August 11, 2014 4:33 AM EDT

True Blood is winding to a close, and with just three weeks to go the show is letting the healing commence. But just because the show is seemingly adopting some midlevel hospital’s focus-grouped tag line of “let the healing begin” doesn’t mean there won’t be gory deaths, eyebrow-raising shocks, looming infidelity and a room filled with medieval torture devices, including a “breast ripper.” This is still True Blood after all.

Here’s what happened on True Blood:

When we last saw Sarah Newlin, she was cornered, with Eric and Pam and the Yakanomo Corp. CEO circling. To kick off the episode, like a kid misunderstanding the point of hide and seek, she walks out of the building and offers herself up and crowns herself “the Princess of Peace.” Not one to tolerate an overinflated sense of self, Eric swoops in to kill her, but settled on biting her instead. Funny thing, though, that bite cured him from Hep V.

After Bill and Sookie reconnected, horizontally, on the carpet, Bill struck up some postcoital conversation: “A quiet Sookie is a thinking Sookie. Penny for your thoughts?” And instead of wrapping the sheet around her and stomping out of the room in the universal sign of regretting your choice of bedroom partner, Sookie just smiled, and they talked about the long sordid history of their relationship and how Sophie-Anne wanted to turn Sookie into a breeding machine. Bill is sorry that he was such a fool, and to crib a line from Battlestar Galactica: So say we all, Bill, so say we all.

Meanwhile, Lafayette and Lettie Mae are still digging up some nice family’s front lawn in the hopes of finding Tara and/or resolution. James shows up just in time for Lettie Mae to persuade her husband, the good reverend, to come with her on a trip to whatever nether plane of existence is accessible by chugging some vampire’s blood. After Lettie Mae gives her doe-eyed “Don’t you trust me?” speech, the reverend sucks on James’ wrist and follows her into a flashback of Tara’s childhood birthday party with Tara pulling a Ghost of Christmas Past on the trio through the memory. Tara’s dad crashes the festivities and an awful scene of domestic unrest unfurls under the watchful eyes of the uninvited guests. As her father corners her mother, child Tara goes and finds her father’s handgun. She points it at his head, but then thinks better of it. She watches as her father abandons the family and goes to bury the gun in the front yard. The reverend uncovers it, and full-grown Tara appears to tell her mother that she should have pulled the trigger. Her mother reminds her that she was just a kid and was supposed to protect her. They ask each other for forgiveness, and then Tara goes into the light in her flowy white dress to the Great Toga Party in the sky, leaving her mother, Lafayette and the reverend to pick up the pieces.

Hoyt Fortenberry and his girlfriend (or is it fiancée?) Bridget are going through his dearly departed mother’s possessions while Deputy Jason supervises the proceedings (with a beer). While Hoyt breaks the news that he never, ever, ever wants to have children, Jason gets a text from Violet showing that she has both Adilyn and Jessica tied up. He rushes to their rescue, awkwardly bringing Hoyt’s girlfriend with him, as she does want children and won’t spend another minute with a nonbreeder, apparently. Jason leaves her well armed in the squad car while he goes to rescue the women from his angry ex. He goes into Violet’s house, guns ablazing, but is quickly disarmed by the irate vamp. She ties him up and adds him to the lineup of other victims filling her chamber of horrors. In typical television-evil-villain mode, Violet elaborately lays out her torture plans for her victims, including Adilyn and Wade, whom she seems to really hate. As Violet talks and talks and threatens and talks some more, she doesn’t notice Hoyt come in with a wooden-bullet gun. He puts a quick end to her rant. Note to future villains: less talking, more tormenting. It’s like no one learned anything from Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil. With Violet a pile of goo on the floor, Hoyt frees everyone, including Jessica, with whom he shares some serious oogly eyes. Sheriff Andy finally arrives on the scene and thanks Hoyt for saving his daughter. While Hoyt may not remember his relationship with Jessica, Jessica does, and she is all twitterpated at Hoyt and his heroic rescue. While she ogles her hero, Bridget is chatting up Jason, trying to find out if Jessica is his girlfriend. Later, Jessica and Jason have The Talk, and when they DTR, they realize they just want to be friends.

Hoyt joins Jason at the bar formerly known as Merlotte’s and tells him that while he is loyal to Bridget, there’s just something about Jessica. Jason gives him the green light and tells Hoyt that Jessica’s maker is dying. Hoyt shows up at Bill and Jessica’s place with a sweet offering of the vampire version of an Edible Arrangement — his own Hep V negative blood. Jessica is touched. They almost kiss before Hoyt remembers Bridget and says his farewell.

Now that Eric is cured, he and Pam want to open a bank to rake in all the money for their Hep V cure, but Gus Jr., the eminent business mind behind the Yakanomo Corp., has other ideas. He doesn’t want to cure people, but to make the new and improved Tru Blood a healthy tonic that makes people feel better and will alleviate some symptoms, but won’t completely heal them and thus make them all a lot more money. He deems Sarah Newlin’s blood a trade secret and swears Eric and Pam to secrecy. They are fine with it, but Eric does want to tell Sookie that he’s cured. He knocks on her door in the middle of the night and tells her the news. Instead of being overjoyed, she tells him that Bill is sick. Eric won’t tell her about the cure, though, but promises to return the next night with a plan. Obviously that’s not good enough for Sookie. She follows him to Fangtasia, where she is stopped by the yakuza-like thugs. They drag her inside, and Eric pretends she is just another needy fangbanger, but Gus Jr. is suspicious. Eric persuades him to let him glamour Sookie and send her on her way, and while Gus Jr. relents, he isn’t quite buying it.

Instead of going home, Sookie uses her fairy powers to bust into the basement. She knows something is hidden in there, because she read Gus Jr.’s mind. She wasn’t expecting to find Sarah Newlin tied up there though. She reads Sarah’s mind and discovers that Sarah’s blood is, in fact, the cure. Sookie leaves Sarah tied up and, instead of bringing some blood to Bill, she runs to Bill’s house and tells Jessica and Bill the good news.

The second Gus Jr. splits town, Pam and Eric head to the basement to get a vial of Sarah’s blood for Bill. That’s when Sookie and Jessica show up dragging Bill along with them. When the cure is right in front of him, though, Bill realizes something: he doesn’t want the blood. Then in a cinematographic move straight out of the Evil Dead handbook, the camera zooms in really close to Sookie’s face.

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