"Scuse me. Who ordered the hamburger... with AIDS? In this restaurant, a hamburger deluxe comes with french fries, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and AIDS! Do anyone got a problem wit dat? Aw baby, it's too late for that. F******s been breeding your cows, raisin' your chickens, even brewin' your beer long before I walked my sexy ass up in this mother f****r!" - Lafayette, dealing with ignorant hicks in his customary way.
As non-viewers can gleam from a single episode's recap, it can be a little complicated, not to mention exhausting, keeping up with HBO vampire soap True Blood. But amidst all the melodrama, rising body count, and double-triple-quadrupled mumbo-jumbo, what audiences really crave is a character or two that can keep a clear head, and isn't going to be putting up with any of this bull***t. That's about half the reason that Lafayette Reynolds, short order fry cook, one-time drug dealer, witch, and unapologetic gay man, is a fan favorite.
Before one even gets to the more occult leaning the show has taken him on (as it tends to), Lafayette is a breath of fresh air for constantly saying it like it is, just like in the quote above. It can't have been easy growing up as an out gay man in a po-dunk Southern Town like fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana. But, as with everything else in the crapsack soup that is his world, Lafayette hasn't let it cramp his style. Regularly adorning himself in flamboyant clothing and makeup, Lafayette is hardly a physical weakling, belaying muscles that clearly say he's not taking any comers, thank you for trying. Instead of leaving his sass as a by-the-numbers stereotype, lead writer Alan Ball shows viewers the necessity of such psychological armor, and the private toll its upkeep takes. Lafayette's humor is dry instead of frivolous, and his suspicious nature hardly unearned.
Of course, psychological armor is of little use against vampires. Or werewolves. Or demons, malevolent muses, faeries, shapeshifters, witches…you get the picture. In the show's four-plus seasons, Lafayette's had his share of woes to weather. He's been kidnapped, and kept a chained prisoner in the basement of vampire club Fangtasia. While suffering PTSD, he was still the one to initiate an intervention in his mercurial cousin, Tara's, relationship/cult involvement. That gets him (and most of the show's cast, through no fault of his) brainwashed by an evil spirit. Season 3 brought him a boyfriend, Jesus, but no end to his troubles, as he winds up playing comforter and go-between repeatedly for the other, increasingly troubled characters. Plus, that handsome nurse boyfriend? A witch. One with good intentions, but an inclination to community activities, leading Lafayette into involvement with a witches' coven. While his powers come to the fore, the entanglement eventually results in Jesus' death at Lafayette's own hand (he was possessed at the time), in a manifestation of the all-too-frequent dead-gay-lover trope.
On a show where nearly every single character continues to make irrational decisions, and walk into extreme danger with only the barest misgiving, we have no doubt that Lafayette, if anyone, will be the one to retain his senses as the madness continues. After all, given what's happened in the fifth season so far, peace is a long way off.