It’s great the way nearly every episode of “True Blood” this season picks up right where the last one left off. Thus in the opening seconds this week, we heard Gabe’s neck make a celery-crisp snap-sound in the hands of Godric, who’d come to Sookie’s rescue.
Yet oddly enough, the increased presence of Godric in this week’s episode (oh, for heaven’s sake: SPOILER ALERT!) actually decreased some of the suspense for me. As the hour proceeded, I realized that nothing drastic was really going to occur — none of the central characters was ever in real danger — because they were in the presence of Godric, who could whirl over super-fast and save whoever needed saving. Which is not to say the hour was dull; not when a vampire says to a human, “You’re no more than a blood bag!”
Speaking of saving, Rev. Steve risked his mortal soul defying Godric. You have to hand it to Steve; he’s been cuckolded and paintballed by Jason; he saw a mighty display of power by Godric, Eric, and a passel of vampires led by a black-hatted cowboy, all right inside his own church; and he still had the nerve to proclaim to Sookie, hilariously, “The war has begun, you evil whore of Satan!”
This edition, directed by John Dahl, was primarily a Bill-Sookie-Eric-Jason affair, with a side-dish of Sam barely simmering. The only other tale of note was the extravagantly creepy Maryann subplot. At this point, Maryann is always good for creepiness, and this time out, she baked dead Daphne’s heart into a “hunter’s souffle” and served it to an unwitting Tara and Eggs. Their reaction was effectively disturbing: their ravenous eating of the dead soul’s heart led to a mixture of pleasure and pain. The couple had the hots for each other and wanted to smack the bejesus out of each other at the same time, as Maryann looked on in malicious glee.
Indeed, the theme of this episode was about power: unleashed and constrained. Bill finally freed himself from his maker, Lorena, but not before, as she so amusingly put it later, he “hit me with a 52-inch plasma television … such shenanigans.” Bill’s arrival at Sookie’s side came a little too late for an angry Sookie, who had to be grateful to Eric for arriving before Bill to try and rescue her. And it was a great episode for Eric, wasn’t it? Alexander Skarsgard is excellent at playing barely restrained contempt for any kind of order or command, whether it’s coming from someone he doesn’t respect (Sookie, Steve) or worships (Godric).
And hands down the funniest moment of the season occurred when Jason took Bill aside to apologize and give the moody vampire a big hug. “Was that OK for you?” asked Jason, as Bill looked even more pale than usual, this time with embarrassment at this public display of male affection.
The joke was a fine one for a series populated most copiously with handsome male stars. And tonally, it was a perfect contrast to the night’s cliff-hanger: Luke — idiotic, deluded, hunky Luke — showing up at the vampire shindig, his body rigged with enough time bombs to make someone in “The Hurt Locker” start sweating nervously.