We’re almost a third of the way through Season 6 (which at 10 episodes will be "True Blood’s" shortest season yet) and after last night’s episode, I’m finally getting a clear idea of where this season is headed. While You’re No Good was uneven and occasionally overwrought, the episode remained largely focused on our key characters and storylines.
Eric and Willa, sitting in a tree coffin
The episode opens in Willa Burrell’s bedroom, where Eric informs her she will die for her father’s sins. But before he can “tear her apart,” she pleads that she has valuable info about “the experiments” to share. A SWAT team storms Willa’s bedroom to find that Willa and Eric have vanished through an open window.
Eric brings Willa to Fangtasia, much to Pam’s chagrin. Tara takes this (and every) opportunity to back Pam up, because Tara is irritatingly needy even as a vampire. Eric kicks Pam and her groupie out of the room, and turns his attention back to Willa and her insider intel. Surprisingly, Willa says that he needn’t bother with glamouring her; she doesn’t like what her father is doing any more than he does. Willa spills to Eric that her father has been diverting money to a secret camp where vampires are being studied and experimented on. She tells him that they’re doing “sick sick s--t” to the vampires there. Young Ms. Burrell has quite a mouth on her —she’s no daddy’s little girl.
Eric decides to bring Willa along as he, Pam and Tara prepare to leave Fangtasia behind forever, despite Pam’s protestations that he should cut off Willa’s head instead. The gang head over to Ginger’s house (the hot blonde he and Pam used to employ and feed on at Fangtasia) and Eric implores her to invite them in to her home for the night. Slumber party!
Eric and Willa share Ginger’s spare coffin for the night. Presumably unaccustomed to sleeping all day, Willa wakes Eric up for a chat. She lets him know that her mother had an affair with a vampire, and she likes vampires too. Very much. Is it Stockholm syndrome or does young Willa fancy Bon Temps’ most desirable vampire?
Governor Burrell and his agents call Eric’s cell phone in an attempt to trace his location. Eric, who believes his phone to be untraceable, casually begins telling the governor how he might go about murdering Willa. He’s shocked when he hears an agent in the background say that the phone has been traced. As the governor and agents speed toward Ginger’s house in their Humvee, Eric and Pam learn that Tara, who was guarding Willa, has absconded with her instead. They fly off to find them, leaving Ginger with instructions to stall the governor and his men.
There's a doings a-transpiring at Casa Stackhouse
We first see Sookie tonight alone in her bedroom, practicing her energy-harnessing. Jason and FFG (aka Niall, Sookie and Jason’s F---ing Faerie Grandfather) sit uncomfortably in the living room in silence, until Jason whines of a headache and gets up to fetch some water — and a few mystery pills that Lafayette left behind.
FFG wants to know why Sookie isn’t more afraid of Warlow. Sookie explains that “danger is a way of life” for her. She has to keep an even keel about “regular danger” so that she still can maintain “a real healthy fear for when the sh*t really hits the fan.” FFG retorts that, “Warlow is the proverbial s--t hitting the fan.” After Sookie promise not to underestimate Warlow, FFG announces that he’s leaving to take the fight to Warlow. Jason wants to come along, but is too woozy from those pills and that terrible headache.
FFG pays a visit to faerie HQ and finds the place deserted and in disarray. He starts to read memories in the blood spatter patterns — perhaps his next gig will be on "CSI: Bon Temps"? In the midst of recalling visions of faeries being attacked, he hears a whimpering. An injured faerie tells him that a vampire got in and killed all the faeries. FFG thanks the faerie by “sending him home”: He uses his magic light hands to turn the faerie into floating glitter dust that disappears, presumably headed to faerie heaven.
Forgettable Ben, the half-faerie who fell in love with Sookie last week, approaches the field just in time to see FFG emerging from the invisible faerie club. Ben tells FFG that he’s been searching for the faerie club all night, and FFG tells Ben that the HQ is no longer because a vampire has slaughtered everyone. Ben asks if this vampire was named Warlow. (Wait, Ben knows Warlow? This is the first interesting thing the guy’s said.) He also bows, recognizing FFG as faerie king. FFG recruits Ben to join in the fight against Warlow.
Back at the house, Sookie wants to take Jason to the hospital but he isn’t too keen on the idea. He reassures her he’s on the upswing. He isn’t even hallucinating anymore! If Sookie can just push on his pressure point like mom used to, he’ll be fine. She does, and the Stackhouse siblings share a sweet exchange as Jason tells Sookie she has their mother’s hands. Sookie kind of puts a damper on Jason’s maternal longing by letting him know that even their parents had faults. Their mother was always scared of Sookie and could never accept her. Sookie knows this because she heard her mom thinking it growing up. But Sookie, always taking the highest moral ground available, also tells Jason she believes you can love people despite their faults (even if those faults include never accepting you for what you are).
Sookie leaves Jason to rest, and goes downstairs to find Bill knocking at her door. He tells Sookie he needs her help, or else all their friends will die the True Death. When Sookie refuses to invite him in, Bill pushes the door open and enters, because apparently he can do that now. Sookie screams for Jason, who runs down the stairs with his trusty wooden bullet gun. Bill stops Jason with his all-powerful mind and follows Sookie into the kitchen. He wants to synthesize her blood, and he’s going to do so whether she’s willing or not. Sookie stands her ground, reminding Bill that he’s not God. He's just an a--hole. If what they once shared meant anything to him, he’ll leave her house. Convinced Sookie isn’t his go-to gal any longer, and not actually willing to force her just yet, he announces that Sookie is now dead to him. Sookie is “good with that.”
FFG returns with Ben in tow, and fills Sookie and Jason in on Warlow’s latest antics. Sookie gets upset when Ben starts reading her thoughts and goes into the kitchen to clean away her stress. Ben follows her, of course. (And this is when I notice that his shirt is half unbuttoned for no good reason. I’m not complaining, though.) Anyway, Sookie doesn’t want to talk but she will let Ben help her sweep up. Mid-sweeping, Sookie pauses to ask Ben why she can feel him reading her thoughts when she hasn’t felt any other faeries or vampires do so. She asks if he can feel her. Oh, Sookie. She just can’t stop herself from getting romantic.
And then FFG senses Warlow again. He’s nearby. FFG and Ben rush out of the house, only to find Nora instead. Jason tries to run outside too but passes out cold in the doorway. What exactly were those pills he took?
About those vampire experiments
Willa was telling Eric the truth about her father’s secret camp, as we learn when agents drag Reverend Steve Newlin there. And who strolls in to the cell that Steve Newlin is locked in? Sarah Newlin! Longtime "True Blood" fans will get a kick out of this scene.
Steve is happy to see his ex at first, but it becomes apparent that the former Mrs. Newlin isn’t looking to reconcile. She’s all for the governor’s vampire research facility. She’s in politics now, and has the perfectly-coiffed hairstyle to prove it. Sarah ushers in an evil-seeming scientist wearing black rubber gloves and leaves. The scientist wants to know all about Eric Northman. Newlin is happy to oblige, no torture necessary.
We finally find out why we care about Andy’s faerie brood
Andy is at the police station, checking out the new high-tech vampire-killing gear Governor Burrell sent over, when Holly comes by to complain that the new vampire curfew isn’t being properly enforced. Holly notices that Andy’s kids are at the station too…and they aren’t kindergarteners anymore. The babies Maurella popped out only two or three days ago are now full-on tween girls, giggling in colorful miniskirts and glittery tops.
Andy asks Holly to take a ride with him, and she begrudgingly agrees. Andy takes Holly to learn shoot a gun, and it turns out Holly is a good shot. Wonder if that’s going to turn out to be useful later on this season? Andy then announces to Holly that one day he’d like to be her Fort Bellefleur.
Later, Andy is cruising in his police car and spots Bill out and about after curfew. Bill, talking to Andy, notices of the tweens’ teddy bears in the passenger seat and smells the faerie on it. Andy, ever clueless, shares with Bill that he’s now the proud papa of four. Bill walks away from this convo smiling — he doesn’t need Sookie and her blood now. Children are a blessing indeed.
The rest of it
Jess makes herself quite useful this week. She puts out the flames when Bill catches himself on fire, and helps Bill nab the professor responsible for synthesizing True Blood by dressing up to the sexy schoolgirl nines.
Sam’s still not buying what Nicole and the Vampire Unity Society are selling, so they head off to preach their cause to the werewolves. The werewolves aren’t interested either; following Rikki’s lead, they attack the activists. Sam uses this opportunity to grab Emma back, but when he sees Nicole escape the werewolves and run into the woods he tells Emma they need to go after her. Sam can’t stop being too nice like Sookie can’t avoid getting romantic with Ben.
I still don’t care about Alcide and his wolf pack, nor am I really wondering what Sam will find when he catches up with Nicole. Sam, Alcide, Tara and even Lafayette are all quickly becoming once-central characters that I wouldn’t mind seeing killed off by season’s end. If the writers can continue to stay concentrated on the stronger storylines, this may be the best season of "True Blood" in at least two or three years. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what next week brings.