Oh, True Blood: you might be an incoherent mess, but what you lack in logic you make up for in… other ways. Case in point: this week’s episode opened with a classic scene in which Eric, apparently too harrowed from his near-death experience to button his shirt, argues with a very heated Jason. Jason confesses that he can’t get Eric out of his head and leaps onto the vampire’s back from behind like a horny flying squirrel, whereupon the two begin to make sweet, sweet love. Sadly for any fan fic writers vindicated by the start of last night’s episode, the sexy romp is revealed to just be a dream Jason is having (in church, of course). Amazing what drinking a vampire’s blood will do to a human’s subconscious.
In less sexy developments, the hep V vamps hiding out in Fangtasia are arguing about rationing food (the food in this instance being Arlene, Holly, Nicole, and several people whose names we don’t need to know because soon they’ll just be called ‘dinner’). A female vamp goes down to the basement looking for prey and seems to decide not to take Arlene, who recognizes the vamp as her kids’ former schoolteacher, Ms. Harris. Arlene believes Ms. Harris spared her out of mercy and promises the other prisoners that they’ll escape because she did not “survive four lousy husbands, a sort of serial killer boyfriend, and the sort of suicide of her love, Terry, to die in a dingy basement!” Amen, Arlene. Arlene and Holly beg with Ms. Harris for mercy, telling her that if she’s going to die, she should choose to do so with nobility. The school teacher turned vampire promises them she’ll figure something out.
Meanwhile, Jason, Sookie, Andy, and the ever-stoic Alcide have gone in search of the body Sookie discovered last episode, hoping it will provide clues about where the vamps came from and how long they plan on staying in Bon Temps. ID reveals that the body belongs to Mary-Beth Grant of St. Alice, two towns over from Bon Temps. Sookie makes a speech about the “brutal indifference of life” (although in this instance she should probably be more worried about the undead) while Andy tries unsuccessfully to reach the sheriff of St. Alice. The group decides to head over to the nearby town to see what has happened there for themselves.
Elsewhere, Lettie Mae has gone to “check” on, i.e. manipulate, Lafayette. Lettie Mae claims that Tara came to her in a dream after she drank Willa’s blood, and she asks Lafayette to summon Tara so her daughter won’t be trapped between two worlds. Lettie Mae admits she wants to drink V again so she can feel Tara’s presence, to which Lafayette responds: “You a drug addict, you trifling bitch, through and through.” Truer words were never spoken, Lafayette—the past few seasons might have been unruly messes, but at least Lettie Mae’s conniving was kept to a minimum. Once she arrives home, Lettie Mae intentionally burns her palm then wakes up Willa and asks for the healing power of her blood. She starts tripping and imagines she sees Tara on the cross covered in snakes. So, you know, par for the True Blood course.
Unfortunately, Lettie Mae isn’t the only resident of Bon Temps who seems to have gone off the deep end. At Sam’s suggestion, some of the townspeople, including Adilyn and Wade, have gathered to clean up Bellefleur’s. The town’s formal mayoral candidate and resident naysayer, Vince, arrives just in time for the cleaning crew to discover that Bellefleur’s fridge is full of bodies stored there by vamps. Vince says he saw Andy, Jason, and Sam driving out of town and abandoning the people of Bon Temps and also reveals that Sam Merlotte is a “dog-mayor.” The crew starts trashing the bar and Adilyn listens in on their thoughts as they prepare to go to the last place in town with a large supply of guns–the police station.
Outside of Bon Temps, Sookie, Jason, Alcide, Andy, and Sam are on an excursion to St. Alice to find out more about what happened there, and whatever it was, it was obviously bad. St. Alice is a ghost town filled with the kind of Katrina-esque images we saw in the trailers for this season: boarded up windows, scrawled prayers on the side of a church, a huge “FEMA HELP US” sign in the middle of the street. If the group needed more proof that things aren’t all cool with their neighbors in St. Alice, they soon come upon it: an enormous pit filled with bodies. Good luck, Bon Temps.
Meanwhile, Adilyn and Wade are trying to convince Andy’s cop Kenya that the police station is about to be attacked when the angry mob from Bellefleur’s arrives for the guns. The townspeople tell Kenya Bon Temps’ “dog mayor” has abandoned them and that Andy has avoided promoting her because she’s a woman of color. After some debate about the second amendment Kenya tries to chain up Adilyn, who is threatened with a gun after using her fairy powers. Sensing the threat to Adilyn, Jessica wakes up in Andy’s attic but is unable to leave to rescue her.
Back in St. Alice, the group arrives at Mary-Beth Grant’s house. Jason’s “pizza forensics” reveal Mary-Beth and her family were probably taken two and a half days earlier. While Jason eats stale pizza, Andy swears that if he ever gets Holly back, he’ll make an honest woman of her. Sookie and Alcide read Mary-Beth’s diary and discover Mary-Beth had fallen in love with a vampire who eventually caught Hep V (and that, in the world of True Blood, it is indeed still 2011). Sookie reminisces about the first time she went to Fangtasia with Bill, prompting a prolonged and profoundly goofy flashback to her getting ready for their first date. (Bummer, Alcide.) As they drive back to Bon Temps, Alcide says that neither Mary-Beth nor Sookie are to be blamed for the trouble in their towns, and that if Sookie wants, he’ll drive them past Bon Temps and never look back.
Back at Fangtasia, Ms. Harris arrives in the basement and tells Arlene and Holly she can help them escape, but she’ll need to feed on Arlene’s femoral artery first to gather strength. Ms. Harris begins feeding but then succumbs to Hep V and disintegrates between Arlene’s legs. Understandably, the ladies all lose it.
As night approaches, Andy arrives home to find Jessica in his house. Jessica promises that she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but that she and Andy need to find Adilyn ASAP.
Alcide and Sookie also arrive home, and in spite of a passionate smooch they share, it seems Sookie’s mind is elsewhere–when Alcide goes to shower she sneaks out of the house (in spite of it being dark outside. Why, Sooks, why?) to go to Bill’s, where she asks her vampire ex-boyfriend if he can still sense her fear. It’s getting harder and harder to sympathize with Sookie and her needlessly risky behavior, but I’m sure she has some wise ulterior motive for checking to see if Bill is still attuned with her.
Finally, we’re given a brief scene in which Pam descends down a staircase and finds Eric “alive” and well at the bottom. The reveal of the Viking was so abrupt that I barley had time to be curious about his whereabouts, but honestly, I don’t think I ever thought Eric had met the True Death in his skivvies on a mountaintop–when he does go, it will be far more dignified.
Overall I thought this episode meandered far more than the season premiere and focused too much on minor Bon Temps characters that the audience won’t have time to become invested in this final season (Kenya, Vince, etc.) But hey! This is the episode that gave us Jeric, and for that I will always treasure it.