The "me" in this week's episode title, "Me and the Devil," could be just about anyone in Bon Temps as everyone grapples with their current state and finds all roads leading to religion. The only highlights are the (brief) return of Godric and Sookie and Eric finally hooking up; it's mostly bad news for everyone else, from Tommy killing his parents to Pam's rotting face. The episode as a whole was a lot of necessary development and set-up for what we can only hope are action-packed hours. Is the devil to blame or are other forces at play? You be the judge:
As everyone else slips further from their humanity, Eric gets closer than he's been in, well, centuries. The devil in his case is in the details, of which there are many in his growing relationship with Sookie and position as a catalyst for this season's major drama. In a dream, he goes up to a sleeping Sookie. His maker, Godric, returns in a much-less-zen-than-normal state and orders Eric to drink from Sookie. Eric resists; the two argue: "You are incapable of love! You are damned," Godric says. "She can save me," Eric responds. "Stop fighting your nature!" Eric refuses — and wakes up, startled and goes to Sookie to seek comfort, fangs out. He looses all fierceness the moment she asks what's going on. "I had a bad dream," he tells her and gets into bed, crying blood tears at his predicament. "Am I evil?," he asks, his head in her lap, Sookie stroking his hair. "It's what Godric would have wanted, to see you human like this," she says.
Later, Eric is back in his day room and Tara is over for a heart to heart with her best friend after Naomi discovers that Tara hasn't been truthful about her identity. Sookie tells her she has to be honest with the people she loves, which seems like good advice until Tara realizes that Eric is in the house because Sookie has been hiding him there. Sookie stands by the new and changed Eric, but Tara recites the laundry list of every bad thing he's done: "This is the fucker who sold you out to Russell Edgington. He tricked you into drinking his blood. He locked Lafayette in a dungeon and tortured him. You hate Eric Northman. Fuck the both of you!"
Eric gets confirmation from Sookie that he did those things. "Then your pain is my fault. Why are you letting me stay with you?" "Because there's more to you than your worst self. I always knew there was decency in you, even when you were a smug sarcastic ass," she tells him. "There's a light in you. I couldn't bear it if I snuffed it out," he says morosely and leaves the house. She follows, asking him not to go. The same strings that underscored her and Bill's burgeoning relationship return as Sookie and Eric share an intimate hug that turns into a passion-filled kiss Sookie's porch. Amnesia Eric isn't only more likeable than regular Eric; he's more adept at articulating the major issues at hand.
Their romance won't last for long, because Bill is on his way to the one place he was convinced Eric was hiding after Pam, desperately trying to get bill to OK an attack on the witches, blurted out the big secret. But how did we get to that point? Pam showed up to Bill's office, heavily veiled, at the beginning of the episode. "Oh, good, the world needs more bee keepers," he greeted her before realizing that her face was, quite literally, rotting off in chunks, thanks to Marnie's spell. "You fuck with my face and you die," she says, urging him to take action against the witch. Plan A: Get his witch mole, Katie, to distract Marnie while his SWAT team kidnaps her during the day. During the evening, Bill interrogates and glamours Marnie while she's his prisoner until he is certain she had no idea what spells she was casting when she performed them.
With plan A a bust, Bill turns to plan B: Recruit the four remaining sheriffs of the Louisiana area to his home for a strategy session, where we finally get the history lesson that explains who Marnie's goddess is: a 17th century Spanish sorceress named Antonia, who was burned at the stake and used necromancy to pull all vampires within 20 miles into the daylight, including priests and nuns. "Vampires have often found it advantageous to maintain a hidden presence in humanity's most powerful institutions," Bill explains. "In the 1600s that was the Catholic church. Today, as you all know, it's Google and Fox News." Despite the heavy desire to wage war, Bill upholds the Authority's mandate that any spilled mortal blood results in the true death. The devil is indeed in the details.
Jesus, Lafayette and Tara are all skeptical of meek Marnie's possession in the aftermath of the spell she cast on Pam. "Hooker, you pissed off another vampire and then you took a goddamn nap," Lafayette tells her, but Marnie persists. "She was with us the night of the first vampire attack and she was with us again tonight. She saved us." Neither can convince the other, and the three leave Marnie in the field with Tara making plans to head back to New Orleans and Jesus convincing Lafayette to go to his brujo grandfather in Mexico.
Flashback: Jesus' ninth birthday. His grandfather gifts him a goat — not to keep as a pet, but to kill — and then makes Jesus lick the bloodied knife as he chanted, "Take the spirit." That was the last time Jesus saw his grandfather, but he believes the man gave him a power that day he's only felt once in his life — a power they could use against the vampires now.
Meanwhile, Sookie gleans the coven headquarters from her coworker Holly and sweet talks Marnie into giving her a reading. All pretenses are shattered, however, when Marnie channels the spirit of Sookie's grandmother, who tells Sookie to look after Jason, not give "the new man you have feelings for" her heart because the situation is temporary and to get out of the shop because Marnie is capable of "great danger." Marnie, again, has no idea what was going on but, based on the power of her other channelings, we can only conclude the predictions will prove accurate. The question is when, and how?
The episode kicks off with Joe Lee continuing to torture Tommy into submission — only Tommy turns the cards and winds up killing Joe Lee and accidentally delivering a fatal blow to Melinda, as well. Panicked, he goes to big brother Sam to save the day: "I fucked up Sam," he says. "I see that, Tommy." The two drive the bodies to a swamp and dump them in, with Tommy convinced he's going to hell. "It's in the 10 commandments. Don't kill shit. Don't fuck with your parents," he recalls. "I did both." The tension leads to an unexpected brotherly moment, as Tommy and Sam have a heart to heart over the aftermath of killing people, and Sam says he killed two people who stole from him. "You don't know what's in you, until sometimes it pops out," he says. Maybe now the future for these two will shift away from boring brotherly rival and towards them uniting against a common force.
The action is out of Hot Shot this week, but it won't be for long: a recuperating Jason gets spooked at mention of the upcoming full moon. Over lunch at Merlotte's, he tells Hoyt (who, along with Jessica, rescued him from the side of the road last week) about his rape and wonders if his past ways are to blame. "As much as I love it, every bad thing that's ever happened to me is 'cause of sex," he says. "Maybe God's punishing me for having too much sex." Hoyt, not seeing the gravity of Jason's situation and oblivious to Jess' glamouring of him, feels compelled to share his own lady drama. "Bubba, I love you and you're my best friend, but that pales in comparison to what I've been through," Jason responds. "Don't you think?"
The conflict manifests itself in Jason's dream, as Jess tries to seduce him — only, despite Jason's protests, she can't keep from referencing Hoyt, who later pops up to awkwardly narrate the scene before finally replacing Jess on top of Jason. Weird parallels between Jason's dream and Eric's are at play, with regard to temptation and right and wrong.
Over at demon baby headquarters, Terry and Arlene turn to the church to banish Rene's spirit from their house. They call in the Reverend Daniels and his wife, Lettie May Daniels (who previously tried to exorcise Tara). After a seemingly successful casting out of evil, Arlene marvels at how demon baby Mikey hasn't ever slept this well. "I don't want to jinx it," she says, turning to Terry and professing her love to him. He returns the sentiment and the two drift to sleep — just as a matchbook lights itself on fire on their dresser. While the actual origin of this demon (outside of it likely being Rene) has yet to present itself, we can't help but be continually intrigued by the bite-sized glimpses we're getting.
The Bellefleurs are no better, as Andy continues to rely on V to get through the day, and Portia attempts to seduce her great-great-great-great grandfather Bill into romance once again with her lawyerly appeal ("Fact: 42 states have repealed their anti-incest laws."). He's not having it, and glamours her into screaming and running away every time she sees him. Yawn.
Alcide is shamefully absent this episode, save for opening his door to a strange man, who tells him, "I am not a happy camper." Unhappy camper with bad hair refuses to leave and introduces himself as the packmaster of Shreveport who has come to demand Alcide register with the pack after living in their region for four months. "I'm currently exploring free agency," a hulking, wifebeater-clad Alcide tells the packmaster, demanding he leave. This likely means some kind of were drama is afoot, which is marginally less interesting than the Weres getting involved with the other supernaturals — unless, maybe, this packmaster is Luna's baby-daddy.
Favorite Couple: Sookie and Eric take the week again, in a virtually no-contest battle. But, since this is True Blood, we have to wonder when things will start getting twisted between them.
Losing Species of the Week: The Shifters, again. Thankfully our prediction for this season feeling similar to last was proven false, but their plotline isn't any more interesting for it.
Winning Species of the Week: The Witches, who still have the upper hand against the vampires. Even though no one has any idea how this is possible, it's interesting as hell to watch them try to figure it out.
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• The Joy of Vampire Sex: The Schlocky, Sensual Secrets Behind the Success of 'True Blood'
• Peter Travers on the Best and Worst Vampires on Film and TV
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