Not even eight yet and Lettie Mae's awake and well, tossing bottle after bottle into the bin. Food for the demon, sacrifices to him, out with the garbage. Tara comes out wondering what she's up to, the clashing loud sounds, after the night they had; Lettie Mae is beautiful. Like sunshine through the rain; I thought the actress maybe touched the ceiling last week, if not went right over it, but no. Nobody but the most talented could become two such different women. Look at her beautiful face! This is the face that looked down at Tara when she was just little, when the demon was quiet. That's the smile that greets her now. "Good morning, baby! Did I wake you? I'm almost done. Just a couple more loads..." Some of them are half-full; it's the first time Tara's seen anything that way in a while. "Useless to me. Just fuel for demon fire. The bottle kept him alive for forty years. As long as I keep the stuff out of my house, he ain't never coming back."
And if we rule out demons I guess we rule out vampires and werecollies and psychics and then we have no show, so yes, I can believe that the demon was so into gluttony that he would allow bottles half-full to collect in the house. Alcoholics don't, but alcoholics aren't demons, and inside Lettie Mae were both. It's the same reason Eddie's as turned on by the ritual of bloodletting and the angelic beauty of the Reverend Steven Newlin as by the sex itself: no ritual is empty.
"Let's see how long you can keep it up," Tara scoffs. "Forever," Lettie Mae promises, and gives the Buddha a high-five. "Gotta be, I'm down to my last chance." Nothing's forever, but this is the first dawn. "You didn't have a drink today?" She didn't even want one. Tara smells her breath, the kind of shameful thing children and parents don't normally talk about or do so obviously, but it's not liquor. "Is that maple syrup?"
Lettie Mae's so proud, it's heartbreaking. "Check the kitchen, I made hoecakes." She struts behind her daughter, into the house where a beautiful breakfast waits. Breakfast, on this show, is a really powerful symbol: Gran serving her daughters and her son every morning, Sookie singing poetic odes to sausage; there are three breakfasts in this episode alone. And I couldn't figure it, beyond an easy signifier for the support of the family that nobody's getting because everybody is grown or an orphan, and then also because this whole show is consumption, what we eat and how we do it and why (and who!), and then I thought it was a pretty good metaphor for suckling at mama, like they do with V and the vamps do with us, and how orphans are denied that essential right, but no. All of these and more: breakfast marks that meridian that separates light and darkness. The dawn means that last night, however dark, is gone, and we're starting a new story. Together, eating our food together that we cooked together, in the family in the sunlight. Meals together are the oldest ritual we have; this is the one that starts when the night is over.