6. Hard-Hearted Hannah
After a couple of episodes that by True Blood standards could be considered slow, season two kicked up a gear this week with Hard-Hearted Hannah. Deepening the mystery considerably, episode six also has more than its fair share of revelations.
Kicking off in Dallas where poor Eric has become very touchy about his age – he literally mentions it every week – we discover that the mystery vamp trolling the hotel corridors at the end of last week’s episode just happens to be Bill’s maker. In Dallas at Eric’s behest, Lorena has one purpose: to separate Bill and Sookie. Eric finally admits that he wants Sookie, and is under the impression that Lorena is the best way to get her.
It seems that Bill and his maker’s relationship back in the 20s generally involved pretending to be French, and robbing and feeding on unsuspecting flappers. Kind of a blood-sucking Bonnie and Clyde.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the well-mannered Southern gentleman vamp we’ve come to know is a fairly recent development – prohibition-era Bill was a very different vampire, indeed. Despite his newfound angst, Marina still loves him, and as Eric has proved, vamps are incredibly loyal to their makers. Although that loyalty probably has something to do with the fact that vamps are powerless against their makers, leaving Bill pinned to the bed.
Handily for Eric, Sookie’s planned trip to the Light of Day Institute goes just a tad awry. Passing as the fiancée of Hugo, the human boyfriend of one of the Dallas vamps, the ‘couple’ walks straight into a trap. The good reverend has some very useful sources, and was informed in advance of Sookie’s imminent arrival. She hears it too late, and the pair is bundled into the basement of the church, with a little help from the scary drill instructor – with Bill unable to execute a nick-of-time rescue, Sookie is in for a tense few hours.
Kidnapping Sookie isn’t the only criminal act the minister has planned for the weekend, though, oh no. Having charged Jason and a de-clawed Luke-inator with building a platform and crucifix for the sacrifice of a vampire, Steve is ready to fire the first shot in the war he so desperately wants. Thanks to the good reverend’s sudden lust for blood, the first lady has consulted with God and decided that it’s her destiny to be the great woman behind the great man that is Jason Stackhouse, and not Steve Newlin. Which is just as well, because Jason just can’t get behind the whole abstinence thing. And if it’s what God wants, what’s a man-whore to do?
Continuing the semi-revelatory nature of the episode, Sam, Tara and Eggs each find out something they probably wish they hadn’t, culminating in what could be a very bloody end for poor Sam.
Through a contrived (by Maryann) boiler-related road trip, Tara and Eggs take a drive and somehow end up at a campsite in the woods, complete with bloody clothes and a what would appear to be a blood-covered sacrificial stone. Despite leading them there, Eggs is adamant that he’s never been to the site before, and has no idea how he knows its location or what went on there.
They leave for home immediately and arrive to find the place trashed – Maryann is having another one of her parties. The pair follow a trail of clothes to a clearing in the woods, and walk into a full on Bon Temps orgy, with Maryann at the centre.
Meanwhile, the too good to be true Daphne reveals that she is, in fact, just that. After shifting into an all too familiar pig, she takes Sam to Maryann’s orgy. Or rather, drags him there against his will. Seeing the whole town – including Tara and Eggs – all demon-eyed and naked would be bad enough, but that’s the least of his worries. It seems the good reverend, and Bon Temps own pagan god have more in common than they’d like to think, being as they’re both in the sacrificial mood.
Intriguing as always, Hard-Hearted Hannah gives us just enough new information to keep us guessing, but doesn’t really give any definitive answers – just the way a supernatural mystery is supposed to play out.
Putting both Sam and Sookie in danger with no obvious form of rescue apparent for either is fantastic, but it’s unlikely we’ll lose either of them – although it would be a brave move.
What’s most intriguing about this episode is, as always, Maryann. Whatever she’s up to, it became clear this week that she’s been planning it for a while now – Daphne finally mentions the attack that left her scarred, and it places the beast’s arrival in town weeks before.
The question is, why Bon Temps? And what’s her interest in Sam – can he really be that special? Somehow the only two residents of Bon Temps not under her influence – Sookie and the incredibly sweet Hoyt – are the only two intimately involved with vampires. Coincidence?
With only six episodes left in the series, the answers to these questions are tantalizingly close, and it’s excruciating. In the best possible way, of course.
Check out our review of episode 5 here.