“Is this a bad time?”

You know, for as much as I’ve decried the lack of eroticism inherent in blood, Evan Rachel Wood is so damned sexy that you could almost…not quite, but almost…overlook the fact that her face was covered with the stuff when she made her first appearance this evening. Or maybe it was the other woman moaning in the background that helped make the scenario somehow more sexy than creepy. Whatever the case, it was clear from the get-go that Queen Sophie-Anne LeClerq, Vampire Queen of Louisiana, was not going to be a woman to be trifled with. She knows more than any other vampire we’ve seen, and although we didn’t necessarily see all that much of her power, all we really had to see was the way Bill acted around her to know that, man, she’s got to be off-the-charts powerful. Her comments throughout the episode ranged from funny (“I haven’t enjoyed sex with men since the Eisenhower administration”) to cynical (“Never underestimate the power of blind faith”) to a combination of the mystical and the mystifying (“Everything that exists imagined itself into existence”), but the most telling of her comments came from her complete dismissal of Maryann and her actions. In short, she can’t really be bothered by this creature…or much of anything outside of her own existence, really. Looks like the holier-than-thou manner of royalty remains consistent within both the human and the vampire worlds.

Poor Hoyt. He gets pissy with Jessica for her decision to bite his mother because of her insolent comments, only to have her offer disconcerting revelations about how she’s been longing to head over to Merlotte’s to find herself some manly company, then put the cherry on top of the conversation by destroying everything he ever knew about his father and his noble death.

Poor Tara. She was so chomping at the bit to save Eggs that she basically tried to alienate every single person in the house. My wife theorized that her angry words were due to the approaching mob, but, no, it appears that she was just being incredibly shitty. During her awful heart-to-heart chat with her mama, she did her very best to make her mother feel like complete and total shit…and, yet, Mama responds by playing the sucker and deciding that this is her only possible way to get her daughter back. I don’t blame her for her desperation, but, c’mon, this is Tara’s cousin and best friend. Given everything that had gone down in the previous few hours, did she really think that her daughter knew best?

I can’t imagine that anyone would deny that, if this episode belonged to anyone other than Queen Sophie-Anne, it was the tag-team dumb-ass duo of Jason and Detective Andy. Who would’ve thought that Andy would turn out to be the sensible one of the pair? There were laughs from Sam’s attempts to explain his shapeshifting abilities to them (eventually leading to the discussion later in the episode where Jason tried to work out the most sordid angles of Sam’s powers), from Jason’s dramatic comment about having read about the impending Armageddon in a book (just when you thought he was going to say it was the Bible, he revealed that it was Max Brooks’s “World War Z”), from trumpeting his awesomeness and then promptly running headlong into a tree, and…oh, hell, there were too many laughs to count, but the one that still resonates the most was surely this line.

“‘Sometimes you need to destroy something to save it.’ That’s in the Bible. Or the Constitution.”

God love you, Jason Stackhouse.

The whole sequence within the sheriff’s station was hilarious, though I thought it was a bit cheap to have Andy be wearing kevlar underneath his shirt when he got shot. Still, how can you go wrong with William Sanderson dancing his heart out in his boxers? Their intense discussion in the truck was pretty hilarious in its own right, particularly Jason’s assurance that “I watch a lot of porn to learn stuff,” but the sudden decision to turn this mystical invasion into something patriotic was somehow perfect for these two redneck yokels. The only thing that would’ve made it better would’ve been to have Jason and Andy start singing “God Bless The USA.”

I absolutely loved the Sookie / Lafayette scenes, particularly when it was revealed that the two of them now have that shared bond with Eric, a revelation which was both funny and disconcerting. (“Somebody needs to slap that bitch.” “I did!”) But am I the only one who isn’t completely sold – at least from a dramatic standpoint – on these post-traumatic stress moments of Lafayette’s? I mean, I understand that, given everything he’s gone through, he’d probably be suffering through such a condition, but either I’m having trouble buying Nelsan Ellis’s performance during his attacks, or I’m taken out of the moment by the visions he’s seeing. Either way, I find myself less than caught up in them.

Maryann’s abode is just getting creepier all the time, though during Sookie’s sneaking into the joint tonight, it was intensified by the recollection that it used to be Gran’s house. The shrieks from the black-eyed cadre were horrifying…though, admittedly, not quite as horrifying as when she curled up on the floor with Dr. Phlox. Of course, she took him out with one punch, and then it was up the stairs and – after a quick peek at a cross-dressing black eye – into Gran’s old room. I couldn’t believe Sookie kept her cool as she saw what Tara and Eggs were doing to Gran’s things, but at least she lost it accordingly when she turned to see the dead-eyed stare of a controlled Lafayette.

Random comments:

* It was an interesting development to have Arlene’s kids come looking for a hot lunch, only to have them tag along with Sam to Fangtasia and share a close encounter with Eric. I’m presuming that they’ll play a significant part in next week’s episode, even if it’s only just to help make their mama’s black eyes blue again. (Speaking of Fangtasia, it’s always a treat to see Ginger pop up.)

* I’m not sure which was worse to experience: seeing Eric’s face more or less on Tara’s mama’s body, or hearing that excruciating shrieking sound come forth from Maryann.

And, lastly, can I just say, “Yahtzee? Really?” And, yet, what do you want to bet that the game’s sales skyrocket as a result of its appearance in tonight’s episode?

Next week’s the grand finale. If nothing else, let’s hope that we at least finally get rid of Maryann!