“True Blood” Maryann gets really maenad

Steve and Sarah may be smiling now.

Steve and Sarah may be smiling now.

By Elaine Bergstrom

Musing from this season: Isn’t it interesting that the most powerful creatures in this series are the ones that revel in their inhumanity. Eric is not powerful because he is older, but because he knows what he is and uses his power. Maryann has power over Sam because he hides his nature. If he did not, she could do nothing to him (or at least not as much). Barry runs around hiding his gift like a frightened rabbit while Sookie’s star is rising high in the vamp community. God may hate fangs, as the sign in the opening montage (which I always make a point of watching even though I have a DVR) suggests, but when the fangs show, humans listen. There’s a moral here for anyone who is different – embrace it. The world will not end, but you will be empowered.

But enough philosophy, it’s been a wild couple of weeks for the residents of Bon Temps, human and otherwise. The good times are definitely rolling — in bed, in the grass and, woo hoo, on a pool table at Merlotte’s where Sam and Daphne shared a moment.

With his guard down, Sam was perfectly duped when, chasing through the woods after Daphne, she led him right into the middle of an orgy and straight into the hands of Maryann’s goons who held him while Maryann, wearing a horned mask that finally made her look lethal rather than just strange, came to kill him. He would have been a goner had Andy not done what he does best. Wandering into the middle of the orgy and befuddled and horrified by what was going on, he pulled his gun and shot somebody. Momentarily startled, the goons lost their hold and Sam ran — then flew! – away. I am not sure what happened next because I was so in awe of the idea that, if I were a shapeshifter I could turn into a bird and fly! Why haven’t we seen Sam do this before? Would you be a dog if you could be a bird instead? Seeing that was enough to make anyone forget how much fun it would be to be a vampire, unless of course you were able to do the bat thing.

Needless to say, the Sam/Daphne romance is over and he went after her with a pistol but couldn’t shoot. “What is she?” he asks instead. “She’s God,” Daphne replies, or Dionysus, or Lucifer, or a maenad (a female follower of Dionysus). Dimwitted Daphne isn’t sure, but she tells Sam that Maryann is after him because she cannot control shapeshifters (she could not control Andy, either, as he and Sam are the only ones who remember what went on at that orgy, so what else is Andy besides an overweight deputy and what will Maryann do about it?). But Daphne does Maryann’s bidding anyway because she loves and worships Maryann. So it must have been something of a final revelation when, at the end of this week’s episode Maryann and Eggs find her and Eggs kills her.

Bill reluctantly lets Sookie head off to infiltrate the Light of Day Church with Isabel’s human Hugo. But the church was warned that they were coming and creepy Rev. Steve locks them both in the basement. Bill would have gone after her, but Eric sent Bill’s maker Lorena to keep him in line because he has his own private plans for Sookie. Apparently, vampire makers have a lot of power over their “children” so Bill is unable to leave the hotel room and has to make do with vivid flashbacks of their decades of bloodthirsty deeds. Some might say that showing Bill and Lorena having sex in a puddle of blood still flowing from their victim makes him less likable. I disagree – it shows how far he has come in reclaiming his soul.

In the choir loft of the church, Sarah tells Jason that Steve wants to use him to start a war (between vamps and humans, one would suppose) and that God says it’s ok for her and Jason to have sex. Jason, you darling boy, whenever a woman says that God says it is OK to cheat on her husband it is time to pack and run in any direction that takes you far, far away from her. Of course, he yields to temptation – when has he not? Afterwards Sarah explains about her vow of honesty, which clearly trumps any vow of monogamy, and she has to go and tell Steve what she’s done. Jason realizes he should have hightailed it out of there right after he took that far-too-fulfilling bath. Sadly, he’s a bit late out of the gate.

It’s about that time that Sookie reads Hugo’s mind and realizes that he is the spy for the fanatical church. He did it, he said, because Isabel would not turn him into a vampire. He also suffers from claustrophobia – could be a bit of a problem if he were a vamp in a pinch like, say, stuck spending the day in his car trunk – and calls to Gabe the guard and tells him Sookie’s name and asks to be let out.

Sookie had already warned Hugo that Gabe would see him as just another fangbanger, just one more gullible than most, and Gabe proves her right by beating them both up. Again, Bill reacts but cannot leave.

Gabe may not be the brightest soul in the shiny happy Light of Day congregation, but he is capable of figuring out that one Stackhouse is related to the other. Thinking that Jason must be a spy, too, Gabe goes after him. He would have had the upper hand, but he threatens Sookie. Nobody threatens Jason’s sister! He pounds Hugo to near unconsciousness and takes off down the road, until Sarah catches up with him. She must have learned his connection to Sookie from Steve because, instead of hugging Jason, she shoots him.

When he comes to his senses, Gabe goes back to the basement to take out his frustrations on Sookie. He opens the cell door and starts ripping off Sookie’s clothes, intending to rape her. But he never gets a chance because just at that perfect moment Godric puts in an appearance and we finally get to see the cleaned up version of the ancient powerful vamp. The CGI people seemed to have played a bit with his face. There is something sharklike about it, inhuman and beautiful as a Greek statue (I suspect there are ugly Greek statues, too, but those don’t seem to have survived the test of time).

In other developments, last week Lafayette was frozen with PTSD, and this week seems better as he reluctantly deals V. He’s doing it for the vamps (maybe they need money to pay that hotel bill?). Meanwhile, Hoyt has gone to Jessica. Alone in her hotel room with no Bill to chaperone, he confesses that he is a virgin. She says she is one too, and when Hoyt looks astonished, adds, “Just cuz I’m a vampire, you think I’m a slut?” No, he tells her and they kiss and make up and … awwww, ain’t they sweet! She was so annoying when she first appeared, but now I wait for those moments when she and Hoyt are together.

Next week: The vampire/human war begins, and will probably end, with a single battle. Listen, Rev. Steve, you and yours are no match for the invasion to come!

Photo credit: HBO

About Elaine Bergstrom

Feature writer, writing coach and novelist (12 published, another on the way) in the genre of horror/vampire fiction
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2 Responses to “True Blood” Maryann gets really maenad

  1. Hyperion says:

    I have to disagree with you, Sandy. I am glad Harris incorporated more than just the same cliched vampire-human romance storyline. The interesting take on ancient belief and mythology which Maryann’s storyline brings to the show actually makes the show watchable for me. (Far better than the more vampire-centric season one).
    I mean haven’t we already done the vampire thing to death? (no pun intended). Anne Rice, Twilight, etc etc etc……..
    And any show that can make the still somewhat shockingly culture-starved citizens of the 21st century actually want to google search what a Maenad or an Invocation to Dionysus is, is fine by me!

  2. Sandy Rainey says:

    I also thoroughly enjoy Jessica and Hoyt’s scenes. Apparently, the folks at Entertainment Weekly do, too–they used a Jessica line (the one about hoping it wouldn’t freak Hoyt out if she looked…dead) in their quotes section this week. But the two things I most want to know right now are: 1) What’s up with Andy? He is the LAST character that I would have suspected of harboring secrets (maybe even he is unaware of them?). and 2) What was that place in the woods where Eggs took Tara? I assume it has something to do with Maryanne, but then again, maybe not. I am more than ready to be done with the Maryanne thread; she doesn’t do much for me. And she’d better leave Sam alone!

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