Sookie and Eric stumble through the doorway, kissing frantically. Eric slips off Sookie’s easy-access sundress and tells her white Maidenform, “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!” “Only because you can’t remember anything else!” Sookie quips back. They fall to the couch and Eric’s lips trail down Sookie’s neck, headed for exotic ports further south. Bill knows a cue when he hears one and slams into the room. He takes in the scene and hisses like he got his tail caught in the screen door.
Bill and Eric get fangy and vamp-speed each other around the room a couple of times. Eric goes for a fireplace poker and asks Sookie who Bill is. Sookie answers that Bill is Eric’s king. Unlike Pam, Eric is old skool and doesn’t remember anything but vampire protocol, so he drops the poker and begs forgiveness of his liege. He falls to one knee and bows while Bill boggles at the unexpected obeisance.
Bill and his AVL goons take Eric into custody and haul him back to Bill’s over-decorated seat of power. Sookie and Bill snipe about who has the biggest pants on fire while Eric stands docilely in respect of Bill’s author-i-tay. Bill orders Eric handcuffed in silver, and Sookie accuses Bill of doing it purely out of jealousy. Bill over-shares that his life doesn’t revolve around what or who is between Sookie’s legs. He took an oath to protect the vampires of Louisiana! (From rampant shirtlessness? Oh, yeah, necromancy.) Sookie tells Bill that Eric doesn’t remember any of that and that he’s helpless. Bill counters that Eric is a liar and a master manipulator and would do anything to make Sookie his. Sookie give him back a little, “Well, which is it, Bill, is he a danger to himself and others, or faking it to get into my lacy underthings?” Let me tell you what, when that little gal gets her logic on, she is William Jennings Bryan in a romper. She attempts to call on the memory of Bill’s love for her to save Eric. Bill stiffly informs her that it’s strictly business. Vampire business, you wouldn’t understand, little lady. Sookie says she’s not leaving without Eric, and Bill instructs his goons to escort her out, ordering them to arrest her for trespassing if she’s spotted on his property again. Since Sookie doesn’t answer to the Vampire Authority, I’m assuming they’ll call Andy, which really isn’t going to be much of a deterrent to a determined Sookie there, Bill, but nice posturing.
Eric cools his heels in an AVL holding cell and suddenly catches a whiff of death on the breeze. It’s Pam, hiding under her Linus blanket and just eat up with necrosis. She sniffles and apologizes to Eric for their current state of FUBAR. Pam tells him she can feel herself rotting and isn’t sure how much time she has left. Eric oozes empathy like Pam oozes puss and asks if she’s afraid. Pam’s bug eyes attempt to narrow and she spits, “Fuck you! Pieces of me are falling off! I’m pissed!” She vibrates with the righteous thirst for retribution, and Eric counsels her that King Bill believes that they’re a danger to their kind. Pam calls King Bill a dork, which is all kinds of awesome. Pam argues that Eric has no loyalty to Bill, because he’s a fucking Vampire God! She regales him with memories of their blood-drenched past 100 years together and assures him that they’ll get his life back. Eric thunders with Thor-like intensity that he doesn’t want his old life back; he doesn’t want to remember the pillaging vampire he was. Demoralized by the loss of her undead playmate almost as much as the loss her cheekbones, Pam sobs.
Bill broods epically in his office, fingers steepled at his chin and all. He calls up Nan on the high-tech Skype and gives her the deets on Eric. Bill tells Nan that Eric doesn’t understand his position as a vampire; he’s gone rogue, off-reservation, he’s a Lone Wolf! Bill fears that Marnie may be able to use Eric as a powerful weapon against them. Worse, Eric doesn’t recognize the Vampire Authority, or whatever Nan needs to hear to sign on the dotted line for Bill’s plans for Eric. Nan asks for his recommendation and Bill asks for a warrant for the true death. Nan has some red tape to cut first, but she’ll get back to him.
Arlene and Terry are in bed and things are smokin’, unfortunately, literally. Arlene runs to grab Mikey, but the crib is empty. She races around the burning room looking for him until Terry, very appropriately, fireman carries her out of the house. He tells her to stay put and turns to run in after Mikey, but the house is rocked by an explosion. They hear the other kids (the ones they weren’t so concerned about being en flambé) calling to them from across the street. The kids tell them that Mikey was already outside playing with the scary-ass baby doll he got from Jessica. Arlene and Terry shock and awe that for a bit as Arlene picks Mikey up and cradles him. Mikey looks over her shoulder at a woman standing at the treeline. The woman smiles at Mikey with an otherworldly vibe and a jazz-era hairdo. Hmmm…perhaps she should get together with Jesus and his pork pie hat and start a combo. When Arlene turns to see what Mikey is smiling at, the woman is gone.
Sam shows up to inspect his burnt shell of a property, and Arlene waxes crazy about Rene while Terry clutches an armadillo. Now, for those of you who didn’t study imagery at one of our finer southern state colleges, let me lay that out for you: Arlene and Terry are blue-collar rednecks, so of course they have an armadillo as a pet. Pfft, whatever, Alan Ball. Everyone knows coons make better pets – they wash their own food! Andy arrives on the scene and calls Sam a slumlord. Sam tells Andy to back off, or else he’s going to turn into a Doberman and chew Andy’s face off. Oh, yeah? Well, Andy will call Animal Control and have Sam put to sleep, how do you like them apples? Sam avoids the obvious, “Yeah? How you gonna call without lips, cheesedick?” rejoinder, and Andy V-hops over to Superman lift a La-Z-Boy for Holly. Holly offers him a free cheeseburger at Merlotte’s for his efforts, and Andy immediately has visions of orange blossoms and Lohengrin dancing in his eyes, but Holly is all, “Whoa, buddy, I just meant I’d give you the employee discount.” Having just lost her home, however, she reconsiders. After all, Sheriff Andy has a job, surely he must have a home (yes, and it’s with Granny! Have fun, y’all!)
A listless and shirtless (the men’s wardrobe budget on this show! This is obviously how they keep Pam in bondage-gear and Sookie in a sundress for every occasion) Tommy answers Sam’s call and Sam tells him that his retirement plan just went up in smoke. Tommy owes Sam big time, so he quickly says he’s on his way, aww. Sam tells him he’s good, but he really needs Tommy to open the bar for him. Tommy says that he will, his voice as cold and dead as the emo depths of his soul. Sam makes a promise to go runnin’ in the full moon later that night, you know, brother stuff. Tommy hangs up and sniffles at his reflection. I half expect him to burst into an impromptu a capella chorus from X-Tina’s “Beautiful,” but he decides to play a solo game of “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?” before ‘holy crap’ and ‘what the hoo-hah’ shifting into Sam! Luna explained something about shifters who killed shifters in their family line being endowed with the ability to shift into humans, but no one seems to watch that storyline but me, so just trust me on it.
Jesus and Lafayette sit up to Granddaddy Shaman’s table, tucking into some well-done goat tongue. Jesus tells Granddaddy that they need protection, and Granddaddy gives him back some tough love that he’s only crawling back because he needs something, show some pride, chico! And tuck in that shirt. Granddaddy tells Jesus to bring him a sacrifice, and then they’ll see what they’ll see.
Tara is crashed out on Lafayette’s couch. She hears a knock and quickly grabs a gun from beneath the throw pillow array. Tara throws open the door Charlie Angel’s style, panties-clad with gun in kill-shot form. It’s Naomi, whose expression is telegraphing “seriously pissed” in a way that’s far more disconcerting to Tara than the mad vamps on her tail. Tara tells Naomi the sad tale of Tara Thornton, causality of Lettie Mae’s demons and Bon Temps’ demon-central locale. Tara says that it was incredible to be able to leave and reinvent herself as anyone she wanted to be. Naomi is oh, so very pleased (sarcastic italics are sarcastic) to have been Tara’s vacation from her life and turns to leave. Tara stops her with you didn’t come all the way from N’awlins just to tell me to get bent. Naomi says you’re right, and body slams Tara. She pins Tara and tells her that she should kick Tara’s ass, but you can tell by the blocking that they’re gonna kiss, and they do.
Tommy, as Sam, is in the Merlotte’s office fidgeting. Sookie flits in and tells ‘Sam’ that she can’t work today because of the drama that is her life. Tommy-Sam cuts off her excuses and stone-cold fires her. Sookie flits out, indignant, but she doesn’t need this job, anyway, she’s got all that vamp-sitting backpay coming from Pam. And might I say excellent work by Sam Trammel on Tommy’s body language – he’s all dissipation and threadbare underwear. Tommy makes himself at home in his Sam-suit and bosses, schmoozes and then heads over to Maxine’s corner booth. Maxine tells ‘Sam’ that Tommy ran out on her just like all the men in her life do, but no matter, because Tommy dumber than a bucket of spit and now, much like Hoyt, dead to her. ‘Sam’ visibly crumples in front of her.
Sookie goes looking for Jason for help in rescuing Eric. I’m sure glad everyone was so concerned with Jason’s own recent incarceration, amirite? When no Jason answers her knock, Sookie mind-melds that he’s in his bedroom. He tells her that he’s in the midst of a super-secret police investigation (taking place in his bedroom), but Sookie’s not having it and throws open the door. Jason’s lying on his bed in his briefs, handcuffed to the headboard. Waving aside Jason’s obvious mania, Sookie eyerolls that it’s a sex type thing, she should have known. Jason tells her that he’s dangerous and that she needs to leave, pronto. Sookie demands that he tell her what’s going on or she’s going brain-diving. Jason tells her that he’s going to turn into a werepanther on the onset of the full moon because he got bitten by his crazy ex-girlfriend and her crazy werepanther tribe. Sookie tries to say werepanther without giggling, but then realizes that Jason is serious. Thoughts of Eric and his imprisoned torso momentarily put aside, Sookie agrees to help Jason and starts by telling him that when he turns, the handcuffs are just gonna fall off. Jason didn’t think of that and is glad to have his practical little sis around to keep him from doing something dumber than V-addiction, cult joining and werepanther dating.
Alcide arrives home to find Debbie sitting with Pack Master Flash. Pack Master Flash says that he understands Alcide not wanting to roll with the homies after what happened with the pack in Mississippi (Russell, V-swilling weres, Debbie banging other dudes) but Pack Master Flash don’t play like that. He drops the alpha and goes on the soft sell with Alcide. He ups the ante by turning to Debbie with, “Debbie? I’ll see you tonight?” He leaves and Debbie tells Alcide that she needs the community the pack provides, her sobriety depends on it. She got so messed up before by getting too wrapped up in Alcide to exclusion of all else (too wrapped in Alcide lead to banging other weres? Okay, then.) The pack is running at the full moon that night and Debbie implores Alcide to go with her. It’s hard for me to get anything else out of this scene, because I just want to take an angle brush and blend Debbie’s eyeliner. It’s the curse of southern womanhood, y’all.
Filled with full moon fever, Marnie cuts her wrists with her fingernails and piteously calls upon her spirit guide. She offers herself up as a vessel for the spirit’s vengeance and receives a final vision from Antonia. Marnie sees Sherriff Luis and other priest-vamps snacking on Antonia and getting Biblical on her with, “Suffer not a witch to live.” Luis’s maker-priest tells him to make Antonia scream, (voyeurism comes standard in most vamps) so Luis begins to rape her. Antonia meets his eyes with contempt and curses him rather than scream. As Antonia burns, she uses necromancy to call the vampires from their crypts into sunlight. Marnie wakes from the vision to see Antonia standing before her. Antonia takes possession of Marnie’s body via wind machine and Antonia luxuriates in her corporealism by giving her new boobs a discreet grope.
Lafayette and Jesus kill time in BFE-ville, waiting for something to sacrifice. Jesus tells Lafayette that the sacrifice has to offer itself, but Lafayette is understandably skeptical of suicidal coyotes showing up any time soon. Jesus says he knows his grandfather is an evil sadistic MFer, and that he’s fought his entire life not to turn into someone like him, but if it’s the price he has to pay to keep Lafayette safe, he’ll do it. The sacrifice comes slithering up to them, and Jesus greets the rattler with a brujo smile. I’m thinking the snake was less throwing itself on the pyre and more looking for somewhere warm to curl up, but then I tend to be more practical than mystical.
Jason and Sookie sit on lawn chairs in the moonlight with a shotgun and a couple of cold ones and Jason tells Sookie to shoot him as soon as he turns. Sookie’s not really into fratricide (she’s not a Mickens, after all) but Jason warns her that he will have claws and zero impulse control and, good Lord, the hairballs alone. Sookie says that every time she gets used to one kind of ‘supe’, another shows up; she hardly knows any regular humans anymore. Yes, well, Jason was just fine with being everybody’s all American; he doesn’t want to be a freak of nature. Sookie tells him she made peace with her freakish nature by figuring out that there ain’t such a thing as normal. Jason contemplates that for a moment and then asks Sookie to run get him another beer. Southern manners ingrained, Sookie takes off for the fridge without noticing Jason’s single-minded focus on the moon. She comes back, and of course Jason is gone, so she gets loaded for panther and takes off after him.
Tara, reunited with Naomi, ends her tour of the life of Tara Thornton with a stop at Merlotte’s. They sit in Jessica’s section, and Tara makes “effin vampires” face as soon as she sees her. Jessica starts to competently take their order, feels a disturbance in the vamp force, and then whooshes out. Tara huffs, “Told you,” to Naomi and realizes that now she has to get her own damn chili. Out back in the travel trailer, Luna shows up to see Sam, but get a mouthful of Tommy-Sam instead. Luna says she’s ready to get the balls rolling with Sam and rips her top open. Tommy tries to send her on her way, he really does, but he’s powerless in the face of nipples and goes along for the ride.
Jason runs through the woods, unafraid because he’s a police officer-slash-nascent werepanther (new series this fall on CBS!). Jessica whooshes to his side. It seems she sensed his fear via their blood connection, and she’s there to save him! Jessica figures out that Jason must have been turned by the werepanthers but wonders, “Does that even happen?” She walks him through his ‘turning,’ and he uses her boobs as a focal point. Jessica tells him that the night she was made was the scariest night of her life and she won’t let Jason go through it alone.
Sookie totes the gun and hollers through the moonlit woods for Jason. She walks up on Debbie who, wolfiness aside, has zero stealth. Alcide pops out of the bushes with a bit more subtlety. Debbie warns Sookie it’s the full moon and the woods are full of dangerous things. Alcide channels his sexual frustration into snark with, “You lose Eric again?” Hah. No, Sookie mutters, she knows lots of lost people, not just Eric. Sookie asks about werepanthers, and Alcide and Debbie dish their knowledge with a bit of were-superiority on the side. It seems were-ness is hereditary and not caused by bites. Sookie beams thanks and flounces off.
Luna and Tommy-Sam are awkwardly post-coital. She says it was different than she expected – almost as if they were strangers. Tommy’s a bit mollified that she’s not comparing his prowess to Sam’s imagined one. Luna tells him that she’s ready to shift and wants to become a bird and fly far, far, far away. Tommy says it’s time for her to go and stands to give us a full moon of his own (it’s not his butt, so what does he care?). He throws Luna’s clothes at her, hitting her in the face, and doesn’t even tell her he’ll call. She chews him out and then she’s off like a flimsy sundress. Tommy groans and shifts back, his butt crack plumbering out of Sam’s pants, and barely makes it to the sink before he throws up. Nice visual, props team.
Jason and Jessica recline under the moon, and Jason decides he’s not turning, after all. Despite all the angst over man vs. animal, he’s a bit let down. He asks Jessica if she would be human again if she could. She tells him no, that even while she’s not big on the vampire protocol, it’s exciting to be fast and strong and having the world open up around her. Jason says he always wondered why Sookie got all of the special. Jessica says that Jason was a football star and bagged every pretty girl around plus: just look at him! That’s pretty special. Nice try, Jess, but hot guys who play football and chase tail are kind of de rigueur around these parts. Didn’t you people watch “Friday Night Lights?” The sexual tension is thicker than the moonlight, and then Jason and Jessica both remember Hoyt and ease away from each other, invoking the name of Hoyt Fortenberry as they go.
Bill surveys his kingdom in the moonlight. His goons walk Eric out and then force Eric to kneel so that Bill will look taller. Bill says he’s been given orders to sentence Eric to the true death and offers him any last words. Eric says he doesn’t expect mercy; he doesn’t wish to live this way any longer and he’s a stranger to the vampire he once was. He accepts the sentence with a request that Bill release Pam since she’s dying and practically helpless (wow, Eric really doesn’t remember Pam, does he?). He requests that Bill tell Sookie that Eric was born the night she found him and he’ll go to his death knowing what it means to love. Bill grimaces at that and calls for his big silver phallus and his fiddlers three. Eric earnest-faces that Sookie still cares for Bill and that he hopes they’ll find their way back to each other because Sookie deserves happiness. Eric waits for death by dildo and Bill rears back and…
We cut to Granddaddy Shaman getting a big bag ‘o snake. Closed Captioning finally tells me that Granddaddy is Don Bartolo, which is a lot easier to type. Don Bartolo’s pregnant wife/ girlfriend/possible granddaughter locks the door and Don Bartolo cuts his wrist and tells Jesus and Lafayette that this is the same blood magic Marnie is using. Jesus says no, no, she’s a medium. Grandpa begs to differ, seems Marnie’s super-sized up to an extra-large possession kink. The spirits are always wanting in and Marnie’s waving the glowy sticks on the tarmac for them. Jesus says that they don’t need protection from spirits, but from vampires. Don Bartolo ignores him and gets holy-roller with his snake handling. He has the snake bite Jesus in the throat and then tosses the snake into the fire. As he leaves, Don Bartolo tells Jesus that he did it to protect him. Lafayette begs them for help as Jesus lies gasping in his arms. As Lafayette looks around, he sees a vision of an older man and then freezes as this spirit leaps into him. Lafayette begins to speak soothingly in Spanish and comforts Jesus. He calls himself Tio Luca and he calls upon Yemaya to heal and protect Jesus. It works and Jesus sits up, agog at the sight of his uncle fading from Lafayette’s eyes. Lafayette is stunned and figures he might need to bone up on his Spanish in other ways than the literal.
Tara and Naomi hang out outside Merlotte’s and Tara has Toni’s last smoke. Naomi says she thinks she likes ‘Tara’. She wants to get to know Tara better and they kiss. Sensing hesitation, Naomi asks if Tara is coming back to New Orleans. Tara says she wants to, but…it’s Bon Temps, so of course Pam creeps up on them all Crypt Keeper. Tara says she had no idea what Marnie was going to do, but Pam’s really not enjoying learning that “Pieces of You” isn’t just a Jewel song. Tara tells Naomi to go and they run. Pam vamps and whooshes after them.
Sherriff Luis watches Marnie on the monitor in Bills’ office. She smiles knowingly at the camera, so Luis takes that as incentive to go down below (wow, ground-floor the Inquisition and miss a vampire bonfire by that much, and you still don’t have survival skills?). Marnie greets him with Antonia’s voice and Luis recognizes her. He vamps and jumps at her, telling her he’ll hear her scream this time. She holds out a hand and commands him to be her slave and he freezes. She lifts the other hand and makes rocker fingers (or perhaps she’s a Longhorns fan) and his fangs retract.
Sookie still wanders the woods trying to tell her brother he ain’t ever gonna be a werepanther, anyhow, and to just get his butt on home. She turns around and sees Eric, who, basketball shorts aside, is finally giving us some payoff on all the moonlight going on in this ep. He tells Sookie that Bill set him free. Eric runs to her and they kiss as the moonlight streams through the trees and the music swells majestically. Speaking of majestic, Bill’s on his wraparound porch listening to dorm rock. He cups his snifter tightly in his hand, but he does avoid a single blood tear on the close-up, which I think was a valid acting choice. Neko Cases’ “I Wish I Was the Moon” strums us through the scene fade to where Eric and Sookie have slow, silent meadow sex with lots of soft-focus close-ups on their clutching hands. I don’t know about wishing I was the moon tonight, but I’d be okay with being Sookie at the moment…