Although far from impossible.)
But so Jason, one level down from there, listens to the shouting of the high school jocks, and feels a certain jealousy and covetousness echoing down from dancing Bud to Sherriff Andy to Placeless Stackhouse, and does what he can -- what he has to do -- for them both. For all three of these obsolete men. He lays down some non-charm on Kitch for a bit, and then some major charm on his lady friend, and then tells them all to stop being fucktards and causing disrespectful ruckuses "when a fine upstanding citizen is getting all commemorated," and additionally tries -- classic Stackhouse Filibuster -- to warn Kitch about how obsolescence feels, and how in ten years there will be another generation of Percivals stealing your dick, and Kitch in addition to looking like the best of all the gay pinups ever pinned up, has no idea what he's talking about, which to Jason counts as a win. He struts away with a pitcher of beer, and even Hoyt has no idea how the math works out that Jason has just triumphed, but whatever anyway.
And while the men are having their same problems they've been having since being invented several years before, Kenya is in the corner drinking shots and making a valid point: "I guess the only way to get a promotion in this town is to drink like a fish, hallucinate farm animals, and kill a black man. Hey, promotion!"
"Pig!" Kenya shouts into the chaos, and then Arlene runs in for more of her patented bullshit, yelling at Sam about this and that and being generally awful -- although she is right that she should not be the only front of house employee, which she is because the other waitresses and bartenders are all dead, hypnotized, or getting tarted up by werewolf biker chicks, and also that Sam has "got" to start looking out for his own. Which means firstly Tommy, in Sam's head, but also Arlene has made her point, and thirdly that who is Sam's family? Among others, Sookie. Who has a family of her own she didn't ask for, but whom he promised to care for in her absence. I will give Arlene this week off from being hated, because that was pretty awesome.
Alcide can tell just from looking at Sookie -- short dark wig, corset, tats all over, leather pants, fingerless gloves, old-bitch makeup -- that Janice took to her. That's sweet, and Sookie is flattered by his glances and the sentiment, but mostly here is some information she will be screaming at you, Sookie-fashion: "Debbie's getting initiated into Coot's pack and she's addicted to V!" Alcide -- because we have to learn to think of him as Sookie's twin brother before we can get to know him on his own -- managing to combine both the folksy "cheese and ____" thing from Eric's dream with Sookie's own STFU earlier: "Shut the fuckin' door!"
Sookie admits to pokin' around in Janice's brain, with a tad bit of guilt, and points out that Janice was just trying to protect him, but that obviously Sookie couldn't just do the same because A) "Debbie" is code for "Bill" so of course he, being code for "myself," would want to know, and B) This is just one more reason for Alcide to come with her to the Were bar, which even in her getup is still really scary to think about. (Sookie would never let a boy protect her without first jumping everybody through a bunch of hoops to get her ass protected, which really is just a brilliant thing about Sookie Stackhouse: It's not big strong men she needs, it's big strong anybody, but they can't get the wrong idea and think it's because she's a five-foot babydoll of a person, because she has no time for the concept of actually being in danger.)
Alcide's grossed out by the idea of Debbie getting branded by the FUCrew, and is quite positive that it's just because she's a V addict and not any other reason, like her own internal grodiness, like there's a difference. He agrees to go with her, but they have to go separately, so that her disguise will actually have a point but also because he knows this will have no result, for him, other than yet another ass-kicking. She's grateful, but once he turns his head, she lets herself shiver some more. I can't blame her: This is like the first time in her life/the show that the danger hasn't just naturally come flying at her of its own accord.
Russell gives Bill a sort of intake interview over scotch and cigars and creepy Victrola versions of the cello that follows Bill everywhere. What they are talking about is specifically stuff we never really got to hear much about, which is Bill's work for the Queen of Louisiana. For 35 years he was her "procurer," which is a fancy word for "pimp," and which to say there's a difference here is really splitting hairs, if you think about what vampires actually do. Bill promises he was only in Bon Temps on sabbatical, but Russell knows better.
Bill wants more confirmation that Russell can usurp Sophie-Anne's territory -- I guess "via marriage or otherwise" is all one concept now -- and they smoke cigars and generally keep distracted by niceties and historical name-dropping and quotations -- "A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke," Rudyard Kipling, who unlike Shakespeare never stole spoons -- and then Bill says he additionally wants Lorena dead. It won't be reported, so nobody will get in trouble. Then he starts getting real treacherous, in a sort of uncomfortable way: "Eric Northman, the Queen's Sheriff of Area IV, has been selling vampire blood, and I believe it is at her behest." Russell knows the Magister would love proof of that, and they reiterate how she's in need of serious cash right now. Anyway, Russell is loving these data, and now he feels like celebrating. Bill makes a terrified face, which I would too in that bathhouse of a house. "'Celebrating' as in... A circle jerk? Or like a tea party? How should I be dressed, basically."
This is all very complicated, because in a minute Pam and Eric are going to sell Bill out for the same thing, which makes me think this whole V storyline is going down sooner rather than later, which is fine. You've got way too many good characters tied up in it as is, and it's really just a hanging doom waiting to come down and turn into something else. The parallel materials have been talking about this "Authority" for awhile now, and we still don't know about Nan Flanigan and the Magister's official roles in the government itself, so that seems like the logical place to go with at least the Sophie part of this.
I still think there are non-financial reasons the Queen wants her blood in a bunch of people -- ooooh, actually that line of thought just got interesting, because isn't that exactly what the vampire head of the FUCrew (Russell, in a minute) is personally doing? And has been doing for centuries? So basically they're both doing the same thing, building an army of people with their blood: It's just that Sophie-Anne also gets money for it, while Russell just gets... Hot naked werewolves. Hmm. That's a tough one. I'm so glad I'm not a vampire! It is always something with those people.
("Those people." Racist.) Anyway, Franklin's home from doing whatever awful creepy shit he gets up to, and takes the tape off Tara's mouth -- but only after flirting about and taping a creepy bouquet to her praying hands. "Did you miss me?" he asks several times, knowing her mouth is taped closed. There is a quote "magical" thing about Tara that obsesses him, and makes him do these things, in addition to what I'm sure is his own native creepiness: Licks, rather than kissing. "We have so much ahead of us!" he says. Tara just stares, terrified and finally realizing just how far he's going to go with this.
(Last year a bridesmaid, this year a bride. But put it together with Sookie's whole marriage conundrum -- and Alcide's, and Russell/Talbot as the show's only married couple -- and Lord knows where we're going: Sam's family, Lorena, even Arlene.)
Sam puts Jessica to work hostessing, to start, and we talk about how she can't serve alcohol because she's not eighteen. Jessica points out that she'll never be eighteen, that s