Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones
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True Blood 1x04: "Escape from Dragon House"

Today's Journal Birthmonth Flashback, since I haven't posted anything else today: let's do the one-two punch of the "blocks of wood" story and the followup with Gerald.

On to the recap!

So, previously on "True Blood": SUCKY IS MAHN, but Bill gets cockblocked by three old not-friends and he and Sookie are now on the outs; Sam and Tara get their mutually beneficial freak on; Sam barks in his sleep and Tara moves out after her mother bashes her upside the head with a liquor bottle; Jason's vampire issues leave him limp, so he shakes what his mama gave him to get some illegal vampire blood from Lafayette; Sookie touches herself a lot; DAWN IS AWESOME. And then she's dead. Woe.


House of the Rising Sun, Which Will Never Rise Anymore: So Sookie's freaking out over Dawn's lifeless body ("HELP! SOMEBODY, PLEASE! Oh, sweetie... what'd you get yourself into?"), and here comes Jason's dumb ass with a vase of flowers for some V-enhanced makeup sex. I'm guessing he got there after Sookie or Sookie would have noticed his truck, but Jason just wandering in (and don't most guys just bring flowers and then let the girl fish around for a vase or something?) plays a little weird here. Perhaps intentionally weird. Anyway, Jason drops the vase and it shatters. And then the neighbor lady who heard Dawn screaming and shooting at Jason pops in and she sees not only Dawn's dead body, but that both the Stackhouse kids are already there. Slick.

Credits--let's move quickly, since we have a lot to cover and I am so very behind. So anyway, half of the supporting cast has already gathered outside Dawn's house. Hoyt (the mama's boy who also works construction with Cajun Rene and Jason and Lafayette) sighs, "I don't get it. She was so pretty." "Maybe... it was just her time," says Arlene (the redheaded Merlotte's waitress) helpfully. "Naw," says Cajun Rene (her boyfriend? Something). "She was on'y twenny-tree years old. Ain no twenny-tree-year-old in the world whose time has come." Man, I love him. Anyway, here's Hoyt's mama: "Hey y'all! What'd I miss!" Sigh. "Dawn's dead, Mama!" reproaches Hoyt. So Arlene and Hoyt's Mama immediately start gossiping about what's going on inside Dawn's house and how the Sheriff is questioning Jason and Sookie. "We too small a town to be losin' girls one after t'e other like dis," sighs Cajun Rene. "Whoever it is, I hope dey fry da fuck." "Rene!" cries Arlene. Hoyt's Mama says soothingly that there's no need to apologize; they're all excited (ugh): "Oh, to be a fly on that wall!"

Or a fly on Dawn's mouth, for that matter. Nice segue, show. Sheriff Dearborne's asking Sookie if the door was open, or just unlocked when she arrived to wake up Dawn. Sookie's not sure, but she thinks it was open ("Killer had key," the Sheriff writes in his notebook). Meanwhile, Sookie's listening to the others' thoughts around her. Detective Andy's fussing that everyone calls him by his first name but they call the Sheriff, you know, "Sheriff," because they take him seriously. The coroner's musing to himself about Dawn's "perfect natural breasts, I woulda laid down money they were fake. Well, done, God. Well, not so well done, lettin' her die like You did..." Jason: "Fuck, fuck! What'm I gonna do? I already got outta this once, and I'm too pretty to go to prison--" Back to the Sheriff, who wants to know if Sookie moved Dawn. She says no, but she did cover her up with a sheet. "I wish you hadn't done that," he says--you know, messing up the crime scene, and Sookie says icily, "The next time I find a friend of mine dead I'll remember not to do that."

Back outside in the hot sunshine: "I feel like a cat on a hot tin roof," vamps Hoyt's Mama ("That's from a play"). Actually, y'all should hear my Maggie the Cat sometime ("Brick! Oh, Brick, why can't you be a maaaaan, Brick?"). And then Arlene and Rene fuss about getting beers for everyone and a bucket of ice and the nice plastic cups and paper doilies ("Aw, Lord, woman, what's wit you and dem doilies!").

Back inside: Detective Andy is interviewing the neighbor lady about the fight Dawn had with Jason and exactly what Dawn said ("Bitch --> gunshot," he jots down helpfully). And when they're done, she says, "You're welcome, Andy dear." HA. And then he ends up dragging Jason away in handcuffs and slamming him down on the trunk of the cruiser just for spite.

And then, while Jason's sitting in the back of the cruiser by himself, he realizes that he will probably be caught in possession of illegal vampire blood, and what we all knew was going to happen finally comes to fruition. For a split second, you can practically hear the words "One drop, maybe two... one drop... things will get a little intense... one drop... and I don't mean in a good way... things will get a little intense... ONE DROP, MAYBE TWO" rolling around in Jason's head like marbles. So then he chugs $600 worth of blood and stuffs the vial down in the cop car seat cushions. Of course he does.

Aaaand here's Sam--he seems to be Dawn's landlord? Possibly everyone's landlord? Well, half the gang at Merlotte's apparently works construction under Jason's supervision as well, so people in this town seem to be pretty good at multi-tasking. (Hoyt and Hoyt's Mama are still fussing as Sam pushes by: "Stop, Mama! I don't need sunblock!" "Yes you do, your skin's whiter than Desitin!") "I came as soon as I heard," he tells Sookie, sitting down next to her on Dawn's little porch. "I'm sorry you had to be the one to find her."

Now, he could be saying this because he is the one, after all, who asked her to go wake Dawn up (as you'll recall, he said she had overslept her shift). On the other hand, this particular episode seems bent on making us think that Sam might be The Killer (and hell, I'm not saying yet that he isn't, because there is some weird shit going on here--but I'm getting ahead of myself), so it also kind of sounds like, "I'm sorry you had to be the one to find my handiwork." Except that he wouldn't have sent Sookie to look if he was going to be sorry about it later, would he? So. Anyway. "Sometimes I don't even recognize this world we're livin' in," he says mournfully. "God dammit." "Careful," says Sookie, not unkindly. "God didn't do this." Yeah, WERECOLLIE.

So Sam considers closing Merlotte's for the day, but Sookie points out that he would be denying people "a good stiff drink when they need it the most," and also, she'd rather work than "be alone with [her] thoughts." Unfortunately, this means she'll be with everyone else's, but there you go. And then the young deputy comes up and says, "We need to get into Dawn's storage unit" (they do?). So Sam stands up, with the camera looking very pointedly at his waist, and pulls a key out of his jeans pocket. You know. A key. To Dawn's house. The kind that the killer might have had. Just so you know. He leans down and kisses the top of Sookie's head and goes off to open the storage unit. And there's that dumbass cheerful coroner bringing Dawn's body out now. "Hey Sookie!" he says. "Got a new apprentice! From Kentucky!" Sookie's like, sarcastic yay. And Happy Coroner's idea of tutelage is to tell his apprentice to shove the body into the hearse harder: "Ain't gonna hurt her!"

Police station. Jason's back in the interrogation room (again), eating, like, an Arby's Beef and Cheddar or something. Detective Andy's trying to twist his words around: "You just admitted you're the one who found her, not Sookie!" "You're trying to trick me, it don't count if I get tricked!" cries Jason. "... Does it?" Andy continues with his Bad Cop routine: "Do you get off on killin' girls and stickin' it to em?" "No!" "See, I think it TURNS YOU ON." "Sounds to me like it turns YOU on," retorts Jason, and God bless him, the Sheriff snorfles to himself. Andy's still going on and on about whether Jason kills 'em and fucks 'em or if he fucks 'em and kills 'em or maybe he kills 'em while he's fuckin' 'em, and then... this is where it all starts to go bad. Well, worse. We see under the table and I swear, it's like someone's inflating one of those long party balloons down the leg of Jason's jeans, like the kind they twist into balloon animals. Just wooooooop. So Jason flees to the men's room (in... the middle of a police interrogation. "A man's gotta pee, Andy!" says the Sheriff sympathetically) and just barely manages to pry his jeans open. Meanwhile, Andy and the Sheriff are arguing about the direction Andy's taking with the case: "You shouldn'ta laughed!" snipes Andy. Well, the Sheriff thought it was funny because Andy really is fishing pretty hard and he (the Sheriff) doesn't think Jason did it, because "both our dead girls got bit by vampires, and as far as I can tell, Jason Stackhouse don't have fangs." And then they hear a great wail of agony and hoof it to the men's room.

"What the hell you doin' in there, Stackhouse!" shouts Andy. "I'll be out in a minute!" yells Jason--then he mutters down at his general crotchal region, "What the fuck was that!" And then he stuffs his jeans full of toilet paper. To cushion the swelling, I guess.

(ETA: I should add here that a lot of people have wondered why a quarter of an ounce of vampire blood did this to Jason, while Sookie drank Bill half dry and turned out mostly okay, although she now smells the sunlight in her sausage and gets turned on by the color of trees. My only explanation is that Sookie was severely injured--probably fatally, if Bill hadn't intervened--and that most of the blood's benefit went towards healing her, I guess?)

So in the middle of Jason's tribulations, here's Tara to spring him from the pokey! Andy and the Sheriff admit that they've been interrogating Jason, and she says, "I assume he's been properly Mirandized, then." The men look at each other awkwardly. "PLEASE tell me that you informed him he has a right to have an attorney present." "Maybe. Duddn't matter" (that's how we say it. Kind of like "idn't" that other time) " 'cause he got YOU here now," says Andy. "Was that funny 'cause I'm a woman or 'cause I'm a black woman?" snaps Tara. Andy: "I... I just thought it was funny just 'cause... you talk like a lawyer... but you ain't one?" Hee!

("How you know all this, anyway?" asks the Sheriff. "You been takin' night classes?" "School is just for white people lookin' for other white people to read to 'em. I figure I'll save my money and read to myself," says Tara, because she is awesome.)

Finally Jason staggers out, and Tara announces that she's come to get him out of there. The Sheriff admits that they can't hold Jason, and Andy fusses that at least Jason could have made up a decent alibi. "I was home alone... sleepin'," Jason protests. "You NEVER sleep alone, Stackhouse, and you know it!" snaps Andy. "Guys," says Tara, "he was with me." Huh. Rly. 'Cause I got a sleep-woofin' werecollie over here who might beg to diffah. "Well, how come he don't seem to know about it?" retorts Andy. "Because I asked him not to tell anybody about us," says Tara, cool as you please, "and he's just surprised to hear me bein' the one blabbin' about it. Aren't ya, baby?" "Uh... yeah," Jason says helpfully. Andy is skeptical, to say the least, but Tara fires off, "People think just 'cause we got vampires out in the open now, race idn't an issue no more. You ever seen the way people look at mixed couples in this town? Race ain't the hot button it used to be, but it's still a button you can push on people." The Sheriff: "Would you be willin' to swear to this--" "YES." "If you're lyin', that would be--" "PERJURY," says Tara. "You got a Bible, I'll swear on it right here. We were together last night and it was a beautiful thing." (Jason grins stupidly.) "Come on, baby, let's take you home." "Okay, baby," he says, finally catching on. And right as he's waddling toilet-paper bow-legged out of frame, Jason shoots them a peace sign and doesn't even look back.

Chez Stackhouse. Given the one-horse two-bit nature of Bon Temps, of course Gran has already heard about Dawn; she's even heard about Jason being hauled in as well. "He didn't do it!" she frets to Sookie. "Jason may be many things, but he is not a murderer! The thing is, though..." (Oh, Gran.) "In all the years I've lived in Bon Temps, I can't recall two, maybe three murders, and now two in one week! People are not gonna stand for it. If the police can't find who did it, they're gonna find Jason. Use the gift God gave you," she urges, "keep your ears open--you're bound to hear something." "It's got nothin' to do with my ears," Sookie says blankly. "Whatever it is you use to listen, use it. He is your brother, Sookie." "Okay," Sookie says finally. Gran: "Good girl!" But Sookie does not look entirely happy about it--I can't tell if it's because she's already sick to death of hearing people's thoughts, or because she's afraid of what she might hear this time around.

Merlotte's. So Sookie walks through the restaurant in slo-mo, listening to the customers thinking: Wonder if he slept with her, be a shame if he didn't... How much better could an orgasm be with a vampire... [Racist meanderings I don't even want to repeat. Suffice it to say that this guy thinks as highly of vampires as he does of black people]... These whores had it comin'... And the last one, a woman watching Sookie as Sookie brings her order: That girl is dead, they were probably friends, that means you're next... "HEY! YOU FORGOT MY RANCH!"

So Sookie's gone back to the kitchen to get the woman's ranch dip and she overhears Arlene griping, "That Dawn left us high and dry." Sookie: "IT'S NOT LIKE SHE MEANT NOT TO BE HERE." Well, of course not, but "if she didn't spend her nights off at that vamp bar in Shreveport, she might still be here..." "YOU OUGHTA BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF," yells Sookie. "Idn't there a part of you that thinks she had it comin'?" asks Arlene. Sookie: "NO. NOT A SINGLE PART. AND I'M TAKIN' YOUR RANCH!"

And here's Sam and Tara at the bar, all post-coitally awkward. Not only is Tara disavowing their mutually beneficial night of nasty, she's doing so to give Jason an alibi, as previously mentioned: "And if you say different, they're gonna haul both our asses into jail." "Shit, Tara! I know you carry a torch for him, but I just don't get it," says the pot to the kettle Sam. Tara, fervently: "There is more to Jason than meets the eye! Deep down, he is a very good person!" And at this point, certainly, we're all going, "Riiiiight." A very dumb person? Certainly. A very good one? I don't know.

Chez Jason. Wherever it is that Jason lives, he is jacking off for dear life--to porn, CNN, doesn't matter--in hopes that this might offer some relief. It does not ("FUUUUUCK!"). But it does offer a huge, gnarly blister between his thumb and forefinger ("MOTHERFUCKER! "). And then he looks down, sees just how tragic his penile situation is, and whimpers, with tears in his eyes, "Oh, baby... my sweet, sweet baby...!"

Also: Dear sound effects editor: I DON'T LIKE YOU ANYMORE.

Back at Merlotte's, more thought-spying: Sure is too bad about Dawn. I already miss the way her butt used to hang outta the bottom of her shorts... I hope Jason Stackhouse gets what he deserves and he fries for what he's done, they were always trash... And then, Hoyt: This place ain't gonna be the same without Dawn. She had the prettiest nicest smile... why was I so afraid to talk to her, now I'll never know what her voice sounded like, I bet it sounded like angels and parakeets mixed together... "Hoyt Fortenberry!" cries Sookie, startling him. "I just wanted to say--thank you!" You know, for actually being a decent human being. She gives him a kiss on the cheek, and Hoyt giggles.

And now Jason has arrived, having given up on whacking off as a potential restorative. Sookie charges up to him: "You look me in the eye and you tell me the truth: did you kill Dawn?" "What?" he says, startled. "Jesus, Sook! Look, when Maudette died, I thought I mighta done it, but it turned out I didn't. With Dawn, I don't even think I mighta done it, so I know I didn't." And then, suspiciously: "The way you're actin', seems like you want it to be me!" Sookie starts going into how she's listening to everyone's thoughts and the suspicion is starting to rub off on her and it's difficult and-- "I gotta stop you," interrupts Jason, "because it sounds like you're revvin' up for a long one and I really gotta see Lafayette." HEE.

Back in the kitchen, Jason announces his presence with "What the FUCK, Lafayette!" "I'm busy, what's your problem?" says Lafayette, who is, in fact, busily mincing (no, mincing vegetables). "My PROBLEM is MY DICK!" shouts Jason. "It's been hard since three o'clock! The vampire blood you gave me--" Lafayette turns on him: "WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP? With your loud ass... ain't nothin' wrong with what I sold you." And then: "How much you take?" Lafayette asks, immediately suspecting what happened. Jason confesses. And then Lafayette starts laughing to himself: "You took the whole thing. You a dizzy muthafucka. I say ONE drop, two MAX, and you take the whole thing." "Look, I was in the back of a cop car and I panicked!" cries Jason. "Now just give me something to make it go away, I don't care!" Oh, but "ain't no antidote to V, boyfriend."

Jason staggers around the table where Lafayette's chopping: "When my grandpa was alive," he whispers, "he had gout, and he said that just the weight of a sheet on his big toe... was too much to bear. So help me God... that's exactly what this feels like." "Maybe you should try rubbin' one out," Lafayette suggests. "WOULD YOU LISTEN TO ME?" Jason is all but sobbing now: "I GOT GOUT... OF THE DICK!"

Meanwhile, back in the restaurant proper, in wanders Bill the Vampire. He's still on the outs with Sookie, as you will recall, but he can't stay away. Possibly because he has nowhere else to go for human contact. And by "human contact" I mean dead or alive. Awww. The other patrons whisper and grumble as he walks through, slides into a booth and orders a bottle of O-negative from a reluctant Arlene. "A-negative is all we've got," she says. "A-negative then," he agrees politely, adding, "Crowded in here tonight, something going on...?" But Arlene has already stomped away. Sookie gazes at Bill from across the restaurant.

Back at the bar, Arlene's giving Tara his drink order, and Tara points out that they've got plenty of O-negative: "Sam just bought a case!" "Fuck him! I'm givin' him A," sasses Arlene. "And don't warm it up in the microwave neither. He can have it cold." But then Sookie marches up, glares down at the bottle of A and back up at Arlene, and demands, "Are we out of O?" Okay, hold up. I love that

1) Tru Blood comes in "flavors";

2) Bill has a preference;

3) Sookie knows what it is.

I love that. "Blood is blood, what difference does it make," fusses Arlene, who totally knows she's being a bitch. "HE PREFERS O," grits Sookie. She loooooves hiiiiiiiiim. "I'll take it to him if you like." "Well, good," says Arlene, "he gives me the creeps."

So Sookie marches through Merlotte's with Bill's bottle of blood, grabs him by the hand, and whispers, "Come on." AWWWWW. "Where we goin'--?" he asks, although she could probably lead him around like a dog for all he cares, so long as she's speaking to him again.

Over by the bar, Sam watchdogs angstfully.

Outside in the parking lot, Sookie announces, "You know my friend Dawn? Someone killed her last night." "How?" asks Bill. "Say you're sorry!" snaps Sookie. The first time I watched this, I think I went "WHAT?" at the same time Bill said "Excuse me?" "You wanna learn to fit in with people, you gotta say you're sorry," explains Sookie. "You don't even have to mean it--Lord knows they don't most of the time," she says, nodding in the direction of the customers wandering in and out. "I am... sorry," he says. "Thank you. Anyway, I'm the one who found her," says Sookie. "Strangled. The cops think it was my brother." (And Sookie's the one lecturing Bill on sounding sympathetic?) "Was it?" he asks. "NO! He's not capable of it!" "I've been around long enough to know that just about anyone is capable of just about anything," Bill says wisely. Sookie: "HE DIDN'T DO IT."

So... what did Sookie want, again? "So I've been listening in on people's thoughts, hoping to find something clear him, and apparently there's this vampire bar that Dawn used to hang out at in Shreveport--" And Bill steps back and does that half-turn-away thing that people do, you know, like, Aw, hell, not THAT. "Fangtasia," he says. I wish I could accurately transcribe the way Anna Paquin repeats this. "Faing. Taysia?" You could bottle the disdain dripping off her voice, let me tell you. "You have to remember that most vampires are very old," says Bill. "Puns used to be the highest form of humor." Yeah, and now we've just got lolcats. I can has not-date to Fangtasia? "Well, I was thinking... if I went there, I could do some sniffin' around," Sookie says (honey, I don't think you'd be the only one sniffin'). "You think maybe you could take me?" I was seriously thinking Bill was going to be like OH THE FUCK NO, but he just smiles and says, "How about tonight?" After Sookie gets Sam to let her off work, sure! A not-date it is! Wait, it is a not-date, right? "Bill, I am asking you this as a friend." "Fine," says Bill. "This is not a date! I am serious!" "As am I!" Bill adorables drawls innocently.

Sam's office. Can Sookie have the rest of the night off? She needs to go to that vampire bar in Shreveport and snoop around and see if she can clear her brother's name. No, I'm serious, that's what she says: "Mr. Compton has kindly agreed to take me." Sam, he is not happy: "Mr. Compton. Aw, Jesus, Sookie, YOU ARE GONNA GET YOURSELF KILLED!" No she won't! She'll be fine! Totally fine! "The fact that you think you'll be fine just proves how not fine you're gonna be," insists Sam. "Vampires think about one thing and one thing only: DRINKING. YOUR. BLOOD." I half expected Sam to be all like GETTING. IN. YOUR PANTS, and, for that matter, I really don't know which idea upsets him more. Anyway, Sookie points out that people can also be bloodthirsty (oh, I see what you did there) and that they want to see Jason hang, she thought Sam was for the Vampire Rights Act (VRA), Sam is but he's more of the separate-but-equal philosophy ("Hell, they can have more than we got. As long as they STAY SEPARATE"), Sookie is insulted and she is going. Sam has to admit defeat: "Well... I can't stop you." "No," says Sookie. "You can't." And Sam leans back in his chair, wringing his hands all alone, fit to fursplode.

Bill's car, en route to Fangtasia. Aaaaand Anna Paquin's X-Men badonkadonk is back. I don't know what drawer she was keeping it in, but it's back now, and it's all gone to her chest. Meanwhile, Bill is intensing at the road ahead of them as he drives, not saying a word. God, it must be like riding in the car with my father. "Penny for your thoughts?" asks Sookie. "I thought you liked not knowin' what I'm thinkin'," Bill points out, quite rightly. "Most of the time I do," says Sookie. And then Bill looks over at her (boobs). "You won't care for it," he says. "That doesn't mean I don't want to know," Sookie persists. Bill looks over at her (boobs), down (boobs), and then up again (probably thinking about her boobs). "You look like vampire bait," he says dourly. Sookie laughs: "What's that supposed to mean?" "I promised your grandmother no harm would come to you tonight," replies Bill, "and I'm not sure I'm gonna be able to keep that promise with you dressed like that." Unf. "So are you saying you think I look nice?" asks Sookie, in a tone somewhere between shy and coy. "Doesn't matter what I think. This isn't a date, remember?" Bill retorts. And he gazes at her for a long time. And then he flicks his eyes down again (boobs). I may have laughed my ass off through this entire scene. Shit, I may be laughing right now.

Merlotte's--what is this, a refrigerated storeroom? Tara's hauling a flat of tomatoes back there ("This ain't part of my job description, goddammit") when all of a sudden she hears a shout of "DON'T TURN AROUND!" and there's Jason huddled up all pitiful in the corner and OH GOD! OH GOD WHAT IS THAT! THAT HUGE RED THING! OH MY GOD IS THAT oh. It's a steak he's holding over his crotch. Never mind. (I thought that was only supposed to work for black eyes?) "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOIN'?" demands Tara. "I think I mighta OD'd," whimpers Jason. "Oh MY GOD. On what?" Oh, you know. Just... vampire blood. "YOU'RE DOIN' V NOW?" Where on earth would Jason have acquired that? Jason sings like a canary: "Lafayette...?" "MY COUSIN IS DEALIN' VAMPIRE BLOOD NOW?" shouts Tara. "GOD. DAMN. IDIOT." Well, at least now she understands why Jason was "dancin' around in that Laura Bush mask yesterday" (shudder) "because I gotta tell you, without a reason? That was some FUCKED-UP SHIT." YEAH IT WAS. Even Jason laughs weakly. "All right," says Tara, forging ahead, "lemme see it. How long have you had the erection?" "How do you know?" asks Jason--I don't know what he thought Tara thought he was clutching a steak to his crotch for. "Um, I READ," retorts Tara. "You're not the first vain-ass body-conscious ex-jock to overdo the V and end up with an acute case of priapism." Priawho? Priawhat? "PRIAPISM!" It's one of those "Be careful what you wish for" things, y'all. "Now lift the ribeye and lemme see what we're dealing with." OH GOD DON'T LET US SEE IT OH GOD OH GOD I'M NOT ASKING FOR MUCH DON'T LET US SEE IT-- "Ohhhhawwww," gasps Tara. "J-Jason, that's--sweetie, we got to get you to a hospital NOW." No hospitals! No hospitals where Jason might get busted for doing V! "DO YOU WANNA KEEP YOUR DICK OR NOT?" Yeah, that got his attention.

Fangtasia! Bill and Sookie saunter in. They're stopped by a corseted blonde at the door who drawls, "Bill. Haven't seen you in a while." She has a very faint Southern accent--you can hear it in the way she drops consonants here and there, but it's a more sophisticated, possibly city accent than what we've been hearing from the Bon Tempsians. "I'm mainstreamin'," says Bill. "Good for you," deadpans the blonde in one of the deadest pans I have heard in a long, long time, y'all. "Who's the doll?" Pam, this is Sookie; Sookie, this is Pam. (Pam? Really? Pam the Vampire. Huh.) "Pleased to meet you!" pips Sookie, and Bill kind of looks away like Stop it, you're embarrassing me. Pam asks to see Sookie's ID: "I can no longer tell human ages," she deadpans again. "We must be careful that we serve no minors... in any capacity." Heh. She gives it the once-over. "Twenty-five, huh?" (I can't tell if that's supposed to be true or a transparent fake on Sookie's part or what.) "How sweeeet it is."

Inside the bar, goth vampire go-go chicks are speed-dancing and redneck tourists are buying t-shirts and in the background they're playing... well, let's call it a remix of a classic:
She had taken his hand

[mmcha mmcha mmcha mmcha]

She had become like they are

[WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP]

Come on baby... don't fear the reaper

[cowbell cowbell cowbell cowbell]
"This is kinda what a vampire bar would look like if it were a ride at Disney World," says Sookie, taking it all in. "Well, don't get too comfortable," says Bill. "It tends to get more... authentic as the night wears on." (A skinny punky goth quickly turns his head away from them and leaves, which is not only shown pretty obviously but will come up again later.) "May I get you something to drink?"

So over behind the bar, there's a painting of George W. Bush sucking blood from the Statue of Liberty. Oh, and a very ominous bartender named "Longshadow": "How's it goin', Bill?" "Very well," says Bill politely. "I'll say--is this your meal for tonight?" Longshadow asks, eyeing Sookie. "This is my friend," Bill says pointedly, introducing them. "I'll have a gin and tonic," says Sookie (OH WHATEVER. Sookie Stackhouse--or this incarnation of her, at least--looks way more like an umbrella-drink kind of girl), and Bill will have his usual O-negative. And then he says, very formally, "Longshadow, Sookie would like to know if she could ask you a few questions." "I just have a couple of pictures I'd love for you to take a look at?" chirps Sookie, pulling out photos of Dawn and Maudette--seriously, she sounds like she's selling cookies or giftwrap or orphans door to door, it's fantastic. Longshadow has, in fact, seen both women at the bar. "Great, thank you! And do you happen to remember who they hung around with?" Well, now she's gone too far: "That's something we don't notice around here. YOU WON'T EITHER," warns Longshadow. "Okay, thank you! I appreciate you takin' the time!" squeaks Sookie. But wait, one more thing: "This one" (he holds up the photo of Maudette) "she wanted to die." "How do you know?" asks Sookie. "Everyone who comes here does... in their own way," says Longshadow, shooting a significant look at Bill--I'm not sure if he means Sookie here or Bill himself, who's a pretty depressive guy, after all. And that would be kind of interesting, to imply that Bill is there because he too wishes he were dead. I mean, really-truly dead. "That's what we are," continues Longshadow. "Death." Aaaaand Bill collects their drinks and hauls Sookie out of there before Longshadow can get any creepier.

So they set up camp at one of those tiny little round tables with the high stools that drive me crazy and watch the vampires vamp and the tourists tour and the wannabes want to be. In addition to the go-go vampire chick there's also a guy dancing who may be the "Gay Vamp" listed on the IMDB (as played by "Diegodiego"), I don't know. And then Sookie notices a nebbishy middle-management type trying to screw up his courage: Oh my God he's so powerful, so beautiful, move closer... you can do this, just walk up there and offer yourself to him... "Him" is Eric, of whom we will see more later. "How's your drink?" asks Bill companionably. Sookie laughs: "A gin and tonic is pretty much a gin and tonic no matter where you drink it." "I know exactly what you mean," he says, smiling over his O-negative. I hate gin, myself. Tastes like Christmas trees. Now, I will take it in a Long Island, which tends to be my drink of preference (I hate the taste of beer. Takes an umbrella-drink girl to know one), but then you've already pretty much got a festival of liquor going there. Anyway, back to Eric, who is sitting in his High Grand Poobah Chair looking very vexed with life in general. "Who's that?" asks Sookie. "Oh, you noticed him, did you?" Bill says bitterly. "No, it's not like that--" Sookie stammers, but Bill goes on: "Everyone does. That's Eric. He's the oldest thing in this bar." Nebbish Guy is, like, licking Eric's knee, and Eric boots him clear across the room. There's a very nice oozing boot-shaped crack in the guy's skull now, and a dozen vampires all whip around. FANGS FANGS FANGS! "Hi... I'm Taryn," says the first one to reach him, a bobbed redhead in black latex. "Still think that you're in Disney World?" cracks Bill.

Hospital. "So you're saying that this has never happened to you before?" asks a doctor. No, and it's certainly not because Jason overdosed on V, because taking vampire blood is SICK and he would never. We pull out to a wide shot, and there's Jason sitting on the examination table pitching a tent that could house a family of five. The doctor, who is so totally not fooled, takes a deep breath: "Ohhh boy. Sure glad I'm not you... That looks kinda like an eggplant." Normally he would treat it in stages, he says--the least radical treatment being an anti-inflammatory agent injected into the penis. Tara over in the corner: D:<. Jason: "A needle. In my dick." "But I don't think you'd benefit from that treatment at all now," says the doctor. "We need to aspirate. I'm gonna need to drain the blood... out of your penis." And right as the camera zeroes in on Jason's look of complete, hapless, helpless horror, you can hear a baby wailing offscreen.

"OKAY I'LL LEAVE YOU TO IT," says Tara, grabbing her purse. "Where are you going!" cries Jason. "Look. I will admit to sometimes having a sick curiosity about medical shit, but I ain't that fuckin' curious," says Tara. Jason seriously looks like he's about to burst into tears. "Tara, stay with me?" he says, deploying the puppy-dog eyes. And you know Tara can't say no to him. "I ain't never gonna be the same after this," she moans.

Oh, and Jason doesn't get anesthesia, because the doctor doesn't want to risk a drug interaction, since he doesn't know what substance actually caused the priapism. This doctor is a mean doctor and I love him. As long as he's not mine. "All right... you're gonna feel a stick in three... two..." I will leave you to imagine Jason's scream of agony.

Merlotte's, closing time. Sam's looking pensively at a picture taped under a shelf of glasses; Arlene asks if Sam would mind walking her to her car. "I ain't never been with no vampire," she said, "but still... you know, you cain't be too... safe." Sam would be more than happy to oblige. And then he slips a pair of rubber gloves into his pocket on the way out, and there, on that shelf, is a picture of Dawn with her arms around Sam's neck. And if Maudette was the town bicycle, that means that Sam could have easily been with both of them. And he has a key to Dawn's house. OH AND RUBBER GLOVES RIGHT NOW. The background music keens weirdly.

Fangtasia! Sookie's trying to scan the crowd for anything that might help them figure out who the killer really is. How come no one'll fuck me, I got a dog collar too... How 'bout I rip that tape off your tits... It ain't gay if the guy's a vampire, is it? "You able to pick up anything?" asks Bill. "All anybody's thinkin' about here is sex, sex, sex!" complains Sookie. "One needn't be telepathic to pick up on that," he replies with a weird little smirk. Sookie averts her eyes in a fit of awkwardness.

And there's Pam whispering to Eric in the High Chair, and they both look over at them. "Uh oh," says Bill. Sookie panics: "Don't say 'uh oh'! Vampires are not supposed to say 'uh oh'!" "It's Eric," Bill clarifies. "He's scanned you twice. He's going to summon us." "He can do that?" "Oh yeah." And! and! aaaand... the tiny two-finger beckon, there we go, you're fucked. Bill holds out his hand and Sookie accepts it like a princess and they go pay homage to Eric.

"Bill Compton," says Eric. He sounds so incredibly bored and blasé, I can't even describe it properly. Did you know that blasé is from the French for "having indulged in pleasure so much as to be unexcited by it; satiated and bored" ("blaser, to satiate, orig., to intoxicate")? Yeah. That's Eric. You think Pam's pan is dead, you ain't heard nothin' yet. And yet, there's a certain charm underneath. "It's been a while," flatlines Eric. Bill: "Yes, well, I've been--" "Main. Streaming," says Eric, and I swear, he's shaking ever so slightly when he says it. With disgust? Indignation? I don't know. "I heard. I see that is going... well for you." You know, I didn't really appreciate Eric the first time I saw this episode. This really is a man with a very, very pretty mouth. And I had an epic crush on a guy with very similar blond hair in high school. "Yes, of course, sorry," says Bill, scrambling, "Eric, this is my friend--" "Sookie Stackhouse," Eric intones. "How do you know my name?" she asks, startled. Pam taps her head: "I never forget a pretty face. You're in my vault." "Great! That's just great!" Sookie squeaks, all too aware that this is Not of the Good. "It's nice to meet you!" "Well, aren't you sweet," says Eric. "NOT REALLY," snaps Sookie in something of a panic, and Bill grabs her hand and knocks it against her leg, like, SHUT UP, SOOKIE.

Pam and Eric then mutter to each other in Swedish, as helpfully translated by karintheswede:

Eric: Vår lilla djurpark börjar växa till sig ("Our menagerie is growing").

Pam: Jag vet ("I know").

Back in the English language, Eric says, "Miss Stackhouse, I understand you've been asking questions about my customers. If you have anything to ask, you should ask it OF ME." "All righty!" says Sookie, undaunted. "You reckonize either one of these girls?"

Eric muses over the photographs. "This one offered herself to me; but I found her too pathetic for my attentions," he says in this tone of eternal (slightly amused, slightly disdainful) ennui. I imagine this is Maudette he's looking at, but I don't know that there's any way to be sure. Which means that the other photo would be of Dawn: "Now this one, however: I have tasted." "I remember 'em both," purrs Pam--I think this is when I noticed that she had an accent at all. Sookie: "On account of THE VAULT?" OH MY LORD SOOKIE YOU DID NOT JUST SASS PAM THE VAMPIRE. Bill grabs her hand even harder this time. "Never had either of 'em, though," adds Pam. "Weren't really my type."

"Well, thank you very much, that is all of your time that I need to take--" says Sookie, reaching over and taking the photos away from Eric --seriously, I didn't know who this guy even was ten minutes ago and I'm still not sure I really know, and even I'm kind of horrified that she imposed on his space like that. "I'M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU YET," says Eric (ohhhhh Lord). "Please," he says more courteously. "Sit." So Sookie sits down on Eric's right and she's still clutching Bill's hand to the very last moment even though he's standing three feet away (DON'T LEAVE ME HERE WITH THESE PEOPLE!). "So... Bill..." Eric starts up again, "are you... quite attached... to your friend?" Y'all, sing it with him if you know the words: "SHE IS MINE!" "YES," says Sookie emphatically. "I AM HIS." Well, at least she learned the value of lying your ass off about your belonging-to-himness from that one time with the Vampires Three. "What a pity... for me," says Eric, gazing at her (boobs). And then he gestures to Bill: "Sit with us. We have catching up to do... you and I. It has been... too long." And Bill kind of gives him this stoic look like, YEAH, WELL, MAYBE THERE WAS A REASON FOR THAT. And he sits down on Eric's left side, looking like a rat in a trap. A rat who isn't even sitting next to his girl, at that.

And then Sookie hears some guy in a baseball cap and, like--what is that, a long-sleeved mesh shirt? Man, I would ask for hazard pay if they made me wear that shit. Because, you see, the guy is thinking, Where the fuck are they, my backup was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago, I can't handle a fuckin' raid on my own--

"We have to get out of here!" she blurts out. "Eric, the cops are coming, there's gonna be a raid--" "Tell me you're not an undercover cop," says Eric, finally showing the first sign of liveliness, and I don't even want to know what he'd do to her if she was. "I'm not, but that guy in the hat is!" she says, jerking her head in That Guy's direction. "We do nothing illegal here," Eric insists, which is interesting--what Sookie then hears is a flash of Nebbish Guy in the restroom thinking, Go ahead, open me up, Taryn, I don't care, just make me feel something! "There's a vampire named Taryn in the ladies' room with that man you kicked before, she's feeding on him!" Sookie tells them--and that, apparently, is illegal? But obviously there are consensual "fangbanger" relationships that the law doesn't go after? But then there are a lot of laws on the books against sex acts that no one usually bothers to prosecute (look, I live in Alabama. We have crazy laws), so maybe as long as it's not in public--I don't even know, y'all. Apparently hanging out at Fangtasia and possibly picking up company to take elsewhere for the evening is okay; feeding on the premises is not. Pam wants to know how Sookie knows this is going to go down, and Bill is giving Sookie another one of those pointed looks, this one with a tiny headshake, like NOOO NOOOOO BAD DON'T TELL THEM. And then a shout of "POLICE!" distracts them from the question and all the patrons scramble.

"Follow me," says Eric, slamming out through a back door, and Bill scoops Sookie up to make a run for it. What cracks me up is that Sookie doesn't seem the least bit surprised; she helpfully swings her legs up over his arm as if she travels this way this all the time. Heigh ho, Vampire, away! Eric's parting words: "I enjoyed meeting you, Miss Stackhouse. You will come again." And he and Pam glide off. Like, on invisible skateboards or something, without moving their feet. I don't even know.

Jason's truck--I'm guessing it's Jason's? Maybe it's Lafayette's? Tara usually seems to need rides or walk places on her own, I don't know. Anyway, while Jason snores in the passenger seat, his penile ordeal over, Tara flashes back to some afternoon where Baby Tara threw out her crazy, crazy, drunk, crazy mother's Captain Morgan and fled to the safety of the Stackhouses'. Neither Gran nor Baby Sookie are home, but... Baby Jason is, and he is more than prepared to hold the fort when Tara's mom shows up: "Maybe I should call Sheriff Dearborne so he can throw you in jail, where I guarantee you there ain't no Cap'n Morgan waitin' for ya!" And then Baby Jason stares Tara's crazy mother down and I am telling you, it is the best stink eye I have ever seen a ten-year-old muster. Back in the present, Tara smiles to herself. So now at least we understand what she sees in Jason that no one else can see--that may not even be there anymore, I don't know.

Bill's car--he's got some kind of music playing, and at first I thought it was some kind of '60s girl group or something, not really being able to hear it very well (I'm probably an ass and it sounded nothing like that at all), but it turns out that it's--Cambodian? If it was Cambodian pop, I would be all over that. (Apparently "Escape from Dragon House" is the name of the song? I forget where I saw that.) Sookie just wants to turn it down ("You don't like it?"), and finally just reaches over and just turns the whole thing off. She's still shaken from the Fangtasia raid: "You think we can pull over for a minute? I need things to--stop."

Bill pulls off onto a lonely little dirt road. I mean, it's like two feet off the main road; it probably leads to another bayou or something. "I just need a couple of minutes of quiet and then we can go," she says. "I'm in no hurry. Take your time," he says--there's no guarantee that things will be any better between the two of them than they were before, so this might be all the time he has (awww). So of course Sookie proceeds to be anything but quiet: "I'm sorry if I got you into any trouble tonight." "Don't apologize," he says softly. "We vampires are always in some kind of trouble. I prefer to be in it with you." AWWWWWWWWW. SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS. Aaaaaand they're leaning in for the kiss and POLICE SIREN! "Oh, this can't be happening," mutters Sookie. That's right: Bill's been pulled over for Driving While Vampire.

So Dawn's had her scene of Epic Awesome (*sniffle*), Tara and Lafayette are always awesome, and now it's Bill's turn. And let me tell you, I was not really impressed by the prospect of a "potentially ham-handed racial discrimination metaphor" scene looming before us, but Stephen Moyer underplays it just right, so that about halfway through it goes from "potentially lame racial analogy" to "well-timed reminder that vampires are FUCKING SCARY." Anyway, here's a state trooper (I guess?), and Sookie whispers, "Let me do the talking, okay?" Bill seethes. The trooper asks what they're doing out so late ("Driving home from a date!" Sookie replies sweetly), because "we're raidin' a bar not too far from here. Y'all didn't come from there by any chance?" "Nope, not us!" chirps Sookie (I'm telling you, she's in constant chirp mode tonight). The trooper persists: "It's called Fangtasia, that ring any bells? How 'bout you, son? You seem awful quiet. Cain't you talk?"

"I'm a man of few words," says Bill.

"A man of few words. I like that." The trooper laughs in a patronizing way (of course he does). "Would you shine this light here on your neck, miss? If you don't mind." I guess to check for any illegal bite marks, not that I'm entirely sure what makes a bite legal or not legal? And Bill sloooowly turns around to look at Sookie and very quietly pops his fangs where only she can see. Awwwww, shit, y'all. It's about to go down. Sookie nervously pulls her hair back and exposes her throat, and Bill growls, "Why don't you ask her if you can shine it between her legs?" WILLIAM THOMAS COMPTON, OH MY STARS. "Vampires sometimes like to feed from the femoral artery," he adds (and, as we know, it's Bill's favorite), because "the blood flows more freely down there... so one doesn't have to suck as hard." BILL, YOU ARE NOT HELPING. And then he lifts his head with his fangs out: "Or... so I've been told." And the trooper whips out his pistol (revolver?) and it looks like things are about to go really, really bad, and then his eyes meet Bill's and... his face goes kind of slack. "I like your gun," Bill says softly. AHHHHHHHHHHH. "It's a beautiful weapon." "Thank you," says the trooper blankly. The music in this scene is kind of weird as well--sad and tense and eerie. I can't tell if it's the woevolins or not, though. "May I have it?" Sookie's freaking out: "BILL, I WANT YOU TO STOP THIS RIGHT NOW." "Sure. I guess," says the trooper, and he hands it over. "Nice," says Bill. "It's heavier than I imagined. Is it loaded?" "Well, yes... yes it is." OH MY GOD, Y'ALL, I CAN'T WATCH. "Yeah," says Bill. "BILL, YOU ARE FREAKING ME OUT!" hisses Sookie. And then Bill slowly, calmly points the gun at the trooper. "Now, you listen to me, Officer. I do not take kindly to you shining your light in the eyes of my female companion." (And the trooper puts his flashlight down in a hurry, which made me laugh for some reason. Like, Bill didn't tell him to; the trooper just went Oh shit he doesn't like that and did it.) "And as I have more than one hundred years on you, I do not take kindly to you calling me 'son.' " I... uh... well, then. Duly noted, Mr. Compton. "So the next time you pull someone over on suspicion of being a vampire, you better pray to God that you're wrong. Because that vampire may not be as kind to you as I'm about to be." Over in the passenger seat, Sookie trembles. The trooper stares at Bill, looking very... vulnerable. "I'm not gonna kill you," Bill says very gently, "but I am gonna keep your gun." And for some ineffable reason, that is the part that freaked me out. "Does that sound fair?" "Yes," the trooper says immediately. "Yes what--" "--Yes sir." "There you go." Bill gives him a nod of approval. Scary, scary, hard-won approval. "You have a nice night." And Bill looks back at Sookie, starts the car up again, and pulls away.

And then the trooper wets himself. No, he really does.

What the hell do you follow a scene like that up with?

Well, if you're this show, you follow it up with this:

Sam's unlocking Dawn's front door in his rubber gloves--he's got that key, remember? And then he lays down in Dawn's bed and starts huffing her dirty sheets in a fit of feral ecstasy, and the credits burst into a rousing rendition of "That Smell."



--> *WERECOLLIE* <--




In conclusion: werecollie.


(Continue: 1x05: "Sparks Fly Out.")

(All True Blood recaps.)


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