Bill gets his chance to end Eric, but to no one's surprise and Sookie's delight, doesn't

By Mandi Bierly
Updated August 01, 2011 at 06:21 AM EDT
Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

In last week’s recap, I said Sookie sleeping with Eric would be even sexier if Bill knew it was happening. And it was — but not for the reason I anticipated. It wasn’t the added joy of revenge I felt watching the episode’s final moment, it was the knowledge that the love triangle at the center of the show would remain interesting. Just when you felt comfortable disliking Bill because he lied and told Nan that Eric didn’t understand his place in the vampire world or recognize the authority so he could get a true death warrant, he did something fair and merciful — he let Eric go. He believed Eric truly loved Sookie and that he wanted her to be happy whether it was with him or Bill. Bill letting Eric go proved that he loved Sookie, too. They’re both worthy of her at the moment — and so the triangle is finally a juicy isosceles. (That could be the first time “juicy” and “isosceles” have ever appeared next to each other in a sentence.)

The episode picked up with Eric and Sookie kissing their way through her front door. Sookie kicked off her shoes, so you knew she was fully committed to going all the way. Her yellow and white sundress reminded me a bit of the one she wore the night she and Bill had sex in the graveyard in season 1. If you recall Bill urgently tugging at her dress and sinking his teeth into her breast then (“No, not the neck”), you appreciated the contrast of Eric smoothly untying the back of her dress and running his hand down the front of her this time. “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” he said, with a softness that made you feel like you’d never heard a man use that line before. “Only ’cause you can’t remember anything else,” Sookie said. She took off Eric’s shirt, and they were horizontal on the couch. We got a closeup as Eric kissed his way down her body, but I would have loved to have seen a wide shot — there’s no way Alexander Skarsgard actually fit on that couch. Just as Eric reached a good spot, Bill burst through the door. The boys fought, and Eric lifted Bill up by the throat like he was Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV and tossed him. He was about to stake Bill with a fireplace poker when Sookie told him Bill was his King. Eric dropped the weapon, said “My liege, forgive me,” and kneeled. Which one of them — Bill or Eric — tied the back of Sookie’s dress for her before they left for Bill’s place?

There, Eric was imprisoned, and Sookie rightly questioned whether Bill thought Eric was a legitimate danger to other vampires (which deserves the king’s attention) or simply faking amnesia to manipulate his way into her pants (which doesn’t). “Believe it or not, my entire existence does not revolve around what or who is between your legs.” That’s some interesting phrasing. Sookie told Bill that if he ever loved her, he wouldn’t hurt Eric. Bill said it was vampire business that Sookie should, for once, stay out of. She wasn’t going to leave without Eric… until Bill threatened to have her arrested for trespassing.

Down in the cubby cell, Eric realized he wasn’t alone. “It smells like death in here,” he said. “That’s me,” Pam answered. She hid her face from him until he played the maker card and gave her an order to reveal herself. Eric wasn’t going to fight Bill. “He’s a self-loathing, power-hungry pompous little dork, and you hate his guts,” Pam told him. That’s treason, he said. “Eric, snap the f— out of it. You have no loyalty to Bill Compton. You are a Viking vampire god and you bow to no one. If someone crosses you, you rip out their liver with one fang,” she said. I like Nice Eric, but I do love Pam’s speeches. Still, she wasn’t getting through to him. “I have been with you over 100 years. We’ve traveled the world together killin’ and f—in’ and laughin’,” she said, promising they’d get his life back for him. But that’s just it: He doesn’t want to remember what he’s done. He’s no longer the vampire she remembers. I wonder if Bill was listening to that conversation on his closed circuit television. If so, him lying to Nan about Eric’s “extremely unstable” state was even more of a d— move.

NEXT: There’s a shortage of perfect chests in this world. It would be a pity to damage Eric’s.

Apparently Bill got the warrant, because the next night, he took Eric outside — wouldn’t want to make a mess in his house? — and prepared to stake him. Eric said he accepted his fate. The old Eric was a stranger to him that he would not defend. All he asked was that Bill release rotting Pam and that he tell Sookie that Eric said he was born the night she found him, and that because of her, he went to the true death knowing what it means to love. He wanted Bill to tell Sookie thank you from him for that. Eric said he knows Sookie still cares for Bill, and he hopes that after his death, the two of them will find their way back to one another. Bill asked Eric why he would say that, and the answer is what saved Eric’s life: She deserves happiness from whoever can give it to her. Eric looked up at the sky from his kneeling position, ready to die, and even though Bill raised the stake, no one thought he’d do it. Still a great scene though.

Later, as Sookie searched for Jason in the woods to tell him he wasn’t going to be a werepanther after all, she turned around, shotgun in hand, to see Eric. “How?” she asked. “The king set me free,” he said. His slight grin was so… human, wasn’t it? He zoomed over to her, and they began kissing. He made those groans that I’ve already admitted are a part of my answer if James Lipton ever asks me to name my favorite sound. Does Skarsgard have to do those in ADR? If so, I’d like to see that on the season 4 DVD, please. I love how even in the darkness, the definition of his biceps was visible. The man in the moon is gay and lit that night extra bright. After a shot of Bill looking pensive on his porch, we went back to Sookie and Eric. The camera panned up from the lake, and in my mind, we were meant to think that Eric was as happy in this moonlit moment as he had been playing Viking god in that water in the sunlight. Sookie had told him he still has the moon and the stars as a vampire. With the two of them naked and making love underneath them, that probably sounded like a solid trade for the first time… Of course, maybe we were also supposed to think of Jason and Crystal’s moonlit night by the water and how he ended up regretting having ever met her. But no, happy thoughts. (I also wonder if fans of the Charlaine Harris novels are supposed to take the sound of the babbling water as an audible shoutout to the infamous shower scene. I did. Though I will also accept an opening shot next episode of Eric and Sookie in the shower after rolling around in the grass like that.)

Again, I was reminded of that night Sookie and Bill had sex in the graveyard. She thought he’d died in a fire, and their reunion was frenzied and raw, and he drank from her. We’ve seen what Real Eric’s capable of with Yvetta, but he was tender and slow with Sookie. Nice Eric is a total breast man, but he wasn’t interested in biting her. I kept waiting to see if he would as he kissed her neck, but if he’s as scared of snuffing out the light in her as he said he was, he wouldn’t risk it. As it stands now, I’d say that was the most beautifully filmed love scene in the show’s four seasons. We live in a world where Eric and Sookie have had sex! I triple dog dare you to watch the video of their scenes from this episode below if you’re in an office setting while reading this…

Where do we go from here? Part of me thinks it’d be fun to see Sookie and Eric go on a real date. But it feels like things on the Marnie front have now escalated too much for us to see a “let’s try to be normal” subplot. Marnie opened up her old knife wounds and begged the spirit Antonia to take over her body and avenge herself. Marnie felt a breeze in her cell and then had a vision of Luis, the vampire sheriff who told us what witches are capable of last episode, feeding on Antonia in 1610 as her arms were bound above her. Luis’ maker told him the blood is even sweeter when the victim is scared, but Antonia, with her hatred and defiance, didn’t fear him. He needed to make her scream. He began raping her, and I wrote down some names for him in my notes that I can’t print. Still, she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of hearing her scream. She promised he would burn in hell for what he was doing. Next, we saw Antonia on the stake chanting. Other witches were chanting in their cell, and Luis’ maker and other nearby vampires arose, walked out into the sun, and fried. Marnie stood up and, after another breeze, she saw Antonia in the corner of the room. “Marnie,” Antonia said. And she ran into her body.

Later, Luis watched Marnie on closed circuit TV and for the first time, Fiona Shaw got to be truly badass. He could tell from the look on her face that it was Antonia, and he went down to see her. This time, she would scream, he said. Only she was able to stop him and bring him to his knees with a quick chant and a hand movement. “You little f—,” she said. I guess she hadn’t committed to taking over Marnie’s body before, and that’s why she was only able to erase Eric’s memory? Now she’s locked and loaded, so to speak. Judging from the promo for next week’s episode, she wants all vampires to pay again, which of course means we can’t be on her side.

NEXT: Jason and Jessica share a Twilight meadow moment.

Someone who does appear to join forces with Marnie next week: Tara. Last we saw her, a free Pam was charging at her and Naomi. I fear for Naomi’s life. She should never have come to Bon Temps. She showed up at Lafayette’s, where Tara was sleeping on the couch with her handgun under her pillow. Tara told Naomi her story, and Naomi was pissed that she’d been an escape. She went to leave, but Tara said Naomi hadn’t driven from New Orleans just to tell her to go f— herself. Naomi took her to the floor and threatened to kick her ass. “Do what you need to do,” Tara said. And apparently that was have makeup sex. We next saw them at Merlotte’s, where craziness is served seven days a week, getting stares as they walked in holding hands. They were Jessica’s first customers in her newly promoted status as waitress (thank you, Tommy, but more on that later), only Jessica bolted while they were ordering. Tara was not amused. Later in the Merlotte’s parking lot, as the ladies discussed whether Tara was coming back to New Orleans now, Pam showed up. Pissed. Let’s hope Tara has the handgun on her (but also bad aim).

Turns out Jessica had run out of Merlotte’s because she’d felt Jason’s fear through their blood bond. Sookie had gone to see Jason and found him handcuffed to his bed. She thought it was a sex thing, or because he was using V again, but she finally got the truth about him being afraid he was turning into a werepanther on the full moon. She thought he was joking, until he begged her to leave when he realized she was right: The handcuffs would just fall off when he shifted. “I ain’t never gonna forgive myself if I bite your head off,” he said. She stopped laughing. We next saw them sitting outside, drinking beer, and arguing over whether Sookie taking care of Jason meant she’d shoot him in the head if he did turn or just change his kitty litter. You know, the normal stuff siblings talk about. It was actually a sweet conversation. Sookie talked about how she used to pray to be normal, but then she realized there’s no such thing. Everyone has something they’re ashamed of, or something they’re naturally gifted at. (Yes, Jason, like you being extra good at sex and shooting.) Sookie went inside to get him another beer, and he took the opportunity to run away from her. She went looking for him, with the shotgun.

Jessica found Jason first. It was kinda fun to see her in her Merlotte’s T-shirt in the woods — she reminded you of Sookie the night she met Bill. Jessica knew he was nervous about possibly turning into a werepanther because he’d been screaming it. She got him to calm down by telling him to picture some place beautiful that made him feel happy and safe. He stared at her chest. Ha. The night she turned was the scariest of her life, so she wasn’t going to let Jason go through that alone. They lounged on the grass, and if it’d been daylight and one of them was sparkling, it would have reminded me of a meadow scene in a Twilight film. We found out Jessica’s mother had panic attacks because pretending her father didn’t beat them was stressful. Once it became clear Jason wasn’t turning — “These Hot Shot f—ers are so dumb they can’t even make a werepanther right,” he said — it was almost sad that Sookie’s pep talk had actually gotten through to him. He wanted to know if Jessica would go back to being human, if she could. It was tough not being in the sun and having all these urges she doesn’t understand, but no, she said. She’s fast, strong, invincible, and she can smell and taste things in ways she never thought possible. Her world was endless now. Jason thought he was just normal again, back to being one of the few regular humans Sookie knows. He told Jessica growing up, he got tired of getting his ass kicked for sticking up for freak of nature Sookie. But part of him had always wondered why she got all the special. (This reminded me of how I felt about my older sister sucking up all the genes for red hair. A woman at a clothing store once dragged her to a mirror so she could put some of her hair over hers and see how she’d look in the color.)

Now it was Jessica’s words that were overly effective: Jason was a football star, and Hoyt had told her that he’d slept with every pretty girl within 100 miles. And, look at him, she said. “How can you not think you are special?” They could easily have ended up rolling around in the grass, too, but Jason, to his credit, popped up and said she was right. He didn’t know what he was saying. He thanked her for babysitting him, and since he was just himself — her boyfriend’s best buddy — he was fine to go home. He jabbed her arm like she was just one of the boys, and they agreed not to tell Hoyt about their night because it would worry him unnecessarily.

NEXT: It’s a full moon, but we don’t see Alcide naked? Fail.

Do we really think that’s the end of Jason’s werepanther story line? Looking for Jason, Sookie ran into Alcide and Debbie in the woods on their way to the Shreveport pack run (in Bon Temps?). They told her you can’t bite someone and make them a were. Either one or both of their parents has to be full-blooded. (So that means Jason still could have fathered some cubs at Hot Shot.) I suppose werepanthers could be different from wolves, and we’ll still see Jason transform on his way home. Is that what you’re hoping for? Assuming the writers have another arc up their sleeves for Jason, I’m fine with him being regular old Jason Stackhouse. It would be nice to see him work with Sookie and help the vampires battle Antonia because of his new-found fondness for Jessica. I assume that’s where we’re headed. What I’m unsure of is how the weres are going to get involved. There has to be a reason to introduce this werewolf pack in Shreveport led by a guy who looks like Shooter Jennings.

Alcide had come home early to bring Debbie lunch — seriously, he’s the best boyfriend ever — and found Debbie talking to the pack leader. He’s looking for a man like Alcide, who had the stones to stand up to the pack leader in Mississippi who let his wolves get hooked on V. Debbie joined the pack behind Alcide’s back because she needs the community — she doesn’t want to make her whole life Alcide again. That’s why she went crazy when they broke up before. I’m all for Debbie having a life outside Alcide, but does this pack leader hate vamps enough to side with Antonia when the battle lines are drawn? Or will he help the vampires when Sookie comes calling on Alcide? If the Hot Shot folks weren’t so weak, I could see Jason having to go back to them and ask for their help — presumably Antonia couldn’t control weres like she can vamps since they’re not dead. If the vamps are out of commission, then weres and shifters are the next strongest things.

I’m also confused about which side Lafayette and Jesus will end up on. “Goat tongue for breakfast. Wow. That smells well done,” Lafayette said at Jesus’ grandfather’s table. Grandpa wanted the boys to bring him a sacrifice. Then, he’d see about helping them. Next we saw Lafayette and Jesus, they were in a field. Lafayette wanted to get it over with and couldn’t understand why Jesus hadn’t killed any of the birds, bunnies, lizards, rat-esque creatures or coyotes they’d seen. Jesus said the sacrifice had to come to them — and a rattlesnake did. They took it into grandpa, who said the Mayans worshipped the rattlesnake and believed it was the gateway to the spirit realm. He cut himself with a knife and said it was the same bloodletting magic Marnie was using. She wants possession, and spirits are always looking for a way in.

When Jesus said it’s vampires not Marnie or spirits they need protection from, grandpa said they didn’t know what they needed. He grabbed the rattlesnake and made it bite Jesus in the neck before dropping it into the fire. “Protect him,” grandpa said to Lafayette. In the corner of the room, a male spirit appeared. He ran at Lafayette and entered him. “Don’t worry, my boy. Tio Luca is here,” the spirit said, asking for Yemaya to protect and heal Jesus with the waves of her healing energy. Jesus lived. Lafayette was like, “Who the f— is Tio Luca?” Exactly! So was grandpa telling them they’ll need to fight possessed Antonia with possessed Lafayette? If so, AWESOME. Though that will be complicated having Lafayette and Tara on different sides.

NEXT: Sam Trammell acting like Tommy being Sam is as great as Alexander Skarsgard acting like Real Eric pretending to be human.

Another mystery: Is Tommy dead? He certainly looked it when Sam found him lying in his own puke when he finally came home. It’s kind of refreshing to see someone vomit after shifting though. Like, you SHOULD vomit after your organs move. The guilt of having killed his parents — in self-defense, Tommy! — drove him to stand in front of a mirror, tell himself “f— you,” and smack his head until poof!, he became a skinwalker and shifted into Sam. Remember what Luna said: If you kill a member of your family, the power to shift into another human can be gained. Sam Trammell did an amazing job acting as Tommy playing Sam, didn’t he? From Tommy’s voice pattern, to the walk, to the reaction he had when Sookie asked him for the day off to deal with a life and death situation (“Another one?”). He fired Sookie. Then, he chatted with Hoyt’s mother about Tommy/himself. “That boy’s dumber than a bucket of spit and just as useful,” she told him. “Now I know why you shot him. If you see Tommy, you tell him he’s dead to me. And I want my Bible back.” Fantastic line.

For a moment, it looked like Tommy would resist Luna when she showed up at Sam’s to seduce him. But once she popped open her dress, he caved. It was different from what she thought it’d be, Luna said afterwards. It was almost like they were strangers just meeting, which was exciting. She asked him if he was ready to shift together for a run, and he made her leave. I’m hoping it was because he was feeling himself getting ready to shift back into Tommy and not because he’s truly that much of a douche. Hopefully Luna will talk to Sam again and help him piece together what happened. Poor Sam really cannot be happy with a woman EVER.

Sam had already had a tough day: Though everyone escaped the fire that started in Tommy and Arlene’s boudoir, including Terry’s armadillo which finally got some screen time, their place was lost and Holly’s house next door received major damage. Arlene couldn’t find Mikey, and when the house went up in flames, we thought he might’ve been in it. But no, when Arlene’s other kids made it outside, they’d found Mikey and that doll of his sitting in the grass. Arlene picked Mikey up, and he was smiling at a beautiful black woman dressed as if she were from another era. She waved to Mikey. When Arlene turned around, no one was there. Arlene still thinks it’s the ghost of her serial killer ex-fiancé haunting them, but maybe it’s this woman. Or, maybe she’s actually trying to help them? Do bad spirits wave? I still don’t get how this story is going to intersect with Antonia’s, even with a spirit that Mikey can see. Is the spirit attached to the doll and trying to get to Holly so it can possess her? What does it mean that Holly and Andy — who’s done so much V he’s able to lift a chair over his head — are going to have a date?

Your turn. Was the Eric-Sookie sex scene all you’d imagined it’d be? What’s your prediction for how the battle lines are drawn: Who joins Antonia, who joins the vampires? Will Eric and Sookie have to let a good witch restore his memory so there’s a Viking god on the vampire side? (Already getting chills at the thought of Nice Eric saying goodbye to Sookie.) How do you think Luis will die? Because he has to die.

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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

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