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'True Blood' recap: Werepanthers, witches and psychopathic frat boys, oh my!

July 3, 2011 |  7:15 pm


Out with the old, in with the new, indeed. 

Eric's teasing notes to Sookie nicely summarized this week's crazy happenings in Bon Temps: Jason is on his way to becoming a werepanther after being attacked by Crystal and Felton (here's hoping he makes it off that extremely unsanitary mattress very soon); Jessica is picking up boys who are not Hoyt at Fangtasia; Bill is having graphic sex with ladies who are not Ms. Stackhouse; and now, our dear Viking has no memory of who he, or Sookie, or anyone else, might be.

In the climactic closing moments of Episode 2, "You Smell Like Dinner," the members of Marnie's powerful coven -- which includes Lafayette and Jesus -- join hands and summon some seemingly dark presence to take control of Eric, who, at the behest of King Bill, has paid a visit to the Moon Goddess Emporium to inform the witches that their circle will be permanently disbanding. Admittedly, he did ask nicely (well, nice for Eric anyway) before he ended up drinking Marnie's blood and threatening to do worse to Tara, who was attempting to stake him.

It's not long before Sookie -- who'd grown tired of waiting at Fangtasia to confront her new landlord about his presumptuous decision to build himself a "cubby" in her house -- finds him wandering down the road, shirtless and lost and wondering why it is exactly that she smells so good.

That, of course, is where we end up. Where we begin is with poor Jason regaining consciousness and finding himself tied to a rusted bed frame with HotShot's Timbo licking the blood from his head wound. (Strange how that seemed so much less icky when Bill did the same thing to Sookie way back in the show's first season. And Jason describing himself as "more of a Band-Aid kind of guy"? Hilarious.)

Sookie's brother has been abducted for the sake of propagating the bloodline of the local pack of werepanthers, but in order to effectively do so, he first must become one, Crystal explains to him before she and Felton, who's back and as lovely as ever, transform and attack.

Sam gets plenty of transformation time himself -- which allows for some naked flirting with his new lady love Luna and a naked brotherly confrontation with Tommy, who turns up unannounced and learns the true nature of his estranged sibling's "anger-management" group. The Merlotte boys agree to try to repair their relationship, but family woes have beset Terry and Arlene, whose son continues to display a propensity for violence. Nor do things bode well for Jessica and Hoyt, who winds up with a black eye after an altercation with a group of Westboro Baptist Church-style protesters picketing outside Fangtasia.

That flap yielded some of the best dialogue of the evening. As usual, Pam's wry delivery takes the cake as she notes: "Technology has taken all the fun out of being a vampire." Sookie's reference to Eric as a "psychopathic frat boy" certainly deserves an honorable mention, though.  

Fairyland does seem to have agreed with our plucky heroine, who's handling her latest predicament -- that Eric wants her to become "his," an idea to which she is vehemently opposed -- with a certain measure of maturity. Even the tenor of her conversation with Bill, in which she asks him to help her persuade Eric to back off, points to her having undergone a certain amount of personal growth. Funny how a broken heart and a year on an alternate plane can change a girl.

And Bill. We do get to see how he became king, first encountering Nan Flanagan in a flashback to 1980s London when he was sporting a much more punk-rock look, then winning the crown by besting Queen Sophie Anne in a very uneven firefight.

But did he really mean it when he told the AVL spokeswoman that there was nothing special about his ex? Not a chance. Even a cheerleader for Team Eric could see that.


Witches vs. vampires?

'True Blood' episode 1 recap

Full Show Tracker coverage of 'True Blood'

-- Gina McIntyre

Photo credit: Fiona Shaw as Marnie in "True Blood." Credit: HBO