HBO, September 4 (US)
Sookie is a bargaining chip in Marnie’s plan to destroy the vampires. Eric and Bill are prepared to sacrifice themselves, but Pam is having none of that. Sookie breaks the spell and Jesus casts one of his own. Andy gets waylaid in the woods on his trek back to Bon Temps. Sam and Alcide have a showdown with Marcus and Debbie.
It’s an all-out action fest in this penultimate episode of the series, and it adroitly pulls the flagging witches storyline out of the doldrums. The main action and most of the screentime is thus focused on the magic shop, with Marnie and her hostages inside and the vampires and Jason out.
The plot is a real roller coaster ride with threats and dangers looming up one after the other. Marnie turns into a real villain this episode, somewhat two-dimensional but starkly evil all the same. And even though things seem to wrap up all too neatly, there’s more than enough to suggest it isn’t over yet.
One can’t help thinking that Sookie’s and Jesus’s supernatural powers are both in their separate ways going to put them in more harm’s way than that offered by one witch with a grudge. But here they are given pure motivations in saving the lives of the hostages and the skins of the vampires. It doesn’t seem to bode well for anyone, not least Layfayette and Jesus with their channeling of ghosts and brujo demons, but Jason is also getting tied in tighter knots with Jessica, and Andy’s new ‘girlfriend’ could mean a bigger danger lurks for Sookie and the vamps further down the line.
There is also some well-thought out mirroring going on in the episode, firstly harking back to the climax of season three with Eric’s replaying of Russell Edgington’s on-air frolics and within the episode with interactions between Eric and Pam, and Alcide and Debbie echoing each other. This all suggests the final episode could be another riveting climax.
Verdict: It’s Assault on Moon Goddess Emporium: Bon Temps’s deadliest vampire gang just declared war on the witch!
Episode 11 ‘Soul of Fire’: 8/10