We’ve been waiting to see just how necromancer Antonia’s powers will affect the vampires we've come to know and love and maybe fear, and in “Cold Grey Light of Dawn,” we finally get to experience her wicked rage in the modern age as she tries to walk vampires to their death. It’s one of the most memorable scenes True Blood has ever produced, and it caps off a very entertaining, if still imperfect, ep. Keep reading for five things that sucked (in a good way) and five things that sucked (in a bad way).

Written by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)

Five Things That Sucked (In A Good Way)

1. Vampire Massacre, Pt. II

Ever since we discovered that necromancer Antonia has power over vampires and was responsible for the single biggest snuffing out of bloodsuckers ever, the Spanish Massacre, we were anticipating another such witch spell. After recruiting Tara, a fellow rage-filled vamp rape and bite victim, who helps her build a sizeable circle to chant with and fight back (or, you know, commit genocide), it is officially on, as they begin necromancing, a vicious wind kicks up, and Antonia/Marnie levitates above the circle.

Obviously a show about human-vampire relations couldn’t have its sexy vampire cast just walk out into the light of day and go up in flames, so this revenge plot appeared to be far less effective than was Antonia’s work in Spain; preparing for her, King Compton orders his subjects to evacuate Louisiana or go to ground covered in skin-burning silver restraints that will weaken and bind them so they may not rise and walk to their sunny deaths. Even with the King’s precautions, Maxine’s vamp neighbor meets her true death with a serious case of sunburn, and, in a very effective and moving sequence, Bill’s spell-maddened vamp child Jessica rips up her insufficient silver chains, murders a human guard to free herself from their silver-barred cell, and abandons her king and maker despite his orders. With Jason racing to Bill’s mansion to ensure that she doesn’t kill herself, she opens the doors and bathes in the sun’s light—a great final shot and cliffhanger. This was such an excellent sequence that we wouldn’t be mad if she does survive rather melodramatically.

If Jessica dies, the impact of the loss on Bill will be fascinating. Even after Antonia uses spellbound Father Luis to execute Katie, the vampires’ coven mole, for treason, then sends him to assassinate Bill, King Compton remains diplomatic. While silvered and waiting for Antonia’s spell, he explains to Jessica that, at their core, vampires are still human, even when a human is trying to slaughter them all. He excuses the vengeful witch’s actions, arguing that she was simply driven to violence by vamps who gave into their most base desires, raping and feeding on humans as they pleased. Though Jessica, who sees no shades of grey, still wants to “eat the witch,” Bill expresses a desire to resolve the conflict peacefully, should they survive. Will he still feel the same way if his dear Jessica is turned into a pile of charred innards?

2. The Immortal Human Spirit

Before she gets to necromancing, Antonia speaks to her new coven’s assembled vamp-haters, giving them the kind of pep rally speech that Braveheart’s William Wallace would be proud of. Of particular interest is the idea that “Vampires are not immortal, they are only harder to kill,” but that human spirits live on eternally (as evidenced by Antonia’s possession of Marnie 400 years after she was burned at the stake). With ghosts playing a big role this season, from Marnie and Lafayette’s possession to Arlene and Terry’s haunting, there’s really no limit to how many new and old characters could emerge from the spirit world to shake shit up. Hopefully none of them will be werepanthers.

3. The Most Uncomfortable Wax Job Ever

From high heels to spin classes and healthy eating, there are so many painful things women endure to achieve beauty. Pam takes this to a whole other level, though, when she has her decaying skin torn off in a process that we imagine makes labial waxing seem like a cool breeze. Her version of Steve Carell’s famous 40-Year-Old Virgin chest-waxing scene is slightly bluer (“I’m gonna shove my fist up your ass and use you as a hand warmer.”) but nonetheless effective. Rebuilding her skin to resemble something anyone would want to have sex with, requires six shots four times a day, forever. Think about that next time you complain because your lady asks you to cut your nails before finger-blastoff.

4. The Hoyt-Jessica-Jason Love Triangle

There are certain things that you don’t do with your best friend’s girlfriend, like drinking her blood, but sometimes, when you’re dying from werepanther bites, you have to. If that happens, you definitely shouldn’t share an intimate night in the woods with her, flirting and exchanging longing looks. Having run from one such potential full-moon hookup with his dude Hoyt’s lady Jessica last episode, Jason finds himself daydreaming about her and brims with guilt when his buddy, who’s concerned that he might be traumatized by his werepanther gang rape, shows up to check on him. Without revealing any suspicion, Hoyt tells Jason that he can feel Jessica slipping away and that losing her would kill him. Awkward!

Later in the episode, while in chains with Bill, Jessica finally admits that she doesn’t love Hoyt as much as he loves her because she doesn’t have a human heart anymore. Bill assures her that she hasn’t lost her humanity just because she fell out of love with Hoyt, but the vampire heart is a nice excuse for fucking your guy’s best friend, so we’ll see where that goes.

At the end of the episode, when necromanced Jessica is crawling towards the sunlight, it is Jason who’s sprinting towards King Compton’s mansion to ensure her safety. It’s unclear if she will live or die (dying would obviously fuck up the whole love triangle) but before she steps out into the sun, a gunshot is heard, indicating that either Jason was shot by Bill’s guard, who had just tackled him, or Jason shot him and will save Jessica. It’s a great cliffhanger, and if it turns out that Jason saves her life as she did his, there’s no way this doesn’t end with some entirely inappropriate friending between these two.

5. The Old Eric V. New Eric Question

Has a relationship ever flatlined because you or your significant other changed? That’s the dilemma facing lovebirds Eric and Sookie. Wiped of his memory, he’s a puppy dog; with it, this once ferocious Viking vampire god is probably a vicious killer again. Like a GF asking the hypothetical “Would you still love me if I got, like, can’t-reach-my-vagina fat?” post-coitus cuddling Eric asks Sookie if she really wants his memory restored, knowing that he might become the villain she so loathed before. Though she has doubts (“I hope I will [still love you].”), she recalls that, when confronting the Fellowship of the Sun in his more evil days, Eric was decent and loving enough to offer his life in exchange for Sookie and his maker Godric’s. Will any goodness survive in Eric or will this be the end of his mushy romance? Somehow we can’t see old Eric resting his head on Sookie’s chest and feeding her corny lines about how it feels like they share one heartbeat…and maybe that’s a good thing.



Five Things That Sucked (In A Bad Way)

1. Pam Breaks Up A Perfectly Good Lesbian Couple

If Tara wasn’t a fan of TMZ before this episode, she definitely is now, after a group of onlookers with cell phone cameras and dreams of cashing in on vampire attack footage prevent Pam from choking the life out of her in Merlotte’s parking lot. Under strict orders to not kill humans, especially not in front of a viewing audience, Pam reluctantly loosens her grip on Tara’s throat, vowing to get payback for Antonia’s amnesia and rotting spells another time (“The moment you think you’re safe, I promise I will hunt you down and fuckin’ shred you like confetti.”).

Sadly, Tara’s response is not to burn rubber with her hot girlfriend Naomi but to coolly send her teary-eyed boo packing for her own safety. Riiiiiight, because cruel, vindictive Pam definitely wouldn’t take a road trip to New Orleans to kidnap someone Tara cares about. That would simply be going too far. We knew that, if the lies about her personal life didn’t fracture Tara’s hot mixed martial arts girl-on-girl relationship, her tumultuous relationship with vampires eventually would, but it doesn’t make the loss any less painful for us.

2. Alcide, The Straying Eye Dog

Don’t you just hate it when your were-boo gets all insecure and weepy because you’re constantly staring off into space thinking about another woman? We know Alcide does, because every time he slinks away at a pack initiation celebration to fret about Sookie’s safety, and every time he goes looking for her in the woods, finds her having sex with vampire Eric, and stares intensely at their naked, writhing bodies, his werewolf girlfriend Debbie totally freaks out about it. Can I live, woman!

You’ve got to appreciate Alcide’s response when Debbie confronts him about his feelings for Sookie while he’s wolf-balls deep in her. Typically, when your chick asks if you love another woman, a good answer is no. Genius that he is, Alcide instead replies, “What? You kiddin’ me? We’re seriously having this conversation…now? Baby, this is crazy. You’re imagining things.” In other words, yes. And in more words, I was totally imagining I was banging her, so if you’d just calm down and let me, I can get back to that and bust this nut. Despite his assurances that he loves only Debbie and will be with her forever, his simple ass undoubtedly assumed forever passes more quickly in dog years.

3. Less-Than-Evil Baby

Lafayette’s ability to be a medium for spirits, which he discovered while seeking protection from Don Bartolo in Mexico with Jesus, is a welcome development for the sassiest, most flamboyant fry cook you’ve ever seen. It’s too bad, though, that his spirit vision spots a storyline killer so soon after his awakening. While cooking in the Merlotte’s kitchen, Lala sees the same ghost lady in a yellow dress that young Mikey did outside his parents’ burning house; she appears to be singing a lullaby to the babe and trying to snatch him from behind Arlene’s back before Lafayette makes a racket and she disappears.

We were worried about the role that ghosts might play in the evil-baby-meets-devil-doll storyline, and now it appears that they are usurping what we’d hoped was going to be a simple mash-up of The Exorcist and Child’s Play, with a demonic tot and his possessed toy terrorizing Arlene and Terry’s family. Our thoughts may change but right now it strikes us as needlessly overcomplicated and a waste of a great setup.

4. Andy And Holly’s Awkward Date

True Blood is crammed with goodness, but sometimes its creators stuff too many storylines in there, cutting short stronger ones. For us, a budding romance between Sheriff Andy Bellefleur and Holly Cleary qualifies as unnecessary. There are so many good-looking couples on True Blood that our tolerance for unattractive and/or annoying ones is essentially non-existent. Here’s to hoping that Andy and Holly’s date, which he awkwardly stumbled through while experiencing V withdrawal, then cut short, reclaiming a gift of discount roses, is short lived, because we know a certain evil baby and devil doll that deserve far more attention than they’re getting.

5. Tommy Gets Cut Off

The downside of shifting into your older brother and screwing with his life (not to mention literally screwing his love interest) is that eventually he’s gonna find out and kick your ass. After talking to Luna, who is still miffed by the way Tommy, who appeared to be Sam, booted her out after she finally gave in and had sex with him, Sam realizes that his little brother is truly a no good piece of shit and chokes him out briefly before casting him out of his life.

Sniveling twit that he is, Tommy begs for forgiveness only to be met with Sam’s disdain (“I wish I could forget every fucking thing about you.”). Chances are high that we haven’t seen the last of sad, lonely Tommy. If he does show up and keep messing with the works, we can only hope that Sam earns his skinwalker stripes by murdering his hopeless brother.

Written by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)