The battle between vampires and humans truly begins, as one story line mercifully ends

By Mandi Bierly
Updated August 06, 2012 at 05:20 AM EDT
John P. Johnson/HBO

This is how you do an episode of True Blood that moves: We got to the bottom of “the Obamas” and what should be the final appearance of the Ifrit, while still having time for Lafayette to be awesome, Sam to be naked, Alcide to wear his leather jacket, Pam to meet the new sheriff in town, and Steve Newlin to get a pet (sadly, it’s Emma). Now if we could just stop Bill from being such a tool. I’m all for Stephen Moyer getting to play something other than the dark knight in shining armor. But bad guys are supposed to be more fun and they’re not when they’re being brainwashed. To quote Cougar Town, slap out of it!

The new Authority began the hour celebrating the bombing of a Tru Blood factory outside Houston by feeding on a naked man played by an actor who I assume will tell all of his friends that the table he was chained to was very cold. Eric and Bill joined in the festivities, but Eric was simply going through the motions. He found Molly, and after a rough start — “Put the baby fangs away before you piss me off,” he said — they assessed their predicament (“We’re totally f—ing f—ed,” she said) and came up with an exit strategy that she admitted would probably get Eric killed.

Later, Eric got Bill alone, and Bill told him he wasn’t pretending: He’s lost. Everything he believed in is upside down if Lilith is real and God is a vampire. Eric tried to tell him they hadn’t seen Lilith, they were just high as kites. You thought Eric got through to Bill when he asked him if Sookie was just food to him now. He told Bill to get Salome’s blood, and he’d get Nora’s. They’d use their DNA to break out before dawn and Bill could have his crisis of faith elsewhere. In the meantime, they’d go back to slaughtering people in the name of God.

Eric eventually approached Nora as she was worshipping at the Bottle O’ Lilith. Nora revealed that Salome had been sneaking her in there and feeding her Lilith’s blood while Roman was still alive. Eric was convincing when he told Nora that he didn’t want to fight with her anymore and asked her to help him believe. She kissed him, and they presumably had offscreen makeup sex. Bill, meanwhile, was in topless, dancing Salome’s bed. She told him Lilith had chosen him. They started boning, and Bill saw Sookie’s face and bit her neck. Then he saw bloody Lilith, who likes to be on top. He bit her, and when he pulled back, he saw he really had bitten Salome. So he had her blood. Bill ultimately met up with Molly and Eric (with a drugged Nora in tow) in the elevator bay, but when the elevator doors opened, Salome was there with guards. Eric had human-like tears in his eyes when he called Bill a traitor. Eric had no choice but to surrender. I hope we see more of him and Molly plotting together. They’re fun.

NEXT: Pam has a great line — shocking!

It didn’t take Tara long to surmise that the factory bombing was done by a vampire who wants a bloodbath on his or her hands. “There are two things I try to stay away from,” Pam told her. “Humans who eat a lot of fish and politics. So whatever comes next, we keep our heads down, our tits up, and the Tru Blood flowing. Understand?” Pam doesn’t want hungry vamps in Fangtasia draining humans in public and getting the bar shut down. Tara was also smart enough to figure out that Pam was worried about Eric. She told Pam she was there for her if she needed to talk. “Just because we drank a bitch together does not make us Oprah and Gayle. Get the f— back to work,” Pam snapped. “Suck me, Vampire Barbie,” Tara answered. Why is Tara bartending again when it was universally agreed upon that she was a better stripper?

Last we saw Pam, she’d confronted a long-haired man sitting on Eric’s throne and feeding on a woman. The man informed Pam that the monarchs had lifted the ban on public feeding and the Authority had named him the new sheriff of Area 5. “Everybody, grab a human,” he said, after flinging Pam across the room. “Drinks are on me.” Maybe he’ll be a fun bad guy, though replacing Eric AND being mean to fan favorite Pam won’t win him fans.

The bad guy we do love, Russell, only had a couple of scenes this episode, but they were memorable. He and Steve Newlin appear to be continuing their flirtation (or do we think they’ve DTR’d — defined the relationship?). Russell took Newlin to visit the Shreveport Pack. “Stick with me darlin’, I’ll give you the world,” Russell said, explaining about his pet wolves. Steve had never even had a pet growing up, so when Martha refused to drink from Russell’s wrist with the rest of the pack, Russell took Emma (in adorable wolf form), and gave her to Steve. J.D. objected, but that didn’t go over well with Russell, who told him in his non-charming voice that his blood wasn’t free. Is there still enough wolf in J.D. for him to see what damage Russell has done to the pack and relinquish his role to Alcide? Either way, I assume Alcide, who headed back toward Jackson to visit his drunk gambler father (Robert Patrick), will get involved in getting Emma back. That speech we saw Alcide’s father give in flashback on the day teen Alcide chose pack mentality over human selfishness still stands. I just think Alcide needs to realize his pack isn’t one of wolves. It’s one of wolves, shifters, and fairies.

NEXT: Praise Sam Trammell

It’s only a matter of time before Sam and Luna find out Russell and Steve took Emma and call in Sookie for help, right? (Will Claude, Claudija, and their sisters sit on the sidelines? They know the vampires are behind the Tru Blood bombings, which also took out factories in Japan and Kuwait.) Let’s back up. Luna refused to return to the hospital after she shifted back to herself. As she and Sam fought over whether him wanting her to stay in bed while he chased after the Obamas was sexist, they ended up saying they loved each other. Between last week’s episode and this one, don’t you wish we got even more Sam this season? Sam Trammell is the show’s secret comedic weapon. Sam and Luna had gone back to where the Obamas had been keeping Jessica and smelled pig s—, which must have come from their shoes. They told Andy about this after Andy’s makeshift press conference in which he had to confirm that the real Obama was not behind the attacks. Andy told Sam and Luna to go home. Instead, they turned into literal flies on the wall. Hilarious.

Andy thought he was the worst sheriff the town had ever seen, especially after he joined Jason in kicking prisoner Joe Bob’s ass in an attempt to get him to reveal the identity of the Dragon. They’d seen the Obamas’ video on a website (melting vampires like marshmallows in the sun, as Jason put it) and Andy realized the group was modeling itself after the Klan, so the Dragon was the person calling the shots (not a real dragon, Jason, sorry). They assumed the Dragon had Hoyt, and Jason had promised Jessica he’d get him back alive. She was worried because she could no longer feel Hoyt. The kicker was that retired sheriff Bud Dearborne wasn’t the Dragon, but his kimono-wearing mistress, Sweetie, was.

Sookie had gone to see Bud because she thought he might know something about her parents’ death. She’d called Lafayette in to try to make a connection with the vamp who’d sent her the message in her bathroom. Lafayette had no luck, seeing only “one fine ass motherf—er with pretty new eyelashes” (himself) in the mirror. He still has no idea how being a medium works. “I ain’t Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, although I am way prettier,” he said. They started talking about Tara instead — the only contact he’s made with her is a text that said, “Bitch, stop texting me, or I will eat you” — but then he began hearing multiple voices. “I ain’t Gmail for dead bitches, send your own god—- messages, hell,” he said. Gran told Lafayette to tell Sookie she was sleeping on top of answers.

Underneath her bed was a box of family mementos, the highlight of which was a framed sixth grade report card featuring the only B Jason had ever received. We all knew it came in physical education, but I freeze-framed to confirm. He got Ds in English and science, and Fs in math, history, reading, and geography. The C in art class was a surprise. “Works cooperatively,” was written by the grade. I bet he was happy to be the model. Anyway, a newspaper clipping revealed Bud Dearborne was the one who’d found her parents’ bodies. Seriously, why couldn’t Gran have just told Lafayette that? “Dead folk, why you gotta be all cryptic? It ain’t cute,” he said.

NEXT: Andy doesn’t suck at his job entirely

When Sookie listened to Dearborne’s thoughts, she heard that he was hiding something. Once she figured out it wasn’t that he knew the identity of her parents’ killer, she was going to leave, but Sweetie knocked her out. She woke up next to a pen of pigs. Hoyt was there as well, dreaming that he was in heaven, which he hadn’t thought would smell like that. Bud, the Dragon, and the remaining Obamas were going to film the pigs eating Hoyt and Sookie, who’d been drugged with Oxycontin. The Dragon shared that her ultimate goal was getting a new rule passed that said supes would be aborted or shot on sight.

Andy had thought Bud was the Dragon after recognizing him in the video by the square dancing cowboy boots he was wearing — a retirement gift. He and Jason led the charge into Bud’s house, and that’s where Jason did some solid police work, too. He saw a picture of Bud’s wife and remembered she had a pig farm in her family. The cavalry showed up after Sam, who’d pretended to be a pig, shifted back into human form and caught Sookie as she was being thrown into the pen with Hoyt. Bud was going to throw a shovel at naked Sam (ooh, scary!), and Andy shot him. While Hoyt was apparently getting nibbled on until Jason thought to go save him (I assume Hoyt will live), Luna was off beating the crap out of Sweetie. I swear I heard Sweetie’s neck snap, but she was led into a police car later, so I guess not. Sam told Andy he’s not the worst sheriff, Bud had him beat. You know I love male bonding. With the immediate threat gone, Sam and Luna decided it was time to bring Emma home. Oh, Sam, you didn’t think you’d actually get to be happy, did you?

Last and always least, we get to Terry. His plan was to find Patrick and give him a fair fight to the death. This boring story line was almost worth it for that moment when Terry told Arlene she was the only reason he was even fighting at all and kissed her. So sweet. If only it had happened in, like, the second of Scott Foley’s episodes. Arlene went to work at Merlotte’s, and Patrick was waiting for her. He took her inside by gunpoint and told her to call Lafayette, the only other person who was going to be working that day because NO ONE EVER WORKS AT MERLOTTE’S, and tell him the restaurant was closed. When Terry showed up, Patrick told him to get on his knees. Patrick is expecting a child now, so he had something to fight for, too, but he knew Terry was a better man and soldier, so he couldn’t fight fair.

Arlene stabbed Patrick in the neck with a pencil, and after the boys had a tussle, she had hold of the gun. Patrick tried to talk Terry out of shooting him, and Arlene tried to talk him into it. The Iraqi woman who put the curse on them appeared and told Terry to do what was right. He shot Patrick. The woman chanted and the Ifrit showed up to take Patrick away. It’s over. Yay! Unless Terry goes crazy. Then boo. Let’s just pretend this never happened. Cut and run, writers.

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? Which was more fun: Jessica’s confirmation that vampires don’t take “dumps,” Andy’s use of “werechickens,” or the idea that the Dragon was Louisiana square dancing champ Sweetie (whose husband had left her for a shifter)? And how many of us freeze-framed the promo for the remaining episodes to see who was in that grave? (Jessica and Jason! Could she have to turn him?)