Review: True Blood 2×12: Beyond Here Lies Nothin

 

Alone, Maryann orders Sookie to give her another hit of electricity. “It’s like nature herself was shooting out from your fingertips,” she says, suggesting that Sookie might be something more than human. Like any villainess worth her laurel wreath, Maryann takes some time to explain her evil plan: Sookie is the bait to draw the sacrifice, in this case, Sam. Might Sookie’s supernatural side explain why all the show’s un-naturals are so helplessly enamored of her?
 
At the palace of the vampire queen, another of Sookie’s many admirers, Eric, endures a lecture from Sophie Anne re: his involvement with the psychic waitress. Though Eric claims not to love any human, this reviewer has her doubts. Disturbed by Bill’s knowledge of her V-selling industry, Sophie Ann makes Eric swear to silence Bill himself. And for good measure, she makes out with him a little, too. While even a Yahtzee-playing Eric is a pleasure to behold, the finale offered little else for Skarsgard fans to enjoy. Couldn’t Eric have played a greater role in Bon Temps’ almost apocalypse?
 
Back in town, the god-raising is well underway. Despite Jason and Andy’s best efforts to take down Maryan’s army, they are quickly assimilated into her black-eyed masses. Determined to save Sookie, Bill drags Sam into harm’s way, and of course stalwart Sam heroically offers up his life to preserve Sookie’s.
 
“Worship him, *censormode*es,” Lafayette demands as the ceremony commences. Mr. Ball himself promised someone would meet a bloody end in tonight’s ep, and it’s genuinely nerve-racking when Eggs buries his knife in Sam’s chest. As Maryann anoints herself with Sam’s sacrificial blood, Sookie and a dying Sam have a telepathic chat in which he instructs her to take out the eggs. (Despite it’s coolness, the mind-meld seemed a little unnecessary here. Couldn’t Bill have told Sookie when to go for the goods?)
 
Sookie takes her sweet time destroying the giant ostrich eggs and ruining the ceremony. Nobody, Maryann included, seems terribly motivated to stop her. It’s all a little Disney villainess as Maryann finally sprouts horns and chases Sookie into the woods. Fortunately, before things  become too out of control, a giant white bull shows up and skewers Maryann through the belly, saving Sookie (and the town) from certain death. The goring is impressive in its, well, gore. As Maryann’s heart is torn from her body, and her face disintegrates, the bull is revealed to be none other than Sam, able to kill Maryann in a moment of vulnerability.
 
Bill saves Sam’s life with a nick-of-time transfusion, leaving Bill weak but alive. Well, no more dead, anyway. In the aftermath, Sookie and Tara hug it out, but Tara is convinced the horror isn’t yet over. She must have noticed we’re only halfway through the episode. Upstairs, Sookie shucks cleaning duty in favor of snuggling in with Bill until dawn.
 
The next day, a breathing but somber Sam reopens Merlotte’s, which is lucky as Bon Temps seems to possess no other dining establishments. Most of the residents seem blissfully unaware of the events surrounding Maryann’s weird wedding, though a number gather at the bar to exchange theories. Terry gives Arlene’s kids matching toy guns and a promise to keep their mother safe. Meanwhile, some middle-aged moms hit on Sam (“I’d wear him like a scrunchy,” one vows.)
 
Sam, however, has other plans, and after telling Sookie he needs a couple days’ vacation, heads to his childhood home in search of information. Adopted as a baby, Sam is determined to find his birth parents. Despite his brief love affair with Maryann’s secret servant Daphne, this season was sadly light in its Sam development. Will next season feature everyone’s favorite bar owner on a journey of self-discovery?
 
At Merlotte’s, Sookie helps Eggs remember his recent murder streak, an unfortunate choice which will yield dire consequences. More on that later. Eggs takes off, but Sookie is distracted by a gift from Bill: a pretty dress and the promise of an evening out. It’s nice to see these unlucky lovers enjoy a moment’s calm, and a well-rehearsed dance, even if their happiness is short-lived. Book-ending nicely with the episode’s earlier festivities, Bill presents Sookie with a ticket to Vermont and a diamond ring. Of course, Sookie panics, and while she’s in the bathroom contemplating, an unseen evil nabs Bill. Is the kidnapper Eric or someone(thing) else entirely? At any rate, Sookie returns from her powder to find the dinner table trashed and Bill missing.
 
Like the other Bon Tempsians, Hoyt’s mom regains her natural eye color after Maryann’s death, but not her son’s affections. Angry that she’s stifled him all these years, Hoyt hastily wishes that Jessica had finished the job she began on his mother’s neck. While Hoyt brings Jessica flowers in apology, Jessica has other aims. She picks up a trucker and dines out on his blood.
 
Even with Jessica turning carnivore, it’s all a little too happy-go-naïve, which is why it’s no big surprise when Eggs stumbles into the Merlotte’s parking lot waving a knife. Unable to bear what he’s done, Eggs pleads with Andy to take him into custody. It’s unclear whether Eggs would have actually attacked Andy, but before he has the chance Jason emerges, gun in hand, and fires a bullet into Eggs’ head. In a moment of uncharacteristic chivalry, Andy snatches the gun from a surprised Jason. Merlotte’s empties out in time for the Bon Tempsians to discover Andy standing over Eggs’ prone form.
 
Mr. Ball and the rest of the writing staff surely love their cliffhangers, and next season promises to address a whole host of questions: Will Jason confess to killing Eggs? Will poor Tara be able to cope with losing yet another person in her life? And what about the love triangle of the century? It’s a long wait, but this reviewer is excited to see what comes next.
 
Quote of the day: Jason to Andy: “It’s times like this that this town needs a good man, Andy. And that man is us.”
 
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