Midday in the Garden of Good and Evil plotlines. Alcide has apparently remembered that he used to be a character that we liked because he graciously offers to join Sookie as she walks home from Terry’s funeral and contemplates mortality, right and wrong, why she wore high heels, etc. The flirty eyes are on full display and just might continue even though Sookie is supposedly trying to remember which creature of the night she’s going to make an undying promise to when they overhear the newly freed vampires stumbling back to Bill’s house, still high as a punch of pale kites. And fucking each other in Bill’s lawn. But in a Summer-of-Love-Peace-Out-Brother kind of way, so it’s beautiful. Or something.
"Come on people, now - Smile on your brother. Everybody get together, just don't eat one another right now..."
Sookie approaches when the vamps are literally jitterbugging. And that’s not a metaphor. Although I suppose some of them probably were alive during the 1920s, so it’s not that odd that they’d still want to cut a rug, old style. Next they start burning their prison uniforms, completely unable to understand what time they live in. Violet is feeding off Jason and offering him her blood, which Jason accepts willingly until Sookie stops them. Despite being initially upset that Jason never mentioned a sister (because their relationship up until this point has been about sharing?), Violet is suddenly overtaken by the need to make out with Sookie before letting Sookie and Jason talk. Jason tells Sookie that he might be in love with Violet and wants to be with her forever as Sookie gets more and more emo about the meaning of that word.
Back in the Faerie dimension, Ben is hearing wedding bells and has prepared a Maypole for their wedding ceremony. Ben’s having a hard time understanding how a funeral for a friend is making Sookie feel less excited about her upcoming nuptials despite the reasonable argument that if they’re going to be together forever, maybe going out on a few dates before the wedding is order. And that’s when Ben slaps Sookie so hard she falls to the ground.
It’s not that we haven’t all wanted to hit Sookie at some point, but you’re not making the case for Husband of the Year here.
VampireCamp has become Vampire Summer Camp as the vamps all play volleyball in the sun. Violet is having a case of “Bitch stay away from my man” jealousy with Jessica talking to Jason. Pam meanwhile, wants to be into it but is missing Eric and wants to go after him, despite Tara trying to reason with her not to. Bill is also not appreciating the fun, staying inside and brooding over the fact that he doesn’t seem to have Lilith’s powers any longer. He’s also just now realizing that he pushed Sookie to Ben and that she’ll soon be a vampire and his wife and there’s nothing Bill can do about it. “You said you were Bill again,” Jessica tells him when he confesses this to her. “Bill Compton would have walked through fire to save her.”
Bill gathers Jessica, Violet and Jason and tells them about Sookie and Ben and that the only person who can get them all to Sookie in the Faerie dimension is Andy Bellefleur’s half fey daughter Adilyn. Arriving at the Bellefleur house, Jason is welcomed in but problems arise when Violet confesses that she needs to be invited in, sending everyone into a perfectly understandable panic. Violet tries to calm them down by insisting that she only feeds off Jason. “We’re monogamous,” she explains. Jason begs Adilyn to help Sookie, who agrees after listening to Jason’s thoughts and understanding how genuinely he wants to save Sookie. Andy only agrees if he’s allowed to come too and can bring his vampire armory.
In Faerieland, Ben has bound Sookie to the Maypole and monologues about he was meant to be with Sookie and be faerie royalty, but Lilith took it all. Also, turns out he really just wants to (in his words) “fuck you, and own you, and use you for your blood.” Cue the biting as Sookie screams, but suddenly hears Adilyn call to her. In our world, the A-Team has arrived but Adilyn isn’t sure how to open the portal. “I’m, like, two weeks old!” she reminds the rest of them when they express exasperation at this. Bill tries some new age coaching about connecting with the earth but it doesn’t work. Theorizing that maybe Adilyn needs to be afraid to use her powers, Violet obliges, attacking Adilyn and causing the portal to open and everyone to be taken into it.
The gang arrives and the Vamp Fight begins! Ben and Bill fight while the rest of the team grabs Sookie and brings her back to our world, leaving Bill to continue the fight until Ben opens the portal himself and brings them both back as well, knocking Bill unconscious in the process. Ben finds the rest of the gang at Sookie’s house and proceeds to take them down, one by one. Ben can enter Sookie’s house, but Bill can’t, leaving Ben to lock Jason, Adilyn and Andy in the basement. Ben finds Sookie upstairs in the bathroom and is about to move in when who should reappear but Grandpa! Grandpa finally breaks through that dimensional portal Ben threw him into so many episodes ago just in time to hold Ben in place so Jason can stake him good and proper.
Three cheers for Rutger Hauer, ladies and gentlemen!
As Ben disintegrates into a pile of radioactive red goo and Jason, Sookie and Grandpa rejoice in their winnings, all the vampires who drank Ben’s blood begin to glow, seeing their ability to go out in the sun removed from them. Good thing it’s night, right? Well, true, but here’s the funny thing about time zones – when it’s nighttime in Louisiana, it’s high noon in Sweden, which is where Eric has gone to go sunbathing in the nude. That sound you hear? That’s the sound of millions of fangirls crying out as Eric Northman, sex symbol of True Blood, erupts in flames and burns, presumably to his death. Personally, I'll believe it when I see next season's cast list.
This picture and the gifs of him standing up full frontal and bursting into flames are literally making up about half of the internet right now.
Cut to six months later and Lawrence O’Donnell (seriously) is giving a news report about new cases of mutated Hepatitis V being diagnosed and interviewing Bill, who’s the author of a new book about his experiences called And God Bled. Well done, publishing industry! Sookie watches the interview from home as Bill confesses to killing the Governor which he justifies as an action that’s understandable given that it was technically a biological weapon against a particular class of people. Yes, True Blood, I get it – Nazis were evil. Moving on… Alcide and Sookie are officially a couple that sexes each other all the time now. Violet has convinced Jason to redecorate his basement to be her girly bedroom, even if Violet will only let Jason go down on her and won’t let him take off his pants. Not very GGG, Violet.
Sam, meanwhile, has been elected Mayor and has organized a community-wide blood test at church one Sunday to see if anyone in Bon Temps is a carrier for Hep V. Predictably for the South, the Whites sit on one side and the Blacks on the other until the preachers convince everyone to mingle a bit. Sookie introduces herself to a young black girl named Crystal, who seems a little scared by the reverend’s sermon about “roving bands of hungry vampires” who are out to destroy small towns. When Sam takes the podium, he outlines a plan that he and Bill have come up with – that night, the results of the blood tests will be available at Bellefleur’s Grill (the renamed Merlott’s) along with the good times that, as they are wont to do in Louisiana, shall roll. The catch is that every uninfected human will agree to let an uninfected vampire feed from them in exchange for protection for them and their families. This… doesn’t go over well, despite Sam’s insistence that “every single human needs and vampire and every vampire needs a human” in order to be safe in the Brave New World.
This is one of the only two times we see Lafayette in this episode. UNACCEPTABLE!
That night, the band plays, the people mingle, the food is eaten. Humans and (select) vampires together. Cats lay down with dogs. Both Alcide and Sookie share their negative results (Jesus, True Blood – pick a metaphor!) as Tara, the perpetually lonely single girl, confesses to Violet that she’s not sure she would pick any of the slobby men here. Dead or living, it’s always the same story for the sad girl at the party, isn’t it? Tara’s mother approaches her to apologize for 25 years of bad history between the two of them. Her mother confesses that she’s knows she’s guilty for neglecting Tara as she grew up, even forgetting at times to feed her as a child, but now she wants to make it right and offers her blood to her. Tara emotionally agrees, moving in to bite her mother. The entire scene is actually equal party squicky, frightening and sweet.
What? No Madonna and child imagery to go along with the VampireJesus? Missed opportunity, True Blood.
Adilyn and Andy, meanwhile, are watching Toddlers and Tiaras when the door knocks. It’s Jessica, who has come to offer both of them protection, but not for either of their blood. She tells them that she will keep them both safe, no strings attached. Andy considers shooting Jessica through the heart, but lets her go instead as Jessica stands guard outside their house in the dark.
Bill finds Sookie and Alcide leaving the party and offers protection to Sookie, saying Alcide isn’t good enough and that he’s changed and can be trusted. “Even at your best, I could never really trust you,” Sookie tells him. Just then, both Alcide and Bill pick up the scent of some approaching infected vampires looking to move into the party like it’s a buffet, which it kind of is. They are quickly joined by more and more infected vampires who all begin to move in.
And with that, vampire pop culture has finally grown out of its Anne Rice phase and moved back to the point where vampires are once again scary instead of sexy. I really, really hope this is the direction they move in for the seventh season (oh yes, there's going to be one) because it's beyond obvious to say that I think we've done the sexy vampire thing to death.
True Blood was at its best when it began partially because it was one of the first of the post-Interview vampire stories in the public eye to at least partially embrace the vampire as, if not horrifying, at least dangerous. And not dangerous in an "Finally! A bad boy that I can take home to mom and dad because they'll hate him and his leather jacket and motorcycle" kind of way. True Blood has within it the potential to keep breaking new ground with vampires, even if the show has kind of lagged the past couple of years.
Of course, you could also make the argument that the infected vampires shambling out of the bayou to devour the innocent party goers is less a stroke of originality and more an attempt to capitalize on another tired trend, the zombie story. But let's (perhaps foolishly) give it the benefit of the doubt until at least next summer and hope that scary, ugly vampires are finally coming back to us.