Dead as a Doornail
Check out our episode here! Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
When we were last with Sookie, she had been hiding Eric from the witches that erased his memory and they killed and hid Debbie Pelt, but then his memories were restored and he forgot the time he spent with Sookie even though he said it was the best he's ever had. Sookie also successfully rescued her brother Jason from his capture by the werepanthers of Hotshot though not before he was bitten, and now the full moon has come and Jason changes into a pantherman for the first time. It goes surprisingly well and most of the werepanthers treat him like one of the pack. Calvin Norris, the werepanther leader, takes good care of Jason, maybe because he cares about his panther brethren or maybe because he wants Sookie to be his mate. Probably both.
When Sookie goes to work at Merlotte's later, she greets the new cook, Sweetie, who Sookie really likes because she shows up on time and she's good at her job. Sam takes off shortly because it's still the full moon and he's got to shift too, but Terry Bellefleur comes in to take over as bartender and bouncer. He's got to kick out some idiot college kids and then a vampire drainer comes in wanting to sell blood. Sookie "accidentally" spills a drink on her jacket and Terry takes it to clean but secretly throws the blood away. They kick the drainer out of the bar, which is a good thing because Tara is there with a new vampire, Mickey, who seems really angry and probably doesn't take kindly to drainers.
The next night at work, Claudine comes in and of course everyone loves her and goggles at her, but Sookie wishes her brother, Claude, would have come in too. Claudine has bad news for Sookie. She says that shifters are getting shot. One, a girl named Heather, was shot and killed. Another was shot and luckily not killed. This shifter is Calvin Norris. Sookie is upset because Calvin is a good guy, so hopefully he'll be okay. As they're locking up and leaving for the evening, Sookie and Sam walk out the back door of Merlotte's together. She turns to say something to Sam just as he gets shot in the leg.
The next day Sookie goes to Fangtasia hoping to borrow a bartender while Sam's leg heals. While she's waiting to talk to Eric, she meets Fangtasia's new bartender, Charles Twining, the pirate. Charles Twining is lovely and charming and handsome and Sookie takes to him immediately. Soon enough, she is meeting with Eric, who flirts with her, still trying to get her to reveal what happened between them while his memories were missing. Then they talk about Longshadow and how his sire, Hot Rain, is still mad about Eric killing him way back in book one.
After this conversation, Sookie and Eric change topics to Sam and other shifters getting shot and just why Sookie is visiting this evening. She asks Eric to lend a bartender to sub for Sam while he heals. Eric offers for Charles Twining to go and his payment will be free blood from the bar and lodging, and Sam will owe Eric a favor. Surely that will work out fine. Sookie then asks about Mickey, Tara's new vampire boyfriend, and Eric says he's bad news and to stay away from him. Not long after, Sookie and Charles Twining leave to go back to Merlotte's. On the way, Sookie learns that Charles Twining used to be one of Russell Edgington's, the King of Mississippi. That's curious, but maybe he wasn't involved in Bill's torture. There were a lot of vampires there after all, and not an of them helped Lorena torture Bill, though we wish they all would have.
The next day, Sookie works the day shift and a private investigator and his wife come in. They are working for Debbie Pelt's family to figure out what happened to her. They want to talk to Sookie after she gets off work, but she and Jason are going to the hospital to see Calvin. She suggests they meet up the next day. At the hospital, Calvin tells Sookie that some of the panthers think Jason is responsible for the shootings but he doesn't think that's true.
After they leave the hospital, Alcide shows up later at Sookie's and asks her to go with him to Colonel Flood's funeral. The Shreveport packmaster was recently killed in a car crash and Sookie agrees. She calls to borrow a dress from Tara who says yes but to not linger in her house, which Sookie understands to mean that there's a vampire in there. She gets a dress and leaves.
When she gets back home, the private Investigators come by and they know a lot about Sookie and Alcide's history, but don't suspect her of any wrongdoing in Debbie's disappearance. It really seems like this visit is just to assuage Debbie's parents. The Investigators leave without a fuss and then Alcide arrives to take Sookie to Colonel Flood's funeral. On the way, he asks if there's anything Sookie wants to tell him about the night of the Witch War, you know, since the Investigators were there and all, but nope, she hasn't got a thing to say.
The funeral is not so much a funeral as a way for the two hopeful new packmasters to present themselves to the pack. One is Alcide's dad and the other is a guy called Patrick. While at the funeral, Sookie meets a former packmaster's wife, Christine, who is lovely and kind and teaches her a lot about the packmasters and what's going on. As they're being seated, Sookie looks over and sees a very tall, very handsome, very bald man and asks Christine who he is, but she doesn't answer and the funeral begins.
Afterward, Sookie tells Alcide she doesn't want to see him for awhile because he tricked her into coming to learn about the packmaster challenge. He wants Sookie around because he is sure that Patrick is up to something. Sookie doesn't like being swindled, but then Alcide reveals that he knows Sookie killed Debbie and figured she'd feel like she owes him for not telling him. Sookie tells Alcide that Patrick is going to bring up Jackson Herveaux's gambling debts to discredit him, but now she's done with Alcide for a while.
Later at Merlotte's, everyone comes to visit Sam and Sookie tries to listen in to see if she can figure out who the shooter is. She figures it's a guy because aren't all snipers men? but she doesn't get any leads from the customers at the bar. Sam asks Sookie if she'll let Charles Twining stay at her house, mostly as a bodyguard to help keep her and potentially Jason safe if the Hotshotters decide to come after him. She reluctantly agrees. Later, Sookie sees Tara and Mickey come in and she thinks her friend looks miserable, but when she goes to check on their table, she is rudely dismissed by Mickey while Tara pretends to not be in an abusive relationship.
After work, Sookie and Charles Twining head home. She shows the vampire around then excuses herself for bed. Not too long later, Charles startles Sookie awake and tells her there's someone sneaking around outside. That someone turns out to be... Bill. Bill is shitty to Sookie about having a male in her home, but Sookie tells him Charles is there because he's filling in for Sam as bartender since he and several other shifters have been shot. Bill is slightly less shitty after this and Sookie goes back inside and back to bed...
...And is woken up again, this time by Claudine who tells Sookie that her house is on fire and ushers her outside. Charles Twining is out there too with the corpse of a stranger who presumably set the house on fire. Charles broke his neck, so he's no longer an issue. Sookie tells Charles to run to Bill's house to call the fire department, then Sookie slips inside to grab her purse and shuts the door to the kitchen which is currently engulfed in flames. Surprisingly, the damage is not so bad. Firefighters come quickly and extinguish the blaze that mostly only ruined the kitchen, the back porch, and Sookie's car, but the majority of the house is fine, if a little smoky-smelling.
Andy Bellefleur and Bud Dearborn show up to investigate the corpse who isn't anyone Sookie recognizes. Claudine says she saw him at Merlotte's that evening, but Sookie didn't. The cops find a Fellowship of the Sun member card in the arsonist's wallet, which isn't so strange. The Fellowship have attacked Sookie before and they hate that she loves vampires, plus the stuff that happened in Dallas and also the staking at Club Dead. The investigation wraps up here and Bill offers to let Sookie and Charles stay at his house for the rest of the evening.
The next day, Sookie's insurance agent comes to check things out and accidentally reveals that he's a witch who maybe casts spells to suggest to people that they get good insurance. As they're walking through the house, Jason comes over, and then several others from the town, like Maxine Fortenberry, Hoyt's mom, who offers to do Sookie's laundry, Tara, who brings Sookie a car, Terry Bellefleur, who offers to tear down the damaged parts of her house, Arlene, who brings her lunch, Dawson (Calvin's werewolf bodyguard), who offers on Calvin's behalf to kill whoever did this, and an arson investigator, Dennis. Everybody wants to help.
At Merlotte's the next day, Arlene hints that she wants to date the arson investigator and then Sam calls Sookie into his office. The mother and twin brother of the Fellowship guy say that there's no way he could have been responsible for the fire. His wallet was in the wrong place and they'd never heard of him going to Fellowship of the Sun before. Sookie doesn't really know what to make of this visit, but she and Sam listen to what they have to say and then they leave. Sam hugs Sookie after this and then they make out a little and then... Bill comes in. Sam launches himself at Bill, but then everything cools down. Bill comes to take Sookie home, not realizing she is borrowing Tara's car, so he leaves, shittily. Sookie decides to stay with Jason for the time being, so Bill is completely useless, except that he's allowing Charles Twining to stay with him now.
Sookie goes to sort through her kitchen the next day and while she's there, Alcide drives up. He's mad and hurt about not knowing Sookie's house burned. As he's telling her all the things he could do to help her if she'd let him, including paying to rebuild her house, a contractor and his wife come by. Frustratingly, the contractor talks to Alcide instead of Sookie, asking him all the questions about layout and design. Sookie steps up and tells the contractor that she wants to make the kitchen basically the same and enclose the back porch and make it bigger. It'll be three or so months before it's finished. After the contractor leaves, Alcide tells Sookie he is man and he wants her to move in with him and be his woman. (Okay, he doesn't say that exactly, but you get the idea.) She tells him she's not ready for that now and neither is he, but they can revisit the idea again when her house is finished if he's still interested.
Later, as she’s on her way to work, Sookie drops off Tara’s dress that she borrowed and gets creeped out by Mickey who asks her about Charles Twining for some reason and how long he’s been at Merlotte’s. She says not long and then leaves as he tells her she’s a bad influence on Tara and he’s all she needs. Yeah, we all believe that. When Sookie gets to Merlotte’s, she’s greeted outside by Sweetie, the cook. Sookie doesn’t know much about Sweetie because there have been a lot of cooks at the bar, but Sweetie tells her she’s sorry about her house, so Sookie pauses to chat. The chat is relatively normal, though Sweetie does seem to sniff Sookie, but maybe that’s just because she still smells like a burned house. Then she tells Sookie that Sam really likes her, but Sookie brushes it off. Sweetie also asks about Sookie being with Sam when he got shot and if Sookie thinks the victims have anything in common. Noooo… not at all…
Eric comes in later while Sookie is fuming over Bill having brought a date to the bar. Eric’s upset that Claudine saved Sookie from her burning house and not Charles Twining, but whatever. He’s supposed to be working for Sam, not babysitting her. Eric changes the conversation topic to his time spent with Sookie without his memories. He desperately wants to know what happened and believes that maybe he killed someone or helped cover something up, but Sookie won’t say anything other than Eric was sweet to her during that time and liked to talk. He’s terribly frustrated, but then Sam comes out to check on Sookie so he leaves.
Sam talks to Sookie about their interrupted makeout session from the day before, which is awkward, but then he offers her a furnished duplex he owns, which is thoughtful. When she gets back to work, Bill’s date comes to size her up and thinks poorly of her, but then she asks Sookie for vampire dating advice. Bill talks to her about his date shortly thereafter, making sure that Sookie is jealous, but in a lighthearted way. It seems like they’re done for good now in the romance department.
Sookie spends the night with Jason and Crystal again and they are busy all night, wink wink, which makes Sookie very happy that Sam offered her the duplex. She leaves the next day to gather some stuff from her house to take to the duplex, and after getting set up there, she goes to see Calvin at the hospital. He’s doing much better. They talk about the fire and the shifter sniper and Jason. Sookie gives Calvin a kiss before leaving, which he FOR SURE takes the wrong way, but he thinks she’s nice and pretty and that she smells good, which makes her feel special.
After visiting with Calvin, Sookie goes to the library. Unfortunately, as she’s leaving with her stack of books, she gets shot. Luckily she heard a non-human brain and ducked just in time, making this only a shoulder wound instead of, you know, a deadly one. Portia Bellefleur is there and gets help before Sookie passes out. Her last valiant effort before succumbing to the pain? Moving her books so they don't get covered in blood. Your friendly local librarian thanks you.
She wakes in the hospital and Jason is there, excited because Sookie got shot while he was with people so everyone will know he's definitely not the shooter. She is visited by Andy Bellefleur who asks her questions about being shot, but she doesn't know anything, then she dozes off again. When she wakes the next time, Bill is there and asks if they can ever be like they were. NO BILL GEEZ. But then Sookie asks him to lay with her because he makes her feel safe and then she falls asleep again.
When it's time for Sookie to be discharged, Claude shows up to give her a ride home. They have an interesting conversation which involves him asking Sookie to pose for romance novel covers with him after her shoulder heals and also about him knowing Sweetie the Cook who used to work as a stripper before an accident that left her too scarred to strip. How interesting. When Claude drops Sookie off at her duplex, Andy is there because his girlfriend lives next door. He asks questions again, but Sookie still doesn't know anything.
Tara comes by later and confesses that Mickey is terrible to her and she wants out of their relationship or whatever it is that's going on between them. Sookie wants to kill him but Tara refuses and then leaves, so she calls Eric for help. Eric calls Mickey's maker to make her recall him so he'll have to leave Bon Temps. This is a great and very helpful plan, but now Sookie owes him. She tells him everything that happened between them while he lost his memories. They almost have a sexy moment, but then…
Mickey is staring outside the window. He's out there strangling Tara and growls to let him in or he'll kill her. He throws a rock through the window and knocks Eric out for a few seconds, but he manages to quickly heal by sneakily drinking Sookie's wrist out of sight. Sookie invites Mickey in then he attacks her, letting go of Tara. Sookie rescinds Mickey's invitation, so he's ejected without a fight. Very clever, Sookie. Eric calls Mickey’s maker again and he tries to avoid her summons. This is not going to end well for Mickey. Eric calls Bill over to fix the window because he can make Bill do pretty much anything he wants. Eric then tells Tara she's been a bad friend to Sookie. Why is he doing all these nice things? Tara sleeps on the couch but is gone the next morning.
Sookie goes to work the next day and sees Sweetie outside. Now that Sookie knows she was a stripper, things are awkward. Sam's worried about Sookie being shot because she's not a shifter, but he notices that she definitely smells like one. GASP! The shooter must be able to smell shifters and Weres! They decide to go sniffing around the crime scenes to see if Sam can pick up anything on the shooter. The cops have been doing stakeouts and they're at one of the scenes while Sookie is there with Sam as a bloodhound. Andy approaches Sookie who plans to get out of their way. They've sniffed several scenes and it seems Sam is on to something, but then he starts growling. There's someone there. With a gun. Sookie asks if Andy is armed.
The shooter is Sweetie! She got bit by someone who is not a born shifter making her a quarter shifter. Ahh… this must be the accident that Claude mentioned! The full moon after she was bitten, she got real hairy and her hands changed. Her boyfriend didn't like her anymore so she decided to start shooting shifters, and she's shot a bunch in several states. As she's telling this story, Dalton, the Werewolf who guards Calvin's door in the hospital, tries to attack Sweetie from behind, but she turns and shoots him in the chest. Andy at first wants to kill Sookie because of all the trouble she's always causing, but then he kills Sweetie instead. The rest of the police come and take the now human and naked Dalton to the hospital. After this encounter, Andy knows about werewolves and shifters, but he doesn't know that Sam is the bloodhound.
Alcide comes by to see Sookie after this and invites her to the werewolf packmaster challenge. She says she'll think about it. She cooks a meal for Calvin who is home from the hospital now. She kisses him before leaving and she almost decides that she should just be with him, but no, she can't live in Hotshot and have children in that incestual little town. The guy running against Alcide's father for packmaster, Patrick, is also at Calvin's and as Sookie's leaving, he tells her that eventually Calvin is going to want something from her, then he rides off on his motorcycle.
Sookie decides to go to the packmaster challenge after talking with Patrick because he's the worst and she doesn't want him to win. She already knows he and his followers have been spreading gambling rumors about Jackson Herveaux and she's sure he's going to do worse things. When Alcide calls to tell her it's time for the challenge, she heads to Shreveport and to the address where they've set up the event.
Claudine and Claude are there, too, thank goodness, and so is the handsome bald man from the funeral. Now, not only is he handsome and bald, but he's also shirtless. He is the impartial referee of the event and gets things started by making Jackson and Patrick shift on command and go through an obstacle course. They both struggle at different parts but each make it through successfully.
The next challenge is to hold a bar of silver in their mouths which is super painful to werewolves. Alcide places the bar in his father's mouth and Patrick's second does the same after rubbing his hands all over the bar to inspect it. Jackson whimpers in pain while Patrick sits quietly. Sookie discovers that Patrick's second rubbed a numbing cream all over the bar and tells the handsome bald man, whom she learns is named Quinn. They are dirty rotten cheaters. Patrick is declared the loser of this challenge and the first as well. In order to become packmaster, he has to win the final challenge completely.
The final challenge is a fight. Normally it would be a who-can-last-five-minutes fight, but now it's to the death. Quinn asks Sookie to go into the cage and make sure neither Wolf is planning to cheat. As Sookie and Quinn leave the cage, Patrick immediately attacks and Sookie gets hurt, but luckily she was only scraped by the gate closing. She is not going to turn into a shewolf. Quinn strips Sookie's leg of her tights and licks her wound, because obviously he is some sort of shifter, too, but Sookie doesn't know what. They both really enjoy the experience, but Quinn says it's not their time yet. Now, back to the wolf fight. Jackson is an older wolf and unfortunately he loses. Alcide is crushed and Sookie is upset because this entire challenge was obviously rigged. The final part of the event, after every wolf licks Patrick's hand and exposes their neck to him, is for him to whelp a new pup, aka impregnate someone. A young naked lady walks out and Patrick fucks her there in front of everyone. Yeesh.
Sookie goes to Merlotte's after that and Sam gets a big whiff of her and asks when she hung out with a tiger. Ooh. That's what Quinn is. All night at the bar, someone keeps calling and hanging up and then Bubba shows up at the back door. He says to Sookie he isn't what he seems, he's a sharpshooter, and then he leaves. Charles Twining comes back then, super impressed to have just seen freaking Elvis the vampire, without using his name of course, and that makes something click in Sookie's head. If Charles Twining belonged to Russell Edgington, he would know that Bubba is Elvis because he performed for them after Sookie helped Bill escape. Aww shit.
Charles tells Sookie that he doesn't want to kill her but he has to. Fortunately everybody in the bar attacks him and stops him from killing Sookie. They start to call the vampire police but Charles says no, just stake him because he failed in his duties. So they do. Eric shows up a little bit later, angry and wanting to stake Charles, but don't worry, he's already dead. Eric explains that he and Bill looked through Bill's Vampire Phone Book and discovered that Charles Twining was actually sired by one of Hot Rain's vampires. When his sire was killed, he pledged himself to Hot Rain who told him to kill Sookie because Eric cares for her like he cared for Long Shadow. Well, we knew he was upset! Charles heard about the shifter shootings and shot Sam so Sookie would go to Eric and ask for a bartender. He would miraculously be there and could quietly kill Sookie in some sort of accident, say... a house fire. Well damn. That's convoluted as hell, but it's a good plan.
Eric tells Sookie after this that they're making a sexy vampire calendar at Fangtasia and tells her if she'll leave his picture up all year long he'll give her one. She agrees. Speaking of calendars, he then asks her to keep the beginning of March open because he's going to need her help at a summit of local kings and queens. Then he kisses her gently and asks her about their time together, how she told him he said she was the best he ever had and he would give up everything for her. He asks her if the same is true for her. Her response? Don't you wish you knew?