Tara knows better, holding out her hand: "For some reason, you like pretending you're too dumb to know better. Do better." But she knows he's good, and can be counted on, and there's not really anybody else, besides Lafayette, that will come through for her. Even Sam is a beast, it turns out. She starts to lose it again and he holds onto her, tight. Eventually she tries to kiss him, but he thinks of Crystal, and pulls back. This is the thing he knows how to give people, the girls that he loves, and he does love Tara, who has now managed to horrify herself, and she's running out the door, so it's like a bullet-pointed list in his head: If he can't give her that, and he can't keep quiet, then he has to give her the truth. So he does, and so she leaves, without punishing him at all, because now there's really nothing left. Except the truth. Jason follows, crying, into the living room; it takes a second for him to notice Sookie's gone. The other thing he was supposed to do, he fucked that up too.
Sundown, and there's a cross burning on Jessica's yard, and a brick through the window; Bill appears instantly at her side and she nods, scared, that she's okay. She wants to track them, but he reminds her now isn't the time. And something else: "Even if it is against our nature." He's holding her hand when he says it, but it's almost sweeter than that to hear.
Back in aught-three, Sam drunkenly remembers, a cute little dog showed up at the campsite where the trashy randoms were counting all his stolen money and jewelry. And then before they knew what was happening, naked Sam Merlotte was holding the gun and taking the boyfriend's pants. Sam's whole life is putting on pants. There was much yelling and trashy drama -- motivated by the guy pushing Sam's buttons about barking in his sleep and being a "freak," which is what he thought he was back then -- and the girlfriend pulled a gun, and Sam accidentally shot her, and he felt super bad about that, because he loved her. But then she died, so he shot the boyfriend a few more times, and stole back the stolen stuff from the people who stole it from him, the original stealer.
Then he drove to Bon Temps, washed the gunk out of his hair, bought a bar, and became wonderful. And the only thing that was missing from his life was a girlfriend, because the first girl he slept with was a demigoddess who did weird stuff in bed, and then the last girl he slept with was a white trash femme fatale, and in the meantime his only prospect was the town retard, who eventually started dating vampires anyway, and possibly his employees, which hardly counts. And so by the time broken Tara Mae Thornton -- with whom he had more in common than she'd ever realize -- proposed a no strings attached, friends with benefits situation, he was ready for that exact thing. But now he's just drunk and staring at things in the woods and feeling crazy.