I’m so happy and proud to shake the hand of someone with your values. Too often we’re governed by criminals and hypocrites. Don’t you agree? But I can tell you’re a man of virtues, and I applaud the effort you’re making against the poor and disenfranchised, especially the vampires and the gays.
So last week, Bill saved his own ass by killing a teenaged girl. Well, killing is the technical term – he was ordered to embrace her as punishment for staking Long Shadow. This week, Pam has to play nursemaid and tattle tale by making sure Bill finishes the job. In the TB universe, it is not enough to just exchange blood with your childe; you have to then lie in the grave with them to share your “˜essence’. Whatever, OK. Pam looks positively delighted to be dumping dirt back on top of Bill as he cuddles Jessica in their grave/womb.
Bill has never been a maker before, so he is completely unprepared for what happens when Jessica claws her way out of the grave. Bill is waiting for her – I guess he doesn’t have to lie in the grave with her the entire time – and tries to pull his calm and wise act on her. But Baby Vamp Jessica isn’t buying it. She’s a vampire now, and she doesn’t have to listen to nobody about nothing. She wants to kill and eat and maybe go dancing.
As I mentioned last week, I was down on Jessica when she was first introduced into the show. Her whole birth/awakening/teenaged brat shtick was irritating; I mean, she comes across as a more petulant Dawn, and Dawn is a whole heap of petulant. But watching this episode again, even with half an eye on my baking cookies, I was surprised at how authentic it felt. The little bits we find out about her home life – “No more home schooling?!” – sounds downright oppressive. Couple that with her age and her sheltered-ness, and it’s not really a surprise that she charges headfirst into the whole vampire thing without taking a second to mourn her human life. (That comes later!)
Also, her childish litany of “why’s” to Bill’s exasperated explanations is hysterical:
Bill: Jessica, stop!
Bill: Because we need to talk.
Bill: Because there are things you must learn.
Bill: Because you are no longer human.
Bill: Because, as I’ve been trying to explain to you at length, you have been made vampire!
Bill: Because you were unlucky. Because life and death are unfair. Because of me.
Bill says he’s going to be there to take care of her and show her the ropes. You can start laughing as soon as he says that, because he doesn’t even last the night before he’s at Fangtasia, trying to fob his responsibilities off on Eric. Sure, he’s got to get back to Sookie, because she’s in trouble, and he has no other ulterior motives about that because of True Love (blergh), but he just basically raped and killed this girl, and his fine, Southern gentlemen persona is once again shown to be completely threadbare:
Bill: She won’t listen to me. It will take more time than I have to teach her obedience.
Jessica: I don’t obey anybody. Those days are over!
Eric: Can’t handle one little girl, Bill? New ones can be like this. Man up, my friend. She is not even one night old.
After some negotiation, Bill is able to ditch Jessica and go run home to Bon Temps.
While he’s off being awful, Sookie and Sam have been repairing their relationship. She’s allowed Sam back in her house after the killer attacked her last episode, and the two discuss what information Sookie was able to pull out of the killer’s mind. She doesn’t know who he is, though his thoughts seemed familiar, and she caught a glimpse of another woman he killed.
The next morning, Sookie gets what she can’t get from Bill – breakfast in her kitchen with Sam (who I’m sure purposefully walked into the kitchen with his shirt off as a seduction technique). Sookie remembered what was on the victim’s nametag – “Cindy” from some “Pie” place. Scooby Sam knows where the mysterious pie place is, and the two trot off for some banana cream and investigating.
Nancy Drew and her Hardy Boy get an old timer at the pie place to give them some background on Cindy. She and her brother were newcomers to the town. The brother had already taken off when Cindy’s body was found, which seems a pretty fine admission of guilt, but no one is really pursuing her killer because 1) she wasn’t a local, and 2) she was a fangbanger. Sookie is able to blackmail one of the local police officers into sending information and a photograph of the brother to the Bon Temps P.D. by threatening to tell the officer’s wife of the affair he’s having. (This is an episode that hinges on Sookie’s telepathy functioning properly.)
Back at Sookie’s house and flush with the glow of a job well done, Sam assumes it’s a great time to put the moves on Sookie. Except he’s wrong, because here’s where the Bill plot crosses the Sookie plot, and Bill slams through the front door as soon as Sam puts his grubby shifter hands on his toy. There’s a fight, there’s some yelling, and then there’s the first time in the series that Sookie rescinds Bill’s invitation to her house for being a goddamn asshole. She’s pretty pissed that he took off without promising he’d come back and then pulls alpha male crap all over her Gran’s house. Bill seems actually shocked that Sookie isn’t so besotted with him that she doesn’t immediately fall into his arms and that she’s mad enough to kick him to the curb. Ha ha, Bill.
In the B-storylines, Tara is arrested for drunk driving after crashing her car while trying to avoid a woman and her giant pig. She calls her mother to bail her out, and instead of immediately showing up to help her daughter, Lettie Mae prays all night with a member of her church. When she finally does come to the jail, Lettie refuses to get Tara out, claiming that Tara is dooming Lettie’s soul. Every time you think Lettie has sunk to the depth of horribleness, she digs a couple feet deeper, and Tara never learns. She’s always shocked by how selfish and horrid her mother is.
Tara is left to rot in the cell until a stranger shows up – Mary Ann, who the viewer will recognize as the woman-in-the-road. What’s important is that Tara does not recognize her. Mary Ann explains that she’s a kind of social worker who helps out those in need and offers to bail Tara out and give her a place to live. Tara, backed into a corner, reluctantly accepts.
Lafayette catches his gay, V-loving, politician client on TV giving a speech about the immorality of Vampires (Gays) and how he will fight tooth and nail to keep them dirty Vamps (Gays) from being recognized as full citizens of the United States. Lafayette hates a hypocrite, so he puts on a fancy suit, takes off the eyeliner, and drives down to the hotel the politician is staying at. And in front of plenty of witnesses, Lala shakes his hand, gets their picture taken, and delivers a couched threat about politicians who hate vampers and gays while being gay V-lovers. I feel like this storyline was supposed to go somewhere, but it’s pretty much left here as a testament to how badass Lala is.
Also, the man looks fine in a suit. Just sayin.
And so we come to the most important B-storyline of all: Jason and Amy. Last week, psychopath Amy killed their vampire captive because Jason wanted to let him go. And this week, they have to get on their hands and knees and pick up all the leftover vampire bits. Amy tries to say she had to do it because the vampire would have killed them both for what they did, but Jason finally seems to see Amy’s true colors.
While Amy is feeding bits of Vamp Eddie into the sink disposal, Jason smashes their entire stash of V and tells Amy that if she doesn’t like it, she can leave. He storms off to work, where he relays the parts of the story that don’t make him seem like an asshole to Rene and Hoyt. Amy does V. Amy is a fangbanger. Amy is the woman he wants to marry. Rene and Hoyt tell him everything will work out.
She’s still there when Jason comes home. There’s a candlelight dinner – Amy learned to cook from her French maid, obviously. Didn’t you? There are apologies. There’s Amy skillfully worming her way back into Jason’s good graces with food and sex and the promise of “just one more time” with the V she had hidden from him. Big ol’ dumb box of hair Jason falls for it; of course he does. He’s not smart enough to recognize Amy for the predator she is – which, once again, I need to mention is one of the overarching themes of the show. I am sort of curious to know what would have happened to them if the Bon Temps killer hadn’t broken into their house while they were tripping and murdered Amy. I don’t think it would have been anything good.
Oh, yeah, Amy gets murder-diddly-urdered. We still don’t know at this point who the killer is, except that it most certainly isn’t Jason Stackhouse, since he’s passed out next to Amy when it happens. Except that Jason has finally done some math and decided that he has to be the killer, because all the dead women were connected to him. And he’s devastated. Jason calls the cops and turns himself in, though he says he doesn’t remember killing anyone and he most definitely didn’t kill his grandmother.
Natalie Merchant covering “To Love is to Bury”: