"True Blood" 4x12: A sexy, bloody end to season four

In the season finale, Sookie finally makes her call -- just not the one either of her suitors expected


Erin Keane
September 12, 2011 3:59PM (UTC)

Season finale! Witch Marnie is dead, but her spirit has invaded Lafayette's body and now she's inside of him, having breakfast with Jesus before work. Jesus apologizes to Lafayette for pushing him into the blood magic before he was ready, but Marnie just twitches Lafayette a little, trying not to betray her possession. Stating the obvious here, but it must really suck to be a medium if you can be snuggled in your animal-print bedding after a long day of slaying necromancers and end up possessed by a crazy witch without so much as a hangnail for a blood offering. How does Lafayette even walk down the street in Bon Temps without being violently overtaken by every tortured sap wandering out of Sam's rental slums? Jesus offers to "lead a magic-free life" if Lafayette wants, but when he goes in for a kiss he can totally taste Marnie's cherry chapstick and he knows. Marnie tsk-tsks him and stabs his hand to the bone with a fork. Real bad things with you! 

Over at the Stackhouse, Sookie's pouring coffee, having visions of poor dead Gran all bloody on the floor. Tara comes downstairs so she and Sookie can share a yogurt commercial's worth of banal heart-to-heart, with Sookie wondering if all Grans go to heaven and Tara giving this "Touched by an Angel" conversation her best game face. Sookie thinks Gran's spirit lingers, though she cops to maybe just feeling "some residual weirdness" in the air. Some Residual Weirdness should be the name of the Merlotte's bar band. Sookie says she sees herself as an old woman, sitting on the porch surrounded by grandbabies. Don't vampires shoot blanks? Tara nods like she's possessed by a spirit who still cares about Sookie's love life.

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No autopsy or murder investigation held up Tommy's burial. Shreveport's police department must be as drug-addled and horny as the Bon Temps sheriffwick. If I ever have to kill a bitch, remind me to do it in Louisiana. While Sam says goodbye to Tommy's grave, Hoyt's momma waddles up in widow's weeds to offer Sam the Bon Temps Motto of Slipshod Morality ("We all do the best we can with what we got”) and her famous pork rind casserole. "You can call me momma from now on," she says, and Sam sighs the particularly Southern sigh of the reluctant surrogate son. Mrs. Fortenberry leaves as Luna walks up with Emma, who should have one hell of a show-and-tell session this week at school.

Over on the obvious imagery side of town, Jason psyches himself up for a heart-to-heart with Hoyt, who's clearing tree-blocked road with a chainsaw. Awkward chat. "Did somebody die?" Hoyt asks. That is actually very relevant small talk in Bon Temps. Jason tells him that he had sex with Jessica. Hoyt: "How?" Jason, bless his idiot face, replies, "Missionary, then doggie, then her on top. It was nothing too kinky." Hoyt punches him in the mouth for being stupid. "It just happened!" and Hoyt punches him again for resorting to cliché, then kicks him a couple of times and tells him he'll never be able to find love because "there's something inside you that's just missing." What, a brain? Hoyt, I have a mound of personal evidence in a file called "my 20s" that says stupidity and relationships are not mutually exclusive.

Back in Lafayette's house, also located in Clumsy Metaphor Estates, Jesus is held captive, bleeding from the wound in his hand. Marnie wants Jesus' hot demon-face magic and she will Annie Wilkes it out of him if it takes the entire episode. Jesus tries to reach Lafayette but Marnie is too strong. So he fights dirty: "You talked to the dead because they were your only friends." Marnie and Jesus argue, then Lafayette and Marnie have one of those awkward fights with themselves. Lafayette is able to warn Jesus of Marnie's homicidal desires, but Marnie threatens to cut out Lafayette's eyeball with a huge knife and feed it to him.

Halloween. Sookie wanders into Merlotte's where Arlene and Terry are dressed up as zombies. "Zombies are the new vampires!" says Arlene. "Your severed toe necklace is super-cute!" counters Sookie. I would pay cash money to watch trivia night at Merlotte’s. Sam just now realizes Tommy fired Sookie when he skinwalked. Since Lafayette hasn't shown up (Is Merlotte's hiring? Because what a sweet gig) Sam offers Sookie her job back. Sookie wants a new uniform, but Sam offers her a sexual harassment suit instead. Want your awesome waitress job back, Sookie? Put on the bunny ears and shut up.

Marnie/Lafayette is in full Wiccan lecture mode about the sanctity of Halloween and how little kids and candy have ruined her sacred holiday and made a mockery out of her religion and now the fangers have ruined everything too, life is so unfair. "Vampires suck!" Jesus agrees, but sadly Hoyt doesn't jump out of a corner to punch him in the face for that pun. Marnie wants Jesus to give her his magic, but Jesus claims he doesn't know how. "What's inside of me is seriously dark," Jesus says. Um. Marnie slices Lafayette's chest open with a knife and threatens to kill her gracious host if Jesus doesn't comply. Jesus starts a spell in Spanish and all the candles blow out. Marnie/Lafayette yells, "give it to me, give it all to me!" Um. Demon face! Marnie stabs Jesus in the gut and licks his blood off the knife. Jesus' face turns back to normal and he sobs an apology to Lafayette/Demon Face Marnie as he dies in the chair.

It’s also Take Your Children to the Bar Day at Merlotte's. Arlene's son is dressed like a monster and her daughter is dressed like Pregnant Arlene, and Arlene threatens to send them to the trailer park to trick-or-treat for food stamps if they're not good. Sam brings Emma over to introduce her to the other kids. Emma's dressed like a bride, but when Arlene asks her what she is, Emma replies that she's either going to be a shapeshifter like her mom or a werewolf like her daddy, who's dead. Sam whistles a guilty tune. Arlene is seriously regretting not taking that correspondence course in medical/dental billing. Then a Tall Mysterious Stranger comes in to find Terry, who thought his old Marine buddy was dead. He introduces Arlene and old buddy references the two times Terry saved his life. I'm sure Terry's past isn't coming back to haunt him (!) at all.

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Sookie serves Alcide a beer and he makes a pass at her. Do it, Sookie. He knows a trade! He could re-tile that disgusting kitchen floor for you. Alcide says he's done with Debbie's drama and wants Sookie to be done with hers, too. Werewolf boyfriend sounds so drama-free. Sookie whines that she can't change who she loves, and Alcide admonishes her to "try harder." Alcide's phone rings and he's off on a mysterious errand, leaving Sookie to ponder the lame joke of "Monster Mash" playing in the background.

Night falls and Tara shows up at Lafayette's house only to see poor dead Jesus slumped over in the chair. Tara-scream!

Holly, resplendent in a Pride Parade float fairy costume emerges from the dark outside of Merlotte's, startling Sookie. "Ain't nothing scary about fairies," says poor dim Holly, and she lights a joint with Sookie's jack-o'-lantern lighter. Samhain Wiccan veil dead ouija boards crystals sophomore year. Tara runs up with the news -- Marnie is back, she's possessed Lafayette and made him kill Jesus, and how she knows all of this is never explained. They speed off in Tara's car, where Holly pulls out the "Wiccan first aid kid" -she hauls around in her handbag -- salt, sage, a lock of her Aunt Josie's hair. As you will.

The girls arrive at the Compton Manse to find shirtless Eric and Bill silvered back-to-back to an old-school witch-burning stake. Bill wants Eric to summon Pam to help, but Eric suggests he summon Jessica first. They bicker until Bill spits, "I liked you better when you were brain damaged." In unison: "SOOKEH!" Tara distracts Marnie/Lafayette while Holly starts dumping salt in a circle around them all. Marnie lights the fire under Bill and Eric with her hands, and Sookie, not to be out-done, fairybombs Marnie, who snaps back with Demon Face. The girls step inside the salt and hold hands while they chant a spell, and I guess witches are part slug because the salt repels Demon Face. The girls summon a whole army of ghosts from the adjacent graveyard. Foreshadowing worked, because Gran's back! Along with a bunch of other dead people we don't know! Antonia's here, too, and she blows out the vampire fire while calming crazy Marnie. Gran, on the other hand, has no patience for talk therapy, so she reaches into Lafayette's throat and pulls Marnie's spirit out like a hair clog from a drain, and now we can see Marnie as she whines about how she doesn't want to leave the party, please can't we stay for just one more song? Antonia reassures her that although life is pain, death delivers a peace that the vampires will never know since they're basically stuck in this shitty little town forever. Thank you, thesis fairy! Blessed be! Marnie: "This fucking sucks!" It's like she's in my living room right now. Antonia takes one for the team and walks her to the graveyard with all the other dead people they woke up for nothing. Marnie's a drunk dialer, I can tell. Sookie doesn't want Gran to leave because she has too many boyfriends. So much for peace. "We're all alone at the end!" Gran cheerfully foreshadows. Lafayette revives in Tara's arms while Eric reminds them that he and Bill are feeling a leetle crispy atop the pyre. Evil Eric is back, but he brought Bitchy Eric with him.

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Back at Merlotte's, Arlene martyrs the trash out to the dumpster and René shows up like the ghost of seasons past. Arlene starts singing the exorcism ditty while René warns her about the trouble Terry is about to bring into her life through the ghosts from his past. Terry comes outside and comforts here while Arlene ponders how thematically pat this entire season has been.

Cosplay time! Jessica turns up at Jason's house dressed like sexy Little Red Riding Hood. Shouldn't she be headed for Alcide's? Blah blah Hoyt. Jason invites Jessica in and they get naked in a most satisfying way, finally. Jessica boner-kills "I don't want to be your girlfriend!" right in the middle and starts talking about relationships and breakups and come on you are killing me here, sister! "I kinda wished you'd told me that before I took an ass-kicking" Jason admits, but Jess ruins the moment by wondering aloud when he got to be all concerned with doing the right thing. Hey, we're all doing the best we can with what we got, Jess. Jason pulls away but Jess vamps him onto his back and asks if they can keep things purely sexual for now. Jason emits a conflicted moan, but he gets ‘er done anyway.

At Fangtasia, Pam's pet Ginger tells her that Sookie called looking for Eric, who's been missing. Pam: "I am so over Sookie, and her precious fairy vagina, and unbelievably stupid name! Fuck Sookie!" Pam is the conscience of this show. Pam has a breakdown, fearing she's lost the Eric she's loved for a hundred years.

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 In the Compton Manse, the precious fairy vagina finally gets her three-way, sort of, letting Eric suck blood from one wrist while Bill sucks from the other. Eric and Bill look like idiots in matching pajamas. Sookie tells them she can't do the love triangle routine any longer, and Bill martyrs his blessing for her to hook up with Eric. Hey thanks, dad. Eric practically fist-pumps: "Bill had his chance, he blew it!" as if Bill isn't standing right there. Sookie forgives Bill, who totally thinks she's coming back to him, but she dumps him and then dumps Eric, too. This is totally Kelly and Dylan and Brandon in season five of "90210" all over again. She chooses herself, you guys! Or ... Alcide?

In the guest bedroom at Sookie’s, Lafayette hears something howling around the house. Jesus's spirit appears, and Lafayette apologizes for letting Marnie shank him. Jesus kisses him and forgives. "Dude, I'm dead. You're a medium. I'll always be with you," he reassures Lafayette before strobing out of the picture.

 Holly returns to Merlotte's to get her car and runs into Andy, who gives her flowers and admits that he's a drug addict. That line usually work, Bellefleur? He follows up with how he's sober and lonely and could be good to "someone" if they let him. Sign me up! She lets Andy hug her and he doesn't even cop a feel. Sam makes out with Luna outside his shack in the back and tries to convince her to stay the night, but come on, Sam, she has a kid and no non-custodial parent to pass her off to, thanks a lot. She doesn't want Sam to jinx their awesome relationship that is so far based on deceptive shape-shifter brother sex and the model home murder of her ex-husband. "So now you're superstitious?" deadpans Sam. She leaves, and a wolf snarls behind him.

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 Post-coital Jessica puts her stockings back on while Jason watches, the Miller Lite bottle cap pillow covering his crotch. Jason's worried that Jess didn't "like it" but Jess reassures him, suggesting next time they try oral, too. "Hoyt was kind of shy about it, I think because of my fangs," she simpers. Jason's worried that Jess is only with him because he's broken. She catalogs his good parts for him. Basically, he's funny and has great hip bones. She could do worse in that town. She's hungry, but doesn't want to drink his blood yet, which Jason clumsily compares to how hookers don't kiss their tricks. Smooth, Stackhouse. Jess is turned on by the hooker line and gets a fangboner when they kiss, so she fastwalks out to go find some strange to drink. There's a knock at the door, but it's not Jess back for round two, it's that nerdy Fellowship of the Sun Reverend Newlin from two seasons ago. Trick or treat, now he's a vampire!

 Mysterious phone call revealed: Alcide walks through a parking garage with a guy in a hardhat who can't remember anything. "Why would a vamper want to glamor me, or dig a hole in a damn parking garage?" the construction worker asks him, and they arrive at a heap of silver chains inside a rubble hole. Someone has let Russell Edgington out to play. Was it Pam? Has she gone rogue?

 Nan pays a visit to the Compton Manse with her gay storm troopers, blah blahs about her awful job and how lame Eric is now that he's crawled up Bill's ass. Then she admits that she's been fired by the Authority and the American Vampire League, and that her last duty was to true-death Eric and Bill, but she knew she'd be next and having been alive for 816 years, she refuses "to be retired like a fat first wife!" I want Nan and Pam to take over for Kathie Lee and Hoda for a week. She wants Eric and Bill to join her little mutinee, citing factions within the regime who aren't on board with current policy. Eric wants to know what's in it for them. "How about your little fairy waitress? The mind reading, the microwave fingers? You think I didn't know what she was?" Bill tells her to go ahead, since Sookie no longer belongs to either of them. Eric agrees, but Nan doesn't buy it, taunting them: "hungry puppy dogs, slobbering over the same juicy bone." So of course Eric decapitates the gay storm troopers and Bill stakes Nan to the true death. "We are not fucking puppy dogs!" Bill rages.

 Impressive death toll for one episode, but we're not done yet. Sookie comes home and is ambushed by strung-out Debbie Pelt pointing a shotgun at her head. Tara throws herself in front of Sookie and gets her head blown off for her trouble. Sookie tackles Debbie and they struggle, then she turns the shotgun on Debbie, who pleads for her life. Sookie executes her right there on that filthy kitchen floor. She's left holding what's left of Tara's skull in her lap screaming, "somebody please help us!" That's what happens when you break up with your vampires on the night some junkie wolf decides to take you down, Sookie. You are so screwed -- you might actually need to call the police.

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Erin Keane

Erin Keane is Salon's deputy editor in chief.

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