Guys, everyone can relax! "True Blood"'s greatest mystery has been solved. We finally know how Bill met his wife. You know, Bill's wife? The one who died in the 19th century and whose name I can never remember because WHY WOULD I??? Anyway, her name is Caroline. I know this now, thanks to this episode's remarkably unnecessary flashbacks. Do the "True Blood" writers know that they don't have to fill the whole hour? There were plenty of episodes of "Deadwood" that only ran to the 50-minute mark. Do they think HBO will charge them some sort of tax if they don't hit the 60 minutes by any (boring) means possible?
If there's a running theme in this episode, it's that everyone is Bon Temps is miserable. I guess they've reached their breaking point in having endless traumas heaped upon them by unseen puppet masters/showrunners: Sam is seriously considering leaving town, and Arlene confesses that she's only pretending to be happy. Andy admits he feels powerless to protect his family, which fair enough, considering they are in constant danger. Everyone in Bon Temps should probably follow Nicole's lead and get the hell out of Dodge.
VAMPIRE KEITH WATCH: Arlene finally has an erotic Keith dream! Can I just take a minute to say what a good performance Carrie Preston has given as Arlene all these years? This is a character who has often been unlikeable, yet Preston has really gotten me invested in her happiness. Anyway, Keith eventually arrives at Bellefleur's for real, is totally understanding about Arlene's Hep V positive status, and sweetly slow-dances with her. Vampire Keith is a good dude, despite his tendency to wear sleeveless jean jackets.
Violet spirits Adilyn and Wade to her actual sex dungeon, so that the happy couple can make use of all of Violet's sex toys. Surprisingly, this leads to a pretty cute scene, as Adilyn reads Wade's mind to find that he's as disinterested in all the marital aids as she is. They giggle nervously and Wade admits he's a virgin. It's all very sweet, and reminded me a bit of Jessica and Hoyt's consummation way back in season 2 (the show's best season!). It all goes pear-shaped when the sun goes down, as Violet shows up to murder them in a ridiculously ugly dress -- it's Jessica to the rescue, presumably next episode.
Speaking of Hoyt, he's back in town with his hot Alaskan girlfriend, Brigette, in tow. He still doesn't remember Jason, but Jason immediately gets a boner for Brigette, and OH MAN am I invested in Jason and Brigette having sex. C'mon, imagine how hilarious that would be! "I mind-wiped my best friend so he'd forget I banged his girlfriend, but then I banged his next girlfriend as soon as they came back to town." That would be CLASSIC Jason Stackhouse. This is the sort of stupid/genius "True Blood" idea I can get behind.
Over in Pam and Eric Land, Sarah's sister admits Sarah is the Hep V cure right before Eric kills her for no reason, eliminating their one lead. It's cool, though, because now that Yakamoto knows Sarah is the antidote, he plans to synthesize her blood into a new curative, NuBlood, and he wants Eric to be the new product's spokesperson. Please, "True Blood," allow Eric to live long enough to film his first commercial spot for NuBlood. Do me this solid and I will forgive you... well, not everything, but a lot.
Yakamoto is able to find Sarah, thanks to satelites. Wait, what? Look, I'm as concerned about our surveillance state as anyone (ok, probably not as much as Glenn Greenwald), but I don't think you can just type "Sarah Newlin" into a computer and have a satellite immediately spot her. Regardless, Sarah spends the episode yelling at hallucinations of her past lovers, including shirtless Jason (you're welcome, ladies) and her old husband Steve, because this is Cameo Season, dammit. Why is Sarah hallucinating? As the great philosopher Master Shake once said, "Why is anything ANYTHING?" Let's just go with "She's crazy."
Sookie and Jessica spend the episode fretting about Bill's rapid illness. "Why is it happening so fast?" asks Sookie. "Because we're already on Episode 7 and we need some dramatic stakes," Bill does not reply, sadly. Sookie gets so desperate she pleads for Rutger Hauer to appear, and he does, just to tell Sookie that Bill is all wrong for her. You're preaching to the choir, buddy.
Rutger Hauer gives his own version of the "theromdynamic miracle" speech from "Watchmen" and tells Sookie to forgive herself. Somehow this convinces Sookie to burst into Bill's house and have distinctly unerotic sex with him in front of a fire.
I'm honestly surprised they pulled the trigger on the Sookie/Bill romance so soon, since that's really the only major card the writers had left to play. Now I'm not sure what anyone could still be looking forward to, other than the inevitable "everyone gets cured of Hep V" plot point. Maybe the disenchanted citizens of Bon Temps will burn the town to the ground and salt the earth! A man can dream.
Jeff Stone loves cartoons, wrestling and hour-long prestige cable dramas. You can follow him on Twitter @WheelbearGo.