta’s voice and we’re back at Fantasia, and Eric was totally daydreaming about Sookie while watching a disappointed-looking Yvetta dancing in a nearly-empty bar, and it’s sort of… is sad the right word? Eric can’t even daydream effectively when it comes to Sookie, and wasn’t Fangtasia packed with people not long ago? Poor Eric and his inappropriate crushes on girls who kiss like a fish while he tries his best to sell it, and sits in an empty bar.
So it’s morning again and Sookie is watching Alcide fry up a steak (one steak, when there’s two of them) in a wok, and he’s all “When do you want to go home?” and she says she isn’t going home. Something is obviously up and he can say all that stuff to her face if he means it. Alcide gets tense and tells her there’s no closure and she should drop it and move on, and she points out that he’s cooking breakfast in a wok because he’s too sad to but a new frypan, and we cheer for her observational skills and feel sad that he was so easily skewered. Because now he looks sad. She says he has to take her to the engagement party because she needs more info and he says no way, his debt is paid and he’s done with this mess. Or so he thinks. Sookie goes for the jugular (ha ha) and says maybe seeing Debbie with the wolves will help him get over her, and that was the wrong thing to say, because it makes him get all alpha male and he tells her to leave him alone and go home.
Lafayette is in his lovely new car and he’s telling Tara that his old car now belongs to her, oh, and by the way, where did she get to? Because he’s all of a sudden not tracking her every move and shouldn’t he be more worried than he is? Anyway, we see the phone ringing on the edge of a sink and then we see Tara tied up and on the toilet with her pants down in the creepy motel with the streetlight that looks like sunlight! She reaches for the phone, but it falls into the sink and out of her reach, and that what-the-face is still on her. We’re both creeped out by the tying up and kind of charmed in a gross way that he tied her up on the toilet in case she needs it while he’s busy being dead while the sun is out. How thoughtful of him.
Back at Alcide’s, he’s gone off somewhere, leaving Sookie to her own devices, which happens to include calling in his sister Janice. She walks in all talk and bluster and compliments Sookie on looking like a nice girl, since she was about ready to call in a hooker to cheer up her brother. Sookie points out that they’re just working together, and janice doesn’t look like she’s buying it, but she goes along. Sookie says she needs to get into Lou Pine’s and look like she belongs there and like she could really kick some butt, and Janice says she can do that. While they get started, Sookie brings up the party, and Janice gets shifty about it so Sookie reads her mind and finds out that it isn’t an engagement party at all, but an initiation into that Nazi werewolf thing. Sookie asks if maybe Alcide shouldn’t go try to win her back, and Janice says her psychic warned her that Debbie would get him killed– which might be a good warning, since maybe psychics are as real as Sookie is in this world. Wouldn’t it be great if everything supernatural turned out to be real? She asks why Alcide stayed with Debbie so long, and Janice goes all meta-commentary on her and says that she was his first love and made him feel alive, but that’s not enough when your love keeps getting people hurt and killed, is it? And Sookie has the decency to look upset by that.
In the bar, there’s simultaneously a retirement party for Bud, with everyone pretending that he didn’t just quit in a fit, and a gathering of highschool kids who are drinking right in the middle of the day with all the cops in town about twelve feet away. Jason and Hoyt are between the two, and Hoyt says something about the kid over there being the new Jason Stackhouse, about to break all his records and favorite of the whole town, which doesn’t make Jason all that happy, what with him being the current favorite, and on a quick slide into crazy-town. Bud is getting gifts and saying speeches, and Jason can’t handle the noise from the kids any more and goes over. NewJason is all whatever, and Jason has his first really clear moment of self-awareness: in ten years, this kid will be where he is, with some new idiot stealing all his thunder and him hating it. Then he takes the kid’s beer and we cheer, even though the kid has no idea what he means.
At the bar, Kenya is getting drunk and mumbling about how the only way to get a promotion is to be drunk, imagine farm animals and kill a black man, because she wasn’t there and doesn’t know that last season was real. But it’s all kind of true. Then Arlene comes hauling around a corner and goes off on sam about how no one works here anymore but her and he needs to help out and start looking after his own and then is out again, leaving Sam looking hurt and confused, which seems to be his default state.
Alcide comes home holding a frying pan because Sookie had a point before, and he finds her in the livingroom getting used to her new look– with black hair and a lot of makeup and a Barbie-doll’s leather pants. She jumps right in and tells him that Debbie isn’t getting married, she’s getting initiated and Janice didn’t tell him because she was trying to protect him, and his reaction is perfect: “Why didn’t you let her?” silly were. It’s because Sookie’s abilities give her permission to be nosy and go mucking around in everyone’s business! She says he still cares about her and he gets mad, but he agrees to help her even though they know he’ll get his butt kicked and we know that makeup won’t disguise her scent enough and all those wolves should know exactly what and who she is.
Bill and the King are sitting down to be Glden Age fat cats, wearing silk smoking jackets, llistening to music, sitting in front of a fireplace (in the summer, in Mississippi– do you think he turns down the AC first? or does it just not matter because they’re always at room temp anyway?), and smoking cigars. We learn that Bill was a procurer for the Queen for ages before he met sookie, but he supposedly wasn’t procuring her– he was on sabbatical. He wants to know if the King can really take over the Queen, and he says that depends on the quality of his information. Bill says if he does this, he wants something in return– Lorena dead for real. The King says that’s illegal, and Bill says not if no one reports it, and they laugh about murder and the King agrees. So Bill starts telling all: Eric has been dealing V which as we know is illegal and sacreligious, but it’s because Sophie-Anne is broke since the IRS started taxing her many-lifetimes of income. The King says the Magister misses the Inquisition and this could be bad… and he wants to celebrate. That his future wife is about to get Inquisitioned. Hm.
Franklin comes home and he has flowers for Tara and pressents them like he’s a shy new lover, and then tapes them to her hands, which are still tied up, so she can’t turn them down. He’s acting all sweet, which is ten times creepy because she’s still bound and gagged and on the toilet, and this storyline is getting pretty interesting. It’s like a horrible echo of Sookie and Bill, which is perfect since she’s supposed to be Sookie’s foil and all.
Back at the bar agan, Jessica is in uniform and starting to host like a hostess and Arlene doesn’t like it because a hostess isn’t a waitress and she doesn’t want to share tips and she can’t abide another redhead getting her tips. sam doesn’t know what to do about her, and then she apologises and almost says she’s pregnant and saves it by saying she doesn’t like seeing people take advantage of him. Sam says he took care of the parent problem, and Terry pops up like a muppet to say they’re having a barbecue out back and Sam runs off to stop it. Terry says at least they won’t be as bad a set of parents as those guys.
Moments after starting work, Jessica runs into someone who knew her pre-vamp, and it’s that kid who was the Duckie in Not Another Teen Movie. He’s really religious and kind of gabby, and she immeidiately abandons her new job to take him round back.
Far away, LaFayette is trying to get the meth dealers to sell V and offering them a super-good deal because he still has to unload it super-fast. They’re not buying and he keeps pushing, and eventually they start getting racist and homophobic and try to beat up him AND his snazzy new ride.
Hoyt sees her talking to that kid and thinks it’s a date or something, but we know she’s glamoring the brain out of his head so he won’t turn her in. Sad Hoyt is sad.
LaFayette is about to get seriously beat down when Eric drops out of the sky where he’s been patrolling like superman or something and forces Norris to take the deal by saying he’ll kill his family to get him to do it, and we all know he will. They agree and back off, and Eric and Lafayette get in the car and drive off.
Franklin is driving Tara somewhere and she’s still tied up with flowers taped to her hands and he can’t whammy her when he’s driving, so she tries to get info out of him. He says he doesn’t really care about Sookie and Bill, but his employer does. He gets distracted by signs along the way and then tells her that he misses fruit more than anything else about being a human. She doesn’t care about fruit and wants to know where they’re going, and her fear annoys him like she’s doing it to bother him. He says he’s not a bad man, he just wants to give them a chance. By forcing her to stay with him. You know, like Stockholm Syndrome as a dating plan. He refers to himself as her boyfriend and says he’s been so lonely and now he has her he isn’t anymore and he has so much he wants to tell her and all of us are right there with Tara with the buggy eyes.
In the Woods Where Weird Things Happen behind the bar, Sam finds Tommy konked out on the grass, all naked and stuff, and throws him his clothes. The it’s brotherly bonding time. Sam goes over everything he knows Tommy is thinking and then says he could be an example, Tommy could come stay with him, he could start over. Tommy flips a little and says they can’t get by without him and he’s stuck with his parents till the day they die, and for a second we almost believe that the next step would be to kill them, but sam is a good guy and that’s not how he rolls.
Eric and LaFayette are on the road and Eric is annoyed because meth dealers and fabulous no not mix and he thought LaFayette was a better salesman than that, better able to pick a good client. Before any excuses, however, Eric’s phone rings. It’s Pam! The club is being raided by the Magister and the queen set them up! Eric says he’ll be right there and she tells him not to be stupid and to hide. Then the Magister comes down the stairs and shows off the blood they found and screams blasphemy and they catch her! Oh no! Not Pam! She’s so cool!
LaFayette is trying to make excuses, but Eric flies out the window, and once again, he’s the only one who seems to be fully aware of just how weird all of this is in the context of the real world.
At the Bar, Jason’s been there all day and is pretty drunk. he corners Andy and blackmails him into being assigned as a cop, which is sad to see since they were supposed to be friends, and the look on Andy’s face as he gives in is just heart-breaking. And there’s the fact that it seems like Jason hasn’t thought this our very well, because, sure, Andy falsified evidence, but it was Jason who actually committed the crime. So, yeah. Smarter and more self-aware Jason just slipped back into stupid-plan Jason.
Sam and Tommy come out of the woods and Sam tells them that he’ll give them a place to live and find them work, but there has to be no stealing or drinking at all, or it’s over. We know this will end badly.
Franklin shows up at the King’s estate and Talbot says the King is out, so Franklin says they’ll wait. Tara is all buggy-eyed all over, and talbot complains that she’s too skinny, and Franklin just smiles– so, being a crazy pretend-boyfriend doesn’t involve defending yourlady?
Sookie and Alcide are at the party, and it looks pretty much like it did when there wasn’t a party there before. The wolves must all have headcolds because no one sniffs right through Sookie’s disguise. She bellies up to the bar and finds herself next to the guy who almost raped her the night before, and he only almost recognizes her, which makes him grosser. To avoid recognition, she slams three shots and goes WHOOOO! like a woo-girl, and everyone cheers. But then Debbie comes up with her 1987 Jersey Girl hair and demands to know who Sookie is, and Alcide is all “She’s with me”– which defeats the purpose of how they couldn’t be seen together for whatever reason, but they needed to be together to get in, but they had to be separate for this shoddy plan to work. Anyway.
Somewhere else, a limo pulls up outside a stip club and the King wants something exotic. He tells Bill that if he’s a procurer, he should go procure. Bill only hesitates a second, and then answers all dead-voiced “Yes, My Liege” and we all gag because he’s much more interesting when he’s punching people through walls and lighting them on fire.
In the basement of Fangtasia, the Magister has Pam all tied up on that round-about where they’d kept Lafayette, and he’s slowly torturing her with the tip of his silver cane, leaving really ugly burn marks in her skin. She screams really well. Eric is suddenly there and he’s in a state of catlike readiness and he says to let her go, it’s him they’re looking for, but he was framed. The Magister quotes the Crucible and says that isn’t good enough– they know V was getting sold and they knew the queen was in on it, so they’d better cough up better info. His options so far are a sentance of treason against or with his Queen or a sentance of blasphemy. He goes after Pam again, and she blurts out that it was Bill!
Eric agrees that it was Bill, and if he’ll let Pam go, he’ll go find Bill and bring him back for trial. The Magister agrees to let him get Bill, but only gives him two days– which seems a really short time period to get drive much of the rest of the season when it’s only the fourth episode, so this should be interesting. After that, he’s killing Pam for real and good as punishment. Because it’s not a crime to kill another vampire if you’re the Magister.
Debbie and Alcide go back and forth about stuff– he wants to get her away from the pack, and she says she’s never been happier; he says it’s not about them, and she says then why’d you bring this skank exccept to make her jealous. Sookie is not nearly as drunk as she should be, but she’s drunk enough to try to get to Debbie by spilling that Alcide still cares about her, but whatever effect that had is ruined by Coot coming up and being all super-alpha jerkface. He wants Alcide to leave, but she says he should stay and watch so he gets the point. Then she and Coot suck face like really bad pornstars, and Sookie sees that he’s one of the ones who took Bill. All the wolves hoist her up and tear off all her tear-away clothing and crowdsurf her away.
In the Limo, the King says he has something to do and if Bill gets back before him, they should start without him. Lorena looks weird about that. Inside, Bill is looking at the girls, trying to find a good one, and the one he picks is only vaguely exotic, so maybe that’s why he stopped procuring.
At the wolfparty, Russel shows up and he’s all Nazi-creepy. He puts a fur coat on Debbie, who has crowdsurfed up to the stage, and gets her down on all fours, which is symbolic and creepy in a number of different ways. Sookie asks who he is, and Alcide says he’s some old antiques dealer– so either they don’t know he’s the King, or he’s not really the King. or something. He gives some big speech about the blood of their ancestors in very angry-sounding German, and then bites his own wrist and fills shot glasses with it, and all this before he fed. He says he’s so glad to provide the blood they’ve shared through the ages, and we all go “Huh?” along with Sookie because this just got much more freaky. They all take shots and start to get all neck-veiny and muscle-pumpy, but Debby can’t have one because then her brand wouldn’t take. And then he leaves so they can celebrate, and there’s no way it can mean anything but blood and violence at this point.
Bill takes his stripper into the lapdance rooms and glamours her into telling him that she’s all alone in the world and doesn’t believe in love, and that means no one will miss her, so we know she’s done-for. Then she says there’s no point to love and all it does is cause pain, and Emo Bill is back again.
Back at the celebration, they burn the rune into Debbie’s shoulder instead of her neck like everyone else’s, and everyone is cheering and going crazy. Coot shifts and starts licking at Debbie’s fresh and bloody wound, and then howls and everyone starts stripping off their clothes and shifting and howling. The strength of it is overpowering, and even Alcide is about to give in. He tells Sookie she needs to run, and she looks at him all panic-like, and he gives her the wolf-eyes and she’s gone, baby.
Bill’s Sense of Sookie goes off and he knows she’s in trouble and wants to go to her, but he’s in the process of helping the hapless stripper into the limo and he can’t, so he doesn’t try. The stipper thinks it’s a party, and then Lorena and the King chow down and peer-pressure Bill into joining in– and he picks a spot unnervingly close to her ladybits. She’s screaming but no one hears because of the traffic noise, and it doesn’t last long. Then blood starts seeping out of the bottom of the car because vampires are the messiest eaters ever, and the people who have to clean up after this show had better get paid a lot.
We hope that Eric got the Sookie-Tingle, too and comes racing to her aid, especially if it means he gets to tear into a few of those weres, and especially especially if it means he gets hurt and Sookie has to nurse his cranky self back to health. He needs her info, so he’d better be nice to her.
Other things we’d like to see:
– Pam going all animal on the Magister’s men and taking them out
– Bill punching more people
– LaFayette getting to do more than rail aginst being victimized
– Tara fighting back and developing an immunity to brain-hijacking that would come in handy for many seasons to come