(To which a conscientious co-tenant might reply, "Sure, as long as you don't mind my orgiastic Dionysus cult establishing a base of operations in -- and splattering blood, jizz and cake all over the walls of -- your childhood home! Happy-ass birthday!")
"You're family," Sookie signs off, and Tara laughs delightedly. "A limo is picking me up at five today, so..." Tara's nervous and touched, and not wanting to do the next step after this, so she says she'll be there as fast as she can, and signs off with a choked "Love you the most." Which of course causes Maryann to appear from nowhere and goose her, sending her ten feet in the air because of all the conversations, why that one?
"Who do you love the most?" Maryann giggles, and Tara laughs uncomfortably. "Sookie." Maryann dances around fruitily, asking what's on the books for today. "I ... Think I'm gonna be taking off," Tara says warily. Maryann pops something sweet and delicious into her mouth: "You're taking off work? Fabulous!" Tara shakes her head, beyond afraid at this step into the future, but more so about Maryann's disappointment. "No, I'm gonna go live with Sookie." Maryann sways like a snake. "I'm very sorry to hear that." Tara stutters that it was only supposed to be temporary, and Maryann twirls her, softly but lunatic: "Everything's temporary, Tara!" She pulls away. "...I don't really wanna dance right now. Okay?"
Lynda Barry has an interesting thing to say, which is that some dogs are so beaten by the time you get them, you could spend a lifetime training them to stay off the bed, go to the bathroom in the proper place, not be scared of strangers or men, stop shivering when there's nothing to be afraid of. Stop barking when people try to pet you. You could go nuts waiting for them to pull it together. And in these cases -- and for us all -- there exists an alternative, which is to go back to the beginning. You let that dog, no matter how old or stinky or terrified or angry, just be a puppy again. You let her have the chance for another mother, a softer and more loving one. You hold her, speak in soothing tones, and you let her have her way just long enough that she realizes she's got a second shot. Now, it's only temporary, and in the wrong circumstances -- and most of the time they are -- this would be disastrous. But if the dog is broken enough, sometimes it's a way to heal.
"Of course," Maryann says, in a false high tone, obviously hurt. "What happened? You fit so well here, and you..." she flits and whines, putting her hands to her hair like the goddess whose body is a blade, "seemed to be having so much fun last night." Tara nods grimly. "Think everybody was having a little too much fun last night." Maryann laughs. Knowingly, uproariously, provocatively. It was fun, wasn't it. "Will you ... tell Eggs I left?" she asks, sadly, and even more sadly Maryann agrees. She puts her arms out dramatically with a loving moan, pulling Tara close. "Oh, I'm gonna miss you!"
Tara thanks her, and Maryann squeezes her hard, looking into her eyes with ultimate love. "I'm sure you'd do the same for me." And maybe she will. Maryann puts her hands on the sides of Tara's head, like a mother to a daughter, and the temperature in the room says it's no longer appropriate, that it's time for Tara to move on:
"Go. Flourish. And don't every say no to yourself. Okay?" Tara smiles, and walks away, rolling her eyes at the diva/guru vibe that just now started to come apart. But it's the medium, not the message, that's wrong: like any good philosophy, it's precisely one-half of the truth. At its extremity, asceticism is violence. That's true. But at its extremity, so is abundance. Alone in the kitchen, Maryann goes hollow. The triumph and the tragedy of gods is that they are one thing, all the time. They don't change because they don't have to. The triumph and the tragedy of us is that we do.
Jason eats his breakfast and fights theology with Luke and the intensely delicious Dirk: "I don't know who Lazarus was, but he sure as hell was not the first vampire. Everybody knows it was Dracula!" Luke explains that in the Bible, Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. Which, Jason points out, means Jesus made the first vampire. And for that matter, maybe it was Jesus instead: "He rose from the dead too! And he told people, 'Hey, y'all, drink my blood. It'll give you special powers.'" Dirk shakes his head as Luke protests, and says they're both wrong: being a vampire is the mark of Cain, his punishment for bringing the first evil into the world by killing his brother. Luke protests that the firster evil was Eve eating the apple, hence "Evil," which is hilarious and also kind of deadly serious. Ask Jessica's dad if he doesn't sort of think that's true. Or her second one. Life is a palindrome; now death is too.
But Jason's tasted a few apples in his time: "That wasn't evil, that was just skirting the rules. Evil is making the premedicated choice to be a dick." Heh. The PA summons him to meet Reverend Steve outside, but Luke can't decide to gloat about this latest thing. "There's one thing you can count on: God will make sure evil gets punished." Jason tosses over his shoulder as he's leaving, "Yeah? Then explain Europe to me." They stare.
Outside, Jason's scared because Steve's in a golfcart with a big old gun, which he cocks: "Ain't she a beauty? Let's you and me take a little trip together." He pats the seat and Jason asks if he's in trouble. Something dark behind the brightness. "We're all in trouble, Jason. As long as there are vampires in the world!" Jason hops up beside him, unnerved, and they roar off. Hope somebody brought a condom.
Sookie tells Tara to ignore her stuff and take her room, and when she gets back she'll move all her stuff into Adele's room and celebrate Tara's birthday. As an early/actually punctual gift, she gives her that TERRIFYING picture of the two of them with Gran looking like Leprechaun In Da Hood, and they cry and hug and hug and cry and it basically turns into Tara comforting Sookie for her loss yet one more time.
(Which, fine, because although it's Tara's birthday, Gran died like three weeks ago. I think like Lost or Weeds, this show will be much awesomer on DVD, because the end-to-end joining of the episodes won't stick out so much. I mean, you had people complaining about come on already with the constant orgies when it was only like the third episode, which on DVD is not going to seem like three weeks of orgies, it's going to seem like what it is, which is a 24-hour period in which Bon Temps goes from X to Y, on its way to Total Z. Total, I mean to say, Z. As in, in tonight's performance the role of Kevin Bacon will be played by Maryann Forrester and the part of "dancing" will be played by "the breakdown of consciousness via the return of the bicameral mind." Am I making myself clear? Because ya got trouble, folks! Right here in Renard Parish! With a capital T and that rhymes with ODC and that stands for ORGIASTIC DIONYSUS CULT! Right here in Renard County! On a cultural level!
There's been the same thing in comics for years, it's called "writing for the trade" and it means basically that a standard comic book story-arc is now pieced out to six or eight issues (like this show does arcs for twelve, or most one-season broadcast shows do for thirteen) which only get awesome when collected the next year, so that the company can keep up a production schedule of two $19.95-or-so trade paperbacks a year rather than -- optimistically speaking -- twelve smaller $2.95-or-so, it's been a while, issues that less people buy because they're waiting for the trade. So the buying habits have pushed the development cycle and storytelling itself in this new, often initially unsatisfying format, which only good writers can