¡We can no longer be a bunch of empty minds living in critical times refusing to recognize real lies!

Monday, 14 September 2009


In the second-season finale of True Blood, Maryann's plan comes to a surprising conclusion, as both Bill and Sam make serious sacrifices to try to put a stop to her. But wait, there's a whole lot more, as the residents of Bon Temps, specifically Eggs, have much difficulty dealing with the messy, memory-challenged aftermath, during which Jason and Andy will make life-changing decisions. The Queen reveals that she's the source of Eric's V-dealing operations, and she is none too pleased that Bill knows about it. Even with Maxine back to "normal," Hoyt and Jessica's relationship still has its challenges. And just when Bill and Sookie — who has begun to question whether she is even human — get ready for their happy ending, a juicy cliff-hanger postpones it...

  • We pick up right where we left off, with Tara and Eggs preparing a nest for "the egg," and we still have no idea what it all means. Lafayette instructs them to take the egg downstairs — "This means he's coming," says Tara — and tells Sookie to take off her clothes. For a second, I thought this was going in a very confusing, dangerous, uncomfortable direction, but no, he just wants her to change into a white gown.
  • You see, Maryann is planning a wedding — to her god, who should be arriving, oh, any minute now. She's even wearing Sookie's grandmother's wedding dress, and she wants Sookie to be her maid of honor. The image of Lafayette clapping upon hearing the news is one of the gazillions of tiny pleasures this episodes yielded. Go back and watch it again; it's priceless.
  • Tara, Arlene and Jane are all dressed for the event while Sookie ever SO defiant says, "I will not let this happen." Maryann wants Sookie to shock her again with her electrical hand thing she did before, but Sookie is unable to replicate that odd occurrence. Maryann reports that, since she can't control Sookie, she can't be human. "It'll be our little secret — what are you?" Maryann asks. "I'm a waitress; what the F&CK are you?" she replies.
  • A possessed Maxine is dancing like a banshee and when she tries to escape, she trips the alarm on an ingenious, red-string-derived security system that Hoyt has devised to keep his mother in check. "Norman Bates!" she shrieks at him.
  • "You're marrying Sam?" Sookie asks Maryann. Nope, Sam is just the ideal wedding gift, she reports. She explains coldly that Sookie is the bait, that once Sam finds out that she is being held captive, "he'll come running like a dog — maybe as a dog," she says with a cackle.
  • Meanwhile back at the castle, Eric is playing Yahtzee with the queen. "We play to 5 million," she reports with glee. "I heard about your maker; that blows," she tells Eric. They discuss the maenad in Menard Parish. The queen reveals that she doesn't know if the advice she gave Bill is "gospel or gorilla shit." She also expresses displeasure that Bill is in love with Sookie ("He is?" Hadley asks, excitedly), and warns Eric about falling victim to the same fate. It's here that the queen nonchalantly confirms that Sookie is not entirely human, which is a revelation sure to echo through future seasons.
  • Changing the subject, she asks abruptly, with a scary display of fangs, "How does [Bill] know that I'm having you sell vampire blood?" Eric assures her that Bill doesn't know she's the source of his V-dealing business. "You may be the strongest, oldest vampire in my queendom," she warns, "but if I wanted, I could own your fangs as earrings. Understand?" Eric says he'll "take care of Bill Compton" — whatever that means. And then it's back to Yahtzee... "You suck at this," she tells Eric.
  • Jason and Andy are armed and clueless as they storm the Stackhouse residence. Jason tells Andy, "Its times like these that this town needs a good man, and that man... is us." Naturally, all this is for naught, for as soon as they enter the fray of Maryann's faithful, they are immediately converted into black-eyed soldiers.
  • Sam and Bill are hiding out at Merlotte's with Arlene's kids when Bill drops a bombshell. He wants Sam to go to Maryann. Sam argues that giving himself up won't stop Maryann, but with a flash of his fangs, Bill forces the issue.
  • "What's with the egg?" Sookie asks for the perplexed audience. Maryann exposits that it's an ostrich egg, which represents fertility. For some reason, all the ladies in the wedding party have to lick blood off it. Jason and Andy break up the party to announce that Maryann's vessel has arrived.
  • Maryann sashays down the front steps, ready for her nuptials to get underway. Bill presents Sam to Maryann for sacrifice. "I will always be grateful to you," she tells Sam with the utmost of sincerity. Sookie is apoplectic with Bill's apparent deception, but he tells her to trust him.
  • "God with horns, worship him, bitches!' roars Laf, who plays a very convincing Dionysian servant. Maryann tells a story about Dionysus and how he was reborn when a piece of heart was placed in his mother's womb.

  • Sam is strapped-down and brought out for sacrifice and this is where Eggs stabs him square in the chest. Maryann takes the blood and anoints her neck with it. Sookie approaches Sam and begs for his forgiveness. She reads his thoughts and hears him say: "Destroy it, all of it!" She obeys, smashing the egg and, using her special electrical power, toppling the meat man.
  • Maryann is not pleased, and turns her wrath on her followers. "Allow me to sacrifice all of them for you!" she tells her god, as they all cringe and writhe. She plunges her hands into the earth and out pop those gnarly claws. In a flash, a chase ensues. Just as Maryann is about to bury her claws into Sookie again, a giant white bull appears in a clearing. Dionysus has arrived... maybe?
  • Her claws retract, and suddenly she's all moony-eyed and in love with her bull-headed suitor. "My lord, my husband," she says. "Oh, come, I'm here, my love. We're together at last." Just as tiny hearts and flowers are about to burst from Maryann's mouth instead of words, the bull gores her right through the chest, bringing forth blood as black as midnight. "My god, am I the one to be sacrificed?" she asks. "Yes, I'm the vessel, I'm happy to die."
  • But! At that moment, the bull's horns shift back into arms, and one of them rips Maryann's beating heart from her chest; and it  is naked Sam! "Was there no god?" Maryann asks, as Sam squeezes the heart in his palm and she rapidly decays and falls to the ground.
  • While everyone in Bon Temps snaps out of Maryann’s spell, Bill returns to give us the explanation for how all this happened. After Sam was stabbed, he drank Bill's blood to heal himself.
  • "We got her?" Jason asks, but Sookie has no time for her brother's idiocy, so she springs into action, asking Bill to bury Maryann's body and Jason to make sure everyone gets home safely. "It's all over now," Sookie tells Tara. "I have this sick feeling that it's not," Tara replies with heavy foreshadowing.
  • Once Maxine returns to "normal," she finds out that Jessica bit her. Hoyt tells her that Jessica was provoked, that in her zombiefied state, she said some nasty lies, including, he asks hopefully, all that jazz about Daddy killing himself? "You're nearly 30; you should know the truth," Maxine says, and this sends Hoyt on a tear, berating his needy mother for clinging to him, preventing him from being "an actual person." "I wish Jessica had just finished you off," he says contemptuously.
  • The good people of Bon Temps pick up the pieces — literally in Jane's case, as she finds her severed finger among the meat-man debris. Andy gets his badge back from a cowed Bud, and promises to remain sober. "You might have your faults, Andy, but at least you've got pants on," Bud says.
  • Sam sees a doe and starts to cry, remembering the loss of Daphne. Sam and Bill have a moment in which they both acknowledge they'd do anything for Sookie. As I grit my teeth to get through Stephen Moyer's wooden line readings in this scene, Sam says, with great significance, "You suffer a lot more hiding something than if you face up to it." He turns away and the doe is gone.
  • Inside, Eggs is freaking out, trying to wash the blood off his hands. He's confused and wants to see Maryann, obviously having no memory of what just went down. Tara says she doesn't want to dwell in the past. She apologizes to Sookie for bringing all this on everyone, but Maryann made her feel like she had a family. Sookie says she has a family.
  • Upstairs, Bill has cleaned up Sookie's bedroom, but there are only 41 minutes until sunrise. "Hold me for 40," Sookie sighs.
  • The next day at Merlotte's, a mystery woman sits at the bar and says to Sam, "Well, I certainly never expected anything like that to happen here." This is funny, clever writing because the mystery woman in question is Charlaine Harris, the author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, to whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude.
  • Arlene's kids forgive her for her absence. "You kids shouldn't even know what that word means," she says to them. Terry buys the kids toy guns and says something sweet, and I look forward to seeing how this nontraditional family fares going forward. "When you went away for all that time, you didn't see Rene, did you?" the kids ask Arlene. "No, I think he's still on his vacation," she lies. "Yep, I'm pretty sure he's dead," one of them says after their mother walks away.
  • Jane's finger has been reattached, and her special gift for stretching the truth is intact again as well. Andy, who overhears her, decides to start truth-telling, since he knows more than many. His fantastical tale only makes them laugh, and they assume he's drunk. "It's Diet Coke with lime!" he screams. Jason calms him and explains that, despite their total lack of memory, they obviously saved the day. "If a tree falls in the woods, it's still a tree, ain't it?" he offers as explanation.
  • Sam tells Sookie he's going to go away for a few days, and they hug. As if on cue, a deliverywoman arrives with a package for Sookie. It's a dress, and Bill says he's going to take her out for an evening alone.
  • While Sookie looks lovingly at the lavender frock, Eggs appears. The gaps in his memory are making him crazy, and he wants her to help him fill in the blanks. She (foolishly?) does, and in a flash he sees that it was by his hand that Miss Jeannette and Daphne died, and that Sam almost did. Naturally, he's a little freaked out and he storms off ominously.
  • Jessica and Bill are leaving Compton Manor at the same time for their respective dates. Well, Jessica isn't really going a date; she says that she and Hoyt had a fight and that she needs to apologize. Bill is like a new man, and his demeanor is surprisingly kind and upbeat. Why is he being so nice? It's kind of cute, but I can't help but think that it means something.
  • Sam goes to see his adoptive parents, who abandoned him when they learned of his special gift. He wants to find his birth parents. His mother warns that they are bad people, but his dying father hands him a piece of paper that says, in ragged penmanship, "Melinda and JoeLee Mickens last known in Magnolia Arkansas I'm sorry."
  • While Jessica is presumably on her way to Hoyt's house, he's knocking on the front door of Compton Manor. Obviously, nobody is there. Like two ships passing in the night... The romantic metaphors end there though, because then we cut to a scene of Jessica making out with some redneck in a parking lot, and all of a sudden up is down and down is up. How could our favorite two lovebirds have gone so terribly wrong?
  • Ah, but it seems that Jessica's emotional outburst in the last episode should have tipped us off to the fact that her fragile state as a newly turned vampire wasn't going to just go away. We soon see that Jessica's assignation with the redneck is not exactly cheating on Hoyt; she has the need, the need to feed. At the same moment that Jessica lunges for the jugular, Hoyt leaves flowers on his undead lover's doorstep.
  • "The sight of you is not something I wish to share with others tonight," Bill said as he and Sookie prepare for their evening @ a French restaurant.
  • A distraught Eggs approaches Andy outside Merlotte's, brandishing Maryann's blood-encrusted dagger, and says that he's the killer and needs to be locked up. Andy tries to reason with him, but his erratic behavior is a little disconcerting. He pushes Andy into the dirt and appears to lunge at him with the knife. At that moment, a gunshot goes off and Eggs is shot in the head.
  • It's Jason who pulled the trigger, and his Rambo posturing comes to an abrupt halt as he starts freaking out about having killed someone. In short order, Andy agrees to cover for him, and Jason takes off into the darkness. The patrons and staff of Merlotte's empty into the parking lot, and it's kind of devastating to see Tara wail over her lover's presumably lifeless body.
  • Back at the French restaurant, "I can't think of a better way to top off the best meal of my life," Sookie says as she polishes off her dessert. "I do have one last thing," Bill says. With that, he produces two plane tickets to Burlington, Vermont (where vampire marriage is legal) and a diamond engagement ring. He's proposing!
  • At the point in the story where Sookie should be beaming and shouting "yes, yes, 1,000 times, yes!" instead we see doubt creep behind her eyes and flutter across her face. It's not the best time, she says. What would it be like to be married to a vampire? Maybe I'm not even human. In a characteristic Sookie huff, she runs off to the ladies' room to powder her nose and contemplate her entire undead future.
  • In front of the bathroom mirror, though, she slowly tries on the ring and suddenly, we see that smile, the smile that says yes. As she composes herself, we cut back to the table and see a pair of gloved hands pull a silver chain around Bill's neck with a sharp sizzle. "Yes, Bill Compton, I will marry you!" Sookie cries as she re-enters their private dining room, only to find Bill is gone and the place in foreboding disarray.

What did you think of "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"? Were you happy with how Maryann's storyline concluded? What's with all the love lost (Tara and Eggs, Hoyt and Jessica, Sookie and Bill)? What did Eric mean when he told the queen he'd "take care of" Bill? Could it be that Bill's silver-wielding, glove-wearing assailant is a fellow vampire?

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