"Heavenly Father, I don't know the last time I prayed to You. I have been greedy, and lustful, and wrathful. I've killed people. I've lied. I've taken Your name in vain. I beg You for Your forgiveness. Please watch over my friends, if that's what they are. Please bless Jason. He's such a good man, and he's hurting, so bad. Please bless Sookie. I know she tried to kill You, but she's been good to me and she loves You. I know she does. And bless Eric, even in his anger and wrongheadedness. Bless Pam. Give her the courage to let happiness in. And bless Tara, that she may find whatever it is she's looking for. And bless Sam and Lafayette and Arlene, all the good people of Bon Temps. Even the werewolves. They know not what they do. And bless Hoyt, wherever he is. Watch out for him for me. And bless Bill. If You're him or he's You: Bless him. Please bring him back to me, I need him. We all need him."
As an early-days grab for the sense of an arc it comes off pretty desperate, but looking at it from another perspective helps: That this episode puts back together what last season tore apart, from concepts of religion and faith and fundamentalism and atheism, to characters stretched and bent out of all recognition, to a full-throated declaration that this season is connected to the ones that came before. In the words, which is why I reproduced it pretty much faithfully, you can see those desires: Pam finding a place in the world without her immortal daddy, Tara still searching, Jason in more pain than he's ever been in, Sookie just trying to do the right thing.
It's laid over a montage of everybody in their private stuff, the manipulation is visible, but as a declaration of purpose it's sufficient. And as a recontextualization of what we've seen tonight: That much like a finale is often a coda, with all the big business concluded in the penultimate episode, this season started with a bit of necessary moving-the-pieces into the story she's telling us now: That saints do the scariest shit the closer they get to God.
And so do the rest of us.
All this, but also the thing the season so far seems pretty intent on investigating: The ruptures and discontinuities inherent in Bill's transformation itself. She talks about Sookie defying and betraying God -- at the same time she's talking to and about Vampire Bill -- in the same way Lilith and Bill keep floating the metaphor of divinity/profanity, Lilith/Bill, in their own conversation. She's praying to God, Heavenly Father, at the same time she's asking Daddy Compton to come home. And in this I think is the genius of what happened: An entire season promising an imminent God, an actual concrete Presence, has maybe delivered on that ambition.