It's a very pretty, fairly experimental split narrative, as the non-vampire residents of Bon Temps gather for a fairly moving, episode-long funeral -- and the vampires finally go free. The Terry side is by turns funny and heartbreaking, as everybody from Andy to Lafayette to even Sookie stands up to say their piece. Big John even sings a song!
The individual funeral stories and performances are worth checking out, while the Vamp Camp side is characteristically OTT, but really the whole thing is more than the sum of its parts: Winding the beats back and forth between the two locations ends up creating a lot of story and emotion in the spaces between them, as everybody comes to some kind of peace or higher understanding.
Of course, for the vampires that also involves intense amounts of bloodshed and mayhem, but it's filmed in such an evocative and stylized way that you end up feeling almost as inspired by that, too. Eric, full of Warlow's faerie blood, heads daywalking off to free the prisoners, and does so with little fanfare, intense gore, and more than a few lovely side-moments: Bill, following in his footsteps seconds after, completes the job of smashing in Overlark's head after Eric pulls off his genitals and leaves him to die. That kind of thing.
With Violet in the Sunroom along with the rest of our guys, Jason has become a communal feeding supply for Gen Pop F, so once Eric has freed everybody -- including, for example, a young vamp whose Maker is in the last stages of Hep V -- he heals Jason, chuckles about the sex dreams he'll be having and then sets out to find the Sunroom and Pam (and Willa).
Meanwhile, Bill has realized that his faerie-infused daywalking blood is probably just as good as Warlow's -- and probably better than Eric's -- so by the time a truly amazing Sarah Newlin has climbed to the top of the silo that houses the Sunroom and cranked that door open, he's crowdsurfing in a Jesus pose as the whole group feeds. Eric snags Steve down in there and refuses to let him drink, so his last words -- "I love you, Jason Stackhouse!" -- are screamed to the sun. Moments later, everybody's drunk on Bill's holy blood and wandering the compound, having killed everybody, and Eric leads a beautiful riot in which they (and their compatriots all over the world) put an end to the poisoned TruBlood forever.
It's a pretty high body count, even for a bunch of Nazis, and they die in plenty awful ways, but I guess it's redeemed by Jason's last moment, in which he comes very close to shooting Sarah Newlin in the head. He makes much of this decision -- high on V -- and in the end sends her away, so I guess that's the end of that. Mostly it's the acting and Sarah's total screaming that sells it, although at this point everybody on the show has killed at least one person so he'd have to try really hard to be weird about it next season. (Violet, on the other hand, is still very much in play as far as considering him her property. All the worse.)
Eventually, with Lilith's handmaidens calling him bodily to heaven, a nearly drained Jesus Bill summons Jessica, James feeds him back his faerie blood, and he returns to full health. The whole of Vamp Camp, then, ecstatically dances their way to Castle Compton in the sunlight... All but Eric, who is still mourning Nora and Godric, and in the episode's final moments -- having saved Pam -- sets off for suicide, or space or something.
If you like your drug orgies, you know this show will deliver regularly, but in this case there's a very melancholy note having to do with their secret yearning to be in the sun, and knowing that it won't last. Of all the reset buttons, it seems like this is the part that's going to hurt the most: That after decades, hundreds of years for some of them, they got something Russell, for example, wanted so much it drove him bonkers. And they're going to have to give it up again.
But at least they're alive. And at least in the end Sookie got to use her powers for good by explaining that she felt Terry fall in love with Arlene the second he first saw her, and in the end got to hear Arlene admit that even with the 21 gun salute, Terry would've liked the funeral after all.
Next Week: With no LAVTF or even fake TruBlood, and a global network of vampires who now know for sure that humanity's declared war, it seems like the thirst is going to be apocalyptic. Lettie Mae finally gets what's coming to her, ABCD continues hanging out with vampires like an idiot, we find out what Eric actually just did for sure, and Sookie realizes that being a faerie isn't all bad. I don't have high hopes for the wedding, though.
Bill and Eric had a big silly fight about Nora's death that led to Eric -- via ABCD's faerie blood -- getting a Ben transfusion of his own. This messed with Sookie's own triumphant plan to become Ben's faerie vampire bride, and left Bill with no magical blood (except for his own magical God + Jesus blood) to save Jessica and the rest of 'em, who are now in the Hot White Room after refusing to drink their TruDeath. Jason is/was the property of awful Violet, who is one of the refusers; Sarah Newlin recently committed murder to keep the Hep V secret safe. In Bon Temps, Nicole was smelled to be pregnant and Arlene balked at some of the Bellefleur family arrangements for Terry's funeral.
Ben: "Well, Eric ate me while I was all tied up like Prince Rilian, and I'm fading fast."
Sookie: "Not if I can help it! Because I love you! From the top of my head to the intersection of our glowing genitalia."
While Sookie bites into her own arm with regular human teeth, because she is in full TCB mode at this time, Bill just moans and pouts about how maybe Ben can rub some dirt on it and still do his big plan. Sookie is unimpressed, and even moreso when Bill gets a little vamp boner from seeing her gnaw on herself.
Sookie: "You're the God of all vampires, go deal with your vampire! And do not drop fang on me right now."
Bill: "But Eric was very mean to me about Mah divinity, Sookie. Ah don't think he will be amenable."
Sookie: "Well, this is a nonstarter, so fuck off back to Earth. Eric's got more of Ben's blood in him than Ben does, so you do the math."
Bill: "Ah fear the rules of all this have never been made clear. Although that being said, it seems just as likely that it'll work as anything else, Ah must confess Ah do not relish the idea of leaving you alone with your betrothed."
He whines until finally Ben rouses enough to be like, "Just faerieblast him already" and then slump back down again, and once Bill gets blown through the air and back to the cemetery, Ben's well enough to sit up. To his credit, Bill lands out in the real-life cemetery in a pretty bad-ass way.
Bill being gone brings the sunshine back to the UFO -- a very nice touch; I even wonder if it's so very dark this time because he's not just any vampire -- so even though it's nighttime in reality, for some reason Warlow is now back to being Good Boy Ben. Sookie holds her bleeding arm out in front of her face without even looking, which is and will remain one of the best parts of the episode: She's so past giving a fuck she can't even concentrate on the empty space where her fucks once were.