Fourth Man in the Fire
Directed by Michael Lehmann
Written by Alexander Woo
Sookie stands shocked and inconsolable at the scene of the vampire nest fire, and then she breaks free of Andy's grasp and darts to the row of burned coffins. The gruesome sight - four bodies reduced to boiling blood and tissue - immediately drives her back, and she runs home in anguish.
Tara, however, wakes up to a strangely idyllic household, with her mother cooking breakfast and throwing out a monstrous stash of booze. Still somewhat shocked, Tara sits down to eat, allowing herself for the first time to believe things might be different. But when she heads over to Sookie's house - unaware of what's happened to Bill - she finds herself arguing with her closest friend over the fang marks on her neck. Sookie shoots back at her: "Do you have any idea what I've been through today? A friend would ask!" Then she kicks Tara out of the house. Later though, when Sookie goes to place flowers on the grave from Bill's previous human life, the vampire bursts from the dirt - safe and unscathed - and makes love to her on the spot.
At Jason's house, he and Amy lounge in bed, still luxuriating in the afterglow of V. Neither has felt such a strong connection with another person, though it shocks Jason to learn that they never even had sex. Amy's stash of vampire blood is gone, but Jason opens up to her nonetheless, explaining how his parents died in a flash flood and that he feels responsible for his rough relationship with Sookie. Amy takes him in her arms.
Outside Merlotte's Terry helps Sam carry some taxidermy animals into the bar. Terry asks Sam why he was running naked through the woods, but the bar owner dodges the question, guiltily allowing the PTSD-suffering vet to think he's been seeing things again. Once the bar opens and Sookie shows up for work - in a fantastic mood, no less - Sam's faux sympathy at Bill's death turns to irritation at the vampire's reappearance. Jason turns up to eat with Amy, who jumps in to help Sookie with a swarm of waiting customers and earns herself a job as Dawn's replacement - exactly the role Sookie expects her to fill for Jason. But when she tries to warn Amy off of dating her brother, the girl tells Sookie she shouldn't judge him so harshly.
Tara returns home to find her mother's clean laundry hanging in the back yard, and Lettie Mae soon materializes - dressed in full Sunday finery - with a woman from her church. They discuss what a miracle Lettie Mae's transformation is, but as soon as the women suggest that Tara start attending services, she loses her patience and flees, spewing a cloud of profanity-laced insults behind her. Tara turns up at Merlotte's and pulls Sam aside before jumping into his arms. But after they finish the greeting in bed, she can't stay relaxed for long; she quickly morphs one of his comments into a criticism then the criticism into racism. "F**k you all! F**k everybody," she screams as she slams the door behind her.
In the bar, Arlene approaches Sookie and apologizes for all the bigoted things she's said about vampires, though Sookie's sharp enough to realize her friend is just trying to butter her up before asking her to baby-sit, no telepathy needed. Sookie agrees to watch the kids while Arlene and Rene go to a concert, but when they later drop the children at Sookie's house, Arlene is shocked to find Bill there as well. Rene defuses the situation by reminding his girlfriend that Bill raised a few kids of his own, and sure enough, after the couple leaves, the vampire turns out to be a big hit with the little ones. Arlene suffers another shock on the way home, when Rene fakes a flat tire in order to propose to her on the side of the road. Overjoyed with her fourth engagement, Arlene exclaims, "Why didn't you say anything at Red Lobster"
Andy and Bud identify the fourth body from the fire as Mike Spencer's assistant, Neil, who turns out to have been quite the fangbanger. With that small mystery solved, they head over to Sam's to question him about the brawl that broke out at his bar and sparked the whole incident. In barely veiled contempt for the vampires, Sam explains he has no information to offer and really hopes the police can solve the human murders that have plagued the town. When Andy asks him about his nude run through the forest, Sam replies that his parents were nudists and that he honors their memory once a year by streaking through the woods, but the detective's checking up on the story reveals it as a lie.
In the kitchen at Merlotte's, Tara explains the previous night's exorcism to Lafayette, who says it looks like she managed to get her money's worth from a scam artist - not a bad deal. "This world is filled with things we'll never understand," he says, which is enough to send her out to the crossroads to have her own demon banished. Lafayette, however, has his own business to attend to: A re-up of vampire blood. He grabs his cooler and hits the road, not noticing that Amy and Jason are tailing him, slightly strung out.
Lafayette visits Eddie - a lonely, suburban vampire - and exchanges sex for two vials of blood, promising Eddie that it's more than a business transaction; he's special. After Lafayette leaves, Amy and Jason knock on the door, but when Eddie answers, Amy unexpectedly throws a silver net over his face, paralyzing him. Jason, horrified by the violence even though he considers Eddie a monster, takes orders from his new girlfriend, binding Eddie's feet with silver wire before throwing him in the truck bed.
Bill and Sookie are also drawn into some shady business when Eric "asks for a favor" at Fangtasia. Someone at the bar has stolen $60,000, and he wants Sookie to use her telepathy to ferret out the culprit. After extracting the promise from Eric that anyone she discovers will be handed over to the authorities, Sookie agrees to "interview" the bar's employees - a process which ultimately incriminates Longshadow as the thief. Realizing that he's been caught, the vampire lunges at Sookie, fangs extended.