With only two episodes to go now, True Blood devoted this week to wild danger and a surprising amount of humor. I won’t soon forget the spectacle of Andy holding a tree branch behind Jason’s head to make him appear to be a demon-god to the possessed folks of Bon Temps.

(Stop right here now if you don’t want to read spoilers.)

Sam stated the goal of the evening succinctly: that Maryann wants “to cut out my heart while a buncha naked people watch.” Indeed, Maryann’s moving into position as this season’s Big Bad has never seemed more apparent… that is, unless it’s the unnamed “he” that Tara referenced, saying, “He’s gonna kill us all.” (Maybe readers of Charlaine Harris’ novels know something I don’t about the series’ villains; I’m working with what’s on my TV screen.)

At any rate, among the key moments and best scenes this week:

• Jason in chainsaw commando mode, even if no one was particularly scared by him

• Sookie giving Maryann some kind of powerful jolt, evidence of powers Sookie possesses that even she wasn’t aware of

• Bill going fang-first for Maryann’s neck only to end up with a mouthful not of blood, but some noxious, choking black super-bile (I made that term up, can you tell?)

• Lafayette, gazing at a hostility-spewing Tara and muttering, “That has got to be the worst m—– f—in’ intervention in history”

While a helluva lot of fun, this was one of the slighter episodes as far as its plot was concerned, because we were ahead of Bill and Sookie in knowing what was going on at every step. In fact, I was surprised that Bill was as shocked as he was at Tara’s spellbound condition, at the black-eyed vacancy of Hoyt’s mother, and so baffled about the nature of Maryann’s sacrificial totem erected in Sookie’s yard. Why wouldn’t a vampire who’s lived for so long know this stuff?

Oh well, at least Bill (leaving Sookie alone again!) seems to know who to go to for help, as this rather short (46 minutes by my count) episode ended with the vampire going to “the Queen,” whom we know from previous previews will be Evan Rachel Wood, right?

Bottom line: True Blood under the guidance of Alan Ball continues to mix sex and violence in ways TV has never seen. Helped by the first-rate performances being given by Anna Paquin and Michelle Forbes, women have rarely seemed as potent in the supernatural world conjured up by this deliriously good series.

I repeat: only two episodes left. Did you watch this night? What did you think? What do you think is going to happen next?