“True Blood” Episode 410 Recap: “Burning Down the House”


For starters, Nan is pissed that Bill kept secrets from her, specifically about his “little dairy maid and her lightning trick.”

The two of them play the blame game, with Nan blaming Bill for being such a screw-up as a King and swearing she’s going to have him executed. And Bill says it’s all her fault, because if she’d only let him kill the necromancing witch back when he wanted to, none of this would have happened.

Actually, I don’t know that that’s necessarily true. I mean, he sent Eric just to bully her, and look how well that worked out. What makes him think they would have been able to kill her so easily? Plus his comment here points out that Bill was basically ready to kill an innocent human with no evidence she was a threat to them for crimes she might commit in the future, like he’s been watching Minority Report a bit too seriously. Once again, it makes it really hard to side with the vampires over the witches here. Plus I like Nan; she’s as obsessed with TV as I am.

Meanwhile, at the Moon Goddess Emporium, Tara and the other witches have been held hostage for days, with nothing to eat other than patchouli and scented candles. So as you might imagine, they’re getting a bit testy, and we see them frantically trying to get a call to the outside on their cell phones. But nobody’s getting enough bars, either because Mantonia’s cast some spell, or because, like me, they’re stuck with AT&T.

Mantonia cames marching in, with two vampire-zombie sheriffs obediently following behind her. The other witches once again demand to be set free, and Mantonia gets all pissed off about how ungrateful they are; she’s been out all day working hard to exterminate an entire species for their benefit and all the thanks she gets is a bunch of nagging back home. What a bunch of crybabies!

She sends the vampire-zombies off into vampire-zombie storage. But then she starts muttering to herself and twitching, and Tara and Holly stare at her like she’s gone totally bonkers, although to me she looks like the majority of the people I see walking the streets of Manhattan on any given day.

Mantonia mutters herself into the back room and sort of fights with herself until we see Antonia’s spirit separate itself from Marnie, and they proceed to have a little talk with each other. All I can think during these scene is that if things don’t work out in Bon Temps, Marnie could whip herself up a few more alternate personalities, move to the suburbs, and get herself a sitcom on Showtime.

The big twist here – and it’s a pretty clever one I didn’t see coming – is that Antonia is having misgivings about all the needless violence. But Marnie at this point is cuckoo for cocoa puffs and wants more power and bloodshed. She manages to convince Antonia that vampires and the humans who tolerate them deserve whatever they get. Now seeing eye to eye, they merge into Mantonia once again.

For reasons I can’t really understand, Mantonia has decided it’s perfectly fine to let her hostages wander around the store unrestrained, searching for escape routes or weapons as much as they please.

So while Mantonia’s off arguing with herself, Holly enlists Tara to try to use some sort of spell to try to counteract Mantonia’s powers.

When Tara points out that they can’t read Latin and have a good chance of screwing this up royally, Holly argues that the way the Goddess works is that as long as they have good intentions, things should work out fine even if they have no idea what they’re doing and totally mess up the job. This sounds frightening close to the logic many would-be presidents are spouting these days, and I have a feeling it’s going to work out just as well.

Meanwhile, Sookie – predictably – has run to get reinforcements to help her save Tara from the Moon Goddess Emporium before Bill and his flame-throwing goons show up that night.

She enlists Jason, then Lafayette and Jesus. Jesus, unknowingly thinking that Marnie is a victim in all of this, has this idea that if he could somehow reach out to the Marnie side of Mantonia, he could convince her to help them expel Antonia and free the hostage witches.

So we see Sookie, Jason, and Lafayette cowering behind a van as they stake out the Moon Goddess Emporium, looking for all the world like they’re on their way to a costume party dressed as The Mod Squad.

Sookie uses her telepathy to confirm that Tara is trapped inside, and Jesus announces it’s time for him to go in and talk to Mantonia. Then he kisses Lafayette lovingly and says, “I’ll see you soon.” D’oh! He’s a goner! Don’t they know you never do this sort of thing when you’re about to put yourself in danger? Have these people never watched a TV show in their lives?

Jesus approaches the shop but ZZZZZ. There’s some sort of force field around it and he gets zapped. He comes out of it, to find that Mantonia’s come outside to investigate.

He argues that he’s totally on her side and wants to join them. She responds that he’s got a funny way of showing that, given he’d abandoned them. He uses the old, “My grandfather was sick” excuse, and she says he can prove his devotion to her by figuring out a way to get through her protection spell.

So he pushes ahead and ZZZZZZ. And he pushes ahead some more and ZZZZZZZ. And then his head turns into that freaky devil-cat head and he gets the power to walk through. When Jason and the others see Jesus’ freaky face, they’re all WTF? And Lafayette responds that – like the macarena and the career of Carlos Mencia – this is just a terrifying Latin thing.

Mantonia is impressed by Jesus’ newfound powers and invites him inside. They sit across form each other on the floor and he talks about how he’d like to put his newfound power to work for her. She say she’d like him to ask “the Moor” – meaning Lafayette – to join them, because he has great power as well.

Then Jesus bats his pretty eyes at her and gets all coquettish, all, “I’m totally your biggest fan. You think, though, maybe I could chat with Marnie for a sec? She’s an old friend and, frankly, she owes me money.”

So Mantonia concedes, and Marnie comes out, allowing Fiona Shaw to chew the scenery in two different accents. Jesus says he’s worried she’s been possessed, but Marnie says he’s got the wrong idea. She’s not imprisoned or powerless. In fact, she and Antonia totally see eye to eye on everything! Granted, they see eye to eye from inside her skull, but the point is they’re a team.

Jesus is all, “Oh, greeeeaaat!” while he sends Sookie a mental message warning that he was wrong; Marnie is bonkers and definitely not an ally.

Just then, Holly and Tara’s spell kicks in. Mantonia senses “treachery” and goes to investigate. It seems that Holly and Tara have figured out a way to remove the spell on the doors, and they make their escape. Sookie sees them and runs toward them.

But Mantonia, followed by Jesus, is right behind them. She enacts another spell and then – POOF! They all disappear.

Later that night, we see a van pull up outside the shop. Bill, Pam, Jessica and Eric emerge Mission Impossible-style, all decked out in black leather and bearing a flame thrower. The battle will commence … next week.

WTF Rating: 4

Like I said, this all seemed to be a set-up for next week, when the big vampire-witch battle will erupt in full force. But I like how they maneuvered events to get so many main characters in one place and involved in this central storyline. Now if only devil baby Mikey could somehow join in, this would be perfect. After all, nobody else seems as adept at starting fires.

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