Hello, Keith: Arlene and Sookie continue their tequila bender downstairs, and we learn that Keith, the vampire who saved Arlene with his blood, has been making eyes at her all night. Carrie Preston is so good, the way she paces close behind Sookie like a flirty cat as Sookie explains to Keith that Arlene has been through a lot and needs him to dial down his sexy. Keith says he can wait, but he wants Arlene to know she's the most beautiful woman he's seen in more than 300 years and that (gulp) he'll be seeing her in her dreams. Drunk Arlene holds it together, sort of: "I have to go make tinkle because, you know, I am a human," she says. How many takes did Preston have to do of that before no one laughed? Can we get that on a T-shirt? That's the kind of character moment we need more of as the series enters the second half (already!) of its final season.
Sookie and Bill are friends, and oh yeah, Bill's dying: Toward the end of the party, Sookie walks through the house hearing everyone's thoughts, and they no longer hate her. She ends up outside with Bill, who's standing watch and having flashbacks. If you did fast-forward through them, which I would have if I wasn't recapping, here's what you missed: Bill didn't actually want to fight in the Civil War. He knew it was a lost cause (episode title alert), which would only destroy the town's land and people's livelihoods. He tried to walk his family north with a group of slaves being led by one who was shot dead by Bill's enlisted friend Charles. Deserters of any color would be executed.
Sookie tries to get Bill to come inside, but first, he turns her around to look at her house filled with vampires and humans celebrating together. He says she's achieved more than he ever has—true mainstreaming. He escorts tipsy Sookie back up the stairs to her front door and thanks her for a lovely evening. Then she thanks him for seeing her the way she can't see herself sometimes and hugs him. He doesn't try to kiss her, they just tell each other good night. The message: They're moving forward, too. Men and women can be friends.
If the point of all this is to remind us that Bill is a good man, it works. When Bill goes home to take a bath (because why wouldn't he?), he thinks about how he promised his wife that he'd make it through the war and return to her and the children because they're each other's true and only loves. Looking into the mirror (after he wraps himself in a towel far too quickly), Bill sees a Hep-V vein on his chest. It's a legitimate hand-to-mouth-gasp of a twist—a kick to the cooch by a wallaby, if you will. So was there another purpose to these flashbacks: Were they Bill's life starting to flash before his eyes because he's dying? His subconscious preparing him to see fighting against Hep-V as a lost cause? A reminder that promising you'll survive doesn't make it so and true love can't stop death?
Can Lettie Mae die already, please: Determined to get Willa's blood to see Tara again, Lettie Mae finds Willa asking drunk Arlene for a job at Bellefleur's and stabs her arm from behind. Before she can lick the blood from the knife, Sam grabs it and stops the other vampires from turning on Lettie Mae. Lafayette escorts Lettie Mae out, while Nicole demands Sam take her home because she can't believe people are throwing a party and acting as if things like her kidnapping happen in other towns. Well, technically, isn't it happening in other towns now, Nicole? Bon Temps is just used to it.
NEXT: Let's back it up, and get it on