After all the hullabaloo of last week’s manic pixie dream premiere, True Blood has settled into a relatively more relaxed and (in my opinion) more enjoyable groove in this week’s episode. That being said, this is still True Blood so even in a low-key week, the writers are introducing at least five new characters and making sure every other scene is a blatant statement on civil rights in America. At least everyone finally washed off their full-body blood shellackings.
We pick up right where the last episode left off. In fact, I feel like every episode picks up right where the last one left off to the point that have the last 5 seasons actually just been a super crazy 9 days in Bon Temps? Hmmm. Anyway, the runic vampire contract by Sookie’s bed is still glowing. Across town, a Stargate™ appears on a bridge and out steps…Warlow? A new supernatural species? Vampire Captain Jack Sparrow? You’ll have to wait at least three minutes to find out because CREDITS!
Once again in the exact second we left off last week, Jason is about to crash into a tree when the creepy Anthony Hopkins man apparates in front of him and uses fairy light magic to stop the accident. Turns out it’s not Warlow…it’s Jason’s fairy grandfather and he’s wearing a really hip antebellum-era suit. Like Whitney Houston in The Wonderful World of Disney telefilm Cinderella, this fairy grandpa has been watching over Jason for years. Unlike Whitney, he is named Niall, knows where Jason keeps his “juicy” porn, and has been testing Jason to see if he’s ready to defeat Warlow. Seeing as he just got in a stranger’s car covered in blood and revealed all his family secrets without provocation, Jason is not ready. Nevertheless, the two start searching for portals to see if Warlow has crossed over. Jason leads Gramps to the one in Sookie’s bathroom which Gramps Platform 9 ¾’s through. When he returns, he’s visibly shaken and a little wet so clearly, the other side of the portal is either “a terrible place” as Niall says or the Splash Mountain ride. Warlow isn’t on the other side so pre-credits Jack Sparrow must be the Stackhouse-killer himself.
On her way to work (allegedly), Sookie finds a groaning, bloody man in the bushes. NEW LOVE INTEREST ALERT. Groaning and bloody is just her type so she decides to take him home and nurse him back to health. Via Fairy gchat, I mean mindreading, Sookie finds out the man was attacked by a vampire because he’s half-fey. He also says some silly things about Sookie reminding him of his first love so clearly, they are going to mack in 0.5 episodes. Then, he passes out. After Sookie fairy-jolts her new friend back to consciousness, the two talk about getting rid of their powers and finally being normal. Ben, as he introduces himself, doesn’t laugh immediately when she says her name is Sookie so you know he’s into her. The feeling is mutual because she tells this near-stranger about the secret fairy tent and asks for a second date that doesn’t involve him bleeding and passing out (which, to be fair, is a lot to ask for in Bon Temps).
After running off from Ben because he read her mind and also commitment issues, Sookies returns home to find Jason and her deus ex fairy grandfather. Niall’s hungry so she whips out a huge tub of spaghetti because even if Sookie Stackhouse has no time for work or washing off blood, she has time to make 10 pounds of spaghetti. Through some Grampa explication, we find out that Warlow is thousands of years old and has been obsessed with the Stackhouses ever since they were the original royal fairy bloodline back in the day. Yep, that’s right. Princess Sookie. As royalty, the Stackhouses have a special Super Saiyan power where they can channel light in a single chi ball of energy that will kill any vampire. Because she’s not full-blooded fey, Sookie only has the power to release one of Chekhov’s energy balls after which she’ll become a normal human. Grampa starts training Sookie to build up to this power. “It’s like the sun,” he says as he points to the episode title on your DVR menu.
At Fangtasia, Eric, Pam, and Nora all crowd around Tara’s glowing bullet wound. It seems humans have finally developed an effective anti-vampire weapon: the silver bullet emits painful UV light. But before the bullet can burn Tara from the inside out, Eric (unfortunately) digs it out with a broken bottle and saves Tara’s undead life. Sigh. More important than Tara almost getting written off the show, however, is that a war between vampires and humans is gearing up. Now that True Blood is gone, vampires are in serious trouble, Pam screams, alternating every other word with “fuck” so you know she’s serious. Nora tries to remind the gang about the evil Vampire Goddess at large but these vamp hawks just want war. WAR! What is it good for? A season-long plotline.
After Eric rushes off to war, Nora rereads the Vampire Bible looking for clues about how to take down Lillith. What she finds is the first draft of a Spice Girls song: “Two will become one, light and dark collide.” She also seems to think the line, “The people led Lillith to the sun (EPISODE TITLE – DRINK!)” is super important. Eric, in the mean time, has snuck into the no-nonsense governor’s office disguised as Dwight Schrute from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries just as the gov is telling his daughter Willa (NEW CHARACTER ALERT) that she can’t go out with the other interns. In their tête-à-tête, Eric’s attempts to both stick to his cover as a Wildlife guy and convey his true feelings as a persecuted vampire lead him to start spewing thinly veiled whooping crane metaphors. I guess whooping cranes are being hunted to extinction and also suck people’s blood. When Eric goes so far as to glamour the governor, it appears the first battle of the war has been won by the vamps. But alas, the humans have more than just UV bullets; they’ve got glamour-proof contact lenses and hordes of body guards. Luckily, vampires still have that whole ability to fly thing so Eric escapes but instead of returning to Fangtasia homebase, he shows up at Willa’s window and tries to glamour her to invite him in. Even though Willa has the special contacts on, she’s bored and feeling rebellious without a cause so she lets Eric in of her own volition (author’s note: Willa actually does take her contacts out so she’s completely under Eric’s eye-power though I bet she’d be down for some Footloose-style Daddy issue rebellion wither way; thanks to Carys Chainey for spotting the error). Things just got (author’s note: SUPER) juicy.
Over at Bill’s house, he and Jess are still wondering what in the world (or VAMPIRE HEAVEN) Billith even is when all of a sudden, Bill begins to feel pangs of pain and see scenes of vampire persecution. Apparently, he can feel all the pain of the vampires, kind of like white people after they watch The Wire. This empathy overload soon knocks him into an Instagram-filtered dream-coma in which he’s walking across an idyllic meadow with an entourage of three Lillith wannabes. In true True Blood fashion, this location is revealed by Lillith to be “No Place.” Population: 4 naked ladies, Bill, and True Blood’s shallow attempt at taking on Religion. Lillith spends the entire episode warning Bill of what’s to come. “Events have been set in motion.” “A tyrant is rising.” “The beginning of the end.” “There is no God but God.” And other things you might find tattooed on an albino assassin in a Dan Brown novel.
At one point, Jessica tries to snap Bill out of his daze by hiring vampire Grubhub – a sultry woman who comes over to the house to be fed on. Instead of taking a sip, however, Bill mind-contorts the hooker-snack-lady into the worst yoga position of all time, the one where you look like a human pretzel and you spew blood into a vampire’s mouth and die.
In No-Relation-to-the-Main-Plotsville, Andy is looking for the fairy tent because he can’t handle his four fairy toddlers. Sorry, Andy, fairy toddlers are like toothpaste; once they come out, you can’t put them back in. At Merlotte’s, Arlene is angry that Sookie never comes in for work (nice meta-commentary, True Blood, you’re SO self-aware). Then, Terry’s dead soldier friend Patrick’s pregnant wife shows up asking where he is and WHY, IFRIT, WHY has this storyline not been swept under the season five rug? I liked when Terry just made pancakes earnestly. Instead, Arlene plays Lady Macbeth and makes Terry say Patrick ran off with a girl.
Also at Merlotte’s, a group of hip “Los Angles” youths comes in and tries to order “organic” food because we needed just a few more new characters and some hackneyed West Coast stereotypes on the show this week. Although I can’t be too mad because one of the youths is Jurnee Smollett from Friday Night Lights and seasons 1, 3, 4, and 5 of that show can do no wrong. Jurnee is Nicole Wright, the co-founder of the U.S. Vampire Unity Society, and she knows about Sam’s closeted (CIVIL RIGHTS) shifting. Unclear how she knows but I assume Tami Taylor told her. Anyway, she is hoping Sam will come out as a shifter publicly and pave the way for the supernatural rights movement. To hammer home her point that humans are going to attack shifters next, Nicole even plays the biracial card, gets out an organic soapbox from Venice Beach and starts preaching about how her grandparents moved to the south and started the civil rights movement. At this point in the episode, the writers just got tired of making up civil rights metaphors and started copy-pasting the Brown v. Board of Education Wikipedia article into the script. Despite all this, Sam is still too afraid to let his shifter flag fly and runs home.
At Sam’s, the writers have so little idea what to do with Lafayette that he is babysitting wolf-girl and dressing her up like a drag queen. That is, until the wolf pack shows up to take Emma because they don’t want her to be raised by a single father and taught to hide her true self and other thinly veiled statements on modern America. Baby, she was born this way.
Back at Bill’s, Jess has buried the snack-pretzel-hooker and decides to just start talking to comatose Bill. The world is evil, out of control, chaotic, Jessica says. She’s afraid, she’s losing faith in both the human and vampire religions. And she still has no idea what Bill is. So she turns to prayer, that kind of end-of-the-episode-voiceover-prayer that lets us check in on all the main characters as she says their names. She prays for Jason and his gun, for Sookie and her chi ball, for Eric and his Willow Gone Wild, for Pam and her…milk carton (why is she holding a milk carton?), for Tara and the milk carton Pam just gave her, for all the people of Bon Temps, and even for Hoyt wherever he is (IMDB tells me ‘wherever he is’ is in LA trying to make the transition from TV to movies).
Back in Bill’s mind, Lillith tells him he is the one who will save them all. He’s Vampire Jesus! And he comes to and the TV turns on and he sees the tortured vampire he was having flashing of at the episode’s start (he can see the future!) and the TV says the governor has stripped all CIVIL RIGHTS from vampires and then he gets another vision: Tara, Eric, Nora, all the vampires burning in the sunlight of a Nazi-esque shower.