“True Blood” Episode 408 Recap: “A Couple of Real Nice Bitches”

First order of business … a big thank you
to Dennis
for covering last week and doing it so brilliantly.
Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t have to recap that episode, given it had one of the
most riveting cliffhanger moments we’ve seen on this show and I’m not sure I’d
have been emotionally capable of writing so soon after.

I’m
talking, of course, about Andy
storming out on his date with Holly,
leaving us all in high suspense over the future of their romantic relationship.

Oh, I
guess something also went on with Jessica
about to burn to death. Might as well kick off with how that all turned out …

BURNED & SPURNED

Picking up right where we left off, Jessica
opens
the mansion doors to blinding sunlight and immediately
bursts into flames, thereby freeing actress Deborah Ann Woll to star in that remake of Bewitched everybody’s suddenly so keen on.

Kidding!
She’s fine, other than some minor facial blistering (you didn’t really think
they’d kill off Jessica, did you?). Because just as she prepares to exit, Jason comes running in and tackles her,
quarterback style, bringing her safely to the ground inside the foyer and
slamming the door behind him. Conveniently, they wind up in a position highly
conducive to dry humping.

Instead,
Jessica flips Jason over onto his back, and starts snarling like she’s going to
chomp on him. Jason screams. Then the credits roll just to make us wait a few
minutes before discovering that of course they’re not going to kill Jason off,
and Jessica is going to quickly come to her senses.

“My
hero!” she says, batting her eyes. Then they start dry humping.

Of
course, there’s nothing to stop her from continuing to march right back
outside, but fortunately the witches have decided at that very moment to stop
with the spellcasting. I thought that was hysterical, like they couldn’t be
bothered to chant for a little longer, maybe send out a scout to make sure
there are vampires burning all over town. Instead, Mantonia’s like, “Eh, what say we quit for now. I’m sure that
all worked, and I’ve got laundry in the dryer I’ve got to get to before Bachelor Pad comes on.”

Bill, at least, thinks more pragmatically.
When Jessica and Jason return
to the downstairs dungeon, he
suggests the witches have stopped only momentarily, just to get them to drop
their defenses. So he urges Jason to re-chain Jessica and even tighter this
time around.

So
Jason and Jessica delicately step over the bloody corpse of the security guy
she’d killed earlier, her all, “Oops. Sorry about the mess. I always was a
sloppy drinker.”

Jason
chains Jessica down, and the blood and the seared skin steaming starts up again
while she moans in pain. And there’s this hilarious bit where he tries to cheer
her up by telling her to think happy thoughts, like getting tan and eating
barbecue. Then he realizes she can’t enjoy those things, what with being undead
and all, so he switches tactics, telling her to think of how great it is never
to catch cold.

Bill
realizes this isn’t helping and suggests Jason leave them to get some rest. On
the way out, they cut a deal: Jason won’t arrest Jessica for murdering the
security guy, and Bill will kindly overlook that Jason sort of shot one of his
security goons outside.

Later on, we see Jessica return home, to
find Hoyt waiting for her.
She starts in with the dreaded “we
need to talk,” and he starts babbling about how he’s got all sorts of
ideas how to strengthen their relationship, maybe starting to wear his ’n her bowling
shirts, or taking that erotic massage class over at the Bon Temps Learning
Annex.

She
tells him it’s too late; she loves him, but she’s come to realize that she’s
just not hard-wired for monogamy, and she wants to move out. That’s when Hoyt,
right before our eyes, shifts into a spineless jellyfish. He gets all pathetic
and needy and weepy, blubbering about how he always suspected he wasn’t good
enough for her. He whines he’ll do anything to make her stay, anything, like drink her blood every day,
or do that other thing they’ve tried a few times that kind of hurts him but
he’s sure he can get used to.

She insists
she needs to leave him, and he says he’d rather not be alive than lose her.
“I’ll die!” he blubbers. “Oh, just die then,” she says, and
forcefully smashes his head into a table leaving it a bloody mess.

Then she
happily runs outside to find Jason in a waiting car. He tells her she looks hot
covered in blood like that, then he rips his shirt off and tells her he wants her
to “bite and f**k me at the same time.” She happily hops in the car
and …

Dream Sequence! Gotcha! And
that’s not even me making sh*t up the way I do sometimes – the show actually
unfolds that way. Nicely played, Mr.
Ball
. Nicely played.

We see
that Jessica is still chained up in Bill’s basement and has drifted off into
this dream sequence. She’s now awakened by a blood donor who King Bill sent
down to let her drink from and replenish her strength.

Later, she returns home to Hoyt, and
tries the “we need to talk” thing for reals this time. I don’t know
if you’ve ever seen the movie 500 Days of
Summer
(a movie I adore), but there’s this bit in it where there’s a split
screen that shows how Joseph
Gordon-Levitt
imagines an encounter with Zooey Deschanel on one side, and how it really happened on the
other. Well, this Jessica-Hoyt thing is like that.

She
again comes in and again tells Hoyt that she loves him but just isn’t
hard-wired for monogamy (again with that? Did Dan Savage help write this episode?). But rather than getting all
spineless, he goes on the offensive, essentially calling her a ’ho and arguing
he suspects she’s been cheating. Then he says Jessica doesn’t deserve someone
like him. In fact, he deserves someone who can actually give him children and
is, you know, a real live human being, which is just cold.

She’s
completely flummoxed by this response (Jessica honey, if you dump someone, you
can’t really expect them to thank you for it or break into a spontaneous tap
dance). Then he rescinds his invitation – basically the equivalent of kicking
her out and changing the locks. The kicker is he also says his mother was right
– “God hates fangs, and so do I!”

Where’s a girl to turn? Why into the loving
arms

of the new f**kbuddy/rebound BF she’s got all lined up, right? She goes running
to Jason’s house and is all, “Good news! I dumped Hoyt! Now you and I can
be together, take off your clothes.” Jason’s all, “Wait, what now?
Hoyt’s my best friend!” He’s horrified she would break Hoyt’s heart this
way and guilty that he had something to do with it. So he rescinds his invitation, sending Jessica
forcefully flying out the door.

My goodness,
she’s having a bad day! Like why not head over to Merlotte’s now so Sam can fire her, rescind his
invitation, and send her flying ass-backwards across all Bon Temps?

WTF Rating: 3. With
Hoyt hating on all vamps now, it looks like we’ve got a new recruit for Team
Wicca. And I have to say I’m loving the Jason-Jessica relationship and how it’s
progressing. How long will Jason stay honorable to Hoyt before his raging
libido takes over?

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR (OKAY, MAKE WAR TOO)

Post resurrection spell, Eric is lying
around
still chained down, all bloody and neck-steamy and agony-y.

Sookie
offers to help him remove the silver chains, starting with the one that’s sort
of grafted to his neck, and he suggests the best way is to just rip it off in
one fell swoop. Clearly he’s got that whole Band-Aid removal thing in mind,
which we all know is just an old wives tale that moms tell to soothe their kids
with no basis in reality whatsoever, just like “if you just ignore those
bees they won’t sting you,” and, “me spitting in this tissue and
roughly wiping your cheek is a totally appropriate and hygienic way of cleaning
your face.”

Because
sure enough, Sookie quickly rips away the chain, taking with it most of Eric’s
skin and half his larynx as he screams, “OH. YOU. MUTHA!!!” Heh.

He’s
clearly in a weakened state and in need of some blood, stat. And we all know
True Blood is just gross, so Sookie does the only logical thing and offers
herself up. He asks if she’s sure, and she says she trusts him not to, you know,
suck her dry the way he did her fairy godmother. He tells her that, just in
case, she should hold onto some silver and ram it up his butt if he gets too
frisky.

Obviously
this is a colossally bad idea, but this is Sookie we’re dealing with so no surprises
she goes ahead and does it. She offers up her neck, he drinks hungrily, but
what do ya know? He shows remarkable self restraint and actually pulls out in
time. Then he bites his own hand and offers it to her to drink, all, “This
way we’ll be one,” and she goes ahead and does it! Ick. Let me tell you
something, if I ever date a vampire, there’s no way I’m swallowing.

All blood-filled
and hot and bothered and naked now (with some nice boob/butt shots) they head
up to the shower, a clear nod to fans of the books and a certain infamous
shower scene. But fake out! No shower sex, because when she goes to turn on the
water it starts snowing. WTF? Oh, yeah, it’s one of those cheesy v-induced
fever sex-dream sequences, like back in season one when Jason was dating Lizzie Caplan. And it goes on for about
12 hours, with them doing it in the woods somewhere and blathering on about how
awesome the sex is.

After,
they lie in bed naked and Sookie makes sweet pillow talk about how they should
help Bill kill witches. Eric is all for them running away together, but she
says that wouldn’t be right, given it would leave behind people they care about
to die. He says right and wrong are measly human concepts, and she counters
that he’s more human now than she’s ever seen him and that’s why she’s fallen
in love with him.

So they go for a meet and greet with King
Bill,
who squeezes them into his busy schedule, right between
“golf with Andy Cohenandflossing the royal fangs.” Sookie tells him that if
he’s going to war with witches, they’re on board.

He
sputters that he’d rather she not, on account of being a girly human (and him
obviously still pining over her). Eric shoots back that she’s a fighter, and
the two men have an alpha-dog glare-off, where Sookie realizes something we’ve
all known for ages that all this stuff about her is really about the two of
them working out their overpowering desire for each other that will likely be
consummated sometime around Season Seven.

She
tells them to get their eyes back on her, or at least on her chest, then
reminds them that she’s got gnarly wonder twin superpowers that can surely
help. So Bill reluctantly agrees to let them join the fight. (You’ll see how
well that turns out.)

WTF Rating: 1. How is
it possible that sex scenes – even ones with pleasing naked butt/boob action –
could become so boring? At this point, I’m really hoping Eric has his memory
back (or will get it back soon) and is faking amnesia to get himself a steady
supply of fairy-blood, because that would at least liven things up a bit.

TOMMY SHIFTS GENDER

We see someone rummaging through a darkened
house
, stealing women’s clothes and accessories. At first I was
hoping we were about to find out some Bon Temps dude had a cross-dressing
fetish going on, maybe Hoyt or Terry,
because that would be totally hot.

But
then it becomes obvious it’s Maxine Fortenbery’s
place, and Tommy is grabbing her
stuff so he can shift into her. I’m actually glad about this, because I like
when shows deal with the practicalities of the supernatural, like it’s all well
and good that you can shift, but what if you’ve been running wild as an animal
and come home covered in ticks or mange? Would you go to your regular doctor,
or a vet? I worry about stuff like that.

Later on, at Merlotte’s, we see Tommy show
up as Maxine (“Toxine?”).
Leaving aside for the moment
how he manages to sound just like Maxine even though when he was being Sam he still sounded exactly like
Tommy, it’s actually hilarious how bad he is at the impersonating a woman thing.

And
it’s not just that he’s all foul mouthed and ordering shots of booze, but the
hair and makeup and the clothing are all a wreck. He’s a hot shifty mess.
Somebody needs to get RuPaul in here
for one of those bizarre yet brilliant runway drag critiques, like Ru could be
all, “The shift is certainly hitting the fan, Toxine honey. Because your
Maxine drag is a maxi-pad of pain.”

Toxine
has called a meeting with the gassy rights guy from episodes ago and is trying
to convince him that “Maxine” is ready to sell, just so long as they
can cut a check ASAP. “Maxine” tries to negotiate a higher price, but
the guy actually talks her down, even when “Maxine” offers up some
special “bonus services” if that would help sweeten the deal (heh – I
would have loved to have seen that
happen!). The gassy guy is all, “Er thanks but no thanks, I’m not
insane,” but he does agree to give her some instant cash.

Later on, we see Tommy running through the
woods.
He’s now back in Tommy-form but still decked out in oversized
Maxine drag (the eyeshadow is just priceless), looking like a little kid
playing Mama Rose for an all-boys-school
production of Gypsy. Also, he’s
barfing blood.

WTF Rating: 2. It’s
been fun watching different actors stretch their acting chops by showing Tommy
“doing” them. But I still on principle object to doppelgangers
messing with people’s lives, which just irritates the hell out of me as a
storytelling device. I guess I have some deep-seated fear of being a twin or
something.

THE DEVIL DOLL GETS A BACKSTORY

Terry and Arlene have set up a nice little
portable crib
in the kitchen of Merlotte’s, because proximity
to spattering fry grease and racks of knives is of course the perfect
environment in which to nurture the devil baby in your life.

Arlene
comes in and hollers at Terry that he’s got his back turned to adorable Mikey,
and she fears Renee’s ghost could
swoop in any moment and take off with him. But Terry shows how he’s installed a
mirror over the stove to keep an eye on the devilish tyke.

What
they don’t see, and what Lafayette of
course still does, is that Cajun Ghost
Lady
is right there, singing her haunting lullaby. “Aw hell,” he
groans, hightailing it away with a, “F**k this shit.”

Later on, Lafayette is writhing around on his sofa having
one of those unsettling mystical backstory dreams. He sees Cajun Ghost Lady
walking to her home on a moonlit night, a doll in her arms. A white man comes
out of the shack and tells her that her baby is “gone.”

She
cries in despair, explaining that she’d just run out to get this doll for the
baby. The guy won’t let her see the baby’s body or plan a funeral, and she
implies he somehow killed the baby, all because she’s “a Negress” and
he’s married. And apparently a total dick.

Lafayette wakes up and, right across the
room, is Cajun Ghost Lady herself. Who’s apparently taken up smoking. As in …
she turns into a puff of smoke (the way Jesus
Tio Luca did earlier), and inhales
herself right into Lafayette’s
body through his mouth.

So now Lafayette is channeling
Cajun Ghost Lady, and unlike Tommy doing Maxine, he needs no advice from RuPaul
at all as to enacting a convincing womanly gait and appearance (seriously Nelsan Ellis is just brilliant here).

Possessed by her spirit, he goes to the
Bellefleur mansion
, where Arlene and Terry are camped out
post-house-fire. “Lafayette”
finds a way into the house, steals a gun from a sleeping Andy, and then steals
adorable baby Mikey from a sleeping Arlene and Terry and making off with him. I
can’t wait to see what happens comes breastfeeding time.

WTF Rating: 5. I love
how the more we find out, the more strange and mysterious this devil baby
storyline gets. I also love how it’s now ensnared Lafayette. I’m curious: if Jesus sleeps with Lafayette while he’s
possessed by a woman, does that make him bisexual? Or at least count as a
threesome?

PACK POLITICS

Alcide and Debbie go to a meeting of their
new pack,
and I guess it says something about werewolf organization
that the big meeting is basically standing around somebody’s backyard. Like
they couldn’t dip into membership dues to rent out a decent space, one with a
few benches, maybe throw in some cookies and punch? Instead it’s like,
“Hey, let’s make a fire in an oil can … that’ll be nice.”

Marcus, the skeevy (but hot-skeevy)
pack leader is addressing the group, all, “First a few announcements. One,
we still need volunteers for the bake sale. Two, the monthly newsletter is
available for you all to take home and peruse at your leisure. And three, the
vampires and witches are at war and if any of you get involved I’m going to
totally f**k you up.”

One
young pup is all gung-ho to take on the vamps, but Marcus insists that the
vamps are simply stronger and more powerful and they’re best off staying out of
it.

Afterwards,
Alcide tells Marcus that he likes his stay-out-of-vamp-business policies.
Marcus responds that he thinks Alcide could go far in the pack, but Alcide
counters he’s not one for politics.

Later on, Debbie ecstatically goes on about
how much
she thinks they’re going to love being part of the new
pack. In my favorite line of the episode, she happily tells Alcide that she
made some friends,” a couple of real nice bitches.”

The
only thing still troubling her though, is that Sookie might somehow ruin it all
for them. She asks Alcide to promise never, ever to see her again, and the
doofus actually agrees! D’oh! No good can possibly come from this. Because it’s
a promise he can’t possibly keep and now, even if it’s totally innocent,
whenever he does cross paths with Sookie he’s going to seem guilty in Debbie’s
eyes. And Debbie’s eyes can be crazier than a certain Minnesota congresswoman.

Meanwhile,
Marcus goes off to make a phone call, telling the party on the other end that
he’s planning on coming by to see his daughter later on. Wonder who that could
possibly have been?

In totally unrelated news, Sam shows up at
Luna’s door.
At first she doesn’t want anything to do with
him, on account of his skinwalking brother violating her and all. But he
assures her that he kicked Tommy out, explains that Tommy’s the product of a
messed up family, and explains that while he can forgive him for murdering
their parents, he can’t forgive him for what he did to her.

Well
obviously her heart just melts at that! Especially when daughter Emma comes running out with her dolls
(the only toys she apparently ever plays with), asking if Sam can play Barbies
with her, even though she knows for a fact that one particular doll doesn’t
like him. (Oh for pete’s sake, is there really another devil doll on this
show?)

Later that night, they’re enjoying a nice
quiet dinner
all together, when who comes in but Luna’s ex,
aka. Emma’s father, aka. Marcus the hot-skeevy pack leader. Wow, so not a shocker.

He gets
all pissy about how Luna isn’t supposed to have random men around his daughter
without his permission. So she does the only sensible thing and excuses herself
to put Emma to bed, all, “I’m sure you two will be fine.” So they
have an alpha-male glare off, and take turns peeing on the furniture and wiping
their butts on the floor and scratching the wallpaper and marking their
territory and vowing that this isn’t over.

WTF Rating: 2. We’re
edging closer and closer to a Debbie Pelt freak-out, and an Alcide-Marcus-Sam
showdown, but we’re just not quite there yet. For now, the werewolf-shifter
stories are on a pretty slow burn.

THE CHRONICLES OF MARNIA (AKA: THE VAMP,
THE WITCH, AND THE WAR)

After all the witches’ hard work (ie.
muttering in Latin, holding hands, and subjecting themselves to a rather frigid
indoor draft), they managed to get only one vampire to actually immolate
herself … Beulah Carter, Maxine’s elderly
neighbor.

Over
Beulah’s dead body (which is basically vampire road kill), there’s lots of
comic business surrounding Jason and a V-jonesing Andy
“investigating” her apparent “suicide.” Jason is disgusted
that Andy appears ready to snort her up guts and all, and Andy sheepishly
replies, “Jesus, tits, and God America, Jason, I’m only good on
the V.” In classic Jason fashion, he responds that he wasn’t really
listening.

Meanwhile, Bill is being interviewed at the
site for the local news, and he glamours a bottle-blonde reporter into letting
him give a statement to the public.

He
proceeds to try to cover up what’s been going on with the witches by giving a
statement (and I think glamouring the general public to believe it) claiming
that vampire suicide is all too common these days. Why? Because of the
increased “anti-vampire rhetoric” in the media and political
discourse that arose post-Edgington and has led many vampires to self-hatred
and despair.

Watching the telecast from the Moon Goddess
Emporium
is Mantonia who, in addition to being befuddled by the
complex workings of the remote control, is outraged that vampires now live so
openly. She’s also furious about how they only managed to fry only one vampire,
and bitches about it all to her new trusted sidekick, Tara.

I’m
finding that Fiona Shaw as Mantonia,
unlike back when she was plain old Marnie,
is something of a shameless scenery chewer. I’m also finding that with Tara now acting as her blindly devoted henchwoman,
there’s a total Brenda Vaccarro/Faye
Dunaway
Supergirl vibe to these
scenes that is utterly camptastic.

At
first Tara bristles at the idea that they’re
now not only fighting vampires but planning on killing them all, but Mantonia
carries on about how they’re all soulless and evil and deserve to be snuffed
out entirely.

These
few scenes point to how this show often attempts (especially in episodes
written by Alan Ball himself) to
instill its supernatural soap opera shenanigans with a deeper, more timely
subtext – with mixed results. Timely references give the appearance of being
satiric or thought-provoking but they’re often haphazardly dropped in and not more
deeply explored or sustained.

Bill’s
comments about Beulah’s “suicide” are obviously meant to recall all
those tragic suicides of gay teens in recent months. But I’m troubled by this
comparison, because of course Beulah didn’t
actually commit suicide and anti-vampire rhetoric had nothing to do with what
happened to her; whereas those suicides of bullied teens are very real and I
have no doubt that anti-gay rhetoric played a part.

At the
same time, I’m intrigued by how Antonia’s vengeful vendetta against the
vampires is now being framed, and I think we’re getting a glimpse into why
we’re meant to ultimately side with the vampires against the witches.

Antonia
is referred to in this episode as a “fanatic” who wants to “eradicate
an entire group out of hate.” While a small group of asshat vampires did
do her a terrible wrong, she now equates all
vampires with them and wants them all annihilated. We’re getting a lesson here
in the dangers of associating an entire group of people with the actions or
beliefs of a few bad apples – something that certainly resonates with the
rampant Islamaphobia we’ve been seeing since 9/11 that’s only seemed to get
worse. But that was explored so much more richly and deeply on the Battlestar Galactica revamp than it has
been here (at least so far). We’ll have to see how this shakes out.

Anyway, back to recapping business. Wouldn’t
you know it … just then the phone rings and it’s none other than King Bill.
Tara answers, and he’s somewhat (although not all that much) surprised to hear Tara is now in cahoots with the witches. She puts him on
speaker phone so he can speak to Mantonia.

He
apologizes on behalf of all vampires for what happened to her, acknowledging
that no real forgiveness is possible. But he urges her to attend a one-on-one
meet-up with him, mafioso style, so
they can broker a peace and avoid more bloodshed.

She
hems and haws, but he’s persistent, all, “It’ll be fun! I’ll bring
donuts!” so she agrees. Obviously neither one trusts the other, and it’s
interesting to consider what they’re hoping to accomplish with this.

Bon Temps Cemetery, Midnight … time for the
big sit-down.
Naturally both Bill and Mantonia have lied and
rather than showing up solo have brought extensive reinforcements. There’s an
awkward moment where Tara and Sookie see each other on opposite sides, but
before they can screech at each other as they so love to do, Bill gets down to
business.

He
assures Mantonia that no further harm will come to her or any humans, and his
only condition is that she un-do the spells she cast on Eric and Pam (who, BTW,
is looking hot again, so that demonic botox seems to have worked).

Mantonia
appears to be considering this deal, but then Sookie does the telepathy thing
and realizes she’s quietly working a spell in her mind. She shouts out a
warning to Bill and … all hell breaks loose. Bill’s goons show up with heavy
weaponry aimed right at Mantonia, while in a flash, Eric rips the heart out of
an attacking witch.

Mantonia
then casts a spell that induces some sort of supernatural fog (you don’t play Harry Potter’s Aunt for six movies
without learning a thing or two) exacerbating the confusion. In the midst of
it, several key things happen:

– Tara shoots
a vamp with a wood bullet, getting herself covered in guts. But then Pam easily
snatches the gun from her with a snappy, “You dropped something” She
enthusiastically announces she’s about to eat her (and not in the good way,
either).

But
then none other than Bill puts a stop to it, commanding Pam to cease and
desist. Pam is all, “This is so f**king lame,” but he’s her effing king
and, as his subject, she is forced to comply.

Afterwards,
Tara wonders why he saved her, and he says,
“You know why.” (It will be interesting to see if this changes her feelings
about vampires going forward. And have any of you noticed how obsessed Pam
seems to be with Tara all of a sudden?
Wouldn’t it be great if somehow those two hooked up?)

– Sookie successfully uses her gnarly wonder
twin powers – to her own amazement – to defend herself and is promptly shot in
the stomach. She crumbles to the ground, but is then lifted and carried to
safety by … Alcide, who had heard the ruckus in the woods and gone to make sure
Sookie was safe.

But
he’s been followed all along by a white wolf who’s like two feet behind him and
naturally morphs into Debbie Pelt who sees him cradling Sookie in his arms.
Seriously? Aren’t shifters supposed to have this keen sense of smell? Yet Alcide
couldn’t smell this wolf right behind him … a wolf who also happens to be his
girlfriend? At least this development will bring on full-on Debbie Pelt craziness,
and I can’t wait for that.

– What else? Oh, right! Eric, sensing that
Sookie’s been hurt, struggles to find her through the fog, and runs right right
into … Mantonia. Who instantly does the Muppet-master move on him and easily
gets him under her complete control, on his knees before her. She celebrates
her dominion over him by patting his head, like a Park
Avenue dowager and her beloved pet schnauzer.

WTF Rating: 5. That
entire battle sequence was absolutely thrilling and has me completely in the
dark about what’s going to happen next. Well played, Mr. Ball. Well played.

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