Played by a light and lyrical Evan Rachel Wood, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, a newcomer to the True Blood universe, fairly drips with wealth and narcissism. Over the indoor swimming pool, she and Bill discuss Bon Temps’ little maenad problem. “She’s convinced herself she’s immortal and so she is,” the queen explains, claiming that everything that exists has imagined itself into being. Bill admits that he never saw it in quite that way.
Back in town, Hoyt must physically drag his girlfriend away from his mother’s throat. Fortunately for Mrs. Fortenberry, Jessica didn’t appear to do much lasting damage. Still, Hoyt walks out after declaring that he should have listened to Bill’s warnings. At home, Mrs. Fort cooks a traditional potato-chip casserole in tribute to the coming God. In her madness, she reveals some less than pleasant truths about Hoyt’s dead dad. Will this news cripple him? Or have his recent “interviews” with a vampire empowered him enough to become at last his own man?
Speaking of family drama, Tara pleads with her well-meaning familial captors to free her so she can rescue Eggs. After Lafayette fuzzy-handcuffs her to a table, Tara tries to convince Lettie to release her, offering forgiveness for sins past. Outside, Sookie and Lafayette bond over their mutual ingestion of Eric-fluid until Lettie emerges and tricks Lafayette into giving up his gun. Is Tara’s mom truly stupid enough to think freeing Tara is the key to restoring their relationship? This seems naïve even for Lettie. Before Lafayette’s frightened eyes, Lettie transforms into Eric, complete with a charming floral-print dress. (Let’s hope Mr. Skaarsgard continues to impersonate members of the cast. I vote for Jessica!) While Lettie holds the gun on her cowering nephew, Tara heads for freedom but is held up by a lack of transportation. “Sookie. I need your keys,” Tara sheepishly admits before driving off to save her man.
At Merlotte’s, Jason, Andy and Sam make plans to fight Maryann and her ink-eyed army. Jason is intent on gathering weapons. “Sometimes you need to destroy something to save it. That’s in the Bible. Or the Constitution,” he says. Sam objects to Jason shooting their fellow townspeople, but is distracted by the appearance of Arlene’s kids. Desperate for some supernatural aid of the fanged variety, Sam takes the children on a field trip to Fangtasia.
In a delightful scene, Sam and the kiddies meet with Eric and Pam to request their help in defeating Maryann. Eric agrees, though not before attempting to secure Sookie as his own personal tribute. Eric is particularly intrigued by Arlene’s young offspring. “They’re like humans but miniature,” Eric marvels. “Teacup humans.” He wishes them a good night before flying off into the sky like the superhero he is not. Leaving aside the issue of the years of therapy the Fowler children will likely require, it’s lots of fun watching Sam playing substitute dad.
Back at the palace of the damned, the queen convinces Bill to partake of her libations, in this case a handsome, heavily accented young man. Unwilling to risk the queen’s displeasure, Bill drinks up before joining in for a game of Yahtzee. (It remains to be seen how Sookie will feel about Bill “playing Yahtzee” with someone other than her.) Despite her id-seeking tendencies, the queen is not without a certain straight-shooting intelligence, and she bestows upon Bill some tips for maenad destruction. Apparently Maryann is seeking the perfect supernatural-but-still-human vessel (read: Sam) in hopes that consuming him will finally allow her to summon Dionysus. Eric’s surprise arrival at the palace interrupts game night with the undead. (“You two should really f*** each other and get it over with,” the queen suggests mildly.) After making decisions regarding Sookie’s sexual future, Bill and Eric part ways, Bill heading back to Bon Temp in search of Maryann’s unlucky tribute: Sam.
One of the perks of this week’s ep is its unlikely pairings (Sookie and Lafayette, Eric and Sam.) Jason and Andy also share a nice moment in which they discuss their relative struggles in life. “I watched a lot of porn to learn stuff,” Jason says in defense of his sexual prowess. It’s good to see True Blood touching again on the Stackhouse-Bellefleur rivalry, a storyline that seems far from over.
In another part of town, the other Stackhouse contrives a plan for she and Lafayette to escape Lettie’s crazy clutches. They head to Maryann’s, where Tara is presently engaged in a battle for the psyche. When Maryann’s fancy shaking thingy doesn’t do its job, she resorts to more traditional methods and slaps Tara into black-eyed obedience. As Tara and Eggs retreat to the bedroom, Maryann’s masses drop by to reveal the story of Sam’s would-be smiting. Furious, she sends them away.
Of course, it wouldn’t be True Blood without a cliffhanger. Tonight’s episode has Sookie sneaking into Tara and Eggs’ bedroom to discover that, in addition to beating the unholy hell out of each other, they’ve been building a sort of nest in the bed. In the middle of the rubble lies a giant white egg with all sorts of implications.
The Season Two finale promises to answer a lot of questions, including the greatest one of all: why does Bill own a bathing suit?
Quote of the day: Vampire Queen to Vampire Bill: “I haven’t enjoyed sex with men since the Eisenhower administration.”