By Ken Tucker
Updated August 02, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

One of the many excellent things about True Blood this season is the way it finds new uses for old characters. Last season, for instance, Andy was just another good/bad ol’ boy police officer, but now he’s like the official Bon Temps Voice of Reason. He’s the guy who witnessed last week’s mega-Maryann orgy and lived to tell it straight, albeit with a broken arm courtesy of Terry. (Oh, yes: This review is loaded with SPOILERS.)

Thus Andy’s restaurant rant about the “bull-mask” Maryann was wearing and the “big black zombie eyes” of the orgy participants was met by the town’s mind-wiped inhabitants with dismay and ridicule, as if to say, “Oh, that Andy: back on the sauce!” You gotta love Andy, from his opening line this week (“Piiiiiig!”) to his trying to speak the truth (“turn this town into an orgy from hell” indeed).

Truth is something Sarah sought to pursue as well. After having sex with Jason (in church, no less), she invoked a “vow of honesty” with hubby Steve and told Jason she’d have to own up to this infidelity. Again, nice touch: Her reaction rattled Jason, but this turned out to be the least of the Stackhouse boy’s troubles by a long shot. Because Steve found out that the captured Sookie is Jason’s sister, so now Steve is after him. Which of course means the creepy-coward minister sent Gabe after him, setting up an excellent fight scene in which Jason, still baffled about why Steve suddenly hates him but incensed at Gabe’s bullying and insults, smacked the tar out of the far bigger Gabe in a completely convincing slap-down.

I’m going to gloss over the Bill-Lorena scenes (those flashbacks, this week to 1935 Los Angeles, are invariably slow and pointless, with lousy make-up/costumes and no plot info we don’t already know). Instead, let’s get to the meat of the episode: Sam’s confrontation with Daphne. She explained what a lot of you Charlaine Harris readers have known and have mentioned in the comments section below: that Maryann is a Maenad, a disciple of Dionysus. She even described Maryann as “God,” but I prefer Tara’s take on Maryann: “She is so f—in’ weird.”

You don’t mess with maenads/gods/weirdos, though: Maryann had Eggs knife and kill Daphne. (Do you think she’s really dead? I haven’t read the books, but Daphne did say that “supernaturals” such as herself and Sam “have a natural resistance” to the powers of Maryann and her followers, so maybe… ?)

So much was crammed into this excellent episode written by Raelle Tucker (no relation to me). The quick scenes with Lafayette were little gems. Sarah shooting Jason — nice cliffhanger. And Godric saving Sookie from rape by Gabe: yahoo! Can True Blood get any more wild, anarchic, and surprising?

I think it can. Did you watch? What did you think?