"That ain't true. And you shouldn't talk about Sarah that way!" Jason yells, which Luke just uses against him: "You work fast!" He swears this time he isn't working, and packs his stuff as quickly as possible, mortified and terrified and turned on and self-hating as usual. "She ain't like that. I earned this!" Luke assures him that, either way, he most certainly did.
The desk agent at the Hotel Carmilla (nice) says the computer has Bill and Sookie down for one room, no bed. Bill of course immediately starts seething, but Sookie -- because she grew up with Jason, and knows that only Bill's well I never pearl-clutching invokes such powerfully nasty playfulness from Eric -- grins and lets it slide: "Nooo, we need a bed." The woman hooks them up with a "light-lockable," "double-soundproofed" king suite, and Bill asks for an adjoining room for his... What to call Jessica? The vampire word, he tells Sookie, is "progeny," which isn't true either. "Call her your ward!" Sookie exclaims. "You have a ward, like Bruce Wayne!" Who turns, of course, into a bat every night.
Over in the lobby, Jessica sits with a still very addled Leon. "Would you give me your cell phone?" He hands it over and she bounces in teenage ecstasy on the opulent leather couch. "Thank you, Leon. Everything's okay!" He nods, and she reconsiders. "Actually, everything's not okay. All your worst fears are about to come true..." He shudders and begs. "Unless you scream at the top of your lungs..." She whispers into his ear.
Over Bill's confirmation that Mr. Northman is paying their bills, Leon screams from the lobby, "Becky Eubanks is a stuck-up whore who let Chase finger her in the church!" Jessica rocks, almost falling over, rolling around in joy on the couch. It echoes. "She's... New," Bill says, embarrassed, and even Sookie feels a bit awkward.
The people of Bon Temps laissés their asses rouler, and out in the mist Maryann raises her hands over her head, toward heaven, hands pointing down toward earth. Her body is like a dagger as she calls Him up: "Lo, lo Bacchos; lo, lo Eleutherios; lo, lo Loxias..." The wind kicks up, the dancing slows down; Eggs and Tara kiss as they dance, the players whirl. Maryann raises her face to the sky, in wonder and passion. Eggs leads Tara up the stairs, scattered with rose petals, past Jane Bodehouse in ecstasy. He kisses her, and lays her moaning on the bed.
It's getting hot in Bon Temps; Lafayette fans himself on the couch, watching the Harryhausen 7th Voyage Of Sinbad, in which Sinbad and magician Sokurah play out Tara's dance with Maryann -- and, one presumes, Lafayette's oncoming voyage -- scene by scene. "Good evening, Lafayette," says Eric's voice from the window, sending Lafayette flopping painfully to the floor. "No!" he screams. "You can't come in unless I invite you in! And I ain't nowhere near that crazy." Eric threatens that he has all the time in the world: "You have to come out eventually," he says, speaking for the world at large, insensate to Lafayette's pain and fear and longing.
"You let me go!" Lafayette shouts; Eric is unmoved. "I gave you a very generous gift: The gift of not killing you." And alongside, he offers a flourishing wrist and another bit of generosity: "The healing elixir that is my thousand-year-old blood." Lafayette is, to put it lightly, unsure, but Eric doesn't even know what that means. "Your leg's already infected. I can smell it. You don't get that taken care of, you can lose it." At first he says he wants to feed Lafayette because he likes him, which, while not untrue, is patently not the real reason. "You want to be able to keep track of me," he says. That old bond. "You obviously mean something to Sookie. And what Sookie finds meaningful, I find... Curious." Still not sure if that's true either, but okay. "You really have no choice, Lafayette. You know it," he says. And he does, now that he knows it's infected. "Fuck," he groans, and stands, and on the television Sinbad kills a skeleton.
In the Harryhausen films, the skeletons are armies, born of miraculous blood, fighting war which is a chessboard. 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.
"Leon, look at me. Look at me, Leon." (Sweet, sweet antimetabole! I use you overmuch as it is!) Leon takes his time dragging his gaze, physically, to meet Bill's eyes. "Everything is going to be okay," Bill intones gently, and Leon swears it is not. "My worst nightmares!" he shivers, and Bill shakes his head. "Jessica! What on earth did you do to him?" She has no time for Bill right now, as she screams teenagedly: "I am on the phone!" To Hoyt, no doubt. Hoyt, what are you wearing? What are you wearing, Hoyt? Sookie suggests Bill put his hand on Leon's shoulder -- "Sometimes touching helps me hear their thoughts better" -- and he does. "Who sent you?" The Fellowship of the Sun, obvs. "Are you a member?" asks Sookie, and politely Leon says he is not. They hired him. Who specifically?
"I'm not sure. It was over the phone. Money was put in a locker for me at a Greyhound station." So the Newlins feel okay with calling up the underworld (metaphorical not actual) and ordering kidnaps. Good to know. What was the mission? "Abduct a human with the Compton party and bring her to the church." Sookie has the balls, God love her, to get offended: "Do you [even] know my name?" Nope, didn't even know she was a lady 'til you got off the plane talking about drunk dollhouses. "All I know is a vampire's using a human to find a vampire, Godric." And of course he doesn't know where Godric is, but I'm startin' to feel like I do.
Bill smiles kindly. "You did very well. I'm sure your employers will be pleased." Leon looks at him lovingly, happy for the approval. "Think so?" Knows so. "What could you do? We never arrived. It's not your fault..." Sookie stares, drawn down deep enough into their life, and the stakes, that she can honestly love this. She's fascinated, she's drawn in. It's part of her disability, after all; it's the opposite of what she does. Bill corrects his memory: the flight arrived, they weren't on it. "I got so nervous for nothing!" Leon giggles. Bill laughs, suddenly scary; Sookie follows suit, happily. Has she become like they are?
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 Black Queen. Watch the silly, funny Black King, looking into their pawn's eyes with such affection. Watch the way they set his greatest fears, his worst nightmares, to rest: You're doing so well. I'm sure your employers will be pleased. What could you do? It's not your fault. You got so nervous for nothing!