Maryann assumes her most horrifying form yet -- Bridezilla of the Gods! -- after quickly taking control of Jason, Andy and Lafayette. They dress Sookie up and pronounce her the Matron of Honor, whose responsibilities in this sort of ceremony include licking a giant egg and then standing around awkwardly while Bill comes up with a plan that seems really dumb until it goes down, which involves handing Sam over for the sacrifice.
The reason he's been such a big deal is some things from the night he broke into Maryann's house which showed oracular signs of him being the perfect vessel for Dionysus's incarnation. So the plan is, as expected, to hang him from the giant meat tree and then serve up his heart to the God, who will then incarnate in the form of a bull-headed man and wed Maryann, destroying all of Bon Temps before continuing on to the rest of America!
Bill hands Sam over, and Eggs stabs the shit out of him, and just when you think he's going to die Bill tells Sookie to go nuts, which basically amounts to her awkwardly pushing the meat tree over and then yelling a whole lot like she'd probably be doing anyway. Albeit with more of that magical electricity effect, which Maryann likens to "nature herself shooting out" Sookie's fingertips. Sounds kind of messy, not to mention giving us a partial explanation for how she managed to take out the Rattrays in the first place. Maryann thinks about killing everybody as a replacement sacrifice, but decides instead to chase Sookie around the woods. There, she runs into a beautiful white bull and naturally assumes that she's having a Pasiphaë/Io moment, because maybe you hadn't heard but 90% of all mythology is Greek chicks banging bulls.
But it's not actually God, it's Sam. Who gores her to death, giving her an atheist epiphany before she turns to a dusty old corpse in Gran's wedding gown. Meanwhile, Bill's a walking deadman because he fed Sam so much before the ceremony. Sookie yells at them to clean up the body and reassures Tara she is yet again responsible for nothing she does, and the rest of the town yawns and wonders what they've been doing for the last week. Sam goes off to see his adoptive/abandoning parents, and gets the info on his real parents (apparently not great people).
Hoyt processes his mother's latest nasty lies, and realizes that they are not, in fact lies: His father really did commit suicide, and she's been using this secret to control him for his entire life. He tells Maxine he should have just let Jessica have her, and goes over to the Compton place to make up. But she's not there, having told (mega-sweet) Bill that she's going over to Hoyt's to apologize for almost eating his mother. While Hoyt's knocking on her door, though, she's making out with and awesomely murdering nasty truckers like a homicidal lot lizard. So it's pretty much like Romeo & Juliet.
Tara collects the broken pieces of Eggs and herself as best she can, but when he comes to Sookie asking her to reveal his blackout memories, he realizes he's this season's serial killer, and goes to Andy to turn himself in. There is a farcical mishap and Jason -- who's spent all season playing soldier boy, from paintguns to paramilitary exercises to this latest arms race -- finally graduates to murder, killing Eggs. Of course, Tara goes into a meltdown, but only after Andy covers it up and calls it a suicide. So Tara's doing great as usual.
We learn some more things about the Queen: Firstly that she is the one who ordered Eric to sell her blood -- presumably so she can have a psychic bond with all the white trash drug addicts in Louisiana -- that she knows very well that Sookie is more than human, and that drinking her electric blood is the first step to falling in love with her for a vampire... Like for example Bill, who proposes a Vermont marriage to Sookie -- who, of course, equivocates and then decides to go for it -- just before he's kidnapped by a glove-wearing vampire. Which gives us for the first time ever an episode ending with something other than Sookie screaming her ass off. Great season!
This isn't the first time it's happened. It's what the Maenads meant. Rabelais talks about it, Carnival, and most of us have done Mardi Gras at least once. The masks come off when the masks go on. You could say that our country has a sickness in that we don't do it anymore, but I think that's only partially true -- you still get the Margaret Meads and Robert Blys saying we don't have rites of passage either, and they're right too -- but I think the unimaginable is particularly hard to imagine. That's what the chaos, the loss of control ("we crave it") basically means, and it always looks terrifying to people outside the circle. In my family we call it "drinking." In Washington they call them Tea Parties.
Rabelais was enamored of them, glamoured by them, because they represented cultural rebirth: For one day, the world turns upside down. A peasant becomes a king, or the Wicker Man is lit, common sense about food and sex goes crazy around us, and we all remember that most of this fake civilization bullshit is just something we agreed upon so things would go easily. When you're sitting at a 3 AM red light and nobody's coming, there's a little thrill in running that light. It's a reminder that nobody's watching, the Mad God isn't coming: There's just us, and our choices. Even if, in the morning, somebody has to be blamed.
But tonight it's in full swing. Sookie Stackhouse is still screaming, as usual, as Lafayette orders Tara and Eggs downstairs with their big weird egg. Eggs grunts happily, and Tara hoots to herself, and they nearly weep with anticipation of the coming God. Left with black-eyed Lafayette, Sookie reaches out to him; inside his head it's a maelstrom of preparation, running through them all like a river underwater: Prepare her for Bromios, prepare her for Eleutherios...
Lafayette tells her to take off her clothes, and she's shocked. Watching this the first time, it's as disorienting for us as for Sookie -- just how far gone is he? -- but when you watch it again, the whole conversation takes less than five seconds. He menaces her, tells her to take off her clothes, flirts with your racism, and then bends down: Not to smell her, but to present her with her bridal party gown. Scary and then not scary is the basis of all comedy. She puts it on quickly and he shoves her down the stairs.
Tara, Arlene and Jane attend the bride: Maiden, Mother, Crone. She flips back her veil and grins wildly at Sookie, beyond joyful. "What the hell are you doing in my grandmother's wedding dress?" Maryann ignores her rudeness and welcomes her, explaining -- as the triplet goddess frames Herselves around the bride, like a tableau reenactment -- that Sookie's the maid of honor. Behind Sookie, Lafayette claps hilariously to himself.