Indeed. Huxley has a thing, in Doors Of Perception I think, about the "reducing valve," which is the thing that makes us work. Imagine if all your memories, your pain and your pleasure, your tragedies and triumphs, were all happening simultaneously. How old are you? Times 365, times 24, times 60, times 60. All at once. The reason very small babies just sit there is because they're collating and processing every single thing and combining and comparing it to every single other thing, trying to make sense of the insanity of sensation. The reducing valve is what, in Huxley's image, keeps us from staying there. Most of your brain, that chaos is alive: somewhere down there, we're all of us every age we've ever been, and sometimes surprising usses take the Talking Stick. We live at the very top of the iceberg, and think we can see the whole world. What Maryann does is take away the reducing valve. Like poetry, or Tim Lysergic Leary and the Kool-Aid Kesey Kuckoo Acid Bus, or the Classics students of Hampden/Camden College: if you lose the ability to perceive time, or consequences, then you become eternal. Any house could be Maryann's house, as long as you never say no to yourself.
What follows is wonderful and takes a while, but like the constant orgies is hard to really describe. Sarah is grilling up a meal for her boys, who drink beers and make small talk. Except it's Steve who smally is talking, and Jason is just staring at Sarah as she turns from a person into a fantasy, and does an outrageously funny and sexy (and improvised) dance at the grill: first she twirls, and giggles, as Steve's voice recedes into the mental distance, and then smacks her Christian ass with a spotless metal spatula, and unsnaps her apron -- No Special Rights For Dead People -- to free her breasts, which then join her in a dance, which becomes bootylicious, and then the grand finale: licking the entire shaft of a beer bottle before tipping it back. Jason finally shakes his head and snaps to, where Steve is still talking, and barely keeps it together.
Later, Steve makes a comment about how Sarah used to be a vegetarian, which Jason unwisely admits he already knew, and Sarah enters the room with a tray of ribs -- "Hope you boys are ready for some true Southern decadence!" -- and Steve giggles. "You don't really eat Sarah's ribs. It's more like you take a bath in them." They all laugh like crazy people, and then -- like Lynda Barry's puppy -- Sarah helps him with his rib-eatin' bib.
I'm reminded, with the Newlins, of Farscape, of all things, where the gross stuff -- the particularly Australian glorying in bodily fluids, sex jokes, the like -- always occurred when the most important shit was going on. You wanted to look away at the precise moment you should be paying the most attention. And with the Newlins, you see that the show has sort of the same principle happening: whenever things are at their silliest, or the most cartoonish, or the seemingly most leftist or whatever, that's when the real shit is happening. Lafeyette doesn't turn capers to make you laugh, in a bit: he turns capers to make you stop thinking about the real price of his joy.
This isn't a sex farce and it's not some adolescent anti-Republican screed: it's the real shit, happening in front of you, so that later you can say you didn't know how the trick was done. It's not just a seduction of the body, or the mind, or the soul. It's all of them. They are doing the Lord's work, and they are doing it well. He lost his parents when he was ten.
"Steve," Sarah says once she's seated, apropos of nothing, "I think Jason has the makings of a true soldier of God." And he's not even lying: "I was just thinking the same thing!" Jason assures them he's got a long ways to go, but Steve tells him that's not true. Steve and Sarah check in silently, across the table. "God has chosen you..." Sarah coughs with praise: "Amen!" Chosen you: "For His most glorious mission." ("Praise His light!" she shouts, in classic misdirection.) "We are forming an elite spiritual army called the Soldiers of the Sun." Sarah stares at him, a-bibbed and ready for ribs: "And Jason, we need you. God needs you." Sarah grabs at Jason. "What a blessing." He says okay, and they take him in their hands, across the table. "All right!" she yells, on fire with the Lord.
Because by that logic, then, this funniest of episodes must be hiding the darkest secrets, in the places you'll never look for them. In fact, in places you'd be terrified to look for them. But see, here, now: Texas is a chessboard. Whatever's going on in Louisiana, with Maryann: Texas is a field of war. Watch them: Vampires versus humans. Nobody's right, nobody's wrong; everybody's at the behest of forces, pains, desires they don't understand. For vengeance, for power, for primacy. Balanced and equal, armies of light and darkness. And nobody knows which is which, and that is the truth of war.
Watch them, swaying like snakes, brightness hot in their eyes. Watch the pretty lady smile, and laugh, and check her lover's eyes for support. The White Queen. Watch the silly, funny White King looking into their pawn's eyes, with so much love. Watch the way they set his greatest fears, his worst nightmares, to rest: You're doing so well. I'm sure your Lord will be pleased. What could you do? It's not your fault. You got so nervous for nothing!
Daphne orders Andy another scotch and Coke, and Sam heads over the deal with him himself. Daphne remarks to Arlene, whose nine fingernails hate the fact of her existence, that it's a slow night. "Lucky for you," Arlene fairly hisses. Sam and Andy discuss his ever-less-convincing sobriety, and Sam points out that if he dried out he could have his job back, but of course he can't stop drinking until he does, which: welcome to addiction, and he bitches about tight-ass Portia and his tighter-ass Grandmama Bellefleur and what a loser he is, and finally Sam cuts him off.
"He's the only one in here," Arlene points out, obviously on her way toward something she wants, "No one else has come in for over an hour!" And so: "Let's close up early! I want to go to Tara's party." At Sookie's, she explains, for her birthday. "You know that real elegant woman that Tara's friends with? She's throwing it, and I heard she knows how to throw a party..." Andy agrees, loudly, across the bar. "And I need to ask Tara about a pig!"
"So can we go?" asks Arlene, and Daphne appears: "Go where?" Arlene's face immediately falls, into a snaky kind of rest: "...Home?" Andy lets her in on the secret, and Daphne jumps out of her apron, while Arlene hates the shit out of her. Daphne flirts with Sam, asking him to come with, but as they clear out Lettie Mae appears, holding a sad, tinfoil-wrapped gift. Of course her gift would be a mirror.
Sam treats Mrs. Thornton respectfully, admitting that he and Tara broke up and telling Arlene to stop eavesdropping almost in the same breath. "Today's Tara's birthday. Twenty-six years old. Would you give this to her? I don't know who else to ask..." She is ashamed, and weak, almost like a ghost. Almost like a woman whose heart has been torn out. He accepts it, and she runs, and he sighs, because now he's the bearer of the gift, and has to attend. It would be so awesome if every episode were just this: Sam trying like fuck to get out of town, and some other waitress he's hooked up with blocking the door.
Anubis Airlines welcomes you to Dallas, the most vampire-friendly destination in the great state of Texas. Which is funny on multiple levels, if you know Texas, but basically resolves down to: A) Welcome to Dallas, we are the most money-friendly destination in the universe, B) Welcome to Dallas, we invented vampires and will suck out all your money, and C) Welcome to Dallas, we are lying if we say we are friendly to anybody, especially minority groups such as yourself, but please give us your money so we can have even more money.
Sookie floats wackily