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'True Blood' recap: Mystics, mayhem and making out on the front lawn

July 25, 2011 |  6:00 am

True Blood - Holly
 Thou shalt not kill is one of the most widely accepted of the Ten Commandments — it's hard to find people who think murder should be sanctioned (except maybe on Showtime's "Dexter," but that's a conversation for another time). Still, it's difficult to grieve for Joe Lee Mickens, he with the penchant for unclean underwear and brutal dogfighting, who is killed by his son Tommy at the start of Sunday's episode. 

Tommy strangles Joe Lee with a choke chain before bashing in his head. Unfortunately, Melinda comes between them during the scuffle  and Tommy inadvertently deals her a fatal blow as well. Panicked, he decides to head to Sam's for help, throwing the bodies in his van. The brothers opt to dump the remains in the swamp, but on their way, Andy Bellefleur (hopped up on V, naturally) pulls Sam over for speeding. Spotting blood on the door, he demands Sam open the back of the van.

When he finally agrees, Tommy, who had been at the ready to brain Andy with a shovel, has transformed into an alligator, scaring the bejesus out of Andy and giving the Merlotte boys the perfect cover for their ride to the swamp. They're simply taking a lost gator back home.

The Cheat Sheet: Who's who in 'True Blood' Season 4

Tommy and Sam do have a moment of fraternal connection, though, when Sam reveals to his wayward sibling that he killed two people who stole from him, figuring that if they could break a commandment so could he. And just as Tommy and Sam are bonding, Marnie is finding a different kind of connection to the spirit that possesses her to perform powerful magic. Turns out, according to one of the four remaining sheriffs that King Bill convenes to talk anti-spell strategy, she's a necromancer named Antonia who was burned at the stake in 1610, at which point she summoned the local vamps from their daytime slumber out into the sun to meet the true death.

Hearing the tales, Pam becomes overwhelmed with her desire to harm Marnie, who by this time has escaped from the woods where she performed the rotting spell that disfigured Eric's progeny, given Sookie a reading in which her departed Gran warns her not to give her heart to the man with whom she's falling in love — ahem — and been abducted by Bill's strike-force security team. (When did he get those holding cells and cameras installed in the house again?) Pam starts to list the witch's offenses and lets word slip that Eric has had his memory erased and is hiding out at Sookie's. Bill takes the news looking confused and wounded, though arguably less wounded than he would have been had he known that at the same moment Eric and Sookie were locking lips on her front lawn.

Of course, that was after plenty of sweet-natured bonding, which began after Eric has a disturbing dream in which his departed maker Godric is instructing him in the ways of vampirism. He tells Eric that he is a creature of death who is incapable of love and encourages him to feast on Sookie's delicious blood. Waking, Eric goes into Sookie's room and tells her about the nightmare, asking if he can remain with her until morning. She agrees, provided he keep his hands and his fangs to himself. "I will never hurt anyone as beautiful as you," he tells her.

But he learns, before too long, that he has caused her great pain — it's an enraged, terrified Tara who enlightens him. Tara had been telling Sookie about her girlfriend Naomi and how she'd been lying to her, and Sookie, nervously glancing around the room as the sun set, knowing that Eric would be likely to emerge at any moment, encouraged Tara to go to her immediately to confess everything. The support session is cut short when Eric does emerge, and Tara pointedly calls Sookie a hypocrite for extolling honesty when she's hiding someone in her house who turned her over to Russell Edgington, tricked her into drinking his blood and locked Lafayette in a dungeon for days on end. Eric is crushed to know his capacity for cruelty, but Sookie insists that there is goodness in him. And before long, they're kissing.

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It's mostly troubled romance — is there any other kind in Bon Temps? — for the remainder of the locals. Jason has a pretty disturbing sex dream about Jessica/Hoyt after ingesting Jessica's healing blood, while Arlene and Terry continue to be dumbfounded by the evil presence in their home, calling in the Rev. Daniels and his new wife, Lettie Mae, for some divine intervention, as Terry quips "like in 'Poltergeist.' " The plan doesn't work too well, though, with a book of matches mysteriously igniting as the couple fall asleep.

Lafayette and Jesus travel to see Jesus' shaman grandfather, who we learn in flashback forced his grandson as a 9-year-old to kill a goat to attain mystical power. Jesus figures that's exactly the kind of power they need to harness now to ward off angry vampire attacks and they travel to Mexico to meet the grizzled magic man. He tells them he'd been expecting them, yet seems anything but welcoming.

Unwelcome too is the intrusion of the new Shreveport pack master into Alcide's affairs, not to mention Portia's sexual advances toward Bill. The vampire glamors his distant relation so that she will no longer find him attractive. In fact, she now has an uncontrollable desire to scream and run away when she sees him.

Wonder if Bill would have the same reaction if he were to learn what's happening over at Sookie's house right about now?


Last week on 'True Blood'...

Meet Kevin Alejandro: 'True Blood' has a magic man

Comic-Con 2011: 'True Blood' creator Alan Ball lets secrets slip

— Gina McIntyre

Photo: Lauren Bowles as Holly in 'True Blood'; since she doesn't get much screen time this episode, seemed right to include her in some way. Credit: HBO.