Sookie is a faerie, as in elf, as in Midsummer Night's Dream. Yes, she thinks that's as lame as you do. And yes, it's because she doesn't know how scary they actually can get. It would seem one of the Fae got with one of her female ancestors, maybe not by her express consent, and also vampires find faeries so delightfully tasty that maybe they are extinct now due to being eaten all the time. As is Sookie's wont, she thinks about this for about five seconds and then starts terrorizing everybody. Eric shows up to yell at Bill for the usual mysterious stuff he yells at Bill about, and we learn that Sophie-Anne's interest in Sookie had to do with her blood's possible side effect of letting you walk around in the daytime.
Tara, not knowing that Franklin's death has reactivated Jason's turning-point freakouts over Eddie's death and Eggs's death, thinks they are in the same PTSD boat. On the one hand, she finally comes clean to Sookie about just how bad things got with Franklin, and gives her a sort of ultimatum about their friendship v. dating Bill. Jason takes care of her for awhile and they almost hook up. Jason makes the only good decision of the entire episode and tells her about Eggs, so Tara goes running off to find her Prom dress more than likely, so she can get good and bonkers again. Sookie runs off to yell at Eric some more, so Bill yells at Jason, who in turn rescinds Bill's invitation to his house. Meanwhile, Crystal is totally a panther.
Lafayette gives Calvin Norris a drop of V to save him after Sam beat him up so bad. Cal's upset by this, since that has made his panther blood impure, and even more upset by the fact that Crystal's not interested in being part of Hotshot's illustrious werepanther inbreeding program. Jesus, on the other hand, is totally intrigued by the magical effects of V, which he realizes is more of a shamanic tool and less of a drug for white trash werewolf Nazis. He convinces Lafayette to have some with him, and so for their second date they go rummaging through each other's ancestry. It is a lollapalooza of white liberal NPR fetishizing the Other: Beloved's there eatin' butter, gettin' raped by slaveowners, old brujas doin' fertility magic, there's voodoo dolls, an old Indian chief crying because you littered that time, Sandra Bullock and Michelle Pfeiffer save some kids, you got wolves cryin' under the blue corn moon, the whole authentic nine.
Turns out Jesus and Lala are both descended from way-powerful sorcerers and witches. Which explains a lot about Lafayette and Tara, not to mention their respective batshit moms. Furthermore, we learn that fatherless Jesus's worldwide tour with Mami was due to her father's "big plans" for J's magical gift, which seem to involve blackest sorcery, or at least painting with all the colors of the wind with a bone through his nose.
Sam... Oh, Sam. So apparently five years ago or so, he was trying to get some money together to start Merlotte's, with the help of a lovely young lady whom it turned out double-crossed him and eventually got accidentally murdered. It's not that interesting, although Sam gets to do a lot of acting with various hairstyles, and we learn that... Well, I'm not sure what we learn other than that this entire season about Sam's family has really just been a love letter to Sam Trammell for being beautiful and a very good actor. Which we kind of already knew. But finding out he used to be a Mickens all on his own and eventually worked his shit out doesn't really add much to anything, because we knew that, too. Plus, after you lose your virginity to God I'm not sure a Gordon Gekko haircut is really gonna be all that shocking.
Nan does PR cleanup after Russell's amazing scene last week, but anti-vampire sentiment is at an all-time high. While Russell finds -- and stakes -- a human hustler who resembles Talbot except for being super hot, Jessica is horrified by a burning cross and various brickbats at the old Compton place. She and Bill share another wonderful father/daughter moment, and eventually she finds herself once again flirting with Tommy Merlotte. However, Hoyt finally breaks up with Summer and comes into the bar talking all kinds of Jesus Freak talk about how they should be together. She's still unsure, so he leaves the bar, and Tommy gives him shit, so he awesomely punches Tommy, who turns into a pitbull and savages him. Jessica comes out, admits she's in love with him, and makes him drink her blood for the injuries. And lo, it is awesome.
Arlene's falling for the anti-vamp party line from Steve Newlin (Hi!), but approaches Wiccan Holly in the hopes of stopping this pregnancy some herbal way. This even after Arlene comes clean to Terry -- well done -- who of course tells her he's fine with raising another man's baby, because he loves her and he loves their child. It's super-sweet, and very Terry, and as usual disgusting Arlene deserves nothing in this life but somehow makes it through anyway.
Eric is in a bad way. He starts the night making out a will to ensure that Pam will inherit all of his stuff, and continually telling Pam he's not going to sell Sookie out. He yells at Yvetta and then hits Bon Temps for a second to say goodbye and needle Bill about the Sophie Secret, which of course eventually causes Sookie to hit out for Shreveport to ask what he's on about. Pam yells more and eventually invokes Godric's name, which causes Eric to lock Sookie up in the dungeon, steel collar and all, without really explaining himself.
I'm sure he's got a great, horrible plan that will save everybody, though. And for an episode that's all about not making other people's decisions for them, it's a fitting way to end: Eric doing to Sookie as literally as possible what Bill ends up doing to her on pretty much a weekly basis. Thinkin' probably she won't be as nice about it with Eric, no matter how much kissing they do when he's not screwing her over, but maybe she'll surprise us.
Flashback to me at fourteen: "I'm a fairy? How fucking lame." Bill tries to explain to Sookie about how "Fairy" is but one of the names of the thing she is, but of course they all sound about that stupid. The internet is mostly just those words, in different contexts. Back when they had bookstores, it was a lot of that, in big fat paperbacks with Michael Whelan covers. Also Etsy, Etsy is full of fairies. You can spell it a variety of ways but all it really means is "People that look human but aren't human, that will fuck you up." You might also know them as "aliens."
Which is very True Blood, if you think about it, and another iteration of one of my favorite things about the show: There is no Them, ever; not even the Gods are ever Them. Aliens would by definition come from somewhere other than here; the Fae were here first. They define "here." And all the stories, from changelings and Communion to their long slender bodies and their great big eyeballs, are put off on alien abduction scenarios because A) We can't imagine anything that strange being so close to home, or so central to our longings, and B) We can't stand the idea of being out here alone.
It all comes down to the same exact story, but with the primary difference shifted from "us/them" to "in/out." Vampires are dead rattlesnakes animated by human blood and magic, shifters are who-knows-what, Weres are the most earthly beasts of all, and the Fae have Nature Herself running through their veins. There is no Them, no aliens, because it's all us. Stuck on a rock together.
Which is good if you're strong, because then you have access to everything: No territory is denied you. You are invited into a complete and shining world. (That's what V is about.)
But it's but bad if your areas of blindness or weakness or sadness -- Steve Newlin, Arlene Fowler, Russell Edgington, Tara Thornton -- can't handle it, because then you're projecting your lacking parts and your sad parts and the areas of your blindness onto the world, which puts you at odds against your own existence. The broken world is a terrible place, full of shadows and shame and clicking bugs and secret doors opening on sickness; you'll never understand that you're the one making it that way. (That's also what V is about.)
As she always expected, then, Sookie is an alien. Bill says only mostly, because one of her female ancestors -- on Grandpa Earl's side; this was all very different in the books -- um, "coupled" with a Fae. Because BTW, in addition to being lame and aliens, sometimes they also raped you a little bit. Bill explains that he got all of this out of a lady named Claudine, and explains her Garden thusly: "Bon Temps Cemetery. Only it... It was someplace else, and it was day. But it wasn't painful, it was beautiful." Yes, there was a pond, and he came out of it, though the water didn't sparkle and he couldn't even touch it. Sookie, of course, is thrilled to be talking about herself.