This episode has a little bit of everything you want in an hour of True Blood: humor, gore, grief, sex, and a lot of Lafayette. (Update: Read what Nelsan Ellis has to say about those developments.) Of course, there are also things you don't want, like any Lettie Mae and flashbacks to human Bill. But you probably feel guilty for wanting to fast-forward through the latter now that Bill is (surprise) Hep-V positive. Sookie's gonna have to sleep in layers if a cure isn't found. But maybe by having to face the possibility of losing both Bill and Eric next, she'll have the clarity of which one she loves more... And when she inevitably chooses Bill, Eric can have rebound sex with Ginger.
Ginger's goodbye… for now: In the aftermath of the bloodbath at Fangtasia, Willa trades information on the whereabouts of Sarah Newlin's vampire sister, Amber Mills, in exchange for her admittedly neglectful maker Eric releasing her. "Like being kicked in the cooch by a wallaby, in't it?" Pam says, after free Willa gasps. Just the first of many new classic Pam lines in this episode. It's fun to imagine that that area of the anatomy is where Eric Northman's pull resides.
Ginger throws a hysterical fit when Eric tells her they'll just be needing two traveling coffins to Dallas now. She knows this may be the last time she sees Eric, so she wants to go in Willa's, but he says no. The time away from Eric has allowed Ginger's mind to sharpen enough that she's strong and articulate when she expresses her desperation: "I have been your sex slave for 15 years, Eric Northman, and we ain't never had sex, bl-- job, ha-- job, nothin'. Do you know what a sex slave is without the sex?" she asks. ("A slave," Pam answers.) Shaking her hands in frustration, it's like Ginger never even invested in a battery-operated device over the years. "Now you are takin' me with you to Dallas," she tells Eric, "and if you can't f---in' take me, then you had better f---in' f--- me before you go." Eric's calm response—"Ginger, I'm diseased"—may mean that he actually agrees that he owes her something for the idea of Fangtasia and years of devotion, but now is not the time to cash in. Ginger's giddy response—"So the f--- am I!"—kills the mood regardless. Presumably she just means she's a Hep-V carrier from her days in Vamp Camp, which means Eric can't even drink from her before he leaves. It's a cruel world, Ginger, but totally worth it to see her throw her body on Eric's coffin, kicking and screaming, and slide off. This can't be the last time she sees Eric, though. Actress Tara Buck is billed as a series regular this year, so she's sticking around.
Sookie's forced celebration of life: Sookie returns home from Fangtasia to an empty house, save for Lafayette and James. It's nice to be reminded that basic human kindness, like tucking someone who's just lost her lover into bed and assuring her that you'll be there when she wakes up, still exists. When Sookie finally gets out of bed the next evening, we learn the real reason the show's writers brought Jackson and Jenny to town—Jenny had to help Lafayette cook for the party he's throwing to fill Sookie's home with people and booze. Sookie's not in the mood, but Lafayette gives a motivational speech worthy of a locker room at halftime in a sports movie, and that, combined with Bill showing up first with flowers, convinces her to go upstairs and put her brave face on.
Apparently the people of Bon Temps really stocked up on alcohol for the Hep-V apocalypse (as one should) because they bring enough to Sookie's house to get that party rockin'. Everybody's dancing. Arlene, Holly, and Jane toast to surviving and getting their lives together—starting tomorrow. Poor pregnant Nicole can't drink with them, which is another form of torture, really.
Sookie comes downstairs wearing another yellow and white dress. Yellow is often her color of choice—she wore it the night she and Bill had graveyard sex, and the night she and amnesiac Eric tried to get it on before King Bill burst in. Violet's attempt at empathy is as awkward as Jason thinking Sookie's complimenting him, not Violet, on looking good: Violet tells Sookie she remembers how difficult it was to lose the first of the hundreds of boyfriends she's had over the years. Luckily, Bill is there to interrupt again and gracefully escorts Sookie away.
Next time we see Sookie, she and the others are in the kitchen—which is magically partially soundproof—listening to Jackson deliver a toast to Alcide that should help give fans who thought his death was too unceremonious some closure. Alcide was a man who'd fight only when he had a worthy cause, and Sookie was one. Lettie Mae, who'd drugged the Reverend so she could attend the party, arrived in time to share a few words about Tara, who'd also died a hero saving her. Again, better late than never for fans.
Jessica meanwhile is being a party pooper, standing guard alone outside. There was a lovely scene between her and Andy, who told her that seeing her torturing herself for killing his girls keeps the pain alive for him, too. She's kept Adilyn safe and helped rescue Holly—life is too short to keep looking backward. He's moving forward, and he needs her to help him. Since there's been no time to ring shop, he wants to borrow one of hers to propose to Holly, but Jessica has a better idea: Gran's ring, which she'd left for Jason to give to the woman he'd marry. Violet says she doesn't need a ring to tell her that Jason is hers (especially not one with such a tiny diamond), and Jason isn't the only one cringing at her assumption.
Proving Jason does have a cop's eye for some things, he warns Adilyn and Wade that they'll need to stop f---ing, if they are, and kills the music so a terrified Andy can kneel in front of Holly and deliver a pitch-perfect marriage proposal. He's done letting the idea that he doesn't deserve someone as beautiful and as kind as her hold him back. He knows she has healing to do, and he wants to be there every step of the way. She says yes before he even pops the question. Everyone's thrilled, except Nicole, who looks strangely uncomfortable, and Adilyn and Wade, of course.
Arlene can tell Sookie's about to cry and takes her upstairs to her soundproof bedroom for a heartfelt talk between two women who've lost their loves. Arlene admits she would put Terry's jacket on at night, just to feel his arms around her. You never get over it, she says, you just learn to live with it—with the help of time and tequila. It's good Jackson was eavesdropping—now if Sookie does end up with someone else, he'll at least believe she did care for Alcide.
NEXT: The party's just getting started