Pictured: Carrie Preston and Lauren Bowles Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO
A FRIGHTENING FIRST SCENE
“True Blood” has caught me by surprise a couple times and, I’ll admit, has even scared me once or twice, but the opening of season 7’s episode 2 will probably haunt me for a while. The episode opens with the camera closely following Eric Northman in a large, dimly lit home. But who exactly is following Eric? We would assume it’d be Pam considering she’s the only one out looking for him but it turns out to be one of the last people I expected – Jason. However, this doesn’t seem to surprise Eric. It’s as though he knew Jason was coming. Eric confesses that he needed space to think. Jason believes he was trying to get away from him. Confused yet? Wait, it gets better. After Eric serves Jason a girly drink, Jason pushes Eric from behind and angrily throws his jacket to the ground. He walks right up to Eric and… starts taking off his belt. Let’s just say Eric and Jason play on Lafayette’s team for the next two minutes.
But no need to worry folks, Jason quickly wakes up in the back pews of the church with the same reaction on his face as our viewers. Yes, it was all a dream. Outside the church, Sam and Andy argue about not knowing how to narrow down their search. Luckily Sookie has a plan. She tells them that during her walk home the night before she found the body of a girl she didn’t recognize. Funny how she just now decides to tell the authorities about a corpse in the woods. Guess it became kind of the norm after the attack. So the plan is to find out who the girl is, where she came from and see if her town can give them some answers about what they’re dealing with.
In the mean time, Rev. Daniels tells Sam that the townspeople need to be kept occupied so they’re not just sitting at home in fear. Sam assures the community that they will get Arlene back and when she’s back, he says, “She’s gonna be not too please with the current state of Bellefleurs. It sure would be nice to put it back together for her.” So while their limited rescue crew goes out to investigate, the rest of the town start cleaning up the massacre crime scene from the night before. Wait. I thought the whole purpose of keeping them busy was so that they wouldn’t be traumatized. Oh, well!
MEET THE VILLAINS
Meanwhile, back at the Hep-V hideout, one of the vampires is punished for being selfish and feeding on a hostage without sharing. We finally get an inside look at our new villains who come from all ages, backgrounds and accents. One of them sounds like he’s from Australia so he can’t be all that bad, right? They might have some teamwork problems but it seems they only want what the rest of us want – to survive. After a short deliberation, the ringleader decides that Betty, a former elementary school teacher, will be the new reaper because she proves to have self-control. As Betty heads to the basement to pick the next lucky victim, she walks right up to Arlene, takes one look at her then turns away and goes for the pretty blonde instead. Arlene recognizes Betty and pinpoints her as Mrs. Harris, the fourth grade teacher that taught her daughter and Holly’s son. “She spared me,” Arlene said. “I think she might be our way out of here.”
As the women plan their escape, Sookie takes Sheriff Andy, Jason, Sam and Alcide to the girl in the woods. They identify her as Marybeth Grand, 25, from Saint Alice, Louisiana according to her ID. Since Saint Alice is only two towns away, the group decides to go check it out together.
HIGH ON VAMP BLOOD
Back in Bon Temp, Letty Mae tries to get Lafayette to help her connect with Tara’s spirit, saying she needs to help Tara get to heaven. (I’m not sure how the afterlife works, but I’m pretty sure it’s too late for all that). Lafayette refuses to summon Tara because he’s given up magic but it’s not magic Letty Mae wants, it’s vampire blood. She believes the blood connects her to Tara, but when Lafayette tells her to let it go, Letty Mae calls him “a selfish two-face no good sinner.” Someone should tell Letty Mae rage is a sin.
As Letty Mae cooks dinner, she accidently burns her wrist on the stove then gets a sick idea. She presses her palm firmly onto the burning skillet then rushes to the guesthouse and begs Willa to feed her blood, saying she needs to be healed. Letty Mae starts drinking from Willa and quickly begins hallucinating (guess she’s a light weight). She sees Tara hanging on a cross in a forest whispering something. But as she gets closer, she notices Tara is also covered in snakes and chanting some kind of witchcraft spell.
As most of the townspeople continue to clean up Bellfleur’s, Vince walks in with a plan of his own. He tells everyone that their mayor went on a field trip while their stuck doing janitor work. Then he to really throw Sam under the bus by telling them he saw Sam turn into a dog. Another woman confirmed that she saw a bear going through her trash once and when she looked again, standing in its place was Sam Merlott in his birthday suit. It seems the citizens of Bon Temp are shifty people as they quickly turn against Sam and instead follow Vince, whose plan is to arm themselves and take matters into their own hands. Adilyn overhears the thoughts of a woman who knows the only guns left in town are the one at the police station. She takes Wade Cleary to the station to warn Officer Kenya and they begin loading up with ammo but when they start heading out, it’s already too late.
Vince and his Bellefleur followers arrive at the station and with a little convincing, Kenya gives in and even turns against Adilyn. They take Wade and Adilyn hostage (in rebellion against Sheriff Andy) and immediately Jessica wakes up in terror. She feels that Adilyn is in danger but can’t get to her because the sun is still out. Once Andy gets home, Jessica makes herself known to him, telling him she’s been in the attack since yesterday, and says that she knows Adilyn’s in trouble. Andy puts aside his feelings towards Jessica in order to team up and rescue his daughter. Back at Bellefleur’s police station, everyone gets a shooting lesson.
A GLIMPSE OF HOPE
When Betty returns to the basement for their next meal, Arlene and Holly butter her up with praise of how great of a teacher she was but Betty says if she shows an ounce of mercy to them, she’s dead. Arlene says, “I mean this in the nicest possible way, but aren’t you gonna die anyway?” Betty realizes she’s right, but says she still can’t help. After the women share a moment and Arlene begs on her knees, Mrs. Harris says she’ll figure something out.
Meanwhile in Saint Alice, Sookie and the guys find the small town abandoned with boarded up windows and spray-painted signs asking for help on almost every building. As they search for a sign of life, Sookie discovers a devastating sight. “There’s no one left,” she says. All the townspeople are dead and thrown into one large pit, bodies on top of bodies.
They decide to check out the home of the girl they found in the woods for more clues. Jason uses his expert detective skills and determines, by biting into a slice of pizza left on the table, that the family was there two and a half days ago. “It looks like they stick with one town at a time,” Jason says. “Hit it again and again until the job’s over. Then move on to the next.” Sookie comes across the girls’ diary and starts reading. She discovers that the girl fell in love with a vampire too and her story sounds very similar to Sookie’s (minus the whole fearie thing). On their way back to town, Sookie admits that she fears Bon Temps will end up just like Saint Alice. Alcide tells her that he can just keep driving and they could save themselves, but Sookie says, “That’s not the answer.”
Back at Fangtasia, Betty volunteers to be the “sleep monitor” so while all the other Hep-V vamps are taking their power nap, Betty rushes downstairs to keep her word. But first she needs to feed; she needs a little energy to help them escape. Arlene offers to take one for the team but Betty says it needs to be from the femoral artery in case they get caught, there can’t be any visible marks. Arlene hikes up her dress and Mrs. Harris goes in. Awk-ward. Suddenly, Betty has this look in her eye, starts feeding harder, and then explodes into a blob of blood and guts, leaving Arlene with a discussing scene between her legs. I guess Arlene was Hep-V positive.
When they finally get back home, Sookie pulls Alcide in for a passionate kiss before he heads upstairs to take a shower. Once Alcide is out of sight, Sookie rushes outside, through a cemetery and knocks at the door of a house. Bill opens the door and Sookie asks him if he can still sense her fear. When Bill asks why she’s there, she says, “If I got myself into some serious sh*t, would you be able to feel me?”
The episode ends in Rhone Valley, France where Pam finds Eric. That’s right, he’s alive! He may have not burned to death, but somehow he’s been infected with the Hep-V virus.