Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones
cleolinda

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True Blood 1x05: "Sparks Fly Out"

Since I posted two flashback links yesterday, I'm going to cheat and post them again today, because (attn: new readers!) the Gerald story is pretty much the one story you need to read even if you never read anything else. I mean, probably.

On to the recap!

Previously on "True Blood": Dawn's dead and we still don't know who The Killer is, although the show very much wanted us to think it might be Sam; Jason panicked, chugged Lafayette's vial of V, and suffered a horrific case of "gout of the dick"; Tara faithfully got him fixed up at the hospital, even though she "ain't never gonna be the same"; Sookie got Bill to take her to the vampire bar Fangtasia ("Faing. Taysia?") so she could "sniff around" in hopes of clearing her brother's name, but all that happened was that she got put in Pam the Vampire's mental vault and the legendary Eric is now interested in her (boobs), which is all she needs; Bill got pulled over for Driving While Vampire and proceeded to scare the piss out of some asshat state trooper (literally). Oh, and Sam went and rolled around in dead Dawn's dirty dead sheets. We don't know if he's actually a werecollie at this point, but I'm almost hoping he really is, because if he's not, well, then... that boy ain't right.


Here's the thing: what usually takes me so long is transcribing the dialogue--not even all of it, just the good parts. And it's not like this show is on ABC, where it's network TV and then they also stream the shows on their website; this is HBO, which a lot of people don't even get. So I feel like I need to be a little more detailed on these. But at the same time--I waited until I'd seen a couple of episodes to start recapping, so of course I'm behind, and #7's airing on Sunday night and it looks AWESOME and I only yesterday posted #4 and seriously, I almost just want to skip this one and go straight to #6, because it was ~*THE BEST EPISODE EVER*~. I want to have that recapped before Sunday night (you want me to have that recapped before Sunday night, trust me on this), but these recaps take me so long that I don't know how I'd be able to do another one, much less two. So here's my solution: transcribe less of the dialogue and try to move more quickly.

Anyway. Sookie and Bill have just now gotten back to her house from Fangtasia, and now that Sookie has nixed the Cambodian pop, Bill's got "crazy Chinese gargling" on. I'm sorry, "Tuvan throat singing" ("I don't even know what Tuvan is!"). And Sookie was already shaken by the police raid on Fangtasia that they escaped; the whole state trooper thing that just happened has freaked her out even more. She and Bill weren't doing too well before, but Sookie has really had her fill of dating vampires now.

Okay, so, look: once I got past my terror that Bill was gonna shoot the trooper in the face and then eat his eyeballs or something, I found the whole Driving While Vampire incident to be completely hot. But here's the thing: I find it hot because it only exists in my head. It's not happening in my actual life, that is to say. Even if you have fantasies of being--let's say "ravished" here--you are still ultimately the one in control, even if you fantasize about not having control, because when it's all said and done, you're not going to fantasize about anything you don't want to. You know? There's no real element of danger with fictional vampires, not to you as a reader or viewer, beyond a delicious kind of terror. And if that terror gets to be un- pleasant, well, you just close the book or turn off the TV or stop the DVD player. Whereas with Sookie--for the purposes of this discussion, this is real life to her, and she can't control what Bill does or does not do. It might be our fantasy, but it's not hers. When you think about it, she hasn't actually known him very long at all--a few days, maybe a week? So when he suddenly gets scary on a state trooper, she doesn't have the reassurance that it's just a TV show and it'll all work out somehow; she also doesn't have the assurance that he's not completely unstable and won't get fed up with "courting" her and turn on her next, because she doesn't really even know him.

Anyway. That's something I've wanted to talk about for a while now, in a number of contexts. I think it also might help explain why we as fans tend to really enjoy (or even woobify) dangerous characters, because we're forgetting that their danger might be attractive to us because it's fictional, whereas in the characters' original context, in their world, it's possible that it really, really shouldn't be. Or, in other words: Edward Cullen. There you go. I have explained to you, just now, exactly why you can kind of dig the Twilight books on a hilarrible Twinkie level and still think that Bella is a goddamn idiot for enjoying the same danger we do when we read the books. Because when a vampire SITTING IN THE DARK CORNER OF YOUR ROOM WATCHING YOU SLEEP WTF doesn't tickle your kink, you can close the book and throw it across the room, maybe set it on fire. She can't. For her, it's real. And what's more, she doesn't even have the brains God gave a breath mint Charlaine Harris gave Sookie Stackhouse, to have any sense of self-preservation kick in at all.

I'm just saying.

Anyway, my point here is that Sookie's sense of self-preservation does kick in here, although the show seems to frame it terms of "being scared of new things," because I guess that strange foreign music and having your vampire kinda-boyfriend threaten a state trooper with the trooper's own gun would be new things for most of us. And also, that I am not doing a very good job of "moving more quickly." And also-also--Tuvan throat singing, Bill? Really? You're trying to get back in Sookie's good graces and you're going to play that? I'm not saying you have to pretend to have musical tastes you don't, but... that ain't gonna drop nobody's panties.

In summary: Bill makes the mistake of admitting he might have bitten the trooper if Sookie hadn't been there, and Sookie has had enough of "new things" and won't even let Bill walk her to the front door. "I won't call on you again," he adorables mournfully. Woe.

(Watching from the bushes: *WERECOLLIE*)

After the credits: Lafayette's Fabulous Lair. Tara bursts in and starts breaking any knick-knack of Lafayette's that she can lay hands on: "STUPID! FUCKIN'! BITCH!" "Bring it on, hookah," Lafayette says, swinging a baseball bat lazily: "I was All-Star in high school." "YOU GONNA GET YOUR ASS KILLED, YOU DUMB MUTHAFUCKA," shouts Tara at her drug-dealing cousin. "Is this because I'm dealin' V, or because I sold it to your sweet Jason Stackhouse?" he asks astutely. "They had to stick him with A NEEDLE THE SIZE OF AN ICEPICK!" she shouts. "TWICE! It was THE MOST DISTURBIN' SHIT I have ever seen in my life, and I HAVE SEEN SOME PRETTY DISTURBIN' SHIT." And then she breaks some more bric-a-brac.

Chez Stackhouse. Gran is on the phone, trying to fry eggs while an unnamed woman on the other end of the line shouts "SHAME! ON! YOU!" She never says who she is, just that Gran is bringing "perversion into our churches" (ah, people are upset about Bill appearing at the next Descendants of the Glorious Dead meeting), and when Sookie wanders into the kitchen for breakfast, Gran fakes like it's someone who just wants to know what time "Mr. Compton" will be speaking. "YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!" shouts the voice. "All right same to you BYE NOW!" Gran says quickly and hangs up.

So how did Sookie's not-date to Fangtasia go? Gran went to bed early to give Sookie and Bill some privacy, which... they did not end up needing; Sookie now has a vastly different perspective on Bill than when she went out the night before. "He seems like a very nice man," Gran says, perplexed. Sookie: "He is not nice! OR A MAN!" (Well, that's because you haven't seen the sixth episode yet, Sookie...) "Oh my goodness, did you two have a fight?" "Kinda," Sookie admits, adding, "I don't think Bill and I have a lot in common." Now, the story arc of this week's episode, I think, hinges on Sookie's statement here that she doesn't think that Bill "feels the way we do." Meanwhile, Gran thinks it would be "a blessing" to know someone who's experienced the world in such a different way, not something to fear or to hate. "I don't hate him!" retorts Sookie. "I just don't wanna be his girlfriend!"

Jason's apartment. Lafayette's gone over to check on Jason like he promised Tara, and Jason is demonstrating exactly what happened at the hospital--with a sausage and, like, an icepick or a meat thermometer or something. It's long and pointy, that's all I know. "And no anastasiar, either!" Jason says grimly. (Lafayette raises an eyebrow.) Mostly, Lafayette wants to make sure Jason didn't rat him out as the dealer of his V. Jason: "Do I look stupid?" Honey, you don't even want me to get started. Meanwhile, Jason starts going off on how bad his life sucks ass: there was the penile ordeal, and "now the Sheriff thinks I'm a sex maniac--and how'm I ever gonna look Tara in the eye again?" Oh, don't worry about Tara, Lafayette reassures him: "Honey, she's been lost in love with you ever since she was eight." Jason is shocked: "Well, shit! That's even worse!"

And then he starts haranguing Lafayette about the evils of dealing and doing V, and tells him to "go fuck up someone else's life." "Listen, don't blame the Ferrari just 'cause your ass can't drive," says Lafayette. He explains that vampire blood will OPEN UP YOUR MIND. It is "the life force of a vampire. Our blood sustains life; this blood IS life." He sits Jason down with a vial of blood from his car, because Lafayette just does not know when to leave well enough alone, and pours out four or five drops of blood ("Now I ain't sellin' you no whole vial until you learn how to use the shit right"), each one on a tiny square of paper: "Pure, undiluted, 24-karat life. You have to let it take you deep... follow it... soak it in." Jason is watching him with eyes big as saucers. Lafayette, don't try to get all deep with Jason Stackhouse. Jason's tiny lizard hindbrain can't handle that metaphysical shit; all he's gonna get out it of is "WHEE COLORS ARE PRETTY" and then start tweaking for more in a gutter somewhere. And I knew this before I saw the next episode, or even the rest of this one.

Lafayette puts one of the squares in his mouth, telling Jason that you take some of the vampire into you when you consume its blood. So what kind of vampire is this one? "He's new," Lafayette purrs, savoring it, "so the blood is still a little wild. I can feel him in my muscles, makin' me strong. But you might get a different side of him. The same V might affect you in a whole different way." And I found myself listening to this very carefully the second time around, because I wonder if it's going to affect Jason's addiction later (he's obviously going to get addicted, I'm not even giving anything away by saying that). Also, it may explain a little more why Sookie had a different experience with Bill's blood--not only might a lot of it have gone towards healing her, she and Jason might (in theory) have different reactions to the same blood anyway, and even so, they didn't drink the same blood. I don't know where Jason's vial from the other episode came from (I'm still curious as to who that particular "life-challenged individual" was), but Bill, certainly, has a much calmer, more responsible, more controlled personality.

So Jason takes the plunge and puts a drop of blood on his tongue: "Aw, Christ, I can't believe I'm doin' this again." Well, I can, you moron.

Merlotte's, lunch hour. Sam overhears Arlene and Sookie discussing how Sookie is not as big a vampire fan as she used to be. "That vampire club not all it was made out to be?" asks Arlene nosily. "A whole lotta freaks, I hear, and people from Arkansas." THE HORROR. Sookie's not as forthcoming as Arlene would like, so she demands, "Did that vampire get handsy with you?" (I just really like the word "handsy.") No, but Sookie still won't be going out with him again. This is Sam's cue to jump in right that red-hot second and make his move: would Sookie go with him to the Descendants of the Glorious Dead meeting? And then, after they've listened to a talk from the vampire that Sookie's conflicted about no longer dating, they could get a cup of coffee? Oh, werecollie. The entire bar, including Detective Andy, is watching with bated breath for Sookie's answer, by the way. And it is definitely a date, unlike the not-date to Fangtasia. "Everyone's lookin' at us!" whispers Sookie. "I know, so you better say yes!" says Sam (hee). "Shoot, well... why not!" Such enthusiasm, Sookie. Triumphant, Sam turns to their audience: "EYES BACK ON YOUR FOOD, PEOPLE!"

Sookie brings Detective Andy his bottle of ketchup and Andy smarms, "Love is in the air." You know, what with Sookie and Sam AND ALSO JASON AND TARA WHAT? Unfortunately, this is the first Sookie's heard of the alibi Tara manufactured for Jason, and she hears Andy thinking, She's not bangin' Stackhouse at all! That bitch lied to me! "WATCH YOUR MOUTH, ANDY BELLEFLEUR!" snaps Sookie, and he immediately realizes that he didn't say anything out loud, but Sookie answered anyway, which means that it's true! It's all true! Sookie can hear people's thoughts! SHIT, DON'T LOOK HER IN THE EYE! "If you're gonna accuse me of lying, say it out loud and be a man about it," says Sookie, apparently just giving up on the whole charade. "Either way, I'm gonna hear you whether you look me in the eye or not. Let's face it--there's not a whole lot of ideas in there. Like mice in a cage," she adds with magnificent disdain. "I know you're graspin' at straws, but don't drag my brother down with you." And she flounces off, leaving Andy to sulk.

In the ladies' room, she attempts to confront Tara about the Jason thing (look, I'm mixing things up a little bit here, but work with me), and Tara explains that she's providing Jason's alibi. Also, why didn't Sookie tell her that Sookie's going out with Sam? "Uh, it just now happened?" says Sookie, not sure why it's Tara's business anyway. Tara, of course, doesn't want her to know that Sookie going out with Sam is very relevant to her interests. "Is there somethin' else you're not tellin' me?" asks Sookie, and when she tries to read Tara's thoughts, all she gets is a very deliberate "LALALALALALALALALA!" HA!

Descendants of the Freezing, Starving, Not-Glorious Dead. There's a whole bit of business with Hoyt and Hoyt's Mama fussing over how to pull a giant silver cross down (because Bill is a vampire, after all) and not being able to budge it, so Hoyt's Mama... drapes an American flag over it instead. Yeah, that'll work. Meanwhile, the meeting's got a huge turnout ("Good thing Myra made extra ambrosia"), mostly of rubberneckers who have never stepped foot in a DGD meeting before. The Sheriff is even in uniform because everyone is pretty much terrified that Bill is going to, like, flip out like a ninja and eat everyone or something.

And there's poor, sad Bill, sitting in a back room nursing a bottle of Tru Blood, listening to everyone out front whisper about how strange and dangerous he is. He doesn't react much when he hears Sam cheerfully telling Gran that he (Sam) is Sookie's escort for the evening, but then, he doesn't have to, because we already know his pain, y'all. We know.

So out in the main assembly room, they're putting up the Confederate flag and Tara is looking... well, let's say "askance" at it. I think Tara being here (she's pretty much a character created for the show, if you'll recall) is a good move on the show's part, because it provides more... objectivity? We're not viewing the DGD with the same reverence the townsfolk are, in other words, because we've got Tara there to remind us that, um, you know, the Confederacy was kind of not the best thing ever, no matter how much the Bon Tempsians revere their ancestors on general principle. And here's Sookie, with a very awkward Sam! Can they sit with Tara? "Sure," she says, muttering, "Always use more white people."

Meanwhile, Jason is outside the church watching sparks fly out (...ohhhhh ) of the magnolias. His trip has begun.

In come three redneck jerks, who I wouldn't even bother with, except that... well, you'll see. And here comes Jason, seeing Tara as if for the first time, in slo-mo, with... a giant rivulet of sweat running down her neck. Hot. So now he's sitting with the gang as well. "How you feelin'?" asks Tara with grim sympathy. "Oh, strong," says Jason eagerly. "Alive." Tara is a bit confused, given that the last time she saw him, there was that needle the size of an icepick up his dick and all.

Here comes Gran, very excited, to introduce Bill. She informs the crowd that he did, in fact, fight for the Confederacy in "the War for Southern Independence," and I would just like to break in right here and say, on a related note, that if you are ever in a backwoodsy part of the South and anyone, anyone refers to it unironically as "the War of Northern Aggression," I don't care who you are, get your ass out of there as fast as you can. There's just no good that's gonna come from anyone who's still calling it that in the year 2008. Maybe, maybe I'll allow an exception for the very elderly. Just trust me on this.

Anyway! Let's put our hands together for First Lieutenant William Thomas Compton! So here's Bill, and he immediately takes the American flag off the cross (gasp!) and respectfully runs it up the empty flagpole. "As a patriot of this great nation, I would not dream of putting myself before Old Glory," he says, adding, "And as you can see, I did not burst into flames." Heh.

(I'll break in here to note that the Sheriff's muttering that Bill's been killing for a hundred years, why stop now? Interestingly, it's Andy who sticks up for Bill, mentioning that his cousin Terry--pan to Terry twitching on the other side of the church--killed twenty Iraqis in Fallujah, does that mean he should be locked up? "Your cousin Terry should be locked up," retorts the Sheriff.)

(Meanwhile, the three rednecks are cutting up out there in the audience, and I really couldn't figure out what the hell they were doing. [ETA: Oh, they were... pressing garlic in Bill's general direction? LAMESAUCE. MADE OF A NICE FAIL BÉCHAMEL.] And Hoyt is in the back room sniffing around Bill's Tru Blood in the church fridge.)

Anyway, what I like about this whole sequence is that poor Bill obviously wants to be friendly and make a good impression and be accepted, and he's trying to be charming but he's not quite getting there--not because he's an inhuman vampire oh noes (the way Sookie was telling him to express condolences if he wanted to fit in with humans), but because he's so lonely and isolated, it's like he's forgotten how to be around people. Basically, he sounds like someone giving a speech in front of an audience of strangers (nervous at first, stagey, a little ham-handed, then warming up to it), which is exactly what he is. And I liked that, because it's more human than if he'd swept in there and "glamoured" the pants off everyone from the word go. And there's a moment when he sees an old photo and he drops the facade for a moment, and you see what he's really feeling. But I'm getting ahead of myself (again). So Bill talks about the war for a while and how hard it was to fight and how noble it was to die, but the most pertinent thing, I think, is when an elderly man stands up and asks if Bill knew his great-grandfather, Tolliver Humphries, or how he died. Bill did, in fact, and we get a flashback to the Civil War, and I have to say here that... well, Dirty War-Torn Confederate Bill is not doing much for me. Which is weird, because I am ALL about some Dirty Aragorn, for example. Just... somehow, I find Bill more attractive as an ashy emo vampire, silly rattlesnake fangs and all. I'm a little concerned about what this says about me, but I've done enough philosophical rambling for one recap, I guess. (Maybe it's the hair? Please tell me it's just the Confederate hair that is not working for me.)

Anyway, Tolliver Humphries insisted on running out into no-man's-land to save this wounded teenage boy (who Bill just wanted to shoot to shut up him, which, uh, maybe he shouldn't be admitting), except that Humphries got killed by enemy fire in the process. (Meanwhile, Jason's imagining that he's the screaming wounded boy. Trippy.) So... awkward. Hope you enjoyed that story, Mr. Elderly Great-Grandson Humphries. The boy, however, lived. And yet Bill does not give the name of The Boy Who Lived, which I find very interesting, because you'd think he'd want to be like, "And because of your ancestor's brave sacrifice, the [Whoever] family lives on today." But he doesn't. And the only reason he wouldn't, I would think, is because the show wants to spring this information on you at a later date. So we'll put that one away for later.

And now we get to the photo. The Mayor was digging around in the archives and found an old tintype of a "Mr. W.T. Compton and Family." Would this happen to be Bill? Yes, yes, it would, the woevolins inform the Mayor, and thanks for reminding Bill of everything he tragically lost while he's trying to give a speech in front of a hundred people, that was very thoughtful of you. Bill blots his eyes with a handkerchief, obviously fighting off a lot of emotion, before resuming his Hey, I'm Your Friendly Neighborhood Vampire! program, and when he puts down his hand we can see that there's blood on the handkerchief. Out in the audience, Sookie is stricken with--sympathy? Pity? Regret? Because he feels, y'all! He feels just like you and me! Yeah, and now you feel like an ass, don't you, Sookie?

Later, at the little church reception (you know, with the ambrosia), Terry the war vet comes up and bearhugs Bill: "They don't understand, man, none of them will ever understand. You stay sharp, brother," he says fervently.
"... A'right," says Bill. Apparently he was a huge hit with the DGD crowd; even Hoyt's Mama wants to take a picture with him. And here's Sam and Sookie; Sam dryly compliments him on putting on "quite a show." "You remember Sam, don't you, Bill?" says Sookie. He does: "You're Sookie's employer." Sam: "Well, we're off duty--" "NO, LEGALLY YOU ARE STILL SOOKIE'S EMPLOYER," says Bill, which cracked me up so bad. And then Sookie congratulates him, a little starry-eyed again: "Seems like you've won everyone over." "Well, some... I hope," he says significantly. Well, then, Sam and Sookie will be off now to grab a cup of coffee! "COFFEE," says Bill. "SOUNDS DELIGHTFUL." Poor, poor Bill, you guys. After Sam and Sookie have left, he says (of Sam), "He seems nice," chivalrous to the last. Gran just kind of looks back at Bill and gives a noncommittal "Hm." Yeah, we all know who Gran favors.

Merlotte's. Jason, Hoyt and Cajun Rene are sitting around, drinking beer and shooting the breeze. Hoyt's apparently getting restless with his mama's boy existence and wants to try picking up chicks, which Jason pretty much wrote the book on and Rene isn't interested in: "Ma chere is right there," he says, nodding towards Arlene. (AW.) And then Hoyt suggests that they try some of the synthetic Tru Blood. Rene takes a very dim view of this: "I go to da dog races, you see me eatin' Alpo?" Hoyt just really seems taken with how "cool" Bill was at the DGD, though, and I think on some level he thinks that drinking blood, or at least the synthetic blood, might bring some of that cool to him. And, bless his heart, he can use all the cool he can get.

Meanwhile, Jason looks over at Tara pouring beer from a pitcher at the bar and suddenly has this hysterical vision of Tara as, like, a water-nymph goddess of booze or something. So he goes to get another Dixie Draft (and what is it with Jason and the Alabama references, anyway?) for the table; at the bar, he seizes Tara's arm, gasping, "The hairs on your arm are shooting sparks into my hand!" Tara just stares at him like, Son, you are wrong in the head. This is confirmed when he adds, like a giddy little kid, "You know those electric fences they use to pen horses? It feels like I just pissed on one!" Tara: "OH MY GOD, YOU ARE STILL HIGH. I'M'ONNA KILL LAFAYETTE." "I am not high!" protests Jason. "Okay, I am high! But that doesn't mean that what I'm feeling ain't real!" And what does he feel? "It's you, Tara. It's been you all along." Tara is not buying it. "You took care of me when I needed it," he says tenderly. "You showed me love, Tara. And that is the most beautiful thing of all." "Come to me when you're sober," Tara says in a very flat, no-bullshit twang. "Then we'll talk serious." And that is why I love Tara. But then Jason takes her hand in both of his, intertwining their fingers with an orgasmic little shiver, kisses it, and insists that everything he's feeling, he wants to feel with her. Just give him a chance, one chance, he'll prove it to her! And you know, YOU KNOW, that because this is Jason, this is going to end badly.

Over at some little diner/cafe/whatever (all I know is, they have Fresh Fish 7 Days A Week), Sam and Sookie are politely arguing over who has to eat the last bite of pie. "I guess you saw this comin'," says Sam, reminding us that he told Sookie she could listen to his thoughts, and I will remind us that this did not shake out so well when Sookie did it in the first episode. "I tried and it was a little weird," she says (NO KIDDING). Sookie also says that Sam doesn't think the way others do, in complete sentences or images; it's often just sounds or waves of emotion. Because he's a werecollie. "How come nobody knows anything about you?" she asks. Because he's a werecollie. Well, Sam explains mysteriously, the place he's from and the people who raised him don't have anything to do with who he is, and mostly he raised himself. Out in the wild, among a pack of feral collies. And then they get to talking about how Sookie's telepathy makes her feel weird and crazy, but Sam thinks she's perfect just the way she is and shouldn't ever try to change, and he knows what it's like to be different werecollie. "You're just tryin' to get on my good side," Sookie says shyly. "How'm I doin'?" Sam asks, and I have to tell you--I am clearly on Team Bill here, but I really do love Sam as a character unto himself (and he is definitely working the puppydog eyes/floppy hair combo tonight). And Sam Trammell does a good job of keeping Sam Merlotte (wow, could this Sam thing be any more confusing?) from being the pitiful Nice Guy type who does nothing but trail around after the girl. I mean, the character does that to an extent, but it could really be so much worse, and throwing Tara into the mix so quickly has kept a complete Ross-and-Rachel timesuck from forming. Part of it, I think, is that I just really like Sam a lot better when he's with Tara and not moping around after Sookie. Although apparently I have no problem with Bill moping around after Sookie. I don't know, y'all.

Back at Merlotte's--okay, I will transcribe this directly, because people who have seen it would beat me if I didn't. This is Lafayette's Epic Moment of Awesome, and although the show seems to be trying a bit too hard to make it awesome--it's kind of our Weekly Grandstanding Against Discrimination Moment--I nonetheless cannot deny its awesomosity.

So Arlene brings a plate to the kitchen that someone's sent back. "There a problem with my burger?" asks Lafayette. "Just a coupla drunk rednecks, that's all..." she says, but she's clearly reluctant to get into specifics. "What's they problem?" "Oh come on, now," she says, "it's not worth it." "What did they say?" "He said... the burger..." *SPATULA!* "WHAT DID HE SAY, ARLENE?" "HE SAID THE BURGER MIGHT HAVE AIDS," she blurts out. And the radio in the background's got some song on that's going "Aw, yeah, here we go," and Lafayette takes off his earrings. Y'ALL, IT IS ON. "Lafayette--" Off comes the apron and there he goes with the burger. "Awwwwwwww, fudge," moans Arlene.

" 'Scu me," says Lafayette out in the main room. "Who ordered the burger... WITH THE AIDS?" The redneck asswipes from the DGD meeting, of course. They all giggle. "I ordered the hamburger deluxe," says the chief asswipe.

"In this restaurant," explains Lafayette, "the hamburger deluxe come with fren-fries, lettuce, tomato, mayo... AND AIDS!" The entire restaurant jumps. "DO ANYBODY GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"

"YEAH!" says Asswipe in Chief, because he just really does not know what he's about to unleash. "I'm an American, and I got a say in who makes my food--" "Oh, baby, it's too late for that," Lafayette retorts. "Faggots been breedin' yo' cows, raisin' yo' chickens, even brewin' yo' beer" (one of the other asswipes stops and looks down at his glass) "long before I walked my sexy ass up in this muthafucka--everything on this got-damn table got AIDS."

"You still ain't makin' me eat no AIDS burger," says Asswipe in Chief, and you know, I've always wondered what people like this intend to happen when they stir up shit. Like... what's their expected outcome? What are they hoping to achieve? A free meal? A bar brawl? What's he hoping Lafayette would say? Because what he actually says, in a low whisper, is, "Well, all you gotta do is say 'Hold the AIDS.' " And then Lafayette licks the mayonnaise off the top half of the bun, slams it into the Chief Asswipe's face ("EAT IT!"), and proceeds to bitchslap their collective redneck ass. Although I think there might be a few bitchpunches in there too. "Bitch, you gonna come in my house, you gonna eat my food THE WAY I FUCKIN' MAKE IT!" he roars. "DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?" I think they understand. "Tip yo' waitress," Lafayette finishes, walking off. Exit awesome.

(Jason over at his table is laughing and snapping his fingers, I might add.)

Back over at the little diner/wherever, Sam and Sookie are leaving on a happy date high. He's glad she can't read all his thoughts, " 'cause then you'd know what's coming." And then they get to the good part, but Sookie pushes him away after a few minutes of kissing against the side of his car because she just can't go from one guy to another so quickly, which is not something Sam had really grasped: "YOU KISSED HIM?" Uh, yeah, Sam, back in the second episode. There was premature fangulation and everything, keep up. So he starts freaking the hell out and I promise, I am really trying not to bring up Twilight at every opportunity that presents itself, but I started having some strong flashbacks to the Jacob/Bella parts of Eclipse that made me want to throw things, WERECOLLIE. Fortunately, Sookie calls him on his shit and I don't have to punch my TV: "Is this a contest, whatever he did you have to top it?" "Come on, Sookie, be fair!" So Sookie points out that what's not fair is Sam waiting to make his move until someone else made one first (THANK YOU!), to which Sam shouts, "SOOKIE, YOU DON'T HAVE A FUTURE WITH A VAMPIRE!" "They don't die--I got nothin' but a future with one," she fires back. Sam: "Oh, the way Dawn had a future, the way Maudette Pickens had a future?" ...Touché. "Bill did not kill those women," Sookie insists. "THERE IS NOTHING THAT I WILL NOT DO TO KEEP THAT THING FROM HURTING YOU," Sam shouts, pretty much shoving Sookie up against the car: "They're not like us! They could turn on you!" "And people can't?" asks Sookie quietly. "You're doing pretty good right now." O SNAP. So Sookie marches back into the diner and says she'll take a cab home rather than ride with Sam. Don't kick the car, Sparky, you're the one who blew it.

Merlotte's. Hoyt decides to make a play for a weedy blonde chick in a denim mini--already drunk half off her ass, I might add, and "dancing" unsteadily--and she is all about that; turns out she's celebrating the completion of her divorce. (Rene leans over to Jason from their seat in the front row, as it were: "Is like watchin' Animal Planet, yeah? Any second she gon bite his head off, I swear.") "You wanna help me forget all about him?" she teases Hoyt.

And then, like, five seconds later, here's Hoyt back at the boys' table looking pleased with himself. Wait, what? "She asked me to go home with her," he says. Rene: "So what you doin' here, you?" Hoyt: "I said I'd think about it." I am wondering now if Hoyt is entirely heterosexual, because if he's not, he needs to move on with his life and get something from somebody, y'all. "You a lost cause," says Rene, shaking his head.

And here's Tara bringing over another pitcher of beer and... a Tru Blood O-negative for Hoyt. I wonder if Hoyt actually asked for Bill's flavor of choice or if that's just a coincidence. "No refunds on that, Hoyt," says Tara, just barely managing not to laugh. "It's hot!" he says, surprised. "That's the way it's served--98.6," she says, or, at least, it is when Arlene's not your waitress. And then Tara and Jason exchange significant looks (curious and hopeful, respectively) as she walks off. Hoyt takes a swig: "OHHHHHHH, THAT SHIT IS NASTY!" "Yeah, what you expect?" says Rene. "S'pose taste like blood!" And then Jason starts mouthing off about how Tru Blood isn't the "life force" at all, V is, and he's all mellow and trippy and shit, ending on this piece of wisdom: "Only thing holdin' you back... is you." *finger guns* So Hoyt gathers his courage and, like, licks his bottle "sexily" in the direction of the divorcee, who gives him a weird look because--as Hoyt realizes only too late--that's not a beer he's holding; that's a bottle of synthetic vampire blood. Slick.

Compton House. Bill's walking home when the woevolins usher in a ghostly vision of his wife and children on the porch... which is just as suddenly interrupted by Sheriff Dearborne. He introduces himself, and "This is Andy Bellefleur," he says, and Bill stops dead: "Bellefleur?" And then this is never mentioned again. I am putting five bucks on The Boy Who Lived totally being a Bellefleur right now, y'all. "Won't you come on in?" says Bill; I think the afternoon's practice has warmed him up to being full-on charming. "In... to... the house?" stammers the Sheriff.

So inside, Bill's got a fire going. In Louisiana. A vampire. Who doesn't get cold. But, you know, it's a Plot Important fire (y'all have no idea, believe me), so we'll go with it. They've come to ask Bill a few questions, and Bill offers them Fresca. Which Andy accepts. ("ANDY, WHAT ARE YOU DOIN'?" "HE OFFERED!" ) I was seriously laughing my ass off here, for whatever reason--sheer absurdity, I guess. The vampire offered them soda. And not even "soda" (I'm kind of weird for saying that down here) or "a soft drink" (or "a Coke," as we would say generically, and then ask you what kind you wanted), but specifically, Fresca. Anyway, while Bill's gone to the kitchen, Andy picks up this terrifying spiked iron tool that's straight out of the Middle Ages leaning against the fireplace, all like, HELLO, SUSPICIOUS, but Bill suddenly reappears, as he tends to do, and informs them that it's a toaster. Ohhhhh, because, see, you put the bread in between the spikes and hold it in the fire, there you go: the toaster of his ancestors.

So they ask him about Dawn and Maudette, one of whom he had seen, obviously, working with Sookie, and the other one he never knew of at all. Was he aware that either of them had had sexual contact with vampires? "I was not," he lies says lightly, "but it's more common than you think." I don't know if he's just really getting a kick out of their discomfort or what, because he seems to be enjoying himself a good bit, which I would not have expected after Bill getting dumped by Sookie and having a vision of his dead family. But, hey, you know: we all need hobbies. So then Bill asks how the women were killed: "Were either of these unfortunate women exsanguinated? Drained of their blood?"_Well, see, uh... cops generally don't like to tell you things you don't already know. Kinda messes up their interrogations, there. "Because a fresh corpse... full of blood..." I swear, he nearly winks at them. He is savoring the whole conversation a little too much, although, again, I can't tell if he's doing it on purpose to fuck with Andy and the Sheriff. "Detective, that is something no vampire could resist. I dare say not even I." "Good thing you weren't there," says Andy, laughing nervously. "And neither was any vampire," declares Bill. "A vampire would have drained those girls of every last drop. How's your Fresca?" "It's a little warm," says Andy, after I'm done laughing my ass off. "I apologize," says Bill, smiling. "I don't own a refrigerator."

So when I'm able to stop laughing and hit play again, Andy realizes he left his pen in the house. "LEAVE IT," says the Sheriff. On the upside, Andy did get called "Detective" for once, though.

So Bill's left by himself in the old house, holding the Proustian Toaster of Flashback, and we find out exactly how he got vampired. He's trying to get home after the Confederate Army has disbanded, and a lonely widow (well, she considers herself a widow; it's been seven months since she last got a letter from her soldier husband) has taken Bill in for the night, and it's all Cold Mountain up in here. And also, she is making him Significant Toast, which may be the name of my next band. He's snarfling food as fast as she can cook it, quite understandably, and then she offers to let him stay the night. You know. Stay the night. And Bill stops dead and tells her that he's trying to get home to his wife and children, and he is an honorable man, and he doesn't blame her for being a dirty hoor in hard times but he's only eight days from retirement really close to home and he doesn't want to sully the reunion with his family. So he'll just be going now, sorry about that, thanks for the toast and all, but when he gets to the door she's suddenly there, because OH SHIT. FANGS!

So when he wakes up, he's laid out in the widow's bed, almost completely drained and unable to move, and the widow's in her corset and underwears and ready to get down to it. And then he kind of glances over and sees decaying bodies propped up here and there, their dead faces contorted in agony. These were her previous prospective lovers, you see, and they were all "animals" who tried to take advantage of her, as opposed to Bill, who is a gentleman, so she wants to be a hoor with the man who doesn't want to be a hoor with her. I... okay. The look on Stephen Moyer's face at this point, by the way, is a superlative rendering of OH SHIT I AM SO FUCKED. So then the widow starts trying to vampire him by dripping blood from her throat onto his face, and he is not having any of it (which is kind of difficult, since he can't really move), and she's urging him to "take her [blood] inside him," and... well, that's a new spin on sexual penetration, I guess. So finally the will to live gets the better of him, and... well, the rest is history, I suppose.

And then he goes back to the Compton house, you know, the one where he's living today (but we're still talking about 1865 right now), and gazes tragically from afar upon his wife and children rocking peacefully on the porch. Now, maybe I'm just slow, but I hadn't realized that this was THE Compton house. I'd thought maybe it was A Compton house, you know, like there might be several Comptons and this was the family seat, the patriarch's home, but that Bill did not necessarily live here the whole time he was alive, or at all. You know, like, just because you're an O'Hara doesn't mean you all live on the Tara plantation. He just came back to inherit the family seat because he was the last "surviving" Compton, or so I assumed. But no, this was his actual house, where he lived with his wife and children, who are buried in the cemetery next door, and good God, that is HORRIBLE. He's back living in this house with all those memories? In the rooms where his children were born? I don't even think the wallpaper's been changed in a hundred years. GOOD GOD. So anyway, the evil vampire widow comes up behind him in her evil vampire cloak and evils that he can't ever see his family again, they can't know that he's alive because he wouldn't be able to hide his undeathly nature from them and they'd be shit up a creek if they were caught harboring a vampire (which I thought was interesting, because that statement presupposes that even back then people believed in vampires, even if they weren't officially out... doesn't it?), so let's get out of here, hope you enjoyed your one last look. Bill weeps a single emo tear of blood.

Back in the present, Bill is overcome by grief and anger and flips the fuck out with the toasting fork. Now, see, when Tara pitches a fit, she breaks everything within reach. When Bill starts whaling on the fender with the Toaster of Woe, he is very careful not to actually break anything in the house of his ancestors that he spent so much effort refurbishing, which cracks me up. DAMN YOU, FIREPLACE FENDER! DAMN YOU AND YOUR ANDIRONS TO HELL!

Merlotte's. Out back, Tara is taking out the garbage. Aaaand Jason's out there, in the dirt, riding the divorcee chick doggy-style. You know, I think some of the Jason/Dawn sex scenes were probably more graphic than this, and yet... I can't ever unsee this, y'all. It's the doofy, vacant grin on his face, I think. He doesn't even miss a beat when he sees Tara ("Aw hey! Tara! This is Randi Sue!" he calls out, pointing down at the woman he's still humping), and Tara has, I would like to think, a hard-earned moment of clarity ("YOU GOTTA BE KIDDIN' ME!"). So then she dumps all the garbage on the two of them ("FUCK YOU, STACKHOUSE!"). To which Randi Sue bawls out, "BIIIIITCH! NO ONE FUCKS WITH MY HAIR!" (man, Rosalie has let herself go), and to Jason, "DON'T YOU! DARE! STOP!," the two of them covered in lettuce and used napkins and AIDS burgers and everything. Classy.

Chez Stackhouse. Meanwhile, Sookie's finally gotten home in her cab, and she takes off her shoes on the way into the house, only to slip on a smear of blood. And there, lying in a large pool of blood, is NOOOOO! GRAN! NOOOOO NOT GRAN! GRAAAAN! It's gonna be okay, you guys! Bill's right there just across Convenience Road! He can totally sense when Sookie's in trouble, he can speed-mo over there and save Gran with his happy magical blood! It's gonna be okay! She's just sleeping!

And then I watched an extended preview for the next episode. Gran... Gran is not sleeping, you guys.




Graaaaaaaaaan...!


(Continue: 1x06: "Cold Ground.")

(All True Blood recaps.)


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