Antonia lights the match, but who will burn?

By Mandi Bierly
Updated August 08, 2011 at 08:05 AM EDT
Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

The battle has begun. Say what you want about King Bill, but after he made the tough call to have vampires who remained in Louisiana silver themselves during daylight hours — and brought Sookie chains to use on Eric when he could have easily let him burn in post-coital bliss — I think he’s worthy of the crown and Sookie’s trust. I can tell I’m liking him more and more because his hair is bothering me less and less.

So Marnie used Luis to help her escape (RIP, Katy and Katy’s iPad) and to deliver the message to Bill that Antonia Gavilán of Logroño had returned. It would have been smarter, of course, if she hadn’t announced that so she could have caught the vampires of 2011 off-guard like she’d done in 1610. But I suppose she knew that Bill would figure it out once she’d gone missing. Plus, we, the True Blood recappers, needed to know that we should now refer to her as Antonia instead of Marnie. Message received. Luis delivered the news to Bill with an exchange of bullets. Wounded, they both crawled for the Big Stake, which, I’m sure would have a fun nickname á la Big Joe and Big Carl on Cougar Town if Real Eric were king. Luis made Bill stake him, but not before he told him that it was the Resurrection that Antonia was plotting. Cue Bill’s meeting with his remaining sheriffs and the order to tell the vamps in their areas to get out of the state or silver themselves so their bodies would be too weak to succumb to Antonia’s spell to rise and walk into the sun. At first, it seemed like a bit of a pussy move, but if they weren’t going to be able to find Marnie before she formed a circle, it was brilliant. Truly.

Before we caught up with Sookie and Eric, we had to see Pam push Tara over the edge outside Merlotte’s so we’d understand why she’d side with Antonia. Pam couldn’t decide who to kill first, so she tried to attack Naomi while Tara watched. Tara struck Pam on the back of the head with a bottle and sent a piece of her rotting scalp flying. Awesome. Pam took Tara by the throat (a move she learned from Eric, no doubt), raised her, and would’ve suffocated her had she not seen camera flashes. “TMZ is offering 10K for real life vamp attack video,” one woman in the crowd said. Seeing Pam’s face, someone asked, “Are you sure she ain’t a zombie?” (“Holy crap, now there’s zombies?!”) Maybe in season 5, I wrote in my notes excitedly! “I… am not… a zombie,” Pam said. (“That’s exactly what a zombie would say. ‘I’m not a zombie.'”) She had to let Tara go. “It may be 10 minutes from now or 10 years, the moment you think you’re safe, I promise I will hunt you down and f—in’ shred you like confetti,” Pam told her. On shows like this, it can get tiresome watching characters cheat death when clearly, they could’ve been killed if only their attacker would actually attack instead of talk. But if you write a clever scene like that, we don’t mind. Naomi wanted Tara to return to New Orleans with her, and when Tara refused to, Naomi was willing to stay with her. But Tara made her leave: She’s not adding her to the list of lovers she’ll mourn. Apparently the Merlotte’s crowd had completely dispersed because no one was there to hear Tara wail.

NEXT: I wish we could take a timeout so Lafayette could babysit Mikey for an episode.

Next we saw Tara, she was walking on the road drinking. She thought she heard someone, and she assumed it was Pam. Pam, however, was getting a body wrap at Fangtasia from Dr. Ludwig to peel off the outer layer of rot. Ewwwwww. That shot was somehow grosser than the season 1 image of Longshadow exploding on Sookie when Bill staked him at Fangtasia. Okay, maybe not. But it’s at least a tie. Pam is even more quotable when she’s in pain: “I’m gonna shove my fist up your ass and use you as a handwarmer,” she said. That whole scene reminded me of the time I was getting an eyebrow wax at a spa and I heard a woman screaming for her life in another room. I assumed she was getting a Brazilian, but maybe it was this. Turns out, Pam will have to have six shots four times a day for the rest of her life to manage her decomposition. But at least she can get a discount on the shots if she orders in bulk.

The person Tara heard was Antonia, who took Tara’s hand and made her see that they’ve both been raped and fed on by a vampire, and that Antonia had been burned alive at the stake. They were two of millions that have been tormented by vampires over centuries. Antonia could sense Tara’s rage and that she wanted to fight. All Tara had to do was help Antonia assemble a circle, which she did, including Holly, a woman whose boyfriend has good spiritual energy when he’s not high, a man who has no friends outside the coven, and others.

I’m still not sure how Lafayette and Jesus will fit into this. Clearly Tara hadn’t invited them to join the circle since we saw Lafayette at Merlotte’s playing peekaboo behind his fan with Arlene’s son Mikey (“Hey, little booger… boo”) and watching the woman who waved to Mikey after last week’s fire serenade him in French. (She referred to herself as his mother. So she was the one who wrote “Baby Not Yours” on the wall? Who is she? Why would she believe Mikey is hers? What does it mean that Mikey can see her? Is he somehow a medium like Lafayette? Or can all children see spirits?) Lafayette had returned to town after virile grandpa told him and Jesus that Lafayette was a medium. Jesus’ uncle Luca, who had possessed Lafayette and saved Jesus from the snake bite, had died 10 years ago. Jesus told Lafayette that Luca had been a healer, and that he used to say that with every person he saved, a piece of him died. Seems to me that Lafayette might have the magic in him to reverse the spell on Pam, and, if he believes that not all vampires should die for some vampires’ mistakes, help Bill defeat Antonia. Although, does that mean he has to fully give himself over to Luca as Marnie did Antonia? I hope not. I wouldn’t want to go an episode without Lafayette’s dialogue.

Of course, if Lafayette can help Pam, then he may be able to help Eric, too. I was worried we wouldn’t get to see more of Eric and Sookie’s love scene, but the writer had to honor Eric’s notorious stamina. After Debbie and Alcide allowed the Shreveport pack master to put deer blood on their heads for their initiation, Alcide was a party pooper worrying about Sookie being alone in the woods on the full moon. Maintaining his Best Boyfriend Ever title, he agreed to snap out of it when Debbie asked him to, but then, to her credit, she said they could spare 10 minutes to check on Sookie. They found her still having sex with Eric under the moonlight. Alcide stared a little too long for Debbie, but not long enough for me. I wanted more! Eventually, I got it.

NEXT: I explain why Alexander Skarsgard deserved a little pain.

We saw Eric carry Sookie into the house, the two of them still naked. They made love on the floor (nice to see her rug get that kind of action for a change!), in a chair, and finally in her bed. Were I to interview Alexander Skarsgard, I would ask him what he thinks Nice Eric thinks about during sex to keep his fangs from popping out. Even if he doesn’t want to risk biting her, that’s an involuntary reaction when a vamp is turned on, right? Sookie laughed when she realized they’d left their clothes in the woods. “You want me to go get them?” Eric asked. “Don’t you dare move,” Sookie said. His smile = rewind! Eric was curled up next to her, practically in the fetal position so he could listen to her heart beat and pretend it was his. Then, it was time for the conversation we all knew was coming: He asked if she wants him to get his memory back. She said she does, but she doesn’t want him to change. Eric knows that’s impossible. In short: She wants to still want him, but she can’t promise she will. That’s all he needed to hear, he said. Did the lighting in that scene distract anyone else? I kept thinking it was close to dawn and he needed to get his (exquisite) ass down to his cubby.

As previously mentioned, Bill made a trip to Sookie’s to update them on Antonia, and from Sookie’s calm reaction answering the knock on her door, I assume he phoned first. Classy, Bill. Sookie thanked him for letting Eric go, and Bill said judging from Sookie’s afterglow it appeared the reunion was a happy one. “Yes, very much so,” Eric said. Sookie hushed him, but Eric didn’t say that to gloat. He thanked Bill for his release. Bill knew Eric wouldn’t leave Sookie again, so he brought the chains to them and told Sookie that if she cared about Eric, she would make sure he used them. Back at Bill’s mansion, we saw his security staff blacking out the windows (which ended up being another smart move), and Bill sweetly finishing chaining Jessica in the cell they’d be sharing when one of his guards wasn’t doing it gently enough. “Twice that on me,” he said. We saw Ginger administering a shot to a translucent Pam, who looked very Valley of the Dolls in her pink satin-lined coffin, before Pam was tucked in with a silver blanket. OUCH. Sookie put chains on Eric, who was literally smokin’. Truthfully, I took a small amount of pleasure in Eric’s ankles being chained underneath his rolled jeans because Alexander Skarsgard should be punished for rolling his jeans in real life in August 2009. The giant silver choker Sookie had to place around Eric’s neck hurt me though. You know that’s my favorite of his body parts. Eric asked Sookie to stay with him, and she did.

Jessica and Bill used their time together for a heart-to-heart. Bill felt bad for bringing so much pain to her, and she thanked him for allowing her to live more as a vampire than she ever would have with her human parents. He tried to get her to think about returning to Hoyt when this Antonia mess was over, and she admitted she didn’t love Hoyt the way he loved her. She thought it was because she doesn’t have a human heart, but Bill doesn’t believe that. Falling out of love with Hoyt doesn’t mean she’s lost her humanity, he said. Regardless, Jessica wants Antonia to pay for making them fry like bacon. Indulging their murderous impulses and answering killing with killing is what got vampires into this situation, Bill said. If they survive, Bill wants to put a stop to the killing. When they survive, Jessica is going to eat that witch, she said, “starting with her face.” Bill had to smile — at least he got her thinking about the future.

NEXT: I refuse to believe Ginger did not enjoy that vibrating coffin.

Eric, meanwhile, tried his best to convince Sookie to remove the chains from him. It was past noon, and the spell hadn’t come. If it did come, he didn’t want Sookie to remember him like that. She told him about the time he offered to give himself up for her and Godric at the Fellowship of the Sun. He was willing to die for her even then, Sookie said. And yet, she still hadn’t loved him, Eric noted. He said he doesn’t want his memory back. If she can forgive him for who he was, and love him for who he is now, he’s perfectly happy to say he’s with her. She’s happy to say she’s with him, but she still wouldn’t remove the silver, she said, leaning in to give him a light kiss instead (and probably getting more of him on her shirt).

Tara assembled a large circle for Antonia, who made her grand entrance and gave a Braveheart-style speech about how the human spirit is what’s immortal, not a vampire — they’re just harder to kill. She only wanted the assistance of the willing to help her avenge the tortured, raped, murdered, and eaten, and she let some unwilling participants go. Those who stayed eventually chanted with her as she stood at the center of their circle and levitated. You knew the magic was working because it got real windy. Jason showed up at Sookie’s in uniform (nice to see that again) to tell her he’s not a werepanther. He noticed the blood on her shirt, and she told him about Antonia’s spell and that she had to get back to Eric because he wouldn’t make it without someone with him. He’d saved her life, and she owed him. That sentiment clicked with Jason. He had to get to Jessica. He knew she was at Bill’s because Hoyt told him that when he dropped by the night before and interrupted the handstand pushups Jason was doing with boxing gloves on to take his mind off of Jessica. Only Jason Stackhouse would be able to smile and offer to make sloppy joes after someone reminded him “You were raped.” But Jason was just thankful that Hoyt hadn’t suspected that something could be brewing between him and Jessica, and he’d rather cook than talk about whether Hoyt was losing her. Hoyt said it would kill him if he lost Jessica. Is that why Jason ran to Bill’s, or was it because it would hurt him, too?

As the spell hit, we saw Ginger laying on Pam’s coffin, which was vibrating as Pam tried to beat her way out of it. (Amazingly, Ginger did not appear to be enjoying that.) Jessica, Bill, and Eric were each screaming about getting to the sun. Sookie held Eric down and tried to tell him he would burn, and he yelled that he didn’t care. We saw Maxine’s neighbor walk into the sun and catch fire. “I knew it!” she said. Ha. Jessica eventually broke free of her wrist restraints, killed a guard who got too close to the bars, and opened the cell. You thought Bill was going to order her not to go, but instead, he ordered her to unchain him. She didn’t, thank god. She just kept walking. She still had chains around her ankles, so she crawled across the floor upstairs, where those blacked out windows protected her from sun streaming in. That must have been fun to film with a wind machine. Jason had gotten to Bill’s yard, but was tackled by a security guard, who pulled a gun on him. As Jessica unlocked the front door, we heard a gun shot. The last image was of her opening the door. “The sun!” she said. My guess: Jason, a high school football star, will tackle her just as she steps out and they’ll slide across the floor back inside. The spell will stop, and she’ll feed on him to heal herself — either because he offers or because she can’t control herself (maybe he’s bleeding from a gunshot wound?). That’s one way to up the drama in that triangle.

NEXT: Alcide’s sex growl isn’t as hot as Eric’s.

And speaking of triangles: We finally got to see Alcide have a full-on love scene. The motion of that ocean looked pretty satisfying, and of course, being awesome Alcide, he was happy to oblige when Debbie wanted to switch positions and be on top. (It felt like the director worked hard not to show breasts there. I didn’t miss them, but then, my eyes were obviously drawn elsewhere.) I was praying Alcide wouldn’t call out Sookie’s name, and apparently, that’s what Debbie was doing, too. He sensed something was wrong, and she started crying. She asked him if he loves Sookie. He said he’s only worried for her. There’s only one girl he loves and dreams about, and it’s her, forever. Do you believe him? I want to.

Last but not least, we get to Sam, Tommy, and Luna. Tommy lived (boo) and told Sam that he’d gone for the full moon run himself and must have eaten something he shouldn’t have. The doctor bought the food poisoning line, and that their family runs naturally warm, so Tommy was able to leave the hospital. Good guy Sam apologized for not coming home sooner. Sam called Luna, and when she told him “F— you,” he went to see her at her school. They figured out that he wasn’t the one who slept with her and kicked her out of his trailer the previous night. Sam nearly strangled Tommy because he assumed Tommy’s plan was to kill him and assume his life. Tommy told him he hadn’t meant to shift into him, it just happened, and Sam believed him enough to let him live — but he gave him 10 minutes to pack his bags and get gone. “Please remember how sorry I am,” Tommy said. “I wish I could forget every f—ing thing about you,” Sam said. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Tommy. Tommy’s ability to shift into any human has got to come in handy at some point, whether for Sam or in the witch-vampire war. How else is he going to redeem himself (before finally dying, I assume). Of course, he could shift into Hoyt and finally sleep with Jessica and pretend to reconcile with his mother since he has no place to go. Or he could shift into Maxine, get that money from the natural gas company, and leave town. That would be fun to watch.

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? What happens to Jessica and Jason? What goes down in the cemetery battle next week? (So very Buffy!) When will Lafayette and Jesus engage? What about the weres? (I was still trying to figure out how the weres would factor into the war when the promo for next week showed the Shreveport Shooter Jennings lookalike ordering his wolves not to get involved. I don’t think that will fly with Alcide.) Will Tommy try to be Hoyt? Who’s the lady only Mikey and Lafayette can see? And why is Andy’s V addiction still a story line? What’s the payoff there? It can’t just be that going without V makes him too jittery to have a meal with Holly at Merlotte’s (and so stupid that he took back the flowers he bought her when he bolted). I assume he’ll either want to help save the vampires so he doesn’t lose his supply, or help end them so he’s forced to go cold turkey.

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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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