Back for the penultimate episode in its second season run, Frenzy more than lived up to its title, before setting up what will be the final showdown to end all final showdowns. Welcome to the beginning of the end of Bon Temps.
As it’s now universally accepted by the gang – Sookie, Bill, Lafayette, Sam, Jason and Andy – that it’s up to them to destroy Maryann, each comes up with their own way of bringing the fight to the Maenad.
Bill, having gone to Queenie – as haughty as one would expect for a vampire in her position – spent a lovely day playing Yahtzee and declining the smorgasbord of hot young things, before Maryann’s immortality was finally revealed to him, along with the dastardly plan that she’s apparently been trying to carry out for centuries. Not that she’s particularly inept; it’s just a tragic irony that the God that comes almost never shows up.
Queenie does impart one useful piece of information, though. If the Maenad can be convinced the God has indeed shown up, it could be the only chance Bon Temps has to free itself from her debauched grip. All it needs is the perfect vessel, someone supernatural, like everyone’s favorite shifter. Upon hearing this Bill takes his leave, just as Eric arrives in a fantastic show of good timing.
It seems Maryann’s perfect vessel, or Sam as we like to call him, had a similar idea to Bill, and paid a visit to the only other vampires he’s aware of. Still out to impress Sookie, a preening Eric agreed to help after an impassioned plea from the bar owner, helped along by the presence of Arlene’s big-eyed, abandoned progeny.
Clearly over the death of Godric, the Viking vamp continues to pick at the scab of his behavior in Dallas, only to be met with a very serious and very stupid threat from Bill: stay away from Sookie, or Queenie finds out about his V racket.
Back in Bon Temps, Sookie and Lafayette are keeping a very close eye on Tara, who is adamant that she be allowed to rescue Eggs. They, of course, refuse, but she’s learnt from the best, and after some well placed emotional blackmail, Mrs. Tara relents and forces them at gunpoint to release her daughter. She races back to Maryann’s, and after the revelation that Tara brought the Maenad on herself and the town, followed by a swift punch in the face, she’s a minion once more.
Across town, Jason is still in full on Rambo mode, and persuades the usually laconic Detective Andy that it’s down to the two of them to save the town. Stocking up on fire power at the Sheriff’s office, the pair set out for Grandma Stackhouse’s place, and then prepare for the assault by having an open and honest heart to heart. Bless.
True to his current form, Jason gives the pep talk to end all pep talks, and has Andy believing they are the only ones who can make a difference. God help them.
Sookie and Lafayette decide to go after Tara, but the short order cook’s VampPTSD has left him all but useless. Despite fending off Arlene and Terry with the promise of pharmaceuticals, Lafayette is ill-equipped to deal with the Maenad.
After sending Sookie into the house alone, Maryann corners him. He shoots point blank, but the demon deflects the bullet, and it’s bye bye Carl. Luckily for her, Laf is a great cook. Not so lucky for him, as he finally succumbs to the black-eyed madness.
And it’s not so lucky for Sookie, either. Having fended off the advances of the coroner, and deciding to burn her favorite date dress, she is alone in a house full of mental cases preparing for the God’s ‘arrival.’ Which mostly involves destroying Gran’s property and creating a giant nest for a giant egg. An actual egg, as opposed to Tara’s boyfriend. Cornered in the house, Sookie is in some very big trouble. Bill may be back in town paying Sam a surprise visit, but will he be able to hear her distress call?
Racing towards the season finale, Frenzy is yet another superb episode in what has been an excellent series. Filling us in on the whole sordid Maryann deal, as well as revealing that Tara is the cause of all this trouble are the two major events of the episode, but, as always, the show treats them as any other event.
There’s no loud fanfare; no this is what you’ve been waiting for hyperbole, the characters just get on with the job at hand, barely even pausing for thought. Which is just as well. Who has time for thought when, in addition to those little tidbits, we also find out that Eric can fly, Pam hates kids, but he thinks they’re delicious, Mama Fortenberry is some kind of black-eyed psychic, and Lafayette is now a minion! This is surely the worst possible outcome. Maryann can keep the rest of the town, just give us back our Lafayette!
Now, with everyone but Sookie under the influence, the door is wide open for an obsessed Eric to perform a nick-of-time-rescue a la Bill Compton – a fitting ending to the Viking’s season long machinations.
Speaking of season long machinations, the revelation about Tara – following through from her exorcism at the hands of Miss Jeanette last season, is just one reason why books make such great TV series. Clearly, like the novels, the seasons have a very definite beginning and end point, and while not identical to the books, having that structure in place means the series never seems to wander off the point or feel like it has no idea where it’s going, a problem many original shows suffer from. Yes Lost, I’m talking to you.
Anyhoo, with just one episode left, it’s all or nothing for the finale. Will the gang defeat the Maenad? Will Eric get his fangs into Sookie? Can we please have Lafayette back? These questions and more will be answered in less than seven days. The wait will be excruciating, but it’ll definitely be worth it!
Check out our review of episode 10 here.