TONIGHT ON DR. PHIL: LIFE MATTERS
Sookie and Bill have found Benlow on the fairy side of the cemetery. Bill wants to take Benlow to save the vampires at Vamp Camp, but Sookie won’t allow it. She blasts Bill back onto our plane with a fairy glitter bomb, while in the fairy plane she is chewing on her own wrist to get the blood flowing to save Benlow for: No one knows or cares. Bill zips off to Vamp Camp while– oh, gag. There are plenty of splats and deaths in this installment, but Sookie gnawing on one of her own limbs like an animal trying to chew its way out of a trap– this is my personal Moment of Squick™. At one point she just hands her wrist off to him like she’s giving someone their plate at Merlotte’s. Eeww, let’s get it over with so we can cut to the opening credits:
OK so that wasn’t the opening credits. The credits, like many other characters and plot lines, are Not In This Episode. Edward Cullen Benlow, for example, is Not In This Episode. He is still sitting in the fairy plane of existence because… I’m not certain. Does anyone remember why he’s hanging out in a glitter cemetery asking to be tied up and… oh never mind. I guess if I never had to pee, and had nightly conjugal visits with delicious complimentary Sookie Snacks™, I’d want to be tied up there, too. Sookie assures him that she intends to keep her promise to be his fairy vampire bride. She leaves him there and exits Sparklepire Vacation Zone right into Terry’s funeral, and no one sees even though it’s right out in the open.
Terry’s Funeral AKA The Masochism Tango: Sookie takes a seat next to Hoyt’s mom, Mrs. Fortenberry, and Jane “Barfly” Bodehouse, because I know that when I attend a military funeral, I want to make sure I’m sitting with the town gossip and the town drunk. To be fair, it didn’t look like there were a lot of seats left. Speaking of the town drunk, Jane looks like she might be kind of sober. Someone should have told her this wasn’t the AA meeting she was looking for.
Mrs. Fortenberry says that Hoyt (who is really Not In This Episode) is doing well in Alaska with a new girlfriend who is Not a Vampire. Alcide is Not In This Episode, but for some reason he is at Terry’s service. He throws himself at Sookie one more time. Unfortunately, the only action our wolf will get will be some cougar time with Hoyt’s mom and Barfly Jane. Sookie won’t even let him sit next to her! Alcide retreats with his tail between his legs (or was that a gun in his pocket?) while the Dingleberries (Jane & Hoyt’s mom) talk about how good he smells.
Before anyone jumps on me for yuking it up during Terry’s funeral, I want to point out that this, like other TV and film military funerals, was AGONIZING to watch. It’s probably just an American thing. Couple that with the fact that we don’t really see a lot of funerals, graves, or even mourning in this show, this was a gut-wrenching very special episode on what is usually a popcorn ride on Sunday nights. If I don’t laugh I’ll cry, and I won’t be able to nip on Miss Barfly’s hip flask, which I stole from her pocket while Alcide distracted her for me. Also, if we get too misty-eyed, Terry’s grandmother is in the crowd making loud, inappropriate comments at regular intervals, just like me many people do in real life.
This also seems like a good time to discuss proper attire at redneck funerals. I think the hyper-formal clothing in fictional funerals is to emphasize that they are, in fact, at a funeral. Most times in my neck of the woods, people don’t go all out with hats and veils like they did in this episode. In fact, anything casual without writing on it is generally OK if it’s clean and relatively nice looking. Don’ts would include things like, don’t show up in a Coors baseball cap, chewing gum and carrying PBR in a beer cozie. This is in bad taste regardless of the venue.
Don’t wear some trashy mini-dress that makes it look like you are there to pick up men. Take Sookie’s dress, for example. Her dress looks like it came from K-Mart, and she looks like a cheap call girl. That zipper was huge– it shone brighter than the sun, and it was all I could look at when she went back to her seat after doing her little Terry speech. This is why Alcide tried to pick her up first; he wanted to win one for the Zipper. But don’t worry about Alcide; after we drained that hip flask, the Dingleberry Cougars were looking really good to him.
Trust Lafayette for tips on how to look FINE at any occasion. Can I have an AMEN for that sharp suit and coordinating eye makeup? From here we are treated to soliloquies and memory scenes about Terry, who is Not In This Episode (but Portia is– Yay Portia!). Terry is shown as he was when he first got back from military service, fishing and his job interview with Sam, easing in to making fries with Lafayette, the first time he met Arlene, and when Mikey was born. Probably the most poignant scene was when he made them throw back a catfish on the fishing trip, saying every life matters.
Out of nowhere, a man named Big John Dixon appears, and that’s where it all starts to come together.
Meanwhile, back at the camp: Eric has arrived and laid waste to many of the guards and other personnel outside. Bill (this week coming to you as Captain Obvious) arrives a day late and a dollar short as usual. He says “Eric” as he follows the trail of bodies, just in case you have never watched this show, or if you might think Russell Edgington has somehow made another comeback.
Eric has gone into full Terrifying Viking Vampire God mode, but he is so calm at the same time. He’s just carrying around body parts like it ain’t no thang, opening doors and setting vampires free. Wait– I thought Lillith said Benlow was supposed to be the salvation of vampires, or this was Bill’s job. I can’t remember. If you want something done right, I guess you just have to do it yourself. And without any further a-do, ladies and gentlemen, I give ALL of us a Big Moment of Squick™:
Using the body parts as a key to get past security checks, his first stop is with the resident Evil Scientist, who gave Nora (Not In This Episode) Hep V and made Eric watch. After these two arch-nemeses greet each other, Eric zips over and rips the guy’s heart out as is his customary MO — I mean Eric rips Evil Scientist’s meat and two berries OFF, HE RIPS THE GUY’S SAUSAGE AND EGGS OFF, with all the squishing and cracking… and men watching last night barfing and clutching their crotches lest Eric take their happy parts, too. Bill finds Evil Scientist and kills him later, but only after a really STUPID conversation. *Take a breath folks* No doubt Theon Greyjoy could add some pertinent commentary here, but let’s move on and try not to look at the SEVERED PENIS AND OTHER ASSORTED SQUISHY BLOODY MANCESSORIES ON THE FLOOR and let’s get ourselves into the next room ASAP.
Eric enters the vampire men’s unit with gusto and flair, and shows them the door. He feels like the severed hand (Is that you, Jaime?) is holding him back, so he takes out the little unlocky-chip and dumps the hand. One young-looking vampire won’t leave because his maker is in one of the sleeping compartments. Eric opens it to find a vampire dying of Hep V. Eric seems almost sympathetic, but he tells the young vamp that his maker is dying and that he should probably go.
I’m not sure what the point of that was when we’ve never seen this young vampire before. Will he show up later? Will he die in the sun? I don’t understand why they added that bit. However, in a world where sparklepires are making a comeback, and it’s STILL a better love story than Twilight, why nitpick over “understanding?” Anyway, Bill is maneuvering through the halls, passing vampires torturing humans the way they had been tortured, but he just can’t seem to catch up to Eric, who has found the lady vampire cell.
The lady vampires quickly exit, leaving behind– Jason Stackhouse, ladies and gentlemen! Let’s have some applause for the dumbest cop in Bon Temps! Left to be eaten by starving captive vampires, Jason was almost Not In This Episode, and Eric seems genuinely amused to see him. Jason looks like he may be dying, but Eric is willing to let bygones be bygones as he gives him Eric Blood Extra-Strength Formula (Eric has Benlow powers right now, remember?). Jason may be an occasional bigot, but since Eric did not stop by city planning to get the floor plans to Vamp Camp, Jason will be his guide. Jason is up and around in no time, high-fiving dead guards, just as Sarah Newlin emerges from a pile of dead bodies and begins to run out.
Next Eric finds the fat therapist who has been having sessions and sex with Pam. This is why Eric is a hero, and Bill could save all vampires AND humans but still be a summer’s eve canoe. When the therapist reveals that he had sex with Pam, Eric takes out the therapist’s Bausch & Lomb Anti-Glamour Contact Lenses in a nanosecond, then glamours the therapist to see if it’s true. Eric is visibly shaken when he finds out it’s the truth, and if we still had any doubts about him loving Pam, we shouldn’t now. Eric saves the therapist so Pam can kill him– not just for doing the nasty with her, but for wearing an ugly sweater in Louisiana.
But before we can get to that, we hear a familiar scream– Let’s have some more applause for Ginger, ladies and gentlemen! It’s that OTHER blonde waitress who vampires love for no apparent reason! Ginger is Never In Any Episode, including this one, and is really only good for screaming. Eric is fond of her, though, and bless his little black heart, he rescues Ginger too. Then Bill finds a human to guide him to the sun room as Sarah Newlin climbs the tower steps to open the top and kill all the vampires inside. The sunroof cracks open, we peek inside…
…aaaand it’s Bill Compton! Bill Compton, let’s have some more applause for the biggest vampire tool in Louisiana! Bill realized earlier he could feed himself to the vampires in the sun room and save them from burning. All the vampires in the sun room have drunk from Bill, getting a good taste of that old time SPF– except Steve Newlin. Steve is scrambling for a taste of Bill to survive, but Eric catches him and won’t let him drink, not even when Bill begs him to do so. Eric holds Steve in the light as he burns. He sees Sarah at the top, and he screams “I love you– JASON STACKHOUSE!” as he turns into fiery, gooey ash.
(Don’t stop and ask if it would have been easier to just let the vampires out and give them the blood for the ride home or anything like that. Remember what I said about “understanding?”)
The other vampires dance around in the sun, eventually migrating outdoors to mingle, and destroy the cases of True Blood contaminated with Hep V. Aren’t they forgetting something? Jason is disturbed enough by Steve’s declaration of love and sun splattering to go outside and have a cigarette. He sees Sarah Newlin, and that’s where it all starts to come together.
Oh, yeah. It’s all coming together. Remember Big John way up there? I don’t either, but he says a few words about Terry back at the funeral, and he sings a song called “Life Matters.” At Vamp Camp, Jason finds Sarah Newlin and chases her outside. These two sequences were threaded together to pull the two stories together, and created a lovely little bit of soundtrack dissonance. As Big John sings, Jason catches Sarah, but decides to let her go because he doesn’t want any more blood on his hands. That’s never come back to bite anyone in the ass, has it?
Eric is all business as the vampires continue to destroy the True Blood, but I can’t help feeling like we’ve forgotten something… Oh, yeah, that tool Bill. He’s lying on the floor while the Lillith Trio try to pull him to death, but Jessica finally remembers she left her wallet inside. She goes back, notices Bill is dying and stands against the glass when she could just walk inside. She finally remembers there is a door in there and she and her hunky boyfriend go inside to save him.
Suddenly, it’s night, and hungry vampires steal the one shipment of contaminated True Blood, dooming hundreds to a horrible Hep V death! But then, it’s daylight again! (Don’t get the Dramamine; I promise you we are almost done, that was the last of the logic whiplash. Oh, look, it’s in Honolulu. That totally makes sense.)
Back in the daylight, the funeral concludes with a gun salute, Taps, and the marines presenting Arlene with the flag. At the camp, Pam and Eric exchange glances– and Eric flies off to destinations uncertain.