Hell hath no fury like a telepathic woman who thinks she scorned. But more on that in a bit.
There's a lot going on in the second-last episode of True Blood's first season. We're treated to an unusual opening; the first one that doesn't start off exactly where the previous one left off. Bill went from draining Jessica at the end of episode 10 to digging a mutual grave at the beginning of "To Love Is to Bury." Not to worry--the grave is merely part of the process of turning a human into one of the undead. But just in case he gets any ideas about staking Jessica before she can be planted, Pam is there to supervise (and take a peek up Jessica's dress. I knew there was a reason I liked Pam). All the empathy Jessica inspired before she was killed melts away like a vamp's skin in sunlight when she rises and quickly proves herself to be a whiny brat. An immortal whiny brat at that. In a hurry to get back to Sookie, Bill can't deal with the fruit of his fangs for long; he convinces Eric to take her off his hands in exchange for being further in his debt. Silly Bill. He of all people should know that these things have a way of coming back to bite you. But he's a desperate man, so it's all understandable.
Empathy for Sookie is also rapidly diminishing. Instead of worrying about how Bill might be punished by the Tribunal for killing Long Shadow (in defense of her!) she's too busy dismissing "vampire politics" and complaining that he isn't there for her even though he surely must have felt her fear. For a girl who wasn't too afraid to take on the Rattrays singlehandedly only a couple of weeks before, she suddenly seems unduly dependent on Bill's protection. Self-centred much? It's a good thing she has Sam to take her mind off the man she claims to love (and wasn't she mad at Sam last episode?) After hunting down a lead on the killer, which Sookie gleaned from his chaotic thoughts, she and Sam get cozy on the couch. So who could blame Bill for being upset when he bursts in on them and finds Sam with his tongue halfway down Sookie's throat? Well, apparently Sookie can. She smashes a vase over his head, screams at him, and revokes his invitation, thus breaking the heart of anyone who has one as we're forced to watch Bill miserably back out of the house before getting the door slammed in his face. Then Sookie cements her new status as chief bitch by snapping at Sam and walking out on him. No wonder post-feminist men are confused.
Meanwhile, Tara's got herself into some trouble. Disbelieving her story about being distracted by a naked woman standing with a pig in the middle of the road (now who wouldn't believe that?) Tara's taken into the drunk tank (almost as humiliating as the deputy telling her she's turning into Lettie Mae). As if that wasn't bad enough, Lettie Mae gets all self-righteous after a prayer session and refuses to bail Tara out "for her own good," proving that religion is no better an addiction than alcohol. Left entirely on her own (she doesn't want her friends to see her), Tara reluctantly accepts the help of "social worker" Maryann Forrester (played by Michelle Forbes, who I will always think of as Ensign Ro Laren on Star Trek: TNG, even though she's been in tons of things since then, including Battlestar). The thing about Maryann is that she's the naked lady herself, although Tara doesn't recognize her. She also seems unusually well-off for a lowly social worker, as well as a little too interested in helping Tara. I also caught something the second time I watched this episode that I didn't catch the first time around. As Detective Bellefleur is reaming Maryann out for parking where she shouldn't, she says his name and points at him: it's subtle but she's definitely working some magics there. I'm wondering if her little spell took the alcoholism out of Tara and put it onto Andy; why else did he suddenly go from not having a drink for years (mentioned in episode 9 or 10) to becoming a raging drunk? Just a thought but I believe I'm onto something. In any case, there's something up with Ms. Forrester (Sam's statement in the last episode that there are "all kinds" of other creatures out there certainly springs to mind).
Jason's kept busy dealing with the aftermath of Amy killing Eddie. A major altercation leaves him reluctant to return home, but after admitting his concerns about her V use (conveniently leaving out his own) to Hoyt and Rene, they offer him advice and convince him to go home. Amy, all sweetness when she wants to be, agrees that the V has got to go...but not until they enjoy it one last time (some pretentious nonsense about closing a circle). She applies the pressure, albeit not too hard, and Jason agrees to go along with her. Unfortunately for them, someone else decides to join them while they're passed out on the vampire blood. As Jason hallucinates/dreams frolicking with Amy, the interloper chokes her with his belt. Amy floats away and Jason wakes up to find her dead body lying next to him. He ends up turning himself in and giving a not-very convincing confession to the murders of Amy, Maudette, and Dawn. He doesn't remember doing any of it but he must have because no one else was there, right? But as everyone is distracted with Jason, no one at the Sheriff's department notices the fax that comes through: the one sent in response to Sookie and Sam's inquiries. It turns out that the girl Sookie saw in the killer's thoughts (Cindy Marshall) had a brother (Drew) who conveniently disappeared right after she was killed and before he could be investigated. The fax shows his picture; it seems Rene's got a secret and not-so-pleasant past. I was really hoping it wouldn't be him but there have been enough hints along the way. Quel dommage.
Okay, so "To Love Is to Bury" is not only moving forward the conclusion of season 1, but it's also setting things up for season 2. Whatever else happens I really hope it includes an end to the relationship drama between Sookie and Bill. With serial killers, vampires, shapeshifters, "other creatures," and nutty humans in abundance, I think we've already got all the excitement we could want. A little actual romance between the romantic leads might be a nice chance of pace.
Appearance: Pale humans with snake-like fangs that descend at will.
Strengths: super speed, super strength.
Weaknesses: New vampires are emotionally out of control. Blood lust (the temptation to kill humans isn't helped by the unpleasant taste of Tru Blood). Vampires need invitations to enter private homes, and are compelled to leave if the invite is revoked.
Mythology: In order to complete the change, a vampire needs to drain a human's blood before spending the day buried together in the ground. If the half-changed human is staked before being buried, they won't become a vampire.
Bill: You drank from me. Your blood was replaced with mine. And then I shared my essence with you when we slept together in the ground.
Bill: No, no, no--not intercourse.
Jessica: You just said intercourse.
Lafayette: (watching in shock as his State Senator lover/client goes on about "family values" on TV) Did you hear what he just said?
Terry: I can't listen to politicians no more--I get a seizure.
God Hates Fangs (poster in police station)
True Blood, Season1 Episode 11 "To Love Is to Bury." Written by Nancy Oliver and Charlaine Harris. Directed by Nancy Oliver. From HBO.