When last we left eternal damsel in distress Sookie Stackhouse, she was in dire need of a quick rescue. At the opening of Timebomb, the latest True Blood episode, it’s would-be rapist Gabe who needs rescuing. Sadly for him, Godric, missing sheriff and cause of Sookie’s current predicament, finally steps in and puts an end to Gabe’s desires. Permanently. Starting on a high, Timebomb ends in the stratosphere, in what is quite possibly the best True Blood episode ever.
Covering an enormous amount of ground, the episode brings to a head one of the major arcs of the season, tying up storylines left and right. After rescuing Sookie, Godric orders a newly arrived Eric to take Sookie to the nest, refusing to leave just yet. On the way out, Eric does a passable impression of a human, and then offers himself to the good reverend in exchange for Godric and Sookie’s freedom. Of course, Steve has no intention of letting Sookie go, but by that point Eric is tied down with silver chains and powerless to help her.
Continuing the nick-of-time nature of Sookie rescues, Bill comes flying into the church, having finally subdued Lenora with a 52″ plasma to the head, and threatens to kill all the congregants if they don’t let her go. At which point Jason Stackhouse bursts through another set of doors, doing his best Rambo impression (if Rambo had been unable to get his hands on live ammo) and shoots the good reverend right between the eyes with a paint ball gun. The very gun that Lady Sarah shot him with earlier in the evening – apparently she doesn’t know where Steve keeps his enormous gun collection.
As if all this wasn’t more excitement than the church has seen in a good while, the Dallas vamps arrive en mass, ready for an all you can eat buffet. Before the feast can begin, Godric once again appears out of nowhere, and orders Stan to stand down. It seems the ancient vamp just wants everybody to get along – he even lets the good reverend live. Not a good idea.
Now the gang’s back together, it’s time for a low key gathering at the Dallas nest, where Eric’s interest in Sookie is all too clear, prompting Bill to warn him to stay away, and wouldn’t you know it, even more unexpected arrivals abound.
First up, the vile Lenora, who having started out as an intriguing character, has rapidly become an annoyingly stuck record. Fully recovered from her plasma-inflicted injuries, she makes a ridiculous play for Bill, then turns her ire on Sookie. For the second time that evening, Godric intervenes at the crucial moment, and orders Lenora to leave the nest and the state. Sookie is indeed popular with the male vamps, but she’s not the only Stackhouse in their sights. Both Godric and Eric have taken a shine to the boy thanks to his Sookie-saving heroics; even Bill graciously accepts Jason’s apology and bear hug, and suddenly everything is right at the Dallas nest. That is, until the second uninvited guest arrives.
Just as unwelcome as Lenora, but far more dangerous, the Luke-inator has made the stupidest decision of his soon to be over life, but clearly intends for several other lives to soon be over. Silly, silly boy.
Over in Bon Temps, Maryann is running riot. Wth Sookie and the fangs out of the way, the maenad is manipulating the hell out of everyone. Framing Sam for murder is among the more serious manipulations, with the sodomy of a pine tree at the other end of the scale. Either way, it’s a night in jail for Sam, as Daphne’s body, sans heart, mysteriously turns up in the walk-in fridge at Merlotte’s, as does the Sheriff not three minutes after Sam. Despite Andy’s attempt to corroborate Sam’s innocence, his claims that the real murderer is a bull, in a dress, with claws do not help. Still, bless him for trying.
Framing a guy for murder might be an extreme way to get rid of Sam, but the lengths to which Maryann will go to keep Tara and Eggs are so far past extreme it’s frightening. Aware that the couple is concerned by their blackouts, Maryann promises that they’ll cut down on the partying before feeding them ‘Hunter’s Soufflé’ which counts among its ingredients the heart of Daphne. Blind to the profuse amount of blood pouring out of the soufflé, Tara and Eggs greedily devour every last mouthful of Daphne, before slapping each other around in a cannibalistic rush of adrenaline. Maryann has officially become disturbing.
All this cannibalistic lust is in stark contrast to the continually sweet Hoyt and Jess who consummate their relationship before discovering that they’ll have to constantly consummate the relationship, being that everything heals when you’re a vampire. Jess will be an eternal virgin, surely the very definition of injustice.
Timebomb is, without doubt, the perfect example of a True Blood episode. Tons of story, tons of revelations and more jeopardy than can possibly be healthy for an engrossed audience, the pace doesn’t let up for a second. As always, there are more incredible performances than you can shake a stick at, but it’s Allan Hyde’s portrayal of the serene Godric that stands out. At a mere 20 years old, Hyde has managed to imbue the vampire with a maturity and menace that befits a 2000-year old being, and is, frankly, revelatory.
In an episode full of highlights, finally seeing Sookie in a less winsome light was fantastic, and Jason’s about face was a delight to behold, particularly his description of Steve’s brainwashing technique: “It’s like he sucked out my brains and planted his own little babies in there.” Clearly, the man knows nothing about biology, but he certainly has a way with words.
With the Godric mystery done and dusted, Jason back to normal, and Lorena on her way out, all that’s left to do is deal with Maryann – providing anyone makes it out of Dallas. There are only four episodes left in what, so far, has been a superb run, so it’s a pretty good bet that the home stretch will be just as amazing.
Check out our review of episode 7 here.