"You know, you might want to try going a little easier on her." He rolls his eyes and she's like, "teenage girldom is rough," and he gets all "forsooth but she is vampyre" like he does, and... I don't know. I really like this scene, mostly because I really like when they're alone and Sookie's total mental breakdown backs off for a sec, which is the point of their relationship if you think about it, but also because -- just like with Keith and David -- this parenthood stuff, this Families We Choose synthesis thing, rings so very true. The single dad and the other-race quasi-fiancée quasi-stepmom, it's just so real.
Like here's what Sookie has to do: make friends with Jessica, make an ally of Jessica -- because it's in both of them to get territorial no matter how fucking annoying Bill is -- and provide the female guidance that poor Bill can't even visualize, not get eaten in a more-than-metaphorical sense, not pull age rank, not pull humanity rank, not pull sex rank, not be the weird stepmom, not demand intimacies she doesn't yet deserve, not be standoffish or annoyed by Jessica's place in her life, love her but not too much, help Bill but not too much, feel sorry for her but not too much, encourage her but not too much. And the worst of all: never ever think or look about all the things she and Jessica have in common, because that is icky, and not to overcompensate by pulling those ranks.
And the best of all: not step out of line for one second w/r/t to her contradictory roles here, because Jessica is a danger to herself and others, including Sookie. You think as the stepmother you are just called upon to love her, and to make a little place for her in your life, and to stay the fuck out of it. It's not enough. Because a child isn't a decision, they're a situation, a relationship: the child stays alive and it keeps changing and demanding new things and compromises from you, like any other real relationship. And like any other relationship, you can either grow by it or wither. And you can kill them with a look, or by sticking them in a box and expecting them to stay there, which is what this episode is really about.
Sookie's stepmom stuff and Tara's ongoing mommy issues are just two of the six character stories here: the rest is about dads. Which is a sore spot for almost everybody, because being let down by the person who's archetypically required specifically not to let you down is something that everybody fears and most people have to face. But the most powerful thing a dad can do to you, the thing that fucks up your life forevermore until you can drop the weight, is pin you to the wall like a concept or a butterfly and leave you there, telling you not to change or leave, forever. Amanda Jane, when she says Jesus asked her out today, she's talking about this. She is talking to and about the kind of man who installs a front door alarm that beeps every time it's opened, the kind of man who names his daughter "Eden" and makes her feel uglier with every birthday.