From the get-go, I've been dreading the inevitable episode where we'd spend too much time delving into this season's tiresome side plots. And after last week's high-octane romp -- complete with multiple gasp-worthy cliffhangers -- I had a feeling that this week the writers might slow things down before going into overdrive and bringing the season to a close.
We're rounding the final curve of Season 6, but this week it felt like the writers were struggling to find enough content to fill the hour-long show.
Spoiler alert #1: Sookie doesn't drown
But really, did anyone think there was even the remotest of chances that Sookie would be killed off? As "Don't You Feel Me?" begins, it's Bill who’s feeling Sookie. When he senses her distress at being drowned, he calls out her name just like he used to back in "True Blood’s" heyday. Then he sends Warlow to rush to her rescue.
Warlow hurls the spirit of Corbett Stackhouse in the form of Lafayette high up into the air and scoops Sookie out of the water. Sookie asks Warlow to use his magic light to blast her daddy's spirit out of Lafayette's body so that she can tell her father to buzz off and leave her alone for good. Corbett doesn't put up much of a fight, especially considering how passionate he was about drowning his daughter just moments earlier.
Next, it's Warlow's turn to need rescuing. When Billith summons Warlow back to him, Warlow starts convulsing and vomiting blood just like Jessica did in the season premiere. No worries, though: Sookie grabs Warlow's hands and they escape to the faerie dimension, beyond Billith's reach.
Sadly, it's not at all flowers and light in faerie land. Warlow warns Sookie that she needs to tie him up, as night is coming and he's not sure he can control the vampire within him after dark. (Especially since he's hungry, and that Sookie is mighty tasty.)
While Warlow is tied up, he and Sookie have a nice long chat about Warlow's thousands-of-years-in-the-making plan to turn Sookie into a vampire so that they might live out a blissful half-fae/half-vamp life together for all of eternity.
At first Sookie seems (rightfully) perturbed by Warlow's fixation on her, but then decides that instead, she might as well be the "danger whore" that all of Bon Temps believes her to be. To that end, she lets Warlow feed on her, takes her own bite of his neck, and then makes passionate love to him until the two climax in a giant burst of faerie light.
Spoiler alert #2: Eric and Pam don't kill each other
Instead, they use their stakes to dispatch of all the guards hidden in the viewing cell. Eric pokes a hole in the two-way glass, and plays peekaboo with Steve Newlin.
Governor Burrell is peeved that he didn't get to witness Eric and his progeny destroy each other, and chains Eric up in an even smaller cell. It's into this room that Nora is wheeled, tied to a stretcher. The governor isn't through trying to get under Eric's skin just yet. How did Burrell know that Nora was important to Eric?
"That vamp queen Newlin" is the gift that keeps on giving. Methinks Eric is going to remember Newlin's role in all of this, and I look forward to watching him get his revenge.
Governor Burrell wants Eric to know firsthand the pain of losing a loved one, seeing as it is Eric who turned his beloved Willa into an evil vampire. He injects Nora with a virus he calls Hepatitis V, and leaves the room to let Eric watch as the poison spreads through Nora's veins.
Speaking of Willa, she convinces her father to let her out of solitary confinement so that she can play Connect Four with Tara. When she starts having some weird bodily sensations, Tara explains that Eric is summoning her and that Willa must go to him (and also, kill whomever tries to stop her along the way).
Willa is a fast learner, and has no trouble doing just that. She reaches her maker and with her help, Eric and Nora escape their cell. The three make their way through Vamp Camp looking for Pam, Tara and Jessica -- Willa insists on saving the latter two. Instead of finding their friends, they stumble upon a bottling facility within the camp. Eric sees that bottles of TruBlood are being injected with Hep V, and is properly freaked out by the implications this could have.
Are you there, Lilith? It’s me, Bill
Bill (finally) realizes that Jess has been carted off to Vamp Camp. He's desperate to speak with Lilith, and arranges to have Professor Takahashi drain him of all his blood and bring him to near-death state. That's how he was able to see Lilith last time, so he figures it'll work again. It does work, but as it turns out, Lilith doesn't much care for Bill’s attitude and basically tells him that he's on his own from here on out.
When Takahashi rouses Bill from his coma, Bill sees on the TV that Governor Burrell is going to be facilitating the sale of discounted TruBlood, in a supposed attempt to help return life in Louisiana back to normal. This makes Bill especially angry, and he commands Takahashi to give him the faerie blood he had been testing. Bill drinks the vial of Warlow's blood in one quick gulp and daywalks on over to the governor's mansion.
Winning this week's badass award, Bill is shot with no less than 10 bullets upon arrival at the mansion but is unharmed; instead of dying, he uses his Billith mind powers to make the governor's soldiers shoot each other dead.
Once he's got Burrell’s full attention, he asks about that "white circular room where vampires meet the sun." The governor doesn't offer up any answers, so Bill(ith) rips his head off. This is one of the True Bloodiest scenes in tonight's episode, but I must admit that I was sad to see Governor Burrell go. He's been one of the most reliably interesting and entertaining characters throughout this season.
RIP Terry Bellefleur
After Terry drops in unexpectedly on Lafayette and insists that Lafayette take a key to his safety deposit box, Lafayette calls up Arlene to let her know that her man's acting cray cray. Arlene immediately suspects that Terry is suicidal, and confides her fears in Holly.
Luckily, Holly's son's friend's dad's gay vampire husband Matt totally owes her a favor. He'll just glamour Terry into forgetting all that nasty stuff about the war and Patrick, and then Arlene and Terry can get back to being a happy family. Great plan, except that along with forgetting all that nasty stuff, Terry also forgets that he asked his marine buddy to kill him.
Unlike us viewers, he's completely unsuspecting when said buddy holds up his part of the arrangement and shoots Terry behind Merlotte's. Now he'll never learn his cousin Andy's sole surviving faerie daughter has finally got herself a name: Adeline-Braylin-Charlaine-Danica. Arlene sings Terry a lullaby and then he dies, along with this completely unnecessary storyline.
I'd heard rumors before the season even began that a major character would bite the proverbial bullet (specifically, Eric Northman). If this was that death, I'm both supremely underwhelmed and also very relieved that Eric will live to see another season. Either way, I don't see how Terry's death is going to have a very big impact on the goings-on in Bon Temps.
Jason vs. Sarah Newlin
Jason goes into an LAVTF recruitment center so that he might become a solider, gain access to Vamp Camp and rescue Jess. He so thoroughly convinces the first officer he encounters that he is a vampire-killing machine that he is welcomed into the fold and promptly ushered off to the torture camp, where he comes face to face with none other than Sarah Newlin. Never one to exercise discretion, Jason lets Sarah know that he's going to rescue Jessica and that if she gets in his way, he'll let the governor and everyone else know what a "whore for Christ" Sarah really is.
Sarah doesn't take kindly to being threatened, and forces Jason to watch Jessica partake in a "copulation study." Except that James, the smolderingly attractive vampire who's supposed to do the deed with Jess, isn't down with coerced copulation. He bravely withstands Sarah's UV light-beam attacks and nobly refuses to comply with her orders until finally Sarah just gives up and sends Jessica back to her cell. Your move, Jason.
A is for alpha dog
Sam and Nicole -- yawn -- have a heart-to-heart in their motel room about whether Sam is fit to be a father to Emma, especially while on the run. Sam realizes that Nicole's probably got a point, and hands Emma over to grandma Martha. All's well that ends well (just so long as Emma doesn't eat any Funyuns).
Remember when Alcide was just a sweet werewolf who hung around and made sure Sookie kept safe? Ever since being made pack master, he's turned into a (really boring) jerk. When his good-for-nothing father calls him to the motel and tells him where he can find Sam, Nicole and Emma, Alcide shows up looking for a fight.
Unfortunately, Sam and company have already vacated the establishment. Alcide sniffs the dirty bed sheets, and tracks Sam and Nicole down. Upon learning that Emma has been returned to the pack, Alcide agrees that if Sam and Nicole leave for good, he'll let them go. But should Sam ever show his face around Bon Temps again, Alcide will let his pack have at him.
It was welcome news that emerged from Comic-Con over the weekend -- executive produce Brian Buckner announced plans to return to the show's roots and hone in on the vampire-human relationships that have always been True Blood's heart.
Perhaps now that Terry is dead and Emma is back with the werewolves, we can get down to business. How will Warlow kill Lilith without killing Bill? Is Hepatitis V going to infect Vamp Camp? And what about that white circular room where Billith foresaw all our favorite vamps being burned alive?
With only four episodes to go, I'm crossing my fingers that it's nonstop action from here on out.