In “Burning Down the House,” the third-to-last episode of the season, we finally get the sense that things are beginning to wrap up. In a bit of an anti-climatic turn, Sookie undoes Antonia’s spell on Eric, but that doesn’t mean the issues between the witches and the vampires – or the vampires and the vampires, for that matter – are resolved. The biggest moments of the episode come as Marnie and Antonia, Jessica and Jason, and Sookie, Bill and Eric deal with the consequences of their magical unions. Sookie’s powers also come to the forefront after she both inspired and intrigued herself and the supernaturals around her by putting them to use. With two episodes to go, we may finally find out what is controlling Bon Temps this season: is it some kind of higher power or the supernaturals themselves?
Vampires and Witches:
Chaos erupts at the Festival of Tolerance: Antonia is casting a spell to have the vampires kill King Bill, Nan is putting the kibosh on the press and Sookie is trying to save Eric and Bill from themselves – and each other. Oh, and all of the humans in attendance are on the ground, bleeding. Everything grinds to a halt, however, when Sookie unleashes the power within and uses her lightning force to stop Eric from killing Bill. In the process, she cancels out Marnie’s spell, silences Nan and – most significantly – turns Amnesia/Spellbound Eric back into Normal Eric (though, unlike in the books, he retains his memories of what happened while he was Amnesia Eric).
Eric tries to convince Sookie he’s hasn’t changed. “I’m just more,” he says. But even though he says he loves her and she feels the same, she finally admits in real life what last week’s dream sequence forced her to confront: she loves Bill, too. Sookie theorizes that’s why she was able to exert her power and save Bill from Eric and postulates it’s the blood exchange that has her all mixed up in love. Eric won’t agree to that, but he has no time to pursue Sookie: there’s a witch war happening.
Bill and Nan’s logistic bickering resumes, and he finally gets his way — Mission: Blow Up Moon Goddess Emporium is a go. As per usual, Bill refuses to let Sookie anywhere near battle, but she pulls a page out of his book and refuses to listen – especially since Tara and Holly are inside. While the vampires go to ground, Sookie recruits Jason, Lafayette and Jesus to see about making some headway during the day.
Meanwhile, at witch headquarters, Holly and Tara are trying to cast a spell that will lift Antonia’s protective spells that both keep the witches hostage in Moon Goddess and repel intruders from the area. While they do this, Marnie and Antonia are having a confrontation of sorts: An ambivalent Antonia removes her spirit from Marnie’s body, claiming she is really not a violent spirit and is doubting their mission after the bloodbath at the Festival of Tolerance and the sheer number of vampires in the modern world. It is at this point we learn Marnie is no longer possessed, but in control of the situation and manages to convince Antonia their union is necessary to rid the world of the vampires. Antonia’s spirit re-enters Marnie’s body, and she is megapowerful once more.
Jesus, unaware of this, hopes to talk to Marnie, thinking if he can get through to her then they can get rid of Antonia. He impresses Antonia with his witchwork, shifting into a demon to get through her protective barriers, and sweet talks her into letting him talk to Marnie. It is then he realizes that Marnie is truly in control and telepathically communicates this unpleasant change in their plans to Sookie at the same time Holly and Tara’s spell works and they run outside. As Sookie and Lafayette go to rescue Holly and Tara, Marnie/Antonia reignites her spell and magically transport the quartet back inside of Moon Goddess, leaving Jason outside on his own.
“Magic is about energy and intention,” Holly told Tara earlier in the episode, and it seems like Marnie is well aware of that. There’s hope the vampires will be able to overthrow her once and for all – as the episode comes to a close and night settles in on Bon Temps, Bill, Pam, Eric and Jessica arrive in front of Moon Goddess Emporium. Dressed in black, with the Used’s aggressive cover of “Burning Down the House” playing behind them, their message is very clearly “Do not fuck with us.”
Vampires and Humans:
Jason and Jessica try to come to terms with their feelings as they get dressed in his truck. She’s pushing for him to be independent and separate himself from Hoyt (“Talk about bromance”); Jason doesn’t think it’ll be that easy and, in fact, wants Jess to glamour him, claiming it’ll be the only way he can face Hoyt and that maybe their blood exchange was the reason for all of this. “What about my guilt? Who’s going to make me forget?” she asks. “Fucking humans. I’m going to find someone to eat.” And thus Jess’ permanent 17-year-old self transition out of lovesick girl and into some kind of aggressive stance. For the rest of the episode, she seems to keep her hormones in check in favor of bloodlust. The witch war probably helps as a distraction, but she manages to stay away from both Hoyt and Jason.
Meanwhile, Hoyt and Jason can’t stay away from each other: Hoyt shows up on Jason’s doorstep, seeking some kind of solace from his best buddy. But his best buddy has a guilty conscious, and gives Hoyt a beer and a sympathetic ear for a short while before heading to Sookie’s to escape Hoyt’s mix of anger, sadness and regret over the demise of his relationship with Jessica and his discomfort at staying in the house they once shared.
Terry and Arlene confront Andy about his V addiction (all together now: “finally!”). Naturally, Andy claims the vial is evidence but Arlene isn’t having it and bans him from hanging out with her kids until he’s clean. Normally quiet and collected Terry steps up and brings Andy to Fort Bellefleur, which we learn was the tree house in the woods where Andy helped Terry work out his post-war demons after Terry returned from Iraq. Initially Terry’s intervention brings up harsh childhood memories for the cousins and Andy refuses to admit he’s an addict. But after a turn at the shooting range turns ugly, Andy breaks and commits to sobriety. The first step in his recovery? Walking home from Fort Bellefleur. While the Bellefleur boys and Arlene have their share of crazy to deal with, their family bickering and strength this episode was a note of comfort and positivity as everything else seemed to go to shit.
Werewolves and Shifters:
Tommy stops Alcide from taking him to a hospital, instead requesting to return to Merlotte’s and die, saying something happened when he turned into Sam that hurt him more than the werewolf beat down. They meet Sam in the parking lot and, with Alcide awkwardly looking on, Sam and Tommy have the tender brotherly moment they’ve been fighting for the last season and-a-half to have. When Tommy dies, Sam turns vengeful, promising to seek revenge on Marcus. Sigh.
Alcide’s alpha male personality has driven him into action, but not alongside Marcus. As Marcus acknowledges, they have different, shall we say, priorities. Alcide accompanies Sam to the bike shop and helps him rough up one of Marcus’ associates in Tommy’s name. It’s unclear what exactly snapped in Alcide (likely last episode’s bike shop brutality), but his repressed urge for violence seems to have burst out of him this episode after he tried so hard this season to maintain peace. We’re betting it won’t stop any time soon – while Alcide is with Sam, Debbie and Marcus have a heart to heart that seems to lead to a hook-up after she laments Alcide’s reluctance to have were babies with her.
Favorite Couple: This episode was more about fracturing relationships than repairing them, but we were quite fond of the Andy and Terry Bellefleur dynamic even though it had little to do with anything.
Winning Species of the Week: Though it seems like a draw between witches and vampires, the episode ends with the upper hand going to the vampires as the possibility of cracks in Marnie/Antonia’s fight becomes a reality.
Losing Species of the Week: The fairies – you’d think that Sookie’s powers would force the supernaturals to explore her history a bit more, but the first episodes of the season continue to be a distant memory.
Last Episode: Sookie’s Standout Performance