Well, True Blood upped the ante last night with a rather horrific scene involving Bill and Lorena. The scene will have lasting ramifications—though whether they are the ones the writer intended remains to be seen. We also meet Alcide at long last, and with this many new characters, Alan Ball will have to start pruning soon. The episode delivers on thrills, chills, and the odd touching moment, but the plot whiplash warning is still in effect. Fortunately, the first few stitches between different stories are also evident and very welcome.
I'll start with the Bill and Lorena story, since their ending scene certainly grabbed the attention. Bill's fiery reaction to meeting Lorena again is defused by King Russell, both for Bill and for Talbot, who is outraged at the loss of his rug. Russell and Talbot's partnership shows very nicely the strains and ruts a relationship can develop over time—and they have had lots of time to find annoying habits in each other. Yet, as Russell points out to Bill, they have a long-term commitment, something Bill cannot hope to have with Sookie while she is human. In fact, Russell smoothly but with a hint of sadness tells Bill he can desire her or desire her welfare, but not both. Russell's advice is to turn Sookie so they can have a future together, but Bill knows Sookie has never intimated she wants to be turned.
Russell's advice triggers a memory for Bill and a flashback for us, as Bill, hearing news of smallpox deaths, goes back to his home to check on his family. He's there to bury his son so his wife, Caroline, doesn't have to expose herself to the disease, but of course, he's also there to glimpse his old life. Caroline, however, reacts with horror when she realises Bill is no longer human. She cannot see her husband, only a monster, and loses what little grasp of reality survived the loss of her son. There is no old life for Bill to cherish, only loss.
Oddly, Lorena's addition to the scene actually calms it down, as she forces Bill to acknowledge he has only hurt Caroline by returning and the best thing he can do to help is glamour her into forgetting him. This Lorena has a few more sides to her than the jealous cruel creature we've met so far. In fact, she stops Bill from biting Caroline when his wife begs him to kill her. Lorena brings the situation under control, and, echoing Russell, tells Bill, "The only way to show your love for a human is to stay away forever."