'True Blood': The maenad and the Queen

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" True Blood" races towards its season two finale with a jam-packed penultimate episode that introduces a very intriguing vampire Queen. Which one of our favorite vamps will she make her King?

Picking up from last week, Bill interrupts the Queen at her dinner date. Well, having dinner from her date might be the more appropriate description. The Queen, by the way, is played by Evan Rachel Wood, a fine actress who's former, um, dalliance with Marilyn Manson would seem to give her ample research material for this role. On a similarly shallow note, her perfect snowy skin is ideal for playing a vamp. Welcome to the cast, Evan!

Bill immediately asks how he can kill Maryann, but the Queen says he cannot, especially because a maenad allows people to indulge on their basest instincts without reproach and therefore is especially hard to combat. At her insistence, Bill stays until the next night. Also at her insistence, Bill feeds from an adorable boy by the poolside. And then they play Yahtzee! They obviously aren't aware that Catchphrase is the best party game going. Finally, the Queen reveals that the only way they can get rid of Maryann is to convince her she has summoned Dionysus and give her ultimate rest. This ceremony is best facilitated by a supernatural creature like a shapeshifter or werewolf, which explains Maryann's interest in Sam. Bill gets an "a-ha!" look on his face when the Queen mentions this, which makes me a bit worried for Sam.

Tara wants to go help Eggs, but Sookie and Lafayette won't let her leave until Bill gets back, eventually handcuffing her so she can't escape. While Sookie and Lafayette are on watch for any Maryann-infected, they start swapping information on the after-effects of drinking Eric's blood. It seems Sookie isn't the only one having nasty thoughts about our favorite Nordic vamp. Right when they get comfortable, Tara's mother comes out and tricks them into letting Tara go. Sookie tricks her right back and they race after Tara. When she gets to the house, of course Maryann shows up before she can get Eggs out of there. She reveals to Tara that she was the one who summoned her during the voodoo ritual last season...and then quickly turns Tara black-eyed again. Sookie later makes her way inside (and has a very disturbing encounter with Mike the creepy coroner) and finds Tara and Eggs building a nest for a very, very large egg. An egg for Eggs! (Sorry.) She is interrupted by Lafayette, who is quite black-eyed himself. Noooooo!

It looks like Sam let Andy and Jason in on his shapeshifter secret after they witnessed the event the night before. They take it rather well, especially Jason who proclaims it "f ******g cool." They know they have a fight on their hands, but when Jason suggests guns Sam rightly says that guns won't do anything against Maryann, and they can't shoot anyone else because they can't kill their friends. Jason, however, is using all of his crazy cult training and mentality and is itching for a fight. They leave Sam and to go the sheriff station to look for weapons before making their way to the house, and I could watch an entire show of the bumbling crime-fighting adventures of Jason Stackhouse and Andy Bellefleur.

Sam, meanwhile, goes to Eric for help in dealing with Maryann. Eric asks for a tribute (half-seriously, in the form of Sookie), but Sam refuses. Eric decides that he will help, and goes off to find someone who can help them. He goes off by flying away, by the way. Did we know vampires could fly? That seems sort of...random. He goes to none other than the Queen for advice. Of course, he runs into Bill outside and they have it out over his interest in Sookie. Bill warns him to stay away from her or else he will tell the Queen about Eric forcing Lafayette to sell V. I am confused about the vampire hierarchy, because I thought the Sheriff was the highest level of vamp in their area. I suppose royalty outranks public servants, though.

Back at Bill's house, Hoyt pulls Jessica off his mother before she does her in. Lucky for Jessica, Hoyt's black-eye infected mother enjoyed it. Unluckily (but unsurprisingly), Hoyt did not. Hoyt isn't having a particularly good day, especially when his mother tells him his "hero" father was a drunk who killed himself instead of getting shot defending their house from a burglar like he had always believed. Aw, poor Hoyt.

See you in two weeks for the season finale!


Random thoughts:
  • Lafayette's PTSD vision of Eric in Tara's mother's body was quite interesting, with all of the talk about how Lafayette wanted to be a vampire and how wonderful it would feel if he was turned. Are we looking at a future story where just that happens?
  • Loved Lafayette's Hansel & Gretel trail of MDMA to lead Arlene and Terry away from the Stackhouse manor.
  • I am picturing Bill using Sam as a sacrifice, and Sookie getting angry at him. Since we've seen almost this exact same storyline between them, I really hope they don't go there. I know they want to push her towards Eric somehow, but not this way. Please, show. Please.

Favorite quotes:
  • "Less than two hours until dawn. Shall we have sex? ...Kidding. I haven't enjoyed sex with men since the Eisenhower administration." - the Queen, to Bill
  • "Hey, do you think Sam's ever turned into a dog and then had sex with a lady dog?" - Jason, to Andy
  • "Jesus, Jason, you're talking about bestiality." - Andy, in return
  • "No, it ain't bestiality if there ain't a human involved. Then it's just nature." - Jason
  • "Come on Pam, they're funny. They're like humans, but miniature. Teacup humans." - Eric, about Arlene's kids (right before he also calls them delicious)

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