‘True Blood’ 4.09 Recap: The Festival of Tolerance

Well, Sookie lives. Oh, sorry, Spoiler Alert, I guess. It should come as a surprise to precisely no one that the main character of ‘True Blood’ would live through last week’s tepid cliffhanger. You didn’t honestly expect otherwise, did you?

I’m not sure whether this week’s episode is called ‘Run’ or ‘Let’s Get out of Here’. My cable guide says one, while online listings say the other. In either case, the gist of the story is that Alcide carries the injured Sookie away from all the fighting in the cemetery. Bill, who we last saw being silvered, has apparently gotten out of that and runs to her. Although she won’t drink his blood at first and appears to be in dire straits, eventually Sookie comes around. She even has a goofy dream where she has a threesome with Eric and Bill and decides that she’s in love with both of them.

Marnie/Antonia takes control of Eric. Tara and the other Wiccans are terrified and want to run away, but Antonia locks them all up in the magic shop.

The next day, Nan Flanigan arrives in town to attend a PR event call the Festival of Tolerance. She’s kind of pissed when she finds out the extent of what’s been happening with the witches. (You’d think that word of mass vampire evacuations from Louisiana would have made its way to her.) She’s even more pissed when she finds out that she has to silver herself while sleeping through the day.

The Festival is kind of a farce, with only a few vampires in attendance. While Bill and Nan give their placating speeches about the importance of human/vampire harmony, Antonia takes control of the vampire security detail. She has Eric and the other vamps wreak havoc and start tearing the crowd to pieces, as part of her plan to make humans hate vampires again. The mass panic they cause may just do the trick.

Other Notable Developments:
  • After leaving Sookie with Bill, Alcide goes home and tries to slip into bed as if he’d never left. The next day, Debbie buys some V from a drug dealer. This seems like a really bad sign, especially when she heads to Sookie’s house next. However, instead of picking a fight, she actually confides in Sookie, makes peace with her, and helps her to sneak into the magic shop to find Tara and Eric. Although Sookie fails to rescue them, she does learn about Antonia’s plan to attack the Festival.
  • Sam, Luna and Luna’s daughter go camping as an excuse to get away from Marcus for a little while. Sam and Luna have sex, and this time it’s really Sam.
  • When Marcus goes looking for Sam at the restaurant, Tommy gets the bright idea of shifting into Sam’s form and showing up at Marcus’s garage for a fight. I guess he thinks that taking a beating for Sam will somehow help him make amends or something. It’s not a good plan. Tommy gets the shit beaten out of him and shifts back to his real form in from of Marcus.
  • Hoyt packs all of Jessica’s possessions into a “Monster Box” and asks Jason to drop them off at Bill’s. This leads to Jason and Jessica having sex in the back of Jason’s truck, and apparently it’s not just a dream time time.
  • The French lady ghost who has possessed Lafayette is named Mavis, and she doesn’t seem to realize that she’s dead. She holes up in Hoyt’s house (which used to be her house) with the baby, and shoots at Andy and Jason when they try to get in. Eventually, Jesus manages to talk her down, explain what’s happened, and convince her to give Arlene’s baby back. In return, the group of them help to dig up her corpse and her baby’s corpse, at which point she leaves Lafayette’s body and heads off to the tunnel of light. And that would appear to be the end of this storyline, which seems to be a completely pointless digression that doesn’t tie in with anything else this season.
  • The vampire Festival of Tolerance is sponsored by 1-800-DENTIST. That’s awesome.

Overall… Meh. Not a terrible episode, not a great one. Sookie’s dream is pretty cheesy, and Lafayette’s exorcism is even cheesier. Some plot-points get checked off, but of course, just as things are starting to ramp up and get good, the show cuts out on another lame cliffhanger.


  1. Drew

    You’re wrong about the — Mavis possessing Lafayette’s body — storyline not tying in with anything else this season. It is going to be Lafayette and Jesus that ultimately bring down Marnie/Antonia. The audience needed to see this storyline play out in order to gain an understanding of how Lafayette’s powers can be utilized. It’s clear that this storyline was put into play in order to build up Lafayette’s character as a medium.

    It was important to show just how powerful of a medium Lafayette can be, because he and Jesus are going to team up together and use that ability to take down Marnie/Antonia. It’s really the only possible solution still in play to the Marnie/Antonia dilemma.

    • Josh Zyber

      I still don’t see Lafayette as powerful. All he did was allow a spirit to possess him. Not even that, he was just too weak to stop it from happening. He has no special witchy powers otherwise.

      My original assumption was that this Mavis would turn out to be a powerful spirit who would possess Lafayette and help to defeat Antonia. But that was a total non-starter. She’s just gone now.

      So where does that leave things? Is Lafayette going to be possessed by ANOTHER powerful spirit who we’ve never even met before in a last-minute deus ex machina? That would be just about the only possible thing even lamer than the Mavis storyline.

      As I write this, I’m remembering how Marnie briefly communicated with Eddie (Stephen Root’s vampire character), which seemed like an utterly random non sequitur. Are they trying to set it up that weak-willed Eddie is going to possess Lafayette and defeat Antonia? Because that might be even lamer and more nonsensical than the last scenario I just described.

  2. TJ Kats

    Boring like the rest of this season. The show has gotten so meh that I have forgotten most of what happened by the time your recap rolls around. I am so glad we only have three weeks left and then we get Boardwalk Empire back.

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