Sookie turns against Bill and Eric as the battle lines in Antonia's war are blurred, and a series regular painfully bites the big one.

True Blood
Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO
S4 E10

Tough luck for those of you who were eagerly anticipating Eric’s return to sexy leather-clad Viking form. Tonight’s True Blood gave us a respite from the tiring Eric/Sookie puppy love talk, as we learned that Marnie’s role in Antonia’s war is bigger than we’d ever thought. Before we dig in, you might notice that I am not supernatural sexpert Mandi Bierly — last we heard, she was kayaking her way to the Hoboken branch of Moon Goddess Emporium in the wake of Hurricane Irene. I hope you’ll enjoy this emergency guest recap, even though I just so happen to be Team Alcide. Try to think of it as an Antonia/Marnie type of thing.

So it turns out all of those fancy corporate sponsorships and bottles of AB negative Nan scored for the Festival of Tolerance were for naught. The whole ‘human guards with spilling entrails’ gag sent the crowd into a panic, with humans, vampires, and witches alike caught in the bloody crossfire. Sookie ran through the crowd to stop a Mantonia-controlled Eric from snapping Bill’s neck while Nan kicked ass, took a few names, and staked a bewitched vampire with a pencil.

When Bill found himself facing the true death via Eric’s giant wooden stake, Sookie used her fairy power to save him, and her signature light-move also happened to restore multiple centuries of sexy viking vampire memories in Bill’s intended assassin. Sookie showers included! So Sookie stared at Eric with a trepidatious “what the Hell do we do now?” look on her face, while Antonia (appearing in true form) surveyed her carnage and decided that the whole tragic, orphan-making war thing may not be for her and teleported out with her wiccan friends.

Nan and Bill discussed the damage when they were safely back at the king’s lair, and while Nan was mostly concerned with the PR disaster she had on her hands, Bill decided that enough was enough and it was time to kill Mantonia, whatever it may take. Bill has lost so much since he decided to live life under Nan’s politically correct thumb, (the look on his face when Sookie returned Eric’s memories at the Festival said it all) and now it was finally time to act in his own best interest again. It’s too bad he couldn’t have been in the room with Sookie and Eric when she told him she couldn’t bear a world without Bill in it, and probably only loved Eric and Bill because of the intoxicating effects of their vampire blood. Eric still loved Sookie after Mantonia’s spell had worn off, but Sookie was confused after last week’s vivid vampire threesome dream. While it was interesting to see Sookie admit her feelings for both vampires to Eric, their first scene together post-memory gain was a confusing disappointment. The Eric we all fell in love with during the first three seasons of this show was a cocky, merciless Viking with a fondness for leather attire and witty comebacks, but this seemingly restored Eric more closely resembled the lovesick teenager we’ve been witnessing as of late. That Eric was great comedy fodder for a few episodes, but I want my Viking back and clearly Pam does too, judging from the disdainful look she threw Sookie when vampire and maker were finally re-united. Pam is the voice of reason on the show.

Sookie, Eric, Pam, Bill, and Nan gathered in Bill’s fabulously re-done foyer to discuss their next move, which was to blow up Moon Goddess Emporium and all of its unlucky inhabitants. This included Tara, and Sookie instantly began to re-think her feelings for both of her vampire beaus when they agreed to accept the collateral damage and light it up anyway.

NEXT: Mantonia battles herselves, Jason and Jessica face the consequences.

While King Bill plotted their forthcoming demise, the good wiccans at the hurricane Irene refugee center Moon Goddess Emporium plotted their escape in Mantonia’s absence. The always beleaguered Tara seemed to be ready to throw in the towel, but Holly hit just the right sweet spot when she convinced her to channel her inner pissed off powerful female to hit the spellbooks and fight. “We are strong, angry women, Tara,” she said. That is definitely the way to convince Tara Thorton to fight. Good job, Holly!

Just then, Antonia/Marnie showed up with her entourage of Wiccans and enchanted vampires alike. Mantonia was clearly disturbed by the Festival’s events, and she started doing this creepy Gollum thing where the two separate but connected beings inside of her started arguing with each other for control. Until now it had always seemed that Antonia was 100 percent in charge, so the whole spectacle served as tonight’s biggest eye-opener. Marnie might not be the harmless, passive old witch we thought we were dealing with.

When Tara and Holly snuck away from the group to debate the necessity of the Latin language in modern spellcasting, they decided to beat Mantonia at her own game by reversing her hand-burning, Moon Goddess Emporium protection spell. Mantonia did some sneaking off of her own — she left her entranced subjects behind when Antonia forcibly removed herself from Marnie to throw in the towel after the Festival’s brutality. Antonia, as it turns out, was a healer who only took up necromancy to save her fellow villagers from fever. The whole vampire thing was just an unfortunate by-product! Marnie then became as specist and pig-headed as Fiona Shaw’s Harry Potter character Petunia Dursley, and re-convinced Antonia that all of the vampires, no matter how sexy they may be, must die. Marnie was in control the whole time, she just needed Antonia’s power to set the whole thing in motion.

Back at Jason’s shaggin’ wagon, the simpler Stackhouse and his new bedmate Jessica discussed the repercussions of their actions. Jason regretfully ruminated on the important role his life-long friend Hoyt has played in his life, while Jessica angrily defended their actions. Jason said what everyone else is thinking when he acknowledged vampire blood’s role in his seduction, but I still felt bad for Jessica when he suggested that she glamour him into forgetting the whole thing. After getting thrown out of Hoyt’s and Jason’s homes respectively, this post-coital slight broke the camel’s back. “F–king humans,” she said. “I’m going to go find somebody to eat.”

While Jessica hunted for blood, Hoyt decided to visit Jason the morning after for the sort of frank discussion best friends have in the days following a painful breakup. Over a morning beer, Hoyt told Jason about the emptiness he had been feeling in Jessica’s absence and the torturous smells she left behind, and Jason managed to avoid any eye contact when Hoyt literally started to cry and asked Jason for a place to crash. Jason, out of sorts and full of guilt, headed to Sookie’s place to eat her bacon and bitch about Hoyt’s drunken flatulence, but the impending Tara dilemma managed to distract both Stackhouse siblings from their out of control undead love lives. Finally!

NEXT: Showdown at the Emporium.

Back at the King’s lair, Bill, Eric, Nan, Jessica, and Pam were chained up to protect themselves from Mantonia’s spell, arguing over their next course of action. Nan, always focusing on the publicity fallout, threatened the true death to everyone while Bill stuck to his arson plan and Jessica just wanted to kill people. So blow up the Moon Goddess Emporium it is! If Eric and/or Bill still wants to end up with Sookie, they are not doing a very good job of it. If the last three years haven’t taught them that Tara is a major Achilles’ heel, then nothing will.

Sook and Jason decided to bring their arsonist vampire problems to Lafayette and Jesus, but Jesus was still convinced that the Spanish spirit of Antonia was the only culprit, and the innocent Marnie could still be reached and saved. When they gathered outside of the forcefield-protected Emporium, Sookie heard an angry Tara inside and Jesus decided to go in to change Marnie’s mind. Lafayette was understandably not happy about the whole thing (as he shouldn’t be — who else thinks that Lafayette is the most normal inhabitant of Bon Temps and deserves his own spin-off?), but he still let Jesus go in, probably for the sake of his cousin.

Mantonia came out to face Jesus on the street as he struggled with the seemingly electric force-field, and spoke to him first as Antonia. To pass Antonia’s test and win her trust, he would have to tackle the force-field and come to her. This was not an easy task, and it looked like Jesus might burn until he transformed into an insanely creepy demon straight out of Insidious or a Mexican wrestling match. “It’s a Latin thing,” Lafayette explained as Sookie and Jason freaked out from a distance.

Latin or not it worked, and Mantonia led Jesus back into the Emporium as a trusted member of her circle. Antonia temporarily peaced out so that Jesus could plead openly to Marnie, but things went sour very quickly when Marnie brought the crazy and started rambling about her sacred union with Antonia. Jesus tried to telepathically communicate this to Sookie as Tara and Holly cast their spell, disabled the protection spell and hightailed it out of there, but when the gang all gathered outside, Mantonia made everyone vanish back into the store but Jason.

Then night fell, and Eric finally got his wardrobe back as he, Bill, Pam and Jessica did an amazing slow-motion walk towards the Emporium with their flame guns in tow, ready to kill Sookie once and for all. It’s happening next week, guys!

NEXT: Somebody dies.

The werewolves and shifters of Louisiana were still playing Switzerland in the escalating witch war, but they definitely managed to drum up plenty of drama on their own. Tommy was back in his own skin after taking Sam’s intended ass-kicking by Marcus and his thugs, but he was also spitting up crazy amounts of blood and experiencing bone-cracking seizures in Alcide’s truck. Alcide took Tommy to Merlotte’s as his dying wish, where Tommy was able to pass peacefully with his brother by his side and a Budweiser sign over his head. I don’t think I’m the only viewer who never took to the terrible Tommy Mickens, but watching Alcide and Sam awkwardly try to convince him of the heaven that may await him was almost worth the dog fights and the creepy skinwalking sex scenes. “There ain’t no Heaven, and Hell’s a dog fight,” Tommy said. Poor Tommy only wanted to be forgotten, for this one final good deed to erase his sins, even the playing field, and give him a bit of peace on his deathbed. Sam and Alcide weren’t as comfortable with his existential view of death, and gave Tommy his final reassuring blessings. “Won’t you be surprised when angels come and lift you up,” Sam said. Seriously, this whole scene just reaffirmed how insane Sookie is for sticking with the vamps when she has Sam Merlotte and Alcide Herveaux waiting in the sidelines.

When Tommy finally passed, Sam told Alcide that his new pack leader, Marcus, is a dead man. Alcide would probably agree if ever learned that Marcus and Debbie spent their day smoking pot and talking about having illegitimate babies together, but that’s a story for next week. They headed to Marcus and Friends’ body shop for retribution, but Marcus was busy romancing Debbie so they had to settle on beating up one of Tommy’s other random werewolf attackers. This probably won’t sit will with Alcide’s new pack, and the upcoming Sam/Alcide vs. Marcus battle is sure to be a good one, but I had a hard time focusing on anything but the height difference between Sam Trammell and Joe Manganiello.

In the absence of the possessed baby plotline, the Bellefleur family had their own little story-within-a-story type of week that solely dealt with Andy’s crippling addiction to V. In this week’s True Life: I’m Addicted to V, Terry brought Andy out to the treehouse in the woods they played in as boys, and Andy started to ramble on about Terry being the good looking athlete in the family when they were in high school. As Terry dug their old rifles out of the dirt, Andy explained that V had made him a better man. “That’s junkie talk, Andy!” Terry said.

In the end, the trip down memory lane convinced Andy that it was time to get sober again, and Terry left Andy in the woods for a sobering walk home. Somebody please fire Candy Finnigan, because this was the smoothest episode of Intervention I have ever seen. Chris Bauer and Todd Lowe are great actors and they’re frequently valuable to this show, but I hope that this embarrassing plotline is quickly resolved by the time season five rolls around. With all of the vampires holding flame guns and wiccans transforming into Latin American demons, the drug problem is an unwelcome distraction.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you miss the nudity, or did you like the non-stop action? Will Tommy be missed? Will Sookie, Tara, Lafayette, and Jesus die in a fiery blaze? It could happen, right? Let us know in the comments!

Episode Recaps

True Blood, Anna Paquin, ... | In the season 3 finale, vampire Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) made Bill confess to Sookie — who can't read vampire minds — that he let her…
True Blood

Sookie, Bill, Eric, Lafayette, Sam and the other residents Bon Temps deal with vampires, werewolves, fairies, and shape-shifters—not to mention romance and drama

  • TV Show
  • 7
  • On Hiatus
stream service