True Blood: SPF 100

This season of True Blood has been playing out like the beginning of a roller coaster. Slowly building, taking a few weird and unexpected turns, lulling the audience into a sense of—if not complacency—then slight boredom. But now (finally!) we’ve reached the top of the coaster, and it’s hands-up time, kids, ‘cause some sh*t is going down!

Blessedly, this week’s episode gave scant attention to the less-compelling side stories: Sam and Luna figure out that Tommy played Serena to Sam’s Samantha. Sam chokes his little bro for a little while and then kicks him out. Tommy’s sad. Again. He asks for forgiveness. Again.

While his incessant need to call women “hooker” could lead one to believe he’s a misogynist, turns out Lafayette’s nothing but a good old racist. Who’da thunk it?! Now, I don’t deny that he’s been under a bit of stress lately, what with seeing his boyfriend get bitten by a rattlesnake and his subsequent possession by a dead man, but was it really necessary to call his grandfather-in-laws modest home a “taco stand?” Eh, I’ll let him have that one, for it turns out Lafayette’s a medium, and I always thought he’d be an extra large.

Jesus tells Lafayette about his uncle, the one who possessed Lafayette, over a grand slam breakfast. Now I know things can move quickly, but wouldn’t you have thought that Jesus would have told Lafayette all about his family on their way to Mexico? It was probably a long drive from Bon Temps. Speaking of which, by later that afternoon, Lafayette is inexplicably back at work at Merlotte’s. Ok, so people blow off their shifts for all kinds of reasons but we’re supposed to believe that Lafayette’s work ethic suddenly compels him to sling hash right after his Mexican possession? Ooookay. All this is to set up the scene for Arlene’s Rosemary’s Baby and all I can say is HOLY CRAP I WAS RIGHT— that WAS Tiana last week! Hear me out: an African-American woman in 1920s garb singing with a Cajun accent in a kitchen? How could that not be her? Where’s the trumpet-playing alligator? I must be a medium. At least.

Please, no more Randy Newman.

Alcide and Debbie (whose last name is Pelt, but the way—a werewolf named Pelt) are still in the woods getting initiated into the new pack. After they get blood smeared on their heads and a bit of howling, beers are popped, but Alcide goes off on his own to look pensive. (Not unlike my fraternity initiation, but that’s another story.) Debbie tells Alcide that it’s okay to be worried about Sookie, so they go off looking for her in the woods, because as you remember from last week, anybody who’s anybody is in the woods. They find her doing “it” soft-focus-style with Eric, and leave them to it.

Tina! Bring me the axe!

And speaking of the woods, Tara, who pulls a Stella Dallas and dumps her girlfriend in order to save her, gets drunk (of course), gets teary (of course) and goes for a walk in the woods, where she just happens to bump into Aunt Petunia. Aunt Petunia’s body is now fully possessed by Antonia, that Spanish chick who got burned at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition. I should say almost all of her body, as clearly her vocal chords and mouth sometimes forget she’s Spanish and lose the accent. At any rate, we learn during Bill’s much-needed explanation to Jessica that Antonia was the only person to have ever gained control of vampires, and now that she’s back, she’s going to try to do it again and force all vampires (or at least all the vampires within her local calling plan) to go outside and fry in the sun. Tia Petunia, now escaped from S.H.I.E.L.D., needs help, so she uses Tara to launch a recruitment campaign for more witches. They’ve both been horribly abused by vampires and both want revenge. Are they turning into Bon Temps’ own Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart?

Expecto Petunia!

After Sookie and Eric do the not-so-nasty in the woods, things take a turn for the better, and the episode lives up to its pre-show warning regarding “strong sexual content.” They ride each other in the foyer, up the stairs, in the bedroom, in a variety of positions allowing the lighting designer to show off a little. But just to make it lady-friendly, the couple cuddles and talks about their feelings afterward. Awww. Apparently, Sookie’s never watched an episode of Oprah, because she basically tells Eric (who has once again lost his shoes) that even though he was a son of a bitch who doled out unspeakable horrors upon her and her loved ones in the past, she was sure he’d changed. I’m guessing her Chris Brown fan club card is tucked safely in her bedside table.

Tia Petunia and Tara recruit some other witches and wannabes, who in turn agree to sign up more members into what’s essentially a wiccan pyramid scheme (pentagram scheme?). Bill puts out an all-teeth-points bulletin about Tia Petunia, ordering all vampires in the local vicinity to silver themselves to avoid being necromanced into doing a little sun-bathing. Now, I’m no military tactician, other than knowing how many camo patterns to wear at one time, but I know if I’d been waiting for revenge for 400 years, I’d try to strike my enemies when they least expect it, and not literally the afternoon after I’ve been brought back into existence. But, Bill’s right, and Tia Petunia starts incanting, levitating and, again, giving the lighting designer a run for his money as she lures the vamps into the sunlight. I guess that’s why I’m stateside.

Let the sun shine/Let the sun shine in!

Poor Jessica. She’s so young, so filled with hatred, and so conflicted about her feelings for Hoyt (who, by the way, seems to have grown a foot taller than Jason) that she dents Bucky (sports reference!) and gets out of the silver, crawls upstairs, and opens the door to the blinding light of True Blood getting its mojo back.

Robb Pearlman is the author of the Spoiler Alert: Bruce Willis is Dead and 399 More Endings from Movies, TV, Books, and Life, coming this November, as well as The Q Guide to Sex and the City and upcoming adaptations of Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh. He is an editor of pop culture and entertainment titles, including the upcoming The Joker and The Syfy Book of SciFi. Robb is known by name in comic book stores in such wide ranging locales as New York, Gotham City, Brigadoon and Alderaan. An only child in constant need of validation, he promises to accept your Facebook friend request.

Read all of Robb’s True Blood recaps here.

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