True Blood recap: Catch and Release

Bill gets his chance to end Eric, but to no one's surprise and Sookie's delight, doesn't
Ep. 06 | Aired Jul 31, 2011

LOVE BITES Bill (Stephen Moyer) knows that if you love someone, you have to let her go... have sex with Eric.

John P. Johnson/HBO

In last week's recap, I said Sookie sleeping with Eric would be even sexier if Bill knew it was happening. And it was -- but not for the reason I anticipated. It wasn't the added joy of revenge I felt watching the episode's final moment, it was the knowledge that the love triangle at the center of the show would remain interesting. Just when you felt comfortable disliking Bill because he lied and told Nan that Eric didn't understand his place in the vampire world or recognize the authority so he could get a true death warrant, he did something fair and merciful -- he let Eric go. He believed Eric truly loved Sookie and that he wanted her to be happy whether it was with him or Bill. Bill letting Eric go proved that he loved Sookie, too. They're both worthy of her at the moment -- and so the triangle is finally a juicy isosceles. (That could be the first time "juicy" and "isosceles" have ever appeared next to each other in a sentence.)

The episode picked up with Eric and Sookie kissing their way through her front door. Sookie kicked off her shoes, so you knew she was fully committed to going all the way. Her yellow and white sundress reminded me a bit of the one she wore the night she and Bill had sex in the graveyard in season 1. If you recall Bill urgently tugging at her dress and sinking his teeth into her breast then ("No, not the neck"), you appreciated the contrast of Eric smoothly untying the back of her dress and running his hand down the front of her this time. "You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen," he said, with a softness that made you feel like you'd never heard a man use that line before. "Only 'cause you can’t remember anything else," Sookie said. She took off Eric's shirt, and they were horizontal on the couch. We got a closeup as Eric kissed his way down her body, but I would have loved to have seen a wide shot -- there's no way Alexander Skarsgard actually fit on that couch. Just as Eric reached a good spot, Bill burst through the door. The boys fought, and Eric lifted Bill up by the throat like he was Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV and tossed him. He was about to stake Bill with a fireplace poker when Sookie told him Bill was his King. Eric dropped the weapon, said "My liege, forgive me," and kneeled. Which one of them -- Bill or Eric -- tied the back of Sookie's dress for her before they left for Bill's place?

There, Eric was imprisoned, and Sookie rightly questioned whether Bill thought Eric was a legitimate danger to other vampires (which deserves the king's attention) or simply faking amnesia to manipulate his way into her pants (which doesn't). "Believe it or not, my entire existence does not revolve around what or who is between your legs." That's some interesting phrasing. Sookie told Bill that if he ever loved her, he wouldn't hurt Eric. Bill said it was vampire business that Sookie should, for once, stay out of. She wasn't going to leave without Eric... until Bill threatened to have her arrested for trespassing.

Down in the cubby cell, Eric realized he wasn't alone. "It smells like death in here," he said. "That's me," Pam answered. She hid her face from him until he played the maker card and gave her an order to reveal herself. Eric wasn't going to fight Bill. "He’s a self-loathing, power-hungry pompous little dork, and you hate his guts," Pam told him. That's treason, he said. "Eric, snap the f--- out of it. You have no loyalty to Bill Compton. You are a Viking vampire god and you bow to no one. If someone crosses you, you rip out their liver with one fang," she said. I like Nice Eric, but I do love Pam's speeches. Still, she wasn't getting through to him. "I have been with you over 100 years. We’ve traveled the world together killin' and f---in’ and laughin'," she said, promising they'd get his life back for him. But that's just it: He doesn't want to remember what he's done. He's no longer the vampire she remembers. I wonder if Bill was listening to that conversation on his closed circuit television. If so, him lying to Nan about Eric's "extremely unstable" state was even more of a d--- move.

NEXT: There's a shortage of perfect chests in this world. It would be a pity to damage Eric's.


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