This week's cold open is just cruel. At first, it appears that our Eric Northman is alive, holed up in a nice hotel in a Spanish-speaking country. But It becomes clear that it's a dream as soon as Jason pops up, upset that Eric had to get so far away from him to "think." So this is one of those sexually charged dreams humans have after drinking vampire blood? OK, got it.
It's played for laughs, with Eric mixing Jason a martini "Cocktail"-style and asking Jason about Violet, in a tone that makes him sound like a jilted high school lover. Jason's crazy about Violet, but he can't get Eric out of his head. Eric's gotten that reaction for a millennium, but it's only the second time the feeling has been mutual. They do some shirtless wrestling that ends with two very pretty actors intensely making out on a canopy bed.
In real life, Jason is dozing on a Bon Temps church pew in broad daylight. The search for the missing folks is still on. Andy's got no idea where to start looking for the people the H-vamps kidnapped, but Sookie does. She didn't recognize the dead girl she tripped over last episode or any of those vampires.
Sookie thinks they may be coming from a town nearby and suggests they question some folks there. Andy thinks it's a long shot, but Jason insists that's all they've got. Sam's been calling the feds, but the U.S. government has truly abandoned the small towns.
They find the body and luckily, she's still got ID (LOL at Jason accidentally handing Andy a Starbucks card instead of the ID. A perfect example of why both of their characters are so awesome). The woman was from a nearby town, so Andy gives the sheriff a call. Andy and Sam can't get in touch with any of the folks from St. Alice, so ... road trip!
The people of Bon Temps are FED. UP.
The town is officially in shambles. Daniels suggests that Sam keep the townspeople occupied, so Sam asks them to fix up Bellefleur's before Arlene gets back.
At Bellefleur's, Vince takes it upon himself to try to rile up the townsfolk. Just in time, Hoyt's mom, Maxine, finds a bunch of dead bodies in the walk-in freezer. They're all starting to get upset because: 1) Dead bodies everywhere, 2) The town is on total meltdown and 3) Local law enforcement is in no way equipped to deal with this.
After Vince tells everyone that Sam is a shifter, it doesn't take long for the townfolk to decide to take matters into their own hands, breaking the restaurant's furniture into stakes, since all of the gun stores are tapped. No way this could go wrong, right?
Adilyn, who is there cleaning up with Holly's son Wade, telepathically overhears Rosie from the police department planning to suggest a raid on the BTPD. Adilyn goes to the station to warn them about an upcoming attack.
Just as Kenya gets on board, in comes the mob, talking about their Second Amendment rights (What is "True Blood" without political allegory?). Kenya refuses, because she has common sense and knows what kind of hell would break loose if she let Bon Temps residents all have guns -- because most of them are idiots.
Karen, the vigilante played by Paula Jai Parker (!), tries to appeal to Kenya, woman-of-color-to-woman-of-color, asking pointed questions about Jason getting more work than her despite him having less experience and "a quarter of [her] IQ." (Hoyt's mother pointing out that Adilyn was just a newborn last week was hilarious. More Hoyt's Mom. Hoyt's Mom every day.)
Kenya finally sways and grabs Adilyn to handcuff her, which is when Adilyn freaks and blasts Kenya with fairy light. Of course, the townspeople freak out and Jessica, able to sense Adilyn's fear, begins to panic in the Bellefleur's attic. She tries calling for help, but keeps hitting dead ends. She even calls Sookie, which gives me another opportunity to be annoyed by our main character stupidly throwing away her cell phone in the middle of a disaster.
Lettie Mae visits Lafayette
Lettie Mae, claiming to fear the way Lafayette's side of the family is drawn to the "dark side," takes it upon herself to check in on her nephew. He's not thrilled, but he lets her inside.
She tells him that she and Tara made amends before her death, but she wants more. She insists that Tara came back to her while she was tripping on Willa's blood. Lafayette thinks she wants him to tap into his medium skills, but she's there to score some V. Of course, he refuses and she tries to guilt-trip him about having Tara turned into a vampire in the first place.
The H-vamps are furious that Ronnie (the vampire that ate Kevin last episode) drastically shortened their rations. Now, they'll have to go hunting again, which is something none of them is happy about. They also weren't expecting the people of Bon Temps to have vampires at their barbecue.
There's dissension in the ranks, but the leader, Jerome, decides to put Betty, a vampire who looks like a middle-aged woman, in charge of reaping, since she used to be a teacher and must have self-control. Until then, Ronnie is on sleep patrol and will eat last.
Betty goes to grab another human, but hesitates when she sees Arlene. Arlene recognizes her. Turns out, Betty taught Arlene and Holly's kids. Arlene's hopeful that Betty doesn't have it in her to eat them, which the others don't buy, but Arlene says she didn't survive "four lousy husbands, a serial killer boyfriend and the sort-of suicide of my love, Terry, to die in a dingy basement of a f---ing vampire bar." No arguing with that.
The next time Betty comes down, they try talking to her. If she shows them even a bit of mercy, the H-Vamps will kill her. Arlene points out that she's already dead, but more than that. She's been a fixture in their lives, helping her daughter get through the drama with Rene and teaching Holly's Wade to read. This is about her legacy.
Betty breaks down, because she doesn't want to die like this, and Arlene's bit of human kindness seems to have worked. Doesn't stop Betty from grabbing a meal for the rest of the vampires, though.
St. Alice is gone
If last week's H-Vamp attack reminded some people of "The Walking Dead," the ghost town that is St. Alice definitely looked like someplace Rick and the gang have almost died. There's ominous graffiti scrawled on the church, the gun store had been looted and there's a not-subtle-at-all "FEMA Help Us" written on the parking lot. The Hurricane Katrina-theme is hitting home. Sookie discovers how bad it really is. All of the people of St. Alice are gone, either taken or dead in an open-air mass grave.
They find the dead St. Alice woman's home, and there is still pizza on the table. Jason, in a moment of rare brilliance, bites into a slice to gauge how long they've been gone. (LOL at Andy calling it "pizza forensics"). Two and a half days. He deduces that the H-vamps hit one town over and over until it's all dried up, which is frightening, to say the least.
Sookie finds Mary Beth's diary and some pretty strong parallels between her life with Bill and Mary Beth's life with a vamp named Henry. There's mention of Fangtasia, which makes Sookie flashback to her first not-date with Bill. How did we ever put up with his hair back then?
She skips ahead a few pages and finds some entries from 2011 about H-vamp attacks, missing relatives and escalating violence. 2011? Is this season set three years in the past?
In the car, Alcide tries to assure her that she's nothing like Mary Beth and neither of them is responsible for what happens in their respective towns. They just fell in love. Sookie looks so reassured, I'm practically screaming, "THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN WITH HIM SEASONS AGO."
What Sookie is really upset about is the fact that Bon Temps is going to end up just like Saint Alice. Alcide suggests bailing, but Sookie will never leave Bon Temps, or else there would be no show.
Lettie Mae takes a trip
While cooking, Lettie cuts herself and has an idea. She purposefully burns her hand on the stove so that she can trick Willa into letting her drink her blood. She goes to wake Willa, who tries to get her to go to a doctor, but Lettie talks her into giving her blood against Daniels' wishes.
Lettie Mae hallucinates walking through a forest and seeing Tara, dressed in all white, hanging from a cross with a giant, live snake slithering across her shoulders. She tells Lettie that everything is going to be OK, but as Lettie starts begging Tara to give her answers, Tara starts writhing and speaking in tongues. Willa, of course, is as freaked as we viewers are.
Betty's plan goes splat
At Fangtasia, the H-Vamps are settling in to go to sleep. Looking to set her rescue plan in motion, Betty volunteers to be the sleep monitor. Jerome is suspicious, but she tries to play it as being paranoid about being left asleep, since she's the weakest of the vampires.
They are only sleeping in 15-minute intervals, so she has to get the captives out fast. She's weak so she asks to feed on one of them before they escape. Arlene volunteers and Betty spazzes and starts to drink too much…right before Hep V takes over and she melts into a puddle of blood. There goes that plan.
The end is crueler than the beginning