Episode 205, “Never Let Me Go.” Original air date: 7/20/09. This is part one of two (of my recap). (Here’s part two.) (Also, this is not episode two hundred five, but rather season 2, episode 5. On the show I work on, that’s how we keep track of episodes. It’s handy.)
Before I got a job in TV, I worked on the film side of the world (which is actually on the same side of the world as the TV side of the world… the same town, even). In film, there’s this little thing called coverage, which is a summary of a script. It has to fit into two pages, and it’s supposed to be objective, unbiased. Writing a recap is like writing coverage, except that I have unlimited room, and I can say whatever I WANT. Take that, coverage! But this is actually taking me longer to write than coverage, which is kind of sad. TOO MANY WORDS. I’m sorry.
I’ll preface this one by saying that I love this show. It’s amazing. It’s also very easy to make fun of, but I make fun out of LOVE. I might add some hyperlinks to this… later.
As we re-enter the world of True Blood, we’re still at the surprise birthday party that Maryann is hosting for Tara at Sookie’s house (just so we’re clear on that). The theme is “Eating Dirt and/or Cake, and Sex.” Because sex and dirt go together like… oh gosh, is she turning people into pigs? (That’s so WILLOW.) Is that what the disappearing pig was all about, or is he just there to root up delicious truffles? And what does that have to do with Maryann being a Maenad? That’s not even a spoiler, because the whole internet knows that Maryann is a Maenad, whatever that is.
Anyway: Sam is following Daphne through the woods, trying to figure out what she meant when she said, “I know your secret.” Daphne is undressing as she walks, and Sam is picking up the clothes and acting really confused. What do you think is about to happen, Sam? You’re at a Sex Party. Get your mind off of the mystery! Save it for tomorrow. This is a Sex Party. Just so we’re clear.
Sam rounds a corner and finds that Daphne is missing. But a deer is standing there, and it’s not running away or anything. (CLUE.) Sam seems almost more excited about seeing the deer than he was about the prospect of sex with Daphne. “Well, hey!” he chirps at the deer. Then the deer shifts into Daphne and Sam FREAKS HIS SHIT OUT. Hey Sam, you’re a shapeshifter. Maybe you should have seen this coming.
When Daphne shifts, we see those mega-scratches on her back. Didn’t we hear from Dr. AwesomeLady that those scratches contain a fatal poison? Is Daphne immune because she’s a shapeshifter? Is she going to die? In season one Merlotte’s waitresses were dying left and right, so I’m thinking RIP Daphne. Maybe. But not before she and Sam have some “Hey, we’re both shapeshifters” sex.
But WAIT, here come Terry and Arlene, cockblocking it all up. Arlene is mega-pissed at Sam because he’s about to sex it up with one of his employees, which is kind of hypocritical considering that she’s about to have sex with the short-order cook (and that her ex-fiance murdered all of the aforementioned waitresses–if they hadn’t died, there wouldn’t be a need for Daphne). They’re all about to shit where they eat, as the saying goes (although the shapeshifters are probably used to that). But I’m secretly really happy for Arlene and Terry, because a little sexing will take Terry’s mind off of his PTSDing. I love Terry. “Good party,” Terry says. Yeah, it’s a good party for HIM– none of the regulars had to eat dirt. At the end of the conversation, Sam realizes that Daphne is gone. Terry: 1, Sam: 0.
Sookie chases Barry the Bellhop down the hallway of the Hotel for Vamps. He looks a lot like Colin Hanks, no? (Oooh, can’t wait for Mad Men… speaking of characters who need a good Sex Party.) Whereas Sam was really happy to find out about Daphne’s abilities, co-telepath Barry wants Sookie to Leave. Him. Alone. Somebody please make a Leave Barry Alone video, complete with crocodile tears. Barry is really afraid of vampires, which is Smart. Sookie listens to a passing manwhore’s mind and hears “disco music,” but it really sounds like opera, to me. Maybe vampire discos play opera music. (Because vampires are old. Get it? Get it?)
Bill lectures Jessica (!) for ordering a human from the room service menu (ha!). He banishes her to her room to drink her True Blood, and Jessica huffs, “You are gonna be so sorry when I get an eating disorder!” Congrats, Jessica, you just stole the show. We can all pack up and go home now. Cut and print. See you next week.
After Jessica storms out, Bill lectures Sookie, who has just returned from accosting Barry. Don’t leave the room, Sookie! There are dangerous vampires out there. But she’s also IN a room with two vampires. It’s coming from inside the room! As Barry would say, her vamps are “candy-ass,” so she’s safe. Sookie tries to divert Bill’s lectures by engaging in some really corny pre-foreplay dialogue. She says “I’m yours” more times in a row than Jason Mraz. That’s right, Sookie. In your face (probably, but we don’t see it). Sookie promises Bill that she won’t do anything stupid, which is pretty much a guarantee that she WILL do something stupid. Sookie is pumped because their vampire hotel is “light-tight,” so Bill will be able to sleep until morning by her side.
FAVORITE SCENE ALERT! Hoyt is lying in bed, wearing matchy-matchy pajamas, reading a comic book and mouthing the words to himself. His cell phone rings, and he answers with fake bravado: “You’re talking to the man.” Of course, as soon as he hears a girl’s voice on the other end, he sits up, embarrassed. “Who’s this?” Jessica is a prisoner in her hotel room, curled up on her bed in that amazing red dress. Nobody puts that red dress in a corner! Jessica wonders if Hoyt remembers her, which OF COURSE he remembers her. He can’t stop thinking about her, “really really and then some more.”
Hoyt’s mom bursts in screaming at him for talking on the phone at such a late hour, and Hoyt takes a stand, locking her out. How old is Hoyt? Twenty-three? Twenty-four? He really needs to cut the cord and get that doll collection out of his closet. Jessica is bored in Dallas, and Hoyt suggests that they watch TV together long-distance. Be still, my beating heart! Then he offers to tell Jessica about his comic book. Adorable, but less my style. Jessica would love to do both, and she can have it all! Also, whose cell phone did she steal? Sookie’s? I seem to remember Bill denying her a cell of her own.
BLAST! At the Light of Day Fellowship Compound/Sex Camp, Jason gets blasted awake by an air horn (I like to call air horns flugelhorns, even though they aren’t). A boot camp instructor who looks really familiar to me (what else has he been in?) screams at Jason to get his fang-bangin’ ass out of bed, and Jason flails accordingly. It’s funny that Jason’s getting the boot camp treatment, considering that he got the special Sex Object room in the Newlin manse.
Now Jason is with the other boys on the lawn, including his frenemy, Luke, who obviously hates Jason because he wants to have sex with him. Everybody wants to have sex with everybody on this show. That’s the golden rule: Sex unto others as you would like to be sexed unto yourself. There is one girl in the squad, kind of a mousy-looking brunette, and Jason looks over at her and shakes his head, disinterested. Smooth. Sarah stands next to the instructor as he runs the Soldiers of the Sun (I didn’t make that one up) through their morning drills, which is further proof that the soldiers are really Sarah’s man-candy. (Has the Reverend Husband been sexing it up with Luke?) Sarah says, “I know you’re wondering what this is about… In due time, all will be revealed to you.” I think it’s pretty obvious what this is about: Calistenics.
Jason asks if he can use the bathroom, and Sarah tells him he needs to earn that privilege. The drill sargeant makes Jason drop and give him thirty. Knowing this show, he should be asking, “Thirty of what, exactly?” Luke laughs, and gets fifty. I bet he’d be happy to do his fifty under Jason. Oh snap! Burned by the sun! Jason and Luke do push-ups and have crazy hateful eye-sex. “I pray Jesus isn’t watching this crap today!” Please, Jesus doesn’t wake up early to watch this crap. He died for their sins. He earned the right to use the bathroom, and sleep in, and not have to pay attention to crazy zealots.
Morning in Bon Temps. Tara wakes up post-having sex with Eggs (haha), in Sookie’s bed (which as-of-today is Tara’s bed, I guess, but still… friend codes). Once again, she looks at the picture of young Tara, Sookie, and Gran, and I really feel like it’s being overused. It’s a symbol! It’s full of meaning! Save Tara! Gran looks really scary in it. Eggs wakes up and Tara tells him that Gran was like her “real Mom.” Good thing Gran was murdered last season, because if she was still alive, Maryann would be killing her right about now. Tara exposits that this house was the only place that ever felt like home to her, because of Gran, blah blah blah, foreshadowing.
To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of Eggs. I just want to know what his deal is. Tara thanks him for making her birthday AWESOME, and he kisses her shoulder and says, “It’s the first of many, Tara Mae.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that he’s wrong.
Morning in Dallas. Sookie wakes up in the light-tight hotel room (with fake sunlight streaming in, I guess?), naked, with her sexy boyfriend Bill still sleeping by her side. This is a very rare occasion–a first, in fact. Accordingly, she decides that it’s time to… head down to the continental breakfast? Of course! Right. (Also, seeing as how Bill is nocturnal, isn’t this sleeping-during-the-night thing really going to screw with his Circadian rhythms? Isn’t he supposed to spend his nights doing vampire stuff? Do vampires NEED to sleep? How many hours did Bill & Sookie really sleep, anyway, after all the traveling and sexing? These questions are lost to the ages… and I like watching Bill sleep. Aww, they’re so peaceful when they’re sleeping.)
Barry, apparently the only bellboy in this giant hotel, is also responsible for laying out the continental breakfast. He needs to renegotiate his bellboy contract. This must be Sookie’s first continental breakfast, because she is disappointed with the selection. I remember feeling the same way: it sounds like a breakfast for a king, but it’s really stale danishes and bitter coffee. But it’s free! At this hotel it makes perfect sense that breakfast would suck, since most of the clientel are vampires. Get over the breakfast, Sookie! Go back to bed!
Sookie wants to bond with Barry over the telepath thing, but Barry’s still not buying. “Leave me alone!” says Barry. Leave Barry alone! Except don’t, because he’s cute. Let’s just move past the Barry the Grouch routine. Barry likes to be around vampires because he doesn’t know how to block human thoughts. Sookie knows! She wants to teach him, and is very perky about the whole thing. It’s not appealing at such an early hour, or really ever. She also mentions that she has a boyfriend. Bad tactic. Lucky for Barry, he’s saved-by-the… lady who just got a painful Brazilian wax. Ugh, hearing thoughts is terrible! The lady has vampire bite marks all over her neck, which… yuck. Trashy. Sookie doesn’t have those, because Bill is considerate (?) enough to bite her where the sun don’t shine. After Barry leaves, Sookie steals a couple of bananas. She’s got to keep that potassium up if she wants to have more bitey bitey sex with Bill.
Sookie gets back into bed with Bill, who should be a lot more excited about waking up in a bed next to his girlfriend vs. the usual (waking up under the floorboards, next to rats or alligators or whatever’s under the floorboards in Bon Temps, Louisiana). If I were Bill I’d be jumping on the bed right now! Whee! But as usual, Bill’s pooping all over the party because he’s worried about Sookie. He may subsist on blood, but he seems like he just had a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Uh-Ohs for breakfast. Bill’s eyes are ringed in red, and I wonder if that’s because it’s during the day or because he’s in the harsh fake-sunlight or because the makeup artist was getting experimental or because Bill was crying sissy blood tears or what. Or maybe Stephen Moyer had pink-eye. Whatever the case, I like it.
Bill is mad at Sookie for telling Barry about her abilities. “We were in each other’s heads before we knew it,” she explains. Dirty! She says that Barry “can’t even admit what he is to himself.” It’s official: Everything on this show is a metaphor for being gay. That’s the second rule of this show. Everything is a metaphor for being gay.
Bill is sort of the equivalent of telling Sookie that she should stay in the kitchen, more because she’s a human than because she’s a female. Sookie protests that Bill was the one who said she was more than a waitress. She knows something’s up, and encourages Bill to communicate with her. “Lean on me, I’ve leaned on you plenty.” Vampires have trouble communicating. They’re just like us! Bill feels a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, and is frustrated that he has no control over the whole Dallas situation. It makes him feel… “like a human?” “No,” he answers, “Like a waitress.” I bet that line was great on the page, but it kind of clunks to me on the screen.
When Bill says that line, he opens his mouth enough that you can see Stephen Moyer’s bottom teeth, which are kind of crooked… very British, right? If you want to play a funny game, take a look at the mouths of most of the British actors on American TV. Most of them have really nice top teeth, and regular old British bottom teeth. It’s a little secret called veneers. I am not saying that Stephen Moyer for sure has veneers, but it’s possible. Lucky for Stephen, Bill was born before braces, so it’s method! Also, Bill rarely smiles. (But Stephen is a grinning British version of Paul Rudd! He was great on Conan.)
But if the “like a waitress” line bumped me a little, the following line hit me like a bumper car full of laughs: “Eric is strangely intense about all this.” Strangely intense? Excuse me while I spit-take. That line is hilarious to me, because it’s very “duh.” Eric is the definition of strange and intense. (I’ve been reading Stephen King’s “On Writing,” in which he says that all adverbs should be sent to Hell. This is a pretty good example.) My co-workers are equally haha about the line in season one when Bill is trying to glamour Sookie and says, “Sookie, can you feel my influence?”
Can I just say Bill’s way of pronouncing “Sookie” (rhymes with “cookie”) used to irritate the heck out of me, but now I pronounce it that way, too? I can feel Bill’s influence, you guys. I can’t even say “Sookie” (rhymes with “kooky”) the normal way anymore. It sounds wrong. Up is down and down is up!
Bill calls Sookie a girl and Sookie corrects him: “A woman.” Okay Sookie, stop splitting hairs. Today you are a woman! Happy? Then Bill says another haha line: “I can’t lose you.” Sookie reassures him, “You never will.” Um, excuse me? Bill? You are going to live forever. And Sookie doesn’t want to be a vampire. So you’re going to lose her in the blink of an eye. Sorrrrry. Girls lie. Oops, I mean… WOMEN lie. Sookie is a woman now! Somebody throw her a Ska Mitzvah.
Back at Merlotte’s, Daphne and Arlene bitch at each other. Terry walks into the fire. Daphne needs his help! Arlene doesn’t want him to help her! His PTSD is flaring up again! Stop it, ladies. “See what you did?” Arlene snaps, running after Terry as he retreats. Um, see what you BOTH did, Arlene.
Sam comes in and wants to know why Daphne took off last night, when sex was imminent. Daphne says she needed to take a little run. She always likes to run after a shift. Hey, so does Sam! Shifter bonding! Daphne says, “I reckon you had all you could handle for one night, anyway.” Sam nearly growls, “I reckon you underestimate me.” Hey now, this sounds like Sookie/Bill dialogue. Sam indicates that he wants to get it on ASAP.
Lafayette returns to Merlotte’s. Terry is very, very glad to see him. Short-order cooking is stressing him out! Lafayette asks Sam to let him keep his job. (You probably recall that he was AWOL during that whole trapped-in-Eric’s-dungeon thing. Although he might be back in Eric’s dungeon again soon, if you catch my drift.) Sam delivers a big sermon about why you shouldn’t ditch the people who care about you, even though last episode he was about four seconds away from leaving Bon Temps for good.
Lafayette, of course, can’t tell Sam that he was trapped in a vampire dungeon, so he just nods a whole lot. This bumps Sam, who is used to getting a whole lotta sass from Lafayette. Did you notice that Lafayette’s wardrobe seems more Fangtasia-appropriate now? He’s wearing less color, more faux leather. Maybe it’s all the Eric-blood he drank last episode. That might also explain his silence, since Eric is the strong, silent type. (Also: Wouldn’t Lafayette be a great wing-man for Mystery from “The Pick-Up Artist”? He is the master of peacocking.)
Of course, Lafayette gets his job back. “The place isn’t the same without you.” Because everybody is ordering AIDS burgers, and nobody makes them like Lafayette. Oh wait, the guy who ordered the AIDS burger is dead. Eric ate him.
The Soldiers of the Sun are running now, and somehow the schlubbiest guy is in front. Sarah and the drill sargeant are riding along in a Smart Car Mini-Jeep golfcart ATV thing. I don’t know much about cars, sue me. The drill sargeant is telling them that they have 500 vampires “snapping at your asses.” Wow, the gay overtones never stop in Jesusland. Also: Has this guy ever seen a vampire on the attack? Vampires go hyper-fast. You can’t outrun a vampire. Training: Irrelevent.
The schlubby guy falls over, and Jason tries to help him up. His glasses are kind of out of date. “Fuck it,” he says, “I just want to be a bank teller again.” This is a weird bit of casting for the Jesus Army, because my Jew-dar is pinging all over this guy. He looks like Ari Gold’s brother. Maybe he was just going through Evangelical hell so he could fly back to LA and blog about it, or write a best-selling memoir. Newsflash: Memoirs can be fiction now. Go back to your bank.
Luke, of course, doesn’t give a crap about helping the fallen. He stops to make another crazy threat at Jason, then sprints ahead to join the group. “You better pace yourself!” Jason yells. Hilariously, Luke yells, without looking back, “THIS IS MY PACE!” That is not his pace. Trust.
Tara goes downstairs and finds Maryann chopping veggies in Sookie’s kitchen. Maryann’s basically says, oh hi, remember my mansion? Just kidding, I was just house-sitting the manse, now I’m moving in with you, and I’m bringing Eggs and delightful-butler-Carl with me. Thank goodness that Tara is not down with that. She has brain cells! Whew. Also: WHY is Tara so important to Maryann? She’s important enough to make Maryann move out of the manse and into Sookie’s old falling-down house, apparently. Is Tara the Keymaster or the Gatekeeper? Seriously.
Of course, Eggs is cool with moving in. He’s cool with everything. Ugh. What is his deal? He tells Tara that she’s too paranoid, and tells her that she doesn’t know the true meaning of family. The true meaning of family is letting weird people move into your friend’s house while she’s out of town. That’s FAMILY.
Okay, halfway through. I’m going to post the second half later. Next week I will try to make this less epic. Goodness gee.
Coming up: Luke falls in the dirt! Godric flashback! Subtitles!