Last night's episode didn't waste any time getting into it, and I'm not going to either.
What a difference a strong opening makes
Before the theme song had even played, we'd gotten a whole lot of action AND information. In rapid-fire succession, we alternate between Sookie and Warlow at Casa Stackhouse and Jess and Bill at Compton manor.
Sookie and her "vampire-killin' ball of light" are not amused with Warlow's declaration of love, or his claim that he only murdered Sookie's parents because they were going to kill Sookie.
Meanwhile, Bill is comforting a distressed Jess. She killed all the faerie babies, so she's feeling awfully guilty -- not to mention high as a kite from all that faerie blood she drank. She even tries to smooch her maker! Ick. Bill doesn't take advantage, though. Once a Southern gentleman, always a Southern gentleman.
But when Sookie attacks Warlow, striking him with said ball of light, the consequences aren't quite what anyone anticipated. At exactly the same moment as Sookie's light-ball hits Warlow, Bill jumps up in pain and has a vision of Lilith turning Warlow.
And Warlow isn't destroyed; rather, he heals up lickety-split from the light-ball wound (not so vampire-killin' after all). This really pisses Sookie off. She's not Warlow's or anybody's! None of them vampires know anything about love!
As these words leave Sookie's lips, Bill appears. We're briefly reminded that these two were once supposed soulmates. Except Bill isn't there for his one-time true love, he's there for Warlow. This becomes clear when Warlow threatens to kill Bill if he doesn't stop harassing Sookie. Bill(ith) responds that he already has, and that as his maker he commands Warlow to come with him. Which Warlow does.
Let's review: In just the opening minutes of "F--- the Pain Away," we learn that Warlow may not be the monster we've been led believe he is, Lilith definitely turned Warlow, Billith is enough parts Lilith to have maker powers over Warlow and Sookie's parents maybe tried to kill her. That's more to sink my teeth into then the first four episodes combined.
Sarah Newlin is her own person ...
... and she's out to prove it! After being refused by the governor, who she begs to forget about Willa and have a fangless baby with her instead, Sarah heads over to Jason's place. Jason arrives to find her sitting at his doorstep, wanting to save his soul. He stupidly believes Sarah when she says him that she's never felt more holy than when they were together, and that she truly believes that God wants him to have sex with her. I think she just wants a baby, and neither the "gay guy" nor the "old guy" would help her with that. Fingers crossed Jason has a condom in his wallet.
Right after Sarah and Jason complete their holy reunion, Jess shows up. She's hysterical, and doesn't know where else to go. She's convinced that her recent faerie-killing is proof that she's horrible, and wants to know why Jason ever loved her.
As Jason tells her that he loved everything about her, Jess has a realization. What if Billith isn't God? What if Billith is the devil, and she's been serving the devil? We haven't seen the good Christian girl in Jessica in so long that I kind of forgot about her.
Anyway, she says that she needs to get away from Jason before she does something horrible to him, and that's when Sarah strolls out of Jason's bedroom and gets uppity about Jason having a vampire ex.
Jess isn't in the mood to deal with Sarah's power-trip-slash-crisis-of-self, but before she can sink her fangs into Sarah's neck, Sarah rescinds Jess' invite to Jason's house. Jess is cast out and caught by the authorities. Jason and the viewers are left wondering how Sarah had the ability to cast Jess out of a house that wasn't hers. What is clear is that Sarah Newlin is as capable as she is dangerous.
Welcome to vamp camp
As Pam is walked through the camp that all of our favorite fangers are being carted off to one by one, we at last get a glimpse of the oft-mentioned vampire experimentation Governor Burrell has been conducting. From tooth extraction to literally running in a hamster wheel to copulation, vampires are being poked and prodded like the animals Burrell believes them to be.
Tara tells Eric that the government hauled Pam off in a paddy wagon. Eric promptly gets himself and Tara hauled off as well, so as to rescue Pam. They're separated upon arrival, and Eric finds himself facing three unknown vampires in a room that looks an awful lot like the one from Bill's vision of everyone burning to death. The four vampires are forced to play out a "Hunger Games" -esque scenario where only one will be left standing. To no one's surprise, that last one standing is Eric.
Pam has escaped physical torture. She's busy being studied by a therapist who bribes her to answer his questions with a fine looking lady from the Living Donor Program (LDP) on whom Pam may feed. Pam doesn't love the idea of giving in, but likes even less the idea of subsisting on watered down TruBlood.
After a series of questions (and feedings), the therapist asks about Pam's maker. Touchy subject! She responds that she no longer has a maker; he released her. She gives a good speech about how stupid and weak humans' love of pain is, and denies caring at all anymore about Eric. Neither the therapist nor I really buy that last part.
Jess, still flying high, finds Tara at the prison camp and the two sit together as Jess fills Tara in on all the faerie murdering she's done. Later, Tara sees Willa being brought in and calls her name. The guard informs Tara that Willa is VIP and won't be mingling with Gen Pop. Willa is brought to what seems to be solitary confinement. Welcome to vamp camp, Willa Burrell!
Where's Papa Burrell? He, Sarah and Steve Newlin (back to suck-up-to-whomever-is-in-control form) are in a room with the therapist, looking into a vampire experiment chamber where Eric stands. Eric and the governor have a contentious conversation wherein Eric learns that Willa has been interned at the camp. Then Sarah Newlin gives the "cue the stake" command and Eric is handed a wooden stake. Pam enters the chamber, also holding a stake. The therapist reminds Pam that Eric means nothing to her as Sarah Newlin orders the two to fight it out, gladiator-style.
By the end of "F--- the Pain Away," every Bon Temp vampire is locked up and in trouble at Governor Burrell's prison except for Bill.
This week, Bill is seeming far more Lilith than Bill Compton. After he leaves Sookie's house with Warlow, he brings Warlow back to the lab-meets-prison that he's set up for Professor Takahashi. Warlow is having a hard time believing that Bill is his maker, seeing as his maker was Lilith.
Flash back to 3500 BC. A buff, long-haired and nearly nude Warlow wanders off from his faerie village to fetch water, and encounters (a completely naked) Lilith. The gods spoke to her of a creature like Warlow who would save vampire-kind, so she rapes and turns him. Years later, he returns home to his faerie village and is shunned for being part-vampire. So he freaks out and kills them all (except little Niall/FFG).
Back in the present day, Billith reiterates that Warlow will save all of the vampires as he extracts Warlow's blood for the professor to synthesize. Warlow responds that he wishes vampires would just go extinct. Turns out he's already vanquished Lilith once before, and is pretty upset she didn't stay dead.
Sookie in peril
Sookie wants to know the truth about her parents and Warlow, and she goes to Lafayette for help finding it. They return to Casa Stackhouse and hold a seance. Lafayette summons Sookie's parents' spirits, who seem awfully angry.
Sookie asks her parents if they tried to kill her, and Lafayette has a vision in which Warlow tells Sookie's parents that he is a prince and is destined to make Sookie his (vampire-faerie) princess. Sookie's dad won’t have that; he'd rather stuff little Sookie into the trunk of his car and take her away to be murdered. Looks like Warlow wasn't lying -- Sookie's parents were trying to kill her when he came along and killed them instead.
Things spiral out of control when the spirit of Sookie's dad enters Lafayette. He tells Sookie that he did love her, and still does love her, and he won't let her fall for Warlow. He then proceeds to reenact (using Lafayette's body) stuffing a now-adult Sookie into the trunk of a car to "save" her. The last shot of the episode is Lafayette as Corbett Stackhouse shoving a struggling Sookie down into the river and under the water.
The rest of it
Sheriff Andy, usually kind of clueless, puts together mighty fast that Bill was the only vampire who knew about his faerie babies and might want to suck their sweet blood. He shows up at the Compton manor, and as a horrified Jess watches from the closet, finds his slaughtered daughters. As he's about to lose it, he hears a whimper -- one of the faeries survived Jess' feeding frenzy.
Alcide travels to the backwoods and pays his daddy's favorite bar a visit, looking for Sam and Emma. Instead, he gets into a fight with his father and storms out.
We see Nicole and Sam after their drunken romp in the motel room. When Nicole ventures outside to try and call her parents (Sam stops her), Alcide's father spots the pair.
Terry calls up an old army buddy to kill him, since he can't pull the trigger on himself. He needs to pay for his sins, like Patrick did. The old army buddy is down with Terry's proposal, and I'm hoping that they go through with the plan. (While he's at it, maybe he can put Alcide and Sam out of their misery too?
Despite the fact that Alcide, Sam and Terry are all still alive and boring us all with their completely irrelevant side plots, this week's episode of "True Blood" was pretty great. It took half the season, but I'm finally feeling entertained.
Will Pam and Eric be forced to battle to the death? How will Sookie get her head back above water? And when will Bill stop worrying about Lilith and remember that all of his friends are about to be fried?
At long last, I'm excited for next week's episode.