When Lafayette first appeared on my screen, I knew I would love this guy. I had no idea he was in for so many changes over the next 4 seasons.
Lafayette is the Bon Temps resident homosexual, a gay fish in a very straight small town pond. Make no mistake, he is a big fish. He is the local V dealer, sometimes selling marijuana as well. He runs an adult webcam site, one in which he manages to get Jason Stackhouse to appear for pay in the form of V. He has a prostitute-type relationship with the V donor, Vampire Eddie, so all the V sales are profit. He also has male prostitute relationships with others for money. Lafayette works as a cook at Merlotte’s and on the road crew with Jason and Hoyt. He is a self declared entrepreneur. Obviously, there really isn’t any rest for the wicked.
Now just because someone resorts to wicked ways doesn’t necessarily mean that person isn’t good natured. This is one of the charms of Lafayette. He does some questionable things to make money but you know he really is a good guy. He does what he has to in order to support himself.
Lafayette is a good guy with bad habits. This is clear when his cousin Tara is hit in the head with a liquor bottle by her mother and shows up at Lafayette’s house for shelter and counsel. Counsel is loosely used here as it’s more like ‘have some pills, smoke some weed and have a beer, and then everything will be better for the time being’.
He is also one that is not afraid to stand up for himself nor afraid to help his family. We are shown this many times in season one. The AIDS burger incident where Lafayette is being verbally attacked for his sexuality by patrons of the bar is the “stand out” moment for this man. Here, he takes action without fear of retribution.
Again this sweet-heartedness is demonstrated by his concern when Eddie goes missing. I saw this concern and thought it wasn’t for being caught or somehow being arrested for illegal activity. He genuinely seemed to like the guy and thought their business arrangement was also somewhat on a friendly level.
The basic decency is critical to understanding this characters development over the next season.
Season two finds Lafayette kidnapped by Eric because of his dealing V. You literally feel his terror at this situation. (I was just relieved it wasn’t him in the back of that car!) Now we are seeing the part Lafayette that has been traumatized. He has been through the ringer and turns into PTSD. We no longer see him as that wild and crazy guy, we see him in the darkest places, living in fear of Eric and being drawn to him somehow. He becomes closer to Terry during this time since Terry is afflicted by PTSD from his war experience.
Lafayette finds himself helping Tara out again but this time, it gets him caught in the middle of Maryann’s schemes. This furthers the fact that Lafayette is still that golden savior to many. He admits that he doesn’t want to know what happened while Maryann had control.
At this point, one cannot help but feel bad for the guy. Could he be handed more difficult situations that not only test his strength but also his dedication to his friends and family.
In season three, we realize his storm isn’t anywhere near being over. He ends up having to not only help Tara deal with the loss of Eggs and her mental breakdown, he also now has to admit his mother, Ruby Jean, isn’t dead after all, she’s just crazy. She’s crazy and at the mental hospital.
The mental hospital is apparently the place to meet hunky gay male nurses since Lafayette catches the eye of Ruby Jean’s nurse, Jesus. Poor Lafayette might have found a light at the end of the tunnel! Let the love grow!
He is still under Eric’s orders to sell V and still scared of him too. Eric tries to make a kind gesture by “paying” Lafayette in the form of a new sports car but he still doesn’t fully trust Eric. Eric comes to Lafayette’s rescue in Hotshot when he is out trying to sell V to the small neighboring community. Still, there is a mild air of distrust but it seems as though the overall fear has subsided.
After his car is destroyed by residents of Hotshot because of his sexuality, or maybe that he is a drug dealer that happens to be gay, Jesus finds out about Lafayette dealing V & walks out on him. Sigh. Why can’t he catch a break?
Later, the two are reunited when Ruby Jean escapes to visit Lafayette. He convinces Jesus to try V with him after Jesus witnesses the “power” of V when they help Calvin Norris from being beat to death by Sam. While taking V together, Lafayette learns both he and Jesus’ ancestors practiced magic. While Jesus finds some kind of freedom in this knowledge, Lafayette is terrorized with hallucinations. Jesus explains it just means they are both witches.
Jump ahead a year and we find Lafayette & Jesus living together at the start of season four. Oh joy! He’s finally in a happy place! Oh, wait. This is True Blood. No one seems to stay happy around Bon Temps.
Jesus is trying to get Lafayette to join him in attending a local coven. Jesus truly believes this is a gift but Lafayette feels otherwise. Reluctantly, he finally agrees and they go to the meeting. The coven leader, Marnie, freaks Lafayette out completely when she starts channeling Eddie. He thinks Jesus told Marnie about it when in fact, Marnie knew on her own. Jesus tries to explain all of this but La-La isn’t having it. He cannot understand why Jesus would want him to join what he sees as a cult.
After another trip to the coven, Marnie tries to resurrect her dead bird. Lafayette attempts to just sit back and watch but is coerced into joining hands. Here, we are shown a bit of the power Lafayette possesses.
On another trip to the coven, Eric interrupts & since Lafayette is still haunted by his experience with Eric, he joins hands with the witches yet again to help ward Eric off. The spell is the one that wiped Eric’s memory.
Feeling the heat of the possible backlash from Eric or his progeny Pam, Lafayette goes to Fangtasia to seek some type of amnesty. Instead he finds himself in the basement in need of rescue. He promises Pam he will bring her Marnie in turn that no harm will come to him or his loved ones.
Yet again, we are seeing the heart of this man. Lafayette seems to be forever finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wants to be left alone to live his life with his significant other. He wants them to live happily ever after. Apparently, this is not the right show for the fairy tale endings.
During a chant that should reverse the spell on Eric, Marnie gets a little peeved at Pam’s nagging and melts her face instead of finishing the spell. This is when Jesus and Lafayette decide it’s time to get out of town and head for Mexico. As it turns out, this place is no safer than anywhere else.
They head back to Bon Temps & Lafayette keeps having hallucinations. Now he is seeing a distraught Mavis, the ghost of Mavis actually. Since Lafayette now seems to have the power of the craft, he also seems to be a medium. Mavis possess Lafayette and goes after Arlene’s baby boy, Mikey, thinking she is holding her own baby. We are no longer looking at Lafayette, we are seeing Mavis.
Jesus arrives and appropriately saves Lafayette from his possession by Mavis. Just when you think its safe, Lafayette ends up involved in more of Marnie’s shenanigans.
Marnie, in an attempt to destroy vampires, is killed by gunshot by Bill. Lafayette and Jesus get home and go to bed. Lafayette tries to go to sleep but opens his eyes to see the spirit of Marnie hovering above him. She takes possession of Lafayette via his gaping mouth.
Marnie reveals herself as possessing Lafayette to Jesus. She stabs him with a fork and ties him to a chair. She wants to take the demon force that Jesus has for herself and convinces Jesus to give up this force by threatening to kill Lafayette as she possesses him. After Jesus agrees, Marnie-Lafayette stabs him in the chest, and then licks the blood off the knife allowing the demon spirit’s powers to be transferred into Lafayette.
While still possessed, Marnie-Lafayette kidnaps Bill and Eric and ties them to a stake. Even though Tara, Sookie, Holly and others try to convince him/her to stop, Marnie-Lafayette lights the fire beneath Eric and Bill. Sookie pushes Lafayette into a circle created by Holly with her powers and we see the demon face take over Lafayette’s. A chant brings spirits over to assist in getting Marnie to let go of Lafayette. The spirit of Sookie’s Gran actually pulls Marnie out of Lafayette’s body.
Again, the season ends with a distraught Lafayette mourning what he did to Jesus. He very much blames himself for what Marnie made him do during the possession. While Tara can’t comfort him, Jesus’ spirit comes to Lafayette and tells Lafayette that he is fine with what happened and places no blame with him.
As you can see, Lafayette has been through quite a bit in the last few years. He brings humor to awful situations. He tries to make people smile. He also attempts to ensure the safety of those he loves. You are not going to find a good guy wearing a white hat here. If you want a good guy in True Blood, Lafayette is the good guy in gold pants.