“True Blood”: St. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

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Well that was an improvement, at least! When we last left True Blood, Sookie was hosting a psychic reading of Our Town where all the dialog has been replaced with “vamp slut danger whore.” We pick up where we left off, but from a very different vantage point. Let’s dig in!

Things kick off with Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) strolling into a flowery hacienda, where he unbuttons his shirt and fixes a cocktail. Atta vamp! For some reason Jason (Ryan Kwanten) appears, saying that he has been looking for him. Okay, this is clearly a dream sequence. Eric shakes a martini (shirt still open), which Jason chugs before saying that while he digs Violet, “I can’t get you outta my head.” Na-na-na, na-na-na-nice Kylie reference from the Aussie! Two points.

Jason takes Eric’s belt off – oh my! – and Eric pins him to a chair. But soon Jason and Eric are wrestling shirtless and Jason pins Eric to the bed, and then they make out and Eric goes down on Jason.

Then Jason wakes up.

In church.

OPENING TITLES

Okay, THAT happened.

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Sookie the Danger Whore (Anna Paquin) listens as Sam (Sam Trammell) and Andy (Chris Bauer) argue about the search for the missing Bon Tempsians. Sookie mentions the dead chick she stumbled over in the woods, and they agree that they should trace her origins. The Reverend Daniels (Gregg Daniel) asks Sam to inspire the flock, and Sam tells them to clean up the mess at Bellefleur’s. Once a bar manager, always a bar manager! Still, his message is “Be of service.”

Lettie (Adina Porter) wants to “check on Lafayette”. I think there’s something going on with this chick…

Andy tells Adilyn (Bailey Noble) not to let Jessica in, and she’s all, “Hahaha me whaaaaaaat? Of course not! Teehee!”

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In the basement of Fangtasia, a blonde screams and it’s NOT Ginger. Shit ain’t right.

Upstairs, the Brit vamp is upset that the skinny dude ate Kevin, so they put a lady vamp named Betty – who used to be a teacher – in charge of the chuck wagon. She goes down to the Mormon pantry to “reap” dinner and shies away from Arlene (Carrie Preston), instead picking not-Ginger. Arlene clocks Betty as her kids’ former teacher, and Holly’s as well.

Meanwhile, Sook leads Andy to the corpse. Turns out she’s a chick from St. Alice, a few towns over. They mull over “the brutal indifference of life,” which sounds more like it should be from The Leftovers, no?

Lala (Nelsan Ellis) – wrapped in a crocheted afghan, AS YOU DO – greets Lettie Mae, who wastes no time asking him to summon Tara for her using his powers of witch realness. He shuts her crazy ass down.

Adilyn helps clean up the bar and chats with Holly’s kid. The score is like something from a Friday the 13th film. Vince barges in and says that Sam is a dog and accuses them all of being a dog’s janitor. Maxine Fortenberry (Dale Raul) barges into the cooler and finds a bunch of corpses that the vamps left. What, they don’t make human-sized Tupperware yet? Maxine adds that she once saw Sam as a bear. Adilyn, meanwhile, overhears Kevin’s girlfriend thinking about guns and she runs off with Wade.

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Back at Fangtasia, Arlene & Holly (Lauren Bowles) decide that Betty is their best chance of survival, and Arlene appeals to her teacherness by going on and on about “mah keeeeeads!” Betty serveert by saying that she’ll help before dragging another guy upstairs for dinner. Wait, how many people are there down there? Didn’t that vamp say that killing Kevin decreased their food supply by a fourth? Who are all these randoms?

Saint Alice is empty. There are spray-painted pleas to FEMA and God, and then a giant mass grave. Yeesh. Is HBO officially the Bleakness Network?

Addy tries to convince Kenya (Tanya Wright) that the mob is coming for the guns, and eventually she believes her – but it’s too late, because the mob is there. The vigilante lady convinces Kenya that Jason Stackhouse is “The Man” (Dream Eric would agree!) and gets her to turn on Adilyn, but she just microwave-fingers Kenya across the room and gets the hell outta dodge. Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) awakens when she feels Addy in peril. Oh – and Maxine calls Adilyn out on being a newborn, which is kind of hilarious. Jess tries calling Sookie but of course Sookie is an idiot and threw her phone away.

The mob gets the arms and they go GUN CRAZY.

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Sookie, etc. find the dead chick’s house and Sook starts reading her diary, which seems a bit rude. But Jason’s eating the dead girl’s pizza is fine, because it’s – according to Andy – “Pizza forensics.” Andy tells J that he’s gonna ask Holly to marry him – which he’d better do before their kids do it, right?

Yellow walls and quilts – just like Sookie’s house! Sookie reads dead chick’s diary and it’s just like Bill and Sookie 101. There’s even flashbacks. And Sook does a Wonder Woman spin in her dress! What the hell?!

Lettie burns her arm on the skillet, and then deliberately sticks her whole hand in there. Okay, I told ya – girlfriend ain’t playin’ with a full deck here. She goes to Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) and begs her for blood – so she’s still an addict and she just changed signature cocktails, I guess? Willa gives in and Lettie envisions Tara (Rutina Wesley) on a cross (this is gonna play GREAT in the red states…) with a snake around her. Lettie begs, “I need the answers, please!” You and me both, rummy.

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Alcide (Joe Manganiello) assures Sook that the dead chick is nothing like her, and that they can drive off right here and now and escape everything and raise a nice litter of fairy puppies in the suburbs. Sook says that this isn’t an option.

It’s sleepytime at Fangtasia, and Betty asks to be sleep monitor. They begrudgingly allow her, and she uses the opportunity to try to help Arlene and company escape, only she dies in a bloody mess before she has the chance. Sorry, Arlene – a little club soda will get that out!

Why does Jess have a bite mark on her arm? Wouldn’t that have healed by now? Is it because she hasn’t fed? She tells Andy that she’s in the attic and convinces him that she’s there to protect them and that Adilyn is in trouble.

Sook tells Alcide to take a shower before bed, and he says, “I think you like me better with a little extra stink.” Ugh. I’ve dated guys like this, and it never ends well. While he’s at the groomer’s, she runs through the graveyard to meet Beel (Stephen Moyer), and asks him, “If I got myself into some serious shit, would you be able to feel me?”

Meanwhile, in the Rhone valley (great wine, btw!), Pam (Kristin Bauer Von Straten) finds Eric languishing on a divan. He has Hep V.

“Unfucking believable.”

SCENE

Notably Dead: Betty, a few random hostages, all of St. Alice, Eric’s gag reflex

Notably Absent: James, Violet

Well that was a little more fun than the premiere, at least – there was a hint more of the humor that has always balanced he show’s increasingly heightened stakes (even just having Lafayette repeatedly call Lettie Mae “auntie” was a welcome breather from, say, a pit filled with thousands of corpses), and the episode had a more grounded rhythm than last week’s frantic catch-up.

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It’s also or course kind of awesome that after six seasons of teases, the show really went there with the Jason/Eric dream hookup. It seemed an oddly timed pairing (Jason had Eric’s blood quite a while back, didn’t he?) but it was still pretty damned hot. Clearly Kwanten and Skarsgard were game to really go for it with the scene (unlike some other recently-departed actors, allegedly), which is pretty great – and I imagine the towering Swede’s robust fanbase suffered its share of exploding heads from the scene. Maybe this is a sign that there’s a love scene in the cards for Lala as well?

So Eric is alive (like we ever thought he wasn’t) and he has Hep V. Interesting development – will finding a cure be a major plot line, lest Eric make a Betty-style exit?

I’m very curious to learn what’s up with Lettie Mae, but right now I’m thinking that she staked Tara herself and is out for more vamp blood (and not just to drink). All of Sookie’s flashbacks strongly suggest that she’s on course for reuniting with Beel, leaving her loyal puppy in the lurch. And I don’t know what the plan is with this Vince guy and the random townsfolk but they’re honestly the least interesting part of the equation, at this point.

Also: “Pizza forensics”.

Overall I’d give it four out of five WTFs:

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What’d you folks think? Sound off in the comments. And if anyone is also reading my Penny Dreadful recaps, this week’s will be up tomorrow. I know, I know – but there is only so much supernatural sexiness that I can handle in one Sunday night. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to burn out my DVR replaying that opening scene.

Writer-filmmaker Brian Juergens launched CampBlood.org, the world's first website devoted to horror films from a gay perspective, in 2003.