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'True Blood' recap: Soul survivors

September 5, 2011 |  6:00 am


You just knew Marnie wasn't going to be dispatched quite that easily. In "Soul or Fire," Sunday's penultimate episode of "True Blood's" fourth season, Bill might have managed to take down the witch's body, but she's still hanging around in spirit.

Not that it was so easy for the vampires to get access to Marnie/Antonia and the coven at all. Though Bill, Jessica, Eric and Pam approach the MoonGoddess Emporium with serious weaponry in hand, intending to blow up the whole place and anyone inside, Jason appears and tells them that Sookie is being held captive (along with the others). Instantly, Bill and Eric decide to switch gears, though Pam makes it plain that she's still on board with the original plan, whether Sookie dies or not. Meanwhile, Marnie/Antonia tells the coven that the vampires are coming, Casey panics and tries to leave, only to wind up with a dagger in her chest. Her death outrages Antonia, who leaves Marnie's body, shocked that the witch would kill an innocent member of their own group. However, Marnie binds Antonia to her and, like the other members of the coven, the spirit of the necromancer is powerless to leave.

Stymied by the protective barrier that surrounds the emporium, the vampires are desperate to find a way to either breach the supernatural fence (which is essentially concentrated sunlight) or, alternately, hit upon some way to draw Marnie out to them. They fend off an attack by the sheriffs under Marnie's spell, and at that point, she opts to negotiate. Specifically, she offers to let Sookie go free in exchange for Bill and Eric's lives. They agree to her terms, but Pam, determined to save Eric, disobeys her master, grabs their rocket launcher and fires, the grenade hitting the force field. Fire ricochets back out, burning Jason severely. Jessica heals him with her blood, and a furious Eric orders Pam away. 

Inside, Marnie casts a spell that begins to draw the vampires toward the barrier against their will, but Sookie uses her fairy magic to disband the circle and save them. In retaliation, Marnie conjures a circle of fire around a terrified Sookie. Fortunately, though, Jesus works some magic of his own, just in the nick of time. Using Casey's body, some herbs and some keen assistance from Lafayette, he performs a blood ritual that unbinds Antonia's spirit from Marnie's body. Her liberation undoes Marnie's power. The fire around Sookie is snuffed out, the force field comes down and the vampires enter the Emporium. Roy tries to stand in front of Marnie to protect her, but Eric rips out his heart. Bill shoots Marnie and she slumps to the floor dead, just as she had foreseen minutes earlier in a dark premonition.

Although he's healed, Jason knows that he's destined for more pain (and heartbreak) if he pursues his feelings for Jessica, but he admits that she's the only object of his thoughts. Sookie, too, looks longingly at Bill and Eric, confused by her love for the two vampires. Perhaps she'd be better off with a werewolf -- after all, Alcide's available since things are now officially over between Debbie and him, their relationship imploding thanks to a single, violent altercation between Alcide and Marcus.

The untrustworthy pack master abducts Emma from school, and a distraught Luna shows up at his garage frantically looking for them. Instead, she finds Sam and Alcide, who are, of course, also trying to track down Marcus so that Sam can avenge Tommy's murder. Emma then phones Luna from Alcide's house, where Marcus is trying to convince a reluctant Debbie to come away with him and the little girl to start a new life; Alcide recognizes the number and they immediately head to his home.

Alcide, Sam and Luna burst in and take Emma outside, with Sam and Alcide heading upstairs, where they catch a scantily clad Debbie in Marcus' arms. Sam beats the werewolf almost to death, but it's Alcide who finishes the job, crushing the packmaster's windpipe to prevent him from shooting Sam with his own gun. He then makes it quite plain to a sobbing Debbie that their relationship is over and done with.

And there's more romantic trouble on the horizon for some of the other Bon Temps locals, it seems. On his way home through the woods, Andy encounters a beautiful fairy. The pair make love and she disappears, leaving him to wonder if it was just the V leaving his system (as Arlene suggests) or whether he experienced some true magic. Chances are that encounter is going to have serious future consequences.

But perhaps not as serious as what awaits Lafayette and Jesus, who feels responsible for Marnie's death despite Lafayette's attempts to put his mind at ease. As the pair drifts off to sleep, Lafayette opens his eyes and sees Marnie floating above him only moments before she takes possession of him. And that, naturally, is going to spell trouble.

-- Gina McIntyre

 Photo: Fiona Shaw as Marnie/Antonia in "True Blood" Credit: HBO