While Arlene grieves, Eric tries to save Nora, Jason tries to rescue Jessica, and Bill tries to get Sookie to hand over Warlow
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Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO
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 has some surprises up its sleeve yet: The person who was the saddest this hour, Arlene, gave us one of the show’s funniest scenes ever when she encountered Bill during daylight. Jessica still has her death wish, but she wants to go out with a vampire bang, so she had sex with James, who remains dreamy. And though we all suspected Nora would die from the Hep V, we got to see her origin story with Eric. (I would’ve also liked to see them have sex the first time, but you can’t have everything.)

We picked up with Eric instructing Willa to find Pam and tell her not to drink the Tru Blood. He was getting Nora out by hiding under a delivery truck, kinda Keanu-Reeves-under-the-bus-in-Speed-style. Willa, wearing a lab coat and carrying the severed arm that allowed her to open doors, reached Pam, who was doing a bit of yoga in her private room. She had been in chains until her fan in the psych department requested they be taken off her. Willa told Pam about the Hep V, and Pam said to warn Tara and Jessica and screw the others. At first, I thought she was just being selfish Pam, but actually, Pam is right: If everyone doesn’t drink the contaminated Tru Blood, the guards will know something is up. I think Pam might actually like Willa a little. Scratch that. I think Pam could tolerate Willa.

Eric took Nora to Bilith, which reminded me of The Blue Lagoon, when Christopher Atkins took Brooke Shields to the place on the island where she’d be praying. Eric said he wasn’t sure what Bill was, but if he is God now, he wanted him to save Nora. Eric put her in a bed and asked Bill to give her his blood. Nora said she’d rather die than have Lilith’s blood. Eric, fangs out, told Bill to give it to her anyway. Bill said it was Nora’s dying wish, and they had to honor it.

Sarah Newlin, meanwhile, drove to Gov. Burrell’s mansion listening to a tape about spreading the gospel. She found Truman’s severed head still resting at the foot of his statue and his body lying nearby along with those of his dead guards. She had a tender/mildly disturbing moment with Truman’s head telling him he was a decent man and that his commitment to the cause was whole and pure. She kissed his lips. She said his death was not in vain — it will galvanize the forces against the evil they fight. She also said the enemy preys on the pure. I have a feeling we’re about to see Sarah Newlin turn real bad.

NEXT: You know Sarah Newlin watches Scandal

Sarah summoned a senator and told him she wasn’t going to let the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana — a rhino with a penchant for “folksy bulls—,” apparently — near Truman’s office. Instead, she told him to call in a fixer — Olivia Pope? — to take Truman’s body away and dispose of it. Then, they’d release a statement saying the compound had been attacked but Truman escaped and would continue to govern from an undisclosed location. (Just like when Fitz was shot!) They’d wipe the mansion down, and then the senator would cover for Truman in the legislature and she would handle the Vamp Camp and all matters vampire. They just have to make it work until the Hep V-tainted Tru Blood hits the shelves. The senator, who’d hired Sarah to consult on his last campaign, was truly impressed. So was I.

We finally got back to Sookie and Warlow, waking up naked and tangled together in the sun — a first for Sookie, she noted. He assumed she was amenable to his marriage proposal because she’d given herself so freely, and she let him know women like it on top in this century. (I’m paraphrasing.) Their banter was interrupted by Sookie hearing Arlene mourn Terry in the real-world cemetery. She told Warlow she’d be back for him, but she had to go to Arlene. Because she’d had his blood, she was able to use her light to transport herself back to our dimension.

That was a lovely, emotional scene for Carrie Preston, as Arlene told Sookie about having Terry glamoured and getting a glimpse of what life would be like with him happy before it was ripped away. She didn’t know how she’d tell her kids, if she could speak the words. Sookie told Arlene she’s one of the strongest people she knows and she’d get through this like she always does — and Sookie would be there to make sure of it.

Sam called to check in with Lafayette and heard about Terry’s death. He told Nicole to have her mother come get her — not returning to Bon Temps is not an option for him now. Ah, sweet, stupid Sam.

Arlene got back to the Bellefleur house and took out her anger on Lafayette by calling him “a liar and a voodoo queer.” She thought Terry must have told him more about the safe deposit box. I guess she thinks that box is why he was killed? While Andy stepped up and offered to be with Arlene when she told the kids about Terry, Lafayette took Sookie with him to the bank.

NEXT: “You don’t have that stockholder’s syndrome, do you?”

Once news of the security breach had broken, Jason was told to head to gen pop. He arranged for Jessica to be brought to him. More sweetly than we’ve ever seen Jason act before, he sat her down and told her he was going to do right by her and get her out of there. She told him he didn’t have to get her out. “You don’t have that stockholder’s syndrome, do you?” Oh, Jason. We love you. Jessica said she just knows how things are going to end for her in there and she’s okay with it. Translation: She wants to die. Jason told her he’d seen her in the aborted “copulation study,” and he never wanted her hurt like that again. Jessica said he can’t keep bad things from happening to her now; all he can do is be the sweet, wonderful man that he is — and go get her James, that vampire who woudn’t screw her, so she could thank him in person. (And tell him not to drink the tainted Tru Blood.)

After we saw Nicole join Sam in the shower for some steamy goodbye sex, we cut to Sookie opening an envelope for Arlene in the safe deposit box. It was a life insurance policy worth $2 million issued three days earlier. I’ve seen enough procedurals to know that will be contested by the insurance company. If it’s clear to Sookie and Lafayette that Terry was planning his death, it’ll be clear to them. Sookie wanted to know how Terry could do it. Lafayette said you do it when you think it’s the best thing for everyone. “When is leaving your family behind ever the best thing?” she asked. Because that’s what she’d be doing if she dies, becomes a vamp, and marries Warlow?

Alcide dropped his father off at his trailer, and Jackson tried to convince him he shouldn’t return to the pack. There’s land he could live on nearby with a stream we could get more shirtless scenes in. I think we’re all conditioned to believe pack life is good for wolves, but you know, maybe Jackson is right: Pack life isn’t for the Herveaux men. So far, the Shreveport pack has been nothing but trouble for Alcide. Still, Alcide and his hot forearms left.

After Nicole gave her home number to Sam and drove off with her mother, Jason delivered James to the boardroom for Jessica. Jessica asked Jason for privacy, and he gave it to her. Jessica had believed if she was a monster, all vamps were monsters — but then James had done something so selfless when he wouldn’t rape her even though he was being tortured. She wanted to know why he didn’t, when it would have been so much easier for him. He said he’s not a saint, but he believes vampires choose whether or not to forfeit their souls. To punish him, they’d broken one of his fangs (or maybe they’d pulled it entirely and it was now growing back, I’m not sure).

NEXT: Jessica and James get it on

Jessica told James about the Hep V in the Tru Blood and was prepared to leave it at that. But then he asked her if she didn’t have any good news. His smile was sweet enough that it lured her back. He said he never bought into the idea of immortality, but now that he knows his death is impending, there’s so much he wishes he would have done — like find his dad and tell him he was proud to be his son. He asked Jessica what she’d like to do, and, you can’t blame her, all she could think about was James making love to her. Ironic, she admitted. But she’d never been with a vampire, and she wondered what all the fuss was about. Funnily enough though, it’s his humanity that she’s most attracted to. That’s what she wants to leave the world feeling a part of. Sexual healing, for real! James certainly gave her a show. That was probably what most women fantasize sex with a vampire would be like: He speeds to you, kisses you slowly, lifts you, and tears off… okay, I’m going to stop now.

We cut to Bill’s mansion and Eric begging him to give Nora his blood. He said he’d do whatever Bill wants in exchange, and that he believes Bill is divine. That was nicely played by Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer — Eric was sincere without seeming weak. Bill told him about his visions and the room in which Eric and the others meet the sun. Bill said it’s Warlow’s blood that allows him to walk in the sun. They have to take Warlow with them when they go to Vamp Camp. Eric said he’d go with Bill if Bill helped Nora. Only problem: his blood didn’t work. Eric asked Bill to go get Warlow to try his blood, even though Nora said that won’t work either.

Back at the Bellefleurs, Arlene was day drinking, so Lafayette assumed now wasn’t the right time to tell her about Terry’s planned suicide. Portia was back to take care of the kids. Andy’s daughter Adilyn and Sookie finally met. Holly’s teen boys met Adilyn as well. I wonder what thoughts she overheard them having about her. Then boom, in walked Bill. This was Carrie Preston’s best scene ever! Bill gave her his condolences and told her he was fond of Terry and had been proud to call him his kin. She laughed and said, “Y’all, I’m wasted.” When she realized Holly was physically steadying her, she gasped. “S—, this shit’s real. Idn’t it? You’re walkin’ in the daylight,” she told Bill. He confirmed it. “F— me,” he said.

Bill gave his condolences to Andy as well, then he asked to speak to Sookie — who’d foolishly told Lafayette today wasn’t about why vamps can walk in the sun but about Arlene and the kids. Lafayette excused himself, happy he’d taken his beta blockers, and Sookie took Bill outside to talk. He told her if she doesn’t bring him Warlow soon, they’ll both have blood on their hands. She shouldn’t let her anger with him be her friends’ death sentence, he said.

Pam, meanwhile, was brought in to see her shrink. She wound him up with her cleavage — and by talking about how much a girl can satiate her sexual appetite in solitary, her human life as a whore, and why Fangtasia was a success. It’s because of her astute understanding of the human desire to be devoured, enveloped by a warm, hungry animal, or obliterated one juicy bite at a time. He wanted inside… her head… very much. She agreed to let him there, if he got her in gen pop.

NEXT: Everything goes to hell

Jason appeared to be spying on Jessica and James when Sarah Newlin showed up wearing a red power suit to inform him that the governor was dead — so all that leverage he had is gone. She had the men cut Jason’s arm and throw him in female gen pop 001. “Back off, bitches,” Tara said, speeding to his rescue. “Ladies, please… he’s mine,” that brunette No. 1 we’d met in an earlier episode said. Jason seemed more curious than spooked at that moment, right?

Alcide arrived home and told his pack that Sam and Nicole were dead and Emma was with Martha. Only Rikki had found Nicole and her mother, who were brought out gagged. The pack called Alcide a liar. Now I’m annoyed with Rikki instead of Alcide. That’s a step in the right direction!

Eric prayed to Godric to use whatever magic he possesses on Nora. He was like a broken child asking Godric to give her one more chance, like he’d done when he turned her. It was Eric who’d found her though, Nora said. We flashed back to London 1665, when King Charles II asked Eric to retrieve his favorite sexual partner — the strong-willed Lady Nora Gainsborough — from her work helping those dying of the plague. In exchange, he’d make sure Eric got fed exceedingly well. When Lestat-y looking Eric reached Nora, however, she was dying as well. He said the king would want her taken out of there to rest comfortably, and she said her death would be her own. Eric could see that she was brave, not stubborn. He told her he’d take her to his father, who could cure her so she’d live fully again. Back in present day, Eric’s eyes were bloody when Nora observed that they were ending as they began — but Eric could only comfort her this time. But who would comfort him when she’s gone, he asked. She told him to let Pam and Willa walk beside him, because they want to, just as she did. Ah, Nora. I never expected to like you as much as I did.

Eric felt bad because he thought he’d promised Nora “forever,” but she reminded him that she only ever asked that she live fully. And that he had given her. “Don’t leave me, don’t leave me!” he pleaded as the moment came. She dissolved into a bloody gooey mess in his arms. Bravo, to the sound and special effects departments. It was truly heartbreaking and gross. Did you notice the steam coming off the pile? She’d said she felt hot. Clearly Bill wouldn’t need to have the heat on in his home. Nice touch.

Eric looked up and saw Bill was back, standing in the bedroom doorway. Where does Eric go from here? Sarah Newlin is going to pay!

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

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